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The name is Francisco Botenzi, or Frank. I’ve been living in the City of Seaport for my whole life now. The City isn’t all that bad, even though all the immigrants are shoved into ghettos and slums, and forced to work for little pay and have what little pay they do earn extorted from them on high rent costs and taxes, makes it hard for someone to provide for themselves and their family with a honest living. Well, that is what my parents tried to do, and look at them. Poor, malnourished and owing money to half the f****** city. It’s 1933, and I’m on my own now. Prohibition is over, so at least I can get drunk without the cops on my a**. Good thing too, one less matter to get involved with. See, ever since I lost the job at the docks, I’ve been forced to find creative ways to pay the rent. Started playing poker down at the bar down the block from my apartment. Became pretty damn good at it. That got me the connection with Emmanuel “Manny” Rennasino. Manny is a tall, athletically built guy. Manny usually presents himself in three-piece suits and has a short head of jet-black hair on his head, which he tends to not maintain unless it is a formal ceremony. Manny is a wise guy, part of the Lombardi Mafia Family, the big criminal organization in Seaport. They made a killing during Prohibition, selling booze and all that. Now, they’ve fallen into economic downturn, and starting diversifying their business and starting violence with other gangs and mobs throughout the City. It gets pretty dangerous, and every morning it seems someone new is dead in the paper. Anyways, back to Manny. I have done some jobs for Manny now, made some money off that. I enjoy his life of work and I think I’m going to get into it myself soon…
Chapter 1 – Protection Costs – May 7th, 1933
“ Hey Manny,” was the sound rippling through Gino’s Bar, the central drinking hole of Little Italy, the nickname of the Italian Ghetto in Seaport.
It was Antonio “Tony” Lombardi, son of the leader of the Lombardi family, Ricardo Lombardi. Tony was a bit of a spoiled brat, but in honesty, Manny didn’t mind the guy. Tony was wearing a black three-piece suit, which is what most Mafioso prefer to wear. Tony was a short guy, but built like a tank. Tony’s a pretty good fighter, and few could match with him. Tony had his short black hair gelled back.
“ Hello Tony, what is it,” was Manny’s reply as he shook Tony’s hand.
Tony was usually Ricardo’s messenger boy, so Manny knew something was up. Tony motioned Manny to follow him to a booth, and the two sat down inside the booth of the Bar.
“ So, Manny it seems that French b****** Giguere has decided to not pay his protection costs. You know, for his tailor shop on Thirty-fourth Street. I need you to remind him why he needs to pay those costs. I had Dad call off the protectors, so you can move right in,” Tony explained to Manny.
Manny nodded in approval.
“ Yea, I can send some of my guys on it,” Manny replied, brushing off Tony’s hinting that he wanted Manny to do it.
“ May I ask who these guys are, if you have made your decision,” Tony quietly asked Manny.
“ Freddy Salence and Frank Botenzi,” Manny quickly replied,
“ I’ve been looking for a chance to test Frank.”
“ Good, good,” Tony assured himself.
“ Now, I must be going now, Father has some business for me, so arrivederci my friend.” With that, Tony got up and left the bar.
That gave time for Manny to do some planning. Manny got up out of the booth and over to the public telephone. Manny picked the phone up, and began dialing Frank’s number.
Frank awoke to the sound of his phone ringing. Startled, Frank quickly rolled over in his bed to his night table and pulled out his M1911 and scanned his room. No signs of an intruder, so Frank returned his gun to its drawer and picked up his phone.
“ Hello, who is it,” Frank asked into the phone.
“ It’s Manny, get over to Gino’s as soon as possible Frank,” the phone emitted to Frank.
“ Sure thing Manny, I’ll be right there,” Frank replied, and then he hung up.
Frank walked over to his closet, and put on a casual suit. The suit was black, but nothing over fancy. Frank fetched his M1911 and stuffed it into his back waistline. Frank looked around his shabby apartment to see if he needed anything else. After confirming he was ready, Frank exited his apartment.
Frank quickly descended down the outside stairs in front of his apartment down to the street level, where his nineteen twenty-two York Coupe was waiting in the alley for Frank. Frank jogged over to the car, and got in the machine. Frank turned the machine on, and pulled out towards the street. It was just a left turn and then going straight a block to get to Gino’s, but Frank was driving anyway. Frank turned left onto the street, and began driving. Frank observed Little Italy and all it’s gray and brick buildings, most of them broken down, people starving in the streets, and crime happening all over the area. Frank caught Gino’s in sight and pulled into a parking spot right in front of the bar. Frank exited his vehicle, and approached the bar.
Opening the door, Frank saw Manny and Frederico or “Freddy” Salence sitting in a booth together and talking. Freddy was wearing a gray collared shirt, which was tucked in to his beige slacks. Freddy was sporting a baldhead, as he shaved it. Frank saw Manny pointing at Frank, and Frank began walking over. Frank approached the table, and was greeted by Manny.
“ Glad you could make it Frankie,” Manny welcomed,
“ Take a seat, we need to talk about something important,” was Manny’s order.
Frank sat down beside Manny, ready to listen. But before Manny could begin, a tall, skinny, attractive looking blonde waitress approached the table where the three men were sitting and asked,
“ What would you fellows like?”
“A Pint of Imperial Malt Beer, and It’s gotta be warm like how them Brits like,” Freddy interjected. The waitress, who was wearing a noticeably revealing corset, wrote down Freddy’s order in confusion.
“ I’m fine for now. Don’t need anything,” Manny assured the waitress.
The waitress’ focus shifted to Frank.
“ I’ll have a glass of your house wine please,” Frank asked the waitress in a suave voice with a slight hint that Frank was attracted to the waitress.
“ Sure thing,” the waitress replied in a flirtatious tone, writing down Frank’s order. The waitress smiled at Frank, and left the table towards the bar. Freddy noticed Frank staring at the waitress as she walked away.
“ So, you gonna' bang that broad,” Freddy sarcastically asked Frank.
“ Workin’ on it,” Frank replied.
“ Come on, back to business fella’s,” Manny interjected.
That was Manny, focused on his job. Frank and Freddy turned towards Manny, paying fully attention on Manny and what he was going to tell Freddy and Frank.
“ I got word from the boss today, he wants me to do a job, but I’m sending you two to do it, I got other s*** to deal with,” Manny began,
“ There is a Tailor on Thirty-Fourth street, doesn’t want to pay protection costs to the family. Says he doesn’t need it. You two are going to,” Manny continued before he was interrupted.
The waitress was holding Freddy and Frank’s drinks.
“ Here is your warm Imperial Malt Beer,” the waitress said, passing Freddy his drink.
Freddy thanked the waitress before going over to Frank.
“ Here is your house wine sir,” the waitress said to Frank in that same tone, passing Frank his drink while the waitress was trying to reveal her breasts to Frank in an enticing matter.
Frank thanked the waitress and she danced away.
“ Back to our discussion,” Manny interjected.
Freddy had begun to drink his beer, while Frank was slowly slipping away his wine.
“ You two are going to remind him why he needs to pay his protection money. In other words, trash the place. Don’t burn it down and don’t kill anyone. I’ll give you each two hundred bucks when your done, and you can loot whatever you want. Sounds good,” Manny explained.
“ Yea, no problem,” Freddy retorted in a confident manner.
“ Consider it done,” Frank answered.
Manny exited from the booth, and turned towards the booth.
“ Remember boys, the cops get you, you don’t know us, we don’t know you,” Manny commanded, and with that, Manny left.
Freddy finished his beer and said,
“ Meet me back here at seven-thirty. Don’t bother driving here then, were using my car. And pay for my drink too.”
With that being said, Freddy got up, and left. Frank finished off his wine, and the waitress came by.
“ You ready to pay yet,” she asked Frank.
“ Yea sure, how much,” Frank retorted.
“ Twelve-fifty,” the waitress answered.
Frank dropped thirteen bucks on the table.
“ Keep the change, and what time are you off work,” Frank said to the waitress.
“ I get off work at four, why, you wanna do something,” the waitress asked, collecting the money off the table.
“ Sure, what would you want to do,” Frank replied.
“ I dunno, maybe get dinner,” the waitress answered.
“ Maybe another night then, I’m busy around dinner time,” Frank told the waitress.
“ Aw shucks, no problem, I’ll just give you my number, you can call me or stop by when you are free,” the waitress asked.
She proceeded to write her name and phone number on a napkin, and handed the napkin to Frank.
“ Marilyn, that’s a beautiful name,” Frank said.
“ Thanks, what’s your name,” Marilyn asked Frank.
“ Francisco, or Frank for short,” Frank replied.
“ Nice meeting you Frank,” Marilyn said in a flirtatious tone.
“ You too, Arrivederci,” Frank said, as he looked for the door to the streets.
Freddy Salence stood there, leaning on his 1930 York Roadster car, waiting for Frank Botenzi. Freddy checked his watch, and it said the time was seven twenty-eight. Still, Freddy was getting worried that Frank might be late. Exhaling in impatience, Freddy noticed Frank running towards the bar, in a three-piece suit. Frank approached the car at seven twenty-nine.
“ Yer’ early, lucky son of a b****,” Freddy said.
“ Nice car, is that what were riding in,” Frank asked, looking at the York Roadster.
“ You bet, let’s get in,” Freddy answered, as he climbed into the car.
Frank followed in, astonished at the nice car Freddy had.
“ So, what do you got for weapons, we’re gonna’ need ‘em,” Freddy inquired.
“ Not much, just the M1911 I got from Manny,” Frank replied.
“ Ah s*** ‘ey. Well, I got a couple of tommy guns in the trunk. You can use one for this job,” Freddy told Frank.
Frank nodded, and Freddy started the engine and began driving towards thirty-fourth. They drove through the ghetto of Little Italy, and along the Seaport River, which runs through the City into Seaport Bay. They drove along the river on the highway until they made a turn into Niehborough, the rich part of town.
“ What the h***, Niehborough,” Frank blurted in confusion.
“ Yea, Niehborough, this is where the Tailor is,” Freddy retorted.
Freddy swung a right off the main drag onto Thirty-Fourth Street, and parked right in front of the Tailor’s shop.
“ All we do it wait,” Freddy reported.
Darkness hit Seaport within an hour, and when it did hit, Frank and Freddy exited the car. They looked inside, then towards the street. The two walked a bit to the left, turned left into an alley beside the Tailor shop, and Freddy discussed the plan.
“ Okay, so here is the plan. I’m going to park the car down this alley, right by the back door of the Tailor shop. We’ll grab the Tommy guns, and head inside. I’ll empty the cash register and you start breaking stuff. Once we hear cops, we leave. Got it?”
“ Yea,” Frank assured Freddy. Frank walked down the alley while Freddy drove the car down the alley and in front of the back door. Frank and Freddy grabbed their Tommy guns, loaded them and walked out of the alley. Checking that the coast was clear, Freddy began to pick the lock while Frank kept watch. Freddy unlocked the door, and the two headed inside. Freddy went over to the suits, and picked out a suit for himself while Frank ripped up and broke everything he could while not getting overly noisy. Luckily, no houses or apartments were nearby so not many people were around. Freddy emptied the cash register into a duffle bag, along with his suit and headed to the back. Confident at his damage total, Frank followed Freddy out back. Freddy found a vault in the back, and was trying to crack it. Frank kept watching the street, to see if anyone was checking out the situation. Freddy cracked the vault, and emptied it. Suddenly, they heard sirens, police sirens to be exact.
“ S***, cops,” Frank whispered hastily.
“ Let’s get outta’ here,” Freddy suggested. They went to the back door, but it was locked. Freddy began to pick it, but Frank shot off the hinges and then the lock.
“ No time,” Frank explained.
The two rushed outside the shop and ran to their car. The cops saw them in the alley, and began to close them in. Freddy and Frank jumped into the car and drove the opposite way of where they came in. Before they could exit, a cop car blocked the second exit, leaving the two of them locked in.
“ What the f*** do we do now,” Frank hastily shouted.
“ Calm down Frank, we’re getting out, and taking the stairs onto the roof,” Freddy ordered.
The two exited the vehicle, and made it to the stairwell, and began climbing. They were running quickly up the stairs, until the police began firing on them. Bullets soared all around the stairwell, as Freddy and Frank ascended up the stairs. Two cops followed in pursuit, shooting at Freddy and Frank. Freddy and Frank got onto the roof, and looked around. Deciding to hop roofs, Freddy and Frank started to move away from the Tailor Shop, with the two cops in pursuit. Bullets were flying all around Freddy and Frank as they dodged police pursuit until they reached the end of the block.
“ S***, what now,” Freddy shouted.
“ Duck,” Frank yelled at Freddy, as Frank dropped to the ground.
“ What,” Freddy asked before the police shot at Freddy.
The Officer fired three shots at Freddy, with two of them hitting Freddy, one in the right shin and one in the stomach. Freddy dropped to the ground like a sack of potatoes, and yelled harshly in pain,
“ Frank, get the h*** outta’ here, leave me, and take the money!”
Frank nodded, and took the money, heading across another rooftop and down another stairwell into the street. Carelessly, Frank smashed in the window of the first car he saw, and hotwired it. Feeling the car’s engine on, Frank floored the pedal as he drove away with three cop cars in pursuit, all of them shooting at the vehicle Frank was driving in. Frank was pointing his M1911 out the driver side window, and shooting at the pursuing police officers, but missing all of his shots. Frank heard a strange clunk, and then his car began to lose control as he heard air seeping out of something. Must be the tire, Frank thought. The car span out, and crashed onto the sidewalk, leaving Frank on foot. Desperate for a way out, Frank saw a small alley that lead to a fence. Not thinking, Frank bolted down the alleyway and towards the fence, and began to climb the fence. But before he could get over, he felt flashlights pointing at him and Frank saw cops surrounding the alley entrance.
“ Get down, drop your weapons and get on your knees with your hands up,” the Police Officer barked.
Frank complied, dropping from the fence and dropping his firearm, and then getting on his knees. Frank bowed his head in shame, realizing he faced his first real job while working for Manny, and now Frank would be locked up. But just when all seemed doomed, Frank heard a flurry of gunfire, and the three cops dropped dead. Frank looked up, and someone was standing there toting a machine gun. Frank couldn’t tell who it was, but the silhouette was short and fat.
“ Who the h*** are you,” Frank asked the mysterious man.
“ Oh, me? I am Benoit Giguere, or the owner of the shop you and your buddy broke into,” Benoit answered,
“ I ask of you one question. You give me a truthful answer and I will spare you. If not, I will kill you on the spot.”
“ Okay, Okay. The Irish Brotherhood sent me. They talked about wanting to teach you a lesson,” Frank told Benoit, masking his Italian accent.
“ Hmm… the micks’ eh,” Benoit said.
“ Not surprising,” Benoit added.
“ You may go, if you return my stuff,” Benoit told Frank.
“ Not a chance,” Frank retorted, picking up his gun and pointing it directly at Benoit.
“ Ahh, you wanna’ play rough with me buddy,” Benoit replied.
“ Yea, you let me go with my earnings, and I don’t blow your f*****’ brains out, deal,” Frank snapped back at Benoit.
“ Sure, just tell your mick’ buddies to f*** off,” Benoit answered.
Frank kept his gun pointed at Benoit as he exited the alleyway, and towards a taxi, which picked Frank up and brought Frank back to his apartment in Little Italy. After paying the cab, Frank entered his apartment, and fell asleep, wondering if Freddy was still alive.