Prohibition

Prohibition by Terrence McCauley Read Free Book Online

Book: Prohibition by Terrence McCauley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Terrence McCauley
Tags: thriller
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    Then he made the call he’d been dreading. Archie. There was no way to sugar coat it and there was no way to avoid it. He just picked up the phone and dialed.
    He knew Archie was a light sleeper and he picked up on the first ring. Quinn told him what had happened with Shapiro. About the fight. About the shooting. He saved the lead on the man in the white suit for dessert.
    Archie seemed distant. He told Quinn not to worry about Shapiro. He told him good work on the man in the white suit. Then he told him ‘Good night’. Click.
    Quinn sat in the booth for a while after hanging up. He’d expected anger, excitement, something. Deadpan wasn’t Doyle’s style. Maybe Fatty’s shooting took more out of him than Quinn thought? Maybe that other plan he was hatching was bothering him?
    Quinn tried to forget what Doherty had said. Maybe Archie didn’t care anymore?
    It didn’t matter. Either way, Quinn still had to find the bastard in the white hat, but it was too early to do anything about it. He decided to kill some time and rest up for a while.
    It was almost five o’clock in the morning when Quinn got back to The Longford Lounge. He sipped black coffee at the bar and read about Fatty’s shooting in the early edition of The New York Journal. He had an apartment upstairs, but was too worked up to sleep just yet.
    The raw smells of the nightclub always relaxed him: stale smoke, spilled booze, body washes and colognes that still hung in the air from the night before, all rushed together to form a unique perfume. It was Quinn’s idea of heaven. Other than the orphanage, it was the only kind of home he had ever really known.
    The Longford Lounge was Doyle’s pride and joy; an old warehouse overdone with oak paneling; mirrors, chandeliers and gold trim wherever they could put it. Quinn thought it was just this side of gaudy, but that’s the way Archie wanted it. And since the place was jammed every night, no one seemed to mind.
    The bar and kitchen officially closed at three o’clock in the morning, but the party continued until well past sunrise for the high-rollers and professional gamblers in the casino downstairs. The casino easily brought in five times more a night than the restaurant ever could. Considering The Longford Lounge was one of the most popular clubs in the city; that was saying something.
    It was one of the few places in town where the booze flowed freely. The cops knew all about it and were well paid to forget about it.
    Quinn sipped his coffee and watched a well-heeled drunk in a dinner jacket stumble on the way out the door. Francois Deveraux, the maitre’d, grabbed the rummy and poured him into a cab. A few hours before, the man had been dressed to the nines for a night of cocktails, dinner and dancing. Now he looked ridiculous in the coming light of a new day. Quinn took another swig of coffee.
    “Would you look at the dumb bastard,” said Tommy Delaney, the head bartender, as he washed the last batch of martini glasses. “All that money and no sense.”
    Quinn might’ve been in charge of the Lounge on paper, but Delaney and Francois ran the place. Delaney had been with the Lounge longer than Quinn and customers loved him. Ladies loved his dark Irish features and pale blue eyes. Men liked his stories and his dry sense of humor. The brogue made everything funnier.
    “How’d we do tonight?” Quinn asked, going back to his paper.
    “Grand,” Tommy said. “No one’s got any money these days, except when they come here.”
    “Anybody ask about Fatty?”
    “Chi Chi and Rascal Parker drifted by,” Tommy offered. “They showed appropriate concern. Wendell Bixby was in, too. Sniffing around for items for that damned column of his. All he got was gossip.”
    “He’d better talk to Archie before he prints anything.” Tommy smiled. “I think he remembers what happened the last time.” Quinn took another hit of coffee. “Let’s hope I don’t have to remind him.”
    Francois Deveraux

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