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Vinny

The Family

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Sal's attention is wrenched away from the stranger at his brother's words. "Yeah, I guess we should think it ova first. Buy that's a lotta dough." He glances at the lunch couter. "Hey, I though I was buyin'. Thanks bro." He picks up his sandwiches in one meaty paw, ripping the paper off of the top of one with the other hand before grabbing the lemonade and taking a huge bite. "C'mon Vitto, letsh get goin'." He mumbles through a mouthful of sandwich and heads for the door.

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Sal and Vitto-

 

The owner thanks you for the purchase and goes to prepare his other customer's order.

 

"Yo Joey, the coffee's gonna take a while. Why don't you wait for it, huh?" he says before disappearing into the back kitchen.

 

"Yeah, yeah, sure thing. Don't worry 'bout it." Joey says to the man, then turns back to Vitto. "Yeah, Paulie's. Da joint's down 9th street, just a few streets from 'ere. Here, take dis..." Joey says, fishing in his pocket and tossing a blue matchbook to Vitto.

 

"If yer' interested, go there and ask for Paulie and give it ta him. Tell'em Joey sentcha and dey'll set ya up straight." and with that, Joey goes back to his newspaper.

 

The mathcbook is a dark navy blue, with the picture of a dancing jazz girl on it, but no names or letterings other than the picture. From the thickness of it, some of the matches have been used already.

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"End of the line. Go inside and ask for Paulie. Hand him this, and he'll know I sent ya..." the man says and hands you a blue matchbook, the symbol of a swinging jazz dancer on it, probably from some night club somewhere, although no name is printed on its cover.

 

"Go on, get out." Frank says, and cocks his head to the side, motioning to the street. Outside, pedestrians walk by with a hint of humility when they near the car, never looking inside or at you.

 

James decides its probably best to jump of the car. He first takes the matchbook and places it in his shirt pocket. He then gets out of the car he takes notes of the surrounding area (sort of scopes out the place). Looks up to the lights above the door and has a subtle laugh to himself. He thinks to himself, "Wow I get fired to get moved to a worst location then where I was at. Hopefully this thing pays well. If not I'll do the job and on the side look into the illegal fight clubs in this area ---- I'm sure no one knows me the fighter in this area at least."

 

After a quick nod to the car James proceeds into the pool hall. Upon entering the pool hall he takes a quick glance around the room to see the layout as well as patrons inside. Tries to gage the situation as best he can. He proceeds to walk up to the counter to where the attendant is located. He asks him, "Could you tell me where I can meet Paulie? I was told to look him up from a friend (using this term loosely) of mine."

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James-

 

As soon as you step through the door, you suddenly find the room stuffy. Up a few steps of stairs, and pass another door, is a dimly-lit, smoky pool hall, about five or so pool tables, three of them currently occupied by players. There are a few chairs and table lying around, supposedly for people to eat, but the only use they provide for anyonea are the ash trays screwed onto the center of the frame. Above each table are fairly cheap green-glass light apparatus; similarly lighting are also scattered through the place, several of them busted and dark. There are windows, a few of them open to let in fresh air (thank God), but the blinds have been drawn to shade out most of the sunlight, rays appearing into the room in rectangular slits. A phonograph in the corner is gently screeching an easy jazz tune while there is the common noise of clattering as the billiard balls collide onto each other. Indistinct chatter and occasional laughter can be heard.

 

The 6 or so players are dressed fairly decently compared to the people in this neighboorhood: buttoned up shirts, waistcoats, ties, and cheap cologne can be seen all around. The attendant himself is a round man, balding at the back of the head (like a monk's haircut), at least three chins under his neck, and a rotund belly. He lumbers to the counter, a monstrous cigar clenched between his teeth, the smoke adding to the massive amount of smog already in the room.

 

"Paulie? Yeah, I'm Paulie. Who'se askin'?" he says hoarsely, taking a puff from his cigar before taking it between his fat fingers. You notice two golden rings on them, one on the middle finger, the other on the pinkie.

 

Behind you, at least two of the pool players are now paying attention to you. You notice one of them, probably the best dressed out of the pack, sitting down at a table and staring at you, gauging you're size. He is about your height, his hair black and worn short and slicked back, with hawk eyes that seemed to never miss any details. He's wearing a blue shirt and grey slacks with an unbuttoned waistcoat worn like a jacket and a loosened red tie around his neck. He sits with one hand holding his pool stick like a staff, the other holding his cigarette. When he catches you looking back at him, he gives you a nod, but keeps staring. One of the other pool players also stares at you and whispers something to him before returning to the game.

 

"Hey, you!" Paulie says impatiently, bringing your attention back to the fat man. "I'm Paulie. Come on, what da ya want? Who sentcha?"

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"Hey, you!" Paulie says impatiently, bringing your attention back to the fat man. "I'm Paulie. Come on, what da ya want? Who sentcha?"

 

"Frank Gianno sent me.... Said you have a little work that might be needing attending to and that I may be able to offer you some assistence." [if James gets the chance he shows Paulie the matchbook however he does not give it to him]

 

James continues to keep a watchful eye on everyone in the room.......

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"Ya know if there's this much money involved den dere's gonna be someone that might be just as interested in stayin' safe. We otta ask a coupla questions before headin down ta Paulie's so we know what's what."

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"See, that's why I take such good care of ya, Vitto" Sal says with a smile. "I just don't got the brains that you've got."

 

He takes another bite of his sandwich and waits to see what Vitto asks the guy.

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James-

 

"Oh, Frank sent ya, did he?" you notice a twitch under one of Paulie's jowled cheek. "You must be McFadden, then. Alright ou're cool, then..."

 

Paulies shrugs returns to the backroom and continues organizing some of the boxes, but you hear his muffled voice call out:

 

"Go over there. Talk to Vincenzo. He handles the job right now." he says, referring to the pool players.

 

You turn and notice the men had cleared some space, leaving an open table, where one of the men is assembling the balls into the triangle. The man who was looking at you earlier is standing near the pool table, holding his stick. On the table itself, an unused stick lays atop the green felt surface.

 

"Yo, you..." he calls to you. "Ya up for a game?

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"Not to worry, Sal. By the time we want ta head over there this even' I otta know just where we stand," Vitto says looking up at his brother. "The Vitales aren't just anybody's mooks ya know? Time to make a call or two." Vitto heads over to a phonebooth and with a glance around steps in.

 

 

 

 

Vitto attempts to see what any of his 'friends' know about Paulies, who owns it, and who they might want the hurt put on.

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Vitto and Sal-

 

While Sal is waiting, Vitto finds a phonebooth only a few paces from the deli, a wooden box housing a coin-operated telephone. Its a terrible old thing, stuffy, hardly enough breathing holes, and it reeked of sweat and something really unpleasant. Vitto dials a few numbers, but many of them seem to have never even heard of the place. Occasionally, some of them came off sounding suspicious and relented to saying that the place was just one of many pool halls in Little Italy.

 

However, after about four calls or so, Vitto manages to reach a guy whose name he only remembers as Richie. The guy used to work at Mario's Trucking, Vitto remembers, a fairly decent guy who seemed at the time to have a little involvement in the underworld. Vitto remembers the guy owed him a favor for keeping him out of trouble with Mario once.

 

"Hey Vitto, long time no hear. How ya doin'? How's your brother, Sallie? He doin' alright?" Vitto hears, a slightly annoying static-dronning distorting the voice due to the bad public telephone line.

"Alright, listen up, I ain't so sure what goes down in Lil' Italy, my... partners usually work from outside that neighborhood. Here, listen... I dunno about the pool joint, but I know 'bout a Paulie down in that neighborhood. If its the right one, then he's a guy by the name of Paul Gortani. Runs a collection raquet aroun' town. They say he works directly for Marlino. That's about all I know."

 

"Hey, I ain't gonna ask what ya want with those guys, but lemme give ya a tip. If it is Gortani, I'd be careful. Those guys, they pay well and they pay often, I hear, but don't think they're just a buncha wiseguys off da streets. Marlino is up there with Salichi and Taglione (Vitto recognize these three names. After all, who hasn't heard of the New Haven Three Families?). They're the big ballers, the big league, the f**kin' real deal, ya know? So whatever ya do, don't cross em', ya know what I mean?"

 

"Alright, hey I gotta go. Now we're even, huh? Hehe... Tell you're bro I said hi, huh? Later... *click*" And the line went dead.

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"Well, Sal," Vitto says walking up to his brother. "From what I can dig up we either take the money and watch ourselves or steer clear of da whole kaboodle." He relays the basics of the conversation he had with Ritchie and then sticks his hands into his pockets. "If we take this it'll mean big money of big trouble, or maybe a bitta both."

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"Go over there. Talk to Vincenzo. He handles the job right now." he says, referring to the pool players.

 

"Yo, you..." he calls to you. "Ya up for a game?

 

Walking over to Vincenzo,James give him a nod. Looks to him and say's, "James ....... James McFadden .... pleased to meet you." With that James proceeds to pick up the unused cue stick. He reply's, "Sure I'm up for a game.... You go ahead and break..."

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James-

 

"Vincent Marlino. Pleased to meetcha." the man says, and puts down the cue, taking aim.

 

With one eye closed, he says:

 

"So... what could possibly bring a mick like yourself to this greaseball guinea hole other than a job and some cash, huh?" he says, taking the shot. The cue ball hits the triangle stack on the left side with a loud click, sending balls drifting to the right, pocketing a striped one. Moving around the table, Vincenzo takes aim again and hits another striped ball, but fails to pocket it.

 

"So apparently, old man Marlino trusts ya enough to offer ya a job for the family. From what I hear from the runners down in the docks, you're pretty tough. But its never smart to believe everything ya hear, especially when it comes from them bonafide ship rats, but I guess it's all fair that the old man's givin' give you a chance to prove yourself. I mean, since we've already bothered draggin' ya all the way out here, might as well go with it, huh? You're turn..." he says and steps aside.

 

"Its a simple job if you got the knuckles and the capabilities for simple math. But you gotta follow instructions... TO THE LETTER, understand? Ya pull off this job well enough, not only are you gettin' a quarter of a grand but you're gonna have some career options opened with the Marlino family. However, you elf it up and we elf you up, ya understand that?"

 

"So... whaddaya say?" he asks. "Interested?"

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"So apparently, old man Marlino trusts ya enough to offer ya a job for the family. From what I hear from the runners down in the docks, you're pretty tough. But its never smart to believe everything ya hear, especially when it comes from them bonafide ship rats, but I guess it's all fair that the old man's givin' give you a chance to prove yourself. I mean, since we've already bothered draggin' ya all the way out here, might as well go with it, huh? You're turn..." he says and steps aside.

 

"Its a simple job if you got the knuckles and the capabilities for simple math. But you gotta follow instructions... TO THE LETTER, understand? Ya pull off this job well enough, not only are you gettin' a quarter of a grand but you're gonna have some career options opened with the Marlino family. However, you elf it up and we elf you up, ya understand that?"

 

"So... whaddaya say?" he asks. "Interested?"

 

Walking around to line up his shot on the 2 ball James thinks to himself, "Hmmm $250.00 for a lil fist work ehhh. May that beats the illegal fight clubs in the docks....." Before James takes his shot he says, "Well my fists work way better then my pool playing thats for sure. I can also follow directions to a T." He lines up the 2 ball and dink ---- cue ball runs down the table hitting the 2 ball "dink" into the corner pocket bouncing off a rail and moving back toward the bottom center of the table. Looking over the table the only shot left is a rail shot on the 5 ball. Looking up before he takes his shot he replies, "So lets say I am more then f#$kin interested in the job. When would you need my services?" He then takes aim, hitting the ball with high side english left, and lets the cue ball fly with a crack. The 5 ball runs down the rail and sinks into the pocket. The cue ball runs back toward the center of the table placing itself right beside the 8 leaving James no apparent shot. "[email protected]$T!" Looking over the table the only shot he has is to try to hit the 1 ball surrounded by the 12 and 14 ball. He takes aim hitting the cue really hard forcing the shot. He hits the 1 ball but in turn ends up pocketing the 14 into a corner pocket thereby relinquishing his shot. "[email protected]! Heh can't sink em all I guess. "One quick question ---- where does this job need to be taking place at?"

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