A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2018
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Chapter Eight


“You can count on me Mr. Ryan. I’ll put my most responsible men on it. And by-the-way, I saw that
runner or errand boy, whatever you call him, Mic Mitchell in a hotel in Cambridge, Mass., the Cambridge Arms, having dinner with another guy. Was wondering if you have him on full time now.”
“You sure it was him, Sal? I’ve been trying to find that bum. Do you know who he was with?”
“Never saw him before. He has graying hair and well dressed. They were sitting so can’t tell you how tall he is.”
“Thanks Sal. There will be a bonus in the job for you. It’s a good piece of information – very timely.”
As soon as Concetta left the office Ryan called in his two thugs and told them, “Mitchell is in Cambridge at the Cambridge Arms. Get up there and find out what I want to know. If he gets stubborn, get rid of him. He is no use to me now.

The next morning, just about the same time Ryan’s boys were boarding the Northeastern Airlines shuttle to Boston, Scott Wadsworth was retrieving his Colt 1911 from the box on the shelf in his closet. He hardly looked at it since the war ended and it felt strange in his hand. He checked the mechanism and placed a drop of oil on the slide and worked it in. The 1911 fit well in the belt clip holster hanging just at the back of his right hip. Scott grabbed two empty clips from the box before placing it back in the closet. For safety, since his boys came along, he stores the ammunition at his office. It saddens him to have to wear the hand gun. Since being forced to kill the young SS lieutenant spy before the recent war, the incident often plays out in his
mind. [1]

In the first war he had seen action as an Intelligence Officer and pulled the 1911 on many occasions. When he had to use it, back then, he never thought about the results again. Perhaps it was that we weren’t at war yet in 1934 and the shooting, in front of Scott’s own home, hardly seemed necessary; and that his opponent was very young most certainly contributed to his feelings.

The phone rang just as Scott placed his hand on the front door latch.

“This is Sergeant Lally Boston P.D. Please hold for Chief Taranto,” the voice said.

“Scott, this is Dick. I understand you are going to talk to Mitchell this morning. Before you go to Cambridge, stop by your office. I sent an envelope there by messenger. It’s some info you should have if you are going to be around Mitchell very much.”

“Well, don’t stop there. What kind of info?”

“OK. We received a telex late yesterday from the NYPD telling us those two musclemen working for Ryan took the Boston shuttle from LaGuardia airport. In the envelope are full PD files on both with photos and descriptions. New York thinks they are probably after Mitchell.”

“Thanks, Dick. New York could very well be right. From what Mitchell tells me about encounters with them, Ryan wants more than Mic can tell him about the sale of the pipe. He simply doesn’t know anything more.”

“They sound like very bad mugs, Scott. Don’t take any chances should they show up. And keep me in the loop. Call me if I you need help.”

Scott stopped just outside his front gate to light his first pipe of the day. In the process he decided to walk to the office for a chance to have some solitary thinking time. He opened the large envelope immediately upon entering his office. The information was very telling and brought home the point of Ryan being in questionable businesses to need the kind of employees those two thugs represent. After returning the material to the envelope, he called the private FBI line for Malison and told him of the material the Chief gave him. He suggested Malison request the same from BPD and get it distributed to his agents on this case. Then, asked for a car to take him to Cambridge. On the way to Cambridge, Scott chatted with the driver and filled all three clips for his 1911from the pocket full of rounds he placed there back at his office, placing one clip in the weapon and engaging the safety.


Smyth dialed Abby’s phone and he answered immediately. “Smyth here. Sorry I couldn’t call back yesterday – got completely tied up,” he lied, hoping not calling might put Abby on edge.

“I’m sorry too, I canceled two important meetings to stay home and wait for your call – very discourtesy of you.”

“Again, sorry. Now, how about meeting Saturday at that library you suggested at two in the afternoon?

“Yes, that will be fine. I look forward to meeting you and seeing the pipe.”

Smyth rudely laughed and said, “The only thing you will see of the pipe is a photograph. You can’t believe I would carry it with me to a private meeting! It is safely tucked away close by.”

Abby detested Smyth’s attitude and became more agitated each time they talked. “Well, that is very disappointing, and I might add, so are you. I’m beginning to think I don’t want to do business with you.”

Smyth suddenly realized he should go a little easy on Abby and replied, “I’ll be at the library at two on Saturday and hope you will as well. I’m sorry if I offended you. I can think of no one I would rather see get the ancient Calabash”

Abby hung up without a reply but thought to himself what a phony Smyth is. He further thought Smyth and Ryan should get together – they are equally slick and dishonest.
The two men monitoring Smyth’s phone in the cellar of the hotel immediately called the Boston FBI office and related the essentials of the call to Abby.

Back in Boston:

Malison immediately called the Albany office and asked the director to get a warrant permitting bugs in all study rooms at the Washington Avenue branch library, and the men to monitor them. The director complained about it taking too many resources to monitor all the study rooms. However, Malison reminded him most could leave once they determined which room Smyth and Abby are in, and the Albany director reluctantly agreed.

At the Cambridge Arms, Scott and Mitchell had a pleasant breakfast and then went for a walk along the Charles river. Scott stopped and leaned against the iron railing. After filling and lighting his pipe, he turned to Mitchell. “Let’s sit on that bench over there. We have something important to discuss.”

“Whatever you say,” Mic said smiling.

“I received disturbing news this morning. Those two men who work for Ryan are in Boston. They came in last night on the air shuttle. It is everyone’s opinion they are after you so I want to get you out of your hotel and sequestered away in a safer place.”

“Man! They just won’t believe I’ve told Ryan all I can about Smyth. If they get to me again they will work me over with enthusiasm. I have to figure out a story for them or I’m a dead man, for sure. On second thought, they will probably knock me off no matter what I tell them.”

“We won’t let that happen, so don’t worry. You are well guarded. Now let’s get you packed and out of the hotel.”
Scott informed the two guards assigned to Mitchell of the situation and asked they be very alert while he showed them the pictures of Ryan’s men.

They left Mitchell’s room and headed for the back stairwell. Upon reaching the ground floor it was fifty or so feet to the rear exit where, by prior arrangement, the FBI car was waiting. Suddenly the door opened and two men walked in, silhouetted against the morning sky. Mitchell walked very close to and hidden behind one guard. The second guard followed while Scott took the lead. At the same time Scott recognized the men, and they spotted Mitchell.

“Hi Mic,” one of them yelled as he attempted to shove one guard aside. What’s your hurry? We got some business with you.”

With that it got very confusing as the guard grabbed the thug’s hand and bent it backward while twisting his arm behind him and bringing him to the floor. At this, the other hood pulled a revolver from his pocket but never quite made it before Scott had his 1911 pressed firmly against his ear. The other guard rushed forward and remover the revolver from the thud and pushed him against the wall and applied handcuffs

As Scott set about searching the two men for additional weapons he excitedly said “Mic, go to the car out back and tell the driver to radio in. Tell him I need another car with two men here as soon as possible”

When the car from FBI headquarters arrived, Mitchell’s guards explained the situation and told the agents to take the two to headquarters for interrogation. As soon as the car carrying Ryan’s thugs pulled away, Scott told his driver to radio the director and then hand him the microphone.

“Harry, Scott here. You’re about to have a couple of guests from Ryan’s organization who have been after Mitchell; this time to do him harm.”

“I figured as much when the called and told me where they picked them up. Are you coming to headquarters?” Harry Malison asked.

“Not immediately, Harry. I have Mitchell with me and want to get him settled somewhere. Will you please make arrangements with the small hotel on Avery Street if you are still using it?” Probably best to stay away from the large hotels.

“We are and I will”, Harry replied. “Good choice. Not the best place in town but relatively unknown outside of Boston. I’ll notify New York and the Boston Cops and assign two other agents to guard Mitchell. Call me when you can.”

Ok, Harry It might be this evening before I can call. Any Questions leave a message at my office.”

Scott thoughtfully lit his pipe while Mitchell sat quietly in the back seat of the FBI car gazing out the window and contemplating what might have happened to him had he not cooperated with the FBI. “Mr. Wadsworth, I want to thank you for helping me like you have and being so understanding. You can bet your life I will do anything I can to help the FBI get Smyth, and maybe Ryan. I’m feeling better about being protected now.”

Scott instructed the driver to take them to his office where he checked for important mail and his phone calls. After making a couple of return calls, he and Mitchell walked to Jake Wirth’s for lunch. Approaching the favorite booth Scott spotted Abe Muller and Dick Taranto there and just ordering. Mitchell stiffened almost imperceptibly when Scott introduced Dick as the Chief of Police.

“Glad you are safe, Mr. Mitchell,” Dick said. “You can be sure the BPD will do all it can to see you stay that way. You are very important to the successful conclusion of this complicated case that spans two states. We all are counting on you.”

At that Abe said, “And, you are in very good hands with Scott Wadsworth, believe me. I have experience working with Scott when my life was in danger. He is the best.”

“When will you be talking to Ryan’s men?” Scott asked Dick.

“Not for a while I guess. Somehow Ryan learned of their apprehension and had an attorney at FBI headquarters within an hour of Harry calling me and New York. Someone on the force at New York must be an informer for Ryan. I’m positive it isn’t any of my men.”

“That means he must to be indicted, for intimidating a witness I suppose, before his attorney will allow him to be questioned. It will be a federal indictment,” Scott added.

Back in New York, Ryan was beside himself over the arrest of his best two men. He picked up the phone and told his secretary to get Sal Concetta up here, and quickly.

In less than a half hour Concetta was ushered into his office. “Sal, I need a couple of reliable hard men who really know their way around. Mine got nabbed by the Feds going after Mic in Boston. There is more work to do in Boston now. Can you do that for me?”

“Sure, Mr. Ryan. How soon do you need them?”

“ Right know if that’s possible,” Ryan replied. “However, I’ll settle for as soon as you can arrange it, Sal. And I want them ready for some serious action.”

[1] The Nazi gunman, spotting Scott in the street some distance from the truck, brought the Lugar to sighting level. Scott's first round caught him low on the right side and was immediately followed by the second entering the center of his chest driving him back and away from the truck. (The Crooked X – ©Ernie whitenack 2011)

Chapters:  Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11Ch 12Ch 13

Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired.

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