The Ladies in Black
Secret File 001 of the Archives found in Sal O’Malley’s Estate
I don’t know who is going to read this, don’t know if my memories will be ever of anybody else’s interest, but I believe that the cases I worked in that, for one reason or another, never reached the general public’s knowledge should be left at least registered somewhere.
And here’s where they will be registered.
I will not take a chronological order, hence the fact that I’ll start with this case instead of the one about a headless mule cartoon, and probably I’ll forget to write down a few of them. Still..., some things have to be left recorded for the next generations, some mysteries must be solved and legends destroyed or created...
Like the death of Enzo Carebra. His demise, in the night of the eve of just another one of his trials, is considered even to this day as having been done by a mob hitwoman. Books were wrote, and even movies were made, with the premise that he had decided to rat out and give a few big names to the FBI, but the bigger ones discovered that and sent someone to kill him. Since the most likely suspect of having committed the crime is an unidentified white woman that escaped a police dragnet while wearing black from head to toe, the case is known as the ‘Lady in Black Affair’. But the truth could not be farther from that.
Enzo did not wanted to quit being a local enforcer for the big names of the mob. His death had nothing to do actually with the trial or the FBI. He did his best to avoid being convicted in that particular trial, and he most certainly was not the would-be-rat that he came into being known as by his then peers, foes, the general public and his superiors.
And there was more than one mysterious all clad in black woman in that case.
Four or five, at least, ‘ladies in black’...
But I am getting ahead of myself. It was the Fall of 1949, early October more accurately, and at the time I had this office on the 5th floor of a building at the ********** Street. Bobbie was my secretary, and back then I was in my early 30’s and she in her late 20’s. All the PIs in comic books seemed to be like us: He, though and hard and reliable; She, pretty and courageous and jealous of every girl/woman that got within ten feet of her boss.
Specially if said woman was a beauty as the one that came into my office that morning. It was 9:30 and she was dressed very conservatively in two shades of blue (darker for the skirt and lighter for the blouse), but no dress in this world could hide her curves, specially her ample bosom. She said that her name was Madeleine Anton, and she needed my help to see if she had been really robbed or not a couple of days before.
As I allowed the blonde beauty into my office, and smiled to myself as I saw the predicted reaction of her presence in there in Bobbie’s face, she started to explain herself. While not exactly rich, her family had quite a few possessions here and there, all in her name.
Her brother was a spendthrift and for that he had received only a very small portion of their parents’ heritage a couple of years before. She knew that he had debts with all the bookies from ‘here (NYC) to Las Vegas’, and that they were going to collect it one way or another.
Two days before she had returned home to find that someone had broke in, tied up her maid (an Iowa girl who pretended to be French called Sally/‘Marie’) and stole her jewelry.
But she knew how the naive and tall girl was a bad liar, and the description of the whole incident she had received was odd at best. And she had seen the looks that ‘Marie’ and her brother had exchanged (and according to her were not of two lovers...) before and after the incident. So she wanted me to, while pretending to be an insurance detective, go there and check if the crime could have been done the way ‘Marie’ claimed that it had happened or not, since she didn’t wanted to contact the authorities if it was something cooked up by her brother. I felt something wrong with her tale and asked for more details, especially as to why she was so suspicious of the whole incident.
She explained that the maid was really tied up when she found her locked in her bedroom’s closet, but way more than a burglar would tie up somebody. She was sort of balled up and packaged that way with rope all over her body... and overkill tie ups were not very common so I had to agree, plus the fact that even with the fact that the maid was tied up wearing her underwear had not produced any ‘real’ distress on the girl. Her fear and shame and general reaction to the whole episode seemed, to my client, ‘fake and forced’.
So I picked her address and we agreed that I would be up there, still in the State of New York but no longer in Manhattan, by noon and she left after giving me an advance of 500. Bobbie paid a lot of bills with all that money as I did some digging about the Antons.
Turns out that all seemed real, there were a couple of siblings with that name living upstate and the guy’s money was wanted by all bookmakers that I could heard of. About 11 AM I went to my car and started my journey to my client’s home, and learned that I had been conned. The Antons’ house was far from modest albeit it wasn’t a manor, there were six people working there as the house’s staff and none of them looked like a tall pseudo-French maid (the real maid was a very cute late teens French babe), and the Madeleine Anton that received me was very different from the one that had lured me there (she was 30 years older, had a hawkish nose, wore glasses and way more tinier).
But, as we tried to realize what was going on, she declared that she had never seen no woman like the one I described that had posed as her to me (except in the movies), she told me that indeed there had been a suspicious burglary in her house just the day before. She said to me ‘I will pay you 500 as well, just pretend that you are a real cop for a few moments’, and ordered that a maid was brought into the study where we were having our conversation. So I was a cop for thirty/forty minutes and uncovered a deception.
The real Mr. Anton had indeed robbed his own sister with the help of the young (real and very naive, she really thought that he cared for her) French maid of the house. He had tied up the girl in her undies after ‘carefully’ (very sloppily actually) he had made it look like someone had broken in and surprised her, tied her up and all (and thus ‘witnessing’ the whole crime) and then he had opened the safe and stole the jewels... I got my 500 bucks, the maid was fired without a letter of recommendation and Mr. Anton got kicked of the house. Yet, there was still the mystery of the fake ‘Ms. Anton’.
Who was she and what was going on? But, when I returned to my office around 01:30 PM, I started to discover everything. I just wanted to pick Bobbie and have a late lunch at ‘Nonna Antonia’, but that was not going to happen.
The woman that welcomed me was none other than the pretender... wearing Bobbie’s clothes! Before I could ask what was going on she handed me a brown envelope which was bulging with its contents, and stood in front of me with the most candid smile I ever saw as I opened it. In the next moment I was over her and she was being pressed by my body and my anger against Bobbie’s desk. The first thing I saw was a series of Polaroid pictures of the Bobbie, bound and gagged in her undies over a bare mattress.
And the fake Ms Anton, nonchalantly as possible even in such a dire situation, told me to relax and take a good look at the set of pictures. There was a sign placed in front of Bobbie in the fifth picture: ‘I am fine and will stay like that for as long as they help us’.
And it was written in Bobbie’s handwriting!
The fake Ms Anton, now the fake Bobbie, told me that she would explain to me everything that she could say about the whole business, but that we were supposed to be having our traditional lunch at ‘Nonna Antonia’s’ right then. So while she tidied herself, she even checked her hair in a mirror, I took another look at the pictures of Bobbie.
There was what looked like hemp rope at the ankles, above the knees, waist (something like an anchor to the wrists so she would not be able to raise her arms from her back), elbows (I didn’t knew that Bobbie was that flexible) and the aforementioned wrists. She was gagged with what looked like a thick black hankie, parting her lips in a way that she could not close her mouth, and it seemed that her mouth had been filled with something for her cheeks were bulging. But her eyes... she wasn’t scared. She really wasn’t scared.
Days later, when we finally got a chance to talk about it in private, she told me that I had not been away for more than 30 minutes when the ‘client’ returned. At first she thought that everything was alright until the blonde vixen pulled a gun from her purse and told her to turn around. She did as was told and was conked with something, probably the blonde’s bare hands. Anyway, she awoke about thirty/forty minutes later and found herself in one of the building’s offices (the one right below ours, but there was no way either of us could knew that) and already tied up over that mattress. The blonde, now wearing her clothes...
OK, they weren’t her clothes (since the real ones were neatly piled up over a box a few feet away from her), but they were of the same model, fabric and color, just on the imposter’s size. And the imposter wasn’t alone in that bare room. Three women, dressed casually (as if they were out shopping downtown) but wearing hoods and gloves, were with the imposter. One of them knelt down and told her what was going on. Every little thing.
Bobbie, at first, was scared out of her mind and didn’t... couldn’t believe in one word of what she was hearing. But the hooded lady, a tall woman with a Southern accent and very motherlike manners toward her, started to talk to her, dried her tears and calmed her after a while. And managed to convince Bobbie that what she was telling her was the truth.
And it was.
Bobbie stayed a captive in that office until around 9:30 PM. Then her legs were freed and, with only a coat to cover her helpless near-nakedness, after ‘miles of rope’ were added to her frame (especially her torso), she was forced to go with the hooded women to the lift and then to the parking lot. Placed in the backseat of a ’45 Ford, she was forced to bend over and a rope was passed behind her head and under her knees a couple of times, preventing her from raising her head. A fur coat was placed over her back (and something else but she was never sure of what it was or were) covering her from any onlooker that was close enough to take a look inside the car. After fifty minutes of a ride she arrived in the place where I found her many hours later. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves...
Looking at Bobbie’s distress and at the woman who was obviously pretending to be her I remembered one thing. Ever since I had opened the office, nearly three years before, I had the habit to lunch everyday workday at ‘Nonna Antonia’s’. And ever since I hired Bobbie, about two years before, she lunched there as well. No way could that girl pass for her...
But ‘Bobbie’ told me that ‘arrangements had been made’ in order to make ‘it’ happen. And she was right. As soon as we entered the place we were greeted by Antonia herself, whom in a playful manner admonished us both for being so late. And I have to admit, I always knew that the Neapolitan old lady was a great cook... but never could I imagine that she was also a good actress. She made a few jokes about how ‘Bobbie’ should leave me and go to Hollywood where she belonged as she took our orders, and since ‘Bobbie’ had warned me to be cool I did not showed all my surprise with the whole restaurant’s crew’s behavior.
As we were sitting in the back of the large room, with me with the back to the door, ‘Bobbie’ asked me if I had seen the men on the fifth table behind me. I asked if I could turn around and she forbid it, so I used my photographic memory and described the guys. Three men, one in his late forties and two in his middle twenties, cheap suits (two brown and one blue), and generalities about each one of them like size and shape.
She congratulated me and told me who they were: The men that Enzo Carebra’s right hand, Valentino Billardo, had ordered to kidnap Bobbie! Over the course of the lunch she made me look at the contents of the envelope and explained everything, I honestly felt that she was a lunatic, but less than three hours after I paid the bill at ‘Nonna Antonia’s’ almost everything that she had told me was proven right!
To make things simple: One of my buddies in the Marines was the ADA who was making Enzo’s life very difficult the past months, and with the incoming trial (and a failed attempt against his life) the security around him and his family had been tightened. Only men in whom he could trust completely (and deserved that) were in charge of his security, thus Enzo’s money wasn’t going to be effective as it barely has been, and as some surveillance had proven to Enzo, it would be very hard for a stranger to get closer to him.
But an old friend, one who had took a couple of bullets for him, like me... of course I would be welcome at his house! Not that Enzo expected me to kill ADA Brett Collier; he did want something much more insidious... I was going to kidnap his wife!
How he had found out about it I don’t know, but Enzo knew that I had bought a ring to do a ‘proper’ proposal to Bobbie, over a month before. For a whole month I had tried and tried and had not found the strength or the courage or the will to do such a simple thing, that ring was inside my breast pocket gathering dust!, and Enzo knew about my feelings towards Bobbie. So he had ordered Valentino to have Bobbie kidnapped so I could be forced to do his bidding... but instead of kidnapping the real Bobbie they would be kidnapping her.
And she was so calm when she told me that!!!
Anyway, we had our lunch, I paid the bills and, in a hunch, I pretended to have no matches for my cigarette and asked one of the guys that ‘Bobbie’ said were going to kidnap her for one. I took a casual, yet detailed, look at them. Ex-cons, all three of them, you know the type a mile away if he (like them) do not even try to hide that, and two were carrying guns with them. But with my best poker face on I thanked the older one for his match and said goodbye to Antonia. Only days later she confided me that the abusive husband of one of her granddaughters had been, somehow, ‘convinced’ to grant the woman the divorce and move to Detroit by the fake ‘Bobbie’, so when she asked Antonia to play along when she impersonated Bobbie, the old mother goose was more than happy to oblige.
She even thought that I was fine with the story!
We returned to my office and about twenty minutes later he walked in. Tall, exhaling dignity form all his pores, elegantly dressed in a dark blue suite and wearing a monocle, a kind of moustache that had been out of sight for decades and a complicated English name in his business card. Just like ‘Bobbie’ told me that he would be looking like when I met him. He told me that he was a business man from Manchester and that he needed my help to track down his nephew who had went missing a couple of weeks before.
Again, just like ‘Bobbie’ had warned me.
And he was so incisive and desperate that I agreed to meet him at his hotel room, where he had gathered his nephew’s ‘American friends’, after we checked one address (en route to the hotel) that was his last info about his ‘missing nephew. So off we went.
Three minutes later the three thugs barged into the office, pulled out their guns at ‘Bobbie’ and forced her to go with them to the parking lot. There she had her wrists bound behind her and was gagged with two hankies (one inside and the other around her mouth), then she was placed inside a black sedan’s trunk and her ankles were tied and they left.
The address proved to be, as expected, a dead end. Of, course, no one had ever heard of a ‘Reginald’, ‘Reggie’ or ‘King’ in that YMC, at least none that fit the description gave by my client. Then after a few inquiries here and there we arrived at the hotel, a classy one near the Broadway. The old man besides me kept his charade until we knocked the door and were invited in the room, and I found myself looking face to face to Billardo! And my ‘client’ was just one of the four men that were now aiming their guns at me!
Valentino welcomed me in and offered me a chair, after I sat on it in the middle of the well (and classy) furnished room he told one of his men to ‘make the call’. Moments later I was talking to ‘Bobbie’. She said that she was fine and would stay like that as long as I did what I was told to, and I could hear someone slapping her. Then the line went dead and I did my best to pretend to not know what was going to happen next…
Fifteen minutes later I was having a cheap talk with Brett, with Valentino listening through the extension, and he was making fun of me. He had been the one that, over two months before, had convinced me to buy the ring and finally propose to Bobbie, and apparently there was I wanting to have some advice about how to do it…
Through the conversation I used the code phrase that we were supposed to use, back in the Pacific, when we felt like some Jap was hearing our words. Simple stuff, not exotic or weird and thus I thought that he was properly warned. So I was invited to drop by after dinner at his house and we said goodbye to each other.
For over five hours I sat on that chair, with all those guys flanking or looking at me, and I tried my best to keep it cool. There was this one thing that I could not understand.
Physically speaking Bobbie and her impersonator were not very lookalike, so how could things have worked well for her. Enzo’s usual strategy of using many men who were given specific orders, to make specific and segmented portions of his plans, and did not communicate among them was used against him. The men that had surveyed me and Addie were not the same that had been ordered to kidnap her, those three only knew that Bobbie was blonde and beautiful and would have lunch with me at ‘Nonna’s’…
Around 6 PM there was some commotion, one guy (with a black eye) entered the room and talked for a few moments with Valentino. He got agitated and told my ‘client’ that he was in charge of everything and would have to ‘stick with the plan’ while he was going to make some errands. Three things had happened: ‘Bobbie’ had vanished from the back room of a grocery store where she had been stashed in (the three guys that were in charge of her were in an ER with multiple fractures), a couple of ladies wearing hoods had beaten the guy and kidnapped his wife from his very house and the police had just broken into four of the most secret (and profitable) enterprise of his boss.
For the next hours Valentino tore the city upside down trying to look out for his wife, ‘Bobbie’ and who had ratted the cops. That saved his life (and his wife’s) and made the whole cover-up story more credible in the eyes of everybody. In 1962 they made a movie depicting the wild goose chase around town that ends with him arrested and sent to ten years in jail, he was portrayed by Dick Jones… the only good movie about the whole episode! But I didn’t like to be portrayed how I was in that one either…
At 9:15 PM I was greeted by Brett and his wife Deirdre, the 6’4” sharpshooter of my platoon was finally starting to lose his perfect muscular frame (thanks to Deirdre’s Western recipes) but he was still very intimidating. The three honest cops that were in charge of his security weren’t easy stuff either, all three though nuts, but he was clearly the biggest treat.
And the woman I was supposed to kidnap?
I never was into women that are taller than me, but besides her 6’5” she had nothing in herself that could intimidate me. She was slender, not thin, and in spite of her height she was the embodiment of a ‘porcelain girl’. A pretty brunette with long hair and a beautiful smile, just a couple of inches taller than me. As she was fetching some coffee and he was talking with his superiors on the phone in his studio (Quick & urgent call, sorry…’), I was left alone in the living and started to think about how I could do that…
Pull my (empty) gun at the bodyguards one by one, tie them up and… There were three other police officers guarding the house, ever since a failed couple of attempts against his life the security of the Colliers was a matter of honor to all honest cops in town!!!, and I did not thought that it could be possible that I would be able to lure the ones in the front to inside the house, but then again how would I be able to take Deirdre out of the house?
Then Brett appeared and for the next twenty minutes he gave me a few tips, made a few jokes about how a sweet little thing like Bobbie could be such an invincible foe to me… and he noticed that something was wrong, very wrong. He nodded to the cop (‘Joe’ or ‘Moe’) that was with us in the living room and we were left alone.
And I told him everything.
He became livid for a moment, and I knew that there was something more than concerns about his and his wife’s safety when he mumbled ‘so she was telling the truth…’, then we heard a loud thump in the kitchen. None of the guys that were there answered his calls, neither did the cop upstairs. We went there and found two men unconscious sprawled on the floor, none had their guns with them, and there was this not with one of them: ‘Do not even bother to call the ones outside’, a quick glance through the windows confirmed that they were either asleep or… inside the patrol car. We armed ourselves with knives and then we dashed through the stairs. We found the third cop beaten and unconscious in front of Deirdre and Brett’s bedroom and inside we found her.
She was wearing a light blue housecoat and a white set of lingerie under it, and probably all her belts over her body. Legs, arms and torso, all were covered by at least two dozen belts of various shapes, fabrics and colors, wrapped around her limbs as much as they could be and she could take before being buckled up. She was gagged and blindfolded with two bright red scarves and she was sitting on a chair facing the door.
We realized that she was bait as soon as we entered the room. A powerful blow in my hand made me let the knife I was holding, another one took all the air I had inside me and a last one made me fall on my knees. All before Brett could realize something and become the next target of the small woman all clad in black, who then walked calmly and positioned herself behind the frightened captive lady of the house.
I’ll never forget her voice: ‘Do not worry, Ms. Collier, I just made your husband and his friend stop running around with knives inside your house, it’s very dangerous do that as you may know… I assure you that no harm will come to him or you, nor to his friend and his friend’s beloved secretary. So, please, relax…’
It was carrying an Oriental accent, which one I can’t say to this day but... she was a ninja, a real deal ninja, or shinobi as the ninja gals are called, thus my bet was that she was a real deal Japanese ninja lady, in Queens!!!, and had the upper hand on me and Brett.
She told us what were Enzo’s plans to us all, and none of us (including Bobbie) was supposed to see daylight again, I was going to take the blame for everything and (most important of all to Enzo) the name of Brett’s mole within his organization was going to finally be revealed. To put it simple: I was going to kidnap Deirdre and be killed as soon as delivered her to the man who had pretended to be my client, in exchange for his wife’s life Brett was going to give up the biggest secret he carried with him, and was going to get killed by ‘me’ when he delivered a fake ransom in the ferry boats area. Both captive women were to be let alive until they made contact with their beloved ones, which meant that according to his plan Bobbie was supposed to be dead by now.
But the ‘Bobbie’ they had snatched (and a few friends) had ‘enlightened’ the thugs that were keeping an eye on her about women’s right to live in spite of what Enzo Carebra’s will. A very painful lesson as I learned afterwards...
Then she told us three what was going to happen and how...
Now don’t think anything bad about Brett. He was as clean as he ended up being known by everybody, and only didn’t run to any elected position in any branch of government in all his years of public work because he was that clean, but it did not meant that he could not make some dirty deals or pacts with the devil if necessary...
So he, and me and his wife, agreed with the hooded lady in black’s proposition (Both me and Deirdre just nodded after he said ‘yes’ to the woman).
Minutes later, from the phone by the bed in that room I made a call to Enzo. As it turned out he wasn’t alone in his office at ‘Melon & Bananas’ (never could take that joint’s name seriously...). Some of his superiors were there with him and listened to our conversation through a speaker box. Just like the hooded lady told that it was going to happen.
I demanded (with a very convincing enraged voice) to know what was going on. I said that Deirdre’s kidnapping had been too easy since everybody in the house had been drugged with something during dinner, I said that I was seeing a suspicious activity from the window of the room (and made it clear that I believed the shadows I was ‘seeing’ were federal agents) and that I was going to change the delivery point.
Enzo tried to put some pressure on me but I said that if Bobbie wasn’t at the address I was going to give to him I would simply bring Deirdre back home and turn myself in. If he wasn’t as cornered as he was and had not the presence of his superiors in his office, then my bluff would most likely not being bought by him. But Enzo agreed and wrote down the address I gave to him (a bridge in the middle of nowhere upstate).
Moments later I punched Brett hard enough to make it look like I meant it, grabbed his wife and carried over my right shoulder, fireman’s carry (and I minded my hands...), and put her inside his car’s trunk, tied her ankles to her wrists with a strand of rope that the ninja gave to me and, to my surprise, she (the ninja lady) motioned to get inside the crammed place.
She simply said that I had no option but do as she had told or I would never see Bobbie again, and got inside. I really felt like I should simply lock her in and drove to the nearest precinct, but fortunately I did not let my anger get the best of me.
Thirty I was about to enter the backroad that led to that bridge a car came from behind a road sign straight behind me, I grabbed my gun but then the driver started to turn on and off the headlights and it took me a moment to realize that she was using the Morse code.
‘Friends, stop the car’. I did it and ‘Bobbie’ (all clad in black), and a hooded gal, came out of the car and told me to open the trunk. Moments later, with Deirdre comfortably placed inside a much larger trunk (with a pillow under her head and wrapped inside, and roped to, a thick blanket), they made an U turn and returned to town. The Japanese ninja was alone inside Brett’s car’s trunk, and was still bossy , telling me to go there ASAP!!!
After a short drive (no more than two miles) I arrived there, wherever it was. I wasn’t sure if I was alone, I could not see nor hear anything but my old ‘feeling’ was telling me that I wasn’t alone on that bridge, besides the two women inside the car’s trunk that is. And it was very dark and eerie out there... after about twenty minutes they arrived.
I had told Enzo that only ONE car was supposed to be delivering Bobbie to me. But one car came from where I came from and two others came from the other side of the bridge. I was trapped on that old wooden structure, like a duck in a shooting range!
From the car behind me came two mean looking guys with guns in their hands, from the two in front more four heavy armed thugs with obvious mean intentions were waiting for the fifth (my ‘client’) to take ‘Bobbie’ from out of the trunk of the car he had arrived.
And to my surprise, the bound girl that appeared in front of the lights of the two cars could pose as Bobbie, save for her face. But they had put a sack over her head so I had only the body to tell me that she could have been Bobbie.
What had happened was that as soon as I hung up the phone Enzo had to explain himself to his superiors, who did not liked his strategy one bit. But he claimed that whoever was the mole in his organization, it was bleeding him dry with the info he (he never thought that it could be a she) was giving to Brett. He already knew that he was going to lose the case in the following morning. The three jurors that he had bribed were behind bars, and the two court officers that were his eyes and ears against Brett had to be ‘deal with’ to not end up in prison as well. So whoever was the rat he had to be neutralized before he could really make some damage on his organization, even if he had to do such public displays of power.
Now you must remember that, back then, the FBI’s policy was to deny the existence of such thing as ‘organized crime’, Mafia or the likes. It was right after the war against Hitler and his buddies and even before the Korea War. So Enzo’s superiors DID NOT wanted to have his actions destroy the anonymous status quo that they enjoyed at the time...
He excused himself for a moment and, with his future substitute in tow (under orders of his superiors to report all his actions to them), he went to the back of the building to provide for my capture. They, his superiors, wanted to know what I meant with the FBI involved in the whole business. So he ordered that a girl called Tracy was brought to the loading area of the ‘Melons & Bananas’ and when she arrived, still wearing her cigarette girl’s revealing uniform, he found out (much to his chagrin) that something fishy was going on.
As I said, Tracy had a body complexion very similar to Bobbie’s, and thus very different of the ‘Bobbie’ that had been kidnapped from my office. And two of the guys that had been in charge of the action were there at the loading area when the frightened girl arrived and, very innocently, one of them asked if it wasn’t better that ‘a chick more lookalike as the one he wants’ was used as a bait for the trap. Genuinely puzzled by the question Enzo told his thug to explain himself, and found out that the girl they had kidnapped was not Bobbie.
Tracy was told to undress until she stood only in her panties in front of all those worthless dudes, then she was tied up and gagged with tape and had her head sacked and was put inside the trunk, my ‘client’ was told to say to me that ‘my ruse’ hadn’t worked and that the ‘real’ Bobbie had been captured when he met me.
When I think about it I realize that he must have thought that I knew more than I really did, and he wanted to make me off-balance with a girl that could pass (sacked) as bobbie than a girl that could, under the same circumstances, pass as the ‘Bobbie’ that had been kidnapped and that, he supposed, I did not knew that had been freed by unknown persons by then.
Anyway... There was I, supposedly alone over that bridge, with a Japanese ninja inside my car’s trunk and a lot of unpleasant and armed worms on both sides of the bridge. And then they brought that topless and near naked girl to the front of their cars and told me to get out of the trunk. I was searched, held by two big gorillas and received a nasty punch on my stomach before they decided to take a look inside the trunk.
Which is why i will never be sure as to how she did that.
But as I am trying to hold my breath (and am receiving a few powerful blows in my face in order to ‘soften me’ properly), there was this big ‘HEY!!!’ at my left coming from the trunk whose lid opened violently against the chin of one thug.
Then there was this fight and a shootout, and one of the guys holding me was hit by something and let my left arm go. Even being right handed I gave everything I got with my lefty wrists to the other man’s chin and now I was free. The man punching me made a motion as if he was going to grab his gun and fell dead on the floor, the others were sprawled on the floor either dead as him or undeniably out cold for the rest of the night.
And now there were THREE black clad ninja ladies on that bridge with me.
One of them was holding an hysterical Tracy in her arms, and without the sack I could see that she was not Bobbie (for one of many things, she had jet black hair and a cross shaped birth mark over her right eye). The other newcomer was checking all the thugs and taking their guns as she did so. The one that had killed or KOed the most of them was questioning my client. She wasn’t gentle with him and he told her what she wanted to know.
Whatever she next said to him, the following morning when the cops arrived and found three corpses (covered with a cheap fabric) and four naked men tied up to that bridge, he told them what the world ended up that it had happened. They had been lured there and beaten or killed by MEN of a rival organization.
After she got his ‘cooperation’, the Japanese ninja lady told me where I was going to find Bobbie and Deirdre, as soon as I woke up. I did not understood what she meant with that fast enough to avoid the blow she gave me. When I woke up over two hours had passed, and I was inside my own car and back in NYC!!! I checked myself and found that my gun was back and it was loaded. There was one instruction wrote in a small piece of paper taped to the windscreen, it said what I was supposed to do before I drove to the warehouse where Bobbie and Deirdre were waiting for me. And it said that I was going to be watched all the time so i had to do and say what they told me. I burned the paper right away and went to do that weird and lunatic errand that made my name known all over Manhattan!
I did what, in the eyes of the whole world, seemed to be a search for clues of their (Deirdre and Bobbie) whereabouts in Enzo’s office at the ‘Melons & Bananas’!
I was discovered almost right away by a girl (Tracy’s best friend Gina, who was waiting for an opportunity to talk with Enzo about Tracy’s whereabouts) whose high pitched scream attracted Enzo’s superiors’ attention who seemed very interested in what I was doing inside that office and why. I told them what the ninja had told me to tell them, and I did because until I knew how dangerous she was (and have Bobbie back to safe and in one piece) I would prefer to face their wrath than hers... One of the wisest decisions of my life!
So I told them what I had realized so far, they chatted among themselves as I was kept under the cover of three guns and they decided that, fortunately for me, they had believed in what I had said. ‘It explains a lot of things actually’, was the only thing that they (I WON’T gonna tell who they were!!!!) told me about the lies I told them, and they ordered me to do (under their and their thugs’ watch) the search I was supposed to be doing right now.
It was an odd scene, I broke the safe of the office and all locked drawers around and pulled out all papers that I found in there, and there was a lot of paper in there, and gave them right away to the gloved hands of man that the superiors had already decided that was going to be Enzo’s substitute (effective immediately). He checked them all and, at one point, his eyes showed a lot of interest for a notebook I gave him. He handed it to one of the older men comfortably sat behind us and I was sort of expelled of the room (still under the guard of three guns and a lot of raw muscle). Minutes later I was told to return to the room.
They told me what I was going to tell to the world that I had done inside that room and what i was going to tell the cops, and the FBI, that I had done. They said that the only way for me to see Christmas that year, and all Christmas that would follow that one, was to stay stick to the story they were giving to me. I would tell a whole pack of lies to the world and another pack, that would explain why I had told the first and why I wouldn’t tell the truth (especially in front of a judge) not matter what treat was made against myself by the law enforcers of the whole USA, to Brett and the FBI that would ‘sooner than I could think of’ talk with me. Obviously, I agreed with what they said 100%.
Then they gave the address that they had found inside an envelope, and it was the very same address that it was in the piece of paper I had burnt a while back. Then they brought Gina, who had been convinced to play along apparently thanks to a few vague promises and 500 bucks in cash, and I was told to bind and gag her.
Yes, I did use the drapes cords to bind her hands behind her back and, after a suggestion of the new boss of the place, to one of the front leg of the heavy desk of the former boss of the place. I used another cord, that I cut in two, to tie her crossed ankles together and her legs above the knees. Finally I used a pair of folded napkins to gag her (and used the last short piece of cord that I could see in the place to keep them inside her mouth).
Next I was escorted by two thugs to the back of the building and then they shot their guns at the door and opened it for me afterwards. I had ‘successfully’ managed to break into Enzo’s office but I had been discovered as I tried to leave the joint and now was running through an alley, and in front of a few witnesses, as the two big thugs ‘chased’ me.
I ‘managed’ to fool them and got inside my car, and then I drove straight to the warehouse. Of course, I did not bothered to respect red lights and traffic laws, and soon there were a couple of patrol cars behind me. They called for back-up and as soon as my car was identified my arrest became top priority for the whole department!
I parked the car right at the end of the stairway that lead to the back entrance of the warehouse, and I was entering the place when a bullet passed a few inches above my head. It was a rookie cop, of all cops that had be to on the car that managed to keep me on sight it had be one with a trigger-happy rookie cop! He told me to get back to where he was (at the bottom of the stairs) and I tried to reason with him, but that thick head of his would not listen to whatever I had to tell to him. So I used one old trick, got him distracted one second and punched him out cold... right in front of three other cops...
I ran back up the stairs with a couple of bullets passing way too close for comfort...
But, fortunately for me, the warehouse was basically empty save for two chairs on which two bound and gagged women had been forced to seat. Long strips of cloth held them to the heavy armchairs at the legs, lap, waist above and below their breasts and arms, and the whole place was well lit so as soon as I entered the place (with those cops following me) they were seen by my pursuers. I was told to stay put and kneel on the floor as one of them went to the captives and started to free them. The cops did treat me a bit roughly that night but the rookie I had punched had a reputation of being too... ‘tenacious’ for his own good.
In the end, I was surprisingly NOT charged with accusations of kidnapping and other big major crimes, never understood how it had really happened but as soon as I started to tell the feds the lies I had been coerced to tell them they got agitated, they left alone on that interrogation room for about four hours and when they returned they had this deal for me: minor charges that would not endanger my license in exchange for a suitable ‘memory loss’ for my part. Something way more bigger than myself was happening and I did not wanted to know one bit about it. So I was allowed to visit Bobbie at the hospital room, heavily guarded, she and Deirdre were staying and she sort of coerced me to finally propose to her.
Three days later I got a phone call for me as I was enjoying a lonely lunch at ‘Nonna Antonia’s’. It was the Jap lady, she told me to go to a room in a pigsty nearby. There i found Tracy, lying hogtied in her undies over a surprisingly (for the place) clean linen.
She seemed more annoyed than scared, and told me that the ‘Dark Ladies’ had treated her well, very good food and general treatment, and had told her in very graphic details the humiliation they had made the men that had ogled at her endure at the bridge, but they had a thing with knots and gags that she couldn’t understand! Irving Klaw and his ladies were just starting their fame so she had reasons to be that naive about what had happened to her...
Anyway, she stated that she was supposed to tell a complete different story of what had happened to her during her ‘days off’ to whoever was now the new boss at the ‘Melons & Bananas’ (she knew about Enzo’s death and implicitly admitted that the ‘Dark Ladies’ were behind it), but as I helped her to free herself and afterwards as she tidied herself in the toilet she told me what had happened to her during those days...
The Ladies in Black did have a thing with bondage...
So what really happened that night? What was the motivation of the Ladies in Black against Enzo? How Valentino was fooled into believing that his boss was not just betraying him, and their superiors, but had ordered that his wife was kidnapped to better ‘grease’ the whole decoy? Who put the petite and drugged Italian woman inside that sack in the shack used by Enzo’s gardener to keep his tools and such? Who really killed Enzo Carebra?
I never knew the answer to any of those questions...
Tracy and Gina were dispatched to Atlantic City two days later by their new boss, and made their lives there. Together, which was very unusual back then, but no one seemed bold enough to try to say anything about it....
Brett and Deirdre had the heavy burden of Enzo’s treats against them removed with his death, but he kept being a pain in the *** for the organized crime in NYC up until he retired, thirty years later. She never was used as a tool against him.
I got fined for minor offenses and had my license suspended for exactly two months, that I enjoyed with Bobbie in our honeymoon, and when I returned to work I had a reputation and quite a long list of clients, that that big boobed blond ***** stole in a couple of years...
But I won’t talk about Morgan... My next story will be about when I, again, committed a lot of crimes to save three innocent girl’s lives when a guy I sent to prison decided to get his revenge and frame for their murders... if I did not manage to save them on time...
Quite a cliffhanger, huh?, so please wait a little until I prepare my next file: ‘The Race Against Time’.
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