The South Side of Town... Part 1
I circled the block three or four times, looking for a parking spot closest to the Mason Building, on the corner of Broadway and East Main Street. I parked the Oldsmobile down the alley, just out of sight of the street. The neon “Mason Hotel” sign flashed briefly every minute or so, making the dimly lit alley the perfect place to park the car, and remain hidden from view of the street.The neighborhood of Eastie, a nickname that East Main Street has taken on over the past few years, was no place for a small time private eye, like myself, but the piece of scum I had been looking for was no ordinary criminal. The south side of town was a dark seedy place, where the mob had a strangle hold on anything that would generate an income, including gambling, drugs and women. A place where everyone carried either a piece, or a knife. A place where one would come to roll the dice, or sew his oats, while sucking down cheap Mexican tequila, Russian vodka, or hand rolled Cuban cigars. Every window had eyes, every wall had ears, except when one of their own was out to settle a score. I knew if I waited long enough Curly would show up.John Curly was an arrogant son of a bitch, who presented himself as the self assured kind, who being a large man, gave him a false sense of invincibility. He never carried a piece, didn’t feel as if he needed a a body guard, so I knew he would be alone. I didn’t have to wait long.I watched as Curly pulled the Ford up to the curb, parking just a few feet away from the dimly lit doorway. I was certain he wasn’t there in search of pleasure. Tonight, being Thursday, rent was due and Curly wasn’t the type to wait around to collect what was owed him.I was in no hurry. I didn’t have a clear plan as to what I was going to do when I confronted him so I decided to wait a moment, have a swig of liquid courage and think about how I would approach him. What would I say when I finally came face to face with this hulk of a man.While waiting I noticed a figure in the shadows, two doors down. I caught sight of him only by chance, when the glow of his cigarette betrayed him. When Curly pulled to the curb, and went inside, I saw the figure step from the shadows, I recognized the limping gait of the man making his way towards Curly’s boarding house. It was Stubbs.
He wore a long dark gray overcoat, and a fedora. He stopped by the door of the boarding house, dropped the cigarette to the ground, and rubbed out on the sidewalk
Tommy Stubbs pulled on the door, and slipped inside.