The South Side of Town... Part 2
I watched for a few moments to see if anyone else lurked. With the way Curly heavy handed those poor bastards that rented from him, I was certain he would have collected a few enemies along with the rent, more than a few that would have loved to see him deader than a door nail. I scanned the street cautiously, back and forth, safe within the darkness of the alley before making my way out from the shadows. I crossed the street and pushed my way through the half open door.The sign on the front of the building said “Hotel”, but with Digg’s Deli occupying the first floor store front, it was more of a boarding house than a hotel, and even with that I found it just another shit hole being run as a dirty brothel.I was hoping that I would find Curly in the first door I came to, that I wouldn’t have to chase him down but as I pushed past the open door, I found myself staring up at a long flight of narrow stairs, wrapped with a thin railing of ornate bars. A bad place to get caught in an ambush for sure, but I had not choice time was running out.The stairs creaked with a groan, under my weight. I could hear a low rumble of voices arguing as I reached the top landing. The hallway was dark and dingy, lit with a single dull bulb. Cigar smoke hung heavy, clinging to the walls, leaving a flat gray filth. I counted ten doorways, many open, some just a crack, others fully open, as if, in advertisement. Gentleman callers hung close to the doors, with their wallets open, or clutching cash, tapping their impatient feet, a couple passing a cigarette between them, others swigging off a clear glass bottle, or chugging down the contents.I passed the first two doors moving about with caution, hoping not to get caught off guard. Several faces peered out, flashing red faces, with the neon sign illuminating their grimaces, they laid on dirty mattresses stroking the nude bodies of the women they laid their money down to, then disappeared into the darkness when the sign blinked off.In another door, and the head of a scantily clad woman boobed in the lap of her john. I recognized him in the shadow filled room. He sat in the wooden chair, his legs spread open, and his trousers hanging around his feet. Stubbs could never pass up the ladies without dropping a few dollars, and or his pants. His gun on the table, his hands pushing and pulling, up and down on her head, his eyes closed, a perfect mark for his enemies. I had bigger fish to fry, and Stubbs in his careless ways had nothing to fear from me.I moved pass the forth door, it was barely open. I heard a woman sobbing, and the stinging slap of her caller’s rough play. He barked out orders commanding her to stop her whimpering or she would get what was coming to her. She laughed out at his orders, and from what I figure, he must of slapped her again, as I heard her start sobbing once more.. Dames, you can’t figure them out, laughing one minute, crying the next. I figure she was into something a little rougher, and he was giving her what she wanted.I stood by the door of room 5, watching a blond with soft curls, her heavy chest bouncing wildly, as she moaning in delight. I have been around the block a time or two, and I am old enough to know the way she was carrying on, was nothing more than an act. Her john probably liked her vocal, and with him laying down the greenbacks, she was more then willing to oblige. Her moaning and groaning threw me into a trance. I stood there almost lost in her acting bit.However, in an instance, my attention was drawn to the argument coming from door at the end of the hall. I thought for an instant I recognized one of the voices, but couldn’t be sure with the door closed between us. The argument was growing heated, and I knew at any moment it was going to get ugly. Suddenly Pop, Pop, Pop.. gunfire rattled about the room. Under the door, there were three quick flashes of white light, then another two, followed by the familiar rattle of small hands gunfire. Then things went very quite in the room.I slipped into Room 5, and closed the door, until it was open to just a crack. The blond, now wrapped in a thin dirty sheet sat against the head board of her bed. In the hail of gun fire, her john skated out of there, like he himself had been fired out of a gun. I drew my finger to my lip, and motioned for the dame to not make a sound. I waited and watched.I waited for a few minutes more, hoping that who ever was in there with Curly, hadn’t just taken him out, but no one passed by. I made my way out into the hall and stepped quietly to the door, cautiously pushing it open. I caught sight of a dark flannel suit slipping out the open window, a trail of blood told me he had been hit. Curly laid stumped in the far corner, blood pooling at his side, and trickling from his mouth.I went to the window, and watched as the suit, stumbled down Broadway, his left arm hanging at his side. I had half a mind to chase him down, as a dead Curly did little to help with my current situation. If he told anyone where the girl was holed up, he wasn’t telling now.