THE SECRET CIRCLE – NIGHT’S BLACK AGENTS 1.6

Journal entry – November 11th, 1939

 

Tonight, after weeks of false leads and dead-ends, things finally took a turn for the better. I’d been on the tail of a low-level numbers runner by the name of Nicky “Thumbs” Marangioni. Thumbs wasn’t the most dexterous kid, he started out working as a mechanic in his uncle’s garage, but it got to the point where he was breaking more cars than he fixed, often hearing from his uncle that he was all thumbs. The name just stuck. He was good at keeping things straight though, so his uncle put him to work in the office. Unfortunately for Nicky, the garage wasn’t his uncle’s only business. Nicky’s Uncle Dom – Dominic Moretti – was a minor lieutenant in the Farino crime family, and a name that features prominently in several past journal entries.

 

The numbers running wasn’t exactly illegal. Essentially, numbers operations are neighborhood ‘lotteries’ run by organized crime, but surprisingly fair in their payouts, which made them popular among the local citizens. The issue the city had been that they weren’t getting a cut of the action. It was Thumbs job to make the rounds to the local markets and bars, collecting the cash and the tickets. The beat cops, by and large, left Thumbs alone. Mostly because they were casting their lots into the pool as well. It was my suspicion that there was another reason. A more connected reason. A reason that caused the Mayor’s office to overlook the Farino’s operations. I wanted the answers to my questions…

 

***

 

Lightning flashed, illuminating ever so briefly the office of the Honorable Edward Joseph Kelly, 37th mayor of the city of Chicago. The blue-white light flashed through its minute lifespan, only to be joined moments later by its brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. The space between those spears of Zeus plunged the office back into inky black darkness. Save for one low light masked, for the most part, by the body of the man who held it in his teeth.

 

The Mayor and his retinue had long since retired for the evening, the threat of foul weather sending everyone to their homes rather than lingering around the office. Lucky for the Question as it was, since he was certain he’d have more than a little explaining to do as to why many of the cabinets and drawers were laid about in various states of disarray. Not that he’d expected to find what he was looking for in any of the ‘public access’ storage. No, it had to be here. He’d already sacked Kelly’s home, and that of his mistress, along with those of several of his closest associates. Success had come deep into the early morning hours when Sage found the hidden file safe under the mayor’s chair.

 

Huddled beneath the desk, Sage flipped through a file folder with enough paper to fill half a dozen Marshall Field’s catalogs. He finally came across the evidence he was looking for about three-quarters of the way through, right about the same time someone slid a key into the door. The sounds of the teeth rasping through the pins seemed to echo as loud as the thunder outside. The question of continue to hide, or run like a rabbit, was answered for him as the lights flickered on.

 

“Now what in blazes has been going on in here?” a voice near the doorway asked in confusion.

 

Tucking the papers inside his jacket, Sage braced his back against the underside of the desk and gave a heave. The voice from the door cried out at the sight of a man with no face rising up behind the toppled furniture. Sage tossed a handful of pellets filling the room with thick smoke.

 

“Begorrah! It’s y-” the guard crumpled to the floor from a solid right delivered from the haze.

 

Vic stepped into the hall; it would be too risky to try to get out through the ground floor, so to the roof he headed…

 

***

 

Journal Entry – November 12th, 1939

 

Tonight was as successful as it could have been, I suppose. Though I do feel slightly guilty about that guard. Poor fellow was just trying to do his job. I’ll lay low for a few days before passing on this information to my contacts with the Bureau.

 

Curiously enough there was a note left for me. In my room. On my desk.

 

On the outside, simply: “The Question”

 

On the inside: “You are invited into the Circle. – Burbank”

 

Curiouser and curiouser… I wonder what Allard has gotten himself into this time?

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