CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Knucklehead Stew


I got Kool Kat and we headed out to my favorite run down diner,out by the airport....Where my good friend, Nat resided...

I went in the diner, ordered a tumbler of coffee and called for the manager, a guy named Nat, who I'd done a favor for years ago....


"Hey Kevin...Ohhhhh look what the cat drug in...Walter "Kool Kat " Jones..What's good baby?" he asked.

The Big man grinned...

"What's goin on Nat...?" he said.

"Card game still hot?" I asked.

He pointed to the back room....

"You know it Kev..."he said.

''Thanks Nat." I said.  "Say Nat...I'm not interested in anybody in your card game..."I said.. He ran a high stakes card game in the backroom.

"No?" he said.

"Nah...Do you know a guy named Ralph Black? He's a security guard...Used to be a box man back in the day I heard." I said..

Nat looked around to make sure no one was listening..

"Yeah..I know him...He's bad news Kev...He's workin for Philly Frank Swanson, the jeweler...He come in here last week lookin for fences...He stole some jewelry, expensive rocks...He knew if he tried to move the stuff legitimately the cops might put a tag on him, so he was was lookin for fences.."said Nat.

"You got any ideas of who might move the stuff?" I asked..

"I know of three that might have been interested...I'll write you down their addresses..." he said and wrote down the addresses on a piece of paper..

He looked at both of us...

"Anybody ask...You didn't get this information from me." he said.

Kool Kat looked at Nat...

"That goes without saying babe..."



"You were hired to find those rocks weren't you Kev?" asked Nat..


"Yeah..."I confessed...

"These aint the types of guys that are going tot give you those rocks.." he cautioned..

"Well ,I plan to give them a price to get them back...Man I work for is willing to deal...but if they won't deal....Well Walter here can be quite persuasive.."I said pointing to the big man..

Nat smiled..

"You still carry that .357 mag Kools?" he asked.

"And some."said Kool Kat...

Nat just shook his head and laughed..

"Be easy Kev...you got a pretty wife and a baby girl now..I want you to be around to see her grow up."he said.

"I plan to be.." I said. "Thanks Nat..."I said and duked him some cash..

''Hey man, say hello to , Donald Smooth, Chris Thompson and Chess and that ole hound dog Gus when you see em." he said.

''Will do Nat.You need to come out to Josies...They're all in there most week nights...They'd love to see you." I said.

''When I get the time Kev...I may come through."said Nat.

He always said that ,but never showed up in our neck of the woods..

"So Where to next Kev." said Kool Kat..

"We got a Pawn Shop to visit and a Pool Hall." I said.

"You savin Kessler for last huh?" he laughed..

"Yeah, he's bound to be the most difficult and the most dangerous."I said.

II-

Kool Kat and I went to Benny "The Ball"Lolich's Pawn Shop....Benny had a legitimate business..but people in the know knew that he too had a back room and he too fenced stolen merchandise from time to time..

He also was a wealth of information...He knew the streets...he no doubt sold the police information for his freedom...

When Kool Kat and I walked into Benny's shop , he knew we were up to no good... He was a short ,balding white man..who was round and rolly polly like a ball, thus his nickname..."Benny the Ball."

Kool Kat stood near the door with his hands folded,looking menacing...I smiled and walked over to him...

"Hi...you Benny the Ball?" I asked.

"Who wants to know?" he asked..

I smiled...

"Actually nobody.."I said.

I pulled out a glossy of Ralph Black...

"You know this guy?" I asked.

He looked around...

"Yeah...That's Ralphie...Ralph Black..." he said.

"The security guard right?" I said.

He frowned..

"You a cop?" he asked.

"Nope! I'm not a cop..."I said.

"Yeah..he's a security guard....What about him?" asked Benny..

"Man I work for lost some very,very pricey Ice...Diamonds....Did Ralph Black come around here trying to pawn them?  If he did...My employer would like them back...He's willing to make you an offer."I said.

"Look, Ralph come around here two days ago with some stones..He said he'd give me a taste..but he wanted more than I was willing to pay and plus...I didn't want no trouble with Berks Landsdowne...Those are his stones...So we couldn't come to no deal.." said Benny.

"This Berks Landsdowne..He connected?" I asked..

"Not like underworld connected...But he's got money and contacts that probably are connected..He can have things done...You know what I'm sayin?"He said.

"You have any idea of anybody that can handle that kind of weight and uh wouldn't be afraid of Berks Landsdowne?" I asked..

"Two people..Wally Palmer over at the Pool Hall and Murray Kesler....." he said.

I looked at my list of addresses that Nat had gave me...I smiled..

"Hmm they're on my list....Thank you for your time Mr. Benny." I said and Kool Kat and I left.

III-



 "You Take me to the nicest places Kevin." joked Kool Kat as we walked into Wally Palmer's Pool Hall....Wally Palmer was Black and my age...He wore dark shades even inside the dimly lit pool hall..And unlike Benny "The Ball."Lolich...He knew both Walter and I..He was known to fence hot merchandise in the back room of his pool hall.


''Walter Jones...Kevin Morris..To what do I owe the pleasure?" he joked..

Kool Kat took a pool stick, racked up some balls and began to play a game of pool by himself..

"Wally,my man...I'm here to ask about Ralph Black...You seen him?"I asked..

He frowned..

"You know...I know you're some hot shot private detective Kevin...and the only reason I'm talkin to you is because you aint a cop....Otherwise I'd tell you to hit the bricks.." he said.

Kool Kat sunk the last ball...Then he turned and smiled menacingly...

"But YOU WILL TALK TO US RIGHT WALLY?" he said and smiled.

Wally was visibly intimidated...

"Yeah,Yeah,Yeah....He come around here two days ago...He had some stones on him...He was eager to move em...But I told him...I can't handle that kind of action and I didn't want no trouble from Berks Landsdowne...I sent him on his way..." he said.

"To Kessler..Murray Kessler?/" I asked.

"Yeah...but look Kev...He's a stone cold gangster man...Loan Shark, Fence...He's into all of that...You might want to ask him nicely...If he'll talk to you at all..." said Wally...

"Thanks for the tip....See you around Wally." I said as we left.

IV-
 Murray Kessler was a white guy, about my age, Thought he was hip....Wore very nice expensive tailored suits just like I did...Had a Black girlfriend I hear...and two Black hoods who enforced his edicts....on the street...One was Mark Queensberry, an ex-Boxer and the other was a Gorilla named "Big Lou." They were the juice man's enforcers...He had a very lucrative Loan Sharking business as well as being a fence of hot materials...

Like the others...He owned a legitimate business...An All you can eat Buffett...

Kool Kat and I walked in....

I asked the manager...

"Can I speak to Mr. Kessler please?"

He looked at me like I was dirt and said...

"I don't think so."



 Kool Kat grabbed him by his ear and twisted it..

"Listen Beav...Wally just asked you a question.."he said as he twisted the guys ear...

"OWWWWWW!!! "he yelled in pain..

"NOW GO GET YOUR BOSSS!"  said Kool Kat..

I looked at the man, He was in great pain...

"It gets worse man." I said..

Kool Kat let him go...He went running into the back...still holding his ear.

I looked at Walter...

"I don't think this is going to go too well..."

"Guns?" he asked..

"Oh no..noooo, not unless they pull.."I said.

Sure enough....Mark Queensberry and Big Lou came running out of the back...

I looked at Kool Kat...

"I'll take Mark ,You take Lou..." I said.



 "You sure? That cat used to box Kev." laughed Kool Kat..

"So did I...At any rate, Does it matter at this point?" I said..

"Guess not..."laughed Walter who cracked his knuckles and then laid Big Lou out with just two punches...

Damn, he took the easy one..Showoff! I thought...

Mark Queensberry circled me and crouched...He was cocky...He figured him being an ex boxer gave him an edge...He had no idea that I had boxed too..He smiled...

"I'm gone knock yo ass out Kevin.." he said.

"Think so?" I said..

I crouched and I landed about 12 good lefts and rights to his face.....I caught him with an uppercut that damn near ripped his head off and then clocked him in his jaw and sent him flying....

Kool Kat slapped his hand on his knee...He was cracking up...

Mark quickly got to his feet and charged me again...throwing haymakers...I dodged them all and ripped his midsection with well placed lefts and rights and then cold cocked him in his jaw, sending him spinning around...He turned...Now shocked that he was getting beat and attempted to crouch again...I cracked him square in his jaw and landed a few more well placed lefts and rights to his face...He staggered..

...I again punished his midsection with 10-12 lefts and rights and then planted more lefts and rights to his face...He stumbled and fell to the floor.....I thought I had time to catch my breath....but he was up again and charging at me...I picked up an old wooden chair that was sitting in the corner and smashed him over his head... and down he went with a crash.. He didn't get back up! In fact...his head was bleeding profusely! he was breathing heavily....The crowd cheered... I grabbed his collar and pulled my .38 smokeless out and stuck it in his ribs...

There wasn't much need...He was out like a light... I expected both of them to be more of a challenge..

I heard the click of a gun and I saw Murray Kessler walking towards us...He looked at his two goons lying on the floor unconscious and shook his head..He aimed his .45 at me...

"Hard to get good help now of days...Kevin...Kool Kat...What do you want?" He said.

"You might want to put that gun away Murray."I said.

"You two bozos come in my joint...bust it up,run all my customers out and you makin demands?" he snarled..

He heard two clicks of guns behind him....He turned...

Clerow and Owen Todd who I had called before hand and who were already in his buffet when we got there ,posing as customers had two .45's trained on his head...and my man Lockpick Johnson relieved him of his gun...

"Now..As I said...A guy named Ralph Black came by here two days ago...He gave you some diamonds..The man I work for would like them back..."I said.

"So you just gonna come here and take my merch?" he asked.

"I was gonna make you a lucrative offer Murray....but you got all gangsta wild on me...So yeah..I'm gonna take it. You're in no position to stop me"I said. Kool Kat laughed and slapped his thigh...

Clerow cocked his pistol and put the muzzle to his head..He was smiling his toothy grin..

"ALRIGHT!!! Okay!!! Jimmy...go in the back and get those gotdamn stones...They were more trouble than they were worth...I couldn't find anybody that would touch em....Nobody wanted any trouble with Berks Landsdowne" he said.

Jimmy, the guy whose ear ,Kool Kat had twisted, ran and got the diamonds.


"Mr. Landsdowne sends his regards.." I said.

"I shoulda figured you was workin for him..." he said.  I wasn't, but why not let him think I was?

He gave me the rest of the diamonds...

"Where can I find Mr. Black?" I asked..

"Now that I don't know...He was supposed to come back today for his dough...He never showed..." said Murray.

"Let's go guys..." I said.."Nice seeing you again Murray....Nice suit."I said.

He said nothing...he looked like he wanted to cry....

 "Get him an ambulance man.." said Kool Kat looking at Mark Queensberry ,who was bleeding profusely and who had just started to stir......

Murray  hesitated...

"I'm serious Murray,don't make me have to repeat myself."said Kool Kat...

Murray knew not to trifle with the big man...He quickly called 911....

Big Lou was waking up just then...

"Ohhhhhh, what happened?" he moaned.

"Oh shut up and get the hell out of here..You worthless slab of meat."said Murray Kessler..

Kool Kat, Clerow ,Owen Todd and Lockpick Johnson all busted out laughing when we got in the SUV and took off..
 "Are these knuckleheads what is passing for gangsters now of days?" asked Kool Kat.

"New Generation man." said Clerow.

V-



 It had been an interesting day and afternoon...That night, I sat in Josies talking to Gus....

"Kid you dance with some nasty guys...But that bunch of knuckleheads you told me about today are not amongst them....Benny The Ball, Wally Palmer???....yuck....Mike Queensberry...He couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag....Yeah he used to box...His record was 21-47...He lost every other fight..That's why he retired...Big Lou...Another loser and Murray Kessler...a wanna be tough guy..a fake gangster....what a bowl of knucklehead stew..." said Gus...

"Well, at any rate...I wrapped up the case...I got all of Philly Frankie's diamonds back.."I said as I quaffed down my second beer..

"You never did run into Ralphie Black did you?" asked Gus.

"No...Nobody has seen him in two days...Kessler was supposed to meet with him today and he never showed." I said.

"Yeah that's what bothers me...You went to his room and you said all of his clothes was there, including his wallet and his dry cleanin right?" said Gus.

"Yeah." I said.

"What man goes out without his wallet? And how come he didn't show up to get his money and try to move the rest of his merch? ..Seems like you or somebody would have heard from him by now..It's goin on three days....You know what that tells me kid?" asked Gus.

"No what?" I asked..

"Ralphie is either in jail or he's dead!" said Gus.

(TO BE CONTINUED...)


8 comments:

Swaggie said...

Loved it! Classic Kevin and Kool Kat!

Vanessa said...

I love the way Kevin and Kool Kat Get down!

James Perkins said...

A lot of action...Something that has been missing from a lot of your stories lately! Loved it!

Toni said...

Another great outing Keith!

Angie B. said...

Kevin is still the man!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Good Story! Loved the title!

Sunflower said...

I knew the mayhem was coming!

Rita said...

This is good Private eye noir type fiction!Love it!