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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Billy's Blues

Bridget stopped by our house the next morning...Sepia and I were having coffee...I was feeding the baby pieces of scrambled eggs..

"Sit down Bridget...There is enough breakfast for you if you like and there is plenty of coffee left."said my wife Sepia..
"That is if greedy gut here doesn't eat it all."I said playfully with holding morsels from little Kimberly, who grabbed for it..

"She's her father's baby." I joked..

"Awwww, she's adorable.." laughed Bridget...

"I know you're excited Bridge...Saturday you move into your new house and next Saturday your two new stores open up in Chris and Chess's Shopping Center.."said Sepia..

"That's why I'm here...Look Kevin...it's uh not so important if you don't find out what happened to Kid..uh just leave it be..."said Bridget...She looked rattled..

"What happened baby?" I asked...I could tell she was unnerved...

"Two guys....Two guys were hanging around my store yesterday....They weren't buying anything...Just hanging around...Then they left...I didn't think anything of it at first...Then I saw the same two guys in Aqua Bar last night where I was having drinks with Ralph Scallion's fiance,Minay.. and they told me to tell YOU to back off of the Kid Galivant case...Or else..." they said.

"Or else what?" I asked..

"They said they'd blow up both of my existing stores and set my house on fire..." she said..She was very shaken..

"I'm going to call Clerow... He, Owen Todd and I will go with you to unpack your house and move you in to your new house this morning...And you will stay here with Sepia and the baby until you are set......I'll call Chris and Chess and tell them to send some guys around to watch this house...Don't worry about a thing... I'm going to call Sissy too...If these guys were in your store...Chances are your store cameras picked them up...They won't get away with this.."I said.

"You'll be safe with us Bridget."said Sepia..

"I feel a lot better now." said Bridget...  "I heard you beat the crap out of Burt Cooney a few nights ago."said Bridget..

"What?" said Sepia...

"He tried to lean on me too...Just like those guys did you..."I said..  "That means that somebody is worried..and if they're that worried they're going to slip up and make a mistake soon.."I said.
"You think so Kevin?" asked Bridget...

"I've been doing this a long time...Somebody is frightened..Somebody wants this kept under wraps...And somebody knows I'm serious..They couldn't lean on me...So they went to you..They must know that I'm working for you." I said.

II-

 After we moved Bridget into her new house, I got Kool Kat and we went out on the street ,We were looking for boxer,Billy Baldwin...I had a feeling he was going to be the next person to receive an unfriendly visit...

A light rain had just finished falling as we drove down the slick city streets....

 "Where we goin today Kev?" asked Kool Kat as we drove through the city streets...

''We are going to see Billy Baldwin...The guy who used to fight on all of the undercards..." I said.

''Speaking of polar opposites...That guy...I'd never bet any money on him...His record was 19 wins, 17 losses and eight ties...What a mess..This guy was strictly low rent....If he wasn't the Kid's boy...I doubt he would've been fightin on those great undercards...Personally...I never thought he was much of a fighter...Cat has a glass jaw.." mused the big man....

"Still, they were close..."I said.
Just as we were driving, I saw Billy Baldwin...He was with two men...The short guy slapped him in the face and the taller man punched him in the stomach..He doubled over and the taller man went to hit him with a sap...but Billy's boxers instinct took over...

Billy dodged it and hit the taller man with an upper cut... and then a beautiful left -right combonation....The taller man folded over like a tent...He fell to the sidewalk in obvious pain...

"Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...ummmmmmmmmmmph.."he groaned...

Kool Kat laughed....

''Wow...If he'd fought like that in the ring ,he'd of won more fights." he said.

Billy landed several lefts and rights to the body and face of the shorter man and a beautiful right cross that sent him flying into the wall and then on the ground...

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh lawddd.."moaned the short man...

The shorter man lie on the ground for awhile...groaning in pain...He had a black eye and blood trickled from his nose and lips...

"Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...ohhhhhhhhhhh hell." he groaned..

By now the taller man had gotten to his feet and was about to pull a gun when he felt the cold steel of Kool Kat's .357 magnum on the back of his neck..

"Put your hands back in your pocket ace or you won't be able to pick your nose or wipe your ass when I get finished with you."snarled Kool Kat..

He dropped his sap and did as he was told... Such was the fierce reputation of Kool Kat..Few if any wanted to challenge him if he had the drop on them...

The shorter man was holding his jaw when I walked up behind him...

I slugged him in stomach and then his jaw,knocking him down... Kool Kat nearly folded over with laughter..

"Tough guys huh? Terrorizing women in a bar....Why don't you pick on somebody your own size...Like me?" I snarled..


"That wasn't fair fellas...Two guys against one fella here...and two fellas against a woman! said Kool Kat...."I ought to shoot both of you punks just on G.P."laughed Kool Kat...

The short man was just getting himself up off of the side walk...

I had my .40 caliber out by now aimed at the short man's  head....

"Uhh Uh Uhhh..Don't do anything foolish...Kools and I might get nervous and start shooting..Walk away and everybody lives to fight another day...Walk away slowly..."I cautioned...

I had seen the video footage from Bridget's store....and Street Cam footage from her neighborhood..

These were the same two guys who had approached and threatened Bridget Jones the night before.......Local hoods like Burt Cooney who collected for whatever Loan Shark was paying...

"Either of you go anywhere near Bridget Jones and I find out , I'll kill you both!" I said.

"We goin...but you both need to watch your backs...Mind ya business...This aint over." said the shorter man...as he and his taller friend backed up and began walking away...They didn't expect to get the working over they had gotten today...Both had black eyes and busted lips and bloody noses....

"You know Burt Cooney told me the same thing...By the way..How is he doin?" I asked as the two men walked away...I suspected that Burt Cooney and these two clowns were in the employ of whoever had the Kid murdered...

The taller man looked at me..

"You're a real smart guy Kevin...Sometimes, smart guys wind up dead." he said as they continued to walk away..

"I'll take my chances..."I said.."Tell Burt I said What's Up? If you see him."I said..

They both stomped their feet in anger and walked off.

I had sent a powerful message to whoever had sent these goons...That I wasn't going away easy...I was uping the ante.

Billy Baldwin knew Kool Kat, but didn't know me..


"Gee thanks Walter...but I coulda handled those two thugs..." he said.

"I see, You were doin pretty good."I said..."I'm Kevin Morris...You Know Kool Kat."I said.

"So you're Kevin Morris...That's why they was slappin me around...I tole em that I don't even know you and they were slappin me around tellin me that I better not talk to you ,the cops or anybody!..."said Billy Baldwin..

"I gathered....They sent Burt Cooney after me the other night."I said.

Billy Baldwin smiled..

"I saw him...YOU DID THAT?  Broke his nose...gave him a concussion and broke all the fingers on his left hand...Wow...Did you used to box?" asked Billy Baldwin...

"I did...a long time ago..."I said.

He smiled..

"Yeah I thought so...Burt used to box a little bit himself.."said Billy Baldwin..

"Yeah, a very little bit." I said.

Kool Kat was in hysterics and slapped his thigh...

Billy Baldwin laughed too...

"Man, I heard from people who saw the fight you two guys had in front of the Brewery the other night.....They said  that some guy tied fire to Burt, beat him like he owed him some money...I couldn't believe it....Then I saw Burt yesterday and I was like Holy crap!.." said Billy Baldwin...

"Look Billy...I was coming to see you...Let's go someplace where it's safe to talk..." I said.

"Are you kiddin?" he asked..

"I know a place." I said.

We got in Walter's Escalade and pulled off..

"Nice ride you got Walter..." he said...

"And I don't fight...Not much!" joked Kool Kat...

The three of us laughed..

III-
We chose a place called the "Sky Box"- A rooftop Bar and Grille in downtown Philadelphia...

It's owner..The Gambler, Stephen Bristol was an old associate and onetime adversary of mine...Today we are friends...

Stephen Bristol...is a mover and a shaker with a somewhat shaky background...He was one of the wealthiest Black men in Philadelphia...He had made his fortune supposedly from playing the stock market...but the streets told a different story...He had a network of people who gave him information...inside information that he used to make just the right moves...Yes...It was insider trading...but he got out before the SEC or The FBI even knew his name..he got out with a pile of money...He was also a notorious gambler ,who played in a number of high stakes card games and won a pile of dough.....and he had his hand in every hip new thing that came down the pike...

It was said that he had ties to the underworld...but if he did...It was never proven...and he certainly didn't have those ties now..He didn't need them...He had no criminal record whatsoever....but it was known..He was not to be crossed...He was about my age...Tall, thin, brown skinned, well cut hair..manicured nails and was a sharp dresser...Wore tailor made suits, expensive shoes, expensive fresh smelling cologne and drove a mint colored Bently with his name monogramed on it...I looked out at the night time sky....There was a rare blue moon out...

Considering it was still Winter...It was warm night as  winter nights go...The bar  covered a large area and like Aqua Bar, was actually a huge aquarium with exotic fish and sea creatures swimming in it...There were  beautiful wooden fire places just feet from the bar which funnelled warm air towards the patrons who were either at the bar or in the lounge chairs nearby... Gorgeous African-American, Asian, Latina and White waitresses took the food orders from the kitchen just a floor below...

The drinks were delicious..High for my tastes.. but  still very good...

 Stephen Bristol was a gracious host...

''Kevin..Kevin...Long time no see...I heard you and the wife had a bundle of joy last year?? or was it the year before??" he asked..


"The year before.." I said..

He smiled at Kool Kat...

"Hello Walter.." he said..
"What's Up man?" said Kool Kat...

"I'm in the imported liquor business or haven't you heard?" he said...

"I've heard....Just don't stand there Bristol ,Bring me over a bottle..." he said and pulled out a few dollars...."Is it okay if I smoke?" he asked..

"Sure ,Sure..."said Bristol as Kool Kat lit one of his famous Cohiba cigars...

Billy Baldwin was astounded...

"Wow Kevin, Kools...you guys hang out in spots like this?? " he said.

"Start winnin some more fights and maybe you'll be able to hang out in spots like this..."said Kool Kat...

Stephen Bristol and Kool Kat busted out laughing...

"You're wrong for that Walter.." laughed Bristol...."Shame about your friend....He made me a pile of dough."said Bristol...

"Yeah ,me too!"laughed Kool Kat...

"Never mind those two."I said as I motioned for Billy to sit down...Kool Kat and Stephen Bristol remained over by the bar talking..


"Kevin look...before you ask...I didn't kill Kid...Why would I? He was ..He was my meal ticket...My best friend! Look at me..I'm just a broken down old ,nearly punch drunk club fighter...If Kid hadn't insisted that I be on the ticket...I wouldn't have made any money at all..Nobody wanted to promote me...They just wanted him....And I understand...I-I-I wasn't jealous....I mean look at my record...19-17-6....Not exactly in the top ten of anything..I sparred with a lot of guys...I fought on the club circuit...Then Kid came along...He remembered me and he made his manager, that old bastard Snuffy Gibson manage and promote me too...Snuffy hates my guts...I guess in a way he's glad that Kid is dead...Now he don't have to put up with me..."he said.

"Billy...I never thought that you killed Kid...Never...but I had to talk to you...I figure..The kind of hoods who were after you today don't hang around in places like this..."I said.

"Hell no they don't...Josies is too high priced for them...."he joked..

"Tell me about the last time you saw Kid." I asked..

Billy hung his head....he smiled ruefully...

"It was the day he died...I uh ...Well, his ride was in the shop...It was being inspected..So I told him he could borrow my ride...I was uh with this chick...." he said.

"She got a name?" I asked..

"Damn, you're just like a cop...Yeah, Edie...Edie Galore...Give me your phone...I'll give you her address and phone number..I been uh bangin her for a few months now...Snuffy Gibson has a thing for her...but she didn't want his crusty old ass...She said she tried to tell him." he laughed..

"Anyway..Kid drove me to Edie's apartment in my car......a Black 2007 Nissan Z with the top down and dropped me off and then I think he was just three blocks away when a car drove up behind him and a guy hit him with a shotgun blast.....All I know is the shooter was in the passenger seat and there was a driver..."He said.

"You didn't see it?" I asked..

"No..but I heard it...The blast was loud...Everybody heard it and went runnin...And just like that...My best friend in the whole wide world was gone...and my whole world was turned upside down.. Kid bought me that car.....Damn....and he died in it...." he said shaking his head....

''What are you gonna do for work?"I asked.

"Oh,I got a few gigs sparring for a couple of guys comin in town and I'm a bouncer over at Dollar Bill's joint...Bottom of the C. on weekends..."he said.

"Oh yeah...My wife and I eat there sometimes.."I said.

"Yeah...You oughta bring her here.." he said...

I laughed...

"What's so funny...You can afford it Kevin...I know about you...You got your own company and plus you do this private eye thing on the side...You do alright.."he said..

Yeah,I guess I do..I mused as we sat at Stephen Bristol's rooftop bar and enjoyed our drinks...


(TO BE CONTINUED)




5 comments:

Swaggie said...

Loved it...Kevin And Kool Kat dispensed some street justice to those two punks!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

That so called Punch drunk Boxer did alright himself..He handled those two thugs pretty much by himself before Kev and Walter got there!

Toni said...

Nice seeing Stephen Bristol again...He's one of the old Kevin charactors I loved.

Angie B. said...

Kevin has introduced us to such memorable charactors...Bristol, Sissy and her detectives,Olivia,Beverly,Josie...Bridget...Love his stories the best..

Lisa said...

Typical Kevin story...Loved it! With all of your other series..."Murder Police" "Olivia ,Beverly and Donnie Ray" and "Nate and Monica" I sometimes forget that Kevin was your very first serial storyline...and how much I still love his mysteries...Glad you gave him and Sepia a face this year..