Deadly Pawn : Little Johnnies Hideaway Club and Motor Cabins

The three men in the sedan slowed up and turned into the parking lot of the small club. The sign on the highway said Little Johnnies Hideaway Club and Motor Cabins. Admittedly they always laughed at the name when they would arrive after pulling a job. Their girls were already there, happily waiting for them in a small room on the other side the dance floor. There was a small orchestra on a stage to the left with the dance floor in front of you as you walked in tables to the right and private rooms that were curtained off along the back wall. On the other side of the rooms was a hallway that led to the basement where they had gambling and to a couple of exits just in case you needed to come or go in a hurry. As soon as the three were seated waiters brought them their meal and drinks that the girls had ordered for them long before they had arrived. It was one of Joeys joints that he had picked up somewhere along the way. The only reason he kept it was just for such purposes.
“We were about to give up on you boys,” Hope snapped. “You were supposed to have been here hours ago.”
“Yeah, Stitchy what took you so long,” Betty pouted. “You know I don’t do so well when yer not around.”
She reached up and tried to pull him close for a kiss.
“Aw cut it out Betty,” Stitch said pulling away sounding half angry. “How many times I got to tell ya not in front of the guys.”
“Oh but Stitchy,” Betty began but never finished as she noticed the look she was getting from him.
“Come on boys eat up we got some serious dancing to do.” Linda the third girl said looking directly at Two Time as she spoke. “You know how I get when I dance.”
“Yeah,” Shifty laughed, “Drunk.”
Just then the door to the hallway opened and the big chauffeur pushed his way inside. He made a formidable picture as he filled the door way with his body, the baseball bat he held in each hand just made him that much scarier to look at. His passenger stepped into the room behind him holding a muzzled revolver in each hand. They were both dress in black head to toe wearing gloves and mask to hide their faces.
“Ladies take a hike,” he said pointing the revolvers squarely at Two Time and Stitch. “Hello boys long time no see.”
“Whadaya want,” Betty spoke up. “We aint done nothin. We been here all night wid des guys, ain’t we girls? You can even ask Jonese he’ll tell ya.”
The passenger nodded his head and the chauffeur grabbed her arm and pushed her out into the hallway.
“You two better go too,” Shifty told the others. “We’ll be alright these guys just wanna talk a little business is all.”
“Yeah, that’s all,” repeated Two Time as he gave Linda a shove.
As the girl went flying toward the intruders he reached for his own gun. Before he could reach it one of the intruders’ revolvers sounded. Missing Two Time by less than an inch the bullet slammed into the corner of the wall.
“I wouldn’t try that again,” he said still pointing the revolver at him. “They tell me the bullets in this will rip a hole right through those vests you’re wearing like it was butter on a hot August day.”
“I believe it,” Two Time said turning slightly to look at the hole the bullet had made in the wall behind him. “What you want wid us?”
“You can tell me what you boys were doing on Thirty-Eighth Street tonight.”
“We wasn’t anywhere near there,” Stitch answered.
The second revolver in the passengers hand sounded. The slug ripped a whole through his chair before burying itself in the wall behind him. Stitch measured the distance from the hole in his chair to where he’d been sitting using his fingers, gulping unconsciously.
“You boys have only one calling card and you left it all over that street tonight.”
“We was there for Tuna,” Shifty said finally as if he was bored with the whole game. “He’s been trying to break onto that street for the insurance racket; you know the usual thing.”
“The old man that ran the pawn shop,” Stitch said filling in the pieces. “He’s the hold out and the main mouth piece for the shop owners in the neighborhood. Tuna figures if we put a good scare into him they’ll come across. So’s he hires us and we do what we do.”
“That everything?”
“That’s it,” Two Time added. “Since when’ve you been so interested in what Tuna does in the insurance business?”
He didn’t answer, instead he gave a nod toward the door and the chauffeur backed out of it with his passenger close behind him. Two Time watched them closely as they left something told him that he should follow them out, but as Linda came back into the room he lost all desire to. She and the other girls looked so relieved to find out that they still had boyfriends that they quickly dismissed the two intruders as just part of the lifestyle they lived.
In the parking lot the chauffeur found the car the three had used earlier in the night. Smiling the passenger fired the remaining bullets from both revolvers at it. When he finally walked away there were ten holes in the hood of the car. The water was leaking out of the radiator and he thought he even smelled a little oil. Stopping for a second he reloaded one of the revolvers went to the back of the car. Standing where he could see the gas cap he let the gun pop twice, he could smell the gas as it poured out of the tank. As his car pulled up alongside of him he lit three matches. He watched the flame burn for a second. Before getting into his own car he flicked them together toward the smell of gas. The flames from the matches lit the fumes and the car was engulfed in fire as they pulled onto the highway.
The sound the car made as the gas in its tank exploded drew everyone out from the club including the three trigger men and their girls. Busboys and waiters ran about the car with fire extinguishers working to put out the fire as some of the club goers cheered them on. Two Time had been decidedly quiet after their visitors had left them. Then all at once it clicked in his head.


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