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Lombago sat at his cramped office on the 57th floor of the Woolworth Building, at 233 Broadway, diagonally across from City Hall. His big bay window faced east and it's panoramic view encompassed the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, as well as part of Brooklyn called DUMBO, which is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. His Rolex wristwatch said it was ten minutes to three. The Woolworth Building had been built in 1913 and until 1930, it was the tallest building in the world. Frank Woolworth personally commissioned the Gothic-style building to be built at the cost of $13,500,000, and the five and dime son-of-a-bitch paid for it all in hard cold cash. Coincidentally, it was hard cold cash that now was on the mind of Louis J. Lombago, called Louie by his male friends and Horsedick by his female acquaintances. Louie shaved his head bald and with 250 pounds tautly stretched on his six foot four frame, he looked like the big guy in the Mr. Clean commercial. The rumor was that his penis was 14 inches long, which could not be confirmed by any of his male friends, because Louie would never stand naked in front of people, even in the locker room at the Downtown Athletic Club where Louie worked out five days a week. Louie said it was modesty that made him take his showers at home after a workout, but on one of his not-too-infrequent weekend booze binges, Louie admitted to a friend that he was afraid he might excite some homosexual, who just might be in the locker room when Louie's manhood was exposed. If the homo made sexual advances to Louie, he'd have to bash his head in, even though Louie was basically a non-violent person. Except for when he was drunk. Then Louie could become downright homicidal. For the past twenty years, Louie had been the personal attorney for the late Sally Boy Bentimova. Which was good and bad at the same time. Sally Boy never paid Louie a dime for maybe ten thousand hours of legal work throughout Sally Boy's somewhat criminal career. But being a boss, Sally Boy did insist that all of his underlings employ Louis J. Lombago, at whatever the market rate was, and not say a freaking word about it. Louie figured, in the long run concerning Sally Boy, he had made a nice living for the time he had expended doing the legal work for the Bentimova Crime Family. Things were running good for Louie and he hoped, despite the death of Sally Boy, he could keep it going that way. For the past dozen years or so, Sally Boy had developed an allergic reaction to banks. If anyone even mention the word “bank” in Sally Boy's presence, he would violently sneeze and his body would turn beet red with a bad case of the hives. So when ever Sally Boy was given piles of cash as a result of his underling's criminal work, he called Louie to meet him at someplace secluded, so he could give him the cash for Louie to hide for him. One of his favorite meeting places was behind one of the two pigeon-crapped-on statues, up the steep stairs at either far end of the entrance to the New York County Supreme County Building at 60 Centre Street. At night, the building was basically deserted and behind these two statues, generations of male Little Italy teenagers had copped their first feel, got their first handjob, or if they were extremely lucky, got their first half-a-blowjob. Having intercourse with a neighborhood girl was a dangerous exercise that could end up with the girl pregnant and the boy weighed down by cement blocks, fifty feet deep in the East River. The only time any kid from Little Italy ever enjoyed intercourse with a woman, was for five bucks a pop at the Bellmore Hotel on Lexington Avenue and 25th Street. And the five bananas was for sex with a black broad. A white broad cost ten bucks and due to the economic times, most Little Italy men never had sex with a white girl until they were married. Sally Boy would meet Louie behind either the right, or left statue, as Sally Boy like to call them, sometimes having to evict a hot couple who had beaten them to the spot. Then Sally Boy would hand Louie a brown paper bag stuffed with twenties, fifties and hundred dollar bills. With the exact total amount written on a piece of paper stuffed inside the bag.
“Take care of this for me,” Sally Boy would say. “And don't forget I'm keeping track of how much I'm giving you. So don't try to do anything stupid.” Louie would then stuff this cash in numerous safety deposit boxes, scattered under false names, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and even as far away as Sicily. Sally Boy figured he had access to cash almost anywhere in the world, if ever he needed to lam it from the law. Sally Boy told his son Tony B about the hidden cash and told him, “If anything even happens to me, go see Louis J. Lombago.” Throughout the years, Sally Boy made scores of deposits, but nary a withdrawal. So according to Louie's calculations, the deceased Sally Boy had about five million bucks scattered throughout Mother Earth. With no one except Louis J. Lombago knowing the exact locations, or amounts. In ten minutes, Tony B and Dria Bentimova would arrive at his office and Louie didn't know exactly what he was going to tell them, and how much he was going to tell them. After all, he had worked all those hours for Sally Boy in the past twenty years and all he had gotten was a firm pat on the back. And a few referrals. At exactly 3 pm, his intercom buzzed and his secretary Miss Comely told him Tony B was there to see him. Louie took a towel and dried the sweat off his bald head. “Let them in,” he told Miss Comely. Seconds later, Tony B strolled in with his mother Dria, followed by two nice looking women, one young and one middle-aged, both of whom Louie had never seen before. The younger one was obviously Tony B's wife and Louie guessed the older one, who looked hot-to-trot, was Tony B's mother-in-law. All three women were dressed in black. Louie had been invited to Tony B's wedding two days prior, but he had begged off, citing a previous business engagement in another state, which was true since he was shacked up with his secretary Miss Comely at the Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos. But to show his proper respect, Louie did send along a nice fat envelope, via Sally Boy, for the lucky bride and groom to add to their wedding stash. Louie stood up and extended his had over his desk to Tony B. “Sorry for your loss.” “Don't mention it, “ Tony B said. Louie walked around the desk and attempted to hug Dria Bentimova. She pulled away like he was a leper. “I'm not here for any hugs and kisses. Let's get down to business.” She sat down on one of the two chairs on the opposite side of Louie's desk. Tony B introduced Louie to his wife Ann and his mother-in-law Betty. Louie hugged them both. “Sorry for you loss,” he said. He hugged Betty a little longer than was necessary. Long enough for Little Louie to expand a bit, which to Betty, was like getting hit in the stomach with a night stick. Louie thought, by the look on her face, she seemed to like the unintended contact more than a little bit. Louie pressed his intercom, “Please bring in two more chairs,” he told Miss Comely. Soon the four people were seated opposite Louie. Tony B spoke first. “My mother's basically broke. And so is my mother-in-law. We need some cash right away to bury their two husbands. Then we'll talk about the rest.” “How much do you need right away?” Louie said. “Ten grand today, and another twenty grand tomorrow.” Tony B said a second time for emphasis, “Then, we'll talk about the rest.” Louie squirmed in his seat. “The banks closed at 3pm. There's nothing I can do today.” Tony B leaned forward in his chair. “My father told me you keep at least ten grand in your office. In a secret hiding place. Like just in case you might need it for emergencies like this.” Now this was not going too good for Louis J. Lombago. Sure he kept money in his office, but it was stashed in a secret place, he wanted no one to know about, in case one of his clients decided to break in and help himself to the cash. After all, all his clients were criminals and that's what criminals
sometimes do. “Secret hiding place?” Louie said. “I don't know what you're talking about.” Tony B shrugged, then stood up, turned around and walked to a floor-to-ceiling bookcase that was Louie's legal library. Tony B dragged his chair behind him. At the bookcase, Tony B stood on the chair and removed a large hard-cover, gold-bound book from the top shelf. The title was: “The Holy Bible – St. James Version.” It was a foot thick and contained over a thousand pages. Tony B stepped off the chair, with Bible in hand and dragged his chair back to Louie's desk. He sat down, smiling like the cat who had just ate the canary. Louie, on the other hand, looked like he had just swallowed spoiled milk. Tony B put the Bible on Louie's desk. “King James Version? I thought you were Catholic.” Louie just sat there, tight lipped. Tony B opened the bible and lo and behold, the entire middle of the Bible, from cover to cover, had been removed with something sharp, probably a razor. And in the huge hole were three stacks of hundred dollar bills. Tony B removed them, showed them to the ladies, then began counting. There was fifty bills to a stack. Fifteen grand in all. Tony B shoved the bills into the inside pocket of his black, leather jacket. “There's fifteen thousand dollars here,” Tony B said. “Son-of-a-bitch- bastard!” his mother said. “Holy smokes!”Ann said. “Pog Mo Thoin!” said Betty. Tony B turned to Betty. “What did you just say?” “I said, 'Well, kiss my ass' in Gaelic.” Louis J. Lombago said nothing. “So that means I'll be back tomorrow for another fifteen grand,” Tony B told Louie. Tony B turned to the ladies, “Come on, let's get out of here, before I start getting mad.” Tony B stood and the three ladies followed suit. As they headed for the door, Tony B reached into his pants pocket, removed a small notebook and flipped in across the desk at the lawyer. Louie caught it in one huge hand. “Open it up,” Tony B said. Louie did and he flipped through the pages. There were numerous entries made in the notebook, with the day, and the exact amounts of cash day Sally Boy had delivered to Louie to hide. “Turn to the last page,” Tony B said. Louie did. The amounts had been totaled and the figure $5,150,000 was underlined. “Give me the book back,” Tony B said. Louie did just that. “That's what you got and that's what I want,” Tony B said. He headed to the door, then turned back to Louie. “Of course, I don't want it all at once. I know it's spread all over the world. We'll just take it one step at a time.” Louie stood to his full six-feet, four-inches.” What about my expenses? I spent tens of thousands of dollars flying all over the world to stash this cash for your father. Hotel expenses. Rent-acars. Bank charges. That a lot of money. And now I have to do it all in reverse.” “Don't worry, I understand,” Tony B said. “And I have a ton of guys who are going to need your legal services for maybe the next forty freakin' years. Charge them your regular rates. Charge them more if you like. They'll pay. I'll make sure they'll pay.” “How are you going to do that?” Louie said. Tony B smiled. “My father is dead and now I'm the boss of all his rackets. It's already been approved by the other families. You are now looking at the new Capo di tutti Capi.” Louie was aghast. “But you're in your thirties How can you be the big boss?” “That's not your worry,” Tony B said. “But you can take it to the bank.”
Tony B opened the door and the three ladies exited the office. Before he left, Tony B turned back to face Louie. “Speaking about taking it to the bank, I'll be back 3pm tomorrow. I want the other fifteen grand and then we'll speak about you taking my father's money from the bank. The banks that is.” “I'll have it 3pm tomorrow,” Louie said. “I'm sure you will,” Tony B said. “And hey, cheer up. You're going to become a rich man working for me. We have over six hundred soldiers on the streets. And thousands more waiting for their buttons. I'll make sure you get the cream-of-the-crop, big-money cases. The other mouthpieces in New York City will get the leftovers you don't want. It's a win-win situation for you.” That said, Tony B exited Louie office and closed the door behind him. Louie paced back and forth, then hit the intercom. “Miss Comely, please come in here for a moment.” Seconds later, Miss Comely sashayed into the office. Blond, dumb, and built like Jayne Mansfield, she was what Louie called “the perfect woman.” “Please lock the door behind you,” he said. Miss Comely obeyed. Louie walked to the other side of his desk. “Now assume the position,” he said. In the blink on an eye, Miss Comely was down on her very pretty knees. Louis J. Lombago figured, despite everything and thanks to Miss Comely, the day would not be a total loss.
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