1965-04-04 - The Case Of The Phantom Woodie
Summary: Dizzy interrupts an evening with her girlfriend to deal with workplace characters in her search for Lorraine's abductors via hot-rods.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
julie lorraine-reilly 

Salvatore LaMorte walked over to the Board. A lot of activity this week, and it was his job to weed out the expired ones. It was tedious, but he found he enjoyed it.
Ads for the car show, one week ago. Toss.
Missing cat poster (He's an old cat but we LOVE HIM!). Keep it.
Brake pads, gently used. Toss.
He saw the next ad and stopped. He tugged it free of the board, then walked quickly to the phone.
He picked up the handset, dialed the rotary phone carefully.
"Hey…Dizzy? Listen…I got an ad I think you should see." He wouldn't say over the phone, of course. Feebs were everywhere.
He looked down at the ad.

40K miles!
$799 O.B.O.!

is sitting back on a couch in an apartment with a distinctly-bohemian sort of decor scheme going on, wiggling fingers in the air to turn down a stereo, "Whassat, Junior, Mama trying to fix me up outta the Lonely Hearts ads or something?" She of course teases. Says more seriously, "Whatchu got?"

Sal paused. He took a deep breath.
"Remember that vehicle you told me about? The one with the brakes that stuck? I might have something for you on that."

Julie ahs, over the phone. "Ah, arright, yeah, maybe I oughtta see if I can unstick those." They're referring to some kind of in-joke about the mystery-woodie, of course, though why Sal "Junior," (no relation) is being so hush-hush, who knows. "I'll be around in, cawl it twenty. Howssat?"

Sal nods, looking at the index card. "I'll be waiting. Ask for me when you get here."

Julie nods, sighing, and getting up, "Where you gonna be, in conference with the mayor something," she teases, …Uncle Sal's Garage (named for a succession of actual Uncle Sals) is part of the Bottero family operation, and teasing does go on. "Arright, seeya in a sec. Ciao."

A minute later, Dizzy's planting a kiss on someone's cheek, and saying, "Prolly be right back, maybe a couple hours. Someone mighta come up with those Avanti heads and stuff we been looking for for the big Englishtown thing." Some ten more minutes later, the cameo-locket-colored '56 Nomad pulls in under the lights at Uncle Sal's. Diz needs gas, anyway. She hops out, and peers in the windows. Flips open the left taillight, inserts pump nozzle, waits a few moments while gas pours in. When her cousin Carmine comes out, she gives a little salute. "Ay, you, how's the ehtyl tonight?" she smirks. "Junior hiding out around here somewhere, still?"

Carmine chuckles. "He's in the back. Polishing off another one o' them Italian meatball sandwiches. Swear ta God, he's gonna have a heart attack and we're gonna have to plant him with a CRANE." He looks around. "Irish cops on the beat. Some noise goin' on some'ere's."

Julie hrms. She shrugs. "Well, at least it ain't Irish meatballs and Italian cops, or however that joke's supposed to go." She sort of looks around, extending senses her relatives don't know about, …are there turning police lights out there, nearly as good to her as distant sirens. "Means they could be after some of the wiseguys tonight, then. I guess let's hope there ain't trouble." She smirks, then, "I'll go chase him down if you'll keep filling Stanley up here and don't try playing with the fuel injection, wouldya?" She shoulder-bumps Carmine with a fist, and saunters on in, and wanders through into the service bays and… likely spots for hiding Salvatore-not-really-Juniors.

She is expected. The meaty young thing at the counter, all curves and small waist and big hair smiled and cocks a thumb at the office. "Back there, sweetie. Told me to send ya back."

The hallway is short and close, rendolent with oil, albeit clean oil, and the acrid scent of the goop people use to clean oily stuff from their hands.
Sal is sitting behind the desk when Julie comes in, and he smiles. He has a big smile to go with his big gut. The little dot of meat sauce is at the corner of his mouth, courtesy of the sandwich on his blotter. It looks big enough to be a piston.
"Havva seat, Diz. Hungry?"

Julie waves off with a hand, "Had something earlier, glance hardening a bit at the 'sweetie' part, …a bit out of bounds for the boss's niece, after all, but it's the sort of thing to brush off, as well. "So, what's this you got, here? You got a line on something for the regionals or something?" Or given the other thing that she'd asked be kept a bit quiet, …leave it to Junior to add some dramatic license to such, "Or maybe that other thing."

Sal beckoned to the neice to shut the door behind her.
When the door was closed, Sal sighed. "I gotta tell ya, Diz, it cooled my heart when I heard about that explosion. With the micks cycling up their fight against the limeys…" He chuffed with exasperation, then took out the index card, passing it wordlessly to Julie.

Julie peers at the card. "Ain't much here, …did you see the thing when they pinned this up? Or they say anything?" The woodie, of course, had been pretty cherry at the time, whatever might have happened in between.

Sal smiled thinly. "Actually, I remember the guy. Ever since Valachi squealed, a lot of wiseguys were trying to keep a low profile. But the guy who dropped that car off? Reggie Mad-Dog Maddox. Getaway driver, fence, and a guy who the Luccheses used as a cooler. He'd sit on something hot till it got cold, then dump it, chop it, or sell it. Well, this time he's selling."

Julie nods, slowly, "Eight bills for a '38 hasta mean a lot of speed parts, especially if a lot's broken." Like the paper-trail, perhaps. "This Maddox got anything to do with those Irish revolutionaries, whatever explosion you're talkng about? Could be he needs some cash to get outta town. Carmine says they got boys from the Irish precincts in the old neighborhood tonight, figured they was after some wiseguys, like somehow Irish cops is harder to pay off."

Sal chuckled. "Actually…he gets his marching orders from Thin Man Spillane. And Spillane gets a number of jobs from one major mover and shaker." He wings. "And for two C-notes, you get to know who. It'll blow yer damn mind."

Julie wings it as well, but says flatly, in a tone that could be declarative, or sarcastic. "Freaking Senator Williams." A beat, and hands on her hips. "How about for the sake of your future paychecks and a case of beer, you don't get the boss's favorite niece croaked over a dodgy used car deal from not knowing something? Youse can just nod if I'm right for a six pack if that's too much trouble."

Sal smiles…then cackles…then utters a short, sharp laugh. "Oh, Dizzy, you're dizzier than I thought you were." He paused, then said, "…two six-packs."

Julie smirks. "Dizzy enough to listen to you. So, come on, what's the skinny, and I'll make one of em something we can't pronounce."

Sal can't seem to hold it in. "HENRY HEWITT! The guy who's going to OWN nuclear power in the Eastern Seaboard! His bagman contacted Spillane and gave him the marching orders. You'd recognize him easily. He's the one who looks like he ate a pickle since the Senator announced his daughter was safe."

Julie sighs. "He does? I ain't been seeing so much TV lately with this upstate gig." She thinks. "Why's he even been *on* the TV? Trying to give Reilly the business about something?" She pauses, lights a cigarette. Inhales, eyes the thing suspiciously. "Thought I'd try switching to filters," she murmurs. And thinks. "Whatever that's got to so with the price of Studeys. I mean, woodies are kind of a thing in Cali these days and all, but what that's got to do with atomic plants and fences, I dunno." She flicks the slip of paper into a pocket, though. "Maybe I'll check it out, though. Kinda doubt captains of industry is a problem for us about it. Especially if we can give Carmine something to distract him." Cousin Carmine drew a fairly-low draft number, it turns out, and everyone's been pretending not to be worried, as much as the Botteros have apparently always served when called.

Sal chuckles. "You gotta pay more attention to the govmint, Diz. Hewitt will have a monopoly on energy in the next five years if his bill passes. Reilly was the one shooting down the bill in the Senate. He's STILL shooting it down. Think about it, Diz. The daughter of the Senator blocking billions in profits?"

Julie hrms. "So you figure the daughter was somehow in the way of the bill passing, so you figure Hewitt's behind her kidnapping, only that went wrong somehow, so Maddox is trying to cash out in a hurry maybe getting this set of wheels lost in a hurry for, whatever reason?"

Sal spreads his arms. "Dos Equis will be just fine, thank you. Them wetbacks can make a good curvaysa."

Julie rolls her eyes a bit, says, "Ok, I guess that counts as we can't pronounce it. This Maddox comes back asking about it, offer him three hundred for sight-unseen if he's in that big a hurry. I'm gonna cawl anyway, just to see what it is." She adds, after that snap judgment, "And then don't touch it." Pauses, thinking fast enough to declare,, "If it's hot, there could be some kinda reward. Otherwise, well, I got this client, likes my Beach Boys records and probably don't need the horses someone said this thing could have." Oh, poor Sage, she might have to act out that role, just in hopes of getting some more info.

Sal chuckles. "All right. He shows up, I'll tell him. I'll call ya, tell ya the Big Kahoona is here, then you can come in after 'im." He reaches down to take another big bite of the sandwich, chews, swallows, belches. "Easy-peasy."

Julie smirks. "Sure, easy as all that. I mean, we don't get this house involved with none of that other stuff, though, capiche?" She points around the place. "We stay clear of those guys'business and don't cheese em off, just another customer, if they come around, that's how we get by."

About an hour or so later, Dizzy returns to the Greenwich village walkup apartment with the semi-Bohemian decor, and pauses at the door. A run up the East River parkway had helped, the music of engine and gearing and the longhaired British pop music on the radio singing expansively 'I'll Never Find Another You" blending together and in counterpoint with motion and tires singing on the road until at least that much of the world seemed in order, part of everything else the mutant hotrodder sensed around her all the time, like some attuned to Nature might process the innumerable sounds of windblown forest and find their way.

Dizzy's head sagged a moment, …she had the key to the door, but simply held a hand close to her side and turned the bolt from the inside, before stepping in and peeling off driving gloves one finger at a time. "Hey, cara mia."

Jenny looks up from a stack of legal books long enough to say over the local news reciting sports scores to say, "That took a while, you found something good?" But she sees the look on Dizzy's face as the mutant shrugs and gives a not-quite convincing smile. "It's something with …your type, then?"

"Eh, maybe kinda. It's probably…" Dizzy trails off there, and shrugs out of a leather jacket and hangs it up.

"Something's been bothering you," Jenny says, coming to lead Dizzy back to a couch. "Where were you, even, this week?"

"I don't suppose you'd believe West Africa, wouldya?" Diz takes the hand and squeezes it. "There's just a lotta people out there not treating a lotta other people very good, and…" She rubs the other hand over her forehead and sighs. "I dunno, I thought you was supposed to be the activist. I'm sorta… activating, I guess." She diverts from the heavy thoughts, and says, "So, we going out, or what?"

And then, Walter Cronkite comes on the television with a grim message…

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