A Crime Story Part V
Later that night at Morgan’s Manor
Frank Morgan is sipping on his favorite beverage before bedtime when he receives a telephone call. He recognizes the voice immediately.
“Hey ...” Frank whispers, “you are taking a big chance calling me, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.” The voice says on the other end, “Just wanted to let you know I observed some activity around your cabin. I discovered Martino Mangini up there.”
“Yep, along with my daughter ... did you hear about the ruckus at the 43rd?” Frank states softly eagerly accepting a refill from his capable Assistant turned ‘Right Arm’ Bridget. It’s been a long day.
“Yeah, I heard about it ... lost some really good men that day. Whatever your little girl has I hope she realizes that it’s hotter than jalapeño.”
“That’s why we decided to place her in protective custody for a few days.” Frank chuckles thinking about his rambunctious daughter.
“You need to be careful yourself, old friend.” The voice sounds sad.
“Is there something in the wind?” Frank shifts positions in his chair.
“Yeah ... something in the wind alright ... Frank you know that I appreciate everything you’ve done for me?” The voice still sounds very sad.
“You would have done the same for me.” Frank states matter-of-fact.
“You know I would. This is why I risked the phone call. Clinton Albright just tried to kill Marty and me.” The voice says.
“That dirty son-of-a-bitch!” Frank snarls.
“And he would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for that sharp-shooting daughter of yours.” The voice chuckles softly.
“That’s my Linda.” Frank proclaims proudly.
“My source tells me that Ricardo’s badgering Officer Thomas Smith regarding doing what he’s paid to do. It seems that Smith has been on the payroll since my timely departure. You need to make a move yourself my friend. You are next in line.” The voice makes his point very clear.
“Tom used to be a good cop, what happened?” Frank replies still reeling in disbelieve that a fellow cop and former friend would be gunning for him.
“My source says that at first it was strictly for the money, but let’s face it; good guys do finish last. Look at Bob Dewberry, Carl Sawyer and Bert Springfield. ”The voice tells Frank in a matter-of-fact tone.
“So that justifies killing me and my daughter?” Frank says incredulously.
“Hell no, Frank … I’m saying that I hear Smith doesn't have a choice anymore. His involvement runs much too deep. The various payoffs he’s taken; the lives that have been lost on both sides, hell chances are he won’t get out of this alive anyway.” The voice replies trying not to defend a good cop gone bad.
“I hope to hell he doesn't!” Frank says reflecting on the night that took both his legs. That was the results of a 'good cop gone bad.'
“I don’t blame you, Frank. Your daughter is smart otherwise she would have never made it this far. After all, she is Frank Morgan’s kid.” Both men laugh at that last remark.
“How is it that you know so much about what’s going on? You not getting careless are you?” Frank asks already knowing the answer to this one.
“You know the answer to both questions and I'll say no more. Remember the unspoken law: if you can’t get the daughter ... so please stop talking and start moving ... Morgan Island should be the ideal refuge. Take that loyal staff of yours as well. Good help is hard to find, you know.” The voice has returned to a more upbeat tone.
“Don’t I know it, and thanks friend.” Frank replies.
“Don’t mention it.” The phone goes dead.
Time to make a move…
Frank turns to his Assistant. “Wake my wife and tell her to pack a few things; we’re going on a little trip in the morning.”
With a knowing nod Bridget disappears down the corridor.
Frank knows he doesn't have much time so he heads for his emergency phone. Reporting Thomas Smith to the authorities will only get him killed sooner and could jeopardize all chances of The Boss being exposed. As much as Frank would like to eliminate Smith himself; his main concerns are the safety of his family and trusted staff. Besides once the trap has been sprung - Smith is as good as dead anyway.
Marty puts his cell phone on vibrate so Linda can have an undisturbed rest. When it starts to rattle on the night stand, he immediately picks it up and slowly climbs down the loft stairs heading for the living room.
“What’s up Frank?” Marty says half asleep.
“Officer Thomas Smith has been contracted to kill Linda and me.” Frank says in a voice only made calm by the mixture given him by Bridget.
“What … son of a b...” Marty says but is interrupted by Frank.
“I feel the same way. You've got to get her to the one place they wouldn't dare look for her.” Frank replies.
“And where would that be Frank, Antarctica?” Marty replies.
“No, Marty I mean Morgan Island in the South Pacific!” Frank says.
“You’re right! It's an impregnable fortress. It has high cliffs and the only way to reach it is by helicopter or special jet.” Marty states with a satisfactory smile.
"Right, now get out of there!" Frank commands hanging up the phone.
Marty contemplates how he will break the news to Linda. She's tough when it comes to her neck but her family is a different matter. He knows the direct approach is the best - however it's easier accepted on a full stomach.
Marty rises early the next morning and slips on his shoes, which he has left beside the sofa. Drowsily he walks into the kitchen where he prepares a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. French roasted coffee completes the meal. Before Marty can wake Linda, she is drawn to the kitchen by the aroma.
"Morning chef," Linda says stretching as she negotiates a chair.
“Good morning yourself - there is plenty of bacon but don't be a pig about it." This is Marty’s feeble attempt at defusing unpleasant news.
"You’re fixing breakfast? What’s really going on Marty?" Linda admires the inviting meal then waits for an answer.
"Alright Linda, I'll tell you straight," Marty confess.
"Please do." Marty has Linda's full attention.
"Your father informed me late last night that things have progressed from hot to hotter."
"How so, Marty?" Linda shuffles in her seat.
"Since The Boss didn't hear from Clinton Albright he expects the worse. Both you and your father are now in mortal danger. So your father wants you moved somewhere safer." Marty tells Linda waiting for her response.
"So where are we going now, Antarctica?" she retorts flippantly.
"That was my question. No, we are joining your folks on Morgan Island. He and your mother should already be on their way to the chalet to make things more comfortable," Marty says.
"I can't understand why we didn't go there in the first place? Perfect isolation and the vintage point is conducive to spotting anyone’s approach. “Linda adds.
“Not to mention that it’s big enough to hold two armies and a Big Mac!” Marty acknowledges facetiously.
Marty starts to laugh but Linda's frown exposes her concerns regarding her parents’ staff.
"What about..." she starts to ask, but Marty interrupts.
"It’s already been taken care of! Your parents’ staff is leaving also; they will join us on the island. Satisfied?" he beams.
"Alright, so when do we leave?" she probes.
"As soon as you get packed," Marty says seriously. "We have a private jet waiting! I'm going outside."
"So don’t you need to pack as well?" Linda inquires.
"Baby, are you kidding? I never unpacked!" Marty laughs. "Now hop to it!"
While Linda loads the dishwasher and packs her bag; Marty inspects the perimeter of the cabin one last time. He insures that no one else is lurking around by traversing the cliffs for signs. When convinced, he meets Linda at the front door, placing her bag in the car. When everything seems secure; they hurry to the private landing where a jet awaits.
"Afternoon Sir, Miss," the flight attendant greets them. "You are the only ones on this flight, correct?" Linda looks for Marty to affirm.
"Yes Ma'am!" Marty responds. "So can we get going?"
"I'll inform the pilot that you are both here and ready for take-off," she agrees.
Marty says to Linda, "Relax Princess. Everyone should be safe now, alright?"
Linda acknowledges and begins to fasten her seat-belt. She wonders still how her parents are... and if they are safe!
Setting Things Right
Frank leans back in his seat on his 2nd private jet. The departure has been so secretive until the left hand doesn’t know what the right is up to. His wife is still surprised with the revelation her husband has relayed ... but takes it all in stride.
Their home is going to be the nesting place for several undercover agents who are loyal beyond suspicion. None of them ever trusted Thomas Smith; so it is easy to allow him to overhear false information regarding Frank Morgan. Smith is led to believe he is under safe watch at his estate. Smith indeed relays this to The Boss which means he will send a few of his best boys for a surprise visit.
The agents setup things to look like normal around the estate. The final arrangement are in place with the Morgans and their staff well protected from the massacre that will transpire once The Boss’s men make their entrance. And their visit comes right on cue!
As it unfolds, one of the agents dressed in butler’s attire hears a noise near the back fence. Normally, the fence is equipped with an electric charge but Inspector Riley wants to insure that this turkey shoot is opened to the general public meaning The Boss’s men!
A noise sounding like metal being cut puts butler Burgess on alert. He touches his hand to his hostler speaking calmly to himself.
“Easy old girl, you are about to see some live action in just about a minute.” Burgess says and with that he travels swiftly to the main-house alerting the others that the drama is about to unfold.
With quiet surety, seven of The Boss’s hoods make their way through the fence. They are led by none other than Momma Louisa Paccio’s favorite boy Riccardo! He wants the distinct pleasure of putting Frank Morgan to bed permanently. Little does Riccardo know that he will be the one snoozing in Hell!
With a loud crash, Riccardo and his hoods break through the sliding glass doors to meet an unexpected hail of bullets. They never stand a chance. The agents open fire on them with so much ammo that their bodies are riveted by gunshots. Riccardo has several in the chest ... both arms and one in the leg. He lays there on the floor in a puddle of blood with a look of surprise on his face. One hood... Luther (who would have been number 9) has held back because he is having trouble with his weapon. After hearing the noise and seeing the human carnage, he hides in a bush motionless until it is safe to emerge. He makes it to Louie in time to give him the information. The Boss is not pleased.
“Dammit, Thomas Smith led them right into a trap! Well Luther, someone will be saying goodnight to a cop that would be king!” The Boss pronounces sentence on Officer Smith.
Smith is never seen again and Momma Louisa is a much subdued woman. Linda is able to produce her story and with the help of both Victor and Jacques Paccio, Louisa Paccio's racketeering days are over. Luther turns state’s witness and later disappears to parts unknown.
“Thanks to you, Miss Pulitzer Prize—we have been able to close the pages on one of the most notorious families in history.” Inspector Riley smiles happily. “So what now …”
“A return to dad’s island and another one of cook’s chocolate chips cookies!” Linda exclaims and everyone laughs.