Chapter Four: The Farm
The De Luca family farm was not really a farm. However, it spread for more than a hundred acres right outside the city. Surrounded by high grass and many Black Ash trees, the family’s compound stood erect. A four story building of old masonry, a huge spectacle of Italian architecture for the family took pride in their Italian roots. McKinesy admired the magnificent structure as they drove closer to the main gate. The tall first floor windows reflected the light of the full moon visible, sailing amongst millions of stars, which could only be seen outside of the city. John glanced skywards and saw the square shaped town with circular windows on four sides; he noticed the shadow of a man with a weapon standing behind the one window.
The Chief drove the car to the gate where four henchmen dressed in black suits, ties and hats, with shotguns in each one’s hand. One of them walked towards the car in slow paces.
“Where do ya think you’re goin’, Mac?” The man said sticking his head inside the car.
“Where here to see the Don,” the Chief said in a firm tone “I’m the Chief of police.”
The man in the black suit walked back and whispered to someone standing behind the gate. A few seconds later, the gate swung open and the Chief parked the car in front of the mansion where a party of several luxurious cars were also parked. Chief Frank and Detective McKinesy got out of the car, a man stood by the front steps of the mansion, his name was Pietro De Luca, the Don’s oldest son and his right hand man.
“Gentlemen,” he said putting out his arms, speaking with a faint italian accent “We’re glad you came, we were about to call upon you.”
“We’re here to see your father.” The Chief answered, again in a firm tone.
“Right this way Chief.” Pietro said, motioning with his hands for them to enter the house.
The three men walked inside the mansion, which looked like the inside of some fancy museum, its walls covered by art work. But unlike any fancy museum, armed men stood here and there, all in black suits. Pietro stopped in front of a room with a large decorated door, knocked and waited until hearing a faint voice saying ‘Come in’. He opened the door to the Don’s office, the Chief and detective entered. Behind his large mahogany desk, the Don of all dons sat slouched with his droopy eyes staring at a copy of the newspaper with the picture of his deceased daughter on the front page. A cigar balanced on the edge of a crystal ashtray burnt midway, with whirls of smoke slowly floating upwards. The Don seemed to have snapped back from his blank staring and looked up at his visitors.
“Gentlemen,” He said in a weary voice “Please take a seat.”
Both men sat down facing each other on the leather chairs in front of the Don’s desk.
“We’re here to talk to you about the murder of your daughter,” The Chief said “It is quite obvious to us who did it and we couldn’t help but connect this murder to the kind of business you do.”
“Nonsense!” The Don exclaimed “My daughter had nothing to do with my business; she despised the kind of work I do. Why do you think she walked out on the family to live on her own.”
“For some reason,” John said “I’m not buying this, now we’re here to get some information to pinch the man who killed your daughter. There are no coincidences, I think that this man had something to do with the family and I will not leave ’til we get this information.”
The Don sprang out of his chair, the vain on his forehead pulsing. His son who stood at the door walked to him, whispered something in his ear and the Don sat back in his chair. He picked up his cigar and took a puff.
“Fine, detective.” the Don said “I will tell you all I know about this man.”
John put his hat on the desk and leaned forward towards the man behind the desk.
“Six years ago,” the Don began “A young man walked into the family with a talent, he was instantly recruited for his unnatural talent of being a born killer. No morals, no remorse; he knew what to do and just how to do it. He was our best hitman.”
The Chief looked at the Don with his eyebrows raised; John merely stared at him.
“That kept going for a whole year,” The Don continued “Until he began leaving behind him the most disturbing crime scenes instead of leaving the scene like a cat. Tip toe in, tip toe out. That’s what we called him; Cat, and that’s the only name anyone knew him by. We couldn’t have this in the family, especially after him doing his own hits on the side, and all the attention which the press put into his killings. We couldn’t fire him either because he knew so much about us, and plus, this ain’t no burger joint. So, we had to put a hit on him, but before the job was done, he disappeared leaving a trail of murders.”
John looked at the Chief who still gazed at the Don with wide eyes.
“So, De Luca,” John said making the Don shift in his chair “This was payback.”
“You can say that, but he ain’t gettin’ away with it!”
“Do you have any more information on Mr. Cat?” Detective McKinesy asked.
“That’s all I know about the matter, I suggest you do your job, detective, and I’ll do mine.”
“Your job?” John asked comically “Bootlegging and smuggling narcotics? You got yourself one heck of a job… Don.”
With that, John got up and walked towards the door.
“You think you’re all that, McKinesy?!” the Don yelled “You’re too weak, you’ll never get him, but my boys will.”
John McKinesy kept walking, the Chief followed. They walked past Pietro De Luca, out of the office, through the hallway and out of the mansion. The two men got into the car and drove past the lack Ash trees and out of the compound.
“What do you make of this?” The Chief asked.
“I don’t know,” Detective John McKinesy said, rolling a cigarette “But somethin’ ain’t right about this whole case.”
[End of Chapter Four, Part II.]
(To be continued…)