So, I'm standing outside Freddy the Fedora's place looking out for people. It's 2.00am in the morning, and far as I can see, everyone is nowhere to be seen. But no, I'm wrong, because here comes The Pigeon, with his chest inside out, his co-respondent shoes lighting up the alley like glowworms.
Now the trouble with The Pigeon is, he's trouble. He don't have a close association with soap, for starters, and also, when the brains was given out, he was hiding in the cellar, scraping the mungo off the wall.
I'm watching him shuffling his way towards me, making friends with the brickwork, and it strikes me, this guy is totally fizzed. And when he comes nearer, I know it for a fact, because his eyes are playing scoot with each other around his face. He is not a bad person, The Pigeon, but he doesn't have a whole lot happening in the top storey. He's like a clock that got broke, right twice a day, but even he don't know when that is.
"Hey," he says, pulling me by the lapels of my new best suit, "did I ever wanna see anybody else right now? I don't think so."
I shake off the fists and straighten myself up a little. "So, The Pigeon, what brings you out here this time of night?"
"Listen," he says, "I am looking for a guy to stiff another guy on account of I have met the floosy of this guy, and I would like her for my own, but she ain't having none of it. She says he has a heart as black as a rat's ass, and she ain't leavin' him nohow because if she did, he would only stiff her. But see... this doll is something. She is stacked like a rack for starters, and I tell you, if I get myself embroiled in that little doozy, I ain't never comin' up for air. So?"
"So?" I tell him. "Sounds like you got yourself a big one. Who is the guy?"
He leans towards me, giving out a sewer full. This must be quite some dame if she's stacked so she can't smell that.
"You know Jackie the Hat, lives on Broadway? Well it ain't him. But, it's a real close friend of his, and see, this broad, she says even he won't stiff the guy for her no matter what. So I gotta be careful, see. I gotta know who I can trust."
I thinks for a minute. "Listen," I tell him, "I know Jackie the Hat, and he wouldn't never back off of a job for a guy with the right credentials, so why don't you talk to him yourself? Never mind what this doll tells you. Dolls are too sensitive. They don't know nothing. How much you payin'?"
He does a shuffle-roll with his fingers. "Twice that," he says, "three times, because this doll is cuter even than Trixie Malone, apart from the hair, which looks like she done it with a whisk. But boy, does she know how to kiss, and boy does she have a neat line in whispers."
I look at The Pigeon. He's rapt. Whoever this dame is, she sure has him welded.
"Listen," I says to him, "you tell me who this guy is, and I will stiff him on account of I could use the money right now."
"Really," he says, slapping me a little round the face, which to be honest is something I don't usually go for. "Really?"
"Really," I tell him. "Just gimme the name."
I'm sitting inside Freddy the Fedora's place with a full ice bucket and a half a dozen guys for company. I am wearing my latest brand new suit plus my good lady wife, who is puckering up to me on account of, suddenly, I smell of pocketbook.
"Squit," she whispers, all innocent like, "you seen The Pigeon around?"
I give her my best look and a no, because that is the truth. Last time I seen The Pigeon, he was sliced and wrapped. Anything but 'round.