We’re All Friends, Right?

Chapter 2

Tony Gallino, dressed in a handmade, dark Italian silk suit, wearing hand crafted Italian made shoes, crafted from the finest calf’s skin, walked through, the door, stopped and waited. It wasn’t long before he heard what he expected to hear.

“Morning Mr. Gallino. Can I get you anything?” asked Gus with a differential tone.

Tony Gallino shook his head and looked at Zeke and Mickey.

Zeke and Mickey on hearing Gus say, ‘Morning Mr. Gallino,’ turned their heads toward the door. Zeke jumped into the batter’s box, “How’s it going Mr. Gallino, anything I can do for you,” said Zeke.

Mickey was only a step behind Zeke, “The same goes for me Mr. Gallino.”

Tony Gallino didn’t answer right away, instead he walked over to the bar and looked at Gus, “Whatever Zeke and Mickey are drinking, put it on my tab, Gus.”

“Sure thing, Mr. Gallino.”

“You want to take a stool and have a cold one with us, Mr. Gallino?” asked Zeke.

“Not today, fellows. I need a favor. I was wondering if you two could help. That is, if you’re not busy,” said Tony Gallino.

Mickey didn’t wait, “Anything, Mr. G. Anything. You name it, me and Zeke, we can do it.”

Gus wondered where the Mr. G came from. Gallino didn’t bat an eye. Gus thought about it, quickly decided he’d never try it.

Tony Gallino said, “I have a slight problem. I have a small box I need to be delivered to a friend. I don’t want to send it by mail because I don’t trust the postal service.”

Zeke cut in, “I know what you mean. Last week I saw a delivery guy toss a bunch of mail in the trash because it was the end of his day and he wanted to go home. I went into the trash and pulled out the mail. Most of it was ads and stuff, but there was birthday card for some grandmother with five crisp twenties in it. Even though it wasn’t my birthday, I figured why not, the mail was discarded.”

“You didn’t tell me about you hitting the jackpot, Zeke,” said Mickey, disappointed.

Zeke shrugged and didn’t say anything.

Gallino interrupted the two, “That’s why I came to you two guys, I heard a lot about the way you think and take advantage of opportunities.”

“That’s us,” said Mickey thinking it was a compliment.

“Where exactly is this package and to whom do we deliver it? No offense intended, Mr. Gallino, but we’re not doing anything that could get us in trouble, are we?”

“I’m an honest businessman, you boys know that. I’d never ask anyone to do anything that was against the law,” said Gallino with a straight face.

Gus pretended he didn’t hear a thing. Then he thought, what a crock of crap.

“You each get $200. I’m going to give you the first $100 now. I’ll give you the second $100 when the jobs complete. If there are no mishaps, there will a bonus coming to you. The package is in a large mailbox at Security Mail in Brockton. It’s just off of main street on Court Street. You can’t miss it. It’s mailbox, 1202.”

Gallino reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his genuine soft leather billfold. Here’s a hundred apiece,” he said handing a hundred dollar bill to Zeke, and then one to Mickey.

He reached into his pants pocket and removed a small brass colored key, “Here’s the key,” said Gallino handing Zeke the key.

“First of all thanks. Nobody ever paid us in advance for doing a job. It shows a lot of trust in us. We appreciate it. What do we do when we get the box, Mr. Gallino,” said Zeke.

“Hey, what’s with the formality, you can call me Tony. We’re friends here, right?”

Gus thought, I wouldn’t touch this one for a million dollars.

“Here’s what I need you to do with the box once you have it.”

Are Zeke and Mickey getting in over their heads? What does Gallino want them to do? What is inside the box?

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