Gus poured two drafts and brought them to the boys. “It’s on the house, boys. You guys are the walking dead. You don’t have the package, am I right?”
Zeke nodded. “Thanks for the beers, Gus. Do you think Tony will torture us first before he kills us?
Mickey jumped in, “I don’t think so. I think he’ll kill us first then he’ll pull out our toenails and cut our fingers off one at a time.”
Gus wiped his hands on his apron. He bent toward the boys, and spoke in a low voice, “I don’t like to get involved in anything that has anything to do with Tony Gallino. But I got a soft spot for you two. Why I have a soft spot, I don’t know. I need to have my head examined. It would be better if I turned my back and let Tony give you a one-way ride to the Hocomock Swamp. He’s gonna dump your asses in there and the coyotes and wild cats are going to feast on you. All that’s going to be left is a few bones.”
“I’m too young to die, Gus,” said Mickey, tears forming in his eyes.
“Can you help us, Gus?” asked Zeke.
“I can’t tell you boys what to do. I know somebody who might help you, but you might have to do him a favor. He’s very particular who he helps. I can put in a word for you because he’s my godfather.”
“Anything, Gus. Anything. We’ll do any favor. We need some help before Tony dumps us in the Hocomock Swamp,” said Zeke.
“Yah, after he kills us, then chops us into little pieces. That’s the worst part seeing Tony cut me into little pieces after he kills me,” said Mickey.
Gus made a mental note to stop drinking beer. He had no other explanation for Mickey’s convoluted reasoning process. “You boys know Sal Bolavini? He lives on Crapo Street.”
“Is he the guy with the big nose and big ears who walks a dog that looks like a sausage?” asked Mickey.
“I don’t think so, Mickey. I think he’s the guy with the scar from his right ear to his chin and has a thick mustache,” said Zeke.
“You’re both wrong. Sal is a small guy, with a big nose who wears a square golfing cap because he’s embarrassed by his bald head. He owns Bola Auto Repair. He only works on a few cars for friends now. His son, Sonny runs the business. Sal is what you might say is semi-retired, but he’s connected to Dominic Pucini in Boston. You boys following me?”
Zeke nodded his head in assent. Mickey nodded his head from side to side. Gus tapped Zeke, “Explain it to the genius when you leave.”
“Now this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to call Sal and ask him to talk to you boys. I’m making no promises. But if there is any way out, Sal will figure it out. A piece of advice. Take him something nice as a gesture of goodwill. Capisce? You wait here while I make a call.”
Mickey finished his beer, then turned to Zeke, “Everything always works out for us, Zeke. We’re going to be okay. I got a hunch.”
Zeke said, “Remember your last hunch, Fast Filly was going out of the gate at 30 to 1 and you said you had a hunch she was going to win?”
“I remember,” said Mickey sticking his tongue into his glass trying to get the last drop of beer.
“You remember I put my rent money on Fast Filly because of your hunch?
“Fast Filly wasn’t so fast that day. She ran last out of the gate and didn’t pass anybody. So much for your hunches,” said Zeke.
“It’s about time my luck changed, Zeke. It’s been bad for two months. Ever since I stole the apple at the market. Think it is karma?” asked Mickey.
“I don’t know nothing about Karma. I know Sal is our last hope or we gonna get sent into the toilet. Know what I mean?”
“I like toilet better than the Hocomock Swamp,” said Mickey.
Gus returned, “Two this afternoon at Sal’s car shop. Good luck boys.”
Will Sal help the boys? Will Tony Gallino dump the boy’s bodies in the Hocomock Swamp?