Meanwhile, back at The Lucky Canary . . .
The Tuna extends his arm, hand palm up toward Tony. Tony drops the rock into Tuna’s right hand. The Tuna reaches into his left side pants pocket and pulls out a loupe. He takes off his thick black plastic frame glasses, places the on the table, and places the loupe against his left eye. The Tuna works the loupe against his eye. He lifts the ring to the front of the loupe.
“Interesting,” says the Tuna.
“What?” asks Tony.
“Incredible. The clarity is around an 8. Very, very high,” mumbles the Tuna.
“What’s Tune talking about, Nick?” asks Tony.
“Don’t bother me, I got my own problems trying to figure out how to prevent an engagement and not break up,” whispers Nick.
“I gotta give it around a J on the color scale,” says the Tuna.
“Is that good, Joey?” whispers Tony.
“Don’t bother me, I’m trying to figure how to sneak back into Bridgewater. I gotta find a car that looks like the warden’s car but isn’t the warden’s car. That’s only part of my problems. I gotta wipe it down after I drive it so they don’t get fingerprints from me,” says Joey.
“Why are you sucking your thumb,” asks Tony.
“I always suck my thumb when I get nervous,” says Joey.
The Tuna puts the loupe back in his left pants pocket and slips the diamond in his right pants pocket, puts his black rimmed plastic glasses on. He looks at Tony, “I gotta give you credit, Tone, you picked an expensive ring. The problem with the ring, if I try to fence it, no fence is gonna take it. It’s too hot to handle. I don’t like to have it on me. The cops come in here and check me out. They got me. It will be a rap even James can’t win.”
Nick says, “I got an idea, Tuna.”
“Don’t waste my time with something I can’t use,” says the Tuna.
Tony jumps in, “Tuna, before you listen to Nick, listen to me. you gotta give the ring back to me. I gotta marry Stella. She lays kisses on me hotter than a burning coal.”
“Aside from your testosterone firing up, Stella pregnant or something?” asks the Tuna.
“I don’t think so because Stella told me she don’t want stretch marks. I thought stretching was good for you. She should know, she’s a physical trainer and everything.”
Tina butts in, “Well, Nick? You gonna propose to me or what?”
Nick takes an involuntary swallow, “Propose in The Lucky Canary? I was thinking when I propose it’s gotta be in a special place where we is dressed up, the moon is high in the sky, we’re sitting at an outdoor café, and there’s a candle burning in the center of the table. The waiter comes by and fills our glasses with wine, peeps are all around us and it’s like we’re the only two peeps in the world. . . .”
“That was a scene from the movie we watched last night. Nice try. You better do better,” says Tina knocking back a shot.
“I musta like it so much, it stayed in my brain. See, my brain was thinking of propositioning you,” says Nick.
“How much you gonna offer her?” hollers Legos.
Tuna holds up a hand, “It’s my turn. Tone, you really want to marry the broad you are living with?”
Tony nods his head, “I gotta marry Stella, Tune. She makes me do things I never thought about. She rings my bells. She’s the extra red sauce on my mostaccioli. She’s the white stuff on my cappuccino. She’s the extra virgin olive oil I put on my salad . . .”
“She ain’t been that since she was fifteen,” says Legos.
“What’s Legos talking about?” asks Tony.
The Tuna says, “I’m gonna give you the skinny on Stella, Tone. After I give you the skinny, you still want to marry her, I’ll give you the ring on one condition and this you got to promise me now.”
“I promise,” says Tony.
“I didn’t tell you the condition. How can you promise to do something you don’t know nothing about? What if I said the condition is for you to jump off the turnpike bridge into traffic during rush hour? You gonna keep that promise?” asks the Tuna.
Tony thinks about this for a moment, “Uh huh.”
“I am gonna give you the condition in front of the beautiful broad, Nick, and Joey. Maybe Legos if he is paying attention, which he usually does, but acts like he isn’t paying attention.”
“I’m in, Tuna,” says Legos.
The Tuna tosses Legos a nod. He says, “If I give you the ring and I hear a rumor that you was with me when you got the ring some things that are considered very unpleasant by most people in law enforcement might happen to you. I’m gonna make it simple because you look like you don’t know what I’m talking about. If you tell Stella how you got the ring and you put my name in connection with getting the ring and Stella tells somebody else and my name is in there, this is even worse for you than the fish hanging upside down at Spagnoli’s Fish Market.”
Nick grabs hold of Tony’s shoulder, “Don’t do it, Tony. Break into the pawn shop on Stetson Street and take a handful of the rings in the show case. You can be out of there long before the cops show up.”
Tony turns toward Joey, “Don’t bother me, Tony. I got the wardens smart phone. I’m gonna use it to map my way back to prison if I can figure the passcode.”
“Try lockup2020,” says Legos.
A moment later, “Thanks Legos,” says Joey.
“What I got to say, stays here. You all unnerstand?” says the Tuna.
Nod. Nod. Nod. Nod.
“What happens in The Lucky Canary, stays in The Lucky Canary. Vegas ripped me off,” says Legos chewing on a handful of Tums.