The Silken Daggers Excerpt © Jenny Bullington 2018Bea had a somber countenance. She looked straight at Ruby. “What is going on? Did you do something? Are you all right?”
Ruby took a seat, taking a deep breath before beginning. “Everything is fine for now, but Edith and I made something happen, and it takes place tonight.”
A hush fell over the room, and she decided now was as good a time as any to tell them about the plans for this evening. Everyone stared right at Ruby.
“So, Edith and I met with a contact in Sioux City. She knows how to start tracking the drugs, but I need to be sure, and I…” Ruby stumbled on her own words, not even sure why she had demanded to meet with Campagna. “We have a meeting with Angelo Campagna tonight in Sioux City.”
“What the hell for? Isn’t he an underling of Meyer Lanskey?!” Bea demanded, not masking her indignation.
June held her hand over her mouth. “They nearly killed my boys last summer, Ruby…” her voice choked and tears began to spill out over her eyes.
“I know, I know. This isn’t justifying that. But the Silken Daggers might be able to get more information than the police ever would. There’s something about being off-the-books and working together that just seems to click, more than anything legitimate.”
“Do you have any idea how dangerous this is, Ruby?” Paulie piped up.
Edith placed her hand on his arm. “You promised you wouldn’t get worked up.”
Paulie huffed. “How am I supposed to keep my promise to Jack if I let his wife go blindly in to meet with a mob boss?”
Ruby cleared her throat. “It’s not quite how you think, Paulie. We have a way to get him by himself, without his hired muscle.”
Paulie looked at her wide-eyed. “How?” he hesitantly asked.
Ruby set her shoulders back. “We are going to make him think we’re prostitutes. He always goes in the room alone.”
Paulie jumped to his feet. “Edith, you didn’t tell me that! No, I won’t allow the love of my life to be used as a prostitute just to get information. Hell no! What if he rapes you? The stakes of this are too high.”
Edith looked to Ruby pleadingly.
Ruby reached into her bra and revealed the vial of yellow powder. “But I like a high stakes game,” Ruby quipped. “Sit down, Goldstein, and let me finish.” She held up the vial for all to see. Paulie stared at it, and slowly sat back down next to Edith. Some of his gelled hair fell out of place, his face was red and a vein popped out from the side of his neck.
“What is that?” Bea asked from the side, leaning in to get a better look.
“It will make the mobster docile. We mix it in his drink when he gets in the room. Within a few minutes, it will take effect and last for four hours, I’m told. His limbs will be numb, it will be like he’s drunk,” Ruby informed them.
“What’s the name of this stuff, and does it work on husbands?” Bea asked, smirking. Ruby winked at her, appreciating her effort to lighten the mood.
Paulie raised an eyebrow at her, looking as if he were scolding a child. “Where did you get this, Ruby?”
“I don’t know the name of it, and I can’t tell you where I got it, for everyone else’s protection,” Ruby replied, starting to feel her blood pressure rise.
“If you’re doing something illegal, which clearly you are, I can’t protect you…” Paulie started, but Edith interrupted.
“Us doing this off the books is exactly what you need to be able to stop the drug trade in Cherokee, and no officer of the law would touch us for helping them in a way they couldn’t accomplish themselves. You know this is going to work,” Edith argued.