Boystown 7: Bloodlines
murders was so scant that even the appearance of evidence could get Jimmy convicted with the right jury.
    “What was Shady Perelli like?”
    “A loudmouth. Liked to brag. His wife was worse.”
    “Those aren’t good qualities to have in your business.”
    “No, they get you killed.”
    “You know who ordered them killed, don’t you?” I could feel my pulse beating in my throat when I asked that.
    “I didn’t order the hit.”
    “I don’t think you did. But you do know who did.”
    He frowned at me. “I can’t tell you that.”
    “Why not? You said the room isn’t bugged.”
    “It’s not safe for you to know everything.”
    A chill crept up the back of my neck and I nearly shook. But he’d told me what I needed to know. The order for the Perelli hit had come from someone above him. Someone who wouldn’t like my knowing about their involvement.”
    “The task force thinks that The Nose did the actual hit.”
    “That’s the rumor.”
    “I went to see The Nose’s widow. The task force had been there wanting her to say that The Nose confessed to her that you’re the one who ordered the hit on the Perellis.”
    “Is she going to do that?”
    “No. She’s senile, can’t remember much of anything. So they tried to get the son to say the same thing. He refused.”
    Jimmy nodded again. “They don’t have anything if they’re trying to convince people to say things they don’t want to say.”
    “All they have is their informant. They call him Prince Charles.”
    Jimmy chuckled.
    “According to Prince Charles you wanted Shady Perelli dead because of a border dispute. He was putting the squeeze on some restaurants that you…provided services to.” It’s not necessarily a good idea to call extortion by its right name when you’re talking to the extortionist.
    “That’s not true. What is true is that I got some of Shady’s territory after he died. A couple people did. It didn’t just come to me.”
    My scotch was almost finished. Jimmy poured me another without asking. I took a deep breath before I said the next. “Jimmy, there’s something I want…a promise. If I find Prince Charles nothing bad will happen to him.”
    “Tell me what you mean by bad?”
    “He won’t end up dead. If your lawyers know who he is they can find a way to shut him down.” I may have been over-estimating Owen Lovejoy, Esquire’s abilities.  
    “Can I be persuasive?”
    I was asking a leopard to change his spots and I knew it. Beyond that I knew that the Feds were being pretty persuasive on their own. “You can be as persuasive as you want to be. As long as Prince Charles keeps all his body parts.”
    That made Jimmy laugh. “You’re an interesting young man.”
    “Thank you.”
    “I’m not sure I meant it as a compliment.” That was meant to chastise me. And it did. We were silent for an uncomfortably long time.  
    “You know, I’m not sure I have any questions left, Jimmy.”
    “Then we’ll talk like old friends for a minute.”
    “All right. You’ll keep thinking about the diary?” I reminded.
    “I’ll think about the diary.”
    I had no idea how to talk to him like a friend. Was I supposed to ask about his family? I’d only met a few of his relatives, one was in prison, another was a sociopathic actress, and the third was a coed with a penchant for middle-aged mobsters. I wasn’t comfortable inquiring after any of them.
    “Who do you share your secrets with, Jimmy?” It felt like an intimate question but I had to ask it. And now we were old friends.
    “My priest. Well, the one I liked died. I don’t say too much to the new one. He’s too young to know that old men don’t change.”
    “And that’s it? Confession?”
    “The people above me. They know certain things.”
    That wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t how these Federal investigations worked. The task force had to turn someone on the bottom to get to the people on top. You didn’t turn the people on top to get to the ones on the

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