“Who are THEY?” I asked Boss Madigan and he grinned viciously. The answer was scary.
“The real criminals of this Burg.” Madigan spilled out like he was spitting out a mouth full of rotten eggs. “The creeps who wear suits and polish up real nice but they are like old decaying wood. You can paint them and for a while they look okay, but the decay always shows through and sooner or later the paint don’t work anymore. They are the shadows that talk and when they talk the people they control listen. They are the ones that decide what streets get fixed first, what buildings get demolished and what homes get destroyed. People like me who don’t give a rat’s butt who they think they are cause I give them grief. I might be a criminal but I don’t paint myself to look like anything else. They can’t get to me because I have enough goods on them to blow their façade wide open, because I do some of their dirty work. But I have become a liability and they want the west end for themselves. There is a lot of loose money here waiting to be cleaned up and tightened up. They can’t get to me directly so they go after the innocent to get in the back door. That’s why I want you, Manx, to get my niece outa here because I am about to make my enemy wish they had never put me to the test.”
Carver Manx nodded but only said two words, “She’s Safe!” Which gave Boss Madigan the okay to light the match to a fire that would burn the crap out of the city’s underworld and with the right tact put Madigan on the top of the creep heap. If not it would get him dead and the decaying wood of the city would spread uncontrollably. Manx had to choose between Madigan and the shadows and pick the lesser of two evils…for the moment.