The conversation was short and had a quality to it that made me feel I was disturbing him somehow, but in the end I made arrangements to meet Madigan at the club whenever it was convenient for him, which turned out to be as soon as I could get there since it was all about finding his niece. Besides that, unlike every other rags in the city I had never given the crime boss any bad copy.
I kind of dubbed him a modern day Robin Hood with a now-a-days twist to it.
He doesn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor but there are a lot of poor folks out there who are thankful for all that he’s given them, like the mission soup kitchen next door to his club, with enough food and beds to help out a couple of hundred down and outers every day and night. The guy even pays taxes, well, on the income from his club. It’s the vices he offers that make him a gangster and his method of dealing with the underworld’s version of delinquents. Most of society calls it murder. He calls it business.
Carver Manx had his own version of Boss Madigan’s nature and in some aspects we agreed but Manx did not believe that gave Madigan any special get out of jail free cards. It just meant a judge might afford him a little lenience.
I hooked a cab at the curb outside the Opal Mag office and gave the driver the address. His brow curled down and I sensed he had something negative to say so I prompted him. “Gotta problem with that Pal?”
“Do you know the club you are going to?” the Cabbie asked.
“Sure. I wouldn’t be going there if I didn’t and I suggest you keep your thoughts to yourself. Mr. Madigan doesn’t like being bad talked.”
“I know. Buddy. I gotta pay to work my cab in his zone, even if it’s just a drop off.”
I cringed a little because I knew the score about the protection racket. “Give me your card. I’ll see if I can help you out, but no promises.”
The Cabbie nodded and pulled into the traffic. I was on my way to a visit one of Calgary’s notorious few, a risk even if it was for a good reason.