Thursday, January 25, 2018


THERE HAD BEEN A time when Jack Dunn had been considered an important man.

A made man.

Getter Dunn. That’s what they used to call him because he could get stuff done. Back then he was one of Abner Lemonzeo’s most trusted men. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t have done for the Boss, and there wasn’t much he hadn’t done. He was a known man back then. Trusted by the man who employed him, and feared by everyone else.

All of that had changed the day that Mr. Lemonzeo had gone to jail.

After that, Jack had fallen, and fallen hard.

Rolf Klein had stepped in to fill the void that Mr. Lemonzeo had left behind. Once that had happened Jack might as well have not existed. Klein and Lemonzeo were bitter enemies. There was no way that one of the Boss’s most trusted would find a place in Klein’s family.

Yet, Klein had offered Jack a job. Jack, of course, had refused. He’d rather live under a bridge, penniless and alone, then work for Rolf Klein. The man was an animal. He had no loyalty. No honor.

It was two years before anyone would hire him, and even then it was for small jobs like collections or shakedowns.. He wasn’t happy about it, but he took what he could get. Besides, it sure beat flipping burgers.

His current job involved Jack sitting behind the wheel of a sedan, engine running, as the three men who’d hired him knocked over a bank on the south side of Leavenworth. They had met up in an old barn just outside of town. From the barn it had taken them eight minutes to get to the bank, it was going to take another six minutes inside the bank, then eight minutes again back to the barn. From there they would split the loot and then separate, each driving away in a different direction.

All in all it was less than an thirty minutes out of his life for a score of maybe twenty-five grand. Not too shabby for driving a car.

Jack took the job, of course. Twenty-five grand may not have been much six years ago, but now he needed every penny that came his way.

The three other members of the team, a word Jack would use in the loosest possible sense, had been in the bank for less than a minute when his phone vibrated. He looked at the screen. The number was blocked, which was common in his line of work. Potential employers didn’t like having anything traced back to them.

“Yeah,” Jack answered.

“Jack Dunn?”

“Yeah,” Jack replied. “Who’s this?”

“You don’t remember me Jack? I’m hurt.”

“Mr. Lemonzeo?” Jack nearly dropped the phone. “You’re out? I’m sorry, sir. Had I known I would have come to see you straight away. Please, accept my apologies, sir.”

“No apologies necessary, Jack. Had I wanted it known that I was out, you would have known. Think nothing of it. You busy?”

Jack glanced up at the bank.

“No, sir,” he said.

“I got a job for you Jack,” Mr. Lemonzeo said. “You up for it?”

“Of course, Mr. Lemonzeo. Of course. When do you need me?”

“There’s a police van leaving Eudora in two minutes. They’re transporting an associate of mine to Leavenworth. I’d like you to intercept the van. Can you do that? I know it’s pretty short notice.”

Jack glanced once more at the bank before shifting the car into gear and driving away.

“What route are they taking?” Jack asked.

“Tonganoxie Road.”

“That’s good. Not a lot out there once they’re north of Tonganoxie. That’s where I’ll hit them.”

“So you can do it, then?”

“I’m on my way now, Mr. Lemonzeo.”

“I know I could count on you, Jack.”

Ten minutes later Jack was racing south on Tonganoxie Road. Five minutes after that he turned left onto Seymour road and then turned around, pulled to a stop on the shoulder of Seymour, and waited, facing Tonganoxie Road.

He didn’t have to wait long before the police van passed by. Jack followed.

Now all he had to do was get the van to stop. Jack turned a couple of ideas over in his head. He could come up from behind and ram the van, maybe try to push it off the road. Or he could speed past and then block the road ahead. He didn’t like either idea. Both involved the possibility that Lemonzeo’s associate could get hurt.

It was then, as Jack had decided it would be safest to block the road ahead of the van, that the two doors in the back of the van burst open. Jack nearly wrecked the car as he jumped in surprise at what now stood in the back of the van, looking out onto the road below.

The Walrus.

Jack had heard of the Walrus before, but never gave much stock to to the guy’s reputation. He just figured him for one of those body builder types. But there he was, in the flesh, and wearing a set of orange prison coveralls. Jack slowed the car when he realized that the Walrus was going to jump. Surely whoever was driving the van must’ve noticed that the rear doors were open.

Yet the van never slowed.

Jack hit the brakes as the Walrus jumped onto the road, rolling into a ball once he’d hit the pavement.

The Walrus rolled right off the highway and into the ditch. Jack stopped on the shoulder where the Walrus had left the highway. He got out the car, gun in hand. Never hurt to be safe.

He could see the walrus laying there in the ditch below him, unmoving.

“You okay?” Jack called out. He should probably go down there, but couldn’t quite get himself to move.

The Walrus groaned.

“My name’s Jack Dunn. Mr. Lemonzeo sent me for you. To help you. If you’re alright we need to get moving. Whoever they got driving that van might be an idiot, but they’re gonna notice that you’re gone sooner or later.”

“You’re one of Lemonzeo’s men, huh,” the Walrus said and then sat up.

“I am.”

“I’ve heard of Jack Dunn.” The Walrus stood and brushed himself off. The coveralls were torn and ripped, but he looked no worse for wear. “Getter Dunn, right?”

“That’s what they used to call me, yeah,” Jack said.

“You gonna shoot me, Getter Dunn?”

Jack realized he was still holding the gun.

“No,” Jack said and then put the gun away. “Come on, I can get you out of here.”

It was a good thing Jack had been driving the sedan. Anything smaller and the Walrus may not have fit. But the sedan was a boat with plenty of leg room. It wasn’t perfect, but the Walrus looked comfortable.

“Where we going?” Jack asked once he was back behind the wheel. “Mr. Lemonzeo said to free you, nothing beyond that.”

“Take me back to Eudora,” the Walrus said. “I have something that needs finishing.”

Jack turned the car around and in moments they were heading south. He didn’t know what Mr. Lemonzeo wanted with the Walrus, but he knew by reputation that there was only one reason to hire him. Whatever job needed finishing in Eudora, Jack could only assume that it would end with someone’s death.

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