when kenny got the news about johnny, he was momentarily taken aback.
he sent nick off to doc gamus with jerry to fix jerry's arm.
every time he tried to figure out what had happened, he drew a blank.
nothing made any sense.
how could a guy like johnny get mixed up in something like this?
explanations were scarce.
when nick got back kenny was looking out the window.
"eddie's the problem." kenny announced.
"no kidding," nick thought.
to kenny he just said.
"that sounds about right."
opening the window, kenny leaned out over the street.
"let's get this thing organized."
"organization is the key," nick agreed.
"out of every ten guys on the payroll. put seven on it."
kenny took his head out of the window.
"of course we'll have to lose a little money for a few days," nick suggested tentatively.
"understood." kenny agreed.
taking his cue, nick turned and left.
talking to himself under his breath, nick went down the stairs.
he wasn' t at all sure kenny knew what he was doing.
eddie could be getting the best of it.
while nick was going down the stairs, kenny picked up the phone.
in a few seconds he was connected to his mouthpiece, sam kennedy.
nothing and everything would be said.
during his rapid rise in the organization, kenny had come to rely on sam to a perhaps dangerous degree.
on balance, things had worked out well.
well enough, anyway,
today would mark a turning point in kenny's fortunes.
he was dimly aware of this.
energy flowed through his brain.
remembering the early days he thought of johnny.
always johnny had been a loser.
i always stood up for him, kenny thought.
now i wonder why.
whenever mickey gave him a job he messed it up.
and mickey usually laughed.
sometimes he didn't though.
sometimes i had to bail him out.
two or three times he almost messed up too bad.
i came close to giving up on him.
lucky for him i didn't.
lucky for me mickey finally told him to get lost.
consolidation was the key.
organization was important too.
mickey had been smart.
i was smart to go along with mickey.
now after all these years someone goes after johnny.
growth might be a factor.
decreased opportunity due to market saturation could also be involved.
what did it have to do with johnny?
nothing that he could see.
outside, eddie had slipped down to the street.
under cover of the rain, he slipped into a cab.
tony was driving the cab.
since the shooting started, he had been waiting.
in seconds, the cab pulled out.
despite the urgency, tony kept the speed reasonable.
eddie leaned back.
on the corner a girl was standing.
nothing showed on her face as they passed her.
tony kept driving.
he didn't say anything.
eddie didn't say anything either.
cold rain fell on the windshield.
on eddie's face a narrow smile appeared.
"right here," he said.
nodding, tony pulled to the curb.
eddie got out.
rubbing the back of his neck, he looked around.
"happy new year." a voice behind him said.