tagNovels and NovellasThe Royal Hotel Pt. 3

The Royal Hotel Pt. 3



It was the Great Depression, and the people had come upon hard times. Inflation had risen to twenty nine percent, and the poor working stiff found himself standing in the bread line. Meantime other groups of people decided that to be poor was not for them.

In a tough neighborhood on the lower side of Manhattan known as Hell's Kitchen a group of young toughs came together to beat their way out of poverty. They were part of the influx of immigrants, which came to America to seek a better life. Being influenced by the power structure of the old Mafia, these toughs became known as the Castalono family. Their stock and trade was strong arm robbery, extortion, and prostitution.

Among them was a young tough who went by the name of Valentino Danafio. Smiley, as his friends knew him, was a ruthless killer whose trademark was a friendly smile. Blessed with movie actor looks, Smiley was a ladies man of the highest order. Tall, dark, and handsome, smiley reminded you of Clark Gable.

He climbed the ladder of the Castalono family power structure quickly to become one of the bosses before he was thirty years old. Under Smiley's leadership, the Castalono family became almost respectable. It was Smiley's idea to go into the hotel business. Because of his affinity with women, one of his responsibilities was to organize and run the whorehouses. Again, under smiley's leadership the profits from the prostitution were big business.

At the same time, another group of modern day pirates were launching their ship of crime on the sea of human suffering. They became known as the Gallabraizzy family. Like the Castalono family their stock and trade was robbery, prostitution, and extortion. It was only a matter of time before the two power structures would clash in a bloody war on the streets of New York.

There had been bad blood between both families for some time. On a hot and sticky day in late summer, the two families opened fire upon each other with ferocious fury. The incident exploded onto the front pages of all the New York newspapers as well as on the radio. Walter Winchell was broadcasting accurate accounts of the gun battles, and he was naming names.

(“Good evening mister and misses America this is Walter Winchell broadcasting directly from the famous Stork Club located in the heart of New York's Manhattan! Now let's go to press: Another bloody gun battle broke out on the streets of New York today. My sources tell me that it is part of the on going feud between the Castalono and Gallabraizzy families. Nick Roselli, who is reputed to be a top-level soldier for the Gallabraizzy family, was found dead on the sidewalk in front of Victor's Lounge; a favorite watering hole of New York's underworld. Roselli succumbed to numerous bullet wounds as he was gunned down in the power struggle between the two alleged mafia families. In other news … “)

The newspapers were showing bloody pictures of gangsters who had been dispatched by the use of a Chicago typewriter. The mayor of New York was calling for calm as the people demanded law and order.

“Son of a bitch! These gun-slinging gangsters are taking over the whole city. They are making off with big sacks of money while the average guy is begging for a crust of bread. Me! I am sitting here on my ass while my business goes down the drain. Clients of mine who were used to making thousands a week in the stock market are now selling apples on the street corners. ”, he remarked.

Robert Solaman sat at his desk in the law offices of Robert . Solaman Attorney at Law while he examined the books, which foretold of pending doom. Robert Solaman was a moderately successful lawyer who made a living in contract law specializing in stock market transactions. Prior to Black Tuesday, Solaman and his little law firm provided a respectable living affording a house in the suburbs and all the scotch he could drink. Located in the business district not far from Wall Street, the little law firm had seen its' better days. To make ends meet, Solaman had been taking on the odd client handling divorces. The high priced stock brokers and their trophy wives had become a source of income for Robert Solaman as the Great Depression took its' toll upon both the used to be rich and the about to be poor people.

The trophy wives were dumping their bankrupted husbands like hot potatoes in an attempt to salvage whatever money was left in the relationship. It was one of these relationships, which sent Robert Solaman on an errand to meet another disgruntled wife.

In a cafe located in the Wall Street business district, Jane Sandherst Cramer sat waiting for Robert Solaman. The business of the day involved the separation of Mrs. Cramer from her now unemployed stockbroker husband.

“Excuse me, are you Misses Cramer?”, Robert Solaman addressed a well-dressed woman sitting at the bar.

“Yes, are you Robert Solaman? “, the very pretty young woman replied.

“I was expecting a much older woman. Please forgive me“, Solaman began.

“And I was expecting a short, fat, and bald old bookkeeper type. “, Jane Cramer smiled pleasantly.

The two made an attractive couple as they sat at the bar. Robert Solaman appeared to be in his forties. He was not a tall man, but neither was he short. He had kept himself in good trim by playing racket ball at one of the local health clubs, which catered to the Wall Street businessman. Here he could run off some of the unwanted pounds while he made important contacts among the Wall Street stockbrokers. The slight hint of white hair at his temples, which set off his dark black hair, gave him a dignified look. Glancing through cloudy blue eyes, Solaman sized up the pretty package sitting at the bar as he ordered a Scotch.

Jane Sandherst Cramer was every bit of the trophy wife. Dressed in the finest designer clothes imported from France, she drew admiring looks from every gentleman in the cafe. Her platinum colored hair and emerald green eyes were impossible to ignore. Adorned with gold and diamonds, she virtually glittered. The ring on her left hand was a complicated affair consisting of a large oval shaped diamond, which was supported by a border of perfectly cut emeralds, and seem somehow to pick up the color of her pretty eyes.

In these days of economic upheaval, one could not help but realize that the ring on her finger was capable of supporting a home for orphans for at least a year if it was to be turned into cash. Jane Sandherst Cramer was in no way affected by the current down draft of the economy. Jane Sandherst Cramer was in fact a wealthy socialite who was the daughter of Chester Sandherst the multimillionaire who owned and ran Sandherst industries with an iron hand.

“Why don't you arrange a table for us Mister Solaman? I would like to talk to you about something, which is of some concern. “, the pretty blonde said.

“ why not, after all this is why I have come here today Misses Cramer. And by the way you don't have to call me Mister Solaman. Just call me Bob. “, Bob said.

“All right, and you can call me Jane. “, she said.

They settled into a corner booth in the back of the cafe, and they made themselves comfortable.

“Sure Scotch will be just fine, but you better make mine a double. I am afraid that what I've got to say may turn out to be a dry business. ”, Jane said.

The waiter was summoned and Scotch was agreed upon for both parties. Robert threw back his first for the day, and he ordered a double as well.

“That's a very nice suit you're wearing today Bob. It looks very expensive. Is it one of those imported tweeds that are so popular these days? “, she said.

“I suppose, I got it from one of my clients. Apparently, he ran out of money before he could pay me, so by way of compensation, he let me have his wardrobe. “, Bob said.

“Tweed becomes you. “, Jane complemented Bob.

“Misses Cramer what can I do for you? “, Bob asked.

“Please call me Jane. I want to talk to you about my husband. I am sure that you know what has been happening regarding the stock market. Well, my husband is a stockbroker … umm I mean he used to be a stockbroker. Well that's all over, and I am afraid that our marriage is over as well. Please don't think badly of me. It's not about the money. My husband and I haven't been on the best of terms for some time, and I have decided to end it. There is something else. Something, which I must keep in confidence. There is another man. “, Jane explained.

“Well, Jane there is often another man, but why do you come to me? “, Bob asked.

“He is not just another man; he is someone you may have heard of. You don't understand Bob. He is not just anybody he is Valentino Danafio. “, Jane spoke with concern.

All at once, the surrounding sounds of the cafe seemed louder. The hum of talking people became more vivid. Robert Solaman became more aware of the clanking of ice cubes being tossed into glasses and the sound of silverware being put to porcelain. Robert Solaman leaned back onto his seat as he contemplated what was being said. A look of concern appeared on his face.

“I see that you know who I am talking about; don't you? “, Jane noticed.

“Let me get this right. You're having an affair with Smiley Danafio? “, Bob was surprised.

“That's right. “, Jane nodded.

The waiter placed the two doubles on the table, and he asked, “Can I get you anything else? “

“That's all for now. “, Robert Solaman replied as he hastily gulped his Scotch.

“You haven't answered my question. Why have you chosen me for this job? “, Bob asked.

“I heard about you from some of my husband's business associates. I am going to be absolutely honest with you. I need someone who has a low profile, and who can do this job for me without causing a lot of attention. You see there is more to this than a separation from my husband. “, Jane advised.

“I am starting to get the idea. Anything to do with Smiley Danafio has got to be complicated. May I ask how did you meet Smiley Danafio? I mean, a lady like yourself … umm ah I mean you don't look like the kind of a woman who would be associated with gangsters. “, Bob inquired.

“It is a long story. Would you like me to give you a little history lesson? “, Jane remarked.

Solaman raised his right hand and motioned to stop, “Please spare me the history lesson. Why don't you just tell me all about it. “

“All right, where would you like me to start? “, Jane asked.

“Well, for one thing, who are you? I mean you are not just some floozy from the wrong side of town. That's apparent. You would have to be a blind man to miss that. “, Bob inquired.

“Well O K I'm Jane Sandherst. My father is Chester Sandherst of Sandherst Industries. My father is one of the wealthiest men in the country. I guess you might call me the black sheep of the family. Ever since I was a little girl, my father and I have had a different sort of relationship. You have to understand Bob. My father is a rich and very powerful man. Men like my father make the rules. They are different from the rest of us. Men like my father can and often will do whatever they please.

“As far as women are concerned, my father seems to be incapable of keeping the same woman for any length of time. So you see there have been a steady line of stepmothers. Ever since I was a little girl, the current Misses Sandherst would appear on the scene, and I would be packed off to boarding school straight away. I am telling you this so that you can better understand. I am not an innocent Bob. I grew up as a kind of wild kid. You might say that I was your typical spoiled rich kid. As girls go, I began to develop early. By the time I was fourteen I looked like a full-grown woman. This is one of the reasons why I was consistently being packed off to boarding school. You see each time there was a new Misses Sandherst there was trouble between her and my father concerning me. You might call it jealousy.

As I got older, I realized that I had a great deal of power over my father. We became equals so to speak. I had everything that I wanted. Clothes, money, and even cars were mine for the asking.

“As I got older, things began to change. I began rebelling against my father when I was a teenager. I started to experiment with boys. Of course, the dumb little boys at school weren't nearly satisfying. “, Jane explained.

“All this is very interesting Jane, but what does this have to do with Smiley Danafio.”, Solaman interrupted.

“I am getting to it, if you will just give me a moment to collect myself. You know, it is not easy to reveal myself to an absolute stranger like this. “, Jane appeared to be flustered.

“Listen Jane, as a lawyer I have heard it all. That is I think that I have heard it all. Every now and again, I am surprised. Why don't I just order another round of this Scotch, and we will take it one thing at a time? “, Solaman gestured to the waiter.

“Yes well, as I was saying, I began to rebel against my father's influence. I talked daddy dearest into buying a car for me. Once I had a car, I started to drive into the city from our estate on Long Island. It wasn't long before I fell into a fast crowd in the city. We started hitting the booze joints and having a gay old time. At that time, I was going from man to man looking for more excitement. Daddy dearest became outraged once he found out about my numerous affairs in the city.

“My father thought that if I were married I would settle down like a nice little housewife. Of course, settling down was the last thing in my mind. This is where things began to get complicated. People like us, people of means, often marry for convenience and not for love. My father chose an appropriate candidate for me. He chose a man who fitted well into my father's plans for me if you know what I mean. He chose someone that he could control totally. He chose someone who would be an asset to the family business. So then, with little regard as to my wishes a marriage was arranged. That is how I became Misses Jane Sandherst Cramer.

“Of course, nothing really changed after the marriage. As soon as the honeymoon was over, I went back to my wild ways. That's when I met Val. We hit it off right away. In fact, we had sex that very first night. I started seeing a lot of him. Before I knew it I was his woman. He started taking me to this hotel. It was located just outside the city near this train station. It turns out that he is one of the owners of this hotel. It isn't an ordinary hotel. There were all kinds of things going on there. Forgive me Bob; I just seem to be rambling on and on. Forgive me it must be the Scotch. This is what I want you to do. I want you to start a legal action of divorce. It must be kept quiet. The newspapers must not know anything about Val and me. As far as my husband is concerned, offer him whatever he wants within reason. He probably wants a cash settlement so arrange it. I want this over quickly. You are to do whatever it takes to accomplish the separation. Of course, you will be compensated handsomely if the job is done correctly. This is how you can get in touch with me. This is my telephone number. You may call me at any time if I can be of assistance. So tell me will you take the job? “, Jane Sandherst Cramer finished her Scotch and prepared to leave the cafe.

“I'll get started on it right away Jane. You already have my number. Just call at any time if you need to talk or tell me anything that I need to know. And don't worry. I will be very discreet about the whole thing. “, Solaman agreed.

The deal was struck, and the two people concluded their business. Each arose from the table, and they went on their way.

After concluding his business at the whorehouse, Smiley Danafio returned to the Royal Hotel to manage the night's business. The Night crowd moved with the rhythms of desire as baser needs was being satisfied at the Royal Hotel. The top hat dandies were strutting their stuff at the Royal's main watering hole while others gambled their green backs away in the casino. Upstairs in the rooms a brisk business was being conducted. Wine, women, and song were the unwritten law for the hedonistic customers of the Royal Hotel. Conspicuous consumption was the order of the day.

Smiley Danafio sat in his office overseeing the night's take. Located on the very top floor of the hotel, Smiley's office was in fact one of the luxury suites, which commanded a view of the surrounding neighborhood. Containing all the comforts of home, the suite provided a full service bar as well as a bedroom in which Smiley conducted his very private business.

“Hey boss, there's some big shot down stairs who wants to talk to you. ”, the door of the suite opened and a large gruff man stepped into the room.

Wearing a tuxedo, which appeared to be a size too small, the man stood in front of Smiley's desk waiting further orders.

“Who is it? “, asked Smiley.

“I don't know boss, but he is acting like he owns the place. ”, he said.

“Didn't you ask him his name? “, Smiley asked.

“Ya sure, but he said that you know who he is. He says that he is the father of that little piece of fluff that you have been banging lately. You know the one with the platinum blonde hair and green eyes. Should I bring him up here? “, he said.

“Yes bring him right up here, and Bruno treat him like a guest. ”, Smiley directed.

Smiley Danafio leaned back onto his desk chair as he reached for a cigarette. Reaching into the inside pocket of his dinner jacket where he kept a solid gold cigarette case, he neatly secured one of the custom made cigarettes and placed it to his lips and lit it. He knew the man who was coming to visit, and he knew why he was coming. He fully expected Chester Sandherst to blow into his office like a whirlwind. However, he would turn this whirlwind into a puff of hot air.

The door of the suite crashed open as Chester Sandherst threw himself into the room like a snorting bull. The two men eyed each other as if they were two cowboys about to slap leather. Tension filled the room as Chester Sandherst locked eyes with Smiley Danafio. Here were two men who were used to having their ways. Each man was a leader in his own world, and each man was not used to having the word no spoken to him.

“So you are the cock sucker who is raping my daughter! “, Sandherst growled.

“Hold on there pops! I'm not raping anyone. As far as your daughter is concerned, we have a mutual agreement. Your daughter isn't being forced to do anything that she doesn't want to do! “, Danafio shot back.

Danafio extinguished his cigarette by crushing it in the ashtray, which was placed strategically on his desk and stood up.

“Calm down pops. Let's just talk this over. Why don't I pour you a drink, and we'll see what we'll see. Meantime why don't you have a seat. ”, Smiley gestured in a friendly way as he moved to defuse the situation. “We are two civilized gentlemen; we have differences, but we can see if we can iron out our difficulties. ”, Smiley moved to placate the irate man who was glowing crimson with rage. “Scotch? I have some of the best. Twelve-year-old right off the boat. You can still smell the salt water. “, Smiley walked around from his desk to the bar, which was located on the left side of the room.

The room was decorated in a decidedly masculine manner. The bar and the desk were made out of mahogany, and the soft furniture was upholstered with the finest tan leather. On the right side of the room was a large couch and armchair. In front of the couch and chair, there was a low-slung table, which was also made of mahogany. A pleasant pastel color adorned the walls. On the walls, there were paintings depicting an old European city. One of the paintings, which hung on the wall directly over the large couch showed a representation of the Bridge of Sighs as well as connecting canals, which are so familiar to visitors of Venice. The floor was covered by a lush chocolate colored rug, which felt soft to the touch.

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