"Not today," I said.
"I got a real good one. Delivery. Two hours max. Earn you twenty grand easy."
"You mean like that cat?"
Specs cleared his throat. "Yeah...um...about that..."
"We'll pass," I said. "Already in the middle of one and we need info."
"What do you need to know?"
He made a disgusted noise. "The hell you want with a fat piece of shit like him?"
"Tell us how you really feel," I said.
"He gives bookies a bad name," said Specs. "Not my area of expertise, but I hear talk. And talk says Farrell's a hundred percent dirtbag. I'm surprised Righetti tolerated him for this long."
"How long is that?"
"Two years. 'Course, that might change soon. Word is, Farrell's way behind with his tributes."
"I'd hate to be Farrell right now. How behind is he?"
"Three months. Knowin' Righetti, he prob'ly let him slide that first month. Maybe a little bit the second. But you know what they say 'bout that third time."
"It's a charm."
Specs snorted. "Yeah. If by 'charm' you mean seein' the bottom of San Marino Bay up close and personal."
"We need to get to him before Righetti's boys do. Where is he?"
"Grove. By 42nd. And you might wanna check with Righetti. In case they already did something to him."
"Will do. One more thing. Do you know this gal Candi who works for him?"
"Spelled with an 'i'?"
"She's a runner. Messenger. Started workin' for him about six months ago."
"Anytime," he said.
* * *
I called the Righetti mansion and got Franco, the family's consigliere--advisor--on the line. "I'm calling about Red Farrell."
"Mr. Farrell won't be with us much longer," said Franco.
"I need ten minutes with him," I said. "No more than half an hour."
"We have questions. It involves Revell."
"Just a minute."
Then: "Buon giorno, Kat. Come stai?"
"Sto bene grazie, Don Righetti," I said. "E Lei?"
"Va bene," said Righetti. "Non mi posso lamentare."
"That's good to hear."
"Now what's this about Revell and Red Farrell?"
I told him about Raya, Mike, and the connection to Farrell. "So we need to ask him some questions."
"Very well," said Righetti. "I'll leave Farrell alone for the moment. Ask him your questions. But I want you to tell me when you've finished with him."
"Alla prossima," said Righetti.
"Until next time," I said.
(to be continued...)