“Scotty, we’ve been pushed out of the booze business. Not a very good Christmas present.” Caravaggio had summoned Robert to his favorite eastside Italian restaurant. Robert was now an expert in ordering off the menu.
“We knew repeal was coming, Mr. Caravaggio. It was a good run.”
“You’re a good man, Scotty. We have other, um, interests. We could talk about moving you over.”
Robert took an appreciative drink of wine before answering.
“I appreciate the offer, Mr. Caravaggio. I really do. However, I think I’d like to move on. I was very comfortable with the liquor – the law was stupid, anyway. I don’t think I would be a good fit with your other interests. I’m moving my family to Garden City. I’ve bought a piece of property there. Going to build a house for my family. I think it’s time we part ways. No hard feelings?”
“None taken, Scotty. I thought you might be interested, that’s all.”
“I hope we part as friends. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me. I mean that. It has meant the world to me and my family. Like I said, it has been a good run.”
Caravaggio finished what was left of his cannoli and put down his fork.
“Keep my number, just in case. We in the Partnership have some work to do. We need to discuss how we will replace this formerly lucrative piece of business. If something comes up that I think would fit, mind if I call?”
“Not at all, Mr. Caravaggio.”
Robert folded his napkin and put it to the side as he stood.
“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you. Really. Merry Christmas to you!”
“To you, too, Scotty.”
Robert wasn’t sure what he was going to do now that Prohibition was repealed, but he had squirreled away as much money as he could manage for the last twenty-two months.
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