Well, Willie Sutton and Charlton Hairsuit dove and dove and looked all over the bottom of the 3 foot pool, the diving pool and the baby pool, but they never found Willie's brass clothing redemption tag. They went back in the locker room at Tompkinsville Pool and pleaded with the attendant to let them look through the baskets until they found the one containing Willie's clothes. The attendant refused, so Willie was forced to leave the pool in just his bathing suit.
As they left the pool, Charlton spotted a group of men standing down by the entrance to Pier 4, in front of Joe Dunn's tavern. "C'mon Willie, maybe we can get on as casuals and you'll earn enough money to put some clothes on your back." said Charlton. It was true! A late arriving rubber ship out of Sao Paulo had just pulled in, and it being the weekend the regular longshore gang wasn't around, so Marlon Bloato, the newly "made" gang boss was looking for extra labor.
Marlon looked at the new comers suspiciously, but then remembered he had seen them hanging around the hiring hall in Stapleton a time or two. As fat as Marlon was, he nimbly leaped up on the tailgate of a chain-drive Brookhattan truck and said he needed a hi-lo driver, two checkers and three men to work in the hold.
Charlton had a Dept. of Parks license to operate a tractor at South Beach, and showed it to Marlon. Marlon said that would be good enough to fill the hi-lo slot, but he would talk to him later at pay time. Marlon looked at Willie and told him would supply him with a set of work clothes and a bale hook so that he could fill one of the gang's slots in the hold. He also told Willie that he would see him at the pay desk.
Charlton soon got the hang of the hi-lo, it wasn't too difficult because the rubber bales were mostly just dumped into the back of the hi-staked Brookhattan trucks and all he had to do was move some of the already palletized cargo stowed on the pier to allow the trucks access to the longshore side. Willie on the other hand, had a bad time of it down in the hot and dusty cargo hold. The ladders going down to the lower hold were very steep and and slanted at a negative angle from the vertical, so one had to watch his step.
Snatching the 200lb. bales of rubber with the hook and slinging into them the cargo net was almost too much for Willie. The regular longshoremen could snatch a bale with one arm and get it in the net. Willie had to use two hands and drag it onto the net. This miffed a couple of the other gang members...after all, they were getting paid piece work and this greenhorn was slowing up the whole process. One of them asked Willie how come Marlon picked him for the gang? Willie said he didn't know, but Marlon had promised to explain it to him when they got paid off at Joe Dunn's after the cargo was unloaded.
At high water, Willie met Charlton and they went to the Greek's for a bowl of lamb stew and some of her 7day old coffee. "Say, Charlton, why do you think Marlon Bloato wants to meet us at Joe Dunn's after work?" asked Willie. Charlton replied that he didn't know, but thought it probably had something to do with his (Charlton's) reputation as a man who knew guns...he had heard that Marlon had at one time been a weapon buff of great repute.
The day wore on, and finally the ship was unloaded and the gang made their way down the pier and entered Joe Dunn's. What our two heroes saw as they stepped into the tap room didn't make them feel very comfortable....
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