We decided to hit Clancy’s just after closing time, sneak in the back while they were taking out the garbage. I knew Eva would still be there, and if she was there then Peter would be there too.
So there we were, ass-end of midnight, stood just behind the backdoor of the club. As soon as it opened and we saw the kitchen porter hauling out the trash I strode forward and knocked him in the back of the head with the butt of my revolver. His legs crumpled like a wet paper bag.
Kowalski peered around the door, puffing on his cigar through clenched teeth. He glanced at me then waved me over to tell me it was safe to enter. He reached the end of the dimly lit corridor, nudged his hat upwards away from his eyes before he stepped closer to the wall. He waited until I caught up with him, poked his nose slowly around the corner, stepped forwards into a patch of bright light and then…
…he shouted at the top of his lungs. “Hey! Hey he’s here! I got him here like you told me to! He’s hurgh…”
There was a crack of thunder and a flash of light, and Kowalski collapsed to the ground. I heard footsteps, so I flicked the safety switch on my gun and held it ready. I saw a shadow flicker along the wall in front of me, and I squeezed the trigger just as some goon barrelled around the corner. Got him once in the shoulder, slamming him into the wall, then again in the head before he too hit the floor.
I walked over to the corner where Kowalski lay sprawled on the tiles in a pool of blood, breathing in short ragged gasps. I took a look around the kitchen ahead of me, but didn’t see anybody. I looked down at Kowalski, at his fat pasty face, pursed my lips and shook my head slowly. He grinned, spluttering as he attempted to laugh.
“Well what did you expect Devine, a slow dance and a candlelit breakfast?”
His eyes snapped shut as he started coughing, the exertion contorting his torso upwards slightly as he took one last rasping breath, then he slumped back again, a lifeless corpse.
I stood there for a moment, watching the bullet wounds bleeding colours the shade of scarlet, crimson and ruby into the cheap fabric of his rumpled shirt. So, he’d sold out to Eva, believing that whatever she was offering him was better than Ms Frederick’s lawyers could provide? Thinking he was some kind of double agent, playing one side off the other? What did he think we were, kindergarten spies?