St. Nick's Outlaws
By Jim Colombo
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Copyright 2001 Jim Colombo
It was Sunday evening about seven-thirty and Foxie and C.J. were typing reports
because they had rounded up Hercules and his stable of fillies. The whores would spend
the night and get a fine. Hercules would be arraigned in the morning and charged with
pandering and pimping. Foxie and C.J had about two more hours of typing when the
phone rang. “Hey, Foxie, it’s Mary the Mouse. Her husband Stanley is drunk and he’s
threatening to shoot her.”
“Shit, God damn it. Every fucking week he gets drunk and wants to kill someone. I
got a shit load of typing to do, Kenny.”
“She says she wants you to go. Stanley will listen to you.”
“Last time the gun was empty and I took it. How the hell did he get another gun?
I gotta finish this shit tonight. You and the rookie go instead.”
“Sure, Foxie.” Kenny had spent a couple of years at Precinct Ten, whereas Dan
Hanson was the rookie. He had finished his first week as a cop after graduating from the
Police Academy and had spent four years in the Marines. Two of those years were in
in Vietnam with Special Ops. Hanson told Foxie, “The Tenderloin will be a stroll in the park
compared to the V.C. tunnels I’ve raided.” Kenny and the rookie left to settle down
Stanley. Foxie and C.J. continued typing their reports with two-finger speed.
Kenny and the rookie arrived at Mary’s place on the third floor of the Jackson Hotel,
a flophouse on Fell Street. The Policemen approached the door and knocked. The
numbers had been stolen, leaving a faded outline of three, one, three that was barely
discernable. Mary yelled,” He’s gotta gun.” Then she screamed. The rookie opened the
door. Bang, bang. Two bullets tore holes in his chest and he fell back laying in the
doorway with his hands and feet twitching. Kenny drew his gun and peeked into the room.
and saw Stanley standing with a gun. He yelled, “Put the gun down!” Silence. The rookie
was bleeding and Kenny had to do something, so he ran into the room and startled
Stanley. “Put the gun down. Now!”
Stanley was drunk and looked shocked to see Kenny pointing his gun at him. He
raised his gun defensively without thought. Kenny had a split second to react. He fired
one shot at Stanley. Mary screamed and pointed. “He ran out the window. He ran out the
window. Stanley didn’t shot the cop,” she yelled with tears running down her checks.
“Who’s the other guy?” asked Kenny.
“The guy who paid us fifty bucks to scare Foxie,” said Mary.
Kenny called for an ambulance. Stanley was shot in the abdomen and was going
into shock. Mary was holding Stanley’s hand and began to pray. Kenny looked out of the
open window in the bedroom of the apartment and saw a slender man jump from the fire
escape and run down the alley towards a green Buick. The car was too far away to get a
license plate number. Kenny went back to the rookie and tried to find a pulse. The rookie
had a blank stair in his glassy eyes. He was dead, so Kenny covered his face with the
rookie's hat . Kenny waited for the ambulance to arrive. Kenny suppressed his feelings of
remorse and was numb thinking that could be him. He had shot Stanley and hoped that
Stanley wouldn’t die. It wasn’t fair. He and the rookie only had a moment to react to a
situation that flashed by.
The call came to the station. “Christ, they shot the rookie at Mary’s flat.” Foxie and
C.J. stopped typing and responded to the call. When they arrived Kenny was in the
bathroom splashing cold water on his pale face after he had thrown up in the sink. Foxie
looked at the dead rookie and thought to himself, “That could have been me.” A Chinaman
had paid Mary and Stanley fifty bucks to call Foxie and have him come to their place.
They thought that the Chinaman would scare Foxie and tell him to back off from Shin Wu.
understand that it was a set up. Foxie wanted to slowly kill Shin Wu
Cantonese style. The Chinese had 4,000 years to refine torture and prolong the agony.
They would chop off a limb and use hot tar to cauterize the stump. Then the next limb and
more hot tar and watch the victim beg for death. If the victim was still alive after losing his
limbs, he was thrown overboard for the sharks.
It was Monday, five in the morning when Foxie, C.J., and Kenny approached the
dark alley. Foxie turned off the police car lights and slowly entered the dark alley. Two
squad cars followed closely. A green Lincoln and a blue Buick were parked by the Jade
Palace red neon sign . If Benny was right, Shin should be spaced out on snow and
wrapped in lust with young Chinese whores. Kenny recognized the green Buick, "That's
the mother fucker." Two squad cars were in front of the Jade Place and were in radio
contact with the cars in the alley. Foxie, C.J., Kenny and four other policeman approached
the backdoor of the restaurant. Foxie said, “There should be two maybe three,
bodyguards and Shin. They’ve been drinking and snorting cocaine. Don’t take any
chances. When they snort that shit, they get fuckin’ crazy. If you have to shoot, blow his
fuckin’ head off. This is Chinatown and there ain't no rules.”
“I want the fucker who killed the rookie,“ said Kenny.
C.J. used a crowbar to break away the door from the frame. Foxie was using his 45
with a silencer and hollow point bullets. Typically he used a 38 caliber, but this wasn't
typical, this was Chinatown. Foxie was hoping that Shin and the bodyguards were asleep.
They walked through the dark kitchen and into the dinning area. Two bodyguards were
sleeping on a sofa by the stairway to the second floor. C.J. stumbled into a chair and
woke up the husky man who squinted to see what the noise was. C.J. turned and saw the
slender bodyguard taking his gun out and aiming it at him. Two dull thumps from Foxie’s
gun eliminated the problem. The dead man sat with his eyes wide open looking surprised
with two dumb-dumb bullets in his heart. “Thanks, Foxie,” said C.J. C.J. put his shotgun in
the face of the husky bodyguard and asked,” Tired of living, asshole?” The bodyguard saw
his dead friend and three cops with mean intentions. He shook his head.
“How many more?” asked C.J.
The Chinaman raised one finger and looked upstairs.
“Who owns the Buick?” asked Kenny.
The Chinaman’s eyes looked upstairs again.
C.J. put is shotgun on the husky bodyguards crotch “Be cool, motherfucker.”
The cops who had entered from the front joined Foxie, C. J., and Kenny. Two cops
cuffed the husky bodyguard and walked him to a squad car. Kenny wanted the Buick and
up the stairs. Foxie and C.J. followed with two other cops. The slender bodyguard was
sitting on a chair and looked asleep. Kenny turned to Foxie and motioned with his gun that
this was the guy he had seen at Mary’s flat. Suddenly the man opened his eyes and was
taking a gun out of his coat. “Kenny, he’s got a gun,” said Foxie. Kenny turned and saw
the barrel of the gun raising towards him and had a split second to react. He squeezed the
trigger twice without thought. Black powder burns scorched the man’s white shirt and his
body bounced against the wall twice, then slumped over and fell to the floor. “That’s for
Dan, you fucking piece of shit.”
The element of surprise was gone, so Foxie and C.J. kicked in the door and caught
a dazed and naked Shin Wu sitting up in bed trying to figure out what had happened. The
two Chinese whores covered themselves with the silk sheets. One whore screamed when
she saw C.J. “Shut the fuck up,” said C.J.
Benny had given Foxie good information and the cops found the backroom behind
the kitchen pantry that had records of transactions for numbers, drugs, and prostitution.
Plastic bags of cocaine and heroin were found on shelves in a hidden closet behind a
refrigerator that was on wheels. The two whores were told to get dressed and take off.
Benny had gift wrapped Shin who ran most of the prostitution and gambling in Chinatown.
Shin got dressed and was handcuffed. He starred at Foxie, and said, "You're a lucky son
of a bitch. Someday it will run out. I hope I live long enough to piss on your grave."
"It ain't luck. You're just another dumb bastard who thought that he was smarter
The coroner was called to bag and tag the two dead bodyguards. One of the
forensic officers gave Kenny the set of Buick keys he found in the slender bodyguard's
pocket. Kenny squeezed he keys in his hand and some of the hurt and tragedy of the
previous day was avenged. Foxie put his arm around Kenny. “You done good,
Kenny. Now the rookie can rest in peace.”
“I wanted to cut his fucking heart out and see the look of pain in his eyes.”
“I know how you feel. Killing these bastards ain’t enough.”
A few hours later the sun was rising and shimmering on the water. Georgie was
waiting by his boat for Benny to arrive to take him to Mexico for $200. Georgie had
enough fuel and food for a roundtrip. A yellow cab drove up to the dock and Benny got out
and paid the cabby. He walked to the boat and waved at Georgie. Tomorrow he would be
in Mexico with a new life. Benny had killed the two bag men when they left the
whorehouse at 2:00 AM this morning. He jumped on board, and saw Georgie at the bow.
“Hey, Georgie, we ready?”
“Yeah, Benny we’re ready,” said Foxie.
Benny looked shocked, ”What the hell you’s doing here?”
Foxie walked out from the wheelhouse with C.J. “Well, I’ll tell ya. You figured I’d
be dead. You figured that you’d sail to Mexico with that bag you got. What’s in the bag,
“Let’s take a look.” Foxie took the bag and opened it. “Gee, Benny, it looks like
money. Maybe Shin’s two dead bagmen.”
“I’ll give you half, Foxie. It’s ten grand,”
“I want it all, Benny.”
“Okay, just let me go to Mexico.”
“I can’t do that Benny. You’re too dirty. You tried to set me up.”
”No, I didn't. We had a deal.”
“I’ve had Tommy the Dink and Spook Williams tailin’ ya. Georgie, did ya know
that Benny was going to dust ya when ya got to Mexico and sell your boat?”
“You son of a bitch.” C.J. grabbed Georgie.
“Benny, ya should have never talked to Rita about your plans. She ain’t going
to Mexico either. We nabbed her at the bus depot.” Foxie opened the bag, counted
$200, and gave it to Georgie. “We’re square now, Georgie.” Foxie turned to Benny, “Oh,
by the way, you don’t mind sharing the same holding cell with Shin, do you?”
“Fuck you, Foxie.”
“I bet you’d like to. Just think, Benny, in the joint you can be the house nigger and
get fucked every night.”
Foxie and C.J. drove Benny to the precinct for booking. When they finished their
paperwork, they drove to the Hibernia Bank to deposit the ten grand that they had taken
from Benny into their safe deposit boxes. Like Foxie always said, “Ain’t no crime stealin’
from a thief.” When they were finished at the bank, they drove to Fisherman’s Wharf for
lunch. Foxie was in the mood for a crab Louie salad at Scoma’s. C.J. liked the clam
chowder. They sat by the window and watched the fishermen tending their nets and the
seagulls were feasting on crab shells and fish heads.
“I got a call from Kenny. He said that Stanley is out of surgery and doing okay. I
sure feel sorry for Hanson’s young wife. He’s being laid to rest at Fitzpatrick’s,” said
“I’m getting too old for this shit, Foxie. That could a been one of us last night.”
“I hear ya, C.J.”
They enjoyed lunch and had a glass of white wine. Then they went for a walk along
the wharf. Shin Wu was out of business and would be locked up for a long time. Some
young stud would fill the void, as Shin had filled the void when Chen Wang got shut down.
Benny was a lifer in the joint and wouldn’t have to worry about retirement. Hanson’s wife
would get a full pension, but that wouldn’t fill the lonely nights. There were goods days like
nailing Shin, and there were bad days like losing the rookie. The bad days outnumbered
the good days. Most of the time they wallowed in the muck. Someone had to be the
gatekeeper. Someone had to patrol the jungle. Foxie and C.J. had learned from Slippery
Jack, who once said, “No one gives a damn about the Tenderloin or the people who live
and die in this shit hole.” No one in the bottom world would rat on a cop because that
would be a ticket to the joint. Foxie and C.J.’s beat was the prime slice of the golden cow.
It was the juicy piece of the city for cops who could look the other way. That’s why they
called it the Tenderloin.
Monday after lunch Brother Justin announced over the public address system
that the presentation of the Mahoney trophy would be cancelled because of Dan Hanson,
a former alumnus, who had graduated from St. Nick’s four years ago had been shot in the
line of duty. Brother Justin and the student body council had agreed that it wouldn’t be right
to celebrate the Mahoney trophy at this time. The trophy was placed in the glass cabinet
by the administration office for all to see. Duke said that in two weeks the school could
celebrate a baseball championship and the Mahoney trophy. Brother Justin had contacted
Father Lahey, the President of Saint Ignatius, and requested that St. Ignatius Cathedral be
used for Dan Hanson’s funeral. Since St. Mary’s had burned, the only remaining cathedral
in the city was St. Ignatius. Father Lahey agreed. It was the first time a St. Nick’s funeral
was held on Jesuit Hill.
The police departments from the Bay Area sent representatives to pay their
respects to Officer Hanson. All of the Policemen wore white gloves and a man wore a kilt
and played the bagpipes and led the six pallbearers, followed by Mrs. Hanson, her
parents, and Dan Hanson’s parents. The policemen and the student body from St. Nick’s
followed. Jim sat with Augie and Duke. The students had never seen the inside of Saint
Ignatius Cathedral before. Augie described it as being in the Twilight Zone. The Jesuits
were very hospitable. Mass ended and the procession slowly left the church. The hearse
was escorted by police on motorcycles to Holy Cross cemetery in Colma. Policemen on
motorcycles and in squad cars followed the Funeral procession. After the mass the
students were dismissed and went home.
More next week...