“I don't usually do this, but for you I think I can make an exception,” the man said, grinning. He was a short, porcine fellow with a severe comb over and watery eyes. He had on the most hideously garish outfit Frank had ever seen in his life, and exuded an odour that would send a skunk running for cover. He looked up at the tall, well dressed man sitting opposite him. “So whaddaya say, Frankie boy? We got a bet or what?”
Frank plastered a wide, insincere smile on his face and tried to talk without breathing too much through his nose. “That all depends, Joey. Now, are you sure this info is legit? I'd hate to go to jail over this.”
Joey looked downright scandalized at this. “Of course it's legit! What kinda guy do you take me for anyway? If I say Sunny Downs is the sure winner of the next race, then she is! Besides, I got the info from a very reliable source. One close to the action, you might say.” He smirked. “Wanna drink while we discuss it?”
Frank scoffed, lighting a cigarette and blowing the smoke in Joey's face. “What, did you talk to the horse or somethin'? And no, I don't want a drink. The rotgut they serve in this hellhole would probably burn a hole in my stomach. I'll take real booze, thank you very much.”
“Come on man, blow that cancer cloud away from me, will ya? And for God's sake, don't be so fuckin' high and mighty. You ran the rotgut during Prohibition same as all of us.” Joey demanded, coughing. “Look, just trust me on this, OK? It'll be the easiest money ya ever made.”
Frank stubbed out his cigarette on the table top. “ That was a long time ago, Joey. Things change.” He sighed, then grinned. “What the hell. I ain't had much luck at the track recently, maybe this will be a chance to change it. Put me down for $20,000 on Sunny Downs to take first.” He stood and walked out of the dingy club.
Joey sat back, sighing. After a few minutes, he stood, went to the nearby payphone, and dialled. “Hello, Mr. Green? It's Joey Desoto. The trap is set.” He listened for a few moments. “Yes Sir. Yes Sir, I will.”
He sat back in the booth, sighing. It was too bad about what was gonna happen to Frank, he thought. Guy seemed pretty OK , if a little full of himself, but he had stolen money from Mr. Green, and that sort of thing was frowned upon. The last guy that had crossed him...Joey didn't like to think about it.
Joey shuddered, then signalled the waitress to order a drink.