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men of respect, and also to prevent him from accomplishing thekind of community service which would make him a more powerful neighborhood figure. And he didn't believe it was done to him out of pure jealousy either, by some political careerist dude who was on the make for a piece of the area's leadership pie. No, it was the work of a person or persons who didn't want him taking care of business in their territory and thereby disrupting the status of their already established hierarchy of East Village hipsters. However, Emmett had no time to waste at that moment playing "Who done it?" He had to contact the "good people" and let them know what went down and that he hadn't been directly responsible, and "maybe next time."

He thought it was wiser for him to talk with the gentlemen of respect over the telephone just in case they felt it was all his fault for some off-the-wall reason of their own. Early that evening he called the Cefalu Social Club, but nobody wanted to talk over the phone, and before he could make up some excuse about not being able to go over there, they sent a car to pick him up and bring him back to Elizabeth Street. The gentlemen of respect were a bit cold toward him, but their stone-faced looks seemed to understand that Emmett wasn't entirely to blame for whatever had gone wrong, and there was no reason for them to believe that Emmett had anything to do with leaking the information of their planned operation to the mayor, so they shrugged it off as a try, as a "You win some, you lose some." They told Emmett it was a good idea. "You have any more, you come tell us, understand? Maybe it works out better next time, okay? Good. But you gotta learn the people you dealin' with over there on the East Side, a little bit about Silencio, before you come back with any more ideas, right? Or it just end up to be a waste of time. So long now. See you sometime. An' remember, tell everybody to keep their goddamn mouths shut from now on, 'n you, too. This should be a lesson to you that you need to have some respect for omertd if you ever want to get things done, right? Allora, arrivedella. E stai attento, capisci?"

"Si, d'accordo, Don Signore. Arrivederci, Signori.


Emmett forgot about most of that business shortly thereafter, only thinking once in a while about how long the city's department of sanitation was going to keep up their goodwill cleanup of the Lower East Side, and about exactly who tipped them off in the first place. But after a while he even forgot about that, since once they [end page 339]


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