HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
Okay, so I fell asleep, but apparently not for very long since Iola was just now walking toward the car. She’d texted me a short time ago that she’d meet me here within a half hour. My ringtone would have woke me up if she had called to let me know if she would be longer and she would have done that.
Speaking of my phone, I looked around, but wasn’t finding it. Unbelievable. I couldn’t possibly lose my phone twice in one day, could I? Of course the first instance of the missing phone was courtesy of a prank by my brother. He wouldn’t do that twice, though. That’s not him.
It had to have slid down while I was asleep. Maybe onto the floor. Whew, it was warm, make that hot, in the car. Even with all the windows down woohoo, as the song goes.
“It’s not as warm out here, you know,” a pretty voice said from close by.
I looked up to see Iola dimpling at me. I grinned at her and pretty much forgot about my phone. She’d have one if we needed it. Plus, I was too embarrassed to admit I’d lost my phone twice so far in just a few hours. Iola’s smart and she’d have the whole story out of me in no time. Of course, she could also be able to find the phone for me and I’m not too proud to ask for help.
I stepped out of the car and just as I was about to tell her all about it, Tony came running up. He and Iola looked so much like they were actually in 1927 right this second, it was amazing. Very authentic.
“I think I spotted some gangsters,” he told us in a very quiet tone. “Not Guzick or Capone, but big ones, nonetheless.”
Tony was apparently going to stick with the whole Untouchables thing all day.
“Well, did you call Eliot Ness and his Untouchables?” I asked, going along for the fun of it.
“No, not yet,” Tony said really seriously. “I think we should have more proof.”
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Tony was believing this for real. He’s that good at a prank.
“Yeeeaaah,” I jokingly agreed. “Anyone else getting hungry? I’m starved!”
“What about the gangsters?” Tony asked, looking surprised.
“They can get their own food.” I grinned.
“Where did you see them, Tony? We could do some reconnaissance while we go find starving Joe some food,” Iola said.
I looked at Iola. She was apparently going along with Tony’s prank, too. No problem. This should be fun pretending we were after gangsters. Never hurt to keep watch for bad people, who could be anywhere at anytime, and stop them. Big crowd like this could totally have someone up to no good who needed to be thwarted. Plus, even in the 21st century, there are still gangsters. Some of them are politicians. They had them back then, too.
“Yep, we should definitely check things out,” I agreed as I slid my arm around Iola’s waist. I noticed Iola and Tony looked at me with curious expressions on their faces, but I didn’t know why.
Frank and Callie showed up and my brother asked if we were ready to eat. I complimented him on his genius then he got the picnic basket. Then we were good to go.
We started walking, making our way through the crowd. Tony quickly caught Frank and Callie up on what was going on. I looked around as they talked. Wow, there were a lot of people here for the event. Besides all of the local residents and nearby places, there must be a large number staying at Inn the Bay. Some probably came for the day or were staying at other accommodations in and around Bayport. A crowd this size had to have some disreputable visitors.
I was so impressed with how authentic everyone and everything seemed. I’d already thought so before I’d fallen asleep, but it was like it had been kicked up a notch. Cool. I hoped I looked as authentically 1927 as my girlfriend, brother, and friends.
“This is a great turnout!” I exclaimed to the others.
“Yes, I think the advertisements in the newspaper helped a lot,” Callie agreed. “Also word of mouth from those who enjoyed last year.”
Not to mention the online info.
“I can’t wait for the fireworks!” Iola said, her pretty eyes sparkling.
I grinned at her. “Me, neither!”
“And before that will be the movie at the Bijou.” Frank smiled.
“Sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing that classic old movie,” I commented. “Should be interesting.”
Iola giggled and nudged me. “It just came out in the spring, remember?”
“Oh yeah, right. Got it.” I gave her a wink, telling her I was going along with the 1927 thing.
“Now act casual,” Tony ordered as he slowed up. “Don’t stare, but it’s that Cadillac over there next to the Packard. Two punks are slouching against it. See?”
We surreptitiously checked out where Tony had indicated. The two punks leaning against the car did look like gangsters, no doubt about that.
I was closest to them as we walked by, but I think all of us, at least out of our peripherals, saw when the one guy shifted, moving his coat. It revealed a holster – with a gun in it.
The dude saw that I saw and shrugged.
“It’s a, uh, you know, prop.” The guy waited to see if we’d buy it.
“What about the tommy guns in the back?” Tony asked, with a raise of an eyebrow. He’d moved closer to the car and peered in. Apparently, he was really into wanting to be an Untouchable. I just hoped he’d be able to move fast enough also to be untouched by bullets.
Something ugly and deadly went over the two goons’ faces. Frank and I didn’t have to look at each other to know we had the same plan. Get away from there without drawing more suspicion.
“Those must be more props, right?” I asked the thugs, who had reached into the car and pulled a blanket back over the “props”.
“Yeah, that’s right. Now why don’t you move along?” the taller thug suggested.
Frank shrugged nonchalantly. “That’s what we already planned to do.”
I knew Frank tightened his grip on Callie’s hand like I did with Iola, who was on my left side, farther away from the thugs. We casually maneuvered our girls in front of us, blocking them from the suspects with our bodies.
The goons would have to get through us first and we’d do everything we could to keep that from happening. So we distanced ourselves from the thugs. We told a police officer what we’d seen, but he dismissed it very rudely and agreed with their claim.