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Synopsis[edit | edit source]
In late December 1931, several Runorata men visit the Daily Days and tell employee Nicholas Wayne they are looking for information related to yesterday's accident on Mulberry Street. Nicholas immediately outlines the course of events: a truck crashed into a passenger car after one o'clock; the victims were Runorata members Sam Buscetta and Anselmo Jonell; the assailant, a man with a distinctive scar on his neck, is still on the run. Not only is he correct, much of what he said is information only the police and those involved should know at this point in time.
As soon as the Runoratas say they are looking for the assailant, Nicholas says the man is a twenty-two year old Scottish immigrant and any further information will cost the Runoratas five hundred dollars, cash—and a piece of information of their own. Specifically, the Daily Days wants to know what was in the black leather bag the assailant stole. His admission that the brokerage would indeed sell such information to interested buyers causes the lead Runorata to lose his temper; as soon as the man threatens Nicholas' life, all of the journalists whip out their guns and take aim.
They store their weapons and resume work at Nicholas' signal, after which Nicholas assures the Runoratas the consequences of giving the Daily Days the aforementioned information will not be as dire as they fear. Once they tentatively agree, he names the thief as Roy Maddock and proves related information; as for their end of the bargain, they initially lie that the bag contained protection money from their customers. Nicholas not only sees through the lie but identifies what his company thinks is most likely: that the bag contains the new drugs which have been lately circulating on Gandor Family turf.
The Runoratas involuntarily nod, and Nicholas thanks them for their business.
Eve Genoard, having safely arrived at the Genoard Family's residence in New York City with Benjamin and Samantha, finds herself at a loss as to how to start searching for her missing brother Dallas. Samantha suggests her information broker friend may be able to help, and all three head to the Daily Days, where Nicholas greets them and fetches Elean Duga—Samantha's friend.
Elean is happy to waive the usual fee for a friend, but distraught to be the bearer of bad news: Dallas is currently in an oil drum sunk somewhere in the waters of the Hudson, alongside two of his companions, courtesy of the Gandor Family. The news sends Eve into shock, and she does not recover until Benjamin and Samantha, having brought her back home, fix her dinner. She apologizes for her lack of appetite and retires to bed early, immune to all their attempts to bolster her spirits.
Eve admits to herself that she must have been holding out for another miracle despite knowing Dallas was likely dead, and wonders why she is so sad considering Dallas was a lowlife whom she disliked. All she can think of is how kind he was when he taught her billiards, and she wishes she could hate him the way everyone else does. Suddenly aware of and appalled by her own selfishness, Eve sobs into her pillow and asks herself if tears and prayers are all she can really do—and she decides they are not. As long as there remains the slightest of possibilities Dallas is alive, she must not give up. With newfound determination, she resolves to make amends to her brother.
A little while earlier... Shortly after Eve and her servants leave the Daily Days, Henry returns to the newspaper's editorial department just as Nicholas and Elean are preparing to leave. He suggests that the two of them enjoy a leisurely drink, but Nicholas only responds by lamenting how uneasy he feels about letting Henry field customers alone—however, as the President and Vice-President are out, he has no choice.
Almost immediately after Nicholas and Elean leave, Roy Maddock enters the building wearing a cap, muffler, and dark glasses so as to hide his face. All the journalists reach for their weapons at this blatantly suspicious display, but hesitate when Roy asks in Chinese if anyone speaks English. Henry cheerfully volunteers himself.
Over honeyed liquor and food at the Alveare speakeasy, Nicholas consoles a desolate Elean over how he handled delivering the bad news to Eve. Once Elean is feeling a little less worthless, he admits that he is also bothered by the fact that certain information about Dallas is top-secret. Nicholas says that the information probably has to do with Immortals since the Gandors were involved in Dallas going missing, which Elean realizes is likely the case.
They continue eating in silence for a little while, but perk up immediately once they spy Edith enter the speakeasy with a black leather bag. They recognize her as a Coraggioso waitress and Roy's girlfriend, a fact Nicholas had neglected to tell the Runoratas, and watch her greet Lia Lin-Shan—an Alveare waitress who became immortal in 1930. With a strained, guilty expression, Edith asks Lia if she could hold on to the black bag for a little while.
Yesterday evening: Roy shows up at Edith's rented apartment with the black bag and confesses to having stolen it from the Runoratas while high. Edith berates him for bringing the bag to her home, berates him for 'messing with drugs' in the first place, and harangues him for an hour more before calming down and praising him for not shooting up again. She asks if this means he is scared of dying after all; Roy admits that he is scared, considering Gustavo's reputation for excessive violence, but that it is not his death that he fears.
Though he is too timid to finish the sentence, Edith realizes he is afraid for her and thanks him for keeping his promise. She promises in turn that she will not let the Gandors or the Runoratas kill him, and so picks up the bag and prepares to drop it off with a friend she trusts; the friend works for the one outfit the Runoratas are avoiding, and for the time being it is too unsafe for either Edith or Roy to keep the one trump card they have with them.
In the present.. Edith apologizes once she explains the circumstances to Lia, but Lia agrees to take the bag and teases Edith over liking Roy. However, she says she cannot keep the bag for long and will have to eventually hand it to someone she trusts as her room does not have a lock.
Nicholas and Elean watch Edith leave and attempt to process the sensitive information they just overheard. Elean is buoyed by the thought of reporting the information to the President tomorrow, as they will no longer be useless, but Nicholas is less keen at the idea of being involved in information considered in any way sensitive.
At the same time, back at the Daily Days, Henry confirms that Roy wants to know the Runoratas' weakness and says that Roy's confession will more than do as valuable information. The price of the Runoratas' weakness, five-thousand dollars, is far more than Roy could hope to pay—but Henry says there is an 'alternative' on the table. Speaking 'as an individual', he tells Roy about the Genoard drug barons, their soured history with the Runoratas, and that the Runoratas likely had a personal hand in the Genoard heads' deaths so as to buy their drug factories.
While Henry does not advise Roy use this information against the Runoratas, he says there is someone Roy could use against the syndicate instead—someone Roy could use as a shield while he and Edith leave town, and only then open negotiations with the Runoratas. In the aftermath, Roy could release the individual unharmed. The individual Henry has in mind? Eve Genoard, grandchild of the Genoard's first head.
Meanwhile in Coraggioso, Luck Gandor informs Berga Gandor that he handed the man who slit his throat to Tick Jefferson. As Keith Gandor shuffles cards nearby, Tick enters the room to report that the man's mind is too drug-addled for any torture methods to be effective on him—though he suggests he could try again in a month once the drugs are out of the man's system. Luck tells him not to bother and to drop the man off at a police station tonight.
Berga questions the decision once Tick leaves, but Luck explains he doubts the man would have said anything useful—he expects someone likely just asked him to commit the hit in exchange for drugs. He privately reflects on how immortality has made him apathetic as he talks, and compares his own shoddy performance to how Firo Prochainezo beat a drug addict while mortal without receiving a scratch.
When Keith abruptly stands and begins pulling on his coat, his younger brothers ask after his wife Kate—though Berga takes the opportunity to tease Luck over finding a partner of his own. Just as Luck is preparing to see his two brothers off, one of their subordinates kicks the door open and shouts trouble; this man is followed by a bloody Nicola Casetti, a Gandor executive who runs a nearby betting parlor. Behind them both, a man lies unconscious in the billiards room.
Though Nicola is bleeding from a severe gunshot wound, he reports that the betting parlor suffered an attack from the enemy—and though he and his men fended the enemy off, he only managed to knock out and capture alive the one man. None of the customers were killed—the parlor and Nicola himself are the only ones to have taken real damage—and his men are currently handling the police.
Keith tells him "good work"—exceptionally high praise, by Keith's standards—and Nicola bows and leaves the room for first-aid treatment. As his wound is being looked after, another man arrives and reports that three more Gandor-influenced establishments have been hit simultaneously: a gambling den; a speakeasy; and a motel. Keith takes off his coat at the news, while Luck wonders who is responsible considering the Gandors have nonaggression pacts with the neighboring syndicates.
The man Nicola captured stirs, prompting Berga to kick him repeatedly, and Luck approaches with the expectation they just might learn who ordered his throat slit. The man spits up blood at the chock of seeing Luck alive, which only confirms Luck's suspicions, and he is not impressed at the implication this man ran from the scene without even attempting to retrieve the junkie at the time of his 'murder'.
Luck summons Tick and asks him to 'take care' of their newest captive, and Tick offers the man an apology: he has not had time to clean his scissors of the earlier fellow's blood and grease, and he expects they will inflict twice as much pain now as that which they inflicted on the fellow before.
The captive hastily says that he will tell the Gandors anything, but Luck ignores him and asks Nicola who shot him during the attack; Nicola indicates the captive, admitting that he captured the man on purpose, and Luck is relieved at the anger welling up within him on Nicola's behalf. He has Tick take the man away; as he listens to the man scream, he thinks of the three men who killed four Gandor men a year before. Just recalling the leader's name—Dallas—is irritating, but he is determined not to lose sight of his anger again.
That night, Keith pays a visit to the Daily Days office and heads for the President's office on the second floor. The President, hidden behind an enormous stack of papers on his desk and speaking over the din of ringing telephones asks how much Keith already knows; given reports that a "poor wretch" was seen entering Coraggioso, he expects Keith at the very least knows who the enemy is and what they are after.
The President pinpoints the Gandors' enemy as Runorata capo Gustavo Bagetta, the man in charge of entering the Manhattan scene. Rather than engage with the Five Families on Manhattan Island, Gustavo is targeting small outfits—though it seems he has not gone after the Martillos due to Don Molsa Martillo and Don Bartolo Runorata sharing the same hometown. Despite all that, his assignment to Manhattan may be a demotion on Bartolo's part, as Bartolo himself hardly seems to seriously expect the Runoratas can establish a Manhattan foothold.
Though Bartolo does not seem to be directly cooperating with Gustavo on this matter, the President urges Keith to keep in mind Bartolo is still a powerful and dangerous man. He then temporarily shuts the telephones' circuit so as to clearly hear Keith, whom he has not heard speak more than five syllables in three years—back when the Gandors and Martillos were on the verge of a conflict. Whatever Keith has to say now will surely be valuable, though the President will still ask for information and some reasonable monetary sum in compensation.
But first—what additional information would Keith like, and for what purpose? After a moment's silence, Keith begins to speak.
Adaptation Differences[edit | edit source]
Nicholas and the Runoratas: The anime's version of the opening scene closely follows the original scene here, with one minor difference being that the Runoratas reach for their weapons in the episode. The key difference is in topic: here, the Runoratas want information on Roy; in the anime, the Runoratas want information on Dallas. Where Nicholas wants information on the bag's contents here, he wants to know why the Runoratas are interested in Dallas at all.
Eve and Elean: Elean tells Eve the truth about Dallas in this chapter, but in Episode 03, he lies and says the Daily Days knows nothing. When he and Nicholas watch Eve and her servants leave in Episode 04, he unlike Nicholas seems to be aware that Dallas has something to do with the immortals; however, in this chapter, Nicholas is the one who suggests to him at Alveare that the top-secret information associated with Dallas may be relevant to immortality. Meanwhile, Eve's servants try to reassure her in the car rather than the mansion.
Henry and Roy: Henry's suggestion that Roy use Eve as a hostage is the loose foundation for Nicholas and Gustavo's scene in Episode 5. There, Nicholas suggests after Gustavo threatens his life that Gustavo use Eve as bait if he wants to lure Dallas to him.
The Gandors' Runorata captive: Nicola is not present for Episode 01's version of this scene; in addition, the 'earlier fellow' Tick is torturing is the man Firo captured in the episode's earlier Runorata hit-and-run that resulted in Luck's death. No mention is made of Kate or Kalia Gandor.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Much of the role Henry plays in this and subsequent chapters is taken on by Nicholas in the anime, as are the nastier bits of Henry's personality.