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- Published on Amazon.com
Sure a guy, a guy like Frank, who came up the hard way, a coal-miner father taken by the dust, and a bereft mother left to raise six kids helter-skelter with no dough, had dreams, big dreams of that one big score that would settle accounts, settle accounts with society, and settle accounts with that nagging empty feeling of always being short of dough. Frank though did not see those dreams coming true from working nine to five and saving his pennies, or maybe making some big invention to wow a candid world or hitting a big score on the horses over at Santa Anita (truth to tell he was on something of a losing streak just then). No, our Frank, a good- looking young guy with plenty of black hair and blue eyes, was nothing but a hustler, a Bunco guy, you know a con artist, a flimflam man and so with larceny in his heart he kept trying to figure out the road to that big score.
And Frank found it, found it like finding gold on the ground in his sunny California homeland ; a payroll heist, a million dollar heist of the dough for servicemen, for Marines, at Camp Pendleton, down by Oceanside held over the weekend before payday at a local bank nearby for safe keeping. The problem though was that Frank was tapped out, broke, was moreover way outside his league on pulling this one together, way outside his penny ante games, small time grift stuff. And he needed confederates, a few specialists, yeggs, wheelmen, heavy duty rough stuff guys to cope to this caper.
So naturally Frank turned to his old comrade- in- arms in the Bunco rackets the semi-retired Mister Flood (everybody in the rackets, even Frank, called him that as a sign of respect for his prowess as a con artist living in luxury and the promoter of few legendary scams) to promote this one. And Mister Flood (and his girlfriend, Missy) reluctantly bought into this proposition. Maybe for the dough, never ever discount greed as a motive, maybe to prove he could pull off a bank job (his one mistake in life which cost him a nickel at Folsom was a botched bank job), or maybe, just maybe to do the thing for professional pride. Everybody agreed, hell, I agreed, that if this caper worked it would go down in the record books; hard guys would be speaking in whispers as he passed by on this one for years.
Once Mister Flood put his hands on the caper though, once Frank got him on board, like he was somehow doomed by his own ferocious appetites, by moving out of his comfort zone, the thing became a disaster. First Flood came up with the bright idea that Frank and Missy should pose as man and wife for a few months in that little Podunk town where the bank held the payroll in order to case the joint and to set up the caper, to become part of the landscape when the deal went down . Of course, like I said Frank a young good -looking guy who would never want for female company in the 1950s night, and Missy, who turned out to be tired of Flood fell in love, ruffled up some sheets together. Then the cast of characters, those so-called specialists, who were supposed to pull the job off turned out to be something like the gang who couldn't shoot straight. Psychos, rummies, and misfits. Which makes one wonder about whether old Mister Flood had lost a step, or seven. They got the dough alright, Mister Flood anyway. But in the end it was Frank (and Missy) turning "square" that queered the thing up. After a dust-up with Mister Flood he and "wifey" could have walked away with that million and legendary status in the hard-guy community but instead they opted for some California version of the white house with picket fence, two point three children, and a dog. Yeah, Squaresville.