“So it is Sam Black now?” Eliot asked.
“And you’re now Chicago’s Chief Investigator?” I countered.
I had known Eliot Ness for more than ten years, he was a good cop but a bad politician. He can never hide what was on his mind and that had always gotten him in trouble. Nevertheless he was a good friend and I needed information which only he was able to provide.
“It has been a while Sam,” he said, “you know you can always come back and work for me. God knows I need the old untouchables once again.”
I smiled and said, “and how long do you think they will let you keep this job Eliot?” I could see he was thinking the same thing. “You and I are old news my friend. We had done their bidding, but once the prohibition is over, which it will soon be, they’ll slowly bury us so no one remembers our names. So Yes Eliot. I like how ‘Sam Black’ sounds. It is better than my old one, and I think you should do the same.”
“What can I do for you Sam?” He genuinely asked, trying to change the subject as well as. I was hitting too close to comfort. I knew he knew I was right. I also knew he would never hesitate to help me if he could.
“I’m working on a case and I need to know if a guy by the name of Theo or Theodore had come up in a kidnapping offense by any chance?”
“You’re joking! Right?” I was very surprised by Eliot’s reaction especially after he stood up from his desk and closed the door to his office. “Didn’t you say you were through with the Bureau?” He asked after he slumped back in his chair.
“I am,” I replied, “its private work now, and this case just happened to land on my lap.” I decided I wasn’t going to tell him how exactly that landing took place.
“Well, if we are talking about the same man then you certainly have gotten yourself into one big mess. This Theodore is trouble.” That wasn’t very reassuring coming from the man who brought down Al Capone more than a year ago. “What do know about ‘Handsome Jack’ and the College Kidnapers?” He asked one more time.
“Doesn’t ring a bell.”
“It shouldn’t. Not many do, and I prefer to keep it that way, but I have a feeling the man you are looking for is non other than Theodore Klutas, better known as ‘Handsome Jack.’ Klutas is the leader of a group of mostly college graduates in the Chicago area who call themselves the College Kidnappers.”
“A catchy name!”
“Yes. Can you imagine that? College graduates! Everybody wants to get into the gangster game these days. We don’t know much about these guys other than that they’re all graduates of the University of Illinois and that they have been on a kidnapping spree for more than a year now, mainly snatching mobsters and holding them for ransom. They have mostly targeted Al Capone’s men so far.
“I thought you would be thrilled if Capone’s gang is brought down.”
“Oh I am. But I don’t want another war between Capone and Moran and this Jack might get Chicago up in flames once again. Even though Capone is in jail, his lieutenants still control half the city, and they’re awfully edgy right now,” Eliot explained.
All the information which Ness just revealed tied well with what Jade had told me the night before. The name fits. The description of a handsome man fits. The fact that he is full of himself correlates with the college graduate persona and the catchy name of his gang. If we add kidnaping to the mix, we almost have a match. I still was not sure how the sisters were involved in all of that, mainly Jane, the one who was in love with Theodore, if love was really the case. There were still gaps which needed to be filled.
“You’re awfully quite.” Eliot was stating the obvious. I wasn’t sure what to tell the chief investigator of the Chicago Bureau but if I was to get his help I might as well give him something. That’s how things get done in our line of work, give and take, so I gave, a little.
“I might have someone inside,” omitting any information about the gender of that someone. I was still hoping to get that someone safely out of this mess when shit hits the fan, and I had a feeling it was going to, soon.
“So do we,” Eliot was also telling me an important breakthrough in this case without revealing much, and for me to be aware that the Bureau is deep on this case. “But we have very little so far. We don’t know where Jack is, nor what he is up to, but we better very soon, before we have a war on our hands.” I believed him.
I stood up wanting to leave but before I did I said, “I will let you know when I have something.” I trusted Eliot, unfortunately more than half the people in the Bureau were either on Al Capone’s or Bugs Moran’s payrolls and we both knew it. It was better to keep this on a need-to-know basis for now. That was more than either of us expected at this stage.
Where stars shine midday
in the middle of the week
Green wants to play
at the center of the universe.
This message, written on a little piece of paper, was slipped underneath my door the next day. It was obvious Green wanted to play and all I had to do was be there. But which sets were they?
The message was fairly simple, if you knew your city and Chicago was mine. So at noon on Wednesday, in the middle of the week, I stood in line to go into the Adler planetarium.
Of course! Where would one see stars during the day except than in a planetarium, and the only dome in the whole of the country happened to be the one in this town. Not only was I dealing with two of the most amazing green eyes but they also happened to belong to a very smart one. I was impressed.
I had never been inside the Adler planetarium before. I wanted to visit this place ever since it opened a few years back but time just flew so quickly. Originally, I’m a farm boy, and seeing stars at night was a thing I had missed in this town. I guess the lights and smells of the city do tend to distract you from looking at the big picture. Unfortunately since I came to Chicago I had to brush aside a few of life’s delights to pursue my new career, a thing I still regret to this day.
Green certainly knew her stuff. The middle of the day in the middle of the week was the least crowded time for the Adler planetarium. I walked into the theater with a couple of tourists and hardly any students as it was the middle of the school week. With hundred of seats leaning backward so you could view the projection of the stars on a circular dome, it certainly was different from any other theater I had ever been to. I looked for the ‘Center of the Universe’ the seat right in the middle of the theater, only she wasn’t there.
“Did I decipher her message correctly?” I started to doubt myself. However I decided to stay and watch the show now that I was there. I wasn’t disappointed. The lights went off and the show began. Stars where projected right above our heads as if they were the real thing. The narrator started to explain about the different kinds of stars, star constellations, planets and how they moved across the ecliptic. It was a delight to watch.
“It’s amazing isn’t it?” I was startled when she whispered in my ear. I must have been mesmerized with the stars above that I did not see the one that slipped right next to me. Looking at her I saw the reflection of all those points of light in her eyes. They lit up her greens brighter than the evening star. What was even more amazing was that, as much as I tried, I could not figure out which sister was sitting next to me. The resemblance was uncanny. I always prided myself on being a keen observer, but I failed.
“Nice to see you again Miss Jane,” I said, a shot in the dark.
“So you saw Jade?” She asked as she leaned back in her seat, looking up at the projection of the stars on the dome, “What did she say to you?” whispering from the corner of her mouth.
I was right. It was Jane. Come to think of it, it wasn’t that wild of a guess. If Jade wanted to play she would have invited me to her apartment. However Jane was afraid, I still didn’t know why, and that was the reason she wanted to meet me in this dark yet public place.
“And how is Jack?” It was my turn to impress. “Is he still up to his old tricks?” I added. I think I managed to hit the nail right on the head seeing how she leapt forward from her seat.
“How did you know…?” She hesitantly asked with surprise on her face.
“What do you want from me Miss Jane?” I tried to show her I was a little disappointed. If she didn’t think I would find out about Theodore Klutas then why did she come to me in the first place? As much as I loved those greens however I hated to be played with even more. Either she was going to tell me what was going on or I was going to leave. I almost stood up wanting to walk away.
“Please Mr Black,” she tried to stop me by putting her hand on my arm begging me to sit back down. “I was afraid to get you involved in this but I didn’t know whom to go to. He is planning on kidnapping Jade and asking Giacomoni for ransom,” she finally confessed. “She is still my sister and I can’t let him do that to her. Please Mr Black. I need your help. We need your help.”
“Why didn’t you leave him?” I was really curious as to why she was still with this Klutas guy. As handsome as the man thinks he is, that still didn’t justify her devotion to him, especially after she knew what he was up to.
“He threatened to kill me if I leave,” a reasonable answer if it wasn’t so stupid, “and Jade as well,” maybe not so stupid. I could understand she was afraid, but Jack might end up killing both of them anyway since the Giacomoni brothers were sure not going to pay a ransom for a mere speakeasy singer. As much as Nello liked his girl, he sure could find another.
“When is he planning to do the kidnapping?” hoping to get as much information about that job as I could. As the stars twirled and the planets strolled across the artificial sky, she told me everything.
“I’ll do my best to protect your sister Miss Jane,” I tried to reassure her that her sister would be safe but I had my doubts myself. I was dealing with a clever and vicious man. Nothing is certain in this business. “One more thing I need to know. Get me the whereabouts of Jack’s hideout. I might need to get you out when things get bad,” and they were going to get bad pretty soon.
“We are staying at the Palmer right now,” she said, “but he keeps moving every week. I don’t know where we’ll be next.”
This Jack was more clever than I thought. “Ok just be careful and don’t let him suspect anything,” I finally said.
“I don’t know how to repay you Mr Black.”
“Don’t worry about that,” I replied. “Your sister already did.”
“Ooo… she did? Did she!” A smirk brushed across her face as if she was stung by a bee, the bee of pure jealous. This buzz must run in the family. As much as they loved each another, the sisters were even more jealous of one another when it came to men. I felt the underlying rivalry between the two and their eagerness to get the final prize for themselves. When she put her hand on my thigh all my suspicions were confirmed. “And how may I ask did she do that?” She asked. I believe she already knew the answer to that question but she needed proof.
“Just like that.” I couldn’t lie.
I didn’t expect she would sneak her hand inside my pants right in the theater but I was really shocked, only I couldn’t do anything about it. I certainly couldn’t make out a scene in front of all these people so I left her to it. Besides, all eyes were looking up at the stars, I doubted anyone would be looking down at us. However I couldn’t take any chances. I put my raincoat on my lap to cover what she was doing, and that’s when she squeezed.
“So tell me. Was she that good?”
“Ehhh….better thaaaannnn…” I squealed and she squeezed harder.
Suddenly the lights went up and the planetarium show was over. Now I was able to breath again.
She stood up to leave with the rest of the attendees and I followed her. She didn’t look at me directly but she knew I wasn’t far behind. When she opened a door to a side storage room I slipped right behind her. The little room was empty and dark. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the light. When it did I felt her mouth on mine, hands holding my head from behind so she can firmly place her kiss in the right place. Our mouths locked, tongues twirled, exploring, fighting to gain the best advantage possible. It took time but no one was declared the winner. Unfortunately that wasn’t acceptable to me. It was a matter of pride with a great amount of lust. So I pushed her back, all the way back until she was sandwiched between the wall and me. Now I had the advantage. I scrambled to undo my belt and unzip my trousers, and she did the same. Only that wasn’t fast enough. I lifted her skirt up and she jumped. She literally jumped up on me and locked her legs behind my back. I brushed aside her skimpy panties so that my dick could find what it was looking for, the pathway to heaven and a wet door to get me there. She welcomed me with a whimpering moan. My cock was already hard from that fiasco at the planetarium so I wasn’t worried it wouldn’t live up to the challenge. As I pumped further and further inside, her moans became louder and louder. I was a little worried we might be discovered but I brushed that aside. My only concern was my own pride to take her whole with no questions asked. It was good I wasn’t able to see her face or I would have been distracted from this task. Her head was resting on my shoulder, her hands behind my back, her body locked on to mine and I could feel every shiver every time I pummeled deeper inside until I couldn’t take it any longer and we both came almost simultaneously with a force that could have put a dent in the wall if it wasn’t made out of brick.
“Was I better?” A question that barely managed to escape her shallow breath. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. All she could think off after our quick draw was how to oust her sister. I certainly wasn’t going to answer that. I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to play kin against kin. I wasn’t that rude. So I left her to ponder that question all on her own. However that question remained on my mind for quite some time. How do you compare two sides of the same coin especially when the odds of getting both sides at the same time is almost impossible? Only I just did.
Some time during 1931, a group of mostly college graduates in Chicago, called the “College Kidnappers,” started kidnapping gangsters and holding them for ransom. Allegedly, the Klutas gang, named after leader Theodore “Handsome Jack” Klutas, took in a half-million dollars from these kidnappings in about a two-year span.
Federal law-enforcement agents led by Eliot Ness, who, from 1929 to 1931, worked to end Al Capone’s illegal activities by aggressively enforcing Prohibition laws against Capone and his organization. In their conduct, they became legendary for being fearless and incorruptible, earning the nickname “The Untouchables”.
In May 1932 Al Capone (leader of the Italian mob on the South Side) serving his 11-year sentence for tax evasion.
With the conclusion of the Capone case, “The Untouchables” were disbanded and Ness, in recognition of his work, was promoted to Chief Investigator of the Prohibition Bureau for Chicago.