A year and a half. For treason. On the courthouse steps, Silas Pendergast had given all his young ADAs a look of such withering disappointment that Connor knew they'd all be sent back to petty crimes and would not see the likes of this type of case for eons. They'd wandered the city, deflated, popping into bar after bar until they'd stumbled into the Castle Square Hotel and walked in on this. This . . . shit.
All the talking stopped when they were noticed. They were met with nervous, patronizing smiles, and Connor and Pete Wald went up to the bar and ordered a bottle and five glasses. The bartender spread the bottle and the glasses on the bar, and still no one spoke. Connor loved it--the fat silence that ballooned in the air before a fight. It was a unique silence, a silence with a ticking heartbeat. Their brother ADAs joined them at the bar rail and filled their glasses. A chair scraped. Pete raised his glass and looked around at the faces in the bar and said, "To the Attorney General of these United States."
"Hear! Hear!" Connor shouted, and they threw back their drinks and refi lled them.
"To deportation of undesirables!" Connor said, and the other men joined in chorus.
"To the death of Vlad Lenin!" Harry Block shouted.
They joined him as the other crowd of men started booing and hooting.
A tall guy with dark hair and picture- show looks was suddenly standing beside Connor.
"Hi," he said.
"Fuck off," Connor said and threw back his drink as the other ADAs laughed.
"Let's all be reasonable here," the man said. "Let's talk this out. Hey? You might be surprised how many times our views intersect." Connor kept his eyes on the bar top. "Uh-huh."
"We all want the same thing," the pretty boy said, and patted Connor's shoulder.
Connor waited for the man to remove his hand.
He poured himself another drink and turned to face the man. He thought of the judge. Of the treasonous Vittorio Scalone walking out of court with a smirk in his eyes. He thought of trying to explain his frustration and feelings of injustice to Nora, and how that could go either way. She might be sympathetic. She might be distant, indistinct. You could never predict. She seemed to love him sometimes, but other times she looked at him as if he were Joe, worthy only of a pat on the head and a dry kiss good night on the cheek. He could see her eyes now--unreadable. Unreachable. Never quite true. Never quite seeing him, really seeing him. Or anyone for that matter. Something always held in reserve. Except, of course, for when she turned those eyes on . . .
The realization came suddenly, but at the same time it had lived in him for so long, he couldn't believe he'd just faced it. His stomach shriveled and the backs of his eyeballs felt as if a razor scraped across them.
He turned with a smile to face the tall pretty boy and emptied his shot glass into his fine black hair and then butted him in the face.
As soon as the mick with the pale hair and matching freckles poured his drink over Jack's head and drove his forehead into his face, Babe tried grabbing his coat off the chair and making a run for it. He knew as well as anyone, though, that the first rule of a bar fight was to hit the biggest guy first, and that happened to be him. So it wasn't any surprise when a stool hit the back of his head and two large arms wrapped over his shoulders and two legs folded over his hips. Babe dropped his coat and spun with the guy on his back and took another stool to his midsection from a guy who looked at him funny and said, "Shit. You look like Babe Ruth."
That caused the guy on his back to loosen his grip, and Ruth surged for the bar and then pulled up short just before he hit it and the guy flew off his back and over the bar and hit the bottles behind the cash register with a great crash.
Babe punched the guy nearest him, realizing only too late but with complete satisfaction that it was the mousy prick, Gene, and Gene went spinning backward on his heels, fl ailing his hands as he fell over a chair and dropped to his ass on the floor. There might have been ten Bolsheviks in the room, and several of them were of good size, but the other guys had a rage on their side the Bolshies couldn't touch. Babe saw the freckled one drop Larkin with a single punch to the center of his face and then step right over him and catch another with a jab to the neck. He suddenly remembered the only piece of advice his father had ever given him: Never go toe to toe with a mick in a bar fight.
Another Bolshie took a running leap at Babe from the top of the bar, and Babe ducked him the way he'd duck a tag, and the Bolshie landed on a tabletop that quivered for just a second before collapsing under the weight.
"You are!" someone called, and he turned to see the jake who'd hit him with the stool, a smear of blood on the guy's mouth. "You're Babe Fucking Ruth."
"I get that all the time," Babe said. He punched the guy in the head, grabbed his coat off the floor, and ran out of the bar.
WORKING CLASS chapter thirteen In the late autumn of 1918, Danny Coughlin stopped walking a beat, grew a thick beard, and was reborn as Daniel Sante, a veteran of the 1916 Thomson Lead Miners Strike in western Pennsylvania. The real Daniel Sante had been close to Danny's height and had the same dark hair. He'd also left behind no family members when he'd been conscripted to fight in the Great War. Shortly after his arrival in Belgium, however, he'd come down with the grippe and died in a field hospital without ever firing a shot.
Of the miners in that '16 strike, five had been jailed for life when they'd been tied, however circumstantially, to a bomb that had exploded in the home of Thomson Iron & Lead's president, E. James McLeish. McLeish had been taking his morning bath when his houseman carried in the mail. The houseman tripped crossing the threshold and juggled a cardboard package wrapped in plain brown paper. His left arm was later discovered in the dining room; the rest of him remained in the foyer. An additional fifty strikers were jailed on shorter sentences or beaten so badly by police and Pinkertons that they wouldn't be traveling anywhere for several years, and the rest had met the fate of the average striker in the Steel Belt--they lost their jobs and drifted over the border into Ohio in hopes of hiring on for companies that hadn't seen the blackball list of Thomson Iron & Lead.
It was a good story to establish Danny's credentials in the workersof-the-world revolution because no well-known labor organizations-- not even the fast-moving Wobblies--had been involved. It had been organized by the miners themselves with such speed it probably surprised them. By the time the Wobblies did arrive, the bomb had already exploded and the beatings had commenced. Nothing left to do but visit the men in the hospital while the company hired fresh recruits from the morning cattle calls.