Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

“And if they don’t get caught, they’re on easy street for the next twenty years.”
“Could happen, but robbing a bank typically is three- dimensional.”
“Meaning what?” Bob asked.
“Meaning there are options beyond the obvious. In this bank scenario, another option beyond getting away with it and going to the pen is that the robbers could die trying!”
“See! enough already with this karma. We can’t be engaging in this kind of negative thinking,” Alex said firmly.
“Okay,” I said nicely. “And enough of the nice,” Alex added.
“We may end up having to whack you.”
“Okay,” I said, again nicely. Sadly and shaking his head, Alex said softly,
“Nick’s Aunt Rachel died, and he’s in a lousy mood.” He nodded over to me. “Which is unlucky for you, kid.” eventually Nick came out of the john, and we all walked into a rear office and pushed two desks together. Nick sat at the front of the makeshift card table and Fat Petey and Alex took their seats at the side. As Bob walked over to a small table for coffee, Nick asked,
“I was wondering kid, you know anything about casing banks?” I didn’t move. Bob spit out his coffee. “Bob, how many times I gotta tell you, coffee is hot!” Nick groused. “you don’t drink it like it’s soda. So kid, you ever con- sider scoring a bank job?” “No.” “It’s time to start. I got a lead on a bank out in a couple of suburbs.” “A couple of suburbs? you mean a couple of branches?” Nick looked around the table.
“I love this freaking kid. One sentence! All I say is one sentence and he’s breaking it down and thinking it through. Bob, you gonna just stand there or you gonna sit down so we can play?” “I don’t feel so good, boss. I feel kind of sick.”
“you were okay a hour ago.” “It’s Jimmy,” Alex said. “While you were in the can he was talking about hitting banks, three-dimension scenarios, and other stuff that spooked Bob.” “It was demented scenarios. Demented, you know, so you’d understand,” I corrected with a slight smile. Bob took his seat at the table and Nick started dealing.
“Seven Card Stud,” he said. “So kid, there’s a bank in Oak Lawn that sits on the dividing line between two suburbs. My informant tells me that the two police departments change shifts at exactly three o’clock every afternoon, and there’s a train that comes south right down the side of the bank while the shifts are changing.” “Interesting,” I said. Both police departments would be tied up and the train would be another distraction. “It gets even better. There’s a one-way street next to the bank and the track that runs north.” “Which means?” I said, examining my cards. “The getaway would be north out of the bank in Oak Lawn. you take this street north while the train is heading south. you go as far as you have to until the train runs out of track. By then you’ll be in evergreen Park. Supposedly you’ll find yourself in yet another suburb next to an expressway with an on-ramp. you get on the expressway and come here with, say, a million bucks.” “One second, Nick.” I threw down my hand. “These cards are terrible. I’m out. Bob, Alex can’t pull the straight. Raise and call him.” “No outside talk! This is a private game!” Alex snapped. Bob looked up at me. I nodded back. “I’ll see your fifty and raise you fifty,” he said. everyone but Alex and Bob followed me out of the game.
“Nick, you said ‘supposedly’ about the expressway ramp. you’re not sure?” “I’m not. I’m not sure I can trust my source. So I want you to run over and take a look-see. Tell me what you think.” He dealt the fifth card, a queen of diamonds, giving Alex a ten, jack, queen, and king. Bob got an ace of hearts to match the two other aces he was holding face down. “The bet’s one hundred to you, Bob.” Bob hesitated and turned to me. “See him and raise two hundred, Bob; he doesn’t have it.” Unsure, Bob mumbled, “Here’s your hundred and I’m bump- ing two more.” “Here’s your two, and I’ll see you two more,” Alex said. Bob turned to me again. “See him the deuce and call. He’s got no game.” “Okay, pot’s right, here it comes. eight of clubs to Alex, possible straight, and a three of hearts to Bob. No help there.” “Ace of hearts is high. Bet’s to you, Bob.” “Bob bets three hundred,” I said. “Oh kid, we’re going to dance, this I promise you. Here’s your three hundred, and I raise three hundred to you, Bob.” “Hit him again, Bob,” I said.
“Jimmy, I don’t…” “His hand’s a loser, Bob. I promise!”
“Okay, pot’s right,” Nick said. “Last card is down. Bet’s to you, Bob.” “What am I betting, kid?” Bob asked. “Four hundred to you, Alex, or you gonna bet them sevens you just pulled?” “Here’s your four hundred, plus six hundred more, Bob.” “This is crazy, kid. It’s not even your money,” Bob said. “you’re right, Bob, so I’ll tell you what. If you win, we’ll split the pot.” “yeah, and if we lose?”

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