Книга The Godfather. Содержание - Chapter 16

Mr. Adams smiled at her. “I debated which was the greater sin, opening your mail, or going in ignorance of some hazard my only child might be incurring. The choice was simple, and virtuous.”

Mrs. Adams said between mouthfuls of boiled chicken, “After all, my dear, you are terribly innocent for your age. We had to be aware. And you never spoke about him.”

For the first time Kay was grateful that Michael was never affectionate in his letters. She was grateful that her parents hadn’t seen some of her letters. “I never told you about him because I thought you’d be horrified about his family.”

“We were,” Mr. Adams said cheerfully. “By the way, has Michael gotten in touch with you?”

Kay shook her head. “I don’t believe he’s guilty of anything.”

She saw her parents exchange a glance over the table. Then Mr. Adams said gently, “If he’s not guilty and he’s vanished, then perhaps something else happened to him.”

At first Kay didn’t understand. Then she got up from the table and ran to her room.

* * *

Three days later Kay Adams got out of a taxi in front of the Corleone mall in Long Beach. She had phoned, she was expected. Tom Hagen met her at the door and she was disappointed that it was him. She knew he would tell her nothing.

In the living room he gave her a drink. She had seen a couple of other men lounging around the house but not Sonny. She asked Tom Hagen directly, “Do you know where Mike is? Do you know where I can get in touch with him?”

Hagen said smoothly, “We know he’s all right but we don’t know where he is right now. When he heard about that captain being shot he was afraid they’d accuse him. So he just decided to disappear. He told me he’d get in touch in a few months.”

The story was not only false but meant to be seen through, he was giving her that much. “Did that captain really break his jaw?” Kay asked.

“I’m afraid that’s true,” Tom said. “But Mike was never a vindictive man. I’m sure that had nothing to do with what happened.”

Kay opened her purse and took out a letter. “Will you deliver this to him if he gets in touch with you?”

Hagen shook his head. “If I accepted that letter. and you told a court of law I accepted that letter, it might be interpreted as my having knowledge of his whereabouts. Why don’t you just wait a bit? I’m sure Mike will get in touch.”

She finished her drink and got up to leave. Hagen escorted her to the hall but as he opened the door, a woman came in from outside. A short, stout woman dressed in black. Kay recognized her as Michael’s mother. She held out her hand and said, “How are you, Mrs. Corleone?”

The woman’s small black eyes darted at her for a moment, then the wrinkled, leathery, olive skinned face broke into a small curt smile of greeting that was yet in some curious way truly friendly. “Ah, you Mikey’s little girl,” Mrs. Corleone said. She had a heavy Italian accent, Kay could barely understand her. “You eat something?” Kay said no, meaning she didn’t want anything to eat, but Mrs. Corleone turned furiously on Tom Hagen and berated him in Italian ending with, “You don’t even give this poor girl coffee, you disgrazia.” She took Kay by the hand, the old woman’s hand surprisingly warm and alive, and led her into the kitchen. “You have coffee and eat something, then somebody drive you home. A nice girl like you, I don’t want you to take the train.” She made Kay sit down and bustled around the kitchen, tearing off her coat and hat and draping them over a chair. In a few seconds there was bread and cheese and salami on the table and coffee perking on the stove.

Kay said timidly, “I came to ask about Mike, I haven’t heard from him. Mr. Hagen said nobody knows where he is, that he’ll turn up in a little while.”

Hagen spoke quickly, “That’s all we can tell her now, Ma.”

Mrs. Corleone gave him a look of withering contempt. “Now you gonna tell me what to do? My husband don’t tell me what to do, God have mercy on him.” She crossed herself.

“Is Mr. Corleone all right?” Kay asked.

“Fine,” Mrs. Corleone said. “Fine. He’s getting old, he’s getting foolish to let something like that happen.” She tapped her head disrespectfully. She poured the coffee and forced Kay to eat some bread and cheese.

After they drank their coffee Mrs. Corleone took one of Kay’s hands in her two brown ones. She said quietly, “Mikey no gonna write you, you no gonna hear from Mikey. He hide two— three years. Maybe more, maybe much more. You go home to your family and find a nice young fellow and get married.”

Kay took the letter out of her purse. “Will you send this to him?”

The old lady took the letter and patted Kay on the cheek. “Sure, sure,” she said. Hagen started to protest and she screamed at him in Italian. Then she led Kay to the door. There she kissed her on the cheek very quickly and said, “You forget about Mikey, he no the man for you anymore.”

There was a car waiting for her with two men up front. They drove her all the way to her hotel in New York never saying a word. Neither did Kay. She was trying to get used to the fact that the young man she had loved was a coldblooded murderer. And that she had been told by the most unimpeachable source: his mother.

Chapter 16

Carlo Rizzi was punk sore at the world. Once married into the Corleone Family, he’d been shunted aside with a small bookmaker’s business on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He’d counted on one of the houses in the mall on Long Beach, he knew the Don could move retainer families out when he pleased and he had been sure it would happen and he would be on the inside of everything. But the Don wasn’t treating him right. The “Great Don,” he thought with scorn. An old Moustache Pete who’d been caught out on the street by gunmen like any dumb small-time hood. He hoped the old bastard croaked. Sonny had been his friend once and if Sonny became the head of the Family maybe he’d get a break, get on the inside.

He watched his wife pour his coffee. Christ, what a mess she turned out to be. Five months of marriage and she was already spreading, besides blowing up. Real guinea broads all these Italians in the East.

He reached out and felt Connie’s soft spreading buttocks. She smiled at him and he said contemptuously, “You got more ham than a hog.” It pleased him to see the hurt look on her face, the tears springing into her eyes. She might be a daughter of the Great Don but she was his wife, she was his property now and he could treat her as he pleased. It made him feel powerful that one of the Corleones was his doormat.

He had started her off just right. She had tried to keep that purse full of money presents for herself and he had given her a nice black eye and taken the money from her. Never told her what he’d done with it, either. That might have really caused some trouble. Even now he felt just the slightest twinge of remorse. Christ, he’d blown nearly fifteen grand on the track and show girl bimbos.

He could feel Connie watching his back and so he flexed his muscles as he reached for the plate of sweet buns on the other side of the table. He’d just polished off ham and eggs but he was a big man and needed a big breakfast. He was pleased with the picture he knew he presented to his wife. Not the usual greasy dark guinzo husband but crew-cut blond, huge golden-haired forearms and broad shoulders and thin waist. And he knew he was physically stronger than any of those so-called hard guys that worked for the family. Guys like Clemenza, Tessio, Rocco Lampone, and that guy Paulie that somebody had knocked off. He wondered what the story was about that. Then for some reason he thought about Sonny. Man to man he could take Sonny, he thought, even though Sonny was a little bigger and a little heavier. But what scared him was Sonny’s rep, though he himself had never seen Sonny anything but good-natured and kidding around. Yeah, Sonny was his buddy. Maybe with the old Don gone, things would open up.

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