Пользовательский поиск

Книга The Godfather. Страница 30

Кол-во голосов: 0

Clemenza nodded and said to the man, “Don’t worry about it.” The button man gave his caporegime an astonished look, which was followed by a look of comprehension, before he went back to the kitchen.

The conference went on as if there had been no interruption. Sonny asked Hagen, “Any change in the Don’s condition?”

Hagen shook his head. “He’s OK but he won’t be able to talk for another couple of days. He’s all knocked out. Still recovering from the operation. Your mother spends most of the day with him, Connie too. There’s cops all over the hospital and Tessio’s men hang around too, just in case. In a couple of days he’ll be all right and then we can see what he wants us to do. Meanwhile we have to keep Sollozzo from doing anything rash. That’s why I want to start you talking deals with him.”

Sonny grunted. “Until he does, I’ve got Clemenza and Tessio looking for him. Maybe we’ll get lucky and solve the whole business.”

“You won’t get lucky,” Hagen said. “Sollozzo is too smart.” Hagen paused. “He knows once he comes to the table he’ll have to go our way mostly. That’s why he’s stalling. I’m guessing he’s trying to line up support from the other New York Families so that we won’t go after him when the old man gives us the word.”

Sonny frowned. “Why the hell should they do that?”

Hagen said patiently, “To avert a big war which hurts everybody and brings the papers and government into the act. Also, Sollozzo will give them a piece of the action. And you know how much dough there is in drugs. The Corleone Family doesn’t need it, we have the gambling, which is the best business to have. But the other Families are hungry. Sollozzo is a proven man, they know he can make the operation go on a big scale. Alive he’s money in their pockets, dead he’s trouble.”

Sonny’s face was as Michael had never seen it. The heavy Cupid mouth and bronzed skin seemed gray. “I don’t give a fuck what they want. They better not mess in this fight.”

Clemenza and Tessio shifted uneasily in their chairs, infantry leaders who hear their general rave about storming an impregnable hill no matter what the cost. Hagen said a little impatiently, “Come on, Sonny, your father wouldn’t like you thinking that way. You know what he always says, ‘That’s a waste.’ Sure, we’re not going to let anybody stop us if the old man says we go after Sollozzo. But this is not a personal thing, this is business. If we go after the Turk and the Families interfere, we’ll negotiate the issue. If the Families see that we’re determined to have Sollozzo, they’ll let us. The Don will make concessions in other areas to square things. But don’t go blood crazy on a thing like this. It’s business. Even the shooting of your father was business, not personal. You should know that by now.”

Sonny’s eyes were still hard. “OK. I understand all that. Just so long as you understand that nobody stands in our way when we want Sollozzo.”

Sonny turned to Tessio. “Any leads on Luca?”

Tessio shook his head. “None at all. Sollozzo must have snatched him.”

Hagen said quietly, “Sollozzo wasn’t worried about Luca, which struck me as funny. He’s too smart not to worry about a guy like Luca. I think he maybe got him out of the picture, one way or the other.”

Sonny muttered, “Christ, I hope Luca isn’t fighting against us. That’s the one thing I’d be afraid of. Clemenza, Tessio, how do you two guys figure it?”

Clemenza said slowly, “Anybody could go wrong, look at Paulie. But with Luca, he was a man who could only go one way. The Godfather was the only thing he believed in, the only man he feared. But not only that, Sonny, he respected your father as no one else respected him and the Godfather has earned respect from everyone. No, Luca would never betray us. And I find it hard to believe that a man like Sollozzo, no matter how cunning, could surprise Luca. He was a man who suspected everyone and everything. He was always ready for the worst. I think maybe he just went off someplace for a few days. We’ll be hearing from him anytime now.”

Sonny turned to Tessio. The Brooklyn caporegime shrugged. “Any man can turn traitor. Luca was very touchy. Maybe the Don offended him some way. That could be. I think though that Sollozzo gave him a little surprise. That fits in with what the Consigliere says. We should expect the worst.”

Sonny said to all of them, “Sollozzo should get the word soon about Paulie Gatto. How will that affect him?”

Clemenza said grimly, “It will make him think. He will know the Corleone Family are not fools. He will realize that he was very lucky yesterday.”

Sonny said sharply, “That wasn’t luck. Sollozzo was planning that for weeks. They must have tailed the old man to his office every day and watched his routine. Then they bought Paulie off and maybe Luca. They snatched Tom right on the button. They did everything they wanted to do. They were unlucky, not lucky. Those button men they hired weren’t good enough and the old man moved too quick. If they had killed him, I would have had to make a deal and Sollozzo would have won. For now. I would have waited maybe and got him five, ten years from now. But don’t call him lucky, Pete, that’s underrating him. And we’ve done that too much lately.”

One of the button men brought a bowl of spaghetti in from the kitchen and then some plates, forks and wine. They ate as they talked. Michael watched in amazement. He didn’t eat and neither did Tom, but Sonny, Clemenza and Tessio dug in, mopping up sauce with crusts of bread. It was almost comical. They continued their discussion.

Tessio didn’t think that the loss of Paulie Gatto would upset Sollozzo, in fact he thought that the Turk might have anticipated it, indeed might have welcomed it. A useless mouth off the payroll. And he would not be frightened by it; after all, would they be in such a situation?

Michael spoke up diffidently. “I know I’m an amateur in this, but from everything you guys have said about Sollozzo, plus the fact that all of a sudden he’s out of touch with Tom, I’d guess he has an ace up his sleeve. He might be ready to pull off something real tricky that would put him back on top. If we could figure out what that would be, we’d be in the driver’s seat.”

Sonny said reluctantly, “Yeah, I thought of that and the only thing I can figure is Luca. The word is already out that he’s to be brought here before he’s allowed any of his old rights in the Family. The only other thing I can think of is that Sollozzo has made his deal with the Families in New York and we’ll get the word tomorrow that they will be against us in a war. That we’ll have to give the Turk his deal. Right, Tom?”

Hagen nodded. “That’s what it looks like to me. And we can’t move against that kind of opposition without your father. He’s the only one who can stand against the Families. He has the political connections they always need and he can use them for trading. If he wants to badly enough.”

Clemenza said, a little arrogantly for a man whose top button man had recently betrayed him, “Sollozzo will never get near this house, Boss, you don’t have to worry about that.”

Sonny looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. Then he said to Tessio, “How about the hospital, your men got it covered?”

For the first time during the conference Tessio seemed to be absolutely sure of his ground. “Outside and inside,” he said. “Right around the clock. The cops have it covered pretty good too. Detectives at the bedroom door waiting to question the old man. That’s a laugh. The Don is still getting that stuff in the tubes, no food, so we don’t have to worry about the kitchen, which would be something to worry about with those Turks, they believe in poison. They can’t get at the Don, not in any way.”

Sonny tilted back in his chair. “It wouldn’t be me, they have to do business with me, they need the Family machine.” He grinned at Michael. “I wonder if it’s you? Maybe Sollozzo figures to snatch you and hold you for a hostage to make a deal.”

30
© 2012-2016 Электронная библиотека booklot.ru