“Think ‘Soapy’ will swing the V.P. slot at the Convention?”
Jeff London threw a sidelong glance at his companion driving their Studebaker Champion. It was hard to believe that this sweaty, uncouth figure was of such esteemed reputation around the Agency. Jeff shook his head slightly and sighed.
“Honestly Deano, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. You know politics ain’t my bag. What does it matter who gets the nomination? The whole scene is bogus, an’ everyone in it is a shuckster.”
Dean Phillips gave a throaty chuckle and, with evident glee, slammed his left hand on the steering wheel.
“See, that’s why I like you Lonny – you’re on the stick an’ you pull no punches. That’s why I chose you for my partner on this assignment. Cast an eyeball under the floor mat.”
Doing as he was told, London folded back the pliant rubber to reveal a gleaming handgun. He whistled appreciatively, examining the weapon with professional acuity. Phillips nodded, not taking his eyes from the road as he continued.
“That heater there is a Makarov PM. Brand new. You don’t need to know how I got it – you just need to know what you’re gonna be doing with it.”
A chill suddenly ran up London’s spine. He was aware that the more…aggressive voices at Langley, the Hawks and the ones who saw a Red behind every Democrat, hated the Governor of Michigan. But this? Then he thought back to Huey Long, and wondered how out of the ordinary this was, really. Not such an unprecedented course of action, he concluded.
“Dean… Just to be clear, so’s I don’t goof… Is this for Williams? G. Mennen Williams?”
At this Phillips laughed again, only much less convincingly than first time around. He waved a hand breezily, as if to dispel the dark implications of what was taking place.
“No no no – you writing a book? – we don’t do that kinda thing. Since when did we run around bumping off our own elected leaders?”
To this London made no reply, but he knew for a fact that such plans were tentatively made for disposing of F.D.R. by their forerunners in the intelligence community back in the 30’s. Maybe they’d have gone through with it too, we’ll never know; Smedley Butler blabbed to Congress and everything was put on ice. Given that, and his previous thoughts on the assassination of the Kingfish in Louisiana, Jeff London began to feel extremely queasy. Phillips sensed his colleague’s unease, and softened the tone accordingly.
“Listen Lonny, you won’t be taking out any big daddies, alright? You’d think there’d be just you, if the mark was somebody high up? No fear, my friend… We just need you to haul ass to Lansing and put the squeeze on a few people. Rustle some feathers, make some noise… Give us something to show the House, something that’ll keep Soapy off the ticket this Fall.”
Smiling, Dean Phillips finally took his eyes off the road to give London a brief look.
“Think you can handle it?”
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…