Herbie moved into the kitchen. Though he had not been at his Coney Island address for two months, he had stocked it with canned goods, packaged drinks, nothing that would spoil.
He mixed Tang, fried dumplings, wished it wasn’t so late. He’d of liked real butter instead of margarine.
Carrying his meal to the coffee table he rang Joanie, one of Swaygo’s old girlfriends.
With ‘Dons’, the motto was, ‘If it breathes, slam it’. Swaygo, Tego, all of them, had hundreds of gals who were proud to boast that they’d been slammed by a Don. It was an inoculation that kept them ‘safe’ from lesser guys.
One doesn’t beat up or rape a ‘Don’s’ gal. Even if the Don slammed her once nine years ago, she would ride it, for the Don would consider disrespect shown to her a ‘dis’.
And there was one penalty for a ‘dis’.
Herbie gave Joanie the official version of the evening in Vanderveer, told her to go to the apartment, stay until further notice.
He turned to the computer, connected to a role playing chat channel. Using code, he ordered a shipment of cocaine sent in an ordinary shipment of grain.
Using a credit card in the name of Jerome Willims, he transferred funds from his account in in Mandeville to Kingston.
It appeared Willims was paying for a gross of Nikes on behalf of a legitimate Sports Gear Company.
This Comapny paid taxes, even sales tax, could show books proving it had sold how many thousands of Nikes.
The company which packed the grain was an outlet of an American Company which had weekly shipments.
On the American end, Herbie owned a Bakery, the Finest Hardo Bread outside of Jamaica.
Herbert Grant had been the only near white boy in the whole of Rockfort. That’s because his mother whored with sailors, when sailors came to Jamaica.
After Independence in 1962, the sailors stopped coming.
Herbie survived the ghetto because he knew how to find the biggest, baddest youth, and be his slave. Slavery is Freedom. He’d read that. He read a lot of books.
While the bigger boys went out to fight and whore and smoke ganja and act bad, he stayed in his room, reading.
He was the only boy in the district to get into High School. By that time, he was the major tactician. He could set up a ‘move’ better than anyone and talk his Boss, (whomever that
was at the time), into staying clear of trouble by letting Herbie pick up the cut, or move the weapons.
His mother, worried her little son was falling into bad company, decided to take Herbie to America. She married an American citizen, went up legally, brought him up, semi-legally.
But Herbie liked the taste of power. Liked working his brain. Liked people to think he was a little nerd who would wet himself if he saw a gun.
That was his power and his protection.
Tired, Herbie went to bed. As usual, he shut off his cell phone. When he woke, he began cleaning his apartment, ate his breakfast, went out, did minor shopping, returned home, prepared his lunch. After eating, he switched on his phone.
Every corner of ‘The Boss’s’ kingdom was reporting in. Bigga was dead, five members of the Shower posse were dead, three of his guys were dead, random others were shot, wanted, and otherwise. The cops were going crazy.
No phone call could last more than fifteen seconds. Herbie watched the counter. His callers knew that. They knew to say “Bigga pick up corn, five showers vanq, three breddren gone, Babylon on fire” , and hangup or were cut off.
If they had more to say they were to get another phone and make another call.
Herbie wasn’t under investigation, but he knew his guys were stupid. Their stupidity could get them dead. In the drug business, death was contagious.
He scanned the missed calls on his cell, returned a few, using another disposable cell. Then he rang up Joanie. She knew how to talk. In a thick Jamaican accent, using
the rawest patois, the words slurred, an untrained ear would hear;
“Dibablon ave seashwaran, nafinutin abex, mia andaldem.”
Meaning that the Police, equipped with a search warrant, arrived, found nothing, and she had behaved the way one expects from a loud mouthed, no morals gal.
As Herbie was never in the same flat as an illegal item, save his gun, which was always on him, there would be nothing to find in apartment 6G, 1406 New York Avenue.
The coke was on the other side of the Court yard in apartment 2B of 1402. The money, in 6F.
The police weren’t looking for him. He was a bit surprised the police had even checked Apartment 6G.
He called Joanie back, asked if other flats had been searched. She admitted what she ought have said from the beginning; the police searched every apartment on the 6th floor as a matter of course.
She was too stupid to live, but, the best of breed.