All Herbie kept at any flat was a ‘run’ bag; a knapsack with
forty thousand dollars, a loaded gun, a change of clothing
and documents. When he ran, he grabbed the bag.
In lockers accessible twenty four hours a day, Herbie kept
one hundred thousand dollars, more clothing, another gun,
and more documents. Wherever he slept he had two cars
parked in walking distance.
Right now, the Chevy he’d taken from Flatbush was behind
the building a Neon in a parking lot, two blocks away.
Herbie didn’t think anyone was as bright and farsighted as
he. Certainly no one in the Posses, or on the Police Force.
In all truth, he, as bright as he was, wouldn’t suspect
himself of being a major drug dealer.
Herbie owned nothing. He paid the rent on a dozen apartments
in mid to low income parts of town, none in his name. He had
a fleet of used cars, nothing anyone would want to steal,
none in his name.
He wasn’t like Fowl, who lived the life of a megamillionaire
in Kingston but borderline poverty in London, which raised
Scotland Yard eyebrows.
Nor was he as Armstrong, who drove a new Benz when he had no
known means of support. Nor Spoiler with his hot gals, each
flasher than the other.
He was little Herbie, the lickspittle, the guy who
drove old cars and was happy to have a place to sleep.
It wasn’t about the money, not even the power, anymore. It
was armour. It was protecting himself from bigger boys, it
was putting himself in an environment he was allowed to live.
If he’d been big, or strong, or black, or had brothers to
protect him, he’d never experience what it meant to be the
neighborhood beating stick.
Just as Dave backhanded him because he was angry with someone
else and Herbie, the Universal Victim, was available, so had
the population of Rockfort treated Herbie.
This changed when as Androcles, he’d taken a thorn from
the paw of a lion; he’d lied for Copper.
Copper had been the archetype ‘Don’. Powerful, beloved,
dangerous, but intelligent.
Sure Herbie had seen Copper shoot Mealy, but when the Police
asked him, asked this little High School boy what he’d seen,
Herbie had described Copper’s main enemy, Bally.
Speaking so honestly, so clearly, if Bally had been caught,
Herbie’s testimony would have gotten him hung.
After that unprovoked ‘kindness’, Copper tossed a security
blanket over him. Herbie maintained and cultivated this
protection by becoming prime slave.
“Send Herbie”, was the chant.
“Send Herbie” , to move a gun, ganja, carry a message, buy
cigarettes, food, see if the coast was clear.
“Call Herbie,” if you have anything you needed a flunkey to
When Copper was killed, Herbie was inherited by Army. When
Army was murdered, he went to Tego. When Herbie’s mother
took him to America, he had no intention of going back to
being the beating stick.
He kept contact with Jamaica, setting up ganja shipments,
making links, always behaving as if he were connected to a
powerful Brooklyn posse, when the only thing behind Herbie
was his own small shadow.
Realising he needed a ‘face card’, he helped Tego fly to
America on an unscheduled flight, helped him set up his
kingdom in Brooklyn, just as he’d done in Jamaica.
Tego had no sentimental value to Herbie, he was just a name,
someone to be the Boss. By being The Boss’s Toady, never The
Boss, Herbie survived.
People like Blake, who thought to take liberties with a
smaller man, would be punished. People like Dave who
stepped the line, would be killed.
Be killed by the ‘Boss’.
Herbie disliked everyone equally. His men, his enemies, all
a shade beneath indifference, but just a shade. And when it
came to women, it was cash and carry.
Thinking of women, Herbie walked the four blocks to the whore
house and took what was available. He walked back and was home
for the eleven o’clock news to hear the carnage.
The police were getting too involved in the gang war. Already
three cops had been injured, one probably would die. This
was bad for business.
Herbie got on the computer, sent an e-mail that the coke
was to be sold in Philadelphia when it arrived.
He rang up Simpson, a Philly youth, told him, in The Boss’s
name, that he was to carry a portion to Winston in Bed-Sty.
He rang Winston, then took a few calls from his minions.
He checked his e-mail, everything was on track.
With a gang war, with a dead cop, Herbie considered a trip
to Jamaica. This was two fold; firstly to remove himself
from any possible, albeit unlikely connection to the current
‘war’. Secondly, replenishing his stock of ‘mules’.
To move drugs required mules. If they die, if they live, it
doesn’t matter. With VISAs tight, the only way into America
was via unscheduled flights.
A plane would land in a field in Westmoreland or St. Thomas
in Jamaica. Drugs would be loaded with a few warm bodies.
The plane would keep under radar, land in Georgia or South
Carolina, be off loaded. Drugs and mules would continue to
His pilots were rich white boys who owned planes. They were
paid well. The warm bodies were hopeless boys from Rockfort.
Boys who were wanted by the police or who had nothing to live
for. Boys who could jump on a plane in the clothes they stood
These boys would load cars with drugs, ganja or cocaine, be
driven north, given access to tenements, allowed to sell.
If they lived, they could move up in the ranks. If they were
stupid or unlucky, they died unknown deaths.
Selecting mules gave him power, chosing men to select mules,
doubled it. Considering the current war situation, he’d need
to replenish his stock of mules.
Hence, he needed to visit Jamaica.