MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB is my next release, set in upstate New York during Prohibition. The Galliano Club is an Italian social club for men, catering to mill workers producing the copper and iron to build America’s bridges, ship hulls, and electrical wires.
Bartender Luca Lombardo's best friend is Karol Dombrowski, a mill worker who attempts to join the police department, a sinecure of the Irish community in Lido.
This scene is based on my grandfather's recollections.
Chief Maguire stood, prompting the others to spring to their feet, too. Karol did the same.
“Officer O’Malley,” the chief addressed one of the coppers. “You and Doc Lanigan see if Mr. Dombrowski is fit to join the department.” He raised bushy gray eyebrows at Karol. “Good luck, Mr.
Karol’s hopes soared. He was more fit than any of the other candidates who took the test with him. Perhaps the rough reception was part of an initiation rite.
The chief and one of the other uniformed officers walked out of the room, leaving Karol’s test booklet on the table.
The man in the white coat introduced himself. “I’m Dr. Lanigan, Mr. Dombrowski. I’ll be doing your physical.”
He brought Karol to a corner of the room and made him sit on a stool, then proceeded to look at his throat and peer into his ears. Next Karol had to stand on a chalk mark and read out the letters on an eye chart. He got them all
From there Karol was steered to a scale. A long measuring stick stood against the wall next to it.
“One hundred and seventy-five pounds,” Dr. Lanigan announced as Karol stood on the scale. “Let me write that down. Officer O’Malley can check your height.”
The doctor sat at the table with his clipboard, his back to the examination area. Officer O’Malley pushed Karol alongside the measuring stick.
“Looks short to me,” O’Malley said and whipped a fist into Karol’s stomach.
An acid mix of bile and sauerkraut surged into Karol’s throat as he doubled over, suddenly in danger of heaving up his lunch. O’Malley grabbed him by the hair and slammed his head against the wall. Karol sagged dizzily, unable to get his balance.
The room spun.
“Five feet, eight inches,” O’Malley sang out.
The officer moved away. Karol stumbled forward, sucking in air as his knees straightened. His head cleared slowly, although his throat burned so badly that he was afraid to speak. The door to the room slammed, prompting a careless breeze that
rippled the paper eye chart.
“You can go now, Mr. Dombrowski,” the doctor said without looking up. “I’m afraid you don’t meet the police department’s height requirement.”
Read more about the upcoming Galliano Club series here: http://carmenamato.net/ galliano-club-mystery-series/