Jimmy West backed his big Dodge around to an open dumpster container, late afternoon was a perfect time. The county residents not in evidence: The large trucks done with their routes for the day: The dump about to close down for another day. Whenever he had something to dispose of and he needed privacy, he timed it so that he was here in the late afternoon just as he was now.
Smith, who now resided in the trunk of the Dodge, had met him on a back road of the local base. That was not as risky as it seemed. The base had been a small winter camp back in the early nineteen hundreds: When it had expanded the first time it had incorporated an entire nearby village. The whole township: Farms, streets, fields. At the third expansion, when it became a major base most people had forgotten about the old township and its farms and roads rotting away on the vast reservation. Jimmy, who had grown up in the area, had not.
Jimmy handled problems for different people. Very many of those people did favors for, or had business dealings with, people who had bad habits. Theft. Gambling. Prostitution, drugs, just to name a few. And many of those people with those bad habits got to know Jimmy West because they also had another bad habit: They constantly forgot to pay their debts.
Jimmy could see how a two dollar debt might slip someone's mind. After all it was insignificant, but a three thousand dollar debt? Or even a thirty thousand dollar debt? No. He could not see how a debt that large could slip anyone's mind. He couldn't see how a debt that large wouldn't be on your mind day and night until you had it paid, settled. Somehow, for some, it wasn't that way and that was unfortunate for them because it meant they would most likely be getting a visit from Jimmy. A personal collection, so to speak.
Jimmy had a certain propensity for violence. His psychological evaluations in the service had shown an aptitude for following orders without question, and a certain flexibility of morals that some would find alarming, but which the government had used him for more than once. Killing didn't seem to affect him the way it did others. In fact, it didn't bother him at all. Killing was part of the job. That was how he looked at it then: And that was how he had explained his lack of empathy to the Army shrink that had debriefed him when he had resigned after his second tour. It was nothing special, it was how he was built. It was something his boss, Jojo White appreciated.
Jojo White ran the largest organized crime outfit on the east coast. He had met West fresh out of the service when some of those aptitudes had nearly gotten him killed. He had embraced that side of him. He employed West to fix problems for him.
Jimmy shut down the car and walked around to the back, looking in all directions, trying not be obvious as he did it: There was no one around. He keyed the trunk lock and the lid rose slowly. West looked down into the trunk: Smith had been easy. Sometimes ordinary people picked up information or habits that became liabilities. When that happened Jimmy's phone would ring. Not every problem he took care of knew something, but if need be every one of those problems had given up their information before he had allowed them to die.
Smith had been selling in Jojo White's cocaine territory. A bad idea. Jimmy knew he had sold the idea to a local bookie he had been in deep with. Move in, steal a little territory, sell fast and get the f**k out before Jojo even knew he had been there. It all sounded so easy when you were blue-skying it..
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