“That isn’t the way to do it.”

“Oh?” said Don Nicostrato Mondadori. “How would you handle these insolent whelps, Tonino Crocetti and Alonzo Amatore, who take advantage of me to rat our liquor business to Volstead agents and Irish mobsters?”

The old Don leaned back in his creaking wooden chair. 1921 may have been his 75th year, but he was no less sharp for it, and he wouldn’t have accepted the older stranger’s impudence had he not proved himself useful already. The stranger, maybe five years younger than the Don himself, he proven an able organizer with an uncanny ability to predict the future. After all, he had been the only one of the Don’s retinue to predict that the 18th amendment would pass, and it had been his suggestion to use unionized drivers as a front to move profitable liquor shipments down from Canada immediately.

“If you kill someone, the heat increases and you give their loved ones certainty,” the stranger said. “Instead, they should disappear. Have your most trusted man kill them, burn them, and bury them in oil drums where no one will find them. Their disappearance will sow confusion as well as fear, and the thought that they might return will forestall acts of vengeance.”

Don Mondadori nodded sagely. “It is good advice.” He motioned to his consigliere. “Issue the order and start the Model T.”

“Yes, Don.”

“So, now that you have proved your worth, and your vision, will you tell me your name as we put your plan of disappearance into action this day of February 14, 1921?”

“James,” said the stranger with a confident smile. “James Riddle Hoffa. But you can call me Jimmy.”

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