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On the afternoon of December 30th, 1931, Don Placido Russo sits in in his manor and reaffirms that this is the worst day of his life.
That morning, the Russo Family's astronomical monthly earnings were stolen en route, by a man and woman dressed as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. To make matters worse, there are rumors floating that the charred remains of a Russo capo and other Russo men were found on the outskirts of town last night.
To top it all off, Nader Schasschule - the Lemure who'd plotted to betray the Lemures and join the Russo Family today - hasn't made contact with him, nor have the other traitors. Apparently the Lemure's factory hideout is now a mess of rubble and corpses - which Placido has ordered his men to take care of while he deals with everything else that's gone wrong.
Placido's nephew Ladd Russo enters his office with the news that he plans on hijacking the transcontinental express Flying Pussyfoot, which is leaving Chicago for New York that evening. The idea is to use the train as ransom: if the railroad company doesn't give Ladd money, he'll crash it right into Manhattan. If crashing the train isn't enough of a threat, then Ladd will just up the ante by kidnapping the passengers. He estimates that he and his buddies will get to kill off half the passengers before the railroad company coughs up the money, much to his delight.
Placido is not amused, and calls for his guards to throw Ladd out of his office. The office door opens to reveal a group of men and one woman, all clad in white. Ladd introduces the woman to Placido as his fiancée, Lua Klein, but Placido is too busy ranting about Ladd's plan to particularly care - he doesn't care if Ladd kidnaps and kills people, as long as his actions are no way connected to the Russo name.
Ladd cuts off Placido's increasingly rabid shouting by pointing his rifle at his uncle's chin. He reminds his uncle that the people he likes to kill the most are those who think they're completely safe - who think that there's no way they're going to die...just like Placido. Ladd pulls the trigger right as Placido is begging for his life, and nothing happens. The rifle had been unloaded the entire time.
Ladd offers his uncle a breezy goodbye, nonchalantly noting that it's likely they won't ever see each other again...given that Placido is almost certainly on Lucky Luciano's "shit list" considering that he tried to protest Luciano's reorganization efforts. Not only that, Ladd figures that the cops and the tax office have their eye on Placido as well, considering the 'recent incident'. He assures Placido that he only knocked out his guards, not killed them, and notes that it's lucky Placido's grandchild is currently at school.
Placido is disconcerted, given that there's no way Ladd could have known that Placido opposed Luciano, nor had he told Ladd about the theft of his earnings - unless he'd been deliberately keeping an ear out for information. He realizes with dread that Ladd no longer has any use for him, since he's clearly aware that the Russos are no longer in a secure position.
Placido wonders why Ladd even came to him if he was planning on leaving anyway, and Ladd hopefully asks if Placido could give his old white suit to him as a wedding gift. Nonplussed, Placido asks why his group is all dressed up in white in the first place. The answer, of course, is that it'll make the blood stand out wonderfully when they're killing all the train passengers.
Later, Ladd, Lua, and his buddies board a black double-decker bus and head for Chicago's Union Station. Ladd changes into Placido's suit during the drive. Lua asks why he didn't kill Placido, since Placido's the sort of man Ladd likes killing, and he muses that it's "best to go to a party on an empty stomach."
Ladd turns his attention to his dozens of followers, gleefully espousing on the horrors he plans to inflict upon the Flying Pussyfoot passengers.
- Ladd warns Placido to "try not to end up like Salvatore Maranzano," a Sicilian mafioso whom Lucky Luciano had murdered a few months prior to the events of the Flying Pussyfoot on September 10. Maranzano met his end at the hands of four assassins, who shot and stabbed him in his office inside the New York Central Building.
- Ladd notes that Placido had previously protested Lucky Luciano's 'reorganization efforts' - presumably this is a reference to Luciano's reorganizing of the Cosa Nostra after succeeding Maranzano as the most powerful crime boss in the United States. Part of Luciano's reorganization efforts included abolishing Maranzano's capo di tutti i capi title, controlling criminal rules, and appointing his most trusted Italian associates to authority positions in his family.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
"If we're gonna destroy dozens of lives in that cramped little space of a train, all that white's gonna make the blood look gorgeous, don't you think?" -Ladd Russo