THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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 Post subject: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:55 pm GMT 
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The innards of the rifle lay bear across the work table. Springs and screws beyond counting were arranged in a seemingly incomprehensible mess; as though no one cared if one simply rolled off the table and across the floor, never to be found again. Despite appearances however, nothing could be more to the contrary. Edward Wright loomed over the crime scene, taking individual pieces and cleaning each one meticulously, and with a surgeon's precision. He checked his watch... 1:47 AM. Edward took a deep breath and kept working.

"Wright's Guns and Knives" was far past official closing hours, but an "Open" sign stayed up nonetheless. Work had gotten away from Edward, and as long as we was in and working, he may as well take customers. He didn't mind it, it gave him time to think. Besides, staying open this late did have its benefits for his little side project. The shop was a small venue, but it was an effective use of space. He worked alone, so no one was getting in his way, and his reception desk didn't even have a room separate from his work area. His work area had an anvil, a forge, a power hammer, and more tools than imaginable. It also had a unique wall decor: behind the reception desk hung a woolen Confederate Army flag. A family heirloom dating back to the Civil War.

He heard a commotion outside. A group of young men walking down the street; laughing and carrying on. From the slight slurring of their speech, it sounded like they were on their way home from a local speakeasy. Edward watched them pass in front of his store, and he thought about the "Open" sign. It was a growing habit of his to stay open this late, as he was always holding out hope for the right customer.

What's you're plan anyway? Hope a gangster stumbles in and tells you who kill Emily for life time discount?

Edward exhaled. He has been in this city for 6 months, and has made no tangible progress so far. He has been trying to naturally grab the attention of the criminal underworld for months, he was been keeping his questions to a minimum, only making recommendations after asking permission, but so far nothing. Could he have served a gangster before, possibly, but there was no way to tell when he never even asked their names. Edward wasn't sure if he should berate himself for not trying hard enough, or for the stupidity of this entire endeavor.

Edward refocused on the work he was doing, and concluded he was getting too much time too think lately. Still, he took a glance at the door, as for however foolish it may be, he still held out hope.

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:12 pm GMT 
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Though Edward had glanced many times that evening, it was this time that the door indeed opened and someone stepped in out of the cold.

A young man in a tweed sportcoat, alone, and sans more weather-appropriate wear. Accompanied by the aura of someone lost where they shouldn't be, but aren't cognizant of this misstep. No shame about potentially entering an establishment far after hours, at least. The interloper -- patron? -- took his time surveying the interior of the quaint shop. Unhurried eyes resting in turns on the displays; the firearms mounted on the wall behind; the cold forge; and the flag hanging over it all, lingered on a second longer than the rest. Edward himself seemed to be an afterthought, but soon enough that gaze came to stop on him too.

The wielder clicked his tongue and knocked one hand against his hip idly, two dark Perrin gloves held therein, light from the street lamp outside bouncing off the leather.

"Midnight oil's runnin' low. We open here?"


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:50 pm GMT 
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Edward was taken aback by the question, forgetting for a moment the ungodly hour he was working at.

"Uh... yes, yes were open."

He put down what we was doing and walked to his reception desk. He turn on a lamp and moved some clutter aside.

"How can I help you?"

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:39 pm GMT 
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His new customer didn't mind doddling. He loitered at the front of the shop a heavy moment longer. One of those people who felt they had an innate right to be in the space they inhabited, apparently. The floor squeaked softly under the heel of an Oxford.

"Du Paul's used to be around here. Next block over, maybe," he remarked, turning and waving an arm halfheartedly as if he could see the whole street. "Corner of Lynch, maybe. Nice place. That's where all the fellas used to get their piece. You know, on the level."

Facing the sales desk, the man bounced on the balls of his feet and hid his hands in the pockets of the tweed. Expectantly, like this was supposed to mean anything to Edward. Maybe it would, to a longtime local.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:56 pm GMT 
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Edward watched the man bouncing up and down, he had never seen someone so energetic about hanging around a gunsmithery at 2 in the morning before. Something was wrong, and he got the sense that he was about to be asked to do something illegal.

"I wouldn't know," he said slowly, "I haven't been in town that long."

Something about the man's accent bothered him, he couldn't place it though. Edward had gotten tough kids in wanting guns before, real wanna be gangsters, but this felt different, and not just because this man was much older than that kind of clientele. Edward opened a draw on his desk, threw in the log book on his desk, and slowly shut the draw again. He took a few seconds in silence before releasing the handle and placing both hand on his desk.

"May I ask what it is you're looking for... 'on the level'?"

Edward immediately regretted the last quip. But what was said was said. All he could do is see how this stranger would react to his theatrics.

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:57 am GMT 
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Something about the accent indeed-- more East Coast than Midwest, a bit of a grimy, unctuous narrowing of the labiovelars to anyone not acclimatized to the sound-- used with an almost flippant edge. A weird showyness to match Edward's own, invoking the conscious implication of double-speak for a scarce moment.

A moment undermined by a disarming smile, somewhat out of the blue. The man beelined for the sale desk with his glove-free hand out, aiming to shake Edward's.

"Just browsin', pal, just making conversation. Corcoran; call me Sy."

Upon reaching the desk he stood patiently on the client side, hand out for Edward to take. Soft fingers, not a day's hard work in them.

"Couldn't help but notice your place here. Real cute. Not many joints keep this late. I thought, you know, I should remember if there was someplace open through the witching hour. New in town, you say?"


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:30 am GMT 
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Edward couldn't help lingering on the work "cute" for a moment. Though it was troubling that he was now being evasive. Edward wondered if this man's shadiness was just a conjuring of his own mind; he knew he was getting far too much time to think, and given it was 2 in the morning, he wondered if he was seeing what he wanted to see. He couldn't risk being wrong about him though. He shook the outreached hand.

"Edward," he said, "I've only been in town for a few months, moved shop from Texas. I had to stay late to do extra work since I work alone. You know how it is."

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:50 pm GMT 
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A practiced handshake, firm enough and brief. Mr. Corcoran didn't move away after, preferring to lean with his elbow the top of the sale desk, like a regular. Lazily waving the other hand as he talked, gesticulating at nothing. His gaze didn't even chance over at the drawer Edward had not-so-discreetly tossed his records book into, though he'd surely noticed. It did flick up to the flag mounted behind at the mention of Texas.

"A few months, sure. Taking D&W's lot I see. They were decent. Not as good as Dibella's, back out that way."

Capped off by a regretful little tip of the head. A small talk expert. Just what anyone needed at two in the morning, much less in a place like this.

"But yeah, I know, don't I ever. They got me working the night shift now, too. And it changes, you know, 'cause they'll rotate guys in an out, keep all us saps on a leash. Positively ripping up my, uh, circadian. Pink collar ain't so different from blue collar, let me tell you."


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:05 pm GMT 
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Edward let out an amused chuckle.

"Yeah work is work, and trust me, being self employed doesn't mean the boss is any easier on you."

He was almost relaxing around around Sy. He did wonder how someone could be so chipper at the time of the night though.

"I didn't get much of a chance to talk to the previous owners, I was in a bit of a hurry to move up here."

He did also notice that Sy had glared at his flag like it was about to jump off the wall twice now. Edward supposed that it was a strange souvenir, it was an ice breaker, even back in Texas. Hanging a flag from an army that lost a war did look a little like being a sore looser, but their was enough family history behind it he decided to keep it up despite the strange looks.

"Anything you've got your eye on?"

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:46 pm GMT 
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No comment about the decoration forthcoming. Sy tapped the wood of the sales desk idly, having himself another look around.

"Well. I was thinking to myself, I ought'a get myself something pretty. Something substantial, you know?"

He patted the lower left quadrant of the sportcoat, ostensibly indicating what was underneath. Lowered his voice too, as if letting Edward in on some secret just between the two of them.

"I mean, I carry a little something for personal protection. I deal with a lot of people, lotta traffic. But let's be honest, a .22 is kind of a pea-shooter. Am I right? Scares kids and whatnot, but you know, you get a lot of clientele in a city like this. Some of these boys don't mess around. You know what I'm saying?"


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:09 pm GMT 
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Edward let a smile grow on his face. He had play out this scenario in his head so many times. Shandy man comes into the store, makes an order for a gun, likes it, tells his friends, and he's in. This was almost too perfect. Edward wondered again if he was just making mountains out of mole hills, but he was swept up in his excitement.

"Ah, so self-defense is what you're looking for?" he mused, "Well, in that case, I do orders for custom made fire arms quite often; pricey, but better than anything you'll get over the shelf. Thompson's are popular these days. I could also modify any guns you have which would be cheaper than getting a new gun. If fire power for your current gun is an issue, I do make custom ammo. I make rounds for competition shooting, over-pressured rounds, hollow points, steel cores, its up to you. Every round is hand pressed, and competition grade."

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:42 pm GMT 
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The sell pitch got a smile and a cock of the head to the side. More amused than impressed maybe, but maybe this guy just liked to keep things jovial. He didn't seem cued in to Edward's strange enthusiasm for a late-night customer at least.

"Oh, competition grade, well. I don't plan on mounting anybody on the wall, but you know, sometimes things happen. Hope the best, plan for worst, right?"

Sy backed off the counter a second so he could get a better lay of the firearms on display to the side, squinting down the line dispassionately.

"Buffing up the punch sounds like a jazzy deal. But eh, maybe kinda conspicuous. I don't want people digging bullets out and getting balled up, wondering what the mob is doing this far west. Right? Some of these babies do nasty things to a guy."


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:07 pm GMT 
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"Well, its an unfortunate fact of life, but you really can't take any chances when it comes to your protection."

Edward though for a moment.

"What is your budget for this?"

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Edward Wright Racist old Texan gunsmith out for revenge.


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 Post subject: Re: A New Customer ((Open))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:00 am GMT 
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Sy clasped his hands together and stepped back up to the sale counter with a pseudo-pensive expression. Back to making like he was confiding in the kind shopkeeper.

"Well. No budget, really. It's a luxury call. I've got my piece, like I said. Could be I'm just being a hack. It's not like you're going to have to whip out a hand-cannon at a hotel, is it? Bah, color me paranoid."

He leaned on the desk again, tossing a hand up briefly and giving Edward a face like It can't be helped. Either he really didn't mind wasting Edward's time, or this was some convoluted reverse psychology to pry a deal out of him. Good faith for a first purchase.


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