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We had been in Gary only one day when Gus came in and said he had seen Fred Burke in a Calumet City saloon. The newspapers and police branded Burke “The Killer,” as the result of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which they believed he had engineered . So Gus and Burke were dodging retribution for the same crime. Gus explained that Burke was living in Hammond under an assumed name with some girl, and I was not surprised, because every time wemetBurkeafteranyconsiderableabsencehehadadifferentgirl,some of which he married under different names. Gus said Burke had a camp at Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which he intended to occupy, and has asked us to go along. He was leaving that night. The camp sounded like a safer retreat than Gary, so I agreed to go and started packing immediately. In the meantime Bob Carey was drinking heavily, much to the disapproval of Al Capone, and to save him further trouble Gus hunted him up to take him along. This was just another act of loyalty on Gus’ part—the same loyalty he accorded all his underworld associates, and which was not always appreciated. Gus brought Carey from a saloon “blind” drunk, and we arrived at the Grand Rapids resort the next day. Gus and Fred had a great time, for they had not seen each other for months, in spite of newspaper reports that linked them in almost every crime. 16 On the Run 98 On the Run 99 However, I did not care much for Burke’s new girl, Viola, and she must have known it for she told the police as much when she was taken into custody a short time later while Burke was being sought. Carey tried to stay drunk on the Minnesota “mule” manufactured in the neighborhood, known locally as “fire-water,” but it didn’t agree withhim,soallthreemenspenttheirdaysplayinggolfonanearbylinks. But Fred’s conduct during the day didn’t last through the evening, for he usually succeeded in getting on a fine “jag.” I employed a guide to show me the best fishing holes, and for the first time in several years the weight of worry slipped from my shoulders and my nerves settled. I usually went to bed before sunset, dropping off in the heavy sleep of exhaustion, since there was no immediate fear of Gus’ capture. Our situation would have been entirely satisfactory if Gus and Bob Carey had received their pay from Phil De Andrea. At first they thought nothing of it but when a month had passed with no word from him, they talked it over at our cottage. Burke’s girl was never allowed to take part in these “business” conferences since Gus and Bob shared my dislike for her. At the same time I felt sorry for her, for she had a young daughter, and it was evident she had not had much experience with men of Burke’s character. I tried as discreetly as possible to show her what she was letting herself in for. I told her something of my own life, my continual state of fear, midnight flights, worry and nerves. Without accusing Burke of being a philanderer I tried to show her how his other affairs had ended, but of course she quickly assumed I was meddling in her business. One day Burke invited me to go to town with him and his girl, whose name was Viola [Brenneman], and although I could tell he had been drinking, I accepted the invitation since I had to make some purchases. Burke got into a drug store where he and the clerk spent the afternoon mixing fancy drinks, and when he got ready to drive home he was completely soused. Iaskedhimtoallowmetodrive,butlikemostdrunks,heinsistedhe was all right. Viola agreed with him. His driving would have frightened an iron man, and my fears were realized when we had driven only a few 100 al capone and his american boys miles and the car ran off the road and turned over on its side in a field. Fortunately some people from the camp drove by, and recognizing us righted the car. Burke rode back with them, and one of them drove his car. Not having heard from Phil De Andrea about the money, Gus decided to take me and drive to Hammond to investigate. When we were ready to leave Burke’s girl decided to go along. We left Grand Rapids at 4 am and arrived in Hammond at 1 pm after leaving Viola...


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MARC Record
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