“I’ll do a good job, Mr. Roselli.”
Most of information on Johnny Roselli in the Patch Kincaid books is gleaned from two books: All-American Mafioso: The Johnny Roselli Story by Charles Rappleye and Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin.
Make no mistake about it. Johnny Roselli climbed the organized crime ladder utilizing the marginal moral ethics associated with the Mafia operating system. Roselli is a more complex character. His patriotic bent, transformed into actual risky personal action against enemies of the United States is commendable. Overshadowing the fraud, theft, deception, and murder is Roselli’s charm and ability to leverage situations. Why would someone as powerful as Johnny Roselli waste his time with Patch Kincaid? Roselli values loyalty and Patch demonstrated in The Kennedy Paradox courage that resulted in saving the lives of Roselli and other Mafia kingpins. Roselli never forgot. He will reward Patch monetarily as well as trust him implicitly on an assignment. “ A word to the wise,” says Roselli. “Stay away from Phillips and Hunt and the intelligence boys.” Patch will be paid two thousand dollars and he’ll have a main contact.
A New Assignment
Patch and Shari after racing down the West Coast in obscurity now are raising drinking glasses in an exclusive gathering in a suite at Dodger Stadium. Patch, trying to circumvent his mysterious selective memory loss, is confused as to what Roselli is up to with his phone calls. Patch gets the full treatment of the Roselli charm. At some level given all of Roselli’s personal attributes and connections, Patch wants to please him.
Kennedy Assassination scholars may cringe when an unnamed rogue guzzles Double Martini after Double Martini and actually spins a loaded weapon like a compass needle on the table. The fearless Roselli simply takes away the 38-detective special. The rogue is obviously William King Harvey, the American James Bond. Harvey is not inserted in this scene for needless grandstanding. Harvey is known for the gun spinning and the excess drinking. Bill Harvey and Johnny Roselli by mid-1963 have become close friends. And most importantly as Return to Dallas progresses the Harvey-Roselli connection to the assassination becomes very interesting.
Santa Anita Park
Patch is to drive to the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas tomorrow and meet Lewis McWillie. McWillie’s character is kept within the description of his job as a pit boss as well as his function within the Mafia. First Patch needs to travel across the Southland to Santa Anita racetrack tonight to meet an associate Walter Piscotti or Walter the Knife. Walter the Knife is based on a very close compadre of Roselli. They are paying Patch all this money and he has no idea what he did for Roselli and his people in the past. Shari offers to bring Patch to Vegas because it’s on the way back to Spokane.
The affable Walter the Knife likes Patch and Shari. He unfurls twenty one hundred dollar bills into Patch’s hand, tells him to treat Shari right. Back in the parking lot Patch remarks that Walter the Knife talked as if they were married. “Only one problem, sweetness,” says Shari,“ I am married.”
At the Inland Motel in San Bernardino Patch has the limo on the prairie nightmare again. This time with gunfire. Shari’s dried tears in the middle of the night are evident to Patch as he walks onto the balcony at 3 AM. She doesn’t want to tell him why she’s been crying. Patch hears the long saga of the musician Ricky Blaze and Shari-how she was used and hurt. Shari falls asleep in Patch’s arms.
Sunrise over LA
Day breaks over the greater Los Angeles area. Patch questions what he did for Roselli in the past and why was Moon chasing him? The whole thing and Roselli will all come together, says Shari, in Vegas.