Readers, being familiar with all facets of my personality as you are, you will have correctly guessed that for all my attempts at bluster and for all the ideas I had entertained about being able to strike deals with the Dundee Mafia and convince them I was a major player in the world of crime, in actuality I quaked and sobbed and begged for mercy the very instant I was hauled into the inner sanctum of Cox's Stack in Lochee.
I was dragged into a lobby of sorts, where yet more goons stood around looking thoroughly vacant but ready to obey any order to smash my kneecaps with a hammer. The wiry and wily mafioso said, "Zip it kid! Geez! Stop the sobbing will youse? We ain't even given youse the old hoyteedoy yet!"
Between heaving sobs I made it clear to him that I did not understand his fancy street-smart gangster slang.
"Youse are kiddin' me?" he said. "Ya ain't never heard of the old hoyteedoy? The Roobidoo? The Kax-Macket? Gee-whizz, I'll dealin' with a real Pole-toes here!"
For a Dundonian, he had a peculiar way of saying things. I gathered it was the habit of the Dundee Mafia to welcome their guests in some way designed to show them who was boss, to quash any attempt, before any such attempt might be made, at outwitting them or any effort to best them in strength or swagger. Evidently, the fact that I was bawling my eyes out and genuflecting wildly was enough to convince him that I presented no real threat to the crime syndicate, as he forewent any such ordeal.
"Listen kid, youse'll have to quit with the wailing and tears. The boss don't appreciate no salty crackers in this joint. Now, let me clock the bead, chum."
I did my best to control myself. He translated for me, explaining that he wanted to see the jewel I was attempting, poorly, to conceal. Well readers, I was left with no other alternative but to do as the mafioso bade me. I suppose I could have refused, but then he may have performed the Roobidoo upon me and I had a feeling that whatsoever this act involved, it was unlikely to be altogether pleasant.
Taking the jewel, he peered at it closely. He whistled.
"I gotta show this to Old Charlie Noodles," said he, before disappearing through a door. As I waited for his return, the herd of goons approached, obviously interested in me. I talked softly to them and fed one a polo mint from my pocket, which seemed to satiate him.
The wiry mafioso reappeared, trailed by a wizened old coot chewing on a vile-smelling cigarette.
"This is Old Charlie Noodles," said the wily, shifty man. "He's the cheese when it comes to beads and gold in great store. And he reckons this" - here he indicated the massive green jewel - "is a meezer. Sort yourself out kid, Old Charlie Noodles needs a word in your curl about how a feeb like yourself managed to get your kitkats into an amazing buckjumper such as this."
I was up to my neck in this now and had to face the reality of the situation. I stood to my feet, because there is no other way to which one can stand, and tried to look composed as the ancient, bespectacled mafioso hobblingly approached.