Chapter 10

Written by: Ray Stone

And little did I know on the day I had my thumb cut and had a piece of card burned in the palm of my hand that my life as a ‘gopher’ would end. I would become a vital cog in the mob’s well-oiled machine. My rise to fame started with a business idea a few months later, inspired by the boys. After Tony had given his blessing, he arranged a meeting with his father for me. Mr. Sparizza loved my idea and funded me, although he insisted on forty percent interest plus a cut from my profits. I guess that was right. I didn’t argue anyway. A year later I married my Clare and a few months after that along came a son. 

Every morning I dressed in a suit and left for the office with a briefcase. All in all, I lived the typical American dream. I told my wife I was running an insurance office and we were doing well, and that’s how it’s been for the last twenty years. 


The first cut was a disaster. My tutor had a good laugh as the pig’s intestines spilled out onto the floor, clogging up the metal grid above the long channel drain that carried blood into a tank buried under the floor. 

“You won’t get your certificate if you do that in front of the inspectors,” laughed George Stanton. 

Stanton was a master butcher, and after being offered ten grand, he agreed to teach me butchery. I spent a year until I could not only butcher carcasses but could cut beef and pork limbs as well as all the cuts sold in supermarkets. After eighteen months I was fully trained and received a certificate. My parents were proud of me but couldn’t understand how my qualification had anything to do with the mob. Two months later the boss bought me an abattoir on the outskirts of town and through his protection business, got all the local meat markets, butchers, and fast food outlets to order their meat from me. Trade was fantastic.


It was Friday, and I was just about done when the phone rang. It was the boss.

“Joe, sorry to put this one on you but I have a rush job. You’ll get delivery in about an hour. Get it finished and loaded on a trolley and stick it in the freezer. It’ll be picked up around two a.m.”

You never disrespect the boss, ever. You get the job done. I agreed and called Clare to tell her I’d be late home from the office. Sure enough, a truck I recognized as one of our own arrived. A long canvas bag was placed on a trolley while I opened up and switched on the cutting line I kept empty for specialized jobs.

I was shocked when I opened the bag. It was Digger.


Oh my goodness I didn't see that coming. Joe was a made man. Digger clearly wasn't. Do made men get unmade? Very good Ray. Great story.