angelo, assistant, bail, barbara, basil hickes, basil hicks, bellino, billy, billy mcculkin, brick, brothel, bulger, charge, cheryl evans, claire, commissioner, conte, cops, coroner, corruption, DE PA
So here Billy is standing outside the Federal Hotel after midnight, but inside the pub is a time warp, and it’s still 9.30 pm, although future Police Commissioner Rocket Ronny Redmond hasn’t picked up on it as he’s taking Mr McCulkin’s statement.
Estelle comes out, and she and Billy jump into her motor – he can’t drive and never has, or at least not since a few good judges put him in the frame as the wheel man in the Whiskey Au Go Go atrocity anyway – and off they shoot back to Barb’s joint at Highgate Hill and Billy commits his third break and enter at the property of the night.
Giving them a huge benefit of the doubt it’s midnight and a half by this stage.
Having gained unlawful entry Billy goes inside the house again. He doesn’t tell the police what Estelle does while he’s inside, and they don’t ask. After an ill-defined period of time – Billy describes it as later, so let’s call it half an hour and make it 1.00 am – he goes next door and asks the young blokes share housing there if they’ve seen Barb and the kids. Why he hasn’t done this earlier is not explained, and again Rocket Ronny Redmond doesn’t ask.
They tell him that they haven’t seen the girls for a couple of days, but I suppose you’d guess a bunch of young blokes up and going at 1am on a Friday night might sleep most of the day, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in what they’ve just said, but Billy made up his mind at 7pm, after just an hour waiting on the front steps, that the girls had been the victims of some form of foul play – you’d swear he’s middle name’s Nostradamus wouldn’t you? – and he’s a man on a mission.
So in the wee hours of the morning off he trots to Bardon, where he lobs in unannounced on a Polish couple named Joe and Anna at Hebe Street in Bardon. They used to employ Barb at the snack bar – which she hasn’t worked at for a month while she’s been recuperating from the boob job, so God only knows why Billy would think that they may know where she might be, other than at the Polonias, where he’s already established she wasn’t – but I’m sure that they were absolutely overjoyed to see him at 1.15 in the morning anyway.
Why Billy didn’t pop in the Poles while he was up at the Red Hill Skate Rink looking for the kids earlier is mystery known only to he and his priest, because he has told Redmond that he found the Pole’s address in Barb’s purse, and we know that he ransacked that particular item the first time he broke into the house, because if you remember Part 1 he told Redmond so, and said it has 8 bucks in it.
Anyway, setting that aside, he asks Joe – who’s playing cards with some mates; we don’t learn if there are any Bellino’s or Conte’s among them – the now familiar question about whether he’s seen Barb and the girls, and Krakow Joe gives him the now-expected shake of the head.
Billy then asks him for the last name of a sheila named Ellen, who worked with Barb at the snack bar – which was called the Milky Way if you’re interested, although it’s not in the statement, it’s just me showing off again – and Krakow Joe tells him that it’s Gilbert, as in the park down the road that’s these days the Broncos training paddock (I just can’t help myself can I?) and that she lives in a back street in Stafford.
Which means she doesn’t live more than a few blocks away from Gary Dubois’ place, but more of that later, for what it might be worth.
So Billy produces a phone book out of thin air, looks up ‘E.Gilbert, Backstreet Stafford’, locates the phone number, and gives her a bell on a phone that he also appears to have plucked out of the same thin air he got the phone book from, and as he’s doing so wouldn’t you know it but Estelle pops up again. It’s the first mention he’s made of her since his third B&E at Barb’s joint.
It has to be close to 2am by the time he makes the call, but Ellen’s clearly not on duty on Saturdays because she answers, and predictably tells Billy that she hasn’t seen Barb either.
So then Billy and Estelle leave wherever it is they have made the call from – once more Rocket Redmond doesn’t ask and Billy doesn’t tell – and they go to check all the hospitals, because that’s what Billy has decided to do next, but there is no mention of the RBH, or the Mater, or Prince Charles, or Greenslopes, or St Andrews, or any hospital at all except for the Princess Alexandra, just down the road from Estelle’s place, but that’s a negative too.
In between checking all these unnamed hospitals Billy tells Rocket Redmond that he and Estelle go back and forth to Barb’s Highgate Hill joint, so all up by my reckoning that’s 9 burgs in the one night and all on the same house, which must surely be close to an all-comers record.
Then finally, at 4.30am, Billy gives up and he and Estelle return to her place for a well-earned kip. It’s been a hell of a night, and Billy’s covered more ground than the Leyland Brothers, and in half the time too.
And Commissioner to be Redmond hasn’t asked him a single thing about the Krakatoa crater size holes in his story.
How extraordinary is that?
He must have been a secret Lynard Skynard fan.