Fortune from Misfortune

NEW YORK, 1935

Sara Schmidt steps off the train at Grand Central Station. There are the sounds and smells of a busy railroad terminal. Sara looks around and spots Lenore. They smile and walk to each other.

“Did you have a nice trip, Sara?”

“It wasn’t bad. What’s the deal?”

“Half a fortune. Do you know the 208 club in Brooklyn?”

“I went there when it was a speakeasy.”

“It hasn’t changed much, only it’s legal now. Go there tomorrow about noon. Tell them you can sing and dance.”

“Should I tell them you sent me?”

“No! We don’t know each other.”

“I understand.”

“If they offer you another job, take it. Do you know what Alfred Schwartz looks like?”

“Fritz Schwartz?”

“Yeah, know him?”

“I know him, from what I read in the papers.”

“Good, he’ll be there. Make eyes at him. I’m sure he’ll be making them at you.”

Sara performs a song and dance routine at the nightclub. She sings with a convincing French accent. Only Sara knows the closest she has been to France was seeing a picture of the Eifel Tower in a magazine. Fritz Schwartz is with a large man and Lenore. Schwartz has had his eyes on Sara during her entire performance. After Sara’s routine she walks into her dressing room. A few moments later Lenore walks in.

“All right Lenore, I’m here and your gangster boyfriend has been making eyes at me. Do you mind telling me what’s going on?”

“The G-men are closing in on him. I’ve convinced him to bury his fortune so he won’t be broke when he gets out of jail. In a couple days me, Fritz, and Weiss, the big guy next to him, will be going upstate to bury his treasure.”

“Just like in the pirate days?”

“That’s where I got the idea.”

“Where do I fit in?”

Lenore gives a broad smile.

Sara is in a motel room outside Monroe, New York. She checked in as Sara Noiret. When Fritz proposed the meeting Sara told him she’d sign the register. Noiret because it seemed to fit in with what Lenore had planned.

There’s a knock on her door. When Sara opens the door, Fritz is there with a bottle of champagne. Sara puts on her phony French accent.

“Oh monsieur, what is this? Champagne, 1923.”

“Yeah, only the best mademoiselle.”

Sara closes the door without locking it. Fritz gives her a long kiss. Suddenly, Lenore bursts inside the room.

“What is going on here! You tramp!”

Fritz steps away from Sara.

“Lenore, don’t get excited.”

“I won’t get excited, I’ll just get this floozy.”

“How dare you call me a floozy!”

Lenore reaches into her purse as Sara charges at her. Lenore takes out a knife and rams it into Sara’a abdomen. She staggers backwards. Lenore holds the bloody knife

“Lenore, what did you do?” Fritz exclaims.

“I taught her not to try to steal my man.”

Sara lifts her skirt, takes out a pistol, and shoots at Lenore. Lenore clutches her chest, stands motionless for a moment as a blood circle forms on her white blouse. She falls forward as Weiss walks in the room. He and Fritz look at the two women. Weiss grabs Fritz.

“Boss, we’ve got to get out of here.”

Both men rush out of the room, dash into the car, and drive away.

Sara listens for the car sound of a car to driving away.

“I hope this buried treasure is worth it, Lenore.”

“Oh, it’s worth it, Sara.”

“I’m glad you were right about Fritz.”

“He’s facing five to ten years in jail. The last thing he would want to do is try to explain two murdered women.”

Lenore pushes in the knife’s blade with her hand as blood squirts from the handle. She gives a sly smile. Her smile broadens as she looks at the needle on the ring on her finger.

“Lenore, do you want to stand around here and admire your toys or do you want to dig up that fortune?”

“There’s not much we can do tonight, except clean up this mess. Tomorrow we’ll get some transportation, a couple of shovels and go treasure hunting.


Lenore and Sara retrieved the Schwartz fortune and took a train to California. Fritz never made it to jail. Two days later rival gang members gunned him and Weiss down.

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