Having walked the length of an unlit corridor they come to a staircase. At the bottom a cement floor landing with a drain at its center is illuminated by an uncovered bulb dangling from the cealing. Without missing a beat Sylvia knocks on the thick wooden door. A grated peep hole opens almost immediately.
“What?” A set of eyes demanded.
Sylvia immediately recognizes the voice, and the eyes. “Is that you Patrick? I’m here to see the family.”
They are greeted by a slender man with dark hair that is greased and parted down the middle. He is wearing clothes that are a size too big and he smells like aftershave and whiskey sweat. Extending his arms to her he exclaims, “Sylv! Haven’t seen you in ages it seems!”
Slapping his arm in jest, “Ah, Patrick, you would if you went to Church more often!”
“How long you been working the trap? Thought you was on tending bar last time I was here.”
With a guilty sigh, “I was Sylv, I was! But Joe though it would be best I let folks in instead. Said it saved money on booze as I took two shots for every one I served.”
Sylvia laughing, remembering that Patrick had always been a heavy drinker, then adds, “Where are the rest of the lads, Pat?”
“In the lounge”
Puffing her shoulders and raising her chin and nose to the cealing she mocks in a high pitched tone,“The lounge, eh?”
“Guess it’s been longer than either of us would like to admit, Sylv. Joe and Dan added a lounge on to the place”
Pointing to Anne, “Since so many ladies like her began coming in they thought they ought to have a proper place for ‘em to drink and socialize. ‘Sept I think it was Dan’s way of corralling all the good looking girls for himself, you know Dan Lavery and his ladies!”
As Pat laughs at his own joke, Sylvia suddenly becomes aware of the fact that Anne is growing increasingly uncomfortable. “Well, I suppose we had better say hello then.”
“Joseph ought to be in the lounge making folks laugh like he does, you know Joe. As for Daniel, he should have been here an hour ago. He was supposed to relieve Lyle in the ally way.”
“Well that explains things then. When we came in it seemed Lyle was in one of his moods again. Seemed like he could use a break to collect himself, Pat.”
“Aww Christ…sorry Sylv. You ladies come with me. We’ll find Joe, I know he’d like to see you gals and get this situation with Lyle sorted out.”