This is the first short story by Duane Lindsay in the Leroy/Kate Love Story series. Mississippi …Two Mississippi … is a “grifter” short story. Somewhere something extraordinary and borderline illegal will happen. In this short story, someone sells a battleship.
Leroy is back from the war (WWII) and it is time to start earning big money again. Hopefully, he will not have to get a job; it doesn’t fit in with his lifestyle. Kate does fit in, a former partner in crime, a colleague, a romantic interest. He probably should have called her before their first meeting rather than appearing at the scene of one of her works in progress, a small-time pickpocket heist.
It took Leroy time to convince Kate they could steal the battleship he had arrived in, the ship on which he served his last. Once convinced, it was only about methods. Leroy needed support. There had to be printers for access documents and they needed a buyer for the ship. Leroy turned to a collection of known thieves in the area, all of which had his or her specialties. The leader of the thieves was a Colonel but in title only, given to him as a sign of his success by others in the community of thieves. But the Colonel wanted too much, 60% of the take. Leroy refused, confident he could find support assets without the Colonel. That proved impossible. The Colonel had the “Thieves Market” closed tight.
Leroy went into a fit of depression. He might even have to get a job! His con game scheme was good but there was no way to implement it. The Kate became tired of the impasse and gave Leroy the idea of the way to do it, the way out. And she was right; it only took a few days for Leroy to realize it.
I cannot go further than this without risking a spoiler review. This is a short story available on Kindle for USD 0.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. In the opinion of this frequent reader, KU was made for novellas and short stories like this. I gave this five Amazon stars for authentic language that seems to match with the times (1945).