SPEAK SOFTLY, SPEAKEASY

High vaulted walls and corner turret gave the house a medieval look.

Open. Airy. Rooms with a view.

The lack of window panes spoke volumes to its decrepit state. Fodder for the wrecking ball, pleading for a second chance at prominence. But her history preceded her. The scene of a bloody murder. A former speakeasy. Al Capone’s East Coast manse.

Her beginning was inauspicious. It was built as a residence for physician/surgeon and his family. Dr. Elmsford Cavanaugh did all he could to care for the indigent populace of the town. A philanthropist and humanitarian. One would never suspect Dr. Cavanaugh as having any enemies, let alone one who wanted him dead. When the good doctor was found, his throat had been “surgically” altered courtesy of his own scalpel.

The building sat vacant for years after the horrific murder. The talk was that Cavanaugh’s spirit remained to haunt the expanse. High vaulted walls and corner turret gave the house a medieval look. In fact, the towns folk referred to it as Cavanaugh’s Castle.

It seemed an unlikely place to to harbor a social club, but with the onset of prohibition, the unseemly element took control of the doctor’s former home. A jazz club fronted the operation which covered for the hidden anteroom. Bootleg gin flowed freely with the bar actually resting over the blood-stained place where the surgeon had died.

No one even thought to connect the gangster from Chicago with the goings on at the mansion. But “Scarface” Al Capone had his sights on this place from the moment he saw it. The doctor just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. It was unfortunate that Capone’s operation out-muscled Dr.Cavanaugh’s surgical acumen.

The demolition of the battered edifice couldn’t come soon enough to quell the thoughts the locals harbored against the feral house. In the end, there was a collective sigh of Good Riddance to a bad memory.

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