THE END OF THE FIVE FAMILIES WAR
Godfather FanFiction By JonKavary
It was Tom Hagen who told Peter Clemenza that Clemenza's oldest and dearest friend; Salvatore Tessio, had betrayed the Corleone Family and would have to die.
It was on the night after Vito Corleone had been buried and the capo was at home with his wife listening to Jack Benny on the radio.
Rarely did Clemenza get visits from the Godfather to his home and the new boss of the Family, Michael, had never been to his home even though he had been a frequent visitor when he was a child as were the other Corleone children. So when Tom Hagen appeared on his doorstep just a few hours after they had laid Vito Corleone to rest the fat man was surprised.
Clemenza's wife knew Tom Hagen and had fed him as a child when the Corleones would come over. But when she saw Tom in her living room she sense that the visitor and her husband had very important business to discuss so after making coffee and preparing food for the two men she retired to her bedroom to let the men discuss talk in private.
When she was gone Clemenza fixed both he and Tom a drink and they sat down. Hagen got right to the point.
"Tessio has set up a meeting between Michael and Barzini to solve their problems. It will be in Brooklyn in Tessio's territory so Michael will be safe. Tessio is even going to drive Michael to the meeting."
At that point Tom took a sip from the drink that had been served him. He took a breath and spoke again.
"Now once Michael is in Brooklyn he will be murdered. That's how it's suppose to be set up. But it won't happen this way. Michael already knows Tessio is setting him up and on the day of the meeting which will also be the day the baby of Connie and Carlo's will be baptize Michael will deal with Tessio and the rest of the Five Families. He will also deal with Carlo who set up Sonny to be killed."
After Tom Hagen said this he lean back in his chair and watched the capo. He was not surprised by Clemenza's stoic reaction. He was not surprised when Clemenza told him he would wait for Michael to summon him and instruct him further.
The next morning Peter Clemenza got up early and put on some old, tattered pants and a work shirt and boots and went out to wash his car.
As he washed his car Clemenza stopped a few times to contemplate his life up to this point and he couldn't help but wonder if he had made the right decision long ago to choose the life he lead. A life which certainly brought him rewards but a life that was filled with peril.
Clemenza thought about Sal Tessio. He thought about his old friend in Brooklyn who at that moment was certainly up and about and planning for the days ahead. Of course it made sense for Sal to betray the Corleone Family. Clemenza knew better than anyone else that the fact that the Godfather was dead meant that the Family was weak and the Barzinis would soon become the dominant force in the Underworld. To a man like Sal Tessio it made sense to go with Barzini and turn his back on the son of Don Corleone who was only in his position because he was the son.
Tessio was indeed smarter than Peter Clemenza but in this instance Clemenza realize that it would be Sal Tessio's intelligence and cunning that would betray him. Would make him believe he could go against the Corleones and survive.
As he washed his car he concluded that all in all he had made the right decisions in his life. He had been loyal to the right people and dare not betray them.
Peter Clemenza was a true believer in a world where true believers often survived and those who questioned fate often wound up dead.
Salvatore Barzini was at his home on Long Island when he received the call from Vince Trincati who was his older brother's top lieutenant. The man who was the liaison between mob boss Emilo Barzini and his foot soldiers.
Sal Barzini did not much care for the men who surrounded his brother and helped him maintain his power. If the truth be known Sal Barzini thought of himself as above the common Mafia thug that dominated the New York Underworld while he- even though he was a part of that world himself, was a businessman who had to be tough and ruthless at times but who essentially had ethics. Had a sense of morality even though that morality was constantly shifting.
The call that Vince Trincati made to his bosses' younger brother was short and to the point.
"The boss was murdered," Vince told Sal who took the call in his study. The study in which the window overlooked the property that Sal own which was four acres with a two story mansion as its centerpiece and two guests house and a swimming pool and even a basement bowling alley.
"When?" Sal asked. As he did he lean on the desk he was standing at. He had always known that one day he would receive such a call. On one hand he thought of his older brother Emilio as being invincible and able to defeat any enemy that came after him but at the same time he knew the realities of the life that he and his brother had chosen. He always knew either of them could be killed at any time.
Five days later Emilio Barzini, once one of the heads of the Five Families, was laid to rest and shortly thereafter his younger brother Salvatore convene a meeting of all of the key members of the Family and it was decided that he would be the head of their Family. It was also decided that the war which had taken the life of Emilio Barzini would now end. Sal Barzini would end it by meeting with the man who his brother had fought. Michael Corleone. The head of the Corleone Family.
Sal met with Michael Corleone in the back room of Patsy's restaurant in Midtown Manhattan and he showed up alone. Once he arrived he was thoroughly frisked by Al Neri who unbeknownst to Sal was the man who had killed his brother while posing as a police officer.
Michael did not rise from his chair when Sal Barzini entered the room. When Sal extended his hand Michael shook it but then lit a cigarette as if to show he was irritated and wanted to get to the point of this meeting.
"So you are willing to stop all of this?" Corleone asked. Sal nodded his head and glance at the only other man in the room which was Peter Clemenza. Of course Barzini knew Clemenza and he thought it was fitting that the Caporegima should be at this meeting. But he had expected to see Tom Hagen sitting with Michael. At that moment he realize that for whatever reason Tom Hagen was out of favor with Michael and he would have asked where the Irish consigliere was but of course he did not.
The meeting between Michael and Sal lasted for over an hour during which time Michael assured Barzini that he was not going to take any other action against the Family that ruled Manhattan. All he wanted was for there to be peace.
Sal Barzini told Michael Corleone he wanted the same and he even offered to give the Corleones a percentage of all of the construction in Manhattan that the Barzini Family controlled. Michael accepted this offer and with that the meeting ended with the two men and Peter Clemenza shaking hands and giving traditional Italian hugs.
On the way back to the family compound, Michael and Clemenza both agreed that Salvatore Barzini seemed to be a good man and he would do right by his Family. Clemenza said Sal was always the smarter of the two Barzini brothers and he wasn't power hungry like Emilio was.
When Clemenza told his Don all of this he looked at Michael and for a few moments he studied the younger man's reaction. Clemenza did this out of habit. He did this because in the world he lived in treachery was everywhere and one had to be on the lookout for it every waking moment.
When Clemenza looked at Michael he saw there was a lot on his mind and he saw his Don was hiding something. Was not telling him his true plans. What those plans were Peter Clemenza couldn't figure out and perhaps he did not want to figure it out. But there was something. Clemenza was sure of this.
The Barzini Family got a percentage of all of the buildings that went up in Manhattan.
They did this because they had strong connections in the labor unions and they even controlled some of the biggest construction firms. Every building that went up Sal Barzini received a big payoff. Nothing could be built in Manhattan unless Sal Barzini got his pay off. And if this did not occur word was sent out that either Sal Barzini was made happy or any construction that was under way would be shut down.
Sal lived out on Long Island but he had an office in downtown Manhattan. An office which was not the office of a gangster. But rather the office of a man who saw himself as a businessman. A businessman who regularly had lunch with someone from the Mayor's office or a member of the city council. Sal Barzini was a man who counted among his friends Washington politicians and even entertainers.
Before his brother was murdered Sal only went to this office in Manhattan and made a concerted effort not to spend any time at a restaurant in Little Italy where his brother Emilio conducted business every day and which served as a headquarters for the members of the Barzini Family. Once Emilio was dead though and his brother took over the new boss knew he had to make an appearance in Little Italy. Spend time with the soldiers in the family who needed contact with the man who would now be in charge.
The first visit that Sal Barzini made to the Italian restaurant in Little Italy called Martelli's took place on a late Tuesday morning and he was accompanied by Vince Trincati who had been the one to call Sal to tell him that Emilio Barzini had been murdered. In the days following that phone call Sal had sat down with Vince and told him that he knew there was tension between the two of them but that they should put that all behind them and move forward. Vince agreed with this and on the morning that Sal was suppose to go to the restaurant, Trincati drove out to Long Island and picked up the Boss and drove him to Little Italy.
When Sal Barzini arrived at Martelli's some of the soldiers were standing outside in front while the top lieutenants and the enforcers of the Family were all waiting in the back room.
It was eleven in the morning and the restaurant had just opened and there were a few diners. As Sal walked through towards the back room he made eye contact with some of the diners and smiled and nodded his head. The diners did the same but none of them seemed to know who he was. No one knew he was a Mafia Don. No one really seemed to care.
Waiting for Barzini in the back were the three capos in the Family as well as the chief enforcers who carried out any dirty work that the Family needed done. Sal knew these men but rarely interacted with them. He knew now this would change.
"I met with Michael Corleone and anything between us and them is all over." Sal Barzini began. He did not mention the murder of his brother and his brother's top lieutenant who had been with the older brother since they were both teenagers and in fact Sal did not even mention his brother's name in his talk with his men. Instead he explain he was now the boss of the Family and Vince Trincati would be the underboss. As for the position of Consigliere in the Barzini Family, Sal left this open. He said if he needed any advice he would go to the men in the room. By saying this he hoped to connect with these men. Men who never thought they would be taking orders from him.
Weeks later on Halloween Night in fact. Vince Trincati once again drove out to Long Island and picked up Sal Barzini and drove him to Martelli's in Little Italy.
The day before Vince went to Sal's office in Manhattan and told the Boss that guys were coming from Chicago the next night and wanted to meet with Barzini about opening up a string of adult bookstores. Upon hearing this Sal asked if this was necessary and told his underboss he should speak on his behalf. To this the underboss shook his head and told Sal that these were heavy hitters coming from Chicago and their adult porn shops were guaranteed to make big money and they were the kind of guys who would be offended if they did not deal directly with the boss of the Barzini Family. This made sense to Sal and he agreed to the meeting which would take place at midnight. Sal wondered aloud why the meeting had to take place at such a late hour and Vince simply shrugged his shoulders. He said the Chicago guys were just weird that way.
The next night Vince picked up Sal and they drove to Manhattan's Little Italy and once they arrived at the restaurant Sal got out of the car and entered the establishment while Trincati parked the car.
When Barzini walked through the long hallway which connected the main dining room to the back room he had a hard time seeing because for some reason the lights were off. He called out for someone to turn on the lights but before anyone could answer him he felt a sudden jerk as someone from behind him threw a wire around his neck. Before he could react the man behind him twisted the wire so as to cut off Sal Barzini's breathing.
Sal Barzini was dead within moments.
After he had finished doing the job he had been sent to do, Al Neri stood over the dead body breathing heavily. Then three men in work overalls appeared out of the shadows and proceeded to take the lifeless body away and dispose of it. As they did this Al walked into the dining room where Vince Trincati was sitting at one of the empty tables.
"Let's go," Neri said. He then left the restaurant with Trincati following him. They got into Al's car and drove to Patsy's. Upon arriving they were greeted at the door by Rocco Lampone who lead Vince into the back room where Michael Corleone was alone.
The meeting was very brief. Vince Trincati told Corleone that Sal Barzini was dead and Corleone thanked him and told him that from this moment on the Corleone Family would recognize Vince Trincati as the head of the Family once called the Barzinis.
The next day Vince sent out word to all of the men in the Barzini Family that there had been a yet another change in leadership within their Family and now he was the new Boss. He told his men he had to sacrifice Sal Barzini because Michael Corleone would never trust him. He would always be afraid that Sal would avenge the death of his older brother.
"We can now put this behind us," Vince said.
The Five Families War of 1946 was finally over.