Connor O’Shea sees the irony in working for the Committee of Fourteen. It is every Irishman’s God-given right to enjoy a drink, and those teetotalers are responsible for maintaining Prohibition’s stranglehold on America. However, investigating (or shaking down) local speakeasies has proven to be quite lucrative. It has come at a price, though – the inquiries from Internal Affairs have been an inconvenience, but Connor knows which asses to kiss to keep his nose clean.
Despite all the rumors of wrongdoing, Detective O’Shea has been chosen by the Committee to spearhead a five-month undercover investigation into Harlem nightlife. The goal of this investigation is not only to discover the source of the flow of illegal alcohol, but to improve the ability of the NYPD to gather information in Black Harlem.
Connor is to be the main point of contact for several Negroes chosen by the Committee to infiltrate Harlem speakeasies. He will make regular visits to the clubs and meet with the infiltrators to gather information. O’Shea’s contact for the Committee is Roger Daniels, a Treasury Agent whose zeal for enforcing Prohibition and shameless self-promotion leave a bad taste in Connor’s mouth.
Connor takes the assignment seriously (he is, first and foremost, a lawman), despite the fact that he hates what the committee stands for, and despises Roger Daniels’s hackneyed attempts at getting his picture on the front page. He’ll make an obligatory collar or two, but knows he can supplement his meager paycheck by looking the other way.
On June 5th, Detective O’Shea will meet his contact at the Blue Heaven Ballroom. The contact will meet Connor in the alley behind the club at the end of his shift. Daniels will also be on hand, looking to make a high-profile collar to get him the publicity he desires to further his political aspirations.
O’Shea waits on line at the Blue Heaven Ballroom. Perhaps he’ll sample the house whiskey…