His handsome face was grim now. He said to Michael Corleone, "I've been waiting around to talk to you, Mike. I got a lot of things to do tomorrow so I figured I'd catch you tonight. How about it?"
Michael Corleone looked at him with what seemed to be friendly astonishment. "Sure," he said. He motioned in Hagen's direction. "Get Mr. Greene a drink, Tom."
Jules noticed that the man called Albert Neri was studying Moe Greene intently, not paying any attention to the bodyguards who were leaning against the door. He knew there was no chance of any violence, not in Vegas itself. That was strictly forbidden as fatal to the whole project of making Vegas the legal sanctuary of American gamblers.
Moe Greene said to his bodyguards, "Draw some chips for all these people so that they can gamble on the house." He obviously meant Jules, Lucy, Johnny Fontane and Michael's bodyguard, Albert Neri.
Michael Corleone nodded agreeably. "That's a good idea." It was only then that Neri got out of his chair and prepared to follow the others out.
After the good-byes were said, there were Freddie, Tom Hagen, Moe Greene and Michael Corleone left in the room.
Greene put his drink down on the table and said with barely controlled fury, "What's this I hear the Corleone Family is going to buy me out? I'll buy you out. You don't buy me out."
Michael said reasonably, "Your casino has been losing money against all the odds. There's something wrong with the way you operate. Maybe we can do better."
Greene laughed harshly. "You goddamn Dagos, I do you a favor and take Freddie in when you're having a bad time and now you push me out. That's what you think. I don't get pushed out by nobody and I got friends that will back me up."
Michael was still quietly reasonable. "You took Freddie in because the Corleone Family gave you a big chunk of money to finish furnishing your hotel. And bankroll your casino. And because the Molinari Family on the Coast guaranteed his safety and gave you some service for taking him in. The Corleone Family and you are evened out. I don't know what you're getting sore about. We'll buy your share at any reasonable price you name, what's wrong with that? What's unfair about that? With your casino losing money we're doing you a favor."
Greene shook his head. "The Corleone Family don't have that much muscle anymore. The Godfather is sick. You're getting chased out of New York by the other Families and you think you can find easier pickings here. I'll give you some advice, Mike, don't try."
Michael said softly, "Is that why you thought you could slap Freddie around in public?"
Tom Hagen, startled, turned his attention to Freddie. Freddie Corleone's face was getting red. "Ah, Mike, that wasn't anything. Moe didn't mean anything. He flies off the handle sometimes, but me and him are good friends. Right, Moe?"
Greene was wary. "Yeah, sure. Sometimes I got to kick asses to make this place run right. I got sore at Freddie because he was banging all the cocktail waitresses and letting them goof off on the job. We had a little argument and I straightened him out."
Michael's face was impassive when he said to his brother, "You straightened out, Freddie?"
Freddie stared sullenly at his younger brother. He didn't answer. Greene laughed and said, "The son of a bitch was taking them to bed two at a time, the old sandwich job. Freddie, I gotta admit you really put it to those broads. Nobody else could make them happy after you got through with them."
Hagen saw that this had caught Michael by surprise. They looked at each other. This was perhaps the real reason the Don was displeased with Freddie. The Don was straitlaced about sex. He would consider such cavorting by his son Freddie, two girls at a time, as degeneracy. Allowing himself to be physically humiliated by a man like Moe Greene would decrease respect for the Corleone Family. That too would be part of the reason for being in his father's bad books.
Michael rising from his chair, said, in a tone of dismissal, "I have to get back to New York tomorrow, so think about your price."
Greene said savagely, "You son of a bitch, you think you can just brush me off like that? I killed more men than you before I could jerk off. I'll fly to New York and talk to the Don himself. I'll make him an offer."
Freddie said nervously to Tom Hagen, "Tom, you're the Consigliere, you can talk to the Don and advise him."
It was then that Michael turned the full chilly blast of his personality on the two Vegas men. "The Don has sort of semiretired," he said. "I'm running the Family business now. And I've removed Tom from the Consigliere spot. He'll be strictly my lawyer here in Vegas. He'll be moving out with his family in a couple of months to get all the legal work started. So anything you have to say, say it to me."
Nobody answered. Michael said formally, "Freddie, you're my older brother, I have respect for you. But don't ever take sides with anybody against the Family again. I won't even mention it to the Don." He turned to Moe Greene. "Don't insult people who are trying to help you. You'd do better to use your energy to find out why the casino is losing money. The Corleone Family has big dough invested here and we're not getting our money's worth, but I still didn't come here to abuse you. I offer a helping hand. Well, if you prefer to spit on that helping hand, that's your business. I can't say any more."
He had not once raised his voice but his words had a sobering effect on both Greene and Freddie. Michael stared at both of them, moving away from the table to indicate that he expected them both to leave. Hagen went to the door and opened it. Both men left without saying good night.
The next morning Michael Corleone got the message from Moe Greene: he would not sell his share of the hotel at any price. It was Freddie who delivered the message. Michael shrugged and said to his brother, "I want to see Nino before I go back to New York."
In Nino's suite they found Johnny Fontane sitting on the couch eating breakfast. Jules was examining Nino behind the closed drapes of the bedroom. Finally the drapes were drawn back. Michael was shocked at how Nino looked. The man was visibly disintegrating. The eyes were dazed, the mouth loose, all the muscles of his face slack. Michael sat on his bedside and said, "Nino, it's good to catch up with you. The Don always asks about you."
Nino grinned, it was the old grin. "Tell him I'm dying. Tell him show business is more dangerous than the olive oil business."
"You'll be OK," Michael said. "If there's anything bothering you that the Family can help, just tell me."
Nino shook his head. "There's nothing," he said. "Nothing."
Michael chatted for a few more moments and then left. Freddie accompanied him and his party to the airport, but at Michael's request didn't hang around for departure time. As he boarded the plane with Tom Hagen and Al Neri, Michael turned to Neri and said, "Did you make him good?"
Neri tapped his forehead. "I got Moe Greene mugged and numbered up here."