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Angelica Suzanne Heart



Angelica Suzanne Heart just turned 50 years old. She had been the only librarian as the Carnegie library in Heming, Nebraska, for the last 30 years. It was a Friday night and she methodically locked the door. Turning to leave, she was startled by a tall man standing behind her. He wore a tweed jacket, tight blue jean strung around a narrow waste, and dusty brown shoes. He looked at her squarely and said, with perfect punctuation “I am indeed sorry for startling you Ms. Heart, that is who I presume you are?”

Ange stepped back to get her bearings. She looked up at the man’s eyes and said “Who are you?” He smiled, almost shyly, and again with perfect dictation, he told her that he was a writer and he was doing research for a story on the infamous Capone family. He explained that he had seen her photo and read an article she authored for “Library Monthly” and had driven for two days from Chicago to talk to her.

She told him that the library was closed until the morning but that he could return and she would see if she could be helpful with his research. He shook his head and said, “I am sorry, but you misunderstand me. I do not need your library, I need you.” Now she was really puzzled. What could this lanky but polite writer want with her? His blue eyes shone brightly under a patch of black hair, which was turning silver at the tips. Despite the length of his body and lack of physical substance, she thought he was attractive, like a character from a mystery novel.

He asked her if she knew that she was the granddaughter of the famous Two-gun Hart and the great niece of Al Capone.

She lowered her brow and said, “What?”

He repeated, “Two-gun Hart.”

She said, “Lord no, I don’t even know who that is. The Eberhart family raised me. I was an orphan and given the Heart to encourage good nature.

He shook his head slowly and said, “Oh my, so you have no idea about your family history.”

As they sipped coffee in the Thunderbird Restaurant, the man explained that she was the granddaughter of Two-gun Hart, also known as Vincenzo Capone and the older brother of Alphonso, the infamous Chicago mobster. He told her that when Vincenzo was 16, he and his brothers, including Al, got into a fistfight with Chicago Police. Vincenzo knocked a cop through a plate glass window and the cop lay with blood gushing from his body. Vincenzo thought he had killed him and left Chicago that very night. He settled in Homer, Nebraska and changed his name to Richard James Hart. He married in 1919 and took a job as a federal prohibition agent.

He carried out a number of successful raids against bootleggers and because he carried two guns, he earned the nickname "Two-gun" Hart. After a year or so, reporters found out that he was Al Capone’s brother and this news cost him both his job and his home. They moved to South Dakota where Vincenzo had a son named William. William married and moved back to Nebraska and although his wife died in childbirth, she gave birth to a daughter named Angelica. William was committed by contract to work the oil fields of Peru and there was nothing to do but give up baby Angelica. William had been hassled his entire life because of the reputation of the Hart/Capone family and because he did not want to pass the burden onto the baby, he changed her name to “Heart” and the Eberhart’s agreed to raiser her.

Ange looked over the top of her coffee cup and said, “I need time to process this but I need to what you thought I might know.”  

His blue eyes twinkled just a bit and he said, “I learned about your family. Then I saw your picture and read your article and frankly, I just wanted to meet you.”

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