If someone had told Gamble Clancy Ross that a stenographer - just out of secretarial school, at that - could start a gang war, he would have grinned and suggested an immediate sojourn in a mental institution for the prognosticator.
Even if that same someone had described the chick in question - blond, shaped like a Don Juan's dream girl and measuring 38-28-38 - he still would have suggested a tonic for tired blood and mental fatigue.
And yet that's exactly what happened. Stella Parsons just happened to be privy to information which would put a Syndicate biggie on the hot seat. Clancy just happened to think it would be a waste of natural resources to expose Stella to the disease known as rigor mortis, and he therefore endangered his own future enjoyment of Stella's services (nonsecretarial) by engaging two rival gangs in a war for the control of town ironically named Saint Stephen.