That's when Van Alden shows up — "Oh! Who sent for the undertaker!" yells Al — with a sad bouquet of daisies in his hand. "Hello. These are the flowers you ordered," he says stiffly, and Al and Frank take the shitty little clutch of flowers as an insult (which it was supposed to be, of course), and Al tells Frank this is what they get with Frank's "soft soap" for O'Banion. Frank asks how Van Alden's "melon" is, and Van Alden admits it could have been worse. "You're right. It could have been me," says Frank. Capone asks if "Deano" misses them, and Van Alden is all, "You know O'Banion: always jocular." He pronounces "jocular" like the rest of us would say "syphilitic." Van Alden's not forthcoming with details on the two new speakeasies that Al heard O'Banion opened, and when Van Alden tries to head for the door — saying O'Banion's waiting — Al says, "He can wait," and smirks. Van Alden pretends to smile agreeably.
Back at the Onyx, Nucky is making the Florida land pitch to Arnold Rothstein, whose understanding is that Florida land is "played out." But you're not buying land, you're buying opportunity, wheedles Nucky: "Like 'Frisco in '48," he says. Rothstein chuckles, because it's not like gold has been discovered in Florida. But Nucky says it's better: "We've got water on three sides, half a mile from the Atlantic Coast rail line," he says, and Eli says a trawler can reach the Bahamas in twenty-two hours, Havana in twenty-eight, and Rothstein finally gets it: rum. Eli lays out the plan: McCoy's boats take the rum up the coast to Atlantic City — or New York, Nucky adds — and Rothstein's figuring out the rest: They return with whisky. He wants to know if there's any competition, and Nucky says there's none of any consequence, as long as they plant their flag now. Plus, McCoy's pretty handy with a hatchet. I confess to being a little curious about the aftermath of that, but that may come another day. As for competition closer to home? Meyer Lansky points out Joe Masseria won't go past Brooklyn.
Rothstein seems to be at least partially considering it; Nucky says he needs a partner "with a level head." And a half-million dollars, points out Rothstein, although that's no more risk than Nucky himself is putting up. And you know how he likes to avoid risk! Things get a little stagey as Rothstein crosses the floor to talk to Nucky's reflection in a mirror — has anyone ever done that in real life? Ever? I mean, apart from at a barbershop or hair salon. Rothstein wants to know who he should believe: Old Nucky who was supposedly happy with what he had, or New Nucky: Captain Tallahassee Whisky Baron. Nucky says circumstances and people change. Rothstein's skeptical though, and Nucky acknowledges that last year took a toll on everybody, but Rothstein can either wallow in it or sack up and get back to doing what they've been, historically, pretty good at: Long setups, low payoffs? No, making money! Rothstein says he'll mull it over playing poker, as Nucky needs an answer this evening. Nucky says perhaps he'll join him later, which Rothstein likes, saying that you don't really know a man until you play cards with him. This is true for reasons Rothstein doesn't know yet. Rothstein leaves, then Meyer, and the brothers Nucky confer. Eli wonders if Nucky should trust Rothstein. "You know anyone else with that kind of money?" asks Nucky. Well … don't they know many people with that kind of money?