Harry Reynolds – Character in Divide the Dawn
“I just cry. So angry, I cry. Confused. Undeserved as I am. Shaking my head and covering my face on the floor and bleating and blubbering and acting the fool. Harry yanks me up by the coat.”
Harry Reynolds (b. 1891) also known as The Shiv, is a hard pragmatist with a taciturn, brooding personality and is dockboss of the Atlantic Terminal for the White Hand gang. Harry is known as the smartest, most respected man under leader Dinny Meehan and inspires men to work hard even as he gives orders in a low, calm voice. When an immigrant longshoremen challenged him, he unemotionally punctured the man’s kidney with a shiv, then gave him directions to the local hospital. Harry was the first orphan that Dinny and Sadie Meehan had cared for and was groomed as Dinny’s future righthand. But something tragic and unspecified happened. When Liam Garrity asked questions about it to the talkative old-timer Beat McGarry, he was immediately told never to speak of it again. Harry looks remarkably similar to Meehan. They met in Elmira’s Reformatory as teens.
Harry never hangs out in the Dock Loaders’ Club after getting his share of tribute money and does not even keep a righthand man. When Liam Garrity asks his advice concerning Meehan’s request to have him kill his own uncle, Harry hands him a knife. Harry fought in the Donnybrook in Red Hook, helping the gang win back power on the Brooklyn docks.
After Tommy Tuohey’s murder, Harry is tasked with training young Garrity, who moves in with him. Together they renovate a dilapidated room on Eighth Avenue in expectation of the teenager’s mother and sisters’ arriving from Ireland, teaching him about patience and being forthright. When Dinny Meehan is jailed and Sadie shows up asking for help after being harassed by Lovett followers, Harry tells Liam that he can’t speak with her. When Garrity asks why, Harry walks away.