Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now Playing: Last Job
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Episode Sixteen of Last Job

Episode Fifteen concluded with:

 “Have you seen Conklin since arriving in Hard Stone?”
            “Briefly. At the restaurant. We exchanged the usual pleasantries. Nothing more.”
            Rance Dehner fell silent for a few minutes. Stacey puffed on his cigarette nervously, and growled at his companion. “I hate these silent spells of yours. They always end with you concocting some wild scheme. A scheme that always involves me.”
            “You’re right, Stacey.”
            “My worst fears, confirmed.”

Episode Sixteen

“I want you to drop by the bank today and invite George Conklin to a friendly game of cards. I’ll be one of the players. We’ll get him into a game every night.”
            “For what reason, pray tell?”
            “I want you to become friends with the banker. After a few nights of cards, you will confide in Conklin that I am a detective for the Lowrie Agency. The agency has been retained by an uncle of Lon Westlake’s, who lives in the East, to investigate the bank robbery. The uncle is certain his nephew is innocent. Tell Conklin you are, shall we say, financially embarrassed. You need a stake. For seven hundred dollars, you’ll dispose of me.”
            “Charming,” Stacey spoke through a cloud of smoke. “But I still don’t get the method to the madness.”
            “I’m hoping that in the process, Conklin will confess to you that he hired Tully Brooks to fake the robbery.”
            Stacey Hooper’s eyes widened. He dropped the stub of his cigarette on the floor and toed it out. “Rance, you probably think I occasionally go along with these schemes of yours as an act of penitence for my life of selfishness and debauchery. Not so.”
            “I sense that you are about to give me the real reason.”
            “Indeed! I wish to prove that Mr. Thomas Hobbs was only two thirds right. Life is short and brutish, but it need not always be nasty. Life can be fun if you refuse to let it be dull. And, despite your puritan notions, Rance, life never seems to be dull when you are around.”
            Rance shrugged his shoulders. “Thanks, I guess. First thing, let’s share our plan with Rush Hunter. We may need the sheriff’s help down the line.”
            “Are you sure this fellow can be trusted?”
            “Penelope Castle does, and she knows this town well. I’ll accept her judgment. On my way here, I saw the deputy doing a round, so Hunter is probably in his office now--”
            “Give me a moment, Rance.”
            “What for?”
            Hooper lifted the whiskey flask from the bureau. “I need to finish breakfast.”

Tomorrow: Chapter Seventeen of Last Job