Thursday, May 10, 2012

Now Playing: Hellfire
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Episode Thirteen of Hellfire     

Episode Twelve concluded with:

             They stopped at the back door of the Quick Dollar. Rance tried the door, which was locked. The detective pointed to a nearby window. “Breaking the glass will probably make less noise than busting down the door.”
            Rance pulled his Colt as he moved over to the target. “The latch is broken!” he said as he opened the window and holstered his gun.
            “Hallelujah!” Hosea declared in a loud whisper. “That’s an answer to prayer!”
            Stacey’s face crunched. “When did you pray for a broken latch?”
            “Well…what I meant was…” 
            “Never mind that!” Dehner anxiously whispered. He was looking out at his companions after having crawled through the window. “Get inside!”

Episode Thirteen

Hosea and Stacey complied. The three men were now standing in a large storage area. Stacey’s voice was uncharacteristically nervous. “Ah…Hosea. Do you know if Gail might be, um,..with  a client?”
            Hosea hastily shook his head. “If an owlhoot wants to spend more than an hour with one of the girls, he has to take her to a hotel. Beau Rawlins’ orders. But listen here. Gail don’t--”
            Dehner cut him off. “We have to get moving. We don’t have much time. One of the other jaspers guarding the town might find the two we tied up.”
            Dehner carefully opened the door that led into the saloon proper. The detective immediately remembered Hosea’s statement about the occupants of Hellfire preferring darkness to light. The Quick Dollar seemed dedicated to an eternal night. Two thick doors that fronted the bat wings stood closed. The saloon’s four small windows were covered by thick curtains. Smoke from the previous night circled about the room like a snake stalking its prey. No one had bothered to stack the chairs on the tables. Many of the chairs were scattered about the saloon like confused drunks. The air was rancid with the odor of tobacco, booze and urine. Broken bottles lay scattered on the floor.
            The kerosene lights were glowing on the large wagon wheel chandelier that hung over the Quick Dollar, but the chandelier didn’t seem to provide illumination. Rather, it cast a shimmering yellow stain over everything it touched.
            “If Satan has an office, this must be what it looks like,” Hosea said. The other two men nodded in agreement.
            “Come on,” Dehner said as he led his companions up the stairway.
            When they reached the top, Hosea took the lead, moving quickly toward the room where he had talked with his wife the previous night. As he opened the door, the three men glanced toward the bed where Gail lay. The girl looked pale and was breathing rapidly, like someone in pain. Her hands clung to the white sheet that covered her as if it were a flag of surrender.
            “Wake her up, Hosea. But we haven’t got much time.” Dehner and Hooper stepped away as Rance closed the door. Hosea Rimstead was alone with his wife.

Tomorrow: Episode Fourteen of Hellfire