Monday, May 21, 2012
Now Playing: The Songbird of the West
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Episode Two concluded with:
Without returning the money to his billfold, Conley stuffed both back into his pocket. “When I checked into this hotel, I told ‘em to give me the finest room they had. The clerk said he’d give me the room with the biggest window.” He pointed behind himself with his thumb. “Bet you ain’t got a window that big in your room.”
“You’re right!” Dehner noted that the window was unusually large for a hotel. The curtains were red, thick, and clean, another unusual find.
Holt Conley was obviously delighted by Rance’s concession. His eyes took on a friendly, though condescending look. “I didn’t catch your name, friend.”
“Guess I didn’t toss it to you. The name is Rance Dehner.”
The friendliness left Conley’s face, replaced by an intense fire. “Well, now, we got ourselves an interesting situation here, Rance Dehner.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re the man I’ve been paid to kill.”
Conley’s right hand became a blur as it propelled downward. His .44 had cleared leather when Dehner’s first shot cut into Holt Conley’s stomach. The gunfighter crouched into a jackknife position and staggered backwards.
“Drop the gun, Holt, now!”
Conley raised his right arm and tried to aim at his adversary. Rance’s second shot ripped into the gunman’s shoulder. He dropped his .44 and again stumbled backwards, this time crashing into the window. The sound of breaking glass mixed with Holt’s loud scream of pain.
The detective ran to the window. Holt Conley was hanging outside, his right arm wrapped around the curtain, which he had pulled out the window. Conley was desperately trying to lift his wounded left arm but couldn’t manage it.
Rance tried to reach down and grab Holt but the curtain ripped and Conley fell. Another loud scream filled the air as Holt Conley hit the boardwalk.
Dehner ran out of the room and down the stairs. When he arrived at the boardwalk, several people were watching from across the street and a few more were gawking through a large window from inside the hotel. No one offered any help.
The detective crouched over the fallen gunman. Blood zig-zagged from Conely’s mouth and then streamed down his neck. His eyes were open, but the wide eyed expression on his face was ghastly, as if he were watching death descend upon him.
Dehner didn’t bother with comforting words about getting a doctor. “Holt, who hired you to kill me?”
“…I only saw her in pictures…you know…the kind that come in the cigar boxes…was gonna see her in person…”
“The name, Holt, I need the name of the man who wants me dead.”
Conley lifted a fragment of the red curtain which was still in his hand. “Is this from the room?”
“The best…” He giggled for a moment then all of the amusement departed from his face and there was nothing there at all.
Dehner looked around him. Groups of people were now scattered about watching him. No one came near.
That odd sense of depression returned. He felt very alone.
Tomorrow: Episode Four of The Songbird of the West