Monday, June 4, 2012
Now Playing: The Songbird of the West
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Episode Twelve concluded with:
Dehner eased into the corridor, partially closing the door to conceal himself. He moved close to the office door, which was shut. Carrie Whiting had not been kidnapped again but Dehner still felt that she was in danger.
“I can’t believe the cheap trick you just played on me…” Carrie broke loose from Patten’s arm the moment they entered his large office.
“My, my, when did you suddenly get such high standards?”
“Are you going to throw that in my face? I was twelve, Bruce!”
“Yes, and you were almost as beautiful as you are now. I heard you singing to two cowboys who were buying you drinks. They both wanted to…well…we both know what they wanted. I took you away from that pair of barflys, and gave you a chance to sing publicly. You became the star attraction at the Wild Horse Saloon.”
“The place was a dump.”
Bruce laughed as he pulled a cigar from a humidor on his desk. “The whole town was a dump. Always will be. That’s why I left.”
Carrie relaxed a bit, but only a bit. “Now you’ve got a town named after you. Congratulations.”
Patten bit off the end of the cigar. “Why not? This place was named Dry River because it was incorporated during a drought. Not a name that would encourage people to move here.”
Carrie shrugged her shoulders. “The town does seem to be prospering.”
Patten flamed a match with his thumbnail and put the fire to his cigar. He shook the match and dropped the black ember into an ashtray on his desk. “That’s the reason I brought you to my town. You see, selling booze isn’t a bad way to make a living, but--”
Carrie smiled sadly. “Running a saloon is a dirty business, whether it’s a hole in the wall like the Wild Horse, or an uptown operation like the Silver Crown.”
“Correct.” Patten leaned against his desk and pointed to a chair. “That’s why I’m expanding into other areas. That, and the opportunity to get filthy rich. You’re going to get filthy rich with me, Carrie.”
The young woman realized that Bruce Patten hadn’t changed much since he had made her the star of the Wild Horse Saloon. His attitude was one of a commanding officer addressing an underling.
Still, Carrie couldn’t shake the notion that she was in debt to Patten. What would her life have been like without him?
Against her better judgment, Carrie sat down in front of her former boss. “I’m listening.”
Tomorrow: Episode Fourteen of The Songbird of the West