Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now Playing: The Songbird of the West 
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Episode Fifteen of The Songbird of the West

Episode Fourteen concluded with:

            The Songbird of the West pressed her lips together and briefly looked down. She regretted her laughter. The young woman returned her gaze to Bruce Patten, who was still leaning against his desk. “I’m grateful for what you did for me, Bruce. But the road ran both ways. I helped you make enough money to get out of the Wild Horse saloon. Just now, I helped you name this town after yourself. Tomorrow’s concert will bring in more money. After tomorrow, it will be time for us to go our separate ways.”
            Carrie had taken another step toward the door when Patten grabbed her by the arm and pulled her toward him. Hatred steamed from his eyes like heat from a branding iron.

Episode Fifteen

      “Bruce, please, let me go.”
            “You tramp! You think you’re too good for me. You’ve outgrown the low life who owned the dirty little saloon where you got a start. Well, let me tell you--”
             Rance Dehner flung the door open and stepped inside, “You’ve talked enough, Mr. Patten. Let Miss Whiting go.”
            “I don’t take orders from some two bit detective. Get out of my office!”
            “I will. But first you’re going to let go of Miss Whiting.”
             Patten yanked the young woman behind him and lunged at Dehner. The saloon owner was too angry to fight well. He telegraphed his first punch, which Rance easily ducked. Dehner’s first punch sent Bruce Patten to the floor.
            “I’ve been listening outside,” Dehner spoke in a monotone to his opponent, who was slowly getting up. “I’m sure Miss Whiting is willing to forget this encounter. I suggest you do the same.”
            On his feet, Bruce Patten leaned against his desk, this time for support, “I’ll never forget this, Dehner. Never!”
            Dehner gently took Carrie Whiting by the arm and guided her out of the office. Matters did not get any easier when they got to the boardwalk.  A crowd of people began to gather around the singer. Carrie quickly whispered into Dehner’s ear, “Could you get me to the restaurant? I have a room reserved for supper there.”
            Carrie then began to chat it up with her fans, thanking them for their compliments. Dehner quickly understood the role he had been assigned. He was the bad guy. He had to say things like, “Excuse us please, Miss Whiting needs to eat supper, just like the rest of us,” as he guided Carrie toward the restaurant.
            At the restaurant, the owner greeted them. He was a short, overweight man named Ellery who beamed at Carrie but appeared uncertain about her companion. Dehner figured Bruce Patten had made the arrangements and Ellery naturally expected Patten to be escorting the star.
            The owner maintained his courteous demeanor as he escorted Carrie and Rance across the restaurant. They passed the kitchen to arrive at a back door which Ellery opened in a ceremonious manner. “This room is not up to the standards of Dallas, Miss Whiting, but I hope you will enjoy your meal here.”
            “Oh, this is wonderful!” Carrie exclaimed. “Thank you for going to so much trouble.”
            Ellery’s face turned a happy red. “My pleasure, Miss Whiting.”
            Dehner was able to hide his amusement. Ellery had done a fine job of transforming a storage room into a private dining area. He had run a long thin piece of wood across the ceiling of the room. The wood served as a curtain rod. The curtain itself was black and blocked the view of most of the room. The dining table was round with a white tablecloth. In the middle of the table was a small green vase containing a red rose. The table was sitting on a hastily cut piece of red carpet.
            “I will be bringing your food shortly, Miss Whiting!” Ellery hurried off.
            Carrie looked about in an appreciative manner. “I feel guilty putting Ellery to all of this trouble. But I really do need a private room to eat in. Otherwise…well…you saw how people can be.”
            Dehner remained standing in the doorway while Carrie stood by the table. “I sure did. But it was a pleasure escorting you here. Enjoy your evening meal, Miss Whiting.”
            “Wait a minute, Mr. Dehner, you can’t expect a girl to dine alone. You must join me.”
            “Ah…I hadn’t…”
            A playful look appeared on the singer’s face. “After all, you are supposed to watch over me. So, come in and watch.”
            Dehner stepped in and closed the door behind him.

Tomorrow: Episode Sixteen of The Songbird of the West