Save the Girl! 1
Thursday, September 13, 2012
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Save the Girl! 1
Save the Girl! 1
Episode Four concluded with:
The detective kept an eye on Harry while walking off, but the theater manager began to nail the sign as if nothing had just happened. The spectators who now numbered five were not fooled. They were laughing and nudging each other.
Harry was a thug who had thought nothing of attacking Dehner with a hammer. But the detective walked away from the scene feeling low. Humiliating such a man had brought him no pleasure, only an uneasy sense that he had diminished himself.
Dehner shook his head, trying to rid himself of those thoughts. Maria was in serious trouble. She needed a detective, not a philosopher.
Rance Dehner admired the large, shady trees in one of Dallas’ finest areas as he looked for the house belonging to Carrie Whiting. This was the first time he had met with Carrie in her home. The previous case where he had met the singer had taken place entirely in a small town northeast of Dallas.
After Anna Martino had come to the theater where Carrie was rehearsing that morning, the singer had taken the distraught mother to the office of the Lowrie Detective Agency. Dehner had immediately left for the Palace Theater while his boss, Bertram Lowrie, began a background check on Philip Richardson. They had been on the case for less than a day, but a sense of urgency was required.
Rance admitted to himself that he was excited to once again be on a case that involved Carrie Whiting. And the prospect of having a few minutes alone with the Songbird of the West more than excited him. He felt like an eleven year old boy who had just swiped a Carrie Whiting card from his dad’s box of cigars.
Dehner noted that Carrie’s home was smaller than the others and there were fewer stables in the back. No surprise. After all, Carrie Whiting was on the road at least six months out of the year.
He tethered his horse and walked the path across the expansive yard. Arriving at the front porch, he straightened his string tie before pulling on the rope by the door. Chimes sounded inside and the door opened, revealing a large boned man in a suit which fitted well but still didn’t look right on him. “Mr. Dehner?”
“Come on in. Miss Whiting is expectin’ ya. I’ll take your hat.”
“Thanks,” Rance stepped inside and handed his hat to a man whose nose had been broken and whose face was puffy from past battles. “You’re Floyd Rayburn, aren’t you?”
“Yup. I mean, yes sir, I sure am.”
“I saw you fight Pete Jackson about two years ago. You knocked him out in the sixth round.”
“Sure did. I won that one. But I lost some later on.” He pointed at his nose. “Like most pugs in the boxin’ game, I fought one fight too many.” He turned, opened a closet door and placed Dehner’s hat on an upper shelf. “But I can still handle trouble.”
He motioned for Rance to follow him down a long hallway, towards the sounds of a piano and a female voice singing the scales. The detective reckoned Floyd wouldn’t mind a question. “Has there been any trouble?”
“Nothin’ serious. Reporters try ta barge in and some guys look at a picture of the Songbird of the West and get kinda nutty; nothin’ too bad. They don’t mean no harm. But Mr. McLeod wants Miss Whiting ta be safe, so I’m here as a butler and bodyguard. I ain’t so good at the butler part yet, but Mr. McLeod don’t mind as long as I’m a gentleman. By gentleman, he don’t mean knowin’ which fork goes where, he means--”
“I know what he means, Floyd.”
Tomorrow: Episode Six of Save the Girl!