Save the Girl! 1
Friday, September 21, 2012
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Save the Girl! 1
Save the Girl! 1
Episode Ten concluded with:
Tommy reached under the counter for a bottle and glass. He poured a light brown liquid for Jerri. Probably tea, Dehner guessed. A saloon girl’s day is long and “the usual” is often tea or water. Of course, the customer who is buying her the drink doesn’t know that.
“The name is Jerri Mae Swanson.” Her voice was deep and husky.
“Pleased to meet you, Jerri Mae. My name is Rance Dehner.”
“Thanks for taking care of those two owlhoots, Rance.”
Dehner shrugged his shoulders. “The Big Diamond is a place for meeting old friends.”
Jerri Mae smirked and looked at her companion carefully. “You impress me as a man who has a lot more enemies than he does friends. Let’s sit down, maybe you and I can strike up a friendship.”
Jerri Mae glanced around the saloon, then began to walk toward a far table which was safely out of the swamper’s way. Walking beside her, Dehner noted that Jerri Mae was about five foot seven, with black hair, prominent cheek bones and green eyes. The woman appeared to be in her mid-twenties. Jerri Mae was very attractive but had taken on the weary, artificial mannerisms of a woman who works in a saloon.
They sat down at a corner table that was immersed in a cloud of stagnant tobacco smoke. Rance spoke first. “What do you do here, Jerri Mae?”
The woman laughed and briefly looked down at her garish yellow dress. “No one has ever asked me that before. Guess you could say I’m here to keep the cowboys happy.”
“Oh, come on,” Rance tried to sound casual. “You do more than that. Tommy, the bartender, called you Miss Jerri.”
“I don’t think he calls all the girls, ‘Miss’. You carry some authority at The Big Diamond, Jerri Mae.”
The woman waved her left hand as if brushing off an unimportant fact. “Guess you could say that. I’m a bit older than most of the girls here. I sort of look after them, help the new girls fit in. What brings you to town, Rance?”
The question sounded casual enough. But the detective wondered if Jerri Mae wasn’t trying to glean information from him. After all, he had planned on trying to get more than a few details about Philip Richardson from her.
There was little time to speculate on the matter. The bat wing doors swung open and a very well dressed couple paraded inside. They immediately became the center of attention, a fact they both seemed to relish. The man removed a cigar from the side of his mouth and shouted, “I am given to understand that there was a show here at the Big Diamond just a few minutes ago.”
There was a scattering of laughter. The man continued. “Well, gentlemen, I am proud to inform you that there’s going to be a show at the Emerald tomorrow night which will be a lot more interesting than a couple of two bit hooligans exchanging bullets!”
A loud chorus of whoops followed the announcement. Dehner spoke in a low voice to his companion. “Is that Philip Richardson?”
“The one and only,” Jerri Mae stared at her drink for a moment and then added, “I forget his real name, but it wasn’t distinguished enough for him, so he became Philip Richardson.”
Philip Richardson stood at slightly less than average height. He had brown hair and a compact face dominated by intense blue eyes. He impressed Dehner as a man who smiled a lot but was rarely happy.
Monday: Episode Twelve of Save the Girl!