Monday, September 24, 2012
Now Playing: Save The Girl!
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Episode Eleven concluded with:
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.
“Tomorrow night, a new show will be premiering at the Emerald Theater!” Richardson proclaimed. “It is now my honor to introduce you to the star of the latest Philip Richardson production, directly from Rome, Italy, Princess Maria!”
Another loud chorus of whoops followed as men began to close in on Richardson and the young woman who was with him. Philip held up both hands and motioned the crowd back. “Please, gentlemen, please! I don’t want you to stop gambling. That’s how I make a profit on this place.”
The joke was weak but still met with raucous laughter. Richardson had the crowd in a good mood. The saloon owner continued, “I know you all want a good look at our new star, so I’m going to ask her to stand up on the bar!”
In an exaggerated, courtly gesture, Richardson offered Maria his arm and walked her to the bar, where he gently lifted her up. The young woman began to wave at the patrons, and spoke in an Italian accent, “I hope all of you come and see me tomorrow night at the Emerald!”
Her words were met with loud, approving shouts. Dehner remained quiet as he looked at the girl. Princess Maria was definitely the Maria in the photograph Carrie had shown him. The radiance was still there and two years had added much to her beauty. At fifteen she looked closer to nineteen. She was wearing a tight fitting red dress and more make up than required.
The girl was obviously basking in her status as Princess Maria. Dehner realized that getting the girl away from Philip Richardson could require force. I may have to fight a young tigress, he thought to himself.
Richardson’s voice again boomed across the Big Diamond Saloon. “The princess would love to stay, but she needs to rehearse for tomorrow night’s show!”
The saloon owner looked directly at his star. It was obviously a cue. Maria quickly glanced around the saloon. “See you all tomorrow night!” She placed both hands on her lips and threw a kiss to the crowd.
Philip lifted Princess Maria from atop the bar and hurried her out of the saloon. Most of the men in the Big Diamond yelled good-bye at Maria and punctuated their farewells with whistles and whoops. It took a few minutes for business to get back to normal in the saloon. Dehner mused that Princess Maria had disrupted the routine at the Big Diamond more than his gunfight with Briscoe Parker.
The entire incident seemed to have put Jerri Mae in a somber mood. The woman’s head was down and she was moving her index finger over the table as if writing out a message for help.
Rance decided on a direct approach. “For a woman who says her job is to keep cowboys happy, you don’t look very happy yourself.”
Tomorrow: Episode Thirteen of Save the Girl!