Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Now Playing: Save the Girl!
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Save the Girl! 1

Episode Fourteen of Save the Girl!

Episode Thirteen concluded with:

“Like I said, men are fools. They see a girl prancing about the stage in a frilly costume and they’ve got to have her. Richardson always follows the same routine. The show runs for three nights. Then, Phil holds a private auction. The girls in the chorus are the first to be up for bid. The highest bidders get to spend a night with a chorus girl. Then comes the big prize, a night with the star. This time it’s Princess Maria.” 
Dehner paused and looked around the Big Diamond. The jasper who had cursed the roulette wheel was still losing. “What if a girl doesn’t cooperate?”
The woman gave a scornful laugh. “What can the kid do? She’s in a strange place away from everyone she knows. Phil owns the law in this town.”
Dehner gave a long sigh. “And I’m sure there are some jaspers who find pleasure in a girl who puts up a fight.”
“Yeah, some do. Like I said--”
Dehner finished for her. “Men are fools. Yes, some are. How about Richardson? Does he take liberties with his leading lady before the auction?”

Episode Fourteen

An emotion moved across Jerri Mae’s face which Dehner couldn’t peg. The woman was quiet for a moment, then gave her shoulders a slight shrug. “Sometimes. Sometimes not.”
The detective realized he would get no further information on that topic. “What happens to the girls once the ordeal is over?”
The woman waved a hand in a circle. “Look around you! Former star attractions are everywhere. Of course, they’re damaged goods now. But they are still okay for a trip to one of the cribs out back.”
“Is there a bawdy house in town?”
“Yes. That’s where you go when you’re finished here.”
“Richardson only pulls this stunt twice a year,” Dehner said. “What happens to the Emerald Theater the rest of the time?”
“He rents it out to legitimate shows,” Jerri Mae shot back. “Mostly to troupes that are on their way to Dallas. Of course, the theater is unused much of the time. Still, Philip Richardson makes money off the Emerald. Phil does nothing if there isn’t money in it.”
“I hope I get a chance to kill the snake.”
“What?!” Jerri Mae’s hand hit her glass, knocking a dollop of liquid onto the table.
“I’m in Alcott to do a job,” anger seethed from Dehner’s eyes. “I’ve got to get Maria Martino, that’s her real name, back to her family. Once I’ve done that, I may pay Alcott a return visit.”
The detective took a deep breath, trying to get his anger in check. He only partially succeeded. “Where do the girls stay before opening night?”
“The Alcott Hotel, it’s at the other end of the street.”
“Do they stay in one room?”
“The girls in the chorus do. The star gets a separate room.”
The detective took a sip of his beer, then fell silent and considered his options. He could try to rescue all of the girls, but that probably wouldn’t work. All of them would resist. They thought they were on the first step to becoming the next Carrie Whiting. He would have to limit himself to Maria Martino, who would probably be a handful.
“I have to be going. Thanks for the information, Jerri Mae.”
“Aren’t you going to finish your beer?”
Dehner stood up. “I’m not thirsty anymore.”
“I’ve met some strange cowpokes, Rance, but you are…well…different.”
“I guess you’re right,” the detective chortled. “Not many cowpokes are kidnappers.” 

Tomorrow: Episode Fifteen of Save the Girl!