Save the Girl 1
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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Save the Girl 1
Save the Girl 1
Episode Fourteen concluded with:
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.”
The space between the general store and the barber shop was too wide and too short to qualify as an alley. But on a starless night with only a small scar of a moon in the sky, the area was dark enough to provide Dehner with cover as he watched the Alcott Hotel.
Behind the general store stood a buckboard, fronted by four strong horses; his own horse was tethered to the back of the wagon. Dehner had purchased the wagon and horses from the livery. The hostler hadn’t trusted him enough for a rental. In a way, that made things simpler. He planned on tying up Maria Martino, putting her in the bed, and providing her with a return trip to Dallas. Now he wouldn’t have to worry about returning the wagon or horses. He’d sell them in Dallas, or at least that was the plan…
The detective hadn’t worked out all the details yet. Kidnapping was new to him. About two hours earlier he had listened as Philip Richardson addressed a group of men in front of the Emerald Theater:
“Regretfully, gentlemen, I cannot allow you to watch the rehearsal. The girls won’t have it. You see, in the theater it is considered bad luck for outsiders to watch a rehearsal. Those beautiful girls want to save all the fun and surprises for tomorrow. Princess Maria asked me to personally send along her greetings and to tell you that tomorrow night is going to be very special.”
Laughing female voices could be heard meandering down the boardwalk from the theater. Dehner stopped leaning against the side of the general store and watched as a gaggle of young women entered the hotel. Philip Richardson was with them.
The street appeared to be otherwise deserted. All of the revelry was going on up the street at the Big Diamond and another, smaller saloon. Dehner remained in the shadows. After several minutes a light appeared in a second floor window of the hotel. He could see a woman push back one of the curtains at the window and look upon the street below.
He was sure the woman was Maria Martino, or as sure as he could be. It made sense. After all, the star got her own room . That room would probably be on the second floor: a room that looked out on the main street. Dehner had a first floor room at the hotel. The rooms on the first floor only looked out on the back.
The detective watched as Philip Richardson left the hotel. Dehner again leaned against the wall of the general store and waited. About fifteen minutes later the light in Maria’s room went out. He would still need to wait a bit.
The notion of kidnapping a fifteen year old girl made Rance very uncomfortable. Of course, he was kidnapping her in order to get her back to her family and out of a hellish life of prostitution. Still, Dehner vowed to never take a job like this one again.
Rance laughed inwardly. Who was he trying to fool? Dehner knew he could never refuse a request from Carrie Whiting no matter how uncomfortable it made him feel. The detective grinned as he realized that the exact same thing could be said about almost every man in the country. He’d be smart to forget any foolish notions he might have about Carrie Whiting. Still…
The detective decided he had waited long enough. There was no sense in even trying to speculate as to how long Maria would take to fall asleep. The kid thought tomorrow would make her a star. Any sleep that might come to Maria Martino would be restless. Dehner felt his back pocket to make sure the cloth he planned to use as a gag was there.
He walked across the dark street and into the hotel. It was time to kidnap Maria Martino.
Tomorrow: Episode Sixteen of Save the Girl!