Save the Girl! 1
Friday, September 28, 2012
Now Playing: Save the Girl!
New to These Parts ? To Start the Story from the Beginning,click
Save the Girl! 1
Save the Girl! 1
Episode Fifteen concluded with:
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.
The Alcott Hotel contained no restaurant or bar. The one light in the lobby came from the front desk where a clerk had his head on a newspaper that lay beside the register. He was sleeping. Dehner approached the desk quietly: a needless precaution. The clerk didn’t stir. As he drew near, Dehner noticed that the paper was a week old edition of the Dallas Herald. Peeking out beside the clerk’s gray head was a drawing of Rutherford B. Hayes. President Hayes was obviously doing nothing that interested the clerk.
What was in the register did interest the detective. Princess Maria signed in for room 204. Dehner stepped behind the desk to where the hotel kept its second room keys on a wide board. He took the key for 204 and left his own room key on the desk. He wouldn’t be spending the night after all. The detective then headed up the stairway. As he did, the clerk began an airy snore.
The second floor was in total darkness. Dehner stood still for a moment, allowing his eyes to adjust, and then made his way down an uncarpeted hallway to room 204.He unlocked the door and stepped inside. He had to pause again in order to locate the outline of a bed in the cave-like darkness of the room. The detective stepped quietly but quickly toward the bed and put an arm around the head of the occupant, cupping a hand over her mouth.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Dehner whispered anxiously. “Don’t be scared--”
He heard a step behind him but didn’t have time to react. An explosion went off inside his head and he dropped to the floor, fighting to maintain consciousness. Dehner could hear the strike of a match and then a yellow blur floated above him. Partially illuminated in the kerosene light was the face of Philip Richardson.
“Is this the gentleman who caused you all the trouble?” Even given the circumstances, Richardson maintained his phony British accent.
Another vaguely familiar face came into the yellow glare of the light. At first, Dehner didn’t recognize it.
“Yeah, that’s him. The tough guy. Don’t look so tough any more, does he?”
Dehner felt the sharp toe of a boot slam into his side, directly under the ribs. He was glad for small mercies. His attacker’s anger had caused him to miss the mark.
“You’re not as smart as you think you are, detective,” the attacker said. “Those men you had laughin’ at me back in Dallas, one of them recognized you. Mr. Rance Dehner, a snoop for the Lowrie Detective Agency. I thought Mr. Richardson would be interested in knowin’ a detective was lookin’ into his affairs. Took off quick for Alcott. Got here a little before you did. Guess I should thank you, detective. I’m making more money workin’ for Mr. Richardson than I made lookin’ after that lousy dump.”
Dehner now recognized the theater manager he had questioned in Dallas. “Making your way up the ladder of success! You’re right out of a Horatio Alger novel, Harry.”
“Huh?” Harry replied.
Philip Richardson chuckled as he looked down at his prisoner. “The man has a wonderful sense of humor! I’m sure that we are in store for a delightful few hours with Mr. Dehner. Delightful indeed!” He turned his head. “Jerri Mae, please hold the light while we secure Mr. Dehner’s hands and feet.”
The woman took the kerosene lamp and bent over Dehner as the two men retrieved the ropes. “I’m sorry.” Her voice was both a whisper and a sob. “You’ve got to understand. Philip Richardson owns this town. He told me to be on the look out for you, and to set up this trap…I’m sorry.”
Dehner tried to think of something funny to say in order to buttress his standing as a wit. He was working on it when the yellow light vanished and darkness overwhelmed him.
Monday: Episode Seventeen of Save the Girl!