Save the Girl! 1
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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Save the Girl! 1
Save the Girl! 1
Episode Eighteen concluded with:
The woman returned to the table and her two companions. “Let’s eat and give Mr. Dehner a little time for meditation.”
Harry laughed again, but Philip Richardson looked irritated. Jerri Mae smirked inwardly. Richardson was actually jealous of her kissing Dehner, even though he thought she was doing it to help him, and even though he knew that at the Big Diamond she…
Men are fools, Jerri Mae thought to herself once again.
The woman put out the plates and food. The three sat down to eat. Jerri Mae was pleased when Harry sat with his back to Dehner. No such luck with Richardson, who sat across from Harry where he could see the detective. He smiled mockingly at Dehner as he poured a glass of wine and then lifted it up, as if toasting the detective.
The woman also watched Dehner. He was working the knife against the rope slowly without betraying himself with body movements. After several minutes, She saw that his eyes were fixed on the six shooter strapped to Harry’s waist. The detective then glanced at her. She hoped she got the message right. His hands were free but he still needed help in grabbing that weapon.
Jerri Mae smiled at Harry. “Do you get lonesome in Alcott?”
Harry was surprised by the question, but it was a good surprise. “I’ve been keeping pretty busy since I arrived here.”
Jerri turned up the smile a bit. “Yes, but I bet you had plenty of female friends back in Dallas. Don’t you miss the attention?”
Harry laughed as his eyes gave the woman an appreciative look. “Sure, I get lonesome.”
Philip had heard enough. He glared at Jerri Mae. “As soon as we are finished eating, you need to get back--”
Both men were now looking directly at Jerri Mae. Dehner leapt from the chair and ran at Harry. His footsteps wavered but were still fast.
“Look out!” Richardson stood up and went for his gun.
Dehner slipped Harry’s Colt from its holster and fired. Richardson yelled and collapsed to the floor. Harry tackled Dehner and the two men hit the floor as the henchman tried to wrestle his gun back. Harry managed to get on top of the detective. Dehner fired again; Harry’s body jerked backwards then fell onto Dehner.
Rance breathed hard. He had absorbed a beating and felt weak. He inhaled and then pushed off Harry’s corpse. As he did, he could hear Jerri Mae talking to Philip Richardson.
He turned and saw that the woman had Philip’s arm around her shoulder and was helping him up. “Rest in the chair for a few minutes sweetheart, then we’ll get you to a doctor.”
Philip still held a gun in his hand but kept it pointed at the floor. He watched Dehner getting up and noticed the detective was also holding a weapon.
Richardson went quiet for a moment, as if piecing together what had just happened. “You helped the detective, didn’t you Jerri Mae?”
Jerri was filling Philip’s wine glass. “Yes, sweetheart, I couldn’t let--”
Richarson sent two bullets into the woman. Jerri Mae spun and fell against the table, knocking it over and loudly scattering its contents over the floor. Dehner fired at Richardson who slammed against the back of the chair. The chair teetered. Richardson dropped to the floor.
Stepping on shards of broken plates, Rance staggered over to where Jerri Mae lay on the floor and bent over her. “Thank you, Jerri Mae. You saved my life.”
“I owed you, cowboy. I’m the one who got you into this mess. Did it for love.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think Phil loved me. I loved him. Couldn’t let him become a killer. Did you know I was his first girl?”
A look of happiness, or something close to it came into the woman’s face as she pulled up one of her few happy memories. “Was nine years ago. I was sixteen. Phil brought me to Alcott. I was the star of the first show ever in the Emerald Theater.”
The woman suddenly appeared horrified. “Maybe Phil didn’t love me. How could he love me, he--”
Rance placed a finger on her lips. “Love can be a very strange thing,” he said softly. “And remember, all men are fools.”
Jerri Mae gave a wistful smile. She lifted one hand and stroked Dehner’s face. “Not all men,” she said. The hand went down and her eyes closed.
Rance Dehner slowly stood up. He felt empty and unable to handle the tasks that were in front of him. He made his way onto the porch of the cabin and sat there for a couple of hours as the sun came up. The morning turned warm but he still felt cold and empty inside.
Tomorrow: Episode Twenty of Save the Girl!