Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Now Playing: Dangerous Calling 
New to These Parts? To Start the Story From the Beginning,Click 
Dangerous Calling 1

Episode Eleven of Dangerous Calling

Episode Ten concluded with:

The Bishop’s voice became forceful. “I want to make up for my past, selfish actions. Something has gone wrong and matters could verge on getting much worse. Bertram, could you send an operative to Antioch and ascertain exactly what is going on?”
“Mr. Dehner will be leaving on the first available train.”
Dehner nodded in agreement and wondered at the odd nature of his assignment. He was to investigate a young preacher whose personality seemed to have changed overnight and deal with a young woman who was a hopeless romantic.
The detective had a feeling his trip to Antioch was going to be very eventful.

Episode Eleven
Frank Dunning sat in Wilbur Lewis’ office at The Antioch Community Bank. Frank was there in his capacity as mayor of the town.
“About that abandoned property west of Antioch, Frank, I think the town council needs to…” Lewis pulled out a handkerchief and began to cough.
“Are you okay, Wilbur?”
“Yes, yes, thank you. My throat is just a bit scratchy this morning.”
“Stay well. I need you. No one else on the council knows a hoot about business.”
“I’ll try not to let you down, Mr. Mayor.” Wilbur laughed as he put away the handkerchief. He then picked up a cigar from the ashtray on his desk and inhaled.
As the banker blew a large stream of smoke, Frank glanced out the open door of the office and spotted an angel. The young woman appeared confused. She looked about the bank, then headed for one of the teller’s cages and out of Frank’s view.  
The mayor inwardly sighed and resumed his conversation with Wilbur Lewis. But, within moments their talk was interrupted by a young man who appeared at the office door.
“Excuse me, gentlemen.”
“Yes, Roy,” Wilbur said. Roy was a teller at the bank.
“There is a lady here who says she needs to see the mayor. Fred, at the train station, told her he’d be here.”
“Show her in…please!” Frank spoke up immediately.
The mayor’s hopes were realized. The angel stepped into Wilbur Lewis’ office. She had light brown hair surrounding a perfectly proportioned face and blue eyes.
Roy introduced the lady as Amanda Olson, then returned to his duties. Both the banker and the mayor were now smiling and on their feet.
“Welcome to Antioch, Miss Olson.” Frank said.
“Indeed!” Wilbur added.
“Thank you, sirs, I have just arrived from Boston.”
“My, my, you have come a long way!” Lewis exclaimed.
As his friend pontificated on how the railroad had transformed Antioch, Dunning kept an eye on Amanda, or, at least, he watched her to the degree that propriety would allow. When Frank had first stood up, the woman’s eyes went to his crutch and missing leg. She had quickly looked away not wanting to appear rude.  
Wilbur concluded his lecture on the progress of Antioch with, “So, tell us, Miss Olson: what brings you to our town?”
“Well…I am very sorry to have interrupted your meeting--”
“Please don’t feel that way, Miss Olson,” Frank interjected. “Roy said that you wanted to see me.” Never before had Frank Dunning felt so puffed up about being the mayor.
“Yes, Mr. Dunning. I have come to Antioch to join with my fiancé, Reverend Jim Goodman. A clerk at the train station told me that you would know where to find him.”
Frank no longer felt puffed up. “Why, yes, of course…”
“Your fiancé is quite the hero in this town, Miss Olson!” Wilbur’s voice was bombastic. “Yes, two nights ago, Jim Goodman...”
Frank Dunning experienced a flash of anger over Wilbur’s hero remark. Not that long ago, he had been the town hero. Frank quickly brought his wrath under control and laughed inwardly. “Town hero” was a very temporary title. Besides, Amanda Olson should take pride in her fiancé. 
Still, as Wilbur was recounting Reverend Goodman’s brave exploits, the mayor felt uneasy. There were a lot of little things about Jim Goodman that seemed wrong. Like Goodman’s first day in town, when the pastor had not said grace before eating breakfast at Hurley’s Café.  And, Goodman had not mentioned having a fiancée. All small matters, but…
The mayor checked his thoughts. He had been very smitten by Amanda Olson and had just found out that she was engaged to Reverend Goodman. Maybe he wasn’t being very objective right now.
Amanda was obviously overwhelmed by the banker’s tale. “Jim devoutly believes that the Lord has sent him to the West. What happened last Wednesday certainly proves him right.” She faced Frank directly. “Could you take me to Jim? I’m very anxious to see him.”
“Of course!” Wilbur’s voice was still bombastic. “We can finish this meeting later, Frank. You and Miss Olson run along. Reverend Goodman told me he would be working on his sermon for much of this day. You’ll probably find him at the hotel.”
Dunning and Amanda Olson left the office and were walking toward the front door of the bank when a voice stopped them. “Ah, Mr. Mayor…”
Frank turned and smiled, “Fargo! Good to see you.” He introduced Amanda Olson, who was very excited about meeting the man her husband had confronted and converted.
Fargo leaned on his broom. “Please to meet ya, Miss Olson. While I was sweeping up, I heard ya talkin’ with the boss. ‘Fraid I got bad news.”
“Oh.” The woman looked alarmed.
Fargo waved his hand as if dismissing her concern. “Nothin’ too serious. But I saw Reverend… ah… the Reverend on my way to work this mornin’.  He tole me he had to leave town for a spell.”
“Why?” Amanda asked.
“Was it some problem with a member of the congregation?” Frank added. “Someone who lives out of town?”
“Yep. That was it.”
Frank tilted his head in a questioning manner. “Well, he should be back by tonight.”
“Yep. Sure.”
Amanda Olson’s face had fallen in disappointment. Dunning tried to cheer her up. “Jim will be back before you know it. Where are your bags, Miss Olson?”
“At the train station. The man there said he’d keep an eye on them for me.”
“My buggy is out front. Why don’t we retrieve your bags and get you settled in at the hotel. Then, if you’d like, I’d be honored to take you to lunch.”
“Thank you, Mr. Dunning. That would be wonderful.”
Fargo followed the couple out the door. He swept the boardwalk in front of the bank as Dunning and the town’s new arrival got into his buggy. Fargo watched as they rode off to the train station.
“A real looker, that Amanda gal. Too bad we gotta kill her.”

Tomorrow: Episode Twelve of Dangerous Calling