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 A Two-Timing Gal

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CD Roberts
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Posts : 114
Join date : 2013-09-23

20131116
PostA Two-Timing Gal

Inspired by Buffalo Gals for The Monthly Stanza to Chapter Challenge : October 2013

The dance was over and the dance hall closed. People milled out onto the street, exchanging parting remarks, making plans to meet again,or simply chatting to while away time or complete a conversation. It was a warm evening, and the full moon lit the sky brightly, creating even less incentive to end the fun and return to the routine of daily life.

But good times can't last forever, and eventually the participants left in small groups, pairs or by their lonesome selves, to return to their beds, and to slumber through what remained of the night.

The Kid politely walked one of the dance hall ladies home. The moon smiled on his handsome features, and her pleasant, but ordinary, ones. A quick, parting peck on the cheek and he returned to his hotel room.

"Have a good time?" Heyes asked, glancing up from the book he was reading, his head propped on a pillow against a metal headboard.

"Yep, it was fun. I'm glad I went. Makes up for being too tired to go yesterday. How was the poker?" Curry sat on his bed and removed his boots.

"Middling. Not one of my best nights, but I didn't lose any. Decided to come back early and read."

Curry yawned. "Those women are pretty good dancers. Some of 'em were almost pretty, too."

"How many feet did you tread on?"

"Probably less than you did last night." He paused. "I walked one of 'em back afterward to where she's got a room. She told me a lot about herself. At least I think she did. Kind of an Annabelle type."

"Annabelle type?"

"The girl who told me all those stories about herself that I met in the boxcar. The one who thought she didn't wanta get married.

This one said her name was Victoriana Regina Townsdale; named after the Queen. She said she came from one of the very first families from back east. Said she had been a professional singer, with a 'bright career in front of her,' headed for fame and fortune. An impresario," Curry said this last word carefully as if it was new to him, "had taken an interest in her."

Heyes looked up with the beginnings of a grin on his lips. "But now she's here in this one horse town. Not by choice I imagine. What happened?"

"She said she became deathly ill, almost didn't survive, barely recovered, and lost her singing voice. The impresario fella dropped her with "the greatest reluctance," and she found her way here."

"No reason it couldn't all be true."

"I suppose, but the way she went on, well, it seemed a bit exaggerated. I mean, I've seen people die, some from disease, and this was different. I guess it was sort of like something you see on the stage. Sounded like folks were dropping down with grief like their lives were at an end. Not like real people.."

"Well, no reason some of it couldn't be true. Maybe she's just exaggerating a bit." Heyes was grinning openly.

"Why are you grinning like that?"

"I didn't tell you about the lady I met last night."

"Yeah?"

"Her name was Francesca Alberta Teasdale; named after the prince consort. She said she had been a professional dancer, and that a big-named impresario was going to promote her career. But then she had a terrible accident, something about a wagon overturning, and..."

"And she can't dance on stage anymore?"

"Uh huh. Funny thing, she said she came from a prominent family back east. She was a bit vague about that when I asked."

"She didn't happen to have red hair, did she?"

"As a matter of fact, she did."

The two men laughed.

I saw her walking by the hotel today, and heard someone call out Jane, so I guess that's her real name." Heyes paused.

"Plain Jane, huh. Why would someone go to all the trouble to use another name?"

"Coming from you, that's a joke, isn't it?"

"I mean why would someone use another name if they didn't have to. If folks here know she is Jane Whatever, she can't be wanted. So why make all that up?"

"Oh, I don't think she is wanted. Of course, maybe Jane Whatever isn't her real name. Could be made up too."

"Can't be. It isn't fancy enough." Curry smiled.

"I don't think she could get away with a fancy made up name on a daily basis. But, nah, I don't think she is wanted."

"So why would someone who isn't wanted do that? And why use different names to different people? People could find out. We did."

"And?"

"What do you mean, and?"

"Does it matter that we found out?"

"I guess not. Doesn't make a difference to me."

"Exactly. She's probably just doing it for some excitement, anyway. This is a pretty dull town, and life here has gotta be pretty boring. 'Course, when you think about it, not everyone leads exciting lives like we do. Most people have pretty routine lives."

"Huh. Sometimes I think I'd settle for a dull life. So it's kinda funny to me that someone would want all that excitement. You know the excitement we are so fortunate to have."

"I guess. But if people didn't pretend there probably wouldn't be plays to watch, or as many books to read. That takes imagination."

"I suppose. But this is different, ain't it? It's one thing to make up a story, but another to make up stuff about yourself, and tell it to other people."

"Is it? Politicians do it all the time. And maybe when someone writes a story or a play it is about them, in some ways. The characters come from them, so maybe the characters are pieces of that person. Or show how that person thinks."

"Maybe. But I still think, it's one thing to write a story or a play, and and another to make up stuff about yourself to tell to others. I think that's kinda sad. Like you don't have enough to satisfy you in your own life, and have to pretend."

"Oh, I dunno. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, its probably alright. And, it would be an escape from an ordinary life."

"Suppose so. Kinda funny though, that she danced with you last night, and me tonight, and told different stories, not knowing we know each other."



The next day the two men checked out of the hotel and walked to the livery stable.

A red-headed woman approached from the opposite direction. As they passed by, she looked straight ahead, deliberately ignoring them.

They stopped, looked back at her, shrugged their shoulders, and continued on their way.





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