Mrs. Alice Reynolds is well known to the people of our town of Freewill, Wyoming. Her proprietorship of the Diamond Saloon has set many eyebrows to raising, but she’s done good with what she’s got. Now she’s preparing for her bi-monthly Spectacular, one that brings in folk from all around to partake and enjoy. Mrs. Reynolds has introduced us all to the death-defying antics of the Tranmere Twins, the naughtiness and titillation of the Diamond girls, and brought out the beauteous Pearl La Monte who sings up a storm and graces the Diamond with her presence on the days and weeks between Spectaculars.
So, with the Spectacular coming up and all, Mrs. Reynolds sits down with this reporter to talk about her show.
“Thanks for speaking with the Freewill Chronicle, Mrs. Reynolds.” I say as Mrs. Reynolds arranges her black skirts around her. She always wears black, maybe in deference to the passing of her husband? But that was well on five years ago, and this reporter ponders it some.
Skirts arranged, she raises her gaze and gives a kind of smile, one that barely pulls at the corner of her mouth. “Thanks for being interested enough to ask.”
I smile in return, but it’s more reflex than anything else. I’m anxious to have the interview begin. “So tell us a little about the upcoming Spectacular. What extravagances do you have this time round?”
Now her smile becomes full, almost infectious, and this reporter can see her passion for her Spectacular shining like a light. “We have our usual acts, The Tranmere Twins, the Diamond Girls, and of course the glory of Pearl La Monte’s voice, but we have for your edification and delection Maria Hernandez and her Snake Dance, the magical stylings of the Great Waldino and much, much more.
“You took over the Diamond after the death of your husband, Seth Reynolds. What do you think he’ll say of this?”
No expression crosses Mrs. Reynolds’ face, and this reporter begins to feel a little discomfort. Perhaps that question would be better left unsaid.
“I think he’d be mighty proud of me, and what I’ve done.”
Still no expression on Mrs. Reynolds’ face, but her fingers are a-tapping in the folds of her dress. Perhaps it would be a wise thing to move on.
“Some hear tell of you being bedeviled by that Englishman what walked off the train not two weeks ago. What do you say to their claims?”
Mrs. Reynolds doesn’t bat an eye. “’Bedeviled’ is a strong one, and one I don’t care to use.”
“But is it accurate?”
Mrs. Reynolds says nothing.
Unnerved some, this reporter grits his teeth and changes tack. “There’s even some talk he wants to purchase the Diamond.”
Silence again. Mrs. Reynolds stares, and it’s all this reporter can do not to shift in his seat.
“Is there?” she finally says.
This time, this reporter doesn’t let the discomfort stop the asking. “Yep. Some even say he’s offered a pretty sum.”
She lifts her chin. “Well, that don’t matter much. I won’t ever sell the Diamond, not now, not ever, and definitely not to an empty-headed Englishman with more charm than sense. I don’t care how pretty he is—“ Mrs. Reynolds abruptly stops, and a particular kind of blush burns her skin.
This is a mighty fine development and this reporter has an interest in pursuing it, but a commotion sounds. Mrs. Reynolds looks to the door and framed there is Pearl La Monte, an expression of apology painting her fine features. “I’m mighty sorry to interrupt, but you’re needed in the theater, Alice.”
Mrs. Reynolds stands. “I’m sorry to end our interview, but I’m needed. You’ll see yourself out?”
I nod. Mrs. Reynolds nods as well, and then departs.
Readers, we might have to wait for the Spectacular to investigate why the Englishman new to our town disturbs our Mrs. Reynolds some. All this reporter knows is the Englishman, who this reporter has discovered is called Rupert Llewellyn, has set Mrs. Reynolds to a reaction she didn’t intend.
And this reporter finds that mighty interesting.