Friday, January 04, 2008

Episode Four of Pinkie This Saturday Night

Now that I've posted by "Best Of" list and have been back in the city for nearly a week, it's time to resume the blatant plugging.

The fourth entry of Vampire Cowboys' monthly Saturday Night Saloon series, featuring the penultimate episode of Nosedive's Old West noir, Pinkie, takes place this Saturday night at 8 p.m. the Battle Ranch on 111 Conselyea Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

To get everyone up to speed, in Pinkie, William "Dusty" Denton, an ex-Pinkerton Agent, is starting life anew as an independent private investigator in a small Colorado town after leaving the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Stubby Gilbert, the local saloonkeeper, has hired Dusty to discover the identity (or identities) of the person (or persons) throwing rocks in the windows of his saloon and harassing him outside his home late at night.

Stubby believes the perpetrators of this harassment are the farmhands of Jason Norris, profiteer, entrepreneur, and the sheriff's cousin. After Stubby leaves Dusty's office, Charlie Burnside, a Pinkerton Agent and Dusty's old partner, shows up to intimidate Dusty enough to drop Stubby as a client. Despite Charlie's threats, Dusty insists that he'll take Stubby's case and be paying Mr. Norris a visit.

Upon entry of the Norris ranch, Dusty finds the proprietor, Jason Norris, deader than a doornail, hit on the head by a blunt object. It is at the ranch that Dusty meets Blossom, a prostitute working for Stubby that is seeing Norris on the side and under the radar, unbeknownst to her employer.

Dusty convinces Blossom that he is not Norris' killer, then Blossom catches on that Dusty is a private investigator, and (falsely) assumes that Stubby has hired him to either intimidate Norris or find blackmail material to make Norris turn over his antique arquebus: according to Blossom, both Jason Norris and Stubby Gilbert have claimed to be the antique gun's rightful owner, as both have claimed their great-great grandfathers used it to win a duel.

However, ownership of the gun may be a moot point, since the gun is now missing (and Norris may have been the only person who knew of its whereabouts).

After Blossom leaves the Norris ranch, Dusty hears the farmhands, Mike and Harry, approach. Hiding, Dusty overhears Mike and Harry panic, then get intimidated and briefed by Charlie, who has shown up for some unknown reason. At some point, Mike says something about Sally blowing her stack if she finds out Norris is dead.

Dusty escapes the ranch and heads over to Stubby's bar & brothel, the Arcade Saloon, with his assistant Eileen Clayton. While going over their notes on the case, and agreeing that Mike and Harry are unlikely suspects to Stubby's recent harassment (they being, let's face it, wimps), Dusty and Eileen are approached by a drunk and angry ne'erdowell named Leland, who apparently has a seething hatred against Pinkerton Agents. Leland is distracted and sedated by one of the Arcade's prostitutes, Sally (the same Sally Mike mentioned). According to Sally, both Stubby and Blossom are unavailable (Stubby's out sick, Blossom's out...entertaining).

Dusty learns from Sally that a Pinkerton Agent killed Leland's brother in the Northwest Railroad Strike a few years back and in the "What Are the Odds" department, not only was the Pinkerton's involvement in the strike one of the reasons why Dusty left the Agency, but it turns out that Jason Norris used to own the Northwest Railroad.

Leland returns to the Arcade to talk with Sally, and by "talk," I mean, "threaten." What's he threatening her with? It's hard for Dusty to say: it sounds as though that Leland's insisting that Sally find Jason Norris' missing arquebus, but nothing can be confirmed for sure. Dusty decides to intervene in Sally and Leland's argument, which angers both Sally and Leland, who both leave the saloon.

Upon their departure, Charlie and two other Pinkerton Agents arrive at the Arcade, ready to arrest Dusty. Arrest him for what? Charlie never says: he pistol-whips the ex-Pinkie, who falls unconscious.

Will all - or any - of this begin to make sense in episode four? Show up to the Ranch this Saturday to find out.

Dancing as fast as he can
to write episode five,

James "Home Stretch" Comtois

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