Friday, April 19, 2013

tales of the hotel st crispian, chapter 106: "the last chance"

by Horace P. Sternwall

edited by Dan Leo* 

illustrations by roy dismas and konrad kraus

*Associate Professor of Mid-Victorian English Literature, Assistant Shuffleboard Coach, Olney Community College; editor of Poems from the Poop Deck: 197 Previously Uncollected Ballads of the Sea by Horace P. Sternwall, with an Afterword by Lowell Thomas; Olney Community College Press.

“Now you’re talking. Let’s head into the bar then, shall we?”

“Well, all right, but just one, mind.”

“One and done,” said Flossie.

The two women crossed the lobby, and Roland the night clerk seemed to rouse suddenly from a waking dream.

“Good evening, Miss Wilde. And Miss Flanagan.”

“Hello, Roland,” said Hyacinth. 

“Hiya, Roland,” said Flossie. “And how is your evening going?”

“Just swell, miss, thank you very much.”

“Catch you on the flip side, pal,” she said.

The two women headed on into the Prince Hal Room, and Roland sank once again into his reverie, dreaming of that motel he hoped someday to own. Perhaps just on the border of Death Valley? Wouldn’t motorists want to stop and rest up before plunging into the parched wasteland of Death Valley? Perhaps he could also have a gasoline pump, and a small shop, in which people could stock up on provisions, just in case their cars should break down in the middle of the desert. He could call his motel The Last Chance Motel. The last chance for the weary traveler, before heading off into that burning and merciless hell…

Nolan came out of the hallway leading to the restrooms just in time to see Miss Wilde and Miss Flanagan entering the Prince Hal Room. And what were those two fillies up to? Perhaps the Flanagan girl was doing one of those personality profiles that people liked to read about actors and actresses, even ones as empty-headed as that Wilde girl.

He strode over to the desk, where Roland looked, as usual, to be sleeping with his eyes open.

“So, Roland, did ya hear the Commies have landed in force out by the West Side docks?”

“Pardon me?” said Roland, blinking.

“I said did I miss anything while I was in the john?”

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