|OLD BISBEE BUILDING ©Barry Howard|
"Who are you and how did you get in here?" I asked. "I coulda sworn I rented this room alone."
"My name is Dinah DeMeanor..." she replied, "and as for how I got in here...well, a girl has to keep some of her secrets to herself."
"Well, Miss DeMeanor, not to be rude, but I was just on my way out...wanna tell me what you're doing in my room?"
"You're not very friendly, are you?" she said. "That's no fun..."
"Sorry toots, but I've had a tough week and it's put me a little on edge...and you still haven't answered my question..."
"Very well," she replied, "I'll get straight to the point...I saw you come in here with your easel and I want my portrait painted...it's a gift for my boyfriend." It was a good story, but she didn't act like a dame with a boyfriend...
"Sorry sweetheart, but I'm here on vacation...I'm not accepting any commissions ..."
just then the door burst open and a guy with murder in his eyes stepped into the room. He looked at the broad laid out on the bed and then at me. I was guessing that this was the aforementioned boyfriend, and I could see he probably wasn't in the mood to hear any explanations. I knew I had to act fast or both me and the dame were gonna end up in tomorrow's obituaries...but I wasn't quick enough. The guy lunged at me and I took a step back and grabbed the only thing at hand...my french easel. I swung it hard and caught him square in the face...probably broke his nose was my guess. It only gave me a few minutes though...I knew I needed to get the dame to somewhere safe till he cooled down. Then I remembered the guy I met when I came into town...the artist with the cheesy bling around his neck. He had introduced himself as Jake Harrison. I grabbed the girl by the hand and pulled her downstairs to the bar..."where's Jake Harrison's room? " I asked the bartender..."Room 12" she replied, wiping a rag over the bar.
I bolted out of the bar and up the stairs and found Jake's room. I didn't bother knocking, I just pushed the door open and pulled the redhed in after me. "This is Dinah DeMeanor, " I said breathlessly, "she wants her portrait painted..." Jake sat up in bed and pushed some pizza boxes and beer bottles off onto the floor. " I just happen to have an opening in my schedule Miss DeMeanor..." Jake responded, doing his best to shake himself out of a drunken stupor. "If you'll just lie down here on my bed," he grinned lasciviously, "I have a few props to, ya know, make the composition a little more interesting." He handed her a black low-cut bra with red tassels and a pair of pink fur-covered handcuffs. "If you'll just slip into these," he said...Then I heard angry footsteps coming up the stairs. I dove under the bed just before the door flew open...the boyfriend, blood streaming from his nose, took one look at the scene and threw himself over the bed and knocked Jake and his easel crashing to the ground in a pile of paint tubes and brushes. In the ensuing mayhem, I managed to slip out from under the bed unnoticed and out the door.
I walked back down the stairs to the room 4 bar and ordered another beer. It was just another typical day in the life of an itinerant artist. Bisbee was turning out to be a pretty interesting place.