Excerpt from Chapter 25 - Marceline and Sarah at the Riverside Saloon.
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"...Just as long as the owner don't present us a sexual harassment suit against us, Sarah.
"No, no, Marceline, we surely don't want any of that layed on us before we meet some great guys and get our research work done for your uncle. Remember what happened in school with that sociology professor who threatened to get you expelled for following him around campus."
"That was a complete misunderstanding, Sarah. All I wanted was some help with a big assignment; he thought I was coming onto him too hard, so he responded with amourous remarks. Besides, nothing came of it."
"And use your sophistication to best advantage Marceline; it can work miracles in a woodsy town, just to stand out a bit."
"Remember Sarah, we are still out West; they might not appreciate my New York City accent or trying to be better than the crowd."
"Well there is only one way to satisfy my curiosity about these lumbering jocks; let's mingle Marceline."
"Just be your wonderful self, Marceline; that always works in a new group."
As both girls crossed the saloon floor, Marceline said in a sotto voice, "I'm wading right in and asking the bar keep if he has seen or served a person named Darôk Camul."
"Isn't that taking an unnecessary chance?"
"If you see me turn a bright red color Sarah, you'll know that I made a mistake for asking; but if you see me grab a tall dark handsome guy, wrap my arms around him and plant a kiss on him, then you will know I found my man. And if I'm not back till tomorrow morning, be assured I hit pay dirt."
"Yes, mother Marceline, I got it, I got it; just don't blow this deal okay."
"I know what I am doing, Sarah." Trying to look disinterested, and at the same time concentrating on getting her fellow, she approached a group of men, gathered at the bar. Marceline angled and sidled her slim body through the group of overly muscular woodsmen.
Sarah followed close enough behind so that the boisterous throng never had a chance to move in and refill Marceline's trail.
As soon as she entered the front door, Marceline thought she had spotted him. From her close position behind, Sarah thought she recognized someone resembling Darôk, and nudged her, and then said quietly, "Marceline; is that him?"
Now, with Sarah pushing from behind, combined their shuffling forward momentum, both girls were being jostled through the dancing crowd; it seemed like they were propelled ameoba like, toward their prey. However, just as Marci was about to have a full-face collision with her target, she realized the man was not Darôk.
"Oh, I'm sorry, pardon me, sir, I thought you were someone I knew."
"Or perhaps someone you'd like to know. Hello, I'm Mike, Dodson; I manage the largest lumber mill in Redwoodville; perhaps you'd be interested in meeting me instead? His quick response come-on delivery was mellow and deep, probably rounded out by a few beers."
In that instant, Marci recognized a striking similarity between Derek and this Mike Dodson. As her embarrassment found its way to her cheeks, which had reddened considerably, instinctively she blurted out,
"I'm so sorry Mike, my name's Marceline and thanks for your offer, but perhaps you'd like to meet..."
As she spoke, Marceline twisted and backed up, and tried to urge her rearward companion forward, through a tangle of partying bodies. Then she did manage to bring Sarah's good looks and inviting form, into Mike's full view.
"…Sarah, is going to be an off-Broadway actress, and just loves tall, dark handsome characters like you, Mike."
Practically shoving Sarah toward the put upon stranger, Marceline then said, "I'm sure you could tell Sarah some interesting lumber land tales."
As Sarah came into full view, Mike stepped back a bit from his close encounter with Marceline, and then made an instant appraisal of Sarah's raven-haired beauty. Marceline's kinetic introduction turned revelation into delight for the two new acquaintences.
Then Mike said in his deepest resonant voice, "Well, hello there; yes, I would surely like to meet you. I understand your name is Sarah, as in the Broadway fame of Sarah Bernhart, perhaps? However at this exact moment, I could only think of a name for you, like Aphrodite; you know the Greek goddess of loveliness and beauty..."
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