Scribe’s Note: Sadie Michelson is deep undercover, sending this transmission from her latest top-secret location. Per Agent Michelson’s instructions, I have faithfully transcribed her 10 most memorable moments from her secret files – in the event that she fails to survive. Be forewarned: this transcript will self-destruct in 7 minutes . . .
My childhood was what you might call . . . eventful. It made me an orphan. But believe me, I’m not complaining. My twin sister wound up as a little, freckle-faced ghost with red hair. At least, I think the chubby-cheeked cherub, who watches over me at night, is Maisy. (Can 5-year-old ghosts sprout wings?) I’m not an expert on ancestral spooks, like my Pinkerton compatriot, Wilma LeBeau, the Cajun Mambo. To ward off evil spirits, Wilma makes me wear a gris-gris in her house. She kind of freaks me out . . .
Around the age of 21, I wrote my first bawdy song, Pansy Primrose, while I was headlining at Dodge City’s infamous Long Branch Saloon. The ballad is about a virtuous lass, who . . . uh . . . loses her underwear. Pansy’s tale (tail?) received lots of whoops and hollers from the roostered cowboys when it debuted. They like to bellow the refrain while I sang: “Purdy Pansy Primrose, now that she’s full-grown, will jump a randy cowboy like a dog jumps on a bone . . . ”
About four years later, the notorious gunslinger, Coyote Cass (aka “Lucifire”) blazed back into my life. My wily ex-lover wanted to hook up again. Little did I know, the scalawag was being chased by Texas Rangers! I should have told Cass to turn around and ride back to Hades; instead, I did something stupid. I fell in love. A girl like me knows better than to mix business with pleasure, but there’s just something about Cass ... Anyway, I set out to lure the law from his trail, and the hothead thought I betrayed him! He left me choking on his dust! That’s the thanks I got, for risking my neck . . .
By the way, Cass isn’t the only one with bragging rights around guns. My daddy left me his Henry Repeater. Around about midnight, when things were just heating up in Dodge, a mob of masked Ku Klux Klansmen tried to lynch Cass’s Cherokee friend. I never much liked that half-breed (he convinced Cass that I ratted him out to the Rangers.) However, I have even bigger reasons to hate the Klan. I threw back my shutter and opened fire on the pigs. That’s right: I was the one who got that shootout going to save the half-breed’s life! Too bad Wyatt Earp had to show up with his tin-star and spoil all my fun . . .
Around about ‘79, I got wind that Daddy was owed back wages. So I stormed into Allan Pinkerton’s Chicago office and demanded that he fork over my rightful inheritance. Who would have thought that the world’s most famous detective would see something greater in me than a cowtown whore? Pinkerton offered to hire me on the spot! (That moment was a real rip-snorter, let me tell you!) But since I was already a crack shot, and I had no compunction against decking randy cowboys, I figured, what the heck? I was half-trained to be a detective anyway . . .
Then came the reality check. Ugh. Was God just bored the day he gave me golden cat’s eyes? Try disguising those when you’re slinking through a sodbuster convention, praying you won’t get recognized! Once, I did get caught. I was pawing through a scumbag’s underwear drawer for evidence. “That’s right!” I wanted to shout, “I’m the waiter, who served you turtle soup last night!” Fortunately, my Irish temper doesn’t always get the best of me. And I discovered that railroad spectacles can be tinted blue . . .
Speaking of losing my temper: I tend to throw things. Cass has gotten really good at dodging perfume bottles. Once, when I was on a strict no-dessert diet (so I could fit into my stage costume) the rotter brought me a strawberry shortcake. Needless to say, I pitched a diva fit and threw the shortcake at his head! Undaunted, the rascal coaxed me into a novel way to enjoy cake. We spent the next 90 minutes scraping whipping cream off the wall and smearing it all over each other’s private parts. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
At last count, my winsome lover has racked up six nicknames (including “The Rebel Rutter”) for his Wanted posters. I only have one alias worth mentioning, but I’m pretty proud of it: The Devil’s Daughter. I bet you’re wondering how I earned such an enviable title. I’d dish the details, but then the Propriety Police would censor Adrienne's blog, and Adrienne would rat me out to Wilma, and Wilma would put a Voodoo curse on me . . . So suffice it to say, Cass gave me the name after spending 10 hours in my bed. Afterward, the Rebel Rutter couldn’t sit astride his saddle for a week! (::snicker::)
A couple of months ago, while working undercover in Galveston, I had to jump out of a burning brothel. That feat definitely ranks among my most memorable moments. Cass had just blown my cover. Or at least, that’s what I thought, because a container of Greek Fire crashed through my window. I escaped – barely – by disguising myself as a tramp and fleeing for the docks. I let Cass go on thinking I was dead. It served him right!
It’s really hard to end this transmission now, when I have a whole Pinkerton caseload worth reporting! How many Victorian ladies do you know, who’ve ended the career of a corrupt state senator? Or outwitted a criminal mastermind, who uses music to turn innocents into killers? But to tell the truth, an even bigger mystery is looming on my horizon. I’m worried that it might be personal. I started getting suspicious when I caught Cass and Wilma, whispering behind my back. Then my boss started changing the subject whenever I walked into the room. I hate to sound paranoid, but my instincts never fail me. I need to find out what my allies are covering up, and I need to find out fast. Otherwise, I might not make it out of this border town alive …
(End of Pinkerton Transmission)
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Sadie and Cass star in:
Devil in Texas
© By Adrienne deWolfe
Book 1, Lady Law & The Gunslinger
Pinkerton Agent Sadie Michelson poses as a casino singer to investigate a Texas Senator. Before she can cozy up to her quarry, she must get past his bodyguard, William Cassidy, her long-lost lover.
An outlaw seeking redemption, Cass was lured to Texas by the promise of a Ranger badge. But he hasn't forgotten the sassy siren, who toyed with his heart. When Sadie proposes a truce, Cass suspects she's hiding something.
With assassins dogging their heels, Cass and Sadie uncover a murder conspiracy in the senate. To stay alive, they must do the one thing they're dead set against: trust each other.
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