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Back to Vegas, Part 6 (suspense, fiction)
July 31, 2011 - Burt Angeli
We didn't need a map to Pahrump, located about an hour's drive from Vegas.
Oslo had been fond of the place for some time, entering video poker tournaments and actually cashing in on a couple.
Pahrump is best known for being the home of Art Bell, the late-night radio announcer who gave me the willies with his program calling for space aliens to visit any where and any time.
After a breakfast of Diet Cokes and Twinkies, we headed to the garage for our transportation — a rusty but reliable Caddy owned by his late father Oscar. A kindly man, he was fond of auctions and antique shows, and often left his wares in the car.
"What the heck am I sitting on, O?"
I pulled a portable police scanner out my backside and flipped it in the backseat with who knows what. Oslo just smiled.
"Where we headed in Pahrump?" he asked.
I made a couple phone calls before we left and found out the father of Bianca's boyfriend owned LeRoy Jordan Construction Company. They had a project going at the school.
We made a turn off the main highway and found John Roberts High School. It was right next to John Roberts Stadium.
A building was going up nearby and had the look of a gymnasium. "John Roberts Gymnasium?" I wondered aloud. "The guy must have some clout."
We lucked out looking for Ron's father, LeRoy, who was looking over some blueprints.
I hauled myself out of the Caddy. Oslo remained behind.
"Mr Jordan, do you have a minute?"
"Make it snappy, time is money around here."
"Mr. Jordan, I'm Kevin Canny, we're looking for a young lady named Bianca and she may be with your son, Ron."
"Don't know anything about that," he said, dropping the blueprints and picking up a shovel. "He's off to Death Valley for the day. Sorry I can't help you."
In my sportswriting job, we come equipped with a "BS" meter. This didn't feel right.
"Are you sure, Mr. Jordan? Bianca has a tennis match today that could well affect her career. I'm sure her mother wouldn't mind them getting together after the tournament."
LeRoy Jordan turned crimson and lodged the shovel handle in my gut. I went to my knees and nearly lost the Twinkies.
"Didn't you hear me the first time? I don't know where they are. Do you want another shot?"
I still wasn't ready to respond but Oslo did the talking.
"Enough of that," he said, pointing a rifle out the car window. "We didn't come here for a fight, just the girl."
I was wondering where Oslo would find a rifle and then remembered Oscar found a vintage World War I model on a scavenger hunt.
Before the tension could escalate, Bianca and Ron popped out from behind a partial wall.
"Please, stop," Bianca said. "I don't want anyone hurt. I'll go with them."
She gave Ron a hug and looked at me disapprovingly in a kneeling position.
I grinned through my gut ache.
(To be continued)
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