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Flapper Follies Book 2
Pamina Woods is determined to make a career as a journalist, but the man she fancies wants to put her in the kitchen. She has the news story of a lifetime, but her editor keeps her at the society desk. She needs to tell the world what she knows, but a gangster will put her in the grave to stop her. She won't put up with anyone else's boundaries, regardless of the consequences.
Trey Carpenter, a young and seemingly quiet professor from back east, is in charge of arrangements for some aging academics doing summer research with the help of Pamina and her sister. He's ready to fall for the dashing Pamina, but after visiting a notorious speakeasy and witnessing an abduction that results in murder, Pam, Trey, and the professors race across Texas in Trey's bright red car, fleeing the gangster's henchmen.
Ambitious, passionate, and a little reckless, Pam will write her story, even if it kills her, with Trey doing his best to protect her.
Page Count: 362
Word Count: 99990
“Woods! Type this as I dictate. It’s a murder, and we’ve got the story first. Our man at headquarters telephoned it in.”
He doesn’t think I’m reporter enough to write up a hot story myself, but he’ll always let me type one for him. Pamina rolled a fresh sheet into her typewriter and nodded at Croaker to begin.“Fine, chief. I’m ready.”
“Body of a young man, found early this morning, in a wooded area north of the city near a well-known night spot. No identification possible due to shotgun blast to the face. Body was unclothed and wrapped in a yellow rain slicker.” Croaker went on to add a newsman’s who, what, when, where, and how, but Pam typed the words automatically, the gist of the story barely registering after the initial shock.
Yellow rain slicker? Night spot north of town? Her mind reeled. A sick, sinking sensation gripped her. Just beyond Tommy Gunn’s place? It has to be… Haver…doesn’t it? She typed mechanically as Croaker raced on, filling out the facts of the case.
“You got all that, Woods?”
Pam swallowed hard and took a quick glance at the last page as she rolled it out of her machine. “I have it.” And we were there. Diana saw…
“Give it to me. I’ll take a final look. We’ll break the story. Sure to beat the competition with this one.” Croaker snatched the pages, gave her a sidelong glance, then looked her squarely in the face. “You’re kinda green, girl. That description, shotgun blast to the face, that got to you, didn’t it?”
Pam couldn’t tell the editor why the story hit her so hard. She closed her eyes and nodded mutely. …the men who took Haver out the back door…she described them…
“See, that’s what I mean. You keep wanting to be a reporter, but it’s no business for a kid like you. If just typing the words makes you queasy, what would looking at the real thing—a bloody corpse—do to you? Reporting the news is no game for a girl.” He stacked the pages together and started for his own desk, then pointed toward the door. “Get out of here for a while, Woods. Go get some air. Don’t come back today. Quit thinking about the newspaper business. You aren’t cut out for the hard stuff. It’s a rough game, even for an old buzzard like me, sometimes.”
Pam didn’t protest, and if Croaker was surprised, she didn’t notice. And we were talking to Charlie. He’s dead. And Haver, too. Her head was spinning with what the breaking story meant for her and her sister. She’d have to tell Diana the news, and she’d have to confess that other little matter, the squib on the society page, as well. She’d have to tell Trey and the professors, too. They weren’t in the thick of it, not like she and Di and Trey were, but all of them would have to know. She’d been there before, been to Tommy Gunn’s place, and more than once. Would Gunn remember her? Could he actually have seen one red-haired girl, one blonde, and two men at the corner table? He’d been in the speakeasy the same time they were. Would he have noticed them? Pam didn’t think they’d drawn any attention, but Gunn was sharp, and he and his people kept track of who came into his place.
Grabbing her hat, her handbag, and the morning paper beside it, Pam clattered down the dark old stairs to the first floor, the floor where traffic was constant with the flow of advertisers pushing their wares and leg men bringing details to fill out stories waiting to go to press. She sidestepped men who, intent on their mission, didn’t see her in their path. Once outside, she leaned, limp and half sick, against the dingy brick wall. If Gunn remembers me, or one of his men does and mentions me being there with reporters before, Di and I…he could come after us. Her blue faille crepe, so fresh when she’d put it on that morning, felt heavy as a wagon sheet and just as hot, depleting what little energy she had left for dealing with anything but the turmoil in her head. The Texas summer sun beat a merciless blast into Fort Worth’s teeming street. Come on, chum. You’ve got to move, got to tell Diana. Don’t let her hear it from somebody else.
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