Like most ranchers, Jim usually went to town on Saturday afternoon. He shot a few games of pool, did the shopping for the week and went to a dance in the evening. Usually he went to the town of Payette. This was the county seat of Payette County and was quite a lively town. Also he was well aquatinted there for this was where he spent Ms high school days.
It was Friday so he was a day early. The reason for this he had to take care of some business at the courthouse. It was closed on Saturday.
The card in the mailbox had changed his plans. The business at the courthouse could wait.
It was late in the afternoon when he arrived at Ontario, Oregon. His first stop was the Greyhound Bus station. The girl at the desk informed him that the bus from Seattle wasn’t due until eight o’clock in the evening.
He drove to the local feed store and bought a few items for the_ ranch including salt for the cattle. His mother had given him a long list of grocery items his so next stop was the shopping center.
As he pushed the metal cart up and down the aisles he couldn’t keep his mind off the girl that he had come to meet. Four years could bring a lot of changes, especially in a girl her age. From fourteen to eighteen was quite a span.
She had been his childhood sweetheart. Many a long hour they had spent together. That last year she was his constant companion. They had gone swimming, horseback riding and many dances. They had taken in all the rodeos as well as the state and. county fairs.
It was that day at the school. party that he realized that he was in love with her. And she had promised to be his girl forever and forever.
It had been quite a shock to him when Martha had informed him that she was gone. What had happened? Had she got into some sort of trouble? Jim swore to himself. He should of made more of an effort to find her. On the other hand, she could have at least sent him a post card. She was a proud girl. Maybe living in Dead Horse Gulch and the name Rotten had been too much for her. She had quite a handicap there alright.
Now suddenly she was coining home. Maybe he could get this riddle solved. At least she owed him some sensible answers.
Jim checked his shopping list. He figured he had everything and glanced at his watch. It would be a lone time before the bus arrived. Maybe a few games of pool would help pass the time.
He put the groceries in the Jeep and headed for the pool hall.
Time passed slowly. Jim couldn’t keep his mind off the girl he had came to meet. After a few games he suddenly decided he needed haircut. In the barbershop was a kid shining shoes. He looked down at his own. A shine sure wouldn’t hurt them a bit. There were a few spots on his jeans; evidently they got there when he had the encounter with the kids under the bridge. He thought he had better get a new pair to look his best when she arrived.
At a quarter to eight he got in the Jeep and drove to the bus station. He bought a magazine and set down on one of the hard! benches. Time passed slowly…
It was quarter past eight and the bus had not yet arrived. He got up and walked over to the ticket counter. He addressed the girl in charge.
“What time did you say the bus gets here from Seattle?”
“Be patient.” said the girl. “It should be here anytime.”
Jim walked back to the bench and set dawn. From his position he could get a good view of the entrance. He would see her the second she stepped through that doorway. He picked up the magazine and thumbed through the pages.
It was almost nine o’clock when a voice come over the loud speaker… “Bus forty-two… arriving from Seattle… Will depart in ten minutes for Boise, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas… Have your tickets ready please.”
Almost everyone scrambled to his feet. Most of them were smiling. The bus seats were bound to be a lot softer than the wooden benches.
Jim held the magazine up in front of his face. He would get a good look at her before he did anything drastic. Four years could make a lot of changes. He held his breath.
Then she came walking through the doorway. To Jim it was as though a ray of sunshine had stolen in. She stopped and looked around there was a faint smile on her face. Probably looking for some of the family, he thought.
For a moment he set staring at her. Then breathed a sigh of relief. Not only was she alone but the slim left hand was ringless. The honey colored hair was no longer hanging in ringlets but lay in shimmering waves, cut at the shoulders. She was wearing a light gray suit, a white blouse and open toed shoes.
She was more beautiful than ever, Jim thought. There were more curves and all were in the right places. She took another look around the room then walked aver to one of the benches and sat down.
Jim laid the magazine down and took off his hat. He walked over and stood in front of her. There was a pet name he had always called her. Would it mean anything to her now?
“Hi Sweetie.” He whispered.
The girl was going through her purse evidently looking for something. She looked up and smiled faintly, then turned her attention back to the purse
Jim licked his lips “Elly May.” His voice was low. “You are Elly May aren’t you?”
As though startled she looked up suddenly. Her big blue eyes were wide her cheeks flushed. Her voice was low and a bit husky.
“Yes I am Elly May.” For a moment she sat staring up at him.
Jim stuck out a big brown hand. “Welcome home. I am here to meet you I will explain later.”
The girl stood up and put a soft white hand in his. She smiled faintly. “Thank. You, I am glad you came.”
She had a luggage check in her hand. Evidently this was what she had been looking for. They walked over to the counter she presented the claim checks. A man brought out two pieces of luggage and set them on the counter. For a moment Jim stared down at them. They looked new and on each of them was a name…ELLY MAY ROOTEN
Jim couldn’t help but smile. She had changed her name! He sure couldn’t blame her for that. She was far too pretty to have a Rotten name.
He picked up the luggage “Ready?”
The girl nodded, “Let’s go.”
Outside Jim unlocked the Jeep and placed the luggage in the back of the seat. He turned and faced the girl. The parking space was dimly lighted by an overhead light. They were alone. He moved close to her and looked down at the beautiful face. For a few seconds their eyes met. Suddenly his arms were around her pulling her close. The big blue eyes were closed the ruby red lips parted. Pearly white teeth glistened in the dim light.
Jim could hear his own voice as if it were far away. “Elly May, I want to kiss you.”
Her voice was low, “Why don’t you? Her slender arms stole around his neck.
Ms mind flashed back to that day at the school picnic. Nothing had changed.
First hes kissed her gently tencterly inside him rose a great passion. Four long years; it had been. He drew her close again. their lips mt. She responde to every touch. Then he released her and stepped back. Each of her Little hands were still in his Ells heart was beating madly. Once again he was talking. The words; seemed to slip out..
“You are: still my girl aren’t you? I love you Sweetie.”
The little arms were around his waist drawing her close to him. The big blue eyes were wide-open, her tears making them glisten. Slowly she nodded her head. Her voice was low and steady.
“Yes, yes, and soon I will be your wife.” Her arms were around his neck. “Hold me darling don’t never let me go!”
Jim’s mind was in a whirl. It seemed only yesterday that he had held her in his arms. Once again life was beautiful. Once more she was his girl and promised to be his wife. He felt like shaking his head to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. If it was a dream he hoped he would never awaken.
Probably she had a good reason for staying away these last four years. And what is four years? Most of their life was still ahead of them.
Then he released her. He took her by the arm and walked her over to the Jeep. He helped her in then went to the opposite side and crawled in behind the wheel.
The girl beside him slipped over close. “Please,” she whispered. “Can we go somewhere and talk? There are so many things I must ask you… it has been such a long time.”
Jim nodded. “Sounds like a good idea. I also have a few questions that I would like answered. I’ll bet you haven’t eaten all day. How about something to eat?”
Elly May nodded. “Sounds good. Come to think of it I am hungry. The excitement of coming down here made me forget everything else.”
He started the motor and backed away from the curb. He smiled down at the girl beside him. “There is a place up the street that serves meals. Sort of a nightclub with a restaurant on one side, bar and dance floor on the other. How does that sound to you?”
The girl looked up at him. “Sounds good to me. I have never been to a nightclub.”
“Don’t they have nightclubs in Seattle?”
“I guess there are lots of them. Uncle John and Aunt Nelly never took me to one.”
“You have been staying with your aunt and uncle
“Yes, for quite as while.”
Jim put the Jeep in forward gear and headed down the street. At least she hadn’t been shacked up with some other guy these last four years. He drove to the Palomino Club and parked. He locked the Jeep, took the girl by the arm and together they walked into the restaurant.
The place was almost empty. The early evening rush was over and the late crowd was quenching their thirst in the adjoining room. They seated themselves at a table near the rear of the place.
A girl wearing a black skirt and white apron came walking up and laid a couple of menu’s on the table.
“Would you care for a cocktail before dinner?” she asked. Jim turned and faced the girl. “Would you care for a drink before we eat?”
“Do you think I should? This is all new to me.”
“Don’t think a couple would hurt you a bit. You have had a long day.”
“Just as you say, but you will have to order for me. I don’t know one drink from another.”
“Fine. I will do just that.” He turned to the waitress. “Bring a Tom Collins and a whiskey and water in a tall glass.”
“Would you care to order dinner now?” she asked.
Jim nodded. “Might just as well. Bring us a couple of good rib steaks with all the trimmings. One medium rare the other well done.” He turned to the girl across the table. “I guess you still like your steak well done.”
Elly May nodded. “You have a good memory…”
The waitress wrote on the pad and disappeared.
There were a lot of questions that Jim wanted to ask this girl. Where should he start? Maybe he shouldn’t get into too big of a hurry for she seemed to be quite nervous. Perhaps after a drink and something to eat she would calm down a bit.
The waitress brought the drinks and set them on the. table. Jim passed the Tom Collins to Elly May and picked up the whiskey and water. He watched as she nibbled on the cherry and sipped from the tall frosted glass. it was apparent that this was a new experience for her.
Soon the glasses were dry. Jim ordered another round.
Now would be as good a time as any to get an answer to some of the questions that had been bothering him There were quite a few. Where would be a good place to start?
The waitress brought the fresh drinks and set them on the table in front of them. Jim picked up his glass and put on his best smile.
“Well here we are all alone. I’m sure we both have a lot of questions to ask. Where shall we start?”
The girl’s face seemed to turn a shade paler. The glass in her hand trembled. She looked down at the table.
Jim leaned forward; his voice was low. “Elly May. It has been four long years that you have been gone. Why did you go? Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving? Four long years you were gone and you didn’t even send me a post card. Why Elly May, why?
The girls eyes were big and round. Tears made them glisten. Her voice trembled. “1 don’t know. Honestly I don’t know!”
Jim was amazed at her answer. “Are you telling me that you don’t know why you left here?”
The girl nodded’.
‘But why in the world didn’t you write to me?’
The big blue eyes were nodded with tears. “Write to you? I don’t even know your name!” She buried her head in her arms and cried softly..
Jim was dumbfounded. He slid his chair around the table and put his arms around her shoulders Strange thoughts were running through his mind. She couldn’t remember his name. This was awful. The girl had been sick. She had lost her memory!
This would explain a lot of things all right. Why hadn’t Martha told him about this? Surely it was nothing to be ashamed of.
For a few moments the girl sat there with her head buried in her arms. Then suddenly she sat up straight with a determined look on her face. She wiped her eyes and smiled faintly.
“I think I will be alright now. I guess all this built up inside me and had to come out somehow.”
Jim gave the little hands a gentle squeeze. “Sure you will be just fine… Everyone gets sick once in awhile.”
“Forgive me… I tried hard not to cry
“There is nothing to forgive…”
‘I won’t cry any more.. It Just had to come out..”
“I understand.” Jim picked up his glass and took a couple of swallows.
Elly May picked up her glass and drank it dry. Suddenly she laughed.
I know that all of this sounds just a little bit crazy to you. It even sounds crazy to me. At times I think am just a little bit crazy.”
“Don’t talk like that. You are looking great.
“I am glad you think so.”
“Evidently you have been very sick, but you are alright now. That’s all that matters.
The waitress brought the steaks and set them on the table. They looked good. Elly May seemed to have her emotions under control as they enjoyed the dinner.
After the meal Jim ordered a couple of after dinner drinks. The two they had before dinner seemed to calm the girl and loosen her tongue a bit. One more shouldn’t hurt anything.
Elly May was smiling at him over her glass. “May I ask you a few questions?” she asked rather shyly.
Jim nodded;* “I wish you would. It is your turn now.”
There was a faint flush in her cheeks and the trace of a smile on her face.
“What is your name?”
Jim was startled. This was hard to believe! She had forgotten his name. He licked his dry lips “Jim Green.” he muttered.
The girl closed her eyes. “Jim Green..” she repeated. “Jim Green… It doesn’t seen to ring a bell. I hoped it would but I’m sorry.”
Jim stared at her. Her face was the picture of innocence. If she was putting on an act she sure belonged in Hollywood, but he was sure that this was no act.
“Go ahead and ask me more.”
The girl sipped her drink, her voice was low… “I was your girl wasn’t I?
“I must have loved you a lot…”
“I thought you did..”
“And you loved me?”
“Yes Sweetie. I really did.”
The girl’s eyes flashed. “I knew it! I knew it the minute I set eyes on you. Although I couldn’t remember your name or your face I knew that you existed somewhere. And I also knew that if I kept looking I would find you.”
Jim could hardly believe his ears.
The girl buried her head in her arms. Her shoulders were shaking. “And thank God I found you in time!”
Jim was utterly bewildered to say the least. What did she mean by this?
The girl raised her head and dried her eyes. “It’s your turn now,” she said. “Ask me anything you like I will answer the best I can.”
Jim thought for a moment. “I guess you have answered most everything already. Evidently you have suffered a total lapse of memory. Did this happen here or after you went to Seattle?”
“I don’t know. I can’t remember of being in this part of the country before.”
“Do you know what caused your loss of memory?”
“No, but I guess I must of been very sick. Anyhow, that is what I have been told.”
“Who told you this?”
“Uncle John and aunt NeIly as well as my mother. She came to see me a couple times.”
Jim thought for a moment. “How about your father and your brothers. Did they come to see you?”
The girl shook her head.
“You cannot remember a thing about them?”
“Not one thing.”
“How about the place where you lived?”
Once, more she shook her head.
“Does- than name, Rotten Ranch, or Dead Horse Gulch, mean anything to you?”
“What terrible names! Should, they mean something to me?”
Jim didn’t answer. One thing for sure; her past here, was a total blank.
“How far back, can you remember?” Jim asked.
The girl closed her eyes and for a moment appeared to be in deep thought. “The, first things that I can remember… It was about four years ago… I could talk, I could read, but couldn’t remember how I had ever learned.” She smiled faintly. “So you see Jim, you have on your hands a part, woman and part child. That is maybe just a little bit crazy!”
“Don’t talk like that.”
“In a way, I am only four years old. At least that is as much of my life as I can remember.”
Jim grinned. “You’re sure not built like a four year old.” He could now understand why she hadn’t written him.
Fourteen years of her life, was a total blank! Not only had she forgotten him, but the rest of her family. Boy was she in for a surprise when she met them, especially her uncle Sam and his family – and those terrible twins. Jeb and Zeb.
Jim licked his dry lips. There was another question. He spoke softly. “I can understand why you didn’t write to me, but what made, you decide to come here, out of the blue?”
The girl did not hesitate. “I am glad you asked that question, and I will try and give you the answer. There were a number of reasons.. Two of them, seemed real important to me. Let’s start with this one.”
The big blue eyes glistened. “In Seattle, there was a man that suddenly decided that I belonged to him. He was coming on strong. I didn’t care for him in that way but I knew I had to get out of there.” She hesitated for a few seconds, her little white hands stole across the table. Jim took them in his big brown fingers.
The girl continued. “And I knew, that I must find you!”
Jim squeezed the little hands. “Me?”
“Yes , you. This may sound crazy, but I knew that there was a man somewhere, that I was in love with. I couldn’t remember his name or what he looked like, but I knew that he was around somewhere and I had to find him. He wasn’t in Seattle, so I reasoned that he must be here. After all, this is where I had spent most of my life.”
The knuckles of the little hands were white, as she drew herself close to him. She continued: “Uncle John and aunt Nelly, were out of town. I packed my bags and got on the bus.” The big blue eyes flooded with tears. “I prayed all the way here, that I would find you. Then there you were, waiting for me…” The little hands gripped tight. “I wan t absolutely sure, until we were outside and you kissed me.”
She slipped out of her chair and moved quickly around the table. The little arms were around his neck. She drew herself close to him. “Oh Jim!” her voice was low. “Everything is so wonderful now!”
He kissed the soft red lips. “Everything is just great.”
“And we will pretend that these last four years were only four days. What were we doing the last time we were together?”
He kissed her again. “The same thing as we are doing now.”
“Oh Jim. We have four years of catching up to do. Will we make it?”
“We will sure try!”
The little fingers were running through his hair. Her voice was low and pleading. “Oh Jim, I need your help. I have been so confused, so lonesome; promise that you will help me, please.”
“I will do everything I can. I promise.”
“By the way, are you taking me home tonight?”
Jim had already given this considerable thought. He answered. “I think it best that we don’t go out there tonight. That card that you wrote is still in the mail box. It must have gotten sidetracked somewhere along the way. I know they are not expecting you, They won’t have a place for you to sleep.” He felt like adding. “Unless you want to sleep in an old car body.”
“What ever you say; I trust you, take care of me.”
“We could go to my house. Mother and I live alone. Father died a couple of years ago. Got tick bite and died of Spotted Fever.”
“It’s a long drive out there tonight, and roads are not so good. There are several good motels here in town. I think we had better stay here.” He grinned. “Besides I feel like celebrating. I got my girl back, and there is good music going to waste in the other room. Now what do you say about that?”
“We could go listen to the music.”
“Listen, hell, let’s go kick up our heels. That’s darn good dance music. Do you hear it coming through that doorway?”
“Sorry darling, but I don’t dance. I have never learned how.”
“The dickens you don’t know how, You are the greatest:”
“I don’t remember of ever dancing with anyone. However in my room In Seattle, I have practiced a lot. I can do a lot of crazy steps, by myself. I don’t know how they would look on a dance floor.”
“They will look great. Don’t you think this occasion calls for a celebration?”
Elly Nay laughed. “A couple more of these drinks and I will sure feel like whooping it up. “
“Good! There is no cover charge, but they expect you to buy their booze in exchange for a seat.”
“Oh Jim. These drinks taste fine and I feel great.. This is all new to me.. You will take care of me won’t you?”
“Sure I will. Let’s go.”
Jim left a generous tip and paid for the meal. He took the, girl by the hand, and together they went through the doorway, into the clubroom. The place was quite crowded. A girl ushered them to a seat near the rear of the place. Jim ordered a couple of drinks..
Elly May’s eyes were big and round. “Oh Jim, this is fun. I have never been to a place like this before.” She picked the glass up and took a big swallow. “This sure tastes fine and I will probably drink everything you set in front of me. Don’t got me too many . “
Jim laughed. “If you get out of place, I will let you know.”
Slowly their eyes become accustomed to the dim light. On one side of the room was a raised platform. On this was a four-piece band with two guitars, a set of drums and a fiddle. They had lots of volume and one of the guitar players was a pretty fair vocalist. The center of the room, was the dance floor. It was about twenty feet square and was surrounded by tables and chairs. Most of them were occupied.
Elly May moved close to Jim and put her head on his shoulder. “Oh Jim this is wonderful.” she whispered – a little white arm stole around his neck. “You can kiss me any time you want to. NObne can see us back here.”
Jim laughed. “I think you are a mush-bug.”
“Maybe I am, but I have four years of catching up to do, and I don’t want to waste any time.”
“In a case of that kind, I cannot refuse to help you.” He kissed her on the cheek.
The band opened up with a rock number. Elly May watched with fascination. Although they started out in pairs, each person was out there doing their own thing. Some stood in one spot, content to flail the air with their arms and wiggle their hips. Others hopped around like a Kangaroo, pausing now and then to shadow box. Then like a punch drunk fighter they flopped their heads back and forth as though trying to avoid the punches of some terrible, opponent.
The girl gripped his arm. “Jim. Is this a floor show or a dance?”
Jim laughed. “Both, I guess “
“Oh I wish I could dance. The only time I have seen anything like this, was on television”
“But you do dance, Sweetie. Maybe your mind can’t remember, but I’ll bet your feet haven’t forgotten.”
The girl took a drink from the tall glass. “A couple more of these, and I will sure give it a try.”
The rock number came to an end and the floor cleared. Once more the band was playing, but this time a waltz.
Jim took Elly by the hand, “Why don’t we give it a try?”
The floor was filling up fast. Elly May took one quick glance at the couples that were dancing. She smiled up at Jim, put both arms around his neck, then whispered. “Let’s go.”
He had both arms around her, pulling her close. Her feet followed his every move, as he guided her through the crowd. It had been four long years, since he bad held her like this – that day at the school picnic was fresh in his mind. His arms tightened around her drawing her close. He looked down at her face. Her, eyes were closed. There was a faint smile on her lips.
When the number was over he released her. She stepped back and opened her eyes. They were bright and shining. She jumped up and down and clapped her hands.
“Oh Jim, I do dance! That was fun bet’s do it again!”
He stared down at her. What was that remark she had made about being half woman, half child? Right now, she did remind him of a little girl about four years old!
“Sure you dance. I told you that you were the greatest.”
The vocalist in the band, stepped up to the mike. “Break time!” he announced. “Be back in ten minutes.”
“What did he mean?” the girl asked.
Jim grinned. “The house doesn’t make any money when everyone is dancing. Now that most everyone is sitting down, watch the girls go to work.”
They set down in their booth and waited. In about a minute a girl stopped by and took their order.
Jim looked the crowd over. He didn’t recognize anyone; they were all strangers to him. Probably most of the people here lived in Oregon. If he were across the Snake River, in Payette or Weiser Idaho, he would be no stranger there.
There were several tables occupied by women with no partners – singles waiting for a live one. Jim looked them over, then turned back to the girl beside him. There was one thing for certain, she was one in a million:
He felt great. Now that she was home and once more his girl friend, there must be great times ahead.
Evidently the girls with the white aprons, had made their rounds. Once more, the band was playing, this time a fast number. He took Elly by the arm and helped her to her feet. “Come on Sweetie, let’s give it a go.”
They walked over to the dance floor. There was one thing for certain, dancing was here to stay, at least as far as young Jim Green, was concerned. He could do a lot of fancy steps and took pride in showing what he could do.
He took the girl by the right hand and spun her around a few times. The gray skirt arose to the occasion and revealed a shapely pair of legs.
He released her and started across the floor doing a series of fancy footwork. He glanced at Elly who was right beside him keeping in time with a big smile on her face.
Jim cut loose with a series of steps that would of made Sammy Davis Jr. sit up and take notice. Elly was doing her best to keep up to him. Suddenly she moved over to one side of the floor and stood watching
The crowd had moved to one side and quit dancing. All eyes were on the couple.
Jim glanced at Elly May. She was standing there, a big smile on her face. He felt guilty. He had been showing off. He shouldn’t do that. A few long strides and he was beside her.
Evidently Elly had ideas of her own. Like a Jack in The Box, she came to life. Out of the blue she did a series of hand springs across the floor, landed on her feet and spun around like a skater on ice!
The crowd howled and clapped their hands, followed by a series of wolf whistles. The band turned up the volume and sped up the timing.
She put into action the Crazy steps that she had practiced in her room in Seattle. The crowd yelled with delight. Jim stared in amazement. He wondered what shows she had been watching. There was no way of keeping up to her now, she was in a class of her own like she had done when he vas showing off. He stood watching, a smile on his face.
Then the dance was over. Elly was beside him and he took her by the hand. With loud applause ringing in their ears, they retreated to their booth.
A girl in a white apron came up and set a couple of drinks in front of them. “On the house.” she smiled. “The boss sent them. You were both great we haven t seen you here before.”
Jim squeezed Elly May’s hand. “Tell the boss thanks; and we will be back.”
Several dances and a couple of drinks later, Jim decided they had better call it a day. He had promised to look after Elly May. He’d better start doing it. A promise is a promise. Elly seemed to be alright, but both of them had consumed a number of cocktails and it was time to move on.
They had just finished a waltz. “Shall we call it an evening?” Jim asked.
“I think we should, darling. I feel sort of dizzy.”
“I am ready, let’s go”
Elly had a firm grip on his arm as they left the club and started walking toward the Jeep. She seemed have trouble going in a straight line. Jim slipped an arm around her waist, trying to hold her steady. “You alright?” he asked.
Elly May giggled. “You betcha. Never fat better’ in my life. Boy oh boy did we have fun!”
Jim helped her into the Jeep, then walked around and crawled in behind the wheel. He started the motor and put: it in gear. It was only a few blocks to the motel. This was only a short distance, but when he pulled up in front of the vacancy sign, Elly was asleep on his shoulder.
He starred down at her. In the dim light, she was more beautiful than ever. He. leaned over and kissed her gently on the forehead. Her eyes opened slowly.
“Are we there already?”
He nodded. “Wait here for a minute. I will go see about getting a couple of rooms, Okay?”
She snuggled close to him. “Oh Jim. Please don’t get two! I don’t want to be alone.”
It took a few seconds for this to sink in to his slightly foggy mind. He stared down at her, wondering if he had heard correctly.
Her eyes were big and: wide, “Please, Jim, I feel sort of dizzy. I might need your help.”
He nodded. She was not used to drinking, and probably had one too many. He kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll be: back in a couple minutes.”
He climbed out of they Jeep and walked over to the sign which read: “Office.” The door was locked. There was another sign which read. “Press buzzer for service.” He put his finger on the button and pressed hard.
Now there was no doubt in his mind the girl had far too much to drink. It was all his fault and he would take care of her.
A sleepy eyed clerk came to the door and turned on the light. He swung it open and stared at Jim “What can I do for you?”
“Got a room with two bed’s?”
The clerk nodded “Come in and fill out a card.”
Jim complied then paid the man and was given a key. The clerk pointed with his thumb. “Clear to the end, last one on the left – number ten.
Jim Climbed into the Jeep and headed toward cabin number ten. First, he carried Elly’s luggage into the room followed by her. She seemed light as a feather as he carried her through the open doorway and laid her on one of they beds. She buried her head in a pillow and curled up in a ball.
He stared down at her. The June night was quite cool. By morning it would be cold. Too cold to lay on top of the bed all night. He walked over to the other one and turned down the covers. She would rest much better in there, he decided.
Once again he was staring down at her. No one sleeps well with her clothes on, he thought. She should have them removed at least part of them. In his life he had never had the job of undressing a young lady, but he would give it a try.
Taking off the shoes was easy. The light gray jacket was next. He removed one limp arm then rolled her over gently until the jacket was off. He tossed it on the foot of the bed thinking he would hang it up later. He backed up a step, shut one eye and studied her carefully. It looked to him, like the skirt should be next. There, was a black patent leather belt around the slim waist. He removed it, then stepped back and surveyed his project. The small waistline of the skirt could not possibly be puled down over those shapely hips. There had to be another way. He rolled her over gently. There it was, a zipper going down the back. He zipped it to the bottom A few seconds later, the skirt joined the jacket.
Jim grinned. He felt proud of himself. He was doing great! Next, was the blouse. His fingers began to shake as he fumbled with the buttons. A minute later, the blouse joined the skirt and jacket.
Jim sat down on the edge of the bed and stared at the girl, clad only in a brau and panty hose. He licked his lips. His eyes drifted to the two pieces of luggage he had set on the floor. Probably in one of them, was a nightgown. He debated whether or not to take a look. He decided against such a move. He had no right to go poking through her bags. Besides, she should sleep alright with what she had on.
He slipped one arm under her legs, the other under her waist. He picked her up and walked over to the other bed. As he laid her down he could feel an arm around his neck. Her cheek was against his pulling him down. Then he was on his knees beside the bed. He could feel her warm breath in his ear.
Jim felt foolish. Was she really asleep?
He reached around and took the arm from around his neck. For a few seconds he stared down at her. The big blue eyes were open and there was a faint smile on her face. She propped herself up on one elbow and looked down at here scantily clad body.
“Oh Jim.” she whispered. “You quit too quickly. I can’t sleep without my nightie.” One hand went to her head. “And my night,-cap. My hair will get all mussed.”
Jim, swallowed a couple times. He was totally helpless. He turned his head and looked at the luggage: setting on the floor.
“The one on this side Elly May was saying. “They are right on top.”
Jim got up and walked over to the luggage. He pressed the spring latch on the one the girl indicated. They lid flew open. Right on top was a pink, silk nightgown trimmed in white tar. Also,. a cap to match. He picked them up and closed the lid.
Elly May was sitting up He laid the clothes down beside her. She turned her back to him, her voice was low, “Undo me please.”
Jim was totally helpless. If she had said…”Go jump out the window” he would probably of done so.
He sat down behind her and fumbled with the straps on her bra. Finally they come: unhooked. He breathed a sigh of relief, and tossed it on the bed with the rest of her clothes.
Elly May picked up the nightgown and slipped it over her head at the same time poking her hands through the fur trimmed sleeves. She lay back on the pillow and smiled up at him.
Jim’s face was pink. He felt embarrassed-.
The girl wiggled her toes. “Get a hold and pull.”
He got up and moved to the bottom of the bed.
Elly was flat on her back. She raised her hips and gave a downward push on the remaining, garment. Jim grabbed both stockings at the feet and gave a pull. At the same time taking a couple backward steps. Off came everything. He stared stupidly at the object he was holding. It swung back and forth like the pendulum of a clock. Elly May giggled.
Jim threw the clothes on the bed, Walked over and looked down at her. She had put on the nightcap and was tying the strings under her chin.
He sat on the edge of the bed and stared. Never before had he met anyone like her. She was one of a kind.
She finished tying the cap strings, then lay back on the pillow facing him. “Kiss me Jim.” she whispered. “I want you to kiss me.”
Like a puppet on a string, he would obey every command. He knelt beside the bed and drew her close to him. Her lips were warm, hungry, passionate… The little arms encircled his neck, pulling him down…down…
The animal in him sprang to life. He threw caution to the wind. He pulled her close, kissing her madly. First on the mouth, then the neck, the soft shoulders…
Suddenly he realized that he was fully dressed. He would do something about that!, He kissed her once more, then whispered. “I’ll get rid of some clothes and turn out the lights.”
He got to his feet. The first thing vas the lights.
He walked over to the door and flipped the switch. It was a moon-lit night. Objects in the room were plainly visible.
He walked over to the big window. The drapes were slightly parted allowing a big yellow moon to shine through. He glared at it for a moment, then pulled the drapes shut tight.
And there was the night latch on the door. Had he locked it? He walked over and gave it a twist, locking it tight.
He set down on the edge of the unoccupied bed, leaned over and took off his shoes, then the sox. The shirt was next. One of the buttons refused to go through the opening, he gave it a quick jerk,. The button flew across the room.
He glared about the room. Prying eyes seemed to glow behind those dim shadows.
His trousers were next. He dropped them down around his ankles, then for a few seconds stood there stomping first one foot then the other in a desperate attempt to get them off in a hurry.
The shorts were next. They were easy. He tossed them on the foot of the bed. He glanced down at the only thing he was wearing.
His under shirt. He slipped it over his head and it joined the shorts. He was ready.
His bare feet barely made a sound as he streaked across the floor. In seconds he was beside her, kissing her madly!
Suddenly her hot lips broke away from him. He could feel her body go rigid.
Then she was sitting up in bed; her face looked deathly pale in the dim light. She clamped one hand over her mouth with a voice low and muffled.
“Oh Jim! Get me to the bathroom quickly. I think I am going to throw up”