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Dark Carnival Session Two Part 3 - Madam Zarah and Dark Magic



* * *


Agent Sanderson headed over to the carousel to talk to the man who had been working at night. The man working there had a slim, nondescript face, and brown hair. He wore a polka-dotted bow tie, a light colored suit, and a straw boater hat.


“Hey sir, how you doing?†Agent Sanderson said, walking up to the man.


“Welcome to the carnival!†the man said. “Are you riding the carousel? The line’s right over there.â€


“No, I’m not riding the carousel.â€


“Okay …â€


“I just wanted to ask you a few questions. Did you happen to be around the man whose arm was ripped off the night of?â€


“Oh! Well, I’ve already talked to the police. Are you the police?â€




“Well, could I see your badge?â€


Agent Sanderson pulled out his badge and glared at the man.


“All right Inspector,†the carousel driver said. “I was here. I was here at the carousel.â€


“Did you happen to hear the man talk about anything in particular?†Agent Sanderson said.


“No. He was babbling. He seemed to be quite mad!â€


“Do you remember anything he said?â€


“I’m … not …â€


“Key words. Key words.â€


“I don’t honestly remember. He didn’t seem to say anything that made any sense to me. You know when someone goes off, talking and talking, and you’re not really paying attention but they’re not making any sense anyway? Does that make any sense?â€


“Absolutely … not sir.â€


“You know what I mean.â€


“Is there anything of important you could think to tell me besides his arm being ripped off?â€


“Nope. Saw a man. Got his arm cut off. I’ve seen worse.â€


“Like what?â€


“Oh! Many crazy things happen at the carnival. Have you been in the House of Freaks?â€






“Are you trying to sell me the show?â€


“I’m just saying there’s … sometimes … sometimes the knife acts … they don’t hit what they’re supposed to. It’s quite … spectacular. I just run the carousel though. Sometimes … sometimes I help with some of the other rides. But there’s some strange things that happen here.â€


“Like-like what? Besides the Freak Show.â€


“Sometimes the tricks go wrong.â€


“Like what?â€


“Well, I heard … you know Emmanuelle Vasconcellos? Who does the horse show? I heard they had another girl that works with her. Until the accident a few years ago.â€


“What accident?â€


“Oh I don’t know for sure but I understand she got … trampled to death!â€


“Well, that’s a shame. Is there anything else in particular─â€


“Her eyes flew right out of her head when it stepped on her face! That’s what I heard. It’s a dangerous thing.â€


“Do you think the carnival’s haunted?â€


“No, not haunted. Course not. It’s only been here 20 years. It’s not like it’s on an ancient Indian burial ground or something. Or are we?â€


“Well, beside that, is that all you can conjure up about strange happenings?â€


“I hear some stuff happened but, you know, I don’t really remember. I don’t see anything myself.â€


“If you happen to remember─â€


“I think the cemetery’s haunted, myself.â€


“All right.â€


“Swan Point Cemetery.â€


“All right, well …â€


“Full of dead people, you know. Cemeteries.â€


“Thank you for your time, sir.â€


“You’re welcome.â€


“Keep up … keep up the good work.â€


He left the odd man.


* * *


Yoosung spotted Agent Sanderson by the carousel. It made him so happy, he went over to the man and took his arm.


“What is your name?†he asked the older man.


“Oh jeeze!†Agent Sanderson said. “You startled me. Why are you so interested?â€


“Because I love you!â€


“Whoa … all right you little Korean boy, you listen here! You can walk with me if you want. We’re going to the cemetery.â€


“Oh, thank you.â€


“All right. Just stop talking.â€


The two headed for Swan Point Cemetery, climbing over the wall near the pony rides.


* * *


Miss Fairfield saw Dr. Huxtable heading for the Parisian Theatre and stopped him.


“Sir Dr. Huxtable?†she said.


“Yes?†he replied. “That’s my name. Yes?â€


“I think you and Pendergast would be interested in going to that psychic. Madam Zarah.â€


“Madam Zarah.â€


“Uh-huh. Her tent’s right over there.â€


“How many tickets do we─â€


“Psychic?†Pendergast said.


“Yes,†Miss Fairfield said.


“We have quite a few tickets,†Dr. Huxtable said.


“She doesn’t try to possess people, does she? I don’t like that at all.â€


“Well, she didn’t try to possess me when I went,†Miss Fairfield said.


“I’m going to pass, myself,†Pendergast said. “Nope. Nope. Nope. This sounds suspiciously like possession! I’ve been there. I don’t like it.â€


“I’ll go!†Dr. Huxtable said.


He asked for a swig of Pendergast’s flask and the man gave it to him. He wailed again.


“There is no way that you’re drunk already!†Pendergast said.


Dr. Huxtable howled strangely again. Pendergast rolled his eyes. He headed for the games fairway, soon running into Miss Edington and Bricker.


* * *


In Swan Point Cemetery, it was very dark.


“Hold me!†Yoosung said to Agent Sanderson, grabbing his mangled hand.


They wandered through the cemetery and heard two figures in the dark, moving through the grounds. One of them had a flashlight. They appeared to searching for something.


Agent Sanderson drew his sidearm. He flung Yoosung’s hand away, pushing the youth behind him, and pulled out his flashlight.


“Identify yourselves!†he called, shining the light at the figures.


He recognized Johnson and James.


“What the hell are you doing out here!?!†Agent Sanderson said.


“That’s a fine hello, Sanderson,†Johnson said.


“Good to see you too … you. What’re you searching for?â€


“Coming back to the crime scene.â€


“Crime scene? Where what happened?â€


“That a man’s arm got ripped off.â€


“Oh, that scene.â€


“I was with the group out here the other night and we found a marked off place out here and one of the tombstones knocked over. We were trying to find that place again.â€


“All right, I’ll follow you and try to help you.â€


“By the way, in case you need to shoot me again, my name’s Joell. Joell Johnson.â€


“All right. I’ll try to keep that in mind.â€


“Sensei, thank you!†Yoosung said.


“I never learned the name of your companion,†Johnson said to Agent Sanderson.


“Are you talking about my companion?†Agent Sanderson said. “This is not my companion.â€


Johnson looked at Yoosung.


“What’s your name?†he asked.


“Uh … Yoosung,†the youth said.


“Nice to meet you,†Johnson said.


“All right, let’s get going,†Agent Sanderson said.


Johnson tried to find the spot in the dark cemetery without luck.


“What’s the call, boy?†Agent Sanderson said after they’d been looking for a while.


“Probably should have come out here way earlier,†Johnson said. “Well, if any of you want to make that nine o’clock show, I’ll go with you. But if you want to keep looking out here, stay with me, then I’ll do that.â€


“I’ll keep looking. I ain’t interesting in some clown shows.â€


“Whatever sensei wants,†Yoosung said.


“Oh Jesus,†Agent Sanderson said.


“I feel this would be a more productive option,†James said.


* * *


Miss Fairfield led Dr. Huxtable to the fortune teller cottage on the fairway. The interior was divided into several areas by hanging curtains, heavy with incense and the smell of fried onions, and everything clashed. A woman was just putting out her cigarette. She was middle-aged and dressed as a gypsy.


“Welcome!†she said. “Welcome! I knew you would come! Who wishes their fortune told? Who wishes to know the future? Your loves. Your hates. Your wishes. Madam Zarah can tell all.â€


“If you knew I was coming then you know it’s me!†Dr. Huxtable said.


“I do know! I was testing you!â€


“I … passed?â€


“With flying colors! Come! Come! Sit!â€


“Which colors?â€


“The best ones.â€


“Ah yes.â€


“Come and sit. Do you wish your palm read? Do you wish me to leave the tea leaves? Perhaps you want to look in the crystal.â€


“All three!â€


“That will be three tickets.â€


“I have.â€


He handed over three tickets.


“Let me see your palm,†Madam Zarah said.


“Which one?†Dr. Huxtable asked.


“The left one.â€


He handed her his right hand.


“The left one,†she said again.


He held out his left hand.


“I’m sorry,†he said. “I’m sorry. I had a drink. Outside. I had a drink.â€


“Ah yes, the fruit of the vine!†Madam Zarah said. “It is a beautiful thing. It can give clarity or … delusion!â€


She looked at his palm, telling him she could see his lifeline and his death line.


“I see you are a man of great influence,†she said.


“Ho ho!†he said.


“A man who … who knows much, who is very wise.â€


“Heh-heh, yes.â€


“And who is very rich!â€


“Oh yes.â€


“Yes. I see all these things. I see a beautiful woman in your future.â€




“Yes, with dark hair. A young woman. A very young woman who will make you very happy.â€




“But you must beware! I also see danger. Here.â€


She pointed to his palm.


“From the woman!?!†Dr. Huxtable asked.


“No, it’s a different line,†she said. “The danger is if … is if you make a mistake. You might lose the woman. So beware. Beware. Be wary. Now, the tea leaves.â€


She pushed a curtain aside. There was a camp stove with a low flame under a pot. She put a little tea into the cup and poured the water in.


“You make the tea now, yes?†Dr. Huxtable said.


“Do not drink the last,†she said as she handed him a cup of tea. “Just sip from the cup. Leave a little in the bottom. Don’t drink the leaves. They are very bad to drink.â€


He slurped down some of the tea. She took the cup back.


“Ah … I understand that Marie Antoinette was a slurper,†she said. “Perhaps you have royalty in your blood.â€


“What?†he replied. “I was knighted by the king!â€


“Ah, then you are of royalty. I see that the woman you are with is not the one that you want to be with.â€


“What? Who is it?â€


“Ah. Long dark hair. And a … she is from … she is not from the country you are from.â€


“Where is she from?â€


“I see that she is someone you already know.â€


“I know this woman.â€


“Already. But you have not yet recognized that she will be your true love.â€


“Her name is … girl?â€


“The tea leaves do not tell me such specifics.â€


“Look closer. Please.â€


Madam Zarah looked closer at the cup.


“No, it seems to be forming …†she said.


Dr. Huxtable threw three more tickets at the woman.


“Give me the name!†he cried.


“The name is not here,†Madam Zarah said. “But …â€


“Give me tickets back then.â€


“I see her initial. Her first name … no, it is only one letter. I do not know if it is her first name or her last.â€


“Do you know if it is the first letter though?â€


“It is the first letter!â€


“Or is it between somewhere?â€


“It is the first letter. Yes, it is the first letter. An ‘M.’ Look for a girl, a woman. ‘M.’â€




“Do you know a … Maria? Or a … Mary? Do any of these sound familiar?â€


“Yes. All of them.â€


She put the cup aside.


“And you want the crystal as well?†she said, taking the other three tickets from the table.


“Yes!†Dr. Huxtable said.


“All right,†Madam Zarah said.


“Can it not be about women now? Can we do something else?â€


“I only tell what I see. I do not control what I see. I do not control what I tell. Only … what is given to me by the spirits.â€


“By the great winged one?â€




“I have read about him.â€


She pulled the purple silk scarf off the round object on the table. It proved to be a crystal ball.


“Now,†she said. “Now, you must look into the crystal. Gaze deeply. For some, who are of strong mind …â€


Dr. Huxtable leaned forward and put his forehead against the crystal.


“Not that deeply,†she said.


“Oh,†he said.


“For some of strong mind, sometimes you will see light glowing from the crystal.â€




“But you must look. Look deeply in the crystal. And … and you might see more than I. What do you see in the crystal? First tell me and then I will tell you. Look deeply. Don’t look at me. Look at the crystal.â€


“I see a giant head! He’s looking at me!â€


A glow began from the heart of the crystal.


“Oh wait, also a light though,†Dr. Huxtable said. “But also a light.â€


“Now, focus on the light,†Madam Zarah said. “And you tell Madam Zarah what you see first. Then I will tell you what I see.â€


“I see a fire that burns bright.â€


“Oh. Now I see it too. I see your fire.â€


“My fire?â€


“I think there is danger. Fire is a danger to you in the future.â€


“Ah! Get it away!â€


“You must not allow the fire to hurt you. You didn’t leave any candles burning at home, did you?â€


Dr. Huxtable looked up, mouth open, and thought for a long time.


“No,†he finally said.


“Good,†Madam Zarah said. “Good. That is the first clue. Look deep. Look deep. I see … there is … yes. Something bad. I see something bad in the crystal.â€


“No! Look for the good. Don’t look at the bad.â€


“Stay away from fire.â€


“Fire bad. Fire hurt.â€


“Yes. Yes.â€




“I can see that if there is a fire in the future, you must avoid it. At all costs.â€


“Do not go into the fire, you say?â€


“Don’t smoke. You don’t smoke, do you?â€




“Good. That is a good thing.â€




“I saw that you didn’t smoke. So, make sure that you stay away from fire.â€




“Especially … I see a safe. There is a safe. Do you have a safe in your house?â€




“Is there’s a chance there’s a safe in your house you don’t know of?â€


“Oh! Is it yours?â€


“No. I don’t have a safe. I am but a humble gypsy seer. Stay away from fire and look for a safe at your house.â€


“A safe.â€


“And Mary. Or Marian. Or Muriel maybe. Muriel is coming to mind.â€




“Good luck!â€


“Thank you!â€


“You’re so welcome.â€






She covered the crystal back up and turned to Miss Fairfield.


“Do you wish your fortune told?†she asked the woman. “Again?â€


Miss Fairfield shook her head and followed Dr. Huxtable out.


* * *


They met for the Star Studded Show around 9 p.m. Dr. Huxtable, Pendergast, Bricker, Miss Fairfield, and Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas all went to the show. Bricker had won a cheap kewpie doll at one of the booths.


The Parisian Theatre was a two-story wooden building painted with street scenes of Paris. About half of the 60 seats in the building were filled for the Star Studded Show. The ticket taker, a young man with a Boston accent and palsied hands, had noted how lucky they were to see the show as it was usually reserved for the weekends, but the movie they had planned for that night had not arrived.


Carl Denim was the announcer and when he told them his name, Dr. Huxtable let out a shout.


“That’s my name!†he called.


“Why, that’s amazing!†Denim cried. “It’s a great name.â€


It turned out that Denim was also four of the dance and comedy acts for the Star Studded Show. He was middle-aged, wore a top hat, and had a bit of a goofy face. Despite his different costumes, he always wore the top hat.


Sonny “Crazy Legs†Poacher was the main act of the show. A middle aged Cajun negro from New Orleans, so Denim billed him, he tap danced, played banjo and fiddle, sang, and told jokes. Another act was The Great Navarro, who dressed in a tuxedo, wore a monocle, and carried a silver wolf-head’s cane. He was billed as a Spanish count and was a knife thrower, juggler, and slack wire artist. Finally there was the Inscrutable Fu Man Jow, an Oriental magician with a red and black round-topped tall rimmed cap and black Chinese clothing. All of them but Nigel Bricker recognized Fu Man Jow. They realized he was the same man as the Amazing India Rubber Man in the House of Freaks.


The entire show took about a half hour with numerous acts between the men. It was actually quite fun. At the end, the curtains closed.


Dr. Huxtable ran down to the curtain and tapped on it. He pulled it aside to look at the empty stage behind. An old negro was sweeping the stage.


“What you doin’ back here?†he said with a frown.


“Where did … where did they go?†Dr. Huxtable asked.


“They got places to be! Whatchu doin’? You can’t be back here.â€


“I got to be the same place. Where’d they go?â€


“Nope. Old Billy ain’t gonna let you come back here, now.â€




“You have to go out front.â€




“I’m Old Billy!â€


“You’re Old Billy.â€


“That’s right. I’m Old Billy. Now, you can go out front and … that’s the only place you can go. We’re done with shows for tonight until the Red Hot Harem Dance Show in a half hour.â€


Dr. Huxtable left the Theatre and headed around the side. He found a back door that read “No Admittance.†It was unlocked. It looked like there were several dressing rooms on one side of the hallway.


“We’re not supposed to,†Pendergast said. “It says ‘no admittance.’â€


“Stop your wallowing and come on,†Dr. Huxtable said.


“I’m not wallowing.â€


“Then come on.â€


“We’re going to get yelled at by the negro again!â€


“We’re rich. We can do these sort of things.â€


Dr. Huxtable, Pendergast, and Miss Fairfield entered the back of the Parisian Theatre. Bricker had decided to wait outside and Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas had gone to the carousel. Inside the building were several dressing rooms. Dr. Huxtable went to the first door and knocked. It opened and they recognized Sonny “Crazy Legs†Poacher standing there, shirtless.


“Why, you ain’t s’pose to be back here, y’all, no,†he said. “You gots t’ get out.â€


“I just came back here to say that I really enjoyed the show and I want to give you and your troupe a tip,†Dr. Huxtable said.


“Oh. A’right. I take it.â€


Dr. Huxtable took out five one-dollar bills.


“Yeah, an’ der’ five o’ five o’ em dere,†Poacher said.


“That’s a dollar apiece,†Dr. Huxtable said. “Good show. Keep it up.â€


“Dollar piece, mhm-hm.â€


“I … would like to also to give you all more money if you would allow me and my compatriots to come in and ask a few questions and then we will be out of your way.â€


“You talk t’ Carl Denim down dere now down dere.â€


“Old Billy said “Go one back there talk to ‘em.’â€


“Carl Denim down dere at d’ end dere. Go down dere now. Carl Denim. He talk d’ show up. He know all d’ questions. And all d’ answers.â€




“Right down d’ end dere. Last one down at d’ end.â€


“Ah … yes.â€






The man had gestured down the hall to the last dressing room. Dr. Huxtable had barely been able to make out a word he’d said with his thick, Cajun accent. They headed down the hallway.


One of the doors jerked open as they walked by and the Great Navarro was there. He looked down his nose at them.


“Huh,†he said, rolling his eyes.


He walked down the corridor to the back door and left.


They reached the last door and Dr. Huxtable opened it and went in.


“Is this the end?†he said as he entered the dressing room where Carl Denim sat. “I don’t know how far to go.â€


“Why folks, you’re not supposed to be back here!†Denim said.


“Well, I gave the Crazy Legs man a tip and he said “C’mon do dere.’â€


“I can’t even understand him myself! I have no idea what he says or what he’s ever said.â€




“Ever in my life.â€




“But he plays a great banjo and can tap dance like nobody’s business.â€


“Now, I like that.â€


“But you can’t be back here folks. I’m sorry. This is just for … we got the Red Hot Harem Hoochie Coochie Girls coming by …â€


Dr. Huxtable had taken out a five-dollar bill.


“My friend says it’s okay to be back here,†he said. “He led me here.â€


“You can come in,†Denim said, taking the bill. “I can talk to you for a few minutes, but you have to leave before the girls get here.â€


“Of course!â€


“Because we’ve had people try to peep and peeping is not good.â€


“Peeping is bad. Yes.â€


“Yes. Exactly. Well, come in. Good Lord. You have a whole crew here.â€


“Just three.â€


“Well, I’m Carl Denim. Carl Denim. I used to be a vaudevillian. Is this for the paper?â€


“Yes. My paper.â€


“Very good. I used to be a vaudevillian. Now I announce for the show and do a few acts. As you can see, I’m getting on in years.â€


He laughed loudly. Miss Fairfield got to work setting up her camera. Dr. Huxtable laughed uncomfortably.


“What questions do you have?†Denim said, sitting and posing for the camera.


“First of all, could you talk about how you found this group?†Dr. Huxtable asked. “Who are these people and how did you find them and how long have they been here?â€


“I tell you, sir, it was a search, I tell you. I had to go to New Orleans to find Crazy Legs. And all the way to Spain to find Navarro. Why, Fu Man Jow? All the way to China.â€




“I traveled. I followed the route of Marco Polo. I knew. I knew that if I did I would find fantastic things, and so I did. I found the greatest magician who has ever lived!â€


He told a story about all of the hardships and heartaches he went through to find the amazing men and that they have been together for years and during the summer, every weekend night, there was a Star Studded Show. He also mentioned that during the rest of the year, there were movies shown during the weekend.


“So, you have a very diverse cast and I appreciate them and I like them and I give them money from my own wallet,†Dr. Huxtable said.


“Yes?†Carl Denim said.


“But me and my friends are into more dark performances. Do you have anything … more excessive that you would not like to perform in front of the general audience that you could show us? Something that’s not ready for stage or you don’t to show other people.â€


“I’m not sure what you mean sir.â€


“My friend here,†Dr. Huxtable went on, pulling another five-dollar bill out of his pocket. “He says that maybe these sort of shows, there’s sometimes some dark stuff that … is behind all this magic.â€


Pendergast had come up behind Dr. Huxtable and put his hand on his shoulder.


“What are you on about, old boy?†he asked.


“I’m trying to get us a private show,†Dr. Huxtable said. “A good private show.â€


“Dark? Dark? Is this going to be possession? I don’t like possession!â€


“Not possession. Not possession. No possession.â€


“Well, we don’t do any possession,†Denim said. “You’ve seen the magic show.â€


“But anything more … special is the word?†Dr. Huxtable asked.


“Well, have you been to the House of Freaks?â€


“Yes. We want more. We want … grittier. Darker.â€






“I …â€




“I’ll see what I can find out for you.â€


“Yes. We would pay well.â€


“I would have to talk with the park owner.â€


“Very well.â€


“What kind of darkness are you looking for, exactly? I need something more specific.â€


“Something … something that you do not see with the normal eye that you cannot even remotely believe because it is monsters, mystical magic. I don’t know what you have but something of that nature.â€


“Maybe you should be more cryptic, old boy,†Pendergast said sarcastically.


“No, I want monsters,†Huxtable said. “Dark monsters.â€


“Monsters, you say?†Denim said. “Well, there’s the House of Horrors.â€


“Been there, done that.â€


“Ah. I see. I see.â€


“We need more. Something that makes children afraid and grown men question what they’ve seen.â€


“Let me talk to the owner.â€




“What was your name sir? What was your name?â€


“Sir Doctor Carl Huxtable!â€


“Sir Doctor Carl Huxtable.â€


“I was knighted.â€


“Of course. Of course you were. Of course you were.â€


Denim reached out his hand to shake with Dr. Huxtable and the other man instinctively held out the hand still holding the five dollar bill. The men shook hands and Dr. Huxtable found the five dollar bill gone. It had been expertly slipped away.


“Oh, magic!†Dr. Huxtable said.


“Ah yes, it’s nothing but magic here at the carnival,†Denim said. “Nothing but magic!â€


“So you will speak to the owner for me?â€


“Of course. Of course.â€


“Thank you.â€


“Shall we contact you?â€




“I will see what I can do. If you want something gritty and terrifying, I’ll see what I can do.â€


“Just … just … you could probably find me at the park. Some say I’m loud. Easy to find.â€


“I don’t see it. I don’t see it.â€


“I don’t either.â€


He posed for a photograph by Miss Fairfield and they left.


* * *


Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas had gone to ride on the carousel. Miss Edington didn’t recognize the man running the ride even though she thought Miss Fairfield had talked to the night carousel driver the night before.


After she rode the carousel, she walked over to the man.


“Hey, you new around here?†she asked.


“Why no ma’am,†the man replied. “I run the carousel every night.â€


“Do you?â€


“Well, unless someone takes over while I’m on break.â€


“I was here last night and I didn’t see you. Were you not here?â€


“I was here I thought. Well, Red took over for a little while. He’s a little slow. Oh, I know why you want to see him. He’s slow … he’s like a child, so he’s probably not your type.â€


“I wasn’t thinking about that at all.â€


“I could tell the minute you were asking about him.â€


“No. No. No.â€






“Oh, you’re welcome. Have a great time at the carnival!â€


* * *


The search of the cemetery was proving fruitless. It was not until well after 9 p.m. that they found the spot. Finally. They stumbled across the scene of several ropes strung across the trees and a post with a notice from the Providence Police Department declaring the area a crime scene with warnings not to disturb it. A tombstone was there, tipped over, but nothing much else.


“Well, what do we want to do, boy?†Agent Sanderson asked.


“You’re the one who’s familiar with this place, correct?†James said.


“Yeah,†Johnson said. “I wanted to see if anything had changed.â€


“Like the slime that we found?â€


“That’s my hunch. I wanted to find out.â€


Sanderson looked around as best he could in the dark with just the light of the flashlight but could not find any indication that any kind of attack had taken place at the spot. He did not think it was the place where the man had his arm ripped off.


“So, we know that he walked to the carnival from the cemetery,†Sanderson said. “Should we look at the front of the cemetery.â€


“I guess we should─†Johnson said


“He walked a straight line?â€


“I guess we should go further in but we’ve never been around here when it was dark, going further than this so we’d be stumbling around, looking for nothing.â€


“I think we should check while we’re still here,†James said.


“Well,†Agent Sanderson said. “I suppose we could just look another 10-15 minutes before going back.â€


“All right,†Johnson said.


They spread out and looked with their flashlights, Yoosung staying close to Agent Sanderson. Whey they didn’t find anything by 9:45 p.m., they headed back to the carnival to the Parisian Theatre.


“The Red Hot Harem Dance Show!†a barker called.


He was the man with the red jacket, the top hat, the waxed mustache, and the wild eyes.


“It starts momentarily at the Parisian Theatre!†he called out. “Come see the Hoochie Coochie dancers! Hello! Hello! Hello! Come to the Red Hot Harem Dance Show!â€


He walked over to them, getting closer than was comfortable. Then he was off to bark at other people.


There weren’t nearly as many people at the park as there had been earlier. Agent Sanderson and James both spotted Miss Edington by the carousel. She obviously saw them as well.


“Hello Suzanna, how have you been?†James said, getting her name right for the first time.


“Enjoying the carnival, what do you call it?†Miss Edington said.


“I believe so.â€


“It’s been a while.â€


“Where did the others head off to?†Johnson asked.


“I think they came out of the … oh, they went around the building where that show was,†Miss Edington said. “I haven’t seen them since. But I went to go to the carousel. There’s a new guy there. I haven’t seen him before, but he says he’s been here every night, so … I don’t know. He thought I was asking about that cute, dumb fellow but I wasn’t.â€


“Well, I’m going to head to the Parisian Theatre to meet with the others,†Johnson said.


“Is that where all of the others went?†James asked.


“I think so,†Miss Edington said.


They all headed over to the Parisian Theatre.


* * *

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