The half-demon is the child of a human and a demon.
Before the awakening, they look identical to humans.
On the day of their awakening, demonic features will begin to appear.
Some half-demons begin to show characteristics at a young age.
Others don’t display any demonic features their entire life.
What causes the awakening? It’s uncertain.
Sable Banner is preparing to open the clinic when she notices Sheriff Anderson waiting at the door. She unlocks the door and lets him in, “I hope you’re feeling well. Is this a professional visit?” she asks as she locks the door behind him as he enters.
“In a way, it could very well be a professional visit. In fact, I have a bit of a favor to ask if you have some time for me this morning,” he tells her.
She looks intrigued.
Sophie Anderson is walking down the street towards the mercantile when her eyes are diverted. She sees her son and Sable Banner walking side by side on the other side of the street, having a conversation.
Like a little busybody, she crosses the street and follows the two but stops when she sees them turn into the town hotel. “I’m sure that was Bobby with Doctor Banner.” Suddenly, things begin to race through her brain, “Surely he wouldn’t… I mean, she wouldn’t…” though to be fair, she wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to this coupling. However, Robert did have a reputation to uphold, and the folks of Durango were known to gossip. But, this could work out in her favor.
She follows them inside.
Bobby and Sable are seated on a bench in the lobby when a man walks up to them, “Are you Mr. and Mrs. Anderson?”
The sheriff rises from his seat, “We are.”
“Follow me, please.”
They both rise and follow the man up the steps.
As the trio disappears upstairs, Sophie turns around and watches them walk up. “Are they renting a room? I knew this would be scandalous.” Sophie can’t decide if she’s upset or intrigued. She hadn’t intended Sable to go into business for herself, but perhaps this will get Eloise Pike out of the picture once and for all. “One always throws away a rock when they’ve found a pearl,” she says to herself with a smirk.
She starts to walk out of the hotel when something sinister crosses her mind. She walks over to the counter and takes a slip of paper, and writes something on it. Sophie then exits the hotel and sees a little boy running past, “Excuse me, little boy. How would you like to make a dollar?”
The boy’s eyes light up. “A whole dollar? Sure!”
“Do you know where the Pike farm is?” she asks him.
The little boy is running down the road with the note clutched in his fist. Sarah Pike gathers eggs from the hen house when she hears him running, “What in the world?” she asks herself as she goes to meet the boy.
“Are you Miss Eloise?” the boy asks, trying to catch his breath.
Sarah shakes her head, “That’s my sister. What do you need?”
The boy holds out the crinkled note, “I was told to give this to her.”
Confused, Sarah takes the note, “Thanks. I’ll get it to her.”
Without waiting for another word, the boy begins to run back towards down.
Carrying the basket of eggs in one hand and the crumpled note in the other, Sarah walks into the house, “Eloise, you have a message.”
Eloise is preparing breakfast, “Thanks. I need a couple of those eggs. Just set the basket over there.” She takes the note and begins to read.
I have something urgent to discuss with you.
Come to the hotel—room 116.
Curious, Eloise sets the note down and turns to Sarah, “Can you finish breakfast? I have to run into town.”
Taking a seat inside the hotel room, Sable turns to Bobby, “What do you need me to do?”
The sheriff shakes his head, “For the moment, we’re just stalling for time. Everything is already set in motion, and we just need to hold him here for about ten minutes. Time for your best performance.”
Meanwhile, the man who led them into the room walks into the room next door, where there are four crying babies and two rough-looking men failing to keep them from crying.
The leader asks, “Give me one of the boys.”
One of the sidekicks scratches his head, “They all look the same.”
“This one,” the other remarks and hands over one of the babies. The leader takes the child and moves back into the other room.
“What do you think of this one?” he asks as he walks over and places the child into Sable’s arms.
Sable moves the blanket away from the baby’s face, “Is this a boy? We only want a boy,” she tells the man.
“You’re welcome to check,” the man tells her.
Sable quickly remarks, “Don’t be rude.” Then, she tries to shush the crying baby.
“If it were a girl, we wouldn’t be charging so much,” the gruff man tells her.
Meanwhile, Bobby is trying not to look like he wants to kill this baby smuggler, but failing. When he heard the baby thieves were coming to Durango, he was quick to step in and try to take these assholes down. However, his attention is diverted as Sable asks.
“He’s healthy? We’re not buying a sick baby,” she tells him as she continues to coddle the child.
“Ma’am, I assure you this child is as healthy as a horse,” the man says. “We’ll be in town for a couple of days, and if you have any problems, just bring him back to us. Then, if we have another boy, we can trade. But, no refunds.”
Sable is doing her best to buy some time for the sheriff, “Do you have a more attractive baby boy?”
The man just shrugs, “Ma’am, all babies kinda look the same to me, so if you wanna boy, this is what we have.” The criminal looks from the sheriff back to Sable. Something is starting to feel off about this sale, and he knows it. “Look, I have other customers who are looking for baby boys who aren’t so picky. I’m giving ya’ll first choice because you paid a high price. But, if you don’t want to buy a baby, let me know, and I’ll move on to the next customer.”
Sheriff Anderson finally speaks up, “My wife is a little picky when it comes to her purchases. I wasn’t too keen on having children, but she really wanted one.”
Outside of room 116, Eloise slowly walks up to the door and knocks. “Bobby? It’s Eloise. I came as fast as I could.”
Inside, the unexpected knock startles all three occupants. The gruff man walks over to the door and asks, “What do you want?”
“I’m here for Sheriff Anderson,” she explains.
The man slowly opens the door as Sable and Bobby exchange looks. The man lets Eloise into the room and then peeks to see if anyone else is around before closing the door.
This whole operation is about to go down in flames, and Anderson knows it. Eloise walks up to the sheriff and Sable with an uncertain look in her eyes. “Bobby?”
“Why are you here?” the sheriff asks.
Eloise is still confused by Sable and Bobby are in this hotel room with a strange man. She’s even more curious why Sable has a baby. “I got your message.”
“Who’s this woman?” the man asks.
“I’m his girlfriend,” Eloise says before anyone else can say anything.
The man’s eyes go wide as he had a feeling something was wrong here. “You lied to me? Who are you?”
Bobby asides to Sable, “Protect them,” he mutters before walking towards the man, “I can explain everything,” he says as he throws a right hand that connects with the man’s chin, and he goes down.
As the fight breaks out, Eloise and Sable move away from the two men, “What’s going on?” Eloise asks.
“Just shut up and stay behind me,” Sable tells her.
The criminal gets up and charges after the sheriff, who grabs his arm and flips him onto the floor.
The other men in the next room can hear the fighting, and they rush in and start firing their pistols. Bobby leaps to the side and draws his weapon while the women duck behind the bed. Sable hands off the baby, “Here, hold this.”
Meanwhile, Bobby fires and hits one of the men right in the chest. Sable grabs a lantern nearby and throws it at one of the other men. As it hits him, it shatters, spraying him with the kerosene inside. Again, Bobby fires at him, and the man immediately is set on fire as he screams and leaps out of the window and falls to the ground below, dead.
The baby is crying from all the noise and is noticed by one of the men approaching Eloise with his weapon drawn. Bobby notices, and as the man fires, the sheriff leaps in front of Eloise and takes a bullet in the back of the shoulder.
Protecting the baby, Eloise pleads with Bobby, “Are you okay?”
The leader of the criminals approaches, ready to finish off the Sheriff, when suddenly the door flies open and the Marshalls barge in and begin putting down the criminals one by one until not one of them is left standing.
Sable rushes to Bobby, “Are you alright?”
“Never mind me none,” he tells her. “Go find them babies.”
Sable rushes out of the room as Eloise holds onto the baby and fusses with Bobby when he suddenly faints.
“Bobby! Bobby!” she cries out.
Some time later, at the clinic, Sable is patching up the sheriff as he’s still unconscious.
Sophie Anderson rushes in, “How’s my son?” Eloise Pike is standing near the back, a nervous wreck. She is still unclear as to what went down.
Sable explains, “He’ll be fine. The bullet went straight through. I’ve sedated him and patched him up, and he’ll be good as new soon.”
Eloise starts to move towards Bobby when Sophie’s voice halts her, “Stop! Robert and Doctor Sable were on an importation mission. Why would you interfere?” she scolds the girl.
Tears begin to well up in Eloise’s eyes as Sophie continues to berate her, “It’s your fault that he’s injured. I’ve been saying all along that you’re not good enough for him. I hope you’re happy now.”
“I received a note to come,” Eloise tries to explain, but Sophie interrupts.
“Shut your mouth. I’ll hear no excuses for your behavior. You got a note? Are you really that stupid, child? If someone told you to just die, would you?
Eloise is trying not to break down as she struggles for words, but Sophie isn’t letting her get in a single word.
“I really don’t understand what he sees in you. You interfere with his work. You’re socially inept. When will it be enough for you to realize you’re not good enough for him? When you get him killed?”
Sable continues to look after Bobby, though she says nothing. If Sophie can get Eloise out of the picture, then perhaps the sheriff would be all hers, just as they planned.
Eloise continues to look from the unconscious sheriff to his overbearing mother. “It’s not like that….”
“You say you are in love with him, but do you even know what love is? If you wanted to do what was best for him, you’d leave him alone. You’d walk away. Make up whatever excuse you can conjure up in that little pea-sized brain of yours and leave him be.”
Again, Eloise tries to defend herself, but Sophie will not stop.
“Other than hurting him, what else can you do for him?” Sophie’s voice softens, “Eloise. I’m begging you. Let him go. Please. For me, who raised him all on my own, through the good times and the struggles. Please, just walk away from him. Before your audacity gets him killed.”
Sophie dramatically looks to be faint when Sable grabs onto her and lowers her into the chair beside Bobby’s bed. Even Sable is starting to look uncomfortable as the words coming from Sophie’s mouth.
Sophie looks down at her son, “Doctor, please get her out of here. I don’t want her near my son.”
Tears are running down Eloise’s cheeks now, “It’s fine. I’ll go.” Eloise glances up at Sable, “Please take good care of him,” she tells the doctor, who just nods her head. Eloise takes one more look at Bobby before turning and rushing out of the room.
Sable looks down at Sophie, “I need to tend to my other patients. He’ll wake up soon.” Sable walks out of the room, leaving Sophie along with her son.
“I’m sorry, son,” she tells him in a whisper. “I didn’t realize it would turn out like this. I would never have put you in danger. That Eloise Pike only brings disaster. Your mother will get rid of her once and for all.”
It’s late as Eloise’s brain replays the earlier incident in a dream, and she wakes up screaming.
Rain is pouring outside as Sarah rushes into the room, soaking wet. “Oh! It just started to rain!” she brings in the wet laundry she had to run out and pull from the line. She begins to lay the clothing out as much as she can so they don’t mold.
Sarah lays out the dress that Bobby bought for Eloise, but it slips to the floor. As Sarah leans down to pick it up, Eloise grabs her by the wrist. “Leave it.”
“But, it’s your favorite dress.”
Eloise shakes her head, “I need to let it go.” Eloise reaches down and pulls up the dress. She walks over and drops the dress on the woodpile. “You can toss it in when it’s dry.”
Sarah looks concerned, “What’s wrong with you?”
Eloise just shakes her head, “I’m fine. Can you make dinner tonight? Just for you and pa. I’m not feeling well.”
Sarah wants to ask more questions, but she knows she won’t get any answers. So she just nods her head. “Okay.”
As Sarah leaves her room, Eloise walks over to her makeshift desk and pulls over some paper. She sits down and begins to write:
I have given this a lot of thought, and I do mean well. After falling in love with you, I thought I could make you happy. As happy as you’ve made me. But I was wrong. We are from different worlds, so how could we possibly be happy together? This is too hard. You’re from a wealthy family, and my family is poor. It’s like trying to climb the biggest mountain. I’m starting at the bottom, and you’re already at the top. It’s so hard, and I’m so tired. So tired that I cannot take another step. I think it’s best if we just break things off here. Be happy.
A few days later, Sheriff Anderson has returned to the sheriff’s office and is reading the letter. Unfortunately, the rain hasn’t let up, and the streets are pure mud. After getting to the end of the message, he bolts out of his office and into the street. His boots splash mud all over as he runs to his horse, climbs up, and kicks it into action as he rides towards the Pike farm.
As he gets there, he barely waits for the horse to stop before sliding off and rushing to their door and starts to pound on it, “Eloise! Eloise!”
Inside, Eloise can hear him knocking, but she remains seated on her bed, tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Open the door, Eloise! I’m not leaving until you do!”
“You just gonna let him get soaking wet out there?” Wilfred asks as he steps into the room. “He’s just gotten out of the hospital, and he’s gonna catch a hell of a cold if he stays out there.”
Eloise shakes her head, “There’s no need. I need him to understand that it’s over between us. His mother is right. If I don’t break things off with him, disaster will come.”
Her father places a hand on her shoulder, “Just so you know, I don’t give a lick about Sheriff Anderson. I care about you, and this doesn’t seem like you at all.”
With the pounding and yelling coming from outside, Eloise shakes her head, “I’m just trying to do what’s right,” she tells her father.
He won’t defy her wishes, but Wilfred Pike can feel for the sheriff. He gives her shoulder a squeeze and then walks back to his room.
Outside of the home, Bobby pounds on the door a couple more times before leaning against it and sliding down to the ground.
Back inside, Eloise reaches for the chain around her neck. She fingers the whistle attached and brings it to her lips, and she blows it.
Moments later, Sansibar is flying over the Pike home. He sees the sheriff sitting on the ground leaning against the door, so he flies to the back of the house where Eloise is waiting for him with the back door open. As he steps inside, she looks at him and simply says, “Please help me.”
The two exchange glances for a moment, and Eloise explains her plan.
Bobby is starting to feel the weather. His clothes are soaked to his skin, and he’s starting to shiver. The door behind him begins to nudge, and he groans as he gets to his feet, finally hoping to talk this out with Eloise before he loses his mind.
When the door opens, and Eloise is standing there, he grabs her in a wet embrace, “My God, are you alright?” he asks her more with concern than anything.
He doesn’t seem to notice Sansibar standing nearby. When she doesn’t answer him, the sheriff says to her, “Listen, I don’t know what my mother told you, but she has no bearing on who I want to be with. I want to be with you.”
Eloise is stoic as she stands there, looking at him even though it’s breaking her heart.
Finally, Sansibar steps in and grabs Bobby by the wrist, and removes his hand from her.
“Who are you?” the sheriff asks.
Eloise reaches for Sansibar’s hand, “He’s my boyfriend.”
As if being slapped right across the face, the sheriff’s eyes go wide. “What in the world are you talking about?” He starts to move towards her again, but Sansibar places a hand on his chest.
“It’s just what I said. Sansibar is my new boyfriend.”
Sheriff Anderson looks from one to the other and then back to her, “I don’t believe you.”
She forces a smile, “I can’t help it if you don’t believe me. We actually met a while ago. When I was with you, I was just trying to decide who I wanted to be with. I’ve made my decision, and my pa has given us his blessing.”
“I don’t believe you,” the sheriff says again as his eyes begin to tear up.
Eloise looks him in the eyes, “I can’t help it if you don’t believe me. I’m just telling you the truth. I’ve made my decision. If you ever cared about me, you’ll accept my decision.” She turns to Sansibar, “Let’s go.”
As the two start to walk away from him, Sheriff Anderson walks after them, “Eloise….”
She spins around, “I told you. This is my final decision. Perhaps Sable Banner would be more to your liking anyway.”
“Sheriff, I don’t want any trouble with the law, but Eloise has made her decision. I realize it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s time for you to leave,” Sansibar interjects.
Sheriff Anderson is beside himself. He ignores Sansibar, still looking at Eloise, “You’ll regret this one day. I promise you. I don’t know where this all came from, but you’ll regret this,” he spits out as he turns and walks out of the home, slamming the door behind him.
As the door slam, Eloise starts and gasps. She starts to go after him, but Sansibar places a hand on her shoulder to stop her. She looks up at him, and he shakes his head at her.
She nods as tears begin to fall down her cheek.
Sheriff Anderson doesn’t bother getting on his horse. Instead, he grabs her reins and leads her off the Pike farm, heading back to town as the scene fades out.
Back at the sheriff’s office, Sophie Anderson is berating Deputy Trawls. “What do you mean you don’t know where he is? My son is sick and injured, and you’re telling me he’s out there in the rain?”
Trawls is apologetic but responds, “Ma’am, the sheriff is a grown man and does what he pleases around here. I just can’t keep him on a leash. He’s my boss.”
The door to the sheriff’s office opens up, and Sheriff Anderson stumbles in, soaked to the bone and in a catatonic state. The first person he sees when he walks in is his mother. “Are you happy now?” he asks her.
Sophie is very confused, “What are you doing? It’s cold and wet out there. You’re soaking wet,” she tries to help him, but he pushes her off of him.
“You never liked her. She knew you didn’t like her, and now she’s gone,” he tells her. His face is red, and suddenly, his eyes roll back, and he collapses onto the floor. Trawls rushes in to look.
“Boss! Boss!” he yells, shaking the sheriff. Then, he looks up at Sophie, “Go get the doc!”
The scene opens up in the clinic where Sheriff Anderson lies in a bed. Sable Banner is asleep in a chair nearby. Bobby’s eyes slowly open up. Eloise Pike’s words ring in his head as things come into focus.
“Perhaps Sable Banner would be more to your liking anyway.”
As his eyes begin to focus, the form sitting next to him isn’t Eloise Pike but Sable Banner.
“Perhaps Sable Banner would be more to your liking anyway.”
The words come again.
Bobby tries to sit up, but everything hurts, so he groans, waking Sable from her slumber. Her eyes go wide, and she rushes to his side. “Let me help,” she says, placing a hand on his forehead after getting him sat up.
He reaches up and takes her hand, looking at her. “You were here the whole time?”
Sable scoffs, “I’m your doctor. Where else would I be?”
“If you weren’t my doctor, would you leave?” he asks her.
Her eyes lift to meet his, though she doesn’t answer his question.
“My mother likes you. I’ve heard her mention she would like you to be her daughter-in-law,” he says.
Sable shrugs, “What she likes doesn’t really matter, does it?”
Bobby looks at her, “What if I wish it to be?”
Sable smirks, “You just woke from a high fever. How about we save the proposals for after you get better, shall we?” Though the conspiracy between herself and Sophie Anderson seems to have gone as well as expected, she’s not going to come across as desperate. “Tell you what. Heal that broken heart of yours first, and then we’ll talk.”
The frustration that Sheriff Anderson is feeling has gotten the better of him, “Forget I said anything. You’re right. It’s probably the fever talking.”
Sable rises to her feet and walks away from him. She clutches a fist in her hand before saying. “You can be a very cruel man. You know that I like you.” She turns around to face him, “But I won’t jump in just to take her place.”
He lies back in his bed, “Rejected twice in two days. I’ve broken some sort of record, I suppose.”
She walks back over and sits on the bed next to him, “You owe me an apology, sir.”
He nods his head, acknowledging her. “I’m sorry.”
Sable reaches over and takes his hand, just as Sophie walks into the room. She sees them holding hands. Sable pulls her hand back and stands up as Sophie rushes over to check on her son.
The next day, he’s released from the clinic. A montage showing Sable and Bobby spending time together over the course of a few days is shown. Lunch and dinner. Horse riding. And then a proposal. As they break the news to Sophie Anderson, her glee could not be hidden from the world.
Sarah walks into the kitchen, sets the morning newspaper down, and takes a seat at the table, “Thank you for breakfast, pa.”
Wilfred smiles at his youngest daughter, “Always happy to cook for you,” he tells her. “Where’s your sister? I haven’t seen her for breakfast in days.”
Sarah puts some butter on a piece of toast, “She hasn’t been sleeping well. She’s been sleeping in almost every day.”
Wilfred exhales and drops down into his chair. He pulls up the modest newspaper and immediately pauses when he opens it up, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Sarah.
“What’s wrong?” When he doesn’t answer right away, she gets up and walks around to look over his shoulder to reach a headline near the bottom of the page.
“Sheriff and Doctor to Wed”
Sarah’s eyes go wide, but then she hears Eloise walking towards them, and she snatches the paper out of her father’s hands and puts it behind her back. “Good morning, Eloise,” she says as she tries to act like nothing is going on even though she’s not doing a very good job of it.
Wildred motions toward her chair, “Let’s eat and get on with our days,” with an extra look at Sarah.
Eloise sniffs at the air, “What’s that smell?”
Placing a hand on his head, Wilfred shakes his head, “My porridge!”
“I’ll get it,” Sarah says as she leaps up from her chair and rushes to the stove. However, she leaves the newspaper on her chair. Eloise sees it, but Wilfred notices it and snatches it quickly, not at all looking suspicious. But, unfortunately, it’s too late.
“I’m not hungry. I’m going for a walk,” Eloise tells him, and she silently moves to grab her jacket and leaves the house.
“Eloise,” Wilfred cries out to her, but as the door shuts, it’s too late.
Eloise walks out of the house and over towards the barn. She leans against the side as tears begin to fall down her cheek as the headline taunts her.
Sansibar flies over the home, and after seeing her crying, he flies down and lands next to her. As he places a hand on her shoulder, she turns to him. “Why does it hurt so much?” she asks him.
He takes her by the hand, scoops her into his arms, and his large wings carry them off into the sky. He takes her over rivers, forests, lakes, and farms.
Eloise clings tightly to his neck as he flies her all over Colorado. Her demeanor begins to change as she’s never seen the country from this particular view. Finally, after a while, he lands them both on the ground.
“Did you enjoy that?” he asks her.
At least for the time, her troubles were gone. “It always helps to have a friend who can comfort you. Thank you.”
They cross onto a bridge, and Sansibar stops in the center and looks downstream, “Actually, it doesn’t have to be like this for you,” he tells her. “He really likes you, and you like him. So why are you forcing each other to be apart?”
Eloise thinks for a moment as she also looks at the streaming flowing underneath them. “Just because you love each other doesn’t always mean you can be together. There are other things to think about.”
She finally turns to look at the demon, “Dreams, lifestyles… things like that.”
Sansibar might not be an expert on love, but something seems off about what she’s saying to him. “I don’t feel that’s right.”
Eloise nods her head, “I thought so too once. But once you go through it, you’ll understand. There’s some truth to it.”
Sansibar takes in her words before he asks, “I’d like to tell you a story. Will you listen?”
“You’ve brought me to the middle of nowhere. Do I have a choice?” she asks, partially teasing.
He doesn’t seem to understand her humor, “It’s the story of a human and a demon—my parents. My mother was a demon, my father was human. They met and fell in love, and soon I was born. However, we moved many times because it was discovered my mother was a demon. Finally, she could take no more, and she fled in the dark of night. My father was so distressed, he spent years searching for her until he became ill. On the day he died, we found my mother. She tried to take him to get help, but as she tried to carry him, his weight was too much, and they both fell into the lake and died.”
Tears are streaming down Eloise’s face as he finishes the story, “It’s so sad….”
He turns to look at her, “I tell you this story because their love was a continuous story of sacrifice even to the end. You may think you’re doing what’s best for the one you love, but in the end, you’re just hurting them more. If you continue needed sacrificing, you’ll end up like my parents.”
Eloise reaches up and wipes at her tears with the sleeve of her dress, “Why are you telling me this?”
The demon turns to face her, “Because I know you love him. Losing him will cause you both to suffer needlessly.”
She nods her head, “He’s going to marry soon. There’s isn’t much I can do.”
Sansibar places a hand on her shoulder, “Go find him. Do I really need to tell you something so simple? Go and tell him. Even if he rejects you, you’ll at least know.”
After a moment’s pause, Eloise smiles up at Sansibar and nods her head, determined. “You’re right. I’ll do that. Thank you, Sansibar,” she tells him. “Please take me back.”
Sansibar scoops the farm girl up in his arms, and his black wings unfurl, and he soars into the air.
Sophie is managing the wedding preparations, conferring with Sable. Sheriff Anderson, meanwhile, is flashing back to that day that Eloise dumped him. He recalls the day over and over again.
He suddenly leaps to his feet, “I’ll be back.”
“Where are you going?” asks Sophie, as Sable seems concerned by the suddenness of it all.
“I said I’ll be back,” and he storms out of the home as the two women exchange concerning glances.
As the scene switches back and forth between the two running towards the other, they nearly collide when they round a corner.
Out of breath, Bobby grabs her shoulders, “I have something to say to you.”
“I have something to say to you too,” Eloise tells him.
At the same time, they both say, “You first.”
“I just wanted you to know I was marrying Sable Banner to protect you,” the sheriff tells her. “I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I realized that this marriage is not about protecting you. It’s about protecting me. I’m not giving up. Whatever I have to do to compete with this other man to win you, I’ll do it. No matter what the cost.”
As tears flow down her face, Eloise reaches up and wraps her arms around his neck, and drags him close to her. “I’m so sorry,” she bawls out. “He isn’t my boyfriend. He’s just a really good friend. I was trying to make you mad, so you’d leave me. I know I’m not good for you, but I cannot think of a time when I’ve been happier in my life.”
Bobby pulls back from the embrace, “Then why?”
Eloise sniffles as she shrugs softly, “I’ve only seemed to bring you trouble. I don’t come from a rich family. I don’t know all the rules that your ma wants me to live by. I didn’t want you to eventually come to see me as that clumsy girl and realize that you’ve messed up being with me.”
“How about you let me do the thinking between us,” the sheriff teases her, causing her to snort and sniffle all at the same time.
She shakes her head, “I realize how dumb I’ve been. I don’t want to be without you.”
“Then I guess we have one more thing we need to do,” Bobby tells her and takes her by the hand, and they rush off.
Sable is trying on the wedding dress that Sophie picked out for her. Sable does a little spin, “You look beautiful,” Sophie tells her. The compliment brings a large smile to Sable’s face.
“This dress is so expensive,” Sable starts to protest.
Sophie hushes her, “I only have one son, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for me, so I’ll hear no talk of expense.”
One of the servants rushes into the room, “Ma’am, something has happened.”
Confused, Sophie turns to him, “Where are the flowers I sent you for?”
“That’s just it. I went to get the flowers from the mercantile, and I saw them together,” he tells her. “The sheriff and Eloise Pike.”
Immediately, Sable’s frown falls. Sophie turns to her, “Let’s not get worked up. It could be a reasonable explanation.”
Sable isn’t having it, as she rushes out of the home in her wedding dress.
Watching her go, Sophie turns to the servant and gives him a shove, “What is wrong with you?”
Of course, in a newborn town like Durango, any news spreads like wildfire. So as the sheriff and Eloise walk hand in hand through town, the gossips are all talking about it. Some are obviously put off by the blatant disregard for what they consider human decency. Others are quite in favor of the coupling.
Sheriff Anderson turns to Eloise and looks at her, not even caring that others are watching, and he starts to lean towards her.
“What are you doing?” she asks him. “People are watching.”
“I don’t give a damn,” he says as he kisses her on the lips.
Of course, coming around the corner at just that moment is Sable Banner, who stops in her tracks, watching the two kiss.
As we see the kiss slowly break apart, right in the center is Sable, a look of shock on her face. In fact, Bobby turns, and his eyes come in contact with Sable. His own smile falls. “Sable…” he says. There’s little else he can say but, “I’m sorry.”
Trying to keep her composure, Sable walks up to the two, looking only at the sheriff, “You think I didn’t know? It’s just a little sooner than I expected.” She turns to Eloise. Slowly she lifts the headpiece from atop her head and places it on top of Eloise’s head.
Sophie Anderson arrives on the scene as Sable looks Eloise in the eyes and says, “Congratulations.” Then, she spins on her heel and starts to walk off.
Sophie takes her by the arm, “What are you doing?”
Without a word, Sable walks right past the sheriff’s mother and keeps walking.
She walks as Sable disappears, and she turns to her son, “What are you doing?”
Again, the sheriff has only one thing he can say, “I’m sorry, ma. If I gave you false hope, I am sorry. But, even if you don’t approve, the woman I am going to be with is Eloise Pike.”
Slowly, Sophie’s eyes move from her son’s to Eloise, and as her features harden, she says to her, “You’re an evil girl.” Then, before the sheriff can protest, Sophie also turns and walks away.
Sable is at the clinic, pacing in her office. She walks over and looks out the window as she thinks to herself, “What is it that Eloise Pike has that I lack? What is it that makes her better than me?” Her eyes narrow, “Robert Anderson, just you wait. I’ll become the most successful woman in all of Colorado. You’ll regret this decision for the rest of your life!”
She hits the window with her first as it splinters underneath it.
Eloise walks into the saloon to prepare for her evening performance when the bartender stops her. “I’ve been told to let you go, Eloise. I’m sorry. It wasn’t my idea. Came down from the boss.”
Sophie Anderson, of course.
Eloise just smiles at the bartender. It certainly isn’t his fault, “I get it. Thanks. I’ll grab my things and go back home then.”
As she walks to the back, a nearby spectator lowers a newspaper, and we see that it’s Sansibar. He drops a coin on the table and walks out of the saloon.
“It’s way too expensive,” Sansibar’s servant comments.
Sansibar and his servant are inspecting a vacant building. “The reason for the high cost of this building is the location. Every person who walks down the street passes this building,” says the owner of the building.
The front of the building is paned with windows, letting in as much sunshine as there may be on a particular day. The servant turns to Sansibar, who is actually considering this purchase. “Sir, he’s asking way too much for this….”
Sansibar holds up a finger to hush the servant, and then he turns to the owner, “I’ll send someone over tomorrow with the purchase price. Please have the deeds ready to be signed.”
The man is excited to have gotten so much for this building. He quickly nods his head and rushes out of the building.
“But, why?” asks the servant.
Sansibar just smirks, “Ms. Sophie Anderson wants to play games. Let’s see what happens when she has a little competition. Our feature entertainer will be Eloise Pike.”
A few days later, Eloise is rushing out of the same building on her way to tell the sheriff the good news.
Inside, as workers are preparing the new saloon, Sansibar walks in. “You did well,” he tells the servant.
“Why not just give her money if she’s in need, Master?” the servant asks.
Sansibar scoffs, “She isn’t the type to accept charity. She wants to earn her wages. It’s unfair for those who have to toy with the lives of those who do not. So, what is the best way to put pressure on Ms. Anderson and help out my friend Eloise?”
“I’ve located some ideal spots around the state to build additional clinics, but are you sure this is something you should do?” Sebastian asks Sable. “I mean, we’ve just barely gotta our head above water from when your father put us in debt.”
On the day that she was dumped by Robert Anderson, Sable set in motion her plan to become the most successful woman in Colorado. She set Sebastian on a mission to find locations needing clinics, and they would branch out clinics all over the state. She’ll be damned if she’s going to sit around and feel sorry for herself that her engagement got sabotaged by Eloise Pike, but she also wasn’t going to make herself look weak, so she gave the appearance of giving those two backstabbers her blessing.
Realizing that Sebastian needed an answer, she looks up at him. “The time to make this happen is now. Send out some inquiries for doctors to fill in at these new clinics once they’re operational, and make sure they’re well-stocked with supplies. Let me know once you hear a word. I’ll want to go inspect the locations myself.”
“Excuse me,” a male voice is heard.
“Come in,” calls out Sable, thinking it might be a patient. Not that she wishes people to be ill, but illness does mean business.
A nicely dressed man walks into the room, “Pardon my intrusion, but my name is Gerald Ravant. I’m a pharmacist. I’ve come to explain to you our newest medicine. It treats colds, injuries, and illnesses of all types. It’s being used all over the world, so I’m traveling the country hoping to spread the news.” He places a bottle of liquid medicine on the desk in front of her.
Skeptical, Sable picks up the bottle. The label is simple enough as it claims to be a cure-all for all types of ailments. But, she sets it back down, “I’m sorry, we only administer inspected medicines in our clinics.”
The man nods his head, “I understand. I’ll be coming through periodically, but if you change your mind, you can telegraph your order.” He drops a slip of paper onto the desk as he retrieves his bottle and places it back into his bag. “Thank you for your time.”
With that, the man turns and walks out of the clinic.
Sable watches him leave, though she seems intrigued by what he had to say.