Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sam Spade Meets His Match

by Rebecca Cantrell

On the left, wearing a rumpled trench coat and reeking of Scotch, is Sam Spade. He’s a tough looking customer, with the face to prove it. But he’s out of his element without his trusty gun. Still, it’s not going to be easy to take him down. In his corner, he has Effie, his disillusioned secretary. She looks as likely to stuff the threadbare towel down his throat as throw it in. One red lacquered fingernail taps against the liquor bottle.

On the right is a large figure covered by a robe with a hood. It moves with such calm authority that Sam gets even more edgy. He’s not a big guy. His opponent has height, weight, and probably reach on him. And no one’s allowed out of the cage.

The figure shrugs off the robe, folds it neatly, and passes it through the cage bars. Her brightly patterned dress matches her blue and white head scarf. She waves and Sam flinches.

It’s Precious Ramotswe.

In her corner sits JLB Maketoni. He doesn’t look the least bit nervous. With him are two children, Motholeli and Puso. Motholeli holds a steaming cup of red bush tea.

The opponents walk toward each other in the ring. Sam’s head is down, his fists are up. Precious’s arms are loose by her side.

The lights flicker. Go out. The crowds gasps. The audience babbles so loudly no one can hear what’s going on in the ring.

The lights blaze back to life a few minutes later. Sam is sobbing on his knees in front of Effie. He apologizes for his past behavior and proposes to her on the spot.

Mma Rawotse sips her red bush tea with a mysterious smile. Peeking from between her fingers is a slip of paper. On it? The location of the real Maltese falcon, of course.


Jen Forbus said...

Ha! This is just a great question. It's fun to see everyone being so creative with it!!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks, Jen! It's a fun topic to think about, but I shy away from the gore. I think Precious could take down anybody given enough time before they whack her.

Jen Forbus said...

I agree Rebecca! The intimation is always so much better when it comes to violence...and sex.

CJ Lyons said...

Love this, Becky!!! You had me on the edge of my seat--great job!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I agree, Jen. Not everything needs to be spelled out. Or at least that's what I tell myself. :)

Hi CJ! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it.

Kelli Stanley said...

LOL--that was the stuff that dreams are made of, Becks! ;) (courtesy of John Huston via Shakespeare--Hammett never used the line).

Precious reforms Spade--love it!! :)



Rebecca Cantrell said...

I was worried about your reaction most of all, Kelli. I knew that messing with Hammett was hazardous. Glad I pulled it off.

And Precious would help him solve his deepest problems and leave him a bit better off after the match.

I think she's donating the proceeds from the falcon to that orphanage too.

Unknown said...

Kelli, some people credit Bogart with choosing the line, not Huston. I'm not sure who is right, but whoever it was had probably noticed how many times Hammett used the word "stuff." I'm not telling, but it's more than you'd think!

I'm thinking now about Precious and Nero Wolfe...


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Precious and Nero? First you would have to convince Nero to get into the cage, no easy feat.

Once they got in the cage, I think they would exchange recipes, and I think she might make a few inroads into his persnickety nature. I'm sure he'd invite her home to see the orchids.

A lovely time would be had by all. Except the pay per view audience. :)

Shane Gericke said...

Or perhaps Nero and Archie, as the latter could punch out the former but the former could sit and squash the latter :-) Great job with this, Rebecca.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks, Shane! I think sometimes Archie would LOVE to get Nero in a cage and explain how the world works.