Esther Marie only wants to help a homeless little girl, but her family and fiancé strongly object. Threatened with commitment and declared incompetent, she consents to being treated by a quack doctor. Her only hope for escape, in a time where women are powerless, is with a mysterious stranger. However, the stranger is on a private mission that involves carrying a gun, and a cell of anarchists are building a bomb. She is caught in a time when the forces of power and rebellion are ready to collide and explode.
Sal looks straight at Bass. “Ace of Diamonds is my lucky calling card. You sure your name is Bass?”
Bass swallows hard while the others stare. Mario is suddenly sober.
Sal smiles. “Up to you, Mario, but I think you can play for a dollar a stick. I have a feeling you’ll do fine.”
Velsky asks, “You look like ex-Army. Philippines?”
Saks’mouth tightens to a thin line. “What’d you do there?”
“People fighting for their rights, for liberty, fighting imperial oppressors like McKinley. That’s what those people you killed were fighting for.”
“Maybe so. I didn’t ask them.”
“So, you were no more than a cowardly paid killer.”
“The pay wasn’t much.”
Velsky asks, “What are you doing here?”
“What are you?”
“You think you’re a tough guy, don’t you?”
“I don’t think about it at all.”
Saks spits on the floor. “No, your kind don’t think—you simply kiss the master’s ass and do his bidding. You’re a slave but don’t know it. You’re nothing but a cowardly killer in a uniform.”
Mario says, “Maybe a bad idea to play cards.”
Bass rises and pockets the deck and the bottle. “Yes, maybe another time—when the company is more pleasant.”
Velsky and Saks follow Bass out the door.
Velsky pauses to say, “You want to watch yourself.”
Sal nods and smiles.
Bass’ harsh complaining voice sounds over the three sets of shoes hitting the wood floor of the porch.
Mario looks at Sal and quietly asks, “What are you doing here?”
“Following a long trail through the jungle.”
“A trail? What jungle? No jungle here.”