Desert Rose Part 9

Maria drives down the highway heading towards the resort town of Crystal Springs. She finally got a hit on her missing son. She has been searching for a long time for her son since his father kidnapped him and hid him from her.

Finally, an alert had come through on a program she had written to monitor the internet. It had found an image of a girl, that looked like her when she was younger. She couldn’t believe how similar the girl looked to her. She found out that the girl was living in a resort town called
Crystal Springs. She did some research about the place. She found out it had been restored about five years ago. The first building restored had been an old-fashioned saloon called The Crystal Palace.

The land the town sat on belonged to the Native American tribe in the area. She follows the GPS directions to the town. She was stopped at the gate that leads to the huge parking lot.

“Greetings and welcome to Crystal Springs. You can park your vehicle here and take the next stagecoach into town.”

“How much is parking, sir.”

“There is no charge if you plan on doing just shopping and just visit for a day. If you plan on living here, arrangements will be made for your storage fee.”

“Thank you.” Maria watches as the barrier is lifted.

Once it is all the way up. She finds several parking spaces available and parks her car. She spotted signs that directed here to an old fashion looking train depot. She takes her purse and the file she had was upload to her Surface Pro 6 tablet.

While she is waiting for the stagecoach to arrive. Several other people and a couple of family members joined her. The stagecoach shows up and after everyone is inside it. The driver takes the scenic route into town.

Maria couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Her daughter was here in the resort. She wonders what she does and how to approach her. After about fifteen minutes, the stagecoach stops at an identical rail station.

“Welcome to the old West.” The driver announces as the stagecoach stops.

Maria gets out of the stagecoach and looks around. The place certainly took you back to the old West. She spots The Crystal Palace and starts heading over towards it. She could hear music and laughter coming from inside the place.

Maria walks in and could see why this place was so popular. The saloon girls were dressed in the old fashioned clothes of the day. Some of them looked like they might be the gothic of the times. She walks further into the place and could hear someone on the stage, telling jokes.

The place looked busy for an afternoon crowd. She noticed that some of the patrons were dress in period clothing. The others were dressed like her and the other visitors to the place. She spots the girl she was looking for. She was wearing a nice light blue period dress and was doing a drawing of a person.

Maria stands and just watches her. She starts laughing because of a joke that had been told. She couldn’t get over the fact how cute her daughter looked and wonders how she ended up at the Crystal Palace.

“Is there anything I can do for you, ma’am?” April had spotted an older woman wearing dress slacks and a nice blouse standing near the gaming table looking over towards the small stage.

“I’m sorry, I’m looking for a table over near the stage. Also, who do I talk to about getting a room for a couple of nights as well?” Maria figures she could spend a few days getting to know her new daughter.

“That would be the Innkeeper and I can get her for you.” April goes and looks for Orfeo.

“Hey Orfeo, I have a woman who would like a room for a few nights.”

“Okay, room 8 is available and gives a nice view of the gardens.” Orfeo was happy that Isa was able to get the land behind them and turned it
into a botanical garden.

“Okay, I’ll inform her.” April heads back to Maria. She was still standing where she left them.

Maria continues to watch Belka while April is away. No sooner does Belka gets done with the one picture, another person sits down for another commission. She wonders, why her baby was here?

“Ma’am, we have a room available. It looks over our new botanical gardens.”

“How much is it for a night?” Maria looks in April.

“$65.00 dollars a night. That includes your breakfast and dinner for both days.”

“Do you take credit cards or this place strictly cash?”

“We take both.” April pulls out the credit reader and scans the card.

Maria hands over her card to April. She watches as April slides the card through “please enter your pin.” April turns her head away for Maria to enter the code.

Maria looks at the new card reader. She knew Europe used them, but she didn’t know places in America did. She types her pin in.

“Okay, you can look.” A smile appears on Maria’s face.

April turns around and finishes the transaction. She prints a receipt out and hands it to Maria.

“Here’s your receipt, ma’am.” April hands the receipt to Maria.

“Thank you. Now, do you think there is a table available near the stage?” Maria wanted to be able to see Belka.

“I think I can find you one.” April looks for a table and finds one that only needed to be cleaned.

She takes care of the table quickly. Once it was cleaned, she pulls the chair out for Maria.

“Thank you" Maria sits down at the table.

"Here is a menu of what we serve here if you didn’t see the signs when you walked in.” April hands Maria a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 menu.

Maria accepts it and looks over the menu. All the items look to be simple and what you would find in a saloon during the old West. She chooses a simple cobb salad to eat.

Detective Branston Hospital Room:
Alejandra was finally allowed to visit Detective Branston. She knocks lightly on his hospital room door.

“Enter!” Branston was just laying in bed trying to figure out who attacked him and why.

Alejandra walks into the hospital room. The pain pills they gave her for the bullet wound was numbing it.

“What happened to you?” Branston remembered seeing Alejandra before he passed out.

“I took a bullet from one of your attackers. He was heading over to finish you off when I smacked him with my dune buggy.” Alejandra sits in
the chair next to his bed.

“Does your uncle know you are here?”

“I hope not. He was treating me and several other immigrants as his personal sex slave and as slaves as well. So, I ran away from him in the dune buggy I rebuilt.”

“I suspected something was off when you didn’t speak to me and the rags you were wearing.” Branston had been concerned, but he wasn’t able to do anything for Alejandra at the time.

“I didn’t have any clothes when I came to him. So, I wore whatever I could find in some of the cars I found. I do have a question for you. Who were those men trying to kill you?” Alejandra was curious.

“I don’t know who they were or why they came after me. Which brings up the question, why were you there?” Branston looks at Alejandra.

“I was coming to see you. I was hoping you could help me.”

“Help you do what? Become a citizen?”

“No, I was hoping you could arrest my uncle for what he is doing to immigrants and underage children?” Alejandra knew her uncle was making
money off every immigrant he brought in and ransom their families.

“It’s going to have to wait until I finish this current case.” Branston was wondering who knew he was working on this case.

“How about, I tell you who the State Troopers were that called my uncle that night?” Alejandra knew who the officers were.

“Okay, you have my interest now.” Branston couldn’t believe his luck.

“Good.”



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