Captions

Panel 1: Caption: “It was the atmosphere that made the otherwise nonsensical Palace name feel right.” The feel, the vibe of dignity is what made this three-story hotel of whitewashed lumber in the middle of nowhere a palace. After downing a beer at the bar and paying the night’s rent, Saul headed for the dark corner of the hotel’s front hall where the stairway begins, and there he finds himself suddenly facing a mysterious blonde in a teal gown. The woman, taller than him since she’s standing on the stair in front of him, stops Saul in his tracks. Caption: “The woman Saul encountered for the first time on the hotel stairs made him feel ten feet tall.”

Panel 2: We see the woman and Saul in profile; she’s looking down at him from her vantage point one stair higher, but leaning way forward so that their faces are close. Saul’s mouth hangs open and his eyes close in surprise.

Panel 3: We see the mystery woman’s dress and shoes as her feet take action to move up the hotel stairs to Saul’s room. She’s wearing the sensible pumps common in the 1800s.

Panel 4: We see the shapely silhouette of the woman (approaching from off-screen) cast across the door of Saul’s hotel room.

Panel 5: We look up at the open door; the woman, facing away, is inside Saul’s room now.

Panel 6: We look up at the closed door of Saul’s hotel room. The panel reddens.

Panel 7: The horizon of golden-brown and green prairie sprawls behind the top two stories visible of the Palace Hotel; the nightscape, blues and dark purple, towers over the countryside. Caption: “At last, after the Sun descended below the edge of the prairie to seek his respite and had kissed the grasses goodnight with night dew, Saul fell asleep…”

This concludes the “Saul’s First Day as a Pharmacist” section of our story. What will happen to Saul next? Who is the mystery woman? Find out in the next installment: “Learning Wild West