As soon as we arrived at Tex’s place I could see that he was very much taken with Moira. He took her by the arm, “Come on li’l lady, Ah’ll be mighty proud to show ya’round. Say, you ever thought o’ bein’ in movies?”
“Good grief, Joselyn, remember you are NOT from Texas and neither were you once the proud possessor of a bit part in High Noon.”
His voice and accent returned to a civilized normality, “He only calls me Jocelyn to annoy me and that only occurs when he thinks I’m moving in on his girl.”
Moira laughed gently, “I’m not his girl, in fact I’m completely unattached - at the moment.”
I tried not to show my hurt by launching a fresh attack, “There’s a long history between us, do you realise he once tried to kill me,” I smiled at Moira who I was pleased to see looked concerned.
“Tried to kill you – How, with what?” she asked.
“An aeroplane,” I replied, “A large one.”
“You can’t prove it was mine, there were six hundred fortresses in that formation, it could have been any of them.”
“The dates match,” I insisted.
Moira shook her head, “Aeroplanes…. fortresses…..”
“It was in Normandy, I was on the ground he was above me be with lethal intent.”
“The Americans bombed you? On purpose?”
“They’ll bomb anything. They had a particular penchant for attacking Switzerland. I felt safer with the Luftwaffe overhead.”
“Ha..,” put in Tex, “Well, the RAF couldn’t even find Germany for most of the war.”
“They were flying at night, it makes a difference, you know.”
The three of us began to giggle at the silliness of it all and Tex linked his arms up with ours and led us towards his studio, which was quiet it being Sunday.
He showed us into a converted barn which had been dressed to look like a torture chamber. Cardboard walls painted to look like stone blocks defined the shooting stage, whilst a reasonably solid looking rack stood against one wall, a brazier with branding irons next to it. Chains hung from a gantry. In one corner stood a bath of cold water and to one side of it an iron maiden with its door wide open and ready for its next victim.
“Great, huh,” Tex encouraged us to be enthusiastic.
He was disappointed when neither of us made a reply.
“Come on, waddya think?”
“It doesn’t look a very solid dungeon.”
“What d’ya want, the Tower of London, for Chrissakes….”
“Well, you could have hired a proper castle, there are dozens of them around here.”
Tex grunted and led us on a tour of the various technical areas, but I could see that he was disappointed with our negativity.
As we sipped wine and chewed sandwiches after the tour I asked, “Have you any cameras yet?”
“Coming next week,” he replied surlily.
“Not 8mm, are they?” asked Moira.
“Nope, I’ve hired good equipment, and also a reliable, experienced cameraman.”
“Who’s directing?” I asked.
Tex patted his chest, “Why, good ol’ me, who else.”
I laughed, “You haven’t the eye for it.”
“I suppose you’ve written the screen play too.”
Tex looked a little shamefaced.
“You haven’t even got anything written down, have you?”
“Huuh, who needs scribblings? Girl is captured – Girl is bound – Girl is tortured – Girl is fucked…..,” after uttering the final word he swung to face Moira and inclined his head in apology, “Sorry, ma’am, I sometimes forget myself.”
“Pathetic, surely you should be aiming higher than that,” I said with some exasperation.
“It’ll make money, stick to the tried and true formula, it never fails.”
I thought for a moment, “Look, why not go for something better, something that could go out on general release, even if it is limited to art houses?”
“General release! The censor’d never pass any of my stuff.”
“Why not make two versions,” Moira who had been following our interchange like a spectator at a tennis match, suddenly interjected.
We both stared at her.
“Yes, a less graphic version could be made at the same time without tits and fanny, a proper story and a lot of arty-farty camera work.”
“Good idea,” I smiled at her willing her to see that anything she wanted I’d be behind her.
Tex sucked his teeth for a moment, “It means a lot more work and a deal more cost that might not produce for me a high enough return to cover expenses.”
“Ah, away with you, you movie moguls thrive on risk,” I urged him on.
“I’ll write a screenplay,” offered Moira.
“Will you star in it?” asked Tex and I could see in his face a desire to have his leading actress stripped and bound before him, ready for whatever next move he wanted to make.
“Yes, Tex, I’ll be a star for you,” she replied, her voice soft and meaningful.
My heart hit the pit of my stomach and bounced back up into my rib cage, aching all the way, for I knew at that moment that I had lost her.
End of Part Three