Now in a collector’s print edition! Victor J. Banis’ landmark Western tale is back! Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and often bawdy, Lola. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and often bawdy, “Lola Dances” ranges from the slums of the Bowery to the mining camps of. From the bestselling author of ‘Longhorns’. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and often bawdy, Lola Dances ranges from the slums of the Bowery to the.

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September 9, 8: I thought, well, maybe I could get a job here, at The Dollar. Maybe you needed somebody. Alone in the dressing room, Terry glanced about, and his eyes fell on the dressing table.

Lola Dances

Lizette had left most of her stage make up. There was a Spanish fan there, too, He picked it up and snapped it open. Back in the Bowery, in the dressing room at the theater, Rosaria had entertained her fellow dancers often with her fan.

Clicking the fan open and shut, Terry strolled to the rack of dresses that stood along one wall, the costumes Lizette had left behind. He took one of the dresses from the rack and held it up before himself and looked speculatively into the standing mirror.

The dress was black, vaguely Spanish in style, and lavishly trimmed in ruffles. Even at a glance, he could see it would fit perfectly. Willis was back a bit later. He stopped inside the dressing room door and gaped in astonishment at the beautiful woman seated at the dressing table, scarcely able to believe what he saw. Do you have any idea what kind of men those are out there? Lola Valdez, you tell them, just back from a triumphant tour of the continent, where she danced for the crowned heads of Europe.

Terry followed him more slowly. He paused at the edge of the moth eaten curtain, peering past it at the crowded saloon. For just a moment, his legs felt like they would fail him. There was a mirror tacked up just off stage.

Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis

He looked at himself carefully in it. He had outlined his eyes to make them look even bigger and darkened his lashes. The skirt came down far enough to cover his stockinged legs but managed nevertheless to offer glimpses of scarlet ruffles when he walked. There were more ruffles that hid most of his bodice as well, and he had pinned a flowery lace shawl around his shoulders, that screened the rest of it while the glimpses of flesh showing through it created the illusion that they were was more to be seen than there actually was.


If someone who knew him, loka especially someone who had any reason to suspect, looked closely enough, they might recognize him.

But, who knew him here? He had almost never come into town, and then only briefly. Besides, there was no reason for anyone to suspect, to think he was anyone but who Willis was announcing to them at this very moment: Willis came offstage, looked at Terry and, with a nervous grin, shook his head in wonder.

NoTerry told himself.

I can do this. And the moment he stepped out past the curtain, strolled to center stage, sashaying and making the ruffled skirt and the petticoats swish and sway with each bxnis he took, that bbanis who he became, and Terry Murphy was left behind in the wings.

Lola held dancs Spanish fan before her face gictor gazed out at the men over the top of it, smiling with her eyes as M had demonstrated for them, her gaze sweeping the room. Something happened that had never before happened at The Lucky Dollar. The room went silent, a thunderous silence. Even the slap, slap slap of the cards at the poker tables went still. A hundred mouths hung open, a hundred pair of eyes were suddenly riveted on the little figure standing before them.

It lasted half a minute, that eerie silence—a full minute, longer yet. You could almost hear the seconds tick by until Lola took the satin skirt between her fingers and lifted it ever so slowly, ever so slightly, offering more flashes of scarlet petticoat and one slender ankle—even an inch or two, but no more than that, of net clad calf. Male voices bawled like cattle in lightning, boots stomped, fists pounded on tables—so much noise that the very rafters shook and you half feared the roof might collapse, the building fall in on itself from all the noise and commotion.

Lola took a single step, rolled her shoulders. The silence fell again, as completely as before, as quickly as the noise had exploded.

Lola Dances: Victor J Banis: : Books

She hardly knew afterward what she did. No one heard them. There was attention for nothing but that slim-waisted figure twirling about on the stage, tossing her fan, flashing her ankles, laughing and winking and weaving in hellish abandon. Certainly, here, none as pretty as this. At first, they watched in a stunned, almost disbelieving silence, but then men began to cheer and clap, and now they were throwing money onto the stage, vying with one another to see who could throw the most: Lola rewarded them by dancing still faster, with ever greater abandon, until the stage was littered with tributes to her spell and she could hardly step without bringing her slippered foot down on piles of money or bags of gold.


Finally, she leapt into the air, gave a final spin, and sank in a weary heap to the floor of the stage, panting from exertion. At once, Terry sat up and scrambled to his feet, knowing that he dared not let them rush to the stage to help him. There was movement about the room, and no doubt some of them would have charged right up onto the stage, but Willis had the good sense to quickly whisk the curtain closed, and the last glimpse the miners had of Lola Valdez was the kiss she blew to them.

Terry quickly scooped up the money strewn across the stage, making a pouch out of his skirt to hold it, and ran for the dressing room.

He had barely gotten there when Willis followed him in. The saloon owner was grinning from ear to ear, showing his blackened teeth, his face flushed with excitement.

The toughest, orneriest men this side of creation, and you had them eating out of your hand. But it was not himself he saw, not the sissy boy whom others taunted or used for their pleasure, not the unwanted orphan, the butt of a lifetime of jokes.

He saw someone beautiful, someone very much wanted, someone who brought happiness and pleasure to all who beheld.

He saw Lola Valdez. Banis is an Author. Lola Dances September 9, 8:

Last modified: August 5, 2020