Minna and Ada Everleigh Reveal What Possibly Could Have Happened to Marshall Field, Jr.

Of course, we were downstairs. Our job was to oversee the operation, meet and greet the clients, make sure everyone was having a good time, and most of all, keep the money coming in. We were entrepreneurs, after all, good at what we did. We also trusted that our girls knew what they were doing when they entertained the clients, otherwise, they wouldn’t have been our girls: pretty in the face, smart in the head. All we can honestly relay is what we heard, what we were told, and what the papers reported afterward. So, firstly, what we heard was a loud noise. Someone, a policeman, for instance, might mistake this noise for a gunshot. Others, though, might call it a champagne cork popping from a bottle, one of several dozen popped every night. Others could say a headboard banged against a wall, which nobody would debate. We also know the man in question was on the premises—he frequented our services, proved a valuable business contact, many of the fine amenities on hand coming from the store bearing his name—but we cannot say for sure he was present on the night in question, let alone upstairs, in the Gold Room, or the gambling parlor. We know that the victim died soon after the alleged incident, but five days after, in his own home instead of a hospital, and to us, that doesn’t indicate a fatal wound could have incurred whilst in our care. We also know the victim was prone to depression—pillowtalk, don’t you know—and would have had access to a number of firearms, the means, the motive, and the opportunity. We also know that no one under our employ was charged, let alone arrested, and the alleged questioning that took place could have been, well, a lot of men talking to our girls, about a lot of things; questions may indeed have been asked and answered. No blood-stained sheets or mattresses were ever found or confiscated, and if an extensive search took place, no bullet holes would be discovered, either. What we think happened to Mr. Field in our house is that he enjoyed our services, contributed to the local economy, and left with a smile on his face. We’ve seen that. We can attest to it. We know it to be true. And we’re sticking with our story.
Michael Czyniejewski is the author of the story collection, Elephants in Our Bedroom, released by Dzanc Books in 2009, and the recipient of a 2010 NEA fellowship. His work has appeared in journals such as The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, and StoryQuarterly, and is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Knee-Jerk, and Artifice. He also teaches at Bowling Green State University, where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of Mid-American Review.