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Root Riley hitched all the way from Socorro, New Mexico.
Root was good at beatin' the devil around the stump -- which basically meant that he was lazier than a hound dog on a Sunday afternoon.
His father Buck arrived in Socorro in the Forties to con some money out of Conrad Hilton. That part worked. But when ol' Connie found out, Buck wound up on the clink and Root grew up visiting his poppa every other weekend at the pen three hours away.
Besides, it was time to leave Socorro. Just before he skipped town, some copper swore he saw little green men over a hill on top of a mesa. G-men, the Air-Force and every hack reporter from La La Land to the Big Apple swarmed into the small town.
It was too much action. Too much heat. So he split.
# # #
Laziness aside, Root sure knew how to cut a swell with the ladies. He asked the trucker he was hitching with where there was some good fandango.
That was easy, the trucker told him -- Collins, Texas. "It's as hot as a whorehouse on nickel night..."
"That'll do.." Root said.
He asked to be dropped him off in the town square. It was a Saturday afternoon and between the Gimbel's, coffee shop and pool hall, there'd be all sorts of townsfolk Root could scope.
The ride had him dragged out so he found a stool and downed a few cups of Arbuckle's. He bent an elbow for a bit, jabbering away with some bazoo who was in from Seattle. He was selling somebody something that didn't matter all that much to Bart. But it passed the time.
But then he saw them.
They were as fine as cream gravy. The two ladies looked like they were from the Old States... High-falutin. He watched them eat lunch -- one had a BLT and the other had some lemon meringue pie.
Another hour passed and Root knew that these two were it. They chirpily paid their bill and wandered across the street to the bus depot where telephone booths lined up like militia men.
The bank was all picked. That was the easy part.
All he needed now was an alibi and ditching one of these pigeons would be easy. Didn't matter which since they both looked the same.
Root entered the booth next to them and fiddled with the phone. He pretended to fuss about with the receiver before asking them, "Would either of you lovely ladies have another dime? This dang phone doesn't want mine."
He tipped his hat and let his smile do the rest.