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She was tall and elegant, but not slim, as her large breasts were the envy of most women, and she looked like a million dollars dressed in her black cocktail dress and black high heels. Her flaming red hair was pulled into a bun and her makeup was immaculate as she stepped from the backseat of her silver Cadillac. She walked up the steps and through the ornate doors of the Robard mansion.
“Why, Callie, you look stunning,” said Ragena Robard, as Callie Collquit made her way into the limelight of the “horsey-set” cocktail party.
“Why, thank you, Ragena. And my, doesn’t your home look just precious.”
“Now, Callie… It hasn’t changed a bit since the last time you were here,” responded Ragena, kissing her lightly on the cheek.
Callie was among some thirty guests invited to the Robard party and would not have come at all if it hadn’t been for a certain gentleman she’d hoped would show up. It was getting close to Derby and time for the horse folk to roll out the red carpet. With the auction winding down and Keeneland’s spring meet in full swing, the excitement in and around Lexington was at an all-time high.
“Blanton’s and water,” said Callie, as the servant took her drink order.
“Hello, Callie,” said Dr. William Biggerstaff, a renowned veterinarian and friend of the Robards. “It’s always good to see you.”
“Hello, Bill. Haven’t seen you since last Derby Eve.”
“Now don’t you go too far with that; I’ve a reputation to uphold,” said Bill, as he smiled and sipped his champagne cocktail.
People in the horse industry all know that when it comes to parties, Callie Collquit’s annual Derby Eve gathering is in a class by itself; but most are not willing to talk about what goes on. No one, however, turns down an invitation.
Held the night before the race, only those close to the ex-madam are given that special key which unlocks the door leading to her infamous basement and the real party. It’s rumored that the devil himself would be in attendance if invited. One usually finds that most of the folks downstairs have shed their clothes and sprayed their bodies with special imported, fragrant oils. After several hits from a huge crystal bowl of pure cocaine, these lucky individuals are entertained by a band of hand-picked musicians who play blindfolded so as not to be able to reveal the depth of debauchery before them. It is sinful, to say the least, but no one ever complains, and in Callie’s own words, “I separate the men from the boys, the girls from the toys, and the devil from the deep blue sea.” The only thing out-of-sorts of late, and much to the surprise of the equine community was the fact that, for reasons she would not disclose, Callie had decided not to hold her annual event, but to postpone the gala activity until the following year.
“You know my motto, Bill… see no evil, have no life.”
Bluegrass Betrayal, features Darkside and several of the characters in The Kentucky Chronicles Series.
The plot hatches as foals from Central Kentucky, once again are dying in what is truthfully, Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. An unseasonably warm spring caused an epidemic of caterpillars in 2001. This was determined to be the decisive factor as to why so many unborn foals aborted that year. Millions and millions of caterpillars plagued the fields where pregnant mares grazed. The Bluegrass, rife with wild cherry trees, the leaves of which caterpillars consumed, produced a toxic by—product through digestion. As mares foraged they consumed the caterpillars and the toxins as well. This poison caused the mares to abort, producing hundreds of still-born foals. It seriously rocked the Thoroughbred industry and the state of Kentucky.