In late September, the sheriff raided the House of Emmert.
The town folk now are now all a-Twitter at the suggestion that Madame Emmert’s charges may not, as it turns out, have been conducting NCAA Bible-readings there in her house of entertainment.
Had money been flowing, all along — they all want to know — for illicit acts?
But Madame Emmert — she of the puffy blown-dry hair, the smarmy air of genuine earnestness, and the perfumey seductions — has been in the business for a while. She knows many people around town.
And so she has appointed some Pillars of the Community — a respectable group, with whom she is well-acquainted, who know they need not do any investigation at all, because they know Madame Emmett has always been above reproach — to come forth with a respectable report about all the fuss.
In the meantime, Madame Emmert has also whispered, sotto voce, to the Sheriff that she has fired a few of her lowly assistants – room attendants, really: Chuck Person, and a few other assistant coaches across the country. She’s also arranged for the firing of a few of her low-level girls. Good girls — very good girls — but very misguided. Why — just today — Madame Emmert arranged for the firing of a few Auburn basketball players.
But Madame Emmert is a woman of loyalty: her managers all remain. Bruce Pearl. She’s known him forever. And he’s so much fun and such a bright light when he bellies up to the bar, and all gather merrily around to sing while the piano player bangs out the Stein Song and other old standards. Andy Enfield, the USC head basketball coach whose assistant has been suspended, and who preened, as-creepy-as-can-be, to reporters at a press conference when he was hired that, “if you question my recruiting ability, just look at my wife.” These are the kinds of gentleman with whom townsfolk like to do business.
And Pearl and Enfield are, after all, fine upstanding characters who have helped Madame Emmert to achieve her position of prominence and respectability in the town. (Yes, it’s true that Mr. Pearl did some time for promotion of prostitution, but that was a long time ago.) But these are gentleman who deserve the benefit of the doubt. Leaders of men. Protectors of women. Madame Emmert could not possibly jeopardize their livelihood. These are respectable men.