This gets a little sketchy:
My guess is that Lily and the Jack of Hearts are making love in the dressing room when Big Jim and Rosemary burst in on them (2 stanzas previous is their reunion, where Lily takes her dress off, and tells the Jack he's "looking like a saint").No one knows the circumstance but they say that it happened pretty quick The door to the dressing room burst open and a cold revolver clicked and Big Jim was standing there you couldn't say surprised Rosemary right beside him, steadyin' her eyes
Apparently, Big Jim shoots the Jack in a fit of jealous rage but his gun misfires. Rosemary sees that Big Jim has been cheating on her, and she stabs him with her lady's penknife.The next day was hanging day, the sky was overcast and black Big Jim lay covered up, killed by a penknife in the back Rosemary on the gallows, she didn't even blink......
Here's where I'm stuck:
Is this a red herring? (a false clue). I used to think that Lily had been impersonating Rosemary, but the dye could be for her cabaret gig. She's a showgirl isn't she? Is she a decoy to detract our attention from the mysterious Jack of Hearts as he and his gang quietly escape?Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair
>Here's where I'm stuck: > >>Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair > >Is this a red herring? (a false clue). I used to think that Lily had been >impersonating Rosemary, but the dye could be for her cabaret gig. She's a >showgirl isn't she? Is she a decoy to detract our attention from the >mysterious Jack of Hearts as he and his gang quietly escape? >Well, it says the cabaret is empty a sign saying "closed for repairs." I assume Lily's career as a showgirl is put on hold for a while. So she takes the dye out of her hair, and starts thinking of other things like her father, Rosemary and the law (more serious stuff than she probably normally deals with). The death of Jim and the end of the caberet has freed Lily to an extent. I don't think it is meant to mean that she impersonated Rosemary. There is no reason to think they look that much alike. :-) Also, though it doesn't really say so, I always figured that Lily and Rosemary were *both* present when Jim tried to kill Jack. I think Jack had already escaped. That is indicated, I think, by the fact that the only person missing from the scene was the Jack of Hearts. I think the last stanza is discussing the aftermath of the adventure and it's affect on Lily.