Mr. Koehler steps forward to help Hedda with her wrap. “You have no idea how grateful Missus Koehler and I are that you were able to substitute for Miss Dumpke today. Missus Koehler kept you here longer than anticipated. You must allow me to drive you to meet the streetcar.”
“I was happy to be of assistance, Mister Koehler. Thank you, though, there is no need for me to inconvenience you. The stop is close, and I enjoy walking.”
“I insist,” Mr. Koehler says. “I’ll get the carriage.”
You have been judging my posts, as always, for the past six months, picking and choosing whatever piques your interest. For several years, the focus here has been on travel, relying on extensive use of photographs. Well, 2020 certainly cut short this blogger’s boulevardier ways, so, instead, I have “gifted” you with my novel about the sensational 19teens’ tale of the doomed relationship of Hedda Burgemeister and Otto Koehler. More than thirty chapters of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and, Yes, She Shot Him Dead are now posted on this site.
The good news is that more of you have clicked on the Introduction and Chapter One than any other post since July. The flip side is less flattering; there was a steep drop off in readership by Chapter Two. Numerous chapters ranked in the top dozen of this biannual roundup, but, for the sake of variety and not to encourage skipping around in the book the way I read Moby Dick in high school – every fifth chapter (Did I miss much?), I am omitting them from the list. Am hoping for some more feedback from you, my beta readers, as this release continues.
Beyond that, you seem to still appreciate my efforts at populating Brackenridge Park with ghosts, railing about whatever in the world is happening to Alamo Plaza and spinning tales from vagabond times. And perhaps you are looking for miracles ahead in 2021.
Mr. K’s hands dance above his desk. “That Leroy Denman is no more than a marionette. George Brackenridge jerks his strings, and he plops right down into the automobile seat next to ventriloquist Tom Campbell’s dummy, Judge Ramsey.”
The Colonel agrees. “If Governor Hogg hadn’t appointed Leroy Denman to the Supreme Court, not a soul would know his name. Yet he struts around town as though he were Le Roi instead of plain old Leee-roy.”
John smiles. “His briefs from the bench were so brief, there’s scarcely a scintilla of evidence he has any sense at all.”
Mr. K grunts. “Ludicrous! Arming those old gray soldiers in Gonzales with push-brooms. Amazing the brooms did not get tangled up with the old Confederates’ canes, sending the whole decrepit lot cascading to the ground like dominos.”