An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Four

Picnickers with Pearl Beer in Koehler Park, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. R. San Miguel, UTSA Libraries Special Collections

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Three

Emma Bentzen Koehler, December 1915

“Otto’s revenge, this is. I never thought of myself as the vengeful type, but, I must confess, this is the best Christmas present I have ever given or received.”

“Ah, Emma,” says Judge Newton, “I believe it was best expressed in Beowulf: ‘It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.’”

“Maybe, Gallie, that is indeed why this feels so good.”

“Aunt Emma,” says Corwin Priest, “eleven acres along the river is a Christmas gift for all of San Antonio. Otto Koehler Park. Uncle Otto must be kicking his heels together up above us. Is it true that part of that land might be haunted?”

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“Uncommon Greetings” postcard perfect

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Funky bud vases. I was supposed to be on a mission, but everything else was so distracting – the collective labels it “transcendent junk” – that I’m not sure I would have noticed a bud vase unless I knocked it over accidentally and it shattered it on the floor.

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An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Three

Above, German Ships, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Two

Andrew Stevens, December 1915

John smacks his hand down on the Colonel’s desk. “On top of everything else, now we’re subjected to insinuations of wrongdoing at our copper mines.”

“People forget,” says the Colonel, “that the United States remains neutral in the European conflagration. There are no laws prohibiting us from selling Germany anything we choose. And trading originates from our holdings in Mexico anyway. It is tempting. Kaiser Wilhelm’s willing to pay above the going rate in his desire to keep the pace of production of shrapnel shells matched with his army’s rapid deployment of them. American withdrawal from Vera Cruz leaves the port wide open for merchant ships sailing under the German flag.”

John shakes his head. “Even if we wanted to engage in trade with the evil Kaiser, we couldn’t. There’s no way possible to safely extract our copper from Coahuila. President Wilson might have recognized General Carranza’s declared presidency, but what of others within Mexico’s own borders?”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Three”