An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighteen

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Andrew Stevens, February 1912

The Colonel holds up his folded newspaper. “It appears the so-called green fairy will cease to cast her intoxicating spell over Americans. That hellfire-and-brimstone Secretary of Agriculture is determined to ban the importation of absinthe. Men will no longer be able to seduce young women unaware that absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. The potent French frappé will no longer summon strange, swirling monsters to the bottom of a glass.”

Mr. K emits a snort. “While I have never taken a whiff of that stuff, banning it is wrong. Pros are like rats. A tiny chink in our wall, and in they will swarm, nibbling away at our rights. President Taft should have prevented his secretary from launching this clandestine attack. We send Adolphus Busch princely sums to hire people in Washington so things like this do not slip through the cracks.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighteen”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventeen

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixteen

Emma Dumpke, December 1911

December 28, 1911

Dear Hedda,

What a glorious Christmas! 

Of course, Mr. and Mrs. K gave me Christmas Day off, but I elected to go help Mrs. K in the morning. Besides, I had nowhere else to go, and their house was filled with the comings and goings of friends and relatives and the most wonderful holiday smells. 

Mr. K insisted on giving me a ride back to the boarding house. As I alighted, he pressed a small gift box in my hand.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventeen”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixteen

ambrose bierce devil's dictionary

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifteen

Hedda Burgemeister, December 1911

My dearest Emmy,

True confession: I had not the patience to wait for Madame Toselli’s book from the library. I splurged and purchased it immediately. I am sure “her own story” will soon be forgotten, for her writing has little merit. However, the glimpse inside the life of royals proved irresistible. I opened a can of Campbell’s oxtail soup – giving in to the Campbell’s habit, sometimes asparagus or pepperpot, into which I lazily slip all too often – and read it cover to cover.

It is easy to understand how her book angered the upper crust of Saxony, whom she describes as so old-fashioned that antediluvian is the adjective most appropriate. She writes, “The Court circle at Dresden… was composed of the most narrow-minded, evil-speaking and conceited collection of human beings it is possible to imagine.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixteen”