An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-One

alamo plaza

Above, The Grand Opera House is on the left of this postcard of Alamo Plaza.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty

Emma Bentzen Koehler, March 1912

Hands on her hips, Sophie Wahrmund’s tone is stern. “I am afraid I must report, Emma, that Jennie and Hettie entered the Opera House after the third and fourth numbers during the Tuesday Musical Club’s performance. Alessandro Bonci stopped completely and leaned against the piano, glaring at them as they awkwardly tried to crawl inconspicuously over legs to take their seats. Their faces remained scarlet long after the master of del canto resumed.”

Emma wags her finger. “Young ladies, it is uncharacteristic of you to be so rude.” 

Jennie Wahrmund clutches her hands together in front of her chest. “We were mortified when Mister Bonci stopped. We will never again enter a concert hall tardy as long as we live.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-One”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighteen

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Seventeen

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 Eleven

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Ten

Andrew Stevens, September 1911

Mr. K emits an exaggerated sigh. “What a welcome relief to be in the quiet confines of the brewery walls. Colonel, I don’t know about Sophie, but Emma’s criticism is relentless against permitting politics to interrupt this summer’s travel plans. She continues to remind me of her wisdom in advising us to join them on the eastern side of the Atlantic instead of bringing them back to sweat it out here in September. ‘Hot, hot, hot,’ she repeats aloud. As though I were incapable of coming to that conclusion on my own.”

The Colonel takes out his handkerchief to mop his forehead. “This August was the hottest one since the Weather Bureau started recording temperatures in 1885.”

“‘Thirteen days of temperatures over 100 degrees,’ Emma complains, before adding that I made sure she didn’t miss a one.” 

John raises his handkerchief to his face as well. “’Tis a woman who reigns over Hades, they say.”

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