An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Ninety-Five

Andrew Stevens, March 1918

“The anti-German sentiment is so strong,” grumbles the Colonel, “the Loyalty Laws have taken away the older generation’s right to talk on the street. In Fredericksburg, Boerne, New Braunfels, most of the Texas Hill Country, if men are prohibited from expressing themselves in German, they have no vocabulary at their command. As you know, Andy, many of the inhabitants never have learned a word of English.”

“The last time I walked down Main Street in Boerne, Colonel, German was all I heard.”

“And the Anti-Saloon League, constantly pumping out propaganda that the breweries are all part of an enormous German conspiracy to take over the United States. I felt I had no choice but to make this commitment on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives yesterday: ‘The breweries of Texas stand ready to close as a patriotic measure, when, in the opinion of the President of the nation, such a course is desired for winning the war.’ It generated much applause, but I certainly am glad Otto was not alive to hear it.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Ninety-Five”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Nine

Above, Proceedings of Investigation Committee, House of Representatives Thirty-Fifth Legislature: Charges Against Governor James E. Ferguson, Texas History Collection, Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Eight

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, September 1917

“Farmer Jim declines to name his friends, as he calls his wealthy saviors who leapt forward to lend him more than $150,000 to bail him out of debt in the nick of time to rescue his pig farm. He says the people have no right to know details of his private business affairs. Hogwash.”

Fannie sniffs. “It smells as malodorous as that offensive pig farm down the road.”

“We doubt he was acquainted with any of these friends before he ran for governor. Upon repeated questioning by several senators, the closest thing to an answer he has given is: ‘It is perfectly simple if you knew all the facts, but I cannot tell you the facts.’ And he can’t tell them because he promised his friends he wouldn’t reveal their names.”

“I should think, Thomas, these so-called friends wouldn’t care if their names were made public if this transaction was above board.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventy-Nine

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Seventy-Eight

Hedda Burgemeister, January 1915

Dear Lucile Bremer went to Hedda’s house to retrieve clothes for Hedda to wear to the courthouse. A black skirt with a tailored gray suit coat, and, to Hedda’s relief, a hat with a heavy black veil are laid out on the narrow bed.

Barefoot and wearing only her slip, Hedda shivers in the drafty cell. She makes no move for the clothes. She cannot.

The jail matron, Mrs. Brooks, enters her cell.

“We have to get you dressed, Miss Burgemeister. You do not want to miss this hearing. It’s your key to get out of this place. To go home where you can rest undisturbed and gain your strength back.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventy-Nine”