“Andy,” says the Colonel, “be on your guard in the coming days and weeks. I’m not asking you to break any laws, but I have wind that there are some pesky State Senators planning on trying to serve me with a subpoena. I would prefer that effort fail.”
“Yes, sir. I will reveal your whereabouts to no one and decline to admit anyone without an appointment.”
“Thank you, Andy. And whenever you call for my automobile, perhaps it’s best if the boy brings it around to the back door.”
“Well, well, Colonel,” bellows John as he strides into the office. He places his hand on the Colonel’s forehead. “No fever that I can detect. Yet you are here, and the House is still in session for another day or two.”
“One can never be too careful with one’s health. I thought it best if I were not present to vote on the question of passing the impeachment matter up to the Senate. Where? What? From whom? The continuing peppering of Governor Ferguson with questions about the origins of his $156,000 loan were striking closer to home than I desired.”
Ottie Wahrmund’s voice sounds richer and fuller every year. Hettie insisted on “Because” because Ottie had sung it so beautifully at her sister Jennie’s wedding. The string orchestra Emma hired makes Lohengrin’s bridal march particularly beautiful.
Frank is shifting back and forth on his heels. Last month, when he asked for Hettie’s hand, Frank said he bought the ring while Hettie was in Germany. His plan had been to ask Otto for her hand at his first opportunity. And then…. He waited patiently. Worried it might be too soon.
Hettie was so elated. A long engagement seemed absurd after all that waiting. Carpe diem. The United States might get swept up into the war at any moment.
It already had been too long since this house hosted a festive banquet for friends and family. The only time required to stage a wedding was the time the dressmaker needed to sew Hettie’s dress.
“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?”