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?”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-One

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty

Andrew Stevens, September 1915

“Mrs. Koehler, there was a man here last week asking me all kinds of questions about Mister Koehler. About you. He said he was a private detective. A former police detective.”

“You told the gumshoe nothing I trust,” interjects the Colonel.

“No, sir. I never made any of your personal lives my business before Mister Koehler passed away and certainly would not presume to do so now.”

“He probably was hired by one of those deadbeat insurance companies refusing to honor their policies,” says Mrs. Koehler. “They all must be worked up now. I had the Newtons file suit against three companies to try to collect on my behalf. Did he say who his client is?”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Four

october 1913 flood

Above, spectators stand on the Navarro Street Bridge with the floodwaters lapping just below. Photograph from UTSA Libraries Special Collections

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifty-Three

Emma Bentzen Koehler, October 1913

“Sophie,” asks Bettie Stevens, “however did you manage to return your house to normal in time for this beautiful wedding? We still don’t have the mud cleared out of the first floor.”

“Many hired hands. The Colonel posted a notice at the brewery offering double pay to any worker willing to shovel, scrub and paint by lamplight after their shifts ended. I cried myself to sleep every night thinking that, after all the planning, we would have to ask Otto and Emma to host the celebration at their house.”

“And, of course,” says Emma, “you know we would have been more than happy to have Jennie wed there. But I understand the sentimental reasons for holding the wedding in your own home.”

John shakes his head. “Eight inches of rain. It was the most frightening night of my life. One day people were whining about not enough water in the river. The next night our whole household is huddled in the attic, hoping not to get washed away.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Four”