An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty

shopping lower east side

Above, “‘Imported Americans’ shopping from push-carts on the Lower East Side, New York City,” Underwood & Underwood, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Nine

Emma Dumpke Daschel, December 1912

December 31, 1912

My dearest Hedda,

Having you make the trip to St. Louis for our wedding meant so much to both of us, but particularly to me. To suddenly be thrust in the midst of Heinrich’s huge family was overwhelming; although his relatives could not have embraced me more warmly.

You comprise my whole “American family,” and I know I would have been unable to cope without your repeated assurances that this marriage is right for me. Thank goodness! I could not possibly be happier.

I feared you risked triggering the beer baron’s ire by attending my wedding. I am shocked that, instead, Otto suggested you no longer hide our shared deed in the public records under the name of that bartender indebted to him.

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Six

san pedro park

Above, San Pedro Park, from Gregg Eckhardt’s

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Five

Hedda Burgemeister, October 1912

Mr. Koehler steps forward to help Hedda with her wrap. “You have no idea how grateful Missus Koehler and I are that you were able to substitute for Miss Dumpke today. Missus Koehler kept you here longer than anticipated. You must allow me to drive you to meet the streetcar.”

“I was happy to be of assistance, Mister Koehler. Thank you, though, there is no need for me to inconvenience you. The stop is close, and I enjoy walking.”

“I insist,” Mr. Koehler says. “I’ll get the carriage.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Six”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Five

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Four

Hedda Burgemeister, September 1912

Figs. Figs. And more figs. The summer heat seems reluctant to yield to fall in any form, but figs are among the rewards. Hedda never imagined a climate mild enough to generate two crops of fruit in a single year.

Of course, the birds get most of them. Taunting her with their cheerful chirps, fig juice dripping from their beaks, they audaciously perch atop the shoulder of the scarecrow she stuffed last week. Her apron is again heavy with ripe ones, so perhaps there is enough to share.

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