“Thought the prophecies of the Book of Revelation were coming true last night!” John hangs his hat and umbrella on the stand just inside the door of Mr. K’s office.
“My best hens,” responds Mr. K, “never laid an egg as large as those hailstones plummeting down from the heavens. Half the slate tiles from my roof lie splintered on the ground. Both greenhouses shattered. All their contents destroyed.”
“Your financial loss must be enormous,” remarks Andy. “I am so sorry, sir.”
“Approximately 5,000 dollars. But my mourning is not monetary. Insurance will replace the roof and the glass. But those rare specimens of orchids I collected and cultivated? Irreplaceable.”
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.”
Hanover is bustling. The city is easily three times the size of San Antonio, with much of the growth recent. But I cannot enjoy the city.
I should have refused to come on this journey with the Koehlers. While Mr. K appears the kindest, most generous gentleman to you, the gentleman part rapidly dissipates with drink. And, with no business demands to distract him during the crossing, drink he did. He was outrageously inebriated by the end of dinner each night. So much so that, when I would come to their table to check, Mrs. K was eager to be wheeled away to her cabin. Of course, she never once spoke of it.