An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Four

east commerce street

Above, the intersection of Navarro and East Commerce Streets. John Stevens’ office building is mid-block on the left side of the street.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Forty-Three

Andrew Stevens, March 1913

“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.”

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

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-Three

postcard from hanover
an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Two

Emma Dumpke, August 1912

August 13, 1912

Dear Hedda,

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.

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