An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventy-One

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Seventy

Emma Dumpke Daschel, October 1914

“Emmy,” calls Heinrich after closing the door. “Telegram for you.”

Telegrams seldom bear good news. Heinrich watches her as she opens it.

“Oh Heinrich, Hedda must be gravely ill if she had to summon a neighbor to send a telegram.”

“Your life’s here now, Emmy. You can’t simply leap up and hop on a train every time Hedda has a little fever. She’s a nurse herself and knows doctors to take care of her.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Nine

Above, wrecked remnants of a Red Cross train by a bridge blown up by Germans at Marne, Keystone View Company, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Eight

Hedda Burgemeister, September 1914

September 15, 1914

My dearest Emmy,

I am beside myself. Otto left for Germany almost three weeks ago, and I have not received even a one-sentence telegram from him to assure me he is safe.

What in the world were he and his wife thinking to risk traveling during these perilous times? They took their niece Hettie with them, endangering her life as well.

German soldiers headed toward Russia, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress

The lightening attack by the Kaiser’s armies almost made it all the way to Paris, but he has withdrawn many of his best troops from the Battle of the Marne to ward off Russian advances in Prussia. With the British and French nipping at the heels of his army on one side and the Russians trying to advance on the other front, how can any place in Germany be safe?

I comb the newspapers, trying to ascertain the safety of Lower Saxony. I pray they did not venture farther. Will they be able to safely make it back to Bremen? And under what flag is it safe to voyage with the conflict embroiling so many nations?  

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Seven

Above, huge chunks of metal flew through the air and landed blocks away from the site of the locomotive explosion at the Southern Pacific Railyard. Photograph courtesy of Farrell Tucker of San Antonio Police Archive.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Six

Hedda Burgemeister, August 1914

Hedda adds the fashion illustration she tore from the newspaper to the stack of library books on the dining room table.

Perhaps her mutton-sleeved blouses over plain skirts are too dowdy a look to attract Otto’s attention. After she returns the books, she will shop for a pattern for one of the bold new looks inspired by the Ballet Russe. A graceful high-waisted lampshade tunic over a draped skirt that narrows dramatically as it descends towards the ankles. One must have to take tiny steps to be able to move in that narrow a skirt, but the material saved there will make up for the splurge of extra yardage for the tunic.

Boom!

Too late in the morning to hear the Fort Sam Houston cannon faintly in the distance, but the noise came from that direction.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Seven”