Ottie Wahrmund’s voice sounds richer and fuller every year. Hettie insisted on “Because” because Ottie had sung it so beautifully at her sister Jennie’s wedding. The string orchestra Emma hired makes Lohengrin’s bridal march particularly beautiful.
Frank is shifting back and forth on his heels. Last month, when he asked for Hettie’s hand, Frank said he bought the ring while Hettie was in Germany. His plan had been to ask Otto for her hand at his first opportunity. And then…. He waited patiently. Worried it might be too soon.
Hettie was so elated. A long engagement seemed absurd after all that waiting. Carpe diem. The United States might get swept up into the war at any moment.
It already had been too long since this house hosted a festive banquet for friends and family. The only time required to stage a wedding was the time the dressmaker needed to sew Hettie’s dress.
“I understand,” says Sheriff Tobin as he claps Mr. K on the back, “you had a wild adventure in Germany.”
“Much more than he anticipated,” says the Colonel. “Bullets riddling the automobile you’re driving does not fit any description of a relaxing vacation.”
Mr. K shakes his head. “We couldn’t set sail from Bremen, so we needed to cross into the Netherlands. There was a long line of automobiles at the border crossing, with little movement forward. Numerous automobiles were being turned back.”
“And you know how patient Otto is.” The Colonel winks at the Sheriff.
“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.”