“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.
“Missus Hatzenbuehler?” A voice calls out. “Hilda, are you ready?
Peter rises from his desk and unlatches the door.
“Oh, I apologize for disturbing you, Doctor Herff,” says Hedda. “Missus Hatzenbuehler said you would be out this afternoon. We were hoping to see the Edison Talking Pictures at the Grand tonight. Amazing. He takes words—words we can hear—and makes them appear to emerge from someone’s mouth on the screen. It sounds so much more exciting than viewing Little Mary Pickford in In the Bishop’s Carriage.”
“It’s quite alright, Miss Burgemeister. I was supposed to be away from the office. Missus Hatzenbuehler went home to prepare dinner for her husband. Please have a seat. She should return shortly. Missus Hatzenbuehler’s as excited as you are over witnessing Mister Edison’s newest achievement.
“Instead of one of man’s great accomplishments, I, on the other hand, witnessed one of his basest deeds. I’m supposed to be a protector of life, yet I was called upon to oversee an execution. And I wasn’t alone.”