An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventy

Above, Dutch soldiers on the frontier with Belgium, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Nine

Andrew Stevens, October 1914

“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.

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Four

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Three

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, June 1914

“Fannie, that was absolutely delicious,” gushes Minnie Ball. “The strawberries were enormous and sweet, but your crumbly shortcake is the best I have ever tasted. Please share your recipe with me.”

“Yes, please do.” Tom Ball, pats his stomach as he leans back in his chair.

Flattered, Fannie smiles. “Of course, but there really is no secret, aside from a quarter-pound of butter and fresh cream. There’s no recipe written down. I make it the same way my mother did, and I suppose her mother before her.”

“I don’t understand it,” Thomas interjects. “A good man like you, Tom, forced to run against that rube from Bell County who truckles to the liquor interests. And I find it disheartening that someone with obvious conflicts of interest—that keg-roller Otto Wahrmund—slips back into his seat in the House of Representatives unopposed.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Two

Above, Gathering the Dead in Vera Cruz, Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-One

Andrew Stevens, April 1914

“Failure to fire a twenty-one-gun salute to the American flag?” fumes Mr. K. “After all the damage to property owned by American interests in Mexico? After all the seized assets?”

The Colonel interrupts. “After the continuous transgressions all along the border from Brownsville to El Paso? Governor Colquitt has begged and begged Washington to let him take action. Secretary Bryan kept telling him to turn the other cheek.”

Mr. K strides back and forth, back and forth. “Now President Wilson,” is using the flimsy excuse of the Tampico incident, tantamount to nothing, to invade Vera Cruz. The seven seized sailors were released as soon as the Mexican commander realized the error of his subordinates. He sent a formal written apology to Admiral Mayo. But the war-hungry admiral demanded the American flag be raised and a twenty-one-gun salute.”

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