Fannie Campbell gazes up at her husband as they stand on the steps of what has been their home for the last four years. “Thomas, I know you dread the next few hours, but concentrate on last night. The people you worked so hard to serve could not possibly have voiced more grateful tributes. You achieved so much, despite the constant interference from corrupt big businessmen. When we entered the hall, the roar of the crowd was deafening. I barely could hear the band playing ‘The Campbells Are Coming.’”
“I hoped to accomplish so much more before the liquor industry seized control of this mansion.”
Andy draws open the heavy drapes and, despite the crisp winter day, cracks two of the windows. He hauls a heavy brass ashtray stand out of the depths of the closet and places it between the two chairs in front of Mr. Koehler’s massive walnut desk. Both his older brother, John, and Mr. Wahrmund are right-handed though, so he fetches another.
He does not want to have to answer to Mrs. Koehler if one of the men carelessly allows a burning ember to drop from his cigar onto the Oriental carpet. But, if the men are drinking, which they will be, they might smoke with their left hands. One more stand is in order. Mrs. Koehler terms them hideous, hence the closet hide-away, but the elegant Meissner ashtrays she brought back from Germany are far too shallow-bowled to serve any purpose aside from collecting dust.