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-Five

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Four

Andrew Stevens, July 1914

Whack! Andy slaps his notebook on Mr. K’s desk in a futile effort to smash the pesky mosquito that has been sampling blood from all of them.

The Colonel smirks at his miss. “Colonel Chapa thinks the hundred goldfish he donated for the concrete basin at San Pedro Springs will cure the mosquito problem. The goldfish will just wind up as appetizers for the alligator contributed by Henry Landa.”

“That poor specimen of a reptile has been rendered too helpless to snap them up in his jaws,” says Mr. K. “The cruel schoolboys torture the poor creature. Every time he surfaces to sun on the banks, they harass him with sticks and rocks. Poked one of his eyes out. No. The solution for the mosquito problem is bats. We need bats.”

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

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”