An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventy-Three

As testimony to the quality of the neighborhood referenced below, The Blue Book guide to San Antonio’s “sporting district” listed two spots on South Santa Rosa Street where weekend cockfights could be found.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Seventy-Two

Emma Dumpke Daschel, November 1914

“Emmy, he telephoned while you were out.” Hedda is as white as a sheet.

“Hedda, what did he say?”

“He demanded that I meet him the day after tomorrow.”

“Meet him somewhere other than here? Is that not unusual?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think it’s because I’m staying here with you and he prefers to avoid me?”

“No. Oh, I don’t know. But it’s the address that frightens me. It’s on Santa Rosa. Emmy, I believe it’s a house in the red-light district.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Five

messenger in red light district

Above, 16-year-old messenger boy entering “crib” in Red Light district, Lewis Wickes Hine, 1913, National Child Labor Committee Collection, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifty-Four

Dr. Ferdinand Peter Herff, November 1913

With the approach of the winter solstice, the darkness makes it feel much later than six o’clock. Peter fumbles with his keys to lock his office door. 

“Good evening, Dr. Herff,” booms a voice so close behind him that the doctor drops the keys on the stoop. 

“Mister Koehler, I didn’t realize you were standing there. Let me open up my office.”

“No, no, that’s unnecessary at this late hour. I merely stopped by to ask for your help. There’s a young lady, someone with whom you might be acquainted, who has begged me for assistance. I told her I would speak with you.”

“How can I be of assistance? Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to go inside?”

“Yes. And she doesn’t want to come to your office either. I’ll make arrangements for her to meet you at a boarding house on South Santa Rosa one morning to minister discreetly to her problems.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Eight

1913 royal wedding

Royal Wedding of Victoria Louise and Ernest Augustus, postcard from One Last Dance

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Forty-Seven

Andrew Stevens, July 1913

“Just hold your horses a minute, Otto,” pleads Sheriff Tobin.

“Hold my horses? Hold my horses?” Mr. K’s head appears poised to explode. “Your men seized 3,600 quarts of beer yesterday.”

“It’s not like we confiscated it from the brewery, Otto,” explains the sheriff. “That was beer you already sold.”

“Probably on account,” grouses Mr. K.

“Otto, you have to understand the pressure I’m under to enforce that damn new law the governor signed.”

John comes to Sheriff Tobin’s defense. “The first week of the 9:30 closing law barely made a dent in our sales, Otto. We’re capping 200,000 bottles of Pearl a day.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Eight”