Pealing bells from the first mission awaken Hedda from a deep sleep. The discordant clangs are unlike the melodic chimes from the bell towers downtown.
Dr. Herff claims the bells of St. Mark’s on Travis Park were forged from cannon used in the Battle of the Alamo. If only Kaiser Wilhelm would assign such a peaceful purpose to his arsenal.
Like roosters at the crack of dawn, these mission bells call people to worship early. Every Sunday.
She loves Sundays. Sundays are hers. Unlike the rest of the week, she is not confined at home on the off-chance Otto might find an opportunity to escape his increasingly abundant business, social or family obligations. Lately, she does not hear from him for days. Yet he remains adamant she not work.
“Why, Bettie, you must be exhausted.” Emma greets Bettie Stevens as she approaches their table in the ballroom of the St. Anthony Hotel. “Everyone in the city was wearing little white tags. And not a day passes without your name in Mattie Walthall’s column. You flit from hosting a breakfast on the Medina River to an elegant reception for Missus French. You attend a Library Board meeting, deliver a paper on the Cavaliers for the Daughters of the American Revolution and then chaperone the girls at the Thanksgiving game and ball in Austin.”
Sophie Wahrmund stands and welcomes Bettie with a hug. “And all in the midst of debutante season. Please sit down and join us. We banished Otto and Otto temporarily to the bar for their inappropriate remarks.”