An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Seven

Above, huge chunks of metal flew through the air and landed blocks away from the site of the locomotive explosion at the Southern Pacific Railyard. Photograph courtesy of Farrell Tucker of San Antonio Police Archive.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Six

Hedda Burgemeister, August 1914

Hedda adds the fashion illustration she tore from the newspaper to the stack of library books on the dining room table.

Perhaps her mutton-sleeved blouses over plain skirts are too dowdy a look to attract Otto’s attention. After she returns the books, she will shop for a pattern for one of the bold new looks inspired by the Ballet Russe. A graceful high-waisted lampshade tunic over a draped skirt that narrows dramatically as it descends towards the ankles. One must have to take tiny steps to be able to move in that narrow a skirt, but the material saved there will make up for the splurge of extra yardage for the tunic.

Boom!

Too late in the morning to hear the Fort Sam Houston cannon faintly in the distance, but the noise came from that direction.

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

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-One

Hedda Burgemeister, April 1914

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.

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