Tactical Exercises: Hammersmith (fifteen)

Tactical Exercises   Mrs. Frieslander had volunteered to work the tuning forks. The weight of them had nearly burst the seams of Minnie’s reticule, as she recalled, back then… She hardly knew what to think of herself. She said this aloud. Mrs. Frieslander held a fork in abeyance. Ruby heaved a sigh. This picture had […]

Want Nothing Will Write: Hammersmith (fourteen)

  Want Nothing Will Write.   Aimee had taken one seat, facing the caboose, and Hogben had taken a prod from the passenger behind’s umbrella. He scuttled between seats and came to rest across from her, murmuring, “Pardon me, Mack.” “Well, here we are.” Aimee offered this, and her companion responded, “On our way.” He […]

All Safe Bets Off: Hammersmith (thirteen)

  All Safe Bets Off   “Doesn’t seem so long ago.” Mack, unable to do anything about Aimee’s arm hooked through Hogben’s, though it pleased him to see Hogben once or twice give a mild tug, ill-at-ease…had got next to Shaw behind them (he ignored Shaw), and was throwing out chatty comments, in a louder […]

A Daughter’s Sense of Duty: Hammersmith (twelve)

  A Daughter’s Sense of Duty   Her father hadn’t seen the host of faults, communicated in his offhand errand, the one he’d promised Mossbunker he would do himself. “Stage name, that’s the phrase you want. Ask her if it’s one.” Minnie Leybourne, Mossbunker the patriot would like to know whether you’re Jewish or Catholic…Lebanese […]

Every Sort of Help: Hammersmith (eleven)

  Every Sort of Help   There were two types of men women fell for. Her weeding partner was of the third. Ralph had been. Inclined on their honeymoon to sit by the window, read the newspaper, and tell his new wife, “Go off, look at the stores, if that’s what women like to do. […]

Carey Explains Himself: Hammersmith (ten)

  Carey Explains Himself   “Mr. Hogben, the parlor sofa…” Less sticky about being accommodating than she’d feared, he’d done her the favor of saying, “I might head down with Shaw, when he goes after that salve, and see about a room at the hotel.” Of course, by that, she’d probably lost him. Why had […]

To State the Matter Frankly: Hammersmith (nine)

  To State the Matter Frankly   Aimee Bard, having that in common with the settled object of her campaign, began the morning wondering if she could get a moment to herself. She’d gathered Mrs. Frieslander’s bundles, an errand she never did for mere kindness—“Please don’t thank me! You know I’m always in town for […]

Second Thoughts: Hammersmith (eight)

  Second Thoughts   Hogben had broken a rule of his own, one that had always served…and Hogben had been a traveling man for twenty-odd years. He’d had scrapes. He’d not often had a partner to rely on. But even these past few, when with the Professor he’d gone the route from Philadelphia to San […]

Two Reunions: Hammersmith (seven)

  Two Reunions   He was lying as though asleep, his trousers rolled, knees bent, his bare feet under water. “Ah!” Ruby said. “Is it cold?” She thought she hadn’t meant to say this aloud. It was only that the flood waters had been so cold, like ice. The poor Professor, him with the French […]

Marching Orders: Hammersmith (six)

  Marching Orders   The banqueting hall, hung with tapestries that seemed to emit an odor of medieval sweat (authentic, Mack was willing to believe) had an oblong table, where this knighthood of American purity sat decidedly in order of precedence. He was at the foot. At least he supposed so. At his back, a […]