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Chapter 143: Indebted

September 27, 1907
306 Brent Building
Pensacola, Florida

I’ve done what I’ve been told to do for one year; namely: to keep my head down, to work hard, to follow directions (specifically, of Kehoe, and my Uncle Evelyn Maxwell), to be serious. So far, their advice has paid off handsomely.

The directions were simple. And to be honest, it has not been that difficult to follow their directions, particularly with the last humiliation of coming home with clipped wings. It’s been a year. I should be able to move on by now; it’s not easy when I’m reminded of what happened, and that because I asked for help, I’m indebted to those helping me.

I don’t like this way of turning my control over in this way. But Uncle Evelyn was firm: He wouldn’t go out on a limb like this for me again after what happened in Sterling. I realize Uncle is no fool: He probably asked Van Sant for the details, and Van Sant told him.

When one has nowhere else to go, one should become willing to take directions. I have been complying. I don’t like it, but I cannot argue with the results to date. Uncle suggested I share the news of my appointment as district attorney with Nick; Nick shared the news with everyone else:

Sterling Gazette, September 27, 1907, page 1, via

Of course, everyone knows, and I know, I received the appointment because of Uncle Evelyn’s influence, not because of my accomplishments to-date. There’s not that much there, to be honest. But it seems that modesty, humility, drudgery go a long way these days.

A sample of the cases Emmett handled for most of 1907; none were exceptionally newsworthy. Source: The Pensacola Journal, March 23, 1907, via Chronicling

1907 is turning out to be a year where I am setting a new, serious foundation for myself. Uncle Evelyn says if I keep up my current progress, I have the potential for a stellar career not unlike my grandfather’s.

He knows that’s my dream: To have a career like Grandfather’s; to have the reputation. The respect.

If I keep my eye on the prize, it can happen,” he says. “Wait and see.”

But that’s years away. And I honestly wonder if I can keep this up — the indebtedness — much longer.

Ironically, things are going very well for me, and yet, I am miserable plodding along this way. There has to be more to it than this. I am constantly watched, and watching myself, and it is taking its toll.

Categories: Addiction Book Family Florida History In Emmett's Words

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Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus

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