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Chapter 109: The Annings

January 1, 1906The Boardinghouse of Mrs. Luella S. Anning802 West Third Street, Sterling, Illinois Nick had taken charge of everything related to my moving to Sterling. He’d even taken charge of finding my boarding house.  I would have gladly made my own arrangements, but I had no idea where to […]

Chapter 108: Arrival

January 1, 1906C, B & Q DepotSterling, Illinois The train pulled into the station at about half past seven; the snow was still coming down heavily. I looked up at the streetlights around the depot, marveling at the large flakes coming down, and all around me as the town was […]

Chapter 107: New From the South

May 1, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland I’ve been reading microfilm for hours. My eyes are dry. But what a freaking goldmine. Not only am I finding long-missing information about Emmett Wilson’s wherabouts during 1905 and 1906, there is a ton of contextual information about Nicholas Van Sant, Emmett’s roommates at his […]

Chapter 106: Blizzard

On the westbound Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trainEn Route to Sterling IllinoisNew Year’s Eve, 1905Around 5 pm. It isn’t close to midnight, but there are New Year’s celebrations going on in the several of the cars surreptitiously — men are passing bottles and private flasks among themselves, up and down […]

Chapter 105: Transition

November 5, 2020Chevy Chase, Maryland According to the data collected on Emmett, his family and colleagues, I estimate that Emmett returned to Marianna sometime around the middle of November. Likely he assisted Cephas with whatever current court business was at hand at Wilson and Wilson, but there isn’t much in […]

Chapter 104: Disillusionment

November 3, 1905The National HotelWashington, D.C. I’m in a hotel room, on the bed, my eyes closed. Odd sounds from outside in the hallway — busy city street noises outside — where am I? Oh yes. Washington. I think I slept the night before, but I can’t tell, because I […]

Chapter 103: Taking his chances

November 2, 1905The U.S. House of RepresentativesOffice of Congressman William Bailey LamarWashington, D.C. “Come on, Emmett,” Paul said, smiling at me, holding open the door to the House Chamber. I felt the hairs along my arms stand up as I walked through the door; I gaped. “Desks?” I said, turning […]

Chapter 102: Emmett’s Decision

April 30, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Apparently Emmett’s visit and interview with Nicholas Van Sant, which took place sometime during the last week of October, 1905, was successful: In the spirit of transparency, I have no idea what kind of conversation went on between Emmett and Nicholas Van Sant during their […]

Chapter 101: Day One in Sterling

October 25, 1905Residence of Nicholas Van SantSterling, Illinois I slept well after the three-day train trip to Sterling. Van Sant met me at the Sterling train station, brought me home right away; as it was late, the house was already quiet, but that was no matter — I was glad […]

Chapter 100: Van Sant & the Wunderkind

April 29, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Even though Emmett knew him from their college days at Stetson University, and had maintained a connection through correspondence, he didn’t know everything about his friend, colleague, and mentor, Nicholas Van Sant. Emmett thought he did; after all, he had good role models before (his […]