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Chapter 119: Nick’s Handiwork

March 12, 1906Morrison, Illinois I am in Morrison, Illinois for circuit court. Nick and Ella are in LeClaire, Iowa; Nick’s mother passed on March 6, and he and Ella have been staying at the family home, taking care of estate business. His brothers are present; the Van Sant family interests […]

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 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 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 […]

Chapter 99: New Film, New Questions

April 28, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Why would someone up and leave his home, family, business and professional contacts, and budding political network to relocate 1,500 miles away, where he’d be virtually starting over, all alone? And, why go from Florida to rural Illinois in January, for goodness sake? I’d been […]

Chapter 96: Mutually Beneficial

September 11, 2020Chevy Chase, MD I suppose Emmett could be considered lucky — in his life, he had at least three mentors looking out for him, shepherding him during his career, impressed by Emmett’s intelligence and potential. Emmett had a lot of potential, energy, charm, and those who know him […]

Chapter 95: No Waiting

April 30, 1905Cephas and Lula Wilson’s HouseMarianna, Florida7:25 pm I’m standing outside of Ceph’s house, in the front yard, looking up at the huge oak tree near the sidewalk. The tree has curtains of gray moss dangling, drifting with the soft wind. The sun’s set already, and it feels like […]