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Chapter 127: The Role I Play

May 25, 1906Van Sant & WilsonSterling, Illinois There are black circles under my eyes; a wrinkled red crease impressed on my cheek from my coat. I’d used it as a pillow, wadded up under my head, to sleep on my office sofa. I don’t remember doing that; hell. I don’t […]

Chapter 126: Worth Saving

May 24, 1906State Bank of SterlingSterling, Illinois The last bank customer had left over an hour ago; Nicholas Van Sant’s private secretary was straightening his desk and packing his briefcase prior to leaving. Frank came over to his desk. Howard glanced at Nicholas Van Sant’s closed door, turned to Frank, […]

Chapter 125: Ripple Effect

May 18, 1906Sterling State BankSterling, Illinois At 11:45 a.m., Frank Heflebower was climbing the stairs of the Van Sant & Wilson law firm, a little out of breath as he labored under the heavy ledgers. “Good morning, Mr. Heflebower. Thank you for being prompt,” said Miss Delp, who simultaneously stood, […]

Chapter 121: I Promise

March 13, 19066:45 pmLaw Offices of Van Sant & WilsonSterling, Illinois When I returned to Sterling later that evening, I went right to the office. Miss Delp had already left for the day. I was still somewhat panicked  — obviously, I couldn’t tell Nick about what happened. I didn’t know […]

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 117: Discovery

January 18, 1906Van Sant & WilsonSterling, Illinois The clock in the outer office chimed 8 pm. I had been reading the newspapers in the package from home for almost two hours. I admit it; I was homesick and lonely. I devoured everything in all of the newspapers from Pensacola, Marianna, […]

Chapter 115: Bumpkin

January 18, 1906Van Sant & WilsonSterling, Illinois … I must admit it. The trip to Morrison didn’t go well at all.  The entire train ride home, I tried to be philosophical about it.  I’m still new here. I don’t know everyone here. It is going to take more than one […]