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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 […]

Chapter 113: It Begins

January 18, 1906Sterling, Illinois I returned to the office late in the afternoon, after spending a day and a half in Morrison, at court. Our office secretary, Miss Delp, handed me a few letters in a folder that required my signature. No other messages? I’d asked. “No, Mr. Wilson”, she […]

Chapter 110: The best of everything

Wednesday, January 3, 1906Sterling, Illinois It was breathtaking, the snow, all blinding white, crisp, clean, cold. White fluffy drifts and dunes everywhere. I felt light hearted. “This is wonderful,” I said to Sydney Anning, as I looked around at the blinding whiteness that was everywhere. There had been a fresh […]

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 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 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 […]