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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 […]

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 […]