Tuesday, September 22, 2015
A Domestic Tragedy
A Domestic Tragedy
By Robert Service
Clorinda met me on the way
As I came from the train,
Her face was anything but gay,
In fact, suggested pain.
“Oh hubby, hubby dear!” she cried,
“I’ve awful news to tell!”
“What is it darling?” I replied.
“Your mother, is she well?”
“Oh no! Oh no, it is not that,
It’s something else,” she wailed,
My heart was beating pit-a-pat,
My ruddy visage paled.
Like lightning flash in heaven’s dome
The fear within me woke:
“Don’t say,” I cried, “our little home
Has all gone up in smoke!”
She shook her head. Oh, swift I clasped
And held her to my breast;
“The children! Tell me quick,” I gasped,
“Believe me, it is best.”
Then, then she spoke; mid sob I caught
These words of woe divine:
“It’s coo-coo-cook has gone and bought
A new hat just like mine!”
Been doing a lot of going out and around the last couple of weeks. Went with eleven fellow church members to Faribault to see the Cathedral of Our Merciful Savior, begun in 1862 and dedicated in 1869. It’s the first Episcopal Cathedral in the U.S. - I don't know what those people out east were doing all that time. Built by the first Bishop of Minnesota, Henry Benjamin Whipple, he is buried there. St. James in Chicago claims to be the first, but St. James started out as a church and only later was designated a cathedral. They say they made the change before Merciful Savior was built, but there’s a stained glass window in Merciful Savior that says right on the glass that it’s a gift from St. James Church, Chicago. So there!
Then this past Saturday I went to Apple Day (it’s only on Saturday now, when it used to run through Sunday and was called Apple Days). The weather was perfect, cool in the morning, sunny all day. Lots and lots of vendors, selling everything from crafts to caramel apples. And such great crafts! There was a booth selling pottery (I bought a butter bell) and featuring beautiful vases in pale colors with thin black squiggles all over them – made by strewing hair from horses’ manes and tails over them while they are hot from the kiln. And a man who made fish and wild animals from wire – odd how the mere outline of an animal with a dip here and a curve there can describe a moose or a buffalo or a northern pike, or even a little crappie or dragonfly so eloquently. I nearly bought the buffalo, but decided I couldn’t afford it, and left with regret – forgetting that I could have afforded the crappie or dragonfly and used one or the other as a Christmas tree ornament. Oh, and I began the day by sitting for a couple of hours in the Excelsior Bay Bookstore booth. Sold a lot books, but had a lot more people tell me they already owned all of them. That was a great compliment!
Then yesterday evening I went to a new-formed book club to talk about Crewel World. Interesting people, informed and intelligent, asking good questions – I love doing that sort of thing.
Normally by this late in the stages of writing a book, I have the next one moving to the fore, waving its hand for attention. I know who is going to die and who killed him or her and pretty much why and what mistakes my killer is going to make that will undo him – or her. And that’s not happening this time. I think I have a title: Knot Guilty. And I think it happens in late summer, maybe at Apple Day. But I don’t know who murders who.