The Road to Frogmore--an Excerpt
Welcome to Katzenhaus Books, where we tell - the stories behind the history.
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

My December
One More Before the Excitement Fades
Trumpets! Confetti! Funny Hats! Screaming Crowds!
Getting On with the Writing
Turning an Idea into a Business

Categories

A new contest
Abolition
absurdity
academic myopia
Almost Free
Amazon
ancestors
Announcement
apocalypse
Applications and software
Appomattox
Arnulf of Lisieux
art of speaking
attracting readers
audience
audio books
Author Central
Author Gifts
author's Plea
awards
baseball
basketball
Battle of Port Royal
Battles
biographical
blind artists
blockade
blog chain
Book Club Guides
Book Design
Book Launch
book stores
book trailer
bookstores
Boxed Set
bright ideas
Building a platform
business
Business plan
Busy-ness
butterflies
Career choices
cats
celebrations
cemetery research
Census
challenges
characterization
Characters
Charleston
children
children's books
choosing a publisher
Choosing a Title
Christmas
Christmas Past
Civil War
commercials
Computer Hacks
Confederates
Conferences
Connections
constitutional amendments
construction
Contract labor
cotton
Countdown Sale
Countdown to Launch
Cover Designs
Cover images
cutting and pasting
Cyber Monday
daily drama
daily events
Dead Mules
Deal of the Day
decisions
depression
diversions
dogs
Do-Overs
DRM
earthquake
e-book pricing
e-books
editing
elevator speech
elmore leonard
Elves and Holidays
Emancipation
England
English class
evidence
Excerpt
exclusivity
Exercise
Expertise
Facebook
fact and fiction
failures
fame and fortune
family affairs
Favorites
Fear of Failure
Fish
flood waters
flowers
food delights
Formatting
Fort Pulaski
free chapter
Free Days
freebies
Friendship
Frogmore
garden
gardens
genealogy
Getting organized
ghost stories
Giveaway
Goals
good business
good news
grammar cops
gratitude
gray horses
gripes
grocery shopping
guest blogs
Gullah
handicaps
Harriet Tubman
Hiatus
Historical background
Historical Fiction
historical puzzlers
historical thinking
history lessons
Holidays
home office
hope and kindness
horse races
horses
hurricanes
identifying your audience
illustrations
imagination
indie authors
Inspiration
inspirations
internet
internet history
intruders
ISBN
Kalamazoo
karma
Kindle
Kindle links
Kindle rankings
Kindle Serials
kings
Klout
Ku Klux Klan
Lack of co-ordination
landmarks
language
Laughs
launch dates
Laura Towne
Layouts
legal matters
lending library
Lessons learned
lessons unlearned
libraries
literary genres
local news
love story
making choices
Marketing
Matchbooks
medicine
medieval-isms
Meet the Characters
Memorial Day
memories
Milestones
military matters
mind-mapping
Misfis
Monthly Musings
name recognition
NaNoWriMo
Nellie Chase
New Blog
New Book
New England
New Research
New Year
newsletters
nonfiction
non-profits
nostalgia
Nurses
oddities
odds and ends
olympics
omens
opening lines
outrage
Oxford
Papacy
parties
Penn Center
photographs
picture book
Pinterest
Pinterest and copyrights
Pirates
planning ahead
plot
point of view
polite society
politics
portraits
powerful women
Predictions
pre-orders
press release
previews
pricing
Principles
procrastination
productivity
Profiles
Progress Report
Promotions
proofs
pros and cons
publishing
publishing companies
publishing ploys
publishing rights
pure sentimentality
puzzlements
quiz
rain
random thoughts
RBOC
read an ebook
readership
recipes
Reconstruction
Relaxation
research
Resolutions
reviews
road trip
rough draft
Roundhead Reports
royalties
rules
SALE
Sales
scams
schedules
Scoop It
ScoopIt
seasons
Secessionville
second edition
Second Mouse
self-publishing
settings
Shiloh
Short Stories
Silliness
slander
Slavery
small world
Smile of the Day
snow, living in the south
social media
software
software disasters
South Carolina
Speechless!
sports
Spring
story arc
Substitutes
Success
summer
Synopsis
Taking a Break
Taxes
Thank You
the difficulties of blogging
The Gideonites
Theme
Tongue-in-cheek
Traditions
trailer
Travelog
trilogies
trolls
Tweet
Twitter
Upcoming Events
using commas
Vacation
vacation photos
Valentine
video
Visitor
vocabulary
Volunteering
voting
warnings
weather
weather trauma
website
word counts
Word-of-Mouth
Words
Words of Warning
Writer Beware!
Writer's Block
Writing Advice
Writing as Career
writing process

Archives

December 2017
November 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010

powered by

"Roundheads and Ramblings"

The Road to Frogmore--an Excerpt

Chapter 4: Settling Differences

A clatter followed by a crash sent Lucretia Towne, with apron askew and flour in her hair, dashing up the back stairs to find out what had happened. She found her sister Laura sitting on a trunk at the foot of the attic stairs, looking disheveled and ruefully rubbing her knee.

“What in heaven’s name are you up to now, Laura?”

Laura laughed despite herself. “I was trying to be useful without disturbing anyone. I guess I failed, didn’t I? I’m sorry if I frightened you.”

“What’s in the trunk?”

“I’ve just finished cleaning out my room. I thought I would store the things I’m not taking with me in the attic, so my room will be empty if you should want to use it for something else. But the trunk was heavier than I expected. I thought I could drag it up the stairs, but I couldn’t budge it. So I came down to the bottom and tried pushing it up the steps ahead of me. That almost worked, but I couldn’t figure out how to hold it in place and climb the stairs myself at the same time. I must have let go for a second, and it came barreling down on top of me. I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with a new idea.”

“Here, let me help you. It’s obviously a job for two. I’ll go above and pull while you push from down here.”
Together they managed to bounce the trunk from step to step until it rested safely on the attic floor, but both were panting from the effort. They sat side by side on the trunk to catch their breath. Lucretia made a small clearing noise in the back of her throat—one Laura recognized as an expression of disapproval. She peeked at her from the corner of her eyes to determine how angry her older sister might be. The frown on Lucretia’s face was not reassuring.

“Thanks for your help, Lucy,” she said, hoping to stave off the inevitable.

“Humph! The trunk is safely up here, but I don’t understand what’s going on. You’ve cleaned out your room? Why? I’m all in favor of neatness, but not to this extent. You make it sound as if you are not planning to come back. And what am I supposed to do with an extra empty room?”

“I don’t know when I’ll be back. I could be gone for a very long time,” Laura said.

“Stuff and nonsense! How long does it take to sail from here to South Carolina? Three days? Four? And then how long will it take you to distribute the food and clothing supplies you are delivering? I understand that you’re responsible for their safe arrival, but surely you’ll be back within the month. And if you think I’m then going to help you drag this infernal trunk back downstairs, you . . .”

“Dear Lucretia, please try to understand. Mine is not a task that can be handled quickly. Yes, my ostensible job at the moment is to deliver the goods the Committee has collected. But that title simply justifies them paying my passage on the transport. Once I’m there, I have much bigger plans.”

“Seems to me you always have ‘big’ plans. You just conveniently forget to tell anyone about them.”

“Please don’t be angry. I only have a few more days here at home, and I don’t want to spend them fighting with you. Come, let’s go down to the kitchen and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. I’ll try to explain exactly what we have planned.”
 
Laura settled herself at the kitchen table, but Lucretia refused to sit down. She returned to the sideboard, where she had been in the midst of kneading a loaf of bread. The vigorous punches and slaps she delivered to that lump of helpless dough made Laura cringe. She fully understood that they were also meant to express her sister’s displeasure.

“Lucy, I know you understand the abolitionist position as well as I do. I’ve sat beside you in church as we listened to Reverend Furness preach about the evils of slavery, and I’ve seen you nod your head in complete agreement with what he says. Our country is fighting this terrible war to rid ourselves of an evil practice. But there’s much more to the problem than simply putting down the Southern rebellion and telling the slaves that they are free.”

“Of course I understand that, and I understand that our government will be faced with great difficulties in assimilating the slaves into normal society once the war is over. But that’s going to take government policies and government action. You’re just one woman—more intelligent than the average woman, I grant you—but still just one small woman against a very large problem. I fail to see why the solution has suddenly become your responsibility, when you have responsibilities right here at home.”

“At Port Royal, the problems can’t wait until the war is over.”

“Why not? Surely the war can’t go on for much longer.”

“I’m afraid that’s where you are wrong, sister. The Army has stopped signing soldiers up for a three-month enlistment. Now they sign on for three years, and even that may not be long enough, according to some of the speakers we have heard recently.”

Lucretia whirled around and glared at her. “Well, if that is true, just how much do you expect to accomplish with a war raging all around you—if you even manage to survive?”

“Port Royal is perfectly safe, my dear. The Confederate forces abandoned it, and some twelve thousand of our boys are now stationed on the islands to protect the area. I’ll probably be safer there than on the streets of Philadelphia. You keep telling me how dangerous our own streets are at night.”

“So it’s safe. And the Army is in control. And the slave owners are gone. What, exactly, do you think you are going to do, beyond the obvious, benevolent gesture of passing out some used clothing?”

“I’m hoping to set up a permanent resource center, where ex-slaves can come for all sorts of assistance. We’ll provide food and clothing, of course, but I can also offer medical treatment. We’ll have a lawyer or two to help them handle their legal affairs. There are already cotton agents in place to help with the selling of crops, and Ellen will start a school to teach both the children and their parents.” Laura’s excitement was so great when she talked about this idea that she could not help but smile in anticipation.

Lucretia simply stared at her for a moment. Then she spoke slowly, emphasizing each word. “Are you telling me . . . that you’re taking . . . that young girl . . . with you?”

“Ellen Murray? Of course.”

Lucretia turned away. She picked up the bread dough she had been working and slammed it into a pan. “Raise!” she ordered, and Laura could have sworn she saw the dough gather itself up to make a greater effort.
 
 

The Kindle version is on sale for just $.99 all this week. 
Click here to purchase your copy.