I double checked on the timeline of the historical backdrop for my nano project. In some ways this time line serves as a plot structure and dictates some of the events. The strike was called in March 1925 – so for my story I have to start in February – that gives me weather to deal with, weather I have neglected in that early part of the story.
There are real, major events to be to addressed – the actual walkout, the burning of the company stores, the destruction of the power plants, the confrontation between the strikers and the troops sent in by the government.
But one of the events I’m including happened during the 1922 strike – its too good to ignore so I’m importing it, as it were. Screw reality.
The strike was settled in a most anti-climactic way as – an election voted out the current governing party & the new settled, sort of, things by arbitration in which the coal company maintained it’s demands for reduced wages & in fact got them. So the miners got nothing out of the bitter strike when they returned to work in August of 1925.
For story structure I’ve had to space some of the clashes as they happened one day after the other. I want my characters & readers to absorb one before moving on to the next. So I’m separating them by a week or so. Not historical true so sue me.
Word count so far: 26500. Maybe I’ll get to 50000 by the end of next week – perhaps I’ll have the whole story arc told too.
November 17 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry
November 28 – Thursday – attending – The Beautiful & The Damned
December 8 – Sunday – Featuring – Festive Trash at Cabaret Noir
Dec 15 – Sunday – attending – The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Frost Bite 2013
June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words
[a false start that I may follow up on later. As you might tell I’m inventing rooms, gardens as I go along.]
When Steven’s proposal came it caught Lillian off guard. Once she had set her sights on him Clara proved to be the biggest obstacle in her plan moving forward. She didn’t resist this as it would make the proposal appear to be even more Steven’s idea.
Whenever Steven would offer to walk her anywhere she was quick to ask if Clara might to accompany them. The one time she hadn’t done so Clara was at the door to join them anyway. Clara saw to it that she and Steven never dined alone or spent more than five minutes alone in the living room, front porch or even the garden.
Clara had even instituted a reduction in the amount of hot water that was to be used. With so much scarcity of things during the strike Lillian said nothing. She could keep her hair clean enough with what water she had.
“You are smelling particularly sweet this morning?” Clara said as Lillian came down for breakfast one morning.
“No more than usual.” Lillian replied.
[comes in story arc after Steven has been elected but before the miner’s go back to work]
Lillian was working in the herb patch in the McD’s back garden when Aileen called to her from the back porch.
“A gentleman to see you Miss Lillian.”
Lillian stood and brushed the dirt off her hands onto her apron. “Gentleman.”
“Father Patrick, ma’am.”
Aileen held the door open for as she continued to wipe her hands clean.
“He’s in the small study.”
Lillian had been in the small study once. It was a room off the front foyer that Steven’s father had used to store his hunting equipment which Steven had converted into an office when he ran in the election.
When she went into the room her uncle was standing with his back to her facing the desk. There were two armchairs in front of it and a bookcase on one wall. There was only one small window near the ceiling more to allow ventilation in the room than light. The room smelled of cigar and pipe smoke.
“Father Patrick?” she said.
He turned. “Lillian how good to see you looking so well.” He sat in one of the arm chairs. She sat in the other.
“I have just returned from Boston.”
“Ah. Steven was wondering why you hadn’t shown up during his camp.”
“Sometimes politics and religion don’t need to mix. He did well enough with any show of support from me.”
“Yes.” She wondered what he wanted.
“I also understand you and he are to be wed.”
“You know I can’t allow that. That union will not happen in any Catholic church in this parish or any other I can contact.”
“Perhaps you should take that up with the Bishop. He’s already agreed to perform the ceremony.”
“That will be changed. Have you told Mr McD about Mr Bad egg? I’m sure …”
“He has, in fact, met Mr Bad egg in Halifax.”
“And that didn’t dissuade him?”
“Not in the least,” Lillian wanted to laugh.
There was a knock at the door.
“Yes?” Lillian said.
The door opened. Aileen entered with a tea tray.
“Miss Clara said you may want the tea served.” She put the tea service on the desk.
“Thank Miss Clara for me.”
“That won’t be necessary.” Clara stepped into the room. “I didn’t want to barge in on what could be private conversation.”
“For the moment it is.” Father Patrick said. “If you don’t mind.” He stood and attempted to show her out of the room.
“If we are discussing the wedding I feel I should in included in the conversation.” Clara said.
“My uncle feels it’s an unwise decision on my part.” Lillian said.
“Not exactly my dear.” Her uncle said. “I think it’s a very calculated decision on your apart. Devious. Eve would have been in awe. I have no objection to Miss McD hearing our conversation. Do you.”
“If it entails sordid rumours you have have about Lillian past rest assured I have heard them.”
“They are not mere rumours, are they Lillian.”
“Don’t bother answering him Lillian. I am aware of Mr Bad egg and of his ungentlemanly conduct with Miss McT. In fact I have met with him myself and spoke to him directly. I know the full story.”
“Apparently you are not as concerned about your family’s reputation as hers was about theirs.”
“This is not Boston Father Patrick.”
“Quite true. Quite true. But Mr Bad egg is not what brings me here today. I will repeat what I told Lillian. This wedding will not take place.”
“You can’t stop it.” Clara said.
“One cannot marry the dead!”
He took a newspaper clipping out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Lillian.
She read it. It took her a few moments to comprehend its full import.
“Well, what does it say?” Clara asked.
“There was a memorial service in Boston for me last week. It seems I died here of influenza.” she handed the clipping to Clara.
“Th service was presided over by her grieving uncle, Father Patrick McTavish. What is the meaning of this Patrick?”
“I think it is pretty clear.”
“But I am alive. People know that.”
“The death certificate has been filed. Signed by me. You have no proof of who you are, my dear. None at all.”
“Proof!” Clara exclaimed.
“You can’t get married without proof in the Catholic Church. Do you have your baptismal record? Your confirmation certificate? You don’t even have a family to say this is you. The memorial was very emotional. You mother wept. A Mr. First Beau was heart broken.”
“Mr First Beau?” Clara said glancing at Lillian.
“He went to Europe when I was fifteen and he was not a beau, merely a boy I knew.” Lillian wanted to jump up and pummel her uncle. “Why are you doing this?” she asked as calmly as she could.