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Ravannel, very drunk, grabbed Calâ€™s arm and pulled him before a huge gilt edged mirror.
"Look there real closely.â€
"What in the world do you want, Ransom?â€
"You wanted me to tell you why I donâ€™t want you to tell your mother you work for me.
This mirror explains it all.â€
Cal pulled away but Ravannel held his Calâ€™s arm tighter.
"Look at your eyes and look at mine,â€ Ravannel said. "See weâ€™ve both got these light blue eyes, very rare this color eye. Neither one of your parents have eyes like ours. Both you and I have the same eyes because youâ€™re my son!â€
Cal broke Ravannelâ€™s grip on his arm and hit him squarely on the jaw knocking him to the floor. "Youâ€™re crazy; thatâ€™s nonsense, you damned drunk.â€
"Itâ€™s true,â€ Ravannel protested as he rubbed his jaw.
The group selected Laura to lead the parade mounted on a handsome Arabian stallion.
A great honor, Laura felt happy to emulate one of the heroines of the movement, Inez Milholland, who had led suffragist parades in New York and Washington D.C. in 1913 and 1916. Known as "the woman on the horse,â€ Milholland epitomized the devotion and zeal of the suffrage movement.
The day of the parade turned cool with a cloudy overcast sky. Laura, mounted on the handsome steed, wore a straw hat with a red, white and blue band. Across her chest a red sash with bold blue letters stated "The Vote for Women Nowâ€.
Behind her, five ladies each wearing straw hats similar to Lauraâ€™s lined up hoisting a banner proclaiming "Women Are Citizens Too.â€ Behind these five individuals, more women carried placards or signs espousing their cause.
The parade moved sedately down Larimer Street. Most of the curious spectators gaped. One man yelled, "Stay home where you belong with your brats!â€
Another piped up, "Better still, stay in bed.â€
Guffaws and laughter trailed the marchers.
When the women turned towards the area of the smelters, they noticed first the odors and smoke. Trash and horse manure made walking the street difficult. Behind them a horde of urchin children followed, taken up with the excitement of something different in their mean lives. No encouraging women appeared at the windows of the shabby dwellings with trash-filled lawns pushed up against the smelters. Some of the women marchers looked fearful, glancing left and right. Laura looked in vain for a policeman. Groups of men shouted obscenities at them.
Laura decided to lead the group back to the better part of town and directed her horse up a side street. Suddenly, the women were surrounded by an angry mob of men yelling and cursing.
"Get the bitch on the horse!â€ one shouted.
A dirty-faced man in a long trench coat grabbed the bridle while two other men tried to pull her off her horse. Laura fought them, but she was soon overcome and thrown to the pavement. She heard a loud noise in her head, felt a sharp pain in her scalp, and then oblivion.
~ * ~
Ravannel saw it all happen. His car slowly followed the gaggle of urchins behind the women. As soon as Laura fell, he burst from the car and raced to her side. Chaos reigned. Men grabbed the placards and signs to destroy them. Women screamed. Ravannel pushed through the melee, picked up Laura, and carried her to his car.
Fifi opened the door to her garishly appointed apartment. She looked at Ravannel in amazement as he stood carrying an unconscious woman with blood coursing down her face.
Ravannel pushed Fifi aside and carried Laura to the red velvet couch, letting her down gently. He found a fringed pillow and placed it under her head. He collapsed in a chair breathing hard. No longer a young man, his burden became heavy and difficult for him to carry. Halfway up the steps to the apartment, heâ€™d had to pause and rest.
Fifi stood open-mouthed.
"Get me some alcohol, a clean cloth and two handkerchiefs!â€ he barked at her.
"I donâ€™t like you busting in here like this. Who is that lady?â€ Fifi stood with her hands on her hips.
"Shut up, woman. Do as I say!â€
One look at his face and Fifi moved quickly.
Gently Ravannel wiped off the blood seeping from a wound on Lauraâ€™s forehead and cleansed her face. He then cleansed the wound with alcohol, took the handkerchiefs and pressed gently to try to stop the seepage.
"Look up the telephone number of a Dr. Willis Anderson,â€ he demanded.
Still smarting from Ravannelâ€™s demands, Fifi nevertheless did as she was told. "I have it,â€ Fifi said, handing him a slip of paper.
"Come here and keep pressing at this wound while I make the call.â€
As an "army bratâ€ I had periods in my life where I was "that new kidâ€ and went through a period of having no friends. Books became my constant friends until I found the human kind. I particularly loved history. As an army dependent I met my husband in the Philippines. We have four children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 226
Paper Weight (lb): 9.6
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