THE SOLDIER.

In which a doctor discovers an unusual secret. Antietam, Maryland, 1862.      “I know your secret,” said the doctor softly.       “What secret?” croaked the bandaged figure, lying on the cot.       “I think you know what I mean,” replied the doctor.        A shudder of pain ran through the wounded soldier’s body, and a…

THE BIG SWOON (Part 4)

London, England, March, 1937.      “I still think it’s a mistake, forming your own band, Al. I’m not sure England’s ready for an act with a vocalist out front!”      The speaker was a reporter from Melody Maker, Britain’s prominent music newspaper.      “Nonsense,” retorted Al briskly. “Times are changing. In America vocalists such as…

THE BIG SWOON (Part 3)

    In which Al Bowly becomes 'a heart-throb' and conquers America. “This is the BBC, and it’s time for the late night dance music program. Tonight, as on every Tuesday night, our broadcast brings you, live from the Monseigneur Restaurant in London’s West End, the Roy Fox orchestra featuring vocalist Al Bowlly.”      Across London…

PAXTON’S CHRISTMAS.

In which Sergeant Paxton nabs a Christmas killer.      Sergeant Paxton stared gloomily into space. Desk duty on Christmas Eve –how unfair! All across the city of Durham families would be decorating their trees, eating mince pies, or singing carols around the fire. And where was he? Stuck in his office with a steep pile…

THE BIG SWOON (part 2)

IN which young Al Bowlly heads for England and the beginning of his fame and fortune. August, 1927, Berlin Germany.      Al Bowlly, guitar in his lap, shifted nervously in his seat. He had been in a recording studio before in Calcutta, but only as an instrumentalist, a member of a band. This would be…

THE BIG SWOON! (Part One)

In which talented but troubled singer Al Bowlly sets out on an eventful journey on the road to fame. Johannesburg, June, 1923.      “May I join you,” the newcomer asked.      He was a tall angular fellow with a round cheery face. A pair of spectacles with round wire frames was perched on his prominent…

AMBUSH!

      In which the reign of the young King Henry II of England almost comes to a sudden and violent end.        It was calm and peaceful in the forest. A deer lowered its antlered head to drink from the clear rippling brook that ran through the clearing. Sparrows darted from bush to bush, and…

The Time Has Come

In which women in America are granted the right to vote for the first time in the unlikeliest of places. Cheyenne, Wyoming, September, 1869.      “I’m so looking forward to hearing young Miss Dickinson deliver her speech tonight,” said Mary Ward. “I understand that she’s a most engaging speaker!”      “So I’ve heard,” replied her…

The Tragedy of Tommy Ball.

In which an English professional soccer player meets an unusual and tragic fate. The Last Game, November 10, 1923.      Thomas Edgar Ball rose majestically into the air and propelled a powerful header out towards the touchline to the feet of his winger. The Aston Villa player controlled the ball, swiveled and prepared to race…