The Nelson Chronicles *orig in Anchors Away* by Carol Foss

Edith Nelson

Edith Nelson

 

 

Admiral Harriman Nelson

Nelson Institute of Marine Research††† ( Donít you just love it when I get so formal? Tease, tease!)

Santa Barbara, CA

July 15, 1987

 

Harry dear,

 

††††††††† I found some interesting things in the family archives again. You know, that poor old attic has seen better days. Anyway, before I send these off to the historical society, I thought you might like to see photocopies of them . Iíve also had them transcribed so theyíre easier to read. Theyíre pretty frayed and crumbly and water damaged from that blasted roof that canít seem to stay repaired. REALLY, Harry, we need to revamp the whole place.Itís just sitting there collecting cobwebs and not doing anybody any good! Letís fix it up and rent it out again! Or better yet, why donít we set it up as a shelter for some poor souls?

 

††††††††† Anyway, thereís even a letter from one of your old schoolteachers! Am I glad I never had her! But you were a bit of a terror I think! Ha Ha.

††††††††† Iím really interested in somebody called Snuffy, and it seems that an old fogey namedShamus, was a real pill!

††††††††† Well, Iím off to another charity gala in London, and I hope I donít have to stand in the receiving line too long with a smile glued on. But itís for a good cause though you know how much more Iíd prefer puttering in a garden or listening to the Beach Boys. Okay, okay,†† donít laugh. Why even some of your own crewmen like them!

 

††††††††† Oh, yes, Iíve had good news from Shri-Lanka. The leprosy medications we sent have completely wiped it out there! For the first time in history, it looks like this plaque may be gone for good! Now all we have to do†† is find cures for all the other horrible diseases out there. Also, Harry, our homeless shelters wonít do any long term good if we cant help these folks into better employment, so Iím sending a few to NIMR . Iím sure you can do something, while the foundation is trying to work out something with congress.

 

††††††††† Speaking of your precious institute, how is your submarine? Is Lee still having a grand time playing Captain Nemo? Will he ever be serious about a female of the human variety or is he still unremittingly in love with his lady of titanium? ha ha. Iíll bet he still has Angie and Katie and all the other gals at the institute fawning over him like heís Prince Charming, heís so gorgeous.

 

††††††††† Well, youíre probably anxious to get back to another experiment. Please try to come out for Christmas? I miss you terribly. Of course, I could always come out there and we could have Christmas dinner on Seaview in that grotto Lee told me about. Think about it? And Harry dear, you really do need a vacation!!!!And I have a very nice friend Iíd like you to meet. Her name is Molly. Well, Iíd better close, take care.

Love always,

 

Your ďblasted pestĒ of a little sister(ha ha)

 

 

 

+++

 

Emily O'Brian O'HaraNelson

Dennisport

Massachusetts

 

 

Dear Mother,

 

Iíve left Shamus! I knowheís rich and has been a big help to the entire family, but heís really a brute. Oh, heís never been unkind to me but when I seethose poor Negroes in chains! Sick, Starved†† some of them, and hauled off like cargo to be sold as slaves in the South! Oh, mother, itísterrible, and he only laughs!

 

Iíll be staying in Boston with Ann Monroe. Sheís more than happy to have me stay with her for the duration. Please donít tellShamus Iím pregnant! I never want to see him again and I donít want the poor child to either!

 

It never used to bother me, the slave trade, but Iíve changed my mind. Especially after seeing the poor girls! Ogled by all the slavers, the shipís crew, and even Shamus. First mate Robinson even bragged about - oh, mother, itís just so terrible! He actually took a poor girl-probably only about thirteen or so, and -well-how canI put it politely? Had his way with her! Onthe ship! In Shamusí cabin!Iíll never forgive Robinson! And Shamus let him!

 

Oh, Iím so humiliated and angered! Idonít think Iíll ever be able to forgiveShamus either! Iwouldnít doubt if maybe even he did the same!

 

Iíve told Shamus thereísstill good trade in tea and he should go back to it. But heís a stubborn man and I doubt if heíll ever repent! He has made sure I wonít be able to divorce him. Scandal, he says! Scandal! Afterwhatheís done? All right. Iíll take his money! But Iíll put it to good use! Iíll buy his slaves, bring them up here,insure their freedom and help them find profitable employment!

 

No doubt youíre weary of this long tirade. And so Iíll close with letting you know how much I love and miss you. If the child is a girl-which is what I hope for-her name will be Aroura. If itís a boy, his name will be Harriman. Not Harry. Harriman for Shamusíway back great great to the whatever grandfather. The man was supposedly of great compassion who gave his own life to save many others. My Harriman , ifit'sa boy, will be bring in a new line of Nelsons. Good ones!

 

 

I love youdearly,

 

Emily

 

+++

Sea Nymph

 

 

 

††††††††† Emily, are ye daft? How many years have you gloried in my trade and the wealth it brought ye? And now there ye go, getting your feathers all a flutter, over a few slaves! Itís a thriving business and should go on awhile. Why even Thomas Jefferson kept slaves and tis rumored had a dalliance with one of them, so why should ye be so upset?

 

††††††††† But I will not divorce ye! No matter how many times ye may pester me about it! Lawyers even! Iíve done no harm to ye! Iíve been a true and loyal husband to ye. Well, as true as I could. There were a few times, and I told ye about them, when I had to indulge myself ! But ye know that you and Sea Nymph were always first with me! And no Boston lawyer will be able to prove otherwise! As for my trade-Why, tis legal in this fair land of ours. So if ye have a bone to pick, write to yourcongressman! Or better yet the president himself !

 

††††††††† And why should ye be hiding young Harriman Nelson the fifth from his own father? He bears the name of a noble ancestor, and dearie, the most important name of all-mine. Remember that. The boy belongs to me and I intend to see him. Just try to have your fancy lawyer stop me!If I were a foul man, I could have brought suit against ye! And your mother for trying to keep it all a secret from me as well! There are no secrets from Shamus OíHara Nelson dearie. None.

 

††††††††† Not only will I see the boy, but Iíll take him away with mewhen heís of an age for it! Fine life for a boy aboard such a fine craft as mine. Away from al the molly-coddling heís sure to get if he stays too long in your care! The boy will see the world and when he returns to ye, if he decides to , heíll be a man youíll not be able coddle!

 

††††††††† Soget used to the idea. As fancy as your lawyer is, I can get a better one!So why not just give up. Accept the fact that Iíll never give ye a divorce and Iíll get the boy in the end!

 

††††††††† Shamus

†††††††††

+++†††

 

Sea Nymph

Captain Shamus O'Hara Nelson

 

 

Delbert& Bones

Charleston, So. Carolina

 

 

Dear John,

 

I will be arriving at your office on Monday next for the remaining payment for my cargo. Iíll be shipping out again in a fortnight for another group of heathens. Sea Nymph needs a good clean and wax after the last batch!

 

Emily has come downwith ďfreedom feverĒ and has left for Boston. Seems to be contagious there. She objects to my business dealings thoughshe wears the silks and diamonds I got for her because of it! Women! If itwerenít for certain needs, why bother with them!

 

 

Sincerely,

Shamus

+++

 

Dear Mother,

 

Snuffy will try to get this past father and into the mailbag. Itís really not that bad aboard, but I really miss you and all my friends. Hedoesnít want me to write even.

Weíll just have to figure something out. Heís got all the law on his side.

 

Iím sort of a midshipman. Those are boys in the navies of the world who run errands and learn a lot on the way to become officers.But Sea Nymph is hardly a navy ship, let alone a boat! She leaks and she stinks. But father loves her. Must be something peculiar to captains. I met a few in Barbados that kept on talking about their ships as if they were wives! Really weird. Fatherís the same.

 

Iíve got a cat aboard and Snuffy sort of helps me look after it. I just hope it doesnít fall overboard and nobody eats it when the food getsall moldy.

 

I know alot about navigation and have even taken the wheel a few times, but only when someone in charge was watching me. I also know alot about things I probably shouldnít. But donít worry. I donít indeed to do†† the same things the other boys do. There are two others aboard besides me. One is alot older and the other is about the same age. Both are having a grand time proving themselves as sailors,aboard and ashore. I may be a snot nosed kid, as father sometimes†† calls me, but I still know the difference between right and wrong. You donít have to worry about me becoming a drunken sailor or doing other things Iím sure youíre aware of as regards sailors ashore.

 

Father sometimes actually trades in tea! But thereís not as much profit in it as the slave trade. Itís awful. Iíve even complained but got the lash. Nobody is allowed to argue with the captain or to disobey him. Law of the high seas, he says.

 

I like the sea itself and if I ever have my own boat, itíll be used for real trade and research. There are alot of interesting sea creatures and strange weather sometimes that Iíd really like to learn more about. But nobodyís really interested in that sort of stuff except me.

Snfffyís here. Got to finish. Iíll always love you.

Harriman

 

+++

 

 

Sanderson and Sons

Attorneyís at Law

Charleston, South Carolina

 

 

Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson

Boston, Mass.

 

 

My dear Mrs. Nelson,

 

It is with great regret that I must inform you of the loss of Sea Nymph. The craft was apparently lost in or near an area often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle.The Herringbone came across somefloating wreckage which identified the craft.

 

Fortunately, Harriman Nelson was in Barbados at the timeon business and has taken over the investigation of the loss which took his father. No doubt he will be intouch with you shortly.

 

We will send a representative to you with Captain Nelsonís last will and testament. I believe you will find more than adequate provision for you and your son. As Harriman is under age, official guardianship has been tentatively granted to Captain Robinson. A formality, Iím sure, as Harrimanwill be 21 shortly and a few months is hardly worth the effort for a formal grant.

 

Again, my condolences,

 

Samuel Sanderson

 

+++

 

Dear Mother,

 

††††††††† No doubt you`ve been informed of father`s loss. It grieves me , for I knew his better side. I know you may find it hard to understand, but he really wasn`t all that bad.

 

††††††††† Uncle Edward agrees with me that a legal guardianship would be rather foolish as I will be 21 in only two monthsand have had my own command of one of father`s ships for three years!

 

††††††††† Will you please reconsider accepting Captain Robinson in your company? He`s been a good friend, and surely, your grievance was long ago.

 

††††††††† I will attend the memorial herein Barbados and arrive in Boston for the formal reading of the will. I'm rather surprised there is one! Whatever the outcome, you may trust me for your complete comfort.

 

††††††††† Harriman

 

+++

 

NELSON ENTERPRISES

 

††††††††† ††††††††† Well, this here be me last will and testament, seeing as how me wife keeps pestering me about it. Indeed, thereís always the likelihood of falling overboard in a hurricane. But tis only for the boyís sake that I make it.

 

†††††††††††††††††† If I should keel over before the boyís of age, I appoint Edward Robinson, currently me first mate of Sea Nymph , to be Harriman Nelson the Fifthís guardian. A trusted employee, heíll make sure the boyíll be well taught.

 

†††††††††††††††††† As for me worldly goods, I leave them all to Harriman, excepting the stipend Iíve arranged for me wife. And wife she be, even if she objects to it!Sheíll not be left peniless or nameless!

I wonít give her the satisfaction of scandalizing me mane!

 

†††††††††††††††††† Tis no pittance I leave the boy! Heís already proven heís a good head for the figures and heís not one for squandering me goods. Not bad for a mere lad of ten years. Hopefully, this here will wonít be read for many years to came.

 

†††††††††††††††††† So to Harriman I leave me worldly goods and a sound bit of advice. Donít squander your gold foolishly and never trust a wife!

 

 

†††††††††††††††††† Signed in the presence of Lt. Edward Robinson.

 

††††††††† Shamus Oí Hara Nelson

 

Lt. Edward Robinson

 

Samuel Sanderson, Attorney at Law†† (Me witnesses!)

 

+++

 

 

Sanderson and sons

Attorney's at law

Charleston, south carolina

 

 

Listing of Goodsof Shamus O' Hara Nelson, deceased, upon reading of the Last Will and Testament:

 

StipendÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ..To be given by hand, the Swiss Bank account number for the maintenance of Emily O' Brian O' Hara Nelson

 

The above is a true and complete list of goods bequeathed to Mrs. Shamus O' Hara Nelson.

 

All other worldly goods are to be given unto Harriman Nelson as follows:

Sea Nymph...........................................Merchantman Ship

Swiss Bank Account...........................To be given by hand, the sealed account number and

†††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††variables

Bonds .................................................... The Bank of England

House....................................................Charleston, South Carolina

House....................................................New York, New York

House....................................................Barbadoes

 

Land......................................................Ireland

Land......................................................Swuitzerland

Land......................................................Charleston, South Carolina

 

The above is a true and complete listing of the goods bequeathed to Harriman Nelson V.

 

Arnold Sanderson

 

Samuel Sanderson

+++

 

Triton, Ltd.

Barristers at Law

Wickstempt, Scotland

 

 

Mrs. Shamus Oí Hara Nelson

Boston, Massachussetts

United States of America

 

Dear Mrs. Nelson,

 

I regret to inform you of the death of your son Harriman. His vessel, the Ariel, sank in a terrible storm, very likely a hurricane. But good captain that he was, he saw to it that all of his passengers were given care first. Indeed, all thirteen survived, and most of his crew.

 

We donít have all the eyewitness reports yet, but suffice it here to say, he acted with courage and self sacrifice in the rescuing of several passengers and crew from a blazing fire amid the shattering vessel. It was as he was trying to rescue one remaining crewman from the fast sinking craft, that he was struck by lightening and dissapeared into the depths with his ship.

 

He was well known hereabouts and had madea will recently. We will send your barristers a copy of itbut must advise you that he had survivors you may not be aware of.

 

A child, Harriman Nelson the 6th, is only two weeks old, the result of an illicit affection Harriman the 5th had for a local girl. The girl died giving birth. If you wish, I will send you more details. But even if the child is a bastard, he may fare better in America as we are very overcrowded with mental defectives, illigitimate, and homeless children in our workhouses.

 

Harriman the 5thwished the the child to be named Nelson and registerd him such.But afterwards the registrar linedthrough the name with red to note the base birth. Here in Scotland suchbairns are often given the motherís name. The girl in question was known as Shannon OíShay, and was herself bastard and barmaid.††

 

 

I am, Madam, your obeident servant,

 

 

George Nemot, Esq.

 

+++

 

Last Will and Testament of Harriman Nelson

 

Firstly, I bequeath all my worldly goods, such as they are, to Shannon. Nelson., my wife. I call her my wife because in the eyes of God she is.As her family refused our marriage, and no clergy wouldperform it, we married ourselves, speaking vows to each other in God`s own outdoors.

 

To insure her protection, I`ve made her my legal ward, and once in America, where people aren`t quite as pigheaded about social class or position, at least not as they used to be, she will not only be my wifein heart, but also in name, even if we have to take vows again.. I`m sure my mother will understand and if anything should happen to me before it`s official, I ask her to look after Shannon as a daughter in law and help her in any way she can.

 

Secondly, I add to mother`s stipend half my stock in my South African diamond mine and a quarter of my stock in my gold mine in California.

 

Thirdly, I request my mother and Edward Robinson to meet and shake hands..As neither will during my lifetime, I humbly ask both to set aside all their differences and honor my last request, should I predecease them.. The war between the states is over. The war between them isstill going on.

 

Fourthly,I leave to Edward Robinsonthe Polaris as he has been afriend in spite of our politicaland moral differences.. The vessel is not too old, and has many good years left to her.

 

Fifthly,I leave to Snuffy Smithfive shares of my railroad stock and all my ship`s logs as he alone among my family and friends, has an interest in them.

 

Sixthly,I leave to Ulysses S. Grant one eighth of my silver stock on condition that it be used as we discussed. If not, ownership of that stock will revert to my wife.

 

Seventhly,Irequest the shareholders in Nelson Enterprise to set aside at least two of the more recent vessels for oceanographic research.There are many secrets of the deep that haven`t even yet been studied. Ships for exploration of currents, and weather peculiar to the seas would be of great advantage to mankind, And exploration and study of sea creatures seen and captured may help to end world hunger, though I do not wish wholesale slaughter of any of them.

 

In addition, I wish that plans for the submerging boat go ahead. I ask Shannon or my mother to christen the vessel and that Verne of France be invited. The vessel is to be a scientific one, and willundoubtedly help us discover a great deal we did not know before.

 

Well, I suppose that is all. My dear wife and mother will receive the special sealed letters from my lawyers in Boston that will address special issues. as well as my final wishes as regards my remains.

 

I am,

 

Harriman Nelson V.

 

 

+++

 

Pipps & Son

Lawyers

 

Inventory of Goods of Harriman Nelson, deceased.

 

Swiss Bank Account (sealed, to be delivered by hand to Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson.)

Bonds, US(sealed, to be delivered by hand to Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson

Bonds, Bank of England(sealed, to be delivered by hand to Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson

 

Stock-80% Nelson Enterprises

Stock-50% Nelson-Robinson Diamond Mine

Stock-90% Nelson Gold Mine

Stock-30% Union Pacific Railroad

Stock-20% Cunnard Enterprises

 

Land-see ††Migilicuty Investments, Ireland

Land-see†† P& P, Barbadoes

Land-see†† Nelson Enterprises,Charlestown, S.C,

Land-see†† Madison Inc. N.Y.

Land-see†† Villa de Fleur, Switzerland

 

House-Charlestown, S.C.

House-Madison,N.Y.

House-New York, N.Y.

House-Boston, Mass

House-Cape Cod, Mass

House- Dallas, Texas

House-San Diego,California

House-Santa Barbara, California

House-Barbadoes

House-London, England

House-Ulster, Ireland

House-Wickstempt,Scotland

House-Glasgow, Scotland

 

Sterling Silver-dining setting for 50

Sterling reserves(sealed, to be delivered by hand to Ulyssees S Grant)

Crystal-dining setting for 50

Porcelin-dining setting for 50

 

Various insundries

+++††††††††††††††††

 

Dear Grandma,

 

Here I am at Lake Tahoe. Itís very nice and I caught a lot of fish! Uncle Edward knows a lot about fishing but heís not very good at camping. But heís even worse at horseback riding! Too many years at sea I guess! Thank you for letting him bring me here. Heís been very nice and has told me a lot about father and grandfather. Itís too bad you werenít able to see him when he came to take me on this holiday.

 

I really wish you could see how nice it is here. So clean and pure. I bet mother would have felt right at home. Sometimes I really wish I could have known mom and dad. But I sure wish they hadnít named me Harriman! Itís so sissy! I sure wonít name any of my boys Harriman, thatís for sure! Thatís if I ever have any. Of course thatís a long long wayaway.

 

Uncle Edward has made sure Iíll be home for my 8th birthday, but meanwhile Iíve made freinds with some real live Indians! Uncle Edward is a little tight lipped about it, but at least has the manners to be polite in spite of himself. I really think we should do something to help this tribe. But not a handout. Thatís humiliating. But we could ask Congress to give themback their land-at least the ownership and money part of it. It was theirs first you know. But of course you do. Youíve always been so good to everyone.

 

I saw a beaver dam and a big bear up here, but so far no wolves. I sure would like to see a wolf and see how much like a dog it could be. Remember, I get to choose my own dog or cat or parrot, or other animal for a pet as soon as I hit 9. But donít worry, I wonít bring home a bear!

 

I saw a great circus in San Diego. I was a little surprized because the town is so small. Youíd like Santa Barbara too. Itíssmall, but what a greatspot to look out over the ocean and the weather is wonderful! Oh I wish fatherís submerging boat had worked. I canít help thinking how nice it would be to look underwater around there. Oh, well, maybe one day somebody will invent something that will work. Or something for people to use and just walk into the sea and under it, breathing all the while.

 

Well, thatís about all for now, so Iíll mail this quick-it should get to you in about 3weeks. A lot faster than the pony express! Actually they were pretty quick, I would have liked to have tried it but it sure didnít last long. The railroads have really opened up America.

 

Oh yes, our private RR car is very nice. But all the ladies make a fuss over me and itís very hard to be polite when Iíd like to bash their bustlesin and ask them to stop treating me like a baby! There is one lady though, who treats me nice, like a real person, and not a kid. Sheís Mrs. Molly Brown, and believe it or not, survived a great flood as a baby! Sheís really nice.

 

Uncle Edward is motioning me to hurry up, so goodby for now. I love you. See you soon.

 

Harry.

( You donít mind if I sign as Harry do you?)

 

+++

Inside this Newsletter††††††††††††††† BOSTON NEIGHBORS

 

1 Passing of ďSt. EmilyĒ
Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson died at her home after asudden illness. She was known for her many good works.

2 Jules Verne visits

††††† Mr. Jules Verne of literary fame will sign autographs today and tomorrow at Bookmanís Store.

 

Mrs. Shamus OíHara Nelson deadin bed.

††

Mrs. Nelson, the former Emily OíBrian, was found dead in her bed last night. Death seems to be from natural causes as there is no indication otherwise and she was said to be in her 90ís.†††††† The estranged wife of Shamus OíHara Nelson, she was a heroine to several slaves during the civil war and helped many to escape and begin new lives here in the free North. She was also involved in many social causes, such as sheltering unwed mothers, and the redemption of prostitutes.Outspoken against slavery as an institution, she parted with her husband and became a vital member of the ďunderground railroadĒ.She also stated that most unwed mothers wouldnít be, if men took the stand of responsibility. As for prostitutes, she claimed the poor girls were simply hoodwinked into it. She was also an advocate of better education for womenand admission as practicing lawyers and medical doctors. Always outspoken, she was firmly supported by her son Harriman Nelson V, sadly deceased several years ago, and more recently her grandson, Harriman Nelson VI, whoís staunch support of womenís sufferage has earned him unkind notiriety in society.

 

Funeral services will be held on Sunday and all are invited to pay their last respects to ďSaint EmilyĒ as she has long been regarded by people of good will.

 

Harriman Nelson will say a few words andhis wife and children Thomas and Edithanne will be present at the reception following.

 

Jules Verne visit controversy as he signs his latest novels amid the protests ofactivists.

Jules Verne, author of several books of fiction and amateur scientist, has come under fire by a few local zealots who object to the hero of one of his novels marrying an Indian girl. Verne was surprized at the attitude, claiming he thought Americans were against such prejudice. But good natured, he will sign his novels for anyone who desires it at Bookmanís Store today and tomorrow. Verne is here for a private meeting with Harriman Nelson, the son of a great admirer of his that he had not the opportunity to meet. Verne is an amateur scientist and often ridiculed for his firm belief in undersea voyaging and trips to the stars. Told to keep to his books, he smiles politely and holds his tongue, no doubt hoping for his fiction to become fact. Harriman Nelson is a great advocate of Verne and has purchased property in the swampland of Florida, as it was claimed by Verne to be at the correct meridian for Spaceship launches. Nelson has also spent hours in conference with Verne and one can only wonder what strange things are discussed and planned.As for Verneís vacation here, he spends most of his free time at the library with Nelson,at the opera house or with the Nelson children, as a sort of uncle. Of course, the death of Emily Nelson has put a damper on things, and Verne no doubt has been a great help to the greiving family.

+++

 

THE BOSTON TATTLER†††

 

SCANDAL IN THE CITY-AN EDITORIAL

 

When will it stop? We have been plagued with juvenile delinquency as many cities are, but when one of our favored sons has become a leader of such acts as defacing public property and talking back to his elders,it's time to act. We must set aside our leniency toward these youths and especially Thomas Nelson. We seem to hesitate to do anything substantial because of his parentage and wealth.

He must learn, as his friends, that money cannot protect one from morality or the law.

 

But it has been to no avail. Just yesterday, this teen heaped a pail of rubbish on the statue of Captain Robinson and claimed the noted manhad stolen money from his family and had been a womanizer and a pimp! Absurd accusations against such a pillar of the community! Surely Robinson is turning over in his grave.

 

When confronted with the news, his father, weary no doubt, from yet another act of disobedience, simply said heíd take care of it. Granted, the boy was made to clean up the statue, but is that all heíll be punished with?

 

How can this youth, who has a long record of disobedience, intend to go to law school? From marbles in the public library as a child, to kissing Katrina Kitman in Church, now he defaces property and has evenventured into the seedy side of town ďto learn about real lifeĒ.Women, no doubt!

 

He even came to the defense of one of the prostitutes accused of theft and claimed her occupation had no bearing on weather she was guilty or not! Perhaps not, but this editor hesitates to trust a whoreís word of honor!

 

The Nelsons have been known to be rather eccentric, ever since Emily Nelson got involved with a lot of strange causes. Perhaps it runs in the family.

 

But this editor says, Thomas Nelson needs a good licking or a stint at a military school!

 

+++

 

Sherwood Military Academy

Willow Run, Ohio

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

It really isnít so bad here once you get used to it, and with all the rumblings going on, I have a feeling Iíll be putting some of this military stuff to use against Kaiser Bill.The worst part about the place is all the shouting. Iím sure my ears are permanently damaged!

 

I know you really didnít want to send me away, and actually it's good to get away from all the fuddy duddies in Boston. I really like Ohio and may want to live here someday.

 

Iím afraid Iím pretty behind in everything and Iím especially bad in all the military stuff. Iím not cut out to be a soldier, but I guess nobody is. But I will pass, and am giving it my best shot. Get it? Shot? ha ha.

 

If war does come to pass, Iíll have an advantage at boot camp thatís for sure. At least Iíll know how to shine my boots! Some of the guys are real proís. Probably officer candidates! I donít know if Iíd like the responsibility. Oh, Iíd do my duty and all that, but to take the responsibility for somebodyís life, well, thatís not something I think Iím cut out for.

 

Thereís a dance here next week and I might be able to go if I donít get anymore demerits! Those are points they mark you down for doing a bad job. So Iím really trying to do better. These Ohio girls, Iíve seen a few on visitorís day with their fellas, and are they ever wholesome! Really healthy and very pretty. Of course, anything dressed in something other than a uniform looks great to me!

 

So Iím back to peeling potatoes to try to work off some of my demerits and you can tell the Boston busybodies to clam up!

 

Tell Edithanne some of the guys sure like herphoto so she might have a fun time if she came out here for a visit. Theyíd all have to behave themselves or its a stint in the brig-thatís a kind of jail-or extra march duty in full pack-and nobody wants that.

 

Well, gotta go.

 

Love, Tom

 

+++

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

Here I am at a typewriterin a tent in France. Itís pooring outside and the colonel has a batch of mail going outso hereís a chance to write.

 

Tell Edithanne that Roger is okay. Heís in a field hospital and the fever is a lot better. But youíd better get her used to the idea that he may loose that leg.

 

I canít believe how awful it all is. This sure had better be the war to end all wars, because if it isnít I donít think anybody will be around much longer.

 

Iím very strong from all that marching at Sherwood and I guess it did me some good as well. When an officer tells me to do something, I do itright away because if I donít I might get killed.

 

When we get out of this mess, I wantto go back to Ohio. And not just to see Sandra. Itís a very nice state and Iíd like to go to law school there.

 

Well, I better close.

 

Love to you all,

 

Tom

+++

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

Well, finally thereís aa baby in the house! It sure took a long time and people think weíre grandparents instead of brand new parents of a newborn! Sandra and I are really looking forward to our first Christmas with little Harriman and I hope you wonít spoil him too much! And please, no gum drops! Heíll eat them non-stop!

 

Really strange isnít it, us naming him Harrimanafter all the arguments you gave us against it. But really, itís a family name and old Harriman of family legend was supposed to be quite a hero. But does anybody actually have anything to base it on? I sureíve never seen any old archives from the middle ages!

 

Anyway, Sandra likes the name, so that settled it. Poor kid,At least weíll call him Harry in front of his friends-when heís old enough to have any. It shouldnít be too long, heís growing so fast. But his fussing and crying is driving us nuts! Iím really tempted to get a nanny to take care of all the disagreeable jobs, especially listening to his powerful lungs all night long!

 

Sandra might even agree to it, thoughshe really wanted to act like a normalmother. But all her friends think she ought to enjoy a few of the luxuries money buys. ha ha.

 

They donít seem to realize that I intend my law practice to survive on itís own and not the Nelson family funds. But it is nice to have a ď security blanketĒ so to speak.

 

I suppose we could live ďhigh on the hogĒ if we wanted to and mingle with the Rockefellers--just kidding--though we could-we really could, the properties have really profited. In fact, I wish I could bring old Shamus Nelson back from the grave and thank him for opening up a Swiss Bank Account in the first place! No bank collapses there! Weíve been very, very fortunate.

 

Iíve put up a special fund for Harry, just in case all those flittering financial wizards are wrong again.

 

Poor Edithanne. Battle Fatigue is real. Believe me, I know. I still have nightmares now and then and sometimes I just start to shake and cry without any provocation. But Iíve called it an allergic reaction so my employees donít get too upset. Roger will survive it. So will I, but Iím begining to think we were all a little too optomistic. Already there are power-greedy men in Europe and I can only hope nothing will come of it. Enoughgore.

 

Iímso glad youíre coming out here to Ohio for the holidays. So put away the tux and evening gown, and bring a sunbonnet and overalls!

 

Love, Tom

+++

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Nelson

Briarwood Estate

Olivia, Ohio

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Nelson,

 

I am writing to you about Harriman. Three times now heís been in a fight with some of his schoolmates. Each time he apologized and said it would never happen again. This is the final straw so I am informing you that if it happens again, he will be suspended.

 

I realize that boys will be boys, and that Harriman is small for his age but he seems to be the instigator of the fights, at least he starts the punches. Some of the other children stated that he had been teased about his size and his name but that is no excuse to come to blows.

 

In addition, Harriman has played several pranks, including putting castor oil in the principalís coffee and frogs insome of the desks, including mine. Heís also putlizards in Sally Annís hair! I also understand that he was not sick withand ear infection, but playing hooky and catching catfish in Simpsonís Stream!

 

I must ask you if he has also been sick with diphtheria and the flu-for I donít know if I should believe his notes. The signature is very very goodand you know how advanced he is in penmanship.

 

Heís very advanced in arithmetic and finds it boring. In fact he finds all school boring and daydreams a great deal. I suggest you have a firm talk with him before he turns into a juvenile delinquent!

 

Sincerely,

 

Mrs. Penrose

+++

Dear Mrs. Penrose

 

Rest assured that Harriman will no longer be a problem. We are removing him from your class and your school.

 

Why should he be punished by boredom and ridicule? If heís advanced and bored, he needs something to do! And if he defends himself against bullies, good for him!

 

As for his skipping school, Iím sure he wonít while heís a special student at a university! Of course heís bored! He was tested by Yale and scored as a college sophomore! In fact, Yale is vieing with Harvard for Harry as a full time student. We have not decided which yet, but as he has been given his elementary certificate, his highschool diploma,and he will not be seeing you again, unless youíll be one of his students!

 

Why on earth didnít anyone at your school notice his brains! As for his bullies, perhaps theyíre the ones that need a good talking to!

 

Tom and Sandra Nelson

+++

 

Cleopatra Hotel

Luxor, Egypt

 

Harriman Nelson

Midshipman 4th Class

United States Naval Academy

Annapolis, MD

USA

 

Dear Harry,

 

Well Harry, you have a little sister! Mom was with me on a dig nearby and without warning, pop, out the baby comes! So unlike you! We have to go to Cairo to the US embassy so the baby wonít be classified as an Eygyptian citizen! Maybe we should name her Cleo!ha ha.

 

Sure is nice to have one of our own planes handy! That was a good idea of yours and Iím thinking of installing a fully equiped bar! Oops, shouldnít say that to a sailor!

 

Howís it going son? You know how very proud we are of you. It really took guts on your part! Pestering the Navy and Congress so much that they finally let you in! Iím sure they were just nervous. After all ,Harry, you already have a few degrees and they could havejust sent you to Officer Candidate School. Insisting on going through the full four years of Annapolis as a regular middie, well , son, it probably wonít happen again in a million years.! But howare you going to fill in the spaces for classes youíve already taken? Probably spend the time practicing naval manuvers and experimenting in the labratories!

 

We know how much you wanted to get in on the action of the war son, but you were only 14 and they would have made you come home. But even if the war is over, you will still be of great service to your country.

 

Just remember to enjoy yourself with boys of your same age. I know it hasnít been easy for you having been so advanced. But now, youíre finally one of the thousands with no special treatment Iím positive!

 

Mother has your picture on the mantle and everyone comments how good you look in uniform. Are you absolutly sure youíre more interested in submarines than other ships? You always were a strange one, ever since you took that field trip to that fancy aquarium. But son, submarines donít have windows, except the little peephole periscopes that only the captain gets to look through!

 

Okay, you decide your own path, but whatever you decide, be assured weíre right behind you. Looking forward to hearing about how well you do on the track! And son, never let your short stature ever interfere with your determination.

 

Love, Dad

+++

Smythe & Sons

Wilbur Smythe, Attorney at Law

ttt

New York, New York t USA

 

 

Lt. Harriman Nelson

SSN Stinger

C/O US Navy Submarine Base

Norfolk, VA

 

 

CONCERNING MISS EDITH NELSON

 

Official custody of your sister has been approved without objection . She will be flying out to Norfolk as you requested and will be accompanied by one of the airline staff as she is only 10.

 

As per your instructions, Miss Edith Nelson has been registered in the Sunnyville Academy. Miss Halfdan has arranged to meet both of you for an informal orientation.

 

According to the Reverend Rumbone, Edithhas been handling the tragic deaths of your parents and all your other relatives from the automobile accident rather well,considering.

 

All papers and other documents have been sent to the local courthouse and both you and Miss Nelson are requested to appear for the reading of the will and other official matters.

 

Our sincerest condolences for your loss.

 

 

Wilbur Smythe

+++

 

Well, this is my last will and testament. I leave everything to Sandra. But,Should we both kick the bucket, we leave everything to our children, Harriman Nelson and Edith Nelson.

 

Thereís a lot of money and properties and I know my family will be well taken care of, but I want them to remember that while money isnít evil, if it becomes the driving force in life, it soon becomes so.

 

So, donít squander it. Use it wisely, help others like good old Edith Nelson of long ago.

 

Sandra,if you survive me,I want you to marry again, but only if youíre sure the guy you choose is not a gigolo.

 

Harry, I want you to look after your mother and sister, And go ahead with your plans for a private submarine when you have a chance. It doesnít matter what anybody thinks, just do what you think is best. I sure hope I wonít kick the bucket till after I see your fabulous dream in fact.

 

Edith, I hope I live well long enough to walk youdown the aisle and have grandchildren, for I doubt if Harry will ever take the time to become a family man, heís so enamored of science instead of women-at least that what he says.

 

Well, Iím off to get this notarized and hope it never has to get read-not for a very very long time.

 

 

My love to you all.

 

Dad

Aka Thomas Nelson

 

+++

 

 

Dear Harry,

How do you like this fancy writing? Iím supposed to practice, so weíll both just have to put up with it. Yuk! So Prissy!

Iím so glad youíre getting assigned to San Diego again! I can hardly wait! And I donít want any of your bossiness about what I wear to the beach either! Iíll remind you Harry dear, that Iíll be 12 next Tuesday and in the middle ages they got married at that age-so donít fuss if I wear a bikini!

 

Iím really bored with Sunnyville! Canít I change schools? Especially now that weíll be on the other coast!

 

Also, I think Iím old enough now to handle some of the family funds! There are alot of projects Iíd really like to get started on and you know my bookkeeping is outstanding! What I donít like is everybody telling me I should just go off to the Rivera and tell people what to do! Itís not easy being an heiress, believe me, even if I donít see much of the money! A lot of people only like me for the thought of all those millions in the bank. I only have a few real friends, but weíll be friends forever.

Well, this fancy writing hurts, Can hardly wait to move!

Love,

Edith

 

+++

 

 

Well,back to the present.Except, just look at these last peices! Just found them!

 

††††††††††† Also,Harry dear, I just had to includeone of my early letters! I was a litle difficult wasnít I. But big brother, so wereyou! So protective!

 

††††††††††† Speakig of protective, look at those ancient posters! I found them just as I was getting ready to send you all these copies. They were in an old metal box that was rusting away and it was only dutythat made me open it before I threw it out.

 

Looks like Harriman of old was real after all! Maybe he had friends in Sherwood Forest? Just kidding. But still, what a find. As for the box, Iím sending it to the historical society too. Who knows what else may lurk in a secret compartment or some such thing.

 

Iíve always wondered where your name came from! Well, luv, I have to go. Enjoy looking through a fewpeices of family history. I wonderwhat else might be hidden away all cobweby and forgotten.

 

Say hi to Lee and give his lady fair a pat on the bulkhead for me.

 

Love,

 

Edith

 

+++++

 

REWARD

†††† 20 Gold pieces for the capture alive or 10 gold pieces for the body of the bandit known hereabouts as HairyMan.

††††† This criminal has stolen from several lords of the realm, including the king. He is easily recognised by his futile attempts at disguise by plastering dogís hair on his already hairy face, hands and body, an known indication of madness.

 

††††† He is in fact, Nellís son, and she whill be held at Nottingham Castle until the matter is resoled one way or another.Her tavern is closed.

 

††††† HairyMan is known to be involved with other bandits in defiance of the tax laws and has been seen aiding those in the stocks to escape. Anyone caught trying to evade the Kingís law will be punished.

 

††††† By order of John, King of England

+++

 

 

REWARD

 

5O Gold Pieces for the capture alive or dead of Hairyman, Nellís son. This bandit and his friends stormed Nottingham Castle and released all prisoners held there, including Nell, hostage by command of King John.

 

Anyone caught or believed to have aided these brigands will have their tongues torn out and taken to Gallows Hill where they wonít be able to aid any criminal again.

 

20 gold Pieces for the capture of Nell herself, unharmed and unmolested.

 

by order of John, King of England

 

+++

REWARD

100 GOLD PIECES

 

for the capture, alive or dead, of Hairyman. This brigand has again rescued prisoners of the King, stolen the Kingís horses, his jewels, his revenues, and defiled a statue of the king by removing it from its pedestal and dumping it into the Nottingham Castle cesspit!

 

It is also known that this brigand has publicly defiled the king and called for all Englishmen to do the same!

 

He has also caused public rioting in other parts of England and is believed to have gone to Scotland for an alliance against England.

He not only is a criminal, he is also dense in the head, for he claims King Richard is alive. Harriman is a very great threat to all.

 

As for his mother, Nell, she has been apprehended and awaits hanging for placing her loyalty to her son instead of to the king. She could have had jewels and the comfort of a lady under the kingís protection, but she is dense in the head as well, and a definite danger to others.

 

Anyone thought to have helped Hairyman, Nellís son, or his fellow brigands, will be immediately executed.

 

By order of John, King of England

 

 

Declaration

 

The Crown declares a day of mourning for Hairyman. It has come to the crownís knowledge that Nellís son acted in the best interest of his fellow Englishmen.

 

Not only did he rescue several hundred villagers from the great fire in the village, he also rescued those trapped in Nottingham Castle. Whilst rumor claims he himself set the fires to release prisoners in the castleís dungeon, the crown believes he did not. In a further act of simple compassion, he rescued Prince John from the inferno, and died shortly after.

 

The crown wishes to pardon Hairyman, Nellís son of any wrongdoing against the crown in recognition of his valor, and grants to Nell the best acreage of the dell, 200 gold pieces, and the wardship of the crown for her grandson.

 

The crown also pardons Nell for her disloyalty to the crown as a motherís loyalty is always first to her children.

 

 

All others arrested and made prisoners for following Hairyman are also given a general pardon in the spirit of compassion by their king.

 

by order of Richard, King of England