Monday, February 18, 2013

A Story Forms: Point-to-Point or Dot-to-Dot

Being somewhat at loose ends for a post this week, I turned to the Historic Colorado Newspapers online to see what was up with Leadville in February 1880. Here's what the Colorado Miner (Georgetown, Colorado) had for Saturday, February 21, 1880, in a little column titled "Colorado. Points Pertaining to People and Places":
  • Leadville reports for one week arrivals by the various stage lines at 832, and the departures at 501.
  • D.W. Fuller, a Boston capitalist, fell from a bucket as he was ascending from a mine at Leadville, and was instantly killed.
  • The State Bank of Colorado filed articles of incorporation yesterday.  The bank will do a general banking business in Leadville. The capital stock is $100,000 divided 1,000 shares at $100 each.
  • At a ball of the Union Veterans Association in Leadville, a vote was taken to decide who was the handsomest lady in the room. The decision was rendered in favor of Mrs. Judge W.R. Kennedy, formerly Miss Lou. De La Mar, of this city.
  • A man named W.E. McIvor was found dead in his bed in a cabin near Leadville, with his face badly torn and eaten by mountain rats. It was thought he was from Georgetown, but this is probably a mistake.
  • An installment of 32 bunko-steerers, among whom were several noted highwaymen, reached Leadville on Monday last. Another hanging bee would be in order and do good.
Fairest of them all? - At the Ball, by Berthe Morisot
While typing these random bits into the post, I felt a story forming... completely fictional, of course. This is how it unwound in my mind:

 What if the Boston capitalist's fatal plunge down the shaft was not an accident? Maybe he came to Leadville because of the incorporation of the State Bank. Maybe he goes to the Union Veterans ball, and recognizes the judge's wife when she is named "fairest of them all." Maybe there is something dark in her past, something her husband knows nothing about, but the Boston capitalist does. He uses that knowledge for a little leverage. (Question to self: Leverage for what? Something to do with the bank incorporation, perhaps? Or something completely different, perhaps to do with the mine?)

Maybe the judge's wife, who is not the "shrinking violet" she appears to be, hires one of the "noted highwaymen" to neutralize said capitalist, so her secret remains hidden.

But what about McIvor, dead in the cabin? And, is it really McIvor or could it be someone else? In which case, where is McIvor? And are mountain rats really to blame for the lack of an identifiable face on the corpse?

I do believe there's a story here, built out of imaginary connections, from dot-to-dot until the picture is clear. Perhaps morning (and some caffiene!) will provide further insight.

A title would be nice as well!


Dani said...

Hahaha - now that's using your prompts! Sounds good so far!

Ann Parker said...

Thanks, Dani! Now I just need to figure out who McIver is in all this. ;-) What do you think for a title? Fairest of Them All? Maybe I need to write the story first, eh?

Ann Parker said...

I meant McIvor, not McIver. Eeesh. Of course, all the names would be changed for fiction!

Renaissance Women said...

McIvor, was the detective sent ahead by the Boston man and the real McIvor is a relative of the 'shrinking violet'.At least that is where my imagination goes. I just love those pieces that show up in the papers.

Doris Eraldi said...

I love reading the old newspapers and letting the news items stir up my imagination! You definitely have a story in these - can't wait to read it someday!

Ann Parker said...

Wow, Doris, I think you've got it! Thank you! Now, to pull it all together... :-)
Maybe the title should be "Shrinking Violet" ... Hmmm.

Ann Parker said...

Hello Doris E! Long time, no see! I hope you are still writing? Yep, aren't old newspapers great? :-D Lots of ideas and possibilities, just waiting to be mined for fiction. :-)