‘Papa? Will you marry again?’

285px-overtureEphraim hesitated. He was aware that he was a focus of female speculation. Yes, the time was ripe. But though he had met some fine, educated women in Cincinnati, none had spoken to his heart. And he had wondered how his daughter would feel.

‘I was wondering — you don’t mind my saying?’ Sadie continued after a nod of his head encouraged her, ‘I was thinking you could make Miss Pettifer happy.’

‘Out of the question,’ Ephraim said abruptly. Good heavens, what a thought. The woman was nearly forty. He had felt his daughter flinch at the vehemence of his denial, so he pretended to consider. ‘I have never thought of her that way.’

It is 1870 and Ephraim himself is forty-one. In Chapter 23, Sadie, he is enjoying an established family, community and professional life. But daughter Sarah — who insists on calling herself Sadie, her new American name — reveals she has a will equal to his own. 

‘You are all grown up!’

1578Suddenly among the faces and figures of passengers descending from the train, Ephraim pushed through the crowd to embrace his daughter, thrilled at how she had grown into full and beautiful womanhood. His Sarah was small and gracefully built, her hair swept up in a mop of curls framing her forehead, long locks at the nape. A frivolous hat perched atop her coiffure to match her full-skirted maroon travelling costume.

‘Papa! You look just the same,’ she pulled back to take in his top hat, waistcoat, trim dark beard. ‘Not like a cowboy at all!’

 

 

At last Ephraim and his only child reunite. At last he can have a family life, a thriving medical practice, a home in a bustling, civilised city. As Chapter 22, Home Sweet Home, continues… will Sarah prove the doting docile daughter he imagines? Or will she take after her difficult, stubborn mother?

Home, Sweet Home

Illustrated_Cincinnati1875Kenny-51-e1449778349610Once again, Ephraim arrived in a new city to start a new life and this time it was an easy, comfortable beginning. Cincinnati, the lively, pleasant city along the banks of the Ohio River, greeted him with open arms, starting with a big bear hug from Uncle Jacob. ‘Look around, look around! They call this city the Queen of the West. What do you think?’

 

Out of the dubious, raw wild west of Kansas, lured by his will o’ the wisp Uncle, Ephraim finds sophisticated life in Cincinnati, a city already a hundred years old. In Home Sweet Home, Chapter 22, he opens a medical practice, attends clinics at the University hospital… all he lacks is his daughter. And perhaps a wife?

A terrible mistake

Cartel-de-Se-busca-de-los-Hermanos-Dalton-legendsofamerica_com_Finally, the awful truth was that along with the earnest and civic-minded the gateway to the West drew hustlers, con men, failures, cheats and criminals. Living near the center of Leavenworth Dr Epstein was called out to saloons where drink and cards routinely led to fights. A different class of patients began to turn up needing treatment for gun wounds, knife slashes, bloodied faces. They were the dregs of society, worse than any he had encountered in the navy, Turkish ghettoes or New York slums.

It’s Kansas 1868, in Chapter 21, America Regained, but not the Kansas Ephraim hoped for. How can he possibly let his 19-year-old Belarusian daughter join him here?

America Regained

Spirit of the West gast-pgEphraim unpacked his crates of medical texts, literature and books of faith, and commissioned a signboard. What finer place to be than Leavenworth, Kansas, the gateway to the West! As promised, there was certainly need for physicians here. He soon met the very best people of the city. Attorneys, bankers, manufacturers and merchants were among these civic-minded citizens, aspiring, sincere, self-made men. He shared their belief in American as the land of opportunity, and caught their enthusiasm for America’s duty to civilize this great continent — its manifest destiny.

Freed by his dear mother’s death to return to America and Christianity, Ephraim leaves behind Europe and his daughter for the second time. Full of optimism, in Chapter 21, America Regained, 1867-69, he sets up medical practice in a booming western town. But before long he encounters the darker side of the great American dream.

Book Giveaway Day

Today, 20 July 2016, is the 150th anniversary of the famous Battle of Lissa.

45155_ObvYou’ve lived through the Battle of Lissa over the last seven posts. Now answer the quiz question below for a chance to win a signed copy of the book about the ship’s surgeon who was there.

First correct answer to reach the author via this blogsite will win a copy of The Extraordinary Dr Epstein. One to USA, one to UK. Send the answer via Reply on About the Author page HERE . Offer ends 30 July 2016. Author will contact the two winners by email; no further use will be made of your entry or email/wordpress contact given. And the question is…

Lissa was its name in 1866 when it was Austrian, what is it called now, and in what country is it now?

On the florin above is Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. He awarded Dr Ephraim Epstein 600 florins for his poem describing the Battle of Lissa. Go here for a non-fiction page on the famous battle. Ephraim’s next 40 years are full of travels and changes… next he’s sailing the Dalmatian coast. If you don’t win or can’t wait, the novel of his true life is available on Amazon, in print to order from bookstores and through all the usual e-book channels.  

 

Book Giveaway Countdown1

COUNTDOWN DAY 1 to the 150th anniversary of the famous Battle of Lissa, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book about the ship’s surgeon who was there.

Ephraim M Epstein, 1829 - 1913

Ephraim M Epstein, 1829 – 1913

It was a magnificent battle, valiantly fought and won in two hours. Italian casualties ran to hundreds. Austria had only thirty-eight lost, 138 hurt. Like other naval Surgeons, Dr Ephraim Epstein combined all three branches of medicine. He was physician, diagnosing and prescribing; he was apothecary, preparing and dispensing medicine; and he was surgeon, performing operations. As he worked, Ephraim learned more about the triumph: how proud the men were of their Admiral, how he had drilled them in manoeuvers, in gunnery, how he planned the ramming. Most of all he showed he loved his men, he  believed in them. Late at night, exhausted and exhilarated by all he had witnessed, Ephraim began to compose  a description of the extraordinary day.

For a chance to win a copy of The Extraordinary Dr Epstein, answer the quiz question on Wednesday 20 July 2016.

Posts over the last week are excerpts from The Extraordinary Dr Epstein, Chapter 20, Battle. Ephraim’s epic poem about the battle won him an award from Emperor Franz Joseph. Author great granddaughter still seeks that poem! Go HERE for a non-fiction page on the famous Battle of Lissa, why it was fought, what else it is famous for and what happened next. As for Dr Epstein, his 600 florin award and many more adventures lie ahead, including true love and America’s wild West.

Book Giveaway Countdown2

COUNTDOWN DAY 2 to the 150th anniversary of the famous Battle of Lissa, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book about the ship’s surgeon who was there.

Nearby the enemy flagship Re d’Italia had stopped in the water. Tegetthoff charged full speed ahead, and with an almighty crunch the Ferdinand Max hit her amidships. Her iron sides

lissa10gave way, her tall masts toppled, she sank in a whirlpool of spars, ropes, canvas, metal, blood and men. Before the loss was fully registered a massive burst of flame and roar of explosion overwhelmed all other noise of battle — the Italian ironclad Palestro had blown up. Austria claimed its victory, sailing into the harbour of Lissa.

For a chance to win a copy of The Extraordinary Dr Epstein, answer the quiz question on Wednesday 20 July 2016.

Excerpt from Chapter 20, Battle. Ephraim’s epic poem about the battle won him an award from Emperor Franz Joseph. Author great granddaughter still seeks that poem! Go HERE for a non-fiction page on the famouse Battle of Lissa, why it was fought, what else it is famous for and what happened next.