Chapter Ten

Marc Kronzburg pushed the overlapping canvas flaps out of the way as he made his way into the Thuringen Gardens outside patio. Or formerly outside patio. The original patio had been outside. Now, a massive roof was supported by four thick stone walls that contained six oversized coal-fired fireplaces, which allowed it to be used during the harshest of winters. None of this had done anything to change the original name.

Spotting Irv Sonderman at his usual table near the outside bar, Marc made his way over to his quarry. "Happy Holidays, Irv! Got a minute?"

The manager of Thuringen Gardens gestured to a chair and continuing to deal with the lunch paperwork, replied, "Sure thing, Marc. "Edith! Would ya get Marc here a beer? Thanks."

Irv Sonderman had been a long haul truck driver before the Ring of Fire. Then, during the celebrations that initiated Thuringen Gardens, he found himself in the right place at the right time with a pocket full of cash and a tractor full of beer. Of the eleven founders, only Willie Ray Hudson, Irv, and a couple of others still were involved in the business.

Turning back to Marc as he set down his pencil, Irv crossed his forearms on the table, "So, what's the word, Marc? We gonna be able to do business or what?"

"Of course, we'll be doing business, Irv! I told you that." Marc beamed, "The Voice of America would be proud to have Live from the Thuringen Gardens on our air following The Ole Timey Radio Hour. It's just technicalities have to be worked out."

"Like money," Irv commented flatly. "I told you, Marc. You ain't getting into my till."

"But you've got to see our point, Irv. So far, our deal with the Pentecostals is close to doubling our revenue from that hour from the overage alone. I've already raised the rate on the spots that run during the show and I've still got a waiting list."

Marc held up his hands and shrugged his shoulders. "When I talked it over with Mr. Grover, he agreed. We only gave them that small of a percentage deal because they were a religious organization. We can't offer the same deal to you. If you want on, we need to make sure we get a comparable deal factoring in the commercial benefits to the Gardens."

Irv scowled and took another sip of his beer. "I don't see how it's worth it to the Gardens. We're already the biggest bar in town. Everyone already comes here. I just don't need the show all that much."

"True, but Tip has also been asking about the time and with the big hall he's built so close to the Deborah trolley stop, he's been pulling in more and more customers from Saalfeld and the workers from the river industrial park."

"Bah! Tip's is a Swedish hang out. They might as well paint the place yellow." A waitress came over and handed Irv a ticket. Irv stood up, craned his neck to look at the patron who was asking for the tab, and scribbled his okay on the paper.

This gave Mark the opportunity to change the subject. "Maybe not, Irv. Listen, why don't we deal with this after New Year's? Maybe we can work something out then.

"By the way . . . " Marc reached into his bag and pulled out the book he had borrowed from Irv last summer. "Here's that baseball book you loaned me. Great stuff.

"You were right, Irv. The statistics in baseball are unlike anything I've seen before. I did see one statistic you had circled that confused me a little though. Why did you circle the 226 sacrifice hits record?

"Oh, you mean the Yankee team record." Irv beamed. "That's the sole remaining record from a player that my granddad loved. Wally Pipp. He was traded from the Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds late in his career. He had been a great hitter, led the American League twice in home runs and was one of the original members of the Yankees infamous Murderers Row with 996 runs batted in for his career."

"Granddad got a shot in the Cincinnati organization as a first baseman while Pipp was there. He always said that Wally Pipp was a great guy, helped him to learn more about being a first baseman than anyone Granddad ever played with. Too bad about his timing though." Irv's face showed momentary distraction. Then he glared right at Marc.

"I get it. Wally Pipp, the most consistent Yankee infielder during the previous nine seasons was pulled from the starting lineup for a young guy that Pipp had scouted out of Columbia. That was Lou Gehrig, and Wally never got back into the starting rotation again.

"What you're telling me is we can always be replaced." Irv leaned back in his chair and thought a moment. "Okay. What if we guarantee to match your revenue from the church show plus five percent?"

Marc smiled as he exhaled. That approach had been tricky, but getting to know Irv so well, he had figured that Irv would see the point himself. "I'm sure we can talk Mr. Grover into something like that. We are talking about the base amount plus estimated expenses for the remote broadcasts up front, aren't we?"

****

When the service ended, Constanzia picked up her overcoat and muff and shuffled down the side aisle to the exit. She couldn't help noticing how much different this church was from the elaborate gothic churches she had attended in Augsburg. Its construction was sturdy, straightforward and simple; exposed beams supporting the roof above, half timbered, plastered exterior walls, and plain glass windows about every six feet along the sidewalls. She noted the progress being made on the installation of balconies along both sides of the sanctuary with staircases connecting them to the entrance area referred to as a narthex. Behind the altar and choir loft, she knew that Reverend Chalker had an office and a small apartment.

Constanzia preferred to attend the early service here. The church had grown so much this year that it provided three morning services and two afternoon services each Sunday. Since this was the Catholic and up-timers' Christmas service, they were all packed in. Even with having to slip through the crowd, though, she could make the second Lutheran service and not upset her uncle and her elder half-brother, Johann Martin Sulzer, who always kept their eyes on her religious education.

With the news this week that her father would be visiting for business reasons during the upcoming Protestant Christmas season, she didn't want any premature word about her personal life in Grantville. She could break that news herself, if it needed to be revealed.

As her cousin Catharina tried to explain to her, the Pentecostals were basically like Lutherans. They believe that people became true Christians by faith—then it got interesting. Unlike most Christians of the era, they were not cessionists. They believe that miracles, healings, and prophecy still happened just like in the Book of Acts. In particular, they thought that after a person became a true Christian, the Holy Spirit would come on them and they would speak with other tongues just like the apostles. Reverend Chalker was even more flexible. He believed that if someone kept coming to the church, the Lord was speaking to him or her, which was good enough because that conversation may take some time.

While there were frequent outbursts of speaking in tongues during the services, for reasons of his own, Fischer kept his dramatic and highly emotional exhibitions limited to his evening services. From what Constanzia understood, those had become filled with an amazing emotional power. There had even been cases of apparent healings. Reverend Fischer just seemed to dominate whatever stage he was on. With that rugged complexion and short-cut, thick, black hair that draped over his forehead, he just looked the part of a leader.

When asked about Fischer's different way of handling services, Reverend Chalker reasoned, "No reason scaring off the little babies in the faith by showing them the adults only version."

During the service, Fischer had introduced the new elders to the congregation. Now, as Constanzia had finally reached the narthex, she approached the reception line of the new elders and their wives. First, there was Georg Heinrich Vitzthum von Eichstedt. Herr Vitzthum von Eichstedt was a widower who lived in Rudolstadt. He actually traveled to Grantville every weekend to attend the services ever since Enrico Abona, the director of Kelly Construction, first invited him. Hermann Neuhoff and his wife Catherine were so busy in a conversation, she moved past them to Johann Friedrich and his wife, Maria. Johann tended to the foot care outreach program ever since he joined the church family.

Finally, was Enrico Abona himself and his wife, Leanna Villarreal. She had joined the church by what Brother Chalker called "the old fashioned way." She married into it. Next to them was Balthazar Schenk, one of the count's minor officials at Schwarzburg castle, who was going out with one of Leanna's friends. Constanzia couldn't remember the girl's name, but Schenk's father had worked for von Eichstedt's father.

As Constanzia finished exchanging pleasantries with Leanna, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning, she was surprised to see Hans and Maria Kurger. It had also been announced at the service that Hans had heard the call to the ministry and was to become the newest Pentecostal minister, beginning studies this week.

Maria, who was tightly gripping her husband's arm, smiled as she greeted Constanzia. "Fraulein Garb, I'm so glad to see you coming back to our services. If you're not careful, Hans and I will have you teaching Sunday School classes before you know it!"

Constanzia laughed. "As long as it doesn't involve teaching Latin, it might be appealing to me. These up-timers just don't have a good, basic, classical education at all."

Along with most down-timers, Constanzia was amazed that with all the advanced knowledge they brought back with them from the future, knowledge of the classical fundamentals was not common among up-timers. Hans and Maria smiled and nodded their emphatic agreement.

Maria continued, "Constanzia, did you hear that Ingrid Nemeth's son Terrell has been detailed by the army into something called 'T&T Training'? Ingrid's not sure what that is, but she's asking us to pray for a quick end to this war so whatever it is, Terrell won't be in jeopardy doing it.

"Now, may we invite you to have lunch with us?"

Chapter Eleven

January 7 (Christmas Day, Julian), 1634, Erfurt, USE

Snow flew into the old smokehouse as he entered. Colonel David Leslie stomped the slush off his boots, leaned his SRG rifle against the wall, and closed the door behind him. He pulled his cape off, shook it and hung on the peg beside the doorway, then lit the candle stub he had left on the table this morning. He fiddled with his new iron campstove until a somewhat out of place, cheery flame took hold of the kindling.

Flopping down on his cot, Leslie pulled off his boots, examining them for daily wear and tear. "Ah, there you go, my laddy! I knew that you'd finally opened up that wee little hole. It's to the cobbler you'll be going in the morning."

At least the horses were well fed, better than any winter since he joined his uncle, Lieutenant General Alexander Leslie, on this continental adventure back in 1630. Well, not his uncle precisely. More like his father's bastard cousin who had done the family proud. The feeding certainly boded well for this season's foals. With so many mares bearing this season, his cavalry should have no problem with adequate mounts if the war continued another five years, another small miracle thanks to the Americans and their gadgetry.

Thinking about the American up-timers and all the stories they told still gave Leslie headaches. His other destiny would have been to command all Scottish forces to historic victories, only to go to defeat at the hands of an English Puritan. Then, to be knighted by the restored monarchy and be given lands and pensions, taking honor to his grave. Well for sure, with what he'd learned now of future cavalry tactics, no New Model Army of Englishmen would see the day they would crush his forces, by God.

Leslie's professional Holy Trinity these days was Stuart, Forrest, and Sheridan. Aye, those were cavalrymen's cavalrymen! First with the most, indeed! From what he had been able to gather from all those fine books, only Wilson in his massed cavalry raid through Alabama had led a mounted force as well trained as the one he was readying for the spring campaign. So many good Scottish names in that horrid blue and grey war of those up-timers.

But Leslie was engaged in his own horrid war, this one with more divisions making less sense. When he first enlisted, it all seemed so clear. Protect the Reformation against the Papist. Then he found that his men's pay was coin from the purse of Cardinal Richelieu. Now, he commanded units combining Catholic and Protestant soldiers. Nothing made sense.

Uncle Alexander had told him, "Nephew, we cannot bother ourselves with what might have happened or could have happened. We can only be true to our duty as we see it on this day.

"It's fidelity we pledged to Gustavus Adolphus and as long as he continues to show himself a leader worth following, it's fidelity we'll be giving. If he believes in these Americans, we will continue to call them allies ourselves."

We're really sorry, but this is only available to up-to-date paid subscribers.

Perhaps you just need to log in.  If you're already logged in, please check if your subscription has expired by looking here.

If you're not already a subscriber you need to know that our columns and editorials are free, along with a few other items, but almost all stories and all downloads are paid only.

If you want to read the entire gazette, you need to either subscribe here, or purchase a download of any single issue at the Baen Books e-book store  or at Amazon.com.

- The Grantville Gazette Staff