Day 891: Girl Waits with Gun

Cover to Girl Waits with GunConstance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp are driving their carriage into Paterson, New Jersey, one day when they are broadsided by an automobile driven by a wealthy man accompanied by a bunch of thugs. The men try to drive away but are stopped by the townspeople. The man turns out to be Henry Kaufman of Kaufman Silk Dying Company.

When Constance tries to collect $50 from him for repairs to their buggy, she and her family find themselves the victims of harassment. They receive threatening letters, bricks are thrown through the windows of their farmhouse at night, and men invade their property. Constance’s trip to the police gets no help from the prosecutor’s office, but Sheriff Heath teaches Constance and Norma how to shoot and sends deputies out to patrol the house.

The threats don’t stop, though. Instead, the attacks escalate and the women receive kidnapping threats against Fleurette, who is only 16.

In the meantime, Constance has met Lucy, a young dyer, who says she had a child by Kaufman. She said she sent the baby away with other children during a recent strike, and he is the only one who didn’t come back. She is sure Kaufman kidnapped him.

This novel is fun, exciting, and well written, with interesting characters, placed during a period when there was a lot of labor unrest in the Northeast. Constance is an engaging heroine. Although the plot involving Lucy is made up, the rest is based on a true case of the time, taken from newspaper articles from 1914. This novel makes truly enjoyable reading.

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4 thoughts on “Day 891: Girl Waits with Gun

  1. Carolyn O April 28, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    I’ve had this book on the shelf for awhile, and I want to read it, but I’m worried about the child endangerment bit . . .

    • whatmeread April 28, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      I think you don’t have to worry about it. I won’t say more.

  2. Naomi April 28, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    This sounds like fun, and I think the best part is that it’s based on a true story! I hope to read this one sometime.

    • whatmeread April 29, 2016 / 7:26 am

      Yes, I didn’t know that until the very end, so it was a pleasant surprise. I don’t remember reading that in other reviews, but I didn’t think I was giving away a plot point, because it was mentioned in the Afterword.

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