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One Often Meets Friends in Unexpected Places
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Henderson Feathers Photos
Storms of June 1st – 3rd turn area topsy-turvy
One Often Meets Friends in Unexpected Places
The ants go marching one by one?  No way!
The ants go marching one by one? No way!
by Jeff Steinborn, May 22
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my mom diane frauendienst wants to know if this is a true story

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Everything you read on the "Chatter" is the absolute truth. Is Emily Rose any relation to Mary On?

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Episode #4...continued: Early morning at Doc's Rush River Camp. "Hey, Doc, you up yet?" Long pause: "I am now, is that you, Fritz?" Fritz Kelm, a young neighbor boy of Doc's was outside. After some huffing and puffing Duclos appears, a wash towel slung over his shoulder. "I was here last night but you must have been sleeping...so I threw a blanket over Betsy. It got kinda cold last night." Doc made his way down to the river bank and washed up in the cold, flowing water. When he came back up young Fritz was no where in sight but he noticed smoke rising out of the chimney. Inside Fritz said: "Cold in here, thought I'd take the chill off and, oh, my Ma sent over some doughnuts." "Shouldn't you be in school?" Doc said, munching on a sugar doughnut.
"Nope, it's Saturday. You forget?" "The days of the week run together," Doc said, adding: "You ever been very far up Rush River, Fritz?" "Sure we hike up there a lot; me and the Johnson brothers, you know, Swede, Bubber. Their dad's the barber." "Well, you know that old shack, about half hour or so on foot?" "Yah...but nobody lives there. Empty and almost falling down." Doc looked at the young boy and said, "Not now...there's a guy living there, has a young daughter about your age, how old are you, 10?" "I'm 11, actually 11-1/2...but there ain't no young girl living up that way." "You're wrong, Fritz, and if it's okay with your parents I going up that way if you want to join me." Fritz was out the door so fast he almost took the screen with him. In a half hour he was back. "Paw says it's okay with him...when are we leaving?" Duclos and the young boy decided to travel on foot and left old Betsy at the Camp for a much needed day of rest. Late that morning they were on their way, again following the north bank of the Rush. They traveled slowly, partly because the trail was rough and Duclos was not as agile as his young traveling companion. Around a sharp bend heading north Fritz shouted: "There Devil's Jump-off, ain't it a sight? Wonder why they call it that?" "Optomism, hoping to get rid of the Devil, maybe. Some call it the End of the World, but I agree with you, Fritz, it's a pretty sight. If I'm right, the shack's around the next bend." "Yup, can't be more then a mile...on the same side of the river...but I'll bet no one's home. Wanna bet, Doc?" "Save your money, Fritz, you'll need it." Right on schedule the old shack came into view...and it looked deserted. Doc and Fritz went to the front door and banged loadly with no response. Around the back they found a small window and Doc cupped his hands and said, "Let me hoist you up, Fritz, and you can look inside." As Fritz peered in the dusty window a voice behind said, "Looking for something?" Startled, Doc almost dropped the boy as he spun around. End of Episode #4...continued:

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this is a great story Don, can't wait for the next episode =)

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Don....Keep the stories coming. They are wonderful. My grandpa Shorty used to tell me stories about Doc Duclos back in the day when he used to live at the Hell farm just above Doc's river camp. Very interesting stuff and it brings back memories of stories told to me in my younger years.

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Is this the shack that Thomas and Graham speak of? Is is still there?

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My favorite part of Tex Teig's story was how the old lady in the cabin at the End of the World (Devil's Jumpoff) would scour her cast iron pans with the ashes from her campfire while humming a tune.

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Episode #4...continued: The tall bearded man glared at Doc and the boy. Doc dusted himself off and spoke: "I came back to find out about the girl...Rose...How is she?" "There's no girl here, you're mistaken." "I think not," Duclos responded, "I was here this summer. You came to my river camp and..." The man broke him off: "There's no one here but me; never has been. I live here alone. You are mistaken." Duclos eyed the man sternly and spoke: "Listen to me. I'm a doctor. I suspect your daughter...the girl...might have had an infectious disease. For all I know she could have died. I'm duty bound to report this to the county health department. So tell me what you know." The man turned to walk away then stopped abruptly: "And I tell you, doctor, nobody is here and never was. Now please leave." Duclos spoke softly: "Sir, your name? I must report this to the authorities. If you don't want the sheriff out here for a visit...well, you can make things easy by just teling me your name. Then I'll be off." The man removed his hat, wiped his forehead with his shirtsleeve and said quietly, "Heidleberg...August," and fell silent. "Thank you, Mr. Heidleberg...August. I hope all is well with you and now we bid you good day." Duclos and the boy turned and started there trip back to the River Camp. After some moments young Fritz spoke: "Wow, Doc, what do think? Is he lyin'?" "Oh, he is, boy, I just don't know why. But I aim to find out. He's holding something back." "Did you notice the strange look in his eyes, Doc? Like they were blank or something?" Fritz offered. "Yup. He's a different one, for sure. But we've only got an hour or so before dark, Fritz, and your folks will be looking for us, so let's move out."
Back at Camp, Doc hitched Betsy to the carriage and told Fritz to hop in. "I'm going to town and I'll drop you at your house on the way." The Kelm farm was a mile north of Doc's camp, near the small lake that had come to be known as Kelm's Cut-Off, a small oxbow formed by a long forgotten and left behind bend in the Minnesota River. The Kelm's were good neighbors. On the way to the Kelm farmstead Duclos said, "Boy, I've been thinking, I don't think there's really anything so unusual about Mr. Heideleberg. He's a recent immigrant, I think, and he's just a little confused. That happens to people. Best we just forget about it. It'll all smooth over, you'll see." Doc chatted with the Kelms briefly: "Fine young man you have here," he told them. And in a few minutes he flicked the reins and urged Betsy on toward town. But the physician had not put the incident out of his mind. He just didn't want young Fritz to be troubled by the events of the day. The next steps were beginning to take shape in Doc's mind. He needed to have a talk with Win Working. "Win's got a nose for searching out facts," he said to himself. End of Episode #4. Next: A meeting with Win Working. To be continued...

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Episode #5: Monday, November 10, 1920. Doctor Joseph A. Duclos, is in his office early. Duclos is a short, stocky man--perhaps 5'7", with a goatee and mustache. His medical diploma on the wall from Laval University in Montreal, Canada, says he graduated in 1895, practiced briefly in Montreal, moved to Shell Lake, Wisconsin, and then to Henderson. In 1920 he is perhaps 50 years of age, mentally sharp and uptodate with medical techniques. This Monday he is busy with a steady flow of patients until well into the afternoon. The other town physician, Felix Traxler, had just returned from service in World War I and is re-establishing his Henderson practice. Late in the afternoon he steps outside and across the street the Johnson boys, Carl and Earl, were playing in a vacant lot next door. Doc approached them: "Earl, I'll bet you a nickel you can't name the capitol of New York?" Earl held out his hand, "Pay me, Doc, it's Albany. We just learned the state capitols in Miss Foltz's class." "Okay, Carl, the capitol of South Dakota?" "That'd be Huron, Doc, pay me." "Gladly," Duclos replied. He played these games with the kids and carried a pocket of change just for that purpose. "Now, can you do me a favor? Would you run up to the Independent office and tell Win Working I'd like to see him when he's done working?" With that the boys were off running. Back in his office Duclos pulled an medical book from the shelf, went to the index and ran his finger down to "Para-normal." Duclos was acquainted with para-normal phenomena from his studies at Luval. Incidendents that appear to transcend normal, rational expectations. What happened that night last summer up on Rush River, was it a para-normal phenomenon? Duclos was above all else a rational, logical man and always searched first for scientific explanations to events. Somehow the pieces to the events that night didn't fit neatly together. He read deeply into the chapter in his medical book, losing track of time, when he looked up and saw the smiling Win Working in the doorway. "In deep thought, Doc? The Johnson boys told me you wanted to see me." Win Working was Henderson-born, graduated from the local school in 1903. In the trivia department, he played on the first football team in Henderson school history in 1901. Early on, Win demonstrated a flair for writing and caught the eye of Gus Buck, owner of the Independent. Off and on for the past fifteen years Working worked at the Independent. In between he wrote free-lance for other papers in the state, including the large Minneapolis newspapers. If Working had a flaw, folks said, it was that he sometimes...hmmmmmmm...stretched the facts to fit his conclusions? That aside, Win was an energetic reporter and a good writer. "So, Doc, what did you want to see me about?" For the next hour or more, Duclos filled Working in on the mysterious caller to his Camp last summer, his trip to the shack up beyond Devil's Jump-Off, and the strange happenings up there. Working listened without saying a word, paying close attention to Duclos' account. Finally, he arose, stretched and said, "So you think it might have been some para-normal experience? I don't put much stock in that stuff. Malarky, I say." "I hear you, Win. But what I'd like you to do is see if this guy...Heidleberg, he calls himself...see if he's left any trail around here. If he's living up there legally the county must know about it, about him, maybe where he came from. You know, I don't have to tell you how to do investigative reporting. You're a newspaper snoop, Win." "Now, Doc, that's not a nice thing to say about a friend. But, for you, I'll look into it. Doubt it will lead anywhere but...who knows...maybe there's a story here. The big city papers go for this kind of weird stuff. But I gotta run, Doc, there's a poker game out a Roy's place tonight...and he's got some of that High Island 'white lightning,' good stuff. Damn this prohibition puts a crimp in a man's style. I'll get back to you, Doc." With that Working was out the door. End of Episode #5. Next: The boys plan a trip up to the Devil's Jump-Off shack. continued...

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This is good stuff. I thought Putter Miller was going to ride in and save the day. Maybe that's next?

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