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Run, Danny, Run!" Letitia Schultz pushed her young son behind her before his father hit him again. She warily watched her irate forty-year-old husband, Rudolf, as she and Danny backed slowly around the kitchen's heavy oak table toward the outside door and safety.
All it had taken was for Mother Schultz to innocently announce how nice it was that David Whitfield returned to Fort Atkinson from New York, to move into his deceased father's house. Since his high society wife had become something of an invalid, he had decided to return home so she could enjoy a quiet existence that country living afforded her. When he did, he'd taken over his father's law practice.
That news had sent Letty's husband into a viciously jealous tirade about her former beau. Rudy's sister, Marta, hurried upstairs. A frightened Mother Schultz quickly retired to her room. Their three younger children scampered to bed like small mice to their holes. Rudolf angrily snapped his wide suspenders, then stomped off to the nearest tavern.
Now he had returned, drunk, and angrier than ever. His shouts rattled the window panes. "You will not take up with Whitfield! You will not talk to Whitfield! I forbid it! You hear me now!"