Friday, April 4, 2008

Sharpened Queens

Five…four…three…two…one…latched. Last customer out the door and gone. Hello four-day-weekend, and good-by fried onions! Cookie, I can’t wait to get out of here, go upstairs to my apartment and take a long hot bath. I’ve got the new Sue Monk Kidd novel in my bag and I mean to spend the evening lounging in my jammies with my feet propped up in front of the kitchen stove watching frozen dough turn itself into warm delectable dark chocolate chunk cookies.

Do you need more of those bundles?

Here, let me wash my hands again and I’ll help you roll the utensils into napkins for Monday. Ouch, darn, jammed my finger on a fork tine.

Hey Cookie, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.

Does the chess board only play with Milton Bradley plastic chess pieces or will any replacement brand do? With summer coming up I thought I’d look through rummage sales for a few games. Since the major pieces need replacing nearly every week, that must get expensive…uhm…Simon says relax, kiddo.

Has anyone ever watched the board on Wednesday nights? Do you know if it plays an entire game or do the queens just chop off most of the pieces’ heads and let some of the pawns go?

You have to stop drinking the coffee here Cookie, you’re buzzing like a mosquito in a mayo jar.

I’ll get more spoons.

You know I was a news reporter for the journal right? And one of my columns was a bi-weekly on our cities history? Well, most of my column came from research downtown. The library has a nice little section in the back, on how the city got started. Lots of documents, and letters and things. Did you know this was the first three-story building here in 1806? And the owners’ wife Louisa Frederickson was the co-founder of the suffragette movement in the city? And there were regular chess games in the Gentleman’s Smoking Club every Wednesday night? So, was this part of the building the Gentleman’s club?

Hey don’t leave! Alright, alright, I’ll stop asking questions if you calm down.

Why are you getting your knickers in a twist? So what if we have a chess set that likes to have a little game on Wednesday nights. I’m not blind you know. I noticed the Queens’ swords were sharpened even before I started work here.

I was just thinking that it must have been pretty lonely for Mr. Frederickson at home, because one of his letters to his son claims his wife went to visit her sister in Boston in 1812. She didn’t come back here, because Mr. Frederickson married again in 1821, after being granted a divorce on grounds of abandonment.

Funny thing is, in those days that kind of divorce could be granted only after a spouse was absent nine years. So, that means the Mrs. didn’t come back after 1812. Just out of curiosity I asked a connection of mine to run a search in the Boston census records for 1813, and the Mrs. isn’t there. In fact, she isn’t anywhere in Massachusetts in 1813.

Mr. Frederickson was above suspicion, being an up-standing member of the community. Lots of his money was in this town. His name is actually carved up on the bricks of this building, you know. He must have had a lot of friends.

No, that’s alright; you go ahead and go home. Have a nice holiday. Recover your nerves! I think I’ll stick around a little bit longer after all, maybe clean out the rest of the game cabinet. The Monopoly set could use a good sorting out.


  1. We have a game closet? Cool. This is the first I've heard about it. What else do we have in there?

  2. If the Monopoly set is also haunted, what happens if you are instructed not to pass Go and do it anyway?? *heh*

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  4. Well, some Jersey girlz work at the diner. LOL!

    As for the chess set...I do believe that it's *good* to be queen.



  5. my hubby would love a haunted chess set. At least he'd have someone to play with :)