Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #127
…The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily…
By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.
There are bellboys aplenty to unload belongings and take them to rooms, which will be the entire eighth and top floor of the granite building; seven deluxe rooms reserved for these people of the South. The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily.
The same cannot be said for the desk clerk. There is a solid possibility this older red-haired man had either lost loved ones in the war or some such scarring that has yet to heel. Actually, a truth that will never be made available to the offendees, the desk blocks their view of a wooden leg, gained at Gettysburg. It has had forty years to shrink from dry rot. In true fact, it is his attitudes that have failed the test of time.
“I cannot seem to find your names here. I will be glad to telephone the other hotels to see if they have room….for how many? 12?” He disdainfully counts disbelieving heads. “It will be hard find rooms with the Exposition and all. Some of the nicer hotels do not accept darkies.”
“You know, the more I hear you speak, the less I am impressed.” Newspaperman Harv Pearson, the most aggressive personality of the group takes control, better equipped to handle ignorance than the rest. “You best check your register again and when you find the names in our party, you best check your personnel department to see if you have a job tomorrow.”
The growing commotion attracts the attention of the Niagara’s manager. “What seems to be the problem, folks? We do not want any trouble.”
“Your man here does not know his job. He cannot find our reservations.” The hair on the back of Pearson’s neck is bristled.
The clerk takes the manager aside to plead his case in private. After he is satisfied, the manager answers, “I do not know who made the booking, but we require a cash deposit. We have received no such monies.”
The publisher of the Quincy Reporter is stymied. Herbert Love, with his typically calm demeanor, steps in to ask, “If President McKinley were to reserve rooms, would you ask him for a deposit?”
“Preposterous! We do not have time for this nonsense.”