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Hereford Eye
April 27th, 2005, 05:27 PM
“Yes, Boss, I saw the movie. So What?” Lucas Crown sat in a very comfortable leather chair situated to his boss’ right front but he was far from comfortable. Every time he sat here, he remembered, something bad happened to him, always in the form of an assignment he did not particularly wish to pursue. His boss, McCallum MacKenzie MacWhirter, known to his college friends as “Three-of-a-kind,” sat on the other side of the his desk in a straight backed chair equipped with pillowed seat and lumbar support on its spine. In the other chair, the one on Lucas’ right, was Herman Piltz, the Editor-in-Chief of the New York newspaper that “Three-of-a-kind” owned and for which Lucas reported.
“Good movie, that Calendar Girls. I thought so, anyway,” Piltz offered.
“Forget the movie,” MacWhirter said. “Concentrate on the organization it depicted.”
“Some women’s group, right?”
“The Women’s Institute, to be precise.” MacWhirter’s identification seemed to carry more than a hint of disapproval but whether it was of the organization or women in general, Lucas was not prepared to say.
Whatever it was MacWhirter was driving at, Lucas Crown did not get it; he told his boss so.
Instead of answering, MacWhirter lifted an 8x10’ paper from the center of his desk to peruse whatever was waiting him on the page. He read for fifteen or so seconds, then sighed, then extended the paper to Lucas.
“This is an e-mail I received today,” MacWhirter explained. “I’ve printed it out for you. Please take the time necessary to read it. Herman already has.”
Lucas Crown accepted the page and followed his boss’ instructions. He read:
“FROM: Anancient@fakeaddress.com
TO: McMacMac@TheNYPlanet.com
SUBJECT: Chain Reactions
Organisations arise every day, some open, some clandestine. Organizations that increase in numbers and last for more than a century are rare. Usually, such organisationa have more going on than is presented to the public eye. History books have little to say about such organisations for reasons both open and clandestine. In the case of one particular organisation, it is because history books are generally written by men and men have no clue.
That organisation is The Women’s Institute. A connection runs through it, you know, from London to Stoney Creek to Paris to Argos to Cairo to somewhere earlier than that. There are currents and cross-currents eddying across the world. And yet, we still have no clue, do we?”
When he finished reading, Lucas could not resist asking if the author had been wrong about our having a clue. He thought from the expression on his face that “Three-of-a-kind” was about to throw something at him.
“You’re not taking this seriously, are you?” Lucas asked. “Hell, it doesn’t say anything. No facts. No hooks. Just an accurate observation that we have no clue. That’s generally true for just about everything, isn’t it?”
“That was my first reaction,” Herman admitted. “My second reaction came after my eyes drifted across my bookshelf. Humor me for a moment, Luke. Name a female historian.”
“Ariel Durant,” Lucas responded immediately
“Precisely,” MacWhirter said. “Now, name another.”
“Off the top of my head, I can’t.” Lucas said.
“Ariel Durant is known because she joined her husband in his work. She is an anomaly. In this day and age, there are many female historians doing credible work but none acquires the reputation of a Churchhill or a Schlessinger or – for that matter – a Gibbon. Men write the most noted history books.”
“And they are generally on the winning side,” Lucas added.
“Stuff your snide remarks for a moment, here.”
“Yes, boss,” but Lucas was grinning.
“And wipe the silly grin off your face. Pay attention. Here’s a list of rights that women might enjoy. You tell me when and where they were in effect.”
Looking at the new page, Lucas read:
“The right to keep anything they inherit from their parents when and if they marry.
The right to share equally with their husband any wealth both partners acquired within their marriage.
The right to conduct business on their own.
The right to own and sell property.
The right to be a witness in a court case.
The right to represent themselves in court.
The right to make a will giving their wealth to whomever they might choose.
The right to adopt children.
The right to go out in public and be in mixed company with men.
The right to keep their own name after marriage.
The right to be supported by their ex-husband after divorce.
The right to work at occupations other than housewife.
The right to seek any employment for which they are qualified.”
Lucas grinned again. “That’s easy. The U.S. in the last 40 years. Great Britain as well.”
“Wrong, Lucas. You didn’t study enough history. That was Egypt close to 1500 years before Christ.”
Lucas took that in but failed to see where the conversation was going. “What’s the link to your e-mail?”
“Why did those rights, that kind of thinking disappear for 3500 years?”
Slightly exasperated, Lucas responded with customary brusqueness: “How the hell should I know?”
“Again,” MacWhirter said but he was grinning now, “precisely. You shouldn’t know and I shouldn’t know and no man in the country should know because – as the letter says – we are clueless. Answer another question, Lucas. Are you smarter than your sister? Is your sister smarter than your mother?”
“Better educated,” Lucas said, “but not necessarily smarter.”
“Well, is today’s woman smarter than her predecessors?”
“Same logic, I’d think. Better educated; not smarter.”
“If we are no smarter now than we were 3500 years ago, how and why did women suddenly disappear from the world’s stage?”
“Because men wrote the history?”
“You think your mother would let you get away with a column she found objectionable?”
Lucas laughed. “I wrote one once about the glass ceiling and why I didn’t believe it applied. Heard from her and my sister for weeks. Inundated with articles and data. Finally wrote another column where I presented their side.”
“So, why did the history change? What happened to keep it that way for close to 3500 years? My gut says there’s a hell of a story there.
Suppose the WI has a hidden agenda, Lucas. What would it be and how could we prove it?”
Lucas sat forward in his seat, genuine interest now blossoming in his mind. “Your serious, aren’t you? You really suspect there is something going on. Okay, I’ll bite. How would we do that?”
“We take the hint Anancient sent us. We discover the link between Stony Brook and Cairo and wherever else it leads. That’s your assignment.”
“Stony Brook is on Long Island and that’s where you graduated, boss. Anancient was talking about Stoney Creek. War of 1812. They stopped us cold.”
“The War of 1812 has something to do with this?” Herman asked.
“Guess that’s what I’ll have to find out, isn’t it?”

April 27th, 2005, 06:57 PM
FROM: Anancient@fakeaddress.com
TO: MalcWulf@BritishInterpreter.com
SUBJECT: Chain Reactions
Organisations arise every day, some open, some clandestine. Organizations that increase in numbers and last for more than a century are rare. Usually, such organisationa have more going on than is presented to the public eye. History books have little to say about such organisations for reasons both open and clandestine. In the case of one particular organisation, it is because history books are generally written by men and men have no clue.
That organisation is The Women’s Institute. A connection runs through it, you know, from London to Stoney Creek to Paris to Argos to Cairo to somewhere earlier than that. There are currents and cross-currents eddying across the world. And yet, we still have no clue, do we?”

Malcolm Wulf sat at his desk reading the e-mail over and over. It didn't make sense and yet it did. Outside the rain attacked his fourteenth story window with increased venom. London in february was akin to pulling teeth except it went on a damn sight longer. The war of 1812 and Stoney Creek he knew from his worthless history degree were a blemish on the American military record, coming so close to defeat that Washington was burned, 'those damn Yanks' were saved by the incompetence of Pakenham's assault on New Orleans and the small fact that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed weeks earlier in Europe.
"Those damn Yanks!" he said outload for no particular reason.
Malcolm didn't mind Americans at all, in fact he quite liked the few he knew - the fact that they all happened to be tall, busty, leggy blondes was neither here nor there. But occasionally enough patriotism rose in his breast that he needed to throw a few vehement curses around, just to clear the air. Patriotic moment over he would then go back to writing tales, although he told his editors to called them 'news stories', about how bad the current government was. This e-mail had him piqued though.
Malcolm didn't remember a lot about the battle of Stoney Creek, which was apt given that the battle was one of utter confusion. Quite by luck two American generals were captured, but beyond that Malcom's mind balked. He was impressed it had remembered that much. As intriguing as Stoney Creek, Paris and even Cairo was, the name that stood out for Malcolm was Argos. Not because it had anything to do with the store of the same name, although it made him chuckle, but he actually knew something useful about Argos. The Heraeum temple.
"Yes boss, I want all information about Argos ..."
"What the store?"
"No not the bloody store you dingbat, the town in Greece and don't interrupt me again."
"Sorry boss, anything else?"
"Yes I want a history of the Heraeum temple and a cup of tea, two sugars."
"The what?"
"Cup of tea, a warm drink that I like sweet."
"No the temple thingy, how do you spell it?"
"H-E-R-A-E-U-M, ok?"
"Sure boss, bit high brow for us though ain't it?"
"You worry about the tea, I'll worry about the stories, how's that?"
"Ok, boss."
"Good answer. Oh and send Mike in here would you."
"Mike's on assignment boss."
"Did I sign off on that?"
"Guess you must have done."
"Well bugger me."
"I'd rather not, lunch is in five minutes - unless you want to give me a pay raise afterward."
"Send in Ed instead then and hurry up with my tea."

April 28th, 2005, 06:38 AM
Hilary Jones walked across the lawns of Deman College, well run actually, the April shower was turning into a flood. Her assistant Debbie trotted her words going out in time to the thump of her flat soled shoes on the grass.

"The email has gone to various tabloids worldwide, also a few broadsheets. We have eyes and ears in a few of the major ones, seems its fashionable to see conspiracies where there are none. "

"Or seems to be none." Hilary replied as she changed pace as she hit the gravel path leading to the arch of the seventeenth century doorway into the collage building proper.

"As far as 99.9% of our membership and the outside world is concerned we are just jam,Jerusalem and good causes. Oh and middleaged ladies getting there kit off."

"That was an un-official Calendar I would have you know..." Hilary hid a smile as she shook her damp skirt and wiped her feet. She straightened her shoulders and entered the warm college, making for her office.

"According to official sources." Debbie remarked tucking her folder tighter under her arm. Hilary glared at her assistant. Debbie was needling her; did she have further information.

"So what have you got for me?"

"According to our eyes and ears in the NYplanet they are looking into Stoney Creek."

"What?" Hilary felt suddenly cold.

"Stoney Creek, War of 1812..."

"Good God, " Hilary burst out laughing, "half a century and a few thosuand miles out"

"Indeed, but we did have some people caught up in that war."

"Working behind the scenes, no trace on the surface."Hilary let herself into her office.

Debbie followed closing the door behind her. "The eyes at the British Interpreter reports she has been set to googling Argos."

"Huh?"Hilary said and sat down, she so wanted a cup of tea with scones and good homemade jam.

"Not the store... The Heraeum temple."

"Well won't come up with any link, any links that far back won't make sense if you don't where to look, bit like sticking Dr Who in, you come up with a lot of strange nerd sites. Take hours to shift through to anything worthwhile.

"So you think we have nothing to worry about?"

"I did not say that, I want that what's his name"


"Balls on a plate, I am not going to have nearly 4,000 years of hard work messed with."

Hereford Eye
April 28th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Internet research is much quicker than the old days working the stacks at the public library, painstakingly going from card file to book and back again, meticulously locating and following threads. The library felt more like learning but the internet educates faster. Lucas Crown appreciated the speed while deploring what he called “the sound bite school of education.” He admitted that library searches tended to focus on a paragraph here, an article there, and then on to the next book. He had not read every book he peered into, had been content to peruse only the information pertinent to his investigation. But, he could have read every book because every book rested in his hands for a minute or two or thirty. With the internet, all he had in his hands was his fingers tapping instructions on a keyboard. All he saw was the reference he sought, the info bite.
Start with The Women’s Institute. What are they all about? Lucas’ memory of the movie hints at horticulture, pottery, knitting, home ec kinds of things. Their motto is certainly innocuous: For Home and Country. Could well be a female version of Confucius’ five relationships. Another statement: FWIC aims: to promote an appreciation of rural living, to develop informed citizens through the study of national and international issues (particularly those affecting women and children) and to initiate national programs to achieve common goals. Some portent there? National and international programs to achieve common goals. Right out there in black and white and photons. A hidden agenda displayed for all the world to see? Can they have that much gall?
Lucas taps the Origins link to find Stoney Creek straight away. Adelaide, Erland, Janet and Laura jump off the screen at him. “Hi, there! Here we are. We’re what Stoney Creek is all about. Nothing mysterious about us. We’re right out here in the open. See?” It’s only when Lucas starts his search with Stoney Creek that he gets routed through Hamilton and side tracked by the War of 1812. Nothing there at all to do with the Women’s Institute. Except that Erland’s ancestors were available for 1812, his grandfather John having built the family home in 1790. John’s daddy had come north from the colonies after the Revolutionary War, a loyalist not wanting to get caught up in the new government’s mess. Seems as if they ought to have been involved. Lucas decided he’d come back to that if necessary.
Staying with The Women’s Institute entry point, Lucas finds that Erland and Janet’s home is now a museum dedicated to Erland. Kindergarten teachers evidently do not rate equal billing with their spouse in terms of national historic sites. Reading further, Lucas discovers it is Erland and not Janet who is credited as co-founder with Adelaide. The organization attributes its founding to a male. Lucas puts a memo into his palm machine: “Check make-up of Canada’s National Historic Site committee membership. See if hunch that it is all male pans out.”
Laura Rose and Adelaide drift away into history, Initial searches produce only identification of Laura’s book, Farm Dairying, published in 1911, 52 chapters that "…aim to present the dairy industry in a simple, practical manner, in the hope of benefitting those desirous of improving and succeeding in their chosen occupation."
Lucas Crown sits back in his chair, puts his feet on desk, and fantacizes lighting a cigarette. The NYPlanet is a politically correct establishment. Smoking is allowed only in the Board Rooms.
“Promote an appreciation for rural living” In the heart of London, they are promoting an appreciation for rural living? Why? Why not promote an appreciation for better living in the big cities? That’s where it’s most needed, isn’t it? Better living through chemistry, that’s the ticket. DuPont is on to something there.
An appreciation for rural living. The thought takes him back to the calendar. The theme even carried into the infamous calendar.
His feet drop down as Lucas turns back to his computer. The Canadian Encyclopedia: Entry for Adelaide pretty much dismissing her. No entries for Erland, Janet, or Laura except for the mention in the articles on the FWIO. A National Historic Site with no entries? The fact sends a chill of apprehension through Lucas’ mind. There’s a reasonable explanation, he is certain. But still….

April 28th, 2005, 11:57 AM
"Lois where's that information I asked for an hour ago? And why haven't you sent Ed my way yet."
Lois popped her head around the door to Malcolm's office.
"Sorry boss, I forgot and went to lunch early."
"Some days I think your intentionally trying to ruin me."
"Wouldn't dream of it boss."
"You bet you wouldn't, otherwise I'd fire your pert little behind before you could say lecher. Where would you be then, huh?"
"Ha, knew there was a reason I hired you. Now then do you have the information I asked for?"
At that exact moment Lois's phone played out the first few bars of God save the Queen, signalling a text message had been received. Quickly flipping the phone open she scanned the message and flipped it closed.
"That's a nifty phone, am I really paying you enough to afford one of those?"
"No, I took out a personal loan."
"Ha, good. I'd hate to think I was being generous."
"No chance of that boss."
"Damn right, now can I have printouts of the information you found and Ed in my office pronto."
Having received orders informing her to allow Wulf to have what he wanted, Lois obligingly did so.

"So Ed, been very impressed with your work of late and so I'd like you to take on a very special assignment."
"In other words Mike is still in Jamaica."
"Yes. What do you mean still? How long has he been out there?"
"Two months give or take."
"Give or take what?"
"A month?"
"A bloody month, when did this happen? Am I the last one to know everything around here?"
Malcolm's room and indeed the whole building fell suspiciously quiet at this point.
"Sod off the lot of you! Lois!!!!"
Lois's head appeared around the door to Malcolm's office.
"Yes boss?"
"Recall Mike now, I don't give a rats furry bits what he's doing, I want him in this office tomorrow morning or his ass will be on permanent vacation, get me?"
"Yes boss. Right away."
Having reasserted his authority sufficiently, Malcolm turned on Ed with a smile that was in keeping with his surname.
"So this special job Ed...."
"Not Prince Charles and Camilla boss, anything but that."
"No not them, they're old news. What do you know about Hera?"
"Bloody marvellous, with all that space for rent between your ears you should be able to find out something useful that isn't influenced by what you know."
"But I don't know nothing."
"The phrase is I don't know anything Ed and before your reaserch is through, you will. Or you'll be joining Mike."
"In Jamaica?"
"No in the dole queue. Here's Lois's notes of enquiry for you to start looking into. Try and find famous women or women's groups to come from Argos - don't even think about saying 'the store?' - and any links to the Heraeum temple. Got it? Good. Off you go."
"Yes boss."
"Cup of tea if you would please darling."

April 29th, 2005, 05:13 AM
Hilary turned on her computer and opened a folder. Quickly typing in a password she watched as the files contained flashed up on the screen.

She was convinced that even if a person spent days searching the net or trawling through any library they would find nothing, because nothing had been committed to paper or even electronic files. All the files before Hilary contained were memberships, past and present. Simple normal memberships, which listed interests, branch membership, course undertaken etc. Only if you knew the oral codes could you begin to decipher what that person had done and even then it was only a glimpse. You see there was no personal desire for individual glory or recognition so the details of how something had been done did not exist. Only the result was plain to see in the fate of the women and the society that came after. The root was more important than the branch. Keep the root intact and protect it, more branches would grow higher and further.

Immortality came from the achievements of the daughters that followed. It was a battle to be self-aware and to have self-determination. To be all you could be.

Anancient had stumbled on something, perhaps part of the oral code, perhaps he gotten close to a senior member of the WI or one of its sister groups. The network was wide spread, ranging from ladies that lunched, through all female professional business women groups, through youth groups and even fan clubs of everything from actors to the latest boy band. Where ever there was a large membership of women there was a trail that led back to the root.

He must have tapped in somewhere. “Oh…” Hilary sat back in her chair. Was Ananicent a “he”…

“Debbie,” Hilary called through to her assistant.

“Hold on…” Debbie called.

“What is it?”

“Sorry,” Debbie came in with one of the standard issue mobile phones clamped to her ear. “That was Lois seems they are recalling Mike and given the job of looking into the Heraeum temple to Ed, who ever he is.”
“Mike…. That’s the one that was trying to link the decrease in male fertility to rum, brought about by the increase in consumption of cocktails instead of ale by men below 35.”

“I think it was an excuse to spend a month in Jamaica.”

“Not very original, about this Ed.”

“Lois said he could not find his arse with both hands if you guided them”

“Ouch he must have upset Lois.”

“Yep… you were saying.”

“Anancient, could it be a woman?”

“Possible, I suppose, the more women are encouraged to be “like a man” Damn men for that bit of propaganda. The more chance some woman is going to be brainwashed into doing something like this because she thinks she has too, to be like a man.” Debbie snapped and tapped her mobile phone cover with her index finger.

“Indeed, or it could be we have a case of a woman in love.” Hilary said softly.

“I would prefer one thinking like a man. She would be easy to track, one of our own in love and on the hunt will be difficult to get. We know it has happened before, look at the hell Anne Boylen put us through, we lost years of progress; she was one of our best too”

“Then let us “get” a man or men to find Anancient for us.”

“Debbie, lets drop a few red herrings into the false web site.”

“Oh…how about some quotes from some of the speeches from the early days of the movement, will frighten the pants off the Yank…

“Do it, Hilary said. “Oh Debbie you want a cuppa?”

“Could murder one.”

“I will go get us one and see if they have any samples in from the cookery courses.”

Debbie meanwhile set about uploading the various quotes.

The success of an institute must depend on the inclusion of women of all ranks in its scope. Their aim of mutual help and combined effort can only be achieved by a better understanding of each other's needs and interests and the points of view from which these are regarded.

……were sisters the moment they entered the Institute room whether duchess or sweeper's wife, they were out to help and encourage each other no matter what religion - churchmen or nonconformist.

Housing is essentially a woman's question. Bad as may be the effects of present housing conditions for the man, they are worse for the woman, since she has to endure them the whole day long........ With the extension of the franchise to six millions of women, for both parliamentary and local government purposes, it is to be expected, and indeed highly to be desired, that in future women should take a much larger interest and much more active part in public affairs.

April 29th, 2005, 06:47 AM
Lois found a quiet little corner of the office, not hard on a Monday, and quickly dialled the number she had memorised six years ago.
"Agent number and password please," came an affable, middle-aged female voice.
"Agent number 58008 - 'Thank god for periods.'
Lois knew the password didn't matter, that a sophisticated computer was actually using voice recognition software right now to matche her voice print to the one stored in records.
"Voice print accepted, welcome Agent Neal. For reception press 1, to record a message press 4 and for an already known extension press the relevant numbers now."
Lois pressed extension 4 2

"Debbie, it's Lois I have news."
"That's rare considering where you work dear."
"Quite. They've .... they've," she could barely get the word out without spitting it, "they've put a man on the story."
"Golly, do you think he knows?"
"Wulf? No my cover is safe but if he pinches my bum again I'm going to deck him."
"Calm down dear. Ok so it's just a lucky assignment then?"
"I think so, he's given it to Ed our second most talented male reporter."
"What happened to the first one?"
"I don't know, he was supposed to be in Jamaica but I can't get a hold of him."
"That's a good thing surely?"
"No that man is lazy and incompetent..."
"Aren't they all."
"Quite but Ed is actually average ay his job."
"Could he be a plant? 'THEY' have been snooping around much more recently. Increased activity all over the world as best our analysts can make out."
"If he's a plant, he's very good for a man .... I'll look into it more closely and keep you apprised. God save the Queen."
"God save the Queen."

Lois flipped her phone closed. Could he be a plant? If so he'd pulled the wool over her eyes for two years now. Could he really have done that? After all he was only a man. The thought was a chilling one.

Hereford Eye
April 29th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Spring in New York state rarely satisfied Lucas Crown. Winter carried such a weight that he believed Spring ought to come in with bells and whistles, angels blowing horns, and mild weather but, rarely, in his years there, had it done so. This year was no exception. Snow and freezing nights continued in the city. He suspected it was worse in the country and rued the fact he was making the trip anyway.
If he must travel, he’d do it his way. He rented a sedan, big, powerful, with CD player that allowed him to indulge his worst vice, a love for country music. His daughter-in-law had sent him George Strait’s 50 Number Ones to which he added The Dixie Chicks On Top of the World CD and Alison Krauss and Union Station’s Live album. On a whim, he took The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Live Two Five as well.
He left the city across the GW and took the Palisades Parkway north. The trees wanted very much to be green but the snow still hanging on their limbs reined their enthusiasm. Still, despite the remants of winter and the terrible ratio of patrol cars to actual traffic, it was a pleasant drive.
When not singing along with the CDs, Lucas thought over the purpose of this trip. A visit to the Erland Lee Museum and Battle House, the Gage family homestead converted to a museum, ought to produce some lead to continue. What he was interested in was origins. He accepted the Women’s Institute was founded in Stoney Creek but what he wanted to know now dealt with the historical pinnings behind that founding.
Just before he left, talking to Herman Piltz, he’d learned that the British web site had posted more information, quotes from their early history. Listening to Herman read the quotes, listening to the emphasis Herman put on the phraseology, Lucas had laughed, loud and heartily. Herman was offended, of course, believing Lucas to be laughing at him but the latter had cleared that misconception. “Why now?, Herman, and why those quotes? Don’t you feel the manipulation? I do. More mis-direction if I ever heard it. Makes me more anxious to get to Hamilton and find something to go on. Hang in there and keep watching the Women’s Institute. If they stumble onto our investigation, they ought to get even more interesting before we’re through.”
Now driving north, he thought about those new quotes. Emphasizing the international and activist nature of the organization at this stage in their development had a purpose but what it might be he could not fathom directly. If Three-of-a-kind was correct, then the heart of these women’s tactics had been subterfuge and passive pressure. For 3500 years, women had remained passive knowing they could do better. To suddenly reverse that modus operandi made little sense.
Take the U.S., for example. Over a century, women had battled for and won equal legal status. The more outrageous of their generals had come and gone. These days, there were no Gloria Steinems running around shouting on the ramparts. My God, these days the most famous woman educator is Martha Stewart. Now there, thought Lucas, is a woman who’d fit right in with the Women’s Institute’s ideals.
He made no further progress analyzing the WI’s motives. He did, however, get a glimmering of what he was looking for which constituted a giant step forward in his investigation. He wanted to know what he could about Janet Lee, where she got her ideas.

Two days later, Lucas, driving south on the New York State Thruway, smiled at the Dixie Chicks' introduction to Truth No. 2. Natty Means felt that one, didn’t she? “You don't like the sound of the truth commin' from my mouth.” I can sympathize, Natty, Lucas thought. People rarely enjoy the sound of the truth. For example, the dichotomy resident in the Lee museum’s presentation. First, they say : “The constitution for the organization was drafted to allow the women to meet and discuss social, and domestic issues. The constitution for the organization was written out by Mrs. Lee on the walnut table that is still housed and displayed here in the Erland Lee Museum.” But on the plaque affixed by the Candian Government to the exterior wall, the message is “The World's first Women's Institute was organized at Squire's Hall, Stoney Creek, in 1897. Erland Lee, a founder of the Framers' Institute, assisted by his wife, arranged the meeting. About 100 women from the Saltfleet district attended and were persuaded by Mrs. Adelaide Hoodless, to form an organization of their own to improve their skills in the arts of homemaking and child care. Here, in the Lee home, Mr. Lee subsequently helped to draft the constitution of the new society. Mrs. E. D. Smith of Winona became the first president of the Mother Institute. The Women's Institute movement has since become a worldwide organization.”

Well, one explanation is that poor ole Erlie couldn’t write so his schoolmarm wife was pressed into service. That would pass superficial examination even though it ignored most of what the world understands about the marital relationship. But, why wouldn’t that same woman hold office in the newly formed organization? By the KISS principle, she elected not to do so. Why? In her library there was a copy of Baron de Grimm’s memoirs, an inscription to Sir George Prevost from his Swiss mother inside the cover. In Battle House there was a display on Sir George, a fluent French speaker, who had been the governor responsible for the defense of Canada in 1812. Discovering she was familiar with Grimm's work, Lucas surmised Janet Lee had subscribed to the school of indirect influence much as Julie de Lespinasse had. She and the incipient WI organization innocently laid their founding at the footsteps of a man and then made certain that the fiction would be continued through official histories and documents, even through Government actions. It certainly fit old Three-of-a-kind's thesis.
Lucas left Hamilton in high spirits, having located what he’d made the trip to find: a link from Stoney Creek through the War of 1812 to Paris. Lucas was looking forward to the next trip, this one across the pond.

May 2nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
There was only one way to find out if Ed was cleverer than he seemed. Lois would have to get closer to him. She shuddered at the thought.

So for the next two days as Ed ploughed through books and web sites on Hera Queen of the gods (he even sent Lois out for copies of Hercules and Xena for research purposes of course, not to add to his collection of tacky Sf and Fantasy DVD’s, I mean Lois shuddered who actually owns up to having to actually paid for copy of Red Sonja.) Lois smiled when he pinched her bottom. Made him tea, fetched his suit from the cleaners and a hundred other small tasks. This sacrifice for the betterment of her fellow women had reached its climax when she had said yes to an invitation to dinner.

Lois now found herself in a small Chinese restaurant awaiting the dim sum ordered by the dim son of a B opposite her, if he was anything else he was putting up a damn good act. But she was determined to get to the bottom of it as long as her bottom stayed firmly on the seat.


Meanwhile the aircraft Mr Crown was on was preparing to land at a small emergency airstrip in wilds of Ireland. Hilary had pulled in a lot of favours to get this aircraft on the ground where she wanted it to be. The man had been nosing around far too much in places he shouldn’t be.

A taste of the Irish branch of the organisation should confuse him, they were famed for their hospitality and handling of the male of the species. In fact the ladies there could trace their roots back to the Temple of Hera, they were formed as special unit then to make sure it took the men of Greece ten years to conquer Troy. This had given the women time to get as many of their people out of the city as possible as well as the library which had been moved there from Egypt some hundred years earlier. Helen of course from the very beginning had been in command of this.

Hereford Eye
May 3rd, 2005, 11:05 AM
British Airways, New York to London, 1st class, bed no 1K. Lucas slept the entire trip. There was nothing to see anyway and he needed the rest. Waking from a sound sleep with good dreams involving dancing girls and water beds and a bottle of a good red wine, the news that greeted him seemed more like a nightmare. For some fool reason, the powers-that-be wanted this plane out of the air as soon as possible. No, they couldn’t finish their flight even as far as Heathrow. No, they couldn’t get into Dublin. Yes, they could sit down in the wilds of Ireland, at least that’s how the lead stew (Lucas Crown at 42 was old enough to remember stewardesses before they became flight attendants) referred to it. The 777 actually sat down at Galway airport.
Lucas’s first move was to obtain from the Information Desk a username and password to permit wifi access to the internet. Sitting in the AV8 Bar, sipping a glass of the bar red, he checked his e-mail and then sent a brief note to his office informing them of the delay. With the social amenities performed, he became interested in where he was. For the next ten minutes, he surfed the Galway area, taking a mild interest in the Sky Road and Coral Strand Beach. From his memory came a war story from a cousin about a pub off the beaten track that wasn’t really a pub but was someone’s home. He could not remember the family name and was not interested enough to inquire at the Information Desk.
Lucas had yet to worry about his progress to Paris. He supposed it was British Airways’ problem, not his and was content to wait for them to muster up the resources to act.
He was not disappointed. Before he completed his glass, a young lady in British Airways uniform approached him with a quizzical expression as well as a broad smile. She stood about five-four, blue eyes, brunette hair worn entirely too short for such a young woman, and trim figure. Would never be described as ample but certainly sufficient. Her name tag identified her as Tizzie.
“Mr. Crown?” she asked with the confidence that, of course, he was Mr. Crown. Who else could he be?
“Yes,” Lucas admitted.
“I have the information on your travel for you. May I sit down?”
She wanted to sit down? This seemed out of character for a BA employee yet Lucas could find no reason to object and she appeared pleasant enough company. “Certainly,” Lucas said, ‘Can I get you something?”
Tizzie grinned as she took a chair. “No, not while I’m working, thank you.”
“That sounds like an opening for some time when you are not working.” Lucas said.
“Why, Mr. Crown. You are a one, aren’t you?”
“Never mind,” Lucas laughed, “what have you got for me?’
“We’re going to bed you down in Brennans Yard Hotel tonight. Tomorrow, BA is bringing in some small planes that can hop you over to Gatwick and from there to Paris. An extra day on your journey for which BA apologizes.”
“Can’t be helped, I suppose. Why was it necessary to set our flight down?”
“Something about the cargo, I think,” Tizzie said, “but I’m not certain. I’ve been in a fuss just handling you passengers. As first class, of course, we settled your business as priority.”
“Well, thank you. I don’t envy you dealing with the rest of the passengers.”
“Oh, tush for that. My responsibility has been the first class passengers and you are the last of the lot. I’m finished and heading home.”
“You’re from around here, then.”
“Born and bred, I am. Why, I even attended school here, you know.”
“Really? Where was that?”
“Kylemore Abbey, a more beautiful setting you’ll not find in all of Ireland.”
“Beautiful settings make for good educations, then?”
Tizzie giggled as if she were still in her teens: “Ah, them Benedictine’s are serious about their educatin,’ you know. The good lord may provide you a place to appreciate his work but that does na mean you are permitted to na do your work.”
Lucas laughed at the image. “Well, then, ma’am, how is it that I am to make my way to this Brennans Yard and what of my luggage?”
“We’ll take a cab. That is, if you don’t mind some company. I have a flat in city center and thought I could fill you in on the sights as we go.”
“Part of your official BA duties, I imagine,” Lucas said.
“Nay, good sir,” and Tizzie actually smiled coquettishly. “Just a wee favor I’m asking, a free ride to town to save me the cab fare.”
“At my age, ma’am, I never turn down such offers. They are too few and too far between.”
“Aye, and the Blarney Stone’s a good 150 kilometers as the crow flies south and east to Cork.”
”Be that as it may, ma’am, you’re certainly welcome to brighten my trip to Galway.”
“And the name is Tizzie. My mother had a thing for the Muses, you see, and each of her daughters is burdened with such.”
“There are others like you, then. Ah, I knew the world was a good place.”
“Enough, now. Are you ready to go or do you wish me to take you up on the offer of a glass?’

They had that glass and another before they hailed a cab and made their way to City Centre. Tizzie dropped off at her flat but not before agreeing to an evening on the town, Lucas needed a guide after all. The evening passed in pleasant conversation, she recalling her days at the Abbey, he talking of his own education at a military school in New Mexico and college at West Point. The conversation naturally tended towards where he was off to and why to which Lucas responded: “Paris to learn about salons.” Then, he changed the subject.
Nothing happened that night. He dropped her off again at her apartment, did not receive an invitation for a nightcap and felt no disappointment that he had not. It had been a pleasant evening and a man cannot always ask for more than that. Tomorrow, he could get back to business.
In his hotel room, Lucas went back on line, checking e-mail, responding to his sister that he was fine and he’d be on the way again in the morning. While on the web, he looked up Kylemore Abbey. Just as Tizzie said, the setting was spectacular and the Benedictines looked forbidding. The fact that the Abbey is an all-girls school failed to register in Lucas’ imagination as anything more than confirmation of Tizzie’s tale.
The next morning, the planes were there to be boarded and he was off to Gatwick.