Here is another short excerpt from The Last Day of Forever. Enjoy.
My mother is a woman of quick and decisive action. She inquired at the desk and was told there was a very nice haberdashery just a few blocks away on Royal Street. Upon entering the store, she approached the clerk. “Sir, my son is in need of some suits.”
For a moment the clerk, a well-dressed, smallish man with a thick moustache and pomaded hair, looked at me in a curious manner. I assumed he found my appearance in a poorly fitting and out of style suit distasteful in some way. In heavy, French-accented English, he replied, “Of course, Madame. I am sure we can have him fitted with a custom tailored suit in two or three days. Would you come with me, and I will show you some cloth to choose from. We have the finest selection of French broadcloth in New Orleans.”
“Two or three days? That won’t do. I must have something this very afternoon,” replied Analee assertively.
The tailor looked surprised. “But, Madame…”
She cut him off. “But, Monsieur, I must have at least one suit today.”
The tailor’s nose went up, and he looked down it at my mother. She parried with her left eyebrow. For a long moment they stared at each other in this New Orleans duel of wits. My mother obviously won the fight, as he turned to me and, with a discerning eye, looked me up and down and quickly took my measure.
He turned back to my mother, her eyebrow still raised lest he forget his place. “Madame, may I suggest a solution? I have two suits in the back. They were a special order by a young gentleman here in New Orleans, but before he could take possession he was killed in a duel. The late gentleman was about your son’s size. I am sure I could fit those suits to him this very afternoon.”
I looked at my mother thinking a dead man’s suit?