This is written in a style of note taking. The reader should build the story in their own mind as they read the notes. I have not drawn any conclusions because it seems to me this piece of fiction could go just about any direction. The novel notes are written by my fictional character, Etta and the newspaper is a college paper published weekly on the campus of the school she attended. She found this article in the archives from 1949. Etta attended college from 1959-1962. It is all just for fun. Enjoy
Reference: The Beacon Newspaper
October 12, 1949Eastern Oregon College (EOC)La Grande, OregonThe case against Professor Elijah Honor was dropped. “Evidence that pointed to his guilt in the disappearance of his wife was not sufficient to warrant pursuit of the case,” District Attorney John Liston pointed out. Mrs. Honor went missing in February of 1948 during the Religion in Life* conference and has not been seen since. While Professor Honor denied knowing where she had gone, he could not prove that she had run away. She did not take any personal effects. Mrs. Honor was several years younger than Prof. Honor and had worked as a personal assistant to the governor of Oregon before marrying. Her former husband was a professor at the Western Oregon State. She would have been 29 on her next birthday. Her vehicle was never found.The mother and father of Linda Honor said they were grieved by the decision but would try to go on with their lives. The college reinstated Professor Honor and he will return to work on Monday. His classes in Comparative Religions and Philosophy are some of the most popular on campus and students have stood behind their instructor. Professor Honor also served as the lay minister for the Episcopal Church.Memorial services for Mrs. Honor were held at the Episcopal church in August but donations to the scholarship fund at the college are still being accepted. Call the registrars office for more information.
Note: *Religion in Life conference was held on campus every year and was the focus of Winter Term. Ministers from various faiths visited the campus to explain their religious beliefs and student participation was almost 95%.
As many as 10 faiths were represented each year. Professor Elijah Honor and his father Professor Jacob Honor had organized this function for 5 years. The event was a gathering of mixed faiths and it was said that the participants found kinship in their interaction. Mrs. Honor had been a key figure the social part of the event. The Religion in Life Conference was canceled in 1950 and never reinstated.
title: Geranium murder
Notes on background for
bio/novel by Etta Ellen Almquist
Course #356: Fiction Based on Fact
Note: Article from Beacon, circa 1949
Assignment date: October 1961
(the White Geranium is a possible symbol for beauty with a suspicious scent)
Opening sentence (?): She found it hard to grieve over the disappearance of the professor’s wife.
Preview Assignment: 10 items from NOTES AND INTERVIEW REFERENCES
- Rumors of infidelities had followed the professor from job to job. (interview #23).
- Some thought that he and his wife were involved before her divorce. This was her 2th marriage. (public record)
- If he had quit his position it would have been an indictment of quilt. (personal letters from Honor.) Fill out the story with “personal dialogue by student”.
- Information from letters and personal interview point to the possibility that he was involved with a student at the time of Linda Honor’s death. Involve reader in deciding how each student pointed out in such rumors may have had a motive for being involved in the death/disappearance.
- It should also be noted that Mrs. Honor was suffering from depression and had visited the state mental hospital in Pendleton not long before her death. (source: employment records and interview with anonymous hospital employee)
- Possible outcome #1: National attention to the college and circumstances not revealed did finally push the professor to resign. The students grieved his departure and kindred spirits on the faculty said they missed him a great deal. (interview # 39) Finding his missing wife would become his life.
- Possible outcome #2: The story focuses on how the professor’s life changes after his wife’s disappearance. After his retirement at the age of 50, the professor worked as a limousine driver in southern California. Word from a source close to him said he had remarried. His wife was the movie star Linda Olmsted. She dies in a fall. (no interview…fiction only).
- Possible outcome #3: The professor remains at the college for all of his career. He dies in a tragic accident in his garage. The professor was burned to death when a propane heater exploded. The book reflects back on his father and rumors of his hidden nature. This line could also lead to the possibility that the professors death was not an accident but murder #2.
- Possible outcome # 4: Linda Honor returned unexpectedly with no memory of her time away. The professor told personal friends that he had found evidence of her involvement with government agencies in Washington and that she may have been kidnapped. This could be a jumping off point for bio/novel #2
- I think the novel might also start with the disappearance and go both forward and back in time. The style of writing would need to be a narrative and personal voice combination.
Hope you find this interesting and amateurish.