10th January 13:02 – 16:30
Solomon finished reading the newspaper, apart from the domestic news on the imminent Prohibition Law the only worthwhile item of interest overseas appeared to be the crushing defeat of the Imperial forces by the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.
The other passengers seemed keen to regale a complete stranger with their business in these close confines presumably as a way of passing the time.
In a fairly short interval Solomon had discovered from several conversations The Majestic hotel was the place to be in Vermont as well as stoically sitting through the marvels of the mechanical press from a travelling salesman which caused him to have a serious rethink on the contents of his business card.
On balance he considered it time well spent.
“Excuse me – do you have the right time?”
Keeping his expression carefully neutral Solomon looked up to find the young woman in the foxfur smiling enquiringly at him......
“Sure have, miss” …......and held his wristwatch up for inspection.
The time noted he smiled at her and observed “Nice hat”
Despite looking taken aback at the remark she replied “Thanks – say are those Black Russian cigarettes you have there........very continental ….......like my new friend Al”
A glance across at the young man introduced as “Al” produced a mixed and contradictory result.
Hispanic or possibly Italian looking and strongly built like a boxer or brawler with scarred hands and ink stained fingers from jotting in a small black bound notebook was his first impression.
“I'm Julia Sommersby by the way, a pleasure to make your acquaintance”
He was aware of the New York Sommersby's position in society circles...........near the top.
The man previously identified as “Al” leaned across and introduced himself........
Shaking both of their hands Solomon said “Steinberg, Solomon Steinberg likewise a pleasure to make both of your acquaintance. What brings you to the frozen wastes of Vermont?” with a gesture at the blurring snowscape passing them by.
The answers came back respectively Julia was to deliver a talk on the role of women in aviation and was a pilot herself and Alessandro was going for an interview for a job as a baristo coincidentally at the Hotel Majestic which thus far had unfailingly got glowing recommendations by those travellers destined for Vermont.
Solomon told them Vermont the Green Mountains and environs had been recommended to him as a vacation venue by someone he knew..............but hadnt been organised enough to make a reservation.
As the train started to slow he decided the Majestic was as good a place as any to start the search for Fetterman...............and improvise from there..............