The History of Kate Shugak in 22 Objects – 11

WARNING: Spoilers spoken here.

HoZ Kate11 cover

I liked Ginger’s comment about the Dawson Darling and the other comments about the Good-time Girls, but I’m going with Megan. It’s the transcript. And you’re going to love this: There is a real one, or at least a transcript of the inquest into the death of a real-life good time girl.

Mrs. Harp's inquest

I learned of the tragic history of Alice Astor first in (of course) Lael Morgan’s marvelous Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush.

On April 7, 1915, Alice was found dead, her throat cut, in the house she had rented on Fifth Avenue. According to the autopsy report (which should not be read on a full stomach), the murder had cut the jugular, severed her spinal cord, trachea, and esophagus, and taken cartilage from the lower third cervical vertebra. He also had taken muscular tissue off the fourth and sixth cervical vertebrae, and surgically removed the right ovary and tube.

So I called the Alaska State Archives Office in Juneau and the wonderful Angela Fiori was able to unearth documents pertaining to Alice’s death, which included the report on the inquest and the probate settlement of her estate (but not, mercifully, the autopsy report).

And the Dawson Darling was born.

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Chatter Kate Shugak The History of Kate Shugak in 22 Objects Uncategorized

Dana View All →

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20 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The Potlatch. It’s got everything substantive in the book at this one cultural event. Plus, it’s time for the Potlatch to be “the object”!

  2. Thanks for noticing my comment Dana. I think the lockbox is the catalyst for Kate and Jim nearly burning a hole through the cabin floor. Also, the all important wedding license that explains it all.

  3. I love the photo so much I can see it in my mind, but everyone’s right-this month it has to be the lockbox. Not only is it the catalyst for crazy hot sex and part of Kate’s healing process after YOU MURDERED JACK ( . . . ahem. Okay, I’m better now), but it’s also how we learn who the murderer is, if not by name.

  4. Gotta go re-re-read first, be back tomorrow or next day. Even though I think the murderer is the most slimy evil despicable one in all the series.

  5. Yes the lockbox. But sorry I missed the last one. I would have gone for the grave marker. That was part of Kate’s history and should be included in a history of Kate!

  6. Yes, the grave marker would have been a good one for the last suggestion. The lockbox is an idea but I am going to do a reread for this one.

  7. A tough one, no obvious object, but after much thought I’m saying the group photo — Dina, Ruthe, Emaa, Ray, Mudhole Smith et al — that Kate finds in Dina and Ruthe’s cabin and gives out at the potlatch. As I’ve said before, this whole project is a HISTORY of Kate, and there’s nothing else in this book that has so much of Kate’s history in it. So, the photo.
    (Aside: my husband and I have landed our small plane at Mudhole Smith Airport in Cordova. This may not be unusual for Alaskans, but we’re New Yorkers.)

  8. I’m so happy to hear your bringing Kate “back to life.”
    I really thought she died. Did Mutt survive too?

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