Captions

Panel 1: Interior scene again, with the same counters and shelves full of bottles and jugs and the little girl before Saul.  But suddenly, the girl’s father is right by her side, leaving the apothecary shop doors wide open.  The father, a big, farming man of 40 years or more wearing red suspenders over a blue shirt and a straw hat, kind of towers over his daughter, and demands: “What’s all this?”  Caption: “The girl’s father had found his wandering child, and he was alarmed.”

Panel 2: The old farmer’s face is ruddy and weathered from years of toil.  He looked at Saul bitterly, and said “Me an’ my kin don’t cotton much to Dutchmen¹ …and you sure look like one, son.”   The little girl has moved to the right of the frame to leave and slip into the purpley-sky background, and her father continues, addressing her, “That’s right Margie, you better git! don’t let yer mama see you wandered off from the wagon!”

Panel 3: The frame centers on Saul, still in the same black hat and brown coat, who we see extending the small and fragile glass Paregoric dropper in a closed but offering fist from behind his counter, and answering the man’s “Dutchmen” comment as best he could, saying: “I’m not… uh, your daughter said you could use medicine for your baby…”  Behind Saul stood the drawers and shelves which held his most valuable medicines.

Panel 4: The grizzled farmer, still backdropped by the beautiful purple sky, replies: “Welp, it’s certainly true the l’il one’s miserable. Ain’t slep in haf-a-week.”  Then he asked: “How much fer that bottle?

Panel 5: “10¢” Saul answered. Ceiling view, looking straight down at Saul’s counter, where the small Paregoric bottle sits.  The farmer’s wrist and hand extend across to the counter, in his offering thumb and forefinger laid a Seated Liberty dime, one of the few widespread federal coins in an era of state and local currency.

Panel 6: Back to the interior scene, with Saul again in profile slightly hunched over the counter, calling out to his hastily-departed first customer, “Rub the elixir on the child’s gums if he’s teething, otherwise put two drops in his mouth…”  Caption: “The man nodded firmly to the instructions and left. Saul quickly jotted down his first revenue on his ledger….”

 

1. “‘Dutchmen’ was a popular (and somewhat unflattering) nickname for German Americans.”  Siddali, Silvana. Missouri’s War: The Civil War in Documents. Athens, OH, USA: Ohio University Press, 2009.

This comic book takes place in 1861, when anti-German sentiment was running high.  They self-identified as “Deutsch” which became “Dutch” to their detractors.  St. Louis was a focal point of German immigration in the mid-19th century (that’s why Anheuser-Busch and the brewers that bring you Budweiser are in St. Louis even today) and the flood of immigration irritated “old-stock” Missourians.  These sentiments exploded into outright hatred when Missouri Germans overwhelmingly supported the anti-slavery Republicans.

 

 

© 2012, Nick Dupree, all rights reserved, educational use is not just allowed, it’s encouraged!  Please email me for educational or commercial use.