-I have left Hackensack to go see a Dr. Rocker on Staten Island for my Rheumatism-

“Are you the sort of person to drop things, Miss Haggarty?” asked the Dr.
“You mean hints?” she asked.
“Well no I was referring to objects, items, things that need to be handled carefully. The first sign of Rheumatic arthritis in young people is general clumsiness. But I shant bother you with unnecessary details. It’s clear that what you have is Rheumatism.”
“No, No” she said, “I would like to discuss this, oddly enough I did drop a door knob not long ago.”
“How exactly does one drop a door knob?” asked the Dr.
“Well it was one of these knobs who have to be teased a great deal to open at all, it must have come unwound, probably from my many repeated efforts” said Catherine.
“You came from Happenstance?”
“Hackensack, NJ. Sir.”
“I am writing you a prescription for some medicine. Take 2 tablets every morning with breakfast. The apothecary is on the bottom floor. Are you staying nearby?” he said.
“I am, and yes I noticed them there as I came in” she said.

“Good, if you are able, extend your stay for another week to see how your body takes to the medicines and come back and see me in a week’s time” he said.
Catharine took the paper and Thanked him.

“Dr. Rocker!” called Catharine waving her hand high in the air. She was enjoying an early morning meal in the hotel restaurant: last night’s maple-syrup ham and some scrambled eggs. The Dr. waved back and decided to come say hello.
“Good Morning Catharine” he said, “up taking your morning tablets I see.”
“Yes, and how are you this Morning Sir?” she asked.
“Well bad news I’m afraid” he said “but I won’t bother you with all that.”
“Not at all” she said “I whould like to help.”
“Well” he said “It seems I’ve left my brochure from the Theatre last night at the side table of my girlfriend’s front hall by mistake. You see if her landlady comes across it, she will find us out. Which would be… well, messy. I would have gone back to retrieve it, it’s only that the front door is locked” he said dismally.
“Allow me to come along! As you know, I am quite good with door knobs Dr.” said Catharine.
“Very well” he said. “I’ll show you the way.”
A short walk led the pair to a small walk up flat, with a decidedly locked front door. Catharine invites him to take a look at the door, while she pulls out her sewing kit.
“I doubt you’ll get very far with those, these are top notch locks” he said.
She opens a separate compartment laying behind the bobbins and thread revealing a half dozen picks of various shapes and sizes. After a few moments of fiddling she lets him in.
“I see your problems are perhaps a bit more complicated than a simple case of Rheumatism would suggest” he said.
The Dr. peeks in and grabs the brochure.
“You clearly have a talent” he said, leading her back down the street towards his practice, but you should know it can be used for good or bad. As a Dr. I would fain allow someone as kind and fair as you to sink into such a murky occupation unguided.”
“Are you talking about being a tailor or a locksmith?” she asked.
“Well, locksmith” he said, “are you a tailor too?”
“Yes” she said, “but you would be surprised which of the two is a more dangerous occupation. Some of the girls at Hackensack are talking about sewing pants for women, they think women deserve to be considered citizens and equals.”
“That’s high talk for a bunch of girls from rural New Jersey.”
“What play did you see?” asked Catharine.
“Oh, Moliere” he said “The Imaginary Invalid.”
“It has Feminist undertones does it not?” she asked.
“Now that you mention it… women after all are not the fragile weak invalids men like to make them out to be.”
“Where did you hear about me?” asked the Dr. after a pause.
“One of the girls mentioned you, she says you have a sister who is loyal to the cause. You see we are on the verge of a complete revolution in society. Not just for women, but for America. Change won’t happen on its own Dr., and if we band together and make it happen, this will help our cause, and I fear that nothing else will.”
“Just who do you think we are up against?” asked the Dr. “and how do you think you and a few fancy toothpicks are going to solve this?”
“This is New York” said Catharine.
“This is Staten Island” said the Dr. “and you won’t find drawing attention to yourself on a soap-box will get things moving in the right direction. We need to get under people’s skin somehow, or we’ll just be hopelessly ignored, or worse at the mercy of this whole rebellion.”

“What do you suggest?” asked Catharine.
“We could possibly use your skills as a locksmith” said the Dr.
“I knew it!” she said.
“I want you to come to an underground meeting,” he said.
“Anything for my Rheumatism” she said smiling “I’ll see you on Friday!”

The group was a mixmatch of people. Who all appeared to be staring at her. It was something she was not altogether unused to. It was her hair, at a young age she had developed a remarkable lock of grey hair just to the right side of her face.
“If we can steer what is clearly starting to look like a revolution in a new direction, we will be able to save many lives! And to advance the plight of women in society!” she said addressing the group.
The Dr. stepped in, “We are at a crux here. America wants its independence, but so do its women!”

The group was at odds about the growing buzz around independence. But this cast a new light on things, it was not about stamps or taxes or tea, this was about women!
The group decided to band together on a mission to break into the Dominion Bank. Dominion was the hotbed of patriarchy and male dominance in the new world. Not only did it’s massive phallic pillars tower over the street, but worse, it issued bank accounts only in men’s names.
One of the members volunteered to lead a reconnaissance mission to the inside of the bank. Eric, under the guise of a wealthy businessman with interest in acquiring safety deposit boxes for each of his higher-up staff, made many notes about its goings-on for the group to review. His very square well-honed suit, sewn together expertly by Catharine, quickly allowed him to pass behind the scenes. His report was not encouraging.
“Some of the misogynist jokes I overheard included: their too Shadowy appeal and another about their Delivery services.”
“The men are clearly running the show.” he said.
It became clear from his report that the only woman who appeared to be allowed into the building was a custodial young woman, whose reputation was the subject of lengthy debate.
Robbing the bank they quickly realized was too epic an endeavor, but that did not mean they were going to pack up and go home! On the contrary:
“It does not take a lot of imagination to rob a bank!” said Dr. Rocker.
“So let us side with imagination rather than money! With intelligence rather than force! And with Grace rather than with Power! There are other, better locks to be picked!

“Dr. Rocker, I wish to speak with you about your comments at the meeting” said Catharine to him on their way home afterwards.
“Yes?” said the Dr.
“I was not so previously aware of the political climate brewing here in New York, it has become clear to me that the group has sincere feelings of antipathy towards the crown. I am not interested in fighting this sort of battle. If we are to proceed in this way. It is either to make the revolutionaries look bad, or to advance the cause of feminism” she said.
“I had the feeling you were opposed to all this somehow” said the Dr.
“I am English” pleaded Catharine. “It is in my nature to be loyal. If we are to side with the revolutionaries merely in an effort to make them look foolish, we would be forgetting everything our parents and grandparents came here to do.”
“You mean mothers and grandmothers” said Dr. Rocker.
“Do you not believe truly in the cause of feminism?”
“Hmmm” said the Dr. “You know I do, without feminism we would be faced with a much less appealing moral choice, I admire women. I admire you. What do you suggest?”
“I think we are wasting our time at the bank, there are better locks to be picked Dr. Rocker if we use our imagination” she said.
“Why don’t we create a sort of display of items, a variety of items, that we have recovered from the front” he said.
“You mean stolen?” she asked.
“You’re the lock-picker!” he said.
“True” she said, “we might enlist Eric again, he’s what we call a brooding denison in NJ, a good observer and pragmatic he may have ideas.”
“You midwesterners are quite the scathering” said Dr. Rocker.
“Where are you off to?” asked Catharine.
“To my girlfriend’s” said Dr. Rocker.
“Is she of our lot?” asked Catharine, “what’s her name? And why doesn’t she attend the meetings?”
“Well she’s alright” he said “she lives nearby.”
“Can I come with you?” asked Catharine.
“Sure” said Dr. Rocker.
They walked a few blocks past 16th Street, and came through what could only be called a slum. Dr. Rocker paused for a moment to examine a tray of items a man was carrying around with a strap about his neck, mostly trinkets possibly stolen themselves. He picked up a large hair beretta, and asked how much. The seller quoted him something pricey and then said “she’s up-stairs” and he whistled loudly. They looked up to the window he was pointing at, where above a shaky old balcony of an apartment on the corner nearby a woman with enormous curls, waved out the window at the seller and blew a few kisses.
“That’s your girlfriend?” asked Catharine incredulously.
“Listen” said Dr. Rocker taking Catharine by the arm and leading her aside, “if you are serious about women’s rights like I am you must heed the urge to find out exactly what women are going through in society at the moment. Not everyone who needs our help is merely interested in going about in a pair of pants if that’s their whim. These are complex problems, Catharine.”
She smacked him on the side “heed the urge!?!” she exclaimed. “Really Dr.!” she left his side and began walking herself home.
“Catharine!” he called, “you are not naive! I am merely trying to show you what goes on sometimes!”
She stopped “I took you for a kind and proper man” she said.
“I am” he said, “and I have ideas, not just imagination!... something I now wonder if you may have in excess!”
“What can we do here Dr.?” she asked.
“I want you to think about the kind of fight that this is on the level of the street.” he said walking alongside her again. “How do you think men are coercing women into submission in society?”
“No idea” said Catharine.
“It’s the whistle Catharine!” he said.
“Really?” she said.
“I have been assessing this problem for some time, and as noble as it would be to break into the bank itself and attempt to change things, we have much better odds of making a difference by approaching the problem as it exists in the streets of the city itself.” he said.
“Interesting” she said.
“I’m talking about whistle-blowers” he said.
“What are those?” she asked.
“It’s what those constables do when they are trying to stop someone on the street, they stick their fingers in their mouth and produce a very loud sound, and everybody looks up” he said.
“Yes” she said “continue.”
“Outside almost any city bank” he said “there is a constable whose job it is to direct the flow of traffic. If you sit at 23rd and 5th long enough watching him, you’ll quickly notice that he never stops any men for jaywalking. But, he stops any and all females who cross at the bank.”
“Interesting” she said.
“There’s another one at the corner nearby here, by the bakery, and he whistles at any very fat lady crossing to the bakery. There are men down by the waterfront who will whistle at any woman going about alone. They’re everywhere, they know what they’re up to, and honestly most men follow suit in similar situations, if they see fit, or can whistle.”
“And you think these “whistle-blowers” are part of some organized effort to suppress our cause?” she asked.
“Yes” he said.
“But what could we possibly do to stop them?” she said.
“Some things never change” said the Dr. “but we could try and make an example of them.”
“Could we make an example of them?” asked Catharine.
“Possibly” said the Dr. “any ideas?”
“What about a convention?” said Catharine after a while, “we could advertise! -Professional Convention on Whistle-Blowing- The Britannia Center on 3rd Learn how and when to use your whistling! June 12 with professional whistler Dr. Phillip Rocker.”
“Brilliant!” said Dr. Rocker. “We could easily make a list of their names and addresses!”
“I agree!” said Catharine.

Just over a healthy dozen whistlers showed up at the convention, Catharine of course took down all their names and addressed carefully as they filed through the door. A quick tally revealed that not all the men even could whistle, or some wished to whistle more loudly and so on. Dr. Rocker stepped to the front of the room.
“Do we have any constables in the room?” he asked.
A few hands shot up in the back.
“Good” he said, “we will begin by studying some limericks.”
He began writing on the board.

Old Kentucky
Was a monkey
He whistled at women
Who made him feel like spillin
But darned if he knew about money

“Apes are among the loudest and clearest whistlers in the animal kingdom” said Dr. Rocker.
He passed out a crude drawing of a monkey. “Their fat lips have evolved with their thick mandibles to make them excellent whistlers. It is thought whistling began among apes because it was a clever way for a monkey to respond if he lacked the teeth to smile.” They continued on to the next limerick.

Box and Cox
Talked equal talk
Box whistled early
Cox to be flirty
But both did it to mock

“How many of you know what mockery is?” asked Dr. Rocker.
Some hands went up.
Catharine rolled her eyes.

They moved on to another limerick.

Though many shall sing
For better things
And Panhandlers pause
for unknown cause
Whistle for the Kink!

“How many of you would be interested in a demonstration?” asked Dr. Rocker.
All the men got up to the front.
The Dr. invited each man to whistle to his face, he stood very close to their faces challenging them with his ballsiest eye-contact. He was tall and intimidating and as he went down the row one by one, the men felt foolish, and by the time the Dr. reached the end of the row most of their enthusiasm for whistling was gone. Unexpectedly though, the Dr. decided to rekindle their original interest.
“What would you say if I told you the only whistle you really need is the one you use to cheer?” he said. He demonstrated this type of whistle to the group again with both fingers in the mouth accompanied by the swinging around and tossing up and down of his donegal cap.
Catharine stepped in quickly to open all the 3rd story windows in the room as far as they would go, and invited the men to practice. The group quickly clamored to get to the windows and began cheering, waving and whistling to the people in the street below.
“What are you bastards whistling about?” said some people in the street below.
“They’ll whistle if they like,” said another, waving back at them.
“It’s that British Lot” said the man, “well I’ve had enough of them.” He proceeded to grab someone’s umbrella and opened it, floating up to the 3rd floor.
“You dimwits all believe in Harry Potter!” he said to them, “well I’ve got news for you, you whelps, the King doesn’t care a fig about you or your little whistling convention! You magical little trollops.”
This led to an all out riot in the street below. Most of the whistlers ran downstairs to participate in the fighting, and the Dr. and Catharine were obliged to give an account of the situation and hand in all their names to the police afterwards.

“What are you in for?” asked one inmate to the other.
“I was involved in a demonstration at Britannia Place” said the man.
“What kind of demonstration?’ he asked.
“A whistling demonstration” said the other.
“That’s where that riot started last week isn’t it?” asked the man.
“Yes” said the whistler.
“Do you think you could show me how to whistle like that?” asked the inmate.
“Oh I don’t know,” said the whistler, “the only thing worth whistling for is something that makes you happy.”
“Well then I suppose I don’t have a whole lot to whistle for” he said.

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it” yelled a young man hawking papers. “Revolutionaries and Loyalists break out in riot again at 3rd and 21st street!”

Breaking News
Another riot broke out today on 3rd Street by the Britannia Building between Revolutionaries and United Empire Loyalists. The Loyalists are thought to have provoked the riot with a loud demonstration from the safety of the 3rd floor of the Britannia center building. Several have been apprehended and the remaining are wanted by police.

“Well that went better than expected!” said Catharine, “now we actually have a large group of whistlers behind bars! I hadn’t thought of that!”
“Yes, but this is only the beginning!” said the Dr. “I want to make use of your lock-picking skills somehow!”
“Yes!” said Catharine, “it would be a shame to let that go to waste!”
“Why don’t we compile a list of names and addresses first” he said, “people suggested by the group as known misogynists. Then we can think of humiliating them somehow, painting their shoes pink, replacing all their trousers with skirts.”
“Changing their neckties for brassieres” said Catharine.
“I wonder where we can acquire enough women’s clothing,” said the Dr.

At the next meeting, the Dr. got to the front of the room and updated the group on the success of the whistling convention.
“Not only do we have a large group of known whistlers behind bars, but we have gained good publicity for the cause!” The Dr. pulled out the Rivington’s Gazetteer and read the front page article.
“But we should not stop here!” he said, “this is only the beginning!”
There was some cheering and some whistling.
“Catharine would you like to come to the front?” he asked.
Catharine stepped to the front of the room. “As you may know, I am a tailor, I sew suits and dresses and so on. However, I am also trained as a locksmith. I have acquired equipment that gives me the ability to break almost any lock in the city! All I need is names! People in the public eye who are doing things in a way that we choose to disagree with! The Dr. and I will break into these men’s homes and give their wardrobe a little flip!”
“We are accepting any surplus women’s clothing, the more the better!” said the Dr.
A long list of names was quickly put together with a few details as to how the perpetrators were responsible for harming women on a large scale. Catharine read the list aloud and they agreed to hit the residence of a certain Rev. H. Pisan first. The Rev. was one of many members of the clergy known to be overlooking triple and even quadruple marriages for his own financial gain. It was becoming more and more common that men were taking multiple wives, one in each of the colonies, particularly a revolutionary Ethan Allen who made no secret of it. The group decided that the Rev. needed to be made an example of somehow. His New York address was quickly found, and the group arranged to break in with Catharine’s help on a Sunday morning while the household was at church.

The Rev. came home to find the front door unlatched, and all of his cassocks sloppily refitted with pink buttons.

Soon enough the newspapers caught on, and served to expose some of what was going on that would otherwise have slipped.

The Lock-Pickeneers strike again!
Another successful hit for New York’s best liked gang, the lock-pickeneers! This weekend the group decided to hit the residence of the Candy Tyrant himself, Steven Trooper. Steven Trooper has been importing sugar from the warmer climes for his candy business for some time, it has long been overlooked that he has been exploiting cheap labor, who isn’t these days? But he is known for giving out a single candy instead of the week’s pay for employees who come to work pregnant.

It was becoming more and more difficult to buy any pink buttons at the fabric shop without attracting suspicion. The group was also getting more and more bold with their efforts. Straying from the original little button-jobs they had begun with, the group escalated to whole-hearted material warfare. Any equipment offensive to the cause was dismantled, and sewing machines were being supplied to women whose character made them necessarily useful.
Things were going well on the whole and Catharine was walking down the street one day pleased with another successful break-in, when a group of rough looking men stopped to chat with her.
“That’s a pretty lock you’ve got there!” said one of the men reaching out to touch the lock of grey hair by Catharine’s face.
“Not one of those lock-pickers are you?” asked another man.
“We have use for someone like you” they shouted after her.
Catharine pushed through the men and continued on her way, when they were out of sight she began to cry, and went back to the room she was now letting, by Dr. Rocker’s practice. She headed over to the Dr.’s and knocked on the door.
“Have you read the papers?” she asked.
“I’m afraid so” he said “I thought your family knew what you were doing here!”
“What are you talking about?” asked Catharine.
“The classifieds” he said, reading aloud: “Her parents are exceedingly anxious for her return, they give her this public assurance of their readiness to receive her with the utmost tenderness; and they also intreat those who may know where she now is, to communicate some tiding of her to the said Hugh Haggerty. She is about 24 years of age, short and well set, with dark-brown hair; a round face and on the right side of her face she has a remarkable lock of grey hair.”
“Good gracious!” she said “my father!”
“What were you going to say?”
“Well as much as I like and believe in our cause, this latest job at the candy-man’s was not given the press I hoped it would. They called him a tyrant and continue to make us all out to be revolutionaries against the King.”
“Yes” said Dr. Rocker, “I’m afraid it’s worse than just that my dear. There is all out war brewing, and it is likely to explode very quickly. If you don’t like it you should be thinking twice about staying here.”

Catharine decided to write a letter home to one of her sisters, who knew she had gone to New York to see a Dr. but nothing else. She wrote back soon enough, with bad news. Their parents had both been killed in a confrontation with revolutionaries.

The Dr. and her sat by the fire at his apartment quietly discussing the matter of Catharine’s parents’ death.
“We could stay,” said the Dr. “most people think we are revolutionaries. We already believe in Independence.”
“For Women!” said Catharine.
“Alright” he said “I agree with you, but it will only get us into trouble if we make a fuss now.”
“This isn’t some storm to be weathered! Philip, this is all out climate change! My parents are gone!”
“True” he said “what do you suggest?”
“Why don’t we do what all the other Loyalists are doing? Flee, to Canada!” she said.
“You spunky Northern girl!” said the Dr. finishing his drink, grabbing her elbows and kissing her.
The couple boarded a boat headed North the next day, and settled in Ontario where they married and had a large family, and Philip served as county Dr. for many years.

QUEST: Tell Me a Story

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