Tag Archives: Ted Frederick


Madelon is the name of a catchy song that French soldiers (the Poilu)) sang endlessly in the dreadful 1914-1918 days when German artillery shells fell like rain all over northern France. How is it that music somehow eases the pain and the anxiety of the men ordered to put their lives on the line for what they are told is a noble cause? The British sang It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, the Yanks sang Over There, and Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag. Through the miracle of 2013 technology you can hear these songs on the Internet. Google it. Google Madelon. if you’re like me, you’ll have a hard time getting the tune out of your head for a while.

In The War Guilt Clause, following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June, 1919, Ed Frederick and Peggy Schooner embarked on a journalistic bicycle journey through eastern France and western Germany; they planned to speak to the people on the ground – those who lived through the terrible times –  what did these people think of the Treaty?

Near Verdun they encounter a catholic priest, a survivor of the 1916 six-month nightmare that claimed near a million lives.

Bon”, said the man, “my name is France, I am a priest.”                                                                “Then you  are Father France,” said Ed.

The War Guilt Clause chapter entitled Father France, can be seen in its entirety if you go to http://thewarguiltclause.tateauthor.com

You will also see this:  Father France smiled and began to hum a lilting melody of a favorite French song of the day – it was called Madelon. A few bars into the song, Father France moved from humming to singing, then after a few lines, abruptly stopped, looked at the two young Americans nestled close on the grassy French hillside, and in measured  French tones questioned, “Would you like me to marry you?”

The War Guilt Clause is for sale – from Tate or from Max.






The Dirty Habit

Max would have to  choose for Mary – Ed or Ted? She couldn’t have them both but how could she give one up since she loved them both in equal measure. Easy – send Ed to France and leave Ted the happy chore of singing and executing the song “Come Josephine in My Flying Machine.” Ted takes Mary in his Curtiss triplane on a sight-seeing trip over London and 100 miles down the Thames to a 300-year-old Inn called the Dirty Habit (grease spots on a Monk’s habit). Mary succumbs; it will be Ted.

Max did not invent The Dirty Habit; he and Liddy lunched there in 2001 as part of their Great Cities of Europe cruise. Who knew it would turn up in a novel?

As Ted and Mary frolic in Kent, Ed and Steed are mucking through the mud in Flanders Fields – the Ypres salient, the most dangerous place in the 1917 world; Ed has convinced Steed that there is a story to be told of Mary’s brothers, Tommy and Ian, manning an observation post in no-man’s land.

The first half of THE WAR GUILT CLAUSE winds to a calamitous end as Ted flies with the Lafayette Escadrille, and Ed loses an eye in the final 30,000 man infantry charge at Pilckem  Ridge in southern Belgium.

A journalist can function nicely with only one eye as Ed Frederick demonstrates in the second half of THE WAR GUILT CLAUSE.