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Chapter Six: The End of an Era

The ‘Moser dam’ makes history, and Henri gets a bit carried away with the celebrations. Heinrich Moser suffers a loss, but sees new love through a lucky pair of spectacles. Two new Mosers arrive on the scene, just before the end of an era…

The Moser dam was no light piece of weekend carpentry. There were several –ahem–’ruptures’, and Papa seemed to be locked in a battle against the very forces of nature. Unsurprisingly, he won. The waterworks were completed in April 1866 and were, at that moment, the largest in Switzerland. In celebration, I tried (quite a lot) of champagne for the first time… and may even have overindulged a little. Papa had established himself not only as a local hero, but as a star in the international Industrial firmament.

Very sadly, Mama had died suddenly in a carriage accident in 1850, unable to witness all of the exciting industrial activities. This untimely end cast a long shadow over our celebrations. But In 1870, Papa married his second wife: my Stepmother, Baroness Fanny Louise of Sulzer-Wart. The two met rather romantically: on a train, when Fanny’s glasses broke and Papa offered his services to mend them. Though in her early 20s, she was quite a bit younger than he, the pair got on famously and produced two daughters. Tragically, it was only four days after the birth of my younger half-sister Mentona that Papa died: on October 23, 1874 at the age of 68. It was, undoubtedly, the end of an era.


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