Recounting the many live vaudeville acts and films that graced the theatre’s stage and screen, The Gillioz “Theatre Beautiful” presents a social history of entertainment through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, the Sixties and the Seventies. Of note is the Springfield theatre’s hosting of three movie world premieres—with future U. S. president Ronald Reagan appearing in each.
In 1861, the Civil War severs Michael Morkan from everything he loves and all that defines him--from his son, Leighton; from his love, Cora Slade; and from the quarry he owns in Springfield, Missouri. Forced to give his black powder to the Missouri State Guard, he finds himself indelibly labeled a rebel traitor and is imprisoned in St. Louis. Back in the Ozarks, Leighton joins the Federal Home Guards in hopes of paroling his father. When Leighton finally frees him, the two are pitched in a last gambit for their quarry and for the legacy of the name Morkan.
As the sequel to Morkan’s Quarry, The Teeth of the Souls tells the story of a marriage betrayed, a lifelong and secret love, and an Ozarks city riven by an Easter lynching.
The story begins just after the Civil War when Leighton Shea Morkan, son of Irish immigrants, marries Patricia Grünhaagen Weitzer, daughter of a German banking family. Yet he can’t let go of his childhood love and wartime confidante, the house hand and former slave, Judith. Both unions produce children, one a shrouded secret, and one the heir to the Morkan legacy: the limestone quarries of Springfield, Missouri, and the bloody past, what Judith calls “The Teeth of the Souls.”
Grounded in broad historical research and spanning Missouri’s reconstruction, vigilantism, and fall from grace, The Teeth of the Souls chronicles the violent melding of immigrant strains—Irish, German, Scots-Irish, and African American—into the fabric of the Ozarks.