August William Lepke, Hero of Treadwell, A Novel of Alaska Territory by Leonard Wayne Compton

What is your story?

I am one of the characters in the Gastineau Channel Quartet, of which Treadwell, A Novel of Alaska Territory, is the first book.

Who are you?

My name is August William Lepke. I am a detective with the Pinkerton Agency out of the Portland, Oregon office.

Where do you live?

Now I live in Juneau, Alaska Territory.

Are you the hero of your own story?

In heroes I do not believe. People do what they must, and are expected of them, to the best of their ability.

What is your problem in the story?

At first I just had a work to do, which was my job. Then I met this woman and suddenly I had a problem.

Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

I was never comfortable with my father. He was a carpenter and worked with his hands all his life. He thought I should do the same thing but I wanted to see the world. He was killed when I had but twelve years. There was a part of me that felt relieved and I have always felt great personal shame for that exaltation of relief.

Do you embrace conflict?

No, but also I do not flee from it.

How do you see yourself?

As an honest, professional law enforcement officer.

How do your friends see you?

As someone who does what they say they will, steadfast and supportive.

How do your enemies see you?

(Laughs) As a walking nightmare, I hope.

How does the author see you?

He believes I am a better man than I think I am. But he portrays me honestly and objectively. I cannot ask for more than that.

What, if anything, haunts you?

I was once in the US Army and served in the Philippines during our war there. Once when I was on guard duty I shot a man who I thought was a saboteur. It turned out he was stealing food for his family. I can still see his dead, surprised face.

Have you ever failed at anything?

Like many men, I have failed at love.

Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Yes. A girl. I thought she was a woman, so perhaps my fault it was.

Do you keep your promises?

Always. I do not make them easily or thoughtlessly. But if I promise I will do something only death will prevent me from accomplishing it.

Have you ever had an adventure?

My whole life has been an adventure and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

I would end the war in Europe before the United States can get into it.

Where can people learn more about you?

On Leonard Wayne Compton’s website:

See also: Interview with Leonard Wayne Compton, Author of Treadwell, A Novel of Alaska Territory