Mudcat Café message #209946 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20177   Message #209946
Posted By: Lonesome EJ
10-Apr-00 - 08:59 PM
Thread Name: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
Leej mounted the steps to the wheelhouse slowly, his shackled wrists held forward for balance. He looked out past Catspaugh, standing sternly at the helm, to behold the Maid 100 feet off the starboard beam, her rails lined with passengers in a festive mood. The long stop, after the unpleasantness with the actor leaping overboard, had brought the Maid even with the Hansell."Good Mornin' Captain," said Leej."Good mornin' son," said Catspaugh, keeping his eyes on the river ahead."Still plannin' to blow up my boat?"

"Hard to do, what with all the powder being part and parcel of the Mississippi, now," replied Leej," besides, I reckon you keep this speed up you'll do it yourself, Cat." Catspaugh spat a thin line of tobacco juice into a spitoon by his boot. "So.." Cat said," you had somethin' to say to me, or just come up to shoot the breeze?"

"Hold this side of the river 'til we get 2 miles upstream of Cold Creek, Tennessee, then cut the engines...like you're having trouble. The channel's narrow there, and it comes in close to the mouth of the creek. The Maid will swing into the channel to cut you off...let her. Bring up speed and hold hard on her starboard." Leej puffed at the panatella, which had gone out. The Captain held his cigar to the tip, relighting it."Then?" said Catspaugh.

"Then the Maid will find out what I already know...the earth dam at Plato, upstream 10 miles on Cold Creek, collapsed yesterday evenin'. Six hundred tons of clay have washed out of the mouth of Cold Creek: the 120 feet of channel there is now just 50 feet. If she holds the center, she'll run hard aground. There's just room to pass on the right for us. Better hang a mess of fenders on the port side. Good day, Captain."