Mudcat Café message #212459 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20395   Message #212459
Posted By: catspaw49
15-Apr-00 - 09:03 PM
Thread Name: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
The "Mary Greene"???????? What the fock is the "Mary Greene"???????? Fer chrissakes...............oy.................

OK...........................................

Catspaugh had seen it all now. The previous night and this day had brought home so many revelations of his past and forebodings of his future........so many bizarre images he had seen, how could there be more. Yet they seemed to keep coming at him in a kaleidoscope of terminal weirdness. The voices behind the glass in that strange room amongst the stars, the flaming kestrel in the Nomex suit, the Mojo woman with the superoars in the rowboat..........Much too much for his simple tastes for bootlegging. Only the race with the "Maid" had brought him back to a reality of sorts, but now THIS.......The strange and hovering mechanical bird which hung in the air above the "Hansell" pushed him over the threshold of sanity and now the mystifying appearance of ANOTHER steamer which had not been there seconds before, slammed shut the door, forever closing him off from reality.

He called to a deckhand to bring the tall ladder used for ascending the stacks in front of the pilothouse. The hand secured it in place and looked up to see the black smoke and sparks escewing from them and wondered what the captain had in mind. Slowly Catspaugh climbed the ladder and as he stood in the smoke and flame blowing out from the bowels of the ship, he withdrew the Navy Colt from his belt and with an awkward thrust, perched himself atop the starboard stack. Firing three shots in rapid succession, Catspaugh ripped a monstrous fart which quickly ignited and blew him several thousand feet in the air on a western trajectory.

He awoke to a kindly voice with a British accent that he recognized as his old friend Roger the Skiffler, his chief administrative assistant at hr "Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed."

"Its OK Spaw old mate....Just a nightmare. Cleigh's right here on the nightstand and your tiple is here next to you. Nothing to worry about my friend, just a nightmare. Now try and relax and get back to sleep. I'll play you a bit of a tune on my kazoo and another on my trusty noseflute. It'll be alright old chum, the Skiffler says so."

He breathed deeply and rolled to his left, stuffing the pillow a bit tighter beneath his neck and curling his left arm under his head. He stared at the book on the edge of his bed......."Life on the Mississippi".......He swung his right arm out and knocked it to the floor with a mixture of fear and disgust. He glanced across at Cleigh, grinning at him from the top of the nightstand and then noticed the beautiful model of the Pennsylvania Railroad M-1 which his father had given him. It had been the last steamer to operate on the Panhandle Division and the last one his Dad had fired before the diesels took over completely. There was romance to the railroads in those days he thought as he drifted off to sleep.