Mudcat Café message #213237 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20395   Message #213237
Posted By: Amos
17-Apr-00 - 03:15 PM
Thread Name: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
Charles Delacroix, river boat gambler, leaned over the prom deck rail on the Hansell, watched the boarding of the rag tag children, and then shifted his attention to the lithe form of the mysterious and beautiful Mojo Woman, who also watched the boarding of the young people, the casting off of the breast lines, and the delicate manuvering as the great river boat was again taken up by the might currents of the river and began her way through Kentuck waters toward the inevitable fate which awaited her. He thought of his twins, wondered where they were in space and time, and remembered the love he had felt coursing through him for a brief period during the overwhelming revelations the brujita had poured into him. Something had changed, of that there was no doubt. Where once his greatest ambition had been to survive enough card sessions to retire to a small plantation in Orleans county, he knew now that he had not been truly seeing the future; that he was no longer prepared to cut a hard living from the desperate faces and hard whiskey of saloons, salon cars and river boat saloons. He found himself, instead, transported to a time in the future when all that lay well behind him, and his attention gradually submerged to the vision. He saw himself traveling West, following the traces of the gold hunters...perhaps writing for a newspaper...He saw himself, later, advanced in years, living in a quiet urbane elegance, his hair and moustache quite white, perhaps a cane, but still full of bristle, wit, and irony. He saw himself, from there, looking down the long line of his heirs and their futures, his beautiful grandchildren growing, themselves, to young adulthood -- one marrying the oldest grandson of an old hill farmer he had met in Missouri -- what was that man's name? Credence Hainlin? No...something more Dutch or German...Heinlein? That sounded right...and having their own children, naval officers and engineers for the new muscles of a rising young nation...

He saw another beautiful redhaired girl growing of age and traveling to far Texas, marrying into a clan named Whipp, and a third settling in ranch country in the north, around Hibbing. In his mind's eye the river of his future generations, from his own place as a sextagenarian, unfolded through the decades, full of joys, pains, losses and triumphs.

He saw himself sit down before a desk, put his cane aside, and draw out a steel-pointed pen to put the final notes on a manuscript...the title page clear in his daydream as though it was in his hand..."Life on the Mississippi".