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TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2

Amos 08 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 11:59 AM
Peter T. 08 Apr 00 - 09:59 AM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 11:40 PM
katlaughing 07 Apr 00 - 11:27 PM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 11:25 PM
MMario 07 Apr 00 - 11:01 PM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 Apr 00 - 10:33 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 07 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
catspaw49 07 Apr 00 - 08:51 PM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 07 Apr 00 - 06:42 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 Apr 00 - 06:20 PM
Peter T. 07 Apr 00 - 04:53 PM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 04:31 PM
MMario 07 Apr 00 - 03:57 PM
Peter T. 07 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
MMario 07 Apr 00 - 03:06 PM
Amos 07 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM
JenEllen 07 Apr 00 - 01:27 AM
MMario 06 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM
Mbo 06 Apr 00 - 09:29 PM
MMario 06 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM
Amos 06 Apr 00 - 09:12 PM
Barky 06 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
acoustically yours 06 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM
katlaughing 06 Apr 00 - 08:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM
Mbo 06 Apr 00 - 06:52 PM
Barky 06 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 06 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM
Amos 06 Apr 00 - 02:07 PM
MMario 06 Apr 00 - 01:36 PM
Amos 06 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM
Mbo 05 Apr 00 - 10:39 AM
Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 10:09 AM
Amos 05 Apr 00 - 09:42 AM
MMario 04 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM
Peter T. 04 Apr 00 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 04 Apr 00 - 08:33 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 04 Apr 00 - 08:15 AM
MMario 04 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM
Barky 03 Apr 00 - 09:55 PM
Barky 03 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM
GUEST, Another conscience.... 03 Apr 00 - 01:09 AM
Mbo 03 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM
Barky 03 Apr 00 - 12:54 AM
Amos 02 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM

For those of you on slower browsers we are providing a link to a THIRD installment which can be found here.  Good hunting.
 
 


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:59 AM

Buncha tough guys, you are! Takin' my characters away! 'S what I get fer leaving my primary responsibilities. Wal, we'll see. Dang, an' I really liked that guy!

The Gambler found himself reeling in a silver vortex of sound and energy, hums and vibrations of brain-numbing frequencies; the fabric of space itself seemed to wrap around him in tightening folds and his awareness dimmed, faint waves of nausea running through his frame. The last thought he had was a strange one -- a tune, surely none ever heard, with strange whining sounds mixed into it, and a pounding rhythmic undertone behind it, perhaps faintly m usical but of a kind never heard in all his travels. And a voice, sturdy, baritone, singing a refrain....'You got to know when to hold 'em, an' know when to fold 'em....'.

He found himself waking after an unknown interval, disoriented, stretched out on a white fluid surface in a white and quiet room, a sort of couch supporting him which molded itself to his movement as he looked around groggily.

The walls were of the same strange white material, shiny and smoother than any Shantung silk, and flickered at intervals. The room was lit but he could not tell from where; though there were no pillows on his couch-like support, his body was accomodated comfortably.

He was startled to realize that Mornay was nowhere in sight; but the thought was fleeting, as it quickly became evident he had other things to be concerned with. A soft, mellifluous voice filled the space around him with no apparent source, the tones evocative of a beautiful blonde woman he had once met in Saint Augustine.

"Hello. I am Miranda. I am glad you are awake. I hope you are comfortable. If you are ready, I will tell the Senior...he has been anxious to talk with you."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 09:59 AM

The Gambler held firm to his derringer, in spite of the noise about him, the exits and entrances below decks, and the sudden metamorphosis of Sara Belle Fontaine into the Black Chat, Ting Hao, as she was known and feared even among the White Lotus gangs in the opium dens of Shanghai. He paused, and waited for silence.

De Mornay (as was by now no surprise to any of them), began to speak: "Sara Belle, Ting Hao, in this supreme moment of crisis, since you too have come forward, you must know, you must -- your father is -----"

The Gambler fired his gun. De Mornay staggered, for a moment theatrically, and then, with gradual realization, truly staggered for the first time in his life.

"Not a good gamble, de Mornay. Sorry." The Gambler smiled.

De Mornay, with his last breath, hurled himself at the Gambler, clutching for his body. There was a brief tangle of bodies, followed by a humming sound like a maddened calliope, and then both figures DISAPPEARED!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:40 PM

The tossing raft creaked, its wet ropes groaning as the turbulent waters pushed it up and down. HAving revivied his wounded and unexpected passenger with a small portion of his lost father's best whiskey, the white youth was explaining tot he stricken sailor how he had come to save him from the maw of the Mississippi.

"Once or twice of a night we would see a steamboat slipping along in the dark, and now and then she would belch a whole world of sparks up out of her chimbleys, and they would rain down in the river and look awful pretty; then she would turn a corner and her lights would wink out and her powwow shut off and leave the river still again; and by and by her waves would get to us, a long time after she was gone, and joggle the raft a bit, and after that you wouldn't hear nothing for you couldn't tell how long, except maybe frogs or something.

After midnight the people on shore went to bed, and then for two or three hours the shores was black -- no more sparks in the cabin windows. These sparks was our clock -- the first one that showed again meant morning was coming, so we hunted a place to hide and tie up right away. We wuz just heading to make shore an' Jim, he sez he seen a man floating up ahead, an' we wuz both plumb skeered, I don' mind telling you. But he said it warn't no ghost an' we should see couldn't we help...Aw, hell, Jim, he's gone again!!!" And blackness moved in again.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:27 PM

Aside: You all have inspired me. In cyberspace I can do anything, right? So....in a few moments of lucidity/insanity, I let loose before another prescribed lie down! Hang onto yer hats and all parts fore and aft and nether regions! (Sorry if I've lost track of everyone and what thye were supposed to be doing!) luvakat...

As the hullabaloo of shots rang out, bodies fell overboard, vellum papers were flag-woven, kestrels and woman blended in mindspeak, Actors emoted, Captains plotted a course; amid all of this, Miss Sara Belle Fontaine came to in a flash. With no one focussed on her, she looked about, gave a grim nod to herself and the mojo woman, and with a flash of true scene-changning alarcity, she flung her Southern belle, hooped ring skirt and shirtwaist from her body, revealing the silken pajama trousers and mandarin jacket of a Chinese Dragon Fighter.

"Aiiiieeeee!" she cried and with a menacing glare she took a stance of readiness, with steel fan and long flute in either hand. "All of you imposters and hellish heathens back off! Line yourselves against that wall and toss your medallions into the center of the table! Now! I say!" And at that, she flung a warning death star just above the head of the dissipated actor.

Nodding to the mojo woman, she watched as the kestrel picked out the holographic medallion, bringing it to her in a low and fast flight, skimming the heads of all who stood in total shock.

In cool, deadly calmness, she laughed sardonically, < "Ha! And "yew-all" thought I was just a lil ole Souterh belle! Oh I am my daddy's daughter, but he raised me in the Far East, knowing I would have to be prepared for this day, knowing the Red Heron devil's league would find all of the true heirs of the Pied-Chat and try to destroy us! I tell you now...those of us who are real will mark this day as a day of glory and pride, for we will be proven and held in the highest of esteem for all our days and beyond to regions future. Step forward all ye who bear the true sign, as I do!" Thrusting her arms high into the air, the loose silken sleeves slid down to reveal the intertwining tattoos of identical black cats, intertwining in luxurious fashions the length of her forearms, green eyes flashing with an uncanny spark, muscles rippling with every movement of her arms. Thus it was the Sign of the Chat!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:25 PM

Jeremy Fontaine De Neufchat Piedmont struggled for consciousness in a blaze of burning pain and black water; his arm was on fire and the murky river threatenmed momentarily to suffocate him. Instinctively he kicked madly in retreat from the churning sound of the sternwheel, and clawed unthinkingly for the surface, choppy and dark above him. He reached air, finally in a surge of his final energy, and drifted, washed over by the chopping waves, unaware of the receding lights of the ALbert. Struggling feebly, he drifted as the mother of all waters steered him, lapsing into unconsciousness at intervals, and groaning at the burning pain in his left arm.

Presently he felt a change in his motion, a hard object pushing under his unfeeling shoulders, and the lap of riverwater spraying off wood. He felt himself being drawn up, and prepareds to meet the angels he had always been told would attend him in his passing; but as he was born up, a glimmer of consciousness returned to his bruised form, and he found himself being supported not by winged creatures of divine light but by a ragged black boy, no older than himself, watched nervously by a youngster in torn denims like his own, and a wet straw hat.

"Yose gwineter be awright, Mistah", the black youth said quietly. "Youse with us now, we'se gwine ter look aftah evvyting..."

The other youth, a pale white face nearly lost under the corn-straw hat, nodded in agreement.

"Don't you worry none, Mister. Jim an' me, we'll fix you up jes' fine..."

Jeremy Piedmont turned half away on the crude log deck of what was no more than a mere raft, nodded his thanks to his worried and improbable angels of mercy, and went compeletely unconscious.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:01 PM

so - amos, with the plot THIS scenerio has had, introduce his identical twin brother, or cousin. Identical twin cousin, yeah, that would work....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM

Goldang it, Leej! Thet theyer wuz mayh favritt charactchewer! Wudja goan dew thet foar?!!! :>)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 10:33 PM

Leej turned to the deckhand who had thwarted the bombing. " Get a look at him?" The deckhand looked about them. Not a soul was in sight. "As a matter of fact, Mr Leej. I think I did." he confided. Leej smiled. " He look like a fool to you?" The deckhand scratched his head in puzzlement and said "No, sir, but I think I know him." Leej interrupted. " ...because he was a very big fool, sir. This was the wrong place and time. It was supposed to be just south of Mobile. That bastard Farragut. Damn the torpedoes, indeed. " Leej lost the look of anger, and his smile was a sad one. "But you made a mistake, too. You shouldn't have come down when you did." The deckhand had moved out to the railing, now, casting quick looks." I..." and that was all he said. The bullet took him over the rail. It was the work of a moment to hide the pistol in the bail of tobacco.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

"Well done mate, that bastard would have killed us all."

Dave searches the body and pulls out a wallet and some letters; handing them over to Capn. Spaw.

"Here Capn see what you make of this fellows papers.. The rest of ye lads spread out and search the ship. If anyone else has a ring like this on, bring em here, and dont be gentle with them, if you have to us force. Aye..."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 08:51 PM

I have not laughed this hard in a coon's age.......Sweet Mary Mother of God, this thing reads like Dumas, Christie, and Doyle meet Stephan King, Mark Twain, and the Marx Brothers!!!!.........that stateroom scene above where EVERYONE was in the Captain's cabin was only missing Harpo's honking and Groucho calling for two more eggs!!!!

I'll try to get back and carry-on cruising after Karen goes to work.......You guys are a riot! This is the biggest laugh I've had in ages...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM

Seeing the dapper Leej, his Army revolver in full view, passing out of sight through the cargo hatch, the tan, lithe deckhand, clad only in his ragged levis, grabbed a capstan bar from the foredeck, and padded after him. Moments later, he stuck his head around the storage-hold entry and saw Leej standing there baffled; in a moment it was clear what was happening, and from the look of the wick, there were less than thirty seconds to do anything about. His heart stalled for an instant; then a flush of youthful adrenalin shook his whole body as he stepped forward, the capstan bar heavy in his arm.

"We've got one chance to stop this, sir -- stand a bit over there and keep your eyes peeledf for whoever tarted this!"

He drew the capstan bar, its crude hardened-iron mounting end forward, and in a single fluid movement through it as hard as he could straight toward the furthest forward whiskey barrel. With a slamming and cracking the barrel cracked from the powerful impact, tottering and falling from the barrel below it, spraying a thin stream of golden Kentucky whiskey from its cracked staves. The pool of whiskey grew rapidly until it reached the sputtering cordite fuse. For a moment it appeared as though the alcohol would only worsen things, as it sputtered in a bluish glow of alcoholic flames; but in another moment the impact of the liquid had overcome the sparking fumes, and dampened the wick to its very root. With a sighing hiss, the sparks of the wicked cordite died and gave way to the overwhelming stench of raw Kentucky whiskey.

The deckhand started to turn to Leej when he saw a shadow leap from behind a line of cargo cases, scuttling toward the hatch, and in the same moment saw Leej turn and fire. in the confined space below deck, the sound was overwhelming and his hearing was lost to an overpowering ringing sound, his eyes blurred by black powder smoke; as he recovered he saw Leej stride across the hold and stand over the inert form of a black-suited stranger, blood pooling from under his prone body, and twinkling on his outstretched hand, the red-jeweled signet ring of the Red Heron guild.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 06:42 PM

"What he says is true," said the mojo woman. With a dreamy look to her eye she sets the kestrel onto the porthole sill of the Albert Hansell. The bird shrieks and is gone to wing towards the Maid of Ohio.
"For centuries the Red Herons have sought to destroy what is right and good. It goes back even further than you can imagine, from the time the first of the clans rode over the hills into Rome and sent stories back of the carnage they witnessed. These men and women have bent the natural to suit their purpose, and have tarnished the pure to further their own gain. There have been but few that have devoted their lives to trying to stop them."
The woman pauses as the bird once again lights on the sill. She sets her hand for it to perch on, and the bird turns to the gathered and shows in it's beak a medallion of a guilded heron.
"This," she says, "is why I am here."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 06:20 PM

Leej had stepped behind the door as the Gambler had worked his magic, the cigar clamped in his cotton-dry mouth. When the derringer was suddenly produced, he had stepped out onto the deck, drawing his own revolver. He was certain that someone in the room was about to suffer a violent death, and determined it would not be him. It was then that he detected, as if in anticipation of the gunfire, the familiar odor of burning gunpowder. Yet it seemed to come from beneath him, from below the deck. Moving away from the drama unfolding in the cabin, he found the hatch that lead to the cargo storage. When he kicked open the heavy door, the odor increased in strength. Stepping through, he could see a faint glow at the bow-end of the compartment, detect a low hiss coming from the same direction. Scrambling in the near dark, he found his way blocked by stacks of crates taken on at Memphis, but he realized the flare was coming from the area where he and the Southrons had deposited the contraband barrels of whiskey. As he stared at the sparkling flame, it began to elevate in the air- 12 inches, 18 inckes off the floor. It was then he could see by the glow of the flare....it was a burning wick, now just 6 feet from a cask of what had to be gunpowder!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 04:53 PM

Cassius de Mornay recovered his dignity -- he had, after all, played Falstaff before raftsmen in his time. "You are not the only gambler here, sir. I am prepared to gamble that you have no intention of shooting me" -- and he stepped away from the levelled pistol -- "and also, that if one looked, one would find under your 19th century garb, the emblazoned chain mail of the Chevalier de Chat-Pied himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 04:31 PM

The gambler stepped from the shadowed corner of the bridge, a faint smile on his face as he hefted a small stack of gold eagles in his left hand, turning and jostling them with his nimble cardsharp fingers, clinking the sound that every human ear responds to - the ring of gold -- in such a way that he quickly had the attention of all present.

"Before we laugh too long at Mister de Mornay's hypothesis," he said in a deep and calming baritone, "I believe you might be interested in this particular medallion, which I had from the guttersnipe who filched it from the trapper's bag yesterday morning on the foredeck."

He drew from an inside pocket the medallion he had recovered from the boy, and wrapping it's heavy chain around his wrist, held it forward. Thicker by half than any other, it was bestudded by a strange array of jewels, some round, some faceted, in deep unearthly scarlet and ocean-blue hues.

"Observe, before you laugh again, this interesting effect..."

He pressed the largest jewel, a deep scarlet stone centrally embedded in the gold just above the strange etched silhouette of the leaping fish, and his audience froze.

From the base of the medallion an indescribable light, a vaporish mist of luminescence, projected like some demonic magic-lantern show into the space around which the watchers pressed. In moments an image began to materialize ... a human, but yet not quite -- male, yet bedecked with subtle ornamentation usually reserved for feminine decor -- slender, his yellowish hair pushed rudely back, but cut well short, a look of consternation only slightly modulated by humor in the lines of his clean-shaven face. The lips began to move, as though the man himself were among them, an unthinkable notion to those present -- a moving daguerrotype!?? Their awed silence deepened when the medallion began to emit sound, clearly accompanying the motion of the vibrant, cloudy image.

"This is Mudcat Radio, and we are seeking the Cat's Paw Forty Nine. We urgently need his help. THis is Mudcat Radio, calling for the Cat's Paw Forty-Nine. We urgently need his help...." As suddenly as it appeared, the image faded and the luminous cloud vanished.

The gambler smiled.

"More things there are under hevaen, than in all your philosophy, my friends. Perhaps Mister de Mornay, the master of speculation as well as of the rare Orinico blow-dart, can offer us another layer of explanation. "

He drew the derringer from his waistband, leveled it at the portly actor's brow.

"Assuming, of course, that he felt appropriately motivated to provide some such revelation to a boatful of undeserving admirers...".

The steely click of the upper barrel being cocked at de Mornay's temple sent an icy wind of apprehension through the company.

All eyes were on the frozen tableau before them, the steely-eyed gambler whose strong hands never wavered, the lethal derringer, the disheveled and sweating actor, and the mysterious vellum document held in de Mornay's limp hand.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:57 PM

Deep in the bowels of the craft, the stoker wondered what was causing such an uproar among the officers and passengers. He just hoped it would not cause Capt'n 'Spaugh to expostulate in public again, it had taken far too much time and energy to clean the wheelhouse the last time that had happenned.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM

Captain Catspaugh turned back to the assembled throng. "Goddamn it all to hell. Chief Mate, go and get that hambone actor up here again. We have to wade through his clotted verbiage one last time. I can't read this damn thing past the first clause."

The Mate looked disgusted, but went out. While he was gone, the buzz of discussion rose, peaked, and then fell once more. In the distance, the Maid of Ohio also seemed surprisingly calm.
De Mornay was thrown, somewhat theatrically, but with not outstanding elan, into the room.

"All right, Cassius. The time has come to talk, and talk fast. We are up to the gunwales in medallions, and the pumps are failing. I have this parchment which says something so wierd even I can't bring myself to say it. If you could restrict yourself to words of 3 syllables or less, and cut back on the hypotactic sentence structure, we would appreciate it."

De Mornay looked dubious, said nothing, but shook his chains like Marley's ghost.

"Oh, all right, let him go." The Mate unlocked the chains, and de Mornay rose. "Well, before I speak, I need to know if this space is secure. I believe that all those now in the room are either holders of medallions, or have come across them in their time, and, more importantly, that you are all forces for good. Mate, would you check all corners and windows before I proceed."

The Mate did so, grumbling all the while. He nodded his head when he was done.

"The ladies," continued de Mornay, "might wish to be seated, as this will take a few moments in the telling. " Miss Fontaine and Miss Montesquieu seated themselves. Mary Green stayed vertical. The lady with the kestrel hovered.

"Well, then. The night President Lincoln, Captain, my Captain, was shot by John Wilkes Booth, I was a young understudy for the performance, and this Captain, now Captain Catspaugh, was also young and agile. On that terrible night, while the attention of the multitude was captured by the antics of Booth, Captain Catspaugh and I happened to be at an adjoining exit, where we brought down, for a brief moment, a figure whom I believe to have been the true assassin. In the struggle, before this shadowy figure was assisted by other shadowy figures, I pulled off his neck this medallion -- " de Mornay flourished the bloodstained medallion from his pocket. "Then he and his cohorts fled as the shades of night."

There was a movement forward -- de Mornay gestured them back.

"I had seen such a medallion before, once, twice. You will all recall that stirring struggle for Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg, so storied in legend. As a friend and fellow rhetorician of Joshua Chamberlain's, I was upon that hill that day with the valiant sons of Maine; as the equally valiant sons of the Confederacy poured up, ultimately in vain, against us. At one point late in the hideous fight, as we were becoming fatally low on ammunition, and hand to hand combat was breaking out, I stood up at the wrong moment and found myself face-to-face with a Confederate soldier of gentlemanly demeanour, who was aiming his rifle point blank at my chest. I had but the briefest of seconds to compose myself for what I would say to William Shakespeare in Heaven, when to my shock and honest horror, I saw that soldier, as he prepared to fire, himself stabbed in the back by one of his own comrades in arms!!! I rushed forward, thoughtlessly, and caught the dying soldier in my arms. His traitorous colleague in the meantime had rushed away, not before having revealed, by a glint around his neck from the late afternoon sun, that he was wearing an ornate medallion. Imagine my surprise when I found a like medallion about the neck of his victim!!! When the conflict had died down somewhat towards evening, and the fate of the Confederacy had perhaps already been sealed, I discovered that the murdered man was a Matthew Fontaine, grandfather to Miss Fontaine here, though I only discovered this much later.

It was this event, later linked to the Lincoln assassination and other strange and unnerving episodes in our nation's history that led me to the piecing together of a strange, but I believe convincing hypothesis."

"This was finally confirmed for me in the swirling events of the last few days, but had been foreshadowed by a desperate conversation with Judge Fontaine, father of Miss Fontaine some months ago; and a wild series of seemingly unconnected forays into the Wilder West, including a trading post run near the Rockies, from which the Trapper (who has disappeared for the moment) escaped, and later recovered in the bank to which Slick Philly had entrusted what he believed to be the Fontaine medallion, and which so unfortunately was spilled out in the open for all to see here such a short time ago, and precipitated the deadly danger into which we are all plunged."

"Get on with it, Cassius, we will be in New Orleans by the time you are finished," expostulated Captain Catspaugh.

"Throughout recent years, I have become convinced that there is, and has been for many years, a deep conspiracy of evil responsible for the darkest of the dark turning points in our nation's -- and dare I say, the world's -- history. The loss of Lincoln is but one of these events. Whenever the forces of good have been poised to bring about a better world, a richer community, a peace of the just, this cabal of destroyers has wrought havoc -- a lost letter here, an assassination there, a false rumour in this ear, a catastrophe in that place, and so on. They call themselves The League of the Red Heron. Their symbol, etched on their ornate medallions, which each member receives upon entry into this select band of darkness, is the Heron."

"But --" interjected Miss Montesquieu.

"But, Miss Montesquieu was about to say, that is not what appears on these medallions. No, she is right. If you look at your medallions -- all except the one that I hold in my hand, the medallion worn by Matthew Fontaine who was the only figure of good so far to have falsely entered into the League of the Heron -- they all contain a different symbol." He paused.

"And it is here that my story enters the realm of the fantastical, but I believe it is the only explanation that fits the facts."

"As the parchment says, and I precis, the League of the Red Heron has been in existence for many centuries, at least since the days of the Crusades. But what it also says is the opposite: that while it has appeared throughout history, it is really not historical at all. Or rather it does have some historical location, which -- and here I crave your indulgence -- may be in the past, or, perhaps, and this I believe to be more likely-- in the future. That is to say, it has found a method of projecting its hideousness through time to different periods to promote maximal disruption."

"To combat this vast transhistorical conspiracy, it appears -- though I cannot be completely clear about how the parchment speaks of this -- that another group of time projectionists, or perhaps travellers, the forces of good, have also set forth. They seem to be able to take upon themselves different personal identities according to some mysterious process, perhaps akin to Mr. Morse's telegraphy in some altered form, and enter into our historical period. If you examine your medallions you will see etched upon them a lowly whiskered fish, sometimes referred to as a Mudcat. I believe that these medallions belong to the League of the Mudcat, fighters for truth and goodness through the ages. They are arrayed against the Red Heron, in mortal combat for the wellbeing of human history. I further contend that they have some mysterious relationship, perhaps ectoplasmic, to the holders of these medallions here and now. It seems to require, as I said, some kind of perhaps gas-powered crystal ball linking them all together telepathically, and allows them to project themselves. Miss Montesquieu, for example, I believe to be incorporating in some ectoplasmic fashion, an early 21st century teenager; Mr. Philadelphia, a fan of something called the Electric Light Orchestra in the same period; Miss Fontaine's future puppetmaster or mistress is not something I can discern at this moment; and so on for all of us. I believe that we are being manipulated in some occult fashion by forces from the distant future, for the greater good, and to struggle against the darkness of the League of the Red Heron. My only proof is the medallions we all hold: the parchment; and the mysterious forces that seem to be at work in this dire situation. Yet I beleive that it must be so!!!!!!!!!"

De Mornay stopped, having reached the end of his narrative. There was silence for a brief moment.

Then everyone but de Mornay started laughing, and laughing, hysterically, leaning on each other for relief!! "That is the Goddammed looniest thing I ever heard!!!!!" said Captain Catspaugh, and his comment was seconded by all those convulsed in tears about the blushing de Mornay, for once at a loss for words!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:06 PM

Though the valves to the steam calliope are firmly shut off, a melody begins to play. Eerily, it is a quiet, haunting melody; made more eerie by that fact that

1) it is being played on a calliope which normally means NEVER quiet,

2) there is no one at the keyboard

3)it is a steam driven machine and it is recieving no steam


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM

Struggling with the strange lines of ancient script the Captain haltingly decipherd the parchment's ancient message, line by line.

"These are the final commands to the followers and heirs of the noble Knight of the Order, Sir Mal-Vent de Chat-Pied... Let all know by these presents his design....".

He paused, shaking his head in disbelief...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: JenEllen
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:27 AM

The mojo woman kneels by the fallen Sara Belle. Resting the unconscious head on a pillow, she takes the medallion from Sara Belle's hand and stands with the others.
The thin vellum the captain held to the light made her heart soar. It showed an ornate script that she felt in the very fiber of her ancient soul.
The kestrel screeched and flapped it's wings on her shoulder. It too remembered the days when they ran the glen together, hunting with the hound, running with the stallion. She could once again catch the faint smell of the heather in her hair, and it brought with it a sigh.
The paper glowed in the captains hand, and the setting sun through the porthole of the Albert Hansell lit a curious set of watermarks in it.
There appeared to be a mark for every medallion in the room. From the largest medallion down to the dainty piece that Ms. Sara Belle had clutched in her small white hand.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM

"What a fool that young kid is" thought the engineer/stoker. "That lovely young Miss faints on him and he rubs her hands. He should....." Just then he notices the large club in the deckhands possession, and decides to return to his boilers


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Mbo
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:29 PM

All thoughts of horror and worry about the medallion, and it's many look-a-likes fled from his mind as he sought to catch Miss Montesquieu before she fell to the ground. Caught her he did, a gently lowered her to the deck. He got down on on knee, propping the unconscious Miss Barky up in a sitting position and began rubbing her wrists to try to get the blood flowing into rosy cheeks once more. He looked up and around with an air of consternation. So many medallions...but which one was the REAL one? "I should have known this would all come down on me one day! What a fool am I!" He though sadly.

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM

*from the gangway to the boilers, a soot stained face peers out, mouth gaping in dumbfoundment*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:12 PM

The ginger haired riverboat queen, muscled and stout, her green eyes as sharp as a Louisiana stilletto, turned and stared. Her face, wind-beaten and sun-darkened from long years on the bridgewings, paled noticeably as she watched the drama unfold before her. She clutched Captain Spaugh's arm and faded back a step, struggling for words.
"Dear Mother of All Waters! I cannot credit what I am seeing here! Are you folks mad!? Am I??!! Damn me for a foolish hussy if this don't beat the worst fix I was ever in since I lost my maidenhead to that no-good two-bit Lothario of an actor back in Saint Louis!

"But I might be able to shed some light on this situation. I believe I have something here which will help clarify matters..."

Reaching into a worn and scarred leather cartridge case -- the faint tracings of the once proud "CSA" emblem barely visible on the cover --she wore at her belt, she drew out a large and densely folded parchment. As it unfolded, those on the bridge could see at once that it was not of recent date or local origin, for it opened with the oiled and whispering rattle of ancient vellum, smoothed by long use, and the writing on it was plainly from a hand long past.

"This was handed to me through my grandfather, whoo had it from his grandfather," she explained. "He was a proud noble on Scottish lands before the wars drove him to the Colonies. He had this from his grandfather, who traced it back to an ancestral member of the Ancient Order of the Knights of Malta. It has followed our family name down through the generations since that first noble forebear, who bore his claymoor in Jesus' name over eight hundred years ago, and founded a dynasty. His name was Malvent de Pied-Chat, my ancestor ten times removed. "

The Captain, stunned, stepped forward and grasped the pvellum sheet, holding it up to the afternoon sunlight streaming through the bridge windows, and in his own turn paled, visibly shaken.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Barky
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Suddenly, who should walk through the door, arm in arm with Slick, but Miss Montesquieu, with yet another like medallion in her hand. Without looking at anyone she stated, "Ah pulled this off th' neck o' th' man in th' black cloak th' naht th' shot was fired." Upon that statement, she looked around, and saw for the first time, all the other people with similar medallions. On seeing that, she promptly fainted. "Oh deah!"

~Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: acoustically yours
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM

deep in the bowels of the Albert Hansell sat a worn half starved black man ,he was chained to bulkhead he'd been dragged aboard at new liberty bend his rewards for capture paid minus the usual 20% for transport he was singing a rather interesting song though hard to catch the words when a wet but dapper gentleman was escorted in and chained beside him Now, she is a little queen of spades, and the men will not let her be Mmm mmm, she is the little queen of spades, and the men will not let her be Everytime she makes a spread, hoo, fair brown, cold chill just runs all over me

I'm gon' get me a gamblin' woman, if it's the last thing that I do Eee hee eee, gon' get me a gamblin' woman, if it's the last thing that I do Well, a man don't need a woman, hoo, fair brown, that he got to give all his money to

Everybody say she got a mojo, now, she's been usin' that stuff Mmmm, mmmm, everybody says she got a mojo, 'cause she been usin' that stuff But she got a way trimmin'1 down, hoo, fair brown, and I mean it's most too tough

Now little girl, since I am the king, baby, and you is a queen Ooo eee, since I am the king baby, and you is a queen Let's us put our heads together, hoo, fair brown, then we can make our money green

from nowhere he produces a key and with these words passes the key to his companion

mee mis' seys a faint within a faint de keens aboat and they both vanish

past& present lives


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:56 PM

A this point, Miss Sara Belle Fontaine and the mojo woman came sweeping in to the Captain's quarters, too. In Miss Fontaines's hand she held a similiar, more diminutuve medallion.

With the strength of the mojo woman and her kestrel streamig through her, Miss Fontaine held everyone at bay while she pointed her finger and said in an accusatory tone,

"What is the meaning of this?! How did you all come to hayve false baubles which signet belongs only to mah family? Oh ye impostahs and fakes! Captain, Ah imploah yew, Ah am on my knees begging yew to arrest these heathen blackguards and sahve mah family's honah, Suh!"

At that, she fell back into the supporting arms of the mojo woman, who glared fiercely at all who dared come near her charge. On her shoulder, the kestrel glared in an equal if not more dire warning.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM

"What the...where the hell...how did I...." Catspaugh stammered. "Quickly" Leej ordered," he's coming around! Fetch a large brandy...and one for the Captain too!" He leaned over the Captain, holding the liquor to his somewhat blue lips."You had us worried, Old Cat." The Captain coughed on the fiery liquor, then lay back on his bunk."What's that?" Catspaugh pointed at the ornate and incongruous medallion that had fallen through Leej's shirt-front where a button was missing."That the gift of some admiring whore in Storyville?" Cat asked. Leej smiled."Thanks, Captain, I will have another cigar," and he cut the tip off one of the Captain's expensive panatellas."Actually, if you look closely, you will see that it is broken at the center. Before the war, my Father gave me and my brother each half of this bauble. He said that it had great value for all of my countrymen. He said that, should we encounter others who possessed a like medallion, we should wire him immediately for instruction. After Henry was killed, I had a jeweller make the two piece whole again."

Leej's story was interrupted at this point by the blustering entry of the soaking-wet actor, the mate, and a large red-haired virago. To his shock, the mate held an identical medallion on a chain that dangled from his hand.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Mbo
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 06:52 PM

Shocking news, folks...this IS his book! **BG**

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Barky
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM

*Dad, aren't you supposed to be working on your book?*

~Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM

"Alright, De Mornay, give me one good reason why I shouldn't toss you back over the side, this time with an anchor tied to your cussed hide, you histrionical clapped-out, good-for-nothin' I - don't - know - what ---"

De Mornay looked at him with the kind of regal dignity that is somewhat undermined when one is draped in soaking wet remnants. "One of the benefits of booklearning, my dear Mr. Mate, is that one seldom runs out of colourful language. Miss Green here, though not a scholar, has been known to have a fondness for the works of Walter Scott, and the occasional dip into Wordsworthian sublimities. When crossed with her vast experience of life, she has been known to fumigate cowboys out of their bunkhouses . Isn't that right my dear?"

She looked darkly at him, opened her mouth, and proceeded to desecrate him and his ancestors, individually and with great accuracy, according to the Linnaean system, not omitting references to the implications of the recent Mr. Darwin's hypotheses for his roots and branches. Having completed this task, she turned her attention to the Chief Mate of the Albert Hansell, borrowing the tactics of the precipitous Lord Nelson, to whit, coming in close and bombarding him and his ship and the ship's captain and all passengers, past, present, and future.

This having been done, and the recipients of this set of robust broadsides having relocated the farflung fragments of their bodies, the Mate invited her to the Captain's cabin for a welcome bout of refreshment, which she delicately accepted; and clapped de Mornay in irons, which he, perforce, but with somewhat of a muted delicacy of his own, also accepted.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:07 PM

***shhh...it's secwet gummint woik...**


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:36 PM

* well, at least Amos is writing something, even if it probably isn't what he was suppossed to be....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM

The tanned and shirtless foredeck hand hefted a coil of 1/4 inch manila and stepped up on a foredeck bitt for better visibility. As the boat carrying the disconsolate actor and the ginger-tempered skipper came within range he sank his lithe shoulders into a half-turn and with a graceful rapid turn of his upper body let fly the coil, which straightened in a long arc under the morning sun, flying true and straight across the bows of the launch where it was skillfully led around a wooden cleat by a waiting sailor. The boat was drawn into the long wooden rubbing strake of the Albert in short order and made fast to allow its passengers to scramble over the rail, aided by a large hempen fender hanging from the rail. Sidearm in hand, the sturdy, dangerous looking Mate came down the companionway to meet his questionable boarders, his face dark with latent fury and confusion.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Mbo
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:39 AM

As Slick Philly and Miss Montesquieu stood dumbfounded by the rail, and the rocking of the steamer rose to a fevered pitch, a guitar appeared in Slick's hands and he started to madly strum, as Miss Barky and her newly-materialized trumpet lashed out the heart-pounding solos--thus the musical interlude began, as various montage images of the heightening tension flashed by....

Away, the joker's closing in, reform and they will win
The light is fading fast
I know, you know, they know, we all know
Everybody's gonna burn down

The girls come crawling on all fours, banging on locked doors
High cards call the tune
I know, you know, they know, we all know
Everybody's gonna burn down

Play me another hand
Lose everything I am
Until we meet again...

The ace, that's hiding up your sleeve
Will cause the world to grieve, the love you had is gone
I know, you know, they know, we all know
The dream, in every player's heart, to win it all not part
They lie awake at night
I know, you know, they know, we all know

The game, where gamblers rule the night
And got your blood they might, the joker's closin' in
I know, you know, they know, we all know...


--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:09 AM

"Jesus, By God, Cassius, you look stupider than a capon in a henhouse. If I remember rightly from that high-bucking month you and I grappled with two hundred years ago when I was younger and less beautiful than I am now, you bathe, if you bathe, on Fridays. Otherwise, you and water are barely on nodding acquaintance. This is a Wednesday."

"Ah, my dear, the barge she sat in like a gilded --"

"Don't Cleopatra me, Cassius, you did it once, and I worked it off. What in hell is going on?"

"There is a tide in the affairs of --"

She picked up an oar, and threatened him with a solid whacking. He concentrated his mind.

"Truth to tell, it was designed, somewhat histrionically, to save a Miss Montesquieu, who was moments from a silent death. It was the only distraction I could think of at the moment that would move her forward out of the circle of shadows, and also, and more importantly, allow me to disappear. However, I miscalculated the speed of the current, and as I was about to be sucked into the paddlewheel, rather than circle the ship and enter it from another direction, I had to set out for your vessel."
Mary snuffed. "You were never much good at indirection, Cassius, at least not in real life."

He sighed, not unlike Henry IV, Part I at the realization that he would never reach Jerusalem. "All true, all true, but we are left with the one continuing puzzle -- once again, the agents of the Red Heron are holding back from obliterating us all. But why? Why? When so much is at stake, or (and a new thought occurred to him) could it be that ---?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:42 AM

High above the crenellated stacks of the stricken riverboat, the huge kestril wheeled on the rising river air, the heavy vellum envelope tied to its ankle only slowing it slightly. Driven by its strange telepathic link with its mistress, it stretched its wings and glided, rising and falling, turning and rising again in the early morning sunlight. Finally, it swooped earthward in a long, graceful curve, braking and fluttering to a landing on the bridge rail of the Maid of Orleans. On the deck of the Albert the gambler and the seeress stood gazing at the hawk's antics, a look of anxious hope tracing their faces simultaneously.

The gambler turned to the bridge and strode quietly to the Captain's cabin. He spoke briefly to the Mate, who stood anxious watch over the inert form of the still unconscious Captain.

"I believe I may be of some assistance, Mister TAM," he sais. "I think I have a notion as to what has occurred here. If I may...". He leant to inspect the small puncture wound on Catspaugh's neck. "It is as I thought. This man has been stricken by an Orinoco bird-dart, a hunting technique known only to a few tribes of native hunters from the upper reaches of the Orinoco basin. I have the privelege of being one of three Europeans ever to have observed the techniques used by these wily savages to prepare these darts, which stun their game for long periods. The second such gentleman was a British explorer. The third was our recent companion, de Mornay, who I believe will be being assisted out of the river shortly. Fortunately, I also had the provelege of studying the antidotes used by the local brujo in their villages."

He reached in a pocket and brought out a small, ornate tin, which he opened to reveal a dollop of dark, tar-like alve. He applied it to the puncture wound, the temples, and the middle of the forehead of the unconscious officer, and put the tin away.

He turned his gaze toward the open river outside the open deck and saw the kestril returning. The Maid of Ohio had suddenly slowed, her driving wheel still in the water, and sudden activity could be seen on her decks as hands lowered a small boat over the quarter. In short order, the longboat was making rapid way toward the distant figure of the exhausted Mornay. The gambler smiled.

"The Captain will be himself by morning, Mister Mate. I suggest you call down to your good engineer and make those boilers ready. We will be having visitors alongside in a short while, or I miss my guess."

The Maid's catboat could be seen again stretching her long sweeps, and he bows turned not back to her own vessel but toward the Albert. As she made her way across the broad waters, two figures , tiny in the distance, could be seen seated on the for'd thwart. One, huddled and soaking, was the actor, de Mornay.

The other was none other than the flame-topped, swaggering, hard-cussin', two-fisted, half-alligator and half-sea-turtle skipper of the Maid herself, Steamboat Mary Greene, the Scourge of the Mississippi.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM

*MAN OVERBOARD!*

The engineer would have thrown the engines into full reverse, to hold position in the river, except that they were drifting with the current anyway, so it wouldn't make any difference. The boilers, in fact, were stone cold.

"This is whats ah get fer letting that Brady cuss person inter me engine room!" he cursed...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 09:43 AM

"I could not help overhearing your impassioned words, Miss Montesquieu," interjected Cassius de Mornay, who had suddenly appeared behind her. He bowed from the waist in his slight corkscrew manner so as to keep his profile and his fullface towards the audience as close to simultanously as possible. "While it is true that the 19th century is supremely devoted to speed, transience, and immediate pleasure -- somewhat like the young gentleman from Philadelphia waiting attendance upon you -- it is not from the moments of noise and flurry that the great currents of this narrative take their power. As the obscure writer Melville notes in his whale book, the vasty deeps have their highways and byways as well."

He gazed out at the morning. "The captain is stricken with a strange fever, which has crippled the ship. Miss Fontaine is locked in her cabin with the weird sister. There are rumours of torpedos, monitors, heaven-piercing explosions, and trinkets of varying sorts. But we are still at early days, Miss Montesquieu. I cannot see into it all -- which of us can -- but if we were to be, shall I say, exploded or becalmed, those who are bound on our destruction would by this time have, not to put too fine a point on it, eliminated us all permanently. So there are bigger Leviathans to fry, Miss Montesquieu."
She smiled back at him, prettily, causing a frown to pass over the face of Slick Philly.
"But" -- he lowered his voice -- "May I urge you, urge you, on pain of your life, not to speak of medallions in this open space again!! Your life is threatened with each utterance." He bowed once more, in a somewhat more Oriental fashion, stood up, brushed himself off, and, reenacting the moment in the Tempest that had won him acclaim in Lisbon including a somewhat tawdry medal from the Princess Royal, a supreme nonchalant gesture accompanied as it was then by two somewhat diaphonous Portuguese maidens disguised as water sprites, alas not available on this occasion, leapt overboard!!!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 08:33 AM

[cruelly, as the Albert Hansell,like the thread seems to be running out of steam] Isn't that an ironclad monitor dead ahead just coming into view in the mist, all power gone and the wheel not responding..???
JUMP FOR IT!!
RtS [spoilsport]


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 08:15 AM

Get a message ashore and have the Pinkerton agency send their best man down to the next port. All officers to carry sidearms...Double the watch until we secure.. Keep your eyes sharp and your mind on the job lads...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: MMario
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM

Barky - 3D intrudes a lot....some one will wrap this up, soon, I imagine...if not, you get to do whatever you want with it!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Barky
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 09:55 PM

Gee... I wonder what's going to happen. Oh well, seems people have lost interest. *Sigh* Well, I suppose it's typical of people this day and age....

~Miss Monte... I mean.... Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Barky
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM

Leej was standing at the rail, watching the Maid of Ohio make up more ground. She had succeeded in rounding the bend outside the main channel without encountering sawyers or sand bars, and was angling back to the channel, now only 1/2 mile behind the Hansell. Catspaugh was at full speed as well, but his boat was pitching now from bow to stern. "We've too much cargo in the bow," Leej thought to himself." We should move some of those kegs and crates aft and get her nose up." He had turned toward the wheelhouse, intent on speaking with the Captain, when he felt the boat go into a hard turn that sent him against the rail. "What the...!" he said, but then, just as suddenly, the Hansell had corrected course. He ran up the steps to the wheelhouse to see the chief mate Dave at the wheel, and the Captain,unconscious, being lifted from the deck by several crewmen. "What's happened to him?" said Leej. Dave replied " I don't know. I was talking to the engine room when she went hard a-port.He was there on the deck when I ran up to take the helm. He may have fainted." Leej felt for the pulse in the Captain's throat." He has a weak pulse...get Benoit in Berth 19, he's a physician. Let's take the Captain to his cabin... but, wait...here on his collar, some blood....and a puncture wound! Davey, let's keep two men at the helm. Something wicked is afoot!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: GUEST, Another conscience....
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:09 AM

Classic example!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Mbo
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM

Slick face turned pale as he listened to Miss Barky's words...how did she know about the medallion? This troubled him, and compounded with the news he had received earlier...when stopped by the bank in Memphis, to try and contact the bank in South Dakota in which he had left the Medallion, he had been told the bank had been robbed several weeks ago, and all money and collateral had been lost. So now the medallion was out there somewhere....and now Miss Barky new of it..and what exactly did she mean by "the real medallion"? This was all too confusing for Slick....

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Barky
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 12:54 AM

Miss Montesquieu took Slick by the hand, and led him to the now empty fore-deck. She sat him down on one of the benches that were ever so convieniently placed there.
"Ye remember when Ah fainted lahst naht?"
"Of course, Miss Barky."
"Well, Ah figure Ah should give an expluhnashon..."
"Aw, nah, M...."
"No, Ah figuh Ah should tell ya why I did faint. Ya see, what Ah saw, and Ah still shudda' thinkin' about it. Ya see, Ah saw... Oh Gawd...."

Miss Montesquieu broke down in tears before she could finish her sentance, which was unfortunate for Slick. He had been hanging on her words, interested in the terrible sight she had seen the previous night.

"Please tell me, Miss Barky! I would like to know!"
"Yes. Please fohgive me. Ah am not mahself this mohnin'. As Ah was sayin', Ah saw a man, lurkin' in the shadows, and HE HAD TH' REAL MEDALLION!

~Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT:The Albert Hansell Pt.2
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM

Peter T, ye have some explaining to write!


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