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TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3

Amos 08 Apr 00 - 12:35 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Apr 00 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 00 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 05:18 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 05:56 PM
catspaw49 08 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM
katlaughing 08 Apr 00 - 06:28 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM
Mbo 08 Apr 00 - 07:50 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 08:02 PM
Mbo 08 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 08 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 09:18 PM
katlaughing 08 Apr 00 - 11:40 PM
Susan A-R 08 Apr 00 - 11:45 PM
Caitrin 08 Apr 00 - 11:59 PM
catspaw49 09 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:46 AM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 01:37 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM
Barky 09 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 03:45 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 04:33 PM
Caitrin 09 Apr 00 - 04:51 PM
catspaw49 09 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:00 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:05 PM
Barky 09 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:21 PM
Mbo 09 Apr 00 - 08:23 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM
Mbo 09 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 10:20 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Cassius de Mornay 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 09:13 AM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 11:46 AM
MMario 10 Apr 00 - 02:37 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 03:04 PM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM
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Subject: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 12:35 PM

This is Installment Three of the Albert Hansell's strange and complex story.
Part One can be found here. Part Two can be found here.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 01:35 PM

Amid the general mayhem that prevailed aboard the Hansell, Robert E Leej followed the blood trail of his accomplice. It did not lead, as Leej had guessed it would, to his co-conspirator's cabin, but to the Wheelhouse Tavern. In a shaded corner, nursing a straight whiskey, sat the disheveled figure of his accomplice. Leej took the other chair." Sorry about the wound, Shadrach," he spoke in a low tone." I'm not the shot I used to be. I meant to kill you." Shadrach DeSoto looked up, his face locked in a pained grimace." The actor was about to spill the beans. He knows about the powder and the plot. If you want to get rid of the Medallion Cabal, it's got to be done now." Leej puffed on the panatella and leaned forward."You calling the shots now, DeSoto? I have no desire to go up in flames with them...you know we have a boat waiting at Vicksburg to take you and I and the Captain off. That was the reason for his wounding. But you panicked!" Shadrach gulped his whisky "alright. But you'd better get rid of the Actor. He knows too much." Leej took Shadrach by the arm. "I'll take care of him. Let's get you to Dr Benoit's cabin. He should be finished with Catspaugh by now. I told him to give him enough laudanum to keep him quiet 'til we get to Vicksburg."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 03:50 PM


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM

The mojo woman smiled as the Black Cat revealed herself to the startled throng. No one saw her slip quietly out the door of the Captain's stateroom. As she walked along the deck she was assaulted with images of gunshots, splashing black water, swirling silver, and the smell of whiskey and gunpowder.
She reached her own stateroom, entered, and closed the door. Lit by nothing but the pale moon, she began to undress. Any intruder in the room would have been startled to see her reflection in the mirror. For across her back, between her alabaster shoulders, rested the obsidian image of a crouching panther.
She braided her hair, and donned the light shift dress that had served her so well these many years. Her bare feet moved along the wooden floor silently, as she reached for the door once again.
She set the kestrel alight, and made her way to the foredeck where a group of men were moving what appeared to be quite a burden into one of the Albert Hansell's skiffs. The men were swearing under their breath and kicking the bundles.
She melted back into the shadows as the men one by one walked past her to go below decks once again.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM

J:

Lose more darn kestrels that way! Waste of a perfectly good bird -- coulda used a kerosene lantern. :>)

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 05:18 PM

A:
20% less fat than your traditional fried chicken
;) J


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM

As Leej and Shadrach made their way down the companionway, they were suddenly taken aback by the sight of a flaming kestrel flying blindly past."What sort of dreadful harbinger...?" said Shadrach."Just keep walking," said Leej.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 05:56 PM

The kestrel landed on the railing of the Albert Hansell, unzipped it's miniature asbestos underwear, and stood awaiting the roar of the crowd that never came.
"I never should have let that broad talk me out of leaving the circus...I could have been a star." he churred.
He then gave himself a good shake to loosen the cinders and made his smouldering way along the deck to his mistress.
*you fellas are incorrigible-bg*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM

Catspaugh was groggy and drifted in and out of consciousness. He had been vaguely aware of the voices and at one point he thought he'd heard another gunshot. Bits and pieces of the action surrounding him had filtered through in a mish-mash images and sounds. What was it about a medallion? Where was the "Maid of the Ohio?" Who wanted two more eggs?

The doctor had given him something too and now the drug induced sleep was causing what had to be hallucinations. Through the porthole he thought he saw a flaming kestrel streak past followed by a flying doghouse piloted by a goggled beagle........his eyes closed as he fell back into a deeper sleep.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 06:28 PM

Yes, a deeper sleep, but one punctuated by continuous images of no seeming relation...an old spinster flying through a windy sky on a bicycle with a basket on back, humming a sinister ditty, dum-ta-dum-ta-dum-dum....; a cadre of crazed hamsters dancing in the demented fashion of dervishes; and the tiples! Oh, the tiples, everywhere he turned, no matter the image, no matter the dream, there they were! Playing the endless tinkling tiples! What madness! He tossed and turned upon his bunk, flinging his hands to his ears, then across his eyes, screaming out loud, "BAAADDDDDD trip, Man!! Who slipped me this shit, man?!!! Shitcan those bales, the stuff is NO good!!!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM

The stout redheaded virago captain of the Maid of the Ohio had had enough. Stepping deftly to the side of the stunned Mate, whose attention had been distracted by the sight of a brief, violent, flame passing the bridge windows forward, the sound of a shot, and the general improbability of everything he had witnessed, she relieved him of his heavy six-shot Army Colt revolver, and snapped the attention of the crew on the bridge suddenly into the harsh realities of nineteenth century river life by firing the first shot straight into the overhead, filling the enclosed area with booming echoes.

"OK, you crazy Cats, eenuff is eenuff," she spat at the half-dazed crowd. "I dunno who you are, where you came from, or where Cassius and that gambler feller went, but I know this much. I have a ship to run and I ain't about to let a bunch of half-crazed cultie time traveler dudelos rustle me outta it.

" So, Mr Philly....", she waved the gun menacingly, "If'n you'd be so kind just do me the favor of rustling all them there medallions into that there mailsack." As the dapper, wide-eyed youth did so, the stout red headed Bitch of the Mississippi turned her stare and the mean business end of the Army Colt on the rest of the assembly. "Y'all want to sort this out after we tend to our immedjit business can contact me in New Orleans in care of the Green River Lines office. I'm taking these hyar baubles as surety. First one follows me down trhet ladder is a dead alleycat."

Grabbing the saddle-bag style mail sack with one hand she threw it over her shoulder, reached in a pocket and drew out a gold eagle and a small vial filled with a bluish-green fluid, secured with a strangely wrought glass stopper in the form of Mississippi catfish rampant. She handed both items to young Philly, pushed past him to the companion way and said as she started down, "The coin's for yer trouble. The vial's for Capn's Spaugh -- I never meant him no trouble but he has bilgerats on board. I suggest you bring him outta that laudanum fix he's in before this tub runs aground and drowns you all.

She bvanished toward the foredeck where another shot could be heard, a muffled scream as one of the shadowy hands lurched over the rail into the water, and a great deal of rumbled cursing as MAry Greene commandeered the skiff laden with bales and a strapping young buck to man its oars, and still waving the menacing iron in the general direction of the Albert, vanished into the dark mix of black Mississippi air and balck Mississippi waters without a trace, heading for invisible Maid.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 07:50 PM

Slick Philly received the coin & vial willingly. "A Light for when all other lights go out" thought, but did not know why...the words seemed to come from someplace distant. He was reminded for a moment of the poor engineman Mario, who HAD to work with the bilgerats everyday, poor devil! He slipped the phial into his pocket, and examined the coin. He stared intently at it, then from his other pocket he produced a metal punch (he was a bit of an artist) and punched a hole in the center of the eagle. He presented the coin to Miss Montesquieu, who, during De Mornay's strange revelations, had been successfully revived. "Take this, and wear it on your watch chain, Miss Barky, as a token of me...my...well...." he stopped, his brows furrowed in thought. "Come, Miss Barky, let us hie to the Tavern, where we can talk, though I fear that more danger is yet to come."

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 08:02 PM

"But Philly, " the young coquette said with raised eyebrows -- "Shouldn't you be using that there concoction to revive our Captain? We cain't leave the ship at risk whal we pursue the pleasures of each other's company in the Tavern! Hit jes' wouldn' be raht!! And she unflinchingly steered her young paramour into the cabin of the recumbent and delusory Captain 'Spaugh, just abaft the bridge


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM

Slick looked somewhat sheepish. "Oh YES! he said "Where is my mind? Stunod Boy at your service!" As he made his way with Miss Barky to the Captain's quarters, he though "Boy howdy I like a girl who can take charge!" They entered his chamber without incident, to find the bed-stricken Captain Catspaugh, twisted in his bed clothes and mumbling incoherently. He pulled the cork stopper from the phial, and handed it to Miss Barky. Slick held the delirious Captain's head steady as she poured the clear blue liquid past his lips which spoke no sense, and down his throat. The two then stepped back, not being sure of what would happen next. The Captain's body began convulsing violently, and he began to hurl slight-pronunciation-variants of obscenities. His pale, clammy skin seemed to take on a glow...which rapidly coalesced into an overwhelming blue flame which cast eerie shadows on the walls of the shuttered cabin. The air became very still...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM

Daves Cutlass bit deep into the black coat of the Red Haired Captain pinning her to the deck of the Albert Hansell. Grabbing the saddle bag he retrieved his trusty revolver, and then threw the Red Haired captain over the side into the waiting boat( taking great care not to hurt her as it was against his religion to hurt a girl) When the Captain is sick I'm the bloody master of this boat; and I've had enough of the stealing and piracy aboard, here get away with ye. Returning to Capt Spaw he ask's what can ye get from the letters I gave ye Capn? The crazy things going on around here are just too much fer me I'm signing off at the next port of call.. Bloody river boats, Bloody women captains, bloody murderous gamblers, I'm off back where the waters salt and clean.. At least you know who the bloody enemy is...Aye this is madness..


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 09:18 PM

Gee, DTAM, looks who's talking -- ye're rewinding the whole time line to rewrite the bits ye don't like! Steady on -- we'll get through it! :>))


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:40 PM

Anybody have the time and energy to run a quick Cast of Characters, with what they are doing, with whom or what?! Might help bring this puppy back to port!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Susan A-R
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:45 PM

Maybe it's time to dock her and head for the usual bars in which river rats hang out. I know I've read a bit of this one and am more confused than usual.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:59 PM

I gave up, kat. : ) I just couldn't read and post fast enough to keep up with this one.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM

Catspaugh slowly awoke to more noise and a flood of voices coming from the deck outside his cabin. Years on the rivers and these boats had tuned him to the sounds of the vessel underway. The Hansell was barely working he thought. What had happened? What had gone wrong? He couldn't make out what was being said and he was still too dazed and groggy to climb from his bunk. He heard the voice of mate and the tone told him all was not well. He tried to listen and identify the others, but it was still too much. Whatever the Doc had given him was still at work, but he knew he must overcome it. He thought of the whiskey and wondered if it was still there...probably not. Vague recollections came back about a fight, a fuse? What was that? He slowly sat up and methodically poured a glass of water from the pitcher on the nightstand. Maybe it would help dillute the poisons in his blood and he'd be able to regain strength more quickly. He sat slumped over on the edge of the bed and tried to relax and muster his thoughts. Breathing slowly and deeply, he sat otherwise quite still. "One last run," he whispered softly to himself. "One last run."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:46 AM

I apologize for contributing to the confusion, although I have had a few rude shocks myself. Here is the cast of major characters; I hope I have not left anything out of importance, but if I have please excuse me. It is late.

 

Dramatis Personae
Persona Orignated By Summary
Captain Catspaugh Catspaw 49 Master of the Albert Hansell; originated the smuggling plan, stopping at a small sand island near the New Liberty bend; suspicious of the Gambler; mysteriously knocked unconscious by an Orinoco bird-dart.  Alleged by Leej to be in league with saboteurs.
Robert E. Leej, a sometimes actor and gentleman adventurer Leej Friend and helper to Catspaugh in his smuggling adventure; later involved in the sabotage plot -- with the Deckhand, acted against the apparent saboteur and shot him, although not mortally, but then alleged to be in cahoots with the saboteur, identified as Shadrach DeSoto; shot the Deckhand, sending overboard; later ordered the Capn to be dosed with laudanum to prevent his plot for sabotage with his conspirator deSoto from being thwarted. 
The Deckhand (Jeremy Fontaine De Neufchat Piedmont ) Amos Songster, lead thrower; interceded on the arrival of the Trapper by slicing open his rucksack and discovering the mysterious Fontaine family medallion, allegedly tracing back to the crusades. Later saved the ship from being blown apart by his quick action. Was unexpectedly shot by the treacherous R.E. Leej, and saved from drowning by the  intervention of two boys -- one black, one white, who were drifitng down theriver on a crude raft
The Gambler Amos Mysterious, but apparently harmless -- he follows events with close attention and appears to have prior connections with several characters, especially Sara Belle Fontaine.  He intercepts her note to RE Leej in which she refutess knowing him before and implies she is covering up past history; he also intercepts the deckhand seeking to take the First Medallion to her and secures it carefully in his cabin. He diagnoses the mysterious attack on Catspaugh and provides the mean to heal it, returning him to consciousness. He tries to converse with Sarah Belle about her legacy and the mystery around it, after disarming and whisking her away from the scene where she inadvertantly shoots Albert, but is interrupted by the arrival of the Mojo Woman. It is he who reveals to the group the strange workings of the original Medallion, projecting from it a strange message from the future voiced by someone named Mudcat Radio. Later, he draws a gun on the actor Cassius de Mornay, and shoots him, at which point both the Gambler and the ham Shakespearean disappear.  The Gambler revives on a strange ship where communication is provided by a computerized but human voice who schedules a meeting with "the Senior", not yet revealed as Lazarus Long.
Sarah Belle Fontaine katlaughing A lovely post-bellum Belle with charming airs and a somewhat mysterious past. Believes herself to be the daughter of wealthy Judge Fontaine of Baton Rouge. However carefully denies prior acquaintance with RE Leej and only admits having once known the gambler when forced to it; is fixated on recovering the original medallion as her family legacy, and for some time believes other versions of it to be phony.  There is sme doubt cast on the judge's wealth, as well as his sobriety and actual paternity in the matter. During the crisis on the bridge/captain's cabin she throws off her delicate facade and reveals herself to be a ferocious master of martial arts, demanding all true (tatooed) members of the Cat clan to reveal themselves, but this dramatic stance is interrupted by other events
Slick Philly Matt Mbo A dapper, zealous youth with a sweet voice and a big heart, he is occasionally confused buis always constant in his deeply passionate attentions to Miss Montesquieu
Miss Montesquieu Barky A genteel Southern gitl with a voice like an angel, somewhat given to vapors and fainting, leads Philly to the captain's cabin to revice C. Spaugh using the remedy provided by Mary Greene, when C Spaugh is overdosed with laudanum.
Mate Dave  Dave TAM Loyal, fast-acting Mate on the Albert,ready to take up arms in defense of his ship or his Captain; gets somewhat thrown off by the strange complexities of plot as described by the actor Cassius de Mornay.
Cassius de Mornay Peter T. Brilliant Shakespearean has-been who once found a medallion like the Fontaine original on an evil character who was involved in the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theater.  Found a similar medallion on a young Confederate soldier during the war named Fontaine who turned out to be Sarah Belle's grandfather;  weaver of strange hypothesis claiming the existence of an evil cult called the Red Herons who are battled through time by a good group identified by the medallions, possibly, and the symbol of a Catfish.
Mojo Woman JenEllen Mysterious seer with secondsight, she defends Sara Belle ferociously and gains far-seeing visions of  events through her familiar, a beautiful kestrel, whom she inadvertantly sets alight, but who survives.
Albert Hansell Bert The man for whom the boat is named; catches fish, and a stray bullet fired by Sarah Belle in a moment of distress.
Mary Greene Amos Famous the length of the river as the only female riverboat captain, she is stout, redheaded, hot tempered and pushy; she nearly takes all the medallions when she leaves the Albert to return to her own boat, the Maid of the Ohio but is prevented by fast action by the Mate.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM

Birlliant, Amos, thanks! NOW, we can move on with the story!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM

[totally awesome Amos dude. I would only add that there are, or seem to be, two sets of medallions, those engraved with the sign of the League of the Red Heron (evil time barons) and those engraved with the sign of the League of the Mudcat (crusaders for good). The relationship between these leagues and the newly revealed Society of the Black Chat (not to mention the magical Panther/Mojo woman) is still uncertain. As opposed to the rest, which is of course crystal clear.....] yours, Peter T>


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM

(This IS getting as convoluted as one of Robert Jordan's "Wheels of Time" books! Hey! If his can sell, so can ours! How about it...let's write our own..the Mudcat Tavern Series!)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM

WHHHHHHHHHHHSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHsssssssshhhhhhhhheoeoeoeoeoeoeooeroooeoeoeoeeooeoeeoeoeoeooooooooshloooop!!!!!



Hallooo?




Dark, dark, dark. Halllooooooooo???


There's husbandry in heaven, their candles are all out.....
Dark here, wherever here might be. As the seeker after the white whale remarked, Death seems the only desirable sequel for a career such as mine; but, after all, Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Unshored.

Hmm. If this is Death, it is taking an uncommon time about it. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, thy victory????? Limbo? Wait!! Let me feel around for that blasted medallion. Here it is -- and yes, it is bent out of shape. So at least the planned part of our charade worked. Uncommon good shot, that Gambler -- I do admit to some trepidation when he first proposed it, but. But. But I did not count -- did he, I wonder? -- on the sequel. The impact of the shot must have triggered some ethereal force, some archangelic (or demonic, soft, pat, before inwreathing thy mind) dissolution.
But where have I been transported? And where is the Gambler? And -- O horror -- what has become of Sara Belle Fontaine -- did I tell her in time? -- No. No!! I must go forward.

SMASSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH(tinkle)!!!!!!
accursed darkness! I begin to see why ghosts haunt the living world -- trying to get some illumination. This darkness is worse than the hearts of a Tuesday night audience......Wait. I see something ahead, an illumination!!!

It is -- what is it? -- it is a vast white wall, shimmering vertically ahead of me....What could it be??? Strange. It seems strangely alive, and yet not. Let me strike it

*

. Again:
*
.
And now letters, reversed, reading from right to left, come into view. It seems to be some recording device. I CAN READ IT!! It says "It seems to be some recording device"!but backwards, as I speak. How palpably strange. A speaking wall, in truth. What -- or who -- is on the other side? There, it did it again. It seems to be recording and scrolling my every word. Perhaps there is a person or persons attached. HALLOOOO?? Can you help me? Are you anyone? I am Cassius de Mornay, involuntary time traveller. I seek the League of the Mudcat, desperately !!!! HALLOOOOO?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM

The Gambler, stunned by having a dialog with a disembodied omnipresent female voice, stammered for a moment; but never shy or timid, found his voice and asked if he might have a glass of good brandy while he gathered his thoughts. The mellifulous tones of the computer hesitated, and then replied that she thought she could manage that after a brief consultation with her archival molecular descriptions for the time period. "Would Henessy be acceptable?", she asked? Moments later, a small panel in the seamless white walls of his "room" (for so he thought of it) opened to reveal an oversized snifter well-charged with the golden amber. He sniffed cautiously andhis eyes opened wide.

"This is the best brandy I have ever had the fortune to taste!" he remarked happily.

"Thank you," the voice responded. "It is from an 11th century formula of which we acquired a sample from an earlier traveler here, a distinguished knight of the period, one Malvent de Pied-Chat."

As he thought on the quizzzical connection, and wondered what might have become of the actor in their violent transition, a large panel on the wall grayed and brightened, revealing an image of a square-jawed man, gray haired with piercing eyes, wearing a kilt.

"Goldang it to tarnation, what the hell is happening back there on the river?!!", the face demanded. Then, remembering himself, the gentleman spoke more courteously. "Sorry, sorry. I am remiss. Welcome to our humble vessel, sir. My name is Long. I am sometimes called the Senior, being the oldest of a long line, and sometimes called Lazarus. I am sometimes also called things I won't repeat here. You are a guest on my ship, and your hostess is Miranda, an intelligent personality built into the very mechanism of our craft to provide communication and intelligence. I need to hear from you what has transpired. There is a serious risk that the vessel you lately left is about to become the site of an involuntary chrono-spasm, which could have far-reaching and rather catastrophic consequences if it is not averted. But, I always say, any paradox can be paradoctored! Your story, sir, if you would be so kind...."

And the Gambler began his tale.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:37 PM

"The recording device scrolls down -- and I now seem to be able to read, if backwards, a description of what has befallen the Gambler (he little knows who Lazarus Long is) -- and again, of course, the wall repeats what I say. This recording device must be the hub of the League -- but which League? -- if it is the League of the Red Heron, every word, every thought is being known throughout their ectoplasmic interconnected cabal as I say it. But of course the same is true of the League of the Mudcat. This white wall

***

Trapped. Silence!!!!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM

We should get cabal modem service, Peter!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM

This is getting good, guys! I suppose I should add my ˘0.02 worth, eh?

As they watched the captain change from a light blue, to a purple, to a lime green, to a yellow, to a normal color, Miss Montesquiue and Slick stood back with slack jaws and wide eyes. Suddenly, the captain sat up, and exclaimed loudly (which was normal for Captain Catspaugh), "What the HELL is going on here?! Why the hell is no one working, and why the HELL are the engines laboring so hard to work?! LET'S GO, PEOPLE!!!!"

~Miss Montesquiue


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 03:45 PM

"Who might these Soma (sorry, Amos, I am picking up some speed at this backwards reading) and Peter T. be? A-d-d-T-h-r-e-a-d-t-o-T-r-a-c-e-r. R-e-p-l-y-t-o-T--- Perhaps this is a communications device of some kind? Wonder of wonders. Or -- or -- what if, no. What if it is not a recording device at all? What if it is not recording what I am saying, but making me say what I am saying? What if this is the record of my Creator in the act of my creation? Am I in the midst of the Workshop of Life itself? As an actor, I am used to being the mouthpiece for the words of another; but to BE the words of another???? Surely not. And yet which comes first, my speaking, or this strange scrolling report???For they seem to come at the same moment

It is too deep for me. What I require is assistance to return to the deck of the Albert Hansell, or at least to send a warning to the Black Cat. Perhaps....if we are partly puppets of some strange sort -- as are all those who live upon the earth -- perhaps each of our puppetmasters -- I can only pray that they are truly the League of the Mudcat -- can assist us. I will not speak to my own -- I avoid metaphysics! I will call out to the Mudcat League person who, mayhap, guides the Black Chat, or to him who maneouvres the Gambler. Warn them, warn them, if you can hear me -- Let them beware the finding of the LAST MEDALLION!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 04:33 PM

"Goddamn it, Herk, get those engines up and stop lollygagging or I'll show a whole new use for yer goddam whiskey bottle!!" screamed Mary Greene leaning over the boiler-room hatch of the "Maid of Ohio". She turned to her first mate, Horatio Bellamy, a sturdy broad-shoulderd river-dog with long droopy mustaches. "Now, then, Mate, show me where the hell we are on this godforsaken river. The two of them stood over a chart table on the back of the Maid's bridge and pored over a chart. The stout virago cursed under her breath. "Damn it, Hor, where's you get this chart, and what the hell are those funny numbers? " The Mate, used to her tantrums, replied that it was jes' an ordinary river chart. Mary Greene blinked and saw a normal chart, indeed, as he had said. But at the edges of her tired vision, the chart with the strange numbers overlaid upon it kept surfacing in her mind's eye.

"How long until we clear Saint Louis?" she demanded.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 04:51 PM

Lazarus Long? Who's next? Jubal Harshaw? Perhaps Pixel? Or maybe Maureen? Is this steamboat about to get teleported to Mars? Or to Tellus Tertius? Oh dear.
Kat, we don't have enough prophecies for this to be a Wheel of Time book. : )


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM

Catspaugh felt ill as he viewed the scene before him. The two young people came through to him as a prism of colors. He staggered as he tried to navigate the room and fell backwards against the wall. But somehow the wall didn't stop his fall and seemingly opened up as he fell into a seat in a large room lined with flashing lights and panel of glass with everchanging words and pictures. As he looked about, a large amphibian looking creature, dressed in some type of odd uniform, put down a book it had been reading from and advanced upon him. It was making a series of noises that somehow he felt must be some sort of language. Catspaugh took a quick glance over his shoulder as he arose and noted that the room was filled with these odd beings. He then noted a large screen he had not seen before that looked like the stars on the darkest of nights on the Mississippi....but he could see thousands of them, far more than he even suspected existed.

"What the hell is this?" he shouted at the creature that seemed to be in charge.
"Bors vlotr sixdrnz kijne fh gjlsguowt," the thing seemed to say.

It began to walk toward him in an awkward manner, speaking the strange gibberish. Catspaugh reached beneath his coat and withdrew the big Navy Colt and pointed it in the general direction of the weird beings as he backed against the panels with the words and pictures. Then he heard a voice he knew....it was the actor. And another. And another. The Hansell's passengers were talking behind the glass as though they were trapped within the wall. Unhesitatingly, the Big Cat fired into the panels and a shower of sparks and fire exploded toward him, knocking him backwards through an open door.

He fell face first onto the sole of the Hansell's wheelhouse. Picking himself up, he realized that all the pain and all the stupor had left him and he felt quite fit. He had no idea what the last hallucination had been about.....it was a hallucination wasn't it?.....but he still clutched the Colt in his right hand. The mate at the wheel stared at him with alarm.

"Mate, I don't know what the hell is going on here, but get yourself below and round up all those nabobs and pretenders and get them up here! I mean NOW Mate!!!"

The mate hurried off with a look of fear and a lot of unanswered questions, but returned with the passengers that the Captain had requested. Catspaugh glanced briefly at the featherless bird on the Mojo woman's shoulder, but shook off the thought.

"Now listen to me you bunch of peckerwood swamp flies. I don't know what in the hell is up or what you've been up to, but it sure stinks worse that that toasted falcon. I don't rightly give a gator's ass what your intentions are, but mine are simple. The "Maid" and that bitch captain of hers are rounding the bend just ahead. I'm going to beat her to Baton Rouge or die trying and all of you are gonna' pitch in and help. Now get below and start lightening the load. Get the useless shit overboard and if I don't see you all hard at work, I'll figure you for the useless shit you are and throw YOUR ass overboard. Mate, take that deckhand and yourself to the engine room and help Mario stoke this old girl. I'll take the wheel. Now GO!!!"

The group started off and Catspaugh fired a shot in the air over their heads as they turned.

"The next one will be up your backsides if you don't get busy. There'll be time enough to talk later in New Orleans. Move now before you find yourself 'waist deep in the Big Muddy'."

Catspaugh turned to the river and the wheel as rang for full power.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaawwwwwww!!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:00 PM

Aye, Aye, Capt'n 'Spaugh! The fires are well stoked, boilers are steamin' and the pressure is up! wood supply is low, but we still have a bunker of coal and the funiture in the tavern can all be broke up and burnt....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:05 PM

Heck! Bring down the liquor supplies, and a couple of the barrels the mate thinks are hidden in the hold. They'll give us a good hot fire! And what we don't burn, we can drink!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM

We switch possesion of a character once again, and we find the Mojo woman down in the boiler room, with her charred kestrel limping back and forth across her shoulders, and we hear her chanting at the boilers in Latin, "In nomine Domini Sabaoth, sui filiique ite ad Infernos." Suddenly, the boilers spat into life again, their sluggish ways forever banished with the chanting of "In the name of the almighty Lord, go back to the fire (hell)" Or something along those lines.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:21 PM

hey! whose boilers are you calling sluggish!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:23 PM

"I warn you, go back to the fire that is prepared for you, flame of Udun! I am a wielder of the Secret Fire of Anor--go back to the abyss!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM

The engineer finishes tying down the safety valves, turns around and gapes at the mojo woman and the (apparently) hysterical young gentleman, and shouts to the Captain.

DAGNABIT! How am I 'spossed to keep the steam up with all these dad-burn idjits dancing around talkin' mumbo-jumbo!

He turns to the crowd, Mek yerselves usefull, leastways! Go break some funiture up inter pieces small enough to fit in the furnace!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM

Miss Sara Belle Fontaine, late of Baton Rouge, revealed as the one true Dragon Lady of the Black Cats, "whirled away in the voids of space where the wandering comets are" (shameless quote from her grandaddies poetry cum song), then, upon returning to the deck of the Albert Hansell, with the full force of the Universe at her fingertips, she immediately began to lay waste the minions of the evil Red Heron League. Holding them at bay or discharing with wanton abandon, her services allowed ole' Catspaugh the time he needed to best the Maid and her banshee captain. The end of the line was in sight and Catspaugh led by a nose!

"Onward, ever, my Captain, my LeeJ! The very heavens depend on the worth of your fight. Think ye not why, oh why, the banshee is red-haired, 'tis in league, she is, with the forces of hell. The Universe awaits your triumph and all will be well, no matter who my daddy was!" she cried.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM

Slick took Miss Barky by the hand and both took off at a run after the Captain. By the time they got to the Hurricane deck, they could see the Dragon Lady (not Moreta) standing below, guiding the Albert Hansell toward the finish by the smallest of margins over the redhaired hoyden Captain...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 10:20 PM

Her boiler pressure high and the vessel mightily lightened by the overboarding of a dozen barrels of gunpowder, the weight of the good whiskey shifted aft to trim her, her mighty sternwheel began to dig deeper in the brown waters of the Mississippi, and the Albert Hansell, the Captain again on watch at the wheel, began to tear a wide swath as the broad river bent through Saint Louis heading south for Louisiana miles below. Her mighty frame sang and vibrated to the pounding of the grat psitons within her, and her bow lifted clear of the whote bone in her teeth where the waters parted to let her fly by. Sweated and aching from unaccustomed labors, the passengers fed a constant stream of combustible material down through the engine-room companionway, and Catspaugh let himself go so far as to let loose one long great river-shaking blast from the mighty whistle atop the bridge.

The Albert Hansell, Mississippi Riverboat extraordinaire, was back on the run, and didn't much care who knew it.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 10:22 PM

grat psitons = great pistons in Lithuanian.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,Cassius de Mornay
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 AM

drfe -- this seems like some sorfdt//sort of letter making machine i press with my fingers and lo they appear on this white screen. i won dfa25433 I - aHH CAPITAL LETTERS. Hard work this. There was an explosion of some sort, some shattering of some verticality and a tear opened up in the Great White Wall. I slipped through and am now -- where? -- I must investigate. But first, perhaps, let me see if, taking my cue from the few scrolled messages I was able to peruse, I can somehow interfere with what is unrolling on the Albert Hansell. Let me try and warn the Black Cat. How? Well.
Sara Belle Fontaine, the feared Black Cat, heard a voice in her brain, the voice of Cassius de Mornay: "My Dear, de Mornay here, I deeply apologise for entering your mind unannounced, but I must warn you about the fabled Last Medallion -- it was your father'szzzzzzvbbbbbsssdsdZZZZZZBBBBBSSSSSS


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:13 AM

In mid-fling of another Red Heron member, Miss Sara Belle/the Black Cat, stopped with a very startled look on her face. Shaking her head, she held her hands up to her ears as if to block out the noise.

"What the hell? de Mornay? What are you, my father's what?? Anybody else hear that LOUD buzzing??!!"

Determined not to be deterred, she devled into the disaster about her, in the depths of the dastardly deeds of the nefarious duo of Red Herons before her, shaking her head slightly from time to time as if to dislodge a bee in her bonnet.

"That de Mornay was always crazy anyway, well...and maybe I am, too, if I think he's in my head talking to me!!"

And, with that, she went back to the fray.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 11:46 AM

Before you run this race at transluminal speed, folks, let me recommend a brief contemplation in geography which can be found in the thread on "Tongues, Time and the Mississippi", at this location.

Another service from Poets Rampant Unlimited Dimensionally, your friendly neighborhood PRUD.:>)

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 02:37 PM

MORE STEAM! *M*O*R*E**S*T*E*A*M*!*!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:04 PM


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM

Dang, Ernie, that was so beautiful it became completely transparent! What did it say?


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