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TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3

Caitrin 10 Apr 00 - 03:42 PM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 04:17 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Apr 00 - 05:52 PM
Barky 10 Apr 00 - 06:45 PM
catspaw49 10 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 08:41 PM
Mbo 10 Apr 00 - 08:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 08:59 PM
JenEllen 10 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
GUEST, A.C. 10 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM
Barky 10 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM
GUEST, A.C. 11 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 11 Apr 00 - 12:33 AM
GUEST, A.C. 11 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM
GUEST, Bobby Ewing 11 Apr 00 - 12:40 AM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 01:36 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 03:20 PM
JenEllen 11 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 11:26 PM
Barky 12 Apr 00 - 05:33 PM
MMario 12 Apr 00 - 05:35 PM
JenEllen 12 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 01:56 AM
MMario 13 Apr 00 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,JenEllen 13 Apr 00 - 04:50 PM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 09:14 PM
JenEllen 13 Apr 00 - 10:24 PM
Barky 13 Apr 00 - 11:56 PM
katlaughing 14 Apr 00 - 12:16 AM
Mbo 14 Apr 00 - 12:18 AM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 01:00 AM
katlaughing 14 Apr 00 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,brad 14 Apr 00 - 01:41 AM
Mbo 14 Apr 00 - 10:57 AM
catspaw49 14 Apr 00 - 11:06 AM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 11:08 AM
Lonesome EJ 14 Apr 00 - 01:44 PM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM
Caitrin 14 Apr 00 - 02:27 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 05:09 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM
Caitrin 16 Apr 00 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:42 PM

Hey, Barky's lifting Rev. Hale's lines from the Crucible! : )


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM

Sharp, Caitrin! Sharp!

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 04:17 PM

The handcuffs clinked as Leej took the panatella out of his mouth."Listen to me, Dave," he said," my plan all along was to unload the Captain, crew and passengers who were innocent of the Medallion Conspiracy before I destroyed the boat. The shooting of the deckhand was unavoidable, and I am reconciled that I will hang for it. But there are more important matters at hand...we have a steamboat race to win! Just let me go to the wheelhouse and have one word with the Captain! I know how we can best the Maid of Ohio!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 05:52 PM

I'll ask the Captain if he wants you up there. If he does we'll take you up, but one false move and this .44 will save the hangman a job.. make no sudden moves I warn ye. Aye!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 06:45 PM

Hey! I was wondering if you'd recognise that, Caitrin! =0)~

~Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM

Dave the Mate approached Catspaugh cautiously. He had worked many boats with many captains and he recognized the intensity which surrounded this one as an almost palpable field of energy. He beggged the captain's pardon and asked of his friend Leej. Catspaugh turned slowly with a look of benevolent evil shining from his eyes.

"Send him up......Alone."

And he turned back to the Mississippi.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:41 PM

In the meantime, having settled things with the Red Heron, for the time being, anyway, Miss Sara Belle Fontaine, gathered up her discarded finery and repaired to her cabin. A few minutes later, having taken a powder of white willow bark for her aching head, she reappeared as the Belle of Baton Rouge she truly was. Softly fluttering an ostrich feather fan in one hand, she settled in a deck chair to watch the race, sipping mint julep like the lady she was raised to be, yet...there lingered a smouldering fire in her eyes, an aura of barely contained energy.

"Why, Ah nevah, Capt. Catspaugh, darlin'! Ah do believe ya'll have a real chance at winnin' this race, honey! Tsk! Ya'll keep helpin' the Capt. there. We wouldn't want thet harridan to beat out our beloved Catspaugh, now would we?",her words held an implied menace for anyone who didn't choose to help.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:57 PM

Slick stopped and pondered for a moment what in the WORLD an electric light orchestra could be...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 08:59 PM

Leej mounted the steps to the wheelhouse slowly, his shackled wrists held forward for balance. He looked out past Catspaugh, standing sternly at the helm, to behold the Maid 100 feet off the starboard beam, her rails lined with passengers in a festive mood. The long stop, after the unpleasantness with the actor leaping overboard, had brought the Maid even with the Hansell."Good Mornin' Captain," said Leej."Good mornin' son," said Catspaugh, keeping his eyes on the river ahead."Still plannin' to blow up my boat?"

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

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

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


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: JenEllen
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

The mojo woman clambered out of the boiler room, as singed as the bird on her shoulder. Her eyes smouldered hotter than the fires of the Albert Hansell.
*aside: LATIN? LORD? Nay Barky! Speak nicely in your native tongue, and the fire understands*
Climbing over the wreckage of the Red Herons left by the Black Cat, the mojo woman suddenly falls to her knees.....the ACTOR!.....doesn't he know he's safer where he is?
She struggles to her feet, and climbs over the railing to let herself down into the 'Bertie'..the Hansell's skiff. Under cover of broad daylight and not giving a rat's testicles who sees her, she rows for the Maid of Ohio.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST, A.C.
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM

Found some powder there Leej.

Boom!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

Miss Montesquiue, awakened from her reviere by a light explosion, glanced around, then sighed and said, "Oh no. Not moah gunshots!" She got up to investigate, finally made it to the boiler room, saw the tiny charred spot on the floor, and said, "Well Ah nevah! Theyah musta been some moah gunpowedah on th' ground, and a spahk from th' boilahs musta light it up! Well, Ahm glad it wern't moah serious!" Then walked back to her cabin to take a nice nap.

ON WITH THE STORY!



~Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM

Bloody hell... whats that crazy woman doing rowing over to that damned Maid of Ohio. Come Back she's going aground!!! Dave yells to the Mojo woman.. His voice carries over the water... Come back..


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST, A.C.
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM

But the Mojo woman can't hear. She's off giving head in the galleys where a real party is in full swing.

Our roving reporter will soon report live from the scene.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:33 AM

Dave swings round the cutlass slides swiftly out of the scabbard. Dave swings it and it bites deep... the head of Guest A C falls overboard and he kicks the body over the side to follow it. Lost in the swift flowing current it disapears in the murky water.. That was the bastard that tried to blow up the boat again... Well its dead now and wont bother us again mates...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST, A.C.
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM

Oh look, there's Bobby Ewing.

Hallo Bob


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST, Bobby Ewing
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:40 AM

Hi, good to see y'all again. Now where's that party.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 01:36 PM

"Well," the grizzled patriarch said, "I don't like it, I don't trust it, and it smells funnier than day-old beans. But you've got the spunk, and I appreciate what kinda trouble a sense of duty can be. So I'll agree to your request and try and locate you back to the Hansell, assuming we can find her. Hey, Topsy and Turvy!!!"

At his call, two bright eyed young women shortly bounded into the room shown on the screen on the Gambler's wall. They were identical in every respect, to an astonishing degree, both full-blooming in their late teens, with astonishing heads of rich red hair and flashing, mischievous green eyes, pale skin and smiles that could draw a man clear to Saint Joe, the Gambler thought.

"Which of you caterwaulers is navigating today?" demanded Lazarus.

"Me, me!!! I am!!" they both replied. "She is not!! It's my TURN!!!"

"Enough!!!", roared the patriarch. "Don't get me angry or you'll end up navigating the dinner dishes by hand! Put your damn pretty heads together and make me a transtemporal matrix that will zero in on this fella's river boat back on Terra I, about 10 absolute hours past his arrival here oughta do. That'll make it...let's see...36 hours local minus the parallax adjustment for the center of masses on the arc -- about 10:00 Sunday morning there. perfect. See to it, you devil-spawned good-for-nothings!!!". He accepted what the Gambler saw as an uncomfortably passionate hug from each of the redheads, spanked them affectionately, and sent them out of the field of view.

"You will have to be very alert, sir. There are more things at play than any ofus fully understand here. Keep your powder dry, and if you will permit me, I will provide you with a small gift as a token of my appreciation for your report."

The screen and Lazarus long's visage faded, and a panel in the wall opened. The Gambler went over to it, alert for the unpredicted, and grinned with surprise. Two beautiful matched derringers, plated in scrolled silver with perfectly tooled mechanisms, lay in a dark oaken velvet-lined case in the hatch. He hefted them admiringly, sighted and worked them, checked their loads and placed them under his jacket on either side. He looked around expectantly. A faint hum caught his ear, reminding him of a tuning fork he had slaved to as a young boy learning to play piano in Elmira, before he ran away to the river.

The white room in which he stood clouded in his sight and he blinked uncomfortably. When he opened his eyes next, he was standing on the promenade deck of the Albert Hansell, a rich Cuban cheroot in one hand and a snifter of the old Knight Malvent de Chat-Pied's best brandy in the other, smiling and shaking his head in disbelief.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 03:20 PM

Despite his perplexity and a sense of new dangers ahead, the Gambler felt youthful, vibrant and in complete harmony with the great waters beneath the keel and the endless skies above, the light on the water and the wild, forceful shaking of the walking beams driving the sternwheel. He chortled, sipped his brandy, and began to sing out loud:

Come on Miss Nancy put your best dress on Come on Miss Nancy 'fore that steamboat's gone. The banjos are strumming the same old tune Up on the deck there's a place to spoon Settle down close 'neath the silvery moon!

He reached in his pocket and rattled the gold he found there, smiling cheerily at the broad world.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: JenEllen
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

Dave:
Relax darlin and take a deep breath!
Remember 'All God's critters have a place in the choir, Some sing low...and some sing unadulterated bullshit'
Yeah, I think that's how that goes...*bg*
~Lil' Mojo Sunshine


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 11:26 PM

The river coursed on, and the Hansell coursed faster, edging up on the Maid, edging ahead, edging behind, grabbing the advantage of minor currents and backwashes under the keen and expert eye of the great River Boat Fool at the wheel. A small boy, in early afternnon, came running up to the Mojo Woman, resting from her enforced labours and caressing her now-healing hawk by the ship's rail. The lad, barefoot, tugged his forelock and presented the brujita with a folded note, accepted a penny, and scampered off.

Her perspiration drying and cooling in the rive rbreeze, the Mojo Woman pushed back a lock of luminescent hair and read:

Esteemed Madam,

I have, of late, undergone a most profound experience, one presenting so deep a challenge to all I have ever leearned or imagined about myself and the nature of the world that I am quite at a loss to know how to begin to understand it! I understand, however, that you are an Accomplished Mistress of far sight and other arcane matters, and I feel, for the sake of my very reason, that I must entreat you to spare me the benitié of your considerable conversational talents for a short while at your convenience. Should you see fit to grant this urgent boon, I would remain forever,

Your devoted Servant,

Charles Stonewall Delacroix,
Gamble


The Mojo Woman smiled, slowly and broadly, rejoicing in some new alignment of mysteries that only she could penetrate--but whether as woman or as shamanic agent, only she could tell for sure.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 05:33 PM

Leht's rufresh this dern thread!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 05:35 PM

thread, would you care for a spot of tea? One lump or two?

here, thread, a nice cool dampened towel to wipe your...uhmmm, to cool you off.

There, are you refreshed?

(sorry barky - I'm in a strange mood)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: JenEllen
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM

The mojo woman folded the note and pressed it in a worn leather book. Her hair flowing around her, cloudlike in the breeze, she made her way to the stateroom of the Gambler Delacroix.
She rapped on the door and was bade enter.
"Ah my Stone, you've been washed smooth in our river, haven't you?" she asked.
She led him to an overstuffed pair of armchairs. The Gambler's lanky frame perched on the edge of his chair, while the lady's curled up in her's like a cat. He could tell it was going to be some kind of story.
"First, I guess I should tell you of the events that transpired while I was on the Maid of Ohio" with this she took his cheroot stained fingers and looked into his eyes. The Gambler saw the scene unfold like a play.
The mojo woman rowed the Hansell's skiff to the Maid of Ohio. Her only thought was 'let the rope down', and mysteriously a rope dropped from the hands of the Red Heron on deck. She managed to clamber aboard none too gracefully, nearly drowning herself in the process.
Her bare feet hit the deck with a thud, and she made her way unmolested to the cabin of Mary Greene.
Mary looked at the bedraggled woman and spewed "Wot the hell er yew doin' in heah? Get yer ass offn' my boat or I'll have ya thrown off'n it!"
"Enough!" cried the mojo woman, the first time her voice ever above a whisper "If you don't listen to me now we are ALL as good as dead!" With that she grabbed the vellum out of Mary's hand and tore off the corner that was inked in red. The light vellum sliver seemingly flew of it's own volition into the potbellied stove in Mary's cabin.
Mary, speechless for the first time in her ever-loving life, watched this madwoman tear around her cabin rifling pages and sending them into the flames. Through the damp cloth of the woman's dress, Mary saw a puma drawn on her back. "I'll be damned, she means business."
Finally the woman turned to Mary and told her the tale of the Red Heron, and how the men she had taken on at port to run her boat were as evil as hell fire.
"Long ago, these men took my sister, the last Chat Noir. I was a long time and a heavy price to have her returned to me. I placed her with a fine Southern family in the hopes that she would be safe. Seeing her aboard the Albert Hansell was by grace alone wonderful, but the timing could not have been worse.
For years I have followed them and tried in vain to stop them from the destruction they savor. My only chance was in the small group of people aboard the Hansell. The only thing that could help us now would be a group of the lost and the pure.
The vellum map you had contained the passages to the inner world. If the Heron's found those, they would be unstoppable. Better they rest in ashes than to destroy us forever.
Come with me Mary, back to the Hansell. There is a shift in the river bottom, and the Maid will surely run aground. Leave her for now with the wretches aboard her."
Mary stared in abject terror at the woman in her cabin. The flowing hair and watersoaked dress might have made her unbelievable to others, but Mary knew she meant what she'd said. She followed her onto the deck. The group of Herons looked at the women, and the mojo simply muttered "Don't see". The women were dutifully ingored as they passed through the group of men and climed back into the skiff.
While rowing back to the Hansell, the mojo woman explained to Mary of the Inner World that she herself had once visited, and the twin daughters she was forced to leave there at their birth.
She was working in a small hotel in Iowa, telling fortunes to travellers for pay. In the lobby one evening she heard the lightest of fingers playing on a piano in the saloon. The man playing the piano said it helped to clear his head ever since he was a child in Elmira. They talked for hours about the moon and stars, and then she realized a few months later that she was with child.
The dreams that came to her were horrifying. The fate that these girls would suffer if left to this world were far greater than any imposed on herself or her sister.
She told this to her supplier of newt toes and rooster eyes, and the toothless old woman grinned and told her "Now it's time!"
She led her to a small closet under the stairs and gave her a shove inside. At once a brilliant light filled the room, the silk sheeting on the walls gave out streams of talking, laughing, and even pictures. It was more than she could take and she fainted dead away.
She awoke to find a grizzled man standing over her with her two red-headed babes crying in his arms.
"Navigators! That's what I needed! Navigators! They'll be prime from the likes of you, Miss. There might be hope for this old ship yet."
On the screen behind him, she caught a glimpse of a boat called the Albert Hansell. The old man followed her eyes, and abruptly his demeanor changed. "Out with you!" he bawled. "You've seen enough and you will see more in good time!"
So when the mojo woman saw the Albert Hansell docked, to her it was 15 years later, but still as fresh as the night before. She boarded without hesitation knowing that this would bring her full circle.

She dropped the Gamblers fingers and smiled, "Long time, no see, old friend."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM

Dang, Jen! Wrapped halfa the plot up like a baby's butt in a diaper, neat as snuff! Nice work! ROTFLMAO here! Well, they sure are good looking twins, huh?!!! LOL!!!

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 01:56 AM

The Gambler knew, for the first time in his remunerative career on the card tables of the world ,that he was out of bluff, out of hole card, and his last gimmick seen through, called out on straight draw and only the high hum of Luck coming over the far horizon to steer by. Inside him, an ancient code, long forgotten, shifted and blossomed, like a single crocus of honor blooming in a snowmelt under the first Spring sunlight. He took back, held firmly to, the lovely translucent hands and looked straight into the far-seeing green eyes, and he responded,

"And you, sweet friend. How may a gentleman serve?"

For a long moment, there was silence while a different kind of river ran between two fire-breathing spirits, seizing quietude for a brief interlude in the heart of the broad, wide, churning waters. He smiled.

"Those were good looking gals, an' it looks like they ended up right. Guess we done good, huh?"

And for that brief moment in the heart of the river, there were no unanswered questions.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 08:59 AM

*wipes eyes* Dang, if it don't sorta get you right in the ticker, y'know?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 04:50 PM

*Boys, Boys, Boys! Still much more to go! Get to writing!*
~Elle


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 09:14 PM

Under a spreading willow five miles upstream from the Albert Hansell hidden in the afternoon dappling sunlight, a ragged wooden raft rose and fall in a small backwater where the Mississippi had eaten a cove into the banks, leaving giant thick willow roots exposed like twisted arms plunging into brown water. Jim was hunkered over a small fire, boiling a tin pot of dark sour-smelling tea.
"Y'know, you lucky dat shot came clean out, an' no bone broke.!", he said, smiling over at the resting form of Jeremy Fontaine De Neufchat Piedmont on the bank. "Now we got that fever broke, wound's setting up to heal okay. Just you drink this here brew, make sure evvything turn out right, jus' like I told ya!"

The small towhaired and freckled youth with the straw hat came into the clearing silently from a path leading down the bank; he carried a string with three large river catfish on it, and a huge grin.

They sat, after the meal, picking their teeth and swapping stories of life on the Mississippi. Jeremy felt his healing arm gingerly with the other hand.

"Boys, I been thinking. I think we need to do sumpn to help all those good people back down on the Hansell. They got no idea that I'm still around and they may still be at great risk. Capn Spaugh is a good man and a good skipper and don't deserve noway to lose his boat. But they's no telling whop is friend and who ain't in that lot."

The towhead said, "Shucks. That ain't too hard. Me'n Jim been lots o' places and learned pretty quick how to tell who's gonna hurt us and who ain't. You get a nose fer it, my Aunt...um... Samantha used to tell me, ain't that so, Jim?"

Jim reckoned it was certainly so, and Jeremy began to get a subdued twinkle in his prematurely wise eyes.

"Tell you what, boys! Mebbe we could do sumpn to help those folks! I got a tactical proposition fer you, if'n yore innerested!"

And the three young men but their heads together, smoking two pipes between the three of them, til long after the afternoon sun drifted toward the far riverbank.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 10:24 PM

fine then...do it my damn self....*bg*

Mario climbs out of the boiler for his noon meal, and he sees the mojo woman sunning herself on the deck of the Albert Hansell. She was dozing leaned against a whisky cask. Her skirts were hiked well above her knees, but somehow it didn't seem indecent.
The kestrel sat preening itself on the cask. It never made a sound, but it was watching Mario intently the entire time.
Mario didn't want to intrude on the lady, but dang it, she was sprawled right on his lunch-eating spot! So he walked to his seat and grumbled a quick hello. The mojo woman opened her eyes slowly, and didn't seem startled at all to find the fire keeper sitting beside her.
After the usual chit-chat about the weather and the price of licorice in St Louis, Mario hesitantly asked her "Them folks say you can tell the future, is that true?"
The woman's head flew back and a loud laugh erupted from her throat. In a flash - the woman held a deck of cards produced from the folds of her skirt. Mario gave an uneasy chuckle. They were the same cards he'd played when he lost his last week's pay in Jack High to the Gambler. She spread them on the deck with lightning speed. Piece by piece, she told the man what the future held for him.
Upon turning the first card:"You have both the knowledge and desire to succeed. This sensitivity has two sides for you. The sensitive person appreciates the valleys and heights of the human condition, and at the same time you feel alienated and out of step." The second card turned itself on the deck: "This is emphasized in your need to stand alone at times." The third card flipped next: "This journey held the promise of the ability to communicate insights while traveling and inspiring others." The fourth card: "You have a strong mind and a strong will. You are a brilliant addition to any collective effort, because you are capable of seeing and resolving many facets of a project simultaneously." She then took the man's hands and closed her eyes.
"You.....have saved every cent you've been paid on this journey, save the pittance lost to the Gambler. Your future holds....oh lovely day, a boat. But a boat powered by the air, and not a black oven. Big billowing sails, and you go with the dolphins dancing in your wake. Your hands holding the wheel of the schooner are clean, love, all of the soot and coal grime has been worn clean of those creases on your knuckles. You will be well."
With that she let go of his hands, gathered her cards, and left him to his lunch.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Barky
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 11:56 PM

Miss Barky Montesquiue partially awoke from her deep slumber.She'd always been able to sleep more than 24 hours at a time, it was a talent of hers. She had had another one of those nightmares that she always thought were real. She thought to her self, "Thahr's no use goin' on lahke this if thangs are gonna be THAT way!" She walked herself slowly but surely to the deck rail. She climbed partly up the white railing when Slick walked up behind her and grabbed her waist. "Spread your arms... it's fun!" He said. Miss Montesquiue spread her arms and exclaimed, "Wha, Slick! Ah feel as though Ah was flyin'!" (My Heart WIll go On plays in backround) "Ah do wish Ah knew what that horrid music was, though! Gee I wondah if Ah could really fly!" Miss Montesquiue jumped off the railing and was seen no more.

~Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 12:16 AM

All the while, Miss Sara Bell Fontaine bided her time, sipping mint juleps up on the fore(?)deck.

Aside: Jenellen, are Mojo-womon and SB Fontaine sisters? I got kind a lost in the Revelations, darlin'.**BG**


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 12:18 AM

Miss Barky jumped off the railing, but Slick Philly still had a hold of her as they plumeted down, down, into the muddy water below. Slick plashed and spluttered and was pulled below the surface a few times too, but for all that he did NOT let go his grip on Miss Barky. "By life and limb I promise to save you! That I will!" he heard himself shouting above the turbulent sound of the speeding Steamboat. Which a mighty heave and a near-backbreaking twist, he righted himself in the water and began to pull Miss Barky to sure. The struggle was almost more than he could handle, but a sudden leap of adrenaline, he quickly brought them against the current--across the path of the gaining Mary Greene. He was not afraid to look straight down the throat of dangeer--one thought and only one thought remained in his mind--to bring her through alive. But he did make it, with only minutes to spare, to the far bank, when he layed her on a bed of soft leaves, trying desperately to remove the water from her lungs...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:00 AM

(Wow!  Congratulations to both of you!

Miss Sarah, Mojo was indeed yer elder sister who placed you for your own protection with a certain Sutth'n fambly. ANyone seen the Skipper?

We need a current location fix hyar.)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:16 AM

(
Why, thank yew, darlin'. Last I remembah someone was tahlkin' about some nice muslin sheets? Ah, need anuthah julep, sweetiepie, puhleese!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: GUEST,brad
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:41 AM

hello


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:57 AM

Slick Philly sat hunched up on the riverbank, watching as the Hansell & Greene boiled down the river into the distance, still going at full speed. Slick had managed to revive Miss Barky to some degree, and she now lay sleeping on the leaf bed he had made for her. Her clothes and face were stained with silt from the riverbotton, and her hair was tangled and wild. He looked back over his shoulder at her. There was nothing anyone could do to make her not beautiful to his mind. The tears once again flowed from his eyes, and his hands clenched in fists of determination. He had once told her that he'd throw himself in front of a freight train to save her...her mere existence had seriously changed his life, and he'd be DAMNED if he was going to let the Big Muddy steal her away from him. The afternoon was waning...he rose to his feet with a purpous...he started gathering wood for a fire...night would soon come upon them, and he did not want Miss Montesquieu to catch pneumonia in those wet clothes of her...anything to warm her up. He then noticed a sound, as if from oars paddling water...he turned around and stood on the bank...coming directly his way, almost hidden under the low hanging cypress trees, was a raft, with three dark figures on it. He began to wave his arms to signal them for help....

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 11:06 AM

Catspaugh stood at the wheel transfixed by the revelations. He believed the Mojo Woman was capable of anything. After seeing her ROW a boat between two speeding steamers he felt that with her all things were possible.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 11:08 AM

{Brad, if this thread didn't scare you off, welcome. Please don't think you're being ignored, but the Albert Hansell is in the midst of a Mississippi riverboat race, and a half dozen of so multi-dimensional, cross-temporal plotlines in the process of being warped. People are a bit pre-occupied...)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:44 PM

Leej asked to be taken to the port rail, where he arrived in time to see the sawmill just 3 miles north of Cold Creek. Two fishermen between the Hansell and the shoreline watched the churning steamboats' approach with alarm, then gripped the gunnels for balance as the big wakes caught them. The rowboat rocked violently for a few seconds, then one of the fishermen over-compensated and the boat overturned, pitching both into the water. The larger of the two emerged with a gasp, spluttering "SCOUNDRELS!" while the other swam for shore.

With a smile, Leej sensed Catspaugh cutting, then re-applying, then cutting the boilers again. The Hansell gave every appearance of a steamboat in trouble. Leej heard the steamwhistle give the call for assistance, and saw the skipper of The Maid of Ohio suddenly appear outside the wheelhouse, grinning a huge grin. She produced a megaphone and was heard to call out "Don't worry! When we get to New Orleans, I'll send a tug back to pull you in!" The Maid then cut directly across the Hansell's bows, a troop of passengers standing at the sternrail waving hats and handkerchiefs in farewell.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM

*I'm so confused....I thought the skipper of the Maid was on her way back to the 'bert with the mojobird women.* Or does she have an evil-er twin.....?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM

Mojo Woman put her arm around the stout figure of Mary Greene, standing on the promenade deck midhips watching the charade. "Those Herons did a pretty good job of keeping up the show", she remarked. "That imposter over there looks a lot like you, only uglier."

Big Mary Greene smiled ruefully, knowing that forces larger than she could deal with were about to cost her her beloved Maid, but that there was no other choice.

She reached in her cartridge case and touched the vellum paper there thoughtfully.

"'S far as i kin tell now, Mojo, we got all the Catters here wit us on the albert. An' they got all them Red herons ovah theh on the Maid. 'Lessn ol' Leej is still usin' both sides of his mouth at once. But I think he's tellin' the truth about his plan."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM

They had crossed the river in darkness, after picking up the wet and unhappy young lovers, and inducted them into the plan. They had worked all night with the bottomless zeal of young people at play. By midnight the long creaky raft had been unbound, the stout pinesmaking up her main platform separated out and the long waterlogged sections of graying hemp rope used to bind her up pressed into other service. Jim's Barlow pocket-knife had worked overtime, and the Deckhands good arm was throbbing as much as the bad one. As dawn rose over the mississippi the head stood at the promontory where Cold Creek flooded in to the Big Muddy, the waters around them still thick with washed-down soil from the levee collapse earlier in the week. They admired their handiwork in the growing light -- a tower of stout pine logs on rwo legs, pointing toward heaven like a giant crude finger, supported in the air by crudely tied ropes.

As the sun rose, they saw the Maid of Ohio steaming full bore toward them, swerving across the Albert's and then curving back toward their bank where the known channel ran close in to shore.

"Git ready, boys -- here she comes!" whispered the Deckhand.

The huge bluff bows of the steamboat seemed close enough to touch as she loomed just upstream of the invisible siltage at the mouth of Cold Creek. Just as the Maid came abeam of the party of tired boys and girls a huge grating sound rose up from under her bows, and her for'ard end tried to suddenly to stop in the embrace of the underwater mudbank, while her stern section tried forcefully to keep driving here. In seconds the giant steamboat slewed violently, her stern end swinging rapidly to port while her bows skewed deeper into the sunken mud at the Cold Creek Delta.

As the giant frame of the huge sternwheel swung by them, the Deckhand held up one hand, stretching his whole body upward in excitement.

"NOW!! NOW!!", he yelled, bringing his arm down in a frantic signal.

Jim and Philly laid to the hemp lines, cutting them clean through, and four hundred pounds of stout pine logs came crashing down from the Creek's near bank falling and crashing directly athrwart the blades of the Maid's sternwheel, locking and snashing against the heavy iron framework and snapping huge sections of the sternwheel into the muddy boil of the delta.

The Maid had reached the end of her race down the Mississippi.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 02:27 PM

The space yacht Dora, holding the red-headed twins, came back to its position over the Hansell just in time to see Miss Montesquieu and Slick Philly get picked up by The King, The Duke, and Huck Finn.
"Well," Lapis Lazuli Long said, "we've got a little more proof for the World As Myth theory. Hilda'll be excited!"
"Yep." Lorelei Lee Long replied. "But we've got to go see to Big Brother now. After all, he can't get along without us!"
The twins hopped down on the Albert Hansell to check things out. Passing several strange characters while crossing the speeding river boat, they finally found Lazarus Long.
"Hey, big brother!" Lor said.
"What're you whippersnappers doin' here?" the Senior asked.
"We couldn't stay out of the action! What's going on?" Laz replied. "Come on, you can't have ALL the fun just because you're older!"
"Actually," Lor said, "Genetically, we're the same age, being his exact clones."
Lazarus Long glared at her. "That is not the point, missy. But since you're here, you may as well be of some use."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM

Jeez, Luise, Caitrin, those were my twins!!! Dang, now, you reallocated their DNA back over to the Senior, me an Mojo gonna hafta git back to work all over again...wal, come to think, maybe I shouldn't complain about that, huh?!

Actually, ma'a'm, maybe I'll thank you for it! :>)

Sincerely,

Charles Stonewall Delacroix,
Gambler


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: MMario
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:09 PM

Dear General:

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the twins with the Senior on this latest visitation had different names. Please try to keep the hyper-continuim seprate and distint in your cerebellum (rather then your ante-bellum) and for the sake of all the gods that ever were or will be, do not, repeat, do NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES Fnacrkle.

The High Galactic Overlord


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM

This story is carried forward to TAVERN STEAMBOAT - Albert Hansell Part 4 for your loading convenience.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 02:55 PM

Don't worry, MMario...Topsy and Turvy are just nicknames.


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