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Tavern Steamboatin' - The Albert Hansell

catspaw49 28 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 12:03 AM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 29 Mar 00 - 04:47 AM
Art Thieme 29 Mar 00 - 11:10 AM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 11:17 AM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 11:20 AM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 11:40 AM
Bert 29 Mar 00 - 11:47 AM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 11:47 AM
Mary in Kentucky 29 Mar 00 - 11:52 AM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 11:58 AM
MMario 29 Mar 00 - 12:08 PM
catspaw49 29 Mar 00 - 12:09 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 12:14 PM
MMario 29 Mar 00 - 12:21 PM
MMario 29 Mar 00 - 12:23 PM
MMario 29 Mar 00 - 12:32 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 01:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 01:31 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM
Mary in Kentucky 29 Mar 00 - 01:45 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 02:16 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 02:24 PM
Bert 29 Mar 00 - 02:35 PM
MMario 29 Mar 00 - 02:39 PM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 03:14 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 05:03 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 05:04 PM
Mary in Kentucky 29 Mar 00 - 05:31 PM
Art Thieme 29 Mar 00 - 06:16 PM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 06:50 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 07:28 PM
Sorcha 29 Mar 00 - 07:46 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 07:49 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Bill 29 Mar 00 - 08:16 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 08:24 PM
Caitrin 29 Mar 00 - 08:40 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 08:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 09:02 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 09:24 PM
Amos 29 Mar 00 - 09:43 PM
Peter T. 29 Mar 00 - 09:43 PM
Art Thieme 29 Mar 00 - 09:48 PM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Mar 00 - 09:59 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 10:06 PM
Caitrin 29 Mar 00 - 10:08 PM
Peter T. 29 Mar 00 - 10:23 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 10:28 PM
Art Thieme 29 Mar 00 - 10:36 PM
catspaw49 29 Mar 00 - 11:12 PM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 11:14 PM
Mbo 29 Mar 00 - 11:41 PM
katlaughing 29 Mar 00 - 11:49 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 12:39 AM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 12:40 AM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 01:01 AM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 00 - 02:10 AM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 09:24 AM
Peter T. 30 Mar 00 - 10:01 AM
catspaw49 30 Mar 00 - 10:48 AM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 10:54 AM
MMario 30 Mar 00 - 11:04 AM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 11:12 AM
SDShad 30 Mar 00 - 12:45 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 00 - 01:14 PM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 01:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 00 - 01:43 PM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 05:48 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 05:53 PM
katlaughing 30 Mar 00 - 06:04 PM
SDShad 30 Mar 00 - 06:05 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 06:31 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 06:42 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 06:48 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 07:38 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 00 - 07:48 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 07:53 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 08:15 PM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 08:55 PM
JenEllen 30 Mar 00 - 09:07 PM
katlaughing 30 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 09:16 PM
Caitrin 30 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 10:38 PM
MMario 30 Mar 00 - 10:43 PM
MMario 30 Mar 00 - 10:52 PM
Mbo 30 Mar 00 - 11:00 PM
MMario 30 Mar 00 - 11:04 PM
JenEllen 30 Mar 00 - 11:20 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 00 - 11:27 PM
Amos 30 Mar 00 - 11:38 PM
Barky 30 Mar 00 - 11:44 PM
JenEllen 30 Mar 00 - 11:49 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 00 - 11:53 PM
Mbo 31 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM
Amos 31 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM
catspaw49 31 Mar 00 - 12:08 AM
catspaw49 31 Mar 00 - 12:18 AM
katlaughing 31 Mar 00 - 12:18 AM
Amos 31 Mar 00 - 12:31 AM
Lonesome EJ 31 Mar 00 - 01:12 AM
JenEllen 31 Mar 00 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 31 Mar 00 - 03:18 AM
Peter T. 31 Mar 00 - 08:43 AM
Amos 31 Mar 00 - 09:08 AM
MMario 31 Mar 00 - 09:16 AM
SDShad 31 Mar 00 - 10:02 AM
JenEllen 31 Mar 00 - 11:15 AM
Mbo 31 Mar 00 - 11:20 AM
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Subject: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM

Well with all this talk of Blues lately and Leej bringin' up the crawdad thing, I thought a trip down the river and through the Delta country might be just the thing. When we get down to New Orleans we can pig out on some Cajun and Creole cookin'. But gettin' there is half the fun!!!

So Welcome aboard the "Albert Hansell" a big sternwheeler docked in the Queen City of the West, Cincinnati. The Hansell is wholly owned by Spiegel Bullshit Shipping and Freight out of Pennsylvania and the gangplank is out!

We'll be picking up folks along the way too. Hopefully that ol' Steamboater, Art Thieme, will be joining us when we stop in Peoria.....Louisville, if he can get there sooner. I'm your captain, and my pilot here will be helpin' steer us through to New Orleans.

Now I'm sure there's gonna' be lots of good music on board and drinking to excess is recommended. Why? Well this old river has still got some pirates on it and there's always some gambler's plying their trade in the bars and the dance hall on the lower decks. There's likely to be shenanigans and charlatans, southern belles and jezebels........all travellin' down through Memphis and Baton Rouge, and heading for the sin palaces of Orleans parish.

Start boardin' anytime. you'll find the bar, the main salon and the dance hall right up this plank. We're gettin' up steam and we'll be goin' downriver to our first stop at Louisville!!!

"Well I wonder where an old riverman goes,
After he's made his last run."

ALL ABOARD the ALBERT HANSELL !!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:03 AM

Well how dee do, Mr.Spaw! They call me Mr.Beau, I'm up from Philly way, trying to get down New Orleans to hear some bona-fide Dixieland Jazz! And hey, just because I wear a gambler's hat doesn't mean I'm a gambler!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM

Wahlll, I dew deeclayah, Mr. Captain, wherevuh dija'all come from? We haven't seen a steamboat of this calibah on the rivah in a loonngggg time. What's that, shuge, oh Miz Sara Belle Fontaine, Ah'm shuyah ma' daddy already paid foh ma passage, darlin...thet's the great Justice Henry Fontaine of Batohn Rooj, why yessss, he wuz a bit young when he had me, but goodness graciousss, I nevah, why, Sir! Are ya'll sayin' there is sumthin' fishy goin' on heyah? Of all the! Why! Ah'll thank yew to hand ovah ma tickets now, please, and not anothah word of slight about my dear, dear poppa! Miz Fontaine flounces away to her cabin, fluttering her feather fan across her face, shading her long, batting eyelashes


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:25 AM

At Louisville, the Hansell lowers it's gangplanks to take on a score of passengers, and numerous crates of whiskey and bales of tobacco. Among the passengers is a fellow with sandy hair and a red goatee and moustache. He is a handsome fellow in a rather disreputable manner, and his suit is of fine make, or was made fine 12 years ago. Now it is rather tattered, the boots scuffed and thin-soled. The heavy gold watch chain that hangs in clear view is attached to a cheap (and hidden) railroad watch. As he mounts to the deck, he sings in a soft but clear tenor

" The years creep slowly by, Lorena
The snow is on the grass again
The sun's low down the sky, Lorena
The frost gleams where the flower's been"

He smiles at the lady standing by the rail. " Why, Miss Fontaine, isn't it ? Lord, but it's been years! Since before the war. But I see I have the advantage of you. Perhaps the years have been kinder to you than to me. I know I am much changed, Ma'am. But we met at a Social occasion at the lovely home of your cousin Bereniece Verliaeu in New Orleans, and I had the distinct priveledge of dancing a reel with you. The name is Robert E. Leej." He doffs his hat in a sweeping gesture." I was present at the affair with my eldest brother Henry Clay Leej, who was slain at Mill Springs where he and I served as adjutants to General Crittenden. The General was also present at that gay affair in New Orleans so many lifetimes ago.

I lost both of my brothers to that terrible conflict. My Father lost his fortune, and I myself have become an actor and singer. I will earn my passage to Louisiana by performing in the Mudcat Wheelhouse Tavern aboard the Hansell, in point of fact. I may also supplement my income by indulging in an occasional friendly hand of cards. Captain Catspaugh, though a notorious liar and a brawling rum-guzzler, is an old friend of mine, and always makes me feel at home aboard the Hansell." He smiles and glances at his pocket-watch. "As I see we will be departing in ten minutes, I shall retire to my cabin, and bid you goodbye in the fond assurance that I will be seeing you with frequency on the unfolding journey. Good evening, Miss Fontaine."

The paddle wheel begins to chug in a reverse motion as the man walks away down the deck

"'Twas not the woman's heart which spoke-
Thy heart was always true to me
A Duty stern and piercing broke
The tie which linked my soul to thee"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 04:47 AM

At last a chance to wear the fancy waistcoats and watch chain and mutton chop whiskers my everloving made me discard as "ageing" many years ago, just call me Gaylord Willenhall [notorious gambler on the Grand Union (canal!)], set up the cards and let us pass the time as gentlemen should (checks Derringer in ankle holster just in case anyone spots me dealing from the bottom).A little brandy, too I think, while we listen to Fate Marable's music with that young Armstrong lad on cornet, he'll go far, mark my words.
RtS


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:10 AM

Ain't no gamblers tolerated on any boat I'll ride on. We pick 'em up and toss 'em in. They start out swimmin' and then better be hoofin' it through the gumbo mud or it'll be their last trip anywhere. Nothing like a gambler to discommode a leisurely trip on the Mississip. They make it so folks'll be at each others throats quicker'n greasy mouthwash (Garg-oyle) will get you to upchucking them Mudcat dinners.

Sure is mighty peaceful without those other influences around here. 95% peace and quit with 5% o' the time bein' total terror. That's life on the Mississippi before the guaranteed nine-foot channel.

Art


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:17 AM

Nine foot channel, Captian Art? I thought we needed the mark twain to get through without running aground! Ahh...can't wait to see the King! King Oliver, that is...
Now who wants to hear a round of "Waitin' for the Robert E. Leej"?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:20 AM

From the bows, a lonely tenor calls through the late afternoon light as a muscled, shirtless deckhand swings the lead, splashing it ahead into the forth of the endlessly changing brown waters of the slow, broad-backed mother of all rivers...

Maaaaaaaaark four! Four fathoms on the stah'b'd bow!

Ooh the bully boat's a-comin' don't ye hear the paddles rollin'
Ranzo, Ranzo, hurray, hurray!
Oh the bully boat's a-comin' down the river she's a-bowlin'
Ranzo, Ranzo Ray!

Ooh, the bully boat's a-comin' down the Mississippi floatin'
Ooh, the bully boat's a-comin', an' the gals is all a-waitin'

And over the churning wide and endless waters of the great Mississippi floats high and wide the piercing call of the great steam whistle high on the pilot house, calling the world's attention to the graceful departure from shore of a mighty paddle-driven riverboat, heading down to New Orleans....

Weeeeeeeeeeouuuuuuuuuuuu!!!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:40 AM

Boy howdy! My first trip down the Mighty Mighty Mississippi! With Amos the minstrel along for the ride! The adventure of a lifetime for this city boy! Ahh...Amos you're makin' me wistful....

Homesick, tired, all alone in a big city
Why should eveybody pity me?
Nighttime falling, and I'm yearning for Virginia
Hospitality within ya calls me

Pale moon shining on the fields below
Folks are crooning songs soft and low
Need not tell me so,
Because I know it's sleepy time down south

Softs winds blowing thru the pinewood trees
Folks down there live a life of ease
When the twilight brings the evening breeze
It's sleepy time down south
Steamboats on the river, a coming, a going
Splashing the night away

Hear those banjos ringing,
The folks are all singing
They dance till break of day
Dear old Southland with its dreamy songs
Takes back there where I belong
I'll find heaven in my mothers arms
When it's sleepy time down south


--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Bert
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:47 AM

and slouched in a chair on the deck, a straw hat covering his face, sleeps the namesake of the vessel. He's fishing, with the line tied to a bare toe. A trick that Old Black Joe taught him when he was just knee high to a grasshopper.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:47 AM

A tall, lean, tanned gent in a well-trimmed black suit, neatly trimmed mustache, fine handmade polished black boots, and the glint of Lucifer in his wicked laughing eyes steps to the forward end of the prom deck, a long tapered cigarillo lightly held in his left hand. He reaches into his jacket to adjust the weightof the over and under pearlhandled Derringer nestled in his belt, and the unwrapped deck of cards in a vest pocket...He hums quietly, thinking of a one-eyed Jack and a dancing lady from Natchez...

Hadn't been in Natchez
Many more days 'n' three
I fell in love with a purdy girl
An' she fell in love with me.

She put me in her parlor
She cooled me with her fan
She whispered low in her momma's ear,
"I love thatgamblin' man...

All in good time, Art, all in good time...ain't no harm in a hand or two between gentlemen, surely? A small bet between men of honor? P'raps fate will be your surprising ally this night, my friend. Ye never know...

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:52 AM

Whoa.......hold that gangplank a minute so I can board here in Louisville. See the Belle over there...don't know if she'll make the Great Steamboat Race this year for the Ky Derby Festival. I want to hear MUSIC before I get off in Memphis.

Mary


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:58 AM

Well shooooo weee! No one told me that the Albert Hansell was headed down to the Great Steamboat Race! Oh boy! More fun than I EVER could have imagined! All hail Captain Art and his amazing steering skills! He's gonna wil us the champeenship!

Hmmm...new name..

--Slim Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:08 PM

*stumbling up the gangplank, bottle clutched in his hand is a disreputable figure. Gazing around the deck with bloodshot eyes peering from beneath a tangled mop of hair he finally spots the gangway to the boilers, and disappears below.

SOMEONE has to stoke the boilers, after all....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:09 PM

Pilot, you know that short island channel at the New Liberty bend? We'll be pulling in there tonite before we get to the Mississipp......We need wood sure, but I have to pick up a load there too. Its not scheduled, but I don't think you need to worry about it. YOUR job is just to keep us afloat OK?

CABIN BOY!! Boy, I want you to find Mr Leej And tell him I have a job for him tonight.......No, don't tell him anything more and .....Hey!! Get back here kid......Ya' know that fine lookin' woman boarded in Cincy..Miz Fontaine? Well you take her this note with my compliments and tell her I wish her to dine with me in my cabin this evening.........

Ring up some more steam Pilot.....We're gonna' have to make up a little time now......Yeah, I know, but tonight's stop may put us behind.

Captain Catspaugh


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:14 PM

Captain Catspaugh, can I play on the steam calliope? Can I can I huh huh huh? I wanna play "Dolly Blue"...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:21 PM

More steam he sez! Easy enough for him to say, he's not the one having to load the d*mn fuel into the fireboxes, now is he? *an' I kin remember when he was jus' plain catspaw, none of this here high-falutin' "catspaugh", busterd don' puts his trousers on one leg at a time like the res' of us do, don' he? I bin thinking what this here boat needs is a Union organizer. I need someone to speak up for me and my rights. Or there gonna be a mutiny 'round here soon!

More steam my arse!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:23 PM


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:32 PM

He was speechless thinking how much fuel would be required to power the cal-y-ope! * at least, he thought to himself, the lad hasn't thought to put a chanter and drones on the bleedin' thang. A steam powered set of pipes would be too much, even for this crowd*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:05 PM

In the waning sunlight of a late Mississippi afternoon, the brown-water back of the mighty river glints with purple shades and flickering reflections, and the riverbank grows dim on the western shore. The throbbing of the steam engine, and the hiss and rattle of valves, and the huge shivers from the walking beams moving below, sets up a sturdy driving tempo in the background, contrasting strongly with the lap of river waters parting at the bow, the gargantuan strokes of the sternwheel moving tons of water aft, and the play of evening breezes draining away the heat of the Mississippi summer. For'ard, the splash of the lead, less often now as the boat is taken up in the broad midstream channels...

Marrrrrrk three! Three fathoms and sand below! Bar comin, Cap'n!!! Shoalin'!!!"On the prom deck, the dark-eyed gambler fiddles with his cards and watches the plume from his cheroot drift aft over the river...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:31 PM

That Amos can weave a spell with his words, alright. But somebody tell him it ain't the Mississippi 'til we pass Cairo, Illinois. This here is still the Ohio,as you can tell by the aroma.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM

Wal, Mister Leej, forgive me for transpositioning my virtual vision to the wrong waters! Just read "Ohio" in all the above weavings, folks. Us gamblers and deckhands never did learn much about Nayvigayshun, which is whah we stay off them sidewalks!

Dang, Ah hayut it when thayut heppens!

A


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:45 PM

...hmmmm...tappity, tappity, shuffle, shuffle...

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly
I gotta love one man 'til I die
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine

Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow.
Tell me he's crazy, maybe I know.
Can't help lovin' dat...may-un...of mine.

whistle, whistle, tappity...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 02:16 PM

Frankly, Ah'm a bit concerned 'bout our pilot, if'n he caint tell the Ohi-ah from the Miss-ippi.

But Look! Up ahead... do you see that band of darker water? And that town on the right, nestled in the Delta? Got to be Cairo, with the Big Muddy just beyond. Fire up that Calliope, somebody!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 02:24 PM

There's the ol' man, they call the Mississippi..dang, I love typing that word...(jumps to the calliope keyboard and starts trundling te firewood..

C'mon and hear!
C'mon and hear!
it's Alexander's Ragtime Bannnnnd!!...


And the gay wee notes of the calliope drift out over the merging of great waters, as Cairo comes up abeam...and moonlight starts to reflect across the dark and choppy delta where the beautiful Ohio meets her great fate, joining the Mississippi, and rolling south for Dixie...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Bert
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 02:35 PM

Rudely aroused from his slumber, the namesake of the vessel, unties the string from his toe, collects up a string of half a dozen huge flatheads and lurches towards the galley.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 02:39 PM

fried catfish and hush puppies for grub tonite! yessir, the eats on thishere boats good enough to make me work for captain "bligh" catspaugh himself! And speakin' of the captain, he's prolly gonnna be in a good mood tonite, cuz I done fixed him a buttermilk pie, right before I went on shore leave earlier.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 03:14 PM

Hearing a slight tap-tapping at her cabin door, Miss Sara Belle Fontaine gathers a gassamer shawl of silk about her pearly shoulders, checks her artfully mussed hair in the mirror, then sashays over and opens it a crack.

Ye-ayz, what iz it, dahlin'? What, the Captain has invited meah to his cabin tonight foah dinnah? Why, certainly, please infoahm dear, dear Capt'n Catspaugh theyaht Ah would be deelighted to join him. Wahyt now, wil theyah be anuhone else in attendanz? My daddy, ya'll know, Judge Henry Fontaine dowahn in Batohn Rooj? Well, Ah am shoah he woodnt had me travlin on any boat unless he was shoah the captain of thet boat was a gentleman, so...well, oh, go ahead, cutie, Tell Capt. Catspaugh, Ah shall be theyah.

Now, oh, do wait just a minute, puhleez...is that Mr. LeeJ still aboahd? Kindly give him this note and carhd for me, there a halfpenney foah yoah trouble. That's a good boy now.

As Miz Fontaine closes the door, the cabin boy walks away, furtively prying open the envelope to read what she has written to Robert E. Leej...

"Dear Sir", it read, "I am sure you are mistaken in your thinking that we had met so many years ago. Why I am hardly become a woman just in these past two years or so. Perhaps you are thinking of my Aunt Kitty-Kat O'Hara, from over by Atlanta?

Irregardless, I would ask that you be a gentleman, kind sir, and honour my request that you cease to cast any aspersions upon myself as to my experience or my maturity. Should we chance to meet aboard, again, perhaps we may put this unpleasantness behind us and seek to enjoy the leisurely tour of the great Waters.

Yours in all Sincerity and Respect for your Position,

Miss Sara Belle Fontaine
Baton Rouge, Louisianna


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 05:03 PM

"Pssst! Boy!", the dark stranger with the pearlhandled derringer calls down the shadowed promenade deck.

"Was that note from Miss Fontaine? Give it here, boy! Now! Save you a hiding, so be quick! Hold by there ... you can deliver it momentarily."

He scans the note with a wry grin in the flickering oil-light from the deck lamps.

"Soooo...that little minx is making herself a new start, is she now? Nice to know how the cards are stacked, proud Mary...cousin, indeed. P'raps we two should have a l'il chat just a bit later!"

He draws an eagle out of his vest pocket.

"That's for saying nothing, boy! Y'heah me? Not a damn word, or you'll find that eagle coming out o' yer worthless bottom!".

He strolls on down toward the ships lively saloon room, chuckling.

Out beyond the bright white-painted gingerbread the dark wind-blown waters of what is now truly the Mississippi roll, whisper, and move on toward the great oceans in the south, and the madness which is New Orleans.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 05:04 PM

Slick Philly Matt decides to throw in the towel on the steam calliope. "Just ain't the same as the Pipes" he says. He runs to his cabin and returns with his prized guitar that he bought from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. He strums a few times to check tuning, and then without warning, bursts into one of his famous spastic caterwauling fits....

Well, way down yonder in New Orleans
In the land of the dreamy scenes
There's a garden of Eden, ah-you know what I mean
Yeah, Creole babies with flashin' eyes
Softly whisper with tender sighs
And then you stop!
Oh won't you give your lady fair a little smile?
And then you stop!
You bet your life you'll linger there a little while!

Yeah, there is heaven right here on earth
With those beautiful queens
Yeah, way down yonder in New Orleans
Whoo!

Way down yonder in New Orleans, whoo!
In the land of the dreamy scenes
There's a garden of Eden, you know what I mean
Well, Creole babies with flashin' eyes
Softly whisper with tender sighs
And then you stop!
Oh won't you give your lady fair a little smile?
And then you stop!
You bet your life you'll linger there a little while!

Yeah, there is heaven right here on earth
With those beautiful queens
Well, way down yonder in New Orleans
Yeah! whoo!


--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 05:31 PM

Oh Capt'n, don't forget...I'm gettin' off at Mud Island. Thought I better say bye y'all before nightfall cause ya might not be in condition to remember me later on. Just a quick R uh C Cola, and I'm off to visit kinfolks in Mee-um-phis. Don 'chall get lost down on Beale Street...and when you get to the Big Easy, eat some gumbo for me. Be sure to come to Louavull for the Derby the first Saturday in May...there's always a party on every street. Maybe we can even get up a pot for the race (cybercash of course).

Mary


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 06:16 PM

Folks, The 9-foot channel (guaranteed) is a product of our modern channelized navigable rivers. It's due to the efforts of the Army Corps of Engineers. The many dams on the rivers allow the water behind those dams to pool up in hopes of secureing the guaranteed depth. Still, in low water years, dredging is often necessary.

A loaded barge has a draft of 9 feet. Needs 9 feet or MORE to navigate. (Empty they have draft of about one foot.)

In Mark Twain's time, the average life of a wooden-hulled steamboat was about 2 years. "THE CITY OF BAYOU SARA", which has a fine song about it's demise, was built at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1884. She burned at New Madrid, Missouri 12/5/1885. Most sank from collissions with sawyers and snags and sandbars that weren't there on the downbound passage but appeared over night. Steel hulls helped a bunch though. There's only one steamboat (of the six remaining on the Mississippi River) that has a wooden hull.

Anybody know which boat that might be? And how does that boat defy the law against having wooden hulls on boats carrying passengers??

Art


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 06:50 PM

Why, miztah Thieme, you rouge, you, bringing in a quiz for us all to puzzle ovah. Could it possibly be that beeUteefull Delta Queen? I heah tell that ouwah very own Congress gave them a special dispensation allowing them to continue carrying passengers ovahnight. Now, is that true, darlin, kind suh?

Your everloving,

Sara Belle Fontaine

(aside: check it out at http://www.steamboats.com or, steamboats.com!)


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 07:28 PM

Slim Philly Matt whispers to whoever cares to listen "Pssssstt....folks, they're ain't no power like the power of steam!"

--Slim Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 07:46 PM

Hey, ya'll, this heah stern wheeler goan stop at Memphis? Miz Frankie gots to git to Basin Street, she done heard Mr. Johnny down theah, an' he is on her bad list!
So wont'ch come along with me.......


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 07:49 PM

In the bright yellow light of the saloon, the slim dark stranger, his derringer well out of sight, has spread his cards on an octagonal baize-covered table in one corner. He sits contemplating a hand of cards, as an incentive to others, and sips on a large schooner of beer, constantly scanning the comings and goings of the passengers from under his broad-brimmed slouch hat.

A tall, willowy, wasp-waisted beauty in a golden silken gown, draping gently down around her ankles, her flaming curls and emerald eyes flashing in the rippling lamplight, strolls up behind him, and places a delicate gloved hand on his shoulder with warm familiarity...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 07:50 PM

Leej whispers back Right you are, my friend. I have it on good authority that soon we will all be driving steam-powered carriages....no horses! That is why I have invested the last of my fortune in this promising industry. Young fellow from Baltimore named Stanley has already patented the idea. It simply can't miss!

Leej braces against the bar of the Mudcat Wheelhouse Bar as the Albert Hansell shudders and groans as it scrapes bottom on a bar." Channel's shifted."

"Say, Matt, have you seen the rather colorful fellow who fishes from the side of the boat? Rumor has it that it's Albert Hansell himself. Some sort of eccentric rich fellow, owns the entire boat, pays the tabs of all the clientele in the Tavern, cooks a delicious Catfish fillet they say. English fellow, very strange like most of them are."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:16 PM

Ho Bert!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:24 PM

Slick answers, "Yeah, I saw him headed down to the boilier room to cook up some flatheads!" As the Big Wheel heads towards Cairo town...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Caitrin
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:40 PM

Miz Cait DeVine is all set for working the late shift in the Hansell's saloon
Well hey, y'all! What can I get for you nice fellas tonight? It's been a while since I served in such a fine establishment, but I reckon I still got the hang of it. big smile


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:56 PM

"Wal, miss Caitrin, dear, I would surely welcome one of your finest mint juleps -- about a quart's worth! An' if you know anyone wants a hand of stud, I am ready to offer my services here in the corner."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:02 PM

Chooglin past Cairo, I remember that this part of Southern Illinois is called Egypt, and there's a great tune about it called Is Your Lamps Gone Out by Art Thieme. Wonder if Art could sing it for us?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:24 PM

Slick Philly slinks over to the cards table." Hey Mr.Amos, now how'd you know stud's my game? And ladies, if it's a handful of stud you want, here I am..." He pulls off his gambler hat, revealing a finely combed mop of flaming red hair. "Check it out Amos!" Is all he says as he collects his chips.

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:43 PM

The cheroot rolls, as the gambler deals, and his slouching hat draws low,
An' his gleaming eyes turn steely cold in the seegar's wicked glow
An' Miss Red still stands, with her gloved hand, though the tension is running high
An' as the hard hand is drawn, and the bets laid down, you can hear he winsome sigh...

The dark strangers glances over the hand, smiling, and he sings softly to no-one on particular...

So all you rovin' gamblers, wherever you might be,
The moral of this story is very plain to see.
Make your money while you can, before you have to stop,
For when you pull that dead man's hand, your gamblin' days are up.
And it's ride, Willie, ride,
Roll, Willie, roll,
Wherever you are a-gamblin' now, nobody really knows.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:43 PM

In another corner of the cardroom, looking out on the glittering waters, occasionally opening a battered volume of Shakespeare containing a secret derringer compartment currently filled with emptiness, sits a strangely familiar figure draped in an occasionally tear-stained, occasionally tar-stained cape,and himself fitfully illuminated by the swinging lamp. He sighs, and speaks to himself about his most recent adventures in this region, alas, following on too closely the infamous Duke and the King, who somewhat damaged (if such is possible) the desire for Bardic ebullience along the river (not to put to fine a point on it):"Like to the Pontic sea, whose icy current and compulsive course ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on to the Propontic and the Hellespont, the envious siege of watery Neptune, now bound in with shame, with inky blots!!!" He stretches out a tremulous arm in the attitude of Gloucester moving towards the sea edge: a gesture that caused a stout lady in the balcony of a classic performance in New York to precipitate herself forward and over, crushing a row of the cream of society and complicating seating arrangements at subsequent Manhattan dinner parties for the better part of a year: "I second that request: music, moody food of us that trade in love!!!!!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:48 PM

EJ,

I didn't write "Lamps Gone Out". It was included, in fragmentary form, in Mary Wheeler's 1944 book called Steamboatin' Days"----Univ. of Louisiana Press. Later it was expanded by someone, but not by me. Zipper verses found their way into the song. It might've been Dilllon Bustin's morph job---somehow it sounds like his work to me. Anyhow, it's a good song.

Art Thieme

P.S.----At first I thought this was a serious thread about steamboats & river lore. but I can't seem to understand half of the posts here. Whatever...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM

But, Art, did I answer the quix right? The Delta Queen and a special dispensation from Congress???

And, please...keep posting..it is wonderful to have your lore and knowledge interspersed among our silliness. This is partly just another of the Tavern threads.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:59 PM

Robert E Leej, sometime actor, notices the slouched figure in the corner and approaches him. " Excuse me, Sir, but I believe you are a fellow thespian, although your name has escaped me. I believe that I had the pleasure to have witnessed you in a classic portrayal of the Noble Dane himself, in Pittsburgh several years ago. How skillfully you wielded the soliloquy, as (if I remember it correctly)

Alas, poor Yorick! He was a comrade of mine, Horatio.
An excellent lad who capered and clowned with the best of them.
How oft did I ask him to cut some ridiculous horseplay for my amusement
Here hung those lips, there that snout, up there those two cross-eyes
A fellow of infinite jests, a joker after my own heart

Well, that is the sense of it anyway. Perhaps you might give us the Dane, or Shylock, or the Scottish King tonight in the Tavern?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 10:06 PM

Slick Philly's no stranger to the tables...but he's never met the likes of Mr.Amos before...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Caitrin
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 10:08 PM

One mint julep, comin' up!
Shakespeare? Why, my own dear daddy had some o' his writin' in our house! Right fine stuff, that is! *smiles winsomely* I'd be most obliged if you'd be so kind as to perform a l'il' bit for us, Mr. Pete.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 10:23 PM

"Sir, I do recall having seen you in some other venue in this vast land, at which you were also at pains to be complementary of my feeble attempts to ascend the foothills of the mountain of Avon, but I have also noted -- or more accurately overhead -- that you yourself have taken on the noble name of actor and player, and have proposed to put the buskins on here, this very eve. I salute you sir, but am not currently disposed to perform: in true fact, you see before you an old man, broken with the storms of state, no longer one of the choice and master spirits of this age. Rather let my ashes new-create another heir: as great in admiration as the first! But remember, whatever you play, that when we are born, we cry, that we are come to this great stage of fools; and in spite of the veils of fond dreaming, so it persists unto the epilogue!!!" (Falls back into shadows, like Henry IV, Part 1 on his deathbed).


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 10:28 PM

"Ah, give us the one about 'Sans teeth....sans hair....sans EVERYTHING!'" Slick Philly adjusts his buskins, which are WAY too small!

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 10:36 PM

Ms Kat---You're correct---on both counts.

Art


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:12 PM

Captain Catspaugh stands staring out from the wheelhouse at the dark waters of the Ohio. But tonight, although he takes in the eddys and ripples that signal impending danger, his mind is racing ahead and lingering behind. The woman had been a marvelous dinner companion and he felt badly now that he was using her. Maybe when the run was over there would be a chance left for him to set things straight and enjoy the pleasures of her company again, and then it might lead to something. He had no way of knowing how she'd take the news of his deception and now was not the time to worry....the New Liberty bend is fast approaching.

"Pilot....Mind how you go there. She'll shoal up for sure if you're out of that short island channel. Ease up and bring us alongside the cordwood and I'll order the gangway over. BOY!!! Bring Mr. Leej to me now, I'll be down on deck. Sam, I'm putting you in charge of loading the firewood. I'll be using a couple of the boys myself, so you'll be a little shorthanded....Do the best you can."

He walked along the upper deck to the passageway stairs greeting a few passengers along the way. As he descended the stairs, he thought of his early days and the long road it had been to command. Now the rivermen knew him as "Big Cat." Not as legendary as Mike Fink perhaps, but he'd achieved a celebrity nonetheless. On deck a tall, slim figure approached him out of the shadows.

"Evening Cat....What's up tonight?"
"H'lo Bobby. Tonight is the night you earn your passage."
"How so Cat. I'm willing to do whatever you need."
"I want you to take those two cabin boys and have them load the stuff you're goin' after."
"And what would that be?"
"Good Kentucky whiskey Bob...Good Kentucky whisky."
"But that's...."
"Yeah, I know. But with what I make on this run, I can do what I please....and I'll make it right for you too."
"I know you will Cat, but what about if.."
"Don't worry about it Bobby. But tonight you be careful. You'll be meetin' those Ledfords from down south of Paducah and just be sure you don't turn your back on 'em. Here's an envelope for them, but be sure you get the whiskey first."
"Cat, I've known you for years, but are you sure that.."
"Yeah, I'm sure, but you just watch your back. Load the stuff down in the engine room and try not to call attention to yourself. I'll take care of that new engineman."
"Okay."
"And when you get back, we'll be off and make Cairo tonight and on down towards Memphis tomorrow. Keep an eye on that gambler too if you can. I generally don't mind them, but this guy has something different about him. Good Luck.

He watched as the lanky man went ashore then headed back toward the engine room. After he talked to Mario, maybe he'd see if the Baton Rouge beauty was still up....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:14 PM

Why thank yew, darlin, my Fine Art!


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:41 PM

As the monotonous rumble of the paddlewheel sounds behind him, Slick thinks sadly "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" As the once familiar sound of his favorite trumpet player wails inside his head once more....only a few more days, and he would be there...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:49 PM

Miss Fontaine tossed and turned on the luxurious full bed bolted down in her cabin. When the soft lights from the deck flitted across her troubled brow, it showed a countenance of childlike simplicity devoid of any makeup trying to hide the few lines of tough years left behind. It was as if she'd lost a few years in the basin of the washstand, rinsing away her past troubles, her natural beauty, if faded a bit, shining through.

Finally, tired and unable to return to sleep, she sat up.

"What in the world am Ah to do?", she thought. "Daddy told me Ah couldn't come back to the place in Batohn Rooj, wouldn't wantah see that wicked ole wife a'his anyway! And, that fellah who recognised me! I have got ta keep him quiet! Oh, that Capt. Catspaugh, now, what a gentleman! Ah wonder....maybe he would help me? Surely, if I told him my plight, pled at his feet, he'd...Why Miz Sara Belle Fontain, what in the world can yew be thinkin'?!! A Fontaine nevah begs! Wouldn't yew just see yoah Momma turning ovah in her grave! Yew get yoahself dolled up, bat those eyelashes and go get yoahself a man to help yew out. You do it like yoah Momma taught yew and that Capt.'ll nevah know what happened!"

Impatiently tapping her fan against the edge of her hand, she started making plans in her mind. If the captain wouldn't do, then she would engage the gambler, tke him on at his game...she did know a few card tricks of her own...then, oh, if she wasn't in such circumstances herslef, she would most assuredly set her cap on the dissipated actor..poor thing...she was sure he was topnotch in his day.

Suddenly she heard feet running by her cabin door, someone panting as if out of breath, then a furtive knock at the cabin next to hers.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 12:39 AM

"My pardons, Miss Fontaine, we must make an emergency stop at the next port. We just got a wire that Miss Barky is to be boarding there!" Cried the cabin boy, as he left the room next to hers and came to hers. But before she could respond, he was gone, preparing Miss Barky's room in the other part of the first class section.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 12:40 AM

The dark stranger noticed the uncommon yaw of a change in course vibrating through the floorboards of the sallon room, a shift in the rhythm of the water, a change in the angle of shoreshadows, and raised a quizzical brow .

"Aces and jack, my friend, and I'm afraid this pot is mine..."

He raked in the coins and chips mixed on the baize table top and drew a lazy draught of cigar smoke.

"And now, I thank you for your pleasant company sir, but I must attend to other concerns, and put aside the pleasure of the game for the present. Perhaps another hand later?"

Pocketing his winnings, and lifting his swallowtail coat back just a little, just in case, the stranger strides through the salon doors and slips to the shadows of the promenade deck. He watches from the dark as the handsome actor he had noticed earlier wends his way down the companion way to the boarding area, and he notices the hands there readying a ramp. He scans the murky waters, noticing the island bar and recognizing the river bend at New Liberty. He sees the actor move quickly over the lowered ramp and onto the shoal island, two deck boys of sixteen and eighteen following in ragtag denims. They ease out of the pooled lamplight into the dark pine shadows of the island.

The gambler loosens his belt, douses his cigar and makes a quiet, quick way down the companionway to the boarding area, across the ramp and oonto the soft riversand edges of the shoal islet.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 01:01 AM

After losing his month's wages to the mysterious gambler, Slick Philly is surprised to hear the big steam engines slowing and the cry of Miss Barky coming on board. "Oh Lord"he thought "Something is brewing in the air tonight....I can feel it in my marrow."

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 02:10 AM

In a clearing Leej saw the low flicker of a lantern, and he felt his way through the brush and driftwood with his left hand; his right held a pistol behind his waistcoat. " This way, boys" he said. Two dark figures approached him, shotguns at ready. "You ain't the Captain," growled the tall thickset one." No, but I'm on the Captain's business. And I have the Captain's money." He displayed the envelope. "Now where are the goods."

The short silent one yanked a brush-covered tarpaulin from a stack of barrels. "Right chere," he said, "24 barrels worth." He grinned widely, displaying all three teeth." Ah hope you got more help 'n them two scrawny kids.And you don't look like yer dressed fer labor." Leej smiled. " No sir, I am no laborer. I am an overseer, and I will happily direct you two, and the lads, in loading this freight." The big one started toward him, mumbling " you goddam dandy!" Leej swiftly produced the pistol, pointing it in the big fellow's face. " I have two methods of payment, sir: The contents of the envelope, or the contents of this pistol. I will gladly let you choose the method you desire." The fellow flinched when he cocked the pistol. With a grunt, he picked up a barrel and started toward the boat.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:24 AM

The dark stranger stood back behind a brushfall, his derringer out, and watched as Robert E. Leej faced the Southrons down and began the loading work.

He smiled, seeing that his services would not be needed, and moved quietly back to the shore, slipping over the boarding ramp while the men were heading back for a second load.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Peter T.
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:01 AM

Cassius de Mornay leaned against a railing, watching. "Mr. Leej, as I opined, is in many ways and upon many stages an actor. While the plot appears to lack a certain Aristotelian hamartia, the special effects are worthy of the Palladium or the horseback Romeo and Juliet. All the stage is a world, and an exit is an entrance somewhere else." He sighed and wrapped his smutted cloak about him, somewhat like the moment in the notorious Charleston performance of Hamlet, when at the height of the gravedigger scene, an elegant Southern belle rose from the front row, her hand pointing fearfully at the skull in Hamlet's hand, and screamed: "That's Granpappy Fontaine, foah shuah!!!!" before fainting dead away into the lap of her companion, who was a gentleman with a fine crop of flaming red hair."
Cassius threw the glowing tip of his cigar into the water, hearing the momentary hiss, like Iago at the moment of his death. There was a fine play unfolding here, even if it only had an audience of one. Or were those living shadows alongside the rail.....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:48 AM

Dawn broke as they made the bend into the Mississippi. Catspaugh gazed out of the wheelhouse at a sight that stiill, after all these years, left him awed at its majesty. In his youth he had longed to see the confluencs of these two great rivers and often imagined the sight as he poled his jonboat on the Tuscarawas and Walhonding......mere creeks by comparison. Today would be more relaxed for him. The entertainment would be in full swing and perhaps he could enjoy it with the passengers. Perhaps there would be some time with the Baton Rouge belle. He hoped so. Only the nagging thought of the shadow he thought he had seen during the loading last night kept him from real relaxation. He didn't know who it was or to what purpose of even if the figure was real, but the thought still made him uneasy. Nothing to do now but be on guard. He could still go to the bar and have a drink, listen to the minstrels......maybe he'd even sing one himself. But he'd be watching for that shadowy figure behind his back.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:54 AM

On the foredeck, the roguish brown-eyed deckhand curled up in a coiled mooring line, wrapped in a denim coat, content to watch the stars and listen to the movement of shadows and men. He gazed forard and saw the dark silhouette of another sternwheeler moving upstream, passing behind the dark silhouette of the island.

"That'd be the Argand, he muttered under his breath. "The one Mary Greene is skippering now, since Newt Flesher retired. One hundred and thirty-two feet of beauty and style, and Mary the skipper to match! Never allowed no bar on board her, either...I remember seeing her the day she was launched back in '96...Ah, sweet Mary Greene...".

He dozed off, waiting for the call of duty.

Argand, 132.6 ft., built 1896 for Capts. Newt Flesher and Gordon C. Greene. Capt. Mary B. Greene was Master


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:04 AM

*the stoker stumbles up the gangway for a brief glance at dawn's light. wiping soot from his brow, he observes that the job was well worth the effort for the education he was gaining.*

seriously guys, there has been the most fascinating mix of fantasy and fact in this thread.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:12 AM

Y'all jes' goddda luv it, doancha?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: SDShad
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 12:45 PM

Steaming downstream towards the Hansell in a great hurry comes another steamboat. She's not near so grand. Rather, she's a smaller, more ramshackle, disreputable, utilitarian affair of the sort known to ply the fur trade along the Missouri from St. Louis to semi-mythical points north and west, the land of Louis and Clark, of Hugh Glass, of Williams and Ree.... In short, a vessel that looks out of place on the Lower Mississippi, more at home on the Upper Muddy in the days before the the Corps shackled her with huge earthen dams. It's the Choteau's Delight, making her rounds from Fort Pierre in Dakota Territory for the markets of St. Louis. She's gone a little beyond her usual haunts.

As she pulls close alongside the Hansell, a red-bearded figure in a fringed-leather tunic, trousers, and moccasins hoists a large bag full to the top with beaver pelts and flings it across the water to land on the deck of the Hansell. Bowing, he takes leave of the pilot of the Delight and, with a running start does the same with his own self. He lands on the deck a little wobbly, but manages to keep from falling into the drink.

The Delight pulls away and begins a broad turn to head back to St. Louis. The feller in leather dusts himself off and looks around at the bemused crowd that has begun to assemble.

Howdy, y'aaahl. Name's Shadrach deSoto, from Louisiana way. Been up huntin' b'ar and trappin' beaver up in Sicangu country. Pahdon mah unusual method of boardin', but it took some fancy talkin' to get Cap'n Janklow Ventura to bring his vessel this far down beyond Saint Louie. An' that boy's in a hurry to get back to Dakota, mind yah. A little "kat" ('scuse me, Miz Fontaine, rathah) recommended ah seek passage on this heah fahn vessel, to spread mah own unique brand of joy. Fahn girl our Miz Sara Belle, owes me a julep, if ah recall. Small wager over a lumberjack and some odious Frenchmen.

Y'aaahl gownah be travelin' near th' environs of the Lakes of Ponchartrain? I know a Creole girl there....


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 01:14 PM

(as I suspected, you're gonna' fit right in here Shadlad---Welcome to the 'Cat)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 01:36 PM

Unexpectedly, the tousle-headed deck hand leaped to his feet, a long-bladed rigging knife open in his hand, glinting in the lamplight one the darkened swaying deck.

"Not so fast, you! Yore a bit more than whatchu say, and I'm callin' you rightchere! Lessee whose beaver you got in thet theyre sack!"

Faster than a greased wildcat, his blade rips into the tough leather back and opens it at the middle. Tumbled on to the deck, amidst the dust of dried blood and shards of beaver fur, a large ornate box of dark polished wood, scarred but shining with its own beauty, clatters to the boy's feet. With a musical drumming sound, three score gold eagles follow it to the deck, rolling and falling as the boy shakes the heavy sack. He grabs the box, rapidly ducking the grip of the infuriated trapper, and opens it, revealing a strange, heavy, golden medallion set with a number of large gems and fitted with a heavy golden chain. The boy gawks, his jaw falling, and tears fill his eyes.

"Miss Fontaine! Miss Fontaine! It's yore daddy's lost medallioone! The one he sez went all the way back to the Crusades! It done been found!"

The boy leaps to the companion way, the box under his arm, and skedaddles down the promenade deck heading for Miss Fontaine's cabin; but as he passes the thwart passage a long arm in a black suit reaches out, and a small derringer glints in the moonlight.

"Not so fast, son...bring that over here. Don't worry...Miss Fontaine will not be denied, but you're heading into trouble for both of you the way yer going jes' now."

The dark eyed gambler takes the boy's left ear and the dark shimmering box, one in each hand, and steps back among the shadows...

Among the crowd on the foredeck angry murmurs and shocked surprise mingle with the frantic scraping of gold coins being gathered up by the incensed trapper...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 01:43 PM

At 7:30 am, Leej rapped on the door of the Captain's cabin and was admitted without a word until the door closed."Everything went well, I take it? Southron boys behaved themselves?" Leej smiled. "They were perfect gentlemen, Captain. They even insisted on helping load the contraband...I mean cargo." Catspaugh took a cedar box from below his bunk and unlocked it. He took several bills, folded them and handed them to Leej. "For your trouble," he smiled,"and try not to gamble it away tonight." Leej slid it into his pocket, saying "rest assured I have no intention of doing anything but doubling it in tonight's game." Leej takes a cigar from the box on the dresser, and draws it across his nostrils."Excellent!" The Captain grimaces as he closes the money-box."Yes. Cuban. Help yourself to one. Just one."

"I understand," says Leej," that the Maid of Ohio has just departed Cairo only two hours behind us, with a load of passengers, tobacco and whiskey. Captain Sherburne has declared he will be first at the New Orleans docks to meet the buyers and get prime price." Catspaugh snorted."That old tub." Leej replied "yes, but an old tub with a new keel, boilers and wheel. She may give us a run for the money."

Leej stepped out the door, but before closing said in a low voice "one small thing, may be nothing. In the loading of the ...secret.. goods, my eyes deceived me that there were five men carrying barrels aboard. Of course, it was very dark. Good morning to you Captain."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 05:48 PM

At 0730, the dapper gambler in the black suit and slouch hat, newly shaved and smelling of Bay Rum, boots polished and derringer secure, stepped out of his passenger cabin and locked the cabin door with a large, ornate key.

Dropping the key in his pocket, he strolled for'd along the promenade deck, admiring the broad waters of the Mississippi in the early sunlight, the far cry of landbirds mixing with an occasional gull, the fresh smells of churned river water and rich shore loam, hot galley bread and chicory from the deck below.

He lit his first cheroot of the day and looked across the amazing vista of the great, rolling river early in a new morning.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 05:53 PM

Slick Philly smiled to himself. He remembered that night in Charleston with Miss Fontaine well. He wasn't there just to see Mr. DeMornay's much-talked about performance. Slick's Daddy was in the 125th Pennsylvania at Cold Harbor back in '64. Daddy was dragging his wounded friends from the field when a damned Reb came out of the woods, aimed, and shot him dead. Slick Philly's teeth ground as he thought of it...

His uncle Joe was there, and saw his Daddy get gunned down. "I'll always remember his face--the man that killed your Daddy, Matt. But what I remember more was that big gold medallion around his neck, like a huge Maltese cross, it was." Slick hadn't forgotten his uncle's words. He did finally, after a few years of searching, hear tell of a man who had a medallion as such...a man named Fontaine....

Imagine Slick's surprise when he found that Fontaine had a pretty young daughter, who was wont to wear the said medallion upon occasion...and when she fainted in his arms at the Skakespeare performance, well.....she lost more than her consciousness....Slick's uncle Joe had taught him the slight of hand trick when he was just a small lad...he hadn't forgotten them either...

So now, as the
Albert Hansell slipped into the mighty Mississippi, he though of Baton Rouge, and smiled and evil smile at the final vengeance that would be his...

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 06:04 PM

Miss Sara Belle Fontaine slipped out of her cabin, closing the door behind her. Dressed in nondescript men's cloths, her long hair shoved up under a cap, with black candle soot smeared across her jaw like whiskers, she quickly tacked a note to her door and turned to quietly slip away.

The note read:

From the desk of
Miss Sara Belle Fontaine
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

in wavering script I regret to inform you that Miss S.B. Fontaine is indisposed today and should not be disturbed under any circumstances.

Thank you kindly.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: SDShad
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 06:05 PM

Meanwhile, back on deck....

The trapper fresh from Dakota Territory warily eyes the small but angry crowd that watches as he stuffs his remaining belongings back into his bag.

"What? Ah sweah, Miz Fontaine described that very artifact to me before mah last journey, and I swoah Ah'd keep an eye out for it. One of mah reasons for hurrying to catch the Hansell was to return her rightful property. If'n that li'l river rat doesn't return it to her, he'll have me to anwer to, Ah'll tell you that."

Skeptical silence. The odd spitting over the railing into the river (chewing tobaccy? hard to say). A few open glares.

"Fahn. Just fahn. don't believe me, then. Now, wheah's Cap'n Catspaugh? Ah've got to settle up for a cabin, if'n he's any left. And I do want to pay mah respects to Miz Sara Belle, if any of y'aaahl've seen her."

More skeptical silence. The trapper stomps off, in search of the Captain.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 06:31 PM

Miss Barky Montesquieu alights on deck for the first time since her boarding two days ago. As she enters, everyone turns, to see who it is that is coming on board, and the men doff their hats. "I trust ya've had a pleasant rest, Miz Montesquieu?" Asked a handsome young man, who Miss Montacote recalled liked to call himself "Slick". "I'm much improved, thank ya. Although I did heah a tehr'ble ruction on th' foahdeck very earhly this moahnin'. Do you know what was happenin', Mistuh Slick?"

Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 06:42 PM

Slick bowed. "Just a few wily reprobates, nothing to worry your pretty little head about." He returns his hat to his head and offers Miss Barky his arm. "Would you care to head to the Tavern, where we can talk about that young Armstrong lad down in New Orleans who's been making such a stir?"

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 06:48 PM

Miss Montesquieu made a slight curtsey. "I would be delighted.", She said. And they strolled off to the Tavern, chatting about the young Mr. Armstrong, and other musical intrests.

Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM

Slick Philly pulls out a chair for Miss Barky at their table by the balcony in the Tavern. The morning sun was shining on the water, like a million crystals dancing the Charleston. Slim says "Miss Barky, would you know of a song called "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans"? It was such a sad song...I wondered if a smart, well-bred lady like yourself possible had heard of it?" Slick turned and called for the menu. As he did, he saw a young boy-man walk by...
That's one queer beard, he thought.

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 07:38 PM

"Would ya happen to mean tha' one that goes somethin' lahk this:" And with that, Miss Montesquieu started singing in a low, beautiful voice, this song: "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans, and miss it each night and day? I know I'm not wrong, the feelin's gettin' stronger the longer I stay away. Miss the moss covered vines, the tall sugar pines where mockin' birds used to sing. And I'd like to see the lazy Mississippi a hurryin' into spring. The moonlight on the bayou, a creole tune that fills the air; I dream about magnolias in June, and soon I'm wishin' that I was there. Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans when that's where you left your heart? And there's something more: I miss the one I care for more than I miss New Orleans..." When the song ended, there was a perfect stillness in the air, stiller than it was when the boat was new, and there were no passengers aboard. "Beautiful" someone whispered....

~Barky


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 07:48 PM

Leej approaches the Maitre d' and stuffs a 10 dollar bill in his shirtpocket. "See that those two young folks at the table by the window receive a cool bottle of Champagne compliments of...say, Mr Lamont McDermott." The waiter appears befuddled, "but sir, certainly it's a bit early for champagne..." Leej smiles." Yes. And they have the whole of a wonderful day ahead of them." sighs "Ah, but didn't she sound just like a nightingale singing." He lights the Cuban Cigar, and moves outside to the railing.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 07:53 PM

Slim finally moved, but only to wipe the tears out of his eyes. He looked into her radiant face...."Miss Barky....I don't know what to say...it's been such a long time I've been longing to hear that...I shall never let the sound of your sweet voice singing out of my head ever. Please, let me pay for your meal in return for the moment of joy." Slim turned to Miss Cait behind the counter, and ordered up the finest food the Albert Hansell's cooks had to offer.

(Seriously, thank you SO much for those lyrics, Barky! I've been looking for them forever!)

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 08:15 PM

"Wha, I nevah saw such a poh-lite young mahn in mah lahfe! Thank yah' so much, Mistuh Slim! Sech tasty vittles they ah, too! And we must remembuh to fahnd that nihce mahn, Mistuh McDermott. A whole bottle of champagne! How kahnd of him! I feehl as giddy as a schoolgirhl!"

(No problem, Mbo... just ask anytime, and I'll try to help!)

Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 08:55 PM

The dark eyed gambler leans into the thwart passage as a boyish figure in men's garb passes a bit too hastily from the prom deck to the broad companionway leading down to the main level. CUrious, and a tad amused, he throws his cheroot over the rail, where it hisses into the froth of the fast running waters swelling and passing the bluff shoulders of the great boat. He follows the strange boyish character on little cat's feet, whisking silently a short why back in her every footstep. He touches in his weskit pocket the great brass key to his customized over-built security-plated cabin lock . It had taken him three hours to install it last night, but he knew his cabin and the mysterious chest were secure.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: JenEllen
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:07 PM

*as night falls and the full moon is mirrored in the waters of the river, a solitary figure in a velvet dress boards the boat. Carrying only her carpetbag in her hand, a hawk on her shoulder, and a gleam in her eye, the priestess makes her way to the tavern*
"Thank you dear, tea would be lovely....no....nothing for my bird. MoJo fends for himself....My name? Dear, dear girl...better you don't know. If you must address me you can call me Ms. Mallette."
She steps out into the breeze, mumbles a few kind words to the moon, and pays the boy on deck with gold from her bag*
"This boat doesn't move on it's own chile...get a plate of the houses finest grub and take it to the steamroom."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM

Miss Fontaine drew a long hatpin out of her men's cap, holding the brass lock in her other hand. Peering int he depths of the murky hallway, she struggled to pick the lock opne, knowing the gambler had what she sought. Struggling in dfrustration, she drew in a sharp his as the pin pricked her index finger. Quickly sucking on her finger, staunching the blood, she continued her struggle, until suddenly she heard someone coming down the hallway.

Drawing a dainty pearl handled derringer from her waistcoat, she whirled around. In her gruffest voice she said, "Who's theyah? Now come on out, ya heah? I've got a gun pointed right at yoah harht and I am the best shot this side of the, ahem....don't ya'll mess with me, ya heah? Dont' make me use this! I say! Come on out heah! The gun wavered in her trembling hand, when suddenly, she was startled by movement out of the corner of her eye. Turning to her right, she squeezed the trigger, aiming at a greater darkness in the faint light streaming through the murky windows.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:16 PM

The "priestess" spends a comfortable night sleeping in her cabin and wakes at 0740, back in synch with the rest of the world after her tiring travels. She stretches in the early morning sun coming through the large porthole and whispers words of greeting to her magnificent falcon, stirring restlessly on the valise-stand.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Caitrin
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM

*walking past first class, the barmaid is suddenly startled bya loud bang and a piercing scream* What the #@*& was that? It sounded for all the world like a gunshot. I reckon I'd best check it out. *she goes to the door of the stateroom the noise came from to see a frightened rich girl starin' out the window* Honey, you all right?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:38 PM

Slick and the rest of the crowd in the Tavern start at the sound. The sound of gunshots had haunted Slick Philly ever since he was a child...he always feared one would be aimed at him. "C'mon, Miss Barky" he said at last. "Let's go investigate...."

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:43 PM

*down in the boiler room, the stoker pauses in his work for a moment. "that sounded like a....nah, couldn't be. Captain 'Spaugh wouldn't stand for it." he resumes feeding the ever hungry flames, humming to himself.*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 10:52 PM

/nitpick mode on

wait a dad-burn second there, Mbo. Slick Philly is afraid of gunshots and his first thought is "Let's go investigate?" I detect a slight inconsistancy. Or is he trying to impress the young lady? Or does he take her the oppisete way, while pretending to investigate?

/Nitpick mode off


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:00 PM

Mario, the Slick Philly is scared of bullets, but has to know what's going on. His curiousity overthrows his better judgement. Besides, Miss Barky is slowly causing him to reform his ways.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:04 PM

*we now return you to your regularly scheduled fantasy scene*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: JenEllen
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:20 PM

*N'Elle Mallette wakes to the sun shining through her cabin window. The magnificent kestrel churrs his morning greeting to her, as she yawns, stretches, and gives a greeting to the sun*

"Ah, my lovely bird....you gonna help me fix this business?" The kestrel churrs to her again.

*N'Elle opens the cabin window, then sits cross-legged on the floor. MoJo leaps to the window sill and flaps out the window to soar around the boat. A slight shiver goes over the sitting figure, then a look of utter peace...*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:27 PM

Dusk. The lights of Memphis hove into view as his eyes pierced the darkness outside the pilothouse windows. They'd reached Memphis before the Maid of Ohio and that gave the Big Cat particlar satisfaction. Tomorrow they'd begin the long run down to Baton Rouge and on to New Orleans. If the Maid wanted a race, she'd have one. The Hansell was aging but there was some steam left in her yet and no new boilers or refits on the Maid would be enough to overtake the big wheel on the back of the Hansell's smooth hull.

"Watch the channel there at Mud Island Pilot and bring her abreast the landing. Mate, get ready on the gangway and tie her up solid. Tell Mario to stock on as much wood as he can and to take a good check on the boiler. I'll be down supervising the freight transfers."

After all these years, he still enjoyed the freight trade. His early career years had been all spent on the freight packets and the extra duties of passenger service sometimes wore him down. Today had been one of the days that he wished he'd stayed on the freighters. There had been the business with the young deckhand and the trapper. Whatever the boy had taken, it was gone now...and so was the deckhand. He had noticed the same figure in the background that he'd seen the night before and was now convinced it was the gambler. He had thoughts of putting him off at Madrid, but better to keep him aboard and try to figure his game. The Fontain woman had been in her cabin all day and the steward said she'd not taken any meals. He could only wonder what that was about. Reaching the main deck he saw the engineer, Mario, leaning out, one foot on the gunwhale.

"Evening Mario. A fine job today. The Maid of Ohio is pushin' for a race so I want you to have a good look over things tonight."
"Okay Cap'n, but there's a lot of rust in them exchanger tubes and that boiler has seen too many hard runs."
"Do the best you can Mario, but I'll not lose to that old scow. I've never been bested and I won't be now. We'll have awhile before things get real serious, so do what you can do tonight and in the early part of the day tomorrow. Take on as much wood as you can here. I want to make Natchez a short stop and leave early on the Maid. They'll be expecting us to be there awhile loading wood. The more lead we get then, the less we have to work this ol' girl."

Leej walked up to them and the engineer nodded a greeting as he left. Catspaugh pulled two fine cigars from his breast pocket and offered one to his friend. Spitting the end into the river, he scraped a match across the rail. The glimmering light showed a frown on his bearded face. He held the match for Leej.

"Its a fine night Bobby, but I tell you I have a bad feeling in my gut,"
"What's troubling you Cat?"
"I want you to keep a close eye on that gambler. I know he was watching last night when we loaded the whiskey and today he was somehow messed up in that trapper business. And watcch him around that young fella' and his girl."
"What are you thinking?"
"I dunno Bob, I just don't know. He's got a game of some sort and it ain't at the table."

Just as he spoke, they heard a gunshot from the upper deck. With a quick look at each other, they turned and ran for the stairs.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:38 PM

The gambler stepped forward and took the panic stricken young woman firmly by the wrist, relieving her of both her derringer and her lockpick with a deft flcik of the hand.
"The best of the evening to you, dear lady! Please rest assured you are in no danger from me. I am your friend, although we have not much spoken of late, and in fact I may be more than a friend. However I suggest before that shot attracts undue curiousity you follow me this way quickly, or your entire history will surely be exposed!"

He led her quickly up a borad-runged ladder up the side of the deckhouse to stack area, drawing her into the shadows behind the towering crenellated smoke stacks just as a crowd of anxious crew, including the handsome actor and the worried Captain Spaugh came storming up the deck seeking the source of her recent gunshot...


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Barky
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:44 PM

When Miss Barky Montesquieu was 12 years of age, her father had been shot down by a lone northerner. Miss Montesquieu had been naught but 15 feet away, and, as she watched in horror, the man shot her father, looked at her with an evil-looking leer on his face, and said, "Honey, that'll take care of all your troubles." The sound of a gunshot had infuriated her ever since. "Let's go, Mistah Slim. I've a right min' to find out what's goin' on heah." Miss Montesquieu accepted the proffered arm with gratitude, and she and Slick walked down to search for the source of the shot.

~Miss Montesquieu


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: JenEllen
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:49 PM

MoJo soars around the Albert Hansell, coming to rest on the walkway railing. He cocks his head in towards the tavern...peering through the smoke to see the gamblers at the tables. A young man and his lady are at a table together. In her cabin N'Elle smiles slightly. The bird moves to a vantage point in the hallway in time to see a slight form dressed in a waistcoat lean over the handle of a door. As she struggles with the lock, a shadow goes across the face of the woman in her cabin. The slight figure turns and the flash of a derringer sends the kestrel into the sky once again. The last view the woman in the cabin has is of many people running toward the small man in the hallway.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:53 PM

Leej and the Captain ran up the steps to the Promenade Deck, where the first individual encountered was De Mornay, the lachrymose actor. "Where did it come from?" shouted Leej. The actor turned two heavy lidded eyes to rest on Leej and the Captain. " What alarum is raised here? Where did "what" come from?" Leej gritted his teeth while Catspaugh growled "The noise, man!" De Mornay heaved a sigh in the manner of Romeo beholding the departed Juliet. " Do you mean the 'glug-glug-glug' sound? That, my good shipmaster, would be the plot thickening. If you hurry to the cabin of that funereal-dressed gambler fellow, you might just get to see it reach a rolling boil."

They scrambled past him, and down the companionway where a curious crowd was already assembled.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM

Slick Willy led Miss Barky by the hand along with the crowd that was forming quickly on the deck. Slick new Miss Barky was a tough girl who could hold her own, yet could not help be feel protective of her. As the gatherers rubbernecked in the direction the sound hade emanated from, Slick began to have horrible thoughts that Belle had figured is was he who had taken the medallion..what if she had told her father...what if the Judge himself was on board. What if it was that bank to which he had entrusted the medallion up in South Dakota? It was kindoff a seedy place, but they we're a no- questions-asked place, and he certainly didn't need anyone asking questions about how he had gotten possesion of such a item.
The feel of Barky squeezing his hand broke him out of his thoughts.
"You know," she said trying to peer over the throng "This would make a great song someday..."

--Slick Philly Matt


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM

Scampering over the top of the deckhouse, the gambler leads the boy-clothed girl over to the front of the deckhouse, dropping lightly down behind the pilots station and helping her down beside him. He laughs as he hears the sound of the crowd stamping and pounding in the area of his cabin at the after end of the deck, secure in the knowledge that the custom plate will not yield there. He leads the lady into the saloon and sits her in a shaded corner.

"Quick! Take these cards. Draw your hat down over your face. You have been here all evening, playing cards with me...Remember! Your secret depends on it!".


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:08 AM

Lying outside the gambler's door was the old fellow dressed in overalls. He'd been grazed by a bullet but it was only a flesh wound.

"Help me get him to my cabin Bob."
"Who is he anyway," someone in the crowd asked. "I saw him fishing on deck."
"he's the guy the boat was named for," said the Captain. "He's not been right for a number of years, but he's harmless and the Spiegel Lines let him live on the boat....its a long story. Just clear a path and let's get him to my cabin"
"Wonder if he knows what happened." said Leej.
"I doubt it Bobby, I doubt it."

They carried him up and laid him on the bed in the captains cabin.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:18 AM

(Geeziz gang, this one's gettin' TOUGH!!! Going well, but we got enough storylines here to write a couple of BOOKS!!!)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:18 AM

Heaving from all of the exhertion, Miss Sara Bell Fontaine, finally took a great gasp of air and sputtered at the gambler>

"YOU! Why, Ah nevah in ma life expected to see you, again! Ah thought ma daddy ran you off years ago, when Ah was just a lil' ole' chile." She hissed through her clenched lips, "Now, give me back my gun or Ah shall scream bloody murder! You may have saved me from all of tha hooplah, but Ah can take care o'myself just fine. I will find what Ah'm looking for and my daddy shall once again welcome me with open arms when he sees Ah have restored thah family honour! Now, wheyah is that young boy? Ah know he has what Ah need!"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 12:31 AM

"Miss Sairah, rest easy an' stop your cat-spittin' act. I have learned things of late that have made it absolutely necessary that our paths cross agin. But not to harm or harass you, but to protect you from grievous, harmful errors. The links that drew you to this boat are far moah powrful than you imagine, and far stornger than mere coninicence, madam!"

The gambler raised a hand to ask the charming Caitrin for a julep although the evening was barely begun.

"Y'see, dear lady, it was not in fact youah father, the jedge of Baton Rooj, who paid for yer ticket to N'Orleans. Your father is a pauper, I am sorry to say, but do not fear for yourself in this. I have reason to believe you will come out of it well after all...."

Under the black fedora, the frightened demoiselle's eyes widened with fear and disbelief. But something told her, gambler or no, the man across the table was speaking the truth, and that under all his bravado and flair, he was a friend.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 01:12 AM

( OK Spaw, let's see- we've got a stolen medallion, a mysterious lurker, a secret mission, a pending steam-boat race, a load of smuggled whiskey, a mojo-woman with a falcon ) I'm afraid the only way to bring all these plots together is to have a cataclysmic boiler explosion. Oh well, maybe someone will devise a clever main plot that incorporates all the sub-plots into a seamless whole...ummm, Amos?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: JenEllen
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 02:42 AM

"Miz Sara Belle!" The woman is startled out of her trance and jumps for the door. In a rustle of thick velvet, she paws furiously through her valise, and grabbing a bottle of the deepest cobalt, she runs for the deck. Hiking her skirts up over her knees and she shoots up the stairs like a cat.
When she reaches the deck, she is startled to see Captain and Albert to the left side, talking with the Trapper. To the right is Slick Philly and his lady. Either way there would be questions to answer.
She took the small bottle and stuck it in her cleavage, with a little shake it was home free.
At once there was a piercing cry, the kestrel was home again on her shoulder. She took a deep breath and turned towards the Captain. With the peace and calm only faked by women of her stature, she took a deep breath and made her way between the men. All light smiles and 'good day suhs', she felt her heart pounding at every step.
At last the tavern door, and Miz Sara Belle talking with that gentleman. She had seen his hands, cardplayers have their lives etched onto their palms. His life up to now was spent in these halls, and the cheroot stains on his fingers told of many games and gambles, but this wasn't one of them. He wouldn't hurt Miz Sara.
She made her way over to the table where the slight woman-boy was sitting with cards in front of her face. She asked the gambler to get her a drink. He started to give her a 'go ta hell' look, but his gaze wavered a bit, then ever so slowly he pushed his chair back and headed towards the bar.
The woman sat at the table with Sara Belle. "There is no sense hiding anymore chile. Dees men heah know you for what you ah. And they know that medallion is rightfully yours. Take this heah bottle, and then you go to that man and take what's yours."


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 03:18 AM

But where was Gaylord Willenhall while all this excitement was going on? Asleep under the gaming tables, his money lost and cards thrown overboard. Memo for next tripo:bay rum should not be drunk, even in extremis. Perhaps they'll let me work the rest of my passage in the stoke hold.
RtS


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 08:43 AM

A long life lived in the bright limelight and the shadows of the wings accustoms one to keeping a cool head in the midst of crowd and the whirligig of catastrophe. Closing the door on his tiny cabin -- so unlike the vast stateroom that had ushered him towards his whirlwind tour of the crowned heads of Europe, so extraordinarily successful that he had been made Conte de Mornay by the excessively large but generous Queen of Luxembourg -- Cassius de Mornay stripped off his cloak, and opened the top buttons of his shirt in the heat (so generously supplied by M. Mario). He reached forward into his battered suitcase, held together now by the labels from many lands plastered upon it, and pulled out a somewhat familiar skull. At the same moment, as he leaned forward, a somewhat clunky, large gem-encrusted medallion, draped round his throat, swung into the light. He fingered it briefly, and hefted the skull: "Ah, Fontaine, Fontaine, what seest thou else, in the dark backward and abysm of time?"


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 09:08 AM

What!! TWO of them!! Can he DO that?


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: MMario
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 09:16 AM

*As the dawn lights the broad waters, and with a full head of steam built up in the boilers, the engineer/stoker heads up on deck. Slipping loose the mooring lines, the Albert Hansell glides gracefully out towards the channel.

It has been a long night, full of tension, full of individual worries and concerns. The engineer pauses by the rail, looks at the new day dawning and his throat opens*

Welcome Daaaaaaaaaaay!
Welcome Morniiiiiiiing!
Welcome Day, Welcome Day!

*The melody and words could not be simpler. As he repeats the lyrics voices join in from other areas, deckhouse, tavern, the cabins...gradualy turning the simple paeon into a round with multiple harmonies.

The steamboat is filled with a multitude of differing people, plans and goals, but for a few moments, they join together, greeting the new day as one, no matter where the waters shall lead them.*


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: SDShad
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 10:02 AM

Late the previous night, due to posting parallax....

The Trapper nears the door to Miz Fontaine's cabin when a shot rings out somewhere else aboard the Hansell. Hazardous times, he thinks, but one piece of business at a time. He reads the note tacked to the door, clearly in Sara Belle's delicate script, and lets out a low whistle. "Under any circumstances. Oh, jeese," he utters in an accent that hails from anywhere but Louisiana.

Right river, wrong end. The Trapper, like most anyone else aboard the steamboat Albert Hansell this night, is not exactly what he seems.

Note be damned, he's got some 'splainin' to do to the daughter of his old friend the Judge, and he raps softly on her door. The sooner done, the fewer complications. Twice, thrice. No answer. Time to investigate that shot.

By the time he finds a corridor where thinks he smells the acrid smoke of gunfire, there's little there to see. A bit of blood on the floor, and strangely, the faint odor of a falcon. He hadn't smelt that odor since a visit to an itinerant fortuneteller's tent in Dubuque, Iowa on his last trip home, so many years ago. So, is she here then? Nah, that'd be too many coincidences.

The trapper finds his way on deck, where he runs immediately into the Captain and Albert. After the usual pleasantries about the quality of his cabin come the inevitable further questions about the deckhand and the medallion. "Ah assure you, sah, as Ah have already made cleah, that Ah was bringin' the medallion on boahd for only the most honorable of reasons, to facilitate its return to its raghtful place. Has that villainous little deckhand been found? No? And Miz Fontaine?"

"She hasn't been seen outside her cabin in quite some time, Mr. deSoto."

"Very curious indeed." The Trapper salutes the pair with thumb and forefinger to the brim of his hat. "'Evenin' gentlemen."

The trapper soon finds himself at the outer glass doors to the saloon. Stunned by the first sight he sees, he wheels about and hurries away from the saloon as briskly as he can to avoid undue notice, and returns to his cabin. He sits on his bunk, eyes closed, and reconstructs the scene.

The Mojo woman he'd met in Dubuque, seated at a table with...the Gambler. Their presence complicates matters immensely. The Trapper reconstructs another, older scene, at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing, Minnesota, where, as the Mojo woman had predicted, his luck had run out. A poker game, too much whiskey, and a card player of preternatural instinct. The Gambler.

And, incongruously, a womanish-looking boy who looks maddeningly familiar in a way he just can't place.

Damn. The only two people who can tear down the carefully-constructed facade with which the Trapper had ingratiated himself to Judge Fontaine so many years ago, and they have to be aboard the Hansell now of all times.

Oh, jeese.

The Trapper drifts off into an uneasy slumber, until he is awakend by beautiful song. He stumbles to the deck and joins in with his own bass harmony. At this moment, he doesn't care if the Gambler or the Mojo woman notice him. It's too beautiful a morning.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: JenEllen
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 11:15 AM

The Mojo woman raises her head from her bunk. A song drifts in on the breeze from the open window.
Welcome Day
Welcome Morning
Welcome day.....
In this case, daylight is most welcome. She had spent the night wondering as to how she was going to get to New Orleans without getting her fool self shot, the odds wenen't in her favor.

Along with the melody, the kestrel darts into the open window. A dawn spent in the hunt. He churrs again and preens the woman's hair. She laughs and strokes him, "With songs like that m'deah, I can fly just fine without you."

The Mojo woman hears a familiar voice coming through the wall of her cabin. She leans to the wall and places her ear to it, only to hear the one voice that could bring terror to her soul.
"de Mornay!" she gasps.
"Ah, Fontaine, Fontaine, what seest thou else, in the dark backward and abysm of time?"
She turns and sets the bird to her shoulder "Oh, there is precious little time to waste now my friend."

de Mornay. She hadn't seen him since that night in the James Hotel ballroom in Minnesota. The only thing that had saved them all was a touch of white magic and the graces of the gods.
She quickly pulled a long curl of hair from her bag. Miz Sara wouldn't miss it, but she'd need to work fast. She quickly shut the windows, and pulled the shades. The candles were lit as fast as she could pull them from her bag.
Sitting once again cross-legged on the floor, she took the hair and began to plait it. Woven with charms and bits of bone from her bag, it had to be powerful if she was going to help to stop this madness once and for all.

de Mornay and de Soto. She'd seen them both before. Once, when she was stranded up North, she'd taken a job as a fortune teller with a traveling show in Iowa. The small crystal in her hand told her everything she needed to know, and people pay good money to hear how life is going to treat them.
de Mornay worked with the same outfit for a month. All the claims of being the pride of European theatre, but she knew better.
de Soto was a different story entirely. A strange light surrounded this man. A northerner with a southern accent? And she knew he was no trapper. "Who's the better actor?" she thought to herself. But she also thought of the St James Hotel, where she'd seen him lose to the Gambler. She tried to warn him, but he wouldn't listen.

With her charm finished, she carefully tied it around her neck. Miz Sara Belle would be safe for now.
She opened the window once again, and the bird flew out. The woman gathered her things into her bag, and made her way to the Gambler's stateroom.


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOATINThe AlbertHansell
From: Mbo
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 11:20 AM

Folks, the thread is getting too long to load! Here's the Mudcat Steamboat: The Albert Hansell Part II! See you there!

--Mbo


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