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TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3

Amos 08 Apr 00 - 12:35 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Apr 00 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 00 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 05:18 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,JenEllen 08 Apr 00 - 05:56 PM
catspaw49 08 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM
katlaughing 08 Apr 00 - 06:28 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM
Mbo 08 Apr 00 - 07:50 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 08:02 PM
Mbo 08 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 08 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 09:18 PM
katlaughing 08 Apr 00 - 11:40 PM
Susan A-R 08 Apr 00 - 11:45 PM
Caitrin 08 Apr 00 - 11:59 PM
catspaw49 09 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:46 AM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 09:02 AM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 01:37 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM
Barky 09 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM
Peter T. 09 Apr 00 - 03:45 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 04:33 PM
Caitrin 09 Apr 00 - 04:51 PM
catspaw49 09 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:00 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:05 PM
Barky 09 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:21 PM
Mbo 09 Apr 00 - 08:23 PM
MMario 09 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM
Mbo 09 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 10:20 PM
Amos 09 Apr 00 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Cassius de Mornay 10 Apr 00 - 08:54 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 09:13 AM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 11:46 AM
MMario 10 Apr 00 - 02:37 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 03:04 PM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM
Caitrin 10 Apr 00 - 03:42 PM
Amos 10 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 04:17 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Apr 00 - 05:52 PM
Barky 10 Apr 00 - 06:45 PM
catspaw49 10 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 00 - 08:41 PM
Mbo 10 Apr 00 - 08:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 00 - 08:59 PM
JenEllen 10 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM
GUEST, A.C. 10 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM
Barky 10 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Apr 00 - 11:08 PM
GUEST, A.C. 11 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 11 Apr 00 - 12:33 AM
GUEST, A.C. 11 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM
GUEST, Bobby Ewing 11 Apr 00 - 12:40 AM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 01:36 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 03:20 PM
JenEllen 11 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
Amos 11 Apr 00 - 11:26 PM
Barky 12 Apr 00 - 05:33 PM
MMario 12 Apr 00 - 05:35 PM
JenEllen 12 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 12:37 AM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 01:56 AM
MMario 13 Apr 00 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,JenEllen 13 Apr 00 - 04:50 PM
Amos 13 Apr 00 - 09:14 PM
JenEllen 13 Apr 00 - 10:24 PM
Barky 13 Apr 00 - 11:56 PM
katlaughing 14 Apr 00 - 12:16 AM
Mbo 14 Apr 00 - 12:18 AM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 01:00 AM
katlaughing 14 Apr 00 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,brad 14 Apr 00 - 01:41 AM
Mbo 14 Apr 00 - 10:57 AM
catspaw49 14 Apr 00 - 11:06 AM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 11:08 AM
Lonesome EJ 14 Apr 00 - 01:44 PM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM
Caitrin 14 Apr 00 - 02:27 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 05:03 PM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 05:09 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM
Caitrin 16 Apr 00 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 12:35 PM

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

J:

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

A


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Spaw


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

--Slick Philly Matt


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

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


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

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

--Slick Philly Matt


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Spaw


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

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

 

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

WHHHHHHHHHHHSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHsssssssshhhhhhhhheoeoeoeoeoeoeooeroooeoeoeoeeooeoeeoeoeoeooooooooshloooop!!!!!



Hallooo?




Dark, dark, dark. Halllooooooooo???


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

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

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

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

*

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

And the Gambler began his tale.


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

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

***

Trapped. Silence!!!!"


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

We should get cabal modem service, Peter!


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

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

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

~Miss Montesquiue


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spaw


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

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaawwwwwww!!!!


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

hey! whose boilers are you calling sluggish!


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

--Slick Philly Matt


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

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

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


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

grat psitons = great pistons in Lithuanian.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A


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

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


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


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

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


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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
From: Caitrin
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:42 PM

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


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

Sharp, Caitrin! Sharp!

A


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

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


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

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


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

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

~Barky


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

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

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

And he turned back to the Mississippi.

Spaw


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

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

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


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

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

--Mbo


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Found some powder there Leej.

Boom!!!


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

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

ON WITH THE STORY!



~Barky


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

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


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

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

Our roving reporter will soon report live from the scene.


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

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


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

Oh look, there's Bobby Ewing.

Hallo Bob


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Esteemed Madam,

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

Your devoted Servant,

Charles Stonewall Delacroix,
Gamble


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


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

Leht's rufresh this dern thread!


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

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

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

There, are you refreshed?

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


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

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

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


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

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

A


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

~Barky


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

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

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


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

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

--Slick Philly Matt


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

(Wow!  Congratulations to both of you!

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

We need a current location fix hyar.)


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

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


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

hello


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

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

--Slick Philly Matt


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

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

Spaw


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Sincerely,

Charles Stonewall Delacroix,
Gambler


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

Dear General:

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

The High Galactic Overlord


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

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


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

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


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Mudcat time: 19 September 2:56 AM EDT

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