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BS: A Story of the Great American Desert

Rapparee 20 Sep 06 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Sons of the Pioneers 20 Sep 06 - 11:14 PM
Amos 20 Sep 06 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Sons of the Pioneers 20 Sep 06 - 11:48 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Sep 06 - 03:53 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 06 - 05:18 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 06 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Mrr 21 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM
Amos 21 Sep 06 - 10:35 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Sep 06 - 10:41 AM
Bill D 21 Sep 06 - 05:07 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Sep 06 - 05:20 PM
Ebbie 21 Sep 06 - 07:09 PM
bobad 21 Sep 06 - 07:14 PM
katlaughing 21 Sep 06 - 08:16 PM
wysiwyg 22 Sep 06 - 01:27 PM
Amos 22 Sep 06 - 02:22 PM
Ebbie 22 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM
Bert 22 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Sep 06 - 03:54 PM
Amos 22 Sep 06 - 04:14 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Sep 06 - 05:33 PM
GUEST 22 Sep 06 - 05:49 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 06 - 09:19 PM
Lonesome EJ 28 Sep 06 - 02:31 AM
GUEST,ibo 28 Sep 06 - 07:48 PM
Rapparee 17 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 01:06 PM
pdq 17 Jun 07 - 01:22 PM
Rapparee 17 Jun 07 - 01:56 PM
Rapparee 18 Jun 07 - 09:39 AM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jun 07 - 11:04 AM
Rapparee 18 Jun 07 - 01:51 PM
Mrrzy 18 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM
Ebbie 19 Jun 07 - 03:45 PM

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Subject: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 09:28 PM

It was too hot. And he'd been too long without enough water for both his horse and himself.

All day I faced the barren waste
Without a drink of water.


Those two lines had kept running through his head. He couldn't shake it. God only knows what the horse was thinking. Did horses have music? Did they get songs stuck in their heads?

He half-fell, half-dismounted in the shade of a large rock standing in the curve of the dry creek bed. He dug into the sand like a dog, using his hands as shovels. The sand became cooler but no wetter as the hole grew deeper.

He was face-down in the hole when he awoke. The horse was nearby, head hanging like the reins. He guessed that he'd passed out, and it was a pretty good guess.

Staggering over to the saddle he unhooked the nearly empty canteen, poured the precious water into his hat and held it for the horse to drink. It didn't take long to finish it.

The air was a little cooler. Night was coming on, he guessed, but you couldn't tell it by the sun. He no longer cared much. Probably would have been better if he hadn't escaped those Commanches three, no five, days ago.

The rock was less warm than the sand, a cooler place to put a sweaty back. He took out his revolver, checked the cylinder. Five rounds, and the hammer on the empty. One, maybe two, for the horse and one for him. No water. Better to end it quickly and mercifully.

The horse nickered, perked up its ears, looking off to the right. He came alert in an instant, gun at the ready.

It couldn't be. Music? Out here in the desert? Hearing things now, old pard, he said to himself, but he took the .45-70 from the saddle scabbard and very carefully moved to the right, up the rise, looking around the sagebrush and not over it.

It was music. Banjos, he thought. Maybe other things. Don't be too excited. Excitement could get you killed.

He looked down into a valley. Lush green along the banks of a river, several campfires, and a...steamboat?

Mirages. Had to be. The thirst was getting to him.

Then his horse walked up and pushed him with its nose. Pushed him towards the valley.

What the hell, he thought. I might as well drown in a mirage as die of thirst in a dry creekbed. He returned the rifle to the scabbard and led the horse downhill.

As he approached closer, he paused and took a brass telescope out of the saddlebags. Can't be too careful, look before you leap and all that, he thought. There were people on shore, sitting around the campfires, playing...music. He looked at the steamboat and read the name: Albert J. Hansell.

Well, he figured, if the mirage shows in the telescope it must be pretty solid. And that looked like water AND whiskey the folks were drinking.

He walked on towards the party.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: GUEST,Sons of the Pioneers
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:14 PM

All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water,
                  Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry and souls that cry for water,
                  Cool water.

The night are cool and I'm a fool each stars a pool of water,
                  Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn and carry on to water,
                  Cool water.

Keep a movin' Dan, don't you listen to him Dan, he's a devil not a man
and he spreads the burnin' sand with water.
Dan can't you see that big green tree where the waters runnin' free
and it's waiting there for me and you.
Water, cool water.

The shadows sway and seem to say tonight we pray for water,
Cool water.
And way up there He'll hear our prayer and show us where there's water,
                  Cool Water.

Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for just one thing more than water,
                  Cool water.
Like me, I guess, he'd like to rest where there's no quest for water,
                  Cool water.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Amos
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:36 PM

Sound: Fade in choral voices:
ooooOOOOO OOO OOOOooooo
ooooOOOOO OOO OOOOooooo
ooooOOOOO OOO OOOOooooo

Sound effects: Clop blocks, fading off stage right (can use coconut shells in a pinch)

Sound Fade in: Wind machine, rising and falling: WhhhooooooooeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOooooooeeeeee

Sound: footsteps in gritty sand...kruuuunchshww, kruuunchshwww


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: GUEST,Sons of the Pioneers
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:48 PM

Hey, cut, cut, CUT

The sound of footsteps in gritty sand does not sound like that. It's more like shruuunhshww, shruuunhshww.

Can we take this from the beginning again and we'll add the correct sound of the footsteps in the gritty sand.

A Story of the Great American Desert

Take II

KLACK


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 03:53 AM

Can I have Key Lime pie with lots of whipped cream please?
G.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:18 AM

The song "Cool Water" reminds me of a similar song - something to do with a guy finding a pump and a bottle of water in the desert

"Ya gotta prime the prime the pump"....

or similar


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:21 AM

sorry for the stutter...


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM

Way out on the windswept desert, where nature favors no man
A buffalo found his brother at rest on the sunbaked sand
Well the buffalo said to his brother, What sickness got you this way
But his brother never said cause his brother was dead, been dead since away last May...
Way out on the windswept prairie I heard a big Indian moan
So I left my tent 'fore I knew what it meant and I swore I'd never more roam
It was early in the morning when I stopped running, my legs were tired and sore
I'd lost 50 lbs on that hot desert ground and I'd lose that many more.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Amos
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:35 AM

Josie Wales topped the rise at sunrise, already in a sweat, his fingers swollen on the reins and his back numb from the swing of the saddle. The rising sun away to his left was beginning to paint the south-eastern sky bloody orange, and he could already smell theheat in the endless sand around him. He let Maze steer himself around a clump of tumbleweed and scanned the gulleys and valley ahead.

When he saw the man, he squinted. Looked a goner, but maybe not. His horse was still hanging around. The dudelo lay face down in the already-warming sands of an arroyo top, arms sprawled out, hat cocked off to one side, and something in one hand that mighta been a gun...no...a telescope, more like. Didn't look like it had done him much good. Nothing to see in every direction but the sprawling sands and desert brush, the arroyos and cracks in the baking soil.

He nudged Maze forward, down the slope, figgering to see if he could save a life, or at least bury a man in order. The sun creaked up a notch higher.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:41 AM

OK, how about Peach Melba?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:07 PM

Peach Melba? Didn't I see her dance at the Follies? Why would she be out in the desert?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:20 PM

Looking for Abbot and Costello?
G


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 07:09 PM

Once, in meditation, I 'watched' as on his hands and knees a man in denim jeans and a crumpled hat lurched into the 'shade' of a mesquite bush. The ground was sandy and orange. The next scene showed him sprawled and dead under the bush. The next scene showed the clothes, barely raised from the surface of the ground, melding into the sands.

The bush hadn't grown appreciably.

Sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: bobad
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 07:14 PM

A Horse With No Name
Written by Dewey Bunnell, ©1971

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

After nine days I let the horse run free
'Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it's life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

I apologize for posting this.... but couldn't resist.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:16 PM

The sign said, "Warning! Watch for Flaming Kestrels!" How unlikely was that, I thought?! Flaming, freakin' kestrels in the middle of the freakin' desert?? What kind of hell had I landed in? Something just didn't seem right, especially when I heard the faint strains of banjos. Shaking my head in disbelief, I urged my pony forward. Anything would be better than this weird dimension of reality.

My pony, a strong sturdy little gelding I'd traded a couple of Pendleton blankets for, swung his head back and forth with the effort of climbing up a small sand dune. Nearing the Place of Banjos, I saw another Pilgrim on the path; only trouble was, he looked like he really WAS in trouble. Good lawd! he didn't even have a horse, not really. He was crawling on his belly like some sidewinder. I'd seen enough of them, and shot a few, to last a lifetime. He looked so sorry and in such tough shape, I thanked my lucky stars I wasn't in the same condition! Nothing for it but to sidle up kinda quiet like and see if I could help the poor sorry son of a bee.

"Howdy, pardner. Looks like you could use a friendly hand," I hallooed him from a safe distance. He looked half-crazed, red-rimmed bloodshot eyes, grizzled beard, brown with desert sand, and I didn't know if that old rifle was loaded or not. He kinda grunted at me, looked around, feebly tried to raise it and point at me. "Easy there, old feller. I ain't gonna hurt ya none. Just take it easy, okay?" At that, I slid off my horse and walked over to him, carrying my canteen with me. "Here ya go, how about a little swallow?"

Well, there I was in some sort of pickle. It wasn't what I was looking for. He rambled on that whole night under the dark night of pale stars with the wind blowing cold after the skin-blistering heat of the day. He rambled in and out of consciousness, fantasies as far as I could tell. Something about a steamboat and banjos. Now, the banjos I knowed I'd heard, too, but a steamboat?! Ain't nothing out here even close, unless he meant one of them there camels they called the ships of the desert over in the land of the Araby, but I ain't seen nothing like that here. Course, he called me "mom" and a passel of names...Betsy, Susie, and Honey among them...musta been names of his old sweeties, best I could tell. I humoured him, patted him for comfort and tried to catch some shuteye. I didn't think we had far to go in the morning, but I didn't want to be dead tired myself. Lord knew how I was gonna get him up in my saddle. For now, I gathered my old coat around me, turned the collar up, and hunkered down for a long night. As I fell asleep, I remembered better times and danged if there wasn't a steamboat in those dreams. I think I even heard the high whistle of a kestrel, but thank the lawd it wasn't on fire...


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 01:27 PM

(I sure hope somebody can write how the Hansell got into the desert.... can't wait to see THAT one!)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Amos
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:22 PM

Distances can fool a man, even an old hand, in the wastelands. By the time Maze had struggled down one ravine and up the slippery sands on the other side, and Josie caught side of the dudelo again, somethin' had changed.

A spavined, rib-flanked cayuse had joined the picture, and its owner was approaching the half-dead dudelo with a canteen, and the whole mess, it now appeared, was still a good half mile away. The dudelo had come part-way to, and was waving his telescope at the stranger, who wasn't walking none too straight hisself.

Josie pulled Maze into the skimpy shade of a high saguaro at the top of the rise, and decided to watch a while, see how it played out. Maybe he wouldn't have to bury anyone today.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM

(Aside: What's a 'dudelo'?)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

(The Latino opposite of a dudette?:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM

Queen of the Desert Quiz.
G.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM

The Albert J. Hansell (Should be an L not a J but what the L) of course has such a shallow draught that she can sail on sand if there's the slightest hint of dew (Kinda like a Thames Barge).

So he climbed the gangway and headed straight for the bar and ordered a pint of shandy, the ideal drink for a really thirsty man.

By the time he had finished his third pint the sun had come up and the dew had evaporated leaving the Albert J. Hansell stranded.

So he treated everyone aboard to a shandy and they all went for'ad to pee over the bows. A task which they all had to keep repeating until they reached the Big Muddy.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:54 PM

Thames barges are OK running before the wind with their leaboards raised, but with them down they need a lot more water Bert!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Amos
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:14 PM

A dudelo is an inexperienced hand, one likely to get in trouble in hostile environments.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:33 PM

Elvis Presley was born in Dudelo Mississippi dude!
G ☺


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:49 PM

Ah din't know thet, Zhee


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 09:19 PM

I have been authorised to add the following contribution from our own JenEllen. She's promising more to come:-) Yippee!!

The best gift that Wolf Mother had given her children was that in their dreams they suffer neither portent nor prophecy.   As the female entered her den and lay down on her side to nurse, she drifted off to sleep under the draw and warmth of her two remaining pups. Her lost pup came first to her dream. The snake struck again and the dreaming mother yipped an unheard warning. As her pup's leg grew more swollen and useless, she found herself running. It was running like she had never known. She ran through the air without using her legs, and she never tired, no matter how close to the sun she went. Even in the den, her sleeping form never twitched, except for the curl of her lip as she tasted the air that blew past her. She looked behind her and her tail was sparkling with the heat that the humans used to destroy perfectly good kill. The flames didn't hurt her, so she soon forgot about them and turned her attentions to the ship she saw below her…..


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:31 AM

This place is haunted.

At night, when the hot winds die off and a chill comes on the dunes like death itself, drifting mirages of sailing ships slide white and silent against the star-shot desert sky. There are none there to see these misty crafts. The Navajo once witnessed this ghostly procession, but they were wise, and never allowed the intrusion of the bizarre to divert them from their narrow paths amid the creosote, cactus and mesquite, but plodded ahead, eyes away from the sacred spectacle. Now they too are gone from this place, leaving only the occasional straggling wraith with no eyes left to avert, plodding on against the background of phantom ships, blind, a snapshot of an ancient moment.

In such a place, mirages eddy through blasted arroyos, moon smoke gathers in the draws, and the night breezes sough like the heaving of seas. And sometimes, when the moon is new, and the sky is crowded with the blue streak of meteors, the mirages yield up the creaking specter of an antique river boat, lit like a chandelier, spilling music and laughter into this lonely place.

The Navajo saw it many times, accepted it as a gift from the gods who rule this unknown landscape; and so should you and I, reader. And so should you and I.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 07:48 PM

Blueberry pie is a great american dessert


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM

He got up again. There was thunder to the West and the sky was black over the distant mountains.

Flash floods coming, he thought. And the random thought came that the woman who gave him water was beautiful, and even more beautiful to share her canteen. Not like that other character, the one who stayed away to watch him die.

His gun. His slicker. He was going to need the slicker soon, for the looks of the sky. Both gone. Looking around he saw that the old horse was gone and so was his saddle. Even his hat. Thank goodness whoever took it left him his boots. And his pants.

The thunder cracked again, closer. The word "cache" came into his mind and he remembered.

He worked his way back uphill to the rock where he'd first rested. Cache. If it was still there. He'd lightened the load and cached things. Maybe. If.

He found the mark on the rock, went around ten steps to the left, started to dig with his hands. He touched rubberized cloth and breathed a sigh of relief.

A drop of rain hit his head and he dug faster. Finally, he pulled up a package wrapped in his extra slicker, the old one.

He pulled the slicker off and draped it over himself and the precious kit just as the rain really started.

Wet from the rain that still got inside, he inventoried his possessions in the dark. A jar with matches. A couple extra neckerchiefs. His old man's belt knife, still razor sharp. A bota. Some jerky. His Colt's revolver, and and hundred cartridges in his extra pair of socks.

He smiled. It wasn't a nice smile, but it held a promise. Someone was going to pay, and a woman was going to be thanked.

He shifted and tried to direct as much of the rain running off the slicker as he could into the bota while he sang to himself:

Water. Clear, cool, evaporated, water.

The words weren't right, but they'd do.

He smiled again, wolfishly.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 01:06 PM

The vortex which transformed the Mississippi into a whirling chaos of brutal, maiming force carried by screaming walls of wind and water was not, despite what the science-boyos back East wrote in the Herald Tribune the following week, caused by a collision of high and low pressure regions in the atmosphere. Not exactly.

In fact, it had more to do with a tracer beam -- a thin correlation of quantum particles used to cross time-space boundaries and detect events in distant times and places. The Founder had come up with the idea, and one of the brilliant Gooding brothers had figured out how to make it work. Ira Johnston had tooled up the prototype and tweaked it until you could tune it to any probability intersection in the known or any other universe, and the finished instrument had been carefully mounted in the control banks of the Adorable Dora from which the Founder planned and executed the fate of universes as a sort of hobby.

It wasn't the Founder's fault, of course. It was the twins, those damn attitudinous redhead teenage girl-women who had been "helping" him in the matter of the gambler and the time-crisis being precipitated by the Heron gang. They had left a happy ending in place, with the Albert Hansell comfortably docked in New Orleans, and the gambler and the beautiful brujita enjouying café au lait and some beignets and dreaming about a plan to go to California. But in the celebration of success, one of them had failed to turn off the tracer beam, and had left it anchored to a clump of high-probability quanta regions in the vicinity of the riverwalk through the heart of New Orleans. So when the Founder ordered the twins to set a displacement channel up to move them to the Sirian sector about two centuries ahead, the tracer beam was still attached, and in the way of matwerial particles everywhere, it seriously objected to having its fundamental equations toyed with. Like a hawser still looped to a bollard astern, it transferred an astronomical amount of force to the region to which it had been anchore3d when the Dora started translating.

That's what started it. Next thing anyone knew, there were three twisters fighting over the little scrap of merchandise the white folks called New Orleans, and the river had been bent out of its bed and plugged straight into the sky. There was blackness moving into the vacuum of probability up and down the French Quarter, and a few law offices, hardware stores and bordellos had contributed their roofs and beams and wondpows and a good niumber of their clientele to the mess that was torquing its way upward in the spew of river-water and quantum explosions. A couple of horses, too. The waterfront was a whirling, catastrophic blend of broken pieces and vanished parts, until the quantum trace-links overloaded and blew out.

At that point a lot of parts of things came showering down, the blackness disappeared, the winds dropped from 200 knots to a normal five or six, a lot of river water lashed down and settled on the town, and the Albert Hansell had disappeared completely, leaving just a fe tattered ends of mooring lines and a shattered gangplank to mark where she had been.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: pdq
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 01:22 PM

Desert Pete
         ~ Billy Edd Wheeler (as done by the Kingston Trio, 1963)


I was travelin' west of Buckskin on my way to a cattle run, 'cross a little cactus desert under a hot, blisterin' sun. Thirsty down to my toenails, I stopped to rest me on a stump, but I tell you I just couldn't believe it when I saw that water pump. I took it to be a mirage at first. It'll fool a thirsty man. Then I saw a note stuck in a bakin' powder can. "This pump is old," the note began, "but she works. So give'er a try. I put a new sucker washer in 'er. You may find the leather dry.

Chorus:
You've got to prime the pump. You must have faith and believe. You've got to give of yourself 'fore you're worthy to receive.
Drink all the water you can hold. Wash your face cool your feet. Leave the bottle full for others. Thank you kindly, Desert Pete.

Yeah, you'll have to prime the pump, work that handle like there's a fire. Under the rock you'll find some water left there in a bitter's jar. Now there's just enough to prime it with, so don't you go drinkin' first. Just pour it in and pump like mad and, buddy, you'll quench your thirst.

(Chorus)

Well, I found the jar, and I tell you, nothin' was ever prettier to my eye and I was tempted strong to drink it because that pump looked mighty dry, but the note went on, "Have faith, my friend, there's water down below. You've got to give to really get. I'm the one who ought to know."

So I poured in the jar and started pumpin' and I heard a beautiful sound of water bubblin' 'n' splashin' up out of that hole in the ground. Then I took off my shoes and drunk my fill of that cold refreshin' treat. Then I thanked the Lord, and I thanked the pump, and I thanked old Desert Pete.

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 01:56 PM

The rain continued and, he thought, became worse. And the wind was picking up. He was glad that he was in the lee side of the boulder.

He held his plunder close to himself, the pistol tucked into his belt and whatever he could fit into them in his pockets. The bota was full, so he corked it and thought, I haven't been in a storm like this since that hurricane in the Carribean.

He glanced down and noticed a circle of cloth on the ground, caught under the toe of his boot. It looked like...no...yes, it was. A garter. A green garter. In spite of himself he smiled and tucked it into his slicker pocket. A woman's garter. Might be a sign of good luck.

He huddled a little closer to the boulder, could feel it moving slightly in th wind. And then everything went black.

----------

He awoke to find himself in bed, a beautiful redhead looking down at him. Not young, not old, but her eyes said she'd seen more than most people would ever even think of.

"You're awake." she stated. "Hello. I'm Hazel. Hazel Stone. You're on Dora; you just appeared in the control room, much to the annoyance of Lazarus because your arrival interrupted his chewing-out of Laz and Lor. He ordered you taken to the infirmary and brought back to health. Your clothes (she suddered slightly) have been cleaned and are over there. Your gun and ammunition is with them, so is your knife. Lazarus ordered that you keep your weapons."

"Why?" he managed to croak out. "Where am I?"

"Because you were clutching Maureen's lost garter, I suspect. And the correct question is not 'Where' but 'When.'"

Part of the wall opened, he didn't see how, and two more redheads burst in. Not teenagers, young women.

"Hi! I'm Lor!"
"And I'm Laz!"
"Lazarus made use scrub up all the water you brought in with you."
"But we forgive you because you had Mamma Maureen's garter."


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 09:39 AM

A man's voice from behind said, "You're both confined to quarters!"

The twins whirled, stuck out their tongues, and marched off. A large man, large without fat, entered. He was wearing a dress.

"Good day, sir. I'm Commodore Sheffield, owner of the space yacht "Dora." Those were my twin...sisters. I apologize for their behavior. May I ask your name?" And he stuck out his hand.

He took it. "I'm sorry, I don't usually give my name. But in this case I shall. Shephard. Thomas Shephard, formerly of Kansas City, Missouri."

The Commodore looked thunderstruck, a look that was obviously strange to a face that had seen and done much.

"Tom Shephard? Tommy Shephard? Did you once..." and he bent over and whispered in the Shephard's ear.

Shephard goggled, then smiled broadly. "Only one person in the world would know that," he said. "Woody Smith, how come you're traveling under an assumed name? And why are you wearing a dress?"

The Commodore sighed, then smiled broadly. "It's a very long story, Tom. And it's a kilt, not a dress. If you're up to it, and Doc Ishtar says you are, put on your pants and come down to the Commodore's Lounge, which is also known as the Hellfire Hotel, and you can spin your tale and I'll spin mine and neither of us will believe the other. We'll drink ship's beer, which isn't all that bad, and tell lies and pinch some pretty girls."

He saw the question in Shephard's eyes and said quietly, "Pack your gun if you want to, Tom. There's no need for it here, but do what makes you feel comfortable. Hazel, let the man get dressed and then bring him to my suite, please."

And they both left. Shephard slowly got up, a bit unsteadily, and put on his clothes, now clean and smelling of being dried in fresh air and sunshine. He looked at the Colt, but put the knife on his belt instead, looked around for the door.

A woman's voice said, "Just walk straight at the wall where Hazel and Laz walked out. The door opens automatically. Hazel is waiting for you in the hall. I'D guide you, but HE said to let Hazel do so."

"Who are you?" he asked, his mind rapidly trying to assimilate more data than he'd had to work with since he'd left his Ph.D. work behind and got out of town, fast.

"Oh. I'm Dora. I'm the ship. If you need anything, just ask and I'll fetch it."

"Okay," he said slowly. "I learned long ago to believe a dozen impossible things before breakfast. I guess I can up that number a bit." And he walked through the wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:04 AM

Good stuff, Rapaire! Keep it up!


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 01:51 PM

Amos, the SOP, caused me to change the plot.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM

(Anybody have that Larry Niven novel with the guy singing Cool Clear Water in a bar somewhere? I *think* it's in Lucifer's Hammer...)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story of the Great American Desert
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 03:45 PM

Tell us the stories they shared, Rapaire?


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