Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 9.2

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Valentino Lulu Dance Hop Bot on horse RED Cotton Club-5-22-
Valentino and Lulu dance the Lindy Hop outside the Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  You know this story is spontaneously written.  Saturday I followed the impulse to do a recap… before Wednesday.  I added the rewind to one of the next set of things from Rob Goldstein  who creates the gorgeous images and videos for this series. (Click here for the entire collection of videos.)  So, that made the recap Chapter 9.1.  Today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu brings us to Chapter 9.2 of the series.

My Writing Process

Sometimes it takes me a bit of storytelling to make my way to a “thing.”  That is what happened here.  So, I’ve divided this chapter yet again.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

It looked like the angel-bots were up to some matchmaking for Dynamite and his blue surge, Ginger.  They were excited that the Ouija board pointed to the Cotton Club as the train’s next destination.  Lulu didn’t seem so thrilled.

The automat provided money.  Even though it looked wrong, Boom-boom assured Lulu that nothing was amiss, including Bolshies or Russian spies. However, based on the strange currency, the she thinks that just as Atlantic City wasn’t the same place she knew, the Cotton Club might be similarly strange.

It’s time for Chapter 9.2.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet? 

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 9.2


Bot Valentino Lulu inside train windows Flight to Egypt-4
Angle-bot, Valentino, and Lulu inside the train, by Rob Goldstein

“Lulu!  Horsefeathers!  Where did you go?  C’mon.  Everybody is ready to go to the Cotton Club,” Rose called.

The corridors of the train rang with Rose and Pearl separately, calling my name.  They had split up to look for me.  I didn’t mean to be coy.  I wasn’t hiding, not exactly.  I just wanted to be alone.  When I should have been in my sleeper car, changing into my glad rags, I went to the darkened control room of the train instead.

Solemnly I poked around all the glosy glowy gismos.  I touched the golden control angel statue with the tip of one finger – just because I wasn’t supposed to touch anything.  I knew it was some sort of machine, but it couldn’t move around like the angel-bots.

My peripheral vision caused me to whirl back to face it.  I could have sworn the angel’s eyes opened.  Although they were closed.  I walked away, then jumped around, intending to take it by surprise if its eyes were open.  The eyes were closed.


I moved to a device with a sphere and lightning blots that ran steadily to another machine.

Control room The Angel_0322-
The control room of Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

“Hello, Miss.  Your friends are looking for you,” an angel-bot commented as he entered the control room.  “Do be careful.  All the instruments are precisely set and require delicate handling,” he added in the typically matter-of-fact way of the clockwork creatures.

There was a subtle Spanish sound to his voice.  Rather than regular gold like most of the bots, his finish had a bluish cast.  He used the same manner of speaking as the others when he answered my question about his accent.  He said his voice was from Cuba.

“What’s this thing?” I asked of the lightning bolt device.

“Ah!  The Tesla coil.  It was made by Nikola Tesla himself and gifted to Valentino,” the angel-bot explained with a tone of awe.

I had heard of Nikola Tesla.  He sounded like a real grouch.  No wonder Valentino knew him.  Grouches of a feather…  Maybe Tesla wore those pointy toed shoes too.  Those dog kennels would make anybody grumpy.

Valentino many bots painting red
Valentino and angle-bots, by Rob Goldstein

“Something seems rather off about the devise,” the angel-bot said with an inquisitive tilt to his bluish gold head.  “I should—” he stopped talking and blinked at me as if I were suddenly the object of his curiosity.  “Oh!  Giver of Names, I didn’t realize it was you.  Could I impose?  I mean, if it is not too much trouble…  Would you be so kind as to bestow a name upon this humble bot?”

I couldn’t help grinning.  The angel-bots were downright zozzled with delight about the prospect of getting named.  Again my mind went to songs in choosing a name.  When the idea came to me I smiled.  The clockwork man bounced on his toes in anticipation.

“Hmm, your voice is from Cuba, and there’s a bluish cast to your gold.  It kind of makes me think of the—  That’s it!  How about, Moon?  That’s from the song Cuban Moon,” I suggested.

My grin got bigger when the Orthophonic Victrola, which was part of the control room started playing the song.  (Chapter 4)

Apparently Moon liked his name.  In a flurry of clicks, flutters, and bounces he hurried away to tell his friends.  I had no idea what he had been about to say he “should” do a moment before, but it had to do with that dangerous looking Tesla coil.

With one finger extended toward the lightning, I tried to work up the courage to touch it.  Then Rose called my name from the doorway.  It startled me so badly that I yelped.  I jerked around, bumping into the Tesla machine as I turned.  It wobbled dangerously, the lightning shot out a wild arc.  I caught the machine before it could fall and hurriedly straightened it.

I wasn’t sure if the Tesla machine was facing the same way it was before.  I thought maybe I placed it backwards.  However, I didn’t want anyone to see that I nearly caused another hullaba calamity, as Pearl called my clumsiness.  So I rushed toward the door.

“There you are!  Pearl, she’s over here,” Rose called to our other friend.  “Lulu, why aren’t you ready?”

“You to go ahead,” I said as Pearl hurried up to join us.  “I’ll change and catch up with you in a jiffy.”

Lulu towel Bots Metropolis 4
Lulu and angle-bots at bath time, by Rob Goldstein

I ushered my pals off the train and moped back to my sleeper car.  It had cheered me up to give Moon the angel-bot his name, but that joy faded quickly.  As I walked past the jukebox in my sitting room, “Cuban Moon” started to play.  It was almost as if the machine meant to remind me of that cheerfulness, but it didn’t make me smile.

My eyebrows went up when the jukebox came on by itself.  Everything on that train seemed to be fluky.

I’m no stupid tomato.  From the beginning I realized the train was no ordinary engine.  Although everyone else seemed to ignore that fact.  Abruptly I wondered if it had anything to do with the reassuring pulse of the engine.

Could some kind of mesmerism be involved?

One thing was bothering me, making me sad.  I was pretty sure that train could go anywhere.  It was the only chance I would ever have to travel to faraway, exciting, glamorous places.  Yet instead of going to any of the hundreds of dreamy places I could imagine, it took us to Atlantic City, where I had previously been dozens of times.  Worse, it had already returned to New York, if not to my home borough.  I was bitterly disappointed.

A screen concealed a changing area with a tall mirror, a cushioned ottoman, and a clothes tree.  I was startled when an angel-bot stepped out from behind the screen.

“Were you unhappy with the gown, Miss?  When I saw that you hadn’t changed into the black gown you wore when you boarded, I brought another,” the angel-bot told me.

The metal of that angel-bot was unique.  She was rose-gold.  I knew Dynamite was stuck on her.

“You must be Ginger!” I exclaimed and the angel-bot nodded.  “I thought all the bots were eager to go to the Cotton Club.  Why are you still here?”

“Yes, Miss.  Thank you, Giver of Names,” she replied.  “Yes, everyone loves the club.  But I heard you were sad, so I will stay behind with you.”

How could Ginger have heard that I was sad?  That as creepy as the jukebox or the Orthophonic Victrola playing the song I mentioned.

I remember how excited Wicky, Wacky, and Woo had been because they had arranged for Dynamite to sing to Ginger onstage at the Cotton Club.  I couldn’t ruin that surprise for any of them.

Lulu Purple gown Toward Egypt 2
Lulu’s new gown, by Rob Goldstein


So, I pretended enthusiasm that I didn’t feel.  I admit that I actually did perk up when I saw the gorgeous gown Ginger brought.  It was royal purple silk and looked like an Erté original.  The rose-gold bot also brought a black boa to accessorize the gown.

“There’s a bit of a walk to the club,” Ginger began.  “Will your kitten heels be suitable?  Ah!  But there is another way.  We could take the Rolls-Royce!”

I remembered Valentino had that automobile parked on the street above my grandfather’s speakeasy.  (Chapter 2)  You had to admit, the guy knew how to put on the Ritz!

Ginger made sure I had the gown fastened properly and that the feather boa hung just so.  Then she turned with a little dance step-kick and led me down the corridor.

We entered a dark car.  The rose-gold angel-bot didn’t seem to notice the dim light.  Ginger moved across the room and pulled a leaver.  With a series of whirring gears, a wide door opened and a ramp lowered to the ground.  Sunlight flooded the train car.  The green Rolls-Royce shimmered in the light.

Ginger hopped into the passenger seat.  I stood still.

“Miss, is anything the matter?” she asked.

“Well… I don’t know how to drive,” I confessed.

Val and LuLu green car purple bk
Lulu and Valentino with his Rolls-Royce, by Rob Goldstein

The angel-bot shrugged with head tilted and hands spread.

“Just press that button under the dash,” she instructed.

I sat down on the supple leather seat.  The burled wood dash was polished to a soft glow.  I wished I had a jorum of skee for courage.  All I had was bubble gum, so I took some from my beaded evening bag (Chapter 1) and in short order, blew a big bubble.  This seemed to delight Ginger.  Her metal hands clapped together with a sound like little cymbals.  

I pressed the starter button and hit the gas.  The green Rolls-Royce shot out of the train and barreled toward the Cotton Club.  A man on a bicycle and a guy selling hot pretzels for a nickel scattered out of our way.  We were nearly at the front door of the club.

Suddenly I realized that I didn’t know how to stop!


The End


Real World Notes

Electric Starter:  The first electric starter was installed on an Arnold, an adaptation of the Benz Velo, built in 1896 in East Peckham, England, by electrical engineer H. J. Dowsing.  In 1903, Clyde J. Coleman invented and patented the first electric starter in America U.S. Patent 0,745,157. 

Tesla Coil

Tesla Coil (Lightning Machine):  A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit designed by inventor Nikola Tesla in 1891.  Tesla used these circuits to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in sparkgap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in medical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices.

Erté: His real name was Romain de Tirtoff, (born November 23, 1892, St. Petersburg, Russia—died April 21, 1990, Paris, France), a fashion illustrator of the 1920s and creator of visual spectacle for French music-hall revues. His designs included dresses and accessories for women; costumes and sets for opera, ballet, and dramatic productions; and posters and prints. (His byname was derived from the French pronunciation of his initials, R.T.)  Britannica

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there. He also writes wonderful blog posts. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  Next time I’ll conclude Chapter 9 with Star of David.  Be sure to listen next week when the call of Valentino’s trumpet summons the diesel-punk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 


Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 


This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


109 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 9.2

  1. I really enjoy Rob’s artwork with your posts. I love this episode and I enjoy the suspense and the pretty dresses . Thank you to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gerlinde, thanks so much. Rob will be delighted with your comment about the clothes, because he puts so much thought into every single element in the images.
      I appreciate you taking time to visit. You’re the cat’s pajamas!


    1. It’s great to see you Deborah. Well, I just hope Lulu doesn’t stop the Rolls the way I stopped when learning to ride a bicycle. I had a particular large pine tree that I always ran into to stop! 😉 I’m glad you’re on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s great to see you, Andrea. Indeed — and before they made airbags or even seat-belts! I’m glad somebody finally noticed the problem with Lulu and the Tesla machine. 😉 We’re in for a wild ride! Thanks for taking time to visit here. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! A self-driving car in the 1920s. I knew they’d already been around a long time when I first heard about them, Teagan. I hope Lulu finds out how to stop that car, though.
    Another magical episode that made me smile all the time while reading.
    Weekend hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hugh, it better be self driving with Lulu behind the wheel! Although I’m afraid it was just a matter of it starting with a boost. I hope everybody gets out of the way.
      Thanks for visiting, especially with a much needed hug. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am all breathless just from remembering the last time I danced the Lindy Hop…Oh, my that is some memory…lol. Bless that little bot she has a heart and what a beautiful dress she certainly has taste… Where to next I ask myself…Can’t wait xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m impressed, Carol. If I tried any of those dances, I’d probably end up in the hospital! I’m such a klutz. 😉
      Rob has a hit with that dress. I think we might need to start a dress shop as a sideline! Where next? Only the sands of time will tell. 😉
      I’m so happy you’re on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Mega hugs right back, Christoph. I’m glad I have your curiosity for next week.
      Congrats again on the great reviews for your new book, “Over My Dead Body”!
      Thanks for being on this diesel-punk train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Wednesday and time to join the Jazz Age Train over at Teagan Geneviene’s blog. Lulu and her friends are heading to the Cotton Club… Lulu is in a curious frame of mind and is disobeying the rules…nothing new there. Will she get glammed up and hit the Club… you will have to head over to find out. Don’t forget your fringe, kitten heels and cigarette holder, you won’t get in. #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, John. I liked that song a lot, even if the sound was kind of scratchy. I appreciate you taking time to visit, what with the launch of your new book at hand!
      My lunch-break got “railroaded” today. I’ll be by for your Story Day tomorrow, and for the Thursday break with the pups.
      You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I think that if an era resonates strongly with us, then we probably did. Maybe you ran a speakeasy… Or just left everyone in awe when you did the Charleston. 😀 Oh wait. I can see you hosting seances with a room full of well-to-do guests. Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacquie, sometimes Rob is a step ahead of me. I have to give him props. I described the gown *he made* for Lulu. Although I gave it a feather boa… couldn’t resist the feathers. 😀 I agree that it’s a dreamy gown.
      Where Lulu goes (or in this case bumps) trouble follows, so hang onto your cloche hat! Thanks for visiting. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am absolutely enjoying this story. I love the interaction with the ‘bots. It seems Lulu has a way with them. I’m not even jostled by the cliff hanger ending, I’m just looking forward to Wednesday. I am trying to figure out if Lulu changed anything in the engine, though. Oh well, soon enough, we shall see. The illustration of the control room gives it a daunting feel. I can’t wait to see what goes on inside The Cotton Club. Lulu might not be impressed, but I’ve never been, so…

    Have a great rest of the week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dan. You have a way of prompting me for things I “meant to remember.” I’m wondering just why Lulu might have an affinity for the angel-bots… I’d better make sure I have a note for that in several places. o_O
      Thanks for sharing this virtual lunch-break. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. My most favorite day of the week is here!! I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Oh, I am terribly afraid that our curious LuLu has screwed something up with the rearranging of the Tesla Coil. The song, the jukebox, the Angel Bots, the car…I love everything about this segment. But, for Pete’s Sake, find the brakes! I’d hate to see such a beautiful automobile crash. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “But, for Pete’s Sake, find the brakes!” Jan, you just slayed me! 😀
      Yes, I can’t help wondering if there was something important that Moon was about to do before she distracted him… I guess I’ll figure it out when I write the third part of this chapter. o_O I appreciate your visits, Jan. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I just know that Tesla coil is going to be a problem! Lulu just can’t help touching (and bumping) things she’s not supposed to. 😀 I love the art and the video. Robert has outdone himself. Off to the Cotton Club, Teagan. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Haha, this line made me laugh–

    “I touched the golden control angel statue with the tip of one finger – just because I wasn’t supposed to touch anything.”

    I can see you doing it in real life. Why? Because I would! LOL. It reminds me of having medical tests where they say, “Don’t breathe.” What do I want to do? Great episode, Teagan. Love the drawings, of course!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love how all the bots are thrilled to receive a name from Lulu. That always makes me smile. I really liked the addition of Tesla coil in this one too. So perfect for the time. Delightful as always, Teagan, and as usual, Rob’s artwork brings the passages to life. Stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Fabulous episode. I love Moon and yes, I like to see Lulu thinking things through. Although, yes, what a cliffhanger! Looking forward to the next episode! Thanks, Teagan and Rob!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Judith. The sound quality is scratchy, but it was such a nice song, I wanted to include it.
      LOL, Lulu’s realization was much the way I learned to ride a bicycle as a child. I’d panic when it came time to use the breaks (at the pedals) and always ran into a particular pine tree to stop myself. Poor tree. My grandfather had to straighten out the bike’s fender more than once.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

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