The Delta Pearl 52 — Dive

Saturday, October 17, 2020 

Atonement, TN Party Bus by Teagan R. Geneviene
Deme & Honeybell on the Atonement, TN Party Bus by Teagan R. Geneviene

Welcome back, my chuckaboos!  It’s been a busy time with so many authors launching new books.  I’ve been thrilled that a couple of my older works have also gotten online attention.  Today Marian Allen is hosting Deme and Honeybell from Atonement, Tennessee.   The Glowing Pigs have taken their party bus to visit Marian. Jump on, click over and join the fun.

Riverboat docked night lights Dan Antion
Photo by Dan Antion

The steampunk riverboat is here with another new chapter.

Random Reader Things 

Recently, D. Wallace Peach gave us this chapter’s “random reader thing,” Amphibious Bicycle.  Thanks to Dan Antion for providing some of the photos for this serial.

Previously, Émeraude and friends learned that the trembles and shivers that were happening to the Delta Pearl were the result of the riverboat encountering a temporal shift.  Well, dash my wig! I’d hate to deal with something like that happening, just because I crossed to a new time zone.  On the Delta Pearl, you never know what might happen.  Anyhow, that shady character with a lot of facial hair, Dundas… Remember him skulking around that disreputable jewelry (pawn?) shop… and the famous Pharaoh Diamond had gone missing before that? 

Young Johann Strauss II, mid 1800s, Wikimedia Commons
Young Johann Strauss II, mid 1800s, Wikimedia Commons

As I was saying, The Dealer told Émeraude that everyone should be safe — as long as they stayed inside.  Next thing we knew, Dundas jumped overboard.  Shall we see what happens next?

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 52 — Dive

Abraham Pether - Evening scene with full moon and persons (1801
Abraham Pether 1801, Wikipedia

Alarms sounded.  The Mate and several crewmen shouted.  The Cadet started to dive into the river after Dundas, however Blue John held Sid back, speaking urgently.  I supposed the Mate reminded him that we were no longer in our proper time.

Dr. Victor Topaz Elam looked just as horrified as anyone.  However, he started shaking his head and made a rueful face that seemed to suggest he was ashamed of his thoughts, but practical and honest just the same.

“I don’t suppose a man from the past, set loose in the future could do any harm.  But what if a thieving troll like that managed to get back?  He could collect who knows what knowledge from one hundred and fifty years hence, and claim it as his own.  Why, he could subvert well intentioned futuristic inventions to his own malevolent purposes,” Dr. Elam stated in a distraught voice.

So mesmerized was I by the scene that had just played out before my eyes, that I didn’t realize I had gone out onto the deck.  My hand was still firmly attached to Victor Elam’s arm.  I was mortified that I had not only let him get outside, I had pulled him out there with me.

Jet Fisher walked out behind us.  The bemused euphoria that often came to one recently bonded to the Delta Pearl gave him a calmly happy demeanor.

Aero-cab Station Jean Marc Cote 1899 Wikipedia
Aero-cab Station Jean Marc Cote 1899 Wikipedia

“A man with no knowledge of his present world?  It’s too dark to see very much, but listen.  Nothing sounds familiar.  I see lights inland, but the noises are different.  I don’t hear the sound of wagons or horses.  How profoundly different might ordinary life be?” Jet commented to Victor’s statement.  “Dundas wouldn’t know how to make his way in the world, except for petty theft.”

“Jet, I think I follow you,” I told the erstwhile librarian from Cairo, Illinois.  “If a highwayman, like the infamous Dick Turpin in England, who was known for riding from London to York on his horse, Black Bess, in less than 24 hours, found himself far into the future…  Riding a fast horse, ambushing travelers, and escaping into the countryside… That might not be of much use in this place― I mean time.  And if transportation is different, Turpin probably wouldn’t be so good at waylaying his victims.  There might not even be a countryside,” I speculated as I gazed at the plethora of lights twinkling beyond the riverside.

“Precisely,” Jet said with a nod.

“But what if he got back?” Victor countered, still holding his line of thought.

“If Dundas tried to explain himself, he’d surely be seen as either an idiot or a lunatic,” Jet replied.

“Well, dash my wig,” Victor declared as he saw the other point of view.  “Dundas steals ideas.  He has none of his own.  He wouldn’t know how to travel in time.  What’s more if he tried to find help, he’d likely land in an asylum!”

The Captain’s voice boomed from high above.  He was up on the hurricane deck.  Though it was dark, I could see two silhouettes.  The second form was tall but slender and moved gracefully — the Dealer.

Abruptly the night was illuminated.  Beams of light swung in every direction searching the dark water.

Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary 1949
Louis Jourdan as the Dealer

The Mate shouted.  He waved and pointed toward a place in the river where the searching lights briefly shone before sliding past.  The Captain swung the light back to the spot where Blue John pointed.

I could not make out much, other than something splashing.  If it was Dundas, and I expected it was, he was farther from the riverboat than I expected.  Looking around, I saw that we were in a narrow section of the river.  Dundas was in fact startlingly close to the riverbank.

Muffled discussion reached my ears from the hurricane deck.  The Captain’s voice was easy to distinguish even if I could not make out his words.  However, I could barely hear the second voice.

A white dinner jacket seemed to float down from above.  The upper decks were not as broad as the one on which we stood, so the jacket would not have fallen into the water.  I took a step forward and caught it.

Then someone leapt far out from the hurricane deck.  He dove, easily clearing the passenger decks, and cut neatly into the black river.

Everyone who witnessed the impossible leap gasped in unison.  I looked at the finely tailored dinner jacket in my hands, but I already knew it belonged to the Dealer.

ZASH-pah!” involuntarily I wailed the Dealer’s name.

Disbelief, denial, and worry warred with icy spears in my stomach.  Could anyone make such a jump and live?

“If only I had focused on making that amphibious bicycle instead of the wretched automatons,” the young inventor muttered.

Victor Elam had stepped to the railing.  Both his hands were on the banister in a white knuckled grip.  The inventor took one look at my face as I gazed at the dinner jacket.  Comprehension registered on his face.  He murmured something, words to which I had no spare thought to listen.  He took my elbow and tried to guide me back inside, but I would not be moved.

Amphibious bike 'Cyclomer', Paris, 1932
Amphibious bicycle or “Cyclomer,” Paris, 1932

Instead I walked toward the Mate’s position.  Then the bright searchlights illuminated a slim shape streaking across the river.  Surely no man could swim so fast!

“It must be a river dolphin,” I murmured and Victor nodded in stunned silence.

The rapidly moving shape caught up with Benjamin Dundas.  It was a man after all.  Impossible though it seemed, I was sure it was Jaspe.

A brief struggle ensued.  I saw the ring shape of the wooden lifesaver rise up into the night.  Then Jaspe brought it back down with a sharp crack.  An awkwardly shaped, double form moved steadily toward the Delta Pearl through the darkness.  The Dealer appeared to be pulling the unconscious Dundas along through the water.  A section of the broken life preserver was tucked under Dundas’ chin to help keep him afloat.

***

End Chapter 52

***

On Monday, October 19, I’m at Teri Polen’s festival, Bad Moon Rising.  I didn’t bring Lulu, but she came by herself. I hope you’ll visit us there. It’s a fun interview. 

Lulu has also made it to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit Rebecca Budd. Here’s a video Rebecca made: 

Throughout October, Hullaba Lulu is at an introductory price.  The eBooks are only 99¢.  For those who boycott Amazon I made a Kobo eBook too.

KindleClick this universal link

Paperback:  Click this universal link

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu 

Be well, be happy, my chuckaboos.  

***

.

.

This serial is made possible in spite of (not because of) the deplorable lack of Internet service from TDS Telecom.  They are even worse than the government about claiming no problem exists in the face of  failure.  TDS Telecom meets every complaint and service call by saying they find no problem. Their technicians come to my home and refuse to do any work or replace equipment, even when their offsite managers have instructed them to do so. They brought equipment that they openly state does not work properly. They refuse to let me talk to a manager. They refuse to promise to send someone other than the previous do-nothing tech.  They refuse to make sure the technicians have working hardware with them. My letters, emails, and tweets go unanswered.  Dear readers, please do not comment here in response to this paragraph. Just be aware of my awful experience with this so called provider.

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.

Copyright © 2016 and 2020 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.

 


94 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 52 — Dive

    1. Thank you for the way you said that, David. Sometimes “telling” can’t be avoided. I had to do a lot of that in the chapter next week. Although it wouldn’t be as apparent in a novel… but then that’s what I intend this to be, once this rewrite/serial is done. I’m glad you could visit. Be well, be happy, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Maybe it’s just me but i quite wanted a bit of dundas chaos from him getting away and coming back with some cunning cheating device… maybe he has, who knows how time slips… and what rather than who is the dealer if he can swim like a dolphin and jump like a gazelle? A cunning automaton? Have to wait i suppose…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ugh… this boat would never get off the river if I let that happen. There’s about to be plenty of chaos without bringing present-day tech into this steampunk story. You’ll see, my chuckaboo. Besides, there’s another purpose for the Delta Pearl popping to the future. I thought that was going to be shown next week, but it will be a couple of weeks before that detail is revealed. Have a terrific new week. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, that was exciting!
    What now? I like that you always leave us wondering.

    Random Things: Tintype – taken with a Camera Obscura
    Pardon if you have already used this, but it’s hard to remember all the things!

    I will look into Kobo. Interesting that there are others who boycott Amazon! {{{hugs}}}

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Resa. I used an “alternative” publishing platform with you specifically in mind. I don’t know if I have other followers who boycott Amazon, but I know a lot of people do. In the past, while at my paying job, the time required to use more than one place was just too much added work, especially for the return of a few cents. If Lulu’s Kobo edition sells, or if there are more requests, I will put more books on Kobo.

      Oooh, what a well-thought thing! Your memory is good — I have not used either part of that thing. It gets cumbersome to use a “thing” when it has several words. So I’m going to take this as two separate things — tintype and camera obscura. A very magical way of using camera obscura is tickling at the fringes of my imagination! I’ve just added them to my story matrix. Thanks so much! I’m glad you are on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Teagan, have been catching up for a few weeks after a few months of absence from my weekly posts. Ah, your writing is to descriptive and clear- all these words that are sounds, like muffled, and action, like leapt, etc. Would love to write at your level, but I don’t know if I have the stomach for the competition! Hope the covid has not impacted your writing too much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome back Jesh. It’s a delight to see you any time you can visit. Thank you for this kind comment. This is my sanctuary, so competition along with religion and politics gets left at the door. Just write what you enjoy. I couldn’t write a thing if I thought about the competition. I’m always my own worst critic. Yes, just write, my friend. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Teagan! This is another segment that found me holding my breath! I would imagine Dundas is in a world of trouble! I wouldn’t want the Captain mad at me! I look forward to the next episode! What an awesome video from Rebecca. I know it made your heart soar! I’m heading over to Teri Polen’s to read your answers to her questions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, yes indeed! Rebecca and Don did such a lovely professional job with it too. I can’t wait for our next podcast.
      Ha! Me too. I’d be more worried about the Captain’s wrath than the law.
      I’m at Teri’s on the 19th, but I’m with Marian today.
      Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I would like to have given it a larger part, Diana. But that seemed like a good time to use it, and I couldn’t be certain I’d get another chance. Although… it might come back, now that it’s embedded in my brain. 😀 Yes, there are revelations next time. Although they probably aren’t the ones readers hope to get. Thanks for the thing, and for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m glad that Jaspe caught up to Dundas and is swimming back to the boat. However, my suspicious nature and the fact that I’ve been watching too many historical dramas on Netflix and Hulu, leaves me wondering if 1) they make it safely back to the boat and 2) the searchlights and people on deck have drawn attention to themselves from the people on land. I suppose I’ll find out next week…

    Hugs and furry purrs from Gibbs and I.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hooray for Jaspe!! This man has everything going for him and now we can add hero to his list of attributes!! I think Dundas has met his match. I would react like Emeraude…..just stand there in a daze. Good thing Eliza wasn’t out there….she would’ve jumped in with Jaspe!

    You do realize Teagan that you’ve created such an exciting, drama filled series, that when it ends you will be left with big shoes to fill with your next one! And they’re your own damn shoes!! Lol.

    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ginger you give me the biggest smile with the shoes comment. Thank you. When I was young and slim I had a pair of “pirate boots.” Flat heels, but the wide cuff could unfold to go several inches above my knees. Ah… but those won’t do either, because I gave them away decades ago, so I can’t use them. LOL.
      Haha! I believe you are right. Our bricky Eliza would have dived in after them. I guess it’s a good thing she is still occupied caring for her husband. I think Randall is not as strong as the Captain, and that poison cloud is hard for him to get over. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic chapter, Teagan. Looks like you added shapeshifter to the magical, mystical mix of the Delta Pearl. I’m on the edge of my seat and a week is a long time to perch there. Hugs shimmering your way via light pulses.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No shape shifter, Pat. I wouldn’t toss in something like that so late in the game. Not revealing something like that very early would be a cheap trick. Although from the first episode, Emeraude has occasionally had the fleeting thought, “I wondered if, in fact, he was a man at all.” The fact is, I continue to be undecided about that myself! LOL.
      Now *those* are some cool shimmering hugs, my chuckaboo. Sending warm southwest hugs back — on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Ahhh – I love a world where the good guys have extraordinary talents and the power to overwhelm the bad guys. The quiet, competent Dealer clearly is one of those!! Perhaps now we will get to find out what Dundas has been up to. I shall wait impatiently for the next chapter 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like (and need) that kind of world too, Joanne. We’ll learn another tidbit about Jaspe soon..
      I’m happy to report that I already have two more chapters written. Of course it helps that those were partly written in the original version… Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo! It means a lot to me. Hugs.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Well, You have got it, despite too much to do, to calm our hearts that Dundas is safe! Thank you, my dear Chuckaboo. I know how is it to do a lot of works around; I feel sometimes my brain takes a break. 😳😛 have a nice weekend 💖🙏🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean about the brain-break, dear Magician. There’s already so much in my brain (day-to-day life, circumstances, the COVID Apocalypse –as I name it), and then all my stories. I find I can’t watch news, and only a handful of television programs that I find… comfortable — because my brain needs that break. A wonderful weekend to you too. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Go Jaspe!! Keep that highwayman in your time.

    This is a great episode, Teagan. I’ve had moments like Émeraude where I’m so caught up in the events that I’m not quite sure how I got where I am.

    The best news of the day is that you’re back in my inbox 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Jaspe has saved the day! Well done! You’ve been busy visiting and there’s more to come. I’m amazed, not only at your creativity but at your energy. I look forward to the next chapter, and I hope you enjoy the visits! ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Robbie! As I mentioned to Teagan, I am thrilled that I have found your fabulous writing community. You support, encourage and spark creativity in each other. This morning I was reading an “business” article that indicated that many CEOs were concerned that virtual connections via Zoom, Team etc do not inspire the same energy for creativity, which confirms what I have long suspected – that we are most creative within a compassionate and life-affirming community.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe you are right, Rebecca. I am part of an amazing writing community who have inspired me and given me lots of help and advice. I have hear some of my fellow seniors at work saying that our junior staff are losing their sense of community with this lock down and no physical interaction. Isolation is very unnatural for people.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Very well said! We need to have the feeling of belonging, of knowing that we are valued. This is a great conversation – your writing community has overcome the barriers of location and thrives within a virtual space. It is indeed heartening. You are leading the way.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! It sure is. It looks like it would be awfully wobbly on the water too.
      I imagine it got pretty chilly up your way overnight. I don’t think we’ve been below 40 yet. I took advantage of a brisk morning the other day to attack the weeds… but they attacked back, and I had a big reaction. I don’t want to repeat that systemic allergic reaction of a year ago, but I had to do something. I’ve been in an antihistamine haze ever since. I need to visit your blog and the kitties. Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We’ve had frost every morning this week. Fighting weeds when you have allergies is a real problem. It used to be you could pay neighbor kids to help with weeds. But you have to have neighbor kids. And then supervising them can be more work than the job at hand.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I love everything inordinately about this post.
    And you have Rebecca Budd. How come nice talented people find each other?
    PS- I have never trusted anyone with those old historic mutton chops.
    Keep on creating talented Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so kind, Cindy — thank you. I’ve had a wonderful time chatting with Rebecca recently. I was delighted when she made this video. What a lovely setting too.
      Ya know! That kind of hair gives me the heebie-jeebies! I can almost empathize with Nicola Tesla and his fear of human hair. Heartfelt thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

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