The Delta Pearl 60 — Drop

Saturday, December 26, 2020 

Mississippi Queen (center), with the Delta Queen along her starboard side. 2003 Wikipedia
Mississippi Queen (center), with the Delta Queen along her starboard side. 2003 Wikipedia

Welcome back, my chuckaboos!  To those who celebrate, I hope you had a joyous Christmas.  I appreciate everyone who spends part of the holiday weekend here.  

Random Reader Things 

Today’s random reader thing is from Mary J, inspired by her cat, Gibbs. (Not the same Mary J as the one whose book you will see at the end of the post.)  I certainly could not resist the feline demand, “Love me!

Previously on The Delta Pearl

That said, this is a very short episode of The Delta Pearl.  This episode builds on Chapter 45 — Intone.  If you missed the riverboat last weekend, here’s the link to the previous chapter.  When we left, the Librarian’s Peridot was missing, and the Dealer’s cat had something in his mouth that he was not about to give up.

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 60 — Drop

Black cat ready to pounce Claudia Wollesen Pixabay
Claudia Wollesen at Pixabay

Captain Cecil Perlog walked into the gaming room.  The glass pilothouse wasn’t safe enough when the Pearl traveled a time rift.  I was relieved to see him.  Victor looks surprised by his presence.

“Only the Delta Pearl can pilot us through this, my dear.  Not even I can know what she is doing right now,” the Captain replied to the question that was plain on Victor’s face.

Gleaming brightly, a tiny corner of gold protruded from the cat’s mouth.

“The key to what?” Victor muttered and pushed his spectacles back on his nose.  “That is what Opal said, isn’t it?  Her voice was a little distorted from the speaking tube.  She said her peridot holds the key, right?  But I don’t understand about a gemstone or about a key.”

Abruptly, Victor’s mouth formed a silent “Oh.”  He tilted his head and leaned close to Reggie.

“Yes, I see.  Opal is never without that butterfly brooch she wears, and it’s set with dozens of peridots,” Victor commented, his voice taking a cajoling tone as he scratched Reggie’s chin.

Despite the chin rubs and inviting tenor, the cat snarled.  His growl took on a strange warble.  The cat tried to meow and growl at the same time, and without opening his mouth more than a little.  The tiny corner of gold slipped out farther.  I could see a sparkling light green stone.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think the brooch was trying to get out of Reggie’s mouth,” Victor commented.

Wah mee noo.  Wah mee,” Reggie meowed.

It sounded just like the cat said love me.  I had heard him do that many times, usually when he didn’t want to give up something he had taken as a toy.  We had a bit of a collie shangle the time he took my quill pen.

“Of course, we love you, Reggie.  Now just give me the—” I started.

Jaspe turned toward the Captain, as if he was about to speak.  Reggie took that moment to wriggle free of Jaspe’s grasp.  The cat jumped from the Dealer’s arms.  However, he dropped his prize when he landed.

Gemstones butterfly no bkgnd Frauke Riether Pixabay
Frauke Riether at Pixabay

A gold and peridot butterfly fell to the plush carpet.  Its wings slowly began to move.

“Opal’s butterfly brooch is a clockwork!” Victor exclaimed.  “I never realized.  But look.  It seems to have broken.  A tiny wand-like piece of gold is there beside it.”

“That’s the key,” I told Victor.

It was no ordinary key.  The key that Opal kept safely hidden in her clockwork butterfly was the tuning key.  It would unlock the brass box that housed the tuning forks used in the bonding ceremony, and at other times when the riverboat needed the extra power produced by the crew singing with the tuning forks.

For a moment, the key glittered on the deep red carpet. 

Then a small shadow fell across it.


End Chapter 60


Are you asking, “Now what?”  You know I couldn’t resist that small shadow falling over the butterfly, once we finally got to see what had been in the cat’s mouth. 

Now for all sorts of news…

For your continued weekend reading pleasure.  New from Mary J. McCoy-Dressel

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Seasoned Destiny 2020

Kindle Link click here


Featured Book Cover

Designed & ready — available for your story now.

Group I. Doorway Woman Dancing India
Group I. Doorway Woman Dancing India

I’m offering the service of “designed & ready” book covers.  Here’s this week’s featured design  Click here to see my entire portfolio

Next weekend the steampunk riverboat will take a break — because I have a special announcement to share instead.  Thank you for spending part of this holiday weekend here with me, my chuckaboos!   




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.


79 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 60 — Drop

    1. Thanks, Jennie. I’ve been working hard on Dead of Winter. But I finally feel productive. That’s 100 times better than moping in front of the TV with Christmas shows, like I would have been.
      Thanks for taking time from your holiday weekend to visit this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s lovely to see you, Claire. I always thought there was a clockwork butterfly somewhere in this story. I just couldn’t see it until now. Of course, I had to back track and mention the “brooch” in the manuscript, for when I eventually “bookize” this story. Have a wonderful holiday weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m very interested in why you chose Peridot. I looked up the this gemstones symbolism and found it is associated with harmony, good health, restful sleep, and peacefulness. It is also known as the stone of compassion. It seems to calm anger by giving renewal to all things. I find your writing has many levels of meaning, Teagan. Always an extraordinary post and excellent discussion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rebecca, thanks so much for asking this question. LOL, and yes, my research goes that far. 20 years ago I was collecting gemstone lore and metaphysical properties (intending to make a book). Now when I reinvestigate things, I’m always finding different information. I suppose metaphysical things are inherently difficult to fact check… Anyhow, I used to recommend peridot to help communications within a relationship (which goes with the harmony part of what you found). When my clockwork butterfly finally fluttered into the story — naturally it needed a gemstone name for the Delta Pearl. I found peridot associated with butterflies because renewal/rebirth are associated with both.

      We already had a lot of gems on this riverboat, so I was relieved that naming the butterfly was that easy. Of course Emerald and Pearls (Cecil Perlog and Émeraude Perlezenn), Agate, Amethyst, Blue John (a form of fluorite), Obsidian, Crazy Horse (a Calcite), Coral, diamond (necklace), Garnet, Jaspe (Jasper), Jet, Malachite, Onyx, Topaz, and now Peridot.

      Thanks for spending part of your holiday weekend here, my chuckaboo! Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a wonderful mysterious episode, Teagan! Gibbs is a little bit looking like the dark soul of Crystal. At least the would be a great couple. I hope you had a nice celebration of the festive day, and reserved a box for Crystal. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. When I found the photo of that cat, I loved how it looks like it will pounce on something at any second. Michael, I’m happy you liked this episode.
      Yes, Crystal got a box. Her favorite box is the “family size” box of Puffs facial tissue. It’s much, much too small, but she likes to play with it.
      Have a wonderful holiday weekend, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course the cat had the key in its mouth!
    A mouse in the mouth, is whatever the cat has in its mouth.
    They don’t give up the mouse!
    So, only a jump and accidental drop would release it… the key!
    Love cats, and adore this episode!
    Happy Holidays, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Robbie. Thanks so much for taking time away from your Christmas break to visit the riverboat! Yes, I do have something up my sleeve… but we’ll have to wait an extra week. I’ll be blogging about Dead of Winter’s first “journey” next weekend. Redoing the cover to include the “journey” title became an ordeal, but I was finally satisfied. Now I need to figure out my launch post. o_O
      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the role Victor is taking as this story progresses. He’s becoming an integral part of the Pearl and of Emeraude’s life as well. So glad they got the cat to drop the clockwork, but that shadow is a little disturbing. 🙂 Great segment, Teagan! I wish you a wonderful New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ll have to start listening to Gibbs a little more closely to see if his cries sound like “wah me noo.” Of course, it doesn’t matter – I know enough when he wants love or food or a crack at the catnip banana. He sends his loudest purrs for mentioning his name and wants to know what kind of royalties he’ll receive. Kibble? Toys? A furry playmate? I told him to be quiet and go back to sleep…

    I can’t wait to see how the key will help get the Delta Pearl and it’s crew out of trouble and back into its own time. Same time next week, Teagan! Hugs and purrs on the fur!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mary J. LOL, Gibbs can get paid in chin-rubs. I’m afraid that’s the closest thing I have to currency (or royalties). Crystal offers to share her bottle of catnip infused spray to re-juice his catnip banana. Thanks for being on this riverboat, my Chuckaboo. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Noooooo, not another cliffhanger! 😱 Reggie gave up (kind of) what he was hiding in his mouth and revealed Opal’s butterfly brooch AND the key. But now we have a mysterious shadow. Of course we do!

    Have a cozy weekend Teagan. Keep safe and give your brain a rest…’s about to explode with another sub-plot. Lol. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! Ginger I think you hit the nail on the head. I goofed up and let another subplot creep in, when my head was already about to explode. I recommend getting an umbrella. Showers of “gray matter” in the forecast. LOL. Thanks for spending part of your holiday weekend here, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, GP… you know that would be too easy. I have something up my sleeve that (I hope) will have everyone gobsmacked. 😉
      LOL, I love tired Santa. I hope he got a good night’s rest. It was a good day. I worked all day on Dead of Winter. I have the first novelette on Amazon, and steadily moving toward my launch next weekend… or maybe Wednesday… I can’t decide. That’s still a woman’s prerogative, isn’t it?
      Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I should have known you’d leave us with a little bit to wonder about. I loved the line, “the Captain replied to the question that was plain on Victor’s face.” I could see that expression when I read that. You do that so well.

    I hope this last week of 2020 is a good one for you, Teagan. I’m looking forward to “Dead of Winter” launching.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, that is wonderful feedback — thank you!
      I can’t decide whether to announce Dead of Winter this weekend, or jump the gun on Wednesday… I could always do 2 midweek posts for it (along with the weekend launch)… I guess we’ll see how much work I get done. I haven’t figured out the launch post yet. Thank you for your encouragement. Wishing you a beautiful Christmastime weekend, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it, Pat. (By the way, I’m working on your interview questions — thank you again.) Yes, it was wicked of me to add that cliffhanging shadow when the riverboat won’t dock next weekend, but… I can’t help being a cliffhanger maven. LOL. Have a lovely between holidays week. Hugs winging back to you, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well if it gives you an extra giggle to leave us dangling on the thread of suspense, I guess it’s worth the wait. But you owe a nice long juicy chapter in a fortnight. Glad you are working on the questions. Hugs shrugging your way.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Love the butterfly brooch. I have my suspicions about the shadow, but I’ll have to wait a whole week to see… Congratulations on Dead of Winter. I’m excited to read it! Good luck with the launch and the covers, and I’ll help spread the word. And Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Olga, if what I have up my sleeve surprises you, then I’ll know I’ve done my job. I hope to at least surprise a few people. 🙂
      Heartfelt thanks for your help with the Dead of Winter launch. I’ve made big progress with everything the last couple of days.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

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