The Delta Pearl 64 — Remember

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Duck Cupid Quellie pink
Composite Image by Teagan Geneviene

With the Victorians, terms of endearment flowed freely.  A dear friend was a chuckaboo — and that’s what all of you are to me.  Valentine’s Day can be traced to ancient Rome, but it was the Victorians who originally put a romantic spin on the holiday.

Some people love flowers on Valentine’s, others opt for chocolate… but as far as this author is concerned, the very best Valentine of all is a great review.  Pat over at eQuips posted a lovely review for Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn.  Click here and read Pat’s review.

Now to the regular weekend feature, my chuckaboos!  I’m here with an all new episode of the #steampunk riverboat serial, The Delta Pearl.  

This chapter ties back to 20 — Slash and to 54 — Flash.  For past episodes, either click the back arrow at the bottom of the post, or click on the Delta Pearl category button on the right side of the page.  Now, shall we?

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 64 — Remember

Pixabay image altered by TRG
Pixabay image altered by Teagan R Geneviene

Muddled as my brain had been from the riverboat’s transition, I had not noticed the Captain.  Cecil Perlog was a huge man.  Although his movements were not without grace, it was usually apparent when he entered a room.  I jumped when I heard his deep voice right behind me.

“Mrs. Needleman, you are indeed an ingenious woman,” he commented in a neutral tone, with a nod to the breathing apparatus that hung from Eliza’s arm.

The Captain seemed calmly accepting of the level of knowledge Eliza had attained regarding the Delta Pearl’s secrets.  It was not a reaction I would have expected, particularly not after her husband tried to purchase the riverboat.

Although both Mr. and Mrs. Needleman had proven their friendship since that day.  Randall nearly died rescuing me from that net, when the couple acted as chaperones so Victor and I could go ashore — and unseen forces tried to abduct me.  In fact, he was still bedridden from the poison fumes he had inhaled in the process.

I glanced from Cecil Perlog to Eliza Needleman.  Then, once again I remembered the text on the calling-card he showed me the day we parted company with the “governess and her charge” who were actually an escaping wife, Alison Ritchie, and her lover, Azalea Morton.  The Captain allowed the two women to remain in the future, where the riverboat had seen fit to take us.  He told the couple they would be able to get help from the people named on the card.

Attorneys at Law

Cecil Perlog IV and Emerald Needleman.

“Captain!” Obsidian Durango called as he hurried into the room.

The Cadet’s face bore a harried expression.  One person was better than any other at causing that reaction — Agate.

“What is it, Sid?” the Captain asked, though one eyebrow cocked as if to say he had a hunch.

“It’s the Cook, sir.  Agate’s shouting about her baklava being ruined.  She won’t hear reason,” Obsidian babbled.

“All is not lost for us, son,” the Captain started with a chuckle.  “You and I can finish off the batch that doesn’t meet the Agate’s standards.”

The Captain excused himself and followed the Cadet.

Having put the cat back in his quarters, the Dealer returned.  I knew Reggie wouldn’t be pleased with confinement.  Jaspe has solved that with a large portion of trout.  Eliza chuckled at the description the Dealer gave of Reggie with his fish.

Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary 1949
Louis Jourdan as The Dealer, Jaspe

“Ha!  The minou is too clever for his own good.  Bon appétit, Sir Reginald La Felin.  Today you eat like royalty,” Jaspe joked with a motion toward the general direction of his cabin.

Victor walked over to us, carrying “Crazy horse Cal.”  The clockwork horse lived up to the name of the variety of calcite that decorated his body.  He never did work quite properly.

I wondered aloud if that was why the other clockwork creatures left without him.  Then I blushed scarlet, worried that I had stuck my foot in my mouth.  I didn’t mean any slight to Victor’s workmanship.

The Dealer saved me from that self-humiliation with his unexpected response.  Everyone was too astonished to notice my poor choice of words.

“No, cher.  It’s more a matter of provenance… or perhaps one could even say parentage, c’est tout.  It’s not about whether or not he works well,” Jaspe began in that soft quasi-French accent.

“Parentage?” Victor interjected.  “You mean because Cal belongs to Émeraude?  Amethyst belongs to her too, and the spider had the look of a symphony conductor, orchestrating their exodus.”

“Ah, my dear, but you crafted him and gifted Cal to Émeraude,” Eliza remarked to Victor.  “But why would that matter?”

“All the other clockwork creatures have long been parts of the Delta Pearl,” Jaspe explained.  “They were all created by the same hand, n’est-ce pas?

My brain felt like a puzzle box.  It was as though the right spots had been triggered, and pieces popped open in astonishing ways.

“When the Delta Pearl rescued me — when I was just a little girl, you told me how the clockworks came to be,” I started haltingly.  “Then the shape I saw you fighting with…  When that sooty cloud dropped down during my sweet sixteen party.  It was almost like watching your silhouette battle itself…  Jaspe, you yelled the name Malachite.”

Émeraude and the Dealer dance on the deck of the Delta Pearl
Émeraude and the Dealer danced on the deck of the Delta Pearl. Original image Wikipedia (altered)

I remembered that horrible moment clearly.

“Malachite, you know you are not welcome here.  The Delta Pearl herself cast you out!” I had heard the Dealer shout though I could no longer see him.

An icy stone of fear sank into the bottom of my stomach.

All of the Delta Pearl’s clockwork creatures were created by Malachite.  The man was so abhorrent that the riverboat herself rejected him, long before I came aboard.

The Green Scarab Gallery that had been used to lure us ashore in Cario, Illinois was a set up — we already knew that.  It was where we first saw the big copper scarab… and it was inset with malachite stones!

It had followed me, and then that net had dropped down, capturing me.

The net was suspended from something I could not see, because of that same sooty cloud.

Malachite, the man that the Delta Pearl banished, was at least part of what that noxious cloud concealed.

I gasped.

Malachite was the creator of the clockworks, and they had run away, up into that brown cloud.

***

End Chapter 64

***

Oh… well dash my wig!  Do answers lead to even more questions?  Next time we’ll look back to chapters 38 and 56 where some real steampunkery tech (as I like to call it) came into the story.  But now…

For your Valentine’s Day pleasure…

Fiona Finch n the Pink Valentine PROMO

Have you ever thought about the cost of greeting cards compared to books — especially e-books? Not to mention that with e-books you don’t have to worry about any COVID-19 germs hitching a ride. 

Fiona Finch & the Pink Valentine, a Steampunk Novelette is only 99¢ for the e-book.

Kindle:  relinks.me/B084NZFZ14

Paperback:  relinks.me/B084P73L4C

 Thanks for visiting.  I’d love to hear from you in a comment.  Let me repeat myself once again — this is not a forum for critique.  If you want this serial to continue — remember that this is my sanctuary — so keep it friendly.  

Until next time, 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 2021 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.

 


82 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 64 — Remember

  1. Malachite! Very interesting, and yes you did create more mystery by solving some.

    Teagan, I have been off blogging the last week. I had an accident and have been in bed resting mostly.
    If I’m not around, that is why. I’m so clumsy!
    Hugaboos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael. I’m happy you enjoyed this chapter. Haha! Maybe at the end I need to have a dance for the clockwork creatures. 😀
      Yes, as I mentioned to Robbie (below) I have a lot of answering to do in the future. Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. I’m tying up all the bits of yarn. But there’s still the steampunkery tech Blue John took when he left. And the “bird in a gilded cage” music box (papyrus)… that tiny copper scarab went to a lot of trouble to get Emeraude to see the related papyrus, way back when. And don’t forget the mysterious portrait… And why was Malachite so bent on taking Emeraude at her 16th birthday party, and then again with the net (assuming that was actually him — at least SOMEBODY tried to take her then). Yes… there’s still plenty of answering ahead for me. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lavinia, I’m delighted you enjoyed this. There will be a little bit of “how” or maybe “Why” to merge into the story before we get back to the clockworks. I know what the next chapter should be, but I can’t see it clearly yet. I DO know that it will tie back to these two chapters:
      https://teagansbooks.com/2020/06/20/the-delta-pearl-38-tangle/
      and
      https://teagansbooks.com/2020/11/21/the-delta-pearl-56-rocket/
      We got snow! Any moisture at all is a great Valentine’s Day. I held Crystal up to a window when I got up this morning to make her look at it. LOL. She was not amused.
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Rick too, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. That’s certainly true about the coffee too, Diana. There were a couple of years when I sent ebooks to anyone I would have sent a paper Christmas card. I just thought it would be a nice thing to do. Some people send yearly newsletters, so why not…?
      Thanks for visiting. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As everyone has already pointed out, great chapter, but more questions and no answers. Jaspe knows what’s going on, but he’s keeping it very close to his vest. Makes my head spin!!

    Hope you and Crystal have a happy Valentines Day.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard to say what they might be up to, right? Actually, the next one will be harder to figure out how to write. I know what it is, but I can’t see it clearly yet. It feels like when I sit down at the piano with a song in my head that I’ve never tried to play before. I have a good idea of what the notes are, but sometimes finding them all is… foggy.
        Thanks for your encouragement. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the missus (and of course Lucy and Twiggy), my chuckaboo.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ms. Frances. I’m happy you are aboard the Delta Pearl, my chuckaboo!
      The “high desert” southwest finally got in on one of the winter storms. We’ve been in dire need of any kind of moisture. This morning I woke up to 2 inches of snow — and it is still snowing. It’s very cold though. The temperature is supposed to get colder all day, and down to 15 degrees F before the day is over. Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  3. More questions, Teagan! Interesting spin on the clockwork critters, but I wonder what drew them back to a malevolent creator when they could stay on the boat with nice people. Guess I will have to wait with everyone else for an answer. Hugs and purrs, Teagan. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good question, Mary J. Could it be like humans who return to abusive family because as the ignorant often critically exclaim “But it’s your family!”…? Or do the clockworks actually have a plan? Or… is there more to this than meets the eye? 😀 Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Gibbs. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great chapter, Teagan. Thanks for the lovely mention of the Journey 2 review. I need to re-read the Pink Valentine and that confounded duck. Valentines Hugs wafting your way on chocolate scented clouds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re getting Fiona? GP that means a lot to me. That’s a gentler (I guess you could say) facet of Fiona’s personality, but she’s sassy, spunky, and fun — and she’s definitely her own woman. One day I hope to give her a full-on adventure.

      The first time I read your comment, I wanted to jump in and promise that there will certainly be a new serial.
      Serials, fueled by “reader things” have been my blogging “thing” for many years. Plus, to support my novels, I *have* to have a blog. So I know that I will have to come back with another one. (Maybe you could collaborate on the next one… and I’ll make it Atom-punk (1940s to 1960s)… maybe.)

      My regular readers are the best in the world. That is a constant. (So, I’m leaving this comment to everyone, not just you. I won’t post specifically about it, because even people who *think* they understand — some of them even claim to have the same kind of problems, become dismissive or discounting, and either tell me that my skin is too thin, or tell me to basically get over it. Those people have not the slightest idea of the magnitude of what I have to cope with (the PTSD) — of what finally, decades later, overwhelmed me.)

      Even though I adore my readers, with blogging — particularly with serials, there’s always someone or another who will drop in just make him/herself feel superior or important. Unfortunately and worse, there are usually people who will follow that kind of comment, and support it.

      After my huge “crash & burn” a few years ago, when the PTDS, combined with toxic people at work, reached a tipping point and I could no longer function as I should… It’s harder and harder for me to deal with people. Little things which, in the past I would have just snorted at or blown off, now they send me into a spiral.

      Frankly, every post is harder to do than the last, because of that. I *KNOW* this is something that I have to overcome.
      The part of me that can’t take any more and wants to give up butts heads with the part that can’t give up the people here that I adore and the interaction.
      Yes… there will be another serial when this one concludes, my chuckaboo. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for saying you’ll have another serial. We hate to lose touch with familiar friends like our shipmates on the Delta Pearl but we will be happy to make new friends in the future. I’m already bonding with my Journeymates the Deae Matres, who will be earning a blog post from me in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Pat. It means the world to me, when readers continue to think of my characters outside the story. Thank you. ❤
          I've always seen the Delta Pearl as a stand alone novel. (This serial is a rewrite of a novel that I felt needed… more.) However, the "world" of it is big enough that other stories could be possible.
          The same is true of Dead of Winter. The big dilemma of the story gets resolved… but that's a huge world. The Deae Matres alone could be a story "universe" (as I like to call my story worlds… the Lulu-verse, the Pip-verse, maybe the Emlyn-verse). Hugs on the wing!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Teagan, your questions leave us wondering and your answers lead us to ask more questions. The mark of an excellent storyteller. I wish I knew what Jaspe knows. I love his offhand way of sharing facts as if they are common knowledge when in fact they are revelations. So much to know. I suppose I have to wait another week.

    Greeting cards vs books? Now there’s a value comparison I hadn’t considered. If only Hallmark had gotten into publishing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Dealer certainly does keep things close to the vest, Dan. I’m happy you enjoyed it.
      One Christmas I sent an e-book to everyone in place of a Christmas card. It just seemed like a nice thing to do. Unfortunately fewer than half the ebooks were even picked up. But my friends never did support my writing. Although, they may well have just thrown away a paper card too. Who knows.
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the missus. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this episode, Teagan, and “no” I had never thought about the cost of a card compared to an ebook. Point well made!! Congratulations on the great review from Pat. 💗

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Malachite… I wonder… I’m very intrigued, Teagan. Great suggestion for Valentine’s (Happy Galentine’s and Valentine’s…), and great review. I’m sharing mine on Monday! Loved Journey 2 as well! Congratulations!

    Liked by 3 people

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