The Delta Pearl 65 — Connect

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The steampunk riverboat is back, my chuckaboos! I’m working hard to get the third monthly installment of Dead of Winter, my Amazon serial of novelettes, ready for publication.  So, let’s step short and get right to it.

The “unofficial tech guy” at Teagan’s Books is Dan AntionEvery now and then I ask him a question, or throw an idea at him for feedback. He’s a good sport about it.  While Dan was not the reader to leave telectroscope as a “random thing,” he added one of his own, months later when I was bouncing the “optical telephone” around to keep it in this story. The new thing Dan provided is transceiver.

Last time I did a recap post with a whole passel of links. Click the back arrow at the bottom of the post for that. Now, shall we?

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 65 — Connect

Image collage by Teagan
Image collage by Teagan

Victor worked at a fever-pitch.  I didn’t know one mechanical part from the next.  He said he was building another telectroscope.

“It will be a transceiver,” Victor explained, although he might as well have been speaking Egyptian for the amount of sense that made to me.

“A train’s what?” Obsidian Durango asked.

The Cadet handed my young inventor two scissor-like clamps that I had once seen the Captain use to repair Onyx.

I sighed to think of the owl and all the clockworks leaving.  I was particularly sad about Amethyst.

“Think of the telectroscope as a transceiver…  Well, that is, it functions two ways.  If we have one ourselves, we might be able to communicate with the one Blue John took.  We might be able to see and hear him — and talk to him!” Victor explained.

“Or whomever happens to be at the other whatchamacallit,” I muttered, thinking that person might not be the Mate, but someone else… like Malachite.

A soft “tap” sound gradually wormed into my awareness.  It had a steady rhythm.  When I turned, I was astonished to see Randall Needleman on his feet, if supported by the source of the tap sound.

My heart sank further than the low place where it took up residence when the clockwork creatures left.  Eliza’s husband had rescued me from a net that had been controlled by something way up inside that sooty cloud.  However, he gave me the only gas mask.  He had been incapacitated ever since breathing the noxious fumes of the cloud.

The Circle of the Rue Royale James Tissot 1868 Wikipedia
The Circle of the Rue Royale by James Tissot 1868 Wikipedia

Light flashed off the big amber cabochon that topped Randall’s jeweled cane as he moved.  He would have ordinarily worn a morning coat, but now he wore a quilted robe.  I couldn’t help noticing how loosely it fit.  He had lost a lot of weight.

“My dear wife mentioned that you were building another optical telephone,” Randall told Victor.  “I came to offer whatever assistance I might provide.  My hands are less unsteady than they’ve been lately.  Besides, I’ve been bedridden for long enough that you could say I’ve got ‘cabin fever.’  Although I do not mean typhus,” he added.

Randall chuckled at his own joke.  That brought on a bout of coughing.  I jumped off the stool where I had been sitting beside Victor at his workbench.  I hoped Mr. Needleman didn’t notice that I have up my seat, else he would have been too much the gentleman to allow it.

I felt useless as far as helping Victor build the thingamajig.  So, I excused myself, and made sure Randall took the seat I vacated.

“The Cook needs more hands to help with making more of the herbal—” I started to make my excuse about the potion that was keeping the passengers… shall we say compliant.

I stopped myself.  If Eliza hadn’t let that secret slip to her husband, then I certainly didn’t need to make him aware of it.  I cleared my throat and left the room.

In the hallway I saw Mrs. Needleman peep around a corner.  She had discretely been making sure her husband managed to walk the distance from their suite of rooms.

Victorian woman Eavesdropping Knut_Ekwall-Frieriet
Victorian woman Eavesdropping, by Knut Ekwall-Frieriet, Wikipedia

“He insisted on going alone,” Eliza told me with a worried expression in her eyes.  “Is he…?”

“He started coughing when he tried to laugh,” I admitted honestly.  “But I think he recovered himself pretty quick, considering.  Victor will look after him,” I assured my friend.

“Good,” she began, and visibly relaxed.  “He needs something to occupy that mind of his.  My husband likes tinkering nearly as much as he enjoys entrepreneuring,” Eliza said, making up a word.

Eliza seemed unusually pensive.  I thought it was simply concern about her husband’s fragile health.  Randall Needleman had always been a robust, larger than life figure.  I knew the change in him must be hugely distressing to her.  However, she had something else on her mind.

“I’ve been toying with the thought ever since that handsome Chief Porter returned my music box, after your clever sweetheart repaired it,” she started, but eyed me uncertainly.  “I couldn’t help thinking about the papyrus that big clockwork scarab gave you, the day Randall got you free from that net.”

I interrupted her, babbling my endless gratitude that her husband had sacrificed his own wellbeing to help me.  My face must have been painted with the guilt I felt.  Eliza shook her head, saying that wasn’t what she meant at all.

“No, my chuckaboo.  There’s no need for that,” she waved away my concern.  “It’s the music box… or rather the song.  I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up.”

“Things are beginning to connect in my mind.  First the big scarab gave you the papyrus.  Then you told me another tiny copper clockwork got into your cabin, and seemed to be trying to draw your attention back to that tiny scroll.  And that one escaped back up to that dreadful cloud,” Eliza ticked off the items that guided her thoughts.

Scarab Ankh Pixabay

“There was another tiny copper scarab, and that one tried to take the scroll.  Perhaps it had a different intent than the other miniature, but that’s not part of what I’m thinking,” Eliza added.  “Then we learned that the holes in the papyrus made for a template for a music box cylinder to play A Bird in a Gilded Cage,” she said, looking into my eyes to make sure I followed.

“Remember, I told you that Amethyst was dancing and tapping around on top of my music box?  Then all the clockworks ran away.  I think she was trying to say that it had something to do with the music box.  I couldn’t understand what it could be… and I couldn’t get the song out of my head,” Eliza tried to explain a line of thinking that must have seemed preposterous to her.

“When it all started, you and I agreed that it, that the song, seemed like some kind of message.  A message from a bird in a gilded cage?” she finished with a significant pause.

My eyes widened when my thoughts got onto the same train as hers.  However, my mind even farther down the track.  Surely, it couldn’t be…

“Jaspe said that Malachite was the creator of the clockwork creatures.  It looked like they might have left the Delta Pearl to go back to their maker,” I started.  “Do you think that isn’t the case?  That they’re attempting a rescue of their own?”

Eliza nodded, smiling.

“But they aren’t trying to bring back the Mate,” I stated.  “This started before Blue John took Victor’s rocket and went up to that cloud — whatever his reason was for that…”

Suddenly, I was unable to deny my thoughts.

The Delta Pearl’s mechanical creatures meant to rescue another clockwork… but what sort of clockwork could it be?


End Chapter 65


Balderdash!  Did I just leave more questions?  Again?  Believe it or not, I do intend to answer all of them and tie off all the threads of this tangled web I’ve woven.

Dead of Winter is Here

Dead of Winter, Journeys 1 & 2 by Teagan R. Geneviene
Dead of Winter, Journeys 1 & 2 by Teagan R. Geneviene

I’ve been giving free serials here for many years. Now I also have a serial of novelettes at Amazon (and Kobo). This lets you have a nice-sized visit with the detailed world I created, and they cost less than a magazine. The first two installments are available now — and the third will be published in a few days.  I’ll release a new novelette each month for about a year.

Journey 2, Penllyn




Journey 1, Forlorn Peak



Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

 Thanks for visiting.  I’d love to hear from you in a comment.  Remember — 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.


92 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 65 — Connect

  1. What a question to leave off with! I wonder too, what kind of clockwork creature it will be. This segment is starting to tie things together. I’ve grown quite fond of Eliza Needleman. She’s a very intelligent woman. It was so great to get back on the riverboat, Teagan! Great segment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I’m happy you noticed that video, Jennie. I saved it so I can watch the whole thing later (it looks like the full cartoon). I haven’t seen Pooh-bear in decades. It was certainly blustery all day today. Despite the fact that the temps in the teens beat a retreat and now the thermometer is now as spring-like levels, the wind and clouds have made the day feel wintery.
      I’m very happy you enjoyed this chapter, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You will need an transceiver, Teagan! Lol Sorry! A very great installment, making deep thoughts. Not only about the telectroscope and the transceiver, also about whats going on in the real world with missing again digitization.
        A few minutes ago i had written it to Joelle – with rantings about the big copy machine(s). Here wWe got updated to five multifunctional machines bringing documents out of the house. At least i am using one of the ten fax-numbers (Yes, there are so much because some recipients (state based) always try to block one of them. Lol) to fire the salves. :-)) Have a beautiful weekend, and enjoy the upcoming spring! Michael

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are working very hard, Michael. I hope you can get good rest this weekend. Oh, those big copy machines… they never would cooperate with me when I had to use them. They can be so complicated to use.
          I’m happy you enjoyed this chapter.
          Spring has sprung in southern New Mexico. Who knows — winter might yet come back again though. Today is a blustery day, fit for Winnie the Pooh (and the Blustery Day). Piglet would surely fly away!
          Thank you for spending time here today, my chuckaboo!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Wow, you got spring! Great! Here its similar to October. I am hating these big machines too. Therefore now we got smaller ones. But i had to spend last Thursday for connecting them to the WiFi.
            Dont worry, the machines are working, not i am. Lol There is always the same to write. Most ist copy and paste. Have a wonderful spring weekend, Teagan! Take care for you! Michael

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Again, this proved to be so interesting. I like many words that you use. Some old to me from way back in my history – Balderdash, Thingamajig, Whatchamacallit, and new ones to me – Entrepreneuring, – Telectroscope – , Cabochon – Transceiver. AND, many other interesting paragraphs, thank you for sharing. I see lots of hours of work and meditation here! !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teagan, I swear, if you keep giving us new twists and more questions, I’m going to have you brought up on charges of Elder Abuse! I knew those lovable clockwork creatures were jointly up to something good and now I’m sure of it. Promise nothing bad will happen to any of them.

    So I will wait out another week Teagan to see what little bone you will throw our way. 🤗

    Have a great last weekend in February! Give Crystal some extra scritches and mushies from Murphy and me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a cloudy and blustery day here, Ginger, so Crystal appreciates the good wishes. She’s snug on her electric throw blanket. (No matter that it’s not very cold here anymore, she loves that blanket!)
      There’s kind of an in-between step in my head, from this episode to the next one. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that right now. LOL, I’ll try to make sure that doesn’t create any new obstacles to reaching the ending. 😀 Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!


  4. Thanks for the Saturday morning dose of intrigue on the Delta Pearl, Teagan. I love the idea of a rescue, the clockwork creatures forming their own version of the Avengers perhaps, to save one of their own. I’m rooting for them and for Em, Victor, the Needlemans and the rest of the crew to come to an exciting and happy ending.

    Hugs and purrs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! That’s fabulous, Mary J. I just imagined Amethyst as Mrs. Peel — complete with 8 leather legs. Onyx will trade his top hat for a bowler, but I doubt he can manage the umbrella… I’m happy you enjoyed this, my chuckaboo. Hugs winging back to you and Gibbs from Crystal and me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to be a popular idea, Deborah. Although it might not be that easy to write (and make it interesting), now that I’ve been thinking about it throughout the day. Maybe a take-off of one of the old mummy movies…
      Thanks for spending part of your day here, my chuckaboo. I’m glad you’re on this riverboat.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is my sanctuary too, Teagan. Each Saturday you take me and the other Pearl passengers on another adventure, another clue to the mystery surrounding our dear vessel. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s my pleasure to have you in this sanctuary, GP. 🙂 I’m starting to let ideas for the next serial meander through my mind. If I were to go back another decade, and make a backstory for Eliza… I’ve established that she went to Egypt during that part of her life, it’s where she met Randall… I wonder what sort of fun transportation she might use there. Any thoughts?
      Stay happy and sassy, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, she was quite prolific. I don’t think I’ve read any of her work. Although it gets me confused when writers use pseudonyms, so I won’t swear to that. I’m very unfocused today. The thought popped into my head and I blabbed it. LOL.
          I was also thinking about my Cornelis Drebbel character, who would be in a similar time frame. (No the real Cornelis lived much earlier, but this is my fictionalization of him. You weren’t here when I was doing his serial, ‘Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.”) If I go with that one, it would be a sort of parallel old west setting, with definite steampunk stuff. (The Eliza & Randall story… I’m not sure how I could steampunk it up.)
          As you can see, I’m still not focusing. Haha!

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Haha! That’s right. Too bad my own dreams aren’t fit for publication!
              Someone said Emlyn’s dreams in “Dead of Winter” are scary… well they came from my own.
              It really might be more fun to bring back Cornelis Drebbel than to do Eliza’s backstory. But dash my wig! I don’t know what I’ll do. LOL

              Liked by 1 person

          1. You know I wouldn’t stop thinking about your comment. Besides the usual mode of transportation of camels and acacia wood river boats, the motorcycle was available back then too.

            When I spotted these photos, I immediately thought of that old TV show, “Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild West”

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I remember the Wild, Wild, Wild West well. I loved that train. Hmmm… a steampunk motorcycle… And for that matter, the dieselpunk train from Hullaba Lulu is a lot different than a steampunk train would be (in my imagination)… Or a giant clockwork camel, perhaps?
              Thanks for brainstorming, GP. Hugs on the wing!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pat! As the Journeys progress I try to explore more of the intricacies of the Society of Deae Matres — without getting bogged down in “politics.” I’ve seen so many TV shows and books take something I really enjoyed, and just sink into the politics of the organization they created. The stories become predictable arguments. Frankly, I’ve seen that so many times that I just can’t stand it. Ahheeem… I am really easily distracted onto tangents today. LOL.
      Stay happy and sassy, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I”m working on a blog post on Dear Matres both from what they were historically and because women on horseback delivering books and knowledge remind me of the WPA Librarians of Kentucky in the 1930s. Trust me I would never disrespect such fantastic females (historical or mythical). Sassy should probably be my middle name. 🙂 I have developed a strong dislike of rants these days, even when I totally agree with the ranter. Stay focused, Teagan.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I look forward to reading your post.
          My Deae Matres are more about collecting knowledge, but still… yes, that kind of thing inspired me to create them.
          Every time I do a new search on the topic, I get completely different information, and can’t find any of the previous stuff. The places I researched ten years ago seem to be long gone… It’s annoying.
          Stay focused… o_O (Laughs hysterically… runs in circles.)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooooh, another twist. This story is going so well, I feel more and more like I am on the Delta Pearl, in the room tinkering with Victor or eavesdropping on these two ladies. I am amazed that you can keep track of these details, Teagan. I wish Victor and Randal success. Maybe if they can communicate, they can solve the mystery. I love your description of Randal. It perfectly paints a man first getting on his feet after an illness. Excellent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, thanks so much for everything in this comment. Particularly for the feedback about the scene with Randall. I wanted to portray his condition but not go overboard with “hollow cheeks” or dark circles, because that wasn’t how I see him. Thanks for letting me know I hit the right note.
      I’m glad it felt like a twist, but I carefully laid out all the steps for that little clockwork dance.
      Have a relaxing weekend, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a question to leave us hanging on, dear Teagan! I can’t even begin to imagine how you will pull all this together, but having read many of your stories, I know you will. I’m looking forward to the next installment of the Delta Pearl, and the next Journey of Dead of Winter, of course! Thanks, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If this was in novel form and lots of pages read all at once, I’m sure the ending would be a surprise. As it is… revealing a little per week, I will probably spoil my surprise ending. But I hope everyone will still enjoy the ride. Thanks for being part of this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

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