Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #112
…This has been a day for the ages…
The crew of the River Queen lowers a rope ladder.
“Hurry now,” urges Captain Longfellow to his remaining passengers.
“Aren’t you coming?” they ask their newfound friend, forged by strife. You learn a lot about people in times like this.
“My job is the safety of my passengers.” Phileas Longfellow lives up to his name, as does Catfish Albert Wright: “And everybody knows a captain must stay with his ship!”
So, as in the style of Noah, two by two the remaining couple dozen passengers of the River Queen are ferried to the foreign vessel. Speaking in a combination of three or four tongues, Catfish Al convinces the Conquistador, a colorful, aromatic freighter, loaded with coffee beans and rum, to drop its anchor and ride out the pending storm, pointing out the hail of lightning and accompanying roar of thunder.
Fierce winds and torrential rains pummel the Delta once again. Barely a week has passed since the hurricane, now a squall of a different breed attacks from the northwest. Though sparing the immediate vicinity, a pair of funnel clouds can be seen, traveling in tandem to the east. For the privilege of escaping the worst, pecan sized hail rains down on them, accumulating by the inch before they begin to melt.
“If you ever come Tallahassee way, please grace us with a visit,” insists John Ferrell.
“You know, I might just do that. I have been around Old Man River for too many years now.” Al reflects on his life. “Do you have any lakes or rivers for my boat?”
“More than you can count, though I must say that you would raise a few eyebrows and spook all the livestock with that contraption.”
“Wait ‘til they see my motorized bicycle.”
About the time the hugs and handshakes have been exchanged, a peek of the setting sun shines on the shifting silhouette of the River Queen. Considerable rainfall, collect by all the tributaries upstream, has swelled the great river above the silt line.
“Look! She’s moving!” James noticed. Cheers and applause overspread the freighter. Phileas Longfellow waves out the window of his bridge, having built up enough steam to set the huge paddle-wheeler to motion.
“What a triumphant moment!” John Ferrell embraces his children.
This has been a day for the ages.