ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Andrea's Friends and the Showboat: an on line story

Updated on June 2, 2015
Branson Belle. A modern showboat that seat 700 and cruises Table rock near Branson, MO.
Branson Belle. A modern showboat that seat 700 and cruises Table rock near Branson, MO. | Source

Introduction: This is one of several stories about Andrea, a young woman from Scandinavia and her friends. Andrea came to America in the 1890's and went to work as a maid in hotels. She is helpful to other people but refuses to be intimidated by others, especially Roald.

. Roald Johanna came at about the same time from the same village as Andrea. He studied for the ministry but was not accepted. He and Andrea have some sort of attachment from knowing each other but are from different social classes. Roald was something of a womanizer and playboy but has gotten more serious. Karolina is an attractive girl about Andrea’s age and is keeping company with Roald. Jay is Andrea’s boyfriend.

Andrea and her friends had come to Rock Island, Illinois to work at Watchtower Park, a trolley park, which provided attractions such as a merry-go-round, roller coaster, a music Pavilion and The Watchtower Inn where people could eat, and rent rooms to stay over. A fire destroyed the Inn and the park closed down pending repairs, so they now seek other jobs.

“As long as we’re here,” Andrea said, “lets take a look at the Mississippi River.”

“As they got closer, Karolina pointed toward the dock. “Isn’t that the white dog from the park?”

“I think it is. What’s he doing?”

“He’s just sitting there. Looking at that boat.”

When they got to the wharf the dog was gone.

“It’s a showboat!” Andrea said.

As luck would have it, auditions were just starting for a vaudeville show. Andrea and Karolina were both excited to be chosen for singing. Roald was picked as an announcer, and Jay signed on as ticket seller.

Vaudeville was popular at the end of the century, which popular writer and performer Mr. Mark Twain dubbed the “Gilded Age.” “I suppose he meant everything is all show with no substance,“ the theater manager said. With his white suit and mustache Colonel Josiah Fenwick could almost pass for the famous humorist himself. “Right now,” he went on,” dances like the two-step and waltz are the craze. See if you can work out a routine to include them. And you,” he addressed Roald ”You look like you could be a storyteller. If we fit you out with a derby hat and a cravat along with your yellow hair you could be a spellbinder. Do you know about the railroads? “ The Colonel was something of a spell binder himself and Roald was all but mesmerized about the railroad story.

Two Step

“I can see you up on the stage now all dressed in a suit with your bowler hat and a cane. Yes, you must have a cane. Telling the future of the railroad that is starting right here in Rock Island, this very place. You can tell them about the locomotives and the transcontinental line soon to be laid.

“I think I can come up with something,” Roald said.

“Of course you can,” the colonel said. “your friend Jay can be in some of the dance routines with the girls. Oh, and tell Andrea to do some train backdrops.”

Andrea’s train backdrop was impressive. It showed a locomotive appearing to be almost bearing down on the audience while another train was going off in the distance.“That white dog sitting and watching is a nice touch,” the colonel said. “And that heavy set man looking like he missed the train is interesting too.”

“Odd,” Andrea said. “I don’t remember doing them.”

Just then Jay came in from ticket selling. “Do you remember that fake detective, Alexander Jones, who wanted revenge because you aided the police by drawing pictures of him?”

“How could I forget?”

“”Well, I got a note at the hotel from the Duluth police that he might be stalking you, or us. I think I might have sold him a ticket to the show, but I’m not sure it was him.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Andrea said. “Probably what he wants to do is makes us afraid. Or me anyhow.”

With the physical and emotional strain of rehearsal, setting stage props, making and fitting costumes Andrea was too hyped up to worry about the stalker. The colonel got the promotion materials from the Rock Island railroad together. Roald and Jay, along with some other cast members, helped set up a temporary stage for opening night. Just below the stage they made a small dance floor for audience members who felt compelled to join with the music.

When opening night came, both Andréa and Karolina were excited and the stalker was all but forgotten about. They started the show by singing a set of popular songs and then the band moved on into music for the two-step which the cast skillfully performed moving around the stage. A few bold audience members used the small dance floor, including a heavyset man who danced with a rather reluctant looking young woman.

Then Roald went center stage dressed in his dark brown suit, a tan derby hat and cane. When he went to the podium he looked like he was at a pulpit ready for a sermon. But his talk about the railroad’s history and future was spellbinding and the audience loved it. Andréa’s backdrop of the trains brought applause. The figure of a heavy set man in the picture caused the audience members to look around at the man they had seen among them.

Opening night ended with a standing ovation. As the cast took its bows Andrea caught the face of the man she recognized as the man she identified and drew poster pictures of for the police in

Duluth. She made eye contact with him and smiled. As the applause died out a white dog jumped on stage and made a bow with its front legs stretched out. The audience clapped again.

Nobody knew where the dog came from but it followed Andrea and her friends until they got to their hotel. A heavyset dark figure lingered behind them until they went in and the dog ran off. Andrea gave a haughty glare at the stalker and a wistful look for where the dog had gone.

© 2012 Don A. Hoglund

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Please stay tuned.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Who is the heavyset man and where did the dog go?

      Stay tuned...right?...I hope?

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      girishpuri, thank you for reading my story and commenting on it.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      very interesting and mysterious story, voted up

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thank you drjb for your comment. I think the heavy set man may be a bit obsessed.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Already, Don, I like the talented white dog but am anxious about the heavyset dark man. I think he's up to no good.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks xstatic for commenting. Yes, the white dog is a bit mysterious.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Interesting and captivating story! But what of the white dog? Very good!

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks Vern. The white dog is certainly being mysterious.

    • profile image

      Vern 

      6 years ago

      Looking forward to finding out the mystery of the white dog and the fat man!

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks Becky. I'm glad you like the story and are the first to comment.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      A wonderful story from you this morning. These four seem to have so many adventures.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)