This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
An altercation, some said. A scuffle between two Union deserters and a Mississippi couple. The AWOL soldiers, disguised in civilian dress, and attempting to stow away on a cotton barge, espied the couple. Obviously this elegant rebel gentleman and lady are wealthy by the looks of their fine clothes and jewelry. Why not ask Mr. and Mrs. Confederate to fork over a few dollars, enough to pay the fare back to their Pennsylvania farmlands. Naturally, the scruffy appearance of those men, not to mention the foul body odor each emitted put off the lady. Her husband simply asked the men to leave. They refused, continuing to taunt the couple and insult the lady with crude remarks. Then, according to old Tante Seraphine who haunted the pier day and night, "'All God's wrath broke loose!"
In an instant, not caring how many people witnessed the awful consequences suffered by two ragged men – Union soldiers notwithstanding – the wife lashed out with a weapon no one had ever before seen. It looked like a sword but the blade...It was more like a shaft of light, not steel. She cut a swath, causing those beggars to flee alive albeit wounded with minor cuts and burns. Her husband, his face blanching in terror and alarm, immediately hustled his wife to the steamboat bound for Natchez, next to the boat from which Charlie had just disembarked.
Bystanders whispered and muttered to each other. How and when did the Beauchamps come into possession of such a weapon? Are there others like it? And is there time to alert President Davis of this miracle sword that cuts like lightning? Surely the Confederacy could use this. But it was not to be...Charlie saw to that...Changing history is not a good idea.
Which brought Charlie back to 1848 Natchez. Before Mr. Lavigne left 1864 New Orleans, he sought out Tante Seraphine who gave him the lowdown on Madame Beauchamps. Seraphine was an old slave from way back, brought up from Haiti in 1803. She had the knack of reading people, what makes them tick. But this Madame Beauchamps...
"A strange one, that lady. Always talking about something called 'the Force', and how she sacrificed her career as a Jedi Knight to fulfill her destiny here on Earth. At first, everyone thought she was French. I sure did. Said her real name was Marbe Tasou. Sounded French to me," said Seraphine to Charlie.
"She just showed up at the Creole Cotillion, met and married Mr. Jean-Paul Beauchamps then moved with him to Natchez. But as I said, she was a strange one. I seen her with that lightning sword before. Don't know what to make of that."
The memory of Seraphine's words in his mind, Charlie paused at the gate, not wanting to go inside the house because of what he might find. Looking at the house now, in 1848, it was small wonder, come 1865, with nearly every plantation in ruins, La Terre Belle will come away unscathed; nothing, from the fields to the house would suffer the fate of its neighbors.
It was the lady of the house, said the little black boy who walked up to Charlie, who makes things right.
"Miss Marbile is a nice lady," said Toby, a handsome child of twelve. "But she don't do things like other white folks. She got some powers!"
Charlie probed more, asking the boy, "Do you, or any of the others, know how Miss Marbile came here?"
"Oh sure, sir. A man brung her to New Orleans. Said she was special and that she had to get used to way things're done here. Know what? She show me her sword...It was made of light! And it cut good! Don't know how she does that other trick."
"Other trick?," Charlie asked with more interest. He had to learn more about this woman, the one named Marbile Beauchamps.
Toby laughed, saying, "Miss Marbile can make things float in the air. She was supposed to ask Mammy Gracie to fetch her a drink of water. But Miss Marbile just made it come to her. The glass just floated in the air and landed in her hand. We don't know how she did it. Mammy thinks Miss Marbile is a witch, but the others thinks she's an angel."
"All right, Toby. Before I go up to the house, answer this: Did you see the man who brought Mrs. Beauchamps to New Orleans?"
"Yes, sir!," came the quick response. "He was old and had a long white beard. Talked funny, though, like he was from a foreign country."
"Do you remember his name?"
"Uh...A Mr. Dumb-something. I can't remember his whole name, but it sure sounded funny."
Now Charlie knew exactly the identity of Mrs. Beauchamps, and how one man made it possible for this lady to fulfill her destiny. After Toby left, before Charlie worked up the courage to go up to the house, he got out a curious device. It looked like a hand mirror set in fine gold, but it was no ordinary looking-glass.
He spoke a few words and an image appeared. A voice responded, "Charlie, out of desperation, I made that time trip for a purpose. It was for your friend's sake, and the daughter's safety. It was I who brought the woman to 1848 America. And it is a fact: Marbile Beauchamps née Marbe Tasou is from a world vastly different from our own. Her powers, while not magical, are impressive and astounding. She is definitely your friend's ancestor. Now, once you finish your interview with Marbe, I want you to come here at once. Ozma and I will tell you Miss Tasou's special case..."
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.