5.8: "Laissez les bontemps rouler!"

Angela was also enjoying herself immensely. She had already seen the Aquarium of the Americas, and the City of the Dead where the "Voodoo Queen" Marie Laveau was entombed, but now she and her escorts were aboard the Steamboat Natchez, listening to jazz music while sampling the cuisine. The steamboat had returned from its evening dinner cruise at 9 o'clock, and long after the last passenger had disembarked, one of the crewmen had come on deck and quietly beckoned them aboard.

The steamboat's resident jazz band, the Dukes of Dixieland, had departed with the last of the guests, but crewmember Johnny LeBeau popped a tape of their best works into the sound system, before serving dinner to his three gargoyle guests. Praline Chicken, Catfish Louisiana, Green Beans Almondine, iced tea, and for dessert Johnny promised they'd have the Natchez's famous Bread Pudding with Steamboat Sauce…

Sipping her iced tea and looking around in the steamboat's sumptuous dining hall, Angela thought wistfully about what it would be like if she could somehow taking this boat with her, on another World Tour. She'd have all the comforts of a proper home, while seeing all there was to see! Wouldn't that be wonderful? The best of both worlds, indeed!

"By the way… since we're so close to it, it would be a shame to skip the French Quarter entirely tonight," Lucretia said with a conspiratorial grin. "Trust me, it'll be worth a second look on tomorrow's tour as well! We'll go there after our meal here is done. There are places that play live music nearly 'round the clock, and we simply have to stop in at the Café du Monde for some chicory coffee and beignets…"

"It sounds wonderful!" Angela stood up and twirled around as the music skirled up to a glorious crescendo, and sang at the top of her voice, "Laissez les bontemps rouler!"

"That's the spirit!" Cassius applauded. "We'll make a native of you yet!"

A native? As in, living down here instead of returning to Manhattan? The thought gave Angela pause. Manhattan was home now…

But this place was quite hospitable to gargoyles, unlike Manhattan, where they had gravel-sucking Quarrymen assassins who broke into their home and tried to murder them in their sleep!

But Manhattan was their sworn protectorate…

Oh, she'd think about that some other time. Or better yet, not think about it at all; let Goliath consider such things! Tonight, she was going to forget all her worries and cares, if only for a short time… She caroled even louder than before, "Let the good times roll!"

FINI