Short Stories

Stop The Magnolia

The following is a short story told to a sleepy boy, about a Daddy’s love. Nicholas gives me some great material.

She’s a memory now, yet there was a time when the lady and her captain ruled the mighty Mississippi. The Magnolia was a glamorous showboat. While she was impressive, her Captain was renowned.

Captain Carlisle Stratton McEntyre had faced pirates, gunman, gamblers, and outlaws. Through it all, he had never stopped the Magnolia. He always said, “I’ll only stop the Magnolia, for a Lady, a child, or a baby, never for a bad man.”

As his legend grew, many had tried, with everything from dynamite to a cannon. Through it all, the Magnolia, and her Captain, has been true to their word. Until the day Newton Armstrong strolled into New Orleans square.

Armstrong was a con man, gambler, and scoundrel. He wanted his name to be known from New Orleans to Atlanta. He decided to make his fame, by toppling the Captain.

To do that, he picked a patsy, the Captain’s only son, Abbott. He picked a fight with the young man, provoking him to strike first. When he did, he brought charges against the boy, and sent a note to the Captain.

“Captain, I’ll drop the charges against your boy, if you’ll stop the Magnolia at the port, near the dock where I’m standing. Once you’re stopped, I’ll drop the charges.”

He gave the Captain forty eight hours to decide. The Captain didn’t take but a few hours to answer. He would stop the Magnolia there at high noon the next day.

Armstrong dressed in his best suit, and had every reporter in town there to write about his triumph. Word spread like wildfire. Rumor had it, the President sent men to see what the Captain would do.

The Magnolia rolled towards shore a quarter to noon, the Captain at the wheel. When near the dock, Captain McEntyre held his hand, and yelled, “All stop!”

The crowd gave a heavy sigh, as Armstrong signed the papers on the dock, freeing the young man. “He always said he wouldn’t stop for a bad man, but Captain McEntyre stopped the Magnolia for me!”

The Captain’s voice was almost booming with his response. While speaking he jumped from deck to dock. “No sir, I did not stop for you. I’ve always said is only stop for a Lady, a child, or a baby, and Sir. That young man’s Mother is a Lady, he’s our child, and no matter how old he gets, Abbott will always be Captain and Mrs McEntyre’s baby.”

The crowd exploded in applause, as the Captain knocked out the so called king of the bad men, and hugged his son. The Magnolia may not sail the Mississippi anymore, but no one will ever forget a Captain’s epic, and a Daddy’s love.

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