In every storm

Amelia Rousseau was known throughout delta country, and all the way to the upper reaches, as the River Queen. A story is told—perhaps it’s true—of how the river became her domain.

As a young girl she’d been headstrong, always wanting to get out onto the water. Her father, an unpleasant man, grew to resent his troublesome daughter—even more so when she began attracting the attention of the menfolk of riverside villages.

So, drunk and out of luck one evening he gambled her hand to a brute who dealt crooked cards and bad gin in a two-bit foothills town.

Amelia made the most of this distasteful arrangement, turning the failing moonshine still into a lucrative business. Improved liquor and her way with men and words meant sales soared. The couple travelled to the navigable limits of the river’s tributaries to sell the stuff.

In a shanty way off from anywhere they came across her father, panning for gold. She plied both he and her husband with her finest whisky. Then, in the middle of the night, she crept out to the river. She sank her father’s boat with a shot through the boards before motoring downstream a free woman, rich on the lust of the men of those parts for hard liquor and a certain kind of female.