Below is the second half of "Annie Christmas."
With the storm in full force, that big fancy steamboat was in trouble.
When the captain decided to take a shortcut through a narrow channel, Annie told him not to do it.
She yelled above the roar of wind and water, "If you go that way, you'll get stuck in a sandbar for sure! Let me help!"
The captain scowled, "I'm the captain of this here boat! Leave me, woman!"
When Annie saw that things were getting worse, she begged the passengers to climb onto her keelboat. Everyone, except the captain, did as she asked.
With muscles straining, Annie poled her boat to safety. They say that when she got her boat back to New Orleans from Natchez, Annie wasn't even breathing hard, and she had plenty of strength to spare.
Annie was a hero! The people couldn't stop talking about her strength and bravery.
"Annie is the greatest! Annie is the best!" said all of the passengers who Annie saved.
A few days later, Annie lay in her bed, not feeling very well. That heroic trip she made from Natchez to New Orleans had put a strain on her heart.
When Annie died, her twelve sons laid her out in her red satin dress and her hat with the red turkey feather. They made sure that she wore her favorite necklace, too.
The sons then placed Annie in a coal-black coffin lined with black satin. The coffin was placed on a coal-black hearse pulled by six coal-black horses.
Annie's sons walked alongside the hearse, six on each side, down to the New Orleans riverfront. That night, under a full moon, they placed the coffin on a coal-black barge and sent it out to sea.
Some people say that Annie's sons floated on that barge with their mother.
I believe those who say the sons stood on the shore, with a prayer on their lips, watching the barge in the moonlight until it vanished forever.
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