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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Old Creole Days.

Thereupon the United States Government set a price upon their heads.  Later yet it became known that these outlawed pirates had been offered money and rank by Great Britain if they would join her standard, then hovering about the water-approaches to their native city, and that they had spurned the bribe; wherefore their heads were ruled out of the market, and, meeting and treating with Andrew Jackson, they were received as lovers of their country, and as compatriots fought in the battle of New Orleans at the head of their fearless men, and—­here tradition takes up the tale—­were never seen afterward.

Capitaine Lemaitre was not among the killed or wounded, but he was among the missing.

CHAPTER IV.

THREE FRIENDS.

The roundest and happiest-looking priest in the city of New Orleans was a little man fondly known among his people as Pere Jerome.  He was a Creole and a member of one of the city’s leading families.  His dwelling was a little frame cottage, standing on high pillars just inside a tall, close fence, and reached by a narrow out-door stair from the green batten gate.  It was well surrounded by crape myrtles, and communicated behind by a descending stair and a plank-walk with the rear entrance of the chapel over whose worshippers he daily spread his hands in benediction.  The name of the street—­ah! there is where light is wanting.  Save the Cathedral and the Ursulines, there is very little of record concerning churches at that time, though they were springing up here and there.  All there is certainty of is that Pere Jerome’s frame chapel was some little new-born “down-town” thing, that may have survived the passage of years, or may have escaped “Paxton’s Directory” “so as by fire.”  His parlor was dingy and carpetless; one could smell distinctly there the vow of poverty.  His bed-chamber was bare and clean, and the bed in it narrow and hard; but between the two was a dining-room that would tempt a laugh to the lips of any who looked in.  The table was small, but stout, and all the furniture of the room substantial, made of fine wood, and carved just enough to give the notion of wrinkling pleasantry.  His mother’s and sister’s doing, Pere Jerome would explain; they would not permit this apartment—­or department—­to suffer.  Therein, as well as in the parlor, there was odor, but of a more epicurean sort, that explained interestingly the Pere Jerome’s rotundity and rosy smile.

In this room, and about this miniature round table, used sometimes to sit with Pere Jerome two friends to whom he was deeply attached—­one, Evariste Varrillat, a playmate from early childhood, now his brother in-law; the other, Jean Thompson, a companion from youngest manhood, and both, like the little priest himself, the regretful rememberers of a fourth comrade who was a comrade no more.  Like Pere Jerome, they had come, through years, to the thick of life’s

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