Strange True Stories of Louisiana eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Strange True Stories of Louisiana.
nine slaves besides the coachman; where were the other two?  A little digging brought their skeletons to light—­an adult’s out of the soil, and the little child’s out of the “condemned well”; there they lay.  But the living seven—­the indiscreet crowd brought them food and drink in fatal abundance, and before the day was done two more were dead.  The others were tenderly carried—­shall we say it?—­to prison;—­to the calaboose.  Thither “at least two thousand people” flocked that day to see, if they might, these wretched sufferers.

A quiet fell upon the scene of the morning’s fire.  The household and its near friends busied themselves in getting back the jewelry, plate, furniture, and the like, the idle crowd looking on in apathy and trusting, it may be, to see arrests made.  But the restoration was finished and the house remained close barred; no arrest was made.  As for Dr. Lalaurie, he does not appear in this scene.  Then the crowd, along in the afternoon, began to grow again; then to show anger and by and by to hoot and groan, and cry for satisfaction.

IV.

The Lady’s Flight.

The old Bayou Road saw a strange sight that afternoon.  Down at its farther end lay a little settlement of fishermen and Spanish moss gatherers, pot-hunters, and shrimpers, around a custom-house station, a lighthouse, and a little fort.  There the people who drove out in carriages were in the habit of alighting and taking the cool air of the lake, and sipping lemonades, wines, and ices before they turned homeward again along the crowded way that they had come.  In after years the place fell into utter neglect.  The customs station was removed, the fort was dismantled, the gay carriage people drove on the “New Shell Road” and its tributaries, Bienville and Canal streets, Washington and Carrollton avenues, and sipped and smoked in the twilights and starlights of Carrollton Gardens and the “New Lake End.”  The older haunt, once so bright with fashionable pleasure-making, was left to the sole illumination of “St. John Light” and the mongrel life of a bunch of cabins branded Crabtown, and became, in popular superstition at least, the yearly rendezvous of the voodoos.  Then all at once in latter days it bloomed out in electrical, horticultural, festal, pyrotechnical splendor as “Spanish Fort,” and the carriages all came rolling back.

So, whenever you and——­visit Spanish Fort and stroll along the bayou’s edge on the fort side, and watch the broad schooners glide out through the bayou’s mouth and into the open water, you may say:  “Somewhere just along this bank, within the few paces between here and yonder, must be where that schooner lay, moored and ready to sail for Mandeville the afternoon that Madame Lalaurie, fleeing from the mob,” etc.

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Strange True Stories of Louisiana from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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