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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Strange True Stories of Louisiana.

Francoise takes the pains to say of this part of the story that it was not told her and Suzanne at this time, but years afterward, when they were themselves wives and mothers.  When, on the third day, her father saw Carpentier’s wife at the Norman peasant’s lodgings, he was greatly surprised at her appearance and manner, and so captivated by them that he proposed that their two parties should make one at table during the projected voyage—­a proposition gratefully accepted.  Then he left New Orleans for his plantation home, intending to return immediately, leaving his daughters in St. James to prepare for the journey and await the arrival of the flatboat, which must pass their home on its way to the distant wilds of Attakapas.]

FOOTNOTES:  [6] An extreme underestimate, easy for a girl to make of a scattered town hidden among gardens and groves.—­TRANSLATOR. [7] Without doubting the existence of the cabaret and the nickname, the De la Chaise estate, I think, came from a real De la Chaise, true nephew of Pere la Chaise, the famous confessor of Louis XIV.  The nephew was royal commissary under Bienville, and one of the worthiest fathers of the colony of Louisiana.—­TRANSLATOR. [8] In all likelihood described here as seen by the writer herself later, on the journey.—­TRANSLATOR.

III.

THE EMBARKATION.

You see, my dear child, at that time one post-office served for three parishes:  St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles.  It was very far from us, at the extremity of St. John the Baptist, and the mail came there on the first of each month.

We had to pay—­though the price was no object—­fifty cents postage on a letter.  My father received several journals, mostly European.  There was only one paper, French and Spanish, published in New Orleans—­“The Gazette."[9] To send to the post-office was an affair of state.  Our father, you see, had not time to write; he was obliged to come to us himself.  But such journeys were a matter of course in those days.

“And above all things, my children,” said my father, “don’t have too much baggage.”

I should not have thought of rebelling; but Suzanne raised loud cries, saying it was an absolute necessity that we go with papa to New Orleans, so as not to find ourselves on our journey without traveling-dresses, new neckerchiefs, and a number of things.  In vain did poor papa endeavor to explain that we were going into a desert worse than Arabia; Suzanne put her two hands to her ears and would hear nothing, until, weary of strife, poor papa yielded.

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