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.

I could but notice with what touching care Joseph assisted his wife on board.  He led her straight to her room, and quickly rejoined us on deck to put himself at the disposition of his associates.  He explained to Mario his delay, caused by the difficulty of finding a carriage; at which Carlo lifted his shoulders and grimaced.  Joseph added that madame—­I noticed that he rarely called her Alix—­was rather tired, and would keep her room until dinner time.  Presently our heavy craft was under way.

Pressing against the long sweeps, which it required a herculean strength to move, were seen on one side Carlo and his son Celestino, or ’Tino, and on the other Joseph and Gordon.  It moved slowly; so slowly that it gave the effect of a great tortoise.

FOOTNOTES:  [9] Another error easy to make.  For “Gazette” read “Moniteur”; “The Gazette” appeared a little later.—­TRANSLATOR. [10] The translator feels constrained to say that he was not on the spot.

IV.

ALIX CARPENTIER.

Towards noon we saw Celeste come on deck with her second son, both carrying baskets full of plates, dishes, covers, and a tablecloth.  You remember I have often told you of an awning stretched at the stern of the flatboat?  We found that in fine weather our dining-room was to be under this.  There was no table; the cloth was simply spread on the deck, and those who ate had to sit a la Turque or take their plates on their knees.  The Irish family ate in their room.  Just as we were drawing around our repast Madame Carpentier, on her husband’s arm, came up on deck.

Dear little Alix!  I see you yet as I saw you then.  And here, twenty-seven years after our parting, I have before me the medallion you gave me, and look tenderly on your dear features, my friend!

She had not changed her dress; only she had replaced her camail with a scarf of blue silk about her neck and shoulders and had removed her gloves and capuche.  Her rich chestnut hair, unpowdered, was combed back a la Chinoise, and the long locks that descended upon her shoulders were tied by a broad blue ribbon forming a rosette on the forepart of her head.  She wore no jewelry except a pearl at each ear and her wedding ring.  Suzanne, who always saw everything, remarked afterward that Madame Carpentier wore two.

“As for her earrings,” she added, “they are nothing great.  Marianne has some as fine, that cost, I think, ten dollars.”

Poor Suzanne, a judge of jewelry!  Madame Carpentier’s earrings were two great pearls, worth at least two hundred dollars.  Never have I met another so charming, so lovely, as Alix Carpentier.  Her every movement was grace.  She moved, spoke, smiled, and in all things acted differently from all the women I had ever met until then.  She made one think she had lived in a world all unlike ours; and withal she was simple, sweet, good, and to love her seemed the most natural thing on earth.  There was nothing extraordinary in her beauty; the charm was in her intelligence and her goodness.

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