Strange True Stories of Louisiana eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 334 pages of information about Strange True Stories of Louisiana.

You can fancy the joy with which we were received at the plantation.  We had but begun our voyage, and already my mother and sisters ran to us with extended arms as though they had not seen us for years.  Needless to say, they were charmed with Alix; and when after dinner we had to say a last adieu to the loved ones left behind, we boarded the flatboat and left the plantation amid huzzas,[11] waving handkerchiefs, and kisses thrown from finger-tips.  No one wept, but in saying good-bye to my father, my mother asked: 

“Pierre, how are you going to return?”

“Dear wife, by the mercy of God all things are possible to the man with his pocket full of money.”

During the few days that we passed on the Mississippi each day was like the one before.  We sat on the deck and watched the slow swinging of the long sweeps, or read, or embroidered, or in the chamber of Alix listened to her harp or guitar; and at the end of another week, we arrived at Plaquemine.

[11] According to a common habit of the Southern slaves.—­TRANSLATOR.



Plaquemine was composed of a church, two stores, as many drinking-shops, and about fifty cabins, one of which was the court-house.  Here lived a multitude of Catalans, Acadians, negroes, and Indians.  When Suzanne and Maggie, accompanied by my father and John Gordon, went ashore, I declined to follow, preferring to stay aboard with Joseph and Alix.  It was at Plaquemine that we bade adieu to the old Mississippi.  Here our flatboat made a detour and entered Bayou Plaquemine.[12]

Hardly had we started when our men saw and were frightened by the force of the current.  The enormous flatboat, that Suzanne had likened to a giant tortoise, darted now like an arrow, dragged by the current.  The people of Plaquemine had forewarned our men and recommended the greatest prudence.  “Do everything possible to hold back your boat, for if you strike any of those tree-trunks of which the bayou is full it would easily sink you.”  Think how reassuring all this was, and the more when they informed us that this was the first time a flatboat had ventured into the bayou!

Mario, swearing in all the known languages, sought to reassure us, and, aided by his two associates, changed the manoeuvring, and with watchful eye found ways to avoid the great uprooted trees in which the lakes and bayous of Attakapas abound.  But how clouded was Carpentier’s brow!  And my father?  Ah! he repented enough.  Then he realized that gold is not always the vanquisher of every obstacle.  At last, thanks to Heaven, our flatboat came off victor over the snags, and after some hours we arrived at the Indian village of which you have heard me tell.

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