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.

Celeste invited us to see her costume the moment it reached her.  It certainly did great honor to the dressmaker of St. Martinville.  The dress was simply made, of very fine white muslin caught up en paniers on a skirt of blue satin.  Her beautiful black hair was to be fastened with a pearl comb, and to go between its riquettes she showed us two bunches of forget-me-nots as blue as her eyes.  The extremely long-pointed waist of her dress was of the same color as the petticoat, was decollete, and on the front had a drapery of white muslin held in place by a bunch of forget-me-nots falling to the end of the point.  In the whole village she could get no white gloves.  She would have to let that pass and show her round white arms clasped with two large bracelets of pearls.  She showed also a necklace and earrings of pearls.

Madame du Clozel, slave to the severe etiquette of that day, did not question us, but did go so far as to say in our presence that camayeu was never worn at night.

“We know that, madame,” replied my sister, slightly hurt.  We decided to show our dresses to our hostess.  We arranged them on the bed.  When the baroness and her daughter entered our chamber they stood stupefied.  The baroness spoke first.

“Oh, the villains!  How they have fooled us!  These things are worthy of a queen.  They are court costumes.”

I said to myself, “Poor, dear little Alix!”

FOOTNOTES:  [17] Ancestor of the late Judge Alcibiade de Blanc of St. Martinville, noted in Reconstruction days.—­TRANSLATOR. [18] By avoiding the Spanish custom-house.—­TRANSLATOR. [19] This seems to be simply a girl’s thoughtless guess.  She reports Alix as saying that Madelaine and she “were married nearly at the same time.”  But this tiny, frail, spiritual Alix, who between twenty-two and twenty-three looked scant sixteen, could hardly, even in those times, have been married under the age of fifteen, that is not before 1787-8; whereas if Madelaine had been married thirteen years she would have been married when Alix was but ten years old.

This bit of careless guessing helps to indicate the genuineness of Alix’s history.  For when, by the light of Francoise’s own statements, we correct this error—­totally uncorrected by any earlier hand—­the correction agrees entirely with the story of Alix as told in the separate manuscript.  There Alix is married in March, 1789, and Madelaine about a year before.  In midsummer, 1795, Madelaine had been married between seven and eight years and her infant was, likely enough, her fourth child.—­TRANSLATOR.

[20] The memoirist omits to say that this person was Neville Declouet.—­TRANSLATOR.



“Oh!” cried Celeste, “but what will Tonton say when she sees you?”

“Do not let her know a thing about it, girls,” said Madame du Clozel, “or, rather than yield the scepter of beauty and elegance for but one evening, she will stay in the white chapel.  What! at sixteen you don’t know what the white chapel is?  It is our bed.”

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