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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 11 NEW ORLEANS


New Orleans
courtesy Photobucket.com
 
The trip down the mighty Mississippi was quite exciting for Elise.  There were so many boats and people traveling on the river.

They put in at several towns along the river where they picked up goods for sale in the big city.  Jean was determined to make money on this trip while Elise was shopping for things she had to have.

When they arrived, Jean’s older brother Lemule, was down at the docks checking out the boats cargo to see if there was anything he could sell at a profit.  On the dock things were one price but uptown the store’s prices were much higher.  

Jean said, “There is something different from the last time I was here.”

Lemule said, “There has been a lot of activity lately in the political scene. The last time you were here Spain was the ruling country that was until France took over from them.  
Then France needed money so they sold a vast size property to what some call America.  Now the land all the way to where the British say their land begins - - belongs to the colonies.  

You did live in a Spanish province and the French took over and you became French citizens.  Now you are living in America.”

To me all this was confusing.  We saw some soldiers with different uniforms on the trip down.  I thought they were French for they are known for changing their uniforms at will.

Lemule asked, “Where is the rest of the family?”

Jean said, “Before I tell you about them there is someone I want them to meet.”

He went and got Elise who was dressed in some of her Indian clothing and introduced her to Lemule.  “This is my wife, Elise.  Elise I want you to meet Lemule my older brother.”

She greeted him in the Cree language.  Lemule said, “Doesn’t she speak French?”

Jean laughed and said, “She speaks several languages.  She is just putting you on.  She wanted to get by the Indian stuff right off, so she dressed like an Indian.  She knows that people will be curious about her and her lineage so she decided to start with her being part Indian.”

Lemule said, “Mon Cheri no matter what you are you are most beautiful and the land is full of people who are of mixed race so you will fit right in.”

Lemule told his workmen to load all the things he bought on the wagon and take them to the ware house and unload it there.  “Mama and Papa will be surprised to see you and especially you Elise.  They had heard of you but wanted to meet you.”

The word of their arrival had preceded them and when they came to the large house where Jean’s family lived, everyone was lined up to greet them.

After meeting Jean’s parents and getting acquainted, the girls took Elise with them and began asking all kinds of questions such as, “Where could they get some clothes like hers?”  They wanted to know about the Indian men and if they would like women that weren’t Indian and on and on.  

Elise said, “I’m sure they would like you girls.”

Girls
courtesy free clip art
It was hard to separate the girls into which family they belonged to.  Jean had both sisters and half sisters and as their offspring were born they blended together and the real wife gave up on being mad and accepted things as they were. 

The exception was the mistresses were not invited over.  The real wife learned to love the kids but not the women who shared her husband.

They all were taken by Elise and how pretty she was.  When her things arrived she gave them all native presents she had traded for from the post.

She then said, “I’m going to change into the clothes I wear most of the time. You girls can come with me if you want to.”

They all followed her and watch her change into some comfortable things.

The girls wanted to know why her skin wasn’t red?

She explained she was only part Indian and she took after her father.

Finally she said, “I must go and spend some time with Jean’s mama for so far all I have done is greet her.”

She spent most of the evening talking to Mama.  For the next few days there was a lot of cooking and eating going on.  Mama taught Elise how to cook many of Jean’s favorite dishes and she promised to try to cook them once she got back to their home.

To be Continued

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