Sample Saturday: Bayou Fire

Hi, everyone.  Here’s another sneak peek at my current work-in-progress, Bayou Fire.  Enjoy!

Dance Card Display at the Presbytère Museum, New Orleans.  Photo by Sharon E. Cathcart

The other planters’ sons, and even some of the American Kaintock men from across Canal Street, hurried to sign Evangeline’s dance card before making their polite rounds to all of the young ladies at the Theatre d’Orleans that evening. Even Marquis Bernard Marigny, the handsome creator of the Faubourg Marigny resplendent in his Military Order of St. Louis uniform, tore himself away from the crapaud table to promise Evangeline a dance. It was Juliette, noticing everything around them in order to stow it away for future gossip, who saw how Pauline Blanque’s eyes followed Alcide wherever he went, and remarked on it to Evangeline.

“She’s almost twenty-four years old; she knows she’ll be on the shelf soon, no matter how much money her mama and that Doctor LaLaurie have. She’s set her cap for Alcide Devereaux; you can tell by how she looks at him. You’d better watch out.” Juliette knew that Evangeline had eyes for no one but Alcide for years; the two had attended the Ursuline school together and were fast friends. “She’ll have quite the marriage portion, between the McCarty money and her inheritance from the late Monsieur Jean Blanque. Her papa, you know. It’s her last season, and they all know it.”

Evangeline spared a glance to the pale, thin young woman in a limp white dress that looked a few years out of date. Standing next to her glamorous, dark-haired mother Delphine, Pauline seemed almost invisible. Laure, her younger sister, was a more timid version of Delphine; she seemed to shrink from each man who appeared to sign the girls’ dance cards more out of duty than desire. It was likewise obvious that Laure felt she had no prospects; no younger sister in Creole society could consider courtship until her older sister was at least engaged.

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