We are approaching the anniversary of the June Rebellion, an event of which we would have little knowledge had author Victor Hugo not been caught behind the barricades created by students of the Sorbonne during General Jean Maximilien Lamarque’s funeral. These are the events captured in Les Misérables.
Evangeline DuPre, who has been sent for “finishing” in Paris by her wealthy New Orleans Creole family, sees some of the effects first-hand in this segment.
June 5, 1832
Evangeline was browsing through a favorite bookstore in the rue Chanvriere when Jean-Claude saw her through the window. He went inside immediately.
“Mademoiselle DuPre,” he said, “Evangeline. I beg your pardon for interrupting. You must go home and stay there. It is soon going to be dangerous in these streets. I dare not tell you more. Please, just trust me. Go quickly. Now.”
Evangeline was so surprised that she obeyed him without question. She put down the book she’d been considering and went directly home after collecting Monette at the tea house next door. Jean-Claude would not have told her to do so unless he had good cause, she reasoned. She would ask him about it during their next dancing lesson.
The following day, she learned that Jean-Claude and many of his fellow students had died as they tried to raise a revolution against the king. Their goal had been to ensure that the hungry were fed and those living on the streets had shelter. They believed that the people of Paris would rise and join them, but the people of Paris stayed home. In the end, there were thousands of soldiers from the National Guard standing against a couple of hundred students and believers. It was best and sadly described as a massacre.
Monsieur Delacroix, a black band tied around his sleeve, was the one who told her the sad news when he came the following morning for what would be one of her final dancing lessons. She went through the steps by rote in Monsieur Delacroix’s arms as he counted out the rhythms he would ordinarily have played on the piano, a tear sliding down her face as she thought of all that Jean-Claude and his friends had tried to accomplish. It was a fortunate thing, she thought, that her feet could remember the dance steps while her mind was a thousand miles away.
Want your own copy of Bayou Fire? Here are the book blurb and purchasing links:
Diana Corbett’s childhood was plagued by unceasing dreams of smoke and flames. The nightmares went away, until the noted travel writer’s first night on assignment in Louisiana … when they returned with a vengeance. Could the handsome Cajun, Amos Boudreaux, be the key to unlocking the secret of BAYOU FIRE?
Award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart presents her first full-length historical paranormal tale, set against the backdrops of modern-day and 1830s New Orleans.
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