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Started by Welsh Wench, May 11, 2008, 03:05:40 PM

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Blackjack Roberts

Monsieur Basset Looked up from the English pistol he was busily working on at the sound of the bell tinkling merrily as another customer entered his shop. He smiled knowingly. It was tres bien that he had apprenticed himself to a master gunsmith so long ago in his life. "There are only three professions that one can be guaranteed a chance of success in, My Son." His father had been fond of saying. "Restaurateur, Gunsmith, and Undertaker. For men will always need to eat, kill each other, and be buried." Unfortunately, Monsieur Basset could not boil water successfully, and the thought of handling dead bodies repulsed him.

"So, I provide the means to keep the undertaker in business. C'est dommage!" He thought to himself as he swung the curtain that separated the workshop from the display room aside. His mouth almost dropped open at the sight of his latest client.

"Monsieur d'Estrehan! This is an unexpected surprise. What could possibly bring you to my humble shop?"

It was well known about New Orleans that Drausin d'Estrehan abored violence in all forms. To the point that more than once his name was whispered in the same breath as the word coward.

"Ah, Monsieur Basset." The lawyer greeted him kindly. "My business is, of course, the same as any client who may grace your establishment. I have a custom order. One which needs be done in both haste, and utter confidence." Drausin lightly tossed a rather heavy purse in one hand for emphasis.

"But of course, Monsieur d'Estrehan." Basset grinned as his eyes ignited with greed. Such orders had come to him in the past, and always carried a large profit with them. "It is just that you are a man of the law, I did not expect for you to be one to seek out my services."

"Perilous times call for unusual tactics, Monsieur." d'Estrehan shrugged noncommittally. "I find myself left with little choice, and have no desire to leave such things to chance. Do you accept the assignment?"

"With pleasure, Monsieur." Basset smiled, lifting the curtain to the workshop and gesturing gracefully. "Please, come into my shop where we can discuss your needs, and my price, in private." Drausin placed the purse back into the inner pocket of his coat, and bowed to the old gun maker as he entered the sanctum.


"And what of these two pirates you have enlisted?" The man sitting opposite of Benjamin le Reynard asked as he reached for the offered brandy. His stature, and uniform marked him as a general in the newly organized Army of the United States.

"They are nothing to worry about." Reynard assured his visitor as he resumed his seat. "One time friends who are now more than bitter rivals. A useful tool, but one we can set against itself when the time is ripe. Both LaFitte and Beaudouin believe that the whole plan is to return Louisiana to French rule in the end. It will be easy enough to convince them both that the other is a traitor, and so allow them to eliminate each other. Both are powerful, and well armed. An open fight between them would leave a survivor depleted, and easy prey."

"I see." The general smirked. "Very well, then. As long as it does not interfere with my profits, I don't see any reason why I could not supply you and Arron with the necessary troops."

"Tres bien, General Wilkinson." Reynard rose, offering his hand. "Once I have tied up a few loose ends, we shall make arraignments for you to bring in your Continental Army, and we shall have control of the richest shipping port in all of the New World."

General James Wilkinson shook the offered hand and bowed. "Until our next meeting, Monsieur Reynard."

As he walked to his awaiting carriage general Wilkinson smiled to himself. All that remained was to pass on this most profitable piece of information to Count Elaido. Considering the amount of gold he was being paid to help Burr with his mad scheme, what the Spanish were paying him as a spy, and his other dealings in New Orleans. This little venture was looking more profitable by the moment.

"Where to, General?" His Driver asked.

"To the Chateau Bourbon, Private." He barked as he entered the coach. "And see you don't take until noon to get there."

"Yes, Sir!" The soldier replied snapping the reigns as soon as he was certain James Wilkinson was settled in.

Welsh Wench

Andre and Caesaire entered le Chateau de Bourbon dining room. Caesaire rested her hand lightly on Andre's offered arm. It was their first time out as man and wife. Andre insisted they spend their first evening alone. A reception celebrating their nuptials would have to wait. After all, this took planning and was a woman's forte. But Caesaire had other things on her mind as she looked adoringly at her husband.

"Ah, Captain Beaudoin!" the maitre d' enthusiastically proclaimed. "It has been a while, oui? I shall have your table ready in a moment.  And Mademoiselle Trosclair--what a joy to see you. But you two know each other?"
Andre grinned, "You might say that, Gaston." They both held up their hands, showing matching wedding rings.
Gaston clapped his hands. "Mon Dieu! You are married? To each other? Eh bien! The best champagne for you on the house!"
He led them to a quiet table. Andre held the chair out for his new wife.
"Andre, I can't believe I am sitting here with you! As Madame Beaudouin. But do you always get this table?"
"Oui, mon amore."
She said quietly, "I noticed it is in the corner and your chair is against the wall."
He shrugged. "Force of habit."
"No, NOT force of habit. You do that for protection."
"Well, one never knows when one may run into someone with a grudge to bear."

Just then a shadow fell across their table. They both looked up to see Drausin d'Estrehan standing there.
He bowed stiffly. "I am pleased to see the two of you. Please allow me to apologize for my boorish behaviour. It was totally out of line and not the Creole ways."
Andre nodded solemnly. "Apology accepted, Monsieur d'Estrehan."
Caesaire smiled, "It was very magnanimous of you to stop by, Drausin."
"Well, it was the least I could do since soon we will be related, Caesaire. I shall see you at Sebastien and Solange's wedding next week."
"We wouldn't miss it for the world, Drausin. After all, Sebastien is more than a cousin. He is like a brother to me."
Drausin bowed again. "Until we meet then, Caesaire---Monsieur Beaudouin."
As he left, Andre muttered, "I don't trust the man."
Caesaire waved her hand. "Drausin wouldn't do anything. He knows the law. And he has never been in a duel."

Andre grimaced, "All the more reason not to trust him."
Caesaire stood up. "I see Madame Duvall over there and I simply must extend my felicitations on her new baby. I shall be right back."
"Don't be too long. I know how women can be."
She raised her eyebrow. "Oh, do you, now?"
He laughed and waved her off. "I hear no complaints, Madame Beaudouin."
She blew him a kiss and walked towards her friend.

As she neared the new mother, a hand clamped down on her arm. She looked into the pained eyes of Drausin.
"You are still with him, cher? I thought by now you would have him out of your system. I was willing to wait till you came to your senses."
She looked coldly at Drausin. "Unhand me, Drausin. Or lose your hand."
He held even tighter to her, despair in his voice.
"When will you realize you belong with me, Caesaire? We belong together. We have shared too much for you to throw it all away."
She threw his hand off. "It's too late, Drausin."
"It's NOT too late. I forgive you for---"
"No, Drausin, it is too late." She held up her ringed finger. "Andre and I were married last night."
He took her by the shoulders and shook her. "I don't believe it."
She pushed Drausin.

Suddenly a voice said, "Is there trouble here, Mademoiselle?"
She looked up into the eyes of a tall man with piercing brown eyes. His face was patrician and he carried himself with the air of person of authority.
"No problem, whatsoever, Monsieur. And nothing that I can't handle."
She turned to Drausin and said in a barely controlled whisper, "Out of respect for our past, Drausin, I shall refrain from mentioning this to my husband."
She held her finger up.
"Just this once. That is all I shall forgive you. The next time all bets are off."
She turned and walked back towards her husband.
Drausin watched her go and then stiffly walked out of the restaurant.

The man who dared to intervene motioned the maitre d' over.
"Gaston, who is that enchanting creature that was just here?"
Gaston clapped his hands and said, "That, General Wilkinson, is the charming Mademoiselle Caesaire Trosclair."
"Oui, but as of last night, she became the bride of Captain Andre Beaudouin."
General Wilkinson stared after the retreating form of Caesaire.
"You don't say. Well, this is a turn of events I didn't expect...."
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....

Blackjack Roberts

Andre slipped from the bed he shared with his wife, employing as much stealth as he could muster. In his case it wasn't such a difficult task. The life of a pirate had often made such demands on him from time to time. After slipping into his black doeskin britches, he made his way over to the French doors that opened onto the small balcony of their second story bedroom.

Eschewing the veranda itself, he leaned his back against the open doorjamb and lit the thin black tobaccoed cigar he had brought with him. Exhaling the fragrant smoke into the salt tinged night air of New Orleans, he stared out across the lamp lit city. Save for the occasional sounds of a dog, or cat, and the far off noises of revelry along the distant waterfront, the night was peaceful and silent. He wish he could say the same for his soul.

Although his love had assured him that Drausin d'Estrehan was harmless, and his own brief encounters with the man showed him to be something of a coward, Andre knew full well the fallacy of underestimating an opponent. He had learned from his many adventures on both land and sea that even the most craven of men had a bit of backbone. Given the proper turn of events. And the Creole buccaneer's danger sense stung him with every sight of the man he was forced to tolerate.

Although he wished otherwise, Andre knew deep inside himself that eventually the rift between them would lead to bloodshed. Such affairs of the heart often did when one man could not tolerate losing the woman he loved to another.

He allowed his gaze to travel back into the room where his own heart slept peacefully, unsure if he would not act the same had she chosen another. He liked to think that he would put her happiness before his own and allow her to love as she saw fit. But, Andre couldn't say for certain that such would be the case.

The pirate captain gazed again at the city of his birth. No. It was inevitable that d'Estrehan had some trap in mind. The only question Andre had to face now was what, and where.

The soft rustle of silk alerted him to his darling Caesaire's presence long before he felt her soft arms enclose his bare chest.

"What is troubling you, Mon Amore?" Her voice melted his insides, just as it had when they were little more than children.

"Your former plaything, Cherie." He answered. "We seem to encounter him more, and more of late. And somehow I can not see him giving you up with such grace. Whatever else d'Estrehan may be, he does not seem the type to fade silently into the night. Especially where you are concerned."

Andre looked off into the night for a third time. "I wonder if your father was right about me, and if it would not have been better for you to choose him."

The flat of her hand branded the side of the stunned corsair's face.

"How dare you suggest such a thing, Andre Beaudoin!" Caesaire's French temper was up, and anger, mixed with hurt, wrote itself across her doll-like features. "I made my choice long before I even knew Drausin d'Estrehan drew breath! It was only my belief that you were gone from my life that allowed me to even consider the man!"

Tears flooded her jewel-like eyes and she turned away from him lest he see her sorrow.

"I love you, Andre. I always have, and I always will." Her voice was timid as a child's in the darkness. "That is why I never let anything between Drausin and myself go further than the boudoir. I did not love him, and I never will."

Andre's hands closed tenderly on her shoulders, regretful that his own doubts had inadvertently stung her heart. With infinite care he turned her to face him, wiping the salt streams from her face with one soft touch.

"Forgive me, Cherie. I did not wish to imply that you did not love me. I know that you do." He whispered. "My words were poorly chosen, even for a one time street urchin such as myself. But, I do not think that he will give up on you until one of us is quite dead. And I fear for you should that turn out to be me."

"Do not think of such things." Caesaire lay her head against his chest. "Drausin will never be foolish enough to challenge you. Come back to our bed, and let me drown your doubts within my arms."

Andre fell into a deep sleep after their lovemaking, just as Caesaire had planned. Rising to one elbow she traced the firm line of his jaw with her fingertips, careful not to disturb his slumber.

"Know this, my love." She whispered. "Should Drausin somehow succeed in harming you, I swear he will not live three heartbeats beyond the act!"

Leaning over his still form she pressed her lips lightly to his forehead. "I swear it!"

Welsh Wench

The general walked into the tavern, his eyes adjusting to its dimness.
"Over here," a voice said in a harsh whisper.
Wilkinson slid into the seat.
"And what have your spies learned?"
The general poured himself a glass of Madeira.
"Not the spies. I myself have found some information that can be useful."
The man gave an 'out with it' gesture. Wilkinson leaned back.
"The two pirates in question--one is Jean LaFitte.
"Yes, yes...I have heard he controls slave trade and other illegal activities in New Orleans. The blacksmith shop is only a front. His real control is based out of Barataria. And who is the other pirate in question?"
"Captain Andre Beaudouin of Le Faucon de Mer."
The Spaniard's fist slammed down on the table, causing the crystal to bounce. Wilkinson inwardly grimaced. No finesse. Tempers will tell in the end and reveals a man controlled by his anger and not his senses.
Darkly, the Spaniard said, "I know the name. Know the man. He stole my cargo and made a public humiliation of me and my captain. Fool that he is---taken in by a pretty face."
Wilkinson leaned back and idly lit his cigar.
"I gleaned an interesting tidbit. Beaudouin was with a woman."
"A blonde woman?"
"Yes.Very beautiful. But also the plot thickens.
"And that would be?"
"She is also the new bride of said Andre Beaudouin but one more piece of the puzzle is woven into this tapestry. She was once the mistress of Jean LaFitte."
Wilkinson leaned back. "But it also gets a bit more convoluted. Her maiden name is Caesaire Trosclair. Her father is old family Creole. Properties upriver he never visits but keeps under control through an agent.
Stern but fair. He keeps a tight rain on his daughter with an exception."
"And what is that?"
"She won't be tamed. Try as he might, she ran wild mostly due to lack of maternal guidance. "
"Spoiled and headstrong, " the count spat.

"A deadly combination, to be sure. Coincidently, her cousin who is a lawyer--Sebastian Trosclair--is marrying an old family from upriver. Solange d'Estrehan."
The Spaniard shrugged. "So? Families intertwine all the time."
The general leaned forward. "It turns out Caesaire Trosclair was involved with Solange's brother. Drausin d'Estrehan. Of whom we have been informed about."

Wilkinson reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a piece of paper.
"It just so happens that I have been invited to the nuptials that are taking place next week. So has Mr. LaFitte who is acquainted with the bride's family. Just think, Count Elaido--lovers, ex-lovers and all that sort all at the same social occasion. Anything can happen."
Elaido grinned, "Si, General Wilkinson. Anything."
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....