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Madame Delphine   By: (1844-1925)

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First Page:

MADAME DELPHINE BY GEORGE W. CABLE

Author of "Old Creole Days," "The Grandissimes," etc.

NEW YORK COPYRIGHT BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 743 AND 745 BROADWAY 1881 PRESS OF J. J. LITTLE & CO., NOS. 10 TO 20 ASTOR PLACE, NEW YORK.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE AN OLD HOUSE 1

CHAPTER II. MADAME DELPHINE 7

CHAPTER III. CAPITAINE LEMAITRE 12

CHAPTER IV. THREE FRIENDS 18

CHAPTER V. THE CAP FITS 28

CHAPTER VI. A CRY OF DISTRESS 40

CHAPTER VII. MICHÉ VIGNEVIELLE 50

CHAPTER VIII. SHE 59

CHAPTER IX. OLIVE 68

CHAPTER X. BIRDS 74

CHAPTER XI. FACE TO FACE 82

CHAPTER XII. THE MOTHER BIRD 90

CHAPTER XIII. TRIBULATION 99

CHAPTER XIV. BY AN OATH 106

CHAPTER XV. KYRIE ELEISON 120

MADAME DELPHINE.

CHAPTER I.

AN OLD HOUSE.

A few steps from the St. Charles Hotel, in New Orleans, brings you to and across Canal street, the central avenue of the city, and to that corner where the flower women sit at the inner and outer edges of the arcaded sidewalk, and make the air sweet with their fragrant merchandise. The crowd and if it is near the time of the carnival it will be great will follow Canal street.

But you turn, instead, into the quiet, narrow way which a lover of Creole antiquity, in fondness for a romantic past, is still prone to call the Rue Royale. You will pass a few restaurants, a few auction rooms, a few furniture warehouses, and will hardly realize that you have left behind you the activity and clatter of a city of merchants before you find yourself in a region of architectural decrepitude, where an ancient and foreign seeming domestic life, in second stories, overhangs the ruins of a former commercial prosperity, and upon everything has settled down a long Sabbath of decay. The vehicles in the street are few in number, and are merely passing through; the stores are shrunken into shops; you see here and there, like a patch of bright mould, the stall of that significant fungus, the Chinaman. Many great doors are shut and clamped and grown gray with cobweb; many street windows are nailed up; half the balconies are begrimed and rust eaten, and many of the humid arches and alleys which characterize the older Franco Spanish piles of stuccoed brick betray a squalor almost oriental.

Yet beauty lingers here. To say nothing of the picturesque, sometimes you get sight of comfort, sometimes of opulence, through the unlatched wicket in some porte cochère red painted brick pavement, foliage of dark palm or pale banana, marble or granite masonry and blooming parterres; or through a chink between some pair of heavy batten window shutters, opened with an almost reptile wariness, your eye gets a glimpse of lace and brocade upholstery, silver and bronze, and much similar rich antiquity.

The faces of the inmates are in keeping; of the passengers in the street a sad proportion are dingy and shabby; but just when these are putting you off your guard, there will pass you a woman more likely two or three of patrician beauty.

Now, if you will go far enough down this old street, you will see, as you approach its intersection with . Names in that region elude one like ghosts.

However, as you begin to find the way a trifle more open, you will not fail to notice on the right hand side, about midway of the square, a small, low, brick house of a story and a half, set out upon the sidewalk, as weather beaten and mute as an aged beggar fallen asleep... Continue reading book >>




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