Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Have you hugged a pirate today?

It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day and I'm taking my cue from Jean Lafitte, who according to his biographers was eloquent, funny, charming and bright. Winston Grooms in his excellent Patriotic Fire--Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte at the Battle of New Orleans, offers this example: Lafitte was visiting various plantations, whose owners hosted him while he was avoiding Louisiana Gov. Claiborne, who'd issued a warrant for Lafitte's arrest. While visiting at Elmwood, a carriage pulled up with another guest--Gov. Claiborne's lovely wife:

"The horrified mistress of the manor sent away all of her servants except for one who was 'told to address Monsieur Lafitte as Monsieur Clement'. Lafitte was much amused by this ruse and entered into it 'with all his ease and natural grace.' Throughout the afternoon and evening Mrs. Claiborne was charmed and coquettish, never realizing that the man she was flirting with and her husband each had a price on the other's head. When she returned to New Orleans, she 'was extravagant in her praise of the most remarkable man she'd ever met.'"

As I said, that's my kind of pirate!

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