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Date:4/24/2014 12:09:42 PM
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continued
Another charming story from a fisherman's family, relates the night that the pirates were playing cards in Lafitte's den. An argument had broken out between Lafitte's crew & Gambi's, the latter blaming the others for cheating. "We shall have a third party cut the cards," Lafitte announced & sent Thiac to summon one of the fishermen from the coast up to his house. When the fisherman arrived he looked nervous. He had brought with him his little daughter in hopes that these pirates wouldn't harm him in front of his child.
Lafitte smiled when he saw the child, & so asked her to cut the deck. He explained, in a calm voice, what she was suppose to do. She did as instructed, & Lafitte went on to win the play! Gambi left the game in a huff. Before the fisherman & his child left the house, Lafitte reportedly took the child to his lap, thanking her for her help & dropped into her hand, a $20 gold piece. She grew up never forgetting the dashing pirate who had been so kind to her.

Women love Jean Lafitte. That he was aware of this seductive quality was evident in the manner of which he sought after & won female company. He was a regular at the balls in town, usually a guest of a merchant or landowner. He tantalized the belles in the room with his courtly demeanor & fine cut figure. He dressed himself in the finest cloths & silks of the day. He could waltz as well as any high society crowd. But it seemed he preferred the company of the quadroons, beautiful women who were 1/4 black with their beautiful dark eyes. These women were usually set aside for the wealthy southern gentlemen as mistresses. Lafitte had several & would provide for them well-furnished apartments in town. One of these was a lady named Madeleine Rigaud. Another, whom he visited regularly was Catherine Villars, whose sister Marie lived with & gave children to Pierre Lafitte. Church records indicate that "an illegitimate child" named Pierre was born to Jean & Catherine in 1816.

The second wife of Governor Claiborne seems even to have been attracted to him. By chance, both she & the privateer showed up at the same time at the home of a mutual friend, a plantation owner who lived along the Mississippi River. Afraid that his friendship with Lafitte would harm his professional association with the governor, the planter created an alias for his male guest, introducing him as "Monsieur Clement". During dinner, legend has it, Lafitte's charms oozed to totally captivate the attentions of the governmental wife. Unfounded rumors suggest a tryst afterward.

In no other field of activity was early New Orleans indentified with was that of dueling. Any old excuse would do if the man was out for revenge, or thought his character had been insulted, or just wanted to impress a lady. It could take a mere accidental nudge or spilled drink that a drop flipped onto a lacy cuff that a fellow could find himself called out for these delinquencies on the field of honor!
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