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a teen from Tacoma, Washington

Diary: Year of 1789

Part 3

May 15, 1789
Freniere Plantation, New Orleans

Today is my twenty-third birthday. Louis gave me a beautiful new coat and a pair of new dress shoes. He must have bought them in the city when we were there last week. All I know that they were made in Paris. The Parisian craftsmanship is so much better than this city's. Claudia also gave me a gift -- a giant bouquet of wild flowers that she picked in the back yard, near the edge of the swamp.

Tonight we are all going out to my favorite new restaurant, Café de Paris. They serve the most divine meals! Then we're going to see a play at the Theatre d'Orleans. Louis refuses to tell me the title. He is so gleeful over his little surprise. I love him, so! We really must be leaving now, so this is all I have time to write at the moment.

June 1, 1789
Freniere Plantation, New Orleans

Today is Louis' twenty-fifth birthday. We're going to dinner at the new restaurant, Le Jacques Bonhomme, where they serve French peasant food, done beautifully, I might add. It is our current favorite, especially the way they do the bread and soup. Fit for a king!

I shall give Louis his main present at dinner tonight. I've already given him his three silk shirts and his new suede leather work boots. When I was in New Orleans nearly a week ago, I went into a new jewelry shop and there were the most beautiful set of rings. They appeared to be gold with the symbols of a heart wearing a crown being held by a pair of hands. I'd never seen anything so unusual, and yet so hauntingly beautiful. I asked the owner of the shop what kind of rings these were, and he replied, "Well, Madame, these are Irish wedding bands. They are exquisite, yes? Rings like these were first made and worn over 200 years ago. They're called Claddagh rings. The crown signifies loyalty, the heart love, and the hands, friendship. Here is how they work, Madame. If you wear the heart facing out, that means you are willing to give your heart to someone, but if you wear the heart facing in, it signifies that your heart already belongs to someone." His eyes twinkled.

It seemed too romantic to pass up. What a perfect gift for Louis. I asked if he had a size seven and a size eleven. I'm already wearing mine to see if Louis notices it on the way to dinner. I love to play harmless little jokes on him! After dinner, we shall probably attend the Theatre d'Orleans again, but I'm not sure. We have not made reservations. But we have a 7:15 p.m. reservation for the restaurant, and it's nearly 6:15 p.m. now, so we must be going.

August 14, 1789
Freniere Plantation, New Orleans

I am very distressed! The rioting continues all over France. The weekly newspaper has been full of it in the last two, special issues. We haven't heard from Mother in weeks, and I have been worrying so for her safety! But just today, we received a letter from her. She wrote that on July 14, the mobs of Paris attacked the Bastille. Thank God, there was no rioting near her home! As soon as they were able, Mother booked passage to America for herself and my fifteen year old sister, Amber, and my eighteen year old brother, Marc. According to Mother's letter, they would be leaving France on the 23rd of July, on the Antoinette and should be arriving at the New Orleans Main Street port around August 19th or 20th. That's in just a few days! Then we shall have a firsthand account of the rioting, and my dear Mother and siblings will truly be safe. Mother said in her letter they had not been harmed, but she is fond of making light of any troubles. In a few days, I will be able to see her and know if they are unhurt. I pray for a speedy trip!

Louis went into town just now to arrange for some rooms to be ready in one of our Garden District town houses for them when they arrive. I do hope that everything works itself out for the best. How I long to see my dear Mother and my sweet Amber and my handsome Marc again!

***Editor's Note: Lindsey plans another installment before school begins in September.***

© 1998 by Cayuse Press