So you can read my books

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Q is for Quadroon as found in ...


DayStar has interrupted Victor's first date with his ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth, to give them the "Tour of the Damned" of the French Quarter:

One heartbeat we were on Rue La Mort.  The next we were on 717 Orleans Street.  I smiled sadly.  Seven was the number of DayStar’s adversary.

He spat on the concrete.  It ate through the sidewalk like acid, leaving only a smoking hole.  Knowing him, it wouldn’t stop til it burned down to his kingdom.

He sneered, “As if you knew.  Look where we are.”

I looked.  The Bourbon Orleans Hotel.  I shrugged.


“So, Mister Historian?  You know of this place.”

“Hey, Gruesome.  I just got here to New Orleans.  I’m just finding my way around these parts.  I haven’t lived eons like you.”

DayStar looked as if he were going to eat the lips off my face.  Alice went pale even for her.  She took both my hands. 

“I know of this place, Victor.”

Looking as if the words burned her lips, she said, “This was the site of the infamous Quadroon Balls, where wealthy white men would come to form …”

My Victorian princess looked like she was going to be ill, “ to form … alliances with free women of color, who were one-fourth to one-eighth black.”

DayStar laughed til the tears came to his eyes.  “And in so doing, they went from free to slave in the most delightful way.  The cream to this pudding is that you talking monkeys later established a convent here, Sisters of the Holy Family, the second oldest order of black nuns in this miserable nation.”

Alice rushed in as if to cut off his amusement at the agony of others, “The founder, whose mother had been a Quadroon Mistress herself, was Henriette Delille, now being presented to the Vatican for consideration of sainthood.”

DayStar’s nose wrinkled as if his upper lip smelled bad.  “Shall I tell you two of the atrocities committed by that institution?”

“Spare us,” I groaned.


His gray eyes glowed hot, though the rest of his long face was hidden by living shadows.  “I shall do no such thing, maggot.”
Nor did he.  But you have to read the rest for yourselves.


  1. Quadroon - great Q word! A distasteful practice - those balls!
    As for the idea of 'alliances', I scoff.

  2. D.G.:
    As Gore Vidal wrote: when a society becomes degenerate so does the language it uses.

    Victor finds out the grim truth for himself when DayStar sends him back to the New Orleans of 1834!

    I'm glad you liked my Q word post!

  3. Quadroon is indeed a great word! I quite like quadrant too :)

  4. Trisha:
    And a sad word for all those women who were reviled out of bigotry. :-(

  5. Wow, a powerful passage! I'm sure you'll have lots of downloads after this excerpt.

  6. I love the title and cover. Thanks for sharing the extract. It sounds like you explore some controversial themes here as well as making us laugh as always.

  7. I love Victor's attitude in this one! Great excerpt and perfect choice for the challenge.

  8. Oh, those distasteful, icky practices of the past.

    Good snippet!

  9. Victor's attitude always gets him into trouble. Further trouble that is.

  10. Terrific excerpt! As disgraceful and exploitative as the quadroon balls and subsequent plaçage system was, some of the women and many of their children ended up being freed by their ... backdoor husbands(?). This is not to defend this horror by any means, but it was certainly a step-up in the societal eyes of the time.

    ~VR Barkowski

  11. The Desert Rocks:
    Not so far, but Victor tells me not to give up hope!

    Didn't Leonora Roy do a great image of Alice's mother in the ritual that made Alice into the unnatural creature she is?

    Yes, I have Victor and Alice confront the grim horror that was socially approved slavery in the New Orleans of 1834 as they meet Doctor and Madame DeLaurie(she was the infamous Jill the Ripper of the French Quarter.)

    Thanks. Leave it to Victor to do backwards well!

    Makes you wonder what future generations will call nasty in our behavior, doesn't it?

    Victor says his reputation is so clean because he keeps getting into hot water! Thanks for visiting and commenting when you are so busy!!

    It was a terrible situation. But, as you write, it helped some desperate souls find some small measure of peace and security and hope. Mankind is seldom kind. Sigh.

    Thanks for visiting!! Roland

  12. Fantastic excerpt, Roland!

    Great choice...

    As always, wonderful descriptive a and chilling emotion!

  13. Michael:
    In many ways, this chilling encounter was the beginning of the end for Victor -- or as he put it "the end of the beginning!"

    I'm glad you liked this snippet. :-)