Louie set a plate on our table. "Bon appetit!" he said, and walked back to the kitchen.
"Ooh," crooned Maizie, "it's not every day that Louie shares his croquignoles with the help." As we nibbled on the most amazing pastries, Maizie continued her account of her life.
"He’s not a big man in a physical sense. Arlo stood five-six at 135. When I wore heels, we were eyeball to eyeball. But Arlo was a big man in every other way. Anatole Broussard, Frenchman, New Orleans native, rich daddy. Too complicated to go into. Anatole hated his name for numerous reasons, so he called himself Arlo. Changed his last name, too, after he and his daddy had a fallin’-out. Arlo Bruce; so I am Mrs. Bruce. Oh, yes, he suckered everyone he met, and I was no exception.
"Well, Arlo came in here once, twice a week at first, started sweet-talking me. Soon coming in four, five nights a week and before long we were a thing. Charm? The man shoulda named himself Charm. Suave? oh, yeah, and slick, too. Talked me right out of any good sense I might have had. Long story short, I am forty-five, no raving beauty and middle-age crazy. We were married in a beautiful little chapel over in St. Martinville, Louisiana.
Now the thing is, Arlo really loved me. Truly he did, and I loved him. It didn't hurt that he had money. I didn’t ask.
"Arlo had a little fifty-six foot Princess cruiser, kept a crew of two on board. Come October, we sailed for Cozumel. Wonderful trip, three greatest weeks of my life.
"Then the Federales came, then came the extradition. I know you have read about the trial, lasted five weeks, it did. Convicted on a list of fraud charges longer than your left leg. Sent to Federal Camp at Pensacola. And I was forty-eight and broke as the pitcher that slipped from my hands yesterday."
“Weren’t any of your children in a position to help you?”
“Position to? Yes, indeed. A mind to? No way. They were against the marriage in the first place, and they too much had ‘I told you so’ on their minds. Here we are a decade later, and I've made it on my own. If only it weren't for this darn bunion."
©2015 David W. Lacy