Francois Immigrates to America Part Deux, or Frankie, Jr.

Continuing the family saga from a couple of days ago:

François Marcantel stayed in Louisiana (he didn’t have much choice; see here) and married and, as usually happens, in the fullness of time had children.  The oldest son also was named François.  We in the family know him as Frankie, Jr.

Along about 1788, Frankie, Jr. became involved with his wife’s sister, and not in a brotherly-in-law kind of way either.  She was married, too, to the Worst Man in Town™, a wife-beating lush who loved to pick fights at the local tavern and owed  money far and wide, which meant of course that everybody quite naturally hated him.  Frankie, Jr., on the other hand, possessed all of the charm and bonhomie common to the Marcantels <ahem>, and so was generally well-regarded.  (I’m kind of making this up as I go along, but then, I’m a writer and all writers are fundamentally liars.  So sue me.)

Anyway, the Worst Man in Town somehow contrived to get himself murdered shortly after he forbade his wife from “walking” with Frankie, Jr., and to emphasize the seriousness of his request, beat pummeled slapped … lovingly caressed her and spoke to her with soft, reasonable words.  Although almost everyone in the surrounding area had a reason to despise him, thereby ensuring their membership on the roster of potential suspects, only one person was seriously considered for arrest in connection with his slaying.

Now, at this point I get a clear metaphorical image of the situation in my head.  Imagine that a pie goes missing, and the nearest authority figure confronts a group of angelic-looking-but-perhaps-guilty kids, one of whom has a circle of whipped cream and chocolate ringing his mouth.

“Frankie, Jr., did you take that pie?”

“Pie?  What pie?” he asks, carefully sweeping his tongue across his upper lip in a transparent attempt to hide evidence of the pie’s fate.

No doubt because they considered the community well-rid of a wife-beating, drunken, deadbeat bully, the authorities clearly didn’t much care whether the killer was Frankie, Jr., little green men from Mars, or the Easter Rabbit.   So, despite his almost certain … involvement in TWMIT’s murder, Frankie, Jr. was never charged with anything, much less hanged.   If he had been, I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this 100% accurate account of what happened.

On the other side of my family was a guy who certainly was a lothario and may or may not have been a pirate with Jean Lafitte.  But that’s another story.

P.S.  Details of l’affaire Frankie, Jr. can be found in this legal document, starting on p. 8.  I might have embellished the story just a tad.  (Did I mention that all writers are liars?)

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