On the Place d’Armes

The statue around which all this sweating, exerting, exhorting humanity swarmed was colossal. Rising from a square marble platform, it depicted two mustachioed men on horseback, each armed with a long pistol. One horse reared as its rider sighted and fired into the distance, west and upriver; the other plunged forward at a right angle toward Decatur Street and the Mississippi, its rider spurring its flanks and waving his gun in the air.

“I’m not surprised that in Appalachee they’re known as pirates,” Thalanes said. “But of course the people here are happy that Andrew Jackson’s ambitions were thwarted by Jean and Pierre Lafitte. Louisiana thinks of the Lafitte brothers as respectable militiamen and heroes. I believe Pierre owns a blacksmith shop, and Jean is still, as they say, on the account.”

“You mean he’s a pirate,” Sarah interpreted.

“But a respectable one,” Cal added.

“Well,” Thalanes said, “as I hear it, he mostly steals from the Spanish.”

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