Her real name was Jacqueline, but every one on the plantation called her La Folle, because in childhood she had been frightened literally "out of her senses," and had never wholly regained them.
Even when "Old Mis'" died, they did not wonder that La Folle had not crossed the bayou, but had stood upon her side of it, wailing and lamenting.
He was a middle-aged man, with a family of beautiful daughters about him, and a little son whom La Folle loved as if he had been her own.
That summer--the summer Cheri gave La Folle two black curls tied with a knot of red ribbon--the water ran so low in the bayou that even the little children at Bellissime were able to cross it on foot, and the cattle were sent to pasture down by the river.
The men had flocked to a neighboring village to do their week's trading, and the women were occupied with household affairs,--La Folle as well as the others.
When he had emptied his pockets, La Folle patted his round red cheek, wiped his soiled hands on her apron, and smoothed his hair.
But you bring La Folle one good fat squirrel fo' her dinner to-morrow, an' she goin' be satisfi'.
I'll bring you mo' 'an one, La Folle," he had boasted pompously as he went away.
La Folle goin' mine you; Doctor Bonfils goin' come make mon Cheri well agin.
Then the world that had looked red to La Folle suddenly turned black,--like that day she had seen powder and blood.
When La Folle regained consciousness, she was at home again, in her own cabin and upon her own bed.
At last, after speaking of the proposed folle
journee at Turin's, the colonel laughed, got up noisily, and went away.