This is a book about Cajuns on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana's marshes and bayous. Armadeous a half Indian half white privateer and his wife Sara Fina Delande captured by pirates at the end of 1850. Their abandoned son Alphe Peltier endured abuse and neglect at a young age and grew up to be a strong willed, hard fighting, straight talking, wielding dealing individual as the result of having to fend for himself. His story spans 86 years and touched the lives of a variety of people. Travel with Cajun Al as Leau Noir, the voodoo prince of the bayous, Magic Jack Callahan the gambler and his woman Fadoe reader of tarot cards, the Cajun Priest, the Cajun Barber, The Banker, Eli secret keeper of stones, Gabriel the slave girl, Uncle Bud, Daniel, Sanchez the underhanded scoundrel, Henry-Henry the peg leg pirate and Miss Mary Irlanda and others come to life.
For as long as I can remember I tried to keep the peace. Even as a child I didn't like confrontation and some of the results I witnessed. I avoided directness and went around the problem to achieve a result, never realizing that made me a coward. Our family lived in Abbeville, Louisiana during some of my teenage years and we visited friends in the neighboring town of Erath. There I met Mr. Alphe Peltier. After he left, some gossiping women began to talk about him. What they said about the man and what I saw were two different things. They seemed to be jealous of his freedom and his courage to tell it like it is no matter what people thought. Maybe they just didn't understand his sense of humor. I never dreamed that just a few days later I would go to this man with a personal problem. He was tending to his horses as I arrived at his stables. He seemed to do this with so much love and pride that I hated to bother him. I talked and he listened. He was really the first person in my life to ever listen to me with compassion and understanding, not with tolerance because they had to. Neither of us ever spoke of this meeting to anyone. In time I married into his family. Al and I were sometimes at odds but I felt more like I was born into the family rather than lovingly welcomed into it. Because my husband, Steven, always went straight to the truth of any matter and never around it, people had respect for him. I wanted to be just like that so I began working on myself. I always secretly wanted to be a police officer. So, I decided that since I was no longer a coward I would go for it. At fifty years of age I graduated from the police academy and became the first female patrolman of Erath. After I retired I began thinking about Cajun Al and how it was a miracle that he survived everything life threw at him. He never let any of it make him bitter. He was a better man than most because he helped friends and enemies, never holding a grudge against anyone. I have written this story based on his life and some of the characters, most were real and some imagined. He was no coward and thanks to him, neither am I. Mary Jane Fitch Peltier