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Le Bon Billet qu'a La Châtre

Le Bon Billet qu'a La Châtre

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Published by Devon Pitlor
A captive Uzbek catalogue bride remembers an old fairy tale in order to gain her freedom from her wealthy sponsor
A captive Uzbek catalogue bride remembers an old fairy tale in order to gain her freedom from her wealthy sponsor

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Published by: Devon Pitlor on Mar 16, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/10/2014

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Ah! Le Bon Billet qu’a la Châtre!
byDevon Pitlor
(Ah, the pretty contract that La Châtre has!)*
*[ Ah! le bon billet qu'a La Châtre ! The Marquis de La Châtrewas greatly in love with the celebrated Ninon de Lenclos (1620-1705). Being obliged to absent himself for military service, he got her to sign a note in which she pledged herself to remain faithful to him. The fickle beauty, however, soon had another lover, and on remembering the note, " le billet," she laughingly exclaimed:"Ah ! le bon billet qu'a La Châtre!" This has become a proverb,and applies to any promise on which no reliance can be placed.] 
idlor was satisfied upon first sight of Marina as she deplaned. His pilot had radioedahead in secrecy that she was a ravishing beautyand that his boss would be more than satisfied.The immigration attorney, Angstrom, had saidessentially the same. Ridlor had paid the passageof what must have been the most beautiful womanin all of Uzbekistan, and the bridal cataloguephoto of her, although alluring, did not do justiceto the real item, which now fluttered nervouslybefore him.Marina seemed blushingly humble and amplypleased to set foot in “America,” as shecontinually called it, unaware perhaps that she
 
was on a private island barely a half mile indiameter which belonged to Ridlor and which wasseparated from the actual America by a very thinchannel which Marina would one day swim.“America astonishes me,” she exclaimed lookingaround at the randomly maintained collection of sheds and abandoned hangars at the tiny airstrip.“I feel to be free now.”“You are free,” agreed Ridlor. “But you are alsohere because you are my wife. I hope that pleasesyou as much as being away from your village.”Marina’s eyes suddenly glassed over. “Myvillage,” she sobbed. “Oh, how I will miss myvillage. Its people. Its color. Its festivals. But Iam determined to be happy here, and I will foryou be a good wife.”"We will see about that," said Ridlor, still gazing."The last one wasn't."Ridlor was anxious to escort Marina away fromthe airstrip and to his island home and into hisbedroom. Years had passed since the agingbusinessman had made love to such a nubilestarlet. An old stirring began in his loins that he
 
had not felt for years. It was time to go as soon aspossible.But first they needed to finalize one finaldocument with the attorney, Angstrom, who waswaiting in the office of the guest wing. He hadbeen flown in especially for the signing. With himwas his own once-foreign wife, a Uzbek nativeherself, who would translate to make absolutelysure that Marina would understand what she wassigning.Ridlor's driver tapped Ridlor gently on theshoulder and winked. Then he opened Marina'sdoor, and the silken prize-bride slinked gracefullyout of the Mercedes and followed Ridlor up intothe huge house. They paused under the arcade soshe could smell the lilacs and roses, bothartificially cultivated on what once was just asandy offshore atoll. "The smell of America," sheexclaimed. "I love America."Ridlor nodded and guided her into a small officeoff the side of the entry alcove. "Please, charmingMarina, be seated with me," he said almostceremoniously. He sat at a banana shaped tableaside of the beauty, and, attempting to be agile, he

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