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   Chapter 91 No.91

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1327

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

... It appears that the red race here, the race capresse, is particularly liable to the disease. Every family employing capresses for house-servants loses them;-one family living at the next corner has lost four in succession....

The tint is a cinnamon or chocolate color;-the skin is naturally clear, smooth, glossy: it is of the capresse especially that the term "sapota-skin" (peau-chapoti) is used,-coupled with all curious creole adjectives to express what is comely,-jojoll, beaujoll, etc. [25] The hair is long, but bushy; the limbs light and strong, and admirably shaped.... I am told that when transported to a colder climate, the capre or capresse par

tly loses this ruddy tint. Here, under the tropic sun, it has a beauty only possible to imitate in metal.... And because photography cannot convey any idea of this singular color, the capresse hates a photograph.-"Moin pas nouè," she says;-"moin ou?uge: ou fai moin nouè nans pòtrait-à." (I am not black: I am red:-you make me black in that portrait.) It is difficult to make her pose before the camera: she is red, as she avers, beautifully red; but the malicious instrument makes her gray or black-nouè conm poule-zo-nouè ("black as a black-boned hen!")

... And this red race is disappearing from St. Pierre-doubtless also from other plague-stricken centres.

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