A Glibertarians Exclusive – Legionnaire, Part I
Marseilles, France – 1911
The old man sat in a chair, at a table, with a glass of red wine in front of him. His trousers were old and patched. His shoes were scuffed. On the lapel of his threadbare jacket, he wore a brass device, the grenade emblem of the French Foreign Legion.
He looked up at the midday sun. It was a bright, warm day, as summer days in Marseilles generally were. He closed his eyes and smiled. He had little money, but he had enough for his one-room flat on the Rue Jean Galland, enough to feed himself, enough to enjoy a few glasses of wine now and then – or maybe a little more often than that. That was all that mattered. After all, he had no one but himself to please.
“Come a long damn way from South Carolina,” he muttered.
When he called for another glass of wine, he spoke French, with the accent of Marseilles. His first tutor in French, many years ago, had been a profane French Army sergeant, who was followed by his total immersion into a world where his soft South Carolina English was unheard. But his personal mutter, in English, had not gone unnoticed; a young man passing by on the sidewalk stopped and stared at the old man.
The old man, feeling the younger’s scrutiny, looked up. “Comment puis-je vous aider?” he asked.
“I heard you just now,” the young man replied. In English. With the accent of Virginia. “You an American?”
“Well,” the old man replied, again in English, “that’s a right good question. I suppose part of me still is. I was a Confederate, last time I was in the New World. Been a long time since then.”
“What brings you here?” The young man nodded towards the empty chair opposite the old man and, receiving nodded assent, sat down.
“Son, that’s a long story. First, why don’t you tell me what you’re doing in Marseilles?”
“Looking for something to do. I come from a small farm a way west of Portsmouth. Old man grows cotton and some truck. Didn’t really want to live my life looking at the south end of a northbound mule, so I left. Now I’m looking for some excitement, I guess. Been working my way across Europe.”
“Now that rings a bell,” the old man said. “What’s your name?”
“Philip McGraw,” the younger answered. “And you?”
“Caleb Pettigrew. Once of the Army of Northern Virginia. Later, the Légion étrangère. That’s the French Foreign Legion.” He tapped the brass device on his lapel. “Now? Just an old fart drinking wine in Marseilles.”
“The Foreign Legion? Now that sounds interesting. Can you tell me about it?”
Caleb pointed to his now-empty wine glass. “Tell you what, sonny – grab us a bottle of wine, and I’ll yarn on as long as you care to listen. When it comes to the Legion, I could tell stories all day. The Legion was my home, for a long damn time. Could be I could tell you about the War of the Northern Aggression, too, if you like.”
“Heard plenty about that from my Grandpaw. He was in Stuart’s cavalry. But I’d like to hear about the Legion.” The young man’s French was rudimentary, but he managed to flag the waiter, requested a bottle of wine and a plate of bread and cheese.
“OK,” Philip McGraw said once they were served. “How’d you come to join the Legion in the first place?”
“Now that,” Caleb said, “that’s a good question.”
Northern Virginia, April 12, 1865
Two Confederate soldiers – former Confederates, now – stood, talking. Both were scrawny, both were lousy, both knew all too well the recent sting of defeat. But Marse Bob had given the order, stack arms and quit, and so they had done so.
“Well,” Caleb Pettigrew said sadly, “That’s it. We’re whipped. Handed in my musket. Now we just have to figure what comes next. What are you gonna do now?”
“Hear tell Egypt is looking for soldiers,” Caleb’s friend Bob Allen answered. “Might head that way. Don’t rightly know if I can stay here, not with the Yankees runnin’ everything.”
“Ha!” Caleb slapped his old friend on the back. “Not a bad idea, but I think I may head somewhere a might cooler. Europe, maybe. They’re always scrapping over there, bound to be a place for a man who’s good with a musket.”
“Same in Egypt, I reckon,” Bob replied.
“Too hot for me. Well, old buddy – I got my back pay, I got the clothes on my back and not a damn thing else. Guess I’ll head for Norfolk, see if I can brag my way onto a ship for Europe. What about you?”
“Hear tell of recruiters for Egypt working out of Charleston. Yankee soldiers were talking about it. Figure I’ll check that out.”
“I can see it now.” He laughed. “Hell, they’ll be calling you Cairo Bob for the rest of your born days.”
“Likely. And you? What will they call you?”
“S’pose I’ll find out when I get to wherever I’m going.”
The two old friends shook hands. “See you in Hell, Bob,” Caleb said.
“See you in Hell, Caleb,” Bob replied.
The two soldiers looked at each other one last time, then turned and walked away.
It took five days for Caleb to walk to Norfolk. The roads were crowded with downcast men in tattered gray, heading home. He heard rumors – that the cause was not lost, that out west General Smith was still fighting, that President Davis and a core of loyal followers were fleeing to Mexico, to try to find a way to continue the fight.
Caleb digested the rumors and kept on. He had made up his mind.
He arrived in Norfolk with his shoes disintegrating and his belly empty. Making his way to the waterfront, he finally discarded the remains of his shoes and walked in bare feet down a row of ships with everything he owned – a pocketful of worthless Confederate banknotes, the remains of his gray uniform, a tattered kepi and a cheap clasp knife in one pocket. One ship caught his eye. The aging barkentine flew the flag of France, and a loutish man in loose trousers and a stained tunic lounged at the foot of the gangplank.
“Pardon me, friend,” Caleb asked the man. “Wouldn’t happen to be looking for any help here, would you? I’ll work for passage.”
“Il est possible,” the man replied. His face scrunched up, like a cheap ham actor trying to register Deep Thought. “Pardon,” he said at last. “My Eenglish, she is not so good. Can you work?”
“I can work. I can fight. I can cook. I can do damn near anything.”
“An’ you wan’ go to France?”
“I want to go anywhere away from here. In case you ain’t been watching the news, friend, we-uns just got our asses kicked. I want to get out while the gettin’s good.”
“You ever sail the ship before?”
“Nothing this big. Rowboats a lot. Sailed in my uncles’ little sailboat in Charleston harbor a few times.”
“Well, that is not nothing,” the Frenchman mused. “Come along. I take you see the Captain. You convince him, it may be that he let you work for passage. And maybe, just maybe, for some shoes.”
“Thanks,” Caleb said. A thought occurred to him. “What port are we bound for?”
“Marseilles. Come along, now.”
The Frenchman led the way up the gangplank. Caleb shrugged and followed.
Note: There are several versions of the song that inspired this story.
The lyrics here are from this version.
T’was in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
Blackness was a virtue, and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
“Come in”, She said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
Damn good intro, Animal.
Looks like it will be another good one, looking forward to seeing where it goes.
I was expecting a story about respiratory illness.
I like it.
That’s a good song.
I can’t stand listening to Dylan, but there is no denying the guy could write.
Nice to see young Cairo Bob!
Yep, nice call out.
I did not realize these were all set in the same universe.
Well, at least two of them are.
Damn my shitty memory…someone please remind me which story Cairo Bob was in
Missed it the first time around. I got some readin’ to do!
Does it exist anywhere all in “one piece”? Just trying to save some clicks. 🧐
Not yet. At some point I would like to release all of these stories in anthology form, but it is going to take some time to do so.
Mystical Child, March 2021
Ahh. During my Glibs hiatus.
I assume a story about France will have some whores.
It may be that it does. I do not say that it is, but it may be that it does.
Nice tie-in, Animal! Looking forward to this one.
There are several versions of the song that inspired this story.
OK, but for equality’s sake you might have to do a story around Diamonds and Rust.
Ah another adventure to brighten up Mondays. Thanks!
Any mention of Marseilles makes me think of this guy
OT: This has to be fake.
But I suspect it isn’t. Either way, Q will approve.
Aren’t the right to implants somewhere in the Constitution?
Amendment DD to the Constitution.
It modified section 36.24.36
I busted a gut there. Thanks for sharing, Justice Dankula is the judge we need.
I Dissent from that opinion.
Damn! He’s onto us!
(By the way, I prefer to identify as a “freedom fighter.”)
Fighting against Freedom? Bold move in this room.
She pops in down in the comments to say she thought he was. Who knows.
haha. She sounds kinda cool. On her page:
Also, after his outrageous ruling I declare this court to be illegitimate.
Who appointed that Scottish Judge?
It is fake. Count Dankula is the Scottish comedian that got busted for teaching his dog to give a nazi salute as a joke. No free speech in Scotland. He set up the Justice Dankula twitter as a joke.
I know the Count. I meant the chick who thinks he’s on the SC.
She probably thinks he’s really on the Supreme Court.
From what I heard, lots of folks didn’t realize he was trolling.
“Want to gas the Jews?”
I was good friends with a guy in Uni whose Dad was a law professor, and before that, a Legionnaire. Very gruff man, his Dad was, but he had some stories to tell.
Great intro Animal- a little early for Beau Geste but a lot of other potential too.
In other news apparently Fruit Sushi is on tv…or just youtube. https://twitter.com/HillTVLive/status/1541458357097070592?t=BpLFNn9o57Avw2yu5NoDnA&s=19
Animal, you are a writing… animal. Always look forward to these.
I know, right?
I don’t know how he keeps it going, but I am glad he does.
Sometimes I wonder myself. Plenty of times I’m sitting here thinking that particular well has gone dry, then I am walking across the yard or putzing around on the tractor and BAM another idea.
I think it’s a species of mental illness.
While I opine on many things, this is one area that I have expertise in.
The ideas will always percolate out of the mind. Whether you put them on the page or not is up to you. Whether they’re any good is a different matter, it depends on how you execute the idea in putting it on the page.
It’s not an illness, it’s a gift.
I find the more you exercise your creativity muscle, the better it works.
Only if you’re a professional.
Excellent, Mr Animal.
Familiar places, familiar faces
And for something happy.
Wayne Rainey rides again 30 years after a crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down!
Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.
That’ll show those Christian bigots.
Big Apple abortion protesters were in support of a sex strike Saturday — as “abstinence” started trending on Twitter in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. …
Calls for a nationwide sex strike were also gathering momentum on social media and, at one point, “abstinence” was trending on Twitter with more than 26,900 tweets as of Saturday afternoon.
“Women of America: Take the pledge. Because SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, we cannot take the risk of an unintended pregnancy, therefore, we will not have sex with any man — including our husbands — unless we are trying to become pregnant,” one Twitter user wrote.
Now why would they want to punish their own partners, who presumably already support their abortion stance?
Harpies be irrational.
I had a quip, but it doesn’t capture my dumbfoundedness. Are they really that un-self-aware?
[Morgan Freeman voice] Yes Moj, they are. [/MFV]
Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.
This is a viable pregnancy risk management strategy. I believe there are others, as well, that she might look into.
Speaking of other jaw-dropping bad ideas…
Uh-huh. How did that work out in ’16 again?
Jeff Deist thinks 2024 is gonna be a re-run of 2016.
Where’s that goddamn meteor?!?
The Russians stole it for Drumpf?
Good grief. Juan Williams. People still pay him for his opinion?
How does making the permit process a little less onerous give a pass to the actual criminals?
EDIT FAIRY HAS BEEN HERE
HAPL Edit Fairy!
… In new York!
Awesome start, Animal, I really love these stories!
G.I. Jane’s revenge.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed concern about military “readiness and resilience” following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision that put states in control of regulating abortion in a statement. Currently, the Department of Defense (DOD) does not have procedures for allowing female service members to have abortions if they are stationed in one of the states that bans or tightly restricts the practice, Politico reported.
“Nothing is more important to me or to this Department than the health and well-being of our Service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, addressing concerns about abortion access in a statement Friday. “I am committed to taking care of our people and ensuring the readiness and resilience of our Force.”
“The Department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law,” he continued.
LMAO at the Army trying to say the telework genie needs to get back into the
Abort your babies and get back to work!
So, no more deployments to areas where there is a risk of someone shooting at them?
So much for training, equipping, leadership, etc. Abortion is the number one concern of the SECDEF (in violation of the Hyde Amendment).
Time to retire, Lloyd.
Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?
That’s pretty weak. I’m not convinced Nancy’s elbow even touched that kid.
That’s why they put “pushed” in quotes. She definitely made a move to push the girls away from her, contact or not.
But the funny part is characterizing it as “the Speaker’s effort to ensure Rep. Flores’ daughters wouldn’t be hidden behind her”.
Yeah, regardless of what’s going on there, that’s some grade-A spin.
She was lit up. Granny Vodka is non-stop entertainment.
“The Grey Goose”
(I’d drop the gif but I’m a pleb)
Others have used that, I am just quoting it.
New gas gauge for 2023 models.
Oh that was classic. I have 4 dogs (2 are guests) in the house chillin’ and one of ours out in the yard. He starts barking and lights all of them up, so I go to the door to let them out and as soon as they charge outside, he slips back in.
I will admit, I don’t always read the fiction posts. But this one was mentioned on the Zooms the other day, so I was looking forward to it, and already I’m hooked.
You should read all the fiction . . . except mine.
…still waiting…you’re not off the hook yet…
Sam is still waiting in the wings
Listening to 5th Column talk with Damon Root (Reason) about Dobbs decision – and good gravy….were the folks at Reason ever libertarian? Arguing that the 9th Amendment gives the Federal government the right to maintain rights for abortion, etc, etc. and this was a bad decision.
Nominally they were.
I left them when the TDS broke them, but before that, I don’t remember them being that bad.
They weren’t hardcore, but they weren’t bad.
Froot Sushi and the Twit were always pretty bad.
Dahlia is the one that got me to leave.
ENB was never good on anything other than sex work.
Which one is “the Twit”?
Besides Weigel and the post employment confessions, there were a number of not so great ones. Dalmia, Richman, and a few others. Particularly when it was either their personal hobbyhorse or when it wasn’t, depending on the writer.
And Bob Poole’s love affair with larger and more intrusive government.
*sees what was done*
Actually they were bad in a different way before that – the Libertarian Moment(tm)!
I cut my lib teeth on Reason and Liberty. They left me, wandering, adrift.
Until you found the Island of Misfit Glibs, where you became a hero.
Sounds like a pretty good story arc to me.
Liberty is still around, though in my opinion a shadow of its former self. Nowhere near as many articles, and the quality isn’t what it used to be.
However, their entire print archive is available.
I used to buy Liberty in a bookstore in Louisville. They got two copies per month and I think there were 3 of us buying them.
Eventually I got a subscription. I think I had that until 2000.
That’s about the time I dropped out. I still have some back issues of both Reason/Liberty. Anyone that stays at the cabin finds themselves in a time warp.
There was a time when that place was libertarian.
I still laugh when I think about how cranky she got with us. You’d think no one ever got teased about their boozing before.
Yes, that was a good time to read reason.
Some libertarianism lingered after she stopped being editor-in-chief. Sullum and Doherty had some good stuff.
Mostly when W was passing patriot acts and starting wars. But their true colors came out when they voted for Obama- twice and pivoted to the weeds Mexicans ass sex version of libertarianism, then Trump broke them.
That’s not what it says at all but Reason do Reason I guess.
It’s an entertaining episode, Root’s obvious bias aside.
Yeah, the thing is he is hanging that argument on a [solo] concurrence in Griswold. The sad truth is that nowadays, any right to be found in the 9th wouldn’t be negative.
Free rights in the 9th amendment, woo!
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
OK, fine. You can say that is a substitute for the “emanations and penumbras” source of the right to privacy/abortion. Now sure how, exactly, but go ahead. Application of the 9th amendment has always been extraordinarily difficult.
Now, be sure to apply that in a principled and intellectually consistent way.
I’d say he really has it wrong – “retained by the people”. Go ahead and make State Law, State Constitutions and such that enshrine rights not found in the US Constitution, it says you can do that in the 9th Amendment.
For centuries we have ignored following the rules to amend constitutions, why would we start now!
a principled and intellectually consistent way
Bwahahaha – you’re a funny guy!
We got him now Part 1,234!
Jan. 6 Panel Abruptly Sets Tuesday Hearing on ‘Recently Obtained Evidence’
Shorter Version – How can we get back into the news cycle and continue this until November
The Bee gets it right again. It sounds then Jan 6 hearings have been renewed for two more seasons.
late to the game
Daily Quordle 154
Started out so good.
How are you guys so good at this?
I put this in the morning links, gloating about how Non-citizen voting in New York got struck down by a state court. I’d meant to gloat here.
That’s a pleasant surprise.
That’s… Pretty plain as far as laws and constitutions go. Why did they think that could pass?
I don’t even necessarily have a problem with non-citizen voting in local elections, but the law is the law…
Because the people who run NYC have a habit of ignoring the law, especially when the plain language is at odds with their objectives.
only if there was a gag involved; purty, yes, but I’m not looking for that level of drama.
Also, my wife would probably object.
Was my thought also
She’s just mad that it is the old, racist un-inclusive LGBTQIA+++ flag.
I’m digging the new story, Animal. Looking forward to more!
“To call Trump’s Republican Party and Trump’s Supreme Court ‘extreme’ understates the danger these institutions pose to American freedom–to our democracy…For all the Democratic party’s flaws, they’re the only party that can stem this continued rise of fascism.”
I marvel at the ability people have to state with such conviction the opposite of truth.
Words have no meaning.
Gustave from the top rope!
Venture down into the comments and marvel at the stupid.
I tried, but I had a mini stroke and tapped out.
No thanks-projection, half truths, pig ignorance, and viciousness aren’t my cups of tea.
A woman standing outside of SCOTUS with her two kids holding a sign that reads “DON’T FORCE THIS ON ANYONE.”
Looks to me like three kids, a husband, and a dog.
Looks kind of idyllic actually. Maybe she’s being sarcastic.
Entirely possible. The optics the are terrible either way.
I looked up the name on her sign (Dr. Lindsey Bestebreurtje) and she’s all about the decolonization of history and historical information. Sarcasm doubtful.
Daily Quordle 154
Not gonna beat the bot with that.
I’ve been shopping the abortion travel service (in very selected circles, of course).
Everyone agrees that “Thunderdome Travel – Two Enter, One Leaves” with a company motto of “No fetus can beat us!” is a winner. Naturally, I take all the credit.
I mentioned this on Zoom the other day, but Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering up to $4000 for abortion travel. Now that men can become pregnant, I think I found myself a side gig.
I got an e-mail from HR titled ‘Announcing A Coming Travel Reimbursement Benefit to Increase Healthcare Accessibility’ & I had no idea what the hell it was referring to.
No mention of the icky ‘A’-word, of course, but it’s clearly what they’re referring to.
I saw somewhere that there a few state laws that criminalize assisting a woman to get an abortion, which could make this interesting.
Personally, I have no problem with companies funding travel for “medical treatment”. Hell, we’ve done it, although it was for experimental cancer treatments not available where we are. From a cold hard cash perspective, its probably cheaper for the company than covering maternity leave and benefits.
The whole entanglement of employment with healthcare is a terrible legacy of wage controls dating back to at least WW2 when employers had to offer a non-wage incentive to attract the best talent.
Employers are pretty much key to most people’s way of life and means of existence, so handing them the keys to our healthcare too is just ridiculous.
We are living in Bizarro World. These all sound like something you might have heard from the Klan not too long ago.
– We need to make sure black, brown, and/or poor people can get all the abortions they want.
– Employers should pay for abortions so women don’t have to take time off work.
But then we need to let unvetted hoardes over the southern border so that we have adequate numbers of workers to support the retired boomers.
I think I’ve mentioned Lois Weber’s Where Are My Children? before. But for a film from 1916, it’s still surprisingly relevant today.
Thanks for the link! The last few minutes were powerful.
Also show abortion from the point of view of the father, an angle that is almost never discussed today.
I work for the Department of Energy now. I will keep my eyes peeled for travel announcements. Right now the rainbow pride thingy is taking up the homepage, but all things come to an end.
Who would be proud to work for the Department of Energy?
Not me, but somebody’s got to look after our nukes. Might as well be someone like me who is skeptical about our government’s judgment.
I think you are getting a new engineer…tech just told me he is jumping ship to DOE
Sweet! If you are so inclined, you may message me at the ProtonMail.
We got the “e-mail from the CEO” today talking about the RvW decision. One big piece:
It was a group effort
I saw a YouTube video a while back where a young woman was speaking into the camera about her pregnancy and excitedly tells everyone she’s ready for the “reveal”, implying gender reveal. Then she opens the envelope and says “It’s….an ABORTION!” Complete with balloons and champagne.
Made me queasy just watching. What a cunt.
‘Safe, legal and rare’.
Train derailment in Missouri – looks nuts – hopefully not too many injuries
That looks like a truck axle in the first pic.
Obviously caused by the same people burning down all those food processing plants.
Great job, Animal! Loved the callback to Cairo Bob.
You’re killing it, my friend. Looking forward to this one for certain.
How come I have a feeling this guys story might put us in mind to some of the “Profiles in Toxic Masculinity”?
I’m calling it here and now, Roberts leaked the draft, hoping to create enough uproar that someone would crawl back behind him as cover.
It is really weird they haven’t found out who it was. Seems like a bad precedent.
Ends justify the means, baby.
I don’t think its weird at all. They aren’t really looking for the leaker. They gave it to the sergeant-at-arms or somesuch, who has approximately zero investigative experience and even less law enforcement authority. I think they are going off the lawyer adage “Don’t ask a question unless you know the answer” – they don’t want to find out that its somebody connected or somebody who matters, because then they might have to do something to somebody connected or somebody who matters.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Roberts is involved somehow. He was (typically) in the split-the-err-difference camp – allow the Missouri law, but don’t overturn Roe. I could see this as a ploy to get a couple of Justices to switch which opinion they would support, making his the majority opinion and leaving Roe on the books. It would be natural, after all, for him to believe Justices would crack under public pressure.
He gave it to his handlers, and they released it.