Mariana and Edouard Fall in Love

Don Edouard D’Estrade, in his early twenties, was from a family of French farmers, refugees from the French Revolution. A dozen years after finding safe haven on Hispaniola, in the midst of the Haitian upheaval, Edward saw his parents slaughtered. He was able to flee, with a cadre of slaves and cash. His mission was to honor his parents and recreate La Belle Marie, his family’s Haitian coffee plantation in Cuba. He purchased Comecara, a five-hundred-acre parcel, and began working the land soon after his arrival. Don Edouard faced life with the fury of the refugee. He could not forget the killing of his parents and their friends. “I am a lucky bastard. I could have died along with them, and now I have got to make a new home in this place,” he thought.” Don Edouard found himself alone, without friends, but he was a sociable, personable man. When one of his neighbors in the mountainous area of the Sierra Maestra invited him to a barbeque, he agreed to ride over to the event. Mariana Gonzales immediately caught his eye. She was a short, plump girl but carried herself with dignity. Her copper colored skin reflected the honeyed tone of her mother Laurita, of Taino ancestry, and her black curly hair, the racial inheritance from her father, Tomas Gonzalez, a freed slave who owned a livery business. Mariana found Don Edouard extremely virile and handsome. Tall, slim and blond with a muscular body, he was definitely her idea of a prince. Having gone through the horrors of the Haitian massacre, Don Edouard felt lonely, anxious for female company and glad to be alive. With this mixed-race woman, he envisioned a possible fresh beginning, the start of a real home for both of them.

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