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Papa wrung his hands as Ma'Dear revived Peaches with strong herbs and coaxed her into a sitting position, gently urging her to nurse the howling infant rooting for her full breasts. As her elder hovered at her elbow, Peaches accepted the swaddled bundle that was me, and with trembling arms lay my wriggling body atop her still-bulging belly. Pinching the thing cloth into a tent between her thumb and forefinger, she peeled back the soft blanket and peeked inside, her eyes wild and cautious. She permitted herself only the briefest confirming glance before swooning and letting the blanket fall to protect her from my stare. With her face drained of color and her hair floating in a mad halo above her skull, she pressed the back of her hand to her forehead and wailed in horror, "But this can't be my child! I ain't got nothing but French, Spanish, and Indian in my blood!"

Her pale brow furrowed in mild curiosity, eight-year-old Paline leaned close to our mother and lifted the blanket to judge the anomaly for herself. She gave me, her squalling baby sister, a short but critical examination before declaring with a cynicism that truly befitted a LeMoyne, "Then Papa must have some bull, muskrat, and nigger in his."