Cordelia Prescott’s story, as told to Carol Carey:
My birth name was Cordelia Prescott, "Cordelia" chosen by my daddy who came from up North. I think it was from Shakespeare or the Bible, never had a chance to ask cause he died when I was four. Soon after, Momma lived with a few other men, some good, some bad. It was the baddest one that set me out on the streets.
I found a few jobs: Clothes-washing, okra-picking, fish-cleaning. And then I met Madame Jolene who said that I could earn good money entertaining gentlemen. Paid money for what I'd given freely (or not so freely) seemed like a gift. I became known for my tolerance for unusual role play: Decked out like a school girl or a cat or roles even I would blush to tell.
Then came Bubba Lachaise, a sweet old farmer who wanted marriage. I didn't hesitate. God is my witness, I would never be hungry again!
What Bubba didn't say was that it was an Alligator Farm! I worked from dawn till dusk. In a backroads shack, I sold gator meat, gator patties, gator purloo, gator gumbo. It was mostly chicken meat. (Wonder if that started people thinking that gator tasted like chicken).
Five years into our marriage, Bubba died. To sell the farm, I would have to see a lawyer. And when asked by the lawyer for my full name, I replied "Cordelia Prescott Lachaise." "By any chance was your daddy Zebediah Prescott IV?" Didn't know what number Daddy was, but that name sounded right.
Well, it turned out that relatives up North had been looking for me for years, I being dear Zeb's only child and therefore heiress to a Yankee fortune! The Prescotts paid my lawyer a large fee for finding me. I did as well, for he'd concocted a past history more in keeping with their delicate sensibilities.
I moved to New York, where I met my Grandmama and cousins, and found my former skills in role-playing a definite advantage.
All delighted in my modest demeanor, strong resemblance to Daddy (thank God), and lamented the fates that left me orphaned at an early age. They believed my story that I had lived as a companion for many years until my sponsor's death.
Balls were held in my honor. I was decked out in jewels and satin. I was pursued by a handsome widower, a Polish prince, a Rockefeller, a famous author, a Chinaman, a railway magnate. And I chose one of them to be my husband.
Reader, don't you love a happy ending?