Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The loyalty of thieves: Introduction of Enrique Beaujolais and the Legionnaires

President Mumbato didn't bother to hide the disgust he felt for his protectors, the French Legionnaires. As far as he was concerned, they were all thieves, con-men and murderers. Finding shelter from justice by serving as mercenaries for a foreign master. Despite their reputation and history, to the President, these men had no loyalty or honour and are no better than the thousands of colonial invaders that have raped and pillaged his beloved country for the last 300 years.

That's why he insisted that a platoon of his presidential guard would escort him and his cabinet from L'effluent to Nija Pandimito, the Americans have reacted quickly and have begun to retake the capital, now as President, he will take his rightful place in the front, stabilising and reuniting his country.

The President's trust in his men was sadly misplaced, he did not know of the treachery to come, that Africa was in the blood of the middle-aged Captain who was responsible for his safety. Then again, he did not know  the Beaujolais family history.

It was after all, Major Henri De Beaujolais who brought civilization and cricket to this particular, hot, fetid corner of Africa, but for fate and politics, Colonel Beaujolais should have been known as the hero of Voie Sacrée, the man whose leadership and determination ensured that the road to Verdun remained open. As it would turn out, his actions only served to feed the legend of Philippe Petain.

Colonel Beaujolais retired shortly after the Armistice of 1918, returning to L'effluent where he lived out the rest of his days in peace, wealth and historical obscurity. Petain himself never forgot the family of Beaujolais, he repaid his debt of honour by keeping the young Captain Pierre Beaujolais on his staff as a military liason officer at the outbreak of war in 1939, Captain Beaujolais followed Petain from Paris to Bordeaux and finally became a junior minister for the Vichy government and a Standartenfuhrer in the regional SS division.

In February 1945, Knowing all was lost, Pierre Beaujolais, with the help of one of his father's old rivals, fled to Argentina with nothing to his name apart from the clothes on his back, a Swiss bank account, 8 crates of gold and Michelangelo's 'Second David'. He would marry a beautiful Argentinean peasant girl and spend his days reminiscing about his memories of France and the Army to his children and squandering his fortune in nightclubs and casinos.

Enrique Beaujolais, at the age of 22, he saw his family estate at the brink of bankruptcy, with what remained of the Beaujolais fortune fought amongst his brothers and sisters. He found the nearest Légion étrangère recruiter and left his past behind. Gaining his French citizenship at the age of 28, he earned a Lieutenant's commission at the age of 35, now 42, he was a Captain of the French Foreign Legion and he had absolute faith in the ability and loyalties of his men.

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