Magazine article The Spectator

Braving It

Magazine article The Spectator

Braving It

Article excerpt

Rougemont

Countess de Lesseps is the beautiful American-born wife of my buddy Alex de Lesseps, descendant of the man who connected the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and made it possible for perfidious Albion to secure her trade routes to India. Lu Ann is from Connecticut and used to be a model and a singer. She is also part Indian, not the Salman Rushdie kind, but the type who rode bareback and drank too much firewater. In fact, Lu Ann's ancestor was the brave who killed General Custer at Little Big Horn. As George Custer fought off Injun after Injun with his sword, Chief Big Canal, as he later became known, charged right up and speared him through the heart. He then dismounted and took the gallant Custer's boots off. He is reputed to have said `Dis muddafucka don't need dem boots no more.'

The beautiful Lu Ann confirmed the story but insists her ancestor was a Native American, as they are now called, not a Negro, ergo he could not have used the word muddafucka. I believe the beautiful Lu Ann. Injuns were terrific warriors who scalped and burned their captives, but that's as far as it went. No self-respecting brave would be caught dead using such an epithet, or verb or noun, come to think of it.

This week Lu Ann threw a surprise party for her hubby's 50th birthday. The theme was his life: Khartoum, prep school in France, French television producer, Hollywood producer, racing cars, Cuba. (Alex has just built a luxury hotel in Havana, one I was planning to visit until I heard that the butcher Fidel has taken all the hookers off the streets.) Everyone dressed to the various themes. It was a wonderful party but, as always, I drank too much too soon missing almost all the fun and games which obviously began once the mother of my children went home.

And speaking of fun, the skiing has been fantastic. Last Saturday, after very little sleep, perhaps two hours at best, I got myself on top of the Wassengrat for the Zographos cup race. …

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