Friday, April 26

CASQUE D'OR


Finished reading “Metronome”, a great book about the history of Paris by Lorant Deutsch. Lorant describes the history of Paris by using the names of Metro stations as a starting point, quite an original idea. One of the stories which I liked a lot was about a woman called Casque d’Or  (real name: Amélie Hélie). She was a prostitute with apparently exceptional good looks and beautiful blond hair.  In 1900, at age twenty-two, she met a guy called Marius Pleigneur, a young labourer. To keep Casque d’Or he had to enter her world; he became a pimp and leader of a criminal gang. Casque d’Or however quickly grew tired of him. She started an affair with a Corsican called Dominque Leca, who was the leader of a rivalling gang. Marius was devastated of course. He got his gun and on the 9th of January, 1902, Dominique Leca was hit by two bullets. Leca collapsed, but recovered quickly. A few days later, while leaving the hospital, Marius attacked him again, this time with a knife. Both were arrested and sent to Guyana to work in a prisoners camp. And Casque d’Or? She married another man and died poor and forgotten at age fifty five.