August 18, 2011

If There’s a Robber in Your House Where Will You Hide?




If there’s a robber in your house, where would you hide?

     The game show, Family Feud, was on the television while I cleaned my room. I listened to the answers to the above question:

In a closet…

In the basement…

In the bathrrom…

In another room…

Behind my wife…

     The last two answers struck me, reminding me of an anecdote I intend to use in my novel. The setting is British Guiana, the time between 1804-1811. The characters are Madame Rosalie de Leval, Franco Van Berckel, and a group of their slaves.


     Franco Van Berckel was the second Netherlands Ambassador to the United States after the American Revolution (he succeeded his father, Pieter Van Berckel). Franco was described by a senator as being a pompous peacock.

      Madame, a French woman, arrived in the United States during the French Revolution and became a land speculator with the likes of Gen. Henry Knox and William Duer.

     The two were married in the mid-1790s, and in the early 1800s moved to British Guiana, where they lived on plantations. Franco employed and sold slaves. At one point enraged slaves attempted to assassinate Franco:

…the slaves went to the home of Van Berckel late at night, but made noise entering the abode and woke up the family. The fiscal got out of his chamber, and when the conspirators entered his bedroom they encountered only his wife. The lady was an excellent linguist and understood the language they spoke, listened in terror and astonishment to their words, but still the force of her presence of mind, preserved an appearance of composure. It is ascerted by some that the lady, being of a rather masculine appearance, was at first take for her husband.


If there’s a robber in your house, where would you hide?

In another room…

Behind my wife…


     Now I will ask you: If there’s a robber in your house, where would you hide? I invite you to answer the question in the comment box below.


Not to be revealed at this time.



British Guiana Then: Guyana Now

MADAME ROSALIE BACLER de la VAL: A Character Sketch:

The Start of Marietta and Gallipolis in Ohio

A Stained Glass Window in Brownsville, Pennsylvania

1 Comment »

  1. Im fudgin dying to the fact it said behind my wife omg my face is about to explode 😛

    Comment by Heather — August 7, 2012 @ 12:39 am | Reply

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