Little Marguerite was born on August 6th, 1922. I’m sure the household was happy and busy, with all the neighbors and relatives coming to visit and wishing the young family well. Leuce had bought a small house for the start of his family just 6 months prior in February. The bliss was short lived though, as Lillian starts to develop quite a wanderlust. Just a few months after little Marguerite was born, Lillian was getting bored with motherhood and married life and started going to the local dances at night. Leuce went with her the first few times, but, not being that much of a social creature, started not wanting to go. Lillian, wouldn’t be so easy to keep home. She started going to dances with her mother and father at times and then later by herself, with a few young men who would give her rides. By January of 1923, just a mere 5 months after her baby was born, Lillian abandoned her little family and stayed away for three months. In Leuce’s own words during his testimony in the custody trial he said; “Lillian deserted us when the baby was only a suckling at 5 months old and stayed away for 3 months”. Leuce had to bring Marguerite to his mother’s house, so she could take care of the baby while he worked. Now, let me say that I’m not attempting to lay all the blame here at Lillian’s feet. We don’t really know how she was being treated by Leuce, I could tell from reading the testimonies that Leuce was really in love with her. I don’t think the feeling was mutual on Lillian’s part. I know that my grandfather had a hell of a mean streak in him and could be downright cruel at times, so with that being said, I don’t think that Lillian was a bad person……maybe just a little on the wild side!The Landry family, Leuce is the first male on the right behind his Mom and Dad. During her time away, Lillian had been staying primarily at her parents house. Leuce had visited with her there several times and finally convinces her to come back home. At this point, Leuce takes a job in Baker, La. at a sawmill. I guess he thought, besides it being a good job, paying $4.00 per day, it would also get Lillian away from her dances and her wayward friends. He moves the family to Baker. Lillian was certainly not happy getting back to the dutiful wife and mother routine and within a couple of months, according to Leuce’s testimony, “due to Lillian’s constant complaining and wanting to move back home, I quit my job and moved us back to Ascension Parish”. They basically moved in with Lillian’s parents, even though they still owned the little house that Leuce had bought. Leuce stays between Lillian’s parents house and his own house, while Lillian stayed full time at her Mom’s. Leuce then develops an abscess on his leg that requires surgery. Lillian uses this opportunity to take a job in Gonzales, La. working for a Professor. She said, since her husband was laid up and couldn’t work, that she would. Do you think this is quite a bold move for a woman in 1923?Lillian took the baby with her sometimes, but her mother kept her most of the time. Lillian stayed in Gonzales for three weeks. Leuce was incensed that his wife didn’t stay to nurse him back to health and went back home to his parents where, he says, he could be taken care of. After recovering, Leuce convinces Lillian, to quit her job in Gonzales and come home. Lillian tries to convince Leuce to move to New Orleans. I’m sure the excitement and bright lights of New Orleans, drew poor Lillian like an insect to a Bug Whacker! But Leuce would have nothing of that idea, so Lillian goes by herself, abandoning her little family again. Leuce goes to New Orleans to find her and finally does, in the company of three boys as he puts it, he then convinces her to come back home for the baby’s sake. She does, but doesn’t speak to him for three weeks. Stay tuned for the conclusion….coming soon!
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