Day 579: Red Lion Scion

The route taken by the Mind’s Eye group from Browns Mills to Red Lion, their evening’s destination, was not direct. They went by way of two wildlife management areas, Assunpink and Colliers Mills, where they stopped to hike and watch birds. The group’s destination for the evening was Red Lion, a small community in Burlington County. The town’s unusual name stems from an incident during the early settlement of the area, when a hunter brought in a red mountain lion. It attacked after he wounded it, and as he struggled to kill it with his knife, both became covered with blood.

Mention “bourbon” to an American, and he or she will immediately think of whiskey. However, to much of the rest of the world, “Bourbon” refers to the dynasty of French royalty who originated in the town of Bourbon-L’Archambault. At the bar in Red Lion where Laetitia went for happy hour, a man, stylishly dressed in European clothes, was making the rounds talking to all the women. When he got to Laetitia, he told her in a French accent about how he was a descendent of the House of Bourbon.

According to him, his ancestor was forced to flee for his life during the French Revolution and had come to America. He made vague allusions about inheriting an enormous royal fortune in the near future. When Laetitia’s bemused look told him that she wasn’t buying his story, he moved on to the next female prospect. After he moved on, the bartender whispered to Laetitia, “The regulars call him ‘Bourbon Turban.’ You saw his French act. Sometimes he wears a turban and pretends he’s royalty from the Punjab in India. We suspect he got that one from Little Orphan Annie comic books.” Laetitia smiled, and after the bartender turned to make a gin and tonic for a customer, wrote the limerick of the day on her bar napkin.

A devious man from Red Lion
Told ladies that he was a scion
Of the Bourbons of France
To get in their pants
But most of them knew he was lyin.’