Delilah Dirk

THE MODERN-DAY GABRIELLE EAST (HIGHT DOLLY) is only the most-recent incarnation of a heroine of a thousand generations (to steal a trope from Joseph Campbell). A few generations previously, she was incarnated as Gabrielle Francesca East, hight GFE1. This was the East family member, born in Ohio in 1830, and Child of the East from her Choosing in 1838 until her return to America in 1863 — a full five-and-twenty, which she survived and came out of a wealthy woman. Very wealthy. The God Hephaestus made a gift to her of tons of gold bars, which she successfully shipped back with her to the family homestead in Ohio, and which became the endowment of a singular family fortune — one of the largest in the States. (It’s only a half-joke that the East coast of America was named after the family.)

During her tenure as Child of the East, she was also known as Factor to the Gods for her management of an enterprise, headquartered in Athens, Greece (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), and as the owner aboard her private yacht, the Bella Donna, a sloop-rigged ketch of some speed and surpassing ruggedness. She traded all over the Orient, knocking heads and bumping elbows with everyone from Allan Quatermain to Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (with whom she had an illicit affair in Constantinople during the Crimean War, and who rescued her from the Seraglio at about the same time).

It is the latter incident which came to mind when I discovered DELILAH DIRK & THE TURKISH LIEUTENANT — a delightful gem to be sure. It’s in-progress now. Check it out.

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