Hi there :3 Long time lurker, I just decided to make my virgin post to this community xD
Just a few words to this one: Cigarette is one female part of a love triangle in the now widely forgotten novel that bore the „French Foreign Legion“ genre. The book was written in 1867, and whilst it is not a good book, many a reader dearly remembers Cigarette. So do I, and I have absolutely nothing against her very existence
Title of Work: Under Two Flags
Author: Ouida, pen name of Marie Louise de la Ramée
Full Name, including titles: Cigarette, Amie du Drapeau (French for „friend of the flag“ or „good friend“, also an analogue for a loyal soldier, of course)
Full Species: Human
Hair Colour: „short, jetty hair“
Eye Colour: „dark, dancing, challenging eyes“
Unusual Markings/Colourations: Sun-kissed skin?
Special Possessions/Pets: A pistol, given to her by a general
Annoying Sidekicks: The whole of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, whom she calls gros bébées, or big babies. Is one herself to protagonist Bertie.
Annoying Origin: Was born to a whore of the Chasseurs in a barrack. Her father is unknown.
Annoying Way of Ruining the Story: From the moment on she appears (around the middle of the book), the story revolves around her for a great deal of time.
Annoying Special Abilities: Is a great fighter and rider, a grand soldier, fearless, brave, and loyal, cares for the sick and wounded, is a neat dancer, can shoot, and fence, and swear, smokes, wears pants and short hair, and basically does everything the men do, despite being a seventeen-year-old girl in 19th century Algeria.
Miscellaneous Reasons The Sue Should Not Exist: Is spunky and a great fighter, very precocious, very beautiful and beloved and admired by just about everyone while being extremely selfish and arrogant. Also, she dies the Tragic Death by sacrificing her life for the one she loves most.
Redeeming Qualities: She's cool, and smart, and fun, and more feminist than many a “feminist” character of modern works. She feels a lot like an adult prototype pf Pippi Longstockings. Heck, it's even downright stated she has lots of sex just for the fun of it! Oh, and it's nice she doesn't only make friends with and care for beautiful people, but also old, stiff, grumpy soldiers, whom she dances for to cheer them up and whom she nurses if they get sick or wounded. She does not get Bertie in the end. Also, in the latest film of the book (1936, ehehe), she's played by the incredible Claudette Colbert.
Small snippet of Sue Being Annoying:
“She would eat a succulent duck, thinking it all the spicier because it had been a soldier's 'loot'; she would wear the gold plunder off dead Arab's dress, and never have a pang of conscience with it; she would dance all night long, if the had a chance, like a little Bacchante; she would shoot a man, if need be, with all the nonchalance in the world. She had had a thousand lovers, from handsome Marquises of the Guides to tawny black-browned scoundrels in the Zouaves, and she had never loved anything, except for the roll of the pas de charge, and the sight of her own arch defiant face with it's scarlet lips and it's short, jetty hair, when she saw it by chance in some burnished cuirass, that served her for a mirror. She was more like a handsome saucy boy than anything else under the sun, and yet there was that in the pretty, impudent Friend of the Flag that was feminine with it all – generous and graceful amidst all her boldness, and her licence, her revelries, and the unsettled life she lead in the barracks and the camps, under the shadow of the eagles.
Away she went, now singing
Mais je ris en sage,
La farira dondaine,
La farira dondée!
Down the crooked windings, and over the ruined gardens of the old Moorish quarter of the Kasbah, the hilts of the tiny pistols glancing in the sun, and the fierce fire of the burning sunlight pouring down unheeded on the brave bright hawk eyes that had never, since they first opened to the world, drooped or dimmed for the rays of the sun, or the gaze of a lover, for the menace of death, or the presence of war.
Of course, she was a little Amazon; of course, she was a little Guerilla; of course, she did not know what a blush meant; of course, her thoughts were as slang and as riotous as her mutinous mischief was in its act: but she was a 'bon soldat', as she was given to say, with a toss of her curly head, and the had some of the virtues of soldiers. Soldiers had been about her ever since she first remembered having a wooden casserole for a cradle, and sucking down red wine from a pipe-stem. Soldiers had been her books, her teachers, her models, her guardians, and, later on, her lovers, all the days of her life. She had had no guiding-star except the eagles on the standards; she had had no cradle-song except the rataplan and the réveillé; she had had no sense of duty taught to her, except to face fire boldly, never to betray a comrade, and to worship but two deities: “La Gloire”, and “La France”.
You see, Ouida loves her female soldier girl Cigarette. And so do I. Honestly X3