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Old West Peticicoat trader “Madame Mustache”

Eleanore Dumont, known as “Madame Mustache on the borders of game rooms, was really one of the historical phenomena of this era. As a young Mediterranean merchant, he became the “superstar” involved in the gambler’s gypsy gypsy circuit that roamed the West.

There is talk of Dumont’s birthplace. Some say he was a French immigrant named Simone Jules, while others say he was born in New Orleans around 1829. What is known is that Mrs. Simone Jules was running at the Bella Union Saloon and Gambling Hall in San Francisco in the spring of 1850. took over a roulette table, and created a great feeling. Forty-nine, hungry for a simple look at a beautiful woman, were shocked by the young Frenchwoman with creamy alabaster skin, bright black eyes, a lovely smile and long dark plaits that fell on her shoulders. Within a few days, the men stood in line to lose their golden dust from the soft chewing gum that in a very close inspection showed a thin line under the hair on her upper lip.

The Bella union was full day and night with players willing to watch or play against the magnificent Madame Jules. In order not to overtake the other gambling halls, French women quickly introduced themselves to preside over the wheels of their roulette. In the years that followed, women crocodiles or merchants became the headlines for most of the gambling companies across Portsmouth Square. Then all of a sudden, Mrs. Joules disappeared from the scene and her name was not mentioned again on any record or in newspapers.

Several years later, in 1854, a wheelchair rolled down the dusty streets of New York, California, and a well-rounded young woman appeared. Dressed in beautiful Parisian clothes and expensive jewelry, the whole city put in its ear the mysterious French woman with a crow who came down from the coach. She was small and cute, with bee-like eyes, a mane with curly dark hair, and a light slide down her upper lip. She said her name was Mrs. Eleanore Dumont and she offered nothing for her past – an unsurpassed mystery woman.

Satisfied with her transformation into Madame Dumont, the vixen gamble rented a seat in the city center and closed a plaque bearing her name, “Vingt-Et-Un” (French for “twenty-one”). Citizens across the city have been invited to visit Broad Street and enjoy a game with Madame Dumont. Although there were more than a dozen gambling parlors in Nevada, the Vingt-Et-Un was the undisputed queen of the sports crowd. Twenty-one was the game of Dumont’s choice and was dominant in the game, sweetly expressing her sadness as she won her winnings. When she closed the table, she ordered bottles of champagne to face the losers, leading most miners to say that “they would rather lose to the lady than win over someone else.”

Coal miners and citizens flock to the complex, attracted both by the attraction of the money earned and by the charisma and spirit of the French hostess. The Decorum was strictly enforced, customers could not engage in quarrels or use vulgar language. Surprisingly, the rugged crowd of miners found it impossible to resist the kind demands of the tempting owner. In a very short time, it moved to larger areas where it added faro, chuck-a-luck, roulette tables and a merchant staff. He called the new gaming room Dumont Palace and hired a Nevada gambler named Dave Tobin to be its director-partner.

Then, for the next two years, the money flowed daily, so much so that Tobin, who had moved with Dumont to the National Hotel, wanted to take control of the business. When he tried to make his move, Dumont was furious – just because they shared a bed didn’t make him the boss of the uniform. He gave him an ultimatum. if he didn’t like the setting then “take the hell out.” He certainly didn’t like the installation, so after a final settlement he left the city of Nevada and headed east.

When the gold in the city of Nevada finally dried up, Eleanore sold out and embarked on a tour of other mining camps in northern California. It opened its game in the settlements of the Yuba River in Bullard Bar, Downieville and Sierra City. then moved to mining camps on the Feather River and later to Klamath. In 1857 he became involved with the 21st at the George Foster’s City Hotel in Columbia for more than a year before moving to Virginia City, where he managed a fantastic association with hot furniture worth over $ 30,000. It was during these series of California mining camps that she added the “extras” to its table functions – a visit to her boudoir that required “room charge”.

Dumont left for the golden strikes in Idaho and Montana in the early 1860s, and by the end of her tour, she was approaching her thirtieth birthday. The last few years have not been kind. the long nights with cards and nonsense began to weigh on her, and her once legendary appearance slowly began to wane. Looking nervous and exhausted, she lost her glass figure and what was years ago only a faint indication of vagueness on her upper lip, had begun to darken – gaining her nickname-My mustache.

At Bannack, he partnered with a man named McHarney in a two-story gaming lounge that featured swings upstairs for quick testing with the young dancehall girls who worked the lounge below. They were in operation and started for a while, before her partner was shot in a gun battle with another gambler, MacFarlane. What to do? He never lost his temper, Dumont dragged the bloody corpse, fresh sawdust scattered on the floor and the living room turned back to action as if nothing had happened. She then went to jail for a $ 1,000 bail for MacFarlane, who agreed to become her new partner less than an hour after the murder. Yes sir, the Frenchwoman has never missed a business opportunity.

Leaving Bannack, Dumont headed to Fort Benton, a busy supply point for the golden areas of Montana. Here it doubled its previous function, which included drinks, beauties and bets. However, the brilliance left its previous emporiums, where elegance and decoration were paramount. It was reduced to a low rent. Steamboat captain Louis Rosche described Dumont’s gaming room:

“The interior of the gaming house was worse, even from the outside. The bar and gaming rooms were housed in a large room downstairs. A rugged set of stairs led to a balcony on the second floor where I saw doors leading to about twelve smaller rooms. The place was foggy with smoke and smelled of sweat, unwashed bodies and cheap whiskey. The floor was dirty … Faint from one of the rooms upstairs I could hear the incoherence of a drunken man and the tall, full of laughter a woman who was quite sober. “

Dumont jumped from one location to another until she decided it was time to retire from gambling, so she bought a cattle farm in California and briefly tried to do so with honest work. Realizing quickly that he had no idea how to run a farm, he contacted a man named Jack McKnight, who claimed he was a cattle buyer I understand. Beautiful and well-dressed, McNate promised her that she could take care of everything and they tied the knot. With the ink just drying on their marriage certificate, McKnight did just that – he took what he had and left.

He was forced to return to the only thing he knew how to do. Dumont hit the mining camps and eventually landed in Deadwood in the fall of 1876. He worked twenty-one in various rooms and was observed by John F. Finerty, a journalist for Chicago Times. In an article, she wrote: “She had a once-beautiful face, which crime had hardened into an expression of cruelty. , sharp at the edges, reminded me of the harp’s claws. “

Almost reduced as a merchant in low-end gaming centers, Dumont eventually retired to Bondi, California in 1879. At this point, she drank heavily and found it much more difficult to compete with professional sharp objects that sat on her twenties – a table. On the night of September 7, at the Magnolia Lounge, she borrowed $ 300 to pull her table over two blacks. Try as much as you could not have it inside her. She was 49 years old, penless, confused by a whiskey-soaked brain, and eventually, as she turned the last sheet, she was completely unlucky. Gathering all the dignity she could muster, she pushed her chair away from the table and stood up, “Gentlemen, the game is yours.”

The next morning they found her dead lying next to an empty bottle of morphine. Among the personal items found on her body was a letter she had written. Along with the instructions for making the results available, the letter stated, “she was tired of life.” The Sacramento Union summed up her entire life with these few lines: “Bodie: September 8. A woman named Eleanore Dumont was found dead today about a mile out of town, suicidal. She was known in all the mining camps.”