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The Pirate Queen of Galapagos

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  • The Pirate Queen of Galapagos

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    The next visitor to the island was, however, a different story. She was the Baroness Boise Bosquet de Wagner Whereborn [sic, Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bousquet] of Vienna and Paris. She announced her intention to start a private and somewhat carnal paradise on the island. She brought with her two German lovers, Alfred Rudolf Lorenz and Robert Phillipson [sic, Philippson] and in case of accidents, she picked up a third one [Manuel Valdivieso Borja] in Guayaquil. Like Ritter, she established her home under a tin roof and called it “Hacienda Paradise.” She elected herself the Pirate Queen of Galapagos and she did put Floreana on the map. She was her own press agent and a darn good one at that. She caused stories about herself to be widely published in the European newspapers. Some of them were humdingers, like the one about Pablo Rolando and his bride, Rosa, who were shipwrecked on their honeymoon tour and drifted ashore to Floreana. She cast them adrift in a small boat, to perish in the storm.§ Needless to say, these people never existed. She decreed that nobody could land on the island without her permission. She got fan letters from the four corners of the earth and many ne'r-do-wells offered to serve under her banner if she would pay the fare. Lots of yacht owners heard of her doings and flocked to Floreana. They were eager to make their otherwise dreary travels seem interesting and get their name in print and connected in some way to the outer edge of some adventure. To them she was manna from heaven and they gazed on her as royalty and, in order to shine in reflected glory, they did their best to spread her fame. She was a sight to see, walking aboard the American yachts, beating her chest like an ape and screaming, “I am the Queen of Galapagos.”
    Debunking the Baroness (