In March 1869, a young Frenchman named Pierre-Laurent Larrieu-Manan, a native of the Pyrenees region near the Spanish border, took up his new post as clerk of Saigon’s Superior Court. One of Larrieu’s first acts was to register a ruling of the 17th of the month, levying a 200-franc fine against the local resident Frédéric Thomas. The ruling was based on his violation of articles 259 and 463 of the Penal Code pertaining to the fraudulent use of honorary titles and unlicensed name changes.1 Letters from France detailing the conviction of Caraman’s father had induced swift local action.2 By the time a local newspaper reported on the verdict, tout Saigon knew of the scandal. In addition to chronic shortages of money and a reputation for commercial incompetence, Caraman was publicly labeled a charlatan. Things were looking gloomy, to say the least.