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Des Grieux : the prelude to "Teleny" 1899

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    fq&iftKSfc ik> U>ii\>ot±   -   ? 1?f £pu>ftRP AvJEJH
fiEAOE-,**!^     Des Grieux  Des Grieux
(The Prelude to "Teleny")
VOL. I
1899  Des Grieux
CHAPTER I
It was the hottest hour, the hottest day,
the hottest month and in the hottest town of
southern France.
Summer had now reached its height. The
irradiation was so dazzling that the earth
seemed to be slowly simmering in a splendent haze; the rays of the sun were so
fervid and palpable that instead of ethereal
light they looked like fine glowing dust
poured forth from some solar crater and sifted
down below upon that broiling town.
Not the faintest breeze was blowing  and all life had come to a stand-still in that
sluggish town. Save the shrill chirp of the
tree-crickets, jubilant amongst the sere dust-
covered leaves of the lime-trees, not the
slightest sound was heard.
Most of the shutters were as tightly shut
as in the dead of the night; the town looked
uninhabited. Alone, a young girl, leaning
on the broad window-sill of an old stone
mansion, was gazing dreamily down on the
space below.
* * But why was the young girl looking out
of the window? " yon evidently ask.
Why? Spinoza said, long ago that u we
do not know the causes that determine our
actions, " so, I dare say, the young girl herself
did not know why she had gone to look out
of the window in tho glowing sunshine.
The house in question, built at the time of
Francis the First, in the purest Renaissance
style—if the Rococo can be termed a pure
style—was now one of broken fortunes; it
wTas perhaps only the more picturesque
thereby, because its mistress, in her comparatively  impoverished   state,   had  never at- tempted to patch it up— as she did her own
face :
I Pour reparer des ans l'irreparable outrage, j
The space beside this house, surrounded
by low crumbly wall with an old w^ooden
gate, had once been intended for building
purposes. It belonged to the owmers of the
mansion, but this town of bygone greatness
has been on its wane for ages so that it is now
too wast for its ever-decreasing number of
inhabitants.
There are spots where nature, having for
a time been over-fruitful, remains sterile for
centuries; there are cities w^hich, after a
short period of splendour, profond a languid
life for ages; there are men who, after a day
of youtful promise, drag on for years a dull
effete life, dreaming of the past. So it was
with this towrn.
Meanwhile this plot of ground has been
used as a kind of common, and, at certain
times of the year, it is crowded with canvas
booths and penny shows, cheap theatres, and menageries of cats and poodles instead of
tigers and lions.
Now the yard is all but empty, for there
is only a shabby round-about in it, and even
that is enjoying its mid-day siesta, all covered
up, to protect the fierce-looking, leopard-
spotted-horses and the garish carriages from
the scorching rays of the sun in its zenith.
The only living creatures seen in this little
Sahara of dust and sand, are a young man —
the owner of the merry-ho-round—and his
mongrel dog. The youth—back-propped
against the pyramidal mass of tattered canvas,
with his bare legs stretched on a bit of
matting—is whiling away his time in noon-
clay dreams.
Visions of love-awaking females flit before
his drooping eye-lids, showing him such sights
as might have once been seen in some cythe-
rean temple.
All the girls whom he evokes are young
and of entrancing beauty, but, unlike himself,
—for love delights in contraries—most of
them are slender, frail, as fair as moon-breams,
as pliable as willow-boughs, as. lithe as Elf- land fairies, with complexions like the snows
of Mount Rosa when flushed by the first
faint rays of the dawning sun.
A few of them, albeit, are portly, high-
bosomed damsels, with powerful hips and jet
black shaggy hair. Still, it wras not these lust-
stirring girls who attracted his glance.
Although most of them were motherr-naked,
some few wTere veiled in delicately-tinted
diaphanous garments, as vaporous as a morning mist; and these dim draperies only served
to enhance those transcendent gifts with
wThich Nature had endowed them.
As he sees them in his mind's eye, dancing
in the most lascivious attitudes, fluttering
amorously to and fro for his delight, a pleasant
quivering sensation creeps softly over all his
limbs. He is young, exuberant -with health,
and it is already very long since he has
tasted the shattering intoxication of a women's
•dewy lips.
Though not much of a dreamer, his erotic
fancy is roused to the highest pitch, so that he
makes all these fairies act like puppets, and
obey his slightest whim ; so—while this host of lovely females entwine their arms, wind
their legs and press their budding breasts
together, leaping and handling and sporting
and toying with each and one another—he
orders the fairest of all these houris—a dainty
virginette—to shake her thighs lecherously,
just enough to show the slight distortion of
her tiny slit.
Soon however, riot being satisfied with this,
and wishing to see more—he bids her lift her
beautiful rounded leg and catch her pink-
white toe with her small and tapering fingers,
and—like, a ballet-girl—caper on her other
foot.
To bid is to obey.
The secret parts gape wide, the small gap
reveals its hidden treasure, the delicate rosy
lips, like the flushed petals of some living
flower, display a beauteous world of pulpy
flesh, in which a tiny pistil is thrilling sensuously.
At the sight of her perfect beauty, his
passion overpowers him, his pulses throb,
his brain swims, and—the vision being so
vivid and  real—he   forgets himself entirely, opens his eyes and stares.
Alas! he is only blinded by the white
dazzling dust, by the glaring reverberation of
the splendent wall opposite. Pie frowns, he
blinks, and hastens to close his eye-lids
tightly.
Now all the wanton joys of his over-heated
brain have vanished, and nothing is left, save
the glare of a conflagration, intermingled
with a shower of whirling sparks, crossed and
recrossed by a number of fiery microbes all
wriggling and chasing one another.
After a few moments he tries to evoke the
image of the bewitching Bayadere and bid
her display once more those charms w7hich
inflame, and at the same time refresh the
senses, just as the sight of sparkling waters
gives a pleasurable foretaste of freshness to the
parched palate of the sore-footed traveller,
increasing in him, withal, the keenness of his
thirst. The artful virgin resists his lures, and
turns a deaf ear to all his incantations. Another
vision, albeit, dow appears before him.
I A few days before, a buxom country maid,
together with her stalwart lover, had come to have a ride on his speckled horses. They had
evidently felt great pleasure in being whirled
about side by side, and more so, in feeling
every now and then, their knees and legs
meet and press against each other.
They had spent but a groat, and still,
many an impotent millionnaire would, I dare
say, have given them a half of his yearly
income, had he been able to purchase from
them those moments of biits.
The youth of the round-about now saw, in
his mind's eye, this lover and his lass, as he
had seen them upon that night; but his
glowing imagination shewed him even much
-more than what his eyes had really seen.
The girl w^as a stout and rosy couutry
wench, with a face full of dainty dots and
dimples, black langhingeye, a skin mellowred
by many a harvest sun, and rounded limbs as
firm as the flesh of the wild grape.
As for the young fellow ! Lust seemed to
exhale from all his pores, to twinkle in his
sparkling eyes, to ooze out of his thick and
fleshy lips, to bristle in his crisp black moustache.
SSfiSS When the lamps in the yard had all been
put out, he saw the couple walk quietly away;
and heard murmuring words of love which
sounded like the soft cooing of doves.
After a few shuffling steps, they stopped in
the darkness, and the youth, taking hold of
the girl's face, with his broad palm, stooped
down and hungrily pressed his mouth on
those luscious lips, pouting up towards his.
At that touch he feels how their pulses
must flutter, their nerves must thrill.
Then they looked round to see if anybody
was watching them; thereupon the athletic
young fellow passed his brawny arm—an arm
that might-have felled an oak—round the
wench's waist, and clasped her to his chest.
Her whole body seemed to yield to that
grasp, her breasts swelled out and heaved to
meet that male's caresses.
As their limbs came in close contact, an
intense longing flashed in their hungry eyes.
For some time cleaving together, they
drank each other's breath and sucked each
other's lips with feverish eagerness.
Their  legs  wTere  pressed  together,   their knees rubbed against each other; and they
kissed, and kissed; and the more they kissed the
more intense their craving for kissing became.
By degrees their blood grew more heated,
and bubbling mounted to their head, until
. their brain reeled in such a way that they
could hardly stand. The fumes of concupiscence had now intoxicated them as much as
if they had d'een drunk with wine.
At last they moved on, but without
knowing whither they wrent ; therefore,
instead of going out of the yard they soon
found themselves in one of its farthermost
corners; there they began again to fondle
each other.
. Almost without her knowledge, the young
man undid his sweet heart's kerchief, unhooked
her dress, thrust his hand within her shift,and
began to paddle her rounded and full breasts,
which wrere as white as clotted cream, as
fragrant as hawthorn blossoms.
Then—unable to resist the temptation—he
bent low, kissed her bosom, sucked the small
pink nipples; whilst she—who could not
keep quiet —pressed her thighs together, and
m thrust her fingers through the thick locks, of
his crisp hair.
He soon rose up again, passed once more,
his left arm round her waist, thrust his tongue
into her mouth and with his right hand up
lifted her scanty skirts. She caught hold of
his intruding 1 and and struggled to keep it
away, but all the efforts she made only
fanned the fire within her, and made her eyes
sparkle, so that after a faint skirmish wherein
she ever waxed wreaker, she yielded! to his
will, and her middle parts were grasped by
the victor's palm.
Pie—for a trice—played with her bushy
hair, seemingly undecided w^hat he was to do
next, then—after slightly tickling her in the
most sensitive parts—he let dowai the bib of.
his breeches and opening her thighs pressed
his prickle twixt' the small lips gaping to
welcome it.
Theyouthnow could hear the slow rhythmic
motion of the to-ing and fro-ing, and he lusted
in such a way that the blood, rushing to his.
head, seemed like the sound of many waters.
What a night of love it was! In the dim mi Iky-way overhead the misty stars were
twinkling faintly, numberless tremulous eyes
all smiling at the lovers' delight.
A mavis, a mirthful merle, a nightingale,
and some other blithe birds, were all w7arbling
amorously in the stillness of the summer
evening, mingling their melody with the
sound of kisses; the sighing and panting of
long pent-up love and the murmur of male
desire.
The breash of the hot south wind that blew
from the balmy plains across the sea brought
with it—from the neighbouring gardens—the
scent of the honeysuckle and the musk of the
full-blown rose. Nature that night was
languishing with love, the overheated earth
now shivered with lust.
Now—in the broiling sunshine—the youth
of the round-about recalled to his mind all
the extacy that couple must have felt in
doing the deed of kind. His quickened
senses could see her swimming eyes as her
soul departed from her in excruciating bliss*
He could hear the man's sobs, he could feel
his hot breath.
16 Is it a wonder then that his whole body
was convulsed, that his prickle stood hard and
turgid, tingling with life replete with blood?
All at once he felt as if he had become
androgynous, and like an hermaphrodite, he
seemed to receive every thrust that was given,
and to thrust himself at the same time. He
shuddered with the heat of desire, his nerves
were strained to a painful pitch and his
joints almost relaxed with tod*much bliss.
He again opened his eyes to the dazzling
sun light, and he could hardly understand
who, or where, he was.
He remembered again how he had raved
that night, how that ungovernable passion
had in its intensity turned into pain.
His brain was burning, his heart was bursting; he had tottered like a drunken man and
laid himself down upon the naked ground.
As he had lain quivering spasmodically, he
seemed to feel the lap of mother earth palpitating under him, just as the husband feels the
womb of his wife, when big with child, jerking with an inward motion.
Now, lying on his scanty mat, thinking over
17 what he had seen, imagining what he had not
seen, lust mastered him so mightily, that the
sap within him effervesced; his lips grew
full and thick, his flesh quivered with excitement, and his rod grew so big and stiff that it
almost slit up his old worn-out breeches and
thrust itself out of the gap. With one hand
he caught hold of it and squeezed it with all
his might, as if to still its fluttering; he laid
his other hand on the head of the ugly mangy
mongrel basking in the sun at his side.
Is there any transmission of emotion between a man and his dog.
Who can tell!
Thought transference dates only since yesterday.
Anyhow a dog has a keener sight, a keener
ear and a keener smell than we have; besides
his brain is not muddled with German metaphysics.
The dog had hitherto been slumbering
peaceably, only waking now and then, to bite
the fleas that were harassing him, or to snap
at some tediously buzzing fly. Hardly had
the master's hand been laid upon the animal's
18 head, than he started up on his haunches,
and—after sniffing the sultry air—rubbed his
muzzle on his master's face, whilst the long
thin tapering tip of an inflamed penis darted
out of its hairy sheath. The mongrel looked
intently at the man, with an intelligent appeal,
and seemed to say : (' We two are unmated
outcasts. *"
The youth thereupon patted the shaggy coat
of his only friend with a loving hand, and the
<mr in return licked the caressing hand with
a sensual affection.
The young girl at the window gazed upon
the slightest details of the scene underneath;
she saw the red flesh peep through the rent,
and noticed how the youth grasped that fluttering bird.
She was of a tall, slight, spare, elegant
figure, and might have served an artist as an
exquisite study of greys. Her hair—soft and
glossy—was of a pale golden, or rather a light
ashy hue; her complexion—almost o£ a single
tone—was faintly flushed on the cheeks and
slightly tending to red on her lips, her eyes—
shaded by long flaxen lashes—were of a pale
*9 lustreless hazel grey. Pier dress of a shadowy silvery stuff, called, I think, Barege-
looked like the lining of a fleecy cloud.
She wTas generally very much admired; nay,
at the time of her marriage, not only the men
but the women themselves, raved about her
Madonna-like beauty; and y^et few wTere the
people gifted with an artistic sense of colour
keen enough to appreciate her.
What then was the secret of this universal
admiration? y^ou ask.
That of being unlike everybody else. She
had the loveliness of a fair young girl in a
plain white muslin dress, amidst a crow7d of
bejewelled ladies in garish silks and gorgeous
satins.
Still her beauty was so ethereal, that it
shed a dampness on some men, it even made
them shiver and feel cold; loving such a woman was almost a sacrilege, it was like lusting after an image of some virgin.
On that sultry midsummer day, she looked
more bloodless, more transparent, more lilylike than usual; and yet—saintly as she looked
—all her nerves were tingling with excite-
20 ment,  her blood was replete with lechery.
The fact is that only the day before, the
catamenial flux had ceased, and she felt like
a convalescent arising from a bed of sickness,
and feeling a new life flow within her veins.
Thus her monthly flux had left her body
weak and languid, and not only that, but it
had enkindled an ardent fire in her very
womb, the flames of which mounting up to
her brain awakened in her an almost irresistible craving for a strong man. It seemed as
if nature's fragile flower, having lost all its
own dew, was—notwithstanding its scented
baths and ablutions—parched by an inward
fire, and languished for that wTater which
quenches all thirst, for that milk which flows
from the deep fountain of man's virility.
Every month, for a few7 days, that bloody
fiend shattered her and laid her at the mercy
of a man's lust, making her rave for those
caresses for which she had been created.
Possibly, had she been able to have her full
of that unknown bliss once, she wTould not
have cared for it any more, but abstinence
rendered her almost hysteric. Nature, now, had awakened in her that
morbid tenderness, that eagerness for the
caress of the other sex ; so, as she approached
the open casement and saw the youth so full
of manly vigour, convulsed—as he was—by
lust, and burning to quench the fire that was
consuming him, she felt irresistibly drawn
towards him; she was in fact like a withering plant, which—fading under the rays of a
scorching sun— droops towards the earth as if
to breathe the moist vapours that arise from
the soil.
Now as she looked upon him, she underwent a strange sensation.
The face of the youth—she thought—wras
not unknown to her; she had felt its almost
mystic fascination before ?
But where and when ?
Nay, more than that, she knew that body in
all its nakedness. This thought brought the
blood to her cheeks, for she had never seen
a naked man. She pressed her hands against
her temples and ransacked the farthermost
recesses of her brain. Where had she known,
that man before ? Was it in some former life, in some ethereal
region beyond the world?
She could not tell, but she felt sure that she
had already loved him; that she had been his
bride, in a happier holier world, in the realm
of saints and martyrs.
As she gazed urjbn him, she was ever more
under his spell. Now their eyes met, and
although he—being in the glare of the golden
sunshine—could not see her, for she was
behind the more than half-closed shutters,
still the glances he shot at her, seemed to sink
deep into her pupils, and even beyond them
within her very brain.
What was taking place in her, was it a con-.
tagion of sympathy ?
Her blood at first got heated, then it began
to glow, then her wits seemed to wander.
Was love mastering her? She could not
tell, she only knew that her heart was beating faster and stronger than usual, and that
all the nerves in her body were quivering.
As her eyes w^ere intently fixed upon the
young man, her whole attention was entirely
engrossed  by him, her sight,  her hearing,
23 all her senses had grown keener, having been
thrown by concentration into a state of hyperesthesia. #j3lf
She sees his lips grow full and thick, then
part themselves as if by an irresistible longing.
She almost feels upon her face his hot scathing breath. Thereupon she notices how his
breeches towards his middle part are stirred
from within; yes, now and then they heave
quietly or else are jerked by an impulsive
and impatient motion.
All her nature is whipped to lust at that
sight. She feels like the poor cripple lying
on the brink of Bethesda's pool gazing at
eddies caused by the invisible angel that stirred those life-giving waters.
She saw the trowsers open, she saw the.
little blind god of love, the creative force of
nature, thrust out its ruddy head between the
slit of the torn breeches, nay the whole organ
of generation would soon have forced its
way out, had the young man not thrust it in
again, and held it tightly in the palm of his
hand. It was a huge sized tool and under that
rough cloth it seemed about a foot in length
E9 and several inches in breadth. At that sight
a flash of lightning passed before the young
girl's eyes, then the blood rushed upwards,
downwards, throughout her whole body, but
this fluid seemed parched or mixed with some
corrosive liquid that muddled and maddened
her brain. She saw to her regret the prickle
•disappear in the young man's grasp, she remarked the shivering which followed this act,
his parted languid lips, his half-closed swimming eyes, nay she even noticed his panting and
convulsive breath. So, as she gloated upon
the youth, she felt within herself all the sensations he himself was undergoing. Thereupon a burning fire was kindled in her womb
and spread itself all around her middle parts.
Her tiny lips were opened with an inward
craving; then, hardly knowing what she was
doing, almost urged by a spirit of imitation,
or else obeying some imperative order of
nature, she lifted up her skirts and thrust the
tip of her tapering fore-finger on the top of
her slit, just at the foot of Venus' volcanic
mount; she skimmed rather then rubbed those
sensitive parts.   She had hardly touched them when she felt that sensation which had made
the young man writhe when the tiny lips of his
phallus had gaped and a pearly drop of that
cream of delight had oozed slowiy out. Then,
both their souls seemed at the same moment
to leave their bodies and commingle in an
ineffable embrace. Thereupon the fire within
themgrewmore intense, the transient pleasure
they had felt—a pain rather than a pleasure
—serving only to excite their craving instead
of satisfying their carnal appetite. Both remained for some moments overcome by the
fever of lust.
The youth had hardly recovered his senses,
when—upon opening his eyes—he saw a big
white poodle come out of the opposite house.
It was a huge dog all shaven and shorn v
with a skin of a delicate pinkish hue, like that
of a new-born baby, but freckled all over like
a sun-burnt girl. The hair of his mane, the
fringe around his ankles and the tuft of his tail,
all as white as cotton-wool, were frizzled and
combed and scented with lavende-ambree,
This foolish abortion of a lion, this loathsome
catamite of animals, this old maid's pet, wore
26 —as if to make it look more ridiculous—a
huge blue silk bow on the topo f his head.
When he came near the young man, he
stood on his hind legs, and began to perform
all kind of antics ; the youth at first laughed
and then he fell a-thinking that such a poodle
—properly trained-—night prove to be a useful acquisition. The dog by his side seemed
to guess his thoughts, and—being an ill-bred
cur—began to show his small white teeth
and snarl viciously. The poodle however
was not discomfited, but continued displaying, not only all his graces, but, on one side,
his prickle in a state of erection, and, on the
other, the gaping brown hole of his anus, all
surrounded by a bulgy rim. The cur, withal,
seemed proof against all these temptations.
The poodle then jumped about, gave sundry
panting barks, pretended to run off, then
came back, and all the time he never ceased to
ogle and gloat on the other dog's organ, with
his large and intelligent brown ey^es. At last,
apparently unable to withstand the temptation,
he made a bold plunge, and at the risk
of being bitten by the white teeth, he bent his head low and began to sniff and smell
those parts he seemed so eager to taste. The
cur continued to grunt and snarl, then he
uplifted one of his legs as a mark of great condescension. The poodle thus encouraged
began to lick that capsicum-like lip of the
penis with evident gusto. The cur at last
stopped snarling, and allowed himself to be
caressed, with a look of contempt and unwilling satisfaction. The poodle stopped licking,
and began again to caper in a coquettish way
round the other dog, uttering at the same time
sundry high-pitched barks. Excited in that
way the cur jumped up and mounted on the
back of the lecherous poodle which stood in a
position to receive him. The mongrel caught
the dog beneath him firmly with his front
legs and began at once a lusty to-and-fro
movement.
The poodle that submitted to be thus sodomized seemed to do so as an act of duty; he
looked about him with his large lustrous and
wondering eyes, apparently scoffing at himself for allowing that ugly, mangy, stinking
cur to use him so vilely.
2S Was it a pleasure for him, wras it a necessity or was he simply yielding to his own
fate?
Why are all poodles passive ?
Were I a believer in the transmigration of
souls I might conclude that the spirits of
sodomites are made to dwell as a punishment
in the body of these dogs, so that every
passing cur might use them at his pleasure.
Anyhow, while the dainty poodle was
being thus futtered, the swarthy^ young man
lifted up his eyes;and as the window-shutters
had opened slightly, he saw the fair girl at
the casement.
Their eyes met. After a few seconds she
felt that his glances like refracted rays sank
deep within her breast. She was transfixed
where she stood and unable either to move or
turn away her head. By degrees—as she
kept her eyes rivetted upon him—a slight
drowsiness came over her, then quietly;
unconsciously, her own will passed away.
It seemed to be attracted by the fire of his
glances, just as the sun draws out a mist
from the bosom of the earth.   Once or twice
29 the young man lifted both his arms and then
lowered them quietly, and as he did so the
drowsiness increased, all control over herself
diminished, and she was ever more under
his sway. He seemed to be drawing her
towards him with all his might, and therefore
she leaned far out on the windows-sill as if to
obey his summons. But her somnolence
increased, and after a while she fell into a
perfect sleep. Yet it w^as not sleep either, for
though her body was in a perfect state of
lethargy, her mind kept quite awake—nay
her senses were quickened and keener than
they had been till now; for she heard the
young man whisper in a lowr musical voice,
the following words :
WTien the town is hushed and silent, in
the death-like sleep of night, by the spell
I have upon thee, by the love within thy
heart, thou shalt feel my kisses falling
like warm rain-drops on thy mouth; listen
then, and hear me calling, calling thee as in a
dream; drawing thee from out thy slumbers,
by the magic of my art. Waken then. Oh !.
my beloved one, to enjoy the bliss of lust. Then from out thy open casement I shall
creep upon thy couch; for I am the man
created, to awaken thee to life.
She slept on, placidly listening to that
transmission of thoughts which sounded in
her ear like a dull kind of dirge, or rather a
last lulling lullaby, which a mother sings to
soothe her infant to rest. Little by little the
snares of sleep seemed to wax denser, her
brain grew duller, and oblivion came over
her.
Did she sleep long? She herself did not
know.
She was awakened from her trance by her
aunt—the mistress of the poodle-dog—who
came into the room, and calling her by her
name tapped her gently on her back.
What Camille, have you been asleep?
said she.
The young girl started and opened her eyes;
still she saw nothing but the dazzling,sunlight
which blinded her. She thereupon looked
round bewildered.
Yes, evidently, she had not only been
asleep, but also  dreaming,  for  the  poodle
3i was there, standing on his hind legs—as he
often did-—wrag^ing his head and looking at
her with his large brown, almost human,
eyes wThilst the tip of his penis—like the
tapering point of a red pepper—peeped out of
its hairy sheath.
Surely, thought the young girl, I have been
dreaming, then she shuddered; and—unseen
by her aunt—crossed herself devoutly. After
that she cast a hurried frightened glance out
of the window and heaved a deep sigh of
relief. Nothing in the yard, save the roundabout in its canvas coat.
u I have been dozing under the burning rays
of the sun—" thought she to herself—"and I
havs dreamt of the man and his cur. "
u Make haste and dress, " said the old
maid on leaving the room—" for I intend to
call on the general's widow before going to
vespers, as I'd like to find out whether her sister-in-law's niece's daughter is engaged or not."
That day passed for Camille like most other
days, only that she was a trifle more
thoughtful and somewhat more flurried and
nervous than usual.
32 Camille was an orphan—her father having
died when she had reached her second birthday and her mother two years afterwards—
so she had been brought up by this prku old
aunt, her father's sister.
They went to the cathedral, instead of going
to their usual after-noon church, St-Sebas-
tian; on their return they took their cup of
chocolate, Camille read to her aunt, then she
played upon the spindle-legged spinet; in the
evening—as the clock struck seven—the door
opened and cousin Des Grieux came in. At
eight they had supper, at nine the two young
people played a game at cards with the old
spinster who invariably won and chaffed
her nephew and niece about being unlucky
at cards; as the clock struck half past nine,
the cousin got up, pressed his lips on his aunt's
hand, kissed his cousin on her mouth, and
went off.
Des Grieux was a pale and delicate young
man. Besides this, there was nothing remarkable in him except that he was very clean.
His face, neck and ears looked as if they had
been thoroughly washed with soap and swil-
33 led with much water, an unusual thing in those
days. The syphilis of former generations
had given him the transparent complexion of
a wax doll whose very colour had disappeared by having been to6 often scoured. There
was besides not the tiniest stain or the slightest speck of dirt on his well-brushed clothes,
moreover he always carried about him a smell
of laundry, of clean linen, and sweet lavender.
As soon as the cousin left, the old dame
and the young girl rubbed their cheeks together—the French fashion of kissing amongst
women—and retired to their rooms, for the
town kept early hours. At half past ten all
the house was fast asleep.
Camille—having gone to bed—lay awake
some time in a state of nervous exhaustion.
By degrees her eye-lids grew heavy and she
managed to get a few snatches of half conscious slumbers. Still, hardly had she fallen
asleep than she woke in the midst of a dream,
haunted by the vague terror of having to fail
into the clutches of the youth who had a spell
over her. Little by little her fears were
calmed, her senses grew drowsy, and about
;i- midnight she sank into a deep death-like
sleep. Just before the chimes had sounded,
she heard, as in a dream, a low, plaintive
tune; it seemed like an oft-repeated swelling musical cadence, ever sinking and swelling like the surging of the waves, and as she
listened she dreamt that her mother was
leaning over her cradle, singing to her, and
patting her to rest.
How beautiful she looked as she lay there
so lifelessly quiet. As the night was very hot
she had thrown off the bed-clothes and her
fine lawn chemise hardly veiled her fair body,
leaving moreover her nakedness uncovered.
The Arabs, the Turks and all the Oriental nations have always compared a woman's
beauty to the full-moon, and in fact the young
girl's graceful body had such a pearly whiteness in some parts, and was so pale and grey
in others, that, touched up here with a faint
pinkish flush or shaded there with slight
bluish tints, it seemed to possess all the iridis-
cent tones and all the opaline milkiness of the
harvest moon's soft mellow light.
She was very young—hardly sixteen years
35 of age—and though tall, her limbs had not yet
acquired any of the fullness of womanhood;
that she was still a blossom could be seen by
her upright budding breasts, by the silky golden down that faintly fringed the pale coraline
treasure hidden twixt her thighs. There was
moreover about her that slight impression of
tartness, possessed by fruit that has not yTet
reached its full and luscious ripeness. Such
a sight brought the water not only to the
mouth, but elsewhere too.
As the last stroke of twelve died away,
the young girl started in her sleep and sat up
in her bed.
Where was she ? She looked about bewildered. She was lying on her bed, in her
own room.
Who had called her? Surely some one had
roused her from her sleep. Whose summons
had she to obey ? Why had she been awakened in the midst of that most delightful
dream ?
But had she been called? Yes, for the voice
was still ringing in her ears. She listened
and she heard the low dirge-like ditty, wafted
36 from afar, but was it the sound of a human
voice, or the murmurs of the wavelets lisping
a love-song to the sandy shore?
She thrust her fingers through her wavy
golden hair, and asked herself wThether she
was dreaming or awake? She listened again,
the song was louder and nearer, yes it was
there, under her very windows. The voice
was calling her, resisting it was useless, she
had to go, but whither?
There was now a slight sound; she did not
hear it, the door was opened, she took no
notice of it. All at once the poodle that slept
in her aunt's room, stood on its hind legs,
licking his chops, wagging his tail, looking
at her with lewd wondering questioning
eyes.
- She did not see the dog.
Now she felt herself as in the midst of a
strong draught, in the very centre of an impelling current. She yielded, she got down from
her bed. Her chemise—the ribbons of which
had got undone—fell to her feet. The poodle
—always on its hind legs—advanced towards
her, his prick was stiff and stark, and the turgid and tapering red tip darted out like a Vermillion snakelet.
With widely opened eyes she stared in
front of her and apparently saw nothing.
The poodle put his front paws round
her waist, clasped her tightly, and began
to-ingand fro-ing, trying, as it seemed, to bend
her down, or to uplift itself high enough to
get his prickle into her slit. She tried to
shriek, but her voice could hardly be heard,
she stretched forth her hands to defend herself,
then she finally pushed the loathsome dog
away from her.
What had made the poodle come into her
room that evening and make such an attempt
of buggery upon her. Was there any bestial
affinity between them ?
For a moment the dog withdrew discomfit*
ed. She then, palping her body, seemed to
feel herself naked; she stooped down, found
her chemise at her feet and slipped it on. The
dog stealthily came back, it thrust its woolly
head under her shift, and lifting his muzzle
between her thighs, he began to lick her
coynte lustily and with all the breadth of his
38 rough tongue. He wTas well trained and
expert in this little lewd game, and either
by education or by instinct he touched the
top part of the slip, and toyed delicately with,
the virgin clitoris, which startled and awoke
at that gentle touch. Although the sensation
was by no means a disagreeable one, although
the tickling sent a thrill through all her body,
so loathsome was the touch of the beast that,
she shivered whith disgust and thrust him
awray from her.
The poodle stood up again and looked at
the young girl with wondering eyes, he seemed to be asking her what she wanted; then
he began to frisk about as if to invite her to
follow him. She hurried to throw on a dressing-gown and a pair of slippers, then she
stood in a trance-like stillness, swayed only
hitherwards and thitherwards by some impelling or repellent power.
The song, which had stopped, began again,
louder, more intense than before. The young
girl started in her trance and walked on, followed by the poodle, which danced and capered around her, wagged his tail and displayed all the delight of a hound that sees his master
shoulder his gun.
Noiselessly and flittingly the young girl
hurried out of the room, went down thestairs,
without stumbling or groping for her way,
just as if it had been in the broad day-light.
She reached the small door opening on the
yard, deftly unlocked and unbolted it, and
stepped out, followed by the dog.
The night was perfectly dark and sultry,
the sky was covered with a mass of lowering
clouds, the air was pregnant with electricity.
The young girl with her white diaphanous
dress, her hyacinthine hair, the opaline lustre
of her complexion, seemed in the darkness
to shine with a phosphorescent light.
A man was at the door, it was the youth
of the round-about. Seeing her, he uttered a
stifled cry, stretched out his arms to receive
her, and then strained her to his breast. He
pressed his burning mouth on her cold languid
lips, and kissed her passionately. After a
few seconds,—" Come with me, " said the
youth, " here we might be seen; come under
my tent. "
40 She allowed herself to be led away, like a
soulless body, or a child having no will of her
own. Having arrived at the opening of the
tent, he made her crawl in after him; once
inside he lifted her up and kissed her again
rapturously.
y You love me, " said he, u do you not? "
u Yes, " quoth she, absently. 0-f?
" And you are glad to come to me? " jf, .
44 Yes; did you not call me? "
ii You only came because I called you? "
I Yes. "
The young man seemed astonished at the
the power he had over her; for he believed that it was her own lust more than his
own magnetic craft that had brought her out;
he little knew that a fortuitous concourse of
circumstances had helped and abetted him, for
his spell a few days later might have been
almost powerless.
44 And had I not called you,  should you
have come? "
■   " No. I
44 What were y^ou doing when you heard
my voice? "
4i 44 What? I don't know. "
44 Try and think. "
After a slight pause.    u I was sleeping. **
44 And you heard me in a dream ? "
44 Yes. "
44 And you'll hear me to-morrow night
also ? "
44 Yes. "
44 Will you kiss me ? "
She hesitated a little and then she advanced her pouted lips towards him, but her kiss
was as cold as that of a person who felt nothing soever.
44 Give me a warmer kiss than that. " She
did so, and the fire of lust seemed to be awaking in her veins and throbbing in her pulses,
so that soon aftewards she glued her lips upon
his, and her breath came short and thick.
Still when he tried to thrust the tip of his
tongue within her mouth, she—with maidenly
coyness—seemed to revolt against such an act
of lechery.
He stopped for a while and mentally ordered her to yield to his wishes. These were
his thoughts :
42 Open thy sweet lips, beloved one, let me
dart it down thy mouth; so, I'll slip it softly
in it, and thus thrill thee with delight. Palp
my tongue with lips of roses, soft as velvet
to the touch, feel it tickling all thy palate,
parching up thy blood like wine. With all
that its taste is sweeter than the honey dew,
that bees sip within the scented flowers, and
more mellow than ripe fruit, aye more luscious than bananas, and more creamy than
sweet milk. If you wish to glow with fire,
suckle it with greater strength, suck it, as the
famished baby pulls the nipple in its mouth;
clasp it, claw it, drain it, drain it, make me
swoon with too much lust.
The young girl evidently heard him thinking, for she forthwith put his order into execution and seemed to lose her senses at the
pleasure she felt. Then, having made her.
suck his nether lip, he rubbed his brawny
limbs against her delicate body.
What a contrast there was between them;
he was black-haired and of a swarthy complexion, with limbs of steel, and a body all
rippling with muscles; she looked like a reed,
& that bends with the slightest wind, a hothouse flower that parches at the sun's hot
rays, and withers under the slightest touch.
Her slender alabaster white arms were entwined round his bull-like neck and her tiny
tapering fingers played with his sooty curls.
All at once, as he held her clasped by her
dainty waist, he put his hand under her gown,
passed his palm over her legs and thighs,
then finally caught the thin lips of her small
slit in his capacious palm. As she felt herself thus touched, she shivered and all her
flesh seemed to bicker like the waters of a
mere. Then, as a protruding and lewd finger tried to push its way in the soft juicy flesh,
she wriggled in his arms like a w'ounded bird,
and, shuddering, vainly endeavoured to
push him awray from her. But his huge sinewy arm—which was as bulky as a strong
man's leg—held her tightly clasped against
his quivering body, he then for an instant
fixed his jet black eyes upon hers, and the
glances of his large and lustrous pupils were
like glowing sparks which, falling upon soft
wax, bury themselves in it.    Thus, under the
44 spell of that indomitable will, she remained
transfixed and motionless. He, thereupon,
whispered to her : my flesh is lusting after
thine; for, as the earth now pants for rain, and
flowers for dew, so do I pine for love of thee.
My pulses beat with wild delight and love
and lust. Awake then from they languid
sleep, and let thy flesh with eager heat, melt
into mine!
The young girl thereupon, not only stood
still, and let him palp her at his will, but she
pressed her mouth against his burning lips
and drank up his breath. Moreover she opened her thighs so that his fingers might penetrate into her secret parts, and as he softly
tickled her, murmurs of pleasure and cooings
of delight escaped from her. When he had
thus sported with her, toyed with the edge of
her lips, passed his hands over her thighs,
over the small rounded lobes of her posterior
parts, his prickle standing out huge and stiff,
he took her small delicate hand and placed it
within her soft palm. No sooner had she felt
it than she started back, shocked, and seemed about to waken fi om some horrid dream in which she had been handling a viper or a
loathsome toad; his arm, however, brought her
back and glued her against his body, whilst
his dark pupils darted again their mesmeric
fire into her brain. Once more she yielded
tamely, she took hold of his yard and toyed
with it, fingered his cullious so gently that it
eemed as if they were fanned by a softs
breeze, making him thereby feel the most
pleasurable titillation.
She had no will whatever of her own, but
was only the reflexion of what he himself
felt. To prove his power to the utmost, he
doffed off his tattered shirt and breeches and
remained mother-naked before her. He placed his hands on her shoulders and gently
pressed her down, she yielded and fell on her
knees before him. He then made her take
the fleshy, snub, bean-like tip of his phallus
and suck it with as much pleasure as if it had
been the most delicate Parisian sweet meat.
But he soon lifted her up again, and taking
off all her clothes, he laid her low on his hard
and dirty pallet; he again kissed her on her
mouth, he toyed with her, he hugged her to
46 his breast, and then the lust that coursed
within his veins kindled up all her blood—
both lay side by side tingling with excitement, maddened with rapturous sensuality.
Having opened her thighs wide apart, and
placed himself between her legs, he took the
y^ard in his hand and point-blanked it on the
opening of her cleft. Then he crossed himself devoutly three times, and asked a blessing of the Virgin Mary for what he was about
to do, after which he thrust at her with all his
might.
His, however, was a sore trial, sore indeed
in every sense! Her slit was very narrow,
his tool exceedingly bulky, so all that he
could do was to wriggle and rub the glans
twixt her thin lips. Although he was as
strong as a prize-fighter, and his battering-
ram was as hard and as powerful an one as
you could w^ell behold, still he was unable
to break down the bulwark of her virginity,
though he did manage to belch forth his fire
into her very womb. Then as he spouted
out his sperm, his joints relaxed, and he sank
down senseless on her; the slit thus opened
47 a little, but still the priceless pearl was not
pierced even by^ that last lusty blow.
After a short rest he wTasabGut to have ano-
t her go at her, but he perceived that the first
glimmers of dawn were already lighting up
the sky with their pale saffron light, so he
bade the young girl rise and betake herself
home.
She got up, put on her chemise and gown,
and always in her trance-like state, crept
quietly to her room, lay down upon her bed,
and unconcerned, went off to sleep.
On the morrow when she woke, at the
usual hour, the adventures of the night seemed
to her like a'bewildering night-mare.
M CHAPTER II
On the morrow the young girl awoke as
you and I have often done after a bewildering,
restless, terror-haunted night, when we have
been the prey of some persecuting nightmare.
She was, as yet, half asleep, so she felt
weary, sore, broken down, but nothing
more. Her head was aching with a dull
heavy pain, her body was languid, her mind
bewildered, lost, but nothing more. She
tossed about for some time between wakefulness and oblivion, unable to rouse herself,
49 • unable to fall asleep again, trying to collect
her wandering senses.
The first thing that made her feel uncomfortable was the light streaming into her
room, whereupon she asked herself how it
was that her shutters had been left open?
Surely they were shut, or at least ajar, the
evening before.
In somnambulism—as in every-day life—
one thought recalls another, one remembrance
evokes another. Life is a chain of many
links, like those Indian puzzle rings ; by
patient perseverance we can get them to fit
into one another.    It is like the game played
. by ten or twenty persons—where a phrase
f whispered from mouth to ear reaches the last
hearer,- entirely changed  in  its meaning as
. well as in its words.
As she looked at the open window, the
golden rays which poured in blinded her,
and made her blink her eyes, and the casement
seemed to her just then like the frame of the
altar-piece, and in the iridiscent glittering
light she saw the beautiful image of the saint
.'which—for days, nay   for  months—had nn-
50 consciously, been haunting her, like St-George
or St-Denis appeared to Jeanne d'Arc ; and like
all hysterical saints given to hallucinations,
Sebastian now was visible to her as clearly
as if he stood there in tangible flesh.
As she gazed upon this beatific vision she
saw that the likeness of the vagrant mixed
itself up with that of the martyr, and that he
was not onlyr palpitating but even panting
with lusty life.
Not a wound was to be seen on his
■ st^&wy, stout and smooth body, but moreover,
the small strip of stuff wound around his
loins had disappeared, and his right hand
held that holy-water sprinkler which bountiful nature had so generously provided him
with, and he brandled it lustily, nay even
with more than holy delight.
Now, whether it was the sight of the
saint's quaint gill-like appendage of manhood,
or the way he so funnily toyed with it—just
as she had once seen a monkey do at the
show—or else the knowing wink he cast
upon her, but somehow or other the girl—
as she was lying on  her bed—was, all  at
m once, thrilled from head to foot. Moreover,
this tingling sensation of eager desire concentrated itself in the very focus of all such
feeling, the solution of continuity. The burning
fire she felt there apparently put the saint to
flight, for instead of the altar-piece, she again
saw the window widely open and the glare
of the morning sun pouring in and flooding
the room.
But what was it she felt there at the parting
of her thighs, she asked herself ? It was surely
not a pleasure, no, rather a dull, lingering
pain as of a wound received.
She placed her hand on the gaping slit.
It was moist, nay, more than moist, it was
wet, and with blood too.
Had her monthly courses begun again?
She thought and thought, one image brought
back another as on the day before, and piecemeal she reconstructed the events of the
night before, and she recalled to mind the
way in which she had lost her pucelage.
Horror stricken, she jumped down from her
bed. Bruised, crushed,dejected, disheartened,
she examined her couch.   The pool of blood, the traces of sperm, the creased and tumbled
sheets, left no doubt as to what had happened.
Hers had not been a dream, a nightmare,
but crude reality ; moreover, it was the sinner
and not the saint who had slept with her.
With tears of terror in her eyes, she acknowledged the terrible reality to herself.
She was not a virgin any more, but a—
what word is horrible enough to express what
she was ?
She had been possessed, enjoyed, deflowered, futtered. A man—a common vagrant—had
taken her, kissed her, toyed with her, used
her at his pleasure, poked his prickle into her,
slit her, and thus abated her maidenhood.
Now she was a man's thing, not his wife;
besides what a man this was!
What would her life henceforth be ?
She felt sick, her head grew giddy, a
spasmodic shivering seized her. First her
heart stopped, then again it began to beat
wildly. It seemed as if a hand, or rather
a claw, was griping her throat tightly and
choking her. She could hardly breathe.
Soon all this disappeared and a burning pain
53 settled itself in  her bowels and made her
writhe.
But was it her fault if she had done what
she had done?
Then she fell with her bare knees on the
floor and tried to pray. If she had that faith
that transports mountains, would God,
Christ, the virgin, not take pity on her, work
a miracle in her favour and undo what was
done?
As she pray^ed from her innermost soul,
she felt that she had the faith, but the poo
of blood did not disappear from her bed, she
felt no change within her.
And although this mail had taken her
against her will, could she bear the world's
contumely if her story was to be known?
Could she bear her disgrace, she, universally
considered so proud, so haughty, she, who
belonged to one of the oldest and noblest
families of the town? But perhaps her guilt—
her innocent guilt—might not be known ; she
would see her lover once more and beg him
on her knees to spare her further shame, and
leave the town for ever.
54 But now another thought, a more terrifying, a more shattering thought crossed her
brain and almost drove her mad. " Suppose,
that man's seed was in her womb. "
Perhaps in two months—in three months at
most— her waist would begin to increase in
girth, her stomach to expand, her belly to,
swell out, in huge uncouth proportions.
That thought w^as an unbearable one, she
felt like dashing her head against the wall.
Why was she punished in such a way,
what had she done ?
Had she committed a sacrilege in loving
the saint with the love of the flesh, had she
lusted after him in a lecherous, concupiscent
way? If so, this was a deadly sin, like that
against   the Holy Ghost.
Was she perhaps atoning for the sins of
her fathers and forefathers ?
But was prayer of no avail, or had the
Almighty turned a deaf ear to her ?
Could it be possible that God was a cruel
fiendish being, a very Moloch delighting to
damn his children ? V^-'
|   Death  was her    only   remedy,, her   only means of escape. The fire of Gehenna could
surely not be worse than the pangs she was
suffering.
Yes, she would punish herself, and thereby
partly atone for the deed she had done.
She lifted her stiffened fingers up to her
throat and tried to strangle herself.
When almost choking, her strength failed,
her fingers relaxed their grasp. The image
of the everlasting Mower appeared before her
eyes, and behind the green gaunt image of
death, she saw the dull red lambent restless
flames of hell. The bottomless pit of Abaddon and all its horrors stared her in the face.
It was not the lurid light of purgatory, where
hope still remains, but the dark despair of the
deep Malebolgian pool.
She shuddered with indescribable horror
and clapped her hands upon her eyes not to
see that terrible sight any more.
No, she could not hurl herself into eternal
damnation, she could not bring herself to
meet the wrath of God, to be tortured for
ever and ever in throes of fire and brimstone,
among loathsome  reptiles, to be   scourged
M with snakes, stung by scorpions, and—what
was worse—racked by the incessant torture
of unavailing remorse.
No, she would live, go into a nunnery.
She in a convent ? She who perhaps bore
already a child in her bosom, could she
pollute the house where saintly maidens
dwelt? No, a house of lewdness was the
house fit for her.
But perhaps, hers had been but a dream, a
frightful nightmare, a fit of somnambulism.
Several times she had walked in the night
and done strange things in her sleep.
But wirat of her nightgown all dabbled
with blood, all crumpled and stained by some
viscid fluid, the smell of which was present
to her nostrils?
Why was the window open, and whose
were those foot prints from the casement to
her bed ? Yes, the dusty traces of a naked
foot were visible upon the highly polished floor.
She had but time to close the shutters and
wipe away the dust when approaching footsteps stopped and she heard a slight tap at
her door.
57 The softest noise now terrified her, made
her shudder and turn pale.
Faint, shivering, frightened, she jumped
into.her bed, and with a weak, almost inaudible, voice, bade the person who knocked
to enter.
Who was it softly tapping at her door,
could it be he, her lover? Perhaps some one
had seen him come in the night before; the
wildest conjectures rushed into her mind.
Evidently her voice had not been heard, a
louder knock was heard and, at the same
time, the door was opened. It was only the
maid who had come to say that her aunt was
waiting for her.
Camille told the servant that she was unwell and could not get up; presently the
spinster-aunt came to enquire what was the
matter. The young girl whispered faintly
that her monthly courses had returned and;
she was feeling a great pain all over her
body.
. Her weary and worn look, and the dark
halo round her eyes, showed plainly that she
was not quite her usual self. 4 4 If you are not better, by and by I shall send
for the doctor and see if he can do anything
for you, though, in such cases... "
44 No, no, " said the young girl, frightened,
interrupting her aunt abruptly, u I will not.
see the doctor, he can do nothing for me. "
4' In fact, you are right; a husband, I think,
is the best cure for such ailments ; and as we
are speaking about it I think there is no reason
for putting off your marriage any longer.
You are young—it is true—but like all the
girls of our family, precociously developed. ".
The young girl did not utter a word, she
hid her face in the pillow and cried bitterly.
The aunt, who knew how hysterical girls
feel when their whole system is upset by the
return of the courses, made her take a few
drops of opium, and then left the room, thinking that rest and quietness were the best of
sedatives.
A day of agony followed for the poor girl.
Every noise jarred upon her nerves, the sound
of the round-about drove her to distraction.
If she dropped off to sleep, she woke all of a
sudden, thinking that somebody had come to.
59 taunt her for what she had done. All at once
she saw plainly a gibing face making mouths
at her, then another and still another, and all
the room was full of these grinning, leering
masks; they were horrible to see, she felt that
she was growing mad.
She took some drops of cherry-laurel, she
was again quieted and even dropped off to
sleep; when she awoke she found her aunt's
obnoxious poodle, sitting on his haunches, in
the middle of the room, and watching her.
No sooner wrere her eyes opened than he jumped up, wagged his tail and came to sniff at her
bed, with evident delight. She drove him
off and her heavy eye-lids drooped and closed
again, but not for long. Soon afterwards the
dog had stealthily crept back in the room, got
softly on her bed, thrust his muzzle between
her thighs, and was deftly licking, at the sore
and turgid lips, producing a most pleasurable
sensation. The young girl dreamt that she
was at church and that the priest—in the likeness of St-Sebastian—was imparting his blessing upon her. Unfortunately in the ineffable
moment she woke and saw that bugger of a
6o beast on her bed; she screamed with affright
and forthwith threw the loathsome animal
away from her.
At last night came on, dreaded night, that
filled her with dire apprehension. Little by
little every noise was hushed, silence soon
reigned everywhere, deep silence outside,
hushed silence within. The perfect stillness of
the night was only interrupted by some
snatches of a song coming occasionally from
afar, by the dull barking of a dog at some
hollow distance, by the pulsatory ticking of
the clock in the hall downstairs, which by
its monotonous beatings seemed like the
systole and diastole of the house's heart.
By and by all the occasional sounds outside
ceased, and nothing was heard save a low
murmuring sound, like the cadenced breathing of the town or the low purring of the slumbering earth.
Had it not been for the foolish terrors of the
after-world that religion had instilled in her,
death just then would have been a boon and
a benefit.
Were it not for the priest-craft, would man-
6 i kind feel such a dread to be laid on the soft
bosom of our mother earth, and be for ever
rocked in an eternal sleep ?
Her ideas soon became vague and indistinct, the image of death alone prevailed
over ail others. As she was dropping off to
sleep she with a certain horror roused herjseif
up, fearing lest she was going off into a
trance.
She jumped out of her bed, walked up and
down the room and tried to keep awake.
The looking-glass, in its porcelain frame, on
her dressing table attracted her attention.
She went and sat down in front of it. She
was still pale but her eyes had lost their hol-
Tow look, any how she was languid, weary...
If he came, might he not find her ugly?
*   If he came?    Then she wished, she longed
•for him to come.    44 No no, " said she, half
aloud to herself, as if for greater conviction,
44 if he comes, I shall scream,  I shall rouse
the whole house. "
But he would not come. Midnight was
ringing on the clock downstairs. She shuddered.   He was not coming.    She sighed a
62 deep, mournful sigh, almost a sigh of disappointment.
Thereupon she felt like grasping her heart
in her hand and crushing it, for feeling as she
did.
44 Besides, " thought she, 44 why was he to
come, he had had what he wanted. When
the juice of the lemon is all squeezed out, the
rind is thrown away. " He had got his fill
-of her, henceforth he would gratify his lust
elsewhere.
Still, she knew that people thought her
beautiful, could she have faded away in one
night ?
She looked at herself again in the glass.
How large and lustrous her eyes seemed to
grow as she gazed upon herself; the pupils
seemed to expand, to glow with a luminous
fire. It seemed as if it was he that was staring at her, through her own eyes. She got
frightened, for she felt that she was hypnotizing herself; that a peculiar drowsiness—
which was not natural sleep—was coming
over her.
Mad with terror, not knowing what to do,
63 she ran to the washing-stand and plunged her
hands and then her face into the basin of cold
water. She had succeeded ; the trance was
over.
Half past twelve; he was not coming. It
was useless, making believe that she was
glad, when she was sorry, utterly sorry. It
seemed as if her heart was crushed; she was
yearning for him, why did he not come?
Her longing every moment grew more intense, more unbearable, it had now become
a pain.
Just then she heard a low, a very low kind
of lullaby. Did she hear it or did her ears
deceive her ? She listened, it was louder
now.    No, she was not mistaken.
It was so soft and sweet that it must have
been a snake charmer's song.
Could it have been that Indian air for which
Shelley wrote his magic rhyme ?
The voice was approaching stealthily.
He was coming, he was near.
What was she to do, to run away, to hide
herself, to escape in her aunt's room?
A feeling of dread came  over her;   why
64 had that man such a power over her that
her limbs refused to obey her will?
She heard a slight creaking noise, she knew
that the shutters were being opened.
Now he was getting over the window-sill,
he was drawing her to him. She turned
round ; he was there, naked.
She did not scream, she did not rouse the
Whole house, she did not utter the faintest
sound. He stretched forth his arms, she
threw herself in them, he strained her to his
breast.
He sat down in the red satin arm chair and
took her on his knees. He undid her long
golden hair and scattered it in waves over him.
He entwined her arms about his neck and
taking her head between his hands, kissed
her lips eagerly until her mouth grew incarnadined.
She was at first shy to let the youth undo
her dress, and plunge his hands in it and grasp
her breasts, and toy with her at his will; but
he had only to look steadfastly into her eyes,
and through them dowm into the innermost
depths, then she was at once subdued, and
65 she yielded to all his slightest wishes as if
she had been his slave.
Besides in his rags he might have been a
vagrant; in his splendid nakedness, he was a
hero, a saint, a demi-god.
Little by little he undid her dress more
cleverly than the ablest maid would have
done, and laid her beautiful bosom bare.
How dazzling her breasts looked in their warm
lactean fairness, all tinted with rosy and golden hues ; each nipple looked like a tiny peach
blossom floating in a bowl of milk, with a
slight halo all around it.
Soon she was entirely naked; then their
arms wreathed around each other's necks,
they writhed with thrilling joy, rubbing their
limbs together, murmuring with pleasure, cooing like two amorous doves, and sucking each
other's tongues, rapturously intoxicated with
the scent of each other's body.
And you can understand their passionate
delight, for they were at the age when life is
flush with lust, and the flesh melts away like
wax. She by natural selection was framed
for love ; he was not only very young, but he
66 had hardly ever   tasted the sweetness of a
woman's kiss.
Soon after, her senses shivered with inexpressible pleasure, when he bent down and
with the tip of his tongue titillated her nipples,  making the nerves within  them throb
with an almost unbearable sensation; meanwhile his fingers  deftly   touched her   hair,
flitted over her body, and his toes slightly
tickled the soles   of her naked feet.     Her
whole   body   coming thus  in close contact
with his own, was tingling with excitement,
her brain was giddy, her head was on fire.
Her maidenly modesty was thereupon hardly
shocked when he put his prickle within her
hand, for she hent it with utmost eagerness,
and even began rubbing it against the lips of
her little silt, that now had recovered all its
life and freshness, and was gaping with  lust
to receive it.
But now that she was thoroughly herself,
he wished to initiate her more fully into a
new delight and madden her with lechery
before giving her the utmost satisfaction man
can feel, or woman either; a pleasure he had
67 only tasted the night before, and which he
was again longing to enjoy.
He therefore sat her upon the chair, and
kneeling down before her, took her lovely
legs upon his shoulders, having thus his head
between them. Her thighs being in this
way sufficiently opened, he placed his mouth
upon her slit. For a moment he breathed the
sweet smell that emanated from the golden
hair that grew all around.
It was a smell he knew, the scent of a
plant that grew in his country and bloomed
at Whitsuntide; yes, they called it the snake's
flower.
When he had had his fill of that intoxicating smell, then he kissed those lips eagerly,
and placed the tip of his tongue on the top of
the slit, the most sensitive spot of a woman's
body; he seemed at first to sting it rather than
to caress and soothe it, and again stirred it almost to pain. She screamed for him to stop,
she could not bear it any longer; soon she
found herself swimming in a sea of sensual
bliss, feeling herself floating in regions of
ethereal delight; soon the living berry wept
68 with joy, her nerves fell flaccid and she fainted away with exhaustion.
But the interior of the den of delight was
now demanding its share of satisfaction; it
seemed like a mouth parched with feverish
thirst and craving for a drop of water to wet
its withering palate.
He therefore got up and taking her a-straddle
on his knees, thrust his rod—now stiff and
standing up like a huge mushroom growing
out of a clump of grass—into her cleft. He
was about to slide it in with care but she—
unable to coutain herself any longer—came
down plump and received the greater part of
it in her.
Two reasons, however, brought them for a
trice to a perfect stand-still. The first was
that having hardly recovered from the wound
she had received the evening before she felt
a sharp pain in being thus torn open again.
As for the young man—having had until now
but very few women, and all those being
mature matrons with coyntes like old worn-out
slippers—his glans was hardly unhooded,
so that, as she came down violently on him,
69 he was so painfully wedged in that tight
orifice that he was all but circumcised by it;
this was the second reason. The smart pain,
however, was soon unheeded; she wound her
arms round his neck, he clasped her by the
waist—and they began to pop up and down
whilst he wriggled and shook his buttocks;
then she leaped and he bucked so that
all the remaining bulwarks of her shattered
maidenhood were soon battered and laid
waste and his prickle penetrated up into the
deepest parts, and there—like a jet d'eau—it
squirted forth spasmodically a flood of love's
milky sap. They panted and they sighed,
then they cooed like amorous doves. After a
short rest, without taking out the arrow from
its quiver, they began feeling each other's
flesh; with the palms of their hands they toy^ed
with each other in every possible way, even
biting each other like frolicsome dogs. Soon
they lusted once more, their wits wildered,
and they forthwith began again love's amorous fray. Several were the assaults given,
and different were the sieges and the ways
in which the lusty battles were fought.    The result however was always the same; their
nerves relaxed and the two fighters fell half
dead into each other's arms, for passion had
made them drunk as with wine. Finally,
when for the last time he drew his blunted
sword from her sheath his seed was in her
womb, and my father was conceived.
On the morrow she had however the full
certainty of her fall, and nothing was left to
lessen the keenness of her grief save the
thought that she had thoroughly enjoyed
herself during that night of perfect bliss,
proving thereby the fallacy of Dante's saying :
that no sorrow is greater than the remembrance of happy times in misery.
Still the shame of having given up her
body to the first man that had wanted it was
no less poignant. . The thought that—in her
wakeful state—she had yielded tamely, nay
eagerly, to the stings of desire was an unbearable one.
She had succumbed of her own free will;
would she be able to resist on the morrow ?
Now that she was glutted and surfeited
with  lechery, now that  she   was alone, of course she was strong ; still when she had not
seen him the whole of the livelong day, would
she not welcome him at night?
Pier heart—or rather her innermost convh>
tion—contradicted the lie uttered by her lips.
Moreover, if even she did oppose him on
the morrow, would she do so when love
waxed stronger by absence, and lust was
fanned by abstinence ?
And again : having given him her virginity,
being probably with child.by him, of what
use was resistance, why not have her fill of
pleasure with him ?
What was she then to do, where was she
to seek for help ?
If she went to confess, would not the priest
advise her what to do ?
What advice, what help was there left to
her?
If the church remitted her sin, would the
world absolve her.
No she had lived and loved, she had sinned
and fallen so low, that she was lost for ever.
The drop of water in the dust might be
upheaved  from  the mud by the heat of the sun, but no love can uplift the maid sunken
in the mire. Such is the charity of tender
hearted christian women.
Death was the only escape, the only expiation.
She had an opiate on her table of which
she had already taken a few drops during
the catamenial days. Worried with fear,
mad with despair, she—without any further
thought—took up the bottle and emptied its
contents down at a gulp.
Shortly afterwards when the maid came in,
she found her fast asleep; she tried to rouse
her but could only get from her a few inarticulate groans.    Alarmed, she called for help.
Miss Des Grieux came in, and perceiving
the empty bottle, sent at once for a doctor.
A strong emetic soon brought back the
young girl to life, for the dose of poison she
had taken had only been strong enough to
stun her, but not to kill her; moreover, as she
had been suffering these last few days, the idea
of suicide never came into anybody's head.
When she had fully recovered, she made
a confession of all that had taken place to her
73 aunt. The old maid was of course greatly
shocked and surprised, still she remembered
her own youth with its mishaps, so—instead
of making an outcry over spilt milk as most
of ourshrivelled-hearted, dried-up old virgins
wrould have done—she tried to make the
best of a bad bargain, and used all her efforts
to compose her niece.
These—said she—are things which happen
every day, amongst families where hysteric
women, with strong imaginations and weak
bodies, are like haunted houses, with shutter-
less windows and open doors. It is not your
fatul if you were born like that and not otherwise. Now, as what is done cannot be
undone, we must only patch up the whole
affair as well as possible, and make as little
ado as we can. Therefore leave everything
to me, and you'll see that in a year's time
you'll think no more of the whole matter; in
the meanwhile, the less you brood over it the
better.
The first thing she did was to have her
niece removed to her own apartment beyoud
the young fellow's reach ; then with the help
74 of a calming potion, she left her to restore her
ruffled senses in sleep.
In the evening when her nephew came she
told him that Camille was unwell and that
the doctor had prescribed a speedy marriage
as her only cure.
All the girls of our family, quoth she, are
like forced, hot-house plants ; they are women
at twelve, marriageable at fourteen. By the
will of your fathers and grand-father, you
are—sooner or later—to be man and wife;
why then leave Camille to languish and wraste
away her best years ?
The supper was more succulent and spicy
than usual; a bottle of old Burgundy of a
rare vintage, some truffles and the enumeration of his cousin's charms, the erotic conversation and a few glasses of liqueurs somewhat excited the young man's sluggish senses,
whipped up his cold blood, and kindled his
sensual and salacious imagination.
When he was about to take his leave, the
sly old maid asked him to follow her upstairs and see if Camille was asleep. Young
Des Grieux did so with a slight trepidation, whilst a certain lascivious shivering seized his
whole body, the like of which he had never
felt before, at least for his cousin.
44 Go in gently, go on tip-toe, she is perhaps asleep, and it would be a pity to wake
her, | whispered the aunt.
The young man abashed, hesitated a moment on the threshold, then he stepped in
noiselessly.
The chamber was all but dark; a flicker-'
ing  night-lamp shed a dim rosy light from
above,    The young girl lay asleep in a huge
pink cushioned bed, looking like the princess
in the sleeping tower.
With the fire that had enkindled itself in
the young man's veins, he saw a mass of fair
dishevelled hair, a frail naked arm, a snowy
breast, and the outlines of limbs of passing
beauty only veiled by a fine sheet. The
young man, who had only known the coarse
brawny charms of a stout and squat maid of
all work, with red hands and broad feet,
remained dumb-founded at the sight of such
ethereal beauty.
44 May   I   kiss her    hand,  aunt?   "   ask-
76 ed   the  youth,   trembling from   top to  toe.
Pie—according to the fashion of the time —
had been accustomed to kiss his cousin on
her mouth, and did not know whether it
would not be a breach of etiquette to kiss
her hand.
44 You may do what you like, as long as
you do not w^ake her, " said the aunt with a
tantalizing smile.
The old dame thereupon drew aside to
trim the night lamp, burning so dimly, but
unfortunately, the light went out.
The y^oung man felt rather nervous, finding
himself in perfect darkness by the girl's bed.
He groped about and palped all sorts of
soft places, then he imprinted a hot feverish
moist kiss on a pulpy spot, wThich proved to
be the young girl's breast. She in her slumbers—evidently dreaming of her lover and
feeling the contact of his hot lips on her
skin—clasped his head with her hands and
kissed it repeatedly.
44 Where are you ? " asked the aunt.
44 Here, "replied the youth in a low goatish
voice.   The old maid, feeling her way in the dark, caught hold of his hand, and led him out
of the room.
His blood rushing upwards made him
reel like a drunken man.
44 It is late, " said the wily woman, "moreover I am rather nervous to be left alone, as
the doctor said that Camille might be worse
to-night, a bed-room is ready for you, had'nt
you better stay and sleep here? "
Although the. youth was thinking of the
scullion's huge breasts, her powerful hips and
mountainous buttocks, still he durst not say
no, therefore quivering with excitement he
went to his lonely bed.
The aunt seeing that all the lights were
extinguished, and every one had retired to
rest—the maid with the pretty gardener's
daughter, and the cook with the man-servant
.—betook herself to her niece's room, slowly
undressed herself, and went off to bed.
As the night was very warm, she, contrary
to her habit, did not close the window, nay
she even left the shutters apart.
Of course she tossed about and could not
sleep; not that she was afraid-—for she was a
78 courageous woman, and she knew that the
bell-rope, wherewith she could rouse the
whole house, was at hand—but she felt a
certain trepidation, which even the bravest of
her sex must feel, thinking that from one
moment to another a man—a bold young
scoundrel—might come in from the open
casement. Still such was her fortitude that
she awaited his coming with a lusty heart.
Meanwhile she kept thinking of her niece,
and of the best way to remedy and patch up
what had happened ; she recalled to mind her
own unfortunate past, that day in the country
when hid behind some bushes she saw the
young groom bathing quite naked in the river,
and the fit of quivering that came over her,
when she saw his well-developed mmly
parts. Then she remembered how she went
to see him again and again, then all that
followed.
In the midst of her reflections she heard a
slight noise outside. She turned round and
she saw the shutters open quietly, and a
man's form appear on the sill. At that
moment—with   all  her bravery—fear over-
79 powered her, and she was about to seize the
bell-rope and call for help. Still she managed
to quiet her fright and to wait—and see what
would happen next.
What her niece had told her over and over,
about the young man, happened likewise at
present; he pulled off his shirt, he cast off his
breeches and advanced quite naked towards
the bed; he seemed quite at home in the room.
Is was he, surely it could not be anybody
else.
In an instant he was by the bed, then on
her.
As the night wTas wTarm and sultry, she had
been lying uncovered, with her legs apart and
her thighs well open to enjoy the slight
• freshness of the breeze wrafted in the valley
dowm below. She had nothing on her body
but a scanty chemise, and that was all uplifted
on her stomach.
What was the young man's surprise to
find his prickle slip softly within the bulgy
lips, and disappear in all its length within the
pulpy yielding flesh; he had never believed
that a wroman so tight the day before could
80 have got so wide and baggy in a single day;
his astonishment however increased when he
felt himself clasped tightly and his body
strained against two fat and falling breasts,
which w7ere so different from that budding
bosom or the slight dainty limbs of the frail
virgin he had defkwered and enjoyed on the
previous night.
A moment of bewilderment followed, a
thousand thoughts flitted through his brain,
each chasing the other as snow-flakes on a
stormy day.
He had often heard that marriage changes
a girl entirely, but could she possibly have
grown not only so lax, but so bulky in the
space of a day ?
Was he dreaming, had he gone into the
wrong room, into some other bed? After
pondering over it, he concluded—as you and
I had done—that his mistress had changed her
room and that some other woman had come
here in her stead.
In the meanwiiile he was tightly clasped
and griped and strained and held fast.
His arms, his legs, his whole  body was
m entwined by the strong tentacles of that soft
polypus in which he had plunged so rashly.
Now   the   warm viscid flesh  around  his-
prickle seemed to grow tighter; to glue itself
on it, and grasp it and suck it with lips innumerable.
44 Who are you? " said the voice of the
woman as she bumped herself against him.
44 Answer me at once, " and she wriggled all
her body, so that the hair of their middle parts
came in close contact.
He did not give any answer, but allowed
her to buck at her will.
44 Will y^ou answer at once, who y7ou are,
and how dare you come in the middle of the
night in an honest woman's bed? "
He remained silent.
44 If you do not reply I shall scream, I shall
ring, I shall have you arrested at once. "
Thereupon she clasped him the tighter, and
only moved her buttocks.
44 Excuse me, " said he falteringly,44 but I
am like a ship in distress, that enters the very
first port at hand. "
44 Come, no prevaricating. "
82 44 No indeed, though I am afraid I have
mistaken the harbour, still the anchorage is a
good one... "
The old maid was about to speak, but he
at once stopped her mouth with a kiss. She
began to suck his tongue, greedily, hungrily,
down to its very root, only interrupting herself to beg him not to lift himself up but to
press down with all his might.
It was years since the old woman had
tasted such a dainty morsel, therefore it was
no wonder that she found his basket-weaving
delightful and she gave herself up to it to her
dear heart's content.
After several assaults made frontwards and
backwards, lying, sitting, and standing, the
lust of the youth was abated before her senile
lechery had subsided. Miss Des Grieux then
lighted a night-lamp which gave the faintest
of glimmers, and made the young man relate
his tale.    When he had finished :
44 You see, " said she, 44 I could have you
arrested for burglary, for breaking into a
house in the middle of the night.. "
44 You are right, " quoth the youth ruefully. 44 Moreover, as you have used magic arts—
for I myself had never yielded so tamely if
you had not employed witchcraft or some
superhuman power—I could not only have
you thrust into prison, but have you tortured,
put to death, and burnt for sorcery. "
The youth gave no answer.
44 Still," continued the old maid, u for the
pleasure you have given me, I shall have you
go scot free this time, for surely you will be
hanged elsewhere. Only you must take your
solemn oath never to reveal to any human
being the mischief you have done, and moreover you must leave this town to-morrow. "
The youth was loth to do so, for he loved
the girl he had enjoyed; but when he heard
that she was on the point of death for his
sake, he felt grieved and took the oath that
was required of him.
He begged hard to see her once more, but
the aunt was relentless.
After the promise was given the old dame
brought out a light supper, and set it before
the youth, and while he regaled himself with
half a chicken and a huge piece of pigeon pie,
84 with truffles and mushrooms, his companion
fed on the passing beauty of his athletic limbs.
She poured him out the contents of a bottle
of Burgundy and he quaffed it down with
pleasure, for—although the Hebe was old and
fat—the wine was good. She would willingly have gone for another bottle, hoping
thereby that the tool of delight which was
now so limp and lifeless would lift up its
head, but he refused to drink any more.
vShe patted it and paddled it as it lay*there
so round, so fat and chubby, looking like a
well-fed baby, gorged with milk to the
mouth. She toyed with it and fondled it,
but it was too weary to wake; she tickled it
with one finger, she rubbed it up and down
with two and then with three fingers, with
the whole hand, still it always remained
nerveless and limp. Then she went down
on her knees before it, she rubbed it on her
nipples, pressed it between the parting of her
breast, but it was proof against all blandishments, her caresses were of no avail, nothing
seemed able to rouse it from its torpor.
She made one last effort.    She unhooded
85 it, took the tip, then the whole glans into lief
mouth, and suckled it.
A modest blush suffused itself all over its
face and head; at the same time it grew stiff
and strained itself to action.
She however did not want to see the
work, half done, so she deftly continued to
pump it, to titillate his hair, to rub the edges <
and even to plunge her finger into the hole
behind. Anyhow she worked withsuchmas-
terly skill that at last his whole body was all
aglow, and tingling with pleasurable excitement.
He was about to swoon in a spasm of
delight, when she stopped, got up and introduced it into her slit, which was as burning
and as moist as the hottest room of a Russian
bath. She engulfed it down to its very root,
so that nothing was left out except the twro
balls, looking sheepishly forlorn at not being
able to join in the fray. She puffed and blew
and wriggled, she tweaked him with such
avidity that he forthwith shot into her
a burning liquid that seemed to her like an
explosion of grape shot.   Being so thoroughly
8^ tickled she began to mew like an old tabby
cat, whilst he, sick, shattered and lifeless, fell
on her capacious breast, resting his weary
head on her stout shoulders.
Thus that night memorable in the old
dame's life—came to an end, but she never
forgot the bliss she had felt as long as she
lived.
On the morrow the round-about and its
owner had disappeared.
And the young girl? ■*
At the usual hour she heard, or at least
she dreamt she heard the lover's low and
lusting cadences, all intermingled with words
of burning love; then she seemed to feel his
lips upon her mouth, his breath on her face \
but what was he doing, was he licking her?
She woke and found the horrible poodle
on her bed; nay, she was clasping his loathsome pink and freckled skin within her arms,,
whilst he was trying to commit the most
heinous of sins with her.
She shrieked, almost fainting with fear;
still, having gathered all her strength, she
caught  hold   of the brute, uplifted him and
87 cast him down with all her might. The poor
dog uttered a sound of pain—accustomed to
better treatment—he got up, looked at the
young girl with blank astonishment, and
then went off limping and whining, apparently unable to understand women and their
whims.
Upset in body and in mind as Camille was,
this shock unnerved her quite; she thus lay*
awake the greatest part of the night trembling
and convulsed with imaginary terrors in prey
of anguish and remorse. Heaven had evidently
abandoned her to her fate. This thought
filled her with the deepest dismay and the
most appalling dread; she felt as if she was
going mad.
She took another spoonful of her quieting
draught, and with its help she managed to fall
asleep at day-break.
On the morrow young Des Grieux awoke
with that same longing lust with which he
had gone to bed the evening before, the whole
day the stings of desire seemed to tweak his
nerves, and made his prickle stand on its end.
He passed his day listlessly as usual, all his
88 thoughts bent partly on the vision he had
seen the evening before, and partly on the
little endearments the scullery maid had in
store for him, caresses which made her call
him a little bugger and a dirty pig.
In the evening he again had supper with
his aunt; the viands were more spiced than
usual, the wine itself was drugged; moreover
the old maid—if we can call her an old maid
—kept him talking about Camille's charms
and other erotic subjects, then as soon, as
she saw him thoroughly excited she accompanied him up to the young girl's room.
She had not been many minutes with them,
wrhen she was called away. A neighbour—
a lady friend of hers—had been suddenly
taken ill, and she had been sent for, as everybody knew what an experienced nurse she
was.
44 I have to leave you, my dears, therefore
you must promise to be very good children
till I return. You, Gaston, you can if you
like read to your cousin ; though—on second
thoughts—you had better not, for her head is
aching; try to amuse her till I return. "
89 The young people had not been left long
alone, when the young girl was seized by a
strong pain on the pit of her stomach, somewhere round the navel.
It was a most unfortunate coincidence that
her aunt—who was half a doctor—was  out.
44 Oh, dear! oh, dear! what can I do ?"
quoth Gaston, 44 shall I ring for the servant? "
44 No, no, " moaned Camille, 44 the servants can't help me. " i
The young man recollected what his aunt
had said the day before—i. e. that marriage
would cure all Camille's ailments. He was
willing and ready to help, but he did not
know how he could offer his services.
44 Can you think of nothing? " said Camille
faintly.
44 Cupping? " quoth he ruefully.
44 No, no, besides you do not how to go
about it. "
44 It is true," replied he in a crest-fallen
way.
44 Please hand me that bottle of spirits
of balm,   I  shall try and  rub myself with
it." :*v-
9° 44 Shall I rub you? " he asked with some
trepidation
44 If you like, " moaned the poor girl. Her
suffering was so great, and as pain does
not know bashfulness, she allowed him to
slip his hand under the sheet and directed it
to the aching spot. He at first rubbed with
the tip of one finger, but he only managed to
tickle her and make her jump, so that he found
himself going into all kinds of crooked ways
and hollowr places. Little by little the hand
wras flattened and he rubbed with the palei
of his whole hand.
Soon the spasmodic breathing ceased,
relief was effected, but the cure was not
quite complete.
As he rubbed, the circle of his operations
increased, and the friction soon made the
blood rush from his hand to his heart and then
to his head;.he felt it whirring in his ears,
squirting in his eyes, he could hardly see, he
almost felt tipsy. Soon, almost without
wanting it, his hand, instead of a circle, made
an ellipse, and he felt—with the tips of his
fingers—a soft down like the  first fluff of a young fledgling, before its feathers appear,
or the fur of a new-born kitten. The touch of
that fine hair was so electric that before he
knew what he was about his whole hand had
slipped between the young girl's thighs,
rubbing, grasping, groping what he found
there, and his lips were on her mouth.
44 Gaston, " quoth she, weakly, 44 what are
you about? "
44 Camille, " added he with some slpw of
courage, 44are we not to be man and wife
soon? "
44 Think of the sin and the shame. "
44 Bosh! " said he, thrusting his other hand
in her breast and feeling her flesh.
She feigned to thrust him off from her, but
in a feeble way, managing to throwdownthe
sheet and almost slip out of her shift; moreover she lost strength at every assault, whilst
she only excited him by her struggle and the
sight of her naked charms.
At last doffing off his coat and waistcoat
and letting down his breeches he climbed on
the bed and mounted on the breach.
Thereupon the combat  began anew, and
92 much more to the point. Plowever when she
saw his cock—a very white, unhooded,
smooth and tapering round wedge, better
fitted for the hole of the anus than for a capacious coynte—playing a tattoo on his stomach,
and that for honour's sake he would not run
away like a fox without its tail, she twined
her legs together and did her best to keep
him off; taking care withal that her bosom
might remain bare, and her shift should be
drawn up and show all that could be seen
between her thighs tightly pressed together.
At last—after a long beating about the
bush—she waxed faint from the fray she had
fought, then confessing herself vanquished,
she allowed him to set her legs round his
waist; after this he placed his pointed penis
in the breach, and in less than no time—as he
believed—made away with her maidenhead.
He sighed with pleasure, she cried with
pain; in the meanwhile a noise of sniffing, of
whining and a slight scratching wTas heard at
the door; a keen ear might likewise have
detected a faint rustling of silk wThich ended
soon after in a muffled licking of chops; but
93 they were too busy with their own work to
listen to anything.
Now he puffed and he panted and then he
almost swooned with delight, for the only
woman he had known was a bawdy y^oung
scullery maid, a filly that had been ridden by
the whole neighbourhood.
Camille—after the astringent injections she
had taken only smarted from the wounds she
had received two evenings before—sobbed out
of shame, pain and disgust.
Gaston—having done cock's work—rose
from the bed as elated and vainglorious as a
y7oung chicken that has frittered his father's
old hen and that crows and struts about exulting in the deed he has done.
She—humbled, defeated and disheartened,
loathed herself for having vilely deceived a
man for whom she had always felt a strong
sisterly affection, and sickened at the thought
that she had allowred herself to play the part
of a strumpet, moreover she felt irritated with
him for having been such a fool; she therefore
hid her head in the pillow7, and went off into
a fit of convulsive sobs.
94 . The wily aunt deeming the tragi-comical
play over, bounced into the room, followed
byr her faithful poodle, standing on his hind-
legs, and stretching his head to see what was
going on. The naughty nephew—caught like
a boy plunging his forefinger into a pot of
preserve —was forthwith sent off to bed. Camille was then soothed and quieted, and the
aunt after that went off to bed thinking with
a sigh of the previous night's rapturous pleasure.
Shortly afterwards the marriage of the cousins took place.
And were they happy !.
Is a marriage based on deceit ever a happy
one ?
Their character w7ere similar in many traits,
both, moreover, were suffering from the same
hereditary diseases. They w7ere morbidly
sensitive, quick to feel every trifle with too
great acuteness, magnifying the slightest incidents of daily life with the subtile keenness
of their sickly imaginations into unbearable
misfortunes. Neither possessed any power of
endurance, any wise descrimination, nor that
95 placid calmness, which makes us bear patiently 44 the whips and scorns of time. " Nay,
they only irritated and aggravated each other's
sufferings.
The creaking of a door was enough to jar
upon their extremely hervous sensibility, to
render them peevish and quarrelsome for a
whole day, and finally to make them go to
loggerheads in the evening.
She had made a full confession of her guilt
—not to the husband -but to the priest who
got his perquisites for the absolution he had
given her. The church blessed the bond of
tw7o beings thoroughly unfit for one another,
but their union—fortunately—was a fruitless
one, as the only child which bore my grandfather's name was not of his stamp.
For a few days every month she suffered
from uterine fury, but those days over she
remained listless, indifferent, cold, towards
all men in general and her husband in particular.
Soon she had the mortification of knowing
that a scullery maid was her husband's mistress, she was humbled to think that a servant —who smelt of the stable and the sink—with
red hands and dirty nails, a freckled face and
a fleshy nose, was preferred to her, and though
she almost hated her husband now, still she
was jealous of him.
As for her child, it had been given out to
nurse so she saw but little of it; she felt for it
a fitful love, mixed up with gushing tenderness, fretful remorse and shame, she kissed it
almost harshly for the sake of the man who
had blasted her life, and then thrust it away
from her on account of the sin she had committed.
Every day she spent hours at church kneeling before the image of St Sebastian and during the menses her wits almost wildered with
devotion.
Life soon became unbearable to her, she got
to be more fretful, more peevish, in her morbid sensibility, everything jarred upon her
nerves, every smell was loathsome, every
noise painful; the craving for perfect rest and
forgetfulness grew daily stronger. Soon that
attraction which the abyss has for many
people existed  in   her   for   everything that
97 brought about instant death. The suicidal
mania, predominant in our family, was not to
be resisted any longer.
As she often suffered from sleeplessness,
she had given orders never to be disturbed in
the morning, as she herself used to ring for
her maid when she" wanted her. One day,
however, as no one came and her bell had not
been heard, the maid went quietly to her door
and listened. It seemed to her that she heard
a faint moaning; she tapped lightly, and getting no answrer she knocked a little louder,
still no reply was given. She tried to open,
the door was locked within. Frightened,
she went to inform her master of her fears.
The lock was burst open, the room was
empty, but in a closet near it, a kind of small
boudoir, hung in black velvet, on a low
couch of the same material, Camille—in a
tight-fitting black gauze dress—was found
stretched out lifeless and of a livid palor,
looking like a carved image on a sarcophagus.
Although she was not quite dead—for her
keart was slightly beating—still she was
beyond all medical aid, and the doctor who
98 was summoned in haste confessed that his
science was vain. She lingered for some
hours, and then quietly passed away. On a
table beside her there was an empty phial
which contained opium and a sealed manuscript addressed to her son and only to be
opened by him on the eve of his marriage.
It was written in a high flown, flowery
style, fuJl of high falutin and it contained the
drift of what I have related to you.
Two days afterwrards, unwept and, uncar-
ed for, she was buried according to her
wishes, in the robe she wore, together with
the—all but withered—snow-drops which
her dress,, her couch and her room had been
strewn with*
Though she imagined herself to be growing
plain, stout and dowdy, people still remember
her as a frail, fairy-like, etherial beauty. As
for the cause of her suicide, it was attributed
to the grief she had felt at her husband's
faithlessness.
99  CHAPTER III
My childhood wras a very dull one. I am
hardly certain whether I remember my mother or not, for I was only about two years
old when she died. By an effort it seems to
me that I can recollect having been taken
into a dark hushed room, where she was
asleep—of having been lifted on a couch and
made to kiss her. Her face was as white as
marble, seemed quite as cold; so that the
contact of my warm lips with that clammy^
flesh produced an indelible impression upon
IOI me. Still, I believe that this impression has
lingered in my mind, because these details
have, every now and then, been rehearsed
and related to me. It is, therefore, like the
ghost of a thought evoked from time to time.
Till about ten years of age my life was
passed in an almost claustral loneliness. I
lived in a large rambling two-storied house
together with my father, and his aunt. My
father, however, was almost always absent,
and, besides, he took but little notice of us
when he was at home. My aunt as a rule got
up very late, went daily to the n o'clock
mass so that I hardly ever saw her before
dinner time, at half past one. I had some
toys, but no play-mate. I was pampered with
dainties, surfeited with sweet meats, but as I
took no exercise, I had no appetite, especially for wholesome food.
My days, withal, would have flowed by
monotonously, had it not been for an infirmity of mine, which really tortured my life. I
was terribly frightened of poodles, they were
the bane of my existence. I did not care much
for any dogs in general, but at the sight of a poodle, I grew deathly pale, I trembled from
head to foot, and almost fainted for fear.
Still I can hardly call it fear, for it was more
a kind of loathsomeness, that made me
thoroughly sick, than any apprehension of
danger.
I have been told that my mother—during
her pregnancy—had been frightened by a
poodle that my aunt had at that time, and
that died shortly afterwards,—still can such a
circumstance have produced so great an impression on the foetus in the earlier stages of
gestation? And yet I cannot explain this
infirmity of mine otherwise, for neither my
father nor my mother had any dread of this
particular race of dogs.
As 1 grew older I tried to reason myself out
of this dislike and I have almost succeeded in
overcoming it; now I can even bear the sight
of one of these canine clowns, provided they
do not come unexpectedly bouncing upon me,
which they do so very often.
I have very few recoilectious of those early
years, and those I have are hardly worth
recording.    Still it is astounding how some
102 trifling facts sink deeply into a child's mind
and are never forgotten, whilst many important events pass entirely into oblivion.
When I was about four or five years of age,
I was—as usual—-playing alone with some
blocks of wood, building a tower if I remember rightly. In the same room, there was a
young dressmaker, busy at one of my aunt's
gowns. This girl—who must have been rather pretty— was about 18 or 19, for she was
engaged at the time, and she married shortly
afterwards. I remember the fact because she
brought me a paper of comfits when the wedding took place.
Well—as I was playing, this dressmaker
stopped in her work and looked at me. She
was flushed, her eyes were sparkling, and
her lips wrere very red.
44 Come here, " said she,44 you are a good
boy, are you not? "
44 Yes, " I replied indifferently. 44 Come
then and give me a kiss; I am very fond of
good little boys. "
I looked at her, astonished.
44 Come on, " repeated she, with a husky
ioi voice. I at last went up to her. She caught
my face between both her hands and kissed
me repeatedly and lingeringly on my mouth,
with far more eagerness than I had ever been
kissed. Of course—like most boys—I felt
nothing, and disliked being fondled, especially in that way, for she almost suffocated
me.
44 As you are a very good boy, to morrow
Iil bring you some bonbons, " she saicl.
Then hesitatingly, and after a pause:
4 4 Do you know where I keep my sweeties ?''
44 No. "
44 Well, come nearer, my pet, and I'll show
you,"—her voice was trembling.
I shuffled up to her. She took hold of
my hand and held it tightly by the wrist,
then opening her legs wide apart and uplifting her skirts, she thrust my little fist between
her thighs and pressed it deep between her
soft, warm flesh.
44 I don't think there are any comfits there,
to-day, but look well, perhaps you might
find one or two, you are such a clever little
boy. " I was both astonished and shy ; although I
could not have given any reason for it, still
I instinctively felt that it was a naughty thing
to do. I was therefore going to draw my
hand away, but curiosity retained me^
What I touched wras at the same time warm,
pulpy and moist, nay the farther in my hand
was plunged, the more intense the heat
grew. Moreover to my utter surprise, there
was a lot of hair growing over her stomach
and all around that sticky flesh.
My bewilderment likewise increased when
after a greater exploration I found that she
had no birdie, or a little bag with balls, but
that she had quite a beard instead
In the meanwhile—always holding me by
my arm—she rubbed my little fist in the hot
place—always telling me with a husky panting voice to look for sweeties—till I felt it
get quite wet.
I asked her what she was doing, if she was
piddling on my hand, but she began to pant
and to squeeze my arm tightly. u Ah ! " she
said, with a sigh of satisfaction,44 I've done it,
it was very nice, wasn't it? " She dried my hand on her skirt, or shift,
and taking it out she put it under my nose.
44 Do you like the smell ? " she asked. I do
not know what I answered, or if I did give
her any reply, but I remember that it smelt
fishy, and I smelt it over and over all that
day. I never forgot it, and now whenever
that smell of a woman's coynte mounts to my
nostrils, I always remember the girl I masturbated.
;  44 Haven't  I   a   funny  pussy, " said  she,
44 should you like to see it, my dear? "
I don't think I answered her anything, but
I certainly stared with very round eyes.
At that moment there was a noise of footsteps, for she said to me :
44 If you are a very good boy, I'll show you
my pussy another time. OnlyT mind it's a
secret, and as you are a little man, you must
mind, and never tell secrets. To-morrow I'll
bring you some bonbons. Now go and play'
thats a dear. " Saying this she pushed me
away from her, and resumed her sewing.
I went back to my toys; I played, I smelt
my hand and I chewed the cud of my thoughts. For a long time afterwards I kept thinking
and pondering over the whole affair ; asking
myself whether women have a real pussy
between their legs ; moreover—being always
foud of cats—I should dearly have liked to
have seen it.
Shortly after this event there happened
another one, which—although I have not
exactly cherished it—I could withal never
forget, for erotic words and subjects seem to
cling with a particular tenacity to a child's
mind.
It was a hot summer day, and I was lounging listlessly in the hall down-stairs, the door
of which—opening on the street—was ajar.
My aunt had gone to vespers, as usual, and
had promised to bring me a pretty pair of new
boots, if I was a very good boy during her
absence.
In the hall, over the door opposite the entrance, there wras a huge stuffed vulture, perched—with outstretched wings—on a stand.
This bird—as you know—belongs to our
crest, and I had therefore been brought up to
feel a certain veneration for it; why, I really
108 cannot tell. To me it has always been the
type of cruelty and rapine.
All at once, as I was playing, I turned
round, and saw two boys standing at the
door, looking at the bird, and making—as
thought—all kinds of irrelevant remarks
about it, and laughing. They were two ragged street arabs, about twelve or fourteen, little
men in comparison to myself.
As they could not see the bird, they
advanced a step or two within the hall. I
was alone—for the servants wTere either in
the kitchen or up-stairs—still I peremptorily
ordered these two young vagrants out of the
house.
44 Is it your house? " said the elder mockingly.
44 Of course it is, " said I, sternly.
A marmot who has a house of his own, "
said the younger laughing at the absurdity^ of
the statement.
44 Out from here, " added I, with a grand
gesture of the hand.
44 Your house ? " continued the big boy cyn-
cally, then taking his pizzle out of his ragged
109 breeches* and shaking it, 44 this is yours,
baby, and you can come and suck it if you
like. "
44 You have bought the house with this, "
said the other boy imitating the example of
his friend, and splitting with laughter, 44haven't you, baby? "
I rushed at them in a mad rage, and my
anger must have made me seem formidable,
for the two imps turned round and took to
their heels.
I had remained the victor without fighting,
for the two vagrants—double my size—had
fled before my fury, and still I was humbled,
crushed, annihilated. Almost out of my senses
with the stinging shame I felt, I threw myself
on the floor and burst into a fit of hysteric
sobs. I was found there soon afterwards by
my nurse who vainly coaxed me to tell her
what had happened; she summoned all the
other servants and questioned them, but nobody knew anything, or could make me utter
a word about the matter, for when I tried to
speak, the image of the elder boy, shaking his
unhooded  brown prickle  at me tauntingly, not only closed my mouth but made me burst
into another fit of convulsions.
Their words : 44 This is yours, come and
suck it, " and : 44 You have bought it with
this, '' were constantly ringing in my ears for,
days afterwards : I even heard them at night
iu my dreams. For the first time, at about
four or five years of age, I found that life was
not worth living, and death just then would
have been a relief; nay, such was my morbid
sensitiveness that I found it a hard task to
bear my shame.
When my aunt came home, she inquired
what was the matter with me, and she was
told that I must have been terrified by some
stray poodle.
She brought me the little boots she had promised me. I remember them after a lapse of
more than twenty years, the tops were of
brown yellowish kid and the lower part of
patent leather.
. As my nurse tried them on, I saw—in my7
imagination—the elder boy, standing in front
of me, shaking his tool menacingly. I at once
burst into another fit of convulsive sobbing.
111 44 Just look at your pretty little boots, " said
the nurse coaxingly, 44 auntie has nought then
for you, and now they are yours. "
It seemed as if she actually laid a stress on
the words emphasized by the street boy, only
to taunt me. I thereupon kicked my ligs veo-
lently, for the boots had become obnoxious
to me and I did not want to keep them on.
In fact—since that time—I have not only
disliked such boots, but even the people who
w7ore them.
Althongh—after a few days—I managed
to get over the loathsomeness I felt for life,
still that trivial incident has never been forgotten.
Another fact that also impressed me at that
time was the peculiar copulation of a dog and
a bitch. I happened to be at the dining-
room window when I witnessed the astounding sight.
Our house—as you know—overlooked a
kind of yard, and as its inmates always afforded me great interest, I passed'many hours of
the day watGhing them.
It therefore happened, at the time I speak of, that the owner of one of the booths possessed a dog—a peculiar animal with many
long pointed breasts—which I could not
help noticing, as it was ever pestered by all
the curs of the neighbourhood. One day as
I went to the window I saw that, and another dog, tied together—as I imagined—by
their tails and they could not get free from
one another.
The two pitiable animals were howling, for
the children—cet age est sans pitie—were
throwing stones at them.
It was a rare sight, so I called everybody
to hasten and enjoy it. As soon as my nurse
perceived the two dogs, she snatched me up,
cuffed me soundly, sent me off from the window, and told me if I ever looked upon such
things again, my eyes would drop out of my
head.
I therefore began pondering. Why I was
a naughty boy? I had not tied the dogs
together; and, if I looked at them, why
were my eyeballs to fall clean out of their
sockets ?
Perhaps the dogs had not been tied, per-
ii3 haps I ruminated they had stuck their tails
into each other's bottoms, just for fun; that
of course would not have been a thing to be
looked at. It was a riddle which I only solved many years afterwards.
At about ten my father sent me to school.
Never having had any playmates of my own
age,Iwras as shy as a girl, and on that account
mercilessly plagued and made fun of. The
little boys called me 4< Mademoiselle, "and
the big ones tormented me. They used to
catch me from behind, and clasping me,
they began bumping their middle part against
my bum, asking me how I'd like it. Thereupon all would laugh. Of course I did not
understand what they were hinting at, but I
felt sure that in their words there was some
hidden meaning which I could not fathom.
Nevertheless I used to blush scarlet, having
half an intuition that they wanted to do something naughty.
After some time I got to be great friends
with one of my school-fellows and he then
explained to me what those horrible boys,
wanted to do.    It was he who informed me
m one day, as a great secret, that girls had no
birdie as we had.
44 No, of course they haven't " quoth I,
proud to show my own knowledge, 44they
have a pussy instead. "
44 A what? " asked he, astonished.
44 Why, a pussy with lots of hair. "
He burst out in a loud fit of laughter, tickled at that peculiar idea of mine.
I felt hurt to see him laugh so foolishly
and remonstrated with him, but all I said was
in vain.
44 No, no, " said he, '4 you are wrong, you
can call their little hole a pussy if you like,
still you maybe sure that they have no hair. "
I looked at him superciliously, and was
about to walk away.
44 What they have, " continued he, 4l is a big
bum behind, and another little one in front,
but no fur. "
I would not vouchsafe any explanation as
to where I had got my knowledge, for although I had never seen what women have
between their legs, still I had felt the bushy
hair, and that was enough for me.
ii5 Anyhow he understood that I was staunch
in my belief, and he therefore took the first
opportunity he could find to convince me of
the truth of his assertion.
Shortly after this confab we happened to
be in his garden, behind a hedge of thick
gooseberry bushes, quite a secluded little
leafy dell, discussing erotic subjects.
Hearing his younger sister's voice, he called
her to him, then, catching hold of her, he
threw her on the grass, lifted up her skirts,
opened her drawers, showed me the rosy flesh
between her thighs, that tiny cleft bordered
by two pale lips, like a long mouth, which
contorted into grimaces as she tried to free
herself from his clutches.
He however sat astraddle on her stomach,
and with the tips of his fingers opened the lips.
I sank down on my knees and looked within^
astonished to see the numerous folds of living
flesh.
44 You see "—quoth he, 44 that girls have
no hair as you thought. "
I had to give in, there was no gainsaying
facts. 44 Put your finger in and see how moist it
feels, " said he.
I should, in fact, have liked to continue my
explorations but the girl began to screech
so loud that we had to let her go.
From that day, with other girls and boys
of our own age, or thereabouts, we often
compared notes, we measured whose pizzle
was the thickest and the longest, whose
unhooded most, and above all who could
piss the farthest and the highest. It was a
triumph indeed to see that water spout up as
high as our heads, and sparkle in the sun like
real oriental topazes. The girls—I know—
envied us such a feat; but then they did
what we could not, they filled up their little
goyntes with pebbles, for how far does human vanity not reach!
Another delightful thing was to get some
girl to lie across our knees, to open her pants,
and slap her buttocks till it made our hands,
as well as those quiescent lobes, red as poppies, hot as ovens, and tingle with pain ; stil-
we found an unexplainable pleasure in the
sound cuffs we gave, for it almost made our
m tiny prickles stand on an end. This amusement, however, was the beginning and the
cause of all my troubles in after-life.
One day, we were interrupted in the very
midst of our sport, I remember all the little
details of the scene, as if they had happened
yesterday; shutting my eyes, and slightly
rubbing the lids, I evoke the flushed faces
of all my playmates.
It was on a warm spring day; we were in
our favourite secluded nook, that grassy path,
44 with daisies powder'd over, " between
the hedgerows of gooseberry bushes, in the
old fashioned garden. We had, on either
side, a wall of glossy green leaves; over head
the brown bunches of some old cherry trees,
all covered with bunches of wild blossoms,
and little greenish or browish leaflets, and
as the fresh breeze wafted its scented breath
through the entangled boughs—a snow
storm of soft petals came fluttering, showering down; white butterflies chasing each
other flitted around us. The blithe birds
warbled or twittered on the branches and in
the bushes; some in long amourous strains
118 others trilling merrily with' mad delight,—
whilst a few added their short and jerky notes
which blended themselves in harmonious unison to the great concert, whilst the grave
enckoo seemed to be slowly keeping time to
them all.
My school-mate was squatted on the sod,
having his sister's friend across his knees.
He had lifted up her white petticoats, pulled
open her cambric pants and exibited twTo
rounded lobes of flesh, like a large melon cut
in two, only that the colour instead of being
orange yellow was of a faint pinkish tint.
To our delight he opened the twro lobes
widely apart, and thus discovered the little
browish dot of her tiny hole, and, forthwith,
tried to force his finger into it. The aperture,
however, was too small, and as he thrust his
index brutally within it—saying that he was
planting a May-pole—the poor child screamed with pain.
44 Sotte) " said he, and pulling out his finger he gave her such a smacking slap, that the
white flesh was at once flushed, leaving the
incarnadine sign of his five fingers.   The first
IIQ blow had been, too strong and unexpected;
the girl uttered a faint cry, at which we all
clapped our hands in high glee.
44 Ah ! you are mewing are you, " said the
boy excited, and he immediately gave her another and much stronger slap. The girl uttered a shriller cry, at which we all capered for
j oy, in a kind of wild dance.
All at once my friend's eldest sister, a girl
of 18, appeared arm in arm with the young
man to whom she was engaged, at one end
of the flowery path. On the other outlet we
saw an old aunt—a prim, gaunt, weazened,
methodistic spinster, a real methusalah in petticoats—who had always looked upon us as
a hellish brood.
Fancy how sheepish, and crestfallen we
looked as we held our little pizzles in our
hand, and pissed as high as we possibly could.
My friend was whipped before us, we—his
guests—were sent home in disgrace.
I was soundly, thrashed by my father, lengthily lectured to by my aunt, then scolded by
my nurse.
She told me that my hands would wither away if I ever played with my little birdie
again, for God—the Ever-Lurking-Spy—
always sees little boys when they do such
naughty things. He curses them on earth, and
—as. He never fails to write down what ever
they do in His big book—He sends them to
hell when they die, where they wriggle about
with worms in ever consuming flames.
4 4 With poodles ? "    I asked.
44 Surely, " quoth she.
Then to impress her words more firmly
on my mind she showed me several pictures
of sinners wallowing in the bottomless pit.
After that, I was sent supperless to bed,
where—when I fell asleep—I raved feverishly
the whole night, fancying that I was scampering as fast as I could, trying to escape grim
Jehovah—running after me with a switch—
and ever and anon, stumbling from giddy
heights, then suddenly awaking to find myself in bed.
Terror-haunted, full of anguish, my heart
bursting with contrition, motherless and
almost fatherless, feeling in the Christian-like
way  I was brought up—that I  was a dis- grace to myself and to all who knew me,
hated by God and man, on account of my
manifold sins, I not only wished myself dead,
but I think I would have committed suicide
had I known how to bring about my end.
My aunt—who was positively weary of me
—seized this as a good opportunity for declining any further responsibility in my education, and persuaded my father to put me out
as a boarder in some school.
I had hitherto dabbled in early vice thoughtlessly and without malice. In that hot-bed
of rottenness—a French boarding-school—I
soon learnt all the secrets of life, and still—
strange to say—it was not by my schoolfellows.
For several reasons I was not placed in the
dormitory with the other.boys. First I was
very young, secondly there was no bed vacant,
thirdly my story having been related to the
head master, he had been requested to have a
sharp look out on my morals; for I was described as a black sheep with the very worst propensities. I was therefore put to sleep with
one of the nurses, a stout masculine-looking woman, past the canonical age. A screen
however, divided the room into two compartments.
One sultry summer night, I awoke feeling
very hot and feverish ; parched with thirst I
got up to see if I could find a glass of water.
Besides the rays of the moon in her zenith,
the early gloaming shed its mellow light in
the room. There was no water on my night
table, I erossed over on her side, to see if I
could find any there. The nurse w7as lying
on her back, her legs somewhat apart, her
thighs open, her slit uplifted. All her middle
parts were therefore entirely bare. In that
pale amber light her skin looked as wmite and
as smooth as newly carved ivory. 1 should
almost have felt iuclined to pass my hand over
it had my eyes not fallen, at once, on the
dark fleece, which covered half of her thighs
and almost reached up to her navel.
I was so thoroughly astonished, that I forgot my thirst, I forgot the reason for which I
had got down from my bed; I stood there for
a while, staring at her with widely-opened
eyes.
I23
mem This woman possessed a pussy, and there
was no mistake about it. How I wished my
friend had been with me, I might have convinced him of the truth of my assertion, for
although little girls—as a rule—had no hair
around their slit, women had a regular fleece
there.
And yet I hardly believed my eyes, it
seemed impossible that she could have
such a lot of hair in that place and no beard
on her chin, though she had a slight moustache.
As the nurse was sound asleep and suoring
loudly, I thought I might just try and see if the
hair grew there naturally or if it was a kind
of bib to cover her shame. I just passed my
hand lightly, tremblingly, over the fur, it was
long, crisp and curly; it seemed to grow there.
The nurse continued her rumbling noise : I
therefore just caught hold of one or two hairs
and pulled them slightly. All at once she
gave a kind of snort, moved, and her hand
came down upon nime. I slipped away my
hand, popped down quickly and crawled
noiselessly under the bed.
i?4 44 Guillaume, " said.she, stretching out—I
believe—her arms in her sleep.
After a pause :
44 Guillaume, where are you? "
Of course I gave no auswer. By the noise
the bed made, I knew that she had turned
on the other side. Soon she was again fast
asleep, for although she did not suore, she
was puffing rhythmically.
I was about to leave my hiding place, when
I heard a slight noise ; some one was actually
turning the handle of the door. It opened
without creaking.
Lying flat on my stomach, I could see the
legs of a barefooted man, standing on the
• threshold.
How I did shiver and quake. I of course
concluded that it must be a burglar, coming
to murder us. I did not stop to think that the
man was in his night gown. My first impulse
was to scream; but fear, and the instinct of
self-preservation, made me keep quiet.
If I only had had a sword, I might
have cut off his two feet and toppled him
down. The man came close to the side of the bed
and stopped for a minute.
What was he doing ? My heart was giving
some mighty thumps. Perhaps he was smothering the nurse with her own bolster like
the little princes in the tower. Presently I
heard a sound, but it wras very much like a
kiss, then another and still another.
No, I could not be mistaken.
44 Oh! Guillaume, is it you, so you're
come. " Thereupon she moved on one side,
as if she was making place for him.
But then, thought I, this man is no burglar;
moreover she was expecting him.
Who could he be?
In the whole house there were several Guil- -
laumes, one of the older boys, one of the
junior masters, and a sturdy Auvergnat of a
servant man were all Williams, which of
them was the conqueror ? Moreover wras he
so very foud of this old virago that he had
stealthily crept into her room like a thief,
only to kiss her?
Whilst I was lost in these surmises, I saw
his bare legs and feet disappear, and by the,
126 noise of the mattress—evidently crushed
down—I guessed that Guillaume had got into
the matron's bed.
A moment's silence followed; a more expert
ear might have detected the straining of muscles, the clasping of naked flesh; mine did
not. Then succeeded a suppressed smacking
of kisses, together with an interrupted conversation in hushed and husky tones.
What could they be talking about ? I strained my ears but I could not catch the slightest
syllable.
Soon the mattresses were set in motion,
to which a slight and almost musical creaking
of the bedstead kept time. They evidently
disliked this rhythmical accompaniment, for
they tried to strain the wooden frame to make
it stop, but the jerks they gave it, as well as
their curses, were of no avail, on the contrary
the noise grew ever louder. It was now a
regular cadence of bumping and plunging,,
something like a continuous kneading of
dough, marked at intervals by a sound like
that of a horse's hoof drawn out of the mire.
My wildest conjectures were too vague to allow me to form any plausible supposition
as to what they were about.
Little by little the bucking and pounding
as well as the creaking increased both in time
as well as in strength. From an adagio it
had got to be a presto, then a prestissimo. I
was dreadfully frightened lest the whole bedstead would come down upon me and crush
me. I therefore crept to the farthermost end
Of the bed, and kept ready to slip out, if the
slightest accident happened.
When there I heard the nurse whisper to
Guillaume to take care lest he might wake
the marmot—that wras me—with the noise he
. was making.
44 The devil take the brat, " muttered the
conqueror,44 it is time he was got out of your
room. "
Thereupon the thumps and thuds increased,
then a puffing and panting, intermingled
with grunts of satisfaction, and wriggles
which seemed more of pleasure than of pain,
together with an undescribable gurgling.
Then in a suppressed sotto voce : There
I'm doing it, ah!—louder, shudderingly—I'm
128 doing it, ah !—and after a slight pause he added in a more tremulous and louder voice—ah !
I've done it. Then some panting, a few
seconds of silence—during which I asked
myself what Guillaume had done—and he
added with ineffable satisfaction :
Ah! futtering is after all the only thing
worth living for in this world.
How those words impressed me. I repeated them over and over to myself, and for days
afterwards they kept ever ringing in my ears.
I had found out what Guillaume and the
nurse were doing.    They were futtering.
Yes, but what was futtering ?
I had often heard common people use the
word foutre, either when they were much
astonished or very angry. I knew it was a
trivial word. I likewise had heard an idiot
called 3. foutre or ajeanjoutre, that likewise
was low. Moreover a man that w7as dead
or done for, w7as said to be foutu. To futter
some one was—I had hitherto believed—to
thrash a person. How could it then follow
that 44 futtering was the only thing worth
living for ? "
129 After a lengthy pause the man added. 4 4 But
you did not enjoy it, did you? "
Now that Guillaume spoke in his natural
voice, I w7as all but certain that it was the
junior master.
The matron added at once :
44 No, since that sacred brat has been put
in my room, I never feel at ease, and all my
fun is spoilt. "
44 Yes, he's a little curse. "
44 I'm always so frightened that some day
or other heil wTake, and then there'll be some
bother. "
44 Oh! he always sleeps like a top. "
44 I'm not quite so sure of that, he's such a
little sneak. For instance just before you
came in, I am sure I felt a hand on my coynte. "
How I pricked up my ears at the word.
44 Pier coynte ! " Then the fur all round her
slit, thought I, is called a coynte and not a
pussy as the dressmaker told me.
44 Well and then? " asked Guillaume.
44 Nothing; only I thought it was you. "
44 Perhaps, " added I to myself in a mental
monologue, 44 there are two names for the same thing, just as some boys call a birdie a
handle, " any how, in my soliloquy I kept
repeating the new word lest I might forget it.
44 And you did not go to see if he was in
his bed?" was the master's query,for he was
always fond of putting everlasting questions.
44 No, I turned the other side, and I went
off to sleep."
44 Then you must have been dreaming. "
44 Yes I suppose so. "
After that they kissed, then the bed creaked again, and she added :
44 No, no, you had better go awray now, it
is almost broad daylight, you came so late. "
44 Yes, I over slept myself."
Some more kissing took place, then he
jumped down, did something to her, but I
don't know what, then they kissed again.
44 Ta, ta,—on Wednesday next, " ;said he
at last.
44 Yes, " added she, drowsily wallowing on
her bed.
The man crept away on tip-toe. He opened the door noiselesly, cast a glance on either
side of the passage then sidled out.
m From where I was I could see him quite
well now, I had not been mistaken in my
thoughts; it was the junior master, he taught
history and mathematics.
I did think it somewhat strange that the
matron should call him Guillaume when
everybody called him Mr Durieux, but then
there were so many other things to astonish
me that this incident was soon forgotten.
I waited just a little and I heard the nurse
snore—as she always did when she slept—
then glided out of my hiding-place, crept on
all fours round the screen and thus went back
to my bed. There, it did not take me long
to fall asleep.
It was late when I woke, nay the nurse
was tugging atme to rouse me from my overpowering drowsiness. But what was she
saying : The words I heard were : Futtering
is the only thing worth living for, " and I
believed I repeated them in an inarticulate
way.
44 Get up, it's late, " added the nurse, giving
me another shake.
I opened my  eyes,   the matron w7as there
i;2 standing beside me, but instead of her face I
saw her huge pussy; and I kept muttering
the above quoted phrase to myself.
I must have looked at her with scrutinizing
astonished eyes, for the virago seemed for a
moment quite abashed.
44 Why are you looking at me so surprised? " she asked.
44 Oh! nothing. "
44 Still, you seem so bewildered, " added
she coaxingly.
441...    I think I've been dreaming. "
44 About what? my pretty pet! "
44 I...    I don't think I remember. "
44 Now just suppose you' try a little. "
I was itching to ask, still I durst not.
4 4 Come, you are a darling of a child, do try
and think what it was. "
I paused for a moment, then encouraged by
her loving words, and prompted by the curiosity I felt:
44 MrsLachand... " said I, with a fluttering
heart and a trembling voice.
44 Well? my love. "
4 4 Please, will you tell me what futtering is ?"
133 1 shall never forget the transformation that
woman's face underwent. From sweet benevolent cozening look, it changed into the
ugliest of grim scowls.
She lifted up her hand and gave me a
smacking slap, then in a hissing undertone :
44 You dirty, sneaking wretch, ah! you want
to know what futtering is, well I'll show you. "
Thereupon she turned me on my back and
pulling up my night-gown she began to thrash
me mercilessly, nay the more she struck, the
greater pleasure she felt, and the smarter were
the blows she gave.
44 Now I hope, you've been frittered to you
heart's content, and it'll be enough for a long
while, but next time y^ou ask such a thing, I
won't thrash you, IT1 simply take you by
your ear, just as you are, in your night-gown,
and drag you to the head-master, before all
the boys. We all know what a filthy imp
you were when you came to us, so he'll expell
you from school at once.
Of course I was sobbing piteously during
her speech, so she shook me several times to
make me stop, then she began again.
J34 44 Just say such a word again, and your
tongue'll wither in your mouth. Don't you
know " you wretched child that you make the
good God cry w7hen you say such words.
You are old enough to understand that if you
make the good God so angry, he might in his
wrath strike you dead for ever. "
44 And a day after, " said I to myself, mentally.
Her scolding and my whimpering were
both suddenly stopped by the sound of the
drum. It was the second signal, so I ought
to have already been combed, washed and
ready to join my school fellows who were
marching down to their morning studies.
The nurse soused my head in a basin of
water, anxiously bidding me at the same
time to forget the terrible word I had uttered,
and that for this time she would not speak to
the masters, then she helped me to put on my
dirty uniform.
All haste was however useless, I was
twelve minutes late, therefore I was noted
dowm and got fifty lines to copy during the
play hours.
i \~- Dull, dispirited, and muddle-headed as I was,
smarting from the blows I had received, it
was no wonder that I again began to blubber.
Besides it was a wretched feeling to think
I was so atrociously wicked that whatever I
did and whatever I said made my Heavenly
Father snivel, and that it was a mercy my
eyes did not drop out of their sockets, my
hands grow paralyzed, my tongue wither to
the root. Then in my forlorn state I felt a
kind of homesickness, I longed for a little love,
for a few kind words.
Why had my mother killed herself and left
me alone in this world ?
This thought brought on another.   J
44 Perhaps, " said I to myself, 44 she did not
know the only thing worth living for. " I
tried not to think of the word 44 futtering, "
but my lips uttered it almost against my will.
She probably, like myself, did not know this
pleasure, and then surely life was not worth
a rap.
In fact, was I not the most miserable wreech
in the whole school? The boys pestered me
because I slept in  the  matron's room, and
i Vi asked me all kinds of silly questions. There
I spoilt all the nurse's fun; in fact, since my
birth I always seemed to be in everybody's
way, a burden to myself and to all who had
anything to do with me.
The day dragged on most drearily, for
although I knew my lessons well, I was so
listless and muddled, that I always answered
wrongly. The upshot was that I got two
hundred lines more.
In my despondency I was glad wrhen night
came on, my bed—a child's bugbear—wras a
real haven of rest. Although I intended
remaining awake, just to see if anything
would happen,still,no sooner was my weary
head on my pillow, that I went off to sleep.
I only slumbered lightly, for I woke when
the matron came in, and again I woke when
she wallowed in her bed. As in a dream I
heard the clock strike one, then I was conscious of a slight noise, the door of the room
was opened and some one came in.
In spite of all my curiosity, I durst not turn
round, nor move; I felt sure the matron wrould
be listening to hear if I was awake. In fact she soon uttered a low hissing soud,
then she jumped out of her bed.
The man evidently stopped where he was.
44 Is it you, Guillaume? " she asked in a
whisper.
44 Yes, "—in an undertone.
I was lying flat on my stomach, my face
turned to the wall, as quiet as a mouse*
Though young, there was however guile
enough in me to make me understand that she
had come to make sure of my being asleep.
Not wanting to get into more trouble but
anxious to know—if possible—what futtering
was, I began to breathe softly and slowly,
even puffing every now and then as sleeping
persons usually do. She patted me lightly,
called me byT my name, asked me if I wanted
to do pi-pi, but seeing that I did not budge,
she, was thought I—as our Latin books have
it—in Morphens' arms. She therefore left me
and went to meet Guillaume, who—as I
surmised—was always standing at the door.
As soon as they were together, they began
to whisper in that same low husky, somewhat
nasal, tone, but I could not hear what they
133 said. By degrees they got more excited and
their tones grew louder, and as I listened it
did not seem to me that the man's voice was
that of Mr Durieux, although this Guillaume
—whoever he was—spoke likewise in a
goatish way.
But what could they be doing so long together ? I turned my head as much as I could,
I strained my eyes to their utmost corners.
They were, now, standing close^ together
kissing. She was holding his pizzle, and—I
think—rubbing it. He had uplifted her shift
and his hand was between her legs. He must
have been patting her pussy.
I twisted my head round a little more, now
I could see them pretty well, it was not Guillaume Durieux, the junior master, but Guillaume Chretien, a senior scholar, a young
Marseillais of about 17, the sturdiest fellow
of the whole school.
They seemed to be enjoying their little
game, so I asked myself if this was futtering,
Or if it was only the preliminaries. After
they had been amusing themselves a little in
that way, they both disappeared behind the
*39 screen, and—by the noise they made—it was
evident that they had gone to bed together.
They at first kept quiet for some time, and
—in the meanwhile—I began to ponder.
How was it that the good God—who is
always horrified at what children do—allows
this matron to go to bed every night with
another William ?
Can he wink at such doings, does he smile
at their pranks ?
Surely if he has to cry at all the naughty
things children do, and the dirty things grown
up people indulge in, why then his own
life is not worth living.
Meanwhile the two in bed were rehearsing
the little game that had been played the evening before. They first proceeded quietly,
like a sleam-engine just started, but after a
few strokes, the speed of the piston-rod in*
creased rapidly.
It was the same thumping and bumping,
the same inarticulate sounds of puffing and
puffing, of breathing painfully and panting
pleasurably, even the same hoarse gurglings,
to which the thuds on the mattress, the creak-
140 ing of the hinges, the straining of the wooden
bed kept rhythmic time.
Evidently they were having their fill of
pleasure—for surely they wTould not take so
much trouble for nothing—therefore I concluded that they were doing the thing worth
living for.
My curiosity^ had risen to such a pitch of
excitement that I could hardly keep still any
longer, my cra\ ing to see them futtering was
irresistible; I was even ready to put myself
into jeopardy to gratify my thirst for this forbidden knowledge.
My first plan was to slip on the floor quietly, and go and peep round the screen, but on
second thought I concluded it would be
better to stand on the bed and look over that
partition of paper.
I therefore got up quietly, holding myself
—as well as I could—to the w7all, and making as little noise as possible,—as I was very
light the bed did not make the slightest sound.
For a little w7hile I could not understand
much of what I saw, but by degrees 1 perceived that the matron was lying on her back
er and Guillaume was upon her. They were
both moving up and down.
44 This, " thought I, 44 is the beast with two
backs that the boys had once been so much
amused about. "
Straining my eyes, holding my breath, I
advanced cautiously towards the edge of the
bed. I now saw that she had her fat legs
entwined in his, whilst both were clasped in
each other's arms.
44 There, there, " said she, 44 move a little,
but don't pull yourself up, there, like that
push it in as far as you can, ah ! "
In my eagerness to see, I bent just a little
forwards, when—all at once—the mattress
gave way under my feet, and lo ! I slipped
and fell with a tremendous thud on the floor.
Although 1 hurt my head and bruised my
back, I durst not utter a moan, still I could
not help whimpering a little as I tried to
extricate myself from the sheet, but before
I could get up the matron was by my
side, clapping her hand on my mouth and
almost smothering me, for fear I might
scream.
i+^ 44 What's the matter with you,  you little
monster ? " She hissed in my ear.
I   44 I... I fell out of my bed. "
44 Oh ! yen fell, you toad "—and catching
hold of my hair she shook me violently —44 and
. how did you manage to fall, pray ? "
'  441... I don't know, I think I slipped, " I
answered gasping.
44 In your sleep? " said she relenting.
44 Yes, I think I was dreaming. "
44 Oh ! you were dreaming poor dear, were
you ? " added she in a soothing voice, kissing
me.
Thereupon she helped me to get back into
my bed, she tucked me and then bade me go
off to sleep.
I had seen what I wanted, though perhaps
not quite as much as I should have liked; of
course I could not go off to sleep after that.
For a while they kept very silent, then—
after some time—I heard the matron come up
to my bed. I did exactly wThat I had done
before. She called me again by my name.
I did not vouchsafe any answer. She then
went back to her bed.
143 44 Now you had better go, " said she
gruffly.
44 Oh ! let me slip it in once more, " rejoined he, coaxingly.
Within myself there was the mental query
—What did he want to slip in, and where
did he want to slip it ?
4< No, no, not to-night. "
44 Oh ! but that cursed toad spoilt every
thing just when I was going to shoot. "
I asked myself rather frightened : What
was he going to shoot ?
44 So I felt nothing. "
44 And do you think I felt ? "
44 We'll just let me try another shot, "
added he, always coaxingly.
44 No, no, you've been here too long already,
that'll never do, you might be missed, and
then there'll be a row. "
44 No, no, on Tuesdays Durieux sleeps like
a top. "
I could hardly help chuckling. There
were many things I did not know, but one
thing that I did know was why Durieux
slept like a top on Tuesdays.
144 Then came a good deal of coaxing and
kissing but still the matron was inflexible.
44 No, " said she peremptorily, 44 it's useless,
but I'll tell you what, if youlike, you can faire
minette tome, that can be done noiselessly. "
This was a new wonder for me. What
were they going to do? They were almost
mewing like old cats, were they going to be
noiselessly frolicsome like kittens ? I did
wish they would let me join in their little
game. Then t asked myself if I could do
minette to the nurse ? I durst not move any
more, for I felt sure their rage would be ungovernable if I spoilt their fun a second time.
Whatever this game wTas they kept quiet
for some time, then there was some wriggling
and wallowing, a great deal of strong breathing, the nurse seemed to be having stomachache, then a subdued sighing as if the pain
was over, and all was silent for a few minutes.
Thereupon I think they rose.
44 Did you enjoy it? " quoth he.
44 Fichtre I " in a decided tone.
44 I did it nicely, didn't I ? "
m 44 Very. "
44 Then, "—some low words in a longing
tone which I could not understand.
.   44 Go away yen pig. "
44 How hard you are.  "
44 Do yrou want the toad to jump out of his
bed and catch us at it, then the whole school
will be roused. "
44 Then on Friday? "
\   44 Yes. "
He thereupon went to her basin, wet his
face and seemed to be washing or rincing his
mouth. The first Guillaume had not washed
himself.
Query I. Had it anything to do with the
pussy game ?
Query 2. Do people always wash after
playing pussy !
For some evenings I slept like Mr Durieux
did on Tuesdays and I suppose Chretien on
Wednesdays. I never heard anything, never
woke at all. I had—I think—caught cold, a
very slight cold indeed, for I did not perceive
it, but the matron who had grown exceedingly fond of me, said that I coughed in .the
146 night and that I breathed with a wheezing
sound, so she made me take a cup oPtea before going to bed. It was very good and
sweet, of pansies and orange leaves—she said
—but I was not to mention it to the other
boys who would be jealous. I kept taking it
for several nights, but whether it was my
cold, or the sultry hot days, the more I slept,
the more drowsy I grew.
At last—about a fortnight afterwards—having got sick of my tisane and being sure I
had neither a cold nor a cough any more, I—
the matron not mounting guard—instead of
drinking it and having it pass through my
body into the vessel where it was destined to
go, I deftly poured it into the night-vase at
once.
I went off to sleep, but I did not fall into
that lethargy of the evening before. In the
middle of the night I had a peculiar dream.
I was on board of a ship and the matron was
with me, but I do not exactly know whether
we were in bed or not. All at once the
waves began to roll high and dash against
the bow7 of the vessel, that was labouring to
147 make headway through the trough of the
.waters. She was straining her bulwarks, and
although the huge sails were swelled by the
heavy gale I could hear them flapping rhythmically, keeping time to the creaking sound of
the boards and the beams. The engine too
was puffing madly and the piston rod going
in and out the cylinder was giving mighty
thuds. All at once the ship was attacked by
pirates—just like in the story I had been
reading that very evening—only one of them
had got over the matron, as Guillaume Chretien had done a fortnight ago, and she, poor
thing, was sobbing and calling for help.
Yes, I could hear her plainly, she was panting,
wailing, almost screeching.
I thereupon seized a crowbar and ran to her
help. Some one had rung the bell, the
ship was on fire, I shrieked for help, I
yelled...
There was a scuffle. The nurse was by
my side almost throttling me, her eyes were
out of her head, her hair all dishevelled, she
was looking like a devil. A man appeared
likewise by my bed.   fjH
m 44 If you scream, you dirty blackguard, I'll
just murder you. "
I tried to scream, but the nurse gagged me.
I now recognized the man that had thus
threatened me. It was Guillaume, the broad-
shouldered Auvergnat servant man. Another second and he vanished behind the
screen.
A few moments afterwards there were lights
and footsteps in the passage, but the door
being locked no one could come in. The
nurse told them, however, that there was
nothing the matter with. me, I had been
dreaming and pulled the bell-rope in my
sleep; so they all went off grumbling and
evidently cursing me as giving more trouble
. than the whole school together.
I was shaken and thumped in bed, and
prdered to go Qff to sleep at once, which I
tried to do as quickly as I possibly could.
My stay in that boarding-schpol was, however, not to be of long duration.
Not long after the incident of that night,
Mr Durieux was explaining to us something
about the Persian wars.    The subject was an
'49 interesting one, and most of us—contrary to
our habits,—were straining our ears to listen
to every word he uttered. I remember he
wxas saying that the lads of 15 and 16 had
fought like heroes.
All at once the boy next to me—the one
who had wanted to know if I had ever seen
a beast with two backs—whispered in my
ear :
44 Just ask him at what age one can fire off
a shot! "
44 Why! " rejoined I innocently, not understanding the drift of the question.
44 For the fun of the thing. "
44 But there's no fun. "
44 Well, ask him and you'll see if there
isn't. I
44 Then ask him yeurself. "
44 Oh ! you are frightened, "he whispered.
44 No I'm not. "
44 Then ask. "
I did as I was bid, simply, straightforwardly.
I saw Mr Durieux blush scarlet and bounce
off his chair, as if he had been jerked out of it. The vhole class burst into a loud fit of laughter. Mr Durieux glared at me, rapped with
the book he held, and ordered silence.
The scholars, who had never seen him in
such a rage, seemed cowed down.
44 Leave the class, " said he to me with an
angry scowl.
44 But why ? " said I, trembling.
44 Get out, at once, do you hear. "
44 But sir, " said I, stammering, 44 I didn't
mean, that is, it's not I, it's... "
a Will you go out at once,' you scoundrel,
or I'll call Guillaume. "
I knewT that Guillaume—in fact all three
Guillaumes—bOreme a grudge. I rose at once,
casting an imploring glance at my neighbour,
hosping that he would get up and explain.
He sat quietly with head bowed down.
I was locked up in a closed by myself,
never saw7 any of the other boys again, then,
after a few days, I was expelled from
school.
Why, I did not know.
I was told something about black sheep,
and contamination, wheat and tares, but I did not understand what they meant, still I sur
pose they were right, they were learned pre
fessors and I was only a little motherles
boy.
END OF VOL. I    &£>5 c.
ii
5   -7/6    

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