In the summer of the year 1866, shortly after the conclusion of the civil war between the North and South in America, I was in New York, to which city I had gone for the purpose of taking my passage in a Cunard Steamer to Liverpool on my way back home to one of the midland counties of England after a shooting and fishing trip in the province of Nova Scotia.
My age at that period was thirty years, I stood six feet in my socks and I was strong and healthy, my disposition was adventurous; I was fond of women and rather reckless in my pursuit of them; so, during my stay in New York, I went about the city very much at night, seeing many queer sights and also various strange phases of life in the tenement houses.
However, I do not intend to relate my experiences in the slums of New York City.
One afternoon, about five o’clock, I had strolled into Central Park, where I seated myself on a bench under the shade of a tree to smoke r, cigar. It was a beautiful day in August; the sun, sloping to the west, was shining brightly in a cloudless sky; a light breeze was blowing, tempering the heat and making the leaves of the trees rustle with a soothing sound, and I leant lazily back in my seat, looking at the trim and often pretty nursemaids of various nationalities in charge of the smartly-dressed American children. Then my eyes turned upon a lady who was sitting on the adjoining bench, reading a book.
She apparently was twenty-five years of age, a very pretty little woman with, as far as I could see, a shapely, well-rounded figure. Her hair was a light golden brown and was coiled in a big chignon at the back of her head-it was the day of chignons and crinolines. She was neatly gloved and handsomely but quietly dressed, everything she wore being in good taste, from the little hat on her head to the neat boots on her small, well-shaped feet, which peeped from under the hem of her wide skirt.
I stared at her harder than was polite, thinking that she was quite the type of a pretty American lady of the upper class. After a moment or two she became conscious of my fixed gaze, and, raising her eyes from her book, she looked steadily at me for a short time. Then, apparently satisfied with my appearance, a bright smile came to her face and she shot a saucy glance at me, at the same time making a motion with her hand inviting me to come and sit beside her.
I was rather astonished, as I had not thought from her appearance that she was one of the demi-monde; but I was quite willing to have a chat with her-and also to poke her, if her conversation pleased me as much as her looks.
Rising from my seat, I went over to her, and she at once drew aside her voluminous skirts so as to make room for me on the bench beside her. I seated myself and we began to talk.
She spoke grammatically and in an educated manner, and, though she had the American accent, her voice was low and musical-(I do not dislike the American accent when I hear it on the lips of a pretty woman)-and she certainly was a pretty woman. Her eyes were large, clear and blue, her complexion was extremely good, her teeth were white and regular, her nose was well-shaped and she had a small mouth with red lips.
She had plenty to say for herself, chatting away merrily and using quaint expressions that made me laugh. I took quite a fancy to the lively little woman, so I made up my mind to see her home and spend the night with her.
She had at once noticed by my accent that I was an Englishman, and she informed me that she never before had spoken to a man of my nationality. After we had chatted for some time, I asked her to dine with me. She seemed pleased at my invitation, and at once accepted it so we strolled quietly out of the park to a restaurant where I ordered a good dinner with champagne.
When the meal was over and I had smoked a cigar, I took my companion, who told me that her name was Dolly, to a theatre. At the end of the performance I engaged a hack as the conveyance is called in New York, and drove the woman to her home, which was in the suburbs, about three miles from the theatre. Since it was a bright, moonlit night, I was able to see that the house was a pretty little one-storied building with a creeper-covered veranda standing in a small garden surrounded by iron railings.
The door was opened by a neatly-dressed quadroon woman who ushered us into the drawing room; then, after drawing the curtains and turning up the gas jets in the gasalier, she went away.
The room, which had folding doors at one end, was prettily furnished; there was nothing in the least suggestive about it, everything being in good style. The floor was covered with a handsome Oriental carpet, the curtains were velvet; there were some good engravings on the walls, and there was a cabinet containing some choice specimens of old china.
My companion told me to sit down and make myself comfortable; then, begging me to excuse her for a moment or two, she passed through the folding doors into the adjoining apartment, which I saw was a bedroom. In a short time she returned, dressed in a white wrapper trimmed with blue ribbons; she had taken off her boots and put on dainty little French slippers, and her hair was flowing loose over her shoulders nearly down to her waist.
She looked so fetching that I at once took her on my knees and gave her a kiss on the lips, which she returned, at the same time inserting the tip of her tongue in my mouth. Then I put my hand up her clothes, finding that she had nothing on under the wrapper but a fine, lace-trimmed chemise and her black silk stockings, which were fastened high above the knees with scarlet satin garters, so I was able to feel her whole body with perfect ease.
She was plump as a partridge; there was not a single angle about her figure, and her skin was as smooth as satin. Her bubbies were rather small, but they were as round as apples, quite firm and tipped with tiny, erect, pink nipples. She had a very good bottom with plump firm cheeks, and the hair on the Mons Veneris was silky to the touch.
She gave me a brandy and soda, and we chatted while I smoked a cigar. Then we went into the bedroom, where everything was exquisitely clean and sweet. In a short time we were between the sheets. My breast was on her bosom, my mouth was on her lips, my amatory organ was up to the roots in her den of love, my hands were grasping the cheeks of her bottom and I was riding her vigorously, while she was sighing, squeaking and bucking up under my powerful digs.
My member was big, her fissure was small and wonderfully tight; moreover she was a good mount, so I enjoyed the flutter very much, especially as I had not had a woman for a month.
But I had knocked all the breath out of the little woman, and, when all was over, she lay panting in my arms. However, when she had recovered her wind, she said with a little laugh: My gracious! You are very big and very strong. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a vigorous embrace in all my life. You seemed to go right through me. But I like it.
I laughed, making no remark, but lying quietly resting, still holding her in my arms and stroking her cool velvety skin till I was ready for action again. Then, making her kneel on all fours outside the bed, I poked her from behind, en leverette again making her wince and squeak and wriggle her bottom. We then got between the sheets again, and I made her lie on her side with her back turned towards me while I lay behind her with my belly and thighs pressed against the cool, plump cheeks of her bottom and with my half-stiff tool resting in the cleft of her thighs. In this position we fell asleep.
I slept soundly, not waking once till half-past eight o’clock next morning. Sitting up in the bed, I looked at my companion, who was still fast asleep, lying on her back with her long hair streaming over the pillow and her arms stretched above her head. She looked quite young and very pretty and there was a faint pink tint on her round cheeks.
I gently pulled the bed-clothes down to her feet and rolled up her night dress to her chin without waking her. Then I took a good look at her naked charms. And they were worth looking at. Her skin was as white as milk and without a blemish; she really was very well-made, and perfectly proportioned.- Her little bubbies stood out from her bosom in high relief; her plump, well-rounded thighs were shapely; she had good legs; her ankles were slender; her belly was without a wrinkle-she evidently had never had a child-and her rose-bed was shaded with fine, curly, golden hair.
My pintle was as stiff as a poker, so I woke her by gently tickling the edge of her grotto with my forefinger. She looked smilingly up in my face, her big blue eyes twinkling with fun, saying:
So you have prepared me for the morning sacrifice. Well, I am ready to receive the stroke.
She then stretched out her legs and in a few seconds I had given her a strong morning poke, which pleased me more than the ones I had had overnight, for, while I was working at her, the little woman had bucked up more briskly and had wriggled her bottom in the spasm even more lasciviously than on the two other occasions. She really seemed to like the digging I gave her, and I don’t think she had pretended to be voluptuously excited merely to please me.
Presently we began to chat on various subjects, her conversation showing that she took an intelligent interest in the affairs of the day. Our talk eventually turned to what was at that period a burning topic, the late civil war, and I asked her which side had had her sympathies.
I am a Northern woman, she replied, so I was always for the Union, and am exceedingly glad that the Southerners were beaten and the slaves set free. Slavery was a horrible thing and a disgrace to the country.
But, I said, from all the accounts one hears, it seems that the Negroes in the South were better off before the war as slaves than they are now as free people.
Oh, but they are free now, and that is the great point. No doubt things are bad at present, but they will improve in time.
I thought that, as a rule, the slaves were well-treated by their owners.
So they were in many cases, she replied, but there was no security for them; there was always the chance of their being sold to strange people; and then wives were separated from their husbands, and children from their parents. Besides, there were many owners who treated their slaves badly-working them hard, feeding them scantily and whipping them cruelly for the least offense. Then again, slaves had no rights of any sort. The girls and women, if light colored and pretty, were not allowed to be virtuous, even if they wished to be. They were obliged to give themselves up to the embraces of their masters, and, if a woman dared to object, she was severely whipped.
Oh, surely you must be mistaken, I observed. No, I am not. I know what I am talking about, for I lived in a slave state before the war, and I had special opportunities for finding out all about slavery and the distressing things connected with it.
Was it a common thing for women to be whipped? I asked.
Yes; I do not suppose that there was a single plantation in the whole of the South where the female slaves were not whipped. Of course, on some plantations there was more whipping than on others. And what made the thing more horrid was the fact that the whippings were always inflicted by men, and very often in the most public way.
On what part of the body were the slave women whipped; and what instruments of punishment were used? I inquired.
Sometimes they were whipped on the back, but most frequently on the bottom; the instruments used were various; there was the hickory switch, the strap and the paddle.
What is the paddle?
It is a round flat piece of wood fixed to a long handle, and it was always used on the bottom.
It does not draw blood, but each stroke raises a blister on the skin and bruises the flesh. The hickory switch, if used with any degree of force, will cut the skin and draw blood. There was another terrible instrument of punishment called ’the cowhide,’ but it was very seldom used on women.
You seem to know all about whipping. Now tell me how it was you came to be living in a slave state, said I.
I was helping to run a station on the ’underground railroad’; but I suppose you don’t know what an ’underground station’ is.
No, I do not, what is it?
’Underground railroad stations’ were houses in which the abolitionists used to conceal the runaway slaves. There were a number of these ’stations’ in various parts of the South, and the runaway was forwarded secretly by night from one ’station’ to another, till he or she finally got to a free state. It was dangerous work, because assisting a slave to escape was against the laws of the South, and to do so was considered a very great crime. Any man or woman caught at such work was sure of getting a long term of imprisonment with hard labor in the State’s prison. Besides, everyone’s hand was against the abolitionist; not only the slave-owners, but also the ordinary white people who did not own a single slave, and it often happened that abolitionists were lynched. They were tarred and feathered, or ridden on a rail or made to suffer in some other way by bands of lawless men.
Did you ever get into trouble while you were at the ’underground station?’ I asked.
Yes I did. I got into bitter trouble, and went through dreadful sufferings. In fact, what happened to me changed the whole course of my life and was the cause of my being what I am now. Oh, how I hate the Southerners! The cruel wretches! she exclaimed fiercely, her eyes flashing, her bosom heaving and her cheeks reddening.
I was surprised at her sudden outburst of anger, and it at once struck me that the little woman had a story. I was curious to hear it, so I said: I should very much like to hear what happened to you in the South. Will you tell me?
After a moment’s hesitation, she replied: I have never told my story to a man yet; but I will tell it to you, as you are an Englishman and I think you have a sympathetic nature. The story is a very long one, and there is not time to tell it to you now, but if you will come here tonight at seven o’clock and dine quietly with me, I will give you a full account of my life.
I replied that I should be delighted to dine with her and that it would give me great pleasure to hear her story.
Just then there was a knock at the door and the quadroon woman, neatly dressed and wearing a smart cap on her head, came into the room with tea and buttered toast on a tray, which she placed on a table beside the bed.
My companion sat up, saying to the quadroon: Mary, give me my wrapper.
The woman handed her mistress the garment, which she threw over her shoulders. Then turning to me, Dolly said with a smile: Mary was a slave for twenty-five years, and if you’d like to ask her any questions about her life she will answer you truthfully. She is not shy. Are you, Mary?
The quadroon, who was a very buxom, rather good-looking woman, smiled broadly, showing a double row of white teeth between her full, red lips. No, Miss Dolly, she replied, I isn’t shy.
I was quite ready to ask Mary to give me some information about herself, so to begin with, I said: Well Mary, how old are you and what state do you come from?
I’se thirty years old, Sah, an’ I was raised on ole Major Bascombe’s plantation in de state ob Alabama. Dere was one hundred an’ fifty field hands on de plantation, an’ twelve house servants in de place. I was one ob de parlormaids, Sah, she added with a sort of pride.
Was your master a good one? I next asked the woman.
Well, Sah, he was a pretty good Massa on de whole; he fed us well, an’ he didn’t work us too hard; but he was bery strict, an’ dere was plenty ob whipping on de plantation, an’ in de house too.
Were you ever whipped?
Mary looked at me with an expression of surprise on her face at being asked such a silly question. Ob course I was, Sah, many a time, she replied. I got my fust whippin’ when I was
’bout seven years old, an’ I got my las’ one when I was twenty-five years old; only a week
’fore we was all set free by de President ob de United States.
How were you whipped?
When I was a little girl I used to get spanked; when I grew big, dey whipped me on de bare back or bottom wid de strap or de hick’ry switch; and I’se had de paddle on my bottom several times, said Mary, coolly as possible.
Who used to whip the women?
One ob de overseers gener’ly; but sometimes de Massa himself used to whip de house-servants, Dere was a room kep’ for de purpose, an’ when a gal or a woman was whipped, she was tied face downwards on a long bench, den her close was turned up an’ she got her allowance.
Were the whippings severe?
Oh, dey always hurt us dreffully an’ made us squeal out loud an’ wriggle; an’ sometimes we was whipped till the blood come.
Here Dolly broke in, saying: And when the skin of a woman’s back or bottom has been broken by a whipping, the marks never entirely disappear. Mary has plenty of marks upon her body at this moment. Show your bottom to the English gentleman, Mary, and prove the truth of what you have told him.
The woman, without the least hesitation, turned her back towards me. Then she gathered all her clothes up under her arms, exposing the whole lower part of her person. (She was wearing no drawers.)
It was a sight! All women of Negro blood have, naturally, big bottoms, and, since Mary was rather stout, her bottom was enormous, the plump hemispheres of flesh swelling out and sweeping in great curves to the massive thighs and sturdy legs cased in tight, white cotton stockings. Her skin was smooth and of a light brown tint, and I noticed at once that both the fat cheeks of her bottom as well as the upper part of her thighs were marked with long, fine, white lines where the skin had been cut by the lash.
She seemed to like showing her opulent charms, for she was in no hurry to drop her petticoats, but stood looking over her shoulder at me with a complacent smile on her face till her mistress said: That will do, Mary. She then let her clothes fall and left the room smiling.
There, said Dolly, you have seen the marks on her bottom, and I can tell you that her back is just as much marked. Moreover, she was seduced, or, to speak more correctly, she had to give herself up to her master’s eldest son when she was only fifteen years old. She afterwards passed through the hands of the two younger sons; but the fact of her being the plaything of the three young men did not save her bottom from being blistered by the paddle or striped with the switch whenever she committed an offense of any sort. She has told me that she sometimes had to go to the room of one or another of the young masters while her bottom was bleeding from a whipping. I have another woman about thirty-five years of age in my service as cook; she comes from South Carolina, and her body is even more scarred than Mary’s with the marks of the whip.
Dolly paused for a moment or two while she sipped her tea. Then she said: Now don’t you think it is a good thing that slavery has been abolished in the United States?
Yes, indeed I do. I had no idea that female slaves were ever treated in such a way, I replied.
The details given me by Dolly and the quadroon had surprised me very much and had also somewhat moved me. But at the same time I was feeling very randy. The sight of a woman’s bottom always has an exciting effect upon me. Therefore the full view I had just had of Mary’s big posteriors had given me a tremendous cockstand. So, taking hold of Dolly, I kid her on her back, pulled down the bedclothes, tucked up her drapery and poked her again with great gusto. Then, after refreshing myself with a cup of tea and a piece of toast, I got up and had a cold bath in a small dressing room adjoining the bedchamber.
As soon as I had dressed myself, I bade Dolly good bye, promising to be back again without fail at seven o’clock. Then, giving her a kiss and a good present, I left the house and made my way back to the hotel where I was staying. After changing my clothes I sat down to breakfast with a good appetite, feeling very well satisfied with my night’s amusement.
The day passed rather slowly, and sharply at seven o’clock I was back at Dolly’s house, curious to hear her story and fully intending to stay with her all night again.
She seemed glad to see me, and she was looking very nice in a pretty frock of some soft white material. She gave me a simple but well cooked little dinner, with a bottle of excellent Burgundy.
Mary, smartly dressed and beaming with smiles- but perfectly respectful-waited on us, and, when the meal was over and we had gone into the drawing room, she brought some really well-made coffee.
Dolly leant back in an easy chair with her feet, in smart velvet slippers, resting on a stool, and, since her skirts were slightly raised, I was able to see her trim ankles cased in pale blue silk stockings.
I lit a cigar and settled myself in another easy chair opposite her. She then began to tell me her story, which turned out to be a very long one.
The tale was not nearly finished when we went to bed after a little supper at midnight. But, having got interested in the narrative, I wished to hear the end of it, so I paid Dolly three or four more visits and she continued her story each time I saw her until, at last, she had related the whole of her adventures to me. Since I was able to write shorthand, I took down her narrative exactly as she related it, without a break, in her own words.
My name is Dolly Morton, I am just twenty-six years of age and I was born in Philadelphia, where my father was a clerk in a bank. I was his only child and my mother died when I was two years old, so I have no remembrance of her. My father’s salary was small, but he gave me as good an education as his means would allow, his intention being that I should gain my living as a school teacher.
He was a silent, stern, reserved man, who perhaps may have been fond of me in his way: but he never showed any outward sign of affection, and he always kept me under strict discipline.
Whenever I committed a fault, he would lay me across his knees, turn up my short petticoats, take down my drawers and spank me soundly with a broad piece of leather. I was a plump, soft, thin-skinned girl who felt pain acutely, and I used to shriek and kick up my heels and beg for mercy — which however, I never received, for he would calmly go on spanking me till my poor little bottom was as red as fire and I was hoarse with screaming. Then when the punishment was over and my trembling fingers had buttoned up my drawers, I would slink away with smarting bottom and streaming eyes ° our old servant who had been my nurse, and she would sympathize with me and comfort me till the smart of the spanking had passed off.
Our life was a rather lonely one; we had no relatives, my father did not care for society of any sort and I had very few girl friends of my own age; but I was strong and healthy, my disposition was cheerful and, fortunately, I was fond of reading, so, though I often felt very dull, I was not absolutely unhappy as a child.
And so the years rolled on, quietly and uneventfully. My childhood passed, I was eighteen years of age and had grown to my full height of five feet, four inches; my figure was well rounded, and I was quite a woman in appearance. I had begun to chafe at the monotony and repression of my life, and was sometimes very willful and disobedient. But I always suffered on such occasions, for my father still continued to treat me as a child, taking me across his knees and spanking me whenever I offended him. Moreover, he informed me that he would spank me every time I misbehaved until I was twenty years old. This was very humiliating to a girl of my age, especially since I had become rather romantic and had begun to think of sweethearts. But I never dreamed of resisting my father’s authority, so I took my spankings
— which, I must confess, were sometimes well deserved-with as much fortitude as I could muster up.
But a change in my life was soon to come. My father was seized with an attack of pneumonia, to which he succumbed after a few days’ illness.
I was stunned at first by the suddenness of the blow, but I cannot say that I felt much grief at my loss. My father had never made a companion of me, and, whenever I had tried to interest him in my little affairs, he had invariably shown himself utterly unsympathetic. However I had not much time to think over the past; my position r s it was at that moment had to be faced, and a most unfortunate one it was.
My father had died in debt, and the creditors were pressing for payment. I had no money, so the furniture of the house was sold by auction, and, when everything had been settled, I found myself without a cent, homeless and quite alone in the world.
I lived for a month with my old nurse. She would have kept me with her always, had she been able but she had her own living to make, so she was obliged to go into service again. Then I would have been compelled to seek shelter in the poor house had it not been for the kindness of a lady who, hearing of my friendless and forlorn condition, took me into her house.
Her name was Miss Ruth Dean, and she was at that period thirty years of age. She belonged to the Quaker sect, or, as she called it, The Society of Friends. She was a virgin, she had no lovers, she was her own mistress and she lived in a large house about two miles from the city.
She was well off and she made good use of her money, spending most of it in charity. Her time was chiefly occupied in philanthropic work of all sorts, and she was always ready to give a helping hand to anyone who needed a start in Me.
But, before proceeding, I must give you a physical description of Miss Ruth Dean. She was a tall, slender, delicately formed woman with large, earnest-looking brown eyes; her hair also was brown; it was long and soft and she always wore it in plain bands. She had a lovely clear complexion, but there was no color in her cheeks, though she was in perfect health and was capable of going through a great amount of fatigue. She was a pretty woman, but there was always a rather prim expression on her face, and she rarely laughed, though she was not the least morose.
Miss Dean was as good a woman as ever lived, and she was the best friend I ever had. From the first she treated me as a guest and was most kind to me. I had a prettily furnished bedsitting room of my own, and the servants, all of whom were devoted to their mistress, always treated me with respect.
Miss Dean had a number of correspondents in all parts of the States, and now my education proved useful to me, for I was able to help my benefactress in answering her letters. She, finding that I was sharp and intelligent, appointed me her secretary, giving me a small salary for pocket money, and also supplying me with clothes. I was very comfortable and never had been so happy in all my life. There were no cross looks, no sharp scoldings, and, above all, no horrid spankings.
As time passed Miss Dean became like an elder sister to me. I likewise grew very fond of her.
She admired my face and figure, and always liked to see me nicely dressed, so she gave me lace-trimmed petticoats, drawers and chemises, and also several pretty frocks, though she herself was content with the plainest of underlinen and she always wore the Quaker costume, a plain bodice with a straight-cut skirt of drab, dove-colored material.
As a matter of course, Miss Dean hated the institution of slavery and was an ardent member of the abolitionist party. She supplied funds to and was in constant communication with Friends in the Southern States who were in charge of underground stations, and she frequently received into her house escaped slaves of both sexes whom she kept till they got employment. She could harbor the fugitives openly because Pennsylvania was a free state.
I need not enter into the details of my life for two years, as nothing eventful happened. I was contented and happy, I had the society of young people of my own age and I had plenty of innocent amusements. Miss Dean, being a Quakeress, did not patronize places of public amusement of any sort herself, nor would she allow me to go to one; neither did she approve of dancing: but she frequently gave quiet parties, and I often was invited to other houses. I was popular with members of my own sex and had several admirers among the other sex but, since I did not care for any one of them, I remained quite heart-whole.
At the time of which I am speaking, the friction between the North and the South was becoming very great, and there were mutterings of the storm which was soon to break-
though few people thought that things would end in a long and bloody civil war. Towards the close of the year, the North was startled by the execution, or, as we called it, the murder of the great abolitionist, John Brown, at Harper’s Ferry. Miss Dean was particularly shocked and distressed at the news, for she had known John Brown personally and she believed that he had been quite right in getting up the insurrection which cost him his life. Any act, she averred, was justifiable that had for its object the emancipation of the slaves, and she declared that she would not hesitate to do the same thing herself if she thought that it would forward the cause.
As the weeks passed, she became restless. She was not satisfied with merely sending money to the South. She wanted to do something personally to help the slaves, and finally she made up her mind to go South and take charge of an underground station.
She told me one afternoon what she intended to do, and she became quite enthusiastic about it, Oh! she exclaimed. I am longing to begin the work of rescue. I am sure that I could manage a ’station’ better than any man. Men are suspected and constantly watched by the white loafers, but no one would suspect a woman of running a ’station,’ so, if I live quietly and take all necessary precautions, I am not likely to be found out.
My sympathies had always been with the slaves, and now Miss Dean’s enthusiasm moved me greatly. I at once made up my mind to go with her, and I told her of my determination.
At first she would not hear of my doing such a thing; she pointed out the risks of the undertaking and remarked that we might possibly be found out, in which case we should be condemned to a long term of imprisonment. Not that I am afraid of imprisonment, she added, getting up from her seat and pacing up and down the room, her pale cheeks flushing, her soft eyes sparkling. But for you, Dolly, it would be dreadful. You are a young, tender girl, and you could not bear-as I could-the hard work and coarse fare. Besides, they would cut off all your pretty hair. I have heard that the hair of female prisoners is cut in Southern jails. No, my dear, I can’t let you go with me. If I did, and anything were to happen to you, I should never forgive myself.
I am not afraid of the work, I said, and you have just as pretty hair as I have. If you choose to risk yours, I am ready to risk mine. Do you think, after all you have done for me, that I will let you go alone? I will not be left behind. Where you go, I go, and I will take my chance with you.
I saw that she was much touched by my fidelity, but still she tried her utmost to dissuade me from going South with her. However, I was firm in my resolve to accompany her, so I met all her arguments and I wound up by saying that two heads are better than one, and that I could be of great assistance to her.
So, at last, she consented to let me go with her. The point being settled, she kissed me, then sitting down, she wrote to Friends in various parts of the South, asking them to let her know a place where a new underground station might advantageously be established. We then went to dinner, and, when it was over, we spent the evening talking over our plans and settling to the best of our ability what we should do.
In a few days’ time, Miss Dean received answers from all her correspondents. They mentioned several places where an underground station might be set up. We discussed the advantages of the various sites, and, after a long deliberation, we determined to go to a place in Virginia, right in the middle of the slave states.
The house which had been recommended to be used as a station was situated near the small town of Hampton, on the James River thirty-five miles from Richmond, the capital of the state. Miss Dean at once wrote to a local house-agent, telling him to take the house for her and to have it furnished as soon as possible for the reception of two ladies who wished to spend some time in Virginia.
Presently she received a letter from the agent, saying that he had taken the house for her and that it would be furnished and ready for occupation in a fortnight’s time. I need hardly tell you that the agent had not the slightest idea that the house was going to be used as an underground station.
The following day we began leisurely to make preparations for our departure, and Miss Dean decided to take only one servant, a trustworthy, middle-aged white woman named Martha.
She was a Quakeress like her mistress, in whose service she had been for five years. She knew why we were going to Virginia and was quite willing to accompany us.
The other servants were left behind in charge of the house in Philadelphia. Miss Dean thought it would be safer not to let anyone in the city know the exact spot to which we were going, or what we intended to do, so she merely let it be known that we were going for a trip to the South.
A fortnight passed, and one fine morning at the beginning of May we drove quietly to the Railway Depot and took our tickets for Richmond. On arriving we stayed at a hotel for a couple of days in order to get some stores we wanted. Then, on the third morning at half-past eleven, we left the city in a two-horse buggy driven by a Negro coachman, who deposited the three of us with our trunks at the house after a long but pleasant drive through a pretty country.
The agent to whom Miss Dean had written was waiting to receive us, with a couple of Negro boys to carry in our baggage. He showed us the house, which we found to be in good repair and plainly but comfortably furnished. Everything was in perfect readiness-supplies laid in, wood chopped and the fire in the kitchen lighted.
The house was very secluded. It was situated at the end of a lane about a quarter of a mile from the main road. It was a wooden structure of one story with a veranda back and front. It contained a parlor, a kitchen and four bedrooms. In the rear there was a barn, near which grew two hickory trees. The whole place was surrounded by a high, rail fence.
When we had completed the inspection of our new home, the agent bade us goodbye and took his departure, accompanied by the two Negro boys. Martha bustled about the kitchen, while Miss Dean and I unpacked our things in our respective bedrooms. In a short time tea was ready and we sat down in the parlor to a good meal of ham and eggs, fried chicken and hot cakes.
The parlor was a good-sized room with rather a low ceiling crossed by heavy beams. There were two bow windows with latticed panes, and on the sills were pots of sweet-smelling flowers. On one side of the room was a massive sideboard of polished mahogany, and there was an old-fashioned oval mirror with an ebony frame over the mantelpiece. These two bits of old furniture evidently belonged to the house, and they contrasted strangely with the bright colored carpet and other modern furniture of the room.
When we had finished our meal, Miss Dean wrote to the Friends in charge of the underground stations north and south of us, with which we were to be in communication. The station south of ours was thirty miles distant, and from it we would receive fugitives, whom we would pass on to the station north for us, which was twenty miles away. Then we had a short chat, but, since we were feeling tired after our journey, we soon went to bed. I got up bright and early next morning, feeling in high spirits, and, as soon as I had had my bath and dressed, I peered into Miss Dean’s room. Finding that she was fast asleep, I did not disturb her. Instead, going quietly downstairs, I left the house and went for a morning walk along the tree-bornered road, and down lanes flanked with hedges of bright-flowered shrubs of species quite unknown to me.
I rambled about in all directions for an hour without meeting a single white person, though I came across several colored people of both sexes who stared curiously at me, noticing that I was a stranger. When I got back to the house, I found Miss Dean waiting for me in the parlor, and, in a short time, Martha brought in breakfast, to which I did full justice, for my walk had given me a good appetite.
We soon were settled down comfortably, and our new and risky life had begun. But neither of us had any forebodings of evil. Miss Dean was always cheerful, and I was quite charmed with the novelty of the whole affair. We stored supplies of bacon, flour and coffee in the cellar of the house and we hid a couple of mattresses and blankets under the floor of the barn in readiness for the fugitives who might arrive at any moment from the station south of ours.
The house we lived in was well-adapted for our purpose, owing to its isolated position. Our nearest neighbor lived three miles away and the little town of Hampton, whence we got our supplies, was also three miles distant. The weather was quite warm; however, it agreed with me, and I was in splendid health and condition. Dressed in a plain linen costume with a broad-brimmed straw hat on my head I daily roamed about the country, soon making the acquaintance of a number of plantation slaves, who, seeing that I took an interest in them, were always glad to talk to me; they used to bring me presents of bits of possum and coon, two animals which the Negroes are very fond of, but neither Miss Dean nor I could touch the meat.
I sometimes visited the slaves’ quarters on the plantations and always was heartily welcomed.
But I was obliged to pay my visits very secretly, for, if the owners of the slaves or the ordinary white folks in the neighborhood had discovered that I was visiting the quarters, my motives would at once have been suspected. (Though the Negroes whose acquaintance we had made never hinted at the subject, I felt pretty sure that they all guessed why we had taken up our abode in their midst.)
Three months passed, and during the whole of that period the work at our station had gone on smoothly. Sometimes in one week we would have two or three fugitives; on other occasions several days would pass without a single runaway arriving. Whatever the case, they always came after dark to the back of the house and the first thing we did was to give them a good meal, then put them in the barn for the night. Next day we fed them well, and, as soon as it was dark, we supplied them with a packet of provisions and they started off for the next station, walking all night and hiding in the woods during the day. (If, as sometimes happened, the fugitive was a woman who was too tired to go on after only one night’s rest, we kept her till she felt able to continue her journey.)
The runaways were of all sorts: old men and young men, old women and girls, and sometimes a woman with a baby in her arms. Some of the fugitives were in good condition and decently clothed, others were gaunt and ragged, having come long distances and having been many days on the road. Some had come even from the extreme South of Florida. Many were scarred with the marks of the lash, some bore marks of the branding iron, and others had open or half-healed wounds on their bodies. But all the poor creatures who passed through our hands were intensely grateful to us, and we often heard their stories, which were in many cases most pitiful. I need not enter further into details of our management of the station, but I will give you a short account of one of the cases which came under our notice.
One night Miss Dean and I were sitting as usual in the parlor, chatting and sewing. The lamps had been lit, the curtains had been drawn and everything was quiet and snug. There had been no arrivals for upwards of a week, and Miss Dean had just said: I wonder if anyone will come tonight. Then, suddenly, we heard a low tapping at one of the windows.
I ran to the door and opened it, and, as I did, a girl staggered up to the threshold, then fell fainting at my feet. I called to Miss Dean, who, with Martha, at once came to my assistance.
We carried the girl into the parlor and laid her on the sofa.
She was a very light-colored quadroon, with a pretty face and long, wavy, dark brown hair, which was flowing in disorder over her shoulders. Her age appeared to be about sixteen, but her figure was fully developed, the rounded contours of her bosom showing plainly under her thin bodice. (Females of her race soon mature.) She was evidently not a field slave, as her hands did not show signs of hard work, and her clothes were of good material, though they were draggled and torn to rags. She was wearing a neat pair of shoes, but they, as well as her stockings, were covered with mud. We soon brought her round, and she opened her great brown eyes which had a hunted look in them, while her face wore an expression of pain and weariness. We gave her a bowl of soup, and some bread and meat, which she ate ravenously, telling us that she had had nothing for twenty-four hours.
Because the girl was so weak and ill, we did not send her to the barn. Instead, as soon as she had finished her supper, I took her upstairs to the spare room, telling her to undress and go to bed. She looked bashfully at me, but after a moment’s hesitation took off her frock and petticoats. She wore no drawers, and I noticed immediately that the back of her chemise was plentifully stained with spots of dried blood. I knew what that meant! Going up to the girl, I raised her chemise and looked at her bottom. The whole surface was covered with livid weals, and the skin was cut in a great many places.
I soon got her to tell me why she had been so severely whipped. It was the old story. She belonged to a planter, a married man with young children, who lived about twenty-five miles away. She was one of his wife’s maids. Her master had taken a fancy to her and had ordered her to be in his dressing room at a certain hour one evening. She was a virgin, and she disobeyed the order. Next day she was sent with a note to one of the overseers who took her to the shed used as a place of punishment. He then informed her that her master had sent her to be whipped for disobedience.
She was stretched over the whipping block. Her wrists and ankles were held by two male slaves. Then the overseer laid bare her bottom and whipped her with a hickory switch till the blood trickled down her thighs. She then was allowed to go, being told that if she did not obey her master she would find herself on the whipping block again.
But she was a plucky girl, and she determined not to surrender her maidenhead. So she ran away that night, sore and bleeding as she was, and made her way for twenty-five miles through the woods and byways until she reached our house. She had heard that we were kind to slaves, and she thought that we would hide her from her master.
We did hide her, keeping her for a week. Then we sent her on to the next station along with a man who happened to arrive just at the right time.
Now I will return to my own story, and that of Miss Dean, for our fates at this period became linked together even more closely than they had been.
Time passed and everything continued to go on quietly. Miss Dean was still full of enthusiasm for the work, but I had got rather sick of it. The stories of cruelty I constantly was hearing and the sights which I sometimes saw made my heart ache. Moreover I was tired of the loneliness of my life. I wanted some companions with whom I could laugh and chatter freely and frivolously. Though Miss Dean was always sweet and amiable, her conversation was not of a light sort.
Occasionally, too, a feeling of fear would come over me: we might be found out. I did not feel so brave as formerly. I dreaded being put in jail and having my hair cut. And I did not like the idea of the hard labor and the scanty fare.
However, so far, I had had no cause for alarm. We had come to be well known by the people in the neighborhood, but no one suspected that the two quiet women living by themselves in the lonely house were engaged in unlawful practices. There had never been an instance known of an underground station being run by women.
The ordinary white people-and by that expression I mean the white folks who did not own slaves-were always civil to us whenever we had anything to do with them. Many of them were very rough-looking fellows, and there were some lazy loafers. But there were also a number of respectable, hard-working men with wives and families. Strange to say, all these whites, though not one of them owned a Negro, were staunch upholders of slavery. They sold us venison, wild turkeys, and fish, all of which were welcome additions to our usual homely fare.
I still continued to amuse myself by wandering about the country. But it was dull work alone, and I often wished for someone to talk to and to keep me company during my walks. At last my wishes were gratified. One afternoon I was strolling along a road, when, on turning a corner, I came suddenly upon a small herd of cows, headed by a savage looking bull which, on seeing me, stopped and began to paw the ground, its head lowered in a threatening way and its eyes gleaming angrily. If I had stood still, the animal might have passed on. But, since I was frightened, I foolishly turned round and ran away as fast as I could.
The bull, bellowing hoarsely, at once pursued me. I heard its breathing close behind me as I ran, shrieking loudly. I expected at any moment to be transfixed by the creature’s horns. Just in the very nick of time, however, a gentleman on horseback leaped the hedge and, charging the bull, belabored it with a heavy whip till the beast turned tail and dashed up the road. The gentleman then dismounted and came to me. I was trembling all over and nearly fainting, and would have fallen to the ground had he not put his arm round my waist and held me up.
He gave me a draught of wine from a flask which he took out of his pocket. Then he made me sit on the grass at the side of the road while he stood in front of me with the bridle of his horse over his arm, looking down at my face.
Don’t be frightened. The danger is past, he said. It was lucky, though, that I happened to hear your cries and was able to get to you in time.
I soon recovered myself, then I thanked him warmly, at the same time taking a good look at him. He was a tall, handsome man, about thirty-five years of age, with very dark hair and eyes. His face was clean shaven except for a long, drooping moustache, which hid his mouth, and he was dressed in a well-fitting riding suit. Fastening his horse’s bridle to a tree, he sat beside me on the grass and began to talk in a lively and amusing way, putting me quite at ease. Soon I found myself chatting and laughing with him as freely as if I had known him for a long time.
It was delightful to have a merry companion of the male sex to talk to. My spirits rose and I felt quite gay. I think we must have talked for an hour. He told me that his name was Randolph. I had often heard of him. He was a bachelor, and was the owner of one of the largest plantations in the neighborhood. His place, called Woodlands, was about three miles from our house, and I knew some of his slaves. But I did not tell him that.
He asked me my name, and, when I told him, he smiled. I have heard of you and also of Miss Dean, he said. In fact, I am your landlord; the house you are living in belongs to me.
I was rather startled at hearing that. Oh, are you? I said.
Yes, he replied, laughing. And somehow I had got it into my head that my tenants were two ugly old Quaker ladies.
I could not help smiling at the way he had spoken. Miss Dean is a Quakeress, I said, but she is not ugly, nor is she old. She is only thirty-two years of age. I am her companion, but I am not a Quakeress.
You are a very charming young lady, and I am glad to have made your acquaintance, he said, looking hard in my face.
I blushed, feeling rather confused by his bold glances; but nevertheless I was pleased with his compliment. I was not accustomed to having compliments paid to me. The few young men I had known in Philadelphia were Quakers and were not given to paying compliments.
He went on: You two ladies must find it very dull living all alone, especially in the evenings.
What do you do with yourselves?
This was an awkward question. We read and sew, I replied.
Well, I must give myself the pleasure of calling on you some night. I suppose you are always at home, he observed.
My heart gave a little jump, and I felt hot and uncomfortable. It would never do to have him calling at the house, so I racked my brains to find something to say that would prevent him from paying us a visit. I must beg you not to call. Miss Dean would not like it She is peculiar in her ways, and I have to humor her, I said, rising to my feet and thinking that I had better get home as soon as possible so as to avoid being further questioned by him.
He also stood up. If that is the case I will not intrude on Miss Dean, but I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again. Will you meet me here tomorrow at three o’clock?
I thought there would be no harm in meeting him. Besides, if I did not, he probably would call at the house, and that was a thing to be prevented if possible. So I promised to meet him the following afternoon at the hour he had named. Then, shaking hands with him, I bade him goodbye.
He held my hand longer than was necessary and he also pressed it, at the same time fixing his gleaming black eyes upon mine with a look which made me feel rather uncomfortable again.
Goodbye then, Miss Morton, till three o’clock tomorrow, he said. Then mounting his horse, he touched it with his spurs and cantered off, turning round in the saddle to wave his hat to me.
My eyes followed him with admiration, for he was a graceful rider and his horse was a magnificent animal. Moreover, I felt grateful to the man, for he had undoubtedly saved me from serious injuries, if not death.
I walked slowly home, thinking over the whole affair, and feeling very light-hearted. A bit of romance had come into my hitherto quiet life, and I was pleased. In the future I should have someone to talk to and to walk with. I had an idea that Mr. Randolph and I would often meet, but I had not the least thought of harm.
On reaching the house, I found Miss Dean looking, as usual, sweet and placid, making shirts for ragged fugitives. Kissing me affectionally, she said: You are looking very blooming, Dorothy. What has made your cheeks so rosy this evening?
I laughed, telling her that I had been frightened by a bull. But I did not inform her of the danger I had been in, nor did I mention Mr. Randolph. I thought it best to keep silent about him, for Miss Dean was very strict in her ideas, and she never would have allowed me to meet him.
I took off my hat, and we went in to dinner. It was a plentiful meal, consisting of fried trout, grilled wild turkey, corn bread, buckwheat cakes and honey. The evening was spent in the usual way. We read and sewed till it was time to go to bed.
Next day at the appointed hour and place I, met Mr. Randolph. He evidently was glad to see me, and, taking both my hands, held them, gazing with a look of admiration in my face. (A woman always knows when she is admired.) After exchanging greetings, he politely offered his arm, which I took, and we strolled along the road till we came to a secluded dell with mossy banks shaded by trees. In this nook we sat side by side on the grass. Then he questioned me about myself.
I told him that I was an orphan and that I had no relations of any sort. I told him also how I had come to be a companion to Miss Dean. But, of course, I did not hint at our reasons for coming to live in Virginia.
His manner to me was perfectly respectful, and I remained chatting with him for upwards of an hour. Then I went home, promising to meet him again in three days’ time. I did meet him, and, from that time, we became very friendly, meeting each other two or three times a week. I did not love him in the least, but I liked being in his company. He was so utterly different from any man I had ever known. He amused me with stories of adventures-he had traveled all over the world-and he interested me with his descriptions of European countries, which I was always longing to visit.
I soon found out that he was cynical and that he had a very low opinion of women, and, from the way he sometimes talked, I had an idea that his disposition was cruel. However, he seemed to exercise a sort of fascination over me, so invariably I met him whenever he chose to ask me.
Up to this point he had treated me politely, but in a condescending sort of way, and I was quick-witted enough to perceive that he considered me very much his inferior. He was a rich planter, one of the aristocracy of the South, and a member of one of the FFV’s, as they called themselves, meaning First Families of Virginia, while I was only the daughter of a poor clerk of no particular family, earning my living as companion to a Quaker lady.
As time passed I got to like him a little better and consequently was more familiar with him, while he became warmer in his manner towards me. But as yet he had not attempted to take the least liberty with me. (Little did I suspect that he was only waiting for a favorable opportunity.) He lent me books of poetry which were a great source of delight to me, and he often used to read aloud to me passages from Byron, Shelley or Keats.
One afternoon we were sitting side by side in our favorite nook, and he was reading poetry to me. I do not know who was the author, but I remember that the poem was about love.
Randolph had a musical voice, and he read with passionate feeling, every now and then looking into my eyes. I became deeply moved by the sweet but rather warm verse, my cheeks flushed, my heart began to beat rapidly and my bosom heaved. A sensuous feeling such as I had never experienced took possession of me. I closed my eyes and sat in a soft waking-dream.
Soon Randolph ceased reading and everything was perfectly still except for the far-off song of a mockingbird. Presently I felt his arm steal around my waist, then he drew me onto his lap and pressed his lips to mine in a long lass.
It was the first time that I had ever been kissed by a man, and I felt a thrill pass through me from head to foot. But I did not attempt to get away. The kiss seemed to have me mesmerized.
Pressing me to his breast, Randolph now covered my face with kisses, calling me all sorts of endearing names and telling me that he loved me. I lay quietly in his arms, feeling unable to move, and my quietness emboldened him. After a moment or two, he put his hand up under my petticoats and felt my bottom through the slit of my drawers.
Now my senses returned. The touch of the man’s hand on such a part of my body acted like a galvanic shock. My sensuous feeling was instantly changed to a feeling of outraged modesty..
realized my danger and began to struggle violently in his arms, at the same time calling out to him to let me go. But he paid no attention to what I said, and I was unable to free myself from his powerful grasp.
Laying me down upon my back, he pulled up my clothes, and, tearing open my drawers, tried to separate my thighs, which I instinctively kept pressed together. I resisted with all my power, shrieking and buffeting him in the face with both my hands, but he soon prevented my doing that by seizing my wrists and holding my arms down at my sides. Then, pressing his chest upon my bosom, he crushed me under his weight. Thrusting his knees between my legs, he forced my thighs apart, in spite of all my efforts to prevent him. Then I felt his stiff member touching my belly in different places as he tried to penetrate me. But he could not; for, though I was filled with horror and burning with shame, I did not lose my head, and I saw that he could not effect his purpose so long as I kept moving my loins. I did not exhaust myself by violent struggling, but merely twisted myself about, and, every time I felt his thing touch my spot, I jerked my hips to one side. By so doing, I prevented him from getting into me.
Again and again he tried to sheath the weapon, but could not manage to do it. I was strong, healthy and in good condition, so I fought hard in defense of my virginity, at the same time uttering a succession of loud shrieks. It was a terrible fight! All my muscles were aching from the strain. Every nerve in my body was strung to the utmost tension. His weight was squeezing the breath out of me. My bosom heaved as though it would have burst, my eyes were starting out of my head and I was filled with a horrible feeling of loathing.
But I continued to resist stubbornly, until, at last, fearing, I suppose, that my screams would be heard, he ceased his efforts to rape me, and, uttering a bitter curse, let me go. Then, rising to his feet, he buttoned up his trousers.
I sprang to my feet, panting for breath and trembling all over. The tears were streaming down my cheeks. I was hoarse from screaming. My clothes were torn. My hair had come down and was flowing in disorder, partly hiding my scarlet face. Overwhelmed with shame, I was about to run away when he seized me by the arm, and, glaring at me with a cruel look in his eyes, hissed out in a savage tone: You little fool! Why did you resist me?
Let me go, you horrid wretch! I exclaimed fiercely. How dare you look me in the face after what you have done to me? Oh! You beast! But I will have you prosecuted. I will go to the police and have you put in jail.
He smiled an evil smile and darted a baleful glance at me. Oh no, my little girl; you won’t go to the police when you have heard what I am going to tell you, he said, pinching my arm.
Now you needn’t struggle. I’m done with you for the present, and I’ll let you go in a moment.
But you must first listen to what I have to say. I know what Miss Dean and you are doing here. You are keeping an ’underground station.’ I suspected you both from the first, so I watched the house at night on several occasions, and I soon found out the game which was being carried on. For certain reasons, which I daresay you can guess, I did not give the information to the police. But you and Miss Dean are in my power, and if I choose now to let the authorities know what you have been doing, you will find yourselves in a very short time at hard labor in the State’s prison.
I was startled and frightened, for I saw at once that we were entirely at the man’s mercy. But I was so thoroughly upset by the outrage which I had suffered that I could not find a word to say. I could only weep.
Changing his tone, he went on: But I don’t want to inform against you. I wish to be your friend. I am fond of you, and, when you let me kiss you so quietly just now, I thought that you were willing to let me go further. I am sorry I treated you so roughly and I apologize. But I want you. Leave Miss Dean and come live with me. You shall have everything a woman can desire, and I will settle a thousand dollars a year on you for life. And I will promise not to lay information against Miss Dean or to interfere with her in any way.
As things turned out, it would have been-far better for me had I then accepted his offer. But at that moment I was full of rage and shame. Moreover, being a perfectly pure girl, I was utterly revolted at the cool way in which he had offered to buy my virtue. Though I dreaded the prison, I said to myself that I would rather go there than surrender to the man.
No! No! I exclaimed. I will not leave Miss Dean. You may tell the police, if you are such a brute. I will go to jail, but I will not live with you. I hate the very sight of you! Oh! Go away and leave me, you wretch!
Again the cruel look came to his face and he pushed me roughly, saying in a tone of suppressed anger: Very well, Miss Dorothy Morton, I will go away now. But we shall meet again some day, and I think that you will be sorry for having refused my offer.
Then, bowing to me with mock politeness, he turned on his heel and walked rapidly away, leaving me weeping and dishevelled.
As soon as he was out of sight, I twisted up my hair and arranged the disorder of my attire as much as was possible; then I hurried home, and fortunately got up to my room without being seen by either Miss Dean or Martha.
Locking the door, I undressed, for my clothes were in a dreadful state; my frock, a white one, was torn at the gathers nearly all the way round, and the back was stained green; the strings of my petticoats were broken, my chemise was torn and my drawers were hanging in ribbons about my legs; my thighs were covered with black marks made by the pressure of the man’s fingers, and I was sore and bruised all over.
After I had put on clean things I threw myself on the bed, buried my face in the pillow and cried. But my tears now were angry ones, for the keenness of my shame had somewhat worn off.
I was enraged at my foolishness in having trusted myself alone with Randolph, for whom I had a feeling of distrust ever since he had expressed to me his low opinion of the virtue of women. I also felt degraded in my own estimation that he should have taken for granted that I was the sort of girl who would give herself up to a man for the asking. I am sure that I had never given him the least encouragement.
Then I remembered that he had said that I would be sorry for not accepting his offer. I had made an enemy of him, so most probably he would give information about us to the police.
It was not pleasant to think of. I felt that I ought to let Miss Dean know that we had been found out, but, had I done so, I should have been obliged to enter into all the details of my affair with Randolph. And I could not bear to tell her of the outrage which I had been subjected to. Altogether, through my imprudence, we were in a dreadful fix, and there was nothing to be done but wait miserably for the end, which would be in the jail. (Already in my mind I pictured Miss Dean and myself clad in coarse prison garments, and with our hair cropped short, toiling at some hard labor.)
Presently Martha knocked at the door to tell me that tea was ready; so I had to pull myself together and go down to the parlor. I could not eat much, and Miss Dean noticed at once my want of appetite; she also saw that my face was pale and my eyes red, and she asked me what was the matter.
I told her that I had a bad headache, which was the truth. On hearing that, the kind-hearted woman made me lie on the sofa while she bathed my forehead with eau de Cologne. Then she recommended that I go to bed, so that I might have a long night’s rest and sleep off the headache.
But I did not sleep well. My rest was broken by a succession of horrid dreams in which I fancied that I was struggling in the arms of a man with an enormous member, who always succeeded in overcoming my resistance and taking my maidenhead. In the morning, while dressing, I wondered where we should be in twenty-four hours’ time, for I fully expected that Miss Dean and I would be arrested before the night came.
The day wore slowly away. I was uneasy and restless, I could not settle down to my usual routine of work. I was constantly peeping out of the window watching for the arrival of the police.
They did not come. But, at nine o’clock, a runaway made his appearance in a starving condition, and, in attending to the poor creature’s wants, I forgot for the time, my own precarious position.
Several days went by quietly and I began to think that Randolph after all was not going to be so mean as to inform on us. But all the same I was very anxious to get out of the state of Virginia, so I said to Miss Dean that I thought we had now done our share of the work and that we ought to go back to Philadelphia. Miss Dean however would not hear of such a thing.
She said we were doing good work and that we must go on with it, for some time longer at any rate.
Another fortnight passed, during which period three fugitives had arrived, two men and a woman, all of whom we had sent on to the next station without, as far as I knew, exciting any suspicion, and, since nothing had occurred to alarm me, my spirits rose and I became quite myself again.
I had not seen Randolph since the day he had assaulted me, but I often had thought of the shameful affair, the recollection of it always sending the blood in a hot flood to my cheeks. I had a hatred for the man and hoped that I should never again set eyes on him.
But, alas! I was fated to see him before long, under the most painful circumstances. One afternoon, about five o’clock, we were sitting in the veranda at the front of the house. Miss Dean, looking very sweet and pretty in a dove-colored dress, was as usual usefully employed in making shirts for the runaways, while I was engaged in trimming a hat for myself. Martha was in the kitchen washing up plates and dishes, for we had just finished tea.
I was in good spirits, and as I worked I sang to myself in a low voice a plantation song I had learned from the Negroes, called Carry Me Back To Ole Virginny. It was strange that I should have been singing that particular song, for I was very anxious to get away from Ole Virginny and had I been out of that state I certainly would not have asked anyone to carry me back to it.
Presently the stillness of the evening was broken by the clatter of horses’ hoofs mingled with the sound of loud voices in the distance, and, on looking down the lane, I saw a number of men, some of them mounted, some on foot, coming towards the house. Miss Dean and I gazed at them as they came along, and we wondered where they were all going; people very rarely entered our secluded lane.
To our surprise, the party stopped at the house, the men on horseback dismounting and hitching their horses to the fence. Then the whole crowd came into the veranda and gathered round us as we sat, in silent astonishment, on our chairs. I noticed however, that there was a hard stern look on the face of every man, while some of them scowled at us with angry glances.
There were fifteen men, all of whom were quite unknown to me, even by sight. Most of them were bearded, rough looking fellows, dressed in coarse cotton shirts of various colors, with their trousers tucked into boots reaching to the knees, and wearing slouch hats on their heads.
But there were some men better dressed, and evidently of a higher class.
My heart began to flutter, and a vague foreboding of evil came over me, for, though I had not the least suspicion of what the men’s intentions were, I guessed from their looks that they had not come to pay us a friendly visit.
One of the intruders, a man about forty years of age, who was addressed by the others as Jake Stevens and who appeared to be the leader of the band, stepped forward, and laying his hand on Miss Dean’s shoulder, at the same time looking at me, said sternly: Stand up you two, I’ve got sumthin’ to say to you.
We both rose to our feet, and Miss Dean asked in a quiet tone: Why have you and your companions invaded my house in this rough manner?
The man laughed scornfully, saying, Well, I should say you orter pretty well guess what’s brought us here. You ain’t so innocent as you look, by a long chalk. Then, with an oath, he went on: It has come to the knowledge of the white folks in these parts that you are keeping an ’underground station.’ Since you have been here you have got away a great many slaves.
Now I jest tell you that we Southerners don’t allow no derned Northern abolitionists to run off our slaves. When we ketches abolitionists we makes it hot for them, and now that we’ve ketched you and your assistant, we are going to bring you before Judge Lynch’s court. The boys who have come here with me are the gentlemen of the jury. Isn’t that the right talk boys? he said to the men round him.
Yes, yes, Jake. That’s the talk. You’ve put it the right way, shouted several voices.
I sank down on my chair, horribly frightened. I had heard dreadful stories of the cruelties perpetrated under the name of Lynch.
Miss Dean again spoke calmly: If you have found out that we have broken the law of the State, why have you not informed the police? You have no right to take the law into your own hands.
There was an angry movement among the men, and a hubbub of voices rose. We’ve got the right to do as we please. Lynch Law is good enough for the likes of you. Shut your mouth.
Don’t waste any more time talking to her, Jake. Let’s get to business, was shouted.
All right boys, said Stevens, well go into the garden right away and settle what shall be done with the prisoners. We know they’re guilty, so we’ve only got to sentence them, and then well proceed to carry out the sentence of the court.
Miss Dean and I were left on the veranda while the men, all trooping out into the garden, gathered in a cluster and began to talk; but they were too far off for us to hear what was being said.
I sat huddled up in my chair, with a dreadful sinking at my heart. Oh Miss Dean, I wailed, what will they do to us?
I do not know dear, she replied, coming over to me and taking my hand. I am not very much concerned about myself, but, oh, my poor girl, I am so sorry for you. I never should have allowed you to come here.
Too miserable to say another word, I sat pale and silent. The men continued talking together, and there seemed to be differences of opinion among them, but I could not catch a word that was said. The suspense to me was dreadful, my mouth was parched and I turned alternately hot and cold. But Miss Dean, who still held my hand, occasionally pressing it, was quite calm.
At last the men seemed to have agreed, and they all returned to the veranda. Then Stevens, assuming a sort of judicial manner, addressed us, saying: The sentence of the court upon you two is that you are each to receive a whipping with a hickory switch on the bare bottom, then you are both to be made to ride a rail for two hours, and, further, you are warned to leave the state of Virginny within forty-eight hours. If at the end of that time you are found in the State, Judge Lynch will have something more to say to you.
When I heard the shameful and cruel sentence which the lynchers had passed upon us, my blood ran cold and I trembled all over. There was a singing in my ears, and a mist came before my eyes. I rose from my seat, my legs shaking under me so much that I had to hold the back of my chair to support myself.
Oh, you surely don’t mean to whip us! I exclaimed in piteous accents, stretching out my arms appealingly to the men. Oh, don’t put us to such awful shame and pain. Have pity on us. Oh, do have pity on us.
But there was not the least sign of pity on any of the faces surrounding us. Ah were stern, or frowning, or stolid. And one man called out: Serves you right, you darned little abolitionist.
You both ought to be stripped naked and tarred and feathered after the whipping and then perched on the rail. You would look like a queer brace of birds.
At this coarse joke, there was a burst of laughter from the other men and I again sank down on my chair wringing my hands in despair while the tears streamed down my white cheeks.
Miss Dean, however, faced the men boldly. She turned very pale, but her eyes were bright and she showed no signs of fear. Addressing the leader, she said without a tremor in her voice: I have often been told that the Southerners were chivalrous in their treatment of women, but I find that I have been misinformed. Chivalrous men do not whip women.
I don’t know nothing about chivalrous, said Stevens gruffly, but when women acts like men and sets to running an ’underground station’ they must take the consequences.
The men in various terms, garnished with oaths, expressed their approval of what their leader had said.
Miss Dean calmly continued: I wish you all to know that I am the only person in this house responsible for what has been done. The young lady is not to blame in any way. She is my paid companion and has acted entirely under my orders. You must let her go free.
Oh no we won’t, exclaimed several voices at once. She must have her share of the switch.
Let me do the talking, said Stevens. We know very well, Miss Dean, that you are the boss of this yer show, but the girl has been helpin’ you to run it, so she’s got to be whipped. But she won’t git such a smart touchin’ up as you will. Isn’t that right boys? he asked.
Yes. Yes. That’s all right, some of them answered. Let the gal off a bit easier than the woman. Just then one of the men called out: Whar’s the hired woman? She ought to have her bottom switched, and get a ride on the rail as well as the others.
Certainly she ought, said Stevens. A couple of you go and bring her here. I guess she’s hiding somewhere in the house. Two of the men went into the house and while they were away the others talked and laughed with each other, making ribald remarks that caused me to blush and shiver. But Miss Dean did not appear to hear what was being said. She stood quite still, her hands loosely clasped in front of her and a far-off look in her great, soft, brown eyes.
In about five minutes’ time, the two men returned and one of them said with an oath: We can’t find the bitch anywhere in the house, though we have looked well. She must have run off into the woods.
It’s a pity she’s got away, said Stevens, but anyhow we’ve got the two leading ladies of the show, and I guess we’ll make them both feel sorry that they ever took a hand in the game.
You bet we will, Jake, shouted the men. We’ll make them sorry they ever came to Virginny.
Let’s get to work at once.
Very well, said Stevens. Bill, you run to the barn and fetch the ladder you’ll find there. Pete and Sam, you go and cut a couple of good, long, springy hick’ry switches and trim them ready for me to use. Then he added with a laugh: I daresay these yere northern ladies have often eaten hick’ry nuts, but I reckon they never thought they would feel a hick’ry switch on their bare bottoms. The men all joined in the laugh, while I shuddered and my heart swelled with bitterness at our utter helplessness.
The ladder and the switches were brought, then all the men went into the garden. The ladder then was fixed in a sloping position against the rail of the veranda on the outside, and Stevens took up his position near it, holding one of the switches in his hand, while the other men stood round in a ring so that they might all have a good look at what was going to be done.
Bring out the prisoners, said Stevens. Some of the men took hold of us by the arms and led us out of the veranda to receive the cruel and indecent punishment. I was trembling and crying; but Miss Dean was calm and silent.
Stevens said to her: Since you’re the boss, you shall be whipped first. Tie her up, boys.
She immediately was seized by two men and laid upon the ladder. Her arms were stretched out to their full extent above her head and her wrists were tied with thick cords to the rungs of the ladder. Her ankles were securely fastened the same way. She had not shown the least resistance nor had she uttered a word while being tied up, but now she turned her head and looking over her shoulder at Stevens said: Can you not whip me without removing my clothes?
No, certainly not, he replied. You was sentenced to be whipped on the bare bottom. Turn up her clothes, boys.
Her skirt, petticoats and chemise were rolled high above her waist and tucked under her body so that they could not fall down. She had not on the ordinary drawers with a slit behind, such as are usually worn by women, but was wearing long pantelettes which were buttoned up all round, fitting rather closely to her legs and reaching down to her ankles, around which the little frills at the end of the garment were drawn in with narrow ribbons.
Why darn me, if she ain’t got on white trousers! ejaculated Stevens in a tone of astonishment.
I never seen such things on a woman before.
The other men also seemed surprised and very much amused at the sight of the trousers, and various remarks were made by some of the spectators. I suppose that women of their class in that part of the country never wore drawers of any sort. Take down her trousers, said Stevens.
Again Miss Dean looked around. Please leave me my pantalettes. They won’t protect me much. Do not expose my nakedness to all these men, she pleaded earnestly.
But no attention was paid to her entreaty. One of the men roughly put his hands in front of her belly and after some fumbling unbuttoned the pantalettes and pulled them down to her ankles, leaving her person naked from the waist to the tops of her black silk stockings.
When her last garment had been removed, her pale cheeks blushed scarlet. Even the nape of her neck and her ears became red. A shudder shook her body from head to foot, she bent her head down and she closed her eyes. I was being held by two men close to the ladder, so I could not help seeing everything.
Miss Dean, as I have before said, was a tall, slim, slightly built woman. Her hips were very narrow and her bottom very small, but it was round, well shaped and fairly plump; her thighs and legs also were well formed though slender; her skin was of a delicate ivory tint, smooth, and fine in texture.
The men pressed closer to the ladder, and I could see their eyes glisten as they fixed them with lecherous looks on Miss Dean’s half-naked body. Stevens, after gazing for a moment or two at her straight figure, exclaimed with a laugh: Je-ru-sa-lem! What a little bottom she’s got. It ain’t no bigger than a man’s. By gosh, boys! Perhaps she is a man! This was meant as a joke. It amused the men and they all laughed, one of them calling out: Well Jake, you can easily find out whether she’s a woman or not.
Why, so I can, now that you have put it in my head, drawled Stevens, grinning and pretending to be surprised at the suggestion. Then he thrust his hand between her thighs.
Miss Dean flinched convulsively, uttering a startled cry. Then, looking round at the man with an expression of intense horror on her face and with her eyes flashing, she exclaimed: How dare you touch me like that?! Take your hand away! Oh, whip me and let me go!
She writhed and twisted, but the man kept his hand in the cleft of her thighs, saying with a coarse laugh: She’s a woman sure enough, boys. I’ve got my hand on her slit.
Then he said to her: My hand won’t hurt you. But if I and these other gentlemen were not decent sort of chaps who only intend to carry out the sentence of Judge Lynch, you would soon find something different to a hand between your legs. Now I’ll whip you right away, and I guess you’ll soon be begging me to stop whipping you.
He withdrew his hand, and Miss Dean ceased struggling. Her head drooped forward. She again closed her eyes and lay silently awaiting the shameful punishment.
Stevens raised the switch and flicked it about so as to make it hiss in the air. Then he brought it down with considerable force across the upper part of her bottom, the tough hickory spray making a sharp crack as it struck the firm flesh which quivered involuntarily under the stinging stroke.
Miss Dean winced, drawing her breath through her teeth with a hissing sound. A long red weal instantly rose on her delicate skin.
Swinging the switch high, Stevens went on whipping, laying each stroke below the preceding one so that her skin soon was striped in regular lines. Each stroke smacked loudly on her flesh, and each one raised a fresh, red weal which stretched across both sides of her quivering bottom.
She began to writhe, and she clenched her teeth so tightly that I could see the outlines of her jaws through her cheeks, but no sound came from her lips. The man laid on the strokes with severity, and I wondered how she could bear the pain in silence. I felt inclined to scream, and I shuddered every time that I heard the horrid sound made by the switch as it fell on her flesh.
Stevens continued to whip her ruthlessly and slowly, pausing between each stroke. The weals increased in number and her skin grew redder until at last there was not a trace of white to be seen on the whole surface of her bottom. Her flesh twitched, she winced more sharply, she writhed more and she jerked her loins from side to side as the hissing strokes fell. Then, raising her head and looking over her shoulder, she fixed her eyes, which had become dilated and wild looking, on the switch every time it rose in the air.
Her lips were quivering, her pretty face was distorted with pain, the big tears were streaming down her scarlet cheeks and she began to moan. Still Stevens plied the hickory. Drops of blood began to show all over the surface of the skin. Her contortions became more violent and she uttered a groan every time the switch raised a fresh weal on her bleeding bottom. But the brave woman never once screamed, nor did she make an appeal for mercy. Her fortitude amazed me.
At last Stevens stopped whipping and threw down the switch which had become quite frayed at the end. Then, bending down, he closely examined the marks of his handiwork on the sufferer’s bottom.
I also gazed at it, shuddering. The whole surface from the loins to the thighs was a dark red color; it was covered with livid weals crossing and recrossing each other in all directions, and it was plentifully spotted with blood. It was dreadfully sore looking and its extreme redness contrasted with the ivory-like whiteness of the untouched skin of the thighs. She had been most severely whipped. I think she must have received forty or fifty strokes.
There boys, said Stevens, looking round at the spectators, I guess that will do for her. I touched her up pretty smartly, as you can see by the state of her bottom. She won’t be able to sit down comfortable for two or three days, and I don’t think the marks of the whipping will ever be quite rubbed off her skin.
He then pulled down her clothes and unfastened her wrists and ankles. She stood up, twisting her loins in pain, with her pantalettes hanging about her feet. Her face now was pale and drawn with suffering, her bosom was heaving, her tears were flowing and she was sobbing.
She seemed oblivious of everything except her pain. But, after a few moments, she recovered herself a little and, taking her handkerchief from her pocket, wiped the tears from her eyes.
Then she pulled up her pantalettes and with some difficulty-for she was trembling very much-buttoned them around her waist, her cheeks again reddening when she noticed the grinning faces and leering looks of the men standing round her.
Two of the men then took her by the arms and led her into the veranda, where they left her.
She laid herself down at full length upon a couch and hid her face in the cushion, weeping.
I have told you all these things precisely as they happened, and I have used the exact words and phrases which were spoken by the band of lynchers who tortured us that day. I daresay you wonder at my remembering all the little details. But such an experience can never be forgotten: all the incidents which occurred during that dreadful period were indelibly printed on my memory so that I have still a vivid recollection of them.
But to resume. You can imagine my feelings as I listened to the coarse language of the men, language such as I had never before heard, and as I watched the proceedings at once so cruel and so utterly revolting the feminine delicacy. I was torn with various emotions. I was horrified at what I had heard and seen; I was filled with pity for Miss Dean; I was consumed with impotent rage against the men in whose power we were; I dreaded the coming exposure of my person, and I was awfully afraid of the whipping before me. I never could bear pain with any fortitude. In fact, I must confess that I am morally and physically a great coward.
Stevens picked up the unused switch and straightened it by drawing it through the fingers of his left hand. Now boys, he said, put the gal on the ladder and tie her up but let me do the stripping.
The awful moment had come, and I became quite frantic at the thought of the shame and pain which I was about to undergo. An insane idea that I might escape came into my head. The men were holding me loosely, so I easily slipped from their grasp and made a dash for the garden gate. Several of the men gave chase, and, though I exerted myself to the utmost, I soon was caught and dragged to the ladder, shrieking, struggling and begging them not to whip me. But my entreaties evoked only laughter. I was lifted up, was placed in position with outstretched arms and was securely bound at the wrists and the ankles.
Stevens now began to strip me and seemed to take as long a time over the work as possible, slowly rolling my garments up one by one till he came to my drawers. Then he paused. I was wearing the usual feminine drawers that are open behind.
Look, boys, he observed, this gal has got on trousers too, but they are different from the ones the woman wore. These are loose, and are real dandy ones, all pretty frills and lace and ribbons. And, you see, there is a big slit at the back. I suppose that’s there so her sweetheart can get at her without taking down her trousers.
The men all laughed loudly, while I, on hearing the shameful words, shrank as if I had received a blow.
Stevens now untied the strings of my drawers and pulled them down to my knees. I could feel the breeze fanning my naked bottom and thighs. A sensation of unutterable shame overwhelmed me. To be exposed in such a way before fifteen men!
And such men! Oh! It was horrible! I knew that they were all gloating over my nakedness, and I seemed actually to feel their lascivious glances on my flesh. I was hot with shame, yet I shivered as with cold.
But worse was yet to come. Stevens put his hand on my bottom, stroking it all over and squeezing the flesh with his fingers, making me thrill and quiver with disgust. In fact, my feelings of shame and horror at the moment were far greater than they had been when Randolph assaulted me.
Ah! said Stevens, chuckling and continuing to feel me with his rough hand, this gal has got something like a bottom. My! Ain’t it jest plump and firm and broad. There’s plenty of room here for the switch, and her skin is as soft and smooth as velvet. You can see how white it is.
I’ve never before had my hand on such a scrumptious bottom. It’s worth feeling, and no mistake,
I writhed and moaned. He went on: I should like all of you to have a feel of it, but as leader of this yer party, I can’t allow you to touch the gal for fear some of you might want to do more than feel her, and that would lead to difficulties among us. Now, as to the punishment of the gal. I propose to give her a dozen strokes, but not to draw blood. Remember, she’s only an assistant in the business.
The men were divided in opinion. Some said that I ought to be whipped just the same as the missis; but the majority was in favor of my receiving only twelve strokes. And so it was settled. Even in my fear and shame, I felt a wave of relief at hearing that I was not going to be whipped so severely as Miss Dean had been.
One of the men called out: Mind you, lay on the dozen right smart, Jake. Make the young bitch wriggle her bottom.
You bet I’ll lay them on smart, and you’ll see how she’ll move. I know how to handle a hick’ry switch, and I’ll rule a dozen lines across her bottom that’ll make it look like the American flag, striped red and white. And when I’ve done with her I guess she’ll be pretty sore behind, but you’ll see that I won’t draw a drop of blood. Yes, gentlemen, I tell you again that I know how to whip. I was an overseer in Georgia for five years.
All the time that Stevens was holding forth I lay shame-stricken at my nakedness and shivering in awful suspense, the flesh of my bottom creeping and the scalding tears trickling down my red cheeks. Finally he raised the switch and flourished it over me, while I held my breath and contracted the muscles of my bottom in dread of the coming stroke.
It fell with a loud swishing noise. Oh! It was awful! The pain was even worse than I had anticipated. It took my breath away for a moment and made me gasp. Then I uttered a loud shriek, writhing and twisting my loins in agony.
Stevens went on whipping me very slowly, so that I felt the full sting of each stroke before the next one fell. Every stroke felt as if a red-hot iron was being drawn across my bottom. I winced and squirmed each time the horrid switch fell sharply on my quivering flesh. I shrieked and screamed and I swung my hips from side to side, arching my loins at one moment and then flattening myself down on the ladder, while, between my shrieks, I begged and prayed the man to stop whipping me.
I had forgotten all about my nakedness now. The only sensation I had at the moment was one of intense pain. When the twelve strokes had been inflicted, I was in a half-fainting state.
I was left lying on the ladder with upturned petticoats while the men all gathered round me and looked at me. Because I was a strong healthy girl, the faintness soon passed off, as also did the first intense smart of the whipping. But my whole bottom was sore, and the weals throbbed painfully.
The feeling of shame again came over me as I began to notice the way the men were looking at my naked body, and I tearfully begged them to pull down my clothes. No one did so, however, and Stevens, pointing to me said: There boys, look at her bottom. You see how regularly the white skin is striped with long red weals? But there is not a drop of blood.
That’s what I call a prettily-whipped bottom. But the gal ain’t got a bit of grit in her. Any nigger wench would have taken double the number of strokes without making half the noise.
Now the other woman is a plucky one, she took her whippin’ well.
He then pulled up my drawers and tied the strings round my waist, saying with a laugh: This is the first time I’ve ever fixed up a woman’s trousers, and it’s the first time I’ve ever whipped women who wore trousers.
Pulling down my clothes, he now loosened me from the ladder and led me, crying, sore and miserable, back to the veranda where Miss Dean was still lying on her side upon the couch with her hands over her face. He then went off to the other men, a few of whom I saw were engaged in work of some sort near the fence.
But I was so thankful at having got out of their hands and sight that I did not particularly notice what they were doing. I thought they would soon go away and that all our troubles were over. I had quite forgotten that Stevens had said we would have to ride a rail for two hours after being whipped.
Miss Dean looked mournfully at me. Her sweet face was very pale and her soft eyes were full of tears but the tears were not for herself, they were for me. She beckoned to me, and, when I went to her, she folded me in her arms, pressing me to her bosom.
Oh! My poor, poor girl, she murmured in tones full of compassion. How I have felt for you!
Your shrieks pierced my heart. Oh! The cruel, cruel man, to whip you so severely! (She seemed to have quite forgotten the shame and pain of her own whipping in her pity for me.) He did not whip me nearly so severely as he did you, I said. He gave me only a dozen strokes and no blood has come. But I could not help screaming. I am not so brave as you are. Then we kissed and cried and sympathized with each other, comparing notes as to our feelings while we had been on the ladder exposed to the eyes of the men.
After a moment or two I put my hand under my petticoats and touched my smarting bottom, feeling the weals which had been raised on the flesh by the switch. They were exquisitely tender and I could hardly bear to touch them.
Oh! Dear me! I wailed, How dreadfully sore I am. But you must be much sorer.
I certainly am very sore, said Miss Dean, wiping her eyes. I can neither sit down nor lie on my back. My bottom is still bleeding, I think, and my pantalettes are sticking to my flesh.
But, oh, oh! The awful exposure, and the shameful touch of the man’s hand was worse than the whipping! she exclaimed, wringing her hands while the tears again began to trickle down her cheeks.
I pressed her hand in sympathy, and she went on: Our sufferings are not over yet, Dorothy.
Don’t you remember that the man said we would have to ride a rail for two hours?
I now did call to mind what Stevens had said about our riding a rail, but I was not much frightened at having to do so. Of course, I knew that it would be very uncomfortable-if not downright painful-to have to sit with a sore and smarting bottom on a rail for two hours. But that was all I thought about the matter at the moment. Ah! I little knew what a terrible torture riding a rail would prove to be! I don’t know whether Miss Dean had any notion of what it actually was, but anyway she did not say a word more on the subject, and we stood, both of us being too sore to sit down in comfort, with our arms round each other, weeping silently and waiting miserably for the men to come for us.
We had not long to wait. In a couple of minutes, four of the band came and, taking us by the arms, led us out of the veranda to the fence beside which the other men were standing, some of them holding pieces of rope in their hands. The fence was about five feet high and of the ordinary pattern, made of split rails, the upper edge of each rail being wedge-shaped and sharp.
Stevens, with a cruel smile on his face, said: Now you are going to receive the rest of your punishment, a two-hour ride on the rail. I guess your bottoms must be very hot jest now, but they’ll have plenty of time to cool while you are having your ride. And to prevent you from falling off your horses, well tie you on them. Get them ready, boys.
I thought that we merely would be tied in a sitting posture on the fence with our clothes down. But I was soon undeceived! We were each seized by two men who held our arms while a third man raised our petticoats and pulled our drawers entirely off our legs. Then our skirts were held high above our waists so that the whole lower parts of our persons, both behind and before, were exposed to the lustful eyes of the horrid men. Since they had already seen our bottoms, they all crowded in front of us, gloating over the secret spots of our respective bodies, while we, crimson with shame greater than ever, struggled and wept and entreated the wretches to cover our nakedness. But they only laughed, and two or three of them put their hands on the spots. The touch of their fingers making us start and shrink with a horrible feeling of disgust.
Stevens stopped them by saying: No, no, boys, you must not touch the prisoners, but you may look at them as much as you like.
And the men did look, making remarks, speculating as to whether we were virgins or not, pointing the difference in the shape of our figures and observing the color of the hair on our respective spots, while we blushed and cried with shame.
You have seen my spot and know what it is like; there is nothing remarkable about it. But Miss Dean’s spot was somewhat remarkable. I had never seen it before, and I could not help looking at it with astonishment. It was covered with a thick forest of glossy, dark-brown hair which extended some distance up her belly and descended between her thighs in curly locks nearly two inches long. The fissure was completely hidden and not a trace of the lips could be seen.
One man, after a prolonged stare, exclaimed: By Gosh! I’ve never seen such a fleece between a woman’s legs in my life! Darn me if she wouldn’t have to be sheared before a man could get into her.
The men roared with laughter at the remark, while Miss Dean groaned and writhed in the bitterness of her shame.
After looking at our naked bodies for fully five minutes, the men went on with their work. A long piece of rope was passed several times round our bodies so that our arms and wrists were lashed closely to our sides. We then were lifted bodily up and, to my intense horror, seated astride one of the topmost rails of the fence, facing each other and about six feet apart.
The rail passed between our naked thighs, and our bare bottoms rested on the sharp edge of it.
On each side of the fence and close to it the men had driven stakes into the ground, and to these stakes our ankles ’ were securely tied. When the men had fixed us in this painful position, they allowed our clothes to fall about our legs. Our nakedness was covered, but our torture had begun.
Stevens looked at us with a grin on his face, saying: There now; you are properly mounted on your horses. We’re done with you and we’re all going away. But at the end of two hours one of us will come back and loosen you. And I reckon you’ll both be mighty stiff after your ride.
Then the band of lynchers took their departure, laughing and shouting coarse jokes which made us, even in our pain, grow hot with shame. The clatter of the horses’ hoofs and the loud laughter of the men gradually died away in the distance. Then all was perfectly still.
It was a beautiful, calm, bright evening. The sun was just setting and the house, the garden and our two unfortunate selves were bathed in a flood of amber light At first I had entertained a faint hope that Martha would come back once the men had gone and would release us.
However, she never came, and there did not seem to be the slightest chance of anyone else’s coming to the house at that hour. Thus, escape being seen as impossible, I resigned myself to the thought that Miss Dean and I would be forced to undergo the whole of our dreadful punishment.
From the first moment of our being placed astride the rail we had been suffering pain. Now it was increasing every minute. We did not speak to one another-our sufferings were too great! — so we just sat in silence with the tears, which we could not wipe off, trickling down our pale cheeks, while every now and then a shuddering sob or a groan of anguish would break from our parched lips.
Since our legs were rather widely stretched apart, the rail was imbedded in the cleft between our thighs and the weight of our bodies forced the sharp edge deeply into the division between the cheeks of our bottoms. Consequently the most delicate part of our persons was hurt by the pressure. Just imagine our positions and think what it meant to individuals of the female sex! Miss Dean, throughout the whole time we were on the rail, bore her sufferings bravely. Alas, I, for my part, could not.
As the minutes slowly parsed, the pain grew more and more excruciating. In addition, my bottom still was smarting and the weals on it still were throbbing. I felt as if the wedge-shaped rail were slowly splitting me.
Sharp, lancinating pains darted through my loins and up my back. Since my ankles were tightly fastened to the stake, I could not alter my position in the slightest degree. If my arms had not been bound to my sides, I might have gained a little temporary ease by resting my hands on the rail and thus taking some of the weight off my bottom. But the men, in their devilish ingenuity, had taken care that we should not have even a moment’s respite from our tortures. Even if we had fainted, we would not have fallen off the fence: the upper part of our bodies would have dropped either forward or backward, but our legs, tied to the stakes, would have remained straddled over the rail, and the sharp edge still would have remained between the cheeks of our bottoms.
Before long, every nerve in my body was throbbing with agony. A cold dew of perspiration had broken out on my forehead. I groaned and writhed and twisted about, but the more I did so, the more firmly the sharp rail was imbedded in my tender cleft.
I began to scream, and, but for the grace of God, might even have cursed. Miss Dean, meanwhile, was crying, and her face showed the anguish which she felt. However, she made no outcry.
A few minutes more of agony slowly passed. Then I saw a man enter the lane and come towards the house. He was not one of the lynchers, so my heart bounded with joy. We should be released in a few moments!
I redoubled my cries, begging him to come quickly to our assistance. However, he did not hurry himself in the least. He walked deliberately and slowly up the path, and, alas, when he got a little nearer, I saw that he was none other than Randolph.
A few days previously I had hoped never to set eyes on him again. But now I was intensely delighted to see him. Oh, Mr. Randolph! I gasped out in a choking voice, with tears streaming down my cheeks. Take me down! Oh! Take me down quickly!
He came close to the fence and stood looking down at Miss Dean and me. He had a smile on his face.
Oh dear, Mr. Randolph! I again wailed. ’Take me down! Do be quick and take me down!
But, to my horror, he did not move. Well, he said mockingly, if it isn’t Miss Ruth Dean and Miss Dorothy Morton. This is what slave-running has brought you. And it is to me that you owe your present position. I let the ’white’ people know of your doings, and you have been rightly and smartly punished. I told you, Dolly, that we should meet again, and we have met.
I knew that the men were coming to pay you a visit this evening, so I came with them, and, though you did not see me, I saw both of you getting your bottoms whipped. I must say, Dolly, you squealed just like a pig being killed.
He paused to laugh, and a sickening feeling of despair came over me. The cruel man, not content with having set the lynchers on us, had come to mock us in our agony.
He continued: I am afraid that your bottoms- especially yours, Miss Dean-must be very tender after the smart switching, and I am sure that you both must be extremely uncomfortable on your present seats. The edges are sharp, and I have no doubt that they are pressing sorely on a certain delicate ’spot’ between your thighs.
Miss Dean’s face was working with pain and her eyes were full of tears. But, when she heard Randolph’s coarse and indecent words, she put aside her suffering and was consumed with indignation. Her pale cheeks grew red. Looking at me, she said in a quavering voice: Dorothy, do you know this boor?
Randolph answered for me: Oh yes she does! Miss Morton and I once were great friends. But we had a little tiff one day and she told me to go away. Is that not the case, Dolly?
I hated the man, but at that moment the dreadful pain which I was suffering overpowered every other feeling. Yes! Yes! That is the case! I exclaimed fretfully. But don’t stand there talking! Take us down at once!
Randolph smiled, but did not make a move to release us.
Oh! Oh! I shrieked with pain, enraged at his utter callousness. How can you stand there and watch two poor women suffering agony? Oh! Why don’t you release us? Have you no mercy or pity?
I am not a merciful man, he replied coolly. I am a Southerner. As a rule I have no pity for abolitionists when they get into trouble for interfering with our slaves. Then, grinning lasciviously, he added: But I don’t mind making an exception in your case, Dolly. I will take you down if you will promise to come and live with me. Upon hearing what he said, Miss Dean again fixed
her eyes on me. She said earnestly: Oh, Dorothy! Don’t listen to the man! He is a cruel scoundrel to try to take advantage of your sufferings. But be brave, dear. Don’t give way. I am suffering as much as-if not more than-you are, but I would not accept release on such disgraceful terms.
Randolph laughed scornfully. I have not the least intention of offering the terms to you, Miss Dean, he said. As far as I am concerned, you may sit on the rail till the two hours are over.
The view I had of your naked charms did not tempt me in the slightest. You have no figure.
You are quite straight up and down. Your bottom is too narrow, your thighs are too small and your legs are too thin. I like a woman to have a broad bottom, plump thighs and good legs, such as Dorothy has.
Oh! You hateful man! exclaimed Miss Dean angrily-for, after all, she was a woman, and no woman likes to hear her charms, whatever they may be, spoken of in disparaging terms.
But Randolph ignored her. Now then, Dolly, he chuckled. You have heard what I said. Do you intend to come home with me tonight?
The coarse way he put the question shocked me, so I tried to pluck up a little spirit. I partly succeeded. No, no, I won’t go home with you, I said. But, I fear, my tone of voice was far from determined.
Very well then, replied he. Stay where you are. You have an hour and a half more to sit on your perch. By that time you’ll be in a terrible state between the legs. And you’ll be half-dead with pain. Rather a dreadful prospect, isn’t it?
Alas, it was! I moaned and shuddered at the thought of the long period of agony before me.
Again I piteously entreated him to take me down.
He made no answer, but coolly lit a cigar and began to smoke. Then, leaning against the middle of the rail, he looked first to his right at Miss Dean, then to his left at me. His physiognamy was a study in perfect unconcern as we writhed, wept and groaned in anguish-
and as the sharp edge of the rail pressed harder and harder against the tender flesh between the cheeks of our bottoms.
For a few minutes more, I bore the pain, which was growing more and more intense. Then I gave way utterly. I could no longer endure the anguish. I said to myself: What does anything matter, so long as I can escape from this terrible torture?! I can’t bear it for another hour and a half I I’ll go raving mad, or die!
No doubt it was weak of me, but I was in a half-fainting state, and, as I have told you before, I am physically and morally a coward. Oh! I cried. Oh! Take me down! Take me down at once, and I promise to go home with you!
When Miss Dean heard me promise to go with Randolph, she said: Don’t! Oh, don’t go with him Dorothy! Don’t wreck your life! Try to bear your sufferings! They soon will be over! If I were you I would rather die than yield my body to the man.
You are not she, Miss Dean, Randolph said curtly. Then, turning to me, he asked: Have you quite made up your mind, Dolly? And, so saying, he touched his hand to the knot of the rope binding my arms.
Yes! Yes! I cried impatiently. Oh! Do be quick and release me!
Oh, Dorothy! sighed Miss Dean in a sorrowful tone. Oh, you poor girl! I pity you! You do not know the horror and shame which lie before you!
Randolph soon untied the ropes which fastened my arms and ankles. Then, putting his arms around my waist, he lifted me off the rail, carried me into the veranda and laid me, limp and faint, on the couch. I was stiff and sore and aching from head to foot, but I was not suffering much pain. And, oh, the intense relief to find myself no longer astride the sharp rail!
When I was situated comfortably, Randolph fetched me a glass of water, which I drank thirstily, for my mouth was parched and I was quite feverish from the torture which I had undergone. Then, when I had recovered a little, I thought of Miss Dean and I asked Randolph to release her. However, he was very bitterly set against her, and would hear nothing of my pleas. It was not until after I had begged for her with all the pathos at my command that he finally consented to release her before we went away.
Now, Dolly, he said, I’ll go for the buggy. I left it just around the corner of the lane. I shan’t be gone long, so you lie here quietly until I come back. Then he added meaningfully: You had better not attempt to escape, for the men still are somewhere in the neighborhood and if they see you they’ll put you back on the rail. So saying, he took his leave.
The thought of escape never entered my head. At that moment I was so weak and frightened that all my senses were in a half-torpid state. I did not fully realize the horrors which lay ahead of me, and I lay languidly on the couch, thinking only that it was so delightful to be free at last from pain.
Presently Randolph drove up with the buggy and, after hitching the horse to the garden gate, came to the couch, Now then, Dolly, he said to me, come along. Never mind your things. My women can supply you with everything necessary for the night, and I will send for your trunks tomorrow morning. Can you walk to the buggy, or shall I carry you?
I replied that I could walk. But, on attempting to do so, I found myself so shaky and stiff that I could barely put one foot before the other. Noticing how feeble I was, Randolph lifted me up in his arms and carried me to the buggy. Then he placed me inside and wrapped a rug around my knees. I reminded him of his promise to free Miss Dean before we left, and he dutifully went to the fence and untied her bonds. However, he did not take the trouble to help her off her painful perch; the poor creature was forced to climb from the rail without assistance of any sort.
Miss Dean was weak, pale and suffering. Her feebleness was such that she had to lean against the fence for support. But her thoughts still were for me. Don’t go with that man, Dorothy, she said again, her tone urgent and earnest. Never mind your promise. It was extracted from you by torture, so you are not morally obliged to keep it. Stay with me.
I did not want to go with Randolph, and I would have been only too glad to stay with her. But my cowardice ruled the day. Afraid of being placed once more astride the rail, I could only cry out feebly: Oh, I must go with him, my dear friend. I am in his power.
Yes, indeed you are, Randolph observed. And if you were to attempt to break your promise you would very soon find yourself back ’in the saddle.’ Then, addressing Miss Dean, he went on: Remember, Ruth, what the men told you. If you are not out of the state before forty-eight hours have expired, you will receive another visit from ’Judge Lynch.’ He then got into the buggy beside me, and, as he did so, I shrank as far away from him as possible, hating him and despising myself even more.
Randolph touched the horse with his whip and we drove off, leaving Miss Dean standing with drooping head by the fence. After we had gone a short distance, I looked back and saw her lonely figure still in the same position. She did not move, and I kept my eyes fixed upon her until the buggy turned the corner of the lane. Then I sank back on the seat and, covering my face with my hands, wept bitterly. I had parted with the only friend I had in the world.
Randolph did not say a word to me, but just let me cry away, which was the best thing he could have done at the moment. The buggy, drawn by a fast trotter, rolled rapidly along the road, and, since Randolph’s plantation was only three miles distant, we soon reached the gates of the avenue leading to the house.
The gates were thrown open by two Negroes and we entered the avenue, which was about a quarter of a mile long, shaded throughout its length with tall trees. In a few minutes we arrived at the house, a very large and handsome building; consisting of a central part, with a cupola on top, and wings on either side. In front was a broad terrace sloping down to a lawn flanked with well-kept beds of beautiful flowers. Several Negroes were on the terrace, waiting to receive their master, and, when he pulled up the horse at the door, the men came forward and took charge of the animal.
The wide door of the house was opened. Then Randolph, lifting me out of the buggy, carried me through a spacious hall into a handsomely furnished room and placed me on a couch.
There, Dolly, he said, smiling down at me. You are safe from the lynchers now.
He next rang a bell, which immediately was answered by a good-looking quadroon woman about thirty-five years of age. She was very tall, stout and broad shouldered, and was dressed in a well-fitting print frock, with white apron, collar and cuffs. She had very black, glossy, wavy hair, and on her head she wore a smart cap. The woman looked hard at me, but there was not the least expression of surprise on her face.
Dinah, said her master, this lady has met with an accident. Carry her up to the pink room and attend to her. See that she has everything she wants and take great care of her. Do you understand?
Yes, Massa, she replied.
Turning to me, Randolph said: I am going to dinner now, but Dinah will look after you and I think that you had better let her put you to bed. You are quite feverish. You shall not be disturbed tonight, he added meaningfully.
I understood the significance of the last words, but I made no remark and a blush dyed my cheeks. I was still dazed and stupid. The rapid succession of painful and startling events had been too much for me.
Dinah came to the sofa, and, lifting me in her strong arms as if I had been a baby, carried me out of the room and up a broad flight of stairs to a most luxuriously furnished bedroom, where she laid me on the bed. Then closing the door, she came back to the bedside and looked at me with a kind, motherly expression on her pleasant face.
I know who you is, Missy, she said, you is one of the good Northern ladies who keeps the
’unnergroun’ station.’ All de cullud folks in dese parts has heard of you. But it was none of dem dat set de lynchers on you. I know de lynchers has been after you today, honey. What did dey do to you? Did dey ride you on a rail? Dey offen does dat to ablishinists. Don’t mind tellin’ me all about it, little Miss. I’se fond of you for what yo’ve done for de runaways.
The woman’s sympathy was most comforting to me, so I told her all that had been done to Miss Dean and myself.
Oh! you poor young lady! I’se so very sorry for you, she exclaimed, in tones full of pity. You mus’ be drefful sore. But I will bathe you an’ make you as comfortable as I can, an’ den you mus’ go to bed.
It was rather dark, so she lit the lamps and drew the curtains. She then left the room, returning in a few minutes with a can of hot water. Now, honey, she said tenderly, I’ll fix you up.
Dinah undressed me to my chemise. Then, asking me to lie on my face, she rolled up the garment, and, after separating my legs a little, examined my body.
I see dat dose horrid men gave you twelve strokes with de switch, she observed. De weals is quite plain on your poor bottom, Missy, an’ you is all bruised an’ marked between de thighs where the rail hurt you.
She then sponged my bottom with cold water and gently rubbed the weals with some soft stuff, saying: Dis is possum fat, Missy. It will take the smart out of de weals. We always uses possum fat to take away de sting of a whipping. The stuff certainly did seem to make my bottom feel easier.
What a bootiful figure you’ve got, she continued. And such pretty legs. And such a lubly white skin. I’se never seen such a white one in my life.
When she had fixed my bottom, she turned me over onto my back and fomented with warm water my spot and the parts adjacent, uttering all the time expressions of pity for me and abusing the lynchers, whom she called a pack of mean white trash. (It is a curious fact that the slaves in the South used to have a contempt for white people who did not own a Negro. I may also here say that Dinah never knew that it was her master who had set the lynchers on us.)
Since my parts were very tender and also a good deal swollen, Dinah’s fomentation gave me great relief. When she had finished bathing the sore spot, she went to a drawer, which, to my surprise, I saw was filled with all sorts of feminine undergarments. Taking out a lace trimmed nightdress, she brought it to me. Then, removing my chemise, she put the nightgown on me and made me get into bed. She then went away, but soon returned with a tray on which were dishes, plates and a small bottle of champagne. She placed a small table by the bedside, and, spreading a cloth, laid out the good things she had brought.
Now, honey, she said, here is a nice little dinner. You must try and eat a bit, and drink some of dis wine. It will do you good.
Since I had been a teetotaller all my life, I did not want the wine. I asked Dinah to get me a cup of tea. She soon did so. Then I propped myself up in the bed, taking care to press as little as possible on my bottom, and, since I was feeling very faint, I began to eat and was able to make a very fair meal, forgetting the past for the moment, and not thinking of the future.
While I was having my supper, Dinah talked to me freely, but always with perfect respect.
The fact of my having been indecently whipped by a band of men had not lowered me the least in her estimation. To her, I was still a white lady from the North, while she was only a slave.
She informed me with an air of pride that she was the housekeeper and had twenty female servants under her. Then she gave me some particulars about herself. She had been born on the plantation and had never been more than twenty miles from it in all her life. She once had had a husband, but was now a widow without a child. She further informed me in a most matter-of-course way that she often had been whipped.
When she had cleared away the dinner things, she brushed my hair-it was the first time that I had ever had such a thing done for me since I had become an adult woman. Then she put a bell on the table beside the bed, and, after turning down the lamp, bade me good night and left the room.
When I woke the next morning the hands of the handsome Dresden china clock on the mantelpiece pointed to half-past eight o’clock. Sitting up in bed, I looked about me with the puzzled feeling one always experiences on first waking in a strange place. Then my brain cleared, and I vividly remembered all the dreadful incidents of the previous day: the horrible exposure of my most secret parts before a number of rough men; the ignominious and painful whipping; the agonizing ride on the rail. I shuddered. Next I thought of Randolph, and of the promise which I had given him. He might come to me at any moment! I felt my cheeks flush, and, in a sudden, unthinking impulse, I jumped out of bed and ran to the door to lock it. But there was no key. Then it struck me that locking the door-even if I had been able to do so-
would not save me. I was in the man’s power and would have to submit to him sooner or later. So I crept back to bed again, lying trembling and wondering whether he would do the horrid deed some time during the day or wait until nighttime.
At nine o’clock Dinah came in with a cup of tea for me, bringing with her a letter from Randolph saying that he had been unexpectedly called to Richmond on urgent business which probably would detain him four or five days. He said also that he had made arrangements for my trunks to be brought to Woodlands, and he had given orders to all the servants that they were to look upon me as their mistress. He finished the note by telling me that Dinah knew where everything was, and that she would take good care of me. Feeling very thankful for my temporary respite, I drank the tea and lay down again.
Presently a smart young quadroon chambermaid brought in a large tin bath which she filled with water. After laying out towels and all the other articles necessary for my toilet, she left the room. I had my bath and, while drying myself, looked at my bottom in the mirror, finding that the weals had gone down considerably. But they still showed in long red stripes on my skin and they still were tender to the touch. I also was still very sore between the legs, where the rail had bruised the flesh-in fact, it was a week before all the marks and bruises on my body had entirely disappeared. Tears rose to my eyes and my heart swelled with rage and bitterness as I gazed at the traces of the shameful punishment which had been inflicted on me.
Dinah came back and helped me to dress. She also arranged my hair. Then she showed me to a snug, well-furnished room where I sat down (my bottom was still rather tender) to breakfast, waited on by two pretty quadroon girls who gazed at me curiously with their big, soft, black eyes, but who treated me with the utmost deference.
Just as I had finished breakfast, Dinah came to inform me that my trunks had arrived; she told me also that she had heard that Miss Dean and Martha were going to start that evening for Richmond on their way North.
Oh! how I wished I were going with them. Then the idea of escape flashed across my mind, and I determined to try and get away from Woodlands. If I could get to Miss Dean, she would be delighted to see me and to know that I had returned to her as pure as when I left.
Moreover, she would take me back with her to Philadelphia. Filled with new hope, I went up to my room.
I was glad to be able to change my clothes. Dressing in clean garments from head to foot, I put on my hat and went down into the hall. Finding Dinah standing near the open door, I told her that I was going out for a walk.
Oh Missy, she said, I know what you is thinkin’ of. You wants to get away to Miss Dean.
But, oh, honey, you can’t. De Massa has give strict orders to de men at de gate not to let you out, an’ all de place is watched. You can’t get away nohow.
My hopes of escape were dashed to the ground. I felt utterly miserable. Throwing myself on a seat, I wept bitterly while Dinah hovered about me, looking sympathetic but saying nothing.
I saw at once that, if I could not reach Miss Dean before she started, all chance for me was gone, for, even if I managed to get away from Woodlands, I had neither money nor a place to go. Moreover, I had been warned by the lynchers to leave Virginia in forty-eight hours. If they caught me wandering about-which they would be sure to do-they would ride me on a rail again or whip me, perhaps both.
The prospect was too awful to contemplate, so with a heavy heart I gave up all thought of leaving Wood-Sands. I would have to remain and submit to my fate when the time came.
After a few minutes I grew calmer. Then Dinah, with the intention of diverting my thoughts, asked if I would come and see the house. I answered in the affirmative, and she showed me all over the place, from the attic to the kitchen.
It was a very large mansion, beautifully furnished throughout; it had long corridors and two flights of stairs, one at the front and one at the back; there were twenty bedrooms, each decorated in a different style, plus several sitting rooms and boudoirs, a spacious dining room and an immense drawing room; there also was a billiard table and a large library well filled with books of all sorts. I never before had been in such a grand house, nor had I seen such splendid furniture. The pictures, though, in some of the rooms made me blush.
There were twenty female servants-slaves, of course-living in the house. All were dressed alike in well-fitting pink-print frocks with white aprons, caps, collars and cuffs. They all wore neat, well-polished shoes and white cotton stockings, and everyone of them looked trim and clean. In fact, they were obliged to be always tidy and properly dressed, any slovenliness being punished.
The cooks and kitchen servants were black or mulatto women, but all the parlormaids and housemaids were young quadroons or octoroons from eighteen to twenty-five years of age.
All of them were pretty, while two or three of the octoroons were really quite handsome and so light in colour that they might easily have passed as white girls anywhere except in the South. (People there can at once detect the least trace of black blood in a man or woman.) Some of them had full, voluptuous-looking figures, and, since none wore stays, the rounded contours of their bosoms were plainly outlined under their thin bodices. There were several children of both sexes about the place, but no male servants lived in the house.
When Dinah had shown me everything that was to be seen in the establishment, she left me and I went out into the grounds. They were extensive and beautifully kept. There were flower gardens, fruit and kitchen gardens, shrubberies and hot houses. The whole place was surrounded by high iron railings, the only means of exit being the gate at the entrance to the avenue.
I wandered about listlessly, but I noticed that the men who were at work about the grounds kept a watch on my movements. I walked down to the gate, and, just to see if I was really a prisoner, I tried to open it. Two men instantly came out of the lodge and one of them said civilly: You can’t go out, Missy. De gate is locked, by de Massa’s order.
I then returned to the house and went up to my grand bedroom, all pink and white and gold, with two large windows looking out onto the gardens at the back. It was partly furnished as a sitting room, with a comfortable sofa and easy chairs, a round table, and a large well-fitted writing cabinet. Drawing an easy chair to one of the windows, I sat down and had a long think. I thought what a cruel man Randolph was to have betrayed us to the lynchers and then to have taken advantage of my agony to extract that promise from me.
Oh! Why had I not sufficient fortitude to bear the pain! If I had refused to accept release on the shameful terms which he had offered, I should in a few hours have been on my way to Richmond with Miss Dean!
I thought of her, and contrasted her position with mine. She was all right, except for the whipping, and in a couple of days would be safe at home in Philadelphia, still in possession of her virgin treasure-while I would be at Woodlands, a prisoner in the hands of a man who had shown himself to be utterly unscrupulous.
And what was to become of me afterwards? Oh dear! Oh dear! I said to myself. How I wish I had never persuaded Miss Dean to let me come to Virginia with her!
The morning passed, and at one o’clock Dinah came to tell me that lunch was ready. I went downstairs and managed to have something to eat. Then I betook myself to the library, where I remained for the rest of the afternoon trying to divert my thoughts by reading a novel At seven o’clock I sat down to a dainty, well-cooked little dinner-a better dinner than I ever had seen, frankly, since Miss Dean always lived very plainly. The two quadroon parlormaids, whose names were Lucy and Kate, waited on me, while Dinah, as Butler, overlooked them.
Dinah had the key to everything and was entirely trusted by her master. She offered me champagne, claret and bottled ale, but I refused them all. However, I made a fair meal, for I was a healthy girl and my appetite asserted itself in spite of the depressing nature of the position I was in at the moment. When dinner was over, I went into one of the smaller sitting rooms where the lamps had been lighted, the curtains drawn and everything made snug for me. But the evening seemed very long, and I felt very lonely. I should have liked Dinah’s company, for her quaint talk would have amused me a little. But I did not think that it would be quite correct for me to send for her, and she, I suppose, did not think it right to intrude upon me. So I did not see her until I went up to my room, when she came to brush my hair and to help me undress.
Four days passed in the quiet way narrated in the preceding chapter. On the fifth morning of my captivity, when Dinah came in with my usual cup of tea, she informed me that she had received a letter from her master-she could read, but not write-telling her that he would be home at seven o’clock to dinner and that she was to take care that it was a good one.
I sat up in bed, looking blankly at Dinah and feeling a sinking sensation at my heart, for, though I had known that the fatal moment would come, I was startled at hearing that it was close at hand.
I got up, had my bath and dressed myself mechanically, then went downstairs. But I could not eat any breakfast, though I thirstily drank two cups of coffee. All day long, I was restless and uncomfortable. I roamed about the great house with a sort of feeling that I was in a dream and would soon wake. Sometimes I would sit down on a chair with my mind quite blank. Then, in another moment, the thought of what was going to be done to me would strike my brain with a sudden shock that sent the blood to my cheeks.
I dreaded the ordeal before me, morally as well as physically. Even a newly-wedded bride on the day of her marriage feels a little shame and fear at the thought of what her husband will do to her at night. But what could I do?-
The afternoon wore slowly away, and, at five o’clock, I was sitting listlessly in my room when Dinah came in followed by one of the chambermaids carrying a bathtub. Placing it in the middle of the room, the girl filled it with warm water. Then she went away, but Dinah remained.
Since I had taken my bath in the morning, I could not understand why the girl had again filled the tub- and with hot water too. I was not in the habit of bathing in hot water. I don’t want a bath, Dinah, I said.
No, Missy, I knows you don’t, you is bootiful clean. But I’se had orders in de letters from de Massa to give you a scented bath. I must obey his orders, whatever dey is, or he will whip me. Now den, honey, you’ll let me give you de bath.
I flushed with a strong feeling of indignation. I also felt deeply humiliated. The victim was to be bathed and perfumed before the sacrifice!
However, Dinah had to obey orders, so I told her that she might bathe me. She evidently was relieved, and at once began to prepare the scented bath.
First she poured some fluid from a phial into the water; next she threw in a quantity of white powder, which had a delicate perfume of roses; then she stirred the water until the powder was completely dissolved. (I found out afterwards that the fluid and the powder were Turkish preparations used by the ladies of a harem to impart a softness and gloss to their skins.) When everything was ready, she undressed me. Then, making me stand up in the bath, she sponged me all over with the warm, perfumed water, at the same time praising the symmetry and plumpness of my figure and the whiteness of my skin. When she had finished bathing me, she dried me with soft, warm towels, then rubbed me with her hands from head to foot and with her fingers gently kneaded my breasts and arms, also my bottom, thighs and legs, until my flesh seemed to become firmer and my skin smoother and more velvety than usual.
She then began to dress me, putting on my nicest things. She first put on me a lace-trimmed chemise with blue ribbons on the shoulders, then my finest drawers with deep lace frilling and bows of pink ribbon at the knees. Next she drew on my legs a pair of white silk stockings, fastening them above my knees with dark blue satin garters with silver buckles.
Then she cased my feet in my neatest shoes, put on my nicest petticoats and laced me tightly in my stays. Finally she put on me my prettiest white frock. Then she brushed my hair and arranged it most elaborately.
She was delighted with my appearance and, after turning me around two or three times, exclaimed: Oh Missy! You is a bootiful young lady for true. De Massa will be pleased when he sees you.
Dinah knew that she had bathed, perfumed and dressed me for the sacrifice, but she did not understand what a dreadful thing it would be to me. She was not a virtuous woman herself, and her ideas, like those of most slave women, were very loose on the subject of feminine virtue. Besides, I think that she considered me a lucky young lady to have attracted the notice of De Massa, who in her eyes was a very exalted personage indeed.
Now that I was dressed, she suggested that I go to the drawing room so as to be in readiness to receive the master on his return. Accordingly I went down to the great room, which had been brilliantly lighted, and seated myself on a sofa. I had become dully resigned to my fate, but my heart was heavy as I waited in the gorgeous apartment for the man who was going to rob me of my virginity. If I had had the slightest liking for him I should not have felt the thing so much. But I did not like him. I hated him.
Presently I heard the sound of wheels on the terrace. Then I heard the hall door being opened and shut. He had arrived! My heart began to flutter, though not with the pleasurable anticipation of a young girl wafting for her lover.
But Randolph did not make his appearance, so I supposed that he had gone straight to his own room to change his traveling garments. Such was the case. In a short time he came into the drawing room, dressed in evening clothes.
I rose from my seat. He came to me, took both my hands in his and kissed me hotly on the lips, making me shrink and tremble. Then, holding me at arms’ length, he looked at me from head to foot in a critical way, as if he were appraising my charms, while I stood with flaming cheeks and downcast eyes.
You are looking very charming, Dolly, he said. The frock you are wearing becomes you, but in future you must always put on a low-necked dress for dinner. He already considered me his property!
I have not got one, I murmured, without looking up.
Well, you soon shall have more than one, he observed, laughing and patting me on the; cheek. Now tell me. Have you been comfortable during my absence? Has Dinah taken good care of you? Have the servants been attentive?
I did not answer the first part of his question, for, though my body had been comfortable after it had recovered from the first severe effects of the punishment, my mind had been extremely uncomfortable the whole time. I replied: Dinah has taken very good care of me, and the servants have been most attentive.
So much the better for them. If they had not, I would have made all their bottoms smart, from Dinah downwards, he observed coolly.
His words jarred me. I thought that he need not have said anything about the women’s bottoms. But what could I say?-
He next asked two or three other questions, which I answered, Then one of the parlormaids announced dinner and we went into the big dining room.
The table had been beautifully decorated with flowers and fruit. The glass, linen and other appointments were of the finest description, and the great sideboard of old, polished mahogany glittered with massive silver plate which had been in Randolph’s family for generations. The dinner was of many courses, with all sorts of dishes which I had never heard of, and it was accompanied by wines whose names also were new to me.
Randolph talked away gaily, eating heartily and drinking a bottle of champagne. I, being nervous and depressed, hardly ate anything. I could only answer in monosyllables, and I blushed whenever I happened to catch his eye. I was thinking constantly of the dreadful thing he was going to do to me that night.
In order (I suppose) to cheer me up, he filled my glass with champagne and insisted that I drink it. But the wine only went to my head and made me giddy without exhilarating me in the least. When he saw the effect which the liquor had on me he did not give me any more.
When dinner was over and he had smoked a cigar, we went back to the drawing room.
Seating himself comfortably in an easy chair, he continued to talk, not taking any notice of my silence or making any remark about my downcast looks. He was in high spirits, induced, I suppose, by the thought that he soon would be in possession of my virgin body. He told me that he had heard that Miss Dean had got safely home to Philadelphia, and he added with a laugh: I don’t think that the prim Quakeress will ever again take to running an ’underground station.’ She got a real smart whipping and she will always carry the marks of it on her bottom. But you won’t be marked in the least, Dolly, as your skin was not cut.
I shuddered, and my bottom seemed to tingle as I thought of the whipping.
At ten o’clock he rose from his seat and said jocularly: Now, Dolly, since this is our wedding night, we’ll go to bed early. Come upstairs.
I blushed furiously and began to cry. After all, I could not resign myself quietly to my unhappy fate. I thought that I had become resigned, but now that the moment had arrived, all my feelings of modesty rose in revolt against the sacrifice of my maidenhead.
I made a last despairing appeal for mercy. Oh! Mr. Randolph! I exclaimed. Will you not spare me?
His countenance grew dark, he frowned and a hard look came into his eyes. Don’t be a fool, Dolly, he answered harshly, You gave me your promise, and I thought that the whole affair was settled. Come along.
Oh, do not hold me to my promise! I wailed. You know that when I made it I was half-mad with pain. Oh! Do let me go away from your house.
Now listen to me, he said in cold, incisive tones. I am not going to stand any nonsense. You are completely in my power, and I don’t intend to spare you, as you call it. If you do not come upstairs and submit quietly, I’ll have you carried up by four of the women, and I will make them hold you down upon the bed, so that I shall be able to do what I like to you at my ease. Now will you come quietly, or must you be carried up and held?
My appeal for mercy had failed, and I was thoroughly frightened by his threats. To be held down by four women while the deed was being done would only add to my shame. The very idea of such a thing made me shiver with horror. Resistance being useless, there was nothing left for me but to submit.
I will go quietly. I sobbed in a low voice, with the tears trickling down my cheeks. (Oh! how wretched I felt as I said those words!)
That’s right, he said. Then taking me by the hand he led me up to my room.
The shaded lamps had all been lit, so the apartment was filled with a bright, soft light. I at once noticed that a large bath towel had been spread over the silken coverlet of the bed, and that a nightshirt of his had been placed on one of the pillows.
He closed the door. Then, turning to me, he said: I am glad that you have come to your senses. I hate struggling with a woman, but I would have had my way in the end. Now continue to be sensible, and let me do whatever I like to you, without making any more remonstrances. First of all, I am going to undress you with my own hands. I like undressing a pretty girl.
He did the work in a way that showed it was by no means the first time he had stripped a woman. Making me stand in front of the mirror, he unfastened my dress, and, taking it off, threw it on a chair. Then he deftly unlaced my stays and removed them, thus exposing the upper part of my bosom, which I endeavoured to hide by crossing my arms over it.
Next he loosed the strings of my petticoats, letting them fall to the floor and making me step out of them. Then, kneeling down, he took off my shoes, after which he slipped his hands up my legs, unbuckled my garters and pulled off my stockings.
Now, putting both his hands under my chemise, he untied my drawers and drew them off my legs. As his hands strayed over my body and limbs while he was thus slowly stripping me, I shivered, but I offered no resistance. It would have been of no avail. He had determined to do the deed in his own way, so there would have been no use in my resisting.
Nothing remained now but my chemise, and that he soon pulled off over my head, leaving me standing nude before him. As I saw my whole figure reflected in the mirror, I could not help uttering a little cry of shame, and I instinctively covered the spot with both my hands, while my face and neck and the upper part of my bosom became scarlet. I shut my eyes’, but the tears forced their way between my closed eyelids and trickled down my cheeks.
Randolph now turned me around, looking at me on every side, and holding my hands so that I could not screen any part of my body. But he did not feel me: when he had sufficiently gratified the lust of his eyes, he lifted me up in his arms, carried me to the bed, and laid me down upon it on my back. Covering the spot with one hand, and with the other hiding my scarlet face, I lay trembling while he quietly undressed himself and put on his nightshirt.
I hoped that he would extinguish the lights, but he did not. Getting up on the bed beside me, he removed my hand from my face. Then, clasping my naked body in his arms, he kissed my lips, eyes and cheeks, saying: Now, my-dear little girl, I’ve got you at last.
It was the first time he had made use of a tender word to me that night. While stripping me he had not spoken a word, but had treated me as if I had been merely a mannequin.
After kissing me, he proceeded to gratify his sense of touch. Laying both his hands on my bosom, he played with my breasts, squeezing them, tickling them and kneading the flesh with his fingers. Then, bending his head, he took one of my nipples in his mouth and nibbled at it with his teeth.
Uttering a startled cry, I shrank away from him, plucking my nipple out of his mouth. Keep still, whatever I do, he said sharply. Then, taking my other nipple between his lips, he sucked it and rolled his tongue over it as if it had been a bit of candy.
I forced myself to lie still, and, after a moment or two, he let go my nipple. Then he stroked my belly and ran his hands several times over each of my thighs. Finally, separating my legs a little, he touched the spot, twining his fingers in the hair and pulling it rather hard.
Now he inserted the tip of his forefinger between the lips, making me squirm and quiver from head to foot — but not with pleasure-and extracting from me a stifled shriek: Oh! Oh! Don’t do that! I exclaimed. Oh! Do take your hand away!
Don’t be silly, he said. You’ll feel something else there in a minute or two.
With a strong effort I controlled myself and lay quiet again. Turning me over onto my face, he looked at my bottom, saying: The marks of the whipping are not quite gone. There are still a few faint pink lines on your skin.
Then he played with my bottom in all sorts of ways, stroking it, pinching it all over, gently spanking it and squeezing the flesh with both his hands. He finished up by separating the cheeks and rubbing his hand up and down the division from the upper part to the cleft of my thighs.
The whole of these proceedings had been intensely repugnant to me, making me feel quite sick; moreover they were totally unexpected. When he laid me down on the bed, I thought that he would at once have advouted me. I had not the slightest idea that I should first have to go through so much preliminary handling!
He now turned me onto my side and again took me in his arms, kissing my face, throat and bosom and inhaling the sweet odor emanating from my flesh. He evidently was pleased with the charms of his victim.
You are a pretty little woman, he said. Your figure is very good and you are plump without being fat. Your skin is beautifully white and smooth, your flesh is firm. You are fresh as a rose and as fragrant as one. I am fond of the delicate perfume of roses on a woman when I have her naked in my arms, and that is I told Dinah to give you the bath with the Turkish powder in it.
After toying with me a moment or two longer, he laid me on my back, saying: Now, Dolly, I am going to do the job. To use plain words, I am going to poke you. You will feel a little pain, but you must bear it. Every woman suffers a little the first time she is poked by a man; but afterwards she feels, no pain at all-only pleasure.
Now the fatal moment had come! Closing my eyes and covering my face with my hands, I waited for the stroke, feeling greatly frightened, very much ashamed and intensely sorrowful.
Taking hold of my knees, he stretched my legs wide apart. Then, getting between them, he laid himself down upon me with his breast on my bosom, at the same time removing my hands from my face and pressing his mouth on my lips. With his fingers, he opened the way, and, immediately after, I felt the tip of his member inserted between the lips of my spot. I shuddered and uttered a low cry. My martyrdom had commenced!
Clasping his arms round me with his hands under my bottom and holding me tightly, he began to move his loins up and down. I felt the column beginning to penetrate me, stretching the parts and causing great pain. Because I was utterly ignorant of the size of the erect male organ, and because I was in a state of great fright, the weapon seemed to be of enormous dimensions-tit really was not very big)-and I thought that it could not possibly be got into the sheath.
Oh! Oh! You are hurting me dreadfully! I shrieked, beating my hands on the bed and shrinking away from him as much as I could, Oh! Oh-h! I can’t bear it! Oh-h-h! Take it away! O-h-hl Stop! Stop! Oh-h-h!
He worked away steadily, gradually forcing the implement deeper. I felt as if a wedge were being driven into me and I was being split like a melon. I winced under his thrusts, quivering all over, kicking up my legs and squealing with pain.
The weapon, however, was driven deeper and deeper until its further progress was checked by something inside the sheath. My ravisher-for such, in reality, he was-had reached the membrane which barred the passage: my maidenhead!
Increasing the vigor of his strokes, Randolph battered at the opposing rampart. The pain grew sharper. The tears rolled down my cheeks. I writhed and I squealed. But, at the same time, I instinctively arched my loins to aid him in his efforts to break through the barrier.
He paused for a moment to take breath. Then, gripping me tighter, he resumed the assault vigorously.
Oh! Now it hurt me! I was small in comparison to him, and the parts now seemed to be stretched to bursting. Stiffening myself and clenching my teeth, I lay groaning as the horrid thing was being driven with increased force against the obstruction.
Randolph quickened his strokes. The membrane began to yield. Then suddenly it gave way, and his member went right into me up to the roots. At the same instant I felt a sharp, tearing pain which made me utter a shrill cry.
Randolph went on working, while I, quite involuntarily, moved my bottom up and down, keeping time with his thrusts, though I had not the faintest sensation of pleasure-quite the reverse. His movements
became quicker and quicker. I writhed with pain but still kept heaving up my bottom to meet him. He gave me two or three more furious pushes, then the gush of fluid came, and, at the same moment, a curious spasm seized me. I could not help wriggling my bottom and squirming from side to side as I felt hot jets spurting unto my very vitals.
The thick fluid, ’as it flowed over the lacerated edges of the ruptured membrane, seemed slightly to assuage the pain. When all was over, I lay in his arms panting, my naked bosom heaving, my face wet with tears and my whole body jerking spasmodically. There was a buzzing in my ears, a mist before my eyes and I thought I was going to faint.
After a moment or two, Randolph got off me and, giving me a kiss, said: There, Dolly! It’s all over now! It won’t hurt you so much next time!
When I had recovered a little I became aware that I was wet between the legs, and that something was trickling down my thighs. So, sitting up on the bed, I looked at the spot and saw that blood was oozing from it. I noticed also that the towel under me was stained with the proof of my virginity. I was dreadfully frightened, as I had no idea that there would be an effusion of blood, and my terrified imagination made me think that I actually had been split open.
Oh! Oh! I am bleeding. What shall I do! I exclaimed, wringing my hands and beginning to cry again.
He took me in his arms and petted and soothed me, saying: That’s nothing, Dolly. You needn’t be alarmed. Every woman bleeds a little the first time she is poked. Then, getting off the bed, he brought a basin of water and a sponge. Making me again lie on my back with outstretched legs, he sponged the spot and my thighs until he had removed all outward traces of his bloody deed. He then told me to put on my nightgown and to get between the sheets. I did so, glad to be able at last to cover my nakedness.
After he had washed himself, Randolph put out all the lamps except a small one. Then he got into bed beside me, but did not touch me. He seemed to be tired, and, after giving me a kiss, he turned over onto his side with his back towards me. In a short time, I knew by his quiet breathing that he had gone to sleep. I heaved a sigh of relief, heartily glad that all was over-
for a time, at any rate.
My spot was sore, and the parts felt stretched. I had a curious sensation, as if his stiff member still was sticking in me, and I kept as far away from his as I could in the broad bed. At first I could not go to sleep. I was far too miserable, and I lay crying bitterly for the loss of my virginity.
Oh what an unfortunate girl I am. What shall I do! What shall I do! I kept on saying to myself despairingly. After a time, however, my tears ceased to flow, though I continued to sob. Then a dull, apathetic feeling came over me. I grew drowsy and at last I sobbed myself to sleep.
Strange to say, I slept soundly. When I awoke it was broad daylight. Sitting up in bed, I looked at my ravisher, who still was sleeping calmly, and I wondered how he could rest so quietly after having ruined a poor, defenseless girl.
I had a headache and also a heartache, and, on looking at myself in the mirror on the toilet table near the bed, I saw that my face was pale and that there were some dark patches under my eyes. I felt very wretched and forlorn, but my brain was quite clear, so I was able to review my unhappy position with a certain amount of calmness.
And it was an unhappy position without doubt! I was a ruined girl. I had no money, and I had lost my only friend. (I felt that I could never, under any circumstances, go back to Miss Dean.) What then was to become of me? I thought over everything and at last came to the conclusion that I should have to remain at Woodlands, for a time at any rate; after all, it was the only thing I could do. So I determined to try to make the best of my position as it was at the moment, and to trust to chance for the future. As I have already told you, I disliked Randolph. But, since I was going to stay at Woodlands, I made up my mind to conceal my true feelings and to let him think that I was quite willing to live with him. It would be to my advantage to do so.
Presently he woke, and, after yawning and stretching himself, he kissed me, saying with a smile: Well Dolly, how do you feel this morning? A little sore between the legs, I suppose.
I blushed, but acting upon my resolution to make the best of things, I forced myself to smile, answering lightly: Yes, I am rather tender, but I suppose the soreness soon will pass off.
He kissed me again, saying: I am glad to see you are taking the affair sensibly, not whining or complaining. The thing’s done and can’t be undone. I’ll make you very comfortable at Woodlands, and it will be your own fault if you are not happy. I am an easy man to get on with when I have my own way, he added with a laugh.
He then played with my breasts and felt my bottom till he was ready to proceed to more sophisticated endeavors. Then, placing me in position, he rolled my nightdress up to my chin and got into me for the second time. Since there now was no obstacle in the way, a very few movements of his loins were sufficient to drive the weapon up to the hilt in the sheath. He poked me with full force.
I suffered a good deal while the great thing was being worked up and down in the sore, raw folds of my spot. The pain made me grind my teeth and utter little cries. Again I was forced by nature to heave my bottom up and down to his strokes and, when the spasm seized me, I wriggled and squirmed till I had received every drop of his offering. I did not by any means like my second poke, but it had not been so intensely repugnant to me as the first.
Randolph sat up and now looked at me as I lay on my back, breathing hard with flushed cheeks and moist eyes. It did not hurt you so very much that time, did it Dolly? he observed.
No-o, not so very much, I replied in a shaky voice. I was feeling rather inclined to cry, for the spot was smarting dreadfully.
Oh, you’ll soon get used to it, and then you’ll like it, he remarked, laughing at my woebegone face.
I thought to myself that I might get used to it, but I did not think I should ever get to like it.
Just then there was a knock at the door and Susan, one of the chambermaids, came in with tea and toast. She came to the bedside and placed the tray on a little table, her eyes resting for a moment on us as we lay side by side. The girl’s face was perfectly expressionless, but I felt ashamed that she should see me in bed with her master. My cheeks grew hot, and I did not know which way to look.
She got my bath ready and tidied the room, picking up my clothes, which were all scattered about the floor where Randolph had thrown them when he stripped me overnight. Then she left the room and we drank our tea, which was most refreshing to me, for I was faint and thirsty. Randolph then got up and, taking his garments, went to his own apartments, leaving me alone to dress.
While having my bath I examined the spot, finding the inner lips red and swollen. Then I bathed them well with cold water. After completing my toilet, I went downstairs, and, going out to the garden, betook myself to a secluded spot, where I sat down on a long, cane chair under a magnolia tree.
It was a beautiful morning. The sun, though not high, was shining brightly in a cloudless sky of pale blue. The birds were twittering. A soft breeze was blowing. Drops of dew still were sparkling on the gossamer grass and were festooning the bushes, and the air was filled with the sweet scent of flowers.
I felt very languid, so, putting my feet up on the chair, I leaned back, inhaling the fresh morning air and feeling a great sensation of relief at being alone. After the trying time which I had gone through, the calm and quiet of everything had a soothing effect upon me and my heart seemed to grow a little less heavy.
In about half an hour’s time I returned to the house and went into the breakfast room.
Randolph soon made his appearance and we sat down to the morning meal.
My appetite was not as good as usual. I felt ill at ease in the presence of the man who had taken my maidenhead, and, whenever I caught his eye, I could not help blushing. He, however, was quite at his ease, chatting away gaily throughout the meal; when it was over, he ordered his horse to be brought and then he went off to the plantation to make a round of inspection after his absence.
Shortly after he had gone, Dinah came into the room and, handing me a basket of keys, asked me respectfully to give her my orders for the day. I noticed that she no longer called me Missy but addressed me as Missus.
Since I did not want to be bothered with the housekeeping of such a large establishment, I told Dinah to keep the keys and to carry on the management as before. She appeared glad to hear that she was not going to be deprived of her authority, and, taking the basket of keys, went away smiling.
Randolph did not come back to lunch, so I ate by myself in the big dining room, waited on by Lucy and Kate. When I had finished, I went to the library, where I spent the afternoon reading. I did not feel inclined to take walking exercise that day.
Randolph came home late, so I did not see him till we met at dinner at seven o’clock. My appetite was returning, so I managed to partake of some of the tasty dishes. I also drank a glass of champagne, which I liked, as it exhilarated me slightly without affecting my head.
The evening passed, and we went upstairs to my room at eleven o’clock.
Randolph allowed me to undress myself, and, while I was doing so, he sat on a chair watching me. We soon were in bed, and, a few moments afterwards, I found myself groaning and wincing as the dart was being forced for the third time into my still-tender flesh.
Before I got up in the morning, I had twice again wiggled my bottom and squirmed in Randolph’s arms.
Some time passed. I had settled down to my life at Woodlands, adapting myself to my surroundings and endeavoring not to think of the future.
A dressmaker from Richmond paid several visits to the house, and I was well supplied with pretty frocks of all sorts for morning and evening wear, as well as a quantity of fine, richly-laced undergarments, silk stockings of all colors and numerous pairs of shoes. I had also a riding costume with breeches and boots; a horse was always at my disposal, and I was learning to ride. Randolph had also given me a lot of jewelry; he always made me dress for dinner in a low-necked frock, and one of the octoroons, a girl named Rosa, had been specially appointed to act as my maid.
Randolph was a clever man and well read, but he was a thorough libertine who considered women merely toys for the gratification of his sensual desires. Before my arrival at Woodlands all the pretty quadroon and octoroon slave girls had been his concubines. Not that he had been in the habit of sleeping with any one of them, but, whenever he wanted a girl, he would give her orders to be in his room at a certain hour of the day or night, as the case might be; then, after he had amused himself with her for an hour or two, he would send her away.
But though he used the girls as playthings whenever he felt inclined, he had not the slightest soft feeling towards them. They were his slaves, nothing more; and, whenever a girl misbehaved or offended him in any way, he either would send her to one of the overseers to be whipped or would inflict the punishment with his own hands.
He did not love me in the least. But he admired me, often telling me that I was a pretty girl and that I had a good figure. He was fond of seeing me naked and of posing me in various positions before the large mirror in my room so he might be able to see both the back and front of my body at the same time. He soon acquainted me with the meaning of all the naughty words in the vocabulary of love-words which I never had heard before-and in course of time he taught me practically all the different positions in which it is possible for a man carnally to possess and enjoy a woman, either by day or by night, either in bed or out.
Invariably I was submissive to his whims. He was a masterful man, and his strong will dominated my weak one. Moreover, I was always rather afraid of him. In my innocence I had thought that there was only one way of administering the stroke, and, at first, I was greatly astonished at the number and variety of the positions in which he rogered me. He would have me lying on my back, or on my side; also standing, kneeling, sitting or on all fours. He would do it to me from behind, while I leaned over the side of the bed or the back of a chair or the edge of a table, and he sometimes would lie on his back and make me straddle him with my knees, my back being turned towards his face, so that he could see my bottom. In this latter case, I had personally to fix the weapon in the sheath, and do all the work by raising myself up and down on my knees.
Sometimes Randolph rode me when I was stark naked, sometimes when I was half dressed and sometimes in my chemise, stockings and shoes, or perhaps with nothing on but my drawers. Frequently after dinner he would have me in full evening dress, with tightly laced stays. On these occasions he would sit on a chair while I would stand in front of him with my back turned. Then, putting his hands up my clothes, he would feel me till he was properly excited. Finally, unbuttoning his trousers, he would let out his member in full erection, with the red tip uncovered and ready for action. I had then to pull open the slit of my drawers and to hold my petticoats above my waist, then lower myself upon the dart until it was into me as far as it could go and my bottom rested on his thighs. In that position he would possess me.
He used to say that a woman should never be had twice in succession in the same way, and he told me that if a man always poked a woman in the same position, he would get tired of her sooner than if he varied the embraces.
After my shame had worn off and I had got used to being stroked in this way, I discovered that there was a strain of voluptuousness in my disposition, and, though I never liked Randolph, I was not adverse to his embraces. I always let him do what he liked, by day or night, without murmuring; and he often told me that I was a very good mount. (Randolph was a man who always called a spade a spade.)
I don’t think that after my arrival in the house he had much to do with the slave girls; anyhow, he always slept with me, and it was rarely that a night passed without his poking me once at least.
I should have been better pleased had he let me more alone at night, for I was a sound sleeper and I hated being awakened to be pulled about in all sorts of ways and then poked in some uncomfortable position. I gradually had grown accustomed to him, and called him by his first name, George, and, though he often we very ill-tempered and sometimes spoke extremely harshly to me, he never laid his hand upon me in anger during the whole time I lived with him.
Randolph was one of the richest planters in Virginia and his family was one of the oldest, but I soon found out that he was not, so to speak, in society. His character as a libertine was well-known throughout the State: consequently no ladies ever came to the house. But he often gave dinner parties, at which I took my place at the table opposite him. On these occasions, all the young women in the house, chambermaids as well as parlormaids, were very smartly dressed in well-fitting black frocks with white caps and aprons, and it often happened that three, four or even more of the gentlemen who had come from a distance would remain in the house all night.
These parties always wound up with high card play, during which a good deal of liquor was drunk, and the house became a regular Liberty Hall. Randolph allowed his guests to do whatever they liked. If a guest took a fancy to any particular girl, all he had to do was to inform Randolph, who at once would send for the damsel. The gentleman then would take her to a bedroom and poke her, returning afterwards to the card room. And every guest who stayed in the house for the night could take a woman to bed with him if he felt inclined to do so.
However, I was always treated with respect by the men-to my face, at any rate-for Randolph, having chosen to put me at the head of his table, always insisted on his friends’
treating me as if I really had been the lady of the house. Since he was known to be a dead shot with a pistol, and always ready to use it, not one of the gentlemen who visited Woodlands ever attempted to take a liberty with me. Nor did one ever speak to me in an improper manner.
The weeks slipped away. My health remained good, my spirits revived and I was not unhappy. I had plenty of books to read, I rode nearly every day- sometimes alone, sometimes with Randolph-and I often took a long buggy ride.
We occasionally spent a few days in Richmond, staying at the best hotel and going every night to the theatre or to some other place of amusement. Before that time, I never had been in a theatre, so I enjoyed the performances immensely and wished very much that I could go on the stage. I told Randolph one day, but he only laughed, telling me that I was a little goose and that I had not enough go in me to make an actress.
At Woodlands I often amused myself by roaming about the plantation, which was very extensive. There were upwards of two-hundred field hands, male and female, all of whom were engaged in cultivating the cotton. Randolph fed his slaves well and did not overwork them, but otherwise he was a hard master. His four overseers had orders never to pass over a fault or to allow the least shirking of work; consequently, the strap, switch and paddle constantly were being used on both men and women.
The slaves’ quarters were divided into three blocks of cabins, as they were called; one block was for the married couples, another for the single men and the third for the unmarried women and girls. But as soon as work was over for the day, all the slaves of both sexes met together round a fire, where they spent most of the night dancing, singing and playing the banjo.
As a matter of course there was a great deal of poking. However, no notice was taken of what slaves did among themselves at night, so long as they were present the next morning when roll was called by the overseers.
The slaves soon got to know me well, and, since I took an interest in them and often was able to do them little kindnesses, they all became fond of me. I liked these poor, good-natured creatures who were always lighthearted except when they happened to be smarting from a whipping.
Although I often had seen the marks of the lash on the bodies of the runaways who had passed through our station, I hitherto had never seen a slave whipped Dinah, in her capacity of housekeeper, maintained strict discipline, so she often brought one of the women or one of the girls before Randolph for neglecting her work or some other offense, and sometimes he himself gave the offender a whipping on her bottom with the switch. I occasionally had heard the squeaks of a culprit, but I always had avoided being present at the punishment.
Whipping a girl seemed to have an exciting effect on Randolph, for, after switching one, he invariably used to come to me, wherever I happened to be, and poke me with great vigor. I thought it strange at the time, but I since have found out that men’s passions are inflamed by whipping the bottom of a female until she cries and writhes with pain, and, if they can’t do it themselves, they like seeing it done. This is a curious, but undoubted fact, and it shows what cruel creatures men are.
I have already mentioned that an octoroon girl named Rosa had been appointed to act as my maid. This girl formerly had been Randolph’s favorite, but, since my arrival at Woodlands, he had had nothing to do with her. When Rosa found that she was entirely neglected and that she was obliged to serve as my maid, she had been filled with bitter resentment. In fact, the girl was bitterly jealous.
She had shown her vexation from the first, by constant sullenness, and at times she was very impertinent to me. But I had borne with her ill temper and had always been kind to her, trying to make her like me, for I pitied her and all the other slave girls. However, nothing which I could do had any effect in softening the girl; she continued to be sulky and disrespectful, though I had managed to make all the other women and girls fond of me.
I knew that if I reported Rosa to Randolph he would have punished her, but, since I did not wish to get her into trouble, I did not say a word. Rosa was twenty years of age, tall, handsome and not darker than an ordinary brunette, her complexion being a clear olive with a tinge of pink showing on her cheeks. She had a well-rounded figure, with full bust and broad hips. Her feet were small and her hands were smooth, for she never had done any hard work.
She had a profusion of long, wavy, dark brown hair. Her eyes also were brown, large, and soft. She had white, regular teeth and full, red, moist lips. Her voice was low and musical, but she was perfectly uneducated, not being able either to read or to write, and she spoke in the usual nigger way.
One morning when she was helping me dress, she appeared to be in worse temper than usual, and, while brushing my hair, pulled it so roughly that I several times had to tell her to be more careful. I spoke gently, but my remonstrances seemed only to irritate her.
Tossing her head and giving my hair a nasty pull, she said in a most saucy way: I oughtened to be brushin yo’ hair at all. Becos you is white, you tinks you is a very fine lady but you is not a bit better dan me. You isn’t married to de Massa, yet you sleeps wid him every night.
I flushed with anger. Rising from my seat, I ordered the girl to leave the room. She did so, laughing.
The tears came into my eyes. My heart swelled and I felt a deep sense of degradation. It was humiliating that, owing to a series of misfortunes, I should have come to be spoken to in such a coarse way by a slave girl. But, alas! What she had said was the truth. I really was no better than she. After a moment or two, I put up my hair, finished dressing and went down to breakfast. I had not intended to say anything to Randolph, but he noticed that I was depressed and asked me what was the matter. Oh, nothing much, I replied. Rosa has been a little impertinent to me. Not being satisfied with my answer, he insisted on knowing what the girl had said to me. Unable to contain my hurt any longer, I told him exactly what had occurred, adding that Rosa had always been more or less impertinent to me, and I suggested that, if he spoke to her, she probably would be more respectful to me in the future.
I will speak to her presently, he said. Then he went on quietly with his breakfast. I thought no more of the affair, and, when the meal was over, we left the room and went into an adjoining apartment, where I amused myself reading the newspaper while Randolph smoked his cigar.
When he had finished, he rang the bell, which was answered by one of the parlormaids, Jane.
Go tell Dinah and Rosa that I want them here, then come back yourself, he said to the girl.
She went away, returning in about five minutes accompanied by the other two women.
Randolph rose from his seat with a stern expression on his face and, turning to Rosa, who was looking rather frightened, said angrily:
You young hussy! I have been hearing about your conduct. How dare you speak to your mistress like that? Did you think I would let you insult a white lady? You are getting too saucy, but I will take the sauce out of you. I am going to whip you.
Rosa turned as pale as her olive complexion would allow. A frightened expression came into her eyes and she burst into tears.
Oh! Massa! she exclaimed. Don’t whip me! Oh! Please don’t whip me! I’se very sorry I was sassy to de Missis. Oh! Do let me off an’ I will be a good gal and never be sassy again. Then turning to me she said imploringly: Oh! Missus. Forgive me, an’ ask de Massa not to whip me dis time.
I did not want the girl to be whipped, so I asked Randolph to let her go away, saying that I was sure that she was sorry for what she had said and that I did not think she would offend again. But her master was very angry with her and would not consent to let her off. Turning to Dinah, he said curtly: Take her up.
I had no idea what was meant by the words, but Dinah knew what to do. She often had taken up naughty slave girls on her broad, strong back. Going up to Rosa, she seized her by the wrists, and, turning round, drew the girl’s arms over her shoulders Then, bending well forward, she raised the culprit’s feet off the floor so that her body was brought into a curved position.
Not wishing to see the punishment inflicted, I walked towards the door. But Randolph peremptorily ordered me to remain in the room. Turn up her clothes, Jane, and, mind you, hold them well out of the way, he said.
Jane went to the right side of the delinquent, and, rolling up her skirt, petticoats and chemise, held them high above her waist. The girl’s underlinen was perfectly clean, but she wore no drawers-none of the slave women possessed drawers. She had a fine, big, well-shaped bottom and, owing to the curved position in which she was being held, the large, plump round cheeks swelled out in high relief at a most convenient angle for receiving the switch.
Her olive-tinted skin was perfectly smooth, her thighs were large and well-rounded, her legs were shapely and her ankles were trim. She was wearing white stockings, gartered with bows of blue ribbon, and she had on neat shoes.
Randolph went to a cabinet from which he took a hickory switch-he kept a switch in nearly every room — then, placing himself at the left side of the culprit, said: Now, I’ll teach you to respect your mistress. I have not whipped you for some time, but I’m going to make your bottom smart now.
Rosa had not struggled or uttered a word while she was being taken up and prepared for the switch. But now she turned her head, looking at Randolph with a dog-like expression of appeal in her great, brown eyes, and said beseechingly, while the tears ran down her cheeks: Oh, Massa, don’t whip poor Rosa hard.
He began to whip her, laying on the strokes smartly and as calmly as if he were merely beating a dog. The girl winced, drawing the cheeks of her bottom with a jerk each time the switch fell. Long, red weals rose on her skin. Her plump flesh quivered and she kicked up her feet, squealing shrilly and exclaiming in gasps:
Oh, Massa! — Oh, Massa! — Don’t whip — me — so — hard-! Oh! Massa! Oh! — Good Massa, please-don’t whip — me — so — hard! Oh! Oh! Stop Massa! Oh! Please-please-
stop. My bottom-is-so-sore-I Oh! Oh!
The switch continued to stripe her writhing bottom, extracting loud cries from her, making her struggle and plunge violently. But Dinah, slightly separating her legs and bending well forward, easily held the shrieking girl in position while Randolph whipped away steadily.
Jane held up the girl’s petticoats and Dinah gripped her wrists tightly while Rosa, squealing and twisting herself about, drew up her legs one after the other, then kicked them out in all directions, and, in her contortions opened her thighs so that I could see the curly dark brown hair shading the spot-and every now and then I caught a glimpse of the bright pink orifice.
Rosa’s skin was rather fine, and she appeared to feel the pain acutely, begging piteously for mercy. But Randolph, utterly regardless of her cries and entreaties, went on whipping till the surface of her bottom, from the loins to the thighs, was covered with red weals. Then, throwing down the switch, he said: Let her go.
Jane let the sufferer’s petticoats fall and Dinah released her wrists. Then Rosa stood on her feet, twisting her lips and wailing with pain while she wiped the fast-flowing tears from her eyes with her apron.
There, Rosa, said Randolph, I have let you off rather easily this time, but if I ever again hear that you have been saucy to your mistress, I will whip you till the blood runs down your thighs. Now you can all go back to your work.
Rosa, still wailing, slunk out of the room with her hand pressed to her smarting bottom; the other two women followed, and Randolph and I were left alone. He put away the switch, then, turning to me, said: I don’t think she’ll give you any more trouble, but if she does let me know.
Oh, George! I said. How could you bring yourself to whip the girl so severely. She is a pretty creature and I know you often have had her.
He laughed. Yes. I have often had her and will have her again if ever I feel inclined to. But I will also whip her again whenever she requires punishment. She is only a nigger, though she is so light in color. You are a Northern girl, so you don’t understand how we Southerners look upon our slave women. When they take our fancy we amuse ourselves with them, but we feel no compunction in whipping them whenever they misbehave. Their bodies belong to us, so we can use them in any way we please. Personally, I have no more regard for my slaves than for my dogs and horses.
Though I had got to know Randolph pretty well by that time, I felt rather shocked by his unfeeling sentiments. However, I made no remark. He was standing in front of me, and I noticed that there was a protuberance in a certain part of his trousers. I guessed what was coming.
He went on: You know, Dolly, whipping a girl always excites me, so I am going to have you.
Then, laying me on the couch, he pulled up my petticoats, took down my drawers and entered me with more than usual vigor. Whipping Rosa’s bottom certainly had acted on him as a powerful aphrodisiac!
When all was over and I had fastened my drawers, we went to our respective rooms and made ourselves tidy. Then he ordered the buggy and we went for a long drive in the country, lunching at a farm house and not returning home until it was time to dress for dinner.
When I got to my room I found Rosa there, as usual, waiting to assist me in making my toilet.
She was looking very subdued and her manner was humble and submissive. She had received a severe whipping, and her bottom must have been very sore. I felt for her, knowing as I did how dreadfully the switch could sting. I am sorry for you Rosa, I said. Did the whipping hurt you very much?
Oh! Yes Missis, she answered, giving a little shudder at the remembrance, it did hurt me most drefful. De Massa never give me such a hard whippin before. Dinah has rubbed my bottom with possum fat, an’ dat has taken de sting out of de weals som, but I’se very sore an’ I can’t sit down easy.
She helped me to dress, seeming very anxious to please me in every way, and always speaking most respectfully. From that day she was a changed girl so far as regarded her behavior to me. I never had occasion to find fault with her again during the rest of my stay at Woodlands.
Three months passed, during which period I went through some varied experiences and saw some curious sights. If I were to relate everything that occurred, my story would be too long.
However, I will describe one or two of the incidents just to give you an idea of what sort of man Randolph was.
I have already mentioned the dinner parties he frequently gave for his male friends, and I have told you that these gatherings were always of a very free and easy sort. At one of these dinners the proceedings were of a more licentious character than usual. Randolph had invited ten guests, which was the usual number.
He was very particular on these occasions that all the girls should be nicely dressed, so Dinah used to parade them for my inspection just before the guests arrived. I merely had to see that the girls should be nicely attired outwardly, but Dinah, before bringing them to me, had to see that each girl was clean in person and that she had on clean underlinen.
On the day of which I am speaking, after my own toilet had been made, I went down to the hall and inspected the girls, finding them all looking clean and smart. Then I went into the drawing room where Randolph was lounging on a chair, turning over the leaves of a large, illustrated book of Rabelais, an author whose works he was very fond of reading.
I told him that I had seen the girls and that they all were looking very nice in their black frocks. To my astonishment, he burst out laughing and said: Oh, they won’t wear frocks this evening. I have got such a splendid idea from a picture in this old book. It’s a wonder it never struck me before.
What is it? I asked.
I have just been reading the chapter which tells how Pantagruel and his companions were entertained at a banquet by the Papimaniacs and were waited on by a bevy of nude damsels.
The dinner tonight shall be a reproduction of the scene described. There are ten men coming and each man shall be waited on by a naked girl. It will be great fun and also quite a novel entertainment for my guests.
Although I was accustomed to his vagaries, this new freak horrified me. I should have to sit at the table with ten men, while the same number of women displayed their naked bodies!
The idea was most repugnant to me, and I blushed, a thing I had not done for many a day.
Oh George! I exclaimed. Don’t do such a thing! It is too shameful.
Yes I will, he said, laughing heartily, Why Dolly, you are actually blushing! I thought you had got over all your squeamishness by this time.
Oh, but this is a particularly horrid idea, I observed. If you are determined to carry it out, don’t make me come to the table. Just fancy what a dreadful position it would be for me to have to sit among a lot of men, surrounded by naked women. I should not know which way to look.
He again laughed, but there was in his eyes a hard look which I had got to know and which meant that he had determined to have his way. It does not matter which way you look, he said, You are looking very pretty and that’s sufficient. You will have to take your place at table as usual, and you must appear to be quite unconscious that the women are naked. None of my guests will insult you by word or look.
I still remonstrated, but he sternly told me to shut up or it would be the worse for me. I shut up, for I was afraid of him, knowing him to be a man who would stop at nothing and that if I made any more objections he might take it into his head to whip me.
Now sending for Dinah, he told her what he intended, to do, and gave her orders to have ten of the young women stripped naked in readiness. He named the ones he wanted, selecting those who had the best figures. Seven were quadroons, the other three octoroons-one of them being Rosa.
Dinah, with a perfectly unmoved countenance, received the order and some further instructions. All right, Sab, she said, de gals shall be ready. Then she left the room.
It was nearly seven o’clock, and the guests began to arrive. Some came on horseback, some came in buggies. In a short time the whole party had assembled. All the gentlemen were more or less known to me, and everyone, upon entering the room, shook hands with me in a polite manner. The men were of all ages, the youngest being about twenty-five and the oldest upwards of fifty. Most of them were bachelors, but I knew that some were married men.
Presently, Dinah, looking very smart in her black frock and white cap, made her appearance with a tray of cocktails, and, while the guests were imbibing, Randolph said with a smile on his face: I suppose, gentlemen, that most of you have read Rabelais. Those who have perused the book will remember the description of the banquet given to Pantagruel in the island of Papimania.
Aye! cried the company. And what a banquet it was!
Well, said Randolph, grinning lasciviously, I intend our dinner tonight to be, as nearly as possible, a counterpart of that banquet. I think that I can give you as good a fare and as good wine as Homenas gave Pantagruel and his companions. I also think that the ’she-butlers’ will please you. They may not be so fair-skinned as were the damsels of Papimania, but in all other respects you will find that the ’waitresses’ will answer the description of the ones mentioned in the book. They are ’tight lasses,’ good conditioned, comely, waggish and fit for business.
The men who had read Rabelais and knew what was coming laughed and clapped their hands.
The men who had not read the book looked puzzled. However, knowing Randolph’s little ways, these latter libertines knew all too well that something funny was going to happen.
In a short time dinner was announced, whereupon the oldest of the guests, a gentleman named Harrington-whom I knew to have grown up daughters-offered me his arm and led me into the brilliantly-lighted dining room. The other men followed and we took our places at the table, which was beautifully decorated with flowers and glittering with plate and glass.
Randolph took his place at one end of the table, I faced him at the other end and five of the guests sat on each side.
When everyone was comfortably settled, Randolph touched a small handbell beside him.
Then the door at the far end of the room was opened and Dinah came in, followed by ten naked young women with their long black hair flowing loose on their shoulders.
Each girl, without hesitation, took her position behind one of the guests-Dinah had told them where to go. They all showed signs of bashfulness, for, though every one of them had on various occasions passed through the hands of gentlemen singly in a bedroom, none ever had been exposed stark-naked before the eyes of a number of people. Some cast their eyes downward and fidgeted as they stood. All of them placed their hands over the spot between their legs.
I felt horribly uncomfortable. Hot thrills passed over me and my cheeks grew scarlet. The men smiled, casting amused glances at one another. Then they looked with gleaming eyes at the naked girls. Some were slim, some were plump. Some were tall, some were of medium size and some were short. But all were pretty and had shapely figures, with firm, round breasts and good bottoms. The brilliant light, shining on their naked bodies, made their smooth, olive-tinted skins glisten. The hair covering the spots was, in all cases, black or dark brown, and one of the quadroons, a plump little girl nineteen years of age named Fanny, who had been whipped a couple of days before, still bore the pink stripes left by the switch.
Rosa was the prettiest of all the girls. She also had the best figure, and she was the lightest in color. Consequently she attracted the most admiration.
The dinner soon was in full progress. The girls, directed by Dinah, bustled about bringing in the dishes, changing the plates and filling the glasses with champagne. Some of them, not being accustomed to waiting at table, were rather awkward. But, whenever a girl made a mistake, she received from Randolph the next time she came within reach of his arm a slap on the bottom which made her jump and squeal and clap her hand to the smarting target.
The gentlemen talked and laughed as unconcernedly as if they were quite accustomed to being waited on by naked women and to seeing them smacked whenever they made a mistake. But it was a most trying time for me. I sat with my eyes fixed on my plate, and with a very red face, making a pretence of eating and hardly listening to the conversation of Mr.
Harrington, the old gentleman who had taken me into dinner and who was sitting on my right.
He chattered away to me, but I noticed that he kept leering lecherously at Rosa’s full bosom and broad bottom as she tripped gracefully here and there. She evidently had taken his fancy more than any of the other girls, and I felt sure that later on my pretty maid would be poked by the old satyr.
The dinner was a long one, but at last it was over and the gentlemen settled down to smoke their cigars and sip their coffee while the conversation turned upon slaves and the price of cotton. No improper remarks of any sort were made by the men, but their eyes frequently were turned with lustful looks on the naked girls standing in various attitudes about the room.
When the cigars had been smoked, we all went into the drawing room, the girls being told to follow. I tried to slip away, but Randolph ordered me to remain. He then told his guests to sit on a row of chairs at the end of the room.
When they had done so, he posed the naked girls in groups in various positions with their arms round each other, some standing, some kneeling and some lying on their sides at full length so that their figures could be seen both back and front. These poses plastiques greatly pleased the spectators, and they gloated over each lascivious tableau, applauding vigorously, while the girls, utterly astonished at what they were being made to do, gazed about timidly with their big, ox-like eyes.
At last Randolph exhausted his ingenuity in inventing fresh tableaux, and I thought he would at least let the girls put on their clothes. But he did not. He had not yet finished with their naked bodies.
Now gentlemen, he said, if you will go into the corridor I will let you see some young mares race. Some of them are rather fat, but I dare say that I shall be able to make them show their best paces.
The men, laughing boisterously, trooped out of the room and stationed themselves at intervals on each side of the long, broad corridor.
The races were to be run in heats, the course being from one end of the corridor to the other and back, twice over. Before starting the girls, Randolph got a long, heavy whip, and cracking it in the air, warned them that they had better run as fast as they could. Then, as soon as the first lot were off he took up his position halfway down one side of the corridor and, as the runners dashed past him in the several heats, he flicked the bottom of any girl who appeared not to be exerting herself, the touch of the whip extracting a shrill cry from the victim and making her increase her speed, while a red mark instantly showed on her skin where the end of the lash had fallen.
The men grew excited. They laughed, cheered and betted on the girls as they raced up and down the corridor, their long hair flowing loosely behind them, their marvelous breasts undulating, their bottoms swaying.
After the runners had a rest, there was what Randolph called a jockey race. The five strongest girls had to take on their backs the other five girls, who held on by putting their arms round the necks and their legs round the loins of their respective mounts. This time the course was once up and down the corridor, and heavy bets were laid by the men on the women they fancied.
The signal to start was given, and the race began. The gentlemen whooped and shouted as they watched the extraordinary sight: five naked women staggering along the corridor as fast as they could, each woman carrying on her back another naked female!
The muscles of the thighs and bottoms of the carriers quivered under the strain, while the legs of the riders were so stretched apart by the position in which they clung to their steeds that the spectators could see the hair in the cleft of the thighs.
And nearly every one of the bottoms was marked either with the prints of Randolph’s fingers, or with the red dot made by the flick of the whip. Two of the girls had both finger marks and whip marks, and, when all was over, only three out of the ten had spotless bottoms.
The men’s eyes gleamed. Their faces were flushed, and I could see that they were all in a state of great sensual excitement. After a close struggle, the race was won by a sturdy young quadroon woman twenty-five years of age, named Eliza, who had carried the youngest of all the girls, a slightly-built, shapely octoroon named Helen, who was only eighteen years old.
Then we went back to the drawing room, where the girls were allowed to sit while Randolph told Dinah to give each of them a glass of wine and water.
The poor girls all were very thirsty. Some of them had tears in their eyes, and one or two were rubbing their bottoms. The girls who had been carriers were panting for breath; their bosoms were heaving tumultuously and their naked bodies were moist with perspiration.
As soon as they had recovered their breath, the ten were made to stand in a row with their hands by their sides. Then Randolph said: Now gentlemen, you will each choose a girl, either for a short time, or for the whole night. You can please yourselves.
The men, laughing and joking, began to make their selections. In cases where two or three wanted the same girl, the matter was settled by tossing a coin. Rosa was the favorite. Five of the men, including Mr. Harrington, wanted her. Finally the old gentleman, as the senior member of the party, was allowed to take her.
The selections being made, each man, followed submissively by the naked girl whom he had chosen, left the apartment and went upstairs to a bedroom. Randolph and I were left alone.
He was very much pleased with his evening’s entertainment.
Oh, Dolly, he said, laughing, what fun it has been. I’ve never had such a game before. I’ll do it again some day or other, and, when I do, every woman in the house shall strip for the races.
I did not feel at all mirthfully inclined. I had been wretched and uncomfortable throughout the whole proceedings. Moreover the sight of so many bare bottoms, naked bosoms and uncovered spots had given me a feeling of disgust-a woman is not excited by seeing the nakedness of other women; at any rate I never am.
I think it all very horrid and shameful, I observed. I don’t care what you think, he replied. It pleased me and amused my guests, and that’s all I care about. But it has been very exciting work. I am feeling very randy and my tool is aching from prolonged erection, so I must take the stiffness out of it at once, I will have you sitting down, so as not to crumple your pretty frock.
So saying, he seated himself on a chair and let loose his member, which stood straight up with its red tip uncovered. Come along, now, Dolly, you know what to do, he said impatiently.
I did know what to do. Turning my back to him, I raised my petticoats above my waist and pulled open the slit of my drawers as widely as possible, exposing the whole of my bottom.
Then, straddling his thighs, with a leg on each side of him, I lowered myself upon his upstanding member, which he guided into its place. The weight of my body forced the weapon up to the hilt in its tender sheath.
Randolph now clasped me round the waist under my clothes, while I, raising myself up and down on my toes, pumped away until the spasm seized me and I felt his hot torrents inundating my insides. Then I lay back panting against his breast.
Presently I got off his lap, pulled my drawers into place and shook my petticoats straight, fearful that some of the men might be coming back at any moment and not wanting to be seen by any of them while I was in so disheveled a state. As it was, I got done just in time.
Randolph and I had hardly sat down again before one of the gentlemen made his appearance.
He was followed at intervals by others until at last all had reassembled except three, who had elected to stay all night with their girls.
The other girls, after being poked, had been allowed to return to their quarters. Dinah then brought in a tray of liquors and the men refreshed themselves.
Next, everyone sat down to play cards. I slipped out of the room and went to bed, glad to get away from the men, though not one of them had said an improper word to me during the evening.
It was very late-or, to speak more correctly, it was early in the morning-when Randolph came to bed. I was fast asleep, but he woke me by pinching my bottom. In a moment or two he was working away at me.
As I was very tired and sleepy, I did not respond to his movements in the least, so, when he had finished, he said crossly: Damn it, Dolly, you lay just like a log of wood. What’s the matter with you?
I said that there was nothing the matter with me; that I was only sleepy.
He then growled out something uncomplimentary, turned his back to me and went to sleep.
I speedily did the same.
We got up late next morning, and, after Randolph had gone to his dressing-room, Rosa came to help me as usual. While she was brushing my hair, I asked her how she had got on with Mr. Harrington during the hour she had spent with him the previous night. She looked at me with a comical expression on her pretty face.
Oh, Missus, she replied, giggling, I tell you all ’bout it. De ole genterman was no good at all.
He couldn’t do nuffin to me. He try an’ he try an’ he try. He feel me all over, he play with me with his finger an’ dat did make me squirm, an’ he make me rub him, but it was all no use, his ting would not get stiff enough to go into de place. Den he lay me on my face an’ say I got a very fine bottom, an’ he ask me if de Massa often whip it. I told him dat de Massa sometimes whip it. He laugh, den he give me a little spankin’ an’ afterwards he give me two dollars an’ say dat I am a pretty wench an’ dat he would buy me if de Massa would sell me.
I smiled, and Rosa went on: But, oh Missis, ask de Massa not to sell me to de genterman. I’se fond of you now, an’ I don’t want to leave the ole plantation. I was born on it I told her that I was sure that her master would not fell such a pretty girl to anyone. She seemed pleased and went away with a smile on her face. Now I went down to the breakfast room, where I found Randolph. In a short time, the three gentlemen; who had stayed in the house all night came into the room: They greeted me politely, without the least sign, of embarrassment. But I felt rather uncomfortable when I met their eyes.
The cook had sent up an excellent breakfast, to which we all did justice. The three girls who waited looked fresh and clean, for though they had taken part; in the races and had been poked, they were not the three who had been kept at work all night.
When breakfast was over and cigars had been smoked, the buggies were brought round to the terrace. The gentlemen then bade me goodbye and smilingly thanked their host for the pleasant night’s entertainment Then they drove away to their respective homes and Randolph went off to look round the plantation while I betook myself to the library and; amused myself with a novel.
A few days after the races, Randolph found that he would have to go to Charleston on some business. Connected with the shipping of his cotton, Dinah was told to pack her master’s portmanteau with enough clothes for an absence of ten days.
On the morning he left Woodlands, he spoke to me about the slaves, telling me that I was on no account to interfere with the overseers in their management of field hands. But he gave the full authority over all the women and children in the house. And he said that, if any of them misbehaved, I could, with Dinah’s assistance whip the offender myself, or I could send her to the overseers to receive the whipping. In the latter case I was to send a note to the man specifying the instrument of punishment which was to be used, whether strap, switch or paddle, and also stating the number of strokes which the culprit was to receive.
I told Randolph that I would look after the women, but I said to myself that I would neither whip them with my own hands nor send one of them to be whipped under any circumstances.
The idea of grownup women being whipped was intensely repugnant to me, and still is.
(However, I think that children of both sexes require an occasional spanking.) Randolph went away and I was glad to be temporarily my own mistress. It was pleasant to be able to come and go as I pleased and not to be at the beck and call of a master-and Randolph was such, to all intents and purposes.
The days passed quietly. Dinah was most attentive and I had no trouble with any of the other women. I read a good deal and nearly every afternoon I took a long ride in the country on the quiet old horse which Randolph had given me. (I had learned to ride pretty well, but I was always rather nervous when I was on horseback.) I also often walked about the plantation, watching the field hands at work under the supervision of the overseers, each of whom carried a whip.
It was the cotton-picking season, the picking being done entirely by women. Every one had to pick a certain quantity each day, and, at the hour when work ceased, each picker carried her basket of cotton to the weighing shed, where one of the overseers was waiting to check the day’s work. Each woman’s basket was weighed to find out if it contained the right quantity, and, if it did not turn the scale, the woman who brought the basket was whipped then and there, receiving twelve strokes. No excuse ever was taken, and the punishment always was inflicted with the strap, which gave great pain but did not cut or injure the skin. (I once heard an overseer say that he could whip a nigger wench’s bottom with the strap for half an hour without drawing a drop of blood, and that her skin at the end of the time would be as smooth as a peeled onion.)
There were seventy female field-hands employed in the cotton picking, and nearly every evening one or two-and sometimes three or four-would be punished for not bringing in the proper amount. I will give you a description of what I once saw, and you must remember that it was almost a daily occurrence, not only on Randolph’s plantation, but on most, if not all, of the other plantations in the South.
I often have heard people-not Southerners-defend slavery and say that it was a fine institution, but those people had never seen what slavery really was. To this day the thought of slavery makes me indignant.
But to proceed. One evening I was returning from a stroll and happened to be passing near the weighing shed just at the hour when work ceased for the day and the women were bringing their baskets of cotton to be weighed. I stopped to watch the scene, and, since there was a hedge between the shed and the path where I was standing, no one saw me, though I could see through the leafy screen. I knew the rules of the plantation, and, as I looked at the women, I hoped for their own sakes that they all had picked their proper weight of cotton.
They were of all ages, from eighteen up to forty years. Some were married, but most were single. They were of various shades; the majority were black, but there were many mulattoes and also several quadroons. All of them were strong, healthy-looking women and they were dressed in cotton gowns of diverse colors, their heads, as a rule, being covered with brightly-colored handkerchiefs, though some of the younger and lighter-skinned women wore linen sun-bonnets or wide-brimmed straw hats. Everyone had on shoes and stockings.
They came along the path, carrying their baskets on their heads, chatting and laughing as if they had not a care in the world. But I noticed that a few of them were looking rather grave, and I thought to myself that they probably had been idling and were not quite sure that they had picked the full weight.
The overseer, with a notebook in his hand and attended by four field hands, stood in front of the shed, near a large pair of scales. The women came up, one by one, each handing her basket to be weighed by the men. If the weight was correct, the overseer ticked off the woman’s name in his book and she went off to her cabin, free to do what she liked till next morning. But if a woman’s basket proved to be of short weight, the overseer put a mark against her name and told her to remain.
The weighing was done quickly. Thus, in a short time, all of the women had gone except six poor things whose baskets had been found to be light. They knew what they were going to get, and they stood in a row, all of them looking doleful, while three of them also were whimpering. If I had possessed any authority on the plantation, I would have saved the women from the lash. But I had no authority. If I had showed myself to the overseer at that moment and asked him to let the culprits off without the regulated punishment, he would have laughed at me.
The overseer did not make a single remark to the delinquents, nor did they attempt to excuse themselves-they knew that no excuse would have saved them. Turning to the woman whose name was first on the list, the overseer said sharply: Lie down.
The woman, without hesitation, extended herself upon the ground. Then two of the men knelt in front of her and held her arms stretched out at full length while the other two men, also kneeling, held her legs by the ankles.
She was a big, very stout, coal-black woman, forty years of age. She was married and had two strapping daughters, both of whom were pickers in the same gang. The two girls, who were both over twenty years of age and quite black, had brought in their proper weight and had walked away a little distance from the shed. But when they saw that their mother had been kept back, they stopped, and, standing side by side, looked on in silence while she was being whipped. I dare say it was not the first time they had seen such a sight. Members of families, of both sexes, often were whipped in each other’s presence on Southern plantations.
The overseer turned up the woman’s scanty garments, which consisted only of a skirt, a stiff petticoat and a coarse chemise. Then he scrutinized her great, bare posteriors. Her bottom was enormous and so fat that it was dimpled all over. Her thighs were colossal and her legs were immense. Her black skin, however, was quite smooth and it shone like polished ebony.
The overseer took out of his pocket a strap about two and a half feet long, three inches broad, an eighth of an inch thick. Then, standing over the prostrated woman, he gave her twelve sharp strokes. The leather made a loud crack, like the report of a pistol, each time it fell on the culprit’s great bottom.
Tears rolled down the woman’s cheeks and her fat buttocks quivered, but otherwise she did not move a muscle nor utter the least sound. When the whipping was over, she got up and went to her daughters, who put their arms round her. Then the three walked away. I had noticed that the broad stripes made by the strap showed a livid color on her black skin.
Next on the list was a quadroon-a slim, rather pretty girl not more than eighteen years old.
She was in a great fright. Tears were running down her cheeks and she was too nervous to place herself in the proper position when ordered.
Put her down, said the overseer. She promptly was seized by the men, and, in a moment, was lying flat on the ground with her petticoats up to her shoulders.
Her bottom was small, with pear-shaped cheeks. At the upper part of her thighs was a small space through which peeped the crisp black hair shading the spot. She received her dozen strokes, and, though the overseer did not whip her as hard as he had whipped the black woman, the girl twisted her loins and squealed loudly from the first stroke to the last.
When all was over, her olive-skinned little bottom had become a dusky-red color. She rose to her feet, dancing about for a moment in pain. Then she walked stiffly away, wailing loudly, with both hands pressed to her bottom.
The third culprit was a sturdy mulatto woman, thirty-five years of age. She submissively lay down when ordered, and the overseer soon stripped her. She had a big, round, plump bottom.
The skin was smooth and of a yellowish tint, not at all pretty. The strap cracked, striping her bottom with twelve red bands and making her wince, wriggle and cry aloud. But she never once screamed.
The other delinquents-two black women aged respectively twenty-seven and thirty years and a mulatto girl aged twenty years-were then disposed of by the overseer in the same way. The black women bore their punishment with a certain amount of fortitude, but the mulatto girl writhed and squealed, making almost as much outcry as the quadroon.
I will here state that, from what I saw of whipping during my residence in the South, I came to the conclusion that the light-colored slave-women had finer skins than the darker-colored women. Consequently the former felt more pain while being whipped than the latter.
Moreover, the whipping of such females by men, besides being cruel and most indecent, was also, in my opinion, extremely unfair as a punishment. For instance, if an octoroon woman and a full-blooded black woman, both of the same age and physique, were to undergo exactly the same punishment, the octoroon would suffer far more than the black.
When the overseer had finished whipping the last culprit and she had gone whimpering away, he told his assistants to go to their quarters. Then, rolling up the strap, he put it in his pocket and strolled leisurely away in the direction of the overseers’ house. (The four men lived together, and I have no doubt they had carnal intercourse with all the best looking field-girls.) The man had been perfectly unmoved throughout the whole affair, not appearing to be the least excited at seeing the naked bottoms of the women writhing and twisting with seemingly lascivious movements under his strokes, and he had whipped the poor creatures with as little compunction as if they had been dogs. However, as it was his almost daily work, he was quite accustomed to it, and I don’t suppose that the cruelty of the enterprise ever struck him.
Slavery had a demoralizing effect upon most of the white people in the South; they hardly looked upon slaves as human beings. I often heard white men use the expression a nigger is no better than a hog. But again I am digressing.
By this time everyone had disappeared, and I was alone in the fast-gathering dusk. My ears still seemed to be ringing with the sharp cracking sound of the strap striking the flesh of the women, and I still seemed to hear their cries of pain.
I felt pity, but my feelings were not so keen as they might have been a few months previously. I had grown accustomed to seeing women whipped, though I had never before seen six turned up one after the other. Moreover, since my own shameful whipping and the events which had followed, my nature had become hardened. I walked back to the house without meeting anyone, and went up to my room, where I found Rosa waiting for me. I changed my dress and bathed my face, then after having my hair brushed, I went down to dinner, which I ate with my usual good appetite, though now and then I could not help thinking of the scene I had witnessed.
After dinner I amused myself with a book until bedtime. Next morning I received a letter from Randolph, telling me that business matters would oblige him to go on to New Orleans and that he did not know exactly how long he might be detained. The news did not trouble me; I did not care for him, so I did not miss him, and I liked the thought of having so many days to myself without being poked. A nice quiet embrace in bed at night was all very well, but I disliked being poked by day with all my clothes on, and that was what Randolph often did to me. He was a man of strong sensual passions, and the least thing inflamed them: a paragraph in a paper, a picture or passage in a book, an unexpected glimpse of my ankles, or some other trifle would set him off, and then, in a twinkling I would find myself being turned up in some ridiculous position. Now all that was done — for awhile.
After breakfast, I went to the library to answer his letter, and, just as I had finished writing, Dinah, looking annoyed, came into the room with a long story of how Emma, one of the mulatto kitchen-girls, had lately been neglecting her work.
Said Dinah: I scold her an’ I scold her, but she don’t mind me one little bit, an’ dis very mawnin’ de ornery nigger wench was sassy to me, who am de housekeeper of Woodlands.
(Quadroons always call anyone darker than themselves niggers.) She continued: Now Missis, you jus’ send for her, I’ll take de gal ’up,’ and den you give her a good whippin’ with de switch.
No, Dinah, I cannot do that, said I.
Well den, Missis, send her to de overseer.
No, I won’t do that either.
Dinah looked very much surprised. She could not understand why I would neither whip the girl nor send her to the overseer.
Oh, but, Missis, she said, if dis yer gal isn’t whipped for her sassiness to me, all de other nigger wenches will get sassy to me, an’ I shan’t be able to keep dem in order.
I could hardly keep my countenance on hearing the contemptuous way Dinah spoke about nigger wenches. Although she was a slave herself, and liable at any moment to be whipped if she committed an offense, she had a great idea of her own importance as housekeeper of Woodlands. I said: Wait till Mr. Randolph comes home, then report Emma to him and he will very likely punish her.
Dinah was not satisfied with my suggestion, so she remarked that if I did not like to whip the girl with the switch or to send her to the overseer, I might at least give her a spanking with a slipper.
But I would not consent to do even that, and finally she went away fuming and muttering something about my being too easy with sassy nigger wenches.
A week passed uneventfully. Then a little incident took place which annoyed me very much and caused me to do a thing which I never had done before in my Me.
I was fond of reading out of doors in fine weather, and, one bright afternoon, taking a book, I set off to a secluded part of the grounds where there was a little pond full of beautiful water-lilies and surrounded by flowering shrubs of various sorts. On the bank of the pond was a creeper-covered summer house, furnished with a couple of long, softly-cushioned chairs and a small, round table. The floor was covered with Chinese matting. It was a comfortable little place and a favorite resort of mine.
On approaching the pond, I saw two children busily engaged in throwing stones at something struggling in the water. I knew the children; they lived in the house; they were brother and sister, their mother being a fine mulatto woman named Margaret, who was one of the kitchen maids, and, since both the boy and the girl were quadroons, their father, whoever he was, must have been a white man.
The boy was eleven years old, the girl thirteen. They had no business at the pond at all, and I expected to see them run away when they caught sight of me, but they were so absorbed in what they were doing that they did not notice my approach. When I had got closer to the pond, I saw that the object which they were stoning was a kitten, which, as soon as it had managed to struggle to the shore, they threw back into the water again to be a target for their stones.
I am very fond of all animals, especially cats, and any cruelty to a dumb creature always makes my blood boil. So, feeling very angry, I rushed down to the edge of the water and, picking up the half-drowned kitten when it had again managed to reach the shore, I placed it on the bank, hoping that the poor thing would recover. But the creature had been injured by the stones; it was at its last gasp, and in a few seconds it was dead.
I now was more angry than ever, and, going to the two children, who had not attempted to run away- not that flight would have saved them-I took them by the hand and led them into the summer house, intending to give them both a good spanking. They were slaves and belonged to the house. Therefore they were under my authority. And, as I have said before, I think that all children need corporal punishment at times. In my opinion, the two children who had stoned the kitten to death richly deserved a whipping for their gross cruelty-the girl especially, for she was old enough to have known better, and it was she who had led her little brother into mischief.
I scolded the young wretches heartily, winding up by telling them that I was going to give them both a good spanking. They did not appear to be very much frightened, but stood staring at me with their large brown eyes, without saying a word. I suppose both often had been spanked before, and I knew that, three weeks before, the girl had been well beaten by Dinah, by order of Randolph, for pilfering.
Sitting down upon a chair, I took off my slippers, then told the boy to come to me. He at once obeyed my order. I never had spanked a child, but I remembered the position in which my father used to place me for punishment, so, seizing the boy I laid him across my knees. Then I unbuttoned his trousers, pulled them down to his calves, and tucked up his shirt, laying bare his posteriors.
I gazed at the chubby little bottom laying upturned on my lap and passed my hand two or three times over the smooth olive-tinted skin. Then a desire came Over me to feel the member of a boy his age, and, slipping my hand under his belly, I took hold of his little thing, which felt like a thick, warm worm.
Having satisfied my curiosity, I proceeded to business. Holding him down with my left arm over his loins, I applied the slipper smartly to his plump little bottom, each, smack leaving a red mark on his skin and extracting a howl from him.
He kicked up his heels and wriggled about, squealing lustily and trying to roll off my lap.
But, holding him tightly, I spanked away steadily until the whole surface of his bottom was red. Then I stopped and placed him kneeling on the floor with his trousers down and his bottom turned towards me, telling him not to move till I gave him permission. He did not attempt to stir but remained where I had put him, crying loudly, his fists in his eyes. His little red buttocks shook with the sobs.
While I had been spanking the boy, his sister had looked on with a perfectly unmoved countenance, and, when I told her to come to me, she did so without hesitation. Taking hold of her, I placed her in position, saying to myself that I would make her show some signs of feeling before I was done with her. I whisked up her short and scanty garments, at once bearing her bottom (for she wore no drawers). Every thing she had on was perfectly clean.
Though the girl was only a little over thirteen years of age, she was remarkably well developed. Before taking her up I had noticed that her bosom was already showing a slight swell under her thin bodice, and now, upon looking at her bottom, I was quite astonished at its size. It was well-shaped, too. The plump, firm cheeks stood out in rounded curves; her thighs also were fairly well rounded, and she had good legs for so young a girl. Her skin was soft and smooth and of a pretty olive tint. Putting my hand under her, I touched the spot, and, finding that there was a good deal of downy hair on it, I felt pretty sure that the girl had come to puberty. (Quadroons, and, in fact, all females with Negro blood in their veins become marriageable at an early age.)
I began to spank her, laying the slipper with considerable force, making her wince and writhe.
She bore several smacks in silence, then bursting into tears, she began to squeal and kick, at the same time putting both hands behind her to shield her bottom from the hot slaps. Catching hold of her wrists, I held them tightly with my left hand and went on spanking her.
She wriggled and twisted, and she bounced and bawled. Her olive skin grew redder and redder every moment, while the summer house echoed with her shrill squeals and with the smacking noise made by the slipper as it struck her bottom, the flesh of which was as firm and elastic as possible.
I felt no pity for the cruel little girl. Quite oblivious to her cries and entreaties for mercy, I gave her the soundest spanking she ever had had. When the punishment was over, her bottom, from the loins to the thighs, was a dark red color.
Now I made her kneel beside her brother and hold her petticoats above her waist. Then I put on my slipper and leaned back in the chair, taking breath after my exertions, which had been considerable. While resting, I looked at the red marks of my handiwork on the children’s bottoms.
The boy had ceased crying, but he still sobbed at intervals, while the girl, who must have been smarting dreadfully, wailed aloud. After a short time, I told them that they might go, and they at once stood up, tears trickling down their cheeks, the girl letting her petticoats fall and the boy buttoning up his trousers. Then they slunk out of the summer house and went off home.
Feeling quite a glow of satisfaction at having punished the naughty children, I made myself comfortable, with my legs up on the chair, and began to read the novel which I had brought with me. I read quietly for about an hour, then went back to the house. That evening after dinner, when I was sitting in the small, cosy drawing room, Dinah came in to ask what I wished done in connection with some household affairs. When I had given her my directions, she did not go away, but stood fidgeting about and looking at me as if she wanted to say something. What do you want, Dinah? I asked. I don’t want nuthin’ Missis, she replied. But I want to tell you how glad I is dat you spanked dose drefful chillen dis afternoon. De kitten de little beasts killed belonged to me.
How did you come to know that I had spanked them? I inquired.
Oh, dey came home cryin’ and rubbin’ deir bottoms, an’ dey tole us dat de Missis had given dem a spankin’ in de summer house for trowin’ stones at de kitten.
I smiled, and asked Dinah if she knew who was the father of the children. She knew everything connected with Woodlands, and she informed me that the father was a white man who had at one time been an overseer on the plantation. I then asked her several more questions, and, since she was always ready to chatter to me on the least encouragement, I heard some very curious stories about the doings of slave women and girls.
She also gave me many particulars which I had not heard before about herself and the Randolph family. Dinah was very fond of hearing herself speak, and she used a great many more words than were necessary, so I will only give you a summary of what she told me.
She was exactly the same age as Randolph, both having been born on the same day, thirty-five years back. Her mother had been Randolph’s nurse, and the two children had been brought up together and had played with each other in their young days. When George grew to boyhood, he became the young master and she had to submit to all his caprices.
He was the only child and his parents spoiled him, allowing him to do what he liked. He was very precocious, and, before he was fifteen years of age, he had begun to feel her. Whenever she offended him, he would throw her down upon the floor, turn up her petticoats and spank her.
When they were eighteen years of age, he took her maidenhead. Then he continued to possess her whenever he felt inclined, for three years. After this, he went to Europe. He was away for a couple of years, and, after his return, he had further carnal relations with her only occasionally.
When Dinah was twenty-five, she got married to a quadroon man a few years older than she.
From that time, Randolph had never touched her. But, as she pithily expressed it: Massa George had plenty of oder gals in de house.
When Randolph was thirty years old, his father and mother died within a short time of each other and he became master of Woodlands. When that event occurred, Dinah was a widow and was head parlormaid. Randolph made her housekeeper and gave her a certain amount of authority over the other slave women. Of course he had never hesitated to whip her if she happened to displease him; it was, however, nearly two years now since she had received a whipping.
Dinah, having started, would have gone on chattering all night about Woodlands and its people. But as I was beginning to feel very sleepy, I sent her away and went to bed.
Next morning I received a letter from Randolph informing me that he would be home in three days and telling me to have a good dinner ready for him at the usual hour, with gumbo soup, stewed terrapin and roasted canvasback ducks. He was very fond of those three things, two of which-gumbo soup and stewed terrapin-can be got in perfection only in the Southern States.
Sending for Dinah, I told her that her master was coming back and I gave her orders about the dinner, also telling her to warn the cook and the kitchen-women to be careful. Randolph, being a great gourmet, was most particular about the cooking of everything, and if a cook, through carelessness, spoiled a dish, her bottom was generally made to smart.
After lunch on the day Randolph was to return, I interviewed Dinah, who told me that she had got the terrapin and the canvasback ducks and that the cooks were preparing a very good dinner. It was only two o’clock, and, since I did not expect Randolph to be home until six, I thought I would go out for a ride.
I knew that he would scold me if he did not find me dressed for dinner and waiting in the drawing room to receive him. So, after ordering my horse to be brought to the terrace, I went up to my room, and, assisted by Rosa, dressed in full riding costume-a short chemise reaching to my knees and a dark blue habit. On my head I wore a soft felt hat of tan color, and I had tan gauntlets on my hands.
Rosa always was amused when she was helping me to dress in riding costume, and, on this occasion, while buttoning my breeches round my broad hips, she laughed, saying, Oh Missis, how funny you does look in dem tight trousies. Dey does show de shape of your figure, an’
However, when I was completely attired, the girl gazed admiringly at me, remarking that I looked real lubly. And I think that I may say without conceit that I did look well in riding costume.
I went downstairs and out on the terrace, where one of the Negro grooms was walking my horse up and down. The horse was getting old, but he was a very handsome creature, a thoroughbred dark bay with black points. He knew me well, for I used to visit him every day, giving him bits of bread, lumps of sugar and slices of carrot, of all of which he was very fond.
The groom put me up on the saddle, then I trotted off alone. (I never took a man with me.) It was a bright, cool day, the old horse was frisky but perfectly under my control, and, as he ambled with an easy action along the smooth, level road, the breeze fanned my cheeks, bringing an increased color to them. My eyes began to sparkle and I felt in very good spirits.
I rode seven miles to a farm house, where I dismounted and had a glass of milk while the old horse had a bucket of meal and water. Then, after a short rest, I again mounted and rode slowly back to Woodlands, arriving at five o’clock.
The groom was waiting for me on the terrace, and, as he helped me down from the saddle, he told me that de Massa had been back about an hour. Hurrying into the house, I went straight to the drawing room, where I found Randolph lying on the sofa.
Oh, George! I exclaimed. I am sorry I was not in when you returned. But I did not think that you would be home until six o’clock.
I expected that he would be very cross with me for not having been waiting for him. But, to my great relief, he was in good humor. Never mind, Dolly, he said. It doesn’t matter.
Then, getting off the sofa, he lifted me up in his arms and kissed me on the forehead in a gentle affectionate way. (He seldom kissed me, and, when he did, his kisses generally were coarse and sensual.) I was surprised at his soft manner and tender kiss, and I thought to myself that, if only he would treat me more as a woman and less as a subject for the gratification of his passions, I might get to like him a little.
But his soft mood did not last many moments. I saw the sensual look, which I knew so well, come into his eyes as they roved over the curves of my bosom and the outlines of my hips, which were clearly defined by my tightly-fitting habit. After a moment, he said: You are looking very fresh and rosy, and your habit does show off your figure to perfection. In fact you look so nice that I am going to ’have’ you this minute, just as you stand.
Oh! I exclaimed, rather taken aback. That will be very uncomfortable. I’ve got on breeches and boots. Come to my room and let me take them off.
No, I won’t go to your room, he said laughing. I intend to keep you here and poke you just as you are. I’ve ’had’ women in all sorts of dress and undress, but I’ve never ’had’ one in full riding costume. It will be a decided novelty; therefore my pleasure will be increased. I’ve not touched a woman since I left you. Now take off your hat and gloves, but don’t remove anything else.
When I first had seen him that afternoon, I was not disinclined for a poke, for there had been three weeks abstinence and, if he had taken me quietly up to my room, had let me undress and then had poked me properly on the bed, I should have been quite pleased. But now I was annoyed by the coarse way in which he had spoken, and I disliked having to submit to his embraces while dressed as I was. However, I knew that it would be useless to remonstrate.
So, taking off my hat and gloves, I waited for his next move.
He took off his coat and waistcoat, then made me lean over the back of a low, broad armchair with my hands resting on the seat. (I was not surprised, for he often had placed me over a chair before.) He next rolled up the skirt of my habit to my shoulders, and, since my body was curved by the position in which I was leaning, my bottom was well stuck out and my breeches tightly stretched. After a little fumbling under my corset, he unbuttoned the breeches and with some difficulty pulled them down to the tops of my boots. Then he carefully tucked up my chemise, leaving me bare to the attack.
He always was fond of looking at me and feeling my bottom, so he stroked it, saying: Why, Dolly, your bottom seems to be plumper, prettier and whiter than ever, but I am going to redden it with a little spanking.
When I heard him say this, I was frightened. He never had offered to do such a thing to me before. Raising my head, and looking over my shoulder I said in a pleading tone: Oh, don’t spank me. I can’t bear pain. But I did not attempt to move from the position he had placed me in. Somehow or other, I never could resist his will.
I won’t hurt you, he said. I’ll only make you feel a pleasant tingling sensation. He then began to spank me; not with much force, but yet sufficiently hard to cause my skin to tingle more than I liked, and he applied the slaps to one side of my bottom only, leaving he other side quite untouched.
When he had spanked the whole surface of one buttock from the upper part down to the thigh, he stopped, saying with a laugh: There, Dolly. One cheek is pink as a rose and the other is white as a lily. The contrast is charming. It is a pity that you cannot see for yourself.
Then, going to work again, he spanked the white cheek until it also turned a rosy pink. But I can’t say that I felt only a pleasant tingling sensation; in point of fact, my bottom decidedly smarted. But, strange to say, the slight spanking had excited a voluptuous feeling in me and I was anxious to receive the stroke.
Randolph now unbuttoned his trousers. Then, making me separate my legs slightly, he clasped his arms round my body and, stooping a little, thrust his thing into the spot between the cleft of the thighs. Holding me in a close embrace with his belly pressed against my bottom, he began to lunge at me strongly, giving me the full length of his member, while I, pressing my thighs together, clipped the weapon tightly in the sheath, at the same time moving my loins briskly backwards and forwards to meet his powerful thrusts.
He worked away in fine style, and I gave him every assistance. Thus, in a few seconds, the supreme spasm arrived. He discharged copiously, while I squirmed and twisted myself about, wriggling my bottom in voluptuous ecstasy until all was over. Then my knees gave way under me and I should have fallen had he not held me up.
That was a good one, Dolly, wasn’t it, said he, helping me to my feet. You did your part very well.
I smiled, and, pulling up my breeches, buttoned them round my waist, while he fastened the front of his trousers and put on his coat and waistcoat. I do not know whether during his absence he had touched a woman or not, but the poke he gave me that day was the most vigorous I ever had received from him. (Since that time I have learned by experience that all men are fanciful; they like change, and are fond of making love to women in all sorts of ways. But women do not care to be had in fancy positions with their clothes on; they prefer to be embraced in the old-fashioned way, lying on their backs in or on a comfortable bed, with nothing on but a chemise or a nightdress.)
The welcoming party over, Randolph and I went to our respective rooms and dressed for dinner, meeting each other at the table at seven o’clock. It was an excellent repast. The cooks had done their best, and the gumbo soup, stewed terrapin and roast canvasback ducks were cooked to perfection. Since we both were hungry, we did full justice to the various dishes, and also to the champagne and other wines.
Randolph asked me how the women had behaved during his absence, and I replied that they had not given me the least trouble. Then I told him how I had spanked the two children for killing the kitten. He was very much amused, laughing heartily at my description of the affair, and he said that I was such a meek little creature that he did not think that I would have had the courage to whip the children single-handed.
After dinner, when we were in the drawing room, Randolph told me that he was having great trouble with his business matters, owing to the unsettled state of affairs between the North and South. Randolph, like all Southerners at that period, hated the Northerners, speaking of them most contemptuously and calling them damned Yankees. He said also that he did not think that they would dare to push matters to extremes with the South.
Being a Yankee myself, I did not like to hear Yankees spoken of with such contempt, and I felt convinced in my own mind that they would be quite able to hold their own with the Southerners. However, I did not argue the point. I had long given up trying to argue with Randolph, for, whenever I attempted to hold an opinion different to his, he always told me that I did not know what I was talking about, and to shut up.
The evening passed, and, at eleven o’clock, we went to bed; but before going to sleep he made me lie on my side while he, also on his side, lay behind me with his arms round me and his bare belly pressed close against my naked bottom, so that his stiff member passed between my thighs and into my cleft. Then, grasping one of my breasts in each of his hands, he poked me. This was a favorite position of his. He used to call it spoon position.
Next morning after breakfast he went out to make an inspection of the plantation to see how things had been carried out during his absence. He found everything in good order, so he came back to lunch in a good humor and, when it was over, he ordered the two-horse buggy and we went for a drive.
It was a bright, hot afternoon, so he drove through the shadiest lanes and we happened to pass the little dell where he had made the assault on me. Pulling up the horses and pointing with his whip to the spot, he said with a laugh: Do you remember this place, Dolly?
I did remember it well! And I thought of the long and desperate struggle which I had waged to keep my maidenhead, which, after all, I had to surrender to him. Oh, I remember the place very well, I replied. Do you think I possibly could forget it?
He again laughed, saying: How you did kick and scream and fight! You quite astonished me.
I would not have believed that a little woman like you could have made such a strong resistance. It was an exciting struggle and the thought of it has given me an erection, so I intend to have a roll on the grass with you.
I said nothing, but I thought a great deal. I was going to be rogered on the very spot where I once had successfully resisted his assault. It surely was the very irony of ironies.
Randolph got out of the buggy and hitched the horses to a tree. Then, lifting me down, he carried me to the little hollow and laid me on the grass. After some amorous dalliance, he placed me in the position, turned up my petticoats and poked me strongly, making me bounce under him.
Ah, Dolly, he remarked when all was over, if you had let me get on the top of you that day, you would not have had your bottom whipped by the lynchers nor would you have ridden the rail.
I made no answer, but arranged my somewhat disordered attire. Then we got back into the buggy and continued our interrupted drive, not returning home until it was time to dress for dinner.
The days passed and everything went smoothly. The women of Woodlands gave no one any great trouble. Their conduct was so good that not a single one of them since Randolph’s return had had her petticoats turned up.
I mean, of course, turned up for a whipping. I have no doubt that most of them, if not all, had their petticoats turned up for a poke in the evenings. Plenty of love-making went on, for a certain number of the women and girls, in turns, were allowed to be out every night till half-past ten o’clock. Anyone who was late in returning to the house was brought by Dinah the next morning before Randolph, who either whipped the offender himself or sent her to the overseer. And the culprit was further punished by not being allowed out of the house at night for a month. So it was very seldom that a woman stayed out beyond the hour fixed for return.
But the calm which had lasted for so many days was one afternoon ruffled by a breeze. I think that something had gone wrong on the plantation. I don’t know what it was, but, whatever the case, Randolph, who had been out for a couple of hours, came back to the house in a vile temper. He upbraided me because I happened to be wearing a pair of easy slippers without heels, asking me what the devil I meant by going about slipshod like an untidy nigger wench.
When he had quieted down a little, he informed me that he had a business appointment with a gentleman — one of the neighboring planters-and that they were to meet each other in an hour and a half’s time at a certain crossroad a few miles from Woodlands. He then reached for the bell to give orders for his horse to be saddled, when Dinah happened to come into the room to ask me a question about dinner.
I answered her question, and, as she was leaving the room, Randolph told her to order his horse to be brought round at once. He then went up to dress, returning in about half an hour’s time in riding costume.
The groom, however, had not made his appearance with the horse, so Randolph kept walking up and down the room, fuming with impatience, constantly glancing at his watch and every now and then looking out of the window, wondering why the horse had not been brought, saying that he would most likely miss his appointment, and vowing that, if he did, he would have the groom cowhided by the overseer.
At last he rang the bell furiously, telling the parlormaid who answered to send Dinah up.
When the girl had left the room, he turned to me saying: I think that confounded woman must have forgotten to send word to the stables,
Presently Dinah, looking calm and placid, came into the room.
Did you order my horse? shouted Randolph in an angry voice.
A frightened expression at once appeared on the woman’s face. No Sah, I didn’t; I quite forgot dat you tole me to order de hoss, she answered in a faint voice, glancing deprecatingly at her angry master.
He flew into a violent passion. The veins of his forehead swelled and his eyes gleamed with rage. Oh, you forgot, did you? he exclaimed. Ill teach you to forget my orders!
Rushing at Dinah, who stood cowering, he seized her, and, sitting down on the end of the sofa, threw the great big woman across his knees, just as if she had been a little girl. I could see by her astonished face that she was taken utterly aback, but she did not struggle.
Ejaculating once, Oh, Massa! she lay quietly over Randolph’s thighs with her hands resting on the floor at one side of him and her feet on the other.
With one sweep of his arm, Randolph threw her petticoats up over her head, completely hiding her face and laying her bare from her waist to her garters. Dinah, being a tall, strapping woman, had large posteriors; her bottom really was splendid-broad, deep and very plump-and, since she was lying in a much curved position, the great half-moons were raised high on Randolph’s lap. She had large, round, muscular thighs and the plump calves of her big legs seemed ready to burst through her tight, white cotton stockings. Her dusky olive skin was smooth and wholesome looking, and all her drapery was clean.
Holding her firmly in position with his left arm over her naked loins and with his right leg over the lower part of her thighs, de Massa now began to spank the woman, raising his hand as high as he could in the air and laying on the strokes with his full force. Each time his hand fell on her big bottom, a loud smack echoed through the room and the red prints of his fingers and thumb instantly showed on her skin.
Dinah winced under the stinging slaps, her plump flesh twitching and quivering. But she did not utter a sound, nor did she attempt to put her hands behind her. Randolph went on spanking her ruthlessly, and, after a moment, she shook her head clear of her petticoats and looked round with a pleading expression in her great, brown, ox-like eyes. Her cap had fallen off, her hair had come loose, her lips were quivering, the tears were rolling down her cheeks and she writhed and twisted her loins in pain, but still she was silent.
De Massa continued to rain down the shower of slaps, the red marks of his fingers spreading all over her bottom till not a part of it was left unmarked. Dinah’s fortitude at last gave way.
She began to utter little shrieks and to kick her legs about. She jerked her hips from side to side, and, putting her hands over her bottom, tried in vain to shield it from the tremendous spanking, at the same time gasping out entreaties to Randolph to stop. At last he stopped and pushed the woman off his knees onto the floor, where she lay crying with her petticoats still up to her waist so that her great, red bottom remained exposed.
After a moment or two Dinah got to her feet, wiping the tears from her hot, flushed face with her apron. Then she twisted up her hair and, picking up her cap, put it on her head, but not very straight. This done, she shook her petticoats into their places and stood sobbing before her master.
There, you careless hussy, he said. I think you’ll remember my orders in future. Go away.
Dinah, holding her apron to her eyes, walked rather stiffly out of the room. Randolph rubbed the palm of his hand, saying: Damn the thing, I have made my band quite sore on the woman’s bottom. Her flesh is very firm, and I felt as if I were spanking a board. I ought to have used the switch and saved my hand. But, he added, if my hand is so sore, what must her bottom be? I fancy she won’t forget that spanking in a hurry.
I think it was a shame that you spanked Dinah at all, I observed.
The laughing expression instantly left his face and he glared furiously at me, saying in a loud, angry tone: You had better keep what you think to yourself. It is no business of yours what I do to my slaves.
I’m sorry, I apologized.
Why damn it, he continued with increased anger; no one has ever dared to make such a remark to me before. I have? great mind to take you across my knees and give you a smart spanking too.
My blood ran cold, and a lump came into my throat. He was quite capable of doing what he said. Oh, I beg your pardon. I am very sorry I spoke, I said earnestly.
So you ought to be. I thought you knew by this time that I will stand no interference, he said scowling at me. Then, much to my relief, he left the room. Shortly afterwards I saw him canter down the avenue.
I was very sorry for poor Dinah. She always had been most attentive to me, and I liked her very much. I wondered how Randolph had the heart to expose and whip so severely the woman who had been his foster-sister, and who had lived all her life in the house with him and who also had been the toy of his passions. Feeling rather upset by the scene and also by my narrow escape from a spanking, I went to my room, and ringing for Rosa, told her to take down my hair and give it a good brushing, a thing which always has a soothing effect upon me.
The news that Dinah had been spanked had already got about the house. She was not liked by her fellow slaves, because, as housekeeper, she kept them in order, reporting any woman or girl who misbehaved or who neglected her work.
Rosa brushed away at my hair for a few moments in silence, but I could see that she was bursting to say something, and at last she said: All de women is glad dat Dinah got a good spankin’ from de Massa. She tinks too much ob herself. An’ she always tells on a gal if she don’t do exactly right, an’ gets her a whippin’.
Dinah only does her duty, I remarked. If the girls and women always behaved as well as they have been doing lately, Dinah would not have to tell on any of them.
Rosa tossed her head, but made no further remarks, and, when she had brushed my hair well and re-arranged it, I sent her away, telling her to send Dinah up to me. I was rather curious to see how she was after her terrible spanking.
In a short time she came into the room, looking as smart and tidy as ever. Her hair was neatly arranged under a clean cap and she had put on a clean apron, collar and cuffs. Her face wore its usual placid look, but her eyelids were red and rather swollen.
I am sorry for you, Dinah, I said. Your master spanked you so very severely.
She seemed to be a little surprised at my expression of sympathy, but she was very grateful for it and she thanked me. Then she said, I’se had plenty of spank-ins’ an’ whippins’ in my life, but I never thought dat I’d come to be spanked again like a little gal. Why, Missis, I ain’t had such a ting done to me since I was thirteen years ole. But, oh my! Dis one was a spankin’! It hurt most drefful. De Massa laid on powerful heavy, an’ his hand is very hard.
I’se been paddled twice, but I tink de Massa’s hand hurt me today near as much as de paddle did. My bottom is very sore an’ bruised, an’ it’ll be black an’ blue all over tomorrow.
Dinah had spoken without emotion. She evidently did not think it strange that a woman of her age should have been whipped in such an ignominious way, and she did not appear to bear her master the least malice. She was his slave, her body belonged to him, therefore he could do what he liked with it. Such was the degrading effect of slavery on the minds of the slaves.
I sent her away and dressed for dinner, putting on a new frock which I lately had received from the dressmaker in Richmond. Then I went down to the dining room, where I found Randolph. Since dinner was ready we sat down to table.
He had missed his appointment, he said, and it was an important one. Consequently he was very cross and snappish. But, after he had eaten a good dinner, drunk a bottle of champagne and smoked a cigar, he got into a better humor.
When we went into the drawing room, he seated himself in an easy chair, saying to me waggishly: ’Come here, Dolly, and let me see if you have taken off those beastly slippers you were wearing this afternoon. I went to him and held my skirts above my knees, while he looked at my feet and legs. I had on a pretty pair of high-heeled boots and pale blue silk stockings fastened with silver-buckled, pink satin garters.
Ah, this is something I like, he observed, running his hand up and down my legs and ankles.
Then he put his hand higher up under my drapery, and, opening the slit of my drawers, felt my bottom.
You are looking very pretty tonight, Dolly, and that new frock becomes you, he went on, drawing me closer to him while his eyes began to sparkle.
I knew what he was going to do! Taking me up in his arms, he carried me to the sofa and laid me upon it. Then he turned up my garments one by one, looking at my fine white petticoats deeply flounced with lace, my prettily trimmed drawers and my filmy chemise. (He always made me wear the dantiest undergarments in the evening.) When everything had been turned up and my drawers had been taken down, he stretched my legs widely apart and gazed for a moment or two at the spot. Then, inserting his finger, he tickled the sensitive little point till it distilled a few drops of moisture, while I squirmed and kicked my legs.
He seemed to be very much excited, kissing me hotly on the lips, eyes and cheeks several times. Then, throwing himself upon me, he pressed his lips upon mine and thrust his tongue into my mouth Next, putting his hands under me and grasping the cheeks of my bottom, he fixed his weapon deeply in the sheath and sworded me vigorously.
When all was over and we had made ourselves tidy, he rang the bell and ordered the parlormaid to bring a bottle of champagne. When the girl had brought the wine, we soon disposed of it, as our exciting combat had made us both thirsty.
Randolph was pleased with himself and he was also pleased with me, so he was in very good humor. We had a long conversation on various subjects, and, since he did not snub me when I differed with him, I passed a more pleasant evening than usual. At half-past eleven o’clock we went to bed.
I will now pass over a period of four months. During that time, events had been marching rapidly and stirring things had happened.
The slave States had seceded from the Union.
Jeff Davis had been elected president of the Southern Confederacy.
Fort Sumter had been taken, and the war had begun.
All those events are matters of history, so I need not enter into details of them. I will confine myself to relating the things which were connected with Woodlands and with my own fortunes.
The work on the plantation was carried on as usual, notwithstanding the very unsettled state of affairs. But there was a spirit of unrest among all the field hands, and they were inclined to be insubordinate. Randolph and his four overseers always went about armed with revolvers, and whippings were of more frequent occurrence than ever.
The overseers in all cases inflicted the punishments, the male slaves being tied to the whipping post and cowhided while the females were stretched upon a branch and either switched or paddled. By these severe means, discipline so far had been thoroughly maintained.
The house-women, of course, rarely became very troublesome. But Randolph would stand no nonsense. He became stricter with them than before, and, whenever a woman or a girl had misbehaved in the least, Dinah and another stalwart woman named Milly were sent for and the offender was taken up and prepared for punishment. Then, in a few seconds, she would be squealing, writhing, kicking up her heels and promising amendment, while Randolph, wielding the switch with vigorous arm, striped her bottom with red weals. In some cases of grave misconduct, he would even draw blood. This treatment reduced to order all who were inclined to be unruly, and they soon returned to their ordinary behavior.
For some time past, business in the State had been almost at a standstill. Therefore Randolph could not dispose of his cotton, which had accumulated in the sheds which were full to overflowing. He was a rich man, but most of his income was derived from the sale of his cotton, and, now that there was no market for it — while, at the same time, the great expenses in keeping up the plantation were going on-he became very much pressed for ready money.
However, he thought that it would only be a temporary inconvenience, for he was quite convinced that the South eventually would prove victorious in the war.
My sympathies, of course, were with the Northerners, and I wished them speedy success. But I dared not express my sentiments. I really don’t know what Randolph would have done to me if I had said what I thought.
Meanwhile, he rarely left the plantation and he never gave any dinner parties. All his friends either had left the State or had joined the Confederate Army. He would have done so himself except that he was too old to go as a private soldier and he was unable to get a commission as an officer, owing to his having no knowledge of military affairs. But he had been elected member of Congress for the Southern Confederacy.
Since he would not leave Woodlands, my lover was obliged to fall back exclusively upon my company, and he seemed glad to have it. He seemed also to appreciate it. His manner became a little more tender, he did not speak to me so coarsely-as he often had been in the habit of doing-and he treated me with less indecency.
But with his slaves, both outdoor and indoor, he was more strict than ever. Since the breaking out of the war, several of the field hands had run away and had managed to get clear off, although the underground stations had been closed. Randolph had offered two-hundred dollars reward for the capture of each runaway, but not one of them had been brought back.
These losses had vexed him very much, the runaways having been some of his strongest and finest young men and women, each of whom was worth from fifteen-hundred to two-thousand dollars.
So far none of the house women had run away, but at last one of them did. One morning when Randolph and I were at breakfast, Dinah came in and told her master that one of the women named Sophie, who had been out the previous night, had not returned to the house, and that some other girls reported that she had taken away some of her clothes. Sophie was one of the kitchen-maids, a fine, big, healthy mulatto woman, twenty-six years of age and worth about eighteen-hundred dollars. There was no doubt that she had run Way, so Randolph at once wrote out copies of advertisements, describing the woman and offering the large reward of four-hundred dollars to anyone bringing her back to Woodlands or lodging her in a jail. He sent the advertisement to all the local newspapers, and he also ordered bills to be printed and posted up in various places.
Several days passed. The advertisements appeared in the papers and the bills were stuck up all about the neighborhood. But nothing was heard of the runaway. However, since all the white loafers were eager to secure the large reward, Randolph had high hopes that the woman would be caught sooner or later. And she was.
About five o’clock one evening, a couple of rough-looking white men drove up to the house in a ramshackle wagon, bringing with them the runaway, whom they had found concealed in the slave quarter of a plantation twenty miles from Woodlands. The woman, whose wrists were tied together with a piece of rope, evidently had not suffered any privations during the time she had been absent. Her frock was clean and she was in good condition bodily, although her face was looking very doleful, for she knew that there was a severe whipping awaiting her.
The men who had hunted her down received the four-hundred dollars bounty and drove off in their wagon, while Sophie was taken away to the servants’ quarters. After she had been given something to eat, she was locked up in a small bedroom by herself for the night.
Randolph was very much pleased at having got the woman back, consequently he was in a very good humor all through the evening. So, when we were in the drawing room after dinner, I ventured to ask him what he intended to do to Sophie.
Never you mind, Dolly, he replied, smiling. It’s no business of yours. I’ve not quite made up my mind what I shall do to her, but anyhow, I tend to make the hussy smart tomorrow, and, if you like, you can see the punishment.
I asked no more questions, and he told me to come and sit on his knee. I did so Then, as a matter of course, the usual toyings took place, and, in a very short time, I found myself impaled as I sat on his lap. Afterwards we talked about the war and I had carefully to conceal my real opinions. In due course we went to bed.
Next morning at breakfast, my hero told me that he had determined to make an example of Sophie. Therefore he intended to whip her with the paddle. The punishment would be meted out in the hall, before all the other women in the house.
I was sorry for Sophie-(I always was sorry when a woman was whipped)-but I dared not say a word. In fact, if I had said anything, it only would have irritated Randolph and made him harder on the women. Moreover, it would have brought his wrath upon me.
When he had finished his breakfast and had smoked a cigar, he left the room to make preparations for the punishment. In about twenty minutes he came back and said: Everything is ready now. You can come out to the hall if you would like to see a paddling.
I had seen many women switched. I had seen some whipped with the strap, and I had seen several spanked. But I had never seen one paddled, and I was rather curious as to how the punishment was inflicted.
Thus, I followed Randolph to the hall. I was sorry for the woman, as I have before said, but my curiosity overcame my pity. I had grown somewhat callous.
In the middle of the long, wide hall was a machine which I never had seen before, though I had heard of it. It was the whipping bench-a long, low, curved wooden structure about two feet broad, supported on four legs, each of which war furnished with buckled straps. On the floor beside the bench was the paddle, a round, flat piece of wood an eighth of an inch thick and eight inches in diameter, fixed to a handle two and a half feet long. It was very much dreaded by all the female slaves, for it caused great pain, bruising the flesh and blistering the skin so that, after a paddling, the sufferer’s bottom remained sore and tender longer than after a switching or a strapping.
All the women and grown-up girls in the house were present. They were twenty-one in number, ten of them in a row at one side of the bench and ten at the other, while Dinah stood by herself.
Randolph ordered Dinah and Milly-a strong black woman whom I have mentioned before-
to go for the culprit. They went, returning in a couple of minutes with Sophie, who, the moment she caught sight of the preparations for her paddling, burst into tears and hung back in such a fashion that the two women had to drag her up to the bench.
Sophie was not a bad-looking woman for a mulatto, and, on ordinary occasions, her yellow-tinted complexion was clear. But, at that moment, fear had turned her face a sort of dull-grey color. Oh, Massa, Massa! she cried, stretching out her arms appealingly, with the tears running down her cheeks. Don’t paddle me! Whip me with de switch or de strap, but don’t, oh don’t paddle me!
Put her on the bench, said Randolph.
Sophie, in a spasm of fear, threw herself upon the floor. Dinah and Milly lifted her up. Then she began to struggle and kick. But, in spite of her resistance, the two women soon had her stretched at full length on the bench, with her wrists and ankles securely fastened with the straps.
Dinah now stripped her, and, since her head and feet were lower than the middle of her body, which was raised by the curve of the bench, the part of her person to be operated upon was thrown well up. She would have had a good figure except that her bottom was out of all proportion. It was too big. But nevertheless it was fairly-well shaped, with well-rounded cheeks meeting each other closely. Her thighs were large, too, and she had a sturdy pair of legs. Her skin was smooth and of a clear yellow tint.
Randolph took up the paddle and, standing at the culprit’s left side, said: Now you bitch, I’ll make your fat bottom smart. You’ve cost me four-hundred dollars, and I intend to take the value out of your yellow hide.
He raised the paddle high in the air over the trembling, crying woman, who, in dread of the coming stroke, drew in the cheeks of her bottom till the division between them looked like a fine line.
Down came the paddle with great force. There was a resounding smack on the upper part of the right cheek of her bottom. She gave a convulsive start and gasped for breath. Then she uttered a long, shrill squeal, and, at the same instant, a great, red, blister-like patch, the exact size and shape of the blade of the paddle, sprang up on her yellow skin.
The second stroke fell on the left cheek, and again the loud sounding smack was followed by a shriek. Another round patch showed red on her skin.
Randolph went on paddling with great severity, laying the strokes alternately on the right and on the left side of her bottom and striking a fresh place each time. Sophie screamed and writhed, twisting herself about in agony and jerking her tortured bottom from side to side on the bench as far as the straps binding her would allow, at one moment arching her loins and at the next instant flattening herself down with a shriek as the paddle smacked horribly on the flesh.
She wriggled and squirmed. She cried and screamed. She pleaded and prayed for mercy.
But Randolph was pitiless. He gave her several more strokes, then finished up by applying two extra-hard smacks, one to the upper part of each thigh, extracting from her louder shrieks and making her writhe more convulsively.
It had been a most severe punishment. Sophie’s bottom had become a dark purple color, the cheeks were quite swollen and the skin had a puffy appearance.
Randolph now threw down the paddle and told Dinah to release the woman. As soon as she was unstrapped, Sophie rolled off the bench and lay crying loudly. While she was being paddled, the other women had looked on in silence, the majority of them showing no signs of emotion, but some of the younger girls having tears in their eyes. They had all, with few exceptions, seen each other at various times receive a whipping, and everyone of them, without exception, had been whipped herself more or less frequently.
Randolph now told Dinah and Milly to take Sophie away and attend to her. They lifted the sufferer up, and, putting their arms round her-(she could hardly put one foot before the other)-led her wailing out of the hall, where they bathed her blistered bottom with cold water. Randolph then ordered a couple of the women to take the bench and the paddle back to the shed where they were kept. The other women and girls were sent to their work, and I was left alone with him in the hall.
Being well aware that whipping a woman always excited him, I felt pretty sure that I was going to be poked. I was not wrong. Putting his arm around my waist, he led me into the drawing room and made me lean over the high end of the sofa. Then he turned up my petticoats, let down my drawers and gave me a strong rogering from behind. He then went out, and I went up to my room to make myself tidy, for I was in rather a dishevelled state after his vigorous onslaught.
When I had removed all traces of what had occurred, I rang for Rosa and sent her to see how Sophie was getting on. When she came back she said: Dinah is bathin’ Sophie’s bottom with cold water. It looks drefful sore an’ it’s swelled up twice its size. I’se never seen such a bottom as dat woman’s got. She won’t be able to do no work for three or four days. I’se never had de paddle, an’ I hopes I never shall. It’s far wuss dan de switch.
I sent Rosa away and went into the garden, where I sat till Randolph came back to lunch. In the afternoon we went for a long ride together.
The weeks passed, and, in their course, the tide of war flowed nearer to us at Woodlands. The Federal troops had entered Virginia, and many skirmishes had taken place with various results. Then came the battle of Bull Run, in which, as you know, the Federals were utterly defeated.
When the news of the Confederate victory arrived at Woodlands, Randolph was jubilant. He said to me that the damned Yankees soon would be driven out of Virginia. He gave the field hands a couple of days’ holiday with an extra supply of food and liquor; the house women also had a treat and were allowed to invite their sweethearts to a dance in the servants’
quarters. I was very sorry to hear of the defeat of the Federal troops, but I did not think that they would be driven out of Virginia.
A short time after the battle of Bull Run, Randolph was summoned to Richmond to attend the first meeting of the Congress of the Confederates States. Since he expected to be away a considerable time, he gave me full instructions about what he wished me to do regarding the affairs on the plantation. He told me that I was to write twice a week, telling him exactly how things were going. He want away a couple of days later, and I was for the second time left alone; but on this occasion I had full charge of everything at Woodlands.
Randolph had lately been treating me with a little more consideration, and, though I had not the least love for him, I missed his company a little at first. Soon, however, I settled down contentedly to my solitary Me and did what I could to keep up the usual routine of work on the plantation, my efforts being well assisted by the overseers, who had been told to take any orders which I might give them. They were trustworthy men, and, though rather rough creatures, were always civil to me. I determined that as long as I was mistress on the plantation there should be as little whipping as possible, at least so far as the women were concerned. So I gave orders that no woman or girl was to be whipped in any way without my sanction. The overseers were very much surprised at my order, but I believe that they obeyed it; at any rate, as far as I knew, no woman or girl was whipped during the time I was in charge of the estate.
The days passed quietly and uneventfully on the plantation, but outside of it, everything was in a most disturbed state. Fighting was always going on somewhere. The Federal troops were concentrating in force, and were pressing on Richmond. Many of the neighboring plantations had been occupied by parties of the union soldiers, and I was daily expecting them to make their appearance at Woodlands. I wrote twice a week to Randolph, giving him particulars of everything which happened, and he wrote to me once a week, his letters always being business ones without a word of love.
At last, the boys in blue did come. One afternoon about four o’clock I happened to be looking out of one of the drawing-room windows when I saw a party of soldiers-led by an officer and accompanied by an army wagon-coming up the avenue towards the house. In a few minutes they halted on the terrace, piled their arms and unpacked the wagon, which contained blankets and other things belonging to the soldiers. My heart began to beat with excitement, and I sat down on the sofa to wait the denouement to the affair.
In a minute or two, Dinah ushered in an officer, who saluted me politely and said: Madam, I have been ordered to occupy this plantation, but I assure you that you shall not be interfered with in any way. I will put my men in the slaves’ quarters, but I must ask you to give me a room in the house.
I rose to my feet, smiling. It did my heart good to see the dear old blue uniform again. I am very glad to see you and your men, Sir, I said; I am a Northern woman and all my sympathies are with you. Take a seat, and I will have a room prepared for you at once.
He took a chair, looking very much surprised. Then I rang the bell for Dinah, and gave her the requisite orders. The officer was about twenty-seven years of age. He was a tall, handsome man with a bronzed face, clear grey eyes and a long, silky-blond moustache. His uniform was a little worn, but it fitted him to perfection and he evidently was a well-bred gentleman.
We entered into conversation, and, since there already was a bond of sympathy between us, we soon were chatting and laughing as if we had been old friends. He told me that he was a captain in the United States Army, that his name was Franklin and that he came from Pennsylvania. This fact made me feel even more friendly towards him, and I informed him that I also was a Pennsylvanian. Then we laughed and shook hands. I could see that it puzzled him to find that a Northern woman, and one who openly expressed her sympathy with the Union soldiers, should be the mistress of a Southern plantation. But he was too well bred to ask questions, and I did not volunteer any explanations.
After talking for some time, he rose from his seat, saying that he must go and see to the quartering of his men. I told him that dinner would be ready at seven o’clock. Then he bowed and left the room.
Sending for Dinah, I asked if she had seen that everything had been readied for the officer.
She replied that she had seen to everything, and that his valise had been taken up to the room.
I then told her that, now that the United States troops had come, she and all the other slaves soon would be set free.
Oh, Missis, is dat a fact? she exclaimed, showing her white teeth in a broad smile.
Yes, I replied.
Den I’ll look after de ossifer myself. He is a fine lookin’ young gentleman, she said, bustling away.
I went to my room and dressed for dinner, putting on one of my prettiest frocks. Then I went down to the drawing room to wait for Captain Franklin. Presently he came in, and, after making a bow, thanked me for the comfortable chamber which I had alloted him. I think he was rather surprised to find me in full evening toilette, with bare arms and shoulders. He had changed his rather war-worn uniform for an undress jacket and braided pantaloons, and he looked smart, soldierly and very handsome.
Presently dinner was announced and we went into the dining room. The meal was a good one, and I had ordered Dinah to get out some champagne as well as claret and sherry. Since Captain Franklin had been campaigning in a very rough way for six months, he thoroughly appreciated the dainty, well-cooked dishes and the good wine, and he said with a smile that he was a most fortunate man in having been detailed to occupy Woodlands instead of having to live in a damp, muddy tent and fare on tough ration beef and hard biscuits.
I laughed, saying that I was glad to hear he liked his quarters. Then we talked about all sorts of things, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, finding that I had plenty to say and that I was quite able to hold my own in an argument when I was not snubbed.
Captain Franklin was polite and agreeable, treating my opinions with consideration and never contradicting me. When we went into the drawing-room, he bade me good night, saying that he had to visit his men and mount a guard. He then went away, and I felt quite lonely. His coming to the house had excited me, and I found that I could not settle down quietly to anything that evening, so I went upstairs to my room and got Rosa to brush my hair for half an hour, then I went to bed.
Some days passed, and I soon found that the presence of the soldiers had caused nearly all the work on the plantation to come to a standstill. The field hands did pretty much as they pleased-though they were still slaves, the proclamation of their freedom not having been made until some time afterwards.
I had written to Randolph and acquainted him fully with the state of affairs, and had received a letter in which he said that he would not come back to Woodlands just then. It would be no use for him to return, he observed, and it would only annoy him to see his old home overrun by a lot of damned Yankees. He did not think that he would be able to stand it quietly, and there probably would be trouble, which most likely would end in shooting. He also said that he was thinking of taking a house in Richmond, and, if he did, he would send for me at once.
He wanted me badly, as there was not a decent looking woman to be had in the place. He wound up by saying that, when I came away, I could leave everything in charge of the overseers-if there was anything left to be taken charge of.
The letter was typical of the man. It was utterly selfish; there was not a word of tenderness in it, and he had not even thought it necessary to be silent about his doings with other women.
However, his unfaithfulness did not trouble me in the least, and I only smiled when I read that part of his letter.
During the time which had passed, I had seen very little of the soldiers, for they had kept well out of the way. But I was pretty sure that they were having a good time with the women and girls belonging to the plantation. I knew that Rosa had secured a sergeant as her beau, for I had seen her one afternoon in a summer house with him in a rather suspicious attitude. But I did not care how many sweethearts the girl had, or what they did to her, so long as she was at my service whenever I wanted her. And she always was.
Captain Franklin had never obtruded his presence on me, but we met at meals and he always used to spend an hour with me in the drawing room after dinner. It was a most pleasant time for me, because he was always agreeable and amusing. Moreover, we had many ideas in common, and our natures were sympathetic. I saw that he admired me, and before long I felt pretty sure from the way he looked at me and by various other little signs that he had more than a mere liking for me, though I had but little doubt that he had guessed the nature of the relations existing between me and the owner of Woodlands. But whether he had or not, he always treated me with respect, and I could not help contrasting his courteous, gentlemanly manner with the coarse and often brutal way in which Randolph nearly always had treated me.
From the day when Captain Franklin had come to the house, I had liked him, and, as I got to know him better, my feelings had gradually grown warmer until, at last, I fell in love with him. It was the first time in my life that I had felt this passion, and it took full possession of me. I always was thinking of Franklin when he was not with me. I began to want to feel his kisses on my lips, and I longed to lie in his arms. I had not disliked being poked by Randolph, for whom I had not the slightest liking therefore I could not help but think how delightful it would be to be embraced by a man whom I loved. Randolph had never cared for me; he had not scrupled to tell me that he was unfaithful to me, and, above all, he had possessed himself of me originally by most cruel means: therefore I did not consider that I was in the least way bound to be faithful to him. He certainly had given me plenty of fine clothes and a quantity of jewelry, but then-as he probably would have said himself- he had taken the value out of my body. Anyhow, I thought he had most fully.
I became quite lovesick over Franklin-or, to put it more truly, though in coarser language, I wanted very much to be poked by him. But, although he had had plenty of opportunities, he never made love to me, even in the mildest manner, and yet I felt sure that he did love me. I could not determine whether his reserve was caused by shyness or by a sense of honor which would not allow him to make advances to a defenseless woman who was quite in his power.
Three or four more days passed without his showing more warmth, and, since my lovesickness was increasing and there was only one cure for it, I determined to make the first advance. Randolph had instructed me well in all the little artifices by which a woman may allure a man. Thus, I decided to try the effect of one or two of them on my cold lover.
I remembered that Randolph had told me that, if a man happened to be fond of perfume, the odor of it increased his sensual desire for the woman who happened to be wearing it. Franklin liked the perfume of violets, so, that night, when I was dressing for dinner, I sprinkled my chemise and my hair with the delicate but strong essence. I then put on my finest petticoats and a pair of very dainty drawers with deep frills of lace, drawn in at the knees with bows of pale blue satin ribbon. Then I cased my legs in pink, open-work silk stockings and put on my feet a pretty pair of bronze, leather, high-heeled shoes with silver buckles. Next I made Rosa lace me tightly in my corset, and finally I put on a very low-necked frock. When I was fully dressed, I gazed at myself in the mirror, feeling perfectly satisfied with my appearance; my dress fitted me to perfection, my cheeks were tinged with a faint pink color, my eyes were bright and my bare shoulders and arms looked very white and plump.
The above details having been attended to, I went down to the drawing room, where I found Franklin. I had not seen him all day, for he had been away on military duty since early in the morning. We shook hands and I let my hand linger in his. But he did not press it, though I saw that he noticed my more than usually elaborate toilette.
The dinner passed quickly. We both were in good spirits, and we chatted and laughed merrily. When we went into the drawing room I began to exercise my arts. Seating myself on a footstool just under a lamp, I asked him to hold a tangled skein of wool for me while I wound it. To do this he would have to stand close to my knees and look down at my hands as I wound the wool.
He took up his position in the very way I wanted, and, while I moved my arms to and fro, winding the wool, I, at the same time, in an apparently unconscious manner, swayed my body so that he could, if he chose, see the upper part of my bosom and the division between my breasts.
At first he kept his eyes steadily fixed on my hands. But, after a few moments, his gaze was turned upon my half-naked bosom and I saw his eyes begin to sparkle as he looked into the depths of my corset. I smiled inwardly, saying to myself that I had at last made him show some sign of feeling. Affecting a serene unconsciousness, I continued to show my breasts and to wind the wool until it was all done. Then, putting my hand to my forehead and closing my eyes, I complained of a sudden faintness, saying that I would lie down on the sofa for a few minutes.
Franklin appeared to be very much concerned. He asked anxiously if he could get me anything. I shook my head then, rising feebly to my feet, I stood swaying about as if I were on the point of fainting.
He, thinking that I was going to fall, put his arm around my waist to hold me up. The moment he did so, I collapsed limply in his arms with my head against his breast and with my eyes closed. I ought to have turned pale, but I was not able to do that- however, it never struck him that it was strange that I should have kept my color all through my fainting fit.
With an ejaculation of pity, my stoic captain tenderly raised me in his arms, carried me to the sofa and laid me down upon it. I pretended to be quite insensible, but I kept my eyes half open and I had managed slyly to raise my skirts nearly up to my knees, thereby exposing my feet and legs. He then began to chafe my hands, but I saw that his eyes were fixed on my legs and I noticed that his face had become a little flushed. Opening my eyes, I now said smilingly: Oh, I am all right. It was only a slight attack of giddiness, and it has quite passed off. And, as I spoke, I stretched myself so as to show more of my legs and to bring into view the frills of my drawers.
Still holding one of my hands, he sat down close beside me, looking in my face most tenderly and affectionately. Taking my handkerchief from my pocket, I passed it over my forehead, then I let my hand drop, as if by accident, on the upper part of his thighs. I felt him start and I saw a soft light shining in his eyes, which were again fixed upon my legs.
Now I pressed his thighs with my fingers. Promptly his reserve disappeared. He bent down and, kissing me on the lips, said in a tone of passion: Oh, my darling girl! I love you! I have loved you from the first day I came here! His kiss had been a fervent one, but it had been tender. It was a kiss of love-the first I ever had received-and it made me thrill with a delicious sensation from head to foot. Throwing my arms around his neck, I exclaimed: And I love you too. Give me another nice kiss.
Again he kissed me on the mouth. Then, pressing his lips upon my bosom just above the edge of my dress, he inhaled the violet perfume, saying: How sweet you are dearest. Violet is my favorite scent.
I again closed my eyes and settled myself well down upon the sofa, feeling pretty sure that I soon would have my desire gratified. It was! Now that the ice had been broken, Franklin was no laggard in love. He felt my legs, praising their shape, admiring my pretty shoes and stockings and also the dainty lace frills of my drawers. Soon he put his hands up my petticoats, and, untying the strings of my drawers, pulled them down. Then his hands roved all over my bottom, and he did not neglect the spot between my thighs.
However, he did not waste much time in dalliance. In a moment or two he prepared himself.
Then, raising my petticoats, he stretched out my legs and, opening the way with his fingers, inserted the tip of his member into the spot, which was ready to receive it.
Now, clasping me in his arms and pressing his lips upon my mouth, he gently but firmly forced the dart deeply into my body and with a few strong movements of his loins began to poke me in the most powerful way. He was eight years younger than Randolph, larger made and much more vigorous; the force of the attack almost took my breath away, while the size of the weapon stretched the sheath to its utmost extent.
I felt only a sensation of intense pleasure at being embraced at last by the man I loved. All my voluptuous feelings were excited to a high pitch by the friction of his large member in the folds of the sensitive spot, so I was not backwards in the amorous combat. Pressing him to my bosom and throwing my legs around his loins, I met each of his strong down-thrusts with a brisk upward heave of my bottom. He increased the length of his strokes, his member seemed to go deeper into me, and, as the end approached, his movements became quicker and quicker, while I bounded under him, arching my loins, sighing and groaning in an ecstasy of voluptuous pain.
At last, with a final, tremendous dig, he spent, while I wriggled my bottom convulsively and squirmed till I had received every drop of my lover’s offering. Then, heaving a deep sigh of gratified desire, I lay quietly in his arms while he kissed and petted me. It had been a most delightful embrace, I had never before so thoroughly enjoyed being poked. (I think that a man always enjoys poking a woman whether he loves her or not; but I am sure that a woman never really enjoys a man’s embrace unless she loves him.)
After a moment or two of kissing and soft words, Franklin withdrew his still half-stiff member from the clinging lips which were loath to let it go. Then he pulled down my clothes and buttoned his trousers. I got off the sofa, and, after arranging my disordered attire, sat in an easy chair and looked with a smile at my stalwart lover. He smiled lovingly back, and, coming to me, lifted me out of the chair. Then, sitting down in it himself, he took me on his knees and, putting his arms round my waist, held me while I nestled close up to him with my head on his breast.
After a little love talk, I told him why I had originally come to Virginia. Then I related the things which had been done to me, and how I had been forced by torture to come to Woodlands.
He was moved by my story, and, when I had finished it, he kissed me and sympathized with me. Then he said: I am not a rich man, Dorothy, so I cannot offer you a house and luxuries such as you have here. But I love you, and, when the war is over, I will gladly take you to live with me if you will come.
Oh, I shall be only too delighted to go to you, I replied earnestly. But are you sure you really love me?
I do. I really love you, he answered, kissing me affectionately on the forehead.
It delighted me to hear him say those words, and I made him repeat them. Then, nestling closer to him, I returned his kisses with interest, and, since my desire was not yet satisfied, I unbuttoned his trousers and let out the thing I wanted. He laughed, and, after a little play with my bottom, was ready for more action.
Maneuvering me into position on the sofa, he gave me another delicious poke. We then had a long chat, sitting side by side on the sofa. When it was bedtime, he wanted to come to my room and sleep with me, but I would not let him, for I did not want the women to know anything about my doings. So, after a long and loving kiss, we parted for the night. I must say, though, that I should have very much liked to have cuddled up to him all night spoon fashion.
Next morning we met in the dining room, both of us bright and cheerful. After kissing each other affectionately, we sat down to breakfast with good appetites. When the meal was over, I took my sweetheart to my favorite little arbor, which was an ideal place for love-making, and, in a short time, I was sighing in his arms.
There passed several days of quiet happiness. Franklin was constantly with me. We wandered about the garden together or sat in the arbors with our arms round each other’s waists like the fondest of lovers. And we were lovers. I think that he really did love me, and I know that I did love him.
He rogered me every day, sometime or other, and I seemed to get fonder and fonder of his embraces. They were done so vigorously and yet so decently. He always had me in the one position-lying on my back-and he never exposed my person more than was absolutely necessary. (I think a man copulates with the woman he loves differently from the woman he merely lusts for.) We used to talk and make plans as to what we would do in the future when the war was over and we were back in Pennsylvania. It was all very nice, and we both hoped that the fighting soon would cease, so that we might live together. In the meantime, I would have to remain at Woodlands.
But our love-making suddenly was brought to an end. Franklin received orders to withdraw his detachment from Woodlands and to return to the headquarters of his regiment. I was deeply grieved at his having to go, and he was equally grieved at having to leave me. Yet, as we both had known, the order was bound to come sooner or later, and we were resolved to make the best of it.
Next morning when we had finished breakfast, Franklin laid me on the sofa and gave me a farewell visit. Then, after bidding me goodbye and promising to write to me, he kissed me tenderly and left the house. I stood at the window with tears in my eyes, watching my lover at the head of his men marching down the avenue. When they reached the bend leading to the gate, Franklin turned around and waved his sword to me in a parting salute. And so ended my little romance. It had not lasted long, and I have never had another in my life so far.
(I may as well here tell you that I never saw my soldier-lover again. He was killed a year later in the battle of Cedar Mountain. At that time, I was living in New York, but I mourned for him sincerely, for I never had ceased to love him I still keep the letters he wrote me and also a lock of his hair, which he gave me the day he parted.)
A fortnight passed, and a very wretched time it was in every way. I missed my lover; the slaves on the plantation were very insubordinate, and I was troubled at the idea of again having to live with Randolph.
I had written to tell Randolph that the soldiers had left Woodlands and asking him when he intended to return. He had answered saying that he had not made up his mind what to do, whether to come back or to send for me, but he would let me know in due course.
Meanwhile, I was to see that the affairs on the plantation were carried on as usual.
I was so vexed at this letter that I sat down and cried. It was very easy for him, amusing himself in Richmond, to tell me to see to his affairs; but things had got into such an utterly disorganized state that it was quite impossible for me to keep order. I was only a girl, not twenty-two years of age. All work on the plantation had come to an end; the whole country for miles around was occupied by the Federal troops; the slaves, knowing that their freedom was at hand, would hardly do anything, and the overseers, under the circumstances, no longer dared to enforce the discipline by their usual methods. Many of the fieldhands had run away, and no attempt to capture them could be made, others had openly joined the Negro regiments which were being raised by the United States authorities. The majority of the housewomen, too, had become utterly demoralized, and several of them had gone off; only a few, among whom were Dinah and Rosa, had remained faithful.
After a few more days, I wrote again to Randolph, telling him that things were getting worse and that I was afraid to remain any longer by myself at Woodlands. This time I received a letter saying that, since things at that moment were in such a bad state in Virginia, it was no use trying to keep the plantation going any longer. I was to tell the overseers that Randolph would continue to pay them their salaries if they would remain on the estate and do the best they could for him. He had taken a furnished house, and I was to go to him as soon as possible. The house at Woodlands was to be shut up and left in charge of Dinah and the other women who had remained. I was glad to get at last some definitive instructions, for the strain on me had been almost more than I could bear, and I had got into a very nervous state.
Sending for the faithful Dinah, I told her that I was going to join her master in Richmond and that I intended to start in three days’ time. I also informed her that she was to take charge of the house, and I gave her instructions about the shutting-up. Then I wrote to Randolph, telling him when to expect me.
Next day I saw the overseers and gave them their employer’s message. The men said they would remain on the plantation and do the best they could to prevent things from going to ruin. But they added that there was no chance of getting the slaves to do much work as long as the Federal troops were in the neighborhood.
I spent the following day packing my trunks and settling affairs with Dinah and the other women. They were all sorry that I was about to leave them, though delighted at the idea of being left alone in the house to do as they pleased.
The only way for me to get to Richmond, which was thirty-two miles distant, was by driving.
I intended to start at four o’clock in the afternoon, in order to escape the heat of the day. All the horses still were in the stables, — and some of the grooms had remained, one of them being an old and faithful Negro coachman named Jim, who had taught me to ride and in whom I had perfect confidence. I sent for him and told him that I wanted him to drive me to Richmond and that he was to have the pair-horse buggy ready at four o’clock.
Very well, Missis, he said. I’ll put you through all right, if I kin. But don’t you take no money or joolery along with you, ’cos de road nowdays is ’fested wid dem low-down cusses of
’bushwhackers’; an’ if we was to come across any of dem, dey would most sholy rob you.
It had never struck me that there would be any danger in the drive to Richmond, but, now that Jim had mentioned the bushwhackers, I remembered that I had heard several stories of the lawless doings of these men. Bushwhackers, I must tell you, were low white loafers who, while pretending to act as guerillas against the Federal troops, were in reality highwaymen who robbed and sometimes murdered defenseless people, whether they were Northerners or Southerners. Bands of these ruffians infested the Southern States during the war.
I sent Jim away, but I decided that I would take his advice. Going upstairs, I opened my trunks, and, taking out all my jewelry, I locked the articles in a safe which had been built in the wall of Randolph’s bedroom.
The rest of the day wore slowly away. I was restless and nervous. I could not eat my dinner, and I went to bed early.
I had a good night’s rest and got up next morning feeling well and also much calmer in my mind. After breakfast I made a few final arrangements and, at four o’clock, the buggy with a fine pair of horses was driven around to the terrace by Jim. The two trunks which I intended to take with me were brought down and put into the buggy. I shook hands with Dinah and Rosa, my two favorites, bidding them goodbye and telling them to take good care of everything in the house as well as they could. Then, climbing up into my seat, I waved a general farewell to all the other women who had come out to the terrace to see me off. They shouted in shrill chorus: Goodby, Missis!
Now Jim touched the horses with the whip and we started on our journey. It was a beautiful afternoon, but very hot, though there was a faint breeze stirring; however, since I was lightly clad, I did not find the heat oppressive. We soon were out of the avenue, and, as the comfortable buggy rolled smoothly and quickly along the road, the rapid motion caused the warm scented air lightly to kiss my cheeks. My spirits rose and I had a feeling of exhilaration such as had long been a stranger to me. I was not looking forward to seeing Randolph, but I felt glad that I was at last free from the load of care which had been weighing me down during the past few weeks at Woodlands. The road which we were travelling was a good one, and, before the war, there always had been a great deal of traffic on it. Now it was almost deserted. We did not meet a single vehicle until we had gone several miles. There were very few pedestrians. To pass the time, I talked to Jim and was rather amused by his quaint but shrewd remarks on things in general. When I told him that all the slaves in the South most likely would soon be set free, he remarked in his own jargon that no doubt it would be very nice to be free, but that, after all, freedom would not fill his belly, and that he would not be able to make a living if Mr. Randolph did not keep him. Old Jim had been born at Woodlands, and had never been out of Virginia.
Since there was no necessity for hurry I told Jim not to press the horses, so we trotted along at an easy pace. By six o’clock we had completed half our journey. We then reached the top of a very steep hill and entered a long stretch of road running through a thick wood.
Jim had just pulled up the horses to give them a short rest when four rough-looking men suddenly appeared from the bushes and covered us with their revolvers. Drop the reins and hold up your hands, you nigger! shouted one of the men.
Exclaiming in a low tone, By gosh, Missis, de ’bushwhackers’ has got us, Jim held up his hands, while I, dreadfully frightened, uttered a shriek and, cowering down, averted my eyes from the threatening muzzles of the pistols. Two of the men lowered their weapons and came to the side of the buggy, while the other two kept their revolvers leveled at us. Then one of the bushwhackers, a burly, black-bearded ruffian, said with an oath: Get out of the buggy, the pair of you; but don’t attempt to run away, or you’ll both git holes bored in you.
We got out and stood on the road, side by side. Jim was quite unmoved, and, though I had been alarmed at first, I was beginning to feel less frightened. (I thought that the men would merely take everything they wanted and then let us go.) Seeing that we had no idea of escape, the bushwhackers returned their pistols to their belts and began their work of pillage. The traces of the horses were cut, then one of the men mounted one of the animals and, leading the other, rode off at a brisk trot down the road. It never had struck me that they would take the horses, and I wondered how I was to get to Richmond.
The three men who had remained now threw my trunks out on the road and, breaking them open, tossed out all my dresses and linen, searching for articles of more value than women’s clothing. Finding nothing, they broke into loud curses and kicked my things all over the road.
The black-bearded man, who appeared to be the leader, then told me to hand over my purse.
I did so, but since there was only five dollars in it, he gave vent to his feelings of disappointment in a fresh volley of oaths which made me shiver. The men then went a short distance away and talked with each other in low tones, occasionally bursting out laughing while I stood in suspense, wondering what was going to happen next.
After a minute or two, the leader came back to us and, addressing Jim, said: See here now, old darkie, I know whar you come from, so jest you start off and go back or it’ll be the worse for you. Now git.
Jim gazed at me for a moment with a dog-like expression of faithfulness in his eyes and a resolute look on his rugged black face. Then, turning to the man, he said firmly: No, Sah, I’ll not leave my Missis.
The man drew his revolver and, pointing it at Jim, said savagely: You damned nigger! We’ll take care of your mistress, and, if you don’t start right away, I’ll put a bullet through your woolly head.
Jim never flinched, but stood quite still, looking steadily at the man.
I am a coward, but at that moment I felt brave. I could not allow Jim to sacrifice his life uselessly. It struck me that the men meant to keep me prisoner to extract money for my ransom, so I said: It will be no use to remain with me, Jim. Go back to the house.
Oh, Missis, he said, I don’t like to leave you. But if you tink it ain’t no good my stayin’, I’ll go an’ praps I may be able to do sumthin’ for you. He then walked slowly away, turning around every now and then to look back at me.
I watched the faithful Negro, who I know would have sacrificed his life for me, until he had passed out of sight down the slope of the hill. Then I burst into tears, feeling utterly forlorn.
Two of the men now picked up some of my things and made them into a bundle, while the leader said to me in a quiet tone: Come along with us and we’ll put you up for the night in our shanty. Tomorrow I daresay you’ll be able to get a lift on to Richmond if you want to go there. Then, taking me by the arm, he led me through the bushes at the side of the road into a path.
The other two men followed, and we walked through the gloomy wood for about a mile until we came to a small shanty. The men led me inside, and, since it was quite dark, one of them lighted a rude lamp.
It was a squalid-looking hovel; the floor was the earth, the walls were of squared logs, the ceiling was made of shingles and the furniture consisted of an unpainted wooden table, three or four benches and stools, a couple of tin buckets holding water and three rough-looking beds covered with deerskin. On the open hearth a fire of logs was smouldering, and there were a few cooking utensils scattered about. Thus was the place where I was to pass the night.
I had been a little relieved at hearing that I was to be allowed to go in the morning, but I did not like the prospect of spending the night in the dirty shanty with the three men. One of them threw some fresh logs on the fire, and, when it had burned up, fried some bacon, which he put on the table in the frying pan, along with a piece of corn bread, a bottle of whiskey and some tin plates and pannikins. The men, each one drawing his sheath knife, then sat down to the rough supper. They offered me some, but I could not eat a morsel, though I drank some water; then, sitting down wearily on a stool at the far end of the room, I watched my captors as they devoured their food.
All three were coarse-looking fellows. The black-bearded man, who was called Bill Jackson, was about forty years of age. The other two, who addressed each other as Frank and Tom, were respectively about thirty and thirty-five. While the meal was in progress they did not talk to each other, nor did they speak to me. But every now and then one of them would glance at me with a smile on his face.
Strange to say, it did not strike me that my person was in danger. When they had finished eating, they smoked corn-cob pipes, chatted a little and passed around the bottle of whiskey until it was finished. But they all were perfectly sober.
Jackson now rose from his seat and, coming over to me, said with a coarse laugh: We’ve been greatly disappointed at not havin’ found anythin’ in your trunks wuth a dollar to us. We ain’t men who works for nothing’, so we’re bound to git sumethin’ out of you.
Oh, I exclaimed eagerly, I shall be glad to give you anything you want. If one of you will come to Richmond with me tomorrow, my husband, Mr. Randolph, will pay you the money.
I called him my husband thinking to impress the men. But they burst but laughing, and Jackson said: We know better than that. Randolph is not your husband, an’ I guess he would not pay much for you. But whether he would or not, nary one of us will go to Richmond to see. There is rather a prejudice again’ us in the city, and if we was to go there we would never get away again. So, since it is impossible for us to make any money out of you, we intend to make you pay us in another way. We are going to poke you.
Aghast and utterly horrified, I sprang to my feet and, bursting into tears, exclaimed in a choking voice: Oh, don’t do such a thing to a defenseless woman! I will send you any money you like if you will not touch me. Oh! let me go!
They laughed. Then my terror changed to anger, and I threatened them with the consequences which would follow if they dared to outrage me. But they only laughed more. I tried to wheedle them and coax them into letting me go, but without effect. I begged and prayed them to spare me. But all my tears, threats, coaxings and entreaties were useless. In fact, my abject fear and intense misery seemed to amuse the wretches.
Jackson said: Now see here, young woman, you may jest as well shut up. We are going to poke you. Will you take it quietly, or will you not?
No! no! no! I cried. I will not let you do it to me. You shan’t do it to me! Oh, you miserable cowards! Don’t dare touch me! Oh you beasts! You wretches!
The more I raved in my rage and fear, the more they laughed. Well, said Jackson, if you won’t take it quietly, you’ll have to take it fighting. Now lads, let’s strip the little bitch and
The three then seized me. I fought, kicked, scratched and tried to bite, at the same time uttering loud shrieks. But, in spite of my frantic struggles, the men easily carried me to one of the beds and laid me on it. Then, holding me down, they began to strip me, turning me over and over, wrenching off the buttons and breaking the strings of my garments, then pulling them off roughly until I was stark naked except for my shoes and stockings. I resisted with all my strength, screaming, crying and begging them not to do it to me.
Laying me on my back, they now stretched out my arms and legs as widely as possible, fastening my wrists and ankles with ropes to the side of the bed. I was thus spread-eagled, and entirely at their mercy. Standing beside the bed, they looked down upon me, their eyes gleaming with lust as they scanned every part of my naked body, while at the same time they made admiring remarks on my shape and on the whiteness of my skin and on the golden color of the hair shading the spot.
From words they soon proceeded to deeds. They began to feel me, and I had three pairs of hands on my body at the same time. While one was squeezing my breasts and pinching the nipples, another was pulling the hair on the spot and tickling the lips with his finger, while the third was feeling my thighs and bottom. Then they changed places, so that at last everyone had felt my shrinking body from head to foot.
They touched me roughly. Their hands were coarse and hard. I was sick with disgust, and I cried and trembled, but I had given up screaming.
When the wretches had felt me to their hearts’ content, a difficulty arose. Each man wanted to be the first to have me, and so they came to high words, but no one would give way. At last one of them suggested that they settle the matter by cutting a pack of cards, the man who cut the highest being allowed to poke me first, and the next highest to follow. This was agreed to.
Then a dirty pack of cards was produced and cut by the men in turn. The youngest man cut a knave, Jackson came next with a ten and the third man cut a seven.
You can imagine what I felt while my body was being disposed of in such a way. It had been intensely revolting to me to be pawed all over by three men simultaneously, but it would be still more revolting to be poked by the three coarse ruffians in succession. The thought was maddening, and I lay writhing in my bonds, my bosom heaving, my heart swelling and the scalding tears running down my scarlet cheeks.
The man who was to have me first unbuttoned his trousers, letting out his member, which stood stiffly erect. I could not help looking at it with a sort of horrible fascination, noticing that it was long but not very thick.
Saying, here goes for the fust poke, he threw himself upon me like a tiger seizing its prey.
Clasping my naked body in his arms, he tried to get the weapon into the sheath. At first he could not succeed, for, though my extremities were tightly secured, I could move my loins. I twisted about as much as was possible, and thus for some time prevented his entering me.
The other men meanwhile stood looking on, laughing and jeering at their companion’s vain efforts and telling him that he didn’t know how to get into a woman. The struggle lasted for some time, but at last I became exhausted and lay still a moment. Then, before I could recover my breath and renew the fight, the man got his long thing into me up to the roots and began to poke me furiously, at the same time pressing his lips to mine with loathsome kisses.
Filled with disgust, I lay shuddering under him while he worked away at me. He was highly excited, so the end soon arrived. I could not help receiving his copious discharge, and I had no feeling but one of loathing, so I never moved at the supreme spasm.
He got off me, saying in a tone of vexation: She is a damned bad poke. I thought my thing was long enough to have stirred her up, but the bitch had no more life in her than a log of wood.
The brutes laughed. The man Jackson then made ready for the assault, displaying to my horrified eyes a tremendous weapon which he shook up and down, saying with a horrid laugh: I’ll bet this yer little ’thing’ will make her squeak if it does nothing else.
And he added: This’ll be the first time, to my knowledge, that I’ve ever had a buttered bun.
He then got on the bed between my widely stretched legs, but he did not at once attack me like his predecessor. Turning to the other two men, who were looking on grinning, he said: I always like to play with a woman before poking her. Then he played with me, feeling my breasts with both hands and sucking the nipples one after the other.
Now he passed his hands over every part of my body, stroking my thighs, pinching my bottom and pulling the hair on my spot. Finally he thrust his finger deeply inside me, hurting me dreadfully and making me utter a shriek. My body quivered and I entreated him not to torture me in such a way.
Removing his finger, Jackson now inserted his member-(I made no useless resistance this time)- and with some difficulty forced the enormous engine into place. Then, gripping me firmly with his hands under my bottom, he began to poke me slowly with long thrusts, each time drawing the dart out till only the tip was left between the lips, then driving it in again with great force, each tremendous dig shaking me all over and making me wince. Since the parts were stretched to the utmost by the great size of the column as it worked up and down inside me, I suffered considerably and uttered tortured cries of pain.
Jackson spun the affair out as long as he possibly could, while I lay groaning in misery under the terrible battering. Oh! It was horrible!
At last he quickened his movements. Then, in a few seconds, he spent, and the jets of fluid spurted up me while I heaved a sigh of relief as I felt his great thing shrink in size inside the folds of my spot. My disgust was increasing.
He withdrew, saying: Well, she certainly ain’t much of a poke, but she’s got a nice little
’spot’ and my big ’thing’ made her squeak, as I said it would. Then turning to the third man, he said laughing: But you’ll be able to get into her easy enough, Tom. She’s well greased by this time.
The man laughed, saying: Yes, her rolls are well buttered. Then he prepared himself, and I saw that he was the smallest made of the three, though the instrument he displayed was in full readiness for the assault.
He lost no time in preliminaries, but at once laid himself down on me and with his two forefingers separated the lips of the spot. Then he penetrated me without the least difficulty and began to poke me quietly, but with plenty of vigor, so that in a few seconds I was for the third time deluged with hot juices. Again I suffered a sickening sensation of disgust.
The villain now got off me without making any remark, and I thought that the horrible ordeal was over and that the men would release me. But, to my horror, they did not, though I begged them piteously to let me go.
We’ve not done with you, my girl, said Jackson, smiling evilly.
Leaving me tied up on the bed, weeping and shivering with shame and despair, the men now filled their pipes and, sitting down on stools, chatted coolly with each other about the way I had behaved while being poked. While they talked, they gazed at my naked, palpitating body.
When they had smoked their pipes, they came to the bedside again.
Faint and sick with disgust, shame, fear and horror, I wailed pitifully, beseeching them to have mercy on me and not to touch me again, saying that it would kill me. I might have spared my breath. They only laughed and Jackson observed that a woman could take twenty men without being a bit the worse. Again I begged and abjectly prayed them to let me go, but nothing moved the brutes. They had neither pity nor compassion.
However, I need not enter further into the details of my martyrdom; it will suffice to say that all three poked me again, one after the other, and, when the last man had withdrawn his member from my quivering body, the receptacle was filled to overflowing by the six copious inundations which it had received.
I was by this time in a half-fainting state; there was a cold sweat on my forehead, my flesh was bruised by the rough way I had been handled and my whole body was jerking convulsively, while unutterable disgust and loathing overwhelmed me.
The knaves now unfastened my wrists and ankles, which had red marks around them where the ropes had chafed the skin. Then Jackson threw a blanket over my naked body, telling me that I might go to sleep if I could, as they had got as much out of me as they wanted. Drawing the blanket over my head, I huddled myself up, crying miserably. The men took no further notice of me, but sat smoking and talking in low tones for about half an hour. Then, leaving the lamp burning, they threw themselves, still wearing their clothes, upon the other beds. In a short time, I knew by their snoring that they were fast asleep.
My mouth was dreadfully parched and my spot was throbbing painfully. I wanted a drink, so, slipping quietly off the bed, I got a tin cup and, going to the bucket of water, quenched my thirst. Then I bathed the red and swollen lips of the spot and washed from my body all outward traces of the horrible pollution. This accomplished, I dressed myself in my tumbled garments and lay down again upon the bed, hoping to forget in sleep the horrors through which I had passed.
But, though I was physically and mentally worn out, sleep would not come to me. I shall never forget the misery of the long night I spent in that shanty, tossing and turning on the dirty bed. I was feverish at one moment and chilly the next But all the time I felt sick with disgust. Moreover, I was haunted by a dreadful fear that the wretches might not let me go in the morning.
I don’t think that I ever once lost consciousness during the weary hours, and I thought that the morning would never come. But at last I saw the welcome daylight showing through the clinks in the shutter. Presently the men woke and, getting off the beds, stood yawning and stretching for a moment or two. Then, looking at me, they laughed, making remarks about my pale cheeks and red eyes, while I lay in dire suspense, fearing that one or other of the ruffians would take it into his head to poke me again. But to my intense relief no one touched me.
The window was opened and a fire was lighted. Some bacon was fried and a pot of coffee was made. Then the men sat down to breakfast, ordering me to sit at the other side of the table and join them in their meal. With downcast eyes and flaming cheeks, I seated myself opposite the three brutes who had outraged me so shamefully, and, since I was very faint, I tried to eat a bit of bread, but it stuck in my throat. However I managed to drink a pannikin of the milk-less coffee, which, bad as it was, refreshed me a little.
When the meal was over and the men had lighted their pipes, I raised my eyes and, addressing Jackson, reminded him of his promise to let me go. Oh, do please let me go, I pleaded earnestly, bursting into tears and stretching my hands towards him appealingly. You have nearly killed me. Surely you won’t be so cruel as to keep me.
He looked at me for a short time and my heart seemed to stand still. At last he said: You are a pretty girl, and, though you are a bad poke, you are better than nothing. We’d like to keep you for further doings, but you’d be in our way, so we’ll let you go. I’ll put you through the woods to the road, and then you can either go back to Woodlands or run to Richmond. Both are the same distance away, about sixteen miles. You can come along at once if you like.
A dreadful weight was lifted from my heart, and I rose from my seat eagerly. Oh, I am quite ready to start, I said.
He laughed. All right, he said, but first you must shake hands with us, bid us goodbye and give us each a nice kiss on the lips.
So I had to kiss each of the ruffians in turn, bidding him goodbye. As I did so, each man put his hands up my clothes and felt the spot.
Jackson then left the shanty, and I followed him. He evidently wished to confuse me as to the exact position of the place, so he led me by devious paths through the woods for at least a couple of miles before bringing me out onto the road. After pointing to the direction in which Richmond lay and telling me that I could not miss my way, he disappeared in the bushes.
There was not a person in sight, and I sat down on a log at the side of the road, uncertain whether to go back to Woodlands or on to Richmond. But I did not quite see how I was to get to either place, as I could not possibly have walked the distance. Under ordinary circumstances I was a good walker and would have thought very little of a walk of sixteen miles, but at that moment I was weak and faint, sore and stiff, and every movement of my legs caused me pain. Not knowing what to do, I began to cry in sheer helplessness, thinking what a dreadfully unfortunate woman I was in every way.
But a bit of luck came to me. I had been sitting by the roadside for about ten minutes when I saw in the distance a farm wagon coming along the road. When it had drawn close to me, I saw that it was driven by a respectable-looking middle-aged man. Rising from my seat on the log, I tearfully asked him if he would kindly give me a lift towards Richmond.
He pulled up his horse at once and said that he would. Then, giving me his hand, he helped me into the wagon and made me as comfortable as he could, looking rather curiously at me but asking no questions. I gave him a short account of how I had been stopped on my journey and robbed by bushwhackers, but I was silent as to the other things which had been done to me.
The stranger was full of sympathy for me and anger against the bushwhackers in general, who, he said ought all to be lynched. Then he added: I reckoned that there was suthin’ wrong when I seen a lady like you a sittin’ by the roadside cryin’. Dern this war! There’s no law or order now in the whole state of Virginny. I wish I was out of it and back in Connecticut, whar I come from.
I was glad to hear that he was a Northerner. The fact seemed to give me greater confidence in the man. (I had grown frightened and suspicious of all Southerners.) I told him that I also came from the North, and that I heartily wished to be back there. On hearing that, he insisted upon shaking hands. Then he informed me that he would take me all the way to Richmond and that we could expect to get there in about three hours.
The wagon was heavily laden, so we jogged along the road slowly and almost in silence. He was a taciturn man, while I, as you may suppose, was not inclined to talk at that moment. In fact, it was as much as I could do to prevent myself from crying.
When at length we reached the outskirts of the city, the man said most kindly that, if I would give him my address, he would drive me to it. I thanked him gratefully, telling him where to go, and, in about half an hour, we reached the house which Randolph had taken. It was a comfortable looking, three-storied building standing in a garden and situated in one of the best parts of Richmond.
The kind man got out of the wagon and helped me down. I asked him to come into the house and see my husband, who would like to thank him and also reward him for the service which he had rendered me. But the good fellow said that he wanted no reward and that he was glad that he had been able to help a Northern lady in distress. Then he bade me goodbye, and drove off.
I knocked at the door, which was opened by a good-looking, smartly-dressed, white servant-girl. I asked her if Mr. Randolph was at home. She looked curiously at me for a moment, then asked civilly if I was the lady Mr. Randolph had expected to arrive the previous night? I said that I was, and she at once asked me to come in.
She ushered me into a handsomely furnished room where I found Randolph seated at lunch.
He did not rise from his chair, but sat staring at me in surprise, noticing my pale face, red eyes and generally draggled appearance. After a moment, he said in an aggrieved tone, Why, Dolly, what an object you are! Where on earth have you been? What has happened to you? I expected you at eight o’clock last night. Where is Jim and the buggy?
I had not expected to be received with much show of affection, but his cold manner annoyed me very much. I was in need of sympathy and kindness at that moment. Oh, don’t bother me with questions, I said sharply. I have had hardly anything to eat for twenty-four hours and I am faint with hunger, so I mean to have something to eat and drink before I tell you what happened.
He looked quite surprised at my unwonted display of spirit, but he drew a chair to the table for me, poured a glass of wine and helped me to a cutlet. I really was famished, so I made a good meal, drank a couple of glasses of wine and had a cup of black coffee. Then, feeling much better, I sat in a comfortable easy chair and told him how Jim and I had been stopped the previous night by bushwhackers who had taken the horses, broken open my trunks and robbed me of everything I had in my possession. But I could not bring myself to tell him that I had been outraged by the three men.
He listened attentively to all I told him and, when I had finished, he asked: Where did you pass the night and how did you get here this morning?
I had expected the questions and was ready with the answers. I stayed in the woods all night-so I had, in the shanty-and this morning I met a man going by with a wagon. He brought me on to the city.
I do not know whether Randolph thought I was keeping back something or not, but he did not ask me a single awkward question. He was very much vexed at the loss of his two valuable horses, but he was rather amused at my description of the way the bushwhackers had kicked my clothes about in disgust.
Damn the thing, he said, I would not have sold those horses for less than eight-hundred dollars. But we can easily replace your finery, Dolly. It was lucky you left your jewelry behind. I will go to the police and give them the information, but I am pretty sure that nothing can be done. The whole country is in such a disturbed state. When you want to go to your room, ring the bell and Clara, the girl who let you in, will attend to you.
He went away, and I remained reclining in the easy chair for a short time. Then I rang the bell, and, when Clara came, I told her that I wished to go to my room. She showed me upstairs to a long, airy, prettily-furnished bedroom with an adjoining bath, and, as soon as she had gone away, I stripped myself and had a most refreshing bath, scrubbing myself all over with scented soap till at last I felt that my body was thoroughly cleansed from all outward impurities. When I had dressed myself, the girl came back and brushed my hair, and, though she was quite aware that I was not Randolph’s wife, her manner was respectful.
I put a few questions to her, and, since she was by no means reticent, I soon found that Randolph had been in the habit of poking her whenever he felt inclined. However, the knowledge of that fact neither surprised nor annoyed me. It was just what I had expected to hear from the moment I had seen the girl’s pretty face and neat figure.
After Clara had finished brushing my hair and had left the room, I lay down upon the bed and fell into a profound sleep. When I woke, I saw by the clock on the mantelpiece that it was seven o’clock. I had slept for four hours and I felt quite fresh. The color had come back to my cheeks, my eyes had lost their heavy look and the ill-treated spot was feeling fairly easy.
I was just about to get up and go downstairs when Randolph entered the room, and, coming to the bedside, looked down upon me.
Well, Dolly, he said, I suppose you’ve had a good sleep. You’re looking all right again, so I intend to have a poke to give me an appetite for dinner. It will be as good as a cocktail for me, and I will make you ’cock up your tail,’ he added laughing.
I loathed the very idea of being poked again, and I heartily wished that there was not such a thing as a male organ in the world. (Six times in less than twenty-four hours the horrid weapons had pierced my poor little spot, and now it was going to be transfixed for the seventh time!) However, I knew that if I made any objection it would only make Randolph angry and excite his suspicions, so I did not say a word.
The scoundrel now proceeded to cock up my tail by laying me in a curved position over the side of the bed, with my feet on the floor. Then, turning up my petticoats and letting down my drawers, he took a long look at my bottom. He stroked it and spanked it harder than was pleasant, saying coolly:
Well, Dolly, I must say that I have not seen a prettier bottom than yours or spanked a plumper one since I came to Richmond.
He then began to ram at me from behind with evident pleasure to himself, but with pain to me, for, though outwardly the spot was all right, the inner lips were excoriated.
I suffered a good deal, and I had to clench my teeth to keep from crying out. But to prevent his suspecting that anything was wrong, I worked my bottom backwards and forwards to meet his thrust as if I had been really enjoying the embrace, and, when he spent, I wriggled myself briskly.
I was exceedingly glad when all was over and he had withdrawn his member from the sore spot. However, he was pleased with me, and, giving me a kiss, he complimented me on the way I had done my share of the work.
After the necessary ablutions, we went down to dinner, which was a good one and also well cooked, the waiting being done by a neatly-dressed but rather elderly white parlormaid. (All the servants in the establishment were white women, whom Randolph had taken over along with the house, the owner of which had gone to Europe with his wife and family at the outbreak of the war.)
During the progress of dinner, Randolph and I talked about the state of affairs at Woodlands.
He asked me a number of questions, all of which I was able to answer fully and truthfully.
Strange to say, he did not ask me a single question about the Federal Officer, Captain Franklin.
When dinner was over and we were in the drawing room, we conversed about the war.
Randolph observed that most of the planters in the Southern States would be ruined if the Federals eventually proved victorious in the struggle. He further said that, though he himself would be hard hit by the abolition of slavery, he fortunately had a large sum of money invested in foreign securities, so that, whatever happened, he would still be comparatively a rich man.
At eleven o’clock he told me to come to bed, adding that he wanted to have a good naked roll with me. I was glad to go to bed, but I did not look forward with pleasure to more lovemaking. However, I followed him meekly upstairs to the bedroom.
After locking the door, he lit all the candles, so that the chamber was brilliantly illuminated.
Then he made me take off all my clothes, doing the same himself. When we were both stark naked, he put his arm round my waist and waltzed round the room with me until I was quite out of breath. All the time, his bare breast was pressed against my naked, palpitating bosom and his stiff member rubbed against my belly. Occasionally he stimulated my flagging steps by applying a smart slap to my bottom.
When he was tired of dancing he lifted me on to the bed. Then, holding me in his arms and twining his legs around mine, he rolled over and over, clasping me in a tight embrace, finally finishing up by laying me on my back and sabering me lustily.
The deed done, he allowed me to put on my chemise-I had no nightdress-and to get between the sheets, where he soon followed me. I thought that he was done with me, but I was very much mistaken. He was in great form, so I got very little sleep. He kept playing with me at short intervals all night, besides poking me thrice in different positions each time.
It was late the next morning when we got up, and it was noon before we had finished breakfast. Randolph left the house on some business or other, while I sent for my dressmaker and ordered a fresh stock of frocks, hats and bonnets. I then went out shopping and bought a full supply of dainty undergarments, silk stockings and shoes. Randolph always liked me to be prettily dressed, and he never objected to paying the bills for the clothes which adorned me. But he did not give me much money to spend; in fact he was rather stingy.
In a few days I was completely fitted out again, and was able to go out with him by day or night, wherever he wished me to accompany him.
A few weeks passed. Randolph had paid a visit to Woodlands and had found that everything on the plantation was in a most neglected state, but that the house had been kept in order by Dinah and the other women. When he came back, he brought me my jewelry.
A week after his return, the battle of Fair Oaks was fought. The Federal troops drew closer to Richmond, and everything in the city became more dull and wretched than ever. On my former visits I had liked the place well enough, for it had been brisk and lively and there always was something to be seen. But now there were no amusements of any sort. The shadow of the war was over everything and everybody. It was a dreary place to live in. I was very tired of it, and I much rather would have been at Woodlands.
Randolph also had grown very tired of Richmond and of the everlasting fighting which was going all around and which never seemed to be decisive in any way, though hundreds of lives on both sides were sacrificed. At last he made up his mind to leave the South altogether and to go to New York, taking me with him. So he told me to pack up, and to be ready to start in a week’s time. I was delighted to receive the order, and I soon had everything in perfect readiness.
The day of our departure arrived. We left Richmond and in due course reached New York. As it turned out, we had left the city just in the nick of time, for, a few days after our departure, the place was regularly invested by the United States Troops, and, after that, it became a difficult matter for persons, even if they were non-combatants, to pass through the Federal lines.
We put up at one of the best hotels in New York, and, for a time, I was as happy as a woman in my precarious position could be. I was away from the dreadful fighting. I could come and go as I liked without any fear of being whipped by lynchers or outraged by bushwhackers. I had plenty of pretty clothes of all sorts and also a considerable amount of jewelry.
Randolph frequently took me to places of amusement, and I saw that I always was admired.
He was fairly kind to me and he gave me more money to spend than he ever had given me before. I was delighted to have escaped the horrid Slave States, and I was glad to know that I never again should see a poor slave woman writhing in agony and shrieking for mercy while her naked bottom was being wealed by the switch or striped by the strap or blistered by the paddle. I had determined, whatever happened, never to go back to the South.
The weeks slipped by. Randolph had made a number of friends, both male and female, so I saw very little of him by day and he very frequently stayed away from me all night. I knew that he went with other women-in fact, he made no secret of his amours-but the knowledge of them did not trouble me in the least.
I took a poke from him whenever he chose to give me one, but I never tried to get him to embrace me. I had a number of admirers myself, and could have had plenty of poking had I wished, but I was always faithful to Randolph, not from any feeling of honor towards him, but simply because I did not care for strange men. (At that time there was no necessity for me to allow myself to be poked if I did not wish to be. Captain Franklin was the only man who ever had had me with my own consent during the whole time I lived with Randolph.) As the days passed, I saw less and less of Randolph, and, even when he was with me, he never touched me in any way. Meanwhile, his manner towards me became very cold, though he never was actually rude to me. I guessed what it all meant. He had grown tired of me, and I had a presentiment that he soon would turn me adrift. However, I always had known that our relations would come to an end sooner or later, and that then I should have to do what many a woman has had to do when she has found herself deserted by the man by whom she has been ruined.
Before long, Randolph gave me the news which I had been expecting. One morning, after an absence of three days, he came to me and said that he had something to tell me. My heart gave a jump. I knew what he was about to say, but I made no remark.
He said: I am going to Europe with a party of friends, so I cannot take you with me. In fact, Dolly, the time has come for us to part altogether. But, though I am leaving you, it is not through any fault of yours. You have always been a good-natured girl and you have done whatever I asked you. Therefore I wish to do the best I can for you. I intend to buy you a little house and to furnish it well for you. I also will give you a sum of money to start with. You are only twenty-two years of age, you have a pretty face and a very good figure. You also have lots of good clothes and a quantity of jewelry. You soon will make friends and I am quite sure that you will manage to get on very well here in New York.
It was a hard way of putting the matter before me and the tears rose to my eyes. But nevertheless I felt a certain amount of gratitude to him for what he intended to do for me. He had ruined me, but he might have cast me off with nothing at all. I thanked him, and he gave me a short kiss, saying that he would take me out next day to look for a house. He then went away, leaving me to think over my future prospects.
The prospects did not seem very bright at that moment. But they might have been worse, so I made up my mind to face my position as bravely as I could. I did not see Randolph any more that day or night, but the next day, after lunch, he came for me and we looked at several houses in various parts of the city.
I shall not lengthen my story by telling you of our house hunting; it will suffice to say that eventually he bought this house, furnished it throughout and engaged a couple of white female servants. I afterwards sent them away and got two colored women, whom I have at this moment in my service. I find them much easier to get on with, and also far more faithful than white servants.
When everything was in order, Randolph brought me here one afternoon, handed over the title deeds of the house and gave me a thousand dollars. We then sat down and had a chat while he drank a glass of wine and smoked a cigar. When he had finished, he rose from his seat, saying with a laugh:
You know, Dolly, that I am fond of whipping a woman’s bottom. Now I don’t suppose that I shall ever have a chance of doing such a thing in Europe, so you must let me give you a farewell spanking, a real smart one.
I did not like the idea at all, and a cold shiver ran down my back, for I knew that he would hurt me dreadfully. But I had not the strength of mind to refuse his farewell request, so, in a rather faint voice, I said: I will let you spank me, but do not be too hard upon me. You know that I cannot bear pain.
Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, he tied my wrists together, a proceeding which alarmed me. Oh don’t tie me! I exclaimed.
He laughed, saying: I am going to whip you as if you were a naughty slave girl, so your hands must be tied to prevent your putting them over your bottom during the spanking.
Thoroughly frightened, I made some feeble remonstrances, but he seized me and, sitting down on a chair, placed me in the orthodox position across his knees. Then he turned up my petticoats and took down my drawers.
Now, he said, stroking my bottom, don’t make too much noise, or the servants will hear you.
Then, holding me firmly, he began to spank me very severely. Oh how hard his hand was, and how it did sting!
I burst into tears, wriggling and squirming about on his thighs. I could distinctly feel his stiff member pressing against my belly. Clenching my teeth and holding my breath, I suppressed for a short time the cries which rose to my lips. But at last the stinging pain became so intense that I began to squeal shrilly, kicking my legs about in anguish and begging him to stop.
He went on spanking me until my bottom burned and throbbed in a most agonizing way and I screamed out as loudly as I could. Then he stopped, and, laying me in a stooping position over the end of the sofa, he poked me while I was still crying and smarting with the pain of the horrid spanking.
When all was over, he untied my wrists and laid me on the sofa, while he stood beside it, looking down at me with a smile on his face as I lay with the tears trickling down my cheeks, all my clothes rumpled and my drawers hanging about my ankles. My face was red, but I am sure that my poor bottom must have been much redder judging from the way it was throbbing and tingling. (It was black-and-blue the next day.)
Bending down he gave me a kiss, saying laughingly: There, Dolly, that is the last spanking-
and the last poke you will ever get from me.
It was very cruel of you to have spanked me so severely, I said tearfully. I cannot understand why you should have taken pleasure in giving me such dreadful pain.
He was not a bit sorry for having whipped me with such wanton severity. He said: Oh, you soon will find that many other men besides me are fond of spanking a woman till she squeals.
(I since have found that such indeed is the case: many men are very fond of taking a woman across their knees. I often have been asked to allow myself to be spanked, but I have never consented. Randolph is the only man who ever has taken me on his knees for a spanking.) He went on, laughing at his own poor joke: You know, Dolly, when a man sets up a new establishment, he generally gives a housewarming. Well, I have given you a bottom-warming instead. I have always admired your bottom, and I shall always have a pleasing recollection of it as it appeared today. It looked very pretty while the plump white cheeks were blushing at the touch of my hand.
He then kissed me again on my tear-bedabbled face, bade me goodbye and calmly left the house, leaving me lying on the sofa, sore, angry and indignant. Fortunately, the servants had not heard the shrieks which I had uttered while being spanked.
I lay there quietly till the intense smarting pain of my bottom had somewhat subsided, then I fastened up my drawers and, going into the bedroom, bathed my flushed face, thinking to myself what an utterly heartless man Randolph was. There certainly had never been any sentiment in the relations between us, but I thought that he might have parted with me in a more tender way. However, I had no tender feeling for him after the way he had treated me, and so the only tenderness there was about our parting was the tenderness of my sorely spanked bottom.
Randolph sailed for Europe the next day. I have neither seen him nor heard from him since.
But I know that he remained abroad until the war was over, then returned to Woodlands, and I believe that he is there now.
An soon as I had got fairly settled in my new home, I put five-hundred dollars in the bank and went on housekeeping with the remainder of the money. At first I did nothing but amuse myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed being mistress of a house of my own without anyone to bother me. But, after a time, money constantly was going out and none was coming in, and, since I had determined not to touch the five-hundred dollars in the bank except in case of absolute necessity, I saw that I should have to replenish my purse. There was only one way for me to do it.
I did not like having to adopt the wanton life, for notwithstanding all I had gone through, I still was to a certain extent a modest woman. But I made the plunge and, since I had a pretty face, a well-shaped figure, good clothes and handsome jewelry, I attracted admiration and soon made a number of friends.
I hated the life at first, and I dislike it still, but I have new grown accustomed to it-like other women in the same position. Nearly four years have passed since that time, and I have done well in the profession. I have many good friends, some of whom are rich and liberal. I have saved money and am still saving, and I have had a couple of offers of marriage. Perhaps I will get married some day if I get an offer from a man whom I could love, for, though I am what I am, I will never marry a man unless I love him.
About a year ago, I paid a visit of a couple of days to Philadelphia and, while there, I heard that Miss Dean still was unmarried and that she was as charitable as ever. It had never got to be known that she had been shamefully whipped during her stay in the South. I need hardly tell you that I did not call upon her, though I should have liked to have seen and spoken to the sweet woman again.
My story is finished, and now you know why I said that I hated the Southerners. Don’t you think I have good reason to hate them? They were the cause of all my misfortunes. If they had not whipped me and ridden me on a rail, I should not have been outraged by three ruffians, and I should not have been compelled to adopt my present life.
I remained in New York for three weeks after Dolly had related her story to me, and I frequently paid her a visit, not only because she was a pretty little woman and a splendid poke, but because I had grown to like her and because I also pitied her very much. She certainly had been hardly dealt with by men while she was in the South.
On the day when I bade her goodbye, I gave her my address and told her that I should like to hear from her if she ever felt inclined to write to me. I think that she was a little sorry to part with me, for there were tears in her eyes and her voice shook when she wished me goodbye.
The next day I sailed from New York in the Scotia, and, after a rather rough passage, arrived in Liverpool, from which I went straight home and settled down to my usual life. Six months afterwards, I received a letter from Dolly, telling me that she was going to be married to a man in a prosperous business. She described him as a good chap, a few years older than herself, who loved her, and whom she really loved.
I was glad to hear the news. She was a good-tempered, amiable young woman who, though weak in many respects, would, I was convinced, make a good and faithful wife to the man she loved.
I wrote her a letter of congratulations and sent her a wedding present, which she acknowledged in a nicely-worded letter. Our correspondence never was renewed, but I hope she is a happy wife.
The poor little woman, who had suffered so much from no fault of her own, deserved, after all her troubles, to enjoy some good fortune in…