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The Colonel and his Cook

Erotic story (1903)


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Jean de Villiot, Whipped women, (The confessor; Procured by a whipping; Victims of love; Daughters to marry; The colonel and his cook), Privately issued for bibliophiles and collectors only ; impr. de Vve Folguy (Alençon), Paris, 1903.


THE COLONEL AND HIS COOK

Sidonie was a cook and possessed one of the most remarkable backsides in the world. She belonged to the race of wide-bottomed females, and truly had posteriors as big as those of three ordinary women rolled into one. When she stood erect she did not appear too stout, on account of her tall stature. Her eyes sparkled with malice and lust beneath her bushy brows, and there was something bold, self-willed, and energetical in her bearing. Her palpitating nostrils, thick red lips, and free gestures did not announce any pronounced leaning towards chastity. In spite of her rather excessive plumpness, she was a superb specimen of the maid of old-fashioned country inns, but she seemed rather out of place in the quiet villa of Colonel Montmauron. The lady’s maid, Julie, also looked as if some other situation would have suited her better. She was a fat, fair young woman, with a stealthy look, who seemed as if she had just left some home of free love, vulgarly called a brothel. It was whispered that the general who at Nantes was at the head of the eleventh army corps, had kept them both as his concubines, and that after some serious scandal, his wife had promptly kicked out these creatures who shrieked and howled for extra wages. The general’s lady had recommended the precious pair to her intimate friend, Madame de Montmauron, who felt herself in duty bound to take them in, if only on trial. During the year she had utilised their services, Madame de Montmauron had no great fault to find with them. Indeed, she found that when she was absent, they took good care of her two daughters, little Marie; and the eldest girl, Lucienne, who had just reached the age of twelve. Being forced to go to Ireland, where the colonel’s wife possessed property and had some relatives, she was therefore not too uneasy at leaving her children behind. It seemed to her that during the two or three months she would have to be away, her husband, and the cook and lady’s maid would be able to take her place and look aftef her little girls with proper solicitude. She forgot that it was only her cold and authoritative ways which kept these servants in the path of duty, and that her husband did not understand as she did, the art of making himself obeyed and respected.

So the day after their mistress’s departure, Sidonie and Julie profited by the momentary absence of the colonel to invite a groom and a coachman, in place near by, to lunch and dinner. Their master’s wines and the contents of the larder served to feast the servants and their friends all the livelong day. The little girls only had the scraps left from these two meals, and were condemned to remain in their bedroom, as if they were ill. As towards eventide, they heard a great noise in the garden, the children went and looked out of window. Sidonie and Julie were dancing with the groom and the coachman, spinning round like mad women ou the grass. At last, out of breath, they threw themselves down at full length, and the two men uncorked bottles of champagne and poured out glasses for their lady friends. After copious libations they danced together again and the fun was kept up until late at night.

The children were very frightened and slept badly. The colonel never came home until the next morning. One hour before his arrival, Sidonie and Julie went and spoke to the young girls.

"Have you ever been whipped? " the serving-wenches said. "Oh! we mean a real comfortable flogging, so that you can’t sir down for three days afterwards? No? Well, you’ll see how nice it is. You’ve only got to tell your papa what you saw yesterday and we’ll let you have it at once, and tear all the skin off your bottoms in a proper lady-like way. You’ve only got to tell tales now—you’re warned!"

Marie and Lucienne, terrified by these threats, took good care not to open their mouths concerning the junketings of the preceding day. But this did not prevent them being a continual subject of apprehension for the servants. The brace of sluts looked upon the children like spies who were bound to denounce them, even unwittingly, some day or the other, so they undertook to get them out of the way. As they knew that the colonel’s aunt always had her letters written by her lady companion, and was continually replacing her, Sidonie and Julie got up a false letter wherein the aunt asked her nephew in a most pressing way to bring his two daughters to stay with her in her country-house in the environs of Niort. Lucienne, who owed her aunt a grudge, because the old lady had whipped her severely during the last holidays, refused to go and visit her. So Marie went off alone with her father, and auntie was much surprised to hear that she had invited her niece, although she was well pleased to let her stop with her a month or two.

After a day’s railway travelling, Colonel de Montmauron returned to Nantes rather late at night, and reached his house in the Rue Saint Clément. After having embraced Lucienne who was fast asleep, he was about to retire to rest, when he saw Sidonie in his bed.

His cook burst out in a great fit of laughter, and then said familiarly:

"You didn’t expect to find me here, colonel?"

"It’s perfectly certain that I could not foresee this. What does this stupid joke mean?"

"I thought that as your wife was away, you might feel as if something were missing, and without taking the liberty of thinking that I can bc a perfect substitute for Madame de Montmauron, I beg to offer my consolation all the same."

"At this moment," replied the colonel, "I require less consolation than sleep. I’ll thank you to be kind enough to let me repose in peace."

"Are you made of stone? Look! Did you ever see bubbies like mine?"

Baring her bosom, she exposed her big breasts, where in the midst of each could he seen the enormous nipples, like two crushed strawberries. Then suddenly she rose up in bed, and kneeling with her face to the wall, her nightgown pulled up high, filling the room with her strong sexual odour, she offered in a magnificent lewd posture the vast rounded cheeks of her massive stern, divided into two equal hemispheres by a deep shaded dark line, where one could get a glimpse of a sort of fleshy and projecting rose, half hidden under black curls.

"You’re a finely built woman," said the colonel indifferently, winding up his watch, "but I must beg you to clear out."

"Is that all you’ve got to say to me?" she replied, reclining on her side in a defiant attitude.

"That’s all! I should not like my wife to know that I betrayed her—and with her cook too!"

"A cook indeed? Well, go and search among all your tarts and fine ladies, and see if you can find a girl better made than me!"

And Sidonie pressed her bosom and proudly slapped her backside.

"I told you you were well-built," rejoined the colonel, "but that’s not the question. If ever my wife got to know that I had been unfaithful, I should never forgive myself."

"But she won’t know!"

"These secrets always get found out. Then there’s such a thing as decency."

"You’re a fool. If you won’t let me sleep with you, then give me another bed. Mine is too narrow. There’s no room for two in it. You’ve got a villa all to yourself, and you stuff your servant-girls into little children’s rooms with dolls’ beds in ’em. In this heat it’s enough to choke a woman!"

"You can change your room. Take the one where the cupboards are."

"I ain’t going to move in now, I suppose? Well, for to-night I find myself quite comfortable enough where I am, so here I sticks. That knocks you off your perch, eh? You can’t put me in a dark cell, nor give me punishment drill, like you do to your men!"

"I’ll go and fetch the police."

"I most certainly advise you do so, and everybody will be laughing at you to-morrow all round the neighbourhood, and over at the barracks."

The colonel was very vexed, as he walked up and down the room with tremendous strides, his arms crossed, asking himself what he had better do. Sidonie with mocking glances, watched him doing sentry-go, as she quietly rested on her side, throwing up her massive hip as if to give him a good view of what he affected to despise.

A few moments passed, and he had not made up his mind. Sidonie got out of bed, took off his hat and greatcoat, unlaced his boots, and forcing him to sit down, drew off his trousers. The colonel allowed himself to be undressed with more docility than a little boy.

"Now, Monsieur, to bed and quickly too!" she exclaimed; after having put him on his night-shirt.

She lit the hanging night-lamp, blew out the candles, and slipped between the sheets, close to her master who for the time being seemed to be her valet.

"For pity’s sake," he cried, "let me go to sleep!"

But Sidonie did not purpose letting him off so easily. Her fingers wandered between her companion’s hairy legs, and she hummed the fragment of a barrack-room ballad:

"Sweet soldier boy, grow up and get big,
Like the drum-major when in full fig!"

"You’re a malingerer, that’s what you are!" she suddenly exclaimed with a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders.

"In the Lord’s name, I beg you to let me sleep!" sighed the colonel.

But his servant was too obstinate however to renounce her project so quickly. She dared to place the enormous latter end of her person close against her master’s face, and when she had offered this contact, she ducked her head under the sheet, which she threw hastily back, as if searching in the bed for some lost jewel.

"Oh, gracious!" she exclaimed, after a few moments had passed, "I give you back to your wife. I see that you can await her return without suffering, but I pity the unlucky woman if she has only got you to amuse her."

The colonel, with half closed eyes, and deaf to ail she said, made a horrible grimace which took the place of a grateful smile.

"I am now confident," he stammered in hoarse tones "that you are clever in all styles of cookery."

"Am I? Then taste this, my boy!" she replied, becoming furious all at once, and as if to avenge herself, she forced an explosion, sounding noisily sonorous, as she blew in his face a series of breezy breaths which were a long way from being fragrant.

Next day, the soldiers were to march out of the town for musketry drill, and the colonel, who had left home early to go to the barracks, passed in front of his house at the head of his regiment.

Sidonie and the lady’s maid, Julie, were on the threshold, looking at the troops going by. They were impudent enough to make the coarsest remarks.

"Don’t he look silly on his old crock?"

"What a guy!"

Then Sidonie improvised this irrespectful doggrel on the spur of the moment, adapting it to a popular tune:

"When the colonel, half dead,
Marches through the town,
He can just hold up his head,
But his sword hangs down!
Down, derry down!"

The officers exchanged significant looks; some of the young chaps in the ranks could not cfrain from laughing, but the colonel became as white as a ghost.

On returning home after drill, he said to Sidonie in tremulous tones:

"Why did you insult me before my men?"

"You insulted me worse last night!"

"You deserve to be kicked out of my house this very minute!"

"Do it, and I’ll write to the missus at once."

The colonel did not enjoy his dinner that evening. He seemed very uneasy, and the coffee had hardly been put on the table, when he said to the lady’s maid:

"Tell Sidonie to go upstairs to my room. I want to speak to her."

"Sidonie has just gone out, sir," was the reply vouchsafed to him.

"Without my permission? This is too much of a good thing!"

But he was forced to swallow his rage. He went up to his bedroom which gave on the street, and waited at the open window, pricking up his ears at every noise, and trying to read until Sidonie should return. Hours passed; twelve o’clock struck, and the cook showed no signs of coming home.

About three o’clock in the morning, the colonel was just about to get into bed, when he heard someone at the servant’s entrance, and ran down with all haste. Sidonie was there, out of breath, her hair hanging down and her attire in disorder.

"So these are your goings-on, my fine lady? Slipping out without leave and coming home at daybreak?"

"What’s the matter with him now?" said she, turning up her nose.

"I command you to come to my room at once!"

"Another time, old fellow. To-day, I’m tired. You can understand it and excuse me, for you were sufficiently dead beat yourself yesterday, if I don’t mistake."

Dumfounded at so much insolence, the colonel, without another word or gesture, let her go up to her garret.

But all day she was polite and affable. Montauron did everything he could to sooth, coax, and court her, delighted to have an appointment granted him for the evening, for which he promised to remunerate her generously.

Why this sudden change? How was it that from being indifferent he had fallen in love? In reality it was his masculine vanity which threw him thus head over heels under his servant’s skirts. He did not wish her to think he was such an old man, and was desirous of keeping up a reputation of virility. Moreover, the vile allurements, degrading but real; the will and pride that she showed, had all combined to conquer and subjugate him. He awaited her coming in his bedchamber, which was also that of his wife, with the keenest anxiety.

She made her appearance, and his desire, and perchance also her skilful pandering tricks made the couple forget the difference in their ages. Sidonie pretended she felt tender affection.

"You ought to try and make your wife stop away a bit longer," said she. "How happy we should be all the summer!"

Her great idea, which she kept back for the moment, as she did not quite feel she was truly and completely the colonel’s mistress as yet, was to get rid of Lucienne as she had done with little Marie. For this some specious pretext was neccessary.

The connection of a maid-servant with child, little girl or boy, has something strange about it. The infant is in closer contact with its nurse than with the mother, because nearer to animality. The wench is more familiar and sometimes more indulgent than the parents, and she enjoys her influence, often making bad use of it. It flatters her pride to humiliate her masters in their own flesh and blood. She likes to scold, sully, and strike the little ones confided to her care, even when she loves them, for then it is no longer the helpless infant she sees in them, but the offspring of beings she hates instinctively. In olden days this hatred was unknown, for the master was at the head of a family, of which the female servants formed part and parcel. He was both father and natural protector, and they could not help loving him.

Not only did Sidonie hate Lucienne because she was the future mistress of a household, but she felt innate repugnance. Such unreasoning dislike often arises between certain beings, as if they were representatives of naturally inimical races. Sidonie, a jovial, coarse brunette, could not stomach the graceful, fair girl, who was slightly affected and haughty, with the ways of a little woman, rather than those of a child.

The low and debased imagination of the queen of the kitchen was racked to invent means by which the little girl should become, momentarily at any rate, disagreeable or even odious in her father’s eyes.

Lucienne being very clean and fond of looking and feeling tidy, Sidonie ingeniously tried to make her appear dirty. As Lucienne was in the habit of going to the privy before dinner, Sidonie dirtied the seat, and put out the light inside the water-closet. 1f Lucienne went afterwards to her washstand, she would not find a drop of water on it. And all this time Sidonie would make Julie hurry and call the child.

"Your pa is seated at table, waiting for you, mademoiselle. He’s getting impatient."

The scene may be imagined.

"Lucienne, how nasty you smell!"

The young lass seemed quite dazed. At that juncture, the cook, who without sitting at table, now remained in the dining-room during nearly the whole duration. of the repast, would draw Lucienne towards her, and kneel down behind her.

"Come here, and let me look at you. You’re such a giddy little thing!"

When her clothes were thrown up and her drawers pulled down, Lucienne revealed a chemise and posteriors which bore most infamous daubs and splashes.

"You disgusting creature!" exclaimed the colonel. "You deserve to be birched. Sidonie, make her wash herself before you, and let her dine in her room as a punishment!"

This mishap occured several times, always prepared by Sidonie, but she invented others which she thought would be more decisively impressive, so as to humiliate Lucienne and disgust her father.

One morning, when the colonel went to kiss his daughter, Sidonie cut short all affectionate effusions.

"Aren’t you ashamed to be still in bed so late?" she said to Lucienne, adding in authoritative tones: "Let me catch hold of your fingers."

At this, Lucienne slid her hand under the sheets, but Sidonie dragged it brutally forth, and smelt at the alleged guilty middle digit.

"You’ve been touching yourself up again this morning, you dirty little cat!"

She then slapped her face twice or thrice without the colonel intervening. Encouraged by such mute approbation, Sidonie felt inclined to be very severe.

"Turn your face to the wall! Pull up your nightgown and I’ll give you a good slap-bottom!"

But the colonel showed some fatherly feeling, as he exclaimed:

"No, Sidonie, you shall spank her tomorrow, if she does it again. Let us be satisfied to-day to deprive her of her dessert. But to-morrow," he added, addressing himself to Lucienne, "I warn you that you’ll not be let off so easily."

A week passed uneventfully. Sidonie could not manage to catch Lucienne napping, for her conduct was exemplary. The servant despaired of being able to get the young girl out of the house, when circumstances favoured her plans.

Same magniflcent muscat grapes had been sent to the colonel, and he reserved them for a dinner he was giving that very evening in honour of several officers, his intimate friei six o’clock, Sidonie, who was laying the cloth, pretended to be looking for the fruit, and seeing Lucienne pass, she asked her:

"Have you eaten the grapes?"

"No, not I!"

"You liar! Who but you would do such a thing?"

"You perhaps, or somebody else! How should 1 know?"

Sidonie had just lifted her hand to smack Lucienne’s face, when the colonel came upon the scene.

"What’s all this?"

"If you please, sir, it’s Lucienne who has eaten ten muscats, and says it’s me!"

"What do you mean? My beautiful grapes! Will you answer at once, Lucienne?"

"I’ll tell the truth, pa. I was tempted by the grapes, and I did eat a tiny little bunch."

"Ah! ah! you are guilty then?"

"I only ate a wee cluster, five or six grapes in all. Julie took the rest to the kitchen, and she and cook finished the lot."

"You impudent, brazen thing!" shouted Sidonie. "You must be longing for me to slap your bum by telling such a lie as that!"

"Be quiet, Sidonie," said the colonel.

"Everything proves to me that the child is speaking truly."

"Then I’m a liar? Say l’m a liar at once!"

’I don’t know really!"

"Answer me! I order you to answer me!"

"Go away! You deafen and tire me, Sidonie. Leave the room!"

"Not if I don’t like!"

She went, however, but passing through the hail, she turned round, and called out to the colonel:

"You can whistle for me all nightif you like, but don’t you think I shall come and rub up your wretched old toy for you!"

"Sidonie!" exclaimed her master, running after her, and catching hold of her backside.

"Let me be!" she vociferated, "or I’ll break wind in your hand!"

"My Sidonie!" he repeated beseechingly, not frightened at her threat. "Sidonie, promise to come to me to-night. Look, I’ll give you this bank-note."

"How much is it worth?"

"Fifty francs."

"Little enough! Show it to me, anyhow, so that I may see if it’s a real one."

The colonel handed over the piece of blue paper, which she hurriedly glanced at and then stuffed it down her bosom. She turned towards him with a jeering grin.

"I meant to give it you to-night," he said sheepishly.

"But I take it now."

"You’ll come all the same, won’t you?"

"That depends on you. I want you to say that I’m not a liar."

"You’re not a liar."

"Yes, but you must repeat that in front of Lucienne, and tell her that she has calumniated me."

"Oh dear! Oh dear!"

"That’s not all. When you’ve said that, you’ll have to scold her properly : ’For lying and falsely accusing your nurses, and having been greedy and a thief, you must go down on you knees and beg pardon of Julie and Sidonie, humbly asking them to to punish you by a good whipping.’"

"Oh, come now! What you ask is sheer madness!"

"Maybe, but you’ll set about it immediately, or if not, you won’t see me in your bed to-night. Better still—I’ll be off with Julie and leave you in the lurch with your officers to get out of the mess as best you can. You can cook the dinner yourself, and serve it up how you like!"

"Sidonie, I pray you—"

"Are you going to obey me, or shall I leave the house?"

"At least, let me whip my child."

"No, you won’t hit hard enough. You shall see us at work. It’ll be much funnier for you!"

"You’ll make me ill!"

"You—a soldier? You’re not very courageous, old man. Look here, d’ye think we shall kill your gal? On the contrary, I’m sure you’ll be amused, you fat swine, to see her bum-cheeks ruddled. You may rest assured it’ll do her good."

"But my guests will soon be here!"

"Oh, we shan’t be long about it!"

Thereupon she called Julie, who came up at once. Taking Lucienne, who had remained in the dining-room, by the hand, she led her into the pantry.

"You told a lie just now, mademoiselle, and I’ll prove it to you."

She felt quickly in the little girl’s pockets, and then slipping her hand between Lucienne’s pinafore and frock, pulled out a big bunch of grapes. Lucienne was quite as surprised as her father.

"Ha! ha! you daren’t deny any more! Now, you little slanderer, you’ve got to beg both our pardons. Will you please speak to her?" she went on, nudging the colonel.

"Beg their pardon, Lucienne."

"Never!"

"That’s really one word too much! On your knees directly! Oh! I’ll force you to kneel down. Julie, go and fetch the birch-rod!"

In vain did Lucienne struggle in Sidonie’s strong arms. The cook shoved her hands under the child’s clothes, and pulled her lace-trimmed knickers down to her heels, as she threw up petticoats and chemise together. Then, standing, she straddled backwards over the little girl’s body, pressing her down with the full weight of her vast buttocks, forcing her to bend the upper part of her slight frame and jut out her posteriors.

"Help me to hold her!" said Sidonie.

"Julie will come and do that," replied the colonel.

"Oh! papa! papa!" groaned Lucienne.

"You deserve what you’re going to get," mumbled the colonel, without conviction.

"Catch hold of her legs," said Sidonie to the lady’s maid, "and stop her kicking about, and struggling like this."

Julie squatted down under Lucienne, placing the child’s legs on her knees, holding them in her hard, horny hands, as if enchained.

Sidonie, her face leaning over the miniature, plump bottom, peered into the shadow of the dividing line, and pulling open the cheeks with her sharp finger-nails, she began talking in a vile way which drew forth the merriment of the lady’s maid and made the colonel quiver with impatience.

"Look at this filth! Did you ever nose such a stink? A rag-picker keeps herself cleaner than you—little sow! Only let me catch you in this rotten state next time I pull down your drawers, that’s all! I shan’t whip you then. I’ll flay the skin off your backside, see if I don’t!"

"Come, be quick, and get this over," reiterated the colonel.

"You, let me alone, d’ye hear?" retorted Sidonie.

At last, she seized the rod that the lady’s maid had brought, and cut Lucienne’s tender skin with its sharp points. For the next few minutes, nothing was heard but one long, uninterrupted shriek. Now and again the cry became a howl of rage, and Lucienne, in fury, tried, but unsuccessfully, to scratch and bite her tormentress from behind. Sidonie often directed her strokes with all her might on the fissure between the ill-fated posteriors, which opened out; the twigs wounding and penetrating the little orifice. The lady’s maid was greatly interested in the contractions and swellings of the suffering bottom, which was a sorry sight, comical in spite of its misfortunes, framed between the two women’s red and attentive faces, enlivened with the vilest and most ferocious joy.

"Come, I say, don’t hit her in there!" said the colonel, as Sidonie pulled the buttocks apart.

"I’ll teach her to be clean!"

"But she’s bleeding! She’s had enough!"

"Let me alone! Hold her hands, that’ll be more useful. She’s preventing me thrashing her properly!"

A ring at the door-bell finally interrupted this odious chastisement, at which the colonel assisted in sorrow, but without daring to let his impudent mistress see how disgusted he felt. Lucienne went and threw herself on her bed, hiding her face in her hands.

"You haven’t been birched at all, have you, dearie? You can’t say now you don’t know what a whipping is like " said the lady’s maid.

The little girl did not come down to dinner.

"My daughter is rather unwell," said the colonel to his guests.

But as each course came on table, he served her share which Julie took upstairs at once.

After dinner, he went to see Lucienne, who was lying on her stomach, her head buried in the pillow, as if she did not dare to show her face. He took pity on her, and showed such commiseration that no one would have dreamed he was the cause of all her sufferings.

"My poor little girl! Are you still in pain?"

"Yes, very much. Ah! what you did was wrong, pa!"

"Come, come, you deserved it."

"I didn’t eat the grapes."

"Oh, don’t tell stories! I’ll go and fetch you some cold-cream. That’ll ease the smart of the birch."

At midnight, the guests had gone. The colonel glided discreetly into his daughter’s room. Lucienne slumbered heavily and uneasily, heaving little sighs which terminated in moans. He stood for a second, gazing at her.

"Poor child!" he gasped out.

Sidonie came upstairs, with nothing on but a pink silk chemise, a gift from the colonel. She turned round to admire in the mirrors the sight of her backside thus draped, admiring the luminous folds that its large curves caused to glisten in the flimsy material.

"Sidonie," said the colonel, "what you did was abominable."

"So that’s how you greet me, is it? All right, I’m off. But if I go, there’s no danger that you ever see the end of my nose in your room again, my fine young fellow!"

"Don’t get cross, Sidonie darling!"

"What’s come over you now? Is your head dropping off?"

"Come in my room and let me explain matters."

"I’ll go with you on one condition, that you never allude to what has taken place this day. Your kid has been whipped for once in a way. She won’t die of it. I got flogged so many times that I can’t count ’em. It didn’t prevent me from enjoying good health and having plenty firm flesh to sit upon, eh? Now shut up, or else talk about something else. You mayn’t perhaps believe me, but I love you to-night!"

She hustled him to the bed and rolled on it with him. Then turning round, and almost stifling him under her mountains of flesh, she inclined her head towards his feeble virile organ. She rummaged until she found it, causing it to wake from its lethargy and rise up. By means of her keen caresses and scientifically prolonged kisses she brought about animation, and led it to the goal of pleasure. There was no resemblance between the colonel and the first Napoleon’s generals, who albeit with snowy locks, played the game of love and war simultaneously. Sexual enjoyment coming thus on top of the emotions of the evening, and a most copious meal, washed down with champagne in galore and quite a reasonable series of little nips of brandy and liqueurs, had made him feel very sleepy. When Sidonie came and offered herself, she had a shrewd notion of the state he would be in, and expected to be able to profit by it. Without heeding her companion’s yawns and drooping eyelids, she began thus:

"Just listen to me. Lucienne, as you recognise yourself, is becoming unbearable. We can’t keep her here at home any longer; indeed, I shan’t stop if she remains. The lady’s maid will be off too. You’ll never find a nurse for such a child. She requires constant watching—that you can see for yourself. Every morning she’s so dark under the eyes that she looks as if she had been punched. She plays with herself all night, ruining her health. Julie and I have got our work to do. We can’t be always at her heels."

The servant continued in this way for some time, shaking the colonel now and again to prevent him dropping off to sleep.

"Why can’t you listen to me? What I say is serious!" She summed up in these words: "There’s only one thing left for you to do. Put her in the Ursuline convent, where she’ll be well looked after. Speak up! You don’t say a word?"

"I’ll think over it," said the colonel, stifling a yawn.

"There’s no thinking wanted. You must make up your mind. Do it or leave it alone. If she don’t leave the house, I shall, and so will the lady’s maid. D’ye want me to go away?"

"You know I don’t, Sidonie!"

"Well then," she rejoined, going and getting pen, ink, and paper, "put it down in black and white while I’m with you, so that you won’t be able to say afterwards that you’ve changed your mind.

"’My dear Sidonie,’

"’I beg you to take Lucienne to-morrow to the Ursuline convent. You will arrange in my name with the Lady Superior about the price to be paid for taking a boarder during the holidays.’

"Good! Sign your name! Now, my boy, you’ll see how happy we shall be without the kid who always had her eyes on us, preventing many a nice kiss. First and foremost, we shall be able to dine together, like a little pair of real lovers, and Julie, who is a jolly and a pretty girl, will join us. It’ll be gayer than having to sit in front of that stupid little slut, with her dirty unwiped bottom. Come now, don’t get cross! You don’t even know f she’s your daughter or not!"

She would have kept on talking much longer, if she had not perceived by the sudden thunder of his snoring, that the colonel was fast asleep. She carefully folded the letter, after adding the date; pinned it to her chemise, and stretched herself quietly by the side of her master, who had become her trembling lackey, entirely subservient to her slightest whim.

Next morning, the colonel rose in a good humour, embraced Lucienne while she was in bed, lunched out, and stopped away all day, without recollecting what he had written the night before, when half asleep. Accordingly, he was greatly astonished at dinner-time not to see his daughter.

"Is she ill?’’

"No, of course not," replied Sidonie. "I took her to the convent this afternoon."

"What convent?"

"Didn’t you tell me you wanted to confide her to the care of the Ursuline sisters while your wife was absent?"

"Did I say that?"

"You did more—you wrote it. Look at this letter. Can’t you recognise your own handwriting?"

"I must have been mad. You’ve imagined. this scheme to rid yourself of my child. You detested her! But she shan’t remain in a convent, damme! I’ll not have it! You must fetch her out this very evening and bring her home."

"Impossible! You’ll not be able to see her until Thursday—the next half-holiday."

The colonel burst into a fit of temper, smashed a few plates, and broke a chair, but the noisier were his furious attacks, the less time they lasted. Sidonie let the storm fizzle out, and then recommenced her argument of the preceding evening. The girl was in need of constant watching. Convent life would profit her. Would they not be much happier alone, without having someone in front of them spying on their caresses?

Sidonie finally coaxed and won the colonel over, so they had a very merry dinner.

For the first time, Sidonie sat at her master’s table on equal terms. But no, she was now sole mistress. It was a loving repast, where kisses caused the imperfect cooking and attenddance to remain unheeded. Not one dish was properly served, and as Sidonie had invited the lady’s maid to dine with them, each of the three in turn got up to fetch clean plates and whatever else was required.

That night a travelling company appeared at the theatre. In vain the colonel made all sorts of excuses for stopping at home.

"Yes, yes," begged the two women, "let us all three go together!"

"But my brother officers and the general himself will be there. It’ll look awful!"

"Then you’re ashamed of me?" vociferated Sidonie.

"Not a bit of it, but—"

"There’s no ’but’ about it. You must take us. Without boasting, we’re better looking than your general’s wife—stuck-up old thing!—and all your officers’ jades. I know ’em! There’s not one among the lot fit to be my maid-of-all-work!"

The colonel still tried to resist, but at last he gave way to the prayers of the two women. They even wanted him to put on his uniform and it was not without a deal of trouble that he got Sidonie to grant him permission to go in mufti.

As for the wenches, despite their good looks, like all women, they were only enticing in their habitual dress. Pleasing enough in servants’ frocks, they became ridiculous in their best clothes. So they were hardly seated in a private box on the ground tier, that the colonel paid for, than mutterings and scarcely polite remarks were heard in the stalls. Sidonie, her clenched fists on her hips, like a fish-fag, rose and shouted at her critics with her insolent voice which resounded all over the auditorium. Cries of "Turn her out!" were already uttered, and it looked as if the police were about to interfere, when the curtain drew up, and Sidonie, forgetting her fury, sat down again, flushed and gasping for breath.

"It’s a most amusing play," said Sidonie, as the act-drop fell at the close of the first tableau.

"I’ve just caught sight of the general," replied the colonel. "He can see us from his box."

Fearing, if he left his seat accompanied by the two women, to be met by some of the officers; while at the same time, if he remained with them during the entr’acte there might be a quarrel between his servants and the spectators who continued to make fun of the girls’ eccentric get-up and the false jewellery with which Sidonie was covered, he asked them if they would like some refreshment, and on receiving a reply in the affirmative, he gave them a louis to go and have some champagne.

"Aren’t you coming with us, dear?"

"Oh no!" he exclaimed, hiding himself at the back of the box.

The curtain had been up over a quarter of an hour when they returned chattering together. This time they paid but little attention to the play, but conversed in whispers, glancing now and then at the colonel as if alarmed lest he should overhear what they said, but he was too far behind, and too much taken up with the care of trying to remain unseen by the general to listen to their talk, which was in low tones, carried on with their mouths close to each other’s ears.

During the second interval, he made them go off for a walk again. He would have liked to have sent them to the devil that night, and sunk himself into the earth so as not to be caught by the general. At any rate, his women left him in peace during the remainder of the entertainment, for they did not deign to reappear during the third, fourth, or fifth acts. He felt very uneasy and humiliated when he left the building,, still looking about for them and unable to realize that they should thus have abandoned him.

"Where are they? Where can they be?" he kept on repeating.

He hoped to find them at home when he reached his house, but they were not there.

When he went up to his bedroom, he found his desk open. He quickly rummaged in a drawer where the day before he had put six thousand francs. The money was gone.

A sealed letter had been placed on the middle of the table so that it could not remain unperceived. He opened it. It was from Sidonie, and this is what it said:

"My dear friend,

"As you don’t seem to understand what courage is required to amuse a limp old dotard like yourself, I’m off! I’ve had enough of you! You must admit that if a cook has to be paid, the peculiar kind of service I’ve rendered you deserves much higher wages. You’re not one of the generous sort—that I’ve known for some time past, worse luck! But I don’t intend to suffer through your stinginess, and I’ve helped myself.

"If this style of giving my demission don’t please you, you can say so. But first of all, just think over what I’m going to say. I’ve sneaked out of the house of your friend Riviere some letters you wrote to him last year, where you speak quite freely about the general, the Minister of War, and the government.

"These notes will be useful if you want to gain higher rank in the army, that’s certain, and I shall not fail to send them to some people you know, which I am sure will please you vastly.

"If you should be going to the Ursuline convent, you won’t find your daughter. That’s a sure thing, because she isn’t there. If you want to see her and have her home again, you must hand over four thousand francs to the man who’ll call upon you the day after to-morrow. If anything disagreeable should happen to me or the person I shall send, you know what to expect: your letters to Riviere will be sent to the right quarter, and you’ll never set eyes on your little daughter again.

"I hope to hear from you very soon.

"SIDONIE."

"What a monster!" exclaimed the colonel, who could never have imagined that such perfidy existed.

He asked himself in fright what he should do. He always trembled in front of his wife, as he had trembled before his cook-concubine, and knew not how he could explain the disappearance of these ten thousand francs when his better-half should come home. She would certainly have suspicions, and leave him, a contingency he feared the more because all the money came from his wife. Nevertheless he was longing to see his poor little Lucienne again.

Suppose this vile woman should keep her a prisoner somewhere and do her harm? She was quite capable of such a thing. And how about the letters containing such free comments on the doings of his superiors and the members of the government? What would be said about it if they fell into the hands of the Minister of War? The colonel might be dismissed the army.

Thus worried, he strode up and down his room, continually repeating:

"What an abominable creature! Oh, what a monstrous female!"

Instead of conducting Lucienne to the convent, Sidonie had taken her in a hired vehicle to a most dirty little hotel in a small back street, at the other end of the town. When they alighted, ail the lodgers-women with their hair hanging down and drunken sailors—were lolling out of window.

"Where are you taking me? Whither are you leading me?" were Lucienne’s unceasing questions.

"Hold you jaw! I’m not bound to answer you," replied Sidonie, when it pleased her to open her lips. "If you bother me, I’ll whip you like I did yesterday."

She made a sign to an old woman in the office of the hotel, and a key was handed to her. She clambered to the top of a staircase as narrow as a ladder, dragging up the little girl who was much alarmed at the jokes of the seafaring men and the half naked women she saw appear on each landing, coming out of rooms where everything was in disorder.

In this way, they reached a little attic. Sidanie locked the door, and said to Lucienne:

"Strip at once!"

As Lucienne, quaking with fear, hesitated about obeying, the cook unbuttoned her little jacket and dragged it away. She then successively took off her skirt, petticoat, chemise, drawers, and even her shoes and stockings.

The little girl seemed greatly affrighted as she stood stark naked, her arms crossed on her breast. Sidonie, however, was amused at the sight of the girlish, shuddering, fair-skinned frame, where all was smooth and white, save the buttocks which still showed traces of the biting birch.

"What did you think of my rubbing-down yesterday?" asked Sidonie, with a demoniacal grin, as she lightly smacked the young backside which seemed to inspire her brain with cruel cravings. "Aha! it didn’t give you pleasure, eh? You’ll have plenty more birchings, I warrant you, what with your rotten disposition and your obstinate head. You ain’t out of the wood yet, my gal!"

So saying, she opened a cupboard, and drew forth a complete young village lass’s dress: skirt, bodice, woollen stockings, a chemise of thick brown calico, a starched local headdress, as worn by a peasantess of Nantes, and hobnailed shoes.

At first Lucienne was thunderstruck, and then began to cry when Sidonie ordered her to put on this attire. But the cook paid no heed to her lamentations. She dressed her by main force, slapping her bottom at intervals when Lucienne revolted against such a strange style of costume.

When she was thus disguised, Sidonie took her downstairs again and forced her into the fiacre, once more. They got out soon afterwards in a street near the railway station. A tall, rather stout female, dressed like a country woman in a cap, with the eyes of a bird of prey and sensual nostrils, was standing at the door of a tavern.

"Ah! there you are at last!" she said, smiling sardonically.

"I give the kid over to you, Madame Plouvier, and think she’ll suit. Only she’s got a mania that comes out now and then: she fancies she’s some fine young lady. You musn’t put up with that. When you have had her backside bare five or six times, she’ll grow out of it."

"She ain’t too bad-looking," said Madame Plouvier.

"I should think not indeed! Come on, give us what you promised. And hurry up, because the train starts in a few minutes. You’re only just in time."

Madame Plouvier dropped two gold pieces slowly, as if regretfully, into Sidonie’s palm, and bustled off to the station, followed by Lucienne, who, terrified, seemingly annihilated by the cook’s threats, abandoned herself to Madame Plouvier.

"Good bye, my little gal!" shouted Sidonie. "Enjoy yourself! Mind how you behave, or you’ll catch it!"

And she made the gesture of slapping the back of her left hand with the fingers of her right.

Madame Plouvier and Lucienne got into a third-class compartment full of people, just as the train was leaving the platform. There was only one seat left, and Madame Plouvier took it. Lucienne had to sit on the floor at the feet of her new guide. At each station she was hustled and trod on by travellers going out or coming in. But soon she seemed heedless of kicks and cuffs, the movement of the train nursing her into slumber.

At dark, the woman and the colonel’s daughter left the train and took the diligence which passed through thick woods and followed steep roads. The coach, driven at a high rate of speed, rolled every instant from side to side as if about to fall over. It struck Lucienne that she was being plunged into some barbarous and unknown land. She was sore afraid, but held her tongue, and never stirred. It was bright moonlight when they arrived in a little village consisting of some twenty houses. The horses pulled up in front of a door surmounted by a green board, on which could be read in white letters : "Plouvier, Grocery." Madame Plouvier told Lucienne to get down.

"Come on!" cried the woman. "Make yourself useful once in your life!"

She passed her down a lot of baskets and enormous bundles. The poor child gave way beneath their weight and nearly fell down.

However, this was the end of her misery for that day at least. After having swallowed a bowl of soup, she undressed herself almost mechanically, and without looking where she was, tumbled in a heap on a bed that was pointed out to her, and fell fast asleep at once.

"Hurry up! You’ve been lazy quite long enough!" was shrieked at her in acid tones early the next morning, while drops of cold water were dashed in her face.

Lucienne woke with a start, surprised at finding herself in the middle of a whitewashed room with a low ceiling. Facing her stood a stout woman, the picture of her travelling companion, who pulled off the sheet of the narrow bed whereon Lucienne had passed the night, and made her hasten to get up. Lucienne dressed with lightning speed, and without being allowed time to wash herself, had to go down into the little grocer’s shop where she found Madame Plouvier herself.

"Justine," said the latter, "show the girl what she has to do. I must go to the fair to-morrow and you two will have to manage all the work between you."

Justine was the younger sister of Madame Plouvier, who ordered her about like a servant, bit Justine did what she chose and always had hr own way.

She told Lucienne to sweep and dust the slop, making her do what she was told several times over, for she was never satisfied. Then Lucienne had to serve the customers, and it was all she could do to move and replace barrels, glass jars, and the heavy boxes she was ordered to bring forward. But all this was so novel for her and she had so little time allowed hr for reflection that she applied herself adently to her task as if playing some new game. She even enjoyed with a good appetite a bowl of wretched broth with black bread which was given her, and all passed off tolerably well during this first day.

Next morning, things changed. At six o’clock she was awakened by several blows given her with a broom.

"Did you think I should let you play the sluggard long?" shouted Justine.

The two sisters had made up their minds not to spare her. She received innumerable boxes on the ears and kicks. But it was only two or three days later that she got her first slap-bottom, having been caught filching some of the jam destined to be sold to customers. Justine took her in the back-shop and put her head between her thighs, under her dirty petticoats. Having pulled up the wretched girl’s clothes, she brutally spanked her posteriors with the sole of her slipper. After this thrashing, Lucienne dared not lift her eyes. But there was worse punishment and humiliation in store, when she broke a bottle of liqueur. They bound her to a wooden bench by her hands and feet, for fear she resisted or kicked, and thrashed her with thick ropes. As she bit Justine, they tore her tender skin with frightful cuts of bunches of furze, and caned her besides.

Madame Plouvier often helped her sister to hold Lucienne, or to whip her. She made but two objections to these chastisements.

"Don’t expose her backside in the shop. You may disgust the customers."

"On the contrary, it amuses them."

"You’ll wear out all my brooms. Aren’t there birches enough? Haven’t you got a martinet?"

"I flog her buttocks with what comes first to hand!" replied Justine.

The worst torture of all for Lucienne was public correction in the open shop, in the doorway, or in the garden behind the grocery; and these flagellations were frequent. She might have managed to escape them, for she always got whipped for the same motive: pilfering in the shop. But she was so badly fed, that it was not astonishing she could not resist eating or nibbling the nice things she found around her: raisins, prunes, almonds. Little robberies which remained undiscovered encouraged her to more important pillage, and when she was left alone for a second, she tried to capture some fruit, a small cheese, or a pot of jam, but she was nearly always caught redhanded by Justine, who would rush at her precipitately.

"Ah! greedy little pig! Thief that you are! Your bum shall pay for your belly, see if it shan’t!"

Lucienne struggled, and asked to be pardoned, but Justine, unheeding her, dragged her to the corner where stood her broom or birch, for she varied her mode of punishment. Sometimes women came in to make purchases and assisted at the execution, chatting with Justine, or even lending a hand.

"If you’re too busy thrashing your apprentice, we’ll come back some other time."

"No, no, my sister will serve you."

"Oh! I can wait," said one woman, taking a seat; and turning towards a female who accompanied her, she added: "It’ll be a good lesson for you, Madame, to see how young minxes should be tamed. You’ve got a big growing girl of your own. I hear she’s not always easy to get on with and that you are too timid to lay a finger on her."

"What nonsense! I gave her a good spanking this very morning."

"Excuse me, ladies," said Justine, "my sister is out. Will you be so good as to wait a few minutes while I whip my servant? I think a good flogging should never be postponed. It loses its effect."

"You’re right. When a child has misbehaved, the penalty ought to be paid at once. Oh! how she wriggles! Shall I hold her for you?"

"Thanks. Now she’s tamed. When I’ve got her like this, under my arm, head downwards, I don’t need any assistance to give her her due."

Justine, just like Sidonie, found the same delight in vilely humiliating Lucienne, by her preparations, remarks, and examinations of her body.

"I beg your pardon, ladies, but I’m forced to expose her wicked stern. I like to see what I’m about.

"So do I. There’s nothing so deceiving as those bothering petticoats. You think you’ve finely flogged the slut and all the time you’ve only been knocking the dust out of her rags."

Despite her kicks and bounds, Lucienne was powerless to prevent her one petticoat being pulled up, and her fleshy, plump backside, thus forced to jut out, appeared in all its ample, girlish glory.

"What a grand target!" remarked one of the lady customers. "If the little bitch gets a bit above herself, there’s something to hit at anyway!"

Justine paused as she fixed her eyes attentively on some spots she noticed on the chemise, and she pulled Lucienne’s buttocks apart.

"Oh! the dirty wretch! Disgusting creature!" she cried. "I’ll teach you to show a clean bum when I whip you." She thrust one of her big fingers in the indecent secret aperture. "I always take this precaution with unwiped little girls. When their guts are full and they get the stick, the vile sluts are capable of letting go all over you!"

At last she lifted her broom, and directing her blows at the fissure between the two pretty globes, her cruelty caused Lucienne to howl in pain.

"You’ve sinned through your mouth; you must suffer by the lower lips," she shrieked.

"Ah! I’ll give you something to eat!"

"Pulling the little girl’s backside open with one hand, she never ceased swishing the mysterious brown button-hole. Lucienne lost her voice, so loudly did she cry out, supplicate, beg for forgiveness, and insult the whipping harpy. A purple band, surmounted by a kind of bleeding eyelet-hole, could be seen in the middle of the large disc, which was scarcely flushed with pink marks, having been spared so far.

The two witnesses bent over the victim, not afraid of receiving right in their faces the malodorous sighs that her posture, rage, pain, and forgetfulness of herself drew from Lucienne’s hinder parts.

"I’ve got my own ways of pickling their backsides," said Justine. "When I’ve done with the dirty drabs, they can go and sit on the privy as much as they like, I guarantee they don’t think of messing themselves about."

The grocer-woman ceasing her correction for a moment, Lucienne tried to stand up, but Justine never loosed her hold.

"Wait a bit," said Justine, "I ain’t done yet."

She furiously attacked the surface of the buttocks which became of a violet-red hue, and drops of blood spurted out.

The broom was worn to a stump, and Justine had beaten the child with such ardour, experiencing such cruel intoxication, that she was tired out.

"Now then! Get up!" she exclaimed.

"She won’t lose what you’ve given her however fast she runs," remarked one of the customers pointing to Lucienne, who with her face in her hands, choking with sobs, and her skirts still half up, fled to the end of the garden.

"Come here, I tell you!" ferocious Justine called after her. “I didn’t whip you to make you howl and grow lazy. Come and serve these ladies, or I’ll begin all over again!"

Lucienne had to show her face flushed with shame, and her eyes full of tears, as she fetched boxes of biscuits, tins of preserved vegetables, or dried fruits. She had to go up a ladder, and be bustling and active, while scarcely able to stifle a sob or cry of pain at each movement she made. She could not refrain also from placing her hands on her poor smarting bumcheeks.

Lucienne would have liked to write to her father, but she never had a moment to herself.

She had always to be in the shop, and Justine and her sister so tyrannised over her that if by chance she was alone with a customer who asked her any question, she did not dare to reply.

One day, when she happened to drop a glass jar, smashing it to atoms, Justine pursued her to the market-place with her broom, and catching her at last, she dragged her home, slapping her face all the way, and driving her knees into her backside to make her get along faster. When she reached the door of the shop, either because she could no longer control her rage, or wishing to humiliate Lucienne still more by a punishment in public among all the passers-by, she forced her to kneel in the doorway. There she pulled up her clothes, and started flogging her with her habitual cruelty. The villagers turned to look at the young girl’s behind, and enjoyed the sight of the globes gradually reddening beneath the shower of blows. But an old lady, wearing corkscrew curls and a large gipsy bonnet, stopped suddenly, and throwing her arms up in the air, exclaimed:

"It’s shameful to beat a child like that!"

"Mind your own business," replied Justine, without ceasing her fustigation.

The old lady’s remark recruited a few partisans. Several persons declared that children ought to be corrected but not martyrized. Justine did not wish to increase the general growing dissatisfaction.

"I’ll spank you to-night in the water-closet, dirty little beast!" she whispered in Lucienne’s ear. "Like that, nobody will hear you!"

She dropped the broom and let Lucienne howl at her ease. After having sobbed a moment, the little girl got up and ran away from the grocery.

"Great heaven! ’Tis Lucienne!" exclaimed the old lady, rushing towards her and taking her in her arms. "Lucienne, my dear little girl!" she said, as she kissed her. "Don’t you know your poor old aunt?"

The miserable damsel lifted her eyes swimming with big tears and uttered a cry of glad surprise.

"Aunt Léontine!"

Aunt Léontine lived in the country all the year round, and had not been to town to see her nieces for over two years. That is why Sidonie did not know her, and was entirely ignorant of the fact that Aunt Léontine lived in the identical village where she had sent the colonel’s daughter.

When kind caresses had somewhat calmed Lucienne’s grief, Aunt Léontine wanted to know how it was that her niece had come to be in the grocer’s shop. She was astounded at the child’s story.

"It’s extraordinary!" she kept on repeating, and continuing, she said: "Come with me!"

Lucienne was seized with fresh fright when she saw her aunt taking her back to the grocery.

"Don’t be frightened in the least," the old lady said to her, "you’ll not stop there long."

She had hardly entered the shop when she adressed herself to Justine:

"Are you not ashamed thus to torture a defenceless infant?"

"I slap her bottom when she deserves it," replied Justine, "and unfortunately she often merits a spanking."

"You are a wicked woman," said Aunt Léontine, "and I shall take the girl away from you."

"Begging your pardon," shouted the shopkeeper, "I’ve paid the girl’s mother, or stepmother, a year’s wages in advance."

"How much was that?"

"Forty francs. Then there’s the railway journey."

Aunt Léontine opened her purse, took out three gold pieces, and threw them on the counter.

"Now, let’s be off!" said auntie.

After having examined the louis one by one, Justine turned towards the aunt who with her niece had already crossed the threshold.

"Good bye and good luck to you, old lady, but you’ll not do much good with the Iitt4e trollop by spoiling her. At my place, with many a good slap-bottom, she would have blossomed into a useful servant girl !"

Aunt Léontine wrote at once to the colonel who arrived two days afterwards, and was so overjoyed at finding his daughter once more that he did not think of avenging the affronts she had received.

In the meanwhile, Sidonie had been warned. Vexed at not being able to blackmail the colonel, she tried to do him all the harm she could. The compromising letters were made public, and anonymous notes sent to the colonel’s wife, whereher husband’s infidelity was fullyrevealed. M. de Montmauron was too weak and timid to defend himself and put a bold face on the matter. He thought his wife would never forgive him, and that he could no longer remain in the army. He sent in his demission, and started secretly for Paris with his daughter Lucienne who was very much attached to him. He lived in poverty, and Lucienne, grown to womanhood, was forced to offer her charms to the first passer-by, for want of a crust of bread. Despite her girlish grace and beauty, she was still obliged, when we made her acquaintance, to go out each night to public halls and concerts, searching for a gold piece to pay for the next day’s food.

Sidonie, fearing prosecution, took to the best hiding-place she knew of—a brothel. It was there that the Count de la Roche-Thiaudière found her. He was quite a young man, but rather weak-minded, and fell under the charm of the shamelessly lewd caresses of the former cook. He made her his mistress, and then married her. She treated him worse than the colonel, like a slave, boxing his ears in public, and going further when there were no indiscretions to be feared. She betrayed him afterwards if he dared to take umbrage at her caprices.

Victim of this vile accouplement, the wretched man’s strength failed him, and his health was ruined. He fell into a decline and finally died. At present, Sidonie is Countess de la Roche-Thiaudière. She possesses one of the finest fortunes and grandest estates in the whole of France.

THE END



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