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An Account of the Whippings, Rapes, and Violences that Preceded the Civil War in America

I am chased by a bull in the country

The Memoirs Of Dolly Morton (Chapter III)


All the versions of this article:

Jean de Villiot, The Memoirs Of Dolly Morton : The Story of A Woman’s Part in The Struggle to Free The Slaves, An Account of the Whippings, Rapes, and Violences that Preceded the Civil War in America, With Curious Anthropological Observations on the Radical Diversities In the Conformation of the Female Bottom and the Way Different Women endure Chastisement, Ed. Charles Carrington, London, Paris, 1899.

I am chased by a bull in the country and saved by an unknown gentlemen who, in the sequel, proves a far more savage bull, differing only in outward shape.

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.

View online : The humiliation of our persons and the ravishment of my virgin state (Chapter IV)

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