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Maude/Madeleine Part 3

Tags: lesbian, historic,
Maude/Madeleine's story continues from a different perspective
Jenkins Takes up the Narrative

I was born 2 years before the old King died in 1760. I have no idea who my parents were for my first knowledge is of life in a poor house over which the Beadle, Mr Crabtree, and his wife held sway. They were cruel, miserly people and treated the deserted children under their care with hideous lack of concern. From the age of 4 I was required to undertake domestic duties and oft felt the sting of Mrs Crabtree’s rough, large hand for any misdemeanor I might have, or might not have committed. It is true I was a fractious child, prone to hiding, to laziness, to argument. I was given the name Jess Jenkins by the said Mrs Crabtree. She said she had so named me because her uncle had a dog called Jess which liked to bite and a teacher called Jenkins whose great pleasure was to weald a heavy leather strap.

At the age of 6 I ran away from that awful place and fell among other children of the street. Of my time there I will not reveal all, save to confess to having thieved for my sustenance and, when I had grown to a semblance of womanhood, to selling my body. I was by no means alone. For a lone girl with no protection her only source of income was, had she been blessed with a countenance devoid of a hideous cast or fortunate enough to have avoided the myriad of diseases to which such folk were prone, was her own body. It was her only asset. It may be understood that this life gave me an abiding loathing of men. They treated me poorly and sometimes roughly. In drink they would first be lascivious and as time and drink worked their effects, limiting their ability to enjoy that for which they had paid, they would become abusive. Some became violent.

Many was the time I would attend the gin palace with a black eye or a missing tooth as a consequence of some such encounter. Gin was the sole panacea that one such as I could afford.

I shared a room above the gin house with three other women in similar circumstances and one of these, Olive, whose surname was not known even to herself. It was she who introduced me to what she called tipping the velvet. Many a night we would share our flea infested cot and forget the deprivations and unhappiness of our lives in each others’ arms or finding that pleasure which our bodies gave to us.

It was in 1777 that my fortune changed. I was in the unfamiliar territory of Holborn having been taken there by two men the previous night and thrown back on the street at 6 of the morning with a bruised cheek and sixpence for my trouble. I was satisfied; sixpence was King’s ransom to me then. As I walked down the street having eaten the best breakfast I had had for many a year and still having five pence in my handkerchief I saw a lady descend from a coach and, as she did so, twist her ankle and fall with a cry. Her purse tumbled from her grasp and its contents of coins spilled across the street. As the coachman helped her up I gathered up the coins, replaced them in the purse and handed them to her. I cannot explain why my reaction was not to gather them and run as would have been normal.

The woman was Mistress Perkins. The coachman made to send me away but she stayed his hand and opened her purse to give a shilling.

‘Thank you, my dear.’

‘God bless you, Ma’am,’ said I, shocked at her generosity. She enquired as to my lodgings and engaged me in conversation. I recognised that her interest in me was not merely resultant upon my having returned her money. She had a look that I had seen oft before. She looked at my poor clothes and, to my great surprise, touched my face, dirty though it was and bruised.

To the coachman’s horror, she told me to enter the coach and return with her to her house. She had, she said, some clothes which might be of use and she would ensure her cook fed me well. Indeed, she said, I needed feeding and she was right. I was a poor specimen and no mistake. As we drove through the busy London streets she asked of my background and, quite candidly, I told her much as I have revealed here.

That woman was a saint. True to her word she had me bathed, fed and clothed. I had never in my life felt warm water on my skin before. Neither my body nor my hair had in all my life been washed with more than cold water. It is hard now to recall how luxurious felt clean clothes upon my poor body. Over the following days and weeks, during which I was given menial tasks and responsibilities, my condition improved and when I saw myself in one of the fine mirrors of her household I saw a new woman.

I never left her employ after that.

Mistress Pickles’ house was, I was to discover, a salon for ladies who, like me and Mrs Pickles herself, favoured the sexual intimacy of other women. No doubt my Mistress was aware of my similar proclivities or, were she not, she soon came to be. I attended upon her with more than physical pleasure, for I felt a kind of love for the woman who had taken me from my earlier life. Her faith in me was the first such I had ever known and I rewarded her in my way with faultless loyalty. This loyalty was in turn rewarded by more responsibility until the day dawned when she introduced me to the secrets of her household, had me assume the clothing and position of butler and sent me to a voice teacher for improvement.

Whenever I left her house I was again dressed as a woman and a far richer woman than I was or ever had been. On my return I would hasten to my room and adopt the manner of her butler for, in truth, so I was. I served her guests and attended upon the ladies of the house. I was responsible for maintaining the order of the house and I confess I was firm handed in enforcing her writ. The ladies of the house feared my wrath and with good cause for an encounter with my cane might render a lady unable to serve her guests for a day or two. Order was upheld and rare was the need for more than a minor reprimand or scolding.

Maude Clench came to Mistress Pickles in 1776 as I recall. She was an educated girl of 14 years and a comely enough child. Mistress Pickles had a fondness for helping the dispossessed and such was Maude. The Mistress made her a sort of secretary and I could tell she was destined to be a beauty and a favourite of my Mistress. I felt no envy. I had a place in the Mistress’s heart that was peerless; I had her confidence and her trust. I liked the girl and, unknown to her, guarded her from some of the jealous unkindnesses that might have come her way. Indeed I had been instructed so to do by the Mistress herself.

Over the years that followed I watched as she grew, developed and matured. Had I been less committed to the service of my Mistress, less aware of that good woman’s aspirations for young Maude, or Madeleine as she was to become known, I might have sought to seduce her for myself. I desired her. I thank God for my strength of character that had been formed in the dark, filthy lanes of Whitechapel.

It was in the year that His Majesty King George the third ascended the throne that I was instructed to educate Maude in the ways of woman love. She was 18 years old by then, and her comeliness had developed into beauty. She had lustrous, chestnut hair, small breasts and a coltish frame. I knew the Mistress had great expectations of her as a draw for her favoured, wealthy guests. I knew too that her virginity would ensure her status as a prize to be afforded a particularly well-regarded patron.

Thus it was that after she had been interviewed by the Mistress, I led her to a guest room and there began her education. I had been forewarned of this delightful duty. Mistress Perkins had given me clear instructions.

‘On no account is her maidenhead to be taken. Show her,’ she had said as she pushed her ladyprick into my arse and tupped me thus, ‘the pleasure we share in this manner Jenkins.’

As she made love to me, so she instructed me and it was as her climax came that she bent across my back and said, ‘No-one could be a better teacher than you. Show her the Mysteries!’ You may imagine my pride.

And show her the Mysteries I did. Not hastily but over days I guided her in the secrets of our kind of love. She was a quick study and a willing pupil. She had a sexual energy that only those of her age can maintain. She was eager to learn. She surpassed my hopes for her. In truth, I grew to love that girl but it was more than my position was worth to reveal that affection. In consequence I was harsher with her than others. I know she feared me but I suspect that she felt some kind of affection too, for I never hurt her and our intimacies were always rewarding. The temptation to enter her womanhood was almost irresistible but my love for and loyalty to my Mistress overrode my lustful desires. Happy was I to instruct her and to enjoy her as I did so.

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