Miss Caroline Montgomery had not the slightest idea how she had come to the attention of the Earl of Hobberly. Indeed, until her aunt warned her concerning the earl’s wickedness, Caroline had no idea that she had come to the attention of the notorious nobleman. In the spring of 1875, nevertheless, she found herself spirited away from the delights of London before the season had even properly ended, for her protection—at least according to Miss Mildred Rackley, the aunt in charge of Caroline’s debut.
Caroline would not perhaps have undergone this spiriting away via the 10:47 to Hadham Regis, Sussex, one fine Tuesday in March, if she had not demonstrated herself on past occasions to possess a wayward character. She wished, as she stepped from the train in the company of her estimable aunt, at whose home Caroline would now be sequestered in the tiny village until goodness knew when, that her willfulness were more of a consolation. Perhaps if she embraced it completely, the pursuit of the contrary end to whatever Aunt Mildred intended would provide some interest in her life, now that the world of earls and balls had been taken from her nearly as quickly as it had befallen her when she had made her debut only a month since.
“Aunt,” she said, making a trial of the matter, “I shall require the next volume of my novel from my case, before we depart in the carriage. I wish to read on the journey.”
Miss Rackley frowned very severely, so that Caroline felt the color mount into her pretty cheeks. She knew how pretty they were because Mr. Fenrick had told her so the evening before, at the earl’s party, where everything had seemed to be going so well. Indeed Caroline knew that her creamy complexion, her blue eyes, and her golden hair were tout ensemble extremely pretty—not merely from Mr. Fenrick but also from four previous gentlemen who had paid her lovely compliments.
“That is not convenient, Caroline,” her aunt said. “You may gaze upon the scenery, if you wish, or you may converse with me as a civilized young lady of eighteen years would.”
Caroline’s heart beat a little faster now, but she felt keenly the importance of establishing a certain resistance to her aunt’s machinations, and her aunt’s over-harsh judgments upon her.
“I don’t care, Aunt. I refuse to be bored upon what I am sure will prove an abominably long ride to your house. You may it seems remove me from all pleasant society, but you shall not forbid me the consolation of literature.”
She realized as she delivered the haughty little speech that though in her opinion her words held not a bit of injustice, they were certainly possessed of a great deal of foolishness. Caroline’s distant guardian Mr. Rackley had placed the debutante entirely in her aunt’s power. Too late the girl remembered how often Miss Rackley had spoken of the need for a husband to use a firm hand with a young bride, as if in promise that once the inconvenience of Caroline’s necessarily-pleasant-to-a-young-woman campaign to find a suitable alliance were finished, her bridegroom would find a way to curb her waywardness once and for all—a very unpleasant way indeed, from her aunt’s tone. Now that the campaign had come, it seemed, to such an ignominious conclusion, it suddenly occurred to Caroline that perhaps Aunt Mildred planned to take her own measures, in order to impose the firm hand of which she thought her niece in need.
Nor did the idea come to Caroline’s mind spontaneously, for the expression upon her aunt’s face had grown terrible for a willful debutante to behold: the thirty-five-year-old, dark-haired woman—not Caroline’s actual aunt but rather her guardian Mr. Rackley’s sister—narrowed her eyes and gave the girl a very tight smile.
“The coachman who meets us here at the station is named Robert, Caroline. He disciplines my maids when they need it, in the most effective possible way—that is, by applying a stout cane to their young bottoms. For your rudeness just now you have earned a flogging from him as soon as we reach my house. If you will not have a husband to teach you manners so soon as I would have liked, I shall be happy to begin the process here at Red Meadows.”
For a long moment, as she stared at Miss Rackley, Caroline could not even comprehend the words the woman had spoken. Then, Caroline’s whole body seemed to blush, but at the same time she felt the heat travel from the nervous flutter in her belly to a burning flush in her cheeks she decided that her aunt must be jesting, though nothing in Caroline’s experience suggested that Aunt Mildred had the smallest sportive bone in her slender but severe frame.
Miss Mildred Rackley had entered Caroline’s life only three months previous, upon the debutante’s eighteenth birthday, alongside her brother—Caroline’s new guardian. Mrs. Vincennes, the kind, permissive headmistress of the school to which Caroline had been sent by her previous guardian Colonel Parsons, had told her that upon his departure for India the colonel had enlisted the aid of a Mr. Rackley, a London attorney. That gentleman, who would soon arrive with his sister to take custody of Caroline, would supervise her coming out in town, so that until Caroline married, or came fully of age at twenty-one, she would want for neither wisdom nor comfort.
She had blushed a very little—and very prettily, she had thought—at Mrs. Vincennes’ mention of marriage. Caroline knew that she must in due course become a bride, but by the design of her caretakers she had never considered the process by which young women underwent that transformation. It must, she knew, have something to do with blushing, though, because the blood seemed to rise to her face whenever a school friend mentioned the possibility of catching a man or even of dancing with one. Caroline herself had laid eyes on very few of the fabulous creatures: the colonel, once a year upon her birthday, and the shopkeepers in the little town to which the older pupils might walk after church on Sundays. She didn’t know why she blushed, except that it all seemed so different, that honorable estate to which a man called a pretty young woman, and then brought her to his house to live together there as man and wife.
Mr. Rackley and Miss Rackley had quickly assisted in Caroline’s education by the gift of several novels, the reading of which soon made her favorite pastime. That very first day, when they came to bring her up to town, Aunt Mildred had presented her with Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and asked her to pay careful attention to the way the various Bennet sisters’ careers upon the marriage market unfolded.
For the first time, that day, in Mrs. Vincennes’ parlor, Aunt Mildred had sounded her theme of the firm hand. While her brother looked on with evident approval, Caroline’s new aunt had laid her hand upon the book Caroline had just unwrapped, sitting now in the eighteen-year-old’s lap, covered in the blue shot silk of her best gown.
“I wish you in particular, Caroline,” said the woman who had only just been introduced to her, “to think upon how much trouble might have been avoided had a proper guardian applied a firm hand in educating the Bennet sisters—and also of course the Bingley sisters, who needed it still more. When you have finished, we shall discuss the novel—that is the condition Mr. Rackley has laid upon your free reading of books upon which much of polite society looks askance.”
Miss Rackley had looked at her brother, a man who Caroline despite her limited experience of men somehow knew was more handsome than Colonel Parsons. He had smiled and nodded, his dark eyes seeming to glitter a little above his high cheekbones.
“That is correct,” he had said in his deep, serious voice. “Your formal schooling is done, Caroline, but you have a very great deal to learn, still.” He had turned to Mrs. Vincennes, sitting by with a satisfied little smile upon her face. “Is she a good girl, Mrs. Vincennes?”
Caroline had cast her eyes down to the book in her lap, face getting hot. Aunt Mildred’s hand had moved across the cover to take Caroline’s and give it a reassuring squeeze, but also, it seemed to the eighteen-year-old to hold it fast. Those words, firm hand, had drifted through her mind as she listened to the headmistress’ answer with mingled dismay and secret pride, for Caroline could not help glorying just a little in her reputation for willful behavior.
“On the whole,” Mrs. Vincennes had said. “On the whole, I should say. I like your Miss Montgomery very much, and her progress has been more than adequate. But I must also tell you that Miss Montgomery does not like to have her own will flouted, when it comes to fulfilling the tasks set her by her elders rather than indulging her own indolent desires. Many is the time I have despaired of her completing an assignment as she gossiped with her schoolmates, and her marks are consequently not what I believe either of us would wish them to be.”
“I see,” Aunt Mildred had said. “And do you take a firm hand with your girls?”
Caroline’s face had burned, and she had wondered, as she was to wonder many a time until this terrible revelation at the train station, what the woman meant by the phrase.
“As firm a hand as I believe they warrant,” Mrs. Vincennes had answered a little indignantly, and the matter had been dropped.
Once in town, ensconced in the Rackleys’ comfortable house in Mayfair, Miss Rackley had noticed that Caroline had moved on from Pride and Prejudice to Mansfield Park, having found the novel in the library. The older woman had, as she had promised, begun a conversation over luncheon concerning Caroline’s opinion of the fates of the various marriageable girls residing at Longbourn and Netherfield in the former novel. Questioned closely by her aunt, Caroline had confessed herself horrified at the conduct both of Miss Bingley and of Miss Lydia Bennet.
“Is it not a shame that Miss Bingley has no husband?” Miss Rackley had asked.
Caroline had frowned, a little mystified. “I suppose so,” she had replied. “Certainly she would not then attempt to frustrate Elizabeth’s chances with Mr. Darcy.”
“Why, yes, of course,” Aunt Mildred had said, “but that is not precisely what I mean. Do you not think that if a serious man had wedded that proud girl, he would have been forced to take her well in hand, and to teach her to respect his authority? Would not the firm hand of a lord and master have cured Miss Bingley of her foolish arrogance?”
Caroline had blinked as a strange feeling, somehow a mingling of anxiety and curiosity, had seemed to arise inside her. She had spoken very quietly in response. “Why, what do you mean, Aunt?”
Miss Rackley had regarded her brother’s ward very solemnly. “If you continue to behave as you did last night at Mrs. Treacher’s ball, you may find out, Caroline,” she had said slowly and meaningfully. “Any bridegroom who heard of your conduct would be well justified in teaching you a lesson in modesty.”
That had made Caroline’s face go very hot indeed, and she had wondered whether Miss Rackley had chosen this particular afternoon to discuss Pride and Prejudice because of the flirting Caroline had done the previous night. It had only involved Mr. Wendell and Captain Rather, though. Miss Curtis had played three gentlemen off against one another three nights since, at the Fotheringays’. Nor had Caroline done more than laugh loudly at Mr. Wendell when he came to fetch her for a waltz that actually belonged to Captain Rather. Could Caroline be held responsible for the redness of Mr. Wendell’s face when she rebuffed him and took the gallant captain’s arm?
Looking at Miss Rackley now at the train station, Caroline saw in the woman’s eyes that much as Caroline might wish the terrible promise of a flogging to have been given in jest, such was not the case. She thought of Mr. Wendell, and wondered whether she should have laughed quite as loudly as she had.
“Miss Rackley,” said a masculine voice from behind them. Caroline turned with wide eyes to see a tall young man in dark livery, his cap in his hand to greet his mistress.
“Ah, Robert,” said Aunt Mildred, giving Caroline a little smile. “Have you found our baggage?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, casting his blue eyes upon Caroline so that she swallowed hard and bit her lip.
“This is Miss Caroline Montgomery,” said Miss Rackley. “She is a willful young woman and has already earned herself the sort of lesson you are so good at delivering. You will flog her in front of me, as soon as we arrive at home.”
Mr. John Rackley called at Doctor Reginald Brown’s apartments that same morning. Doctor Brown made himself at home to members of the Society for the Correction of Natural Daughters at practically any hour of the day or night, but Mr. Rackley had a special claim upon the doctor’s attention this spring because of the Montgomery case. Accordingly, though he apologized for again taking up the physician’s valuable time, when Doctor Brown would ordinarily be working on his magnum opus, Mr. Rackley did not hesitate to have himself announced to the doctor at the society’s London clubhouse.
All Doctor Brown’s friends knew he intended in a multi-volume work to defend the remarkable claims made in his infamous treatise, On the necessity of men’s exercising their natural rights in erotic matters. The members of the Society for the Correction of Natural Daughters, which had furnished the good physician with both a settled address in town and the opportunity to conduct his research in a much more convenient setting than his little college in Westmoreland provided, eagerly awaited its completion: they had already undertaken to publish the book at their own expense whenever Doctor Brown should declare himself satisfied with it. In the meanwhile, however, the doctor had assured them that they should not scruple to trouble him even with the minutiae of their own affairs, where they touched upon his area of expertise, for had he not accepted his duties as their medical adviser for precisely that reason? And did his noble and gentlemanly patrons not give him thereby a continual fund of new matter for his philosophical pursuits?
Mr. Rackley felt grateful indeed for that reassurance, since the matter of Caroline Montgomery had already seemed to require more of the doctor’s attention than any yet handled by the society. Doctor Brown, however, made the gentleman, a grandson of the fourth Duke of Panton—like the doctor himself, albeit Mr. Rackley’s noble lineage lay on the correct side of the sheets, as the world would have it—feel quite at ease on that score.
“I assure you, Mr. Rackley,” said the sandy-haired Scot, “Miss Montgomery concerns me nearly as deeply as she concerns you.”
As he led Mr. Rackley up the clubhouse’s grand stairway to his own residence at the quiet back of the house on the second floor, the doctor continued in the same vein.
“I imagine you suppose that the plan you have formed for the girl’s awakening and service to you and the other men you have selected to make up the company of her masters seems out of the usual scope of my researches, just as it most certainly lies outside the bounds of polite society’s hypocritical customs.”
Mr. Rackley could not help but confess that indeed he had thought it so. Did not Doctor Brown’s work very chiefly concern the establishment of the right of the phallus over a properly submissive girl, so that she could be fucked in the correct style and disciplined as necessary by her rightful master? Had not Mr. Rackley requested something quite different in asking that Doctor Brown assist in awakening Miss Caroline Montgomery to the necessity of opening her pretty mouth, her maiden cunny, and her young bottom not to a single prick but to four—as well as to the demanding attentions of another woman?
For Mr. Rackley, chosen by lot as the girl’s guardian, a fact that under the society’s charter gave him the right and responsibility of determining how she should be corrected, if her debut should prove as challenging as so many illegitimate daughters’ did, had decided that Caroline must be shared among himself, three other men including the Earl of Hobberly, Robert the coachman, and Captain James Rather, RN, as well as the woman currently known to Caroline as Miss Mildred Rackley. True, he had found inspiration for the unusual scheme in Doctor Brown’s fundamental principle that, a natural man must do as his erotic fancy wills he should, provided that he always look after the welfare of a girl he enjoys. But Mr. Rackley had not supposed the doctor would do more than allow the plan to proceed, since nothing in his treatise touched on the putting into practice of so unusual an arrangement.
Yes, the physician had of course covered thoroughly the matter of a natural man’s desire to share a girl over whom he held the right of the phallus. Mr. Rackley had himself enjoyed fucking several girls brought to the society’s clubhouse for just that purpose. Moreover, the estimable Miss Hannah Erskine, known to Miss Montgomery under the false name of Mildred Rackley, as sweet a fucking piece as Mr. Rackley had ever used for his pleasure and loved as a fellow, albeit differently sexed, libertine, acknowledged Mr. Rackley’s right of the phallus over her. As Miss Erskine’s master he had brought her to the clubhouse on one memorable occasion for punishment and fucking by all the members present.
As if reading Mr. Rackley’s thoughts, Doctor Brown continued, “I suspect your evident diffidence arises from the difference you may perceive between a man who possesses a properly submissive girl lending her charms to his friends and acquaintances for their convenience and pleasure upon a single, or even upon several, occasions—and the indefinite arrangement you and the earl have in mind.”
They had reached Doctor Brown’s comfortable suite of apartments, and the physician showed Mr. Rackley to an elegantly upholstered armchair.
“Cigar?” asked the physician, proffering a case.
“Yes, thank you,” replied Mr. Rackley, selecting one of the rich-smelling, enticingly tapered objects and giving it an appreciative roll under his nose as he inhaled its aroma deeply.
The doctor chuckled. “Not as enticing a smell as a virginal vagina, well readied for coitus, I know—but very nearly, if I am not mistaken?”
Mr. Rackley shared the laugh, and accepted the doctor’s cigar cutter. “I will not dispute it,” he said. “Two marvelous morning indulgences, I would say.” He lit the cigar and took a puff, very grateful for the time Doctor Brown had evidently elected to give him, in order to collect his thoughts.
At length Mr. Rackley took up the thread of the conversation, wishing to know precisely where the physician stood on the matter. He decided as he began to speak that he must fully declare his and his co-conspirator’s intentions.
“Did you mean, a moment ago, Doctor, that you do not draw a distinction between my for example sharing Miss Erskine’s cunt and bottom with the society and my judgment that Miss Montgomery should be placed under the erotic mastery of the earl, myself, and the other men we have selected—as well as with Miss Erskine? We have, after all, agreed that the girl will be shared with as much equality as we can achieve, even to the extent of his lordship having no more right to Caroline’s cunt than Robert the coachman will have—or indeed Miss Erskine.”
The doctor drew a long puff of his cigar, then took it from his lips to observe it for a moment, before answering. When he did speak, he spoke quite meditatively.
“A distinction, yes. Of course. What you propose for Miss Montgomery is not the same as a single man holding the absolute right to enjoy her with his penis in any way he might choose—the foundation of my theory, as you well know—and then choosing as part of that enjoyment to let other men, or indeed women, have as it were a sample of his sexual felicity upon occasion, as he looks on, or hears of later, commending his young lady’s obedience or punishing her faults in pleasing his friends as he sees fit.”
Mr. Rackley couldn’t help but recall the pleasure he had taken in whipping that minx Hannah Erskine after her night serving his fellow members, pretending to her that she had enjoyed herself too much with them and must receive her due reward. Bent over his knee with her night rail tucked up, the dark-haired girl had received a thorough visit from the punishment strap before Mr. Rackley had made her bend over his bed and open her own red-striped bottom-cheeks for the deep thrusts of his hard cock.
Sitting there with Doctor Brown, he heard Hannah whisper again in his ear, “I am yours,” as they lay together after that hard bottom-fucking, his hand still holding her punished cheeks, middle fingertip up against the tiny rose he loved to stretch open on his prick, as a reminder of his mastery. Mr. Rackley felt his prick swell a bit uncomfortably in his trousers at the thought, but he reflected that if one weren’t to become aroused in conversation with Doctor Brown one might as well be underground. He took a puff of his own cigar and adjusted his position in the comfortable armchair.
“On the other hand,” the doctor continued, “I do not see your proposal as standing in fundamental opposition to that idea, as you seem to fear. First, I see it as entirely possible to share the right of the phallus among several parties, if those men—and, in certain situations, women—are in agreement that the arrangement meets all their wishes. Second, should such a plan be put into action, the maintenance of certain protocols will quite probably ensure that each master, or mistress, feel him or herself to have a true opportunity of, shall we say, sole proprietorship.”
Mr. Rackley puffed, and nodded. “Do you mean, Doctor, that the girl should be shared among the company on a strict rotation of some kind? For Miss Erskine has already drawn up a schedule that might answer.”
“Indeed,” the Scot replied. “I should like to have a look at that schedule at your earliest convenience. Before we proceed to that rather advanced stage, however, I would like to satisfy myself on a more basic matter—that is, Miss Montgomery’s conduct and how it led to your taking this unusual—if, as I say, probably salutary—resolution. As the medical and philosophical adviser to the society, it’s my duty as you know to approve the disciplinary measures taken for the good of the members’ wards, and though what you’ve told me in your letter provides some of the information I will need to write my recommendation, I will also need some further particulars.”
“Of course, Doctor,” Mr. Rackley answered, shifting again in his seat to draw himself up more erect and visibly attentive. “As I said in the letter, it was an incident at Mrs. Treacher’s ball last week that set the events into motion. If Mr. Wendell weren’t a favorite of the Duke of Essing, and—I suppose—if the duke weren’t so very bent on correcting the faults of everyone associated with the Whig interest…”
Mr. Rackley could see that Doctor Brown had little interest in the political machinations of refined society. He decided to cut short the lengthy explanation upon which he had almost embarked. He said nothing of Mr. Wendell’s anger at Miss Caroline Montgomery for the terrible snub the girl had visited upon him, allowing Captain Rather to emend her dance card in a disgraceful manner. He said nothing of Mr. Wendell’s morning call to the Duke of Essing, or the duke’s declared resolution that Miss Caroline Montgomery must be well recompensed for her willfulness and the evidence of her just punishment shown to him by a fellow peer, or he would ensure the girl should never marry any honest man—or the unspoken implication that any honest man who undertook to marry Miss Montgomery without disciplining her thoroughly would never again be received into society.
He resumed the tale with the Earl of Hobberly, who had heard of the affair and taken it upon himself to observe the girl.
“Well, you know the earl and his rather irregular approach to your doctrines, I understand?” Doctor Brown nodded, frowning a bit. Mr. Rackley continued, “He offered to provide the duke with evidence of Miss Montgomery’s correction for her insult to Mr. Wendell, if that correction could be carried out to his specifications—that is, with Miss Montgomery’s defloration and possession for a full month by himself, me, and three others of my choosing.”
“I see,” said Doctor Brown. “And you agreed to this?”
Mr. Rackley nodded. “I must confess that it appealed both to my masculine desires with regard to the girl and to my sense that she requires a very special form of correction. As novel as it seems, I believed the earl’s plan might answer.”
“I concur,” said the doctor, after drawing lengthily upon his cigar. “I shall do myself the honor of visiting Miss Montgomery tomorrow in Sussex to make my examination and confirm the wisdom of the scheme. I trust I will find that she has already undergone some correction?”
“Indeed,” replied Mr. Rackley. “Miss Erskine planned to have the girl flogged on some pretext as soon as she arrived. I believe you will find her young backside well marked and her attitude receptive. The earl and Mr. Rather will travel down, I think, by the same train. If you confirm your approval, we will be able to begin Miss Montgomery’s training immediately.”