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Guillame Apollinaire

Memoirs of a young Rakehell

CHAPTER ONE

Summer was back again; my mother had returned to the country, to the estate which we had acquired only recently.

My father, engrossed in his business, had remained in the city. He regretted having purchased this estate which he had acquired at my mother's insistence.

'You're the one who wanted this country house,' he said. 'Go out there if you wish but don't force me to go. Besides, my dear Anna, you can rest assured that I'm going to resell it at the first opportunity.'

'But, dear,' said my mother, 'you have no idea how much good the country air will do the children…'

'Yes, yes, I know,' replied my father, consulting his notebook and taking his hat, 'I gave way to your whim but I was wrong.'

So my mother left for her campagne, as she put it, intending to make the most of what might prove to be a short stay.

She was accompanied by a younger, still unmarried sister, a maid, by myself, her only son, and by one of my sisters who was a year older than I.

We arrived in the best of spirits at the country house, which the people of that district had nicknamed Le Chateau.

Le Chateau, which was an old dwelling no doubt dating from the 17th century, had once belonged to wealthy farmers.

The interior was spacious but the arrangement of the rooms was so extraordinary that the house was really rather inconvenient to live in, with numerous wasted steps occasioned by the architectural disorder. The rooms were not disposed as in ordinary houses, but were separated by a mass of dark passages, winding corridors, spiral staircases. In short, the place was a veritable labyrinth and it took several days of exploring the house before one had any real notion of the layout of the apartments.

The outbuildings, where the farm and stables were located, were separated from the main house by a courtyard. Adjoining these buildings was a chapel which could be entered as easily from courtyard, main house, or outbuilding.

This chapel was in a good state of repair. Formerly a monk had officiated there. He had lived in the chateau and administered to the spiritual needs of the little village round about.

Since the last one died, the office had never been filled again, and only on Sundays and Feastdays, as well as from time to time to hear confessions, did a chaplain from the neighboring monastery come to our chapel to conduct those services indispensable for the eternal salvation of the worthy peasants.

When the monk came, he inevitably stayed to dinner, and a room was prepared for him near the chapel in case he cared to spend the night there.

My mother, my aunt, and the maid, Kate, were busy getting the room ready; the bailiff, the farm valet, and a servant were helping them.

Since the harvest was already almost completely in, my sister and I were permitted to go for walks where we pleased. We rambled throughout the chateau, through all its nooks and crannies, from cellar to roof. We played hide and seek around the columns, or else one of us, taking refuge behind a staircase, lay in ambush for the other to pass, then sprang out with a blood-curdling shriek.

The wooden staircase leading to the attic was very steep. One day I had preceded Berthe down and hidden myself between two chimney flues where, in contrast to the staircase which was lighted by a skylight in the roof, it was very dark. When she appeared, coming down cautiously, I sprang out, imitating the barking of a ferocious dog. Berthe, who had not suspected I was there, was so frightened that she slipped, missed the next stair down, and fell so that her head was at the bottom of the staircase while her legs remained above on the steps.

Her dress was naturally umbrellaed upward until it covered her face, leaving her legs exposed.

When I approached her, laughing, I noticed that her blouse had slipped up above her navel.

Berthe was not wearing any panties, because, as she told me later, hers were dirty, and we had not yet had time to unpack the linen.

So it was that for the first time I saw my sister in an immodest state.

To tell me truth I had already seen her naked because we had often been bathed together during the past few years. But I had seen only the backside of her body, or at most the side, because both my mother and my aunt had placed us back to back with our little buttocks toward each other as they washed us. Both ladies took good care to see that I didn't peep, and when they handed us our little nightgowns, they bade us place our hands carefully in front of us.

So it was that Kate, one day when she had taken my aunt's place in giving Berthe her bath, had been scolded for forgetting to bid Berthe put her hands in front of her.

I was always bathed either by my mother or by my aunt. When I was in the large bathtub I was told, 'All right, Roger, now you can remove your hand.' And as you can well imagine, it was always one of them who soaped and scrubbed me.

My mother, who believed in me principle that children should be treated as children as long as possible, had kept this system in practice.

At that time I was thirteen years old and my sister Berthe fourteen. I knew nothing at all about love nor even about the difference between sexes.

But when I felt myself naked in front of women, when I felt their soft, feminine hands wandering here and there over my body, I experienced a curious sensation.

I remember very well that every time my aunt Margaret washed and dried my sexual parts I was conscious of an unfamiliar, vague, but extremely agreeable sensation. I noticed that my little penis suddenly became as stiff as steel, and that instead of drooping as before, it reared its head. Instinctively I drew closer to my aunt and pushed and thrust my belly forward as far as I could. One day when this happened, my aunt Margaret blushed suddenly, and that made her delicate features even more beautiful. She had noticed that my little knob was erect, and, feigning ignorance, beckoned to my mother who was bathing her feet with us. Kate was then busy washing Berthe, but she, too, immediately became attentive. As a matter of fact I had noticed that she much preferred to take charge of me than of my sister, and that she never missed an opportunity of helping my mother and aunt when they attended to me. Now she too wanted to see what was going on.

She turned her head and looked at me without the least constraint while my aunt and my mother exchanged significant glances.

My mother was in petticoats, and had tucked them up above her knees so that she could cut her toenails more easily. I had caught a glimpse of her pretty, plump feet, her beautiful nervous calves, and her round white knees. The sight of my mother's legs had affected my virility as much as had my aunt's caresses. My mother probably realized this, because she blushed and let her petticoats tumble down.

The ladies smiled and Kate began to laugh, until she was stopped by the disapproving glances of my aunt and mother. But she tried to justify herself by saying: 'Berthe also laughs when I come to that spot with a warm sponge.' My mother ordered her to hold her tongue.

At that very moment the bathroom door opened, and my elder sister Elizabeth came in. She was fifteen years old and went to high school.

Although my aunt had adroitly thrown a shirt over my bare body, Elizabeth had time to see me, and that irritated me no end. For although I was not at all ashamed in front of Berthe, I didn't like Elizabeth seeing me naked, because for four years now she had no longer taken her bath with us, but bathed either with the ladies or with Kate.

I was vaguely annoyed that all the women of the household had the right to come into the bathroom when I was there, whereas this same right was denied me. And I found it absolutely outrageous that I was denied entry

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