Birch in the boudoir


You will readily believe that the letters you are about to read were never intended for publication. They were lately exchanged between a handsome, lusty young gentleman of some thirty summers and a mischievously pretty beauty who had just completed her nineteenth year. As the letters themselves will show, both these friends are persons of the finest breeding and the most amiable liveliness of mind.

I have known handsome Charlie and pretty Lizzie for long enough to assure you that the events which this correspondence relates are utterly worthy of belief. After several months of my urging them, they have at last placed these papers in my hands with full permission to communicate them to the world. They make one stipulation, with which any sensible man or woman must concur: the full names and titles of my young friends are not revealed.

Do you deplore their reticence? Let me tell you then that both Charles and Lizzie are persons of some consequence. So, alas, the most fearful scandal might result from a too impetuous revelation of their identities. Let me say only that the father of our hero is entered in Burke’s Peerage, while our heroine was presented at court in the second summer of the new King's reign. If you have the curiosity and diligence, you may thus infer their names from the peerage, the court circular, and the details of the letters themselves.

I will not detain you a moment longer than need be from the amorous frolics and ingenious orgies which these two friends witnessed. Yet I must say a word as to how these remarkable letters came into being.

My friend Charlie, a scapegrace lad from youth, is unacknowledged by his noble father and so lives by his wits. As the first letter relates, he was reduced to seek employment at a country mansion where wayward girls were taught the arts of the sewing room and the discipline of the stable. By the example of Miss Martinet, he first observed the amorous effects of chastisement upon a frisky young lady.

What of our beautiful Lizzie? She had accompanied her father, who was Britannia's plenipotentiary in an Arabian territory. A noble Pasha, of European education, made her chivalrously welcome. As the Ambassador's daughter, she was safe from all harm, yet as a woman she was permitted to assist at the pleasures and punishments of the harem. Imagine her surprise and delight on finding that the seraglio was well stocked with English girls as well as with those of warmer colours!

Charlie and Lizzie enjoyed the close mutual attachment which might exist between brother and sister. As a penniless adventurer, it was vain for him to hope that her family would accept him as her suitor. So, when they parted from one another, they agreed to exchange letters, detailing all those amusing incidents of a sexual and disciplinary nature which came their way. The close link of chastisement and erotic excitement was a topic they had discussed often and with great fascination.

You may imagine how interesting their correspondence proved to be! Yet I have no wish to mislead the world. I strongly advise that these letters should not be read by the prudish or the narrow-minded. They will be shocked by the mere sight of a girl opening her legs for a succession of lovers; what will they say when a pretty pupil takes her master's passion in her mouth? Could they endure the sight of a young wife taking her lover's tool surreptitiously in her bottom? They will approve, perhaps, of the whipping of Tania and Vanessa. Yet with what horror will they then see the two naked girls make love together, lying head to tail, using fingers and tongues!

With that word of warning, I will detain you no longer. Charlie and Lizzie shall speak to you now, telling their stories with the lively enthusiasm of youth.


Greystones, 23 April 1904

My dearest Lizzie,

Of course you'll say I've been neglecting you, my sweet. Or will you think me downright lazy? 'Where is the letter he promised?' you wonder, and a frown wrinkles that beautiful brow of yours!

But that is nothing compared to the astonishment with which you will read the address from which I write. Greystones! What can your very own Charles be doing as assistant in a reformatory for wayward young women? For, alas, I am only the assistant here. It is 'Miss Martinet,' as the girls call her, who rules the establishment.

Let me explain, my love. On that dreary day of our separation, when your family escorted you from our last rendezvous at the Grosvenor Hotel to the boat-train at Victoria, I was at my wits' end. Bereft of you, and well-nigh penniless, I went back to my rooms in Jennyn Street, paid off the cabbie, and mounted the stairs. I mixed a hock and seltzer, lit a cheroot, and pondered on the beastliness of life. So lost in gloom was I that I did not for a time notice the envelope which the porter had laid upon the table. It bore the Imprint of the family lawyers, Raven and Raven, of Gray's Inn Walk.

My first reaction, you may imagine, was to think that it must be a communication from the father who, far from acknowledging me, never had the courtesy to marry my mother. What the deuce, I thought, can the old skinflint want of me now? Ain't he cut me off without a sou already? And ain't that the worst a cove can do to his own flesh and blood?

Had the day been colder and the fire lit, I should have tossed the envelope into its flames. Yet, as it lay there, nothing was to be lost by looking over the contents.

What do you think, Lizzie? It was from old Silas Raven himself, in his crabbed lawyer's script! He presented his compliments to me-the first time the old devil had ever done so-and begged my attendance at his chambers at my earliest convenience. There, he promised, I should learn something to my advantage.

Now, my sweet, all that tosh is a lawyer's way of telling a fellow that there's a pocketful of sovereigns waiting if only he'll have the goodness to fetch 'em. I was down the stairs quicker than old Gladstone's hand up a whore's skirt, for I had scarcely known where my next meal was coming from. I hailed a hansom cab, clambered aboard, and off we went to Gray's Inn Walk, with harness a-jingle and hooves clopping.

If you never meet Silas Raven you won't miss much-he's a spiteful old devil of the prosecuting kind. A ghastly grimacing phiz, like a dose of rigor mortis. To my amazement, though, he had set out a tray of glasses and a bottle of fine old Madeira on his desk before my arrival. Hallo, says I to myself, here's a rum go and no mistake!

As the old loon went drivelling on, it appeared he was talking about my Uncle Brandon, an eccentric old bird, who was my Guv'nor's brother. I knew little enough of Uncle Brandon, whose life was vaguely described as 'rackety' and who had spent much of it in foreign parts.

When Silas Raven, our cadaverous old brief, informed me that my revered uncle had gone to a better place and left me possessed of his entire estate, I could scarcely believe my ears. That Uncle Brandon's drinking and whoring had made him ripe for plucking I never doubted. Yet I had no idea he had even heard my name, let alone make me his sole heir.

My first impulse was to milk old Silas Raven for a few hundred sovereigns on the spot. Yet it was not to be. The close-fisted senior partner of Raven and Raven read my thoughts. He favoured me with a grin that would have looked unbecoming even on a stoat.

'There is-ahem!-there is a condition attending the legacy of your late uncle. Should you fail to fulfil it, the entire inheritance is to be forfeited and the moneys applied to the Shoreditch Refuge for Penitent Magdalens.'

Did you ever read in story books, Lizzie, how a fellow's blood is said to run cold? I never knew the meaning of it till that moment. What need had Penitent Magdalens of the money compared to my own? The senile old curmudgeon grinned at me like a skull.

'You will become possessed of the funds held in trust when you have spent six months in gainful employment, precisely according to your late uncle's instructions. Should you fail…'

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