Phileas Fogg - A Memoir Pt. 01-02byParisWaterman©
Note 1: The majority of material found in Part two is taken from, or paraphrased from Oscar Wilde's,
"Picture of Dorian Gray." (Paris Waterman)
Scotland Yard was summoned and I was questioned by an Inspector Fleming for some hours until he finally dismissed me, frustrated with the story I had told him over and over and over. The servants, to the man, all insisted that the painting on the wall had been that of an older man and not that of the handsome young man presently fixed to the wall whose beauty rivaled that of the most feminine of women. And further that Mr. Gray himself had been a young man, that this was certainly not his aged torso lying dead on the floor before them; which only added to the Inspector's annoyance and disappointment in resolving the mystery.
I insisted that my story was true, that Mr. Gray had indeed been a young man up to the moment he stabbed his aged portrait with the dagger.
"Then he metamorphosed before your very eyes," Inspector Fleming said, his voice rife with skepticism.
"That Inspector, is exactly what I saw happen. I know it sounds unlikely. I can scarcely believe it myself. But look here, the servants tell you Mr. Gray was a young man. I tell you the same thing. . ."
"Yes, yes, yes," he said impatiently. "But who the devil is this . . . decrepit gentleman on the floor here?"
"That gentleman and Mr. Gray are one and the same, sir. That it does not follow logically, I agree, but all the same, that is exactly what transpired and I shall not be changing my version of the story. I should add one more bit of information although it has nothing to do with his death."
"Pray tell, Mr. Fogg, and just what is this nugget of information?"
"The very last thing Mr. Gray did before stabbing the portrait was to produce a will and make a change to it."
"How so, Sir?"
"Um, he wrote my name down as half beneficiary although I had never met him before this night."
"Leave me!" Cried the Inspector enraged with his befuddlement. "Just get out of my sight. I'm sure we'll have other questions of you at a later time, but for now, get out! Go home and be sure to leave an address with the constable downstairs."
Needless to say, I was a wretched mess on arriving back at the Mooring's boarding house around dawn. There would be no lectures at Oxford for me that day. I slept soundly until four in the afternoon and would have continued rekindling my energies but for the gentle teasing of Annabelle Lee who woke me by rubbing her hands up and down my prick which evidently had been awake long before myself.
With a lewd cackle, Annabelle Lee said, "Better make haste, Mr. Fogg for mother and sister will soon be home to dinner."
I put my hand to her cunt, she opened her thighs, and I saw the cleft, with a pair of large lips hanging loosely on each side. Thanks to a bright light from the window I was enabled to see it as plainly as if under a microscope. I pushed my finger up her wet hole and soon my cock was knocking against my belly, demanding to take the place of my finger.
Oh, my fine Annabelle Lee was antsy to fuck this fine day; having acquired a taste for it the second or third time around the bush the previous day. No sooner was I lodged in her, than arse, cunt, thighs and belly, all worked as energetically as the finest piece of machinery in all of London town. It was only a minute until I spent. I moved to pull out, but her cunt closed round my prick with a strong muscular action, as if it did not wish my warm pipe withdrawn. I found this disconcerting and intensely pleasurable --- an interesting series of sensations to be sure.
It appeared she was holding me fast by using the muscles of her cunt alone, although at the time I was sure it was a feminine trick of some kind. In any event, she proceeded to milk the last drop of lingering spunk from out of me; it twas vexing, troublesome, and highly pleasurable --- not at all bad for a fast fuck in the afternoon.
While recovering for our next foray into the fountain of fornication, I thought fleetingly of Dorian Gray; wondering how many women he had bedded with all those extra years provided him. I concluded that it probably didn't matter; that for him the challenge was removed leaving the act of sex to take on the same level as moving one's bowels.
That mean thought was followed by another. It occurred to me that I really had not studied Annabelle Lee's cunt as such and I got on my knees and contemplated her slit --- as her folds were half open with my sperm freely flowing out.
Annabelle Lee looked on passively as I studied her hairy hole. "Want another throw? It'd be fine with me if yer like."
"How long do we have?"
"Not so long as I'd like, but we can make do."
"I don't think I can," said I. Such coolness in a woman was new to me. I scarcely knew what to make off it. She quickly proved me wrong, taking hold of my prick and jerking it this way and that until it stood firm and pulsating wildly.
Leering at me; Annabelle Lee opened her legs in a most condescending manner and began rubbing it into the mouth of her cunt. With a broad grin on her face, she pulled me onto her and put my prick in herself, lodging it there with a clever jerk of her bum, followed by a quick squeeze, and a wriggle.
I fucked quietly in no particular rush to spend, but, and this merely goes to show how rapid a woman's personality is in changing. Yesterday Annabelle Lee fought me off countless times, yet this day she was heaving and wriggling so as to enjoy the benefits of, as she so aptly put it: "My happy friend."
So excited a state did Annabelle Lee find herself in that her agitated hips soon dislodged my prick from its love nest. It was she who became disconcerted at this loss, not I and using all manner of dexterity, she soon had me back in place, cajoling me to, "Shove, shove, shove!"
When I did, she gripped my arse so tightly that she left the marks of her fingers on it; and there they remained for close to three days thereafter. In the course of clutching my arse she also humped me with what had to be all her heart. I'm sure Annabelle Lee spent, for she gave a last wriggle, then a deep sigh and lay still; her face as red as fire, leaving me to finish by my own exertions.
I felt that squeeze of her cunt as I withdrew; one of those delicious contractions which women of strong muscular power in their privates can give. Mind you, not all can do it. Strangely enough, those who are unable to perform this sexual magic cannot even comprehend it as I discovered in later years.
Annabelle Lee got up and tucked her chemise between her legs to dry her split, but did not wash it. "My sister will be home forthwith," said she in a business-like manner, "but tomorrow at the same time would be good if yer like."
On the morrow, I did not rendezvous with Annabelle Lee as I received a message from one Prescott T. Wainwright, Solicitor, requesting my presence at noon.
I surmised that it had to be about Dorian Gray. I had completely forgotten Dorian Gray's promise to leave me part of his fortune in light of all else that transpired afterward. I made haste to keep my appointment and just managed to do so. Although in retrospect I think Prescott T. Wainwright, Solicitor would have waited until hell froze over to meet with me.
I found Mr. Wainwright a less than imposing figure; the texture of his pallid skin resembling that of the driest parchment. So dry, in fact, that I would have sworn if just the tiniest ray of sunshine were to shine down upon him he would no doubt burst into unextinguishable flames until his entire being was reduced to ashes.
I should point out that in those days a lawyer's duties in Britain were divided among two general classes—barristers and solicitors. Solicitors generally handled all the day-to-day legal business one may need to engage in: signing contracts, writing up wills, and other non-criminal affairs. Barristers, on the other hand, formed the highest of England's legal class, having studied for the bar at one of the four Inns of Court: Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, and the Temple (which itself formed two of the inns). Only barristers were qualified to argue criminal cases in the highest courts of the land. But should one require the services of a barrister, one first had to hire a solicitor, who then engaged the services of a barrister to plead one's case. Victorian London—much less all of England—had a bewildering series of courts where one's case could be heard or pleaded, far too many to mention here, from debtors' courts to Doctor's Common to police courts, to the Assizes (periodic court sessions presided over by superior court judges) to the Central Criminal Courts in Old Bailey. And unlike in America, one was not considered innocent until proven guilty.
I must say, Mr. Wainwright comported himself like a gentleman, remaining self-assured and competent to the task at hand for the duration of our meeting.
"And how long did you know Mr. Dorian Gray?" He asked straightforwardly.
I knew enough to keep my answers short and sweet. "Not very long, I'm afraid."
Undaunted, Mr. Wainwright asked the same question in a different manner. "Were you acquainted with him a year ago?"
"No sir, I was not."
"Were you acquainted with him some six months ago?"
"No sir, I was not."
"Oh, come, man! When exactly did you make his acquaintance?"
"Do you mind if I ask the reasoning behind this line of questioning?" I asked.
"Not at all, Mr. Fogg, as the executor of Mr. Dorian Gray's estate I must establish any relationship you had with Mr. Gray."
"And if I had never met the gentleman at all, would that prevent you from performing your duties? Duties that I see quite clearly as following the wishes of the late departed, Mr. Gray?"
This frontal assault put Mr. Wainwright back a peg or two.
"Um, yes. Your point is well taken," he said and avoided meeting my eye.
I pressed on. "Mr. Wainwright, is it not your sworn duty to honour the written request of your late client?"
"Yes it is, but . . . this is all so strange . . ."
"Mr. Dorian Gray was a mystery to me as well, sir. Why not tell me what you know of him and I shall share similar information of mine with you?"
We agreed and shook hands on it. I gave him a nod, indicating that he should proceed first.
"Ahem," the solicitor cleared his throat and began. "It would appear out Mr. Gray was a very private personage. I have been retained as his solicitor for 2 and twenty years now, and during all that time have met him but twice. The first time obviously was the day he first retained my services and the second only last week."
"Last week!" I blurted in surprise.
"Indeed, last week and it twas to change his last will and testament, for until that time Mr. Gray was adamant about leaving everything to the Church of England."
"Did he . . ." I hesitated to venture further with the thought. "Did he name me at that time, Sir?"
"Oh, no sir, he did not. He had me draft out a new will all proper like, but with the beneficiary's name left blank."
I grew more nervous than ever. "Mr. Wainwright, what I shall tell you will come as a surprise . . . nay, a shock to your senses." And I proceeded to tell the solicitor of my adventure in meeting Mr. Dorian Gray.
Wainwright's features grew pale as he absorbed the information. Nervously drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair, he heard me out, then signaled me of the dubiousness with which he had for my tale, saying, "Surely you're not serious, my good fellow!"
"I am extremely serious, sir. It would seem that Mr. Dorian Gray had some form of connection with the supernatural world and that in return for some promise of which I am not quite clear on, he was granted eternal youth; or at least retained his youthfulness until he plunged the dagger into the painting."
Mr. Wainwright had several more question to put to me, and to which I responded as honestly as I was able. In addition, I invited him to question Inspector Fleming of Scotland Yard, who I felt would support my statement although he was somewhat pessimistic of certain details it contained.
"For," I said, "there is some question of exactly what transpired with respect to Mr. Dorian Gray. The servants have testified, or at least given sworn statements to the Inspector that the portrait as they had viewed it each and every day these last several years, was that of an old, terribly aged man. But on Mr. Gray's passing that same portrait . . . let me be precise here . . . the portrait found in the room and . . . more importantly, under the body, was that of a handsome young man. A young man --- and the servants all support this point, sir --- a young man bearing the likeness of the gentlemen they all knew as Dorian Gray. But, and this is most important, sir, the body of the deceased . . . according to the servants testimony, bore what they termed a striking resemblance to the portrait that had hung on the wall for lo these many years."
Admittedly, sir, I was alone with Mr. Gray when he stabbed the portrait . . . and this ghastly transference occurred. To my knowledge no tearing or piercing of the portrait has been noted as yet; although the Yard's microscopes will have a look at the portrait for that very purpose, I have my personal doubts that any such tear will be discovered.
I went on to answer each of the solicitor's questions that followed and made nary a single move to evade any topic brought forth. In the end, Mr. Wainwright had one last shock for me. "Mr. Fogg," said he, "I believe you. Mr. Dorian Gray was indeed a strange fellow. Further, his request in changing his last will and testament only a week before his demise suggests that he was aware that death was eminent and that, well this is pure speculation . . . perhaps I should keep it to myself."
"Do go on, man!" I besieged him. Wanting more than anything to hear someone, anyone admit that what I had witnessed was within the realm of possibility.
"Very well, sir, I shall. But remember you asked for it."
I was nodding in the affirmative, hoping he would get on with it and relieve me of some small portion of the anxiety I now carried on my shoulders.
"It has been my experience that when one makes his or her last will and testament out, or for that matter, amends said instrument at a latter time, that death is very much on their mind. It must be or they would not take the time to . . . to set things straight, as it were.'
I took a deep breath and nodded as if he were the ancient man on top of the mountain having just passed the secret of life to me. Then Mr. Wainwright resumed his lawyerly duties and stunned me once again, revealing just how much Mr. Dorian Gray had bequeathed to me. To begin with, there was the matter of one hundred thousand pounds sterling; perhaps a like figure in jewelry and African diamonds along with several choice parcels of property in the middle of London.
Indeed, I, Phileas Fogg, was now a very wealthy personage. Indeed.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to acquiring sound financial advice from my solicitor, to whom I promptly handed a handsome retainer.
This was to enable me to:
a) Make use of his knowledge in certain financial areas, in which I was lacking,
b) To keep the now invaluable Mr. Wainwright close at hand, and
c) With Scotland Yard not totally convinced of my innocence with respect to Mr. Gray's demise, I thought it prudent to have legal advice that I might trust close at hand.
Mr. Wainwright made himself invaluable to me almost immediately with several sound suggestions as to how I might invest my fortune. To wit: I should hold the real estate for the foreseeable future as London was growing as no city in history ever had before. The jewelry should be properly appraised and then placed in a bank's vault for safe keeping. But most importantly, that I should immediately take advantage of the coming conflict in America between the North and the South, playing both ends against the middle as it were before the inevitable war broke out.
On close examination, I determined several opportunities presenting themselves to anyone willing to take a marginal risk. I was certainly up to that and more. I requested Mr. Wainwright prepare a list of men he deemed trustworthy in business matters. I did not mention that I would have the names checked and double checked by some people at Oxford who were reputed very knowledgeable of bankers, traders and businessmen in London's circles.
Within a few short months Mr. Wainwright proved he was worth every penny, earning himself a smart bonus by instructing me to sell my North American holdings forthwith; thereby averting certain grievous losses in what was to be called the Panic of 1857.
That choice piece of history came about with the failure of the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co., a major financial force that collapsed following massive embezzlement. Mr. Wainwright had the good fortune to have a cousin in America working in the Attorney General's offices who was kind enough to supply him with certain advance information on the matter. Hard on the heels of this event were other setbacks that shook the American public's confidence:
• The decision of British investors to remove funds from American banks raised questions about overall soundness.
• The fall of grain prices spread economic misery into rural American areas.
• Manufactured goods began to pile up in warehouses, leading to massive layoffs and then widespread railroad failures occurred, an indication of how badly over-built the American system had become.
• Finally, land speculation programs collapsed with the railroads, ruining thousands of investors.
Of course, as soon as it was deemed safe to do so, the monies were reinvested right back and reaped tremendous profits before, during and after the horrific Civil War.
But I digress. It was dizzy with plans of bright future that I wandered back to the Mooring's boarding house. Perhaps I looked a bit drunk, but as I'd had but a few pints with the regulars I was certain it would not be evident to the casual observer. Drunk I was though, I conceded readily enough. But with the power of my future prospects for I was now an incredibly wealthy man.
As I made myself at home, quaffing half a pint in one long swallow, then plopped my arse heavily upon the couch. Soon enough I heard a sound in the next room. "Who's there?' I asked, burped and then laughed at my actions. I knew it was Annabelle Lee readying herself for me and I listened all the harder to make certain it was she and not her mother.
With lewd intent, I kept myself still and heard movements as of a woman undressing. I emptied the tankard of its ale and had myself half-undressed, and then barely able to suppress a giggle, I picked up the honey-pot and brought it to the door and pissed, long and hard. Thinking in my nearly drunken state (the pint easily taking advantage of me after a stress-filled day) the sounds of my piss would arouse and excite the lovely Annabelle Lee.
I knocked gently, and called out jeeringly, "Do I have the honour of addressing Miss Annabelle Lee?" Then I chuckled inanely at my humor.