tagNovels and NovellasPhileas Fogg - A Memoir Pt. 07

Phileas Fogg - A Memoir Pt. 07

byParis Waterman©

I am not about to give an opinion as to the propriety or impropriety of capital punishment. On this point good men have differed, and will differ, I dare say, for some time to come. What I wish to impress upon the reader is the horrible nature and atrocious effect of a public execution.

Dolly and I were passing by Newgate a few weeks later. Twas a Sunday and outside the formidable prison a considerable crowd was gathering. There were respectable men with their wives and children staring at its dreary stone walls. We also saw several ragged boys and girls romping and laughing in the streets. That the neighbouring public-houses were filled with a tipsy crowd was no surprise, save for the early hour, and here and there a few barriers had been erected, and workmen were engaged in putting up more.

"I wonder what's going on." I said to Dolly.

My young mistress caught me off guard by supplying the answer. "It appears to be a hanging, or at least the crowd seems to be expecting one," she opined.

She had to be correct, for why else would such preparations be made?

"I've never been to a hanging," I told Dolly. At which she expressed the greatest surprise. "Yer haven't? Oh, yer must see one. This one." That said, she left off holding my arm and scampered away and into a near by public house. A minute later she came skipping out, a huge grin on her angelic face.

"A hangin' it tis!" She yelped gaily. "We must attend, we must!"

And so I resolved for once to see the tragedy performed. Neither Dolly nor I knew anything of the man to be hanged, save he'd led an outlaw's life and was to die as outlaws often do.

We returned later that evening. The public-houses had been closed, decent people had gone home to bed; but already the crowd had become denser; already had the thief and the bully from all the slums and stews of the metropolis been collected together. There is generally something fine, and genial, and hearty about an English mob. On a normal night one might take a lady from one end of London to the other, and she would not have heard an objectionable word, or been inconvenienced in the least; but the mob of which I now write seemed utterly repulsive and reprobate; all its sympathies seemed perverted. It is a hard world this, I know, and it has but little mercy for the erring and the unfortunate; but that they should regard it with such evil eyes was what I was something I did not expect.

It really made one's blood run cold to hear the mob around me talk. The man to be hung had rushed into a jeweler's shop as it was being closed, beaten the shop man, who tried to defend his master's property, with a life-preserver, and then left him for dead.

It appeared the crowd evidently admired him rather than not. "He was starvin' "one of them informed me. "The bloody Government "dodged him, and if he steals it is only what he must do, and if murder follows tis not his fault and the bloody Government is unjust in hanging him for it."

It occurred to me that these men had been gathering for hours to watch the event and how were they to pass their time if they did not talk? And who was there to lift up his voice on behalf of law and order? For that matter who would have listened? I say this because in looking around I saw not men of honesty and virtue, for those men have long been abed.

I wondered about the strange and mysterious interest with which death clothes everything it touches. Could it be that looking at a man so soon to have done with life we fancy we can better pry into the great secret? Do we think that seeing him struggle we shall die more manfully ourselves; or is it merely the vague interest with which we regard any one about to leave this life and the secrets of which he can never return to tell?

My thoughts were suddenly shattered as Dolly was violently knocked into me and I caught her before she fell to the ground. A fight had broken out! And twas between two women! Some of what follows I pieced together later, but I add it now for purposes of clarity.

That bundle of rags, with matted hair covering all the face so that you cannot clearly see a feature, is the Clare Market Pet, and she had just encountered Slashing Sal, her mortal enemy for years. Both women were very tipsy, very dirty, and very red. Shrieking and cursing, the Clare Market Pet rushed on Slashing Sal, who was by no means loath for the encounter. A ring was formed, men and boys hallooed and encouraged the women, and the battle raged furiously; though both women are far too drunk to do each other any serious harm. At length the Clare Market Pet is vanquished and order, such as it is, is restored.

"Well, that was a bit of action," a breathless Dolly opined.

"That it was I agreed, and noticed that Dolly and I had been surrounded by a group of youthful costermongers and their wives, who have come here for a lark, just as they frequent the penny gaff, or crowd the gallery in the Victoria.

"Please give me a penny," says a girl of about fourteen, and I find myself in handing the young heathen a penny after getting her to agree not to tell any of the others I'd done so. Dolly and I move on through the crowd, closer to the buildings and again, I find a female standing by my side. She is horridly dirty, she stinks of gin and her face is that of the confirmed sot --- of one who has given up home and husband for the accursed drink. She looks very piteously in my face and says, "And so they are going to hang the poor man," she exclaims; "they have no mercy on him."

"You forget," I replied, "the poor man whom he murdered, and on whom he had no mercy."

"No, I don't," she exclaimed with tipsy gravity; "he had no right to kill the man, and ought to be punished; but ain't we all morally bad?"

But here the conversation ended, for maudlin and stinking with gin the woman sank down on a doorstep, overcome by either serious feelings for the man in question or a victim of the gin.

Ah, those doorsteps --- tonight the police don't bid the habitués move on. What a rabble have collected on them. Ragged boys, who, perhaps, have nowhere else to sleep, wild-looking women unbonnetted and shoeless, with red, uncombed hair, faces very much marked with the small pox, only seen on such occasions as these, with old men for whom home has no charm, and life no luster crouching on them. And girls, though young in years, whose rouged cheeks and shabby finery tell to what wretchedness and degradation they have already come. Some of them sleeping on this fairly cold evening, happier now than they can be in their waking hours.

My eyes lifted up from the sordid wretches before me and noted the windows above all lighted up and filled with gay company. Two beautiful young women have just stepped out of the brougham, and are now gazing from a first-floor on the wild human sea beneath, will probably sit playing cards and drinking champagne whiling away the hours until the poor man is to be hung, then these same girls, all sensibility and tears, will sit with their opera glasses during the fearful agony, as if merely Grisi acted or Mario sang.

"Katie! Laura!" I heard Dolly shout. I followed her eyes and saw Dolly was yelling to garner the attention of the two girls in the window.

It was Laura I later learned who spied Dolly first. "Dolly! She shouted gleefully.

"Look, there's Dolly down there by the doorstep! Old acquaintances I was to learn. And we were soon weaving our way through and over the masses sprawled on the doorstep and up the stairs to join her former girlfriends (at least that is what I prefer to call them.)

Katie was the mistress, for the evening at least, of a Frenchman named Charles. Laura had been invited to join them to watch the hanging. Charles was a gentleman of means much as I myself. That is he was not born to money, but came upon it early in life. He never made mention of how he acquired his wealth and neither did I.

Dolly and I joined them in several glasses of champagne, and I was pleased to see the Frenchman's hands roaming freely over both young ladies bodies as we passed the time. Dolly ignored the Frenchman's fondling of her friends and chatted away; catching up on all the gossip she'd missed while staying with me. To be sure both her friends gave me the once over too, and I appear to have passed such test as they used to measure my standard --- and Dolly's.

We watched the workmen putting up the last barriers, the Frenchman discreetly raising Laura's dress and rubbing her quim with a hand at first and then humping her clothed rear with his prick. Since no one objected, I ignored it too, and thusly avoided a possible confrontation with this Charles of Paris.

As the clock stuck three, the crowd, more eager than ever, has planted itself by the Old Bailey. The yard was thrown open, and three strong horses, such as you usually see in brewers' drays, drag what seems to be an immense clumsy black box. They stopped at the door of Newgate nearest to St Sepulcher's.

Several women, including Katie shrieked as the black box rumbled over the stones, and I shuddered, for instinctively I knew it was the gallows. By the dim gas-light I saw workmen first fix securely a stout timber --- then another --- and then a beam across from which hangs a chain --- and now the crowd becomes denser.

There are but the five of us, excluding the barmaid looking on from the window. Katie tells us she has seen every hanging for the last five years and boasted that she had witnessed one man hung at Newgate, and took a cab and got to Horsemonger Lane in time to see another. The Frenchman told her that such was a rare treat indeed and one of which she should be justly proud.

"I am indeed, sir," said she and leaned far over to provide him with an ample view of her generous bosom.

Dolly took a moment to whisper in my ear that, "Hangings make a girl want to fuck like mad. I don't know the why of it, it just happens."

I took that as a hint of better things to come for later that evening, for altogether there was somewhat too much mirth in the house, though we could not have had a better place had we paid £5 for it. The women were exuberant and full of fun. It is true, as the girls say to each other, "they don't hang a man every day," but the gaiety is discordant.

Over the way, the man awaiting the noose is just waking up from his troubled sleep. A thin wisp of smoke goes up from the dark dreary building opposite. Are they boiling him his last cup of tea?

"Look," shouts Charles, "See, there is a light in the press-room! Ah, what are they doing there?" I make no comment, for none is required of me.

St Sepulcher's strikes six. We have been waiting for this all night and admittedly Dolly and I are half drunk with champagne. The others are worse then we, but not to the point of being in danger of passing out.

We watch silently, holding our collected breaths as the door at the foot of the scaffold opens, and very stealthily, and so as to be seen by none but such as are high up like ourselves, a man throws sawdust on the scaffold, and disappears again. A few minutes later we see him with a chain or rope. All this while the hydra-headed mob beneath us amuses itself in various ways: Singing songs, chiefly preferring those with a chorus; hooting dogs; and tossing small boys about on its top.

As we look from the window, we see the mob below and before us. Far as the eye can reach towards Ludgate-hill oil one side, and Giltspur-street on the other, it is one mass of human heads. The very air is tainted with their odor --- and we can't help but smell it where we are. Katie, Laura and Charles are in excellent spirits; as are Dolly and myself. They inform us that they have not seen so many people at an execution for some years.

It was a long, wearisome night for us and I wondered what it must have been like for the man to be hanged, for it just now eight and the roar of the crowd is so great that we cannot catch the sound of the neighbouring chimes; but we do see signs that the end is approaching. The police have filled up the intervening space between the scaffold and the crowd. A bell tinkles dismally, horridly. We look beyond the scaffold down into the open doorway, and there they are, ascending the stairs, first the chaplain, then the criminal, a man named Marley and then Jack Ketch.

Marley walks steadily, with pale face and eyes cast down, and places himself immediately under the rope. He trembles slightly as his legs are being fastened; his hands had already been pinioned behind. A nightcap is drawn over his face, the rope adjusted round his neck, and then Jack Ketch hastens down the ladder, while the chaplain, reads the burial service then steps back.

Strangely enough the crowd is suddenly somber and quiet.

With no warning, down goes the drop --- a woman or two shriek and there is a slight convulsive movement of the body, and what was a minute back a living man is now a dishonoured corpse.

There he dangles in the cold north wind for an hour. We cannot get away, as the crowd is determined to see the last of it, and will not move. It stops to hoot Jack Ketch, as he comes to cut Marley down at nine o'clock. Till then, there he hangs, a tall, well-made man, with fine dark whiskers, in his very prime, heedless of the sixty thousand glaring eyes all round, with hands clasped as if supplicating that divine mercy which all born of woman need, and which may God grant us in our dying hour. Finally the crowd hastens away to its business or its pleasure; and when a short time after we pass by the very spot where that hideous throng had stood, blaspheming in the very presence of death, butchers' and carriers' carts had filled up the vacant space, and the past night seemed a ghastly dream.

Dolly asked me if her friends might join us for breakfast at our home and I readily agreed, sensing a new wave of carnal delight in the offing. My intuition had never been more accurate.

We took two carriages back to my home. Dolly ever the wanton bitch, pulled off her bloomers and then removed my prick from its confines, freeing it and fisting it with her hand and then her mouth. When she was satisfied I was as ready as I ever would be, she straddled me and I was giddily impaled in her slushy cunt.

I had both of her tits out and was going from one to the next, biting and sucking as she humped up and down upon my throbbing shaft. We kissed, her mouth moved against mine, her tongue alive and shameless, moving, touching, attacking my mouth and then retreating as my tongue followed. Dolly began moaning as never before grinding her pelvis against mine and shimmying her arse from side to side to make sure my prick was touching all side of her quim. As she rose up and down her breathing rate increased, then she stuffed her fist in her mouth in time to muffle her orgasmic scream and thank God the driver didn't hear her, although I'm fairly certain he knew what we were about in back of him. Dolly kept humping even as her delightful climax began to fade and so brought me to my spend . . . and as I washed the walls of her quim with my spunk, Dolly came again.

Sweating profusely, we separated and put ourselves to rights and within three minutes the carriage pulled up to Number 7 Saville Row.

A minute later the carriage with Laura, Katie and the Frenchman pulled up. I waited for them to disembark, and opened the front door. I noticed that Katie's bodice was awry, and that Laura's dress was askew and the Frenchman's trousers stained by what I had to assume was his precum or spunk.

My housekeeper was about, and I told her to prepare a large repast, not only breakfast, but a sumptuous lunch as well. In short order we sat to a hearty breakfast and I excused myself to inspect the kitchen and found the housekeeper was setting out roast fowl and joint of mutton, plum pudding and boiled beef. I told her that after she had finished that she could take the remainder of the day off.

I next located my manservant and gave him the day as well. Then wine goblet in hand, I returned to the dining room and joined the others, eating and drinking our way through the huge meal.

I should add that drinking was ubiquitous in London in those days; everyone seemed to have a drink in their hand. This partly reflects the fact that alcohol was safer to drink than the water; then too, life was hard, and many drank to forget their troubles.

With the housekeeper and manservant gone, we began to get somewhat frolicsome, kissing the ladies and fondling them as well. Katie's breast popped out to much laughter all around, and to my surprise she decided to leave it out.

"And why not?" said she, "it's as pretty as any in the room is it not?"

When no one disagreed with Katie, I suggested she reveal both of them for us to judge which was the nicer.

"Yer really think one's prettier than the other?" she asked seriously.

"It is possible, Charles, the Frenchman, said, "For I have often found one to be plumper, or fuller, or bigger, or smaller than the other. It is not that they are not both beautiful, but it is possible that one is indeed nicer than the other."

To my great surprise, I found the other women nodding their heads in agreement to Charles's statement.

Katie promptly plucked the other teat out and we each in turn gave them a close inspection. Charles was the last to examine them. I had taken the liberty of squeezing each in turn, and pronounced then equally beautiful, which garnered me a kiss from the delighted Katie.

Dolly ran her fingers around her areoles, while Laura lightly pinched each nipple. As Charles took his turn, Katie's nipples had stiffened considerably, and I was surprised to see him reach into a pocket and extract some type of clamps, which he quickly placed on each nipple.

Katie howled with some distress. "That hurts!"

"Damn it man," said I, "just what the blazes are you doing?" For I had never heard of such a thing, but a quick look at Dolly and I knew she had.

"Rest assured my dear fellow," the Frenchman said calmly, "pain and pleasure go hand in hand. Katie my dear, tell us, does it still hurt?"

Sniffling, Katie wiped away a tear and said, "No, that's strange tisn't it?"

"Did it hurt early on?" I inquired.

"Oh most assuredly, it pained awful," said Katie who was now gingerly touching her reddened nipples, a curious expression on her face.

"Laura," said the Frenchman, "please give each of Katie's tits a suck will you dear?"

"Sure," said Laura, and she went quickly to her friend, bent her head, and sucked each clamped teat in turn.

I couldn't believe my ears, for Katie moaned with passion, and grabbed Laura's head, running her fingers through her hair as the girl nursed away on her.

"Dolly, would you like to try?" asked the Frenchman.

"Which?" Dolly asked, "A suck to her tits, or a taste of the clamps on me own tits?"

He smiled knowingly, and I had to adjust my prick in my trousers, for it was sticking out prominently at this point.

"Whichever your little heart desires my dear Dolly."

"I'll take the clamps for a bit, said she, stunning me with her acceptance of this mild torture.

The Frenchman removed the clamps from Katie, and she promptly began rubbing her left nipple while Laura did the same to her right. Stepping close to Dolly he said, "Would you be kind enough to expose those twin charms of yours to me, or us for that matter?"

All eyes were on my Dolly as she lowered her bodice and revealed her milk-white globes. He took his time fastening each clamp to her nipples, and I distinctly saw Dolly biting her lip in obvious pain as the second clamp snapped into place.

"While we're about it," the Frenchman continued, shall I help you out of this gown?"

Dolly, unable to speak from the discomfort of the clamps (which the Frenchman had tightened somewhat) could but nod her acquiescence, and Charles very smoothly managed her out of her gown. Since Dolly had removed her bloomers for me in the carriage and not bothered to replace them on her person afterward, she was naked to us. The Frenchman stepped back to admire Dolly's lithesome form.

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