A Summer in Olympia Ch. 01byNigel Debonnaire©
Damn, it was hot. I thought I was going to roast to death in the passenger car of that train; traveling to Missouri in the summer seemed like a good idea when I was desperate for any work, but now I was reconsidering my journey from eastern Pennsylvania. The open windows brought a blistering hot breeze along with enough cinders to choke me. Getting off at the longer stops of the journey to find refreshment brought momentary respite, but soon it was back into the oven. After an eternity in that purgatory riding across country, drowsing in the Chicago Central Station overnight, and riding down to St. Louis, the platform at the local station in the western suburbs was a relief in spite of temperatures over 80 just before a Saturday noonday.
There was a calendar hanging on the front wall of the car: June 1894. "I can't believe it's this hot on June second," came a woman's voice from the back of car. A glance around showed how my fellow passengers were suffering: the women were frequently mopping their brows with delicate handkerchiefs that seemed inadequate to the task, the men sat stoically as rivers of sweat streamed down their faces, children sat in amazement devoid of their normal energy. I recalled an article from a magazine I found discarded in Chicago telling about the natives of Africa that went almost completely nude in their sweltering climate, and envied them not having to wear a suit, vest, and tie. Were we really the civilized ones?
There a few other disembarking passengers when we arrived at my stop, and one of them was kind enough to help with my bags. Four cases were the minimum I required for my clothes, personal effects and musical supplies, and although I am relatively fit and able male of 25 years, their bulk made hauling them awkward. Sir Charles had promised one of his servants would be at the station to meet me, but first glance showed no one looking for a stranger. After a few moments, the train pulled away and people cleared the platform, leaving me with a tall, lanky, blond lad of about 12 who wore a dark suit with a collarless white shirt and leather shoes. He took off his leather cap, and approached me sheepishly: "Pardon me, sir, but are you Mr. MacLeod?" he said with a strong English accent.
I mopped my brow with my handkerchief. "Yes, I am Frank MacLeod of Reading, Pennsylvania, meeting Sir Charles Montgomery Brougham later this day."
"Yes, sir, I doubt it, sir. My Master, Sir Charles sends his regards and regrets he is not able to meet you at this time, however I am come to conduct you to Olympia where you may settle yourself this evening and begin your task Monday."
Something was strange about all this, but there was no one else left on the platform. I knew from personal experience that the English upper class could have some strange ways of operating, especially when abroad. The lad seemed strong enough to handle a horse drawn carriage, and his accent was definitely not one of a Missourian. "This is slightly irregular. . ." I began.
"Begging your pardon, sir, but things are bit different at our house on Saturdays. The Broughams are in St. Louis to do some shopping and attend the Opera this afternoon, as is their regular routine, and they shan't return 'til around sunset. Gus drove them into the city, and Max has to care for the farm, so I was the only one left to fetch you this morning. If I may take your bags, I'll show you to the buggy."
"By all means. What is your name?"
"Edwards, Connie Edwards, sir."
"Short for Constantine. My father has an interest in ancient history."
"I see." It was a short walk to our conveyance: a buggy with one broad seat with a plank across the back and a place for my bags. A young blonde girl in a long sleeved brown dress and leather shoes was already seated there, tapping her foot in the air and pouting. "Good morning," I began, "it is a pleasure to meet you."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, too, Mr. MacLeod, but it's just gone noon by the station clock. So it's 'Good Afternoon', an' it please you, SIR." Her English accent was as strong as well.
I put the bags I carried in the back. "Of course, my lady. Good afternoon. And whom may have the pleasure of addressing?"
"Miss Ruby Edwards, Mr. MacLeod. And pray do not treat me as a child: I am fourteen years old and will be fifteen in two months."
"You hafta get on the back now, Ruby," Connie broke in. "That's how it goes when the gentry get into the carriage, the servant has to ride in back."
"That's where you have to ride, Connie, it's only stable boys like you that have to do that. Maid servants ride up front, like the ladies do. Although I could drive the buggy and YOU could ride back there like you should."
"I think there's room for all three of us here," I replied, climbing in. A quick inspection of their features affirmed these two were brother and sister, as if their banter had not. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a bun, and her brown eyes carried an authority beyond her years. Her brother's eyes were mirror images of hers, and as full of barely contained mischief.
"It's about five miles to Olympia," Connie said, after flicking the whip and clicking his tongue to get our horse moving. "We should be there in a half hour or so."
"Long as you don't try to race the poor animal, like you did this morning," his sister chimed in. "Said we were late and wouldn't meet the train on time. Then we had to sit for two hours."
"You liked the candy shop at the platform," he snarled.
"Shut up, you did, too."
"Tell me," I cut in, "what school you go to and how you like America?"
Connie concentrated on driving and looked at his sister. "We don't go to school, we have work to do," Ruby snipped defensively. "Miss Pearl teaches us when we have time. We can read and write very well."
"America's all right, lots bigger than England," Connie murmured. "Hardly believe there could be so much to a country. Can't say I see much of it since we got here last March. You neither since you nagged me to bring me with you this morning, Ruby."
"Hah, I deserve it. I worked extra hard this week getting Mr. MacLeod's room ready."
I turned to her and said: "And what size staff do you have working under you, Ruby?"
She sniffed and turned her head while her brother broke in: "She just does odd jobs like me, mostly dusting and washing up. Maurice is the butler and Mrs. Edwards is the housekeeper. Opal does the cooking and Amber takes care of the ladies and the laundry."
"And Gus and Max take care of the grounds and the animals?"
"Yes, sir. And me, I do a lot of things."
During our ride, it was interesting what the children told me and what the didn't. I found out very quickly that Maurice wasn't their father, and they were unwilling to tell me anything more on that subject. They were amused at my pronunciation of the family name: I was calling him "Brogue-Ham" when it was correctly pronounced "Broom", and the siblings laughed for several minutes without pause at my ignorance. Sir Charles rather liked America and Missouri, settling into the imagined lifestyle of a plantation owner of the bygone Antebellum (without slaves), and reveling in outdoor excursions to hunt and ride the grounds. Lady Alice, his wife, rather despised their new home and longed to return to England, although that was socially impossible for reasons unknown. Their daughter, Miss Pearl, seemed indifferent to their new surroundings; she spent almost every waking moment reading in the library or her sitting room . There was a permanent house guest, Miss Penny Sterling-Wright, who studied viola with Sir Charles and kept Lady Alice amused when she was not practicing. My arrival would increase the population of Olympia to an even dozen.
Olympia was a new name for their home; it had been known as Standing Oaks before, owned by a railroad executive who lost his fortune in the Panic of 1893. I felt a pang of loss at that news that I hid successfully, since my family lost everything then as well. Most of the acreage was pasture and forest, with a small portion set aside to raise typical farm animals and gardens that fed the household.
We passed a gate and after a long ride over a couple of dramatic hills we arrived at a stately mansion at the crest of a ridge overlooking the Missouri River. As we climbed the last hill, an imposing fellow came out to stand at the top of the stairs on the front balcony. He was unusually tall, well over six feet, with red hair parted in the middle and worn long as pictures I'd seen of the young Franz Liszt in Germany. Ascending the stairs, I noticed his eyes were bright blue, pieces of sapphire blazing in the midday sun, yet his features were gentle, his skin soft and his hands artistic. He wore the uniform of an English butler, impeccable and neat, and he exuded a calm dignity and peace I could feel at the bottom of the stairs.
"Welcome to Olympia, Mr. MacLeod," he said as I mounted the stairs. The buggy rattled around the house, and I knew the bickering siblings would see that my bags ended up in my quarters sooner or later. "It is a pleasure to meet you. I hope your stay with us is a long and happy one. Sir Charles and Lady Alice send regrets they are unable to make you welcome, and have asked me to see to your comfort until they arrive. Sir Charles is especially looking forward to beginning his collaboration with you."
I reached the top and found a strong handclasp in greeting. We were equally tall and I looked straight into his eyes when I arrived at the top of the stairs. There was an unusual lilt to his voice I couldn't quite place. "Thank you sir, it's good to arrive at last."
"Did you have a good journey?"
"Tolerable, although it's a dreadful time of the year to take a train."
"Ah yes, in days past you would have come by river steamer, which would have been much cooler and less sooty. I trust Ruby and Connie did not wear you out with their verbal jousting en route from the station?"
"No, I found it most amusing."
He put his hand on my shoulder: "I should see to your refreshment after your difficult trip. There is a pitcher of water for you in your rooms, and the windows will provide a refreshing breeze. If you wish, I can have a light meal sent up from the kitchen now, and your tea will be sent up when you wish." He looked at my clothes intently for a couple of moments. "Mrs. Edwards will never forgive me if I allow you to bring all those cinders into the house. Please pardon me a moment while I get a brush."
He darted into the house and returned rather quickly with a small hand broom. "This will only take a few moments, if you will bear with me." With crisp motions, he began to brush five days of accumulated soot from my jacket, starting with the shoulders and working his way down. Turning me around, he worked his way down the back and the backs of my trousers. Returning me to my original position, he gestured me to open my jacket and he knelt to brush down the front of my trousers. Unfortunately, a spot of something sticky had lodged in the fabric six inches down my left inside leg, collecting several ashes, and he worked at it furiously to get it out. As he did, my libido stirred, and a bulge appeared at the target of his attention.
Stopping suddenly, he stared in amazement at my leg for several moments. He looked up into my eyes with a look I found disconcerting: a primal hunger and wild lust flared up and I thought he was about to undergo a metamorphosis into crazed companion of Dionysius, drunk on sexual desire. Much to my chagrin, I found myself wishing that transformation. Embarrassed, I turned away and he coughed as he stood up. "Let's go inside," he said with an odd break in his voice.
Brusquely, he ushered me inside and showed me the first room common rooms: a formal sitting room and dining room, the library, and guest rooms. Upstairs was the suite the Broughams occupied, with a smaller one for their daughter; the suite of rooms Miss Sterling-Wright occupied and the rooms I would be in; Sir Charles' private study, and the workroom I would be working in adjacent to my own suite. By this time, he had regained his composure, and told me if I needed anything during the afternoon, I would need only ring a bell beside my bed and he would attend to me.
Before leaving me to my quarters, he said: "I shall send Mrs. Edwards up around 3 to meet you and see to your needs."
"To make sure Ruby did a good job getting it ready?"
He chuckled and his composure softened for a moment. "Yes, I trust our Ruby did an adequate job of that. Mrs. Edwards will see if you have any mending or laundry to attend to."
"Thank you, I shall look forward to meeting her." Giving me an inappropriately familiar wink, he left me.
It took me very little time to get my clothes unpacked and hung in the closets, since my newfound poverty and need for economy made me a light traveler. All I could do afterward was remove my jacket and fling myself on the bed, exhausted from the trip, and fell quickly into a deep slumber. I had a dream where Maurice's sapphire eyes hovered over me, and a contralto voice sang a song of indescribable longing in a language I did not understand. Awakening with a start, I dug out my writing gear and wrote down the melody before I heard a knock at my door.
A lovely woman with blond hair and brown eyes, wearing an English maid's uniform, stood there. Her head came up to my shoulder height, her body was perfectly proportioned from what I could see, and her posture was confident. "Mr. MacLeod? I'm Mrs. Edwards, I'm here to see to your needs. May I come in?"
She came into the room and looked around. "Have you found everything so far? Do you need any more towels or handkerchiefs?"
"No, I'm fine for the moment."
"The special cupboard in the far corner with the horizontal rods is for used towels and dirty laundry. We'll take care of it while you're working. The bell is over by your bed, should you need us."
"I've stayed at manor houses in England, and I'm familiar with how they work. Fear not, if I need anything I'll let you know."
"Should you want a snack during the day, there is a small bowl of fruit on the sideboard. There is a small wet bar as well that can stocked as you wish: currently it has a bottle of brandy. There is also a box of Havanas there as well, since you indicated to Sir Charles you enjoy them."
"Yes, I do, although it's been a while."
"I will be happy to have your tea sent up anytime you wish." Her face drew up in a taut smile, and she gave a slight nod. "I understand you may be in need of some clothing."
"No, I think not. I came with two changes of clothes and that should be sufficient."
She picked my coat off the bed and gave it a thorough inspection. "This is barely salvageable. You wore it on the train here, right? Let's see the rest of your gear." She flung open the wardrobe and gave my clothes a quick glance. "This will not do, this will not do, we shall have to help you. You seem to be similar in build to Sir Charles, so some of his disused apparel will probably suit you. You are a bit thinner, so I'll have to make some alterations. I'll send a couple of things up for you to wear this weekend, and afterward we'll have some items altered to fit you. Let's take some measurements."
I must have flinched, because she gave me a look my mother gave me when I was being forced to do something she wanted. A tailor's measuring tape came out of her apron pocket, and she methodically measured my torso, jotting some notes on a pad. "Which side do you dress on, Mr. MacLeod?" she asked out of the blue.
"I don't understand?"
"Which side do you dress on? Left or right?"
"Left," I said in shock. She took my right inside leg and moved over to the left. It was a casual brush at first, but she dawdled there, touching the area until I was stimulated again. Five months separated me from my last contact with a female, a manipulation by a cheap prostitute in Bremen before I took ship back to America. If not for Maurice's attention earlier that afternoon, I probably wouldn't have noticed Mrs. Edwards' contact or interest. I looked at her again: she was smiling and her face had taken on a soft glow. "That feels good, Mrs. Edwards. You may keep doing that if you wish."
"Call me Bella." She sighed and kept stroking my inside leg. It continued its swelling. "I've never seen anything like this."
"Call me Frank. This is most delightful." Her eyes glazed over and her ministrations became more frank, threatening to burst my trousers. She gasped and licked her lips; it was time to offer her a liberty: "Shall I show you more, Bella?"
Looking me in the eyes, she batted them coquettishly. "I'm supposed to take care of your needs, Frank. This looks like a significant need to me."
I lowered my trousers and underpants, letting my manhood bounce into the open. Bella's eyes grew round and she touched it shyly, as if she didn't believe what she was seeing. Her hands were surprisingly gentle and deft: they fluttered and danced over my staff and coaxed it to full stature. I took off her lacy white cap and touched her hair, stroking it. Finding the beret, I released it and she shook her head to let it flow into chaos. She stroked me in earnest, twisting her hands as she went up and down: a new sensation I found amazing. A distant bell rang the quarter hour, and she took on a more determined look.
My sex life has been rather unadventurous: my cousin's descent into madness from syphilis made me cautious about contact with women I thought were promiscuous. When the need came upon me, I resorted to hiring cheap whores to stroke me to completion. On one occasion, a public house waitress who whored on the side gave my shaft tender little licks as she stroked it, to encourage my quick fulfillment of her commitment, but the most of women who serviced me kept me at a distance from their faces. Bella was different: her smile broadened and she licked her lips again as she brought my hardening erection closer and closer to her face.
Then Bella took the entirely of my helmeted crown into her mouth, sucking and licking frantically, and the sensation almost made me pass out with delight. I fell back on the bed, suddenly weak, and she followed me down, moving down the side of my shaft. Giving me a lustful grin, she took her tape measure and measured my erection, her eyes and mouth opening wide at the double digit result. "Twice seven, twice the sacred number of completion. We are doubly blessed." She kissed it again, and looked deeply into my eyes as she stroked its length. "This must be our secret," she said. "Sir Charles is a jealous man, and if he knew you are more manly than him, you would lose esteem in his sight. Also say nothing of any encounters you have in this house: he is the great ram of this flock and must think you are a gelding, for he would suffer no competition. He admires and respects your talent and would be your patron and mentor. Do not endanger that status." She gave me another long lick, making me shiver with delight. "Now we must finish, for I have much to do before tea. Perhaps later. . ."
Then she did something no woman had ever done before: she licked my testicles and sucked them alternately into her mouth as she stroked my shaft. The floodwaters of my desire flowed more swiftly within me, and sensing this, she moved quickly to take as much of my manhood between her lips as she could and pumped me urgently. I was loathe to give up these wonderful new sensations, trying to hold myself back to savor them as long as I could, but at last I could do nothing but surrender my seed to her hunger. The white fountain that sprung from my loins flowed deeply into her throat, spilling out from the corner of her mouth in an egg white trickle as she sought to drink every drop I had to give her. When I finished, a small stream had flowed down her face and onto my leg: she licked and sucked it up, savoring it like fine caviar.