The Servant Ch. 09bycaligula97236©
Chapter 09 -- An honest conversation
Trish spent the remainder of her third week on the Island working under Flora's supervision while Eve went to her job at the airport. Trish learned a few more things about maintaining a house and garden: by the end of the week she knew what was expected from her in Eve's house. The tasks became less daunting and she was able to utilize her time better.
Flora turned out to be more fair as a trainer than Trish originally thought. She was harsh, but never pushed the servant unnecessarily. If Trish finished a task early, and finished it to Flora's expectations, she'd be rewarded with a break. On Thursday Flora even rewarded the servant with an hour-long nap.
On Friday the policewoman commented that she and a co-worker had successfully profiled a German heroin courier and arrested her. Eve relayed a cold assessment of the new prisoner to her servant:
"The German won't fetch as much as you did at auction, not by a long-shot. She's all strung-out and covered with tattoos. If I was forced to buy her, the only thing I'd use her for would be manual labor. She's not a cute little sex-pot like you."
Friday night, Trish couldn't get to sleep. The heat seemed particularly oppressive. As she lay awake, she had a chance to think about her situation.
It was only natural that she did not want to remain a slave for the rest of her life. She did not want to do all those chores and she did not want to spend her days taking orders from a psychotic Third-World police officer. She did not want to be called "Servant Trish" and "my little sex-pot" by another woman. What she was doing was totally ridiculous. Why on earth was she putting up with all that humiliation?
Escape was impossible. She would not be able to get on the Internet any time soon. She couldn't call anyone. No one was coming to her rescue. So, the only remaining option was to try to reason with the woman who claimed to be her owner.
Trish Bousquet had money. She had lots of money. She figured that everyone has their price, including Officer Eve Bousquet. Surly she could talk to the policewoman and ransom herself. Surly there had to be some amount that Eve would accept to release her from servitude. Trish was so desperate that she was willing to go high; to offer as much as half of her estate.
The following morning the servant got up and had breakfast ready. It was Saturday, which meant a grueling trek into the capitol's crowded markets. Trish was hopeful that she wouldn't have to go that day. She nerved herself for what she was about to do: try to reason with Eve and make arrangements to buy back her freedom.
Eve got out of bed. Trish had her dress laid out and helped get ready for the day. The policewoman sat down for breakfast. Trish knelt and studied her Mistress, trying to gauge her mood. Eve seemed in good enough humor that morning: at least somewhat approachable. Trish took a deep breath, and managed to force herself to ask for permission to speak.
When Eve granted permission, Trish nervously got to the point:
"Officer Bousquet...I...I want to tell you something...I have money in America...a lot of it...I'm really rich...I can pay you whatever you want...if you let me go...and pay...you know...the judge or whoever else...if I can just...you know...get my passport back and go home...I promise...I'll pay you...lots...you can buy whatever house you want in Gannet Cove...or wherever...I'll prove to you that I'm rich...just let me get on the Internet...and I'll show you who I am...and how much I have...I'll give you half...if you just let me go..."
Eve was not surprised in the least. She had noted that her servant was extremely nervous that morning. She figured that she knew what Trish was planning to tell her: the only surprise was that it had taken her so long to work up the nerve. Because she was anticipating the offer, Eve already knew how she would handle it. It would be an opportunity to have an honest conversation with her servant, to make her understand that her situation was permanent, and understand why her situation was permanent.
"I already know who you are. You're Trish Gail Bousquet from Baton Rouge. Your father's name was James Walter Bousquet. Your family is descended from the Bousquet cotton barons. And I'll tell you the reason you and I have the same last name. Some of my ancestors, on my father's side, came to Santa Eduviges from Baton Rouge in 1866. Why do you think they would have come here that year in particular?"
Trish's blank expression let Eve know that she didn't have a clue. So the stupid girl didn't even know anything about her own family history. Eve hid her disgust.
"That was the year after the Civil War ended. You know...when the South tried to break off from the US? You don't know about any of that?"
"I...no...not really, Officer Bousquet. I wasn't that interested...you know...in history."
Eve decided not to pursue the topic. If Trish didn't even know about the Civil War, being from Baton Rouge of all places, she was hopeless.
"It doesn't matter. Anyway...I know perfectly well who you are."
"Then...you know I'm not lying...I can pay you...lots..."
"How much do you think you can pay me?"
"I...I don't know...I've got 160 million dollars...I inherited...that from my dad..."
"Yes, that's what you inherited. That is not how much you have now. Right now your estate is worth about 104 million dollars. Did you know that?"
Trish went white. It had not occurred to her that Eve already knew so much about her. Anyhow, there was no way the estate figure could be correct. She distinctly remembered that she had inherited 160 million dollars. Eve continued:
"In Santa Eduviges, the arresting officer is required to notify the criminal's next-of-kin. In your case, since you don't have your parents anymore, the next of kin is your aunt, Beatrice Bousquet-Davis. So, I contacted Mrs. Bousquet-Davis and let her know where you were and what had happened to you. I sent her copies of your arrest records. I also sent her your passport and personal effects."
Trish went from being pale to feeling very sick. Oh shit. Her aunt Beatrice was absolutely the last person she wanted to know about her arrest. Before she had a chance to recover and argue, Eve added:
"I'd imagine you would have preferred that I contact your financial manager. That's not the requirement of my government. The requirement is notifying the next-of-kin, which is what I did."
"Anyhow, undoubtedly you're wondering why I said your fortune is worth 104 million dollars, instead of 160 million. I know that because your aunt conducted an audit of your estate after she went to court to enforce the conditions of your father's will. In six years, your assets went from 160 to 104 million. In other words, in six years you spent 56 million dollars. Did you know that? Did you know that in six years, you spent 56 million dollars and have absolutely nothing to show for it?"
Trish was stupefied. Without thinking about what she was saying...she mumbled:
"How much...how much did she pay you...to do this to me?"
"She didn't pay me anything. Why would I want her money? Or your father's money, for that matter? Maybe it hasn't occurred to you, Trish Bousquet, that I have everything I need? I have a nice house. Maybe it's not what you're used to, but it suits me just fine. I have a job that I enjoy and makes me a useful person. I have friends in the neighborhood. I like my country. It's not perfect, but like my house, it suits me just fine. So there's your answer, Trish Bousquet. I don't need your money, and I don't want your money."
There was a pause, before Eve added:
"I already knew you'd try to bribe me. I'm only surprised you didn't try it earlier."
"But...you can't keep me like this...you don't have the right..."
"In Santa Eduviges, I do have the right. Whether you like it or not, you are now a citizen of this island. Under the laws of Santa Eduviges, I bought you and now I own you. And you'd better understand something, Trish Bousquet. Once this conversation is over, you will continue to fulfill your obligations as my servant. Nothing between us has changed."
"Yes. You are calling me 'Officer Bousquet' instead of 'Mistress Bousquet'. You'd better understand that will stop as soon as this conversation concludes."
Trish felt numb. She felt the world closing in on her last hope; that her money meant anything on Santa Eduviges. Eve took note of her exasperated expression and continued:
"Actions have consequences, Trish Bousquet. Your parents chose not to keep you with them when you were growing up. So... as a result of that decision, you became in irresponsible burden on your family name. Very well. That part you can't help. But then there were all the choices you made. Yes, maybe your parents ignored you, but you could have overcome it had you wanted to. People overcome a lot more difficult problems than that. You had plenty of opportunities and things to choose from, a lot more than most people, but every decision you ever made was a stupid one. You chose to waste your life partying. You chose not to study. You chose to hang out with criminals and drug dealers. You chose to make an enemy of your father's sister. And finally, you chose, for no good reason at all, to fly to Panama and stuff yourself with cocaine so you could pretend to be a drug dealer and impress your thug boyfriend."
Trish said nothing, but tears rolled down her cheeks.
"There's something else you need to know, and I only found this out after we took you into custody. If your plane had not landed here, you would have been caught anyway. You would have been arrested with your cocaine in Miami. How do I know that? Because when I checked your departure information, I found out there was a watch placed on you in Panama City. In Miami the airport customs was waiting for you."
"You were that interested?"
"At the beginning, no. It was just a standard courier watch, and as I said, we didn't know about it until you were already in custody. Of course, what got you caught was all your 'jewelry'...if that's what you want to call it. Wearing all that metal embedded in your skin while doing a drug run was your final stupid decision; the last stupid decision you'll ever get to make."
Eve sipped her coffee and continued:
"Anyhow, you asked me if I was that interested. I guess what you meant to ask...was I interested in you when I arrested you."
"Yes, Officer...I was wondering...how come you wanted to know so much about me."
"Because...the night after we took you into custody, I started thinking about you. I realized I had a very good chance of buying you. So the next day I made arrangements to place a bid when you went up for auction. I wanted to know what I was buying, so I did some research."
"I found you attractive and I wanted you. It's that simple."
Trish did not know how to respond to the policewoman's blunt honesty. Eve finished her meal while her servant knelt silently, wondering what else she could say. Eve set her fork on her plate.
"Servant Trish, I need to check my e-mail before we leave, which will give you time to clean up. Get the market sacks and make sure they're cleaned out."
Trish forced herself to acknowledge the return to her life as Eve's collared servant by responding:
"Yes, Mistress Bousquet."
Eve opened her safe, making sure her body was blocking Trish's view of the dial as she spun it. She inserted the removable drive, typed in her password, and checked her account.
After Trish finished cleaning up from breakfast, she approached the Mistress and knelt. Eve turned off her computer, removed the hard drive, and returned it to the safe. Trish noticed the safe contained the policewoman's service revolver and several files of personal documents. Undoubtedly, among those documents were the auction receipt and servant ownership papers.
Eve closed the safe and addressed her ward:
"Servant Trish, don't for a moment think that I am not aware of what you're thinking. You've been trying to figure out how you can escape from your obligations as my servant. What you tried to do today was proof enough of that. The fact that you were desperate enough to give me half your fortune shows how much you'd like to go back to your life of drugs and parties. I also think that by now you are aware that you don't have any other options for getting away. Over the past three weeks you've wracked your brain and came up with nothing. Am I right about that?"
"Yes, Mistress Bousquet."
"You haven't come up with any ideas because there's no way you can escape this island. Also, there's no way I would ever release you. The purpose of your life is to satisfy my needs and that's the end of it. The sooner you come to terms with that purpose, the better. Simple and easy for both of us. Yes?"
"Yes, Mistress Bousquet."
Eve's expression changed slightly. Her eyes reflected a combination of triumph, contempt, and disgust. Trish felt very apprehensive. With a condescending and sarcastic tone in her voice, the policewoman continued:
"By the way, your aunt just e-mailed me with an interesting story. Last week, your boyfriend Rodney tried to break into your place. When the night clerk tried to stop him, he got beat up. Pretty badly, from the way Beatrice was talking about it. The police got there and arrested Rodney right after he kicked your door in. Nice fellow."
Trish cringed from this latest piece of bad news. Her door kicked in. Shit. There was plenty of stuff in her penthouse she didn't want other people knowing about. And, of course, as always, the news got worse:
"Since the door got kicked in, Beatrice got permission to go into your penthouse. She went through your stuff and, among other things, found some drug stashes and turned them over to the police. I wouldn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to guess why Rodney needed to get in there."
Trish felt sick. Eve continued with that awful expression and using that sneering tone of voice:
"And so...that concludes our conversation, Servant Trish. You're no closer to going back to Baton Rouge than you were an hour ago, but at least now you understand your situation a little better. Before we go downtown, I have a question. Why would you want to go back to Louisiana? Apart from a bunch of legal problems, what's waiting for you there?"
"Waiting for me, Mistress Bousquet?"
"Yes. What I'm wondering is whether or not you have...anyone you really care about, or a child who needs you, or a job, or a career, or some research project at the university, or perhaps charity work. Something along those lines. Anything that would make your life more useful than the life you have here. If you can think of something beneficial that you were doing and need to go back to, I'd let you talk to the judge and see about changing the conditions of your sentence."
Trish said nothing. Eve was taunting her. Both women knew, and each knew that the other knew, there was not a single thing Trish Gail Bousquet had done before her trip to Panama that anyone would consider useful.
A few minutes later, Eve and her very subdued servant boarded a rickshaw to go downtown to shop. Throughout the trip Trish sat quietly, staring numbly at the passing landscape.
Eve was very pleased with how the morning's conversation had developed. She knew that she had successfully begun to "break" her servant. "Breaking" was a vital step in converting a collared criminal into a useful slave. It involved psychological transformation and the loss of any hope of returning to freedom. How it was done varied, depending on the owner's personality and also on the servant. Some owners "broke" their slaves with a series of whippings, others used psychological pressure, and others used a combination of deprivation and rewards.
In Eve's case, all it took was a single conversation. Just a simple chat, that clarified her life's mistakes and let her know what an idiot she truly had been.
Eve did not feel sorry for Trish in the least. She was where she belonged, safely under control. Some people weren't capable of exercising free will responsibly and from birth were meant to be servants. Trish Bousquet was one of them, a person much better off serving others than serving herself.