It was in the spring time, a time when all the country is green and the lambs start frollicking and the birds sing, and the sun shines warm into the evenings and when it sets you can still sit outside the pub talking and dreaming and that was the time Rosie and me found ourselves wondering about love. Lovely soft curvaceous Rosie, oh how I dreamed of how it would be when we became one flesh, and she shared my dream.
I don't say Rosie and me was in love, no that was a way off what with me being only under footman at the Manor do you see but in time we would wed, one day I would make my mark of that I knew, and Rosie was a fine healthy buxom wench, rosie cheeked from the outdoor life yet plump and curvaceous from sitting around the cow shed milking cows all day and we should be joyous in our union of that I was sure.
It so happened that my employer, Lord Deptford’s, daughter Eliza was wed to Captain Farnley that spring, a lovely creature by looks yet possessed of a tongue that could crush the stoutest fellow to timidity she had met her match in the gallant captain and all the estate celebrated even her willowy sickly sister Katherine or Kate was made to look radiant for the service in our tiny church, and well when one couple marries then others get ideas of love as well.
I never realised it but when about my duties at the manor house that same sickly Kate was wont to follow me around and would question me on my feelings for Rosie, Kate was no more than a girl she was half the size of Rosie, taller maybe but with no womanliness to speak of, and melancholy, she neither entertained nor attended balls nor rode to hounds and was at a loss for purpose made all the worse when her Eliza was bethrothed and then married and gone and Kate would trouble me and the other servants and delay me with tiresome questions, an infuriation as she idled away her time while I struggled to fulfil my quota of daily tasks.
But what could I say, should I have made up stories of my prowess perhaps, or perhaps I should not have told the truth, but tell the truth I did but so insincerely that she thought I concealed that which had not occurred.
The honest truth was that many was the time I had to hold myself in check as my appendage swelled when Rosie and I kissed and cuddled, especially so when I released her swelling bosoms from their constraint and as her teats grew so I my lips left hers and instead I suckled and caressed her bosoms as she cooed and sighed in pleasure, and my fingers enraged her insides as i pressed them therein as far as I dared and from her wetness and pleasured cries I very well knew that she desired me and craved my prong as much as I desired her.
But we held ourselves in check, she relieved my needs, not between her pendulous mounds as we had little opportunity to wipe her neck clean of its emissions but her fingers worked upon my balls and stalk caressing and constricting and tickling until with the greatest of pleasure engulfing me there would be a great explosion from my balls and a great gush of my seed would shoot in a great arc across the barn or copse or base of the corn stalks on occasion in the fields, and our nakedness was no secret yet we never quite conjoined neither by womb nor sodomy at all, despite the desire, we refrained absolutely.
For I had set my heart upon the railway, which must surely come now that rails were from London to near Newcastle and soon to reach Scotland, and when it came as surely it would, I would be a porter, I was determined of that and when I was that I should rise through the ranks to Station-master and marry Rosie and have my brood, and she should be house-wife and want for nothing.
Not for we the struggle to keep food on the table on the pittance farm workers are allowed, no my collar should be white of that was I determined, and for that we should forgo the pleasures of fornication, and naught but kissing and fingers were our relief in the meadows and woodlands and the warmth and darkness of his Lordship's barn till the bugs bit us and we had to scurry away scratching ourselves.
But this was our plan, and of this to Kate I could say nothing less her father dismiss me for betrayal, for once a Deptford man always a Deptford man, none came and went and all stayed until infirmity sent them to the almshouse where they died in tolerable pleasantry, far from the horrors of the workhouse.
But fate dealt Rosie and I a cruel blow, it was a Saturday and his Lordship had the hunt ball at the manor and I was required for duty so Rosie had to make her own amusement, and amused she was by Harry Baines, much amused, and plied with cider was she and in a moment she was kissing him thinking he were me, and then he was a fingering her and then as he had her in his thrall he took out his snake and impaled her thereon and ploughed her and planted his seed in her womb before she could free herself.
I noticed a change in her but could not place what had brought it about until her increased girth was brought forcibly to my notice the late autumn when all unsuspecting I was brought to the office of our agent Mr Bradbury by a command from his Lordship himself.
"So Mary," Bradbury leered, as Rose and I stood awkwardly before Bradbury as his Lordship looked on, his ample frame filling Bradbury's chair to excess, "How did you get to this unhappy state?"
"Unhappy state?" I asked in consternation.
"With child you fool!" Lord Deptford railed, "Out with it girl,"
"I couldn't stop him my lord." she explained to his Lordship as with belly swole with child she could not do her duties any more.
"And you, John Meadows, what have you to say?" Bradbury the nasty little whippet of a man demanded.
I swallowed awkwardly, "I shall stand by her sir." I agreed.
"No, the rape man, why did you not stop?" he demanded.
"Ah, I don't." I said but Rose she said straight out.
"It were Harry Baines!" she said, "I cannot tell a lie, it were Harry Baines."
"I will kill him!" I said quietly, "I'll slit his gizzard and cast him to the crows!"
"Silence!" Lord Deptford commanded, "You shall do no such thing, no Baines shall be tried for the crime," he paused, "And hung."
"Not hung," Rose cried, "What of his child?"
"Whipped then," Lord Deptford agreed.
"In the Village square, my Lord," Bradbury said his piggy little eyes ablaze, "Stripped and whipped," and he squirmed as his appendage reared for he was an inflictor and a sodomite who was well known for his use of the whip and who shared his bed with tramps and low tradesmen who would accommodate him for a pittance, some said he slit their throats and boiled them for pigs swill to save even that pittance but trustworthy he was not.
"Hold hard Bradbury," The Lord ordered, "She confessed a little too readily, let us hear from Katherine, she spends hours wasting with Mr Meadows' time with idle chatter, let us hear her testimony."
"Sir?" said Bradbury.
"Skulduggery is afoot Bradbury, I'd bet my fortune upon it." his Lordship said.
We sat and waited, Rose and I, holding hands, on the comfortable chairs of Mr Meadows office, until at length Kate came in, she looked hopelessly frail in her long yellow dress, so delicate, so pale and sickly that ,I surmised as I regaled her, that she should break in two if ever a man mounted her, a sad creature living a sad pampered life of ease yet purposelessly.
"Katherine, pray tell us what Mr Meadows has confided in you about his love for Rose!" Lord Deptford asked.
"He, says they are in love, but he wishes to become advanced before he takes a wife." she said quite boldly.
"And he tells this truthfully?" Lord Deptford asked.
"Oh no he lies incessantly," she giggled, "He wishes to be a railway engine driver."
"I never said!" I protested.
"He takes the pages from the London Times when railways are spoken of and he reads them." she said, "As he cleans."
"I!" I said in protest.
"But he is such a fine figure of a man father," she said, "How are we to believe he can restrain himself any more than a lusty buck rabbit or stallion can."
"But he didn't Ma'am!" Rose protested, "It was Harry Baines, he wooed me and when my defences were down then next were my bloomers and he had pronged me my lord, with his appendage pushing and a pumping and."
"Ugh!" Kate uttered, "Please spare us!"
"Well he did miss and it were huge not like John's but like a stallion and like iron it was and I knowed then that I had fell for a babe." Rose admitted.
"You know Johns appendage, yet you claim another raped you?" Kate asked in astonishment.
"Fondled yes, knew yes, accepted no," Rose insisted, "No he never," she said, "He should have had he loved me truly but twas for Harry Baines to show me true contentedness."
"Rose!" I protested.
"Lying in bed poking myself with me ma's rolling pin when John should have sated me, it was cruel Ma'am, can you imagine me a lusty maid lying unsated night after night, how dare he resist my charms Ma'am that's what I say, tis Johns fault it was Harry as took me my Lord." she insisted and she stopped abruptly as she saw Kate was crying, "What is it Ma'am." Rose asked, "Was it something I said?".
"Your crudity, it sickens me!" Kate lied, "I must go," and she grabbed her skirts around her and fled, I rose to assist her..
"Sit down!" Lord Deptford insisted.
"But my Lord, Lady Katherine is not a well person," I reminded him.
"Hardly your concern," Lord Deptford suggested, "But as Magistrate I feel I can rule in this matter with no necessity to call a Jury," he stared at me, "Or do you disagree Mr Meadows."
"No sir!" I agreed, "I shall accept your judgement."
"Fetch Baines," Lord Deptford, suggested, "Have Baines brought Mr Bradbury," he insisted so Bradbury went and had Wickstaff and Fongstall leave their labours and fetch Baines from his labours as assistant under gamekeeper.
It took an age, "Don't fret my beloved," I reassured Rose, "All will be resolved."
Baines admitted everything, "She was lusty and rampant and near tore my breeches asunder my Lord!" he declared, "Her honeypot was well stirred my Lord, well stirred indeed and hot and dripping with her need, like a whippet bitch on heat she was sir begging your pardon sir." he insisted.
A wet patch was spreading across Bradbury's breeches, he enjoyed tales of degradation and his swollen if modest manhood had seemingly burst forth it seed at Baines disclosure.
"So you admit fornication?" Lord Deptford demanded, "Rose, Harry, you admit the same?"
"But it was forced upon me sir!" Rose gasped.
"With Baines perhaps but my Kate is not easily deceived," Lord Deptford declared, "I say again did you fornicate with Meadows, the truth girl or it shall be the worse for you."
"Yes sir," Rose lied, "Incessantly all spring an yet we used a bit of sheep's guts to stop his seed sir, so it must be Harry Baines', sir, the child."
"Then you are undone Meadows, admit it man." Lord Deptford insisted, "Deny it and it shall be worse for you!"
"I did not!" I protested.
"Then I sentence you Harry Baines and you Rose Groves, is that really your name, Rose Groves? " he asked, "To fifty lashes, for adultery and you John Meadows to fifty lashes for adultery and fifty more for insolence."
"But I'm innocent!" I protested.
"Proven guilty my Lord!" Bradbury said, "And the child sir?"
"What say you girl, Baines?" Lord Deptford asked.
"Indeed sir." she agreed.
"Then marry her Baines, marry her or it's another fifty lashes." Lord Deptford insisted.
"I'll marry you!" I protested.
"Silence Meadows," Lord Deptford exclaimed, "Baines has a house in the woods all ready for a plump wife while you have nothing, I cannot have you a convicted adulterer in my house with my daughter barely eighteen years abroad, no you shall be incarcerated in the lockup all of you and whipped soundly at noon this Saturday in the village square and you Meadows again in the stocks on Sunday fifty lashes each time.
"This is unjust!" I railed.
"Rant all you like Mr Meadows, but you are to be whipped and then you shall be sent forth, do you understand?"
"Yes," I agreed, insolently.
I was incarcerated in the lock up, we all was, in a room ten feet square and a pot in the corner and straw on the floor and a barred window that all might watch us from the street and jeer at our misfortune, and watch as we did what we needed with no privacy and indeed in the night did Baines and Rose rediscover their union joyously as I sat and watched, her great udders wallowing like a cows as he ploughed her, and then she kneeled down and from behind he ploughed her anew, not as a sodomite but in her sticky honey pot and any feelings I had for her dried like the moistness of an errant rain drop on a sunny summers afternoon.
They fed us stale bread and we had water and on the Saturday were we taken to the square such as it was, not a great town square but rather mud, and not square but where stocks and the gallows were and around it were houses such as they were for workmen, some with roofs of slate some without but with straw for to keep the rain back,
They brought me in cuffs for the hands or wrists, iron cuffs with bolts done as tight as could be done with the blacksmiths spanners, and as all the estate workers watched , and Lord Deptford, and everyone except Lady Deptford and her maid, for Katherine also lurked beyond the crowd in her fathers carriage watching so I was then secured to the gallows and was helpless as my breeches were dragged down and my jerkin and shirt took off and there displayed nakedly was I as Bradbury and his thug Hammond set to work with the cane.
I feared my appendage would rear as others had, rear and squirt as many had done, sheep stealers and worse flogged before they was hung as a lesson, but he remained still, thank the lord.
The strikes were no agony at first mere ant bites but they compounded one on another and from pin pricks my whole backside and back became a sheet of complete agony such that I barely bore it stoically and I near cried with the pain.
Rose however howled in agony, she protested noisily as they stripped her to reveal the great voluptuous-ness of herself and as the cane admittedly a light cane made its patchwork of stripes across her buttocks and her back, everywhere but her bulge in fact, not that the bulge was much more pronounced than was her bloated stomach but red streaks were laid on her pinkness, livid red weals etched deeply on her pale flesh a fresh one with every slash with the cane, as Bradbury and his man took their turn to administer the punishments as the workers looked on and hooted and jeered.
Baines too was humiliated with a thrashing but he laughed and joked insolently throughout though they used the heavy strap upon him not a mere light cane.
It was afterwards that the pain hit me, agonising as if I was on fire I was dragged back to the lock up whilst Baines was allowed to take Rosie away to his house to comfort her as she comforted him whilst I was left alone.
No one bar my jailor came, neither father nor mother, but maybe they never knew as news took long while to reach Great Pemberton, or maybe they cared not, and it was not until mid night that I was disturbed.
"Mr Meadows," A girlish voice said, "I have come to set you free."
"Miss Katherine?" I queried.
"Yes!" she said, "You wish to start anew on the Railway surely?" she asked, "So come!"
She slid back the bolt, she must have had the key, and she opened the door," Come!" she said and the cold night air assaulted me, "Come, take your things from the manor house and be gone."
"Yes, I thank you," I said, "I think, but is this a trap?" I asked.
"Then stay," she challenged but I was already away and gone before she could change her mind.
I rushed to the Manor, grabbed my traps and rushed away as fast as I might.
The night was fine and I made haste, I had some wages, enough for food at least and by stages I found my way far to the South until at Ensterby on a branch of the North Midland line I came across the shining rails of my dreams.
I enquired after employment. "Under footman eh," the Station Master scoffed, we have no need of such, educated men we need young man, and strong men for labour, not weaklings with no reading."
"But I read and write sir," I told him, "Hand me a paper and I shall read it." He did no more than hand me the time table. "North Midland Railway," I read out and with it all the station names and the terms and conditions of carriage.
"Enough, you are the boy for our bookings office," he said, and he offered me in a moment twice the wage I had received from Lord Deptford and comfortable lodgings at the Misses Armitage spinsters of sixty and more years and with that was my life transformed.
Every hour or near as from dawn to dusk a train would trundle through our domain, stop briefly and take water from our tank perhaps and at nine would come the goods and would shunt waggons around our sidings and make us rush around for a while and then would the tempo of operation slow to the norm once more.
And it lasted but a week, for the slow train one morning disgorged Lord Deptford, Bradbury the agent and several stout fellows, "There he is seize him!" Bradbury cried and they grabbed me to the Station Master's consternation.
"He is wanted for adultery," Bradbury averred.
"This sir is Railway Property sir," Mr Blenkinsopp the Station Master insisted, "I am the law here sir not you begging your pardon sir." he said, "And in any case Meadows has given every satisfaction sir,"
Mr Meadows took his whistle and raised his red flag and blew furiously, and at once the guard and fireman from the train were upon us and the lad porter and coal merchant's lad were upon us also and the Lord looked perplexed.
"I am Magistrate!" he protested.
"Not here sir, now pray sit down and let us resolve this quietly," Mr Blenkinsopp insisted.
The Constables who turned the rails for to point to the sidings were with us now, stout fellows more than a match for his Lordship's men. "Oh very well, release him!" the Lord admitted and I was freed.
Thereupon Mr Blenkinsopp raised his green flag, the engine driver sounded his hooter and with guard and fire-man rushing for the train soon enough the "Acheron" snorted to life with a shudder and amid clouds of acrid yellow smoke the train slid away, leaving a melancholy crew upon the platform, for in addition to the Lord and Agent, Miss Katherine her maid Grace and Mrs Howard the housekeeper stood with their baggage.
"If you would care to adjourn to the waiting room sir," Mr Blenkinsopp suggested, "Then I shall hear your complaint."
"I defer to no man!" Lord Deptford protested.
"Then I shall wish you good day sir," Mr Blenkinsopp suggested, and his Lordship sighed.
"Very well, as you wish," Lord Deptford agreed, "Fetch the ladies baggage would you?"
We sat around the waiting room, the Lord sitting upright as always, proud and self satisfied, Mr Blenkinsopp matching him very nearly in his elaborate uniform and the rest of us clustered around railway men facing country men, and women for the Ladies were with us also.
Mr Bradbury spoke first when we were assembled, "Ah, if I may, the thing is do you see, Mr Meadows is a convicted fornicator, and a fugitive," he paused theatrically, "And worse."
"John, what do you say?" Mr Blenkinsopp asked.
"I was found guilty of that which I did not do." I explained, "And after I was whipped mercilessly I escaped in the dead of night."
"Ah," Mr Blenkinsopp said, "And you convicted him My Lord?" he asked.
"Indeed!" Lord Deptford agreed, "Fifty lashes for adultery and fifty more for denying it!"
"That is severe sir," Mr Blenkinsopp exclaimed, "I would have thought twenty sufficient."
"Ha, so you will not release him?" Mr Bradbury the agent asked, "Well then I must bring the second matter to your attention sir." he paused, "Forced fornication, that is to say rape sir!"
"Rape!" I exclaimed, "What rape?"
"Of one Lady Katherine Deptford." Bradbury continued, "If it pleases I shall lay before you the facts, on the night concerned my Lady Katherine in her compassion saw fit to supply a medicament to the prisoner to ease his pain, but upon opening his cell he instead sprang upon her and ravished her," he said his voice rising and that little muscle upon his neck pulsing as his appendage swelled within his beeches, "Ravished her carnally sir," he said his face twisting as he imagined the scene, "Carnally I say." he said and I do believe his potency ejaculated and a wet patch began to spread down his leg, either that or something worse.
"No," I protested, "I would never do any such thing!"
"Will you make my Katherine suffer the humilliation of repeating what transpired, before these common people," his Lordship demanded," Show some contrition man!"
"I shall," Mr Blenkinsopp suggested, "Speak girl, tell me, did he hurt you? did he tear your clothes?"
Katherine shook her head, "So perhaps it was adultery?" he asked, "More likely nothing of the sort transpired, you are still chaste girl, are you not?"
Katherine stared, "No sir, absolutely."
"She is not," Lord Deptford insisted, "My physician inspected her."
I stared at Katherine and she blushed and looked away.
"You conjoined with Meadows?" Mr Blenkinsopp asked.
"Unwillingly, yes." she admitted
"Then that is adultery," Mr Blenkinsopp asked, "And your penalty is whipped fifty lashes is it not my Lord."
"Stripped and publicly whipped," Mr Bradbury added excitedly.
"You compelled my sweetheart to wed her rapist Mr Bradbury," I reminded him.
"Ah, indeed," Bradbury agreed.
"Bradbury you bloody fool keep your bloody trap shut!" Lord Deptford snapped.
"So, why shouldn't I order you stripped and lashed my Lady?" Mr Blenkinsopp asked.
"I say!" Lord Deptford declared.
I stared at Lady Katherine, "No, you can't" I exclaimed, "No I admit it, I forced her, it wasn't her fault."
"Then you shall hang!" Lord Deptford declared.
"Not in my jurisdiction my Lord," Mr Blenkinsopp declared, "I believe fifty lashes and a compulsion to marry the victim is your penalty my Lord?" Mr Blenkinsopp suggested.
"What say you Mr Meadows?"
"Very fair sir, I should say." I agreed.
"Then," Mr Blenkinsopp chuckled. "If you will agree Lady Katherine I shall sentence Mr Meadows to matrimony and fifty lashes," he paused for Lady Katherine to protest, but instead she blushed.
"Oh, well if I must!" she said and blushed crimson.
"Katherine!" Lord Deptford gasped, "Are you making a mockery of me, oh! you are, you wretched girl!"
"Hah," Mr Blenkinsopp snorted, "Right back to work if you please, shall I have the express stopped for you my Lord?" he asked.
"No, but spare me some time with Mr Meadows if you please." he asked, "Katherine you stay here the rest of you may go!"
We watched the others leave, "The truth now," Lord Deptford demanded, "Are you lovers?"
I looked at her, "No," I said, "I never touched her."
"And what of your admission." he said.
"I could not see her stripped and beaten." I explained.
"Then you care for her?" he asked.
"In friendship, yes." I agreed.
"And you will wed her in name, in friendship, no more?" he asked.
I looked at her, she blushed, "I would indeed." I agreed.
"Then that is settled!" he announced, "I shall contact the reverend, shall we say Christmas week?" I nodded, "Then give your notice Mr Meadows you may be Bradbury's assistant when wed"
"Sir!" I said, I wanted to say I wished to remain on the railway, but Katherine smiled shyly and I felt a need to protect her.
"Come, we have ten minutes, bring the baggage," Lord Deptford said and we carted their traps to the far platform and the party awaited the ordinary train with the ‘Florence’ of the sharp stewart built class of locomotives hauling its clatter of elderly carriages some of them five years and more old and devoid largely of varnish upon their paint and afterwards I sat on a case and pondered what had transpired.
"What a fool," Mr Blednkinsopp said as he came upon me, "He sees a uniform and believed everything I said, authority to administer justice, pah!" he said.
"Do you not Mr Blenkinsopp?" I asked incredulously.
"No lad I made it all up see, I have no authority over the law what so ever!"
"But I am to marry Lady Katherine," I said, "A sham as she is to frail for matrimony."
"Indeed?" he said.
"And a post as assistant agent for the estate." I explained.
"Then take it, and when the yearning for excitement comes seek me out and I shall find you a post," Blenkinsopp said, "For I mean to finish as general manager of the whole line.
I bade Mr Blenkinsopp farewell on Christmas Friday and arrived at my parents late that evening, they were filled with disgust that I should accept a sham marriage for advancement but for propriety they dressed in their finest and came with me through the snows to the little church where Katherine awaited, not dressed in white but in cream, but she smiled happily enough and said yes where she should, and we kissed when so ordered by the reverend and Mr Bradbury acted as groomsman ad when it was over it was over, there was no breakfast, no speeches nothing.
Just his Lordship's physician and an order that we should attend the large guest bedroom with the big four posted bed.
"Now, I am informed that for propriety you two must conjoin, now Katherine that will be a sore trial, so I shall have Doctor Lingham on hand in case of distress." Lord Deptford insisted.
"Thank you Father," she said quietly, and she led me to the bed room and locked and bolted the door.
"There is no need," I said.
"Do you not desire me?" she said, "I thought you to be my friend?"
"I do not wish you discomfort," I assured her,
"Then comfort me," she said, "Help me from this gown."
The gown came away easily and the under-things as if she wanted me to see her unclothed, "Now you!" she said, "Undressed completely as the lord intended."
I did as she bade me, "There is no need," I said, and she reached for my manhood, "Lady Katherine!" I protested.
"Tis Kate," she said and she reached for the hearth brush and compared it to my manhood, "It should fit very well!" she declared.
"What?" I asked.
"You," she said and she lay upon her back and inserted the whole of the hearth brush handle within her, "Ummmm," she said, "See."
"That is perverse!" I declared, "Oh don't tell me you ruined yourself with a brush?"
"Yes, but it is cold and hard, I want," she said as she removed the brush and tossed it aside, "You!" and she lay back.
"But you are weak and sickly," I said so she grabbed me and pulled me down and when down she grasped my appendage and guided it between the sweet lips that lead to her womb, and once inserted she enclosed her cavern around me and I knew heaven.
"Oooh Mister Meadows," she cooed, "That is most acceptable," and she laughed.
"Kate!" Lord Deptford cried, "Are you all right?"
"Yes father, it is proving difficult," she lied, and "Ooooh Mister Meadows, that is perfection!"
"I must withdraw," I said "Lest you suffer a child."
"Nonsense!" she said, "I shall bear children as stoically as any, I am strong as an ox."
But she was not, I needed to be gentle with her, I was crushing her with my weight so I rose on my elbows.
"There will be no children you are too." I said but she dragged me at her and engulfed my mouth with hers and at once my seed exploded within her,
She cried out "Yes!" and then was silent for a moment "Yes!" she agreed, "You see there is no impediment."
"Are you all right," her father shouted.
"Yes Father," she said, "We cannot conjoin, we must try later when I am rested."
"Katherine!" I protested by a whisper, but she quietened me,
"Rest, recover my stallion for I am not finished with you!" she announced, and we bathed and dressed and we went down to the dining room where it was most odd for me as we sat and ate our dinner while servants who had been my superior waited upon me, and though I ate ravenously I had watched enough of the masters at dinner to know the proprieties of dining good manneredly so I ate with utensils when I desired just to grasp the chicken leg and rip the flesh from it with my teeth.
But Katherine she picked daintily at her food and barely ate a thing, and once the repast was consumes all the six courses so again repaired we to the bed chamber where we conjoined once more, completely at our ease, naturally, her parts fitted to mine as if carved from the single piece, and as I was prone to crush her so she made me lie and she climbed atop my appendage and she moved up and down to excite me and this time she made no secret of her pleasure, wailing and crying until the door burst forth and his Lordship and the physician rushed forth believing she was at deaths door.
"Katherine!" her father cried, "You wanton strumpet desist at once desist I say!" he cried.
"No!" she said, "I am a woman now, I shall conjoin with my husband as I please, now be gone."
They stared in consternation, I stared back in shame anger, humiliation yet also in pride that I had been seen undoubtedly to be Katherine's lover and in confusion they went away. But the exertion tired her, and after a while she collapsed atop me exhausted.
"You do not eat enough for a mouse," I chided her, "That must change!" and I dressed and went in search of food.
"Meadows," Lord Deptford charged when he saw me, "You may go, your part in this sham is finished, my daughter's sport is done." he said.
"On the contrary my Lord I believe I am in love with Katherine, and have claimed her as you saw, and I intend to look after her and comfort her sir." I said, "She has tired herself and needs sustenance."
"Oh have it your way," he announced and I went my way to return with thick slices of cold beef.
"Eat," I commanded Katherine.
"No!" she protested, "I cannot eat such!"
"Then feel my hand on your rump," I challenged and slapped her across her rear.
"Stop!" she cried, "Stop, oh very well I shall try," and she took a slice and began to eat delicately and painstakingly, and then she set it down.
"All of it!" I insisted, and straight way she took it up anew and began to eat, "Eliza says it is not comely to eat to excess," she averred,
"Eat for strength and conjoin to remain slim," I said simply.
"Idiot, I shall grow fat with child!" she replied, "God willing!"
She set the meat down so I slapped her rump again, "Eat," I commanded, "Damn you!"
"I shall not!" she snapped.
"Honour and obey," I reminded her.
"Love and cherish," she replied.
"It is for love that I make you eat" I exclaimed.
"But it is indecorous," she protested, but she ate her meat and when I was sure she could eat no more I helped her digest the same with my prong poking her innards.
And so we went along, she followed me everywhere like a puppy-dog as I learned my new duties, ordering father to leave his duty and attend a broken fence at Darnaby was an awkward moment as was discovering Mr Bradbury was miss-appropriating estate funds but on we went and we formed a habit, until three weeks after our nuptials Miss Eliza came to visit with her husband Captain Farnley.
"My heaven, Katherine, can it be you?" Eliza exclaimed as she saw her sister, "You look positively robust!"
"I am in love!" she declared.
"Surely not with Meadows?" Eliza countered.
"No, with Mr Meadows' prong!" Katheine laughed.
"But dear sister surely that cannot account for your changed demeanour," Eliza declared, "For Captain Farney and I have often conjoined and naught so dramatic has afflicted us thus far."
"Eliza, speak not of such base things." Captain Farnley insisted.
"I shall speak as I like shall I not John?" Katherine asked me as if she asked my approval as a matter of course.
"Indeed my love," I told her, "Love is beautiful, not base, provided one has the knack."
"Mr Meadows, enough!" Captain Farnley insisted, "My wife does not wish to consider such baseness."
"Oh, well," Katherine exclaimed, "You shall hear Mr Meadows explain how the Great Western Railway have used a wide rail spacing with good effect."
"I fear not for we shall have to settle into our rooms." Farnley said.
"Rooms?" Katherine asked, "Room surely, you are wed!"
"No, rooms," Eliza corrected her, "Henry is feared we should conjoin nightly and sap our strength if we shared a bed."
"Oh!" Katherine declared, "Nightly indeed, My John desires me constantly, at least twice nightly, and to welcome the day and just recently," she paused, "Before luncheon!"
"I say!" Farnley protested, "Tis not possible, a man would be brought to his knees." but Katherine took my hand and grinned at me.
"Please excuse us," Katherine added and we rushed away to our room to prove them wrong.