VOLUME 3 CHAPTER 8
Washerwomen. • Matilda and Esther. • A peep over a wall. • Eaves dropping. • A girl’s wants. • Shaking a tooleywag. • A promenade by a barrow. • Disclosures. • A snatch and a scuffle. • An assignation.
I went to see my mother one day in Summer, and after luncheon walked to the end of the garden often mentioned. At one side of it was a road which gave access to a gentleman’s house, and on the other to my mother’s. There the carriage road stopped, and a foot-path began. At the junction was a mews wide enough for a cart, which ran at the end of our garden and those adjoining. Our entrance to it had been disused, we having one in the side-wall opening on to the road, and the neighbours rarely used their back-entrances. The mews was grass-grown. On the opposite side to our garden-walls was the wall of very large grounds. A gate not locked, formed of open bars was at the end of the mews next to the road.
The footpath mentioned passed between walls of large gardens, and the between fields, until it joined a road on the other side of which was the village church-yard, through which the footway passage continued till again a high-road intervened. This continuous footway formed a short cut to a distant part of the parish. It was not much used excepting on Sundays, and by lovers who walked there on summer nights. I had found out years before that the mews at the back of our house was an occasional pissing-place, it being round the corner, and out of sight. I used to peep over the wall in hopes of seeing a female at that operation, mounting to do so by the gardener’s ladder. When I saw a woman piddle it was great delight to me, but I more frequently saw men whose cocks had no attraction for me. On Sunday nights after church, the splash and rustle of petticoats could be heard, but not seen; the sight was however rare at any time, for few people had the boldness to push open the gate, and enter the mews.
I never saw copulation, the greatest fun I had was once seeing a female bogging, who turned round and gathered two or three of the largest leaves from the lime-trees in our gardens which overhung the wall, wiped her arse with them, and left them sticking on the top of her turds; but she never noticed a youth peeping just over her head. One reason why I was never detected watching was that women always turned their bums to our wall, and so I was at the back of them. Charlotte and I have both looked over the wall.
The wall was mostly covered with our ivy, which fell down in thick masses on the mews side; lime-trees at intervals completed the screen. Any one peeping down from above could be sufficiently hidden if he put his head carefully above the wall at places, and pushed aside the boughs. On the day I speak of, I walked round the garden thinking of old times, of how Charlotte and I used to see if the cook was talking to the gardener before we began our amorous play, of the pranks Fred and others played there, and all the occurrences of my youth, which had taken place in the house and garden.
The gardener was away. I thought I would look over the wall; so placing the ladder got up, and looking down saw two girls sitting on the handles of a barrow on which were baskets filled with linen. One looked about sixteen, the other a little older. It was a dreadfully hot day, the barrow was at the angle of the mews. They were talking, and I moved the ladder to get a place nearer to them and not to be seen; for to watch and hear women who thought themselves unobserved and unheard, was always a delight to me. If you ever hear two women talking on amorous subjects, their disclosures you will find are always charming to a man.
At the angle of our garden, and just where the road joined the mews, a large notice-board had been put up for some purpose since I had lived there; it was just outside and higher than our wall. Between the back of it and the wall was a space of a few inches. Our ivy had grown up it at places, and filled up most of the space, but enough was left at the angle to let me look down on the barrow which was just outside the mews-gate, out of the way of what small traffic there was, the gate of the mews being wide open. Then of all my eaves dropping I have never yet heard anything so amusing as I did then. The air was solemnly quiet in the hot summer’s afternoon and though the girls spoke quite softly, I heard them well.
“I should like to feel what it is like”, said the youngest whose face was towards me. There was a mixture of fun, audacity, curiosity and lewdness on that girl’s face. “Hish l some one will hear you”, and something else I could not hear, said the other. “Fuck—there then”, said the young one saucily and laughing. The older gave her a slap. “Now you may take the things home alone, — I won’t help.” “If you don’t I’ll tell mother.” “Don’t care.” “Yes you do,-what did you say it for?” “Didn’t you say it?” “I didn’t bawl it out you fool.” “Fuck, — there, — there”, said the younger going off. “There it may stay then”, said the older angrily, and she moved also off round the corner. They were both out of sight in a second, but I heard their voices quarrelling, the barrow and clothes-baskets were unattended just outside the mews-gate.
A labouring man came along in the opposite direction. Seeing the barrow he stood and looked round in all directions, turned into the mews, and I think he was going to steal, but thought better of it. I had peeped quite round the board, but had dropped into the old place again, the man turned to the wall, and pissed just under me, his head turned, and looking at the clothes-baskets all the time, then he drew the fore-skin fackwards and forwards when he had finished, till his prick was standing, an article any man might have been proud of; he played with it, and might have been going to frig himself had he not been interrupted.
The girls came back round the corner just then still wrangling, they stopped as they came on the man, who turning round shook his tooleywag at them, and moved out of sight, but not out of my hearing. “This is the sort of thing that would please you”, said he wagging it. “Go along you beast, I’ll call a policeman.” “You wouldn’t call out if it was up your cunt”, — and he walked off laughing. The girls were quiet for an instant, and then laughed. “Hish !” said one, “he is not gone.” The other looked round the corner, and said he had; then they laughed loudly.
“Was it not big!” “Did you see it?” “Yes, and stiff, — ha—ha—ha.” “He— he—he.” “It looked as if it would split any one”, said the little one who sat down on the barrow-handle again. “Sarah says the bigger it is the better it is”, said the other, and then they laughed. “Hush !” said the bigger one, “some one may hear us.” Turning her rump to the wall she pissed just where the man had. The little one did the same, then off they went, one trundling, the other holding the baskets steady. They took the heavy work in turns I found.
I rushed to the house, then out, and followed the girls, a desire to show them my prick was on me. As I followed my intentions cooled, fearing they might tell a policeman. I had not the experience then that I now have, or should have feared nothing of the sort, for girls tell no one but each other if they see a man’s prick. I overtook them in the church-yard (they were resting again on the barrow-handles), and entered into conversation with them, delighted at their demure faces, knowing that they had just seen a prick, that one had said “fuck”, and that I had seen both piss. A notion of getting the younger one by herself restrained me from blurting out what was in my mind, but my delight really was in looking at, and talking with them, thinking that fucking might and probably was in their mind at the moment I accosted them.
They were coarse, middle-sized, well-fed, sturdy-limbed, dark-eyed wenches, unmistakably sisters. Excepting for one being shorter than the other you would scarcely have known there was a difference in their ages; both had bare arms, one had her frock well pinned up behind over her petticoats, both had short petticoats, thick ankles and strong boots, a washer-woman was then not ashamed of showing what she was, and they always wore dazzling white stockings, —and these girls did. I asked where they lived, they answered readily. I knew the lane well, all the washer-women in the village were there.
In my lewdness I forgot everything but the pleasure of speaking to the girls. A middle-aged lady passed us accompanied by two or three very young women, who stared hard at me. The barrow-girls stood up and curtsied as they passed, and naming them. I knew them, and a few years before had romped and played with the young ladies, then children. The last time I had seen them there was not a hair on any one of their cunts; I expect that now their cunts were full-wigged, and well frigged into the bargain. They had recognised me, as I heard from my mother afterwards, I did not recognise them, they having grown from children to women. I was seated on the barrow-handle as they passed.
“So you wash?” “No, their mother did, they ironed, took home, and fetched the things. What was their name? — would they meet me? and so on. They would perhaps, — where did I live ? — they did not know me. Getting friendlier and friendlier I learned all about them, it was done in a joking, chaffing way. I told them I lived far off, and was only on a visit at a house dose by.
They must go on really, — would I get up? No, unless they gave me a kiss. I chivied one after the other, and caught and kissed both, they were not difficult to catch. Then they trundled on the barrow, I walking with them, the people we met (very few) staring at a dandy walking by the side of two washer girls; but I took no heed then of any one who passed us, nor cared.
We crossed the high-road into another part of the lane, and again we stopped; more and more randy got I. “What do you thing of, when you iron the tail of a man’s shirt?” “Nothing.” “You know it wraps round something different from that which a chemise does.” “Does it?” said the little one who had twice the cheek of the elder. “Yes, — it makes you think when you iron them.” No it did not, — what did I mean? — they did not know in the least.
(What delight some girls have in their randiness in declaring they don’t understand a man’s baudy chaff, the “What do you mean?” “I don’t understand” are only incitements to the man to declare his meaning in broad, strong, baudy words; and then it’s, “Oh ! oh ! the beast!” but their cunts tighten with a squeeze of lust, they go off and think of it all, and perhaps frig themselves under the recollection. But this is a reflection the result of matured experience, and was not written at the time this part of my narrative was.)
They turned up the high-road, and at their earnest request I fell behind, they left the linen at a house, and brought back other baskets, then I recommenced chaffing. When we were in the lane bounded on one side by a wall, on the other by a ditch and corn-field. They stopped and begged me to go, for so many people knew them on the road. Prudence told me we had better separate, but my mind full of the idea of getting the younger girl, I asked them to have a drink. “No, —they would be seen. Would they meet me? Yes. When? They could not say, — but I had their address.
I am not clear why, but up till then I had not said what I had heard and seen, but I kept it to myself, although dying to let it out. I again sat at the edge of the barrow, and refused to get up till they both kissed me. They could not go without the barrow, and after a little sham I kissed them both. Then the devil took all control off of me, and as I kissed one I felt outside her till she wriggled away from me. This in the open lane.
“Now”, said she, “Mr. Impudence, I’ve a good mind to slap your head for doing of that.” “I’m sure you liked it”, — and I went towards her. She ran ahead, and took up a stone. “I’ll heave this at you”, said she looking as if she meant it. I desisted, and went back to the barrow, “What’s he done?” said the sister who had been standing a little distance off. “I’ll tell you bye and bye, — come on. The younger began to handle the barrow, but I sat down on a handle, some one came along. “You will do us harm”, said one of the girls.
“Tell your sister what I did.” “Shan’t, — get up.” I then, forgetful of my intention, blurted all out, imitating their voice and manner. “Fuck, hish ! some one will hear”, — a slap. “Fuck, — there then.”
The younger stood like a statue, her mouth opened wide, her lower jaw almost seemed dropping off; the elder stared at me, her eyes nearly out of her head. “Sarah says the bigger it is the better she likes it.” Their faces got blood-red, they stared at each other, then one said, “I wish you’d get up, and let me have my barrow.”
“I saw you both piddle”, then I looked up and down the lane in both directions, I was bursting. “Look”, said I pulling out my prick, “it’s as thick and stiff as his, isn’t it?” No one was in sight still.
“I wish there was a policeman”, said the elder, “oh! you beast,–we’ll tell the police.” One appeared just then in the lane, but the girls appeared to be in no hurry to tell him, but I rose, they wheeled off the barrow as fast as they could, I walking with them. I was a little afraid of the policeman.
We had got to a spot where the lane was crossed by a village road in which were many good houses. “Oh ! pray leave us, we go down here, we have customers in the road.” “Will you meet me?” “Yes, — but don’t follow us.” I did not want to be seen, so we parted, after some arrangements about meeting.