Memoirs of a Courtesan

Memoirs of a Courtesan
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ISBN:  9781907976049
Author:  Roxane Beaufort
Publisher:  Chimera Books
Word Count:  68,183
Binding:  eBook

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Rebel GirlRebel Girl
Schooling SylviaSchooling Sylvia

Horror gave Lucy strength and she wrenched herself free of his grasp. 'How dare you?' she yelled. 'How can you suggest such a thing, and you a man of God?'
   'What does it matter to you, slut?' he spat, and taking his weapon in hand commenced working the foreskin up and down over his glans. 'You're only a servant who'll end up with child to Lord Ludlow or one of his sons, and then you'll be turned out on the street to fend for yourself and your bastard as best you can. You'll become a whore in the end, so why not start now? You could buy a lot of fripperies with a penny.’
   'You disgust me!' she hissed, but could not drag her gaze away from the sight of him masturbating...

When beautiful Lucy Browne, orphaned, penniless and fresh from the country, finds herself abandoned in London, she has no idea of the pitfalls. It is during the last quarter of the 18th century, an era of vice and debauchery. She is completely innocent and falls into the clutches of a brothel madam who pretends to befriend her, and then sells her to the highest bidder - aristocratic rake, Lord Tarquin, an expert in punishment.

As her cruel master, he robs Lucy of her virginity and submits her to slavery, teaching her the painful pleasures of correction and bondage. She is fascinated by him, but wilful and confused, falls in love with a poor student, Charles Prescot. But they are forced to part.

She becomes the mistress of a perverted old nobleman, and is soon renowned for her extravagance and wild parties. She is pursued by Lord Tarquin, and finds Charles again, but she is now a woman of substance.

Will she continue to be a notorious courtesan? Will she be Lord Tarquin's slave, or marry Charles, or do all three?

'Nay, I have no children. The Reverend Jollian at your service, madam.' He pressed a mite closer to Lucy so she could feel his skinny thigh against hers. 'This is a young person of modest station, an orphan, no less, who is journeying to take up employment at Templebar House, the town residence of Lord and Lady Ludlow. I have church business in the city and offered to chaperone her.'
   'I see,' Mrs Clough said with a disparaging sniff. 'So she's a servant. It's hardly fitting for her to be travelling with gentlefolk, is it? Keep her under your eye, sir. Servants are a crafty lot, as I know to my cost. Not to be trusted as far as one can throw them. How charitable of you to bother with her.'
   'It is my duty, as the vicar of St John's in my Lord Ludlow's village,' Jollian pointed out with suitable humility.
   Lucy listened to this discourse in silence. They were discussing her as if she was a beast of burden with no feelings or opinions. She huddled inside her hooded cloak, her calves against her basket, her eyes lowered. Every time she glanced up, it was to see the garishly attired sons of the unpleasant Mrs Clough staring at her. They obviously thought themselves dandies with their tricorne hats cocked on their heads, their long hair drawn back into ponytails, their jackets fitting closely, their tight breeches tucked into the tops of Hessian boots. It was apparent by their attitude that they considered servant girls like her fair game. However, they were not wearing swords, the mark of a true gentleman, which meant their father was probably just a tradesman.
   As for the simpering, whey-faced Clementine, she was around Lucy's age and gaudily dressed, displaying a swelling bosom, her hair curled so tightly into rings it must have been in curlpapers all night. On her dainty feet she wore tight satin pumps with Louis heels poking out from beneath her hoop skirts. A plainer outfit would have been much more suitable for a long journey, but she was attired as if for a soirée at Bath's fashionable Pump Room. Even Lucy, who knew nothing about fashion, instinctively sensed that the whole Clough family had no taste at all, and realised she was in for a long and tiresome journey.
   The coachman flicked his whip, the horses leaned into the straps, and the carriage rumbled beneath the inn's archway. Somehow, Lucy was not quite sure how, she found herself moved so Jollian sat next to Mrs Clough. He was now between her and the snobbish woman, and Lucy wished with all her heart that she could be free of the feel of his body and the smell emanating from his musty black suit. His wig, too, carried the taint of grease and too heavy an application of powder. He was altogether an unsavoury person. Nevertheless, Mrs Clough was all over him, producing a small bottle from her reticule and inviting him to take a nip of gin.
   Simon and Rufus passed the time showing off for Lucy's benefit. They talked loudly of their exploits in town, boasted of their amatory conquests, their phenomenal luck at cards, and about the money they had won at cockfights and horseracing. Yet invariably their conversation reverted to dirty talk about women, until even their doting mother told them to desist, murmuring something about such words not being suitable for Clementine's delicate ears.
   Lucy, watching the girl's hot eyes and lecherous smile, guessed she was hardly the innocent creature her mother liked to think she was. No doubt Simon and Rufus had already permitted the raffish companions they knocked about with to seduce their sister. They had probably done it on a bet. Lucy began to detest them. She closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep, but they kept on touching her feet with theirs attempting to gain her attention.
   The countryside rolled past the windows – villages, hamlets, small towns and windmills turning lazily on the horizon, the verdant hillsides dotted with woolly sheep. Lucy dozed, lulled by the swaying of the coach over the bumpy roads. She awakened when it slowed down, thinking they must have reached the first stop along the way, another inn that kept fresh horses which could be exchanged for the weary, foam-flecked team.
   'Are we there?' she asked the vicar sleepily.
   'No, my dear, this is a stop to stretch one's legs and answer nature's call.' His speech was blurred and his step unsteady as he alighted from the coach and extended a hand to help Mrs Clough down.
   'About time, too,' the ginger-headed Simon exclaimed. 'Egad, I swear my eyeballs are floating! Out of the way, reverend, there's no stopping a man when he needs to take a piss. Ain't that so, wench?' He tried to include Lucy in the conversation.
   She ignored him and, while the rest of the passengers flexed their cramped limbs or made off in various directions in search of privacy, she breathed deeply of the wild flowers scenting the day, enjoying the pale sunshine and the sight of blue sky adrift with fluffy clouds.
   'All right, lass?' enquired the driver, a monarch of the highway on whose reliability and skill the speed of the vehicle and safety of the passengers depended. He was a stout figure that inspired respect.
   'Yes, sir, thank you,' she replied, and though he resembled him but little, he somehow reminded her of her father.
   'Call me Toby, if you like. Now, get yourself rested and comfortable,' he advised, his thick legs placed foursquare on the ground as he produced a large pie from an inner pocket of his triple-capped greatcoat. 'We'll not be stopping again till we reach Westmarsh, and there we'll put up for the night, going on to London in the morning.'
   Lucy was hungry. She found a tree stump, perched herself on it, and undid the pasty Martha had provided for her. There was a stone jar of water, too, drawn fresh from the well just as the sun was rising. It was tepid now, but no matter. It tasted like the finest wine to her as she watched the loutish Clough sons vanish into the woods, no doubt intent on terrorising harmless forest wildlife.
   After she had eaten, Lucy decided that she, too, would walk amidst the groves to enjoy the tranquillity, and find a secluded spot in which to prepare herself for the next long haul.
   She completed her ablutions by dipping her fingers in the ice-cold brook trickling over shiny black pebbles. High in an oak tree, a wood dove declaimed its wistful love song and the peace of the scene permeated her being. She prayed for the souls of her parents and for those of her brothers and sisters, and then wept for them. Afterwards, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand, she became aware of a bird screeching a warning. The bushes behind her rustled, and she turned around sharply.
   Jollian emerged, his presence casting a shadow over the woodlands and the silver water, and there was a queer look on his face that struck terror in her heart. He had overindulged in Mrs Clough's gin and this had apparently loosened the lustful devils within him.
   'Lucy,' he muttered, a long string of saliva hanging from his slack bottom lip. 'Pretty, winsome Lucy, you'll be kind to me, won't you? A man gets lonely, needs a bit of female company. Look what I've got for you.' His hand went down to his crotch. The flap was unbuttoned, and as it fell open she saw what she at first took to be the end of a brown scarf. Then she realised her mistake and the colour rushed to her cheeks. He was sporting an erection, and almost hopping before her in his eagerness like some poisonous toad.
   'Fasten up, sir,' she cried, leaping to her feet. 'Remember who you are, a priest of the parish, a man to be trusted and respected, a man who cares for his flock.'
   'I care only for you, sweetheart,' he declared, grabbing her hand and covering it with slobbering kisses before pushing it down to where his cock reared. 'Rub it for me. Go on, do it hard and I'll give you a bright, shining penny.'

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