Revolutionettes, Chapter 18

  • Posted on May 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

By Amanda

Neither Sandra nor I had drunk so much that we felt unwell the next morning. I led my love down the stairs and into the dining room, and over the next hour the rest of the women found their way there for breakfast. It was all quite informal.

Many of my guests were suffering from the night before, and I knew Josette’s remedy was nearly useless. However, Charity offered to make something to help them all, and her remedy was both fast and effective.

By noon everyone was cheery and ready for the final night of the party. I toured the house, making small talk as I did, finally stopping when I found the Madame Le Granade sitting in my library reading.

“Madame,” I said as I entered.

She marked her page and closed the book. “Hardly matters if I keep my place,” she said, looking at the tome. “Force of habit really.”

“I’ll leave it as an open invitation for your return,” I offered. Annabelle smiled at me.

“I wanted to thank you for greeting Charity.”

“The Negress?” she shrugged. “What’s the use of having all this influence if I can’t do something noble once in a while.”

Annabelle invited me to sit next to her, and I did.

“I once believed in slavery, and remaining loyal to the Crown,” she said. “I looked down on the common people, the poor, the Negros, the Orientals. I thought them all beneath me. Then, after the Revolution, I occasioned to speak with people other than just those of my own class and station. I found them charming in their determination and diligence. In the time since the Revolution I have come to believe that there is no one truly beneath me, only those less fortunate. I have seen people of standing lose their wealth, their homes, everything they had, and come to realize that it is only through chance or by the grace of God that I have held onto mine.”

“Words of wisdom,” I said with a smile.

“And I learned too late in life, I fear, to undo those things I’ve done that I now would consider immoral. At my age, you are keenly aware that the grave is ever approaching. It makes you look back on your life with different eyes. You are fortunate indeed that you had such wisdom so young.”

“I was orphaned. I dare say it is only the greatest fortune that I did not live my life as a simple maid, and in time a poor wife. Were it not for me meeting one particular girl, who was living in the home of a good man, my fate might have been… I shudder to think.”

“There but for the grace of God…” Annabelle repeated quietly.

“You believe in God?” I asked.

“I am a very bad Catholic. Which is no surprise, I was born here in Paris after all. I don’t know if I believe in everything the Church teaches, but I do think there is a deity.  Don’t you?”

“Not really,” I answered bluntly. “But don’t you worry about judgement?”

“‘Course I do, girl,” she laughed. “If the priests are right, I’ll be damned. I’ve not gone to confession in twenty years, and have committed such sins with women and girls that if I confessed them I would be excommunicated. But I don’t truly believe in damnation. It seems too cruel for a God who is supposed to love us so very much.”

“I suppose it’s the doctrine of hell that made me stop believing,” I said.

“Not to worry. We’ll likely cross paths in hell, if there is such a thing, and we can debate it there,” she quipped.

I couldn’t help laughing. Annabelle was stern and distant most of the time. She exuded an air of nobility in her normal comings and goings. But I, and perhaps a few others, were privileged once in a while to see a lighter side of her. For me, it was when she and I were alone as we were now.

“I have come to develop a great fondness for you, Elizabeth Jordan,” she said. “Were I thirty years younger, I’d give that pretty little maid you’ve taken up with a fight she would not soon forget.”

“What about the pretty maid you keep?”

“No, she is much too young. And to be honest, I do not even know if she is of like mind to us,” Annabelle replied.

After a moment’s pause, I said, “I have a question I’ve not found an answer to for years.”

Annabelle raised her eyebrow. “Do tell.”

“What is the word for women like us? We say ‘of like mind’, and I call us tom boys and ladies, but do we have a proper word?”

“The English call us Sapphists, I think. I have read of women like us being known as Tribades and Lesbians, the latter being a reference, I believe, to Sappho’s place of origin.”

“I have heard of Sappho,” I said. “So, there have been women like us since ancient times?”

“I’m certain of it,” Annabelle nodded.

“But what is it that makes us like this?” I asked.

She seemed to contemplate the question a time, then said, “There are those who say we suffer some madness, and others who see it as willful wickedness. But I prefer to think we were created this way for some purpose… though in all my years, I’ve not been able to imagine what that might be.”

“If that were true, it would seem that for some of us the purpose is to be damned to a life of permanent melancholy.”

“Well, at least you alleviated that for some of us,” Annabelle said with a smile. “Now, I think you’ve entertained this old crone far too long. Go and mingle with your guests before you’re missed.”

Taking her advice, I set about spending time with as many of the other women as I could find. I kept Sandra on my arm. I do not know how many people knew of my arrangement with the girl, but I wanted to be near her as much as I could for fear that I might never see her again after this party.

Eventually we found ourselves in the courtyard where Josephine and Penelope were flirting in a corner.

“Mistress,” Sandra said as we approached them.

Josephine turned toward us. “Aren’t we cozy,” she teased. “You make a lovely couple.” She pulled Penelope close to her. “This little girl tells me she’s a virgin,” Josephine grinned.

“Does she?” I said, trying to contain my mirth.

“Oh, that it were true,” Josephine laughed. She looked at Penelope. “Come, child, you do have the look of experience.”

“Is it my age?” Penelope asked. “Do I seem too old to be a virgin?” Then she sighed, “I don’t know why I bother. It’s not as if anyone would pass up the chance to bed me.”

“Indeed,” Josephine agreed. “And since you broached the subject…”

“Penelope,” I interjected, “perhaps this once you should resist your baser urges. I’ve no doubt someone else would be happy to indulge you.”

“Nonsense, darling,” Josephine protested. “Come now, even I can behave myself once in a while.” She tightened her grip on the girl. “I promise I won’t break her. Now if you will excuse us.” She began walking away with Penelope, then stopped before Sandra, looking her in the eye.

“Sandra, dear, would you like to join us?” Josephine was teasing me.

“I mustn’t, mistress,” Sandra curtseyed.

“That’s not a no.” I told Sandra. She looked at me with fear in her eyes. “I’ll not stop you.”

I pulled her close for a moment. “Would it be easier if I ordered you to go with them?” I asked.

Sandra was silent for what seemed quite a time before she curtseyed low. “I’m sorry, miss, I’m truly sorry. It is not for me to indulge myself.”

“Then allow me.” I pushed her toward Josephine hard enough that my former mistress had to catch her. Sandra couldn’t bring herself to state what she wanted, but to me it was obvious enough.

I watched the three of them return to the house. If Sandra chose to stay with me, then this would be the last time she would ever be able to make love to her mistress.

Back inside, I caught up to Catherine and somehow coaxed her up to my room. There I lay on my bed. She was watching me with a knowing smile, but it certainly did not seem like she was tempted.

“Alice says that I probably will never see her again,” I began. I patted the bed next to me and with a chuckle Catherine came and sat down. “Do you think you’ll ever return to France?” I asked.

“Of course not. Eliza and Alice have a daughter, as do I. I can hardly believe that we were able to be here at all. Besides, a ship really is no place for a woman. It would please me to never again have to set foot upon one.” She sighed, “Come along, dear, we should go back to the parlor.”

I reached out and stroked her arm. “Catherine, in all these years the only thing I’ve regretted is you not having me.”

“I, it’s, you’re like a daughter,” she said. “It isn’t that you aren’t beautiful or tempting, but… I don’t think I could.”

“Kiss me,” I begged. “Touch me, and if you still don’t think you can, then I’ll accept it.”

I sat up and drew close to her. I pressed my lips to hers and we kissed, perhaps more passionately than we ever had before. I took her hand and placed it on my breast, giving her permission to undress me.

Catherine pushed me down to the bed and opened my dress. She caressed my bare flesh, causing me to shudder. I could feel the blood rushing to my sex and the tingle in my belly.

She took my nipple in her mouth and suckled gently. Catherine pushed my dress the rest of the way open until I lay fully naked before her. She ran her hand along my flanks, and I couldn’t help but draw a deep breath and smile up at her.

“I’ve dreamed of this,” I whispered.

Catherine’s fingers played in circles on my belly. I was trembling at her touch. I reached out to began undoing the buttons of her shirt, but she stopped me. I lay back down and she removed her shirt, then her breeches.

“Are you pleased?” she asked me.

I had never seen her completely naked. She had seen me in various states of undress many times, but this was the first time I’d ever seen Catherine undressed.

“I am.”

She leaned down and kissed me while running her hand over my mound and into my soft pubic hair. Her hand had only just folded down to brush against my sex when she stopped and sat back, covering her face.

“Oh god Liz, I’m sorry,” she said. “I may be many things, dear girl, but you truly are my first daughter and I cannot do this.”

I sat up. “Catherine, look at me. I’m a woman. I know I’m still comely, and I’m ready for you.” As I said this, I took her hand and guided it back between my thighs.

“See for yourself how ready.” I pressed her fingers into my folds and let her feel my wetness.

“Oh Liz, you tempt me, but this is wrong.” Again she tried to pull away, but I would not let her.

“Is it?” I said, before finally letting go of her hand. “Then go.”

She did not move.

“Catherine, I want this. I’ve always wanted this.”

She looked into my eyes for some time. She seemed unsure, something I was not accustomed to seeing in her.

”I’m so sorry Liz,” she finally said. She stood and begin to dress. I sighed and began putting my underclothing back on, but I decided I’d not bother with trying to get back into my dress.

“I do love you, child, but not like this.” She smiled at me. “I’m a lech, but not a cad.” She pulled me close and kissed my forehead. “You are the one pure love I’ve ever had. To me you’ll always be that untainted wide-eyed girl I first met in my tavern. Let me keep that… stay my daughter, Liz.”

Disappointed, I agreed, and we returned to the party with me on her arm. I did not care that all the women there would assume she’d taken me. I rather liked the idea to be honest.

“Be still my heart.” Josephine’s voice came from the main stair.

Catherine and I turned to see her coming down with Penelope and Sandra in tow. I held my hand out and Sandra hurried to me. I pulled her close and kissed her.

“Two of my favorite girls together,” said Josephine. “Was she all I remember, Catherine?”

“I wouldn’t know,” Catherine responded.

“No!” Josephine gasped. “Are you losing your touch?”

“I’m afraid that I would be the one losing my touch,” I admitted. Josephine gave me a confused look. “It’s true, mistress.”

“What is the world coming to?” she laughed. “Well, all the same.” She waved her hand. “Is dinner soon?”

“In about an hour,” I told her.

I had told everyone that there would be a show that night. During dinner the women speculated wildly about what it might be, but I and my co-conspirators would not reveal anything.

When the meal was done, we retired to the parlor and drank absinthe. Josephine provided us with the hemp she smoked, and we passed the next few hours quite dazed and drunk. At last the clock struck ten, and I led the ladies to my second floor where I had laid out pillows much as I had done the year before.

Once everyone was gathered, Annette entered and stood before the makeshift bed. I departed and found Virginia waiting below at the foot of the stair in her nun’s habit.

“Keep the coif and veil on,” I instructed.

She looked nervous but nodded.

“Will you be alright?” I asked.

“Yes, I will.”

She drew a deep breath, and we ascended the stair and entered my second floor ball room, as it were.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” I began as we stepped into view.

All of the women turned to us. Many appeared quite shocked seeing Virginia dressed in a habit.

“Tonight, our lovely Virginia, a virtuous nun” — there were titters of laughter — “will be violated before your very eyes.”

I led her over to Annette.

“Mind you, my friends,” I said, “this is no costume. This girl you see before you is indeed truly a nun, having taken her vows and committed her life to the church.”

“It’s true,” Virginia affirmed. Several women seemed taken aback.

I handed the girl to Annette who began kissing her. They lowered slowly down onto the pillows, caressing one another and kissing as they did.

First Virginia removed her lover’s dress, and soon after Annette began removing the nun’s habit, but Virginia was careful not to allow her headdress or crucifix to be taken off. Beneath she wore black stockings and garters, but nothing else, and these Annette left in place.

“Come, my child,” Virginia urged, in a stage whisper. “Show your devotion to the blessed virgin.”

Several women gasped at this.

Virginia pulled Annette to her breast, and her lover kissed and suckled, moving ever downward until at last she had reached the nun’s spread legs. Annette hesitated a moment before nearly falling forward and lapping at her sex. Virginia moaned and rocked her hips. She ran her fingers through Annette’s hair as the woman drove her fingers deep inside the girl.

The coif was nearly dislodged from Virginia’s head when she threw it back and cried out in ecstasy. Annette held her firmly, suckling her clitoris while the nun convulsed.

Virginia fell back onto the pillows, trying to catch her breath. Annette gently adjusted her head covering, then coaxed her to sit up. She kissed the girl, and they reclined, threading their legs together, each pressing her sex against that of the other. I’d never seen such a thing and was quite fascinated. They were moving in concert with one another, moaning as they did. They moved faster and faster, grunting and gasping until at last Annette and then Virginia each had reached climax.

They lay a time, recovering and caressing, before Virginia rose to her knees and crossed herself. “May the Lord bless and keep you,” she intoned.

This was almost too much for the ladies and they began cheering wildly.

I was quite pleased with it all. I called for Josette and had her escort my guests back to the parlor and provide them with champagne.

Myself, Annette, and Virginia lagged behind, waiting to make a grand entrance. Annette put on her underclothing, while Virginia remained only in her coif and veil.

“Thank you,” I said to them.

“All too happy to be a part of it,” Virginia laughed.

“Shall we meet your audience?” I asked, and they nodded their heads.

We made our way to the parlor where I announced them again to the cheers of my guests. “A toast to my lovely friends,” I said, “who entertained us so generously.”

The women raised their glasses and we drank. I began blowing out candles, not all of them but enough that the room was soon filled with shadow.

I found Sandra and took her to my side, then said to my guests, “I thank you all for coming, ladies. I hope you are all highly excited by the scandal and bawdiness of my party. Please, take your lover in your arms and enjoy this last night we have together.”

To encourage them, I pulled Sandra close and kissed her deeply. She sighed in my arms and almost seemed to melt into me. I wasted no time in removing her dress and then my own underclothes. We lay upon the floor kissing as we did.

Around us, women began to embrace one another. Unlike my first party, it took very little persuading to get them all undressed and making love.

“I wonder,” I said to Sandra as we lay gently caressing, “if this will be our last night together…”

She wrapped her arms around me and kissed me deeply when I spoke. It was no answer, no real hint, but I preferred not to think about the future at that moment.

Sandra reached between my thighs and pushed her fingers into my sex. “Use me for your pleasure, mistress,” she said, and then she was once again whispering her nearly incoherent mantras as she passionately kissed my body and worked to excite my loins.

When her mouth covered my sex and she drove her tongue between my folds I shuddered. Sandra was an expert lover in every sense. As she lapped at me and suckled my most sensitive places, she hummed a lullaby. The reverberations of it sent waves of pleasure through my body. She had never done anything like this before, and the ecstasy of it robbed me of any strength.

Without thinking about it I had raised my knees and was rocking with her tender attentions. The fire of my climax built within my belly and burst from me in shattering waves, and all the while Sandra continued her humming.

When I was fully spent, Sandra crawled to lay beside me. “Penelope taught me that,” she explained. “I’d no notion such a thing could be done.”

I returned the devilish kiss, humming the very same lullaby as she. As I did, Sandra moaned and writhed such that I had to wrap my arms about her thighs to maintain my hold on her. In a sudden movement she curled forward taking my head in her hands, and then fell back arching herself and nearly screaming. I’d never seen her react so. Then, to my utter shock my chin was dowsed in moisture.

With Sandra catching her breath I moved to lay behind her, spooning. Around us some of the women still made love, while others had long since sated one another. In time they all began to retire, and with that Sandra and I sought the privacy of our room.

In bed we pulled close to one another. She lay her head against my breast and I held her, stroking her back as I stared at the ceiling above. “Reste avec moi… mon cher.”

“Forever yours,” she murmured. I only understood part of what she’d said. She was very sleepy, and I was not certain she was even aware of what she was saying. I did not even want to dare the hope, for fear it would be dashed.

When morning came, I served my guests breakfast. Afterward I found myself bidding farewell to them in turn. Among the last to leave was the Madame. I had a driver prepared to take Josephine, Catherine, Eliza, and Alice to their hotel. They had booked a return passage on the same ship they’d arrived on, and it would take them days to get back to it.

Eliza and Alice were the first to say their goodbyes. Alice and I wept in each other’s arms. I wished I could promise her I would find my way back to the United States, but I knew that such a thing was almost impossible. And of course I knew that they would never return here.

They were followed by Catherine. There was no end of tears as we were both certain that this would be our final goodbye. I held Catherine such a long time, not wanting her to go. She was my oldest, dearest, most beloved friend. As I stood holding her, enjoying the matronly embrace, I realized that I was relieved we had not made love. She was a mother to me, and that is how it always should be.

At long last I managed to bring myself to let her go. When we stepped apart, Sandra took my arm and pulled close to me. She was trembling, and I think perhaps I might have been too.

Josephine then stood before us, smiling. “Well, Liz, there is only the matter of Sandra.”

I nodded my head.

“Come along, girl, it is time to go,” Josephine ordered. “I think you’ve shamed me enough.”

Sandra released my arm and I felt my knees go weak. She approached Josephine, her head bowed. Her steps were hesitant and once she reached her mistress she fell to her knees, taking the hem of Josephine’s dress in her hands.

“Forgive me, mistress,” she sobbed. “Please forgive me.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks. For everything else, for all my love, she was Josephine’s. The chains binding her would never be broken.

Josephine knelt down and pulled the girl to her. They whispered a moment before Josephine stood, tugging her dress from Sandra’s hands.

“Rise,” she ordered and Sandra obeyed. Josephine then approached me, her smile not fading. She came so close I found myself fighting not to shrink from her. My former mistress looked me over, studying my face. After a moment, she stepped back and took Sandra’s arm, pulling her close.

“Sandra, tell her your decision.”


 

Scroll down for the conclusion of Revolutionettes

I am not an extraordinary woman, but I have had an extraordinary life, mostly due to much good fortune being heaped upon me, and a helping of gall that served me well more often than not.

My life continued on like this for many years. I saw many old and new faces in my tavern and held my yearly parties, always striving to make each one more awful than the year before. Of course, it was all in fun. My parties were meant to allow us to run wild and unrestrained. To let us have for those three days the freedom we never had in the outside world, and the debauchery we engaged in was meant to draw that out.

But as the years go by, one finds she attends more funerals than parties and that too much correspondence arrives in black-edged envelopes. The first was Annabelle La Granade, who passed two years after Sandra made her decision. She was attended by only her family and myself, as she had specifically called for me. In accordance with her wishes, her son continued to supply my tavern, though not at the prices his mother had given me.

Six years later, Catherine died of tuberculosis. Her daughter later married and is raising two sons I hear. Her daughter kept Charity in the home they had shared, and cared for her for the last four years of the former slave’s life. From all accounts, Elizabeth had loved Charity as a second mother. Though I must assume she had no idea of what their true relationship had been.

Virginia was, as she had predicted, found out by the Church, and I kept my promise to her. She worked in my tavern and lived in the house above for many years before I simply gave it all to her. She and Annette remain as close as ever to this day, though Annette’s health is failing and age is taking its toll as well on the former nun.

On occasion I still visit the Velvet Pony. It is more for nostalgia’s sake than anything else. The faces have all changed, but the old tavern remains a meeting place for women seeking one another’s company. I hear tell of salons and cafes which cater only to our kind, and have even visited one such place. I once believed women like us were an exceedingly rare breed. In my later years, though, I have come to think that perhaps we are not so rare as I’d previously thought.

Some years ago, Josephine took in a young girl of seventeen who had run away to escape marriage. Sadly for us all, her father found the girl and exposed Josephine. A male relative, one Marcus Wellerby, used the opportunity to steal Josephine’s wealth and have her committed to an asylum where she would spend the last eight years of her life.

As I have said, many of my friends have been taken from me. For some I know their fate, for others I do not. Josephine, however, is the only woman I know who was placed in an asylum after being discovered. Though I hear rumors of others, I have never confirmed any of them. I think the only reason her fate was so unthinkable was the extremity with which she lived. Had she and the girl simply been sweethearts, I do not think the results would have been so bad. After all, I think the father might not have imagined what was really happening. But he must have discovered something awful, because Josephine’s exploits became known. He did not simply take his daughter back, he exposed Josephine and publicly shamed her. A mistake for him, I suppose, as his name and his daughter’s were printed and his family humiliated. He lost his business, and from what I hear the daughter soon took her own life.

I traveled to New York to try and secure Josephine’s release, but failed to do so. I begged Mr. Wellerby to retrieve her and turn her over to me, but he was a beastly man, devoid of any compassion or kindness. I went so far as to offer a bribe, but I simply hadn’t enough money to interest him.

I am ashamed to admit that I even offered my body. I told him that just like Josephine I desired only women, and that men’s hands had never touched me. I told him that if he brought her to me, he would be the first. I would stay a month with him, and in that time he could do with me whatever pleased him.

I find it a source of embarrassment to admit to such a thing, and more so that he declined. Of course, I would never have upheld my end of the bargain, but I also knew that no matter what I could not have escaped unsoiled by his touch.

I do not know what animosity he held for her, but I believe the man truly hated Josephine and wanted to hurt her. Perhaps the only solace I could take is that Josephine was well cared for in the asylum, and her accommodations were the best one could hope for under such circumstances.

I found Temperance still serving in that house, and took the girl back to Paris with me. She said nothing of the man who’d taken her mistress from her. In truth, when I asked of him she would shrink and tremble. I take that as proof enough that he abused her.

In all the years I’ve known her since, she never spoke of her time with him, and seeing the distress it caused her, I never pressed. But from time to time I reminded her that should she ever wish it, I would hear her story.

She serves as a maid in my home to this day. However, I fear she will mourn the loss of her mistress to her grave. I do not think I will ever really understand why those girls, Temperance and Sandra, so loved Josephine, but they did indeed love her. I suppose for my part I do not think Josephine was wicked or intentionally cruel. But I think she was not a good woman either. Whether she meant it that way or not, what she did amounted to wickedness and cruelty. I do not think she had ever given a thought to what would become of her maids if something happened to her.

After Josephine’s death, I received a trunk that contained her personal effects, and fourteen volumes of what I can only call her diaries. They proved a most fascinating and terrible read. They did not significantly change my opinion of her, but they did allow me to understand her better.

Eliza died five years ago, and dear Alice followed her to the grave a few months later, from a broken heart they say. I learned this when a guitar arrived for me at my home. I recognized it right away as the lyre-style guitar the girl had so often played. I hardly needed an explanation, though, as it came along with a black-edged envelope.

We had continued writing each other until just before she passed. A month after I had received the guitar, a letter arrived. I recognized Alice’s hand on the envelope and when I opened the letter it read only, ‘I’m so alone.’ It must have been delayed or perhaps found and sent on once she was gone, but seeing it after knowing she was dead sent a chill down my spine.

Angelique and Jezebel lived for years in Paris, but they left some time ago and I have no idea where they are now or if they are even still alive. My last meeting with them, however, found them deliriously happy together and I should hope that they have remained that way.

Monique disappeared with a Dutch girl. I have heard conflicting rumors about her perhaps living in Amsterdam, but no one seems to know anything for certain. It is a necessity that we keep our secrets. But this also often means that dear friends or lovers may be lost forever. Even posing as widows or spinsters we were subject to men and their whims. And we mustn’t risk discovery no matter the cost. Josephine is proof enough of that, I think.

I ferried slaves out of the south for years. Catherine’s daughter, Elizabeth, continued her mother’s efforts with the blessing of her husband. But in time I was no longer able to keep up with the many demands of such a pursuit while also trying to appear as a legitimate shipping company. Finally I sold my ships to Elizabeth and now live in retirement from the wealth I was able to build over my life. I am proud that I was a part of the early abolitionist movement, even at such a distance. I may never see it, but I do hope a day will come that sees no slavery anywhere in the world.

I have no heir. All my worldly goods will belong to France when I die. Save, that is, what I have hidden away for Temperance and Josette. It should be enough for them to live a comfortable enough life on. It is my hope that they will remain at one another’s side. I do not think they were ever lovers, but they have always been close.

Neither Sandra nor Josephine told me what they whispered to each other that day in my entry hall. But in the end, Sandra chose to remain with me. We lived together, in love, never leaving one another’s side for twenty-six years, until two years ago when I lay my beloved Sandra to rest. Some nights the emptiness of my bed denies me even the slightest hint of sleep. I did not know I could love someone so deeply, nor miss them so dearly as I do Sandra.

In the years after she left her mistress, she slowly began to shed her chains. Sandra would always remain submissive to me, but she would, in time, stop calling me miss or mistress. And submissive though she was, she learned to speak her mind, and to make known her will in matters. I think men expect we women to be submissive. And having had such a woman at my side I understand the appeal. But as Sandra slowly began to act as my equal, I was much happier. I cared for her happiness greatly, so fulfilling it became much easier and more complete as she learned to express her wants and wishes.

When she died, her hand was in mine and our closest friends stood watch with me. Much as Maddy had, she died peacefully in her sleep. Her last words to me were simply, ‘Thank you, Liz.’ I like to believe she meant for taking her from Josephine, but her true intent I suppose I will never know.

Sandra had left instructions that she wished to be buried in her uniform, a uniform that had hung in my wardrobe for twenty years unused. It was worn and threadbare, but thanks to my skills with needle and thread I made it presentable for a funeral. As I worked on it, I found in a pocket three copper coins which I did not immediately recognize as pennies from the United States. They were old and seemed to have been worried over so much that most of the markings were missing. I nearly tossed them out when it occurred to me that she surely had carried them for a very long time. Thus I decided I would return them to the pocket so she could be interred with them.

I have left out much of my story. Nearly all of the troubles I faced in my life I have said nothing of. But troubles were many. I’ve seen so many dear friends snatched away. Forced to marry, or being married and discovered by their husbands, then made prisoners in their homes. Penelope was discovered by a husband we did not know she had, and beaten so badly that she nearly died. He then threw her out onto the streets and whatever has become of her I do not know. What I do know, I only know because after it happened she stayed with me three months. Then one morning I awoke to find that she and several expensive gold trinkets had gone missing in the night. She was a desperate girl with no prospects. I do not begrudge her the theft, and would consider it worth the small loss just to know if she was well. I suppose I hope most that she did not end up in a brothel. Even another husband would be better than that.

Out of respect for the families of those women I have known, I have in this telling used false names or forgone surnames. My own name is not what I have called it, because I am known in Paris, and my servants and associates would suffer shame if I were exposed. Only Josephine’s name is unchanged, as her exploits were known, and if it brings more shame on the man who committed her that this be known, then all the better.

I do not care about my fortune, nor if my name goes down in history. But what I do wish is for these pages to find their way into the hands of other Sapphists, or Lesbians, or whatever it is we are called. I want them to know what we did here so that we will never be forgotten. So that, though small it may be, it will be seen that we did leave our mark on history. That even beneath the boot heel of men, we found some happiness.

Fin

4 Comments on Revolutionettes, Chapter 18

  1. Jack says:

    Amanda, this was an absolutely marvelous tale, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing It! The mix of history and erotica was superb! Mercí beaucoup!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I can only agree with Jack, it was one of the most wonderful stories I’ve ever read, thank you, Amanda, so so much for this beautiful gem!

  3. Swan says:

    I agree with the earlier comments; this story was wonderful and the author is to be congratulated for her hard work in developing it. I also appreciate that besides the wonderful sex, which we have come to expect from this site, she also has gently reminded us (more than once) of the great harm that our prejudices can cause to our fellow human beings.

  4. Wistful says:

    I can only echo the comments above. A superb, gripping, erotic story. Thank you.

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