‘That girl…’ Mrs Milton shook her head. Words failed her. James Westcott, her employer, smiled. ‘We mustn’t judge her too harshly Mrs Milton. It’s early days yet.’
That was the trouble with Mr Westcott, Irene Milton thought: too soft-hearted. A real gentleman but too soft-hearted by half. Whereas if it had been up to her she would have given the girl a good whipping by now. That was what would have happened to idle good-for-nothings in the old days and double quick.
‘That girl’ was Sharon Simmonds, hired almost two weeks ago as a sort of assistant to Mrs Milton who was Mr Westcott’s housekeeper. Mr Westcott it was who had actually made the final decision and naturally he had gone for this girl: a stunning blonde all right with a figure that thrust impressively out in all the right places and which she had thrust out at Mr Westcott when he had interviewed her.
Poor Mr Westcott had looked no further than that unfortunately. In a way it was understandable because, well, as a sort of maid Sharon Simmonds’s duties were to include being nice to Mr Westcott. That was not unreasonable for a young nineteen-year-old girl in domestic employment, keeping the master happy, and Irene Milton certainly saw nothing wrong in that. But not only was the young hussy bone idle as the day she was born, she also was not obliging Mr Westcott. Mrs Milton knew this because it had been up to her to acquaint Sharon with that part of her duties, Mr Westcott being much too much of a gentleman to wish to state his requirements to her directly.
Poor Mrs Milton had only got a mouthful of abuse when she had delicately suggested that Helen, the girl who had just left to get married, had obliged with. ‘What d’you think I am: a bloody tart?’
She certainly was no better than a common tart, Irene Milton was quite sure of that, but one who liked to give herself airs and graces. If she, Irene, had had her way she would have forcibly washed the girl’s mouth out with soap and water and then put a strap across her big backside for good measure.
However, Mrs Milton was on the wrong side of 50 and not as strong as she was, and she circumspectly accepted that she might not be able physically to handle such a well-built young madam.
‘We must give her a little time to settle in,’ James Westcott had observed when advised of Sharon’s robust response to his housekeeper’s discreet suggestion. ‘She is clearly a sensitive girl.’
Mrs Milton had snorted. ‘Sensitive my foot.’ Because Sharon, she knew, was no shrinking virgin. She had a boyfriend, or rather fiancé, whom on her first weekend Irene had generously agreed could visit. Her motive in agreeing had not been entirely altruistic. It was highly desirable to know as far as possible where you were with a new young girl and for that reason, and certainly not mere prurience, Mrs Milton had observed what had gone on in Sharon’s room through a convenient peep-hole in the wall. The young hussy had done it with that young man three times in little more than an hour, each time in a most lecherous manner. And even then, with her fiancé limp as a rag, she had been panting for more.
Quite disgraceful, especially in view of her response to Irene Milton’s very reasonable soundings out on behalf of her employer.
James Westcott had not been acquainted with what his house-keeper had — wide-eyed, frowning, open-mouthed — observed; he was, in Irene’s estimation, of too delicate and gentlemanly a nature to wish to know such matters. In fact that gentleman would have been highly interested. Indeed had it not been necessary for him to be away from home that weekend he would no doubt have been observing events himself.
For James had a peep-hole into the maid’s room of his own — from an opposite wall to Mrs Milton’s but it afforded just as excellent a view and he was in the habit of frequently using it when Sharon got up and went to bed. She had quite a ravishing body, even more magnificent nude than when he had seen it displayed in those fetching garments at her interview. James was hotly lusting after her as he had lusted after her on that very first sighting, and although he was able to maintain a controlled and urbane front for Mrs Milton’s benefit he was getting desperate to get at the girl.
‘I can’t get ‘er to do a blessed thing,’ moaned that good woman, and not for the first time. ‘Peeling potatoes is quite beneath ‘er.’
James Westcott, sitting at his desk in his study, shook his head sympathetically. But he wasn’t too concerned about potatoes, more what you might call oats. It was a pity he wasn’t a bolder man but he never had been and now, approaching 60, he was not likely to change. Something would have to be done soon, though, the girl had been with them for close to two weeks now. He knew what Mrs Milton would suggest.
As if in some telepathic response she observed, ‘You know what that Deirdre needed, Mr Westcott; to get her going.’
Yes, Deirdre Thompkins, the girl before Helen, had also been a trifle reluctant in certain of her duties. Happy enough to peel potatoes etc, but reluctant in some of the areas James Westcott was interested in. Not nearly so independently-minded as this Sharon of course, but Deirdre had been brought to heel, as it were, by letting Fred Arnold loose on her.
Fred was the local blacksmith, a man with a powerful right arm and more than willing to use it on a young woman’s bottom. He had been brought in after some minor — perhaps even imaginary — fault had been diagnosed in Deirdre’s work. After a couple of afternoon sessions with Fred, Deirdre had been happy to agree to anything.
‘I think we should call in that Fred Arnold. He’ll sort ‘er out and then we’ll all be a lot happier.’
The master of the house pursed his lips. Perhaps it was time for that? She had been given plenty of rope and it did unfortunately seem she was not responding. He was a mild-mannered man himself whereas Fred Arnold could be extremely aggressive — vicious one could even say. He seemed to really enjoy giving a girl a good working over. That poor Deirdre, she had been in a state afterwards. James shook his head at the thought. But she had then been most co-operative and docile.
‘I think we should wait a little longer, Mrs Milton. Try and reason with her: do your very best. I don’t really like calling in Mr Arnold.’
‘You won’t get anywhere unless you do, sir, I can tell you that.’ Mrs Milton’s tones brooked no argument. ‘Shall we say one week then, Mr Westcott?’ It was necessary she felt to tie him down, otherwise being so soft-hearted he would never grasp the nettle.
Mr Westcott after a moment’s hesitation said, ‘Very well then.’ His housekeeper’s eyes gleamed with keen anticipation. ‘Very good, sir.’
The subject of all this interest continued to go her own sweet way. This domestic service was all right so long as you didn’t let yourself be put upon. By that Mrs Milton primarily, who was a proper old bugger and no doubt a right Tartar if you let her get her own way. As for Mr Westcott he was all right, a pleasant and harmless old cove. Had she really understood Mrs Milton correctly when she said that about the other girl, Helen? Surely a respectable old gent like him wouldn’t be doing his maid? Mind you, you did hear funny things about these nobs.
Yes domestic service was OK. Sharon was planning to have Kevin visit again at the weekend. A girl needed a bit of you know what now and then. Presumably she had better tell Mrs Milton…
That lady, to Sharon’s astonishment, said, ‘No, my girl.’ And then went on, ‘But I’ve got someone else who’ll be paying you a visit.’
Sharon was speechless; then said ‘What d’you bleeding mean?’
Mrs Milton pursed thin lips. With any luck afterwards she might get into action with that soapy water. Sharon attempted to insist he was coming but the housekeeper cut her short. ‘Don’t you dare, my girl.’
And somehow there was now an added steely quality to the older woman’s voice. For the first time since entering Mr Westcott’s employment, Sharon felt less than one hundred per cent sure of herself. Somewhat subdued she went to phone Kevin that it wasn’t convenient this weekend, he was to make it next. Sharon told herself this was of course only a temporary aberration.
Mr Arnold, who was Mr Arnold? ‘Never you mind, my girl. Just get into the drawing room and wait there.’
It was Saturday afternoon and Mrs Milton still had that rather cocky manner. Sharon was going to have to do something about that but for the moment… with a defiant look she complied. She wasn’t in her maid’s uniform which she thought not very trendy; instead it was a T-shirt and jacket plus an ultra-short skirt. In the drawing room she puffed at a cigarette, mindless of the ash that was descending onto Mr Westcott’s expensive carpet. Who was this bloody Mr Arnold?
Suddenly the door flew open and there was someone — presumably him. A tough-looking bloke in shirt-sleeves and with powerful forearms. Sharon looked… as he came striding over. To grab her arm in a vice-like grip. She yelped as he roughly pulled her up off the couch. His face, with a sardonic grin, inches from hers.
‘Need sorting out do we, Miss?’
Sharon wondered for a moment if she was dreaming — or going mad. He grabbed her cigarette and put it down. And then he was yanking off her jacket.
‘Let’s see how you like your bum tanned, shall we?’
There was nothing she could do. She struggled but he was about a hundred times as strong as she was. She yelped — and swore — but that didn’t help either as he got her twisted over his lap and then was grabbing down her skimpy black knickers. It was unbelievable. And then… Jesus bloody Christ! That hand was slamming down on her bare bum like a slab of concrete.
The stinging pain of the hand was beyond words. And so of course was the shame and humiliation of what was happening. It didn’t stop: if anything it got worse. Sharon was yelping out like a little kid. And like a little kid she also realised she was now crying. Blubbing. Bloody Jesus. As well as the sobs and yelps there were now desperate pleadings for him to stop.
He didn’t stop, though, he kept on. And on. Well, he did finally stop, it seemed like about two hours later. It also seemed like she couldn’t stand up, her legs like two sticks of jelly. Mrs Milton, she vaguely realised, was now there. Saying something to this dreadful bastard Arnold. Then he was going out, with a final vicious swipe at her raw bottom.
‘I hope that has taught you a lesson, my girl.’
Mrs Milton, her triumphant face close up, was telling Sharon to open her mouth. She did, she wasn’t in a state to argue with anybody. Then she was spluttering, choking.
Irene Milton, eyes gleaming, held the soapy flannel firmly in. ‘We must wash that mouth out after all that dreadful swearing, Sharon.’
After that, after Mrs Milton had finally let her spit out the horrible soapy flannel, well, it was still like being in dream, a nightmare. Perhaps not quite so much a nightmare now exactly. A trance. She knew it was happening but it was like it was happening to someone else. It was Mr Westcott now, of course.
He had come quietly in after Mrs Milton went out with her flannel and he was very kind. Perhaps it had all been Mrs Milton’s doing and not Mr Westcott himself. He put his arm round her in a kind way and said what she needed was a nice warm bath. Sharon was still too shocked to argue with anything but that did sound like a nice idea, in so far as anything could be nice with the way her bottom felt — like a slab of raw meat. Trembling still she allowed herself to be led upstairs, Mr Westcott saying softly soothing things.
In the bathroom Mr Westcott ran the bath and then he slipped Sharon’s clothes off. Her mind was still in that state of disbelief and the fact that he was running his hands over her ripe, still shell-shocked body didn’t seem any stranger than anything else.
Sharon had her bath — it did calm her somewhat — and then she got dried. Or rather Mr Westcott dried her because he was still there. Then they went to her room. Mr Westcott said softly, ‘I hope Mrs Milton is not going to invite that Mr Arnold over again, Sharon; he is a bit of a shocker, isn’t he?’ Then he slipped her dressing gown off, which was all she had on.
Pushing her gently down on her bed he said, ‘I’ll have a word with her, shall I? Otherwise…’ And then…
Still in that funny trance-like state it was almost as if it was being done to someone else. Though at the same time Sharon knew it was being done to her. Obviously what Mrs Milton had more or less said about Mr Westcott doing that other maid had been true.
But being done by Mr Westcott had to be a thousand times better than being done by that diabolical Arnold person.