There has been new stories in my life. I’m in the thrall of writing a book written for myself as much as for you. Today I feel I’m learning that life has to happen while you’re away. After spending a week in the hospital and not able to write. I could only lay there and think. What would make my dream come to the paper? In reality showing up for work, with fervent content in mind, would or could discharge the reprimand. Was I supposed to forget my promise to writing. No. You deserve more, and I demand better from the writer within. So without and within your servant of the pen brings you a new copy of page to peruse.
7 May, 1888 Having sent my man early this morning to a known house of mistresses with my needs one was hired and should arrive shortly.
Hearing the coachman’s call to the horses I walked to the window for a viewing of my newest hire. My second was at the gate waiting step in hand to assist in her departure from the box. In an instant she emerged her dress was day elegant. In a high collar button up bodice top with ruffles around the scalloped hem and round the collar down into a V at the top of her breast. Well manicured cuffs with four button sergeants around it. Her skirt made of the same linen ran to the ground bustled with four inch ruffles wrapping the whole of it to a pleated hem at the floor. Her hair was dark brown in curls along the face, pulled back into braids high on the crown and flowing long down her back. She traversed the walk to the house with grace of a poem stepping lightly on each note as not to harm it. Her skin was as alabaster carved smooth by the hand of a master without flaw to her beauty.
I greeted her at the front door with her soon to be student in tow. Offering her refuge in the study where we could talk, I sent Savant to the kitchen for tea and cakes. Learning that her name was Narcissa au Consort that had been taught at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She had studied the languages of French, Italian, German, Latin, and Spanish so as to translate or teach. She had also excelled in math, the sciences, and etiquette ranking in the top five percent of her class. I was looking over her references when Savant entered with a tray and Narcissa rose to meet her. Impressive very impressive was her ease of use, the manners she had so well established into her life exploded into reality. Her references were of frank response and composed of obligatory response to her resplendent control of duties.
I felt well of leaving the boy in her capable hands and headed off for a brisk walk to the office and then to the club for dissension and banter with comrades. What would be the topics today Parliamentary procedures, economic struggle of the poor, best business practices, or the best way to break a stallion to harness? Never mind what it would be it would divert me till my nightly outing. Walking as I was my mind and my hunger turned to the unusual that appealed at so many of the Coffee houses. Today was to be a glorious day, turning the corner a house attendant was placing out the plaque that read today special Blackbird Pie. Calling to me greedily I stood at the marble top oak bar and ordered two servings.
Stuff the birds with the crumb of a French roll soaked in a little milk, which put in a stewpan with 1-1/2 ounces of butter, a chopped shalot, some parsley, pepper, salt, a grate of nutmeg, and the yolks of two small eggs. Stir over the fire till it becomes a thick paste, and fill the insides of the birds with it. Line the bottom of the pie-dish with fried collops of rump steak, and place the birds on them neatly. Add four hardboiled yolks of eggs, and pour gravy all over, cover with puff paste, and bake for one hour and a quarter.
DRESSED GAME AND POULTRY : by MRS DE SALIS 1888
Leaning against the bar I overheard gentlemen talking about a man found dead laying in the streets. The report one man announced was he had had his throat pierced with a long blade from the front. The blade had apparently severed his spine and then ripped out sideways most malicious. The mans head laying oblique to the body when he was found. The proprietor rebuked them not to talk about such things while he was serving food. Disconcerted they went on to a new topic of less interest to me and gave time to survey the whole place. The bar worn utterly smooth with hands and coats had stood the test with only minor signs of repair. The walls likewise echoed the depression as high as a mans’ shoulder in the smoke stained wood. The barmaid slouched between men as they groped and laughed at her sham drunkenness. Pulling away, but not quite, she cleaved to the sound of coins in their purses. Who would be her master this day? How many coins could she draw from each of them prior to this games end? These Heathens of the flesh so unknown, would soon devour what coins they had and their muse would be gone.
The fragrances of tobacco, mixed with meat being smoked in the place developed an intoxication to my senses. I felt a hand casually reach past my coat to my waistcoat and I
clutched hold of the small wrist as my watch just left it’s secure in my pocket. The gamin convulsed to the vice upon it’s wrist pleading for clemency. The soft brown eyes swelling with tears as I turned to face them. Knowing that this lass would bilk me for all I possessed if allowed. Not willing to give up on the prize, I grabbed my watch and chain, slowly releasing her with a silent warning not to run. Standing before me now, I could see the shallows of her body as one that had missed too many meals. Pulling a coin from an inside purse, I placed it in her shaking hand. Looking up at me uncertain as to what I wanted, I waved her to go. She finally spoke to me so inaudible, a mouse would have to strain to hear her. The one item I did get was thank ya governor, in her shaking voice.
Not in want of wasted time, I headed to my next challenge. The Chapel simmered with prevision as the clouds rolled back to the sea. The moon gleamed it’s shadows in every corner, ignorant to the slaughter of morality it would witness. Sculptures made of flesh were my quest for tonight in the Chapel. I found it no great task to consume the visions of carnal knowledge put before me this night.