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by Donald E. Westlake
Category: Erotica/Classic Erotica/Mystery/Crime
Description: The intimate story of a coed who turned "love" into a big business! At Clifton College the male students were never frustrated. When a campus cutie teased and ran, there was always Jackie Hayes' "study rooms" to resort to. There you could do your "homework" in peace. There you could carry on experiments so dear to the hearts of all eager students, with tutors truly dedicated to their work: Sandy, Laura, Rita, Honey and even Jackie--the campus doll herself. True, this extra-curricular work led to no degree but it did satisfy a need, with girls on your own mental level--coeds who knew as much about English Lit, Advanced Psychology--and Love--as you did. But with all the fun comes a dark side. Jackie thought it would all be so simple. Turn a trick a few times a week and she would have enough money to stay in college. But it kept escalating. Now she was a Madame of the house and behind her back even Marijuana was being sold! She didn't realize she'd need protection, even if that protection was unwanted and cruel. Men were the problem, Jackie was convinced, and that's when she turned to the arms of innocent Rita. First published in 1961 by Donald E. Westlake under the pen name, Edwin West.
eBook Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks, LLC/Wonder eBooks,
eBookwise Release Date: April 2010
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [201 KB]
Reading time: 134-187 min.
"It's always interesting to read something by a favorite writer from the period when he was starting out. Campus Doll isn't going to win any literary prizes, and it's not going to do a thing to increase Westlake's reputation. It was probably written very quickly. Maybe over the weekend. But it's slick and short and fun to read as a literary and cultural artifact. It has a nice cover, too."- Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine
Jackie Hayes, tall, slender and well-built, sat half-asleep in Modes of Writing 201, gazing inattentively out the classroom window at the November landscape and absent-mindedly doodling on the open page of her notebook. Professor Blake's voice droned on hopelessly, and among the twenty-four students lined around the table there was nary a stir.
Jackie's blue eyes, glazed by animal boredom, traveled their gaze slowly from the window, across the professor's mumbling mouth and the bowed heads of her fellow sufferers, and came to rest, finally, on the result of her doodling. The glaze disappeared from her eyes, she started involuntarily, and her two hands moved together to cover what she'd been drawing.
She hadn't even known she'd been thinking about sex.
She hadn't moved fast enough. Rick Marshall, in the seat at her right, leaned surreptitiously toward her and whispered, "If that was supposed to be me, you should have made it larger."
Professor Blake said, "What?" It was the most clearly enunciated word he'd said all hour. A tall, gaunt, overly serious man in his early thirties, Blake was inevitably intimidated by his subject matter and his students, and his discomfort was as apparent as his thin nose and spaniel eyes. Look mean at Blake, said the scuttlebutt, and he won't flunk you no matter what.
Jackie saw everyone looking at her, and felt her face turning beet red. Rick, taller and heavier than Blake, his nose flattened from an accident during football practice last year--he was a junior, the same age as Jackie (twenty), and first-string right guard--grinned with easy insolence and drawled, "I just asked her to spell onomatopoeia."
"Is that right?" said Blake sarcastically. This moment had to be, unfortunately, one of Blake's rare attempts at self-assertion. He glared at Jackie's, hands, in their awkward position on the open notebook, obviously covering something, and said, "Writing notes back and forth? Isn't that more of a grade-school stunt than something one would do in college?"
"It isn't a note," said Jackie. She had trouble getting any volume in her voice, and as soon as she stopped speaking she realized just how unfortunate the phrasing was.
"Not a note?" echoed Blake. "Then just what is it?"
Jackie felt like crawling under the table. Everybody was waiting for her to say something. "Just a--just a doodle," she said. "I was just doodling."
"Bring it here," said Blake.
"It's just a doodle," said Jackie desperately. She thought she could kill Rick for getting her into this jam. "Bring it here," repeated Blake.
Unwillingly, Jackie rose and carried the notebook around to the head of the table, where Blake was standing. She handed it to him without a word and waited for the sky to fall.
Blake's face got very red, and he snapped the notebook shut. His eyes searched quickly for the clock on the opposite wall, which said ten minutes before three. "Class dismissed," he said, with obvious relief, handed Jackie's notebook back to her and fled.
Jackie fled, too, before anyone could ask her what the doodle was. Behind her, she could hear Rick call, "Don't forget our date!"
"Seven o'clock," she shouted back, and raced from the building toward the bus stop. Modes of Writing 201--essentially a survey course of British literature up to, but not including, the nineteenth century--was her last class on Friday afternoon, and now she was through with school for the weekend. And maybe forever, she thought grimly, remembering the letter and the newspaper clipping from home.
Her bus came--the MG was in the garage today, getting a new muffler--and she stepped aboard, a good-looking blond girl with level eyes, firm shoulders and breasts, an aura of money, determination and purpose, and a tail that twitched provocatively when she walked. Heads usually turned when she passed by.
Home for Jackie Hayes was a four-room furnished apartment seven blocks from the campus here in Clifton, Ohio. Having a banker father in a mill town in New Hampshire, Jackie was used to having money. She neither wanted nor needed the barren confinement of a dormitory room on campus. With the collusion of indulgent parents and an eager no-questions-asked landlady, Mrs. Elsie Bible became Jackie's rather improbable aunt--and it was legal for a coed to live off campus if she lived with a relative.
And now the apartment--fixed up with loving, lavish and expensive care--and the MG--red as sin and twice as fast--and even the college itself were all very probably going to be taken away from Jackie Hayes. And all because her father was an idiot.
Coming into the apartment now--it occupied the complete second floor over a dry cleaning establishment--Jackie's eye fell immediately on the letter and the newspaper clipping on the coffee table in the living room. She'd had the letter only two days, but it had already been read so many times, so often folded and refolded and twisted in nervous fingers, that it was now dog-eared and tearing at the creases.
The letter was from Jackie's mother, in her normal, infuriatingly vague style, full of half-hints and premonitions, managing in its own meandering way to get across the idea that something was up on the home front, and that that something had a lot to do with money, and that when the something--whatever it was--had run its course the Hayes family might very well be broke. The circumstances were only hinted at, and the hints could have referred to everything or anything, from the Industrial Revolution to World War III.
The newspaper clipping had come in a scuffed and dirty envelope with Jackie's home-town postmark on it, and with the clipping there had been a small piece of lined note paper with, "You ought to be interested in this. A Well Wisher" scrawled on it in pencil.
The clipping, from her home-town newspaper, elaborated on the hints in her mother's letter. The mill which had historically been the town's one and only excuse for existence had moved just recently to South Carolina, taking with it only the most useful skilled labor and leaving behind it a town where the people remaining had nothing left to do but take in each other's wash. Money was tight, the local bank was crammed with people withdrawing their savings and, in the resulting confusion, some financial shenanigans had been discovered. Someone--the clipping didn't care to name names--had been embezzling funds on a grand and consistent scale over a period of fifteen or twenty years.
So that was that. Jackie's father had apparently never been content with his salary, substantial as it was, and now the balloon had burst. And if Jackie knew the local burghers, her father wouldn't be going to jail. That wasn't their way. They'd simply strip him of every penny he had and wash their hands of the affair.
Which meant it was good-bye college, good-bye lovely apartment and good-bye MG.
The letter and the clipping had come in the same mail, two days ago. Since then, she had spent her time at home worrying about it and cursing her father--not for his cupidity but for his clumsiness in getting caught--and her time away from the apartment in a relatively successful attempt to ignore and forget the whole thing.
Today's mail should have brought her weekly allowance check. The mailbox, when she'd checked it just now, had been empty. The boom had fallen. She would probably get the letter on Monday, telling her that she was going to have to give up college and come home.
Home. Brickville, New Hampshire wasn't home. It had never been home, not really; she'd hated the town all her life. And for the last two and a half years Clifton, Ohio and Clifton College had been her home. Brickville had simply been the place where the money came from.
Go back to Brickville? She hated the thought.
Hating it, she forced it to the back of her mind. The end wouldn't come before Monday, so she had at least one more weekend here before she would have to face the result of her father's stupidity.
And tonight there was Rick Marshall.
Rick was a lot of fun. For some reason or other, they'd never gotten together at all during their first two years at college, and it wasn't until last month, when the fall semester of their junior year started, that they ever went out together.
And tonight, in a way, was going to be the culmination of their dating. They both knew it, and now that she thought about it she realized that that was undoubtedly the subconscious thought behind that stupid doodle she'd drawn in Blake's class.
Thinking about Rick excited her, and helped her ignore the threat of the letter and the clipping. She was going to enjoy Rick, she knew it already, for she hadn't gone to bed with anyone since May, six months before.
Though she hadn't been a virgin for three years or more, Jackie had never been in any way promiscuous. She considered sex an inevitable--and very enjoyable--part of going steady, but certainly not something to be shared with just anybody who happened along. This wasn't a moral judgment, but simply the ethic of her group and she went happily along with it.
As she would do tonight. May was a long time ago, and Rick was a lot of fun to be with, and Monday was millions of years away. By the time Jackie had stripped and was in the shower, her spirits had revived to the point where she could raise her voice above the roar of the shower and sing out with the rawest drinking song she knew.
When Rick came for her at seven, she looked her best and she knew it. Her blond hair was carefully upswept, her firm and slender figure was outlined sharply beneath a full-skirted black cocktail dress, and her legs--they were good legs, strong legs, legs she was proud of--were sheathed in nylon and mounted on black spike-heel shoes. Her only make-up was lipstick, and it was all she needed.
She still had most of her summer tan, which contrasted beautifully with her blond hair and black dress. And a narrow intricately carved bracelet in white gold on her left wrist was her only jewelry for the occasion.
Rick pounded up the stairs to the second floor precisely at seven, hallooing joyously all the way up. There was never any worry about noise in this apartment, which was the main reason Jackie had chosen it. The building was only two stories high, and the dry cleaning place on the first floor closed every afternoon at six. It was a corner building, so there were no neighbors to the left, and on the right it was flanked by a grammar school.
Rick burst through the door at the head of the stairs, grinning, and cried, "Hiya, Jackie! Done any more doodling?"
Having finally come to a stop in the middle of the living room, he struck a self-conscious pose, shoulders straight, chest semi-expanded, arms slightly cocked at the elbows. He was tall, heavy, broad-shouldered and chunkily muscular all over his body except for his legs, which were thin and white and straggled with limp black hair.
He was proud of his chest and shoulders, embarrassed by his legs, and altogether too much aware of his body. He almost never made an unconscious movement, and he took such good care of his body that he was virtually on a training program all year long, with one exception, and Jackie was a good example of the exception.
"If you hadn't opened your big mouth," Jackie told him, in answer to his crack about the doodling, "Blake would never have caught on."
Rick laughed, clapping his hands together in a careful arm movement, so that his shoulders didn't for a second leave their straight alignment. When he laughed, he opened his mouth wide and cocked his head to one side, which caused a ridge of muscle to spring into prominence along the side of his thick neck. It was a movement he had practiced before a mirror, and he rather liked the effect.
"Did you see old Blake's face," he cried joyously, "when he saw that goddamn doodle? I thought he was going to fall down in a faint!"
This time Jackie laughed with him. "I thought I was going to fall down in a faint," she said. "I could see myself trying to explain to Dean Kendall what that doodle of mine had to do with the historic plays of Christopher Marlowe."
His voice softened, his smile got closer to a leer, and he took a step toward her. "Just what made you decide to draw that doodle in the first place, honey-girl?"
She shook her head, taking his question seriously. "I don't know," she replied. "I don't know what got into me."
He said, "Ha!" and she said, "You know what I meant. Don't be silly."
He took another step forward, so that now he could reach out both hands and gently touch her forearms. "What were you thinking about instead of old Chris Marlowe, honey-girl? Were you thinking about little old me?"
"Look at the time," she said, moving deftly away from him. "We have to go pick up the car and everything before the movie. What's playing tonight?"
"What do you say we forget about the movie tonight," he suggested, following her around the room.
"Take it easy, bullyboy," she said, only half kidding with him. "Don't go rushing things all of a sudden. One of the qualities I've liked most about you is your sense of timing."
He stopped then, nodded his head slowly, as though it were too massive to go any faster, and grinned with one side of his mouth. "Right you are," he said. "That damn doodle of yours threw me off my stride."
"You? What about Blake?"
"What's at the movie?" she asked again, shrugging into her coat.
He shook his head. "Some dog called A Sound Of Distant Drums. It's either a Korean War thing or a Western, I forget."
"We'll go anyway," she said. "And we'd better hurry if we want to pick up the car."
As they went out the door to the stairs, he slapped her on the rump and said, "How come we never got together until this year, honey-girl?"
"I don't know," she said. "Kismet, I guess."
"Yeah, and I guess we've got some lost time to make up for."
His saying that reminded Jackie suddenly of the letter and the clipping. Lost time. It was going to be all lost time from now on, nothing but lost time. Monday and every day after that. "Then we'd better hurry and catch up," she said, and trotted quickly down the stairs to the street.
It turned out to be a double feature--a Korean War picture and a Western, both bad, and it was almost midnight before they got out of the theater. Rick wanted to go on back to Jackie's place right away, but Jackie felt time pressing more and more closely around her.
To go back to her place would be to admit that Friday was over, that there were only two days left now instead of three, and then it would be Monday. She didn't want Friday to be over. "Let's go for a ride first," she suggested. "Let's drive out to Ogilvie's and get a drink before we go home."
"Ogilvie's? That joint will be crowded tonight, a real mess. You don't want to go there, honey-girl." He put an arm around her shoulders and they strolled toward the car. "Let's just go on to your place," he said.
"I want to go get a drink at Ogilvie's," she insisted. She was getting annoyed at Rick for trying to end Friday so soon, and so she spoke more sharply than she intended.
"What's the matter?" he asked her. "Don't you have anything to drink at your place?"
"I don't feel like going home yet, Rick," she said. She stopped beside the car and glared at him. "If you're in a hurry to go home," she added, "you go right ahead. I want to go to Ogilvie's."
He shrugged--carefully--and grinned. "No need to chop my head off, honey-girl," he said. "Ogilvie's it is."
Jackie got behind the wheel, Rick settled into the bucket seat beside her, and the MG spun away from the curb and down across the intersection, headed for the highway.
Clifton, Ohio was on Route 68, just about midway between Springfield and Xenia. Ogilvie's, a rambling bar with log cabin decor inside and out, was a college crowd hangout about a mile and a half from town toward Springfield.
When they arrived, the parking lot at the side was crammed with cars, and the interior was filled with the Clifton College student body. Pushing their way through the crowd, nodding and shouting hello to the people they recognized, they finally found two empty chairs--no table, though--near the back. They sat down, facing one another, the wall right beside them, and Rick leaned forward to yell over the din, "I'll try and get up to the bar. I'll be back as quick as I can."
She shook her head and at his look of puzzlement she leaned forward and shouted, "I don't want anything to drink now. Let's just sit here."
"What the hell for?" he demanded, but she made believe she didn't hear him.
They stayed at Ogilvie's for about ten minutes, but then it got too painful for Jackie to stand. At first, she had enjoyed the familiar crowd and the familiar bedlam in the familiar hangout--being here, she was still a part of it--but gradually it came home to her that next weekend she wouldn't be here, that this place would be part of her past by then and that all the people she had smiled and waved and called at on her way through the place tonight would already be saying to one another, "Remember Jackie Hayes?"
Jackie Hayes was not the kind of girl who cried readily, but she could feel the tears of frustration, rage and premature nostalgia building up behind her eyes. At last, she grabbed Rick's hand and pushed quickly through the crowd again to the front door, looking neither right nor left and not acknowledging any of the greetings shouted at her.
Once in the car, she drove violently, mashing the accelerator to the floor boards, screaming around the curves of this winding trunk road, heading not back toward Clifton but on toward Springfield. Rick tried to talk to her once or twice, but she paid no attention to him. Finally he gave up and devoted full time to clinging to the bucket seat.
On the last curve before the town line of Springfield, Jackie cut in too fast and made the turn a fraction of a second too late. The right rear wheel scraped across the roadway and ground into the gravel shoulder, spinning madly, rocking the car. Jackie fought the wheel, gradually got the car back under control and slowed down. "God-damn!" breathed Rick, shaken into a completely uncharacteristic limp sprawl in the bucket seat. Jackie ignored him and made a U-turn at the next opportunity.
Going back to Clifton, she still drove rapidly but much more sensibly. Her foot did occasionally touch the brake. They passed Ogilvie's again and Jackie grimaced, then muttered, "I'm sorry. I got upset and kind of mad--when I'm like that I like to drive hard."
"Was it anything I did, Jackie?" Rick was still shaken, too much so to remember to call her honey-girl.
She shook her head. "It wasn't you. Never mind. It was just a mood. I'm all right now."
"I think maybe I could use a little drink after all," said Rick slowly.
She glanced at him and smiled, then looked back at the highway. "I've got some gin at home," she said. "But you'll have to mix it with water. I don't have any kind of mixer."
"I'll mix it with an ice cube," he told her. "That's plenty good enough for me."
They drove to Jackie's place, leaving the MG in its usual spot at the curb. Theoretically, there was a parking ban in Clifton from two to five a.m., but the Clifton police force was an industrious crew, particularly the night shift, and most of them had a number of private concerns to take their attention, so Jackie's MG had never been tagged for violating the ban.
They went up the dark stairs to the second floor, and it is a mark of Rick's intimidation by Jackie's strange actions that, though she went up the stairs first, he didn't lay a hand on her.
Upstairs, she fixed two drinks, gin on the rocks for both of them, and they sat together on the sofa. At his wary expression, she laughed and said, "I'm all right now. It was just some bad news from home, nothing to worry about. Don't look so frightened."
"I'm not frightened," he said quickly. "I just didn't know what you were going to do next."
"Then I'll tell you," she said. "I'm going to sit here beside you and drink my gin, like a good girl. What are you going to do next?"
"This." He put the glass down on an end table and reached for her.
She came into his arms readily, closing her eyes as his arms encircled her, hands brushing her back, lips pressing with gentle insistence on hers. She parted her lips for him and lightly curled her fingers at the back of his neck, knowing that that particular woman's touch always made a man more excited.
"You could draw from life," he whispered, but she said, "Ssshhh, don't talk," and kissed him again. She wanted to hide his imperfections from herself, not see them, cover them one way or another. This was to be the last weekend, almost the last night, and it had to be good.
When she felt his hand at the side zipper of her dress, she stiffened for just a second, then forced herself to relax. For all his careful fluid movement, there was something awkward and fumbling about Rick, and this was the worst time in the world to think about it.
She succeeded in driving all thought out of her mind--of Rick, of her parents, the college and even of herself. She was no more and no less than a body, now a willing, demanding female body, in the arms of a man, being touched and caressed and kissed and made love to.
Her body quivered at his touch. The male fingers undressed the female form, and the male arms, slow and strong, lifted her and carried her through the darkness to the bedroom. The man sought and found her, and her body exploded in unthinking sensation.
Later she cried the tears she had been holding back, refusing to acknowledge the existence of, for the last two days all came boiling up in a rush and she wept wrackingly, her body quivering on the bed. His hands were rough and awkward as he tried to console her, not knowing why she was crying.
"What is it, Jackie?" he whispered in the darkness. "Jackie, what is it?" But she was crying too hard to answer him.
After fifteen minutes of this, she stopped all at once, as though a button had been pushed, a lever turned, and she rolled over onto her back beside him, staring up through the pitch-black darkness toward where the ceiling would be if the light were on, and tonelessly she said, "Give me a cigarette, Ricky." She had never called him Ricky before. No one had, for twelve years or more.
But all he said was, "All right." He got out of bed and stumbled across to the door separating the two rooms. In the living room, he hunted futilely for his clothes for a minute, found a table lamp, and switched it on.
From the bedroom she cried at once, "Turn it off!"
He obeyed, but in the few seconds the light had been on he'd discovered his clothing. He searched the pockets, found his cigarettes and matches, and lit two cigarettes before returning to the bedroom, knowing instinctively that even the light from a match would be too much for Jackie right now.
Back in the bedroom he saw that the darkness wasn't quite complete. The bed sheets stood out as a lighter black in the blackness and Jackie, now sitting up with her back against the headboard, was barely visible framed by that lighter blackness. "Here," he said and handed her one of the cigarettes.
He settled into the bed again, sitting beside her, their shoulders and hips barely touching. They smoked in silence for a while, until Jackie finally sighed and shook her head and said, "I'm sorry, Rick."
"That's okay," he said, but there was still wariness in his voice.
"No, it isn't okay. I wanted this to be good--I wanted it to be extra special. And it could have been--you're awful good, Rick, do you know that?--but I just got this mood on me and I guess I ruined everything."
"Do you want to talk about it, honey-girl?" he asked. He was beginning to get his confidence back. She wasn't an anonymous, hurricane-like force, after all, he reasoned. She was just a girl with a bad mood on.
"What good would it do to talk?"
"I'm a great listener," he prompted.
She sighed, shook her head again, inhaled on the cigarette. Finally, she said, "I'm going to have to leave school."
"And sell the car, too, you can bet anything. And go home to Brickville. Brickville!" She said it the second time as though it were a curse.
"Why? And when? What the hell is all this, Jackie?"
"When? I'll probably get the word Monday."
"You mean you're being kicked out?"
She laughed bitterly. "I wish it was as easy as that, Rick."
"Then what the hell is it, honey-girl? Tell old Rick."
"My father," she said, her voice quick and flat and emotionless, "is an embezzler. And an idiot. A bank president embezzler."
"What the hell--?"
She reached out suddenly and flicked on the lamp on the night stand, catching Rick with an expression of befuddled amazement on his face. She laughed at him and said, "We were probably driving around on stolen funds tonight, Ricky. What do you think of that?"
"I don't get it," he said frankly.
"Come on," she said. She sprang up from the bed, lithe and tanned, except for the two pale strips over her breasts, belly and buttocks, where she had worn her bathing suit. Her pink-tipped breasts moved as she walked, without flabbiness, the muscles writhing beneath the taut skin of her hips. She strode around the bed and on into the living room. Rick followed her, frowning, no longer sure it was such a good idea to be a great listener, but knowing he was stuck with it now.
She sat on the sofa, brushed her bra off the sofa onto the floor and said, "Sit down. Take a look at these."
He sat beside her and accepted the letter and clipping she handed him. He read through her mother's letter with obvious puzzlement, looked at her with bewilderment plain in his eyes and read the letter all the way through again. Then he read the clipping twice. Finished, he returned them both to the coffee table and sat back. "And you figure," he said, "they'll make your Old Man pay it all back?"
"I know they will."
He frowned. "Couldn't you get a job?"
"To support this place? And the car? And still go to school?"
He nodded slowly, agreeing with her, then said, "There's one way you--No, forget it, it was a nutty idea."
"What was it?" she demanded.
"You wouldn't want to do it," he said. "Forget it. It was just a nutty idea, that's all."
"I'd want to do it," she said positively. "I'd want to do anything that could let me go on living here the way I'm used to, that could fix it so I wouldn't have to go back to that lousy Brickville, now or ever, that could let me keep this place and the MG and still go to college at the same time. I'd do anything if I could have all that, but there just isn't any way and that's all there is to it."
He gave her a sidelong glance. "How serious are you, Jackie?"
"How serious do you think I am?"
"Yeah," he said. "Well, listen, this was just something that occurred to me, that's all. I mean, don't get mad at me for saying it. It was just a nutty idea that--"
"Oh, cut out the preamble," she snapped. "Either tell me or get off the pot."
"Yeah," he said again. He sneaked a look at her once more, then studied the opposite wall. "Stop giving it away for free," he said.
He jerked his head at the bedroom door. "That. Stop giving it away for free."
There was a long silence. He glanced at her again from the corner of his eye, to see her staring at him blank-faced. The silence emboldened him and he said, "There's plenty of guys on campus would like to get a piece of you, honey-girl. You could make a good living, you know? And it wouldn't take much of your time, either." He looked at her fully. "What do you think of the idea?"
Slowly, her expression changed. She smiled, nodded, then held her hand out to him. "That'll be ten dollars, Ricky," she said.