Suburban Souls Volume III
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Category: Erotica/Classic Erotica
Description: A Classic of 20th Century Erotica Concludes! The saga of Suburban Souls comes to a satisfying conclusion in Volume 3. Included in this volume as a bonus is the fourth part of the series, the Appendices, as entertaining and erotic, if not more so, than the primary text. The intensity of the emotion and the stubbornness of the protagonist's futile sexual pursuits make fascinating reading. Whether the book was written as a novel or a confession or an expiation is a matter of conjecture. Lilian was a girl who understood the power she possessed over the narrator, and exploited this to her own end. Repeatedly, Jacky blames only himself for his obsessive infatuation and the attendant self-inflicted and oft-invited, psychological masochism he suffers. The dedication of the book reads: I dedicate this story of sordid sensuality to my heroine, one of the wickedest women in the world.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler, 2004
eBookwise Release Date: January 2005
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [360 KB]
Reading time: 248-348 min.
ERIC ARVEL TO JACKY.
Sonis-sur-Marne. March 31, 1899.
My dear Jacky,
Many thanks for all the papers you have sent me. I went to see your uncle last Sunday week, and came away with a bad attack of influenza which I do not seem to be able to get rid of. I was in bed three days last week and I feel as if I could put in the same time again. Raoul is at home for his Easter holidays. If Wednesday suits you, would you come down and taste the cuisine of "our boss." Raoul is obliged to return on Thursday morning.
If you like Tuesday better than Wednesday--"tip me the griffin."
With every good wish for you and yours, believe me to remain,
Yours very truly,
I was far from being cured of my grip, and ought not to have accepted this invitation, but I was dying to see my lying Lilian. So I sent a postcard, on which I had printed my own photograph, with my cordial acceptation.
I felt very shaky on the morning of April 5 and a peculiar accident happened to me, that troubled me still more.
I got into a fiacre to drive to the Eastern station, and the horse bolted in the rue Lafayette, dashing on to the pavement, and breaking the shafts. I jumped out and looked at my watch. I had just time to catch my train. I called another cab, and I had not been in it five minutes, when this second horse bolted also, and, shying at a handcart which stood by the curb, went headlong into a shop-front and stopped suddenly, pitching me forward, while the coachman flew bodily off his box, one of the front wheels passing over his ankle and hurting him seriously, if not dangerously. Luckily for me, directly I saw the horse become uncontrollable, I had let down all the windows of my closed conveyance, and as I fell forward, I heard the crush of glass down below in the hollow frames. No harm came to Jacky. I thought I bore a charmed life that day. I jumped out again and was confronted at once by some gentlemen who had witnessed my first accident. They defied me to get into another fiacre, but I did so, and caught my train with not a minute to spare.
Why I mention these strange narrow escapes--two bolting horses in ten minutes--is because they shook my nerves to a fearful extent, and I forgot all the calm resolutions I had made to myself. I had arranged not to mention my enquiry at Brussels, but to be quite cool and collected, and play the part of a lovesick, ignorant fool, sympathizing with a martyr. In my half-feverish state, under the effects of the influenza, these accidents made me quite unfit to struggle against the Arvels, or carry out my schemes with a view to the ulterior publication of my adventure as a novel, as I should have wished.
April 5, 1899.
When I arrived, the father was alone in the garden cleaning the bicycles of Lilian and his wife, and grumbling about the way they had neglected them during the winter. "If I object to their carelessness, they say that I ought to look after them." Then he complained of Lilian, who had been ill all the time in Brussels, where he had taken her on a little trip, he said. She would go out to a theatre every night, and never got up until noon. He had a bad corn and was evidently worried, haggard, sick and tired of everything. He was especially bitter against Lilian's brother. Raoul wouldn't get up early. Raoul did not offer to help him to clean the bicycles. Raoul never opened his bedroom window when he got up. Raoul--he repeated an old story I had heard from the women--once asked his mother in his presence to leave the house forever. I enquired when that took place.
"Four years ago," he said, moodily.
"Then what does it matter, what a sixteen-year-old lad has said? He is not your flesh and blood."
I told him that I had brought up a boy, the nephew of my mistress, and that the lad had an awful temper. I went on to say that if children behaved honestly to the world, worked and got their own living, as Raoul did at the London wine firm, never got punished once at the regiment, don't thieve, drink, or get into debt, we ought to be satisfied and we do not want them to hang round our necks and pretend to love us. If children turn out to be respectable, that is about all we can expect. After this and a little more desultory talk, I went up to the house and saw the mother who told me to go upstairs and find Lilian.
I saw her with Raoul in the best bedroom. She looked only tolerably well and was highly powdered.
I gave her the sixth volume of Justine, where I had marked two paragraphs in pencil; one "Lilian," and the other "Jacky," with the date: April, 1899 (see Appendix D); the first volume of Gynecocracy a most clever and obscene work on the subjection of man to woman; and the scarce novel Césarée (see Appendix E). The latter work I had told her about the last time I had seen her. I also had the eau de Cologne for Raoul, more perfumes for Madame Arvel, and the quinine wine of my own manufacture for Lilian, with papers and magazines for Papa; the arrears of a month.
Lilian greeted me very coyly and strangely. She could not look me in the face and I think she had told Raoul to stop with her for a few moments.
I threw the books on the bed before her brother, and after the usual greetings, she kissed me in front of him, and gave him the volumes, which were fastened up in tissue paper, to go and hide for her.
When he had left the room I put the ring on her finger. She seemed highly pleased, and kissed me again very nicely, to my surprise showing me two others that were on her hand.
One was a sapphire, surrounded by brilliants, that Mr. Arvel had bought her in Brussels, and the other was a little pearl with a few roses. This last she refused to tell me who had given it to her, and I did not insist, as I really did not care, and I am pleased to say that I felt only friendly pleasure as I pressed my lips to hers, and I was very cool towards her.
I may declare at once that from this day forward I was able to sit at her side and feel the warmth of her body if she pressed against me, without that electric, instantaneous erection that I had always had in former days.
I praised the beauty of both her new rings, and said that mine was nothing beside them; but I can assure the reader that my gift was handsomer than any she had on her fingers, and she wore a lot of trumpery circlets on both her hands.
Lilian said that Papa was in an awful temper, and that the house was topsy-turvy with quarrels, principally through his hatred of Raoul.
"You put him in this terrible state. It is all through you."
She did not reply. I looked round and saw that the door of communication between her mother's bedroom and hers had been put back in its place. She saw the direction of my glance and then I fastened my eyes on hers. She guessed the reason of my mute questioning gaze, and as if replying to the question that was in my mind, said:
"Yes, the door is closed now!"
More proofs of her connection with Papa. When she was only a child-toy for Arvel, Mamma let her come in and out of her bedroom, but now she was his second wife, so to speak, her mother in her first wrath, vexed by the pleasure trip, had caused the door to be fitted up, saying:
"You can have her if you like, since it is no use crying over spilt milk, but she shall not come into our sleeping apartment. Go and see her in her room, since it is to be so, and do all you desire with her, but do not let me see it. When you played with her just a little, under my eyes, before enjoying me, I did not mind, but at present, as you have her completely, it must not be in my presence."
It might also have meant that the connection of the three being no longer innocent; their guilty conscience smote them and they had put up this apparent barrier for servants and visitors, as there was nothing to prevent them opening it in the night; but Mamma would soon get used to these Mormon-like manners, and all three would pass the greater part of the night in one bed again. It was only a matter of time, and money from Papa.
Mademoiselle said she would go and show her Pa my ring, and so we went together.
"She has begged one of you, too," grumbled he, "I could not get her out of the jeweler's shop, until she tore the sapphire out of me. You are a fool to listen to her."
Lilian had bought a false ring for Raoul, out of her own money. She said: "Pa was furious."
We went in to lunch, and her mother feigned to be a little vexed that I had given the ring, but I think she was pleased all the same. Papa grumbled and quarrelled all the time of the meal. I showed my photographs and they were a great success. Raoul took them all.
Lilian opened her eyes when she saw the one where she was reclining on her brother's breast, and handed it over to Papa saying:
"Why this is obscene, Pa!"
He took it, looked gloomily at it, and said nothing.
I talked about the Brussels trip and elicited that they had been nowhere and seen nothing. The shops, the streets, and theatres and music-halls, but not a museum, nor had they visited Antwerp, as I had recommended.
After lunch, I went and sat with the father, who still talked about Lilian's laziness and Raoul's nonchalance. Apropos of nothing, he told me a story of how, when Lilian was at Myrio's, a young chap, a bookkeeper there, came and asked to marry her. He said he answered:
"Yes. Lilian will have a thousand pounds when her mother dies, but if you really want to marry her, no dangling about, but an early date for the marriage must be fixed at once. No doubt the chap only wanted to poke her (sic), as he never returned."
Why did he tell me all this? Did he think I was going to ask for her hand?