Daphne's Scandalous Confessions: A 'Lost' Victorian Classic
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by Richard Raoul Packwood
Category: Erotica/Classic Erotica
Description: Innocent, gently-bred Daphne Fairhope should never have looked into the forbidden journal of Victorian Erotica she found in her grandfather's trunk. Especially not while her saucy new French maid, Solange, was massaging Daphne's nipples with lotion. It was a hot day in the Old South during the early 1930s. To while away the time, Daphne dipped into the leather covered old volume. Soon a new world, one she had never dreamed existed, had been revealed to the young belle. And what she read about, she had to try. Thus begins Daphne's odyssey of the senses, as she explored all the delights of sex as described by the highly-refined minds of the great Victorian eroticists. Nor is Daphne the only one affected. Her readings and their aftermath sets off a chain-reaction of sensuality throughout her household. There is what happens to Alphonse in the balcony of the local bijoux when he sniffs laughing gas with an amorous young man of his acquaintance during the climactic scene of C. B. DeMille's epic production of Sign of the Cross. Yet, as Daphne samples the delights of the local men and women, she finds herself being perversely drawn toward the captivity of bondage and the pain of the whip. And then there is Solange and Cousin? But read the book for yourself. Based on the purported text of the surviving copy of the book's sole edition, 200 copies printed privately in 1935 by the author, who later burned the other 199 copies, Daphne's Scandalous Confessions is an homage to Victorian erotica that discovers unique parallels between that society and the upper class gentility of the South in the early 1930s.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions,
eBookwise Release Date: September 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [187 KB]
Reading time: 110-154 min.
CHAPTER I. GRITS AND A BAGUETTE
In which Miss Daphne Fairhope is introduced to Miss Delia Fellatrix for the first time.
Daphne Fairhope was shocked, I tell you, absolutely shocked, to learn that her paternal grandfather had included her in his will.
It happened one muggy afternoon in late June, in that quiet, semi-rural suburb across the bay from Mobile, Alabama, where the once prosperous planters had had to sell off their plantations to pay for debts as the commodities that had softened the pains of Reconstruction for the more well-to-do white folk, who after decades of prosperity had awakened to find that their stockpiles of cotton and pork bellies had plummeted in value as the rest of the country floundered in the throes of what those Yankee journalists had started to call the Great Depression, and somehow Miss Fairhope's legacy of the family estate was holding tenuously intact, like a maidenhead aching to burst forth in bloom with the moist aroma of camellias and roses, of wisteria and oleander, which surrounded the veranda's columned shade and perfumed the shimmering, saturated air.
She'd been sitting down to afternoon tea with her neighbors from the Daughters of the Confederacy when there came a knocking at the back door. The conversation around the parlor was just beginning to become animated; all the talk these days was that scandalous book by that Atlanta hussy, that book called ... oh what was it? Blown in the Storm, or something inelegant like that. And Mildred Rooter was just saying as how that Peggie Mitchell was booted out of Smith College for unspecified indiscretions, when the back door boomed, sounding like it was about to come off its hinges.
Daphne fluttered her swiftest and politest apologies and fairly flew to the kitchen where her servants were just standing there goggle-eyed at the sweaty deliverymen, both of whom were eyeing her gals with very haughty and impolite attitudes. Daphne was just about to voice her displeasure at all this unnecessary ruckus, when suddenly, from the front door came an even louder banging, and Daphne fluttered her linen draped wrists and fairly flew, again, to the foyer.
Solange, her new imported French maid (on approval, mind you), was just opening the cut glass double inlaid front doors and bowing, a bit too low for Daphne's approval, to the two men standing out on the shady front porch. One of them was tall and broad with close cropped sideburns and had an official air about his almost handsome features.
The other was a slender, lanky lawyer (she'd heard of him, but had never been introduced) who bowed formally and said, "Good afternoon, Miss Fairhope, I do hope we're not interrupting your goings-on, on such a warm and sociable afternoon."
Daphne thought, you think you're not interrupting the most important social event this fortnight, you Yankee Jew (from up north, Duke University, or someplace). Do you know who is sitting in my parlor right now, but all the circuit judges' wives in the district, and they'd have their husbands suspend you from the Bar Association if they only knew who it was being so rude out here. But all she said was, "Why, of course not, Counselor. You are welcome anytime and you know it."
"May we have a short word with you, in private, if we could? It'd be better that way."
Daphne hesitated, "In just a minute, Counselor, but I have a situation at my back door to settle right now. Solange, show these gentlemen to the music room while I..."
She was interrupted by the taller, broader shouldered, almost handsome, fellow. "That's my fault, Ma'am. I sent the trunk on ahead. I had no idea they'd be so rude. I'll take care of it, if I may. May we deliver the trunk somewhere to your convenience?"
Daphne considered how best to get back to the good gossip before it became diluted and said, "Put that in the music room too. It doesn't get much use right now. I'll meet you there after I've tended to my other guests."
Barely four minutes had elapsed when Daphne swept into the music room, after having used the best excuse to shoo out important guests in a hurry -- blame it on a lawyer -- and eyed the collection of males inhabiting her conservatory. Well, three males and a superfluous French maid.
"Well now, gentlemen, what can I do for you this evening?" and she was about to shoo Solange away when the lawyer pulled a business card out of his coat pocket. (Deadly inappropriate wool weave on a devilishly hot day; doesn't he have some tailor to fit him in a seersucker ensemble like Delta lawyers wear around here in the summer months?) She was glad he'd had the courtesy to wipe his dripping fingers on his breast pocket handkerchief before holding it out to her.
She nodded with an impatient pout to Solange, who curtsied low and scurried between them in her black high-heeled pumps, which showed off her slender but classically sculpted ankles that bespoke a girlhood of ballet or gymnastics or some kind of physical training which Daphne noticed for the first time. Her black satin skirt was a bit too short for propriety, with its starched white petticoats flirting coyly out from under their rustling profusion, and Daphne finally took the effort to notice that her stocking tops were just visible with their black garter straps from one of the fancier lingerie shops in New Orleans enveloping her strong, yet creamy smooth, thighs.
Daphne was a little startled to find her reverie ending abruptly as Solange held the business card in her long, lacquered nails for her mistress to receive, casting a knowledgeably covert glance at Daphne as she curtsied again and retired to stand with the other servant (a muscular young specimen of native vitality and animal ripeness) at the far end of the music room.
She read aloud from the cardboard rectangle printed in engraved black, Gothic looking script. "Adler Zladkohmann." She fluttered her eyelashes in her most gracious solicitude. "That's a rather foreign sounded name, I must say."
The hawk-nosed barrister said, with just a hint of comforting North Carolina drawl, "My family's from Bavaria near the Czech border. My ancestors settled near Raleigh in '48, and my great, great grandfather rode with Bedford Forrest during the Federal Incursion into the Homelands during the War."
Daphne felt her heart flutter despite her suspicions of Hebraic heritage; he was German, which was a relief, and had the appropriate lineage of patriotic heroism in his bloodline, and maybe he wasn't so unattractive after all. His suit and shoes may have been too heavy for the season, but they were of the finest quality and fit, all the same. It said understated wealth and hidden reserves of cash behind it. "Perhaps I have misjudged your qualities, Mr. ... Zahladkah ... kad..." And she shrugged as fetchingly as she could.
"My friends call me Adler or Slat. I prefer Slat, myself."
"Well now, you may just call me Daphne, since everybody else does." Not knowing why exactly, she found herself warming to this cosmopolitan specimen of dark, European sophistication.
"And this is Darby Longward, my factotum," said Slat. "He takes care of my special personal business outside the office." The broad-shouldered, almost handsome, tall drink of manhood nodded his head and closed his eyes in greeting.
"Mr. Long wad," said Daphne.
"Long-ward," he blushingly corrected, glancing at Solange in the corner. "We're from the Mississippi Longwards."
"Well, I suppose that makes it all right then," said Daphne and decided it was time to get down to business. "And what brings you to my house today, sir?"
"Your legacy, Miss Fairhope; your inheritance." And he produced a cream colored envelope from his briefcase and held it before him.
Daphne gasped and grasped the envelope in uncertain hands. "Inheritance? From whom?"
"From your grandfather, Ethan Fairhope the Third."
"Grand-daddy Ethan? Why he passed on some time ago." She thought of the kind and gentle old man who had dandled her on his knee at Christmas and kissed her on New Year's and often smelled of scotch and cigars, but never got sloppy and mean like some of her other male relatives with their groping fingers and slimy lips too familiar for her comfort even at an early age, but Grand-daddy Ethan had always demonstrated his special fondness for her with politeness and quick humor that she always liked, admired, and did her best to emulate when she could.
"It was June 24th, 1933. Exactly three years ago to the day, Miss Fairhope," said Lawyer Slat.
"Now isn't that a coincidence, don't you think?"
"No, Ma'am, I don't. One of the sleeping codicils in his will states that after exactly three years, the final dispersement of his estate will be distributed or there will be dire repercussions for the executor."
"And are you the executor, Mr. Adl ... Mr. Slat?"
"Just Slat, Ma'am. I'd appreciate it if you just call me Slat."
"All right ... Slat ... are you?
"No, Ma'am. I don't know exactly who that would be, but this trunk arrived at my office this morning with a writ of instructions to deliver it, contents unopened, with this letter, to you by the end of business today, or else."
"Or else what?"
"Or else, I don't really know that either, but the Teamsters who brought it in, and dropped it on my new cypress office floor, let me know that they had a good idea."
"Oh, well, what do you advise me to do? As my attorney, of course."
"No, Ma'am. I cannot be your attorney until the matter of the codicil is satisfactorily concluded by custom and the laws of the sovereign state of Alabama."
Lawyer Slat produced another letter on creamy stationery from his briefcase like a conjurer at the county fair. "The codicil that states that '...one Miss Daphne Fairhope, herewith and herein referred to as the Receptor or Vessel of Reception of said Infusion of Essential Vitality as provided by the previous codicils, both public and private, shall receive this letter by the end of three years to the day of my demise; because by then she will have blossomed into the fine flower of Southern Femininity and Pulchritude which I have fondly observed and even more fondly nurtured through the years. She is to receive the envelope and trunk on this day, and furthermore, as she completes the tasks required of her in said envelope, she shall receive further and more precious and rare treasures than she can imagine.'"
"But ... what ... huh?"
"Miss Fairhope, when you read the letter in that envelope, you will know more than I do."
"Is that all?"
"No," said Lawyer Slat. "There's one more directive."
"It's rather odd. The directive says to open the trunk before you open the envelope, and, if possible, in front of unimpeachable witnesses."
"Then," Daphne veritably squealed, "let's get on with it."
Slat called Darby Longward and the smirking young and sun-bronzed deliveryman over to the trunk. Darby and the deliveryman pulled tools out of their pants and set to work on the trunk's old-fashioned clasp lock. They cracked the bolt, slid off the lock, and lifted open the old-fashioned trunk lid and stepped back to let Daphne see her inheritance.
Everyone in the room loomed over the lip of the deep and battered old steamer trunk and saw the removable shelf on top filled with volumes of leather bound books and journals, all discreet enough, but what drew an involuntary gasp, in unison, from the five unimpeachable witnesses was the profusion of sepia toned rectangles of cardboard, the size of postage cards, with photographs of naked women. Dozens of models (Buck Naked!) with some fancy but revealing costumes or obscure and puzzling equipment in poses never before seen or even imagined by anyone in the music room.
A shock like a jolt from that bad electric plug in the kitchen pulsed through the witnesses.
Daphne felt herself transported on a flush of excitement, beading translucently with dainty sweat, and feeling her new panties from Nieman Marcus grow suddenly moist and hot, like the times in her warm tub with the candles lit and Bing Crosby on the radio.
"We must leave. Now!" It was Lawyer Zladkohmann.
"Oh, mais oui, no!" said Solange.
"Really?" said Darby Longward.
"Do we have to?" said the suddenly loquacious deliveryman, who until now had been trading not-so-secret glances with Solange.
"I ... I ... I," babbled Daphne.