Related article: Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 21:23:06 +0900
From: graemefjiinet.net.au
Subject: Child of the Theatre 1This work is a product of the author’s Lolita Tube
imagination. Places, events and
people are either fictitious or used fictitiously and any resemblance to
real events, places, or people, living or dead is entirely coincidental.The author retains full copyright to the material, and sincerely hopes you
like it!If you have something to say about it that isn’t flaming me then
email me at: Caleb
“The barmaid now for your protection prays,
Turns female barrister, and pleads for bayes.”The final lines of the play floated upstairs to the dressing rooms. The
orchestra struck up and the applause was thunderous. Smiling slightly, Sim
began lighting the working candles beside the make-up bench. He poured a
glass of sherry as Dorothy Jordan came sweeping into dressing room, angrily
tearing off her wig. “He never gets that bloody line right. I shall have to speak to the
stage manager - again!”Sim rolled his eyes in mock horror. “Madam, I am shocked. Never have my
virginal ears been sullied with such language.” Mrs. Jordan gave a snort
of laughter and downed the sherry in one gulp. “I could do with something stronger, Sim.”"Better leave off the gin, ma’am. You have another performance in a couple
of hours.” She sighed. “Well, help me out of these damned stays. They’re
killing me.”She sighed and grunted while Sim unlaced the whale-boned armor that encased
her. When he finally removed it, she gave a great sign and slumped into
the seat in front of the large Lolita Tube mirror and gazed at her reflection. Sim
poured her a second glass of sherry and placed it by her. While he busied
himself, tidying up the wig and costume she dropped casually on the floor,
there was a knock on the door. Before Sim had a chance to open it, a large
florid figure insinuated himself into the room.”Dolly, darling,” he said in his most mellifluous voice, ” I do apologize
for that slip.” “More than a slip, Henry,” Mrs Jordan said tartly, “You could have
driven a horse and carriage through the pause.” “I know, I know,” he said, “I am prostrated with remorse. But I must
admit, you covered beautifully. The groundlings simply adored that piece
of business you inserted.” She turned to him. “Henry. I can’t keep covering for you every
time. You must try to remember.” “I know, I know and of course, you are right, as always. I make you
the promise that this will be the last time.” He took her hand. “Am I
forgiven?” He kissed her hand. She smiled. “You know you are.”"Thank you my dear. Well, a bientot, I must be off. My public awaits.”
He paused by the door, that Sim politely held open for him. He looked at
Sim and patted him on the cheek. “Dolly, m’dear, when are you going to let
me have this delectable young adonis as my very own dresser?” “I want him to survive the week, Henry.”He chuckled. “You are a naughty puss.” And he disappeared. With a smile, Sim said, “Was that meant for you or me?”She laughed her famous throaty laugh. “Me, I think, but with Henry you
never know.”Sim chuckled and was just about to shut the door when he saw Harry, the
assistant stage manager signaling him from Lolita Tube
the corridor. “What’s the matter, Harry?” Sim asked.Harry was large with excitement. “Simmy, there’s a toff wanting to see
herself.. He’s in the green room…. Said he wanted a private meeting with
her…”He gave Sim a knowing look. “Who is he, Harry? Do you know him?” Sim asked.Harry shook his head. “Nah! Left his card for her.” He handed the card to
Sim.Sim read the elegant script out loud. “Lieutenant Gervase Levison. Army?”Harry gave him a significant look. “Navy, I think.” The significance was not lost on Sim. “Ah. I’ll have to tell Mrs
Jordan.”Harry winked at him and disappeared down to stage level. When he entered the dressing room, Mrs Jordan said querulously, “I
fear this may be the last time I play Kate Hardcastle…” Sim grinned. “Surely not, ma’am.”"I getting too old, Sim, and worse yet, I feel it.” Sim said, “I have heard rumors of a revival of School for Scandal
next season.” She sighed, “Well, I suppose Lady Teazle is a marginally better
role than Kate Hardcastle.” “Very much better, ma’am, and you know it.” She chuckled.He laid the card discreetly on the bench beside her. “What’s this?” she said.”A visitor, ma’am.” She laughed hollowly. “I’m certainly getting too old for that.”Sim said slyly, “Nay, madam. There may be snow on the attic, but there’s
still fire in the basement.” She laughed and picked up the card and gazed at it short-sightedly.
She read, “Lieutenant Levison. Do I know him?” Sim said colorlessly, “A naval officer, I believe, ma’am.”She gave him an exasperated look. Lolita Tube “Oh, spare me your discretion. A
go-between, think you?” “It seems likely ma’am.”"Very well. Look out my wrapper - the apricot silk. Then you’d better go
down and bring him up. Give me ten minutes. God knows I’ll need every
minute. These days, it gets harder and harder to look merely presentable.” Sim shrugged into his coat, and descended the spiral staircase to
the green room. There were some people there, but the naval Lieutenant
stood out, standing awkwardly apart from the others.Sim took a breath and said pleasantly, “Mr. Levison?”The officer turned at the sound of his name, his long cloak swishing as he
did so. Their eyes met. Sim blinked. The man was a little taller than he
was and had a harsh countenance and eyes of breathtaking dark blue, almost
purple. “I am he, sir,” the man said. He bowed slightly.Sim smiled politely. “Mrs. Jordan apologizes for keeping you waiting, sir.
If you will be so good as to follow me, I shall take you to her.” The man did not move but continued to look at him. “And you are
….?”Sim said, “My name is Simkin, sir. I am Mrs. Jordan’s dresser.” The man raised his eyebrows slightly. “Unusual.”Sim said, “My name, sir, or my position?” The man smiled a lopsided smile, “Your position, sir. It is surely
unusual for a man to be a lady’s dresser?” Sim nodded cordially, “Most unusual sir, but how dull life would
be, were the usual the only thing we could look forward to.” The man’s slight smile got a little wider at Sim’s reply. He did
not say anything for a moment and then said, “Your name, of course, is not
unusual. It is a good, sturdy, yeoman name.” Sim lifted his chin slightly. “And I am a good sturdy yeoman, sir.
Your name, I believe, is Gervase. That is a good sturdy aristocratic name.
Are you a good, sturdy aristocrat, sir?” The smile faded from the naval officer’s face, and was replaced by
a slight hauteur. “I beg your pardon?” he said quietly. Sim looked at him steadily. “I dislike being patronized, sir.” He
moved to the door of the green room. “But yeoman or aristocrat, it does
not do Lolita Tube
to keep a lady waiting.” He bowed slightly to the officer. “This
way sir.” Sim led the man through the chaos of backstage without looking
back. When he reached the bottom of the spiral staircase, the officer
said, “A moment, Master Simkin….” Sim had already mounted the staircase, Lolita Tube
and turned to face his
companion. He realized, with no little pleasure, he was able to look down
on him. He waited expectantly.”It seems,” said the man with a winning smile, “that I owe you an apology.
If I have offended you, such was not my intention.” Sim smiled. “Did I feel offence, sir, it was for the moment only,
and was of no consequence. But I thank you for your graciousness.” The officer’s face lit up with a genuine smile and Sim could not
help but smile back. They stood there for a short moment, till Sim felt
himself beginning to flush. He said, “But come sir, Mrs. Jordan awaits.”When they entered the dressing room, Sim saw that Mrs. Jordan, delectably
gowned in foaming apricot silk and wearing her best wig - the one with the
dark gold ringlets, has arranged herself on the morning sofa, surrounded by
flowers and subtly lit by strategically placed candelabra. She presented a
picture of entrancing beauty. When they entered, she held out one white
hand in a picturesque gesture as greeting to the Lieutenant. “Mr. Levison,” she greeted him in a low, thrilling voice. He came
forward, bent over and kissed her proffered hand. She delicately indicated
a chair, and he sat. “A glass of sherry, sir?” And she nodded to Sim who offered them both the
sherry in crystal glasses from a silver tray.Mrs. Jordan said, “Levison? I seem to know that name. You are related to
the Viscount Saltash?” “He is my grandfather, madam.”"You are the heir?” He laughed. “No madam. Merely the second son of a second son.”"Ah!”They solemnly sipped the drinks, and then Mrs. Jordan said, “And now sir,
what is your business with me?” The officer looked a little uncomfortable, and looked pointedly at
Sim. Mrs. Jordan gave a silvery laugh, and said, “Sim must remain, sir,
for the sake of propriety. But have no fear, I have no secrets from him.” Sim took up his position at the door, leaning on it so no one could
come in unexpectedly. The officer continued looking at Sim, smiling
slightly, a look that was not lost on Mrs. Jordan. She coughed delicately. Brought back to the present, the officer began, choosing his words
carefully, “I come, madam, on behalf of a certain… august personage…” Mrs. Jordan, looked at him through lowered lashes, and smiled
winsomely. “His Grace is ever in my thoughts.” The officer shifted his weight. “Quite so,” he said. “I am charged
to convey to you the esteem and respect of this personage, and to enquire
of the health of yourself…. And of your children.” Mrs. Jordan raised an elegant eyebrow. “I am as you see me, sir,
hale and well, and as for my children, they too are well…. And speak of
their father with love and affection.” This last was said gently, but the
barb in the tail was obvious to all in the room. The officer was clearly uncomfortable. ” I am further instructed,
madam, to place in your hands this letter.” He withdrew a folded and
sealed letter from the inside of his coat and handed it to her. She took
it from him, smiling graciously and placed it on her lap. He looked at her
expectantly, and she realized she was to read it in his presence. With a
graceful movement, she broke the seal, and held it up to read, mimicking
the pose of Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse. Sim watched her very carefully, knowing, as he did so well, her
every trick and gesture. He saw her hand shake slightly. He was also
aware that the naval officer was casting a surreptitious glance at him.Having read the letter, she folded it carefully and returned it to her
lap. She looked at the officer opposite her, and smiled. The Lieutenant leaned forward and said, almost apologetically, “A
reply is expected, madam.” “And a reply you shall have, sir, but not today. Tomorrow
afternoon? ” He nodded. “Sim shall deliver it into your hands tomorrow.”
The officer smiled and cast a glance at Sim, who smiled in return.Mrs. Jordan watched the exchange and said, “Have no fear sir, he is
completely trustworthy. You will give him directions as you leave sir.” She stood, and the Lieutenant rose. “Now, sir, if there is no more
business, I will bid you good day.” She held out her hand imperiously, and
he stiffly bowed over itSim opened the door for the officer, and glancing at Mrs. Jordan, he
followed the man to the landing, closing the door quietly behind him.With the stub of a pencil, Lieutenant Levison scribbled on the back of a
card and handed it to Sim. “I will be at that address from two o’clock
tomorrow afternoon.”Sim read the card. “The Daffy Club, Jermyn Street, St James.” He’d never
heard of it, but supposed Mrs. Jordan would know all about it. He looked at the officer and smiled and said, “I shall be there, sir,
with Mrs. Jordan’s reply.”The man smiled at him, and, after a pause, said, “Are you a sportsman,
Master Simkin?” “I cannot claim proficiency in any sport, Mr. Levison. I play some
cricket when I can, I fence - a little, and I have learned to tumble.” He
blushed at the unintended double entendre. “Such physical skills are
required of all actors, sir.”The officer looked interested. “You are an actor then?” Sim sighed. “No sir. I am exactly as you see me. Merely a
dresser.” He could not help a note of wistfulness creeping into his
speech.There was a pause, in which the man looked at Sim intently. “What is your
full name, Simkin?”Sim felt his ears go red.”Tregear, sir. Simkin Tregear.” The officer laughed.”That name, at any rate, cannot be called a good sturdy yeoman name.” His
gaze held Sim’s eyes, and Sim felt himself blushing - with unexpected
pleasure. “Well, Mr. Tregear, I shall look forward to our next meeting -
tomorrow.” And unexpectedly, with one finger he gently flicked the end of
Sim’s nose. The light physical contact was a shock to Sim, his eyes flying
to the man’s face. The officer was smiling at him mischievously with a
glint in his eyes. Then he turned and descended the spiral staircase, his
cloak billowing behind him like a bat.When Sim re-entered the dressing room, Mrs. Jordan had divested herself of
the apricot silk and the wig and was reclining on the sofa in her (very
expensive) chemise. She was studying the letter and looked up as he
entered. Very quickly she noted his flushed cheeks, his downcast eyes and
the little smile that played about Lolita Tube
his lips.”Oh ho,” thought she, “Lies the wind in that direction?”"He gave you the directions?” she asked in an unconcerned voice. “Yes ma’am. The Daffy Club, in Jermyn Street. Do you know it?”"Of course.” “You have been there, ma’am?”She laughed. “Certainly not. No woman may enter its hallowed portal. It
is a gentlemen’s club - a club for gentlemen who enjoy sporting pursuits.” Sim suddenly understood. He said “Ah” in recognition.Mrs. Jordan looked at him. “Ah?” Sim grinned. “The gentleman, Mr. Levison, asked me if I was a
sportsman.” “Did he indeed?” she murmured.”You don’t suppose he means to suggest I join the club, do you?” “No,” she said dryly, “That is not what I suppose he means to do.”Sim caught the inflection in her voice, and flushed. She looked at him, so
young and vulnerable. “Sit down Sim. It’s time you and I had a talk.” She watched as Sim
cautiously took a seat. She tapped the letter on her lap. “Do you know what’s in this?”"How could I, ma’am?” She held it out to him. “Read.”Sim took the letter and read it. He folded it, and wordlessly handed it
back to her. “Well?” she said.”Are you going to hand back the jewels, ma’am?” She laughed a cynical laugh. “What do you think?”"I would say not,” Sim answered with a grin. “However, His Grace of
Clarence seems very …. insistent.” She tossed the letter aside, unconcerned.”This is but the first skirmish in a long, and protracted battle that, I
fear, can only end with one outcome.” She sighed and seemed lost in
reverie. “The outcome, Lolita Tube
madam?” Sim prompted gently.”My defeat, Lolita Tube
and probable banishment to the outer darkness.” She said
without any trace of theatricality about the statement. Sim felt the cold breath of doom.”Which means,” she continued, “I shall have to wring every concession from
the Duke to provide for myself and especially for my children. His
children.” She looked at him sadly. “It also means you and I may soon be
parted.”Sim was appalled. “Mrs. Jordan!” “It is not certain, Sim, but I think likely. He will insist, I
think, that in return for any allowance he may make, I shall give up the
stage and devote myself to the children.” She sighed, and then looked at
Sim, who had turned white. “Tell me Sim. What think you of the Lieutenant?”Sim was jolted by the sudden change of subject. “He seems….. competent.” She smiled slightly at his caution. “Of course, he won’t have two
pennies to rub together, except for his navy pay, and I should imagine that
doesn’t go far Lolita Tube
if he frequents places like the Daffy Club. Sadly,
Saltash’s affairs are all to pieces. It is rumored that the bailiffs are
about to be called in. And he is only the second son of a second son, so
there can be no expectation from that quarter. However, he is well
connected - the aide to a Royal Duke, no less. Much may come from that
connection. You could do much worse.” Sim was shocked by her ruthless assessment of the Lieutenant. He
felt a slight resentment start to boil. “Are you suggesting, ma’am, that, for the sake of my future, I bare
my arse and let him fuck me?” She looked at him sternly. “Do not imagine you can confound me by
the deliberate use of vulgarities to my face. Need I remind you, I have
used and forgotten more bad language in my life Lolita Tube than you will ever know?” Sim flushed scarlet, and mumbled, “My apologies, ma’am.”She looked at the distress in his face, and she softened.”How old are you, Sim?” she asked. “I am but nineteen, ma’am, as well you know.”She nodded. “Yes,” she said, “you were born soon after Fanny was born. Ah
me, your poor mother.” She looked at the young man seated opposite her. “Listen to me Sim,” she said, ” and listen carefully. The world we
inhabit, the world of the theatre, is a very small world. It is a world
where much human behavior, otherwise considered beyond the pale, is
accepted in a way it can never be accepted outside. We are, in a way,
protected.In the world outside, the Lolita Tube world of the beau monde, we are accepted only up
to a point, and only if we abide by their unwritten rules - never to flaunt
our presence among them, never to be vulgar. You have a choice. You can
remain in this protected world, in the theatre - perhaps try your hand at
acting, who knows? - or you can try to carve a fortune for yourself in the
world outside.I cannot advise you on this. If you take my life as an example, I have
tried to live in the outside world, and I now can see what it is going to
cost me. However, I shall never regret the rewards my choice has given me
- my children, and despite this sad ending - many years of love.” “What are you telling me, madam?”She sighed, and looked directly at him. “It is possible, nay, I think
likely that the good lieutenant will offer you a carte blanche.” Sim blushed and smiled. She watched his reaction and continued. ” For a young man of your ….. proclivities, it may seem a wonderful
thing, a stroke of good fortune. But be wary. Whether you accept him or
not, that is a decision only you can make, but please make sure, for your
own safety, that your heart be not immediately enslaved and your head not
turned. There will come a time when you will want to give your heart. You have
much love to give, my Sim, make sure that the man Lolita Tube to whom you give it is
worthy of you. That is all I have to say.” Sim Lolita Tube
leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you, ma’am.”She smiled. “Now,” she said, “You may leave me. I wish to sleep for a few
hours before the performance tonight. Return at about six o’clock.” Sim snuffed the candles and gently closed the door behind him.A little while before, Sim had had pointed out to him the great Beau
Brummell. Sim was very familiar with his career, and was very anxious to
see for himself this man who had become the arbiter of elegance for the
beau monde. Standing in the wings, and using a strategically placed
spy-hole, he had examined the gentleman during the whole performance of
“She Stoops to Conquer”. At first it amazed him that such a plainly
dressed man could be the leader of fashion. Yet the more he examined Lolita Tube him,
the more he became aware of an intangible something in the carriage and air
of his subject. His clothes seemed featureless in the extreme, but, having
some little sartorial experience himself, he recognized the masterly cut of
his clothes and the true elegance of his unadorned linen. There burned in
his breast an ambition to emulate this man’s bold simplicity.With this in mind, he had purchased, at enormous expense, several lengths
of high quality broadcloth, and had tailored for himself two coats - a dark
green one for day wear and a dark blue one for evening. He was very happy
with the results. He showed them Lolita Tube to Mme Geldhart, the costumier for the
Drury Lane Theatre and she had complimented him on the excellence of his
cut and his tailoring. She promptly offered him a job, but Sim gracefully
refused. Not for him the eye-straining drudgery of a costume workroom.
Much heartened by her praise, he further tailored two pairs of knee
breeches, pale yellow for day wear and black for evening wear.He had never before had had an opportunity to wear either set of
clothes. Until now.The following day, around midday, he knocked on the front door of
Mrs. Jordan’s town house. His shirt linen (borrowed from the Drury Lane
wardrobe) was starched to perfection, and his top boots (also borrowed)
shone like mirrors. He carried a cane, gloves and a low-crowned beaver hat.
The door was opened by Mrs. Jordan’s elderly butler, and he was instantly
admitted.When he was announced, he stood in the door at once shy of his new
appearance, and at the same time, bursting with pride. His burnished
copper-colored hair, brushed into a fashionable Brutus cut, shone in the
early afternoon light. Mrs. Jordan, seated elegantly on a chaise longue in
the bay window, lowered the book she was reading and stared at him. “Dear God!” she said in an awed whisper.He grinned at her sheepishly. “Will I do, madam?” “My dear,” she said after gazing at him for some Lolita Tube moments, “you are
beautiful enough to seduce an Archbishop.” She gave a sentimental sigh. “You are your mother to the life.” He moved quickly forward, and kissed her on the cheek in greeting.”Thank you, ma’am, but you are the only mother I have ever known. If I had
but half your beauty and charm, I would thank God every day for it.” She squeezed him for a moment, and then said, “You are the master
of the honeyed phrase, I see. Good. In spite of the old adage, flattery
will get you everywhere.” She suddenly became businesslike. She rose and
moved to a small side table and picked up a long scrap of paper, and handed
it to him. “This,” she said, “will be my answer to His Grace.”Sim took the scrap of paper and read what was printed on it. It had been
torn off the bottom of a theatre poster and read, “No monies shall be
returned once the curtain has risen.” He laughed at her audacity. “Madam. You cannot.”She chuckled. “In his old age, His Grace may have become tedious, fretful
and dictatorial, but he still retains, I believe, a sense of humor.” She
indicated a delicate writing bureau. “Do you fold that paper in a sheet of
writing paper and seal it. That is what you shall deliver to your
Lieutenant.” Sim did as he was told and as he affixed the wafer, he said “He is
not my Lieutenant, ma’am. I would want him to be his own man.” He stood
and slipped the envelope into an inside coat pocket. She was watching him
narrowly. “Make sure he appreciates your worth, Sim, then all will follow in
rightful sequence.”Sim bowed and left the room.He alighted from the chair outside the entrance to the club. The chair men
knew instantly where to take him and he did not begrudge the expense.
Better to spend a little money than to wander the streets of inner London
vainly trying to find his destination.When he entered the foyer of the club, the noises of the street outside
were subdued and he stood uncertain where to go. Fortunately he was
accosted by a discreet doorman. “May I help you, sir?” Sim’s experience of establishments like this was non-existent, but
he was long-headed enough to know not to patronize the servants or try to
give a false impression of aristocratic breeding or sophistication. So he
smiled gently and said, ” I have an appointment to see Lieutenant Levison,
who is, I believe, here this afternoon.” The man nodded and said, “Mr. Levison is here, sir. In the main
gallery.”Sim fished out a card and handed it to the man. “Would you be so kind to
give him my card?” The man smiled and nodded, and took the card, and said, “If you
would wait here, sir, I shall inform Mr. Levison of your arrival.”Sim stood and looked about him as he waited. The oak paneling of the foyer
was impressive and there were several servants discreetly within calling
distance - servants he had not noticed before. The whole place exuded an
air of wealth and privilege. He began to feel rather nervous and was
beginning to think that his efforts to dress correctly made him appear
silly, gauche and out of place.The man returned promptly. “If you would come this way, sir. Mr. Levison
will see you in the main gallery.” Sim demurred. ” I am not a member of the club.”The man smiled, a kindly smile. “That is quite all right, sir. You are
here as Mr. Levison’s guest.” He led Sim down a long corridor, and as they
approached the gallery at the end, Sim Lolita Tube could hear loud thumpings, the
sounds of swords clashing, and crowd noises, cheering and muttering. Sim entered a very large room under a long rectangular domed
ceiling. There were many people standing around, in crowded groups. At
one end of the room was a roped fighting square on a raised dais, where two
men, naked to the waist were sparring with bare knuckles. At the other end
of the room was a fencing arena where five or six couples were dueling
under the instruction of a supervisor. Everywhere Sim looked, there was a
piece of sporting apparatus upon which men were exercising. And all around
crowds of men of all ages and ranks were milling and talking loudly,
laughing and smoking. The air was redolent with the smell of sweat,
tobacco and an astringent herbal aroma that Sim associated with the easing
of strained muscles. It was very stimulating! His companion indicated for Lolita Tube him to wait, Lolita Tube and disappeared into the
crowd. Sim was intensely interested in all that was Lolita Tube going on around him,
but soon he began to notice that he himself was being observed. Young men
would look him up and down and make comments Lolita Tube to their companions, and he
had the doubtful felicity of being ogled by an old roué through his
quizzing glass. He began to feel very self-conscious about the clothes he
wore, and to fear that they shouted to the world that he was some sort of
imposter. It was with immense relief, that he saw the doorman leading the
Lieutenant through the throng towards him. At that moment he wanted
nothing more than to deliver the letter and Lolita Tube to be gone. As the naval
officer approached him, his heart gave a lurch. Lieutenant Levison was
naked to the waist, and was wiping his torso with a white towel, which he
threw around his neck. His face lit up when he saw Sim. He held out his
hand and held Sim’s in a firm clasp that neither of them wanted to end.
Sim realized, with horror, that the knee breeches, which he had
immaculately tailored for himself, had no way of disguising his arousing
interest in the semi-naked man before him. To his credit, the lieutenant did not drop his eyes from Sim’s
face.His smile was open and genuine. “It is good to see you again,
Mr. Tregear.”Sim smiled and answered, “And you, Mr. Levison.” Lolita Tube Still clasping Sim’s hand, he looked around and said, “We cannot
talk here. Come. I have to wash and change. You will accompany me?”Sim nodded and allowed himself to be led across the crowded space. As they
traversed the floor, many men hailed his companion and he nodded pleasantly
to them. Sim shot glances at those who called to the Lieutenant, and he
saw that all were looking at him, their eyes assessing, valuing, judging. Finally they entered another large room, tiled throughout, where men were
being washed by the simple expediency of standing naked while servants
poured water on them from a height. Sim was amazed by the scale of the
establishment. “I have never been in such a place before,” he said looking
around and trying to avoid the sight of the lush nakedness of the men
around him. He feared that his interest might manifest itself physically
in too obvious a manner. For the first time in his life, he regretted the
generosity of Nature when allocating his private parts. He slyly moved the
hat he carried to provide a vestige of protection from prying eyes.The Lieutenant said, “I will not keep you long,” and immediately began to
strip off the small clothes he wore until he, too, stood naked and so close
to him, that Sim was overwhelmed by his scent. The man padded to a
strategic position on the floor where two servants on ladders poured ewers
of water over him. Full jugs were passed up the ladders and empty ones
passed down keeping a constant flow of water over the Lieutenant. Sim
could not keep his eyes off the naked man and his body reacted
alarmingly. He was very very beautiful, from his wide muscled shoulders to
his elegant legs, and Sim realized that in this rugged naked man before
him, he had found his ideal. Aroused to granite Lolita Tube hardness and almost quaking with desire, it was
all Sim could do to stand calmly. His gaze fixed on the long white sabre
scar on one back shoulder of the man. How he longed to caress it. Soon,
he could stand it no longer.He signaled the man under the deluge. ” I will wait outside,” he Lolita Tube said
loudly so the Lieutenant could hear him.The man grinned and said, “Why?” From his wicked smile, Sim strongly
suspected he knew the answer.Sim said, “The damp is beginning to wilt the starch in my shirt points!”The officer laughed, and said, “Fop!” and turned away from Sim.Better to be thought a fop than a bawd, Sim thought grimly.He managed to escape to the comparative quiet of the corridor outside. He
felt he could breathe more easily, and leaned back against the wall to
recover. After a few minutes, he had regained his equilibrium. He
discreetly smoothed down the front of his breeches while he looked around
in idle interest. Groups Lolita Tube of men passed back and forth.He was startled when three young men paused, and all gave him a slight bow.
Automatically, Sim bowed back and the group moved on. A passing bow,
Mrs. Jordan had once called it: a bow that said, “I don’t know you, but I
recognize that we are of the same class.” Sim suddenly felt a warm glow at
this small triumph. He was so pleased that he gave a little chuckle. A voice at his side said, “What is the joke?” And Sim turned to see
the Lieutenant, garbed now in his undress uniform, smiling at him.Still grinning, Sim answered, “I fear, sir, you would not understand.”The Lieutenant merely nodded and said, “May I offer you some refreshment,
Mr. Tregear? Some tea?” Very pleased, Sim said, “Thank you sir. It will be my pleasure to
take tea with you.” With the Lieutenant leading the way, they moved to a
room that was laid out as a dining room. A waiter hurried forward and conducted them to a table in a bay
window. Once they were seated, Sim looked around in lively interest to the
other occupants of the room, while his companion murmured orders to the
waiter, who bowed and withdrew. The man looked at Sim for a few moments
and then he said, “It is good to see someone who frankly enjoys.” Sim smiled at him, completely at ease, “This is, in all
probability, my only opportunity to see the inside of such an establishment
as this.” He added, with attractive archness, “You cannot begrudge me my
moment in the sun.”The Lieutenant laughed lightly. “I don’t think I could begrudge you
anything.”Sim gave him a speaking look of smiling disbelief, and the officer laughed
a little more strongly. Then Sim remembered. He extracted the letter from
his inside coat pocket and laid it on the table. “Mrs. Jordan’s reply, sir,” and he slid it across the table to the
man opposite. The officer reached out, and laid his hand on it, his fingers
touching Sim’s. Their movements froze, and Sim looked into the man’s eyes. “My name is Gervase. It would please me if you would call me by my
name.”Sim dropped his eyes and said quietly, “I think, sir, you forget the
disparity of our positions.” He did not withdraw his hand. He swallowed
as he felt the officer’s fingers begin to caress the tips of his fingers. The officer said quietly and intimately, “Does it bother you so
much - this disparity?” Sim raised his eyes, then slowly and deliberately withdrew his
hand. “For myself, no. I have never been concerned about my rank in life.
But here, in this place,” and he deliberately looked around the room,
drawing the officer’s attention to their surroundings, “I feel I must
bother about it - for your sake.”The officer gave a small grunt and scooped up the letter and transferred it
to an inside coat pocket.Sim said, “While you were bathing, sir, I could not help noticing you carry
a scar.” The officer raised a quizzical eyebrow. ” A sabre scar, sir?”The man gave a disparaging smile. “Yes, and in case you think that it was
highly romantic, I bled like a stuck pig, it hurt like the devil, I
screamed like a banshee with the pain and I shit my breeches. Very
unromantic, I assure you.” Sim chuckled but was not put off. “Where did you get it?”"In the Indies.” He answered shortly. “I was on board the Laconia. We
had a run in with a couple of French privateers. For a time, it was very
hot.” Sim felt a schoolboy’s eagerness to Lolita Tube
know more. “Did you win?”The man grinned. “Finally we did. We were able to take the ships in. The
prize money was extremely welcome, and made the agony I suffered from that
damn’d frog’s sabre very worthwhile.” Sim felt very elated. “Prize money? I’m glad.”The Lieutenant looked at him curiously. “Why?” Sim said artlessly, “Well, it means you have more to live…..” and
he flushed scarlet at the thought of the solecism he almost committed.The Lieutenant looked very amused. He leaned forward, with his elbows on
the table. “Am I to gather from this awkward pause,” said he, “that your
esteemed patroness has been calculating my worth?” Sim was appalled. “Sir, I …”The officer chuckled, and Sim suspected he was laughing at him. “You know,” he said, “you are vastly attractive when you writhe
with embarrassment like this. I wish you would call me Gervase.”Mercifully, Sim was spared the necessity of answering as they were
interrupted by the arrival of the waiters with the tea service. As the
waiters lay the table with smoothness and efficiency, the officer never
took his eyes off Sim, who cast a covert look at him. The glinting smile
he saw caused his stomach to flutter and his pulses to race. To cover his
continued embarrassment, Sim automatically reached for the silver teapot
and poured two cups of tea. “Milk or lemon, sir?”The officer was looking at him in wonder and after a pause, said, “Lemon, I
thank you.” With the silver tongs, Sim placed a slice of lemon on the Lieutenant’s
saucer, and handed it to him. He noticed then the strange look the man was
giving him. The officer took the cup, nodding his thanks, still looking at
Sim, who suddenly had a twinge of disquiet.”Is something the matter, sir?”The officer smiled slightly and nodded dismissal to the waiter. As he squeezed the lemon into his tea, he said in a conversational
voice, “In an establishment like this, it is normal for the waiter to serve
us, or perhaps we each serve ourselves. To do what you just did, implies a
rather intimate relationship between the two of us.” There was no hint of reprimand in his voice, but Sim was suddenly
frightened. He had exposed his companion to the ridicule of the servants.
He felt a pressing need to explain himself. “Sir, I ….. I have always poured tea for Mrs. Jordan. It did not
occur to me that …. that…” “You aren’t interested in my prize money?” the Lieutenant asked
pleasantly. Sim stared at his companion, mortified by the way he changed the subject.
His self-confidence, never strong in this environment, deserted him
entirely. He muttered, “It is none of my business, sir.” “No, it is not,” the officer agreed readily, “but I would like you
to know all the same. I bought an estate.” In spite of himself, Sim’s interest was piqued. He smiled shyly.”An estate, sir?” “In Lincolnshire, adjacent to the fens. Many would find the
situation gloomy, but I like it, even though it is remote, almost lonely.
It is only a little estate, but I believe I can make something of it. It
is in a sad state of repair but the house itself is sound.” Sim asked, hesitantly, “A large house, sir?”The Lieutenant laughed. “No. it is no stately palace. It is but a Queen
Anne box, but it suits me very well.” Sim said quietly, “It sounds charming, sir.”The officer looked at him unsmilingly. There was a long pause. Then he
burst out with quiet intensity. “I cannot bear to see you so distressed. I
had no business commenting on your behavior. Please except my deepest
apology.” Sim was silent. He knew that the officer had nothing to apologize
for, but, gentleman that he was, he was trying to alleviate the shame he
perceived in Sim. Rather, it was Sim himself who should apologize, but
suddenly Sim was tired of apologizing, tired of pretending to be something
he was not, tired Lolita Tube
of lying to himself that he could somehow be part of the
officer’s world. He wanted nothing more than to be away from this place,
away from the Lieutenant, although he felt like Lolita Tube bursting into tears at the
thought. So he drank Lolita Tube
his tea and avoided the man’s eye.They sat in silence not looking at each other. Then the Lieutenant asked,
“Have you ever been to Lincolnshire, Sim?” Sim looked at him in surprise. “I have never been out of London,
sir.”"I would like very much for you to see my little estate, Sim.” Sim paused. In spite of warming to the picture the officer’s
comment roused in him, he knew it was time to end it. Now. He said slowly, and with infinite sadness, “By the time I could
afford to journey to Lincolnshire, sir, you will be a prosperous
middle-aged country squire, and your house will be overflowing with
children.” The man looked like Sim had slapped him. He looked at Sim levelly
and then dropped his eyes. Then he said, “Come, if you are finished, I
shall escort you back to Drury Lane.” They rose in silence, and left the club in silence.As they approached the theatre, Sim felt like he must say something. “Sir,” he said, and the man stopped without looking at him.Sim said quietly, “Gervase.” And this time the man did look at him with
another of his inscrutable expressions. Sim said, “I shall never forget our time together today. I can
never thank you enough. ‘Tis a pity that…” “Dine with me tonight.” The man interrupted harshly. Sim stopped,
shocked. The man still wanted to see him!He swallowed, and answered cautiously, “Mrs. Jordan has a performance
tonight.”"But after the performance, you are free?” Sim smiled shyly. “I am, sir.”The Lieutenant returned his smile, “No more ’sir’, I beg you.” Sim could do nothing but smile Lolita Tube at him.”Good!” the man exclaimed. “I shall meet you at the stage door, after the
performance.” Sim said, “I would ask you … Gervase ….not with a bunch of
flowers in your hand, please.” And he grinned at the officer, who stared at
him, startled. Then a smile lit his face and a laugh escaped his
lips. They laughed together and then the Lieutenant sobered, and said
huskily, “It will be at my rooms - just the two of us.” He held Sim’s gaze
and Sim nodded. Suddenly the officer smiled again, like sunshine on a
clouded meadow.He came to attention and gave Sim a salute and turned on his heel at left.He was lacing Mrs. Jordan into her corset. “You are very quiet tonight,
Sim. Thinking of your Lieutenant?”Strangely, Sim had no feelings of embarrassment. “Indeed I am, ma’am. I
was thinking of my time in the Daffy Lolita Tube
Club this afternoon. It was very
instructive.” She was grunting and adjusting her flesh as he laced the corset.”How so?” she said. “Well,” Sim said, “I had no idea such places existed. Do you know
much of the history of the club, madam?” “A little. ‘Tis owned by Jem Belcher, the pugilist. Even though
he was born the son of a blacksmith, he now moves in the highest circles,
and is reckoned a very gentlemanly person. The club is very popular.”Sim nodded. “There were many people there.” She looked in the long cheval mirror. “Yes,” she said, Lolita Tube
“That will do,
Sim.” She sat at the dressing table and began applying her make-up. “Shall you Lolita Tube be seeing the young Lieutenant again?” she asked in
apparent unconcern. “I should imagine so,” Sim Lolita Tube
answered calmly, “especially when the
Duke recovers from your saucy reply.” She chuckled and shot a glance at him in the mirror. “That’s not
quite what I meant.” Sim caught her eyes in the mirror. “I know, ma’am. He is meeting
me after the performance tonight.” She was slightly disturbed by the way
he seemed to be challenging her. Looking back at her own reflection, and
continuing with the application of her make-up, she asked, “Think you, does
he intend to mount you?” and her eyes flew to his face. “Oh yes, ma’am. I am sure he does intend that.” He picked up the
bonnet she wore in the first act. “There is a loose ribbon on this. I
shall take it to Madame Geldhart for repair.” As he lay his hand on the
door knob to leave, and she cried, “Sim…” He turned. “Ma’am?”She looked into his face. Lolita Tube
His manner was so strange, so closed, so polite,
so ….adult. For the first time in her life, the great lady of the
theatre was bereft of words.
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