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Frank and I

Frank and I

by Anonymous


MALTHUSIAN GOSSIP. BROOKE REAPPEARS. THE MEETING IN THE PARK.
EAVESDROPPING AND SPYING. A STOLEN KISS. THE LOVER'S WRATH.
BIRCHED FOR IMPRUDENCE. A FEARFUL SWITCHING. THE LUST OF CRUELTY.
AFTER THE TORTURE. WHEELBARROW FASHION AND OTHER DIVERSIONS.

I found everything in proper order at my old house, but there was some business connected with the estate, which required my personal supervision; so I settled down quietly again to perform my duties as a "country gentleman." There had been a few changes among the staff of female servants.

Lucy had married and gone to live in Winchester, so I had no longer at my disposal a woman whom I could spank or poke whenever I felt inclined for a little amusement.

There were two or three pretty young maidservants in the house, but they all seemed to be modest girls, and I did not think any one of them would let me "have" her merely for the asking. No doubt I might have seduced one if I had regularly laid myself out for one of the young virgins. She would probably have had a child; and that would have caused trouble and annoyance; as well as a great deal of scandal.

I had always thought it curious that Frances had never got in the family way; for I was in full vigour as a man, and she was a perfectly healthy girl, with a hot, voluptuous disposition; who, no matter how often I poked her, never let my prick out of her cunt till it had sucked in every drop of moisture. Of course, after each poke she had invariably taken the usual precautions; but they are not always to be depended on. In fact, as far as my experience goes, there are only three sure ways of preventing impregnation, and all three spoil the pleasure of the poke. First, there is the French letter, which spoils the man's pleasure. Secondly, there is the "preventive pessary," which spoils the woman's pleasure. The third way, is for the man to withdraw at the moment of ejaculation, and that spoils the pleasure of both the man and the woman; besides being injurious to health. However, I am glad to say that Frances, during the whole time she was under my protection, never once missed her monthly period.

During my stay in the country, I frequently went out to dinners and parties; but whenever I dined at home, I used to miss my sweetheart's bright face and lively chatter, while I was sitting at my solitary meal.

However, I went up to see her nearly every week, always remaining at the villa for two or three days, and on those occasions we had a very jolly time, in one way and another.

And so the summer wore away quietly and pleasantly.

When November came, I took Frances to Brighton, where we stayed for a month: then I sent her back to London, while I went to Oakhurst to spend Christmas there with a large house party of relatives; as had nearly always been my custom. I wished I could have had my sweetheart with me, but that would have been impossible. While my relations were living with me, I could not leave home even for a day, but as soon as they had all gone, I went up to London and took up my abode at the villa with Frances, who was delighted to have me with her again. I, also, was pleased to be with her, so we resumed our "married" life, and were always quite happy and contented in each other's company.

But it was destined that things should not always go on so smoothly. Time had passed. It was June, and the London season was at its height, when an incident occurred which bothered me at the moment, a good deal. Frances and I were sitting in the park one afternoon, when to my annoyance, I saw Brooke - the young man who had flirted so outrageously with my "wife" at Nice - coming towards us with a smile of recognition on his face. He raised his hat to Frances, and greeted me; then coolly dropping into a vacant chair, he entered into conversation with us. I was as curt in my answers, and as distant in my manner towards him, as I possibly could be: but Frances, apparently quite forgetting that he had been the cause of her getting a sound spanking, talked and laughed with him freely.

However, I soon cut short their talk by rising from my seat, and bidding Brooke good day; then Frances stood up, and after bowing to the young man, she took my arm, and we then strolled out of the park by the Rutland gate, got into a hansom, and drove to the villa.

I did not make any remark about Brooke, thinking it probable that we never should come across him again. I dined at home with Frances, and we spent a quiet evening together; she being quite as merry and light hearted as usual, not seeming to have been attracted in any way by her meeting with the young man.

A couple of days afterwards, I had to go down to Oakhurst; where I was detained by one thing or another for ten days. During that time I heard frequently from Frances, who always wrote in a most affectionate way, invariably winding up her letters by saying that she was looking forward to my return.

At last, when all my little affairs had been settled, I started for London, without having written to apprise Frances of my coming, as I had not been quite sure of getting away that day. I reached the villa about four o'clock, but my sweetheart was not in, and the housemaid informed me that her mistress had gone to walk in Regent's Park.

There was nothing strange in that, for I knew Frances was very fond of walking or reading in the park on a fine day. So, after I had had a wash, I dressed myself in the orthodox frock coat, and tall hat: and strolled over to the park to see if I could find my young lady.

It was a lovely afternoon, bright and sunny, but not too hot, and the park was looking at its best, There was a cool breeze blowing, and the sky was flecked with masses of fllmy white clouds which sparkled like snow under the rays of the sun. It had rained during the past night, so the dust had been washed from the trees and they were looking as fresh and green as if they had been growing in the country a hundred miles from smoky London. The grass also was a vivid green, the flowers were blooming, and the water in all the little ponds looked bright and clean.

In a certain part of the park, there was a secluded arbour, in which I had often sat smoking a cigar while Frances read to me; and to this spot I directed my steps, thinking that perhaps I should find her there. The place was surrounded by a thick growth of shrubs, quite concealing the entrance, and when I got near it, I heard the voices of a man and a woman. I thought I recognised Frances' voice, but to make sure, I slipped round quietly to the back of the arbour, where the shrubs were thickest, and peeping through the crevices, I saw that it was Frances, and that her companion was Brooke. They were sitting side by side on the bench talking and laughing. I was very angry at seeing Frances in that retired spot in company with the man; it was suspicious, to say the least, but I did not think that she had actually been unfaithful to me.

Then the thought passed through my head, that it was strange that I should, for the second time, be peeping at Frances carrying on a little game in an arbour. Crouching low among the shrubs, I watched and listened. I heard nothing improper; their conversation was of the most innocent description, being chiefly about the various plays and other entertainment's that were then going on in London.

But I noticed that Brooke constantly glanced at Frances, with a lecherous look, his eyes roving all over her person from head to foot; she, quite unconscious of the man's lustful admiration, and she talked to him in a perfectly unembarrassed way.

Presently he asked: "Where is your husband now?" He did not know that Frances was unmarried.

"He is in the country," she replied.

Brooke smiled, as if the information had pleased him.

Then they began to talk about Nice, and all the people they had known there; and I suppose he remembered how Frances had flirted with him at the hotel, so he edged close up to her and took her hand - which I daresay he had done before. She did not withdraw her hand, and that emboldened him; for he suddenly threw his arms around her and pressed his mouth to her lips in a long kiss, which she received without making any resistance.

I ground my teeth, and muttered a curse, but I waited to see if she would permit him to do more.

After a moment, he attempted to put his hand up her clothes, but the instant she felt him touch her ankle, she struggled out of his grasp, and pushed him away; her cheeks flushing, and her eyes sparkling with anger, and stamping her foot, she exclaimed: "Oh, you have no right to treat me so! How dare you do it! I should not have allowed you to kiss me! I hate you!"

He laughed contemptuously, saying: "Why did you come to meet me then?"

"Because I was feeling rather lonely, and wanted someone to talk to. And I did not think you would try to take advantage of my loneliness. I thought you were a gentleman," she said scornfully. Then she rushed out of the arbour, leaving him looking very foolish.

I felt relieved. There had evidently been nothing wrong between them, so far; but nevertheless I felt very angry with her, for meeting the man by appointment, and still more angry with her for having allowed him to kiss her. I also had a strong inclination to punch Brooke's head; but then I thought, that as no actual harm had been done, it was hardly worth while having a rough and tumble fight with the man.

He sat down, lit a cigar, and began to smoke; then I walked away quietly to the main road, where I seated myself on a bench and thought over the whole affair, which had annoyed me very much, and also rather shaken my confidence in Frances.

I sat cogitating for about half an hour; then I returned to the villa, where I found Frances waiting for me in the drawing room. She showed no surprise at seeing me, as she had heard from the servant that I had been in the house a short time previously. She had not the faintest idea that I had seen her with Brooke, so she came running to me, with a smile of welcome on her face; exclaiming: "Oh! My dear, I am so glad to see you. Why did you not write and tell me you were coming, so that I might have been at home ready to receive you?" Then she held up her mouth, expecting her usual kiss; but I put her coldly aside and sat down on a chair without saying a word.

The smile faded from her face, and she gazed at me, with a wistful expression in her eyes. "What is the matter with you, Charley? Why don't you kiss me?" she asked in an anxious tone.

"Why don't I kiss you?" I echoed, bitterly. "Because I do not care to kiss a woman, whose lips are hot with the kisses of another man."

She was utterly taken aback, her cheeks paled, and she stood for a moment staring at me in speechless astonishment; then, dropping on to a chair, she covered her face with her hands, and began to cry in a hopeless sort of way. I told her what I had seen. Then I asked: "How did Brooke find you out? How often have you met him?" Removing her hands from her face, she replied, sobbing: "I met him, quite by accident, two days ago in Regent's Park, and he spoke to me; and as I was feeling rather lonely, I talked to him for a time, while we walked about the park. And when we parted he asked to meet him again today. I have only spoken to him on two occasions." Then clasping her hands, she said imploringly: "Oh, Charley! don't be so angry with me. I have been very imprudent, but I have done you no wrong. Surely you will believe me. I have never deceived you in my life. Oh! do forgive me. You know I have very few people to speak to when you are away."

"But I told you long ago that I did not wish you to speak to Brooke; and you have disobeyed me by speaking to him; and what is far worse, you allowed him to kiss you. You must have given him some encouragement, or he would never have attempted to take such a liberty."

"Oh, I am sure I never gave him the least encouragement!" she wailed, with the tears running down her cheeks. "I know I did wrong in letting him kiss me, but I really meant no harm. You must forgive me. I do not care for him in the very least. Oh, you know I do not love any one bit you."

Then rising from her seat, and coming close to me, she exclaimed: "Oh! do give me a kiss."

I believed her, but nevertheless I was very angry, and I intended to make her feel my displeasure. So I said: "I will not kiss you. I feel very angry with you. I am going to dine at the club, and shall not be back till late. I do not intend to sleep with you; so have the bed in the spare room made ready for me."

She gazed at me for a moment, with a look of deep distress, then threw herself down upon the sofa, crying bitterly.

I did not say another word to her, but at once left the house and drove to my club. I ordered a good dinner, which I managed to eat with a fair appetite, and I drank a bottle of champagne; then, feeling much better, I went up to the smoking room, and lighting a cigar, turned over everything in my mind. And by the time I had finished my weed, I had decided to forgive Frances, for what after all, was but a slight transgression; but before taking her back to my favour, I meant to give her a sharp lesson; she should have a sound birching the following day. The rod I had used upon Maude's bottom, was still in the chest of drawers in the bedroom at the villa. Having settled what I intended to do, I went to a theatre; had some supper afterwards, and finally reached the villa about one o'clock in the morning, and, letting myself in with my latchkey, I went up to bed in the spare room, where everything had been comfortably prepared for me.

Next morning, when I went down to breakfast, Frances was already in the room, looking pale and miserable. I bade her good morning, in a cold tone of voice, then taking my seat at the table, began my breakfast. She poured out my coffee, glancing at me in a pleading way every now and then; and I noticed that she hardly ate anything. When I had finished my meal, and smoked a cigar, I went into the drawing room, and seating myself comfortably in an easy-chair, read the morning paper from beginning to end. Then I wrote several letters, and went out and posted them; afterwards strolling about in Regent's Park until it was time go back to lunch. After lunch I meant to give Frances her birching.

During the meal, I did not speak a single word to her, and I saw that she was struggling to keep back her tears, and as soon as she could, she left the room. I lit a cigar and began to smoke, intending when I had finished, to call Frances down and let her know her fate. But I had hardly smoked half my cigar, when she came into the room and walking up to where I was sitting, looked at me pathetically, with tears in her eyes, saying: "Oh, Charley! I am so miserable and unhappy. I can't go on like this. Will you not forgive me? Punish me in any way you like. Spank me. Birch me. I will submit; if you will only forgive me."

I was delighted to hear what she said. Her voluntarily offering to submit to punishment, showed that she still really loved me. However; I did not tell her that it had been my intention to flog her, even if she had not offered herself for punishment. I merely said: "You certainly deserve to be chastised. I will birch you; and when the punishment is over, I will kiss you, and say no more about the affair."

She looked a little relieved; then she timidly said: "Oh, I wish you would spank me instead of birching me! I do so dread the rod."

"I intend to birch you," I said curtly.

She gave a little shudder, but did not say anything more.

Then I went on: "Go upstairs and prepare yourself for punishment. Keep on, all your underclothing, but take off your dress and stays, and put on a loose wrapper. Remain in your room till I call you, and when you come down, bring the rod with you; it is in the chest of drawers"

She went away without a word, and I made my preparations.

I placed the couch in the middle of the room, and got four straps with which to secure her wrists and ankles, as I meant to birch her severely. Then it struck me that she would scream so that the servants would hear her. I called the two women, and told them to get ready to go out at once.

They looked surprised, and then I sent them off to buy me some trifles at shops in different parts of the town.

It would take them upwards of an hour to execute the commissions, so that by the time they returned, the whole affair would be over.

All was now in readiness, and I sat down on a chair to wait for a minute or two before beginning the task which I knew would afford me the greatest pleasure. I revelled in imagination at the thought of it! I had not touched Frances' bottom with the rod since the day long past on which I had birched her for spanking the little boy.

To some readers of this story, it may seem strange and unnatural, that I should have looked forward with great delight to flogging, in an ignominious and painful way, the girl who loved me, and of whom I was fond. But anyone who is a "lover of the rod" will easily understand, and enter into the feelings which possessed me at that moment. In every one, male or female, there is more or less, a "lust of cruelty," which shows itself in different ways, in different people. "Lovers of the rod" like to give pain to their victims by flogging them in various ways. But many a man who takes pleasure in seeing a woman writhing, and crying with pain while undergoing corporal punishment at his hands, may in all other respects be tender hearted. It is a strange, but true fact, that when a man, who has a fancy for using the rod, finds himself birching the naked bottom of a female, he has no feeling of any sort except one of strong sensual pleasure.

But to proceed. I called to Frances telling her to come down. And in a few moments she came into the room, carrying in her hand the rod, which she handed to me, and then stood meekly waiting further instructions. She was looking very lovely, but her cheeks were pale, and there was a frightened expression in her great blue eyes. Her long, golden hair was arranged in shining coils at the back of her shapely head, and on her white forehead there was a soft fringe of tiny curls. She had put on a loose pink silk wrapper, that draped her lissom figure in straight folds from her shoulders to her little feet, which were daintily shod with high heeled French shoes.

Taking the straps in my hand, I ordered her to place herself in position. The tears welled up into her eyes when she saw the straps; for she guessed that I would not have produced them had I not meant to flog her severely; but without a look, or word of remonstrance, she laid herself down with her arms stretched out at full length. I quickly secured her wrists and ankles to the legs of the couch; but I did not fasten her body in any way; so there would be plenty scope for her to wriggle her bottom when she felt the sting of the birch. The French call the movement, "La danse de la croupe." Then I drew the skirt of her wrapper up to her shoulders, turned up her pretty, lace trimmed, white petticoats, and rolled up her pale blue chemise. Her drawers, also of pale blue silk, had not the usual slit at the back, but were buttoned at the sides. Her beautiful legs were cased in dark blue silk stockings fastened at the middle of her thighs with pink satin garters. I undid the buttons of her drawers, and pulled down the dainty garment, laying bare her superb white bottom. It seemed at that moment to be more lovely than ever as it lay upturned, framed above by the pile of snowy drapery, and below by the blue silk of the lace frilled drawers. I gazed at it rapturously, with my eyes glistening, and my cock as stiff as a poker, at the same time thinking that such pretty cheeks were more fitted to receive the soft kisses of a lover, than the stinging kisses of a rod. Then I passed my hand several times over the alabaster white, smooth, cool skin, which my strokes would soon make fiery red, rough, and hot. But I had no feeling of compunction; and taking up the rod, I made it hiss in the air, saying: "Now Frances, I am going to flog you severely."

She shuddered, and drew in the cheeks of her bottom till the division, between the half moons of plump flesh, looked like a thin line. "Oh, Charley!" she exclaimed in a tone of fright. "Don't be too hard upon me!"

I brought the rod down with a drawing cut upon her broad bottom, instantly marking the delicate, white skin with many red lines; she winced convulsively, her flesh quivered, she uttered a low gasping cry, and she buried her face in the sofa cushion. Again, again, and again, I drew the rod smartly across her shrinking bottom, which grew redder and redder at each cut, and also became speckled with the dark red dots made by the hard buds on the twigs of the birch; she threw back her head with a jerk, so that her long hair came loose, and moaned piteously. I went on flogging her slowly, and laying each cut upon a different spot; the long, dark red weals rose in all directions on her quivering flesh, and she began to scream with pain. The "lust of cruelty" now fully possessed me, and regardless of her shrieks, I continued to birch her. She twisted herself from side to side as far as the bonds which held her would allow, arching her loins at one moment, and then at the next moment flattening herself down upon the couch, in vain attempts to escape the stinging cuts of the rod.

Turning her head, she looked over her shoulder at me, with an imploring expression in her fear dilated eyes; the loose coils of her hair partly hiding her pain distorted face; the tears were streaming down her scarlet cheeks, and her hips were quivering with anguish. "Oh, stop! Stop!" she rasped out between her shrieks. "I-can't-bear it! Oh-h! I can't-bear-it! Oh! Oh! do-have-mercy--on-me! Oh! you-are--cutting-me-to pieces! Oh! Oh! ! Ah-h-h! Oh-h-h-h!

I stopped for a moment. I had been flogging her from left to right, and I now went round to the other side of the sofa, in order to flog her from right to left, so that both cheeks of her bottom should receive equal punishment. She had thought that the birching was over, but she was mistaken; and when she saw me again raise the rod, she uttered a long wail of terror, beseeching me in most pitiful accents not to flog her any more.

I again began to lay the rod across her wealed, scarlet, sore bottom; her screams grew louder and louder - it was lucky I had thought of sending the servants out of the house - her struggles and contortions became more violent, and she wriggled and writhed, shrieked, and screamed; and pleaded and prayed for mercy.

I stopped, and throwing down the rod, inspected the girl's bottom. The whole surface from the loins to the thighs was covered with a network of livid weals, and speckled all over with purple dots, and there were a few drops of blood on each cheek where the skin had been broken. I had not flogged her with any great severity, but her skin was so extremely delicate that it had been easily cut by the rod; and she had suffered acutely. In fact, she was in a half fainting state; there was a cold dew on her forehead, her face had grown pale, and her eyes were closed. I pulled down her clothes, and unfastened her wrists and ankles, with as little delay as possible; then I got a glass of water and moistened her lips.

I still had a cockstand, and would have liked to poke her; but to have done so at that moment would have been sheer cruelty. I am only cruel with the rod. My feelings towards her had undergone a revulsion; I was no longer angry with my sweetheart, but felt full of pity for her. She had paid dearly for' her indiscretion! I put my arms round her, kissing and soothing her till the faintness had passed off; and after she had drunk the glass of wine I brought her, the colour began to return to her cheeks. Looking at me reproachfully, she said in a weak voice: "Oh, why did you flog me so dreadfully? I had no idea you could be so cruel." Then, whimpering a little: "Oh! how sore my bottom is! The flesh is throbbing in a most painful way."

"I will bathe it for you, and it will soon stop throbbing," said I.

Taking her up in my arms, I carried her to the bedroom, and laid her face downwards on the bed, then again turning up her petticoats, I sponged her sorely disfigured, burning bottom with cold water, until the skin had got quite cool; then I applied some vaseline.

She appeared to be quite worn out, and inclined to sleep, so I covered her up, lowered the blinds, and left the room quietly.

I went down to the drawing room, locked up the rod and straps in a cabinet, and put everything in order; and just as I had finished, the two servants came back. At five o'clock, the housemaid brought up the usual afternoon tea; and after I had refreshed myself with a cup, I took one up to Frances, whom I found fast asleep. I stood and looked at her for a moment, but she did not wake; so I left the cup of tea on a little table at the bedside.

Our dinner hour was half-past seven, so there was still two hours before me, but as I did not feel inclined to go out, I settled myself down in an easy-chair in the drawing room with a book, and managed to pass the time pleasantly till the maid came to tell me that dinner was on the table.

I did not expect to see Frances, and was just going to send her up some soup and a glass of wine, when she came into the room. She was dressed in a pretty dinner frock, and her hair was neatly arranged; but her cheeks were rather pale, her eyes were not so bright as usual, and the lids were red; and when she sat down, she did so very carefully, making a little grimace when her bottom first touched the chair. "Oh, dear me!" she said dolefully. "It is awfully tender; and I have had to put on a clean chemise, the other one was spotted with blood."

I gave her a glass of champagne, and talked gaily to her, telling her that she was again my sweetheart. That seemed to cheer her up a little; she began to eat her dinner, and by the time the dessert was on the table, she had commenced to talk, and smile a little; not appearing to be the least sulky, or angry with me for having given her such a severe flogging. But I knew her disposition thoroughly, and could pretty well guess how she reasoned. She would say to herself, that she had committed an offence deserving punishment; she had received the punishment, and I had forgiven the offence; so all was right.

After dinner, we went into the drawing-room to have our coffee and she lay on the sofa while I read to her for a time; then we had a little chat, and at half-past ten o'clock we went upstairs to our bedroom, Frances walking very stiffly.

When we were in bed, she lay on her side nestling close up to me, while I kissed her soft, warm lips, and played with her delicious bubbies.

Then, pulling up her night-dress above her waist, I laid my hand gently on her bottom, finding that it was still rough with weals, and so tender that the light touch of my fingers made her shrink. "Oh, don't touch it!" she exclaimed.

I removed my hand, but I rubbed my prick against her belly, saying: "Do you think you could bear to let me 'do it' to you?"

"I am afraid not," she replied. "My bottom is too sore to bear the least pressure. And I don't think we can manage 'it' lying on our sides, face to face."

As my prick was almost bursting, I determined to have a poke somehow or other; but I was puzzled for a moment to know how I could "have" her without more or less pressing her bottom. Then I remembered the "wheelbarrow" position. It is an awkward way of poking a woman, and one that I do not care for; therefore I had never shown it to Frances, although I had "had" her in every other fancy position. However, I resolved to poke her in that way now.

So I said: "I can do it to you in a way that will not put the least pressure on your bottom; you won't have to lie on it, and I won't touch it. But you will find the position rather uncomfortable."

"Oh, I don't care what position you put me in, so long as you don't hurt my sore bottom!" she said without hesitation, and at the same time squeezing my prick with her soft hand.

"We shall have to get out of bed to do it," I observed.

She at once jumped out of bed, saying, with a little laugh: "Come along then!" I followed her, and turned up the wick of the shaded lamp which we always kept burning throughout the night. The room was now well-lighted, and Frances looked very charming in her long white night-dress, her pretty little bare feet showing under the hem of the lace-trimmed garment, as she stood with a puzzled expression on her face, evidently wondering how I could possibly poke her without touching her bottom.

She was soon enlightened! Lifting her up in my arms, turned her upside down, with her feet in the air, and with her hands resting on the floor at the full extent of her arms; her night-dress falling over her head, and leaving the whole her body naked. Then I made her put her legs round my neck, while I held her round the waist with my hands clasped on her belly, so that I supported her weight, and took the weight off her arms. Thus her body was in a slanting position; as her bottom was uppermost, her cunt was just on a line with my prick. Then, by slightly bending my knees, and at the same time curving my back, I easily forced the tampon into the sheath, and began to poke her by moving her loins backwards and forwards. She did the same, and we had a satisfactory though rather cramped poke; during which, her wealed, red-striped, sore bottom was never once touched, or rubbed against in any way.

When all was over, I put her on her feet, and she remarked, with a laugh: "Well, you managed it very nicely; I must say it is a very uncomfortable position. It makes the blood run into one's head."

Then we got into bed again, and soon fell asleep.

Next morning, before getting up, I made her lie on her side outside the bed, with her night-dress up to her shoulders, that I might make a thorough inspection of the state of her bottom.

It was very much disfigured, and it looked very sore as no doubt it was. Cicatrices had formed over the broken places on the skin, which was very red, and the weals still showed very plainly.

However, her flesh was healthy, and it soon healed; but was some time before all the marks had disappeared; and her pretty bottom had recovered its lily-like whiteness.

We got out of bed and had a poke "wheelbarrow" fashion; then we dressed and went down to breakfast with rood appetites.

A week afterwards, I took Frances to Boulogne where we remained a month; bathing together nearly every day; and my pretty sweetheart looked most charming in her bathing costume. In fact, she was so enticing in it, that I often poked her in the bathing machine after she had come out of the water dripping and rosy, looking like some beautiful sea nymph.

On leaving Boulogne, we went back to London, and I lived at the villa; occasionally paying a visit to Oakhurst for a few days, just to see how things were getting on. When the grouse shooting began, I went to Scotland, and stayed a fortnight with my friend in Argyllshire. I spent September at Oakhurst, partridge shooting; and in October, I took Francis abroad again.