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'Now my dear Mr Clinton, I wish you particularly to observe the tough fibre of these rods,' said Monsignor Peter, as he handed me a bundle so perfectly and symmetrically arranged that I could not help remarking on it.
'Ah!' exclaimed Monsignor, 'that is a further proof of how popular the flagellating art has become. So large a trade is being done, sir, in specially picked birch of the flagellating kind, that they are hand-sorted by children and put up in bundles by machinery, as they appear here, and my own impression is that if the Canadian Government were to impose an extra duty on these articles, for they almost come under the heading of manufactures and not produce, a large revenue would accrue; but enough of this,' said the reverend gentleman, seeing his audience was becoming somewhat impatient. 'You saw at the dinner table the young lady I addressed as Lucy?'
I reflected for a moment to throw them off their guard, and then said, suddenly, 'Oh, yes, the sweet thing in white.'
'Well,' continued Monsignor Peter, 'her father is long dead, and her mother is in very straitened circumstances; the young girl herself is a virgin, and I have this morning paid to her mother a hundred pounds to allow her to remain in my house for a month or so with the object of initiating her.'
Initiating her into the Church?' I enquired, laughing to myself, for I knew that her initiation in other respects was fairly well accomplished.
'No,' smiled Monsignor, touching the rods significantly, 'this is the initiation to which I refer.'
'What,' I cried, aghast, 'are you going to birch her?'
'We are,' put in Dr Price. 'Her first flagellation will be tonight, but this is merely an experimental one. A few strokes well administered, and a quick fuck after to determine my work on corpuscular action of the blood particles; tomorrow she will be in better form to receive second-stage instruction, and we hope by the end of the month -'
'To have a perfect pupil,' put in Father, who did not relish Dr Price taking the lead on a flagellation subject, 'but let us proceed to the drawing-room. Boniface, put that bundle in the birch box and bring it upstairs.'
So saying, the chief exponent of flagellation in the known world led the way upstairs to the drawing-room, and we followed, though I must confess that in my case it was with no slight trepidation, for I felt somehow as though I were about to assist at a sacrifice.
As we entered the room we found Lucy in tears, and Madeline consoling her, but she no sooner saw us than, breaking from her friend, she threw herself at Monsignor's feet, and clinging to his knees, sobbed out - 'Oh, Father Peter, you have always been a kind friend to my mother and myself, do say that the odious tale of shame that girl has poured into my ears is not true.'
'Good God!' I muttered, 'they have actually chosen Madeline as the instrument to explain what they are about to do.'
'Rise, my child,' said Monsignor, 'do not distress yourself but listen to me.' Half bearing the form of the really terrified young thing to the couch, we gathered round in a circle and listened.
'You doubtless know, my sweet daughter,' began the wily and accomplished priest, 'that the votaries of science spare neither friends nor selves in their efforts to unravel the secrets of nature. Time and pain are no object to them, so that the end be accomplished.'
To this ominous introduction Lucy made no response.
'You have read much, daughter of mine,' said Monsignor, stroking her silken hair, 'and when I tell you that your dead father devoted you to the fold of Mother Church, and that your mother and I both think you will best be serving Her ends and purposes by submitting yourself to those tests which will be skilfully carried out without pain, but on the contrary, with an amount of pleasure such as you cannot even guess at, you will probably acquiesce.'
Lucy's eyes here caught mine, and although I strove to reassure her with a look that plainly intimated no harm should come to her, she was some time before she at last put her hand in the cleric's and said - 'Holy Father, I do not think you would allow anything very dreadful; I will submit, for my mother, when I left her this morning, told me above all else to be obedient to you in everything and to trust you implicitly.'
'That is my own trump of a girl,' said Monsignor, surprised for the first time during the entire evening into a slang expression, but I saw his large round orbs gloating over his victim, and his whole frame trembled with excitement as he led Lucy into the adjoining apartment and left her alone with Madeline.
'Now, gentlemen,' said Monsignor, 'the moment approaches, and you will forgive me, Mr Clinton, if I have to indulge in a slight coarseness of language, but time presses, and plain Saxon is the quickest method of expression. Personally, I do not feel inclined to fuck Lucy myself, as the fact is I had connection with her mother the night previous to her marriage, and as Lucy was born exactly nine months afterwards, I am rather in doubt as to the paternity.'
'In other words,' I said, astounded, 'you think it possible that you may be her father.'
'Precisely,' said Monsignor. 'You see that the instant the flagellation is ended, somebody must necessarily fuck her, and personally my objection prevents me. Boniface, here, prefers boys to women, and Dr Price will be too busy taking notes, so that it rests between you and De Vaux, who had better toss up.
De Vaux, who was stark mad to think that his little gonorrhoeal disturbance was an insuperable obstacle, pleaded an engagement later on, which he was bound to fulfil, and therefore Monsignor Peter told me to be sure to be ready the instant I was wanted.
Madeline entered at this moment and informed us that all was ready, but gave us to understand that she had experienced the greatest difficulty in overcoming poor Lucy's natural scruples at being exposed in all her virgin nakedness to the gaze of so many of the male sex.
'She made a very strange observation, too,' continued Madeline, looking at me with a drollery I could not understand. 'She said, "If it had been only Mr Clinton, I don't think I should have minded quite so much.'
'Oh! all the better,' said Father Peter, 'for it is Mr Clinton who will have to relieve her at the finish.'
With these words we proceeded to the birching-room, which it appears had been furnished by these professors of flagellation with a nicety of detail and an eye to everything accessory to the art that was calculated to inspire a neophyte like myself with the utmost astonishment.
On a framework of green velvet was a soft down bed, and reclined on this length was the blushing Lucy.
Large bands of velvet, securely buckled at the sides, held her in position, while her legs, brought well together and fastened in the same way, slightly elevated her soft shapely arse.
The elevation was further aided by an extra cushion, which had been judiciously placed under the lower portion of her belly.
Monsignor bent over her and whispered a few soothing words into her ear, but she only buried her delicate head deeper into the down of the bed, while the reverend Father proceeded to analyse the points of her arse.