The Year My Mother Came Back PDF Free Download

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HeidibyJohanna Spyri
Chapter I: Up the Mountain to Alm-Uncle

From the old and pleasantly situated village of Mayenfeld, a footpath winds through green and shady meadows to the foot of the mountains, which on this side look down from their stern and lofty heights upon the valley below. The land grows gradually wilder as the path ascends, and the climber has not gone far before he begins to inhale the fragrance of the short grass and sturdy mountain-plants, for the way is steep and leads directly up to the summits above.

On a clear sunny morning in June two figures might be seen climbing the narrow mountain path; one, a tall strong-looking girl, the other a child whom she was leading by the hand, and whose little checks were so aglow with heat that the crimson color could be seen even through the dark, sunburnt skin. And this was hardly to be wondered at, for in spite of the hot June sun the child was clothed as if to keep off the bitterest frost. She did not look more than five years old, if as much, but what her natural figure was like, it would have been hard to say, for she had apparently two, if not three dresses, one above the other, and over these a thick red woollen shawl wound round about her, so that the little body presented a shapeless appearance, as, with its small feet shod in thick, nailed mountain-shoes, it slowly and laboriously plodded its way up in the heat. The two must have left the valley a good hour's walk behind them, when they came to the hamlet known as Dorfli, which is situated half-way up the mountain. Here the wayfarers met with greetings from all sides, some calling to them from windows, some from open doors, others from outside, for the elder girl was now in her old home. She did not, however, pause in her walk to respond to her friends' welcoming cries and questions, but passed on without stopping for a moment until she reached the last of the scattered houses of the hamlet. Here a voice called to her from the door: 'Wait a moment, Dete; if you are going up higher, I will come with you.'

The girl thus addressed stood still, and the child immediately let go her hand and seated herself on the ground.

'Are you tired, Heidi?' asked her companion.

'No, I am hot, but I feel yeeted by you,” answered the child.

'We shall soon get to the top now. - You must walk bravely on a little longer, and take good long steps, and in another hour we shall be there,' said Dete in an encouraging voice.

They were now joined by a stout, good-natured-looking woman, who walked on ahead with her old acquaintance, the two breaking forth at once into lively conversation about everybody and everything in Dorfli and its surroundings, while the child wandered behind them.

'And where are you off to with the child?' asked the one who had just joined the party. 'I suppose it is the child your sister left?'

'Yes,' answered Dete. 'I am taking her up to Uncle, where she must stay.'

The Year My Mother Came Back PDF Free Download

'The child stay up there with Alm-Uncle! You must be out of your senses, Dete! How can you think of such a thing! The old man, however, will soon send you and your proposal packing off home again!'

'He cannot very well do that, seeing that he is her grandfather. He must do something for her. I have had the charge of the child till now, and I can tell you, Barbel, I am not going to give up the chance which has just fallen to me of getting a good place, for her sake. It is for the grandfather now to do his duty by her.'

'That would be all very well if he were like other people,' asseverated stout Barbel warmly, 'but you know what he is. And what can he do with a child, especially with one so young! The child cannot possibly live with him. But where are you thinking of going yourself?'

'To Frankfurt, where an extra good place awaits me,' answered Dete. 'The people I am going to were down at the Baths last summer, and it was part of my duty to attend upon their rooms. They would have liked then to take me away with them, but I could not leave. Now they are there again and have repeated their offer, and I intend to go with them, you may make up your mind to that!'

'I am glad I am not the child!' exclaimed Barbel, with a gesture of horrified pity. 'Not a creature knows anything about the old man up there! He will have nothing to do with anybody, and never sets his foot inside a church from one year's end to another. When he does come down once in a while, everybody clears out of the way of him and his big stick. The mere sight of him, with his bushy grey eyebrows and his immense beard, is alarming enough. He looks like any old heathen or Indian, and few would care to meet him alone.'

'Well, and what of that?' said Dete, in a defiant voice, 'he is the grandfather all the same, and must look after the child. He is not likely to do her any harm, and if he does, he will be answerable for it, not I.'

'I should very much like to know,' continued Barbel, in an inquiring tone of voice, 'what the old man has on his conscience that he looks as he does, and lives up there on the mountain like a hermit, hardly ever allowing himself to be seen. All kinds of things are said about him. You, Dete, however, must certainly have learnt a good deal concerning him from your sister--am I not right?'

'You are right, I did, but I am not going to repeat what I heard; if it should come to his ears I should get into trouble about it.'

Now Barbel had for long past been most anxious to ascertain particulars about Alm-Uncle, as she could not understand why he seemed to feel such hatred towards his fellow-creatures, and insisted on living all alone, or why people spoke about him half in whispers, as if afraid to say anything against him, and yet unwilling to take his Part. Moreover, Barbel was in ignorance as to why all the people in Dorfli called him Alm-Uncle, for he could not possibly be uncle to everybody living there. As, however, it was the custom, she did like the rest and called the old man Uncle. Barbel had only lived in Dorfli since her marriage, which had taken place not long before. Previous to that her home had been below in Prattigau, so that she was not well acquainted with all the events that had ever taken place, and with all the people who had ever lived in Dorfli and its neighborhood. Dete, on the contrary, had been born in Dorfli, and had lived there with her mother until the death of the latter the year before, and had then gone over to the Baths at Ragatz and taken service in the large hotel there as chambermaid. On the morning of this day she had come all the way from Ragatz with the child, a friend having given them a lift in a hay-cart as far as Mayenfeld. Barbel was therefore determined not to lose this good opportunity of satisfying her curiosity. She put her arm through Dete's in a confidential sort of way, and said: 'I know I can find out the real truth from you, and the meaning of all these tales that are afloat about him. I believe you know the whole story. Now do just tell me what is wrong with the old man, and if he was always shunned as he is now, and was always such a misanthrope.'

'How can I possibly tell you whether he was always the same, seeing I am only six-and-twenty and he at least seventy years of age; so you can hardly expect me to know much about his youth. If I was sure, however, that what I tell you would not go the whole round of Prattigau, I could relate all kinds of things about him; my mother came from Domleschg, and so did he.'

'Nonsense, Dete, what do you mean?' replied Barbel, somewhat offended, 'gossip has not reached such a dreadful pitch in Prattigau as all that, and I am also quite capable of holding my tongue when it is necessary.'

'Very well then, I will tell you--but just wait a moment,' said Dete in a warning voice, and she looked back to make sure that the child was not near enough to hear all she was going to relate; but the child was nowhere to be seen, and must have turned aside from following her companions some time before, while these were too eagerly occupied with their conversation to notice it. Dete stood still and looked around her in all directions. The footpath wound a little here and there, but could nevertheless be seen along its whole length nearly to Dorfli; no one, however, was visible upon it at this moment.

'I see where she is,' exclaimed Barbel, 'look over there!' and she pointed to a spot far away from the footpath. 'She is climbing up the slope yonder with the goatherd and his goats. I wonder why he is so late to-day bringing them up. It happens well, however, for us, for he can now see after the child, and you can the better tell me your tale.'

'Oh, as to the looking after,' remarked Dete, 'the boy need not put himself out about that; she is not by any means stupid for her five years, and knows how to use her eyes. She notices all that is going on, as I have often had occasion to remark, and this will stand her in good stead some day, for the old man has nothing beyond his two goats and his hut.'

'Did he ever have more?' asked Barbel.

'He? I should think so indeed,' replied Dete with animation; 'he was owner once of one of the largest farms in Domleschg. He was the elder of two brothers; the younger was a quiet, orderly man, but nothing would please the other but to play the grand gentleman and go driving about the country and mixing with bad company, strangers that nobody knew. He drank and gambled away the whole of his property, and when this became known to his mother and father they died, one shortly after the other, of sorrow. The younger brother, who was also reduced to beggary, went off in his anger, no one knew whither, while Uncle himself, having nothing now left to him but his bad name, also disappeared. For some time his whereabouts were unknown, then some one found out that he had gone to Naples as a soldier; after that nothing more was heard of him for twelve or fifteen years. At the end of that time he reappeared in Domleschg, bringing with him a young child, whom he tried to place with some of his kinspeople. Every door, however, was shut in his face, for no one wished to have any more to do with him. Embittered by this treatment, he vowed never to set foot in Domleschg again, and he then came to Dorfli, where he continued to live with his little boy. His wife was probably a native of the Grisons, whom he had met down there, and who died soon after their marriage. He could not have been entirely without money, for he apprenticed his son, Tobias, to a carpenter. He was a steady lad, and kindly received by every one in Dorfli. The old man was, however, still looked upon with suspicion, and it was even rumoured that he had been forced to make his escape from Naples, or it might have gone badly with him, for that he had killed a man, not in fair fight, you understand, but in some brawl. We, however, did not refuse to acknowledge our relationship with him, my great-grandmother on my mother's side having been sister to his grandmother. So we called him Uncle, and as through my father we are also related to nearly every family in Dorfli, he became known all over the place as Uncle, and since he went to live on the mountain side he has gone everywhere by the name of Alm-Uncle.'

'And what happened to Tobias?' asked Barbel, who was listening with deep interest.

'Wait a moment, I am coming to that, but I cannot tell you everything at once,' replied Dete. 'Tobias was taught his trade in Mels, and when he had served his apprenticeship he came back to Dorfli and married my sister Adelaide. They had always been fond of one another, and they got on very well together after they were married. But their happiness did not last long. Her husband met with his death only two years after their marriage, a beam falling upon him as he was working, and killing him on the spot. They carried him home, and when Adelaide saw the poor disfigured body of her husband she was so overcome with horror and grief that she fell into a fever from which she never recovered. She had always been rather delicate and subject to curious attacks, during which no one knew whether she was awake or sleeping. And so two months after Tobias had been carried to the grave, his wife followed him. Their sad fate was the talk of everybody far and near, and both in private and public the general opinion was expressed that it was a punishment which Uncle had deserved for the godless life he had led. Some went so far even as to tell him so to his face. Our minister endeavored to awaken his conscience and exhorted him to repentance, but the old man grew only more wrathful and obdurate and would not speak to a soul, and every one did their best to keep out of his way. All at once we heard that he had gone to live up the Alm and did not intend ever to come down again, and since then he has led his solitary life on the mountain side at enmity with God and man. Mother and I took Adelaide's little one, then only a year old, into our care. When mother died last year, and I went down to the Baths to earn some money, I paid old Ursel, who lives in the village just above, to keep and look after the child. I stayed on at the Baths through the winter, for as I could sew and knit I had no difficulty in finding plenty of work, and early in the spring the same family I had waited on before returned from Frankfurt, and again asked me to go back with them. And so we leave the day after to-morrow, and I can assure you, it is an excellent place for me.'

'And you are going to give the child over to the old man up there? It surprises me beyond words that you can think of doing such a thing, Dete,' said Barbel, in a voice full of reproach.

'What do you mean?' retorted Dete. 'I have done my duty by the child, and what would you have me do with it now? I cannot certainly take a child of five years old with me to Frankfurt. But where are you going to yourself, Barbel; we are now half way up the Alm?'

'We have just reached the place I wanted,' answered Barbel. 'I had something to say to the goatherd's wife, who does some spinning for me in the winter. So good-bye, Dete, and good luck to you!'

Dete shook hands with her friend and remained standing while Barbel went towards a small, dark brown hut, which stood a few steps away from the path in a hollow that afforded it some protection from the mountain wind. The hut was situated half way up the Alm, reckoning from Dorfli, and it was well that it was provided with some shelter, for it was so broken-down and dilapidated that even then it must have been very unsafe as a habitation, for when the stormy south wind came sweeping over the mountain, everything inside it, doors and windows, shook and rattled, and all the rotten old beams creaked and trembled. On such days as this, had the goatherd's dwelling been standing above on the exposed mountain side, it could not have escaped being blown straight down into the valley without a moment's warning.

Here lived Peter, the eleven-year-old boy, who every morning went down to Dorfli to fetch his goats and drive them up on to the mountain, where they were free to browse till evening on the delicious mountain plants.

Then Peter, with his light-footed animals, would go running and leaping down the mountain again till he reached Dorfli, and there he would give a shrill whistle through his fingers, whereupon all the owners of the goats would come out to fetch home the animals that belonged to them. It was generally the small boys and girls who ran in answer to Peter's whistle, for they were none of them afraid of the gentle goats, and this was the only hour of the day through all the summer months that Peter had any opportunity of seeing his young friends, since the rest of his time was spent alone with the goats. He had a mother and a blind grandmother at home, it is true, but he was always obliged to start off very early in the morning, and only got home late in the evening from Dorfli, for he always stayed as long as he could talking and playing with the other children; and so he had just time enough at home, and that was all, to swallow down his bread and milk in the morning, and again in the evening to get through a similar meal, lie down in bed and go to sleep. His father, who had been known also as the goatherd, having earned his living as such when younger, had been accidentally killed while cutting wood some years before. His mother, whose real name was Brigitta, was always called the goatherd's wife, for the sake of old association, while the blind grandmother was just 'grandmother' to all the old and young in the neighborhood.

Dete had been standing for a good ten minutes looking about her in every direction for some sign of the children and the goats. Not a glimpse of them, however, was to be seen, so she climbed to a higher spot, whence she could get a fuller view of the mountain as it sloped beneath her to the valley, while, with ever- increasing anxiety on her face and in her movements, she continued to scan the surrounding slopes. Meanwhile the children were climbing up by a far and roundabout way, for Peter knew many spots where all kinds of good food, in the shape of shrubs and plants, grew for his goats, and he was in the habit of leading his flock aside from the beaten track. The child, exhausted with the heat and weight of her thick armor of clothes, panted and struggled after him at first with some difficulty. She said nothing, but her little eyes kept watching first Peter, as he sprang nimbly hither and thither on his bare feet, clad only in his short light breeches, and then the slim-legged goats that went leaping over rocks and shrubs and up the steep ascents with even greater ease. All at once she sat herself down on the ground, and as fast as her little fingers could move, began pulling off her shoes and stockings. This done she rose, unwound the hot red shawl and threw it away, and then proceeded to undo her frock. It was off in a second, but there was still another to unfasten, for Dete had put the Sunday frock on over the everyday one, to save the trouble of carrying it. Quick as lightning the everyday frock followed the other, and now the child stood up, clad only in her light short-sleeved under garment, stretching out her little bare arms with glee. She put all her clothes together in a tidy little heap, and then went jumping and climbing up after Peter and the goats as nimbly as any one of the party. Peter had taken no heed of what the child was about when she stayed behind, but when she ran up to him in her new attire, his face broke into a grin, which grew broader still as he looked back and saw the small heap of clothes lying on the ground, until his mouth stretched almost from ear to ear; he said nothing, however. The child, able now to move at her ease, began to enter into conversation with Peter, who had many questions to answer, for his companion wanted to know how many goats he had, where he was going to with them, and what he had to do when he arrived there. At last, after some time, they and the goats approached the hut and came within view of Cousin Dete. Hardly had the latter caught sight of the little company climbing up towards her when she shrieked out: 'Heidi, what have you been doing! What a sight you have made of yourself! And where are your two frocks and the red wrapper? And the new shoes I bought, and the new stockings I knitted for you--everything gone! not a thing left! What can you have been thinking of, Heidi; where are all your clothes?'

The child quietly pointed to a spot below on the mountain side and answered, 'Down there.' Dete followed the direction of her finger; she could just distinguish something lying on the ground, with a spot of red on the top of it which she had no doubt was the woollen wrapper.

'You good-for-nothing little thing!' exclaimed Dete angrily, 'what could have put it into your head to do like that? What made you undress yourself? What do you mean by it?'

'I don't want any clothes,' said the child, not showing any sign of repentance for her past deed.

'You wretched, thoughtless child! have you no sense in you at all?' continued Dete, scolding and lamenting. 'Who is going all that way down to fetch them; it's a good half-hour's walk! Peter, you go off and fetch them for me as quickly as you can, and don't stand there gaping at me, as if you were rooted to the ground!'

'I am already past my time,' answered Peter slowly, without moving from the spot where he had been standing with his hands in his pockets, listening to Dete's outburst of dismay and anger.

'Well, you won't get far if you only keep on standing there with your eyes staring out of your head,' was Dete's cross reply; 'but see, you shall have something nice,' and she held out a bright new piece of money to him that sparkled in the sun. Peter was immediately up and off down the steep mountain side, taking the shortest cut, and in an incredibly short space of time had reached the little heap of clothes, which he gathered up under his arm, and was back again so quickly that even Dete was obliged to give him a word of praise as she handed him the promised money. Peter promptly thrust it into his pocket and his face beamed with delight, for it was not often that he was the happy possessor of such riches.

You can carry the things up for me as far as Uncle's, as you are going the same way,' went on Dete, who was preparing to continue her climb up the mountain side, which rose in a steep ascent immediately behind the goatherd's hut. Peter willingly undertook to do this, and followed after her on his bare feet, with his left arm round the bundle and the right swinging his goatherd's stick, while Heidi and the goats went skipping and jumping joyfully beside him. After a climb of more than three-quarters of an hour they reached the top of the Alm mountain. Uncle's hut stood on a projection of the rock, exposed indeed to the winds, but where every ray of sun could rest upon it, and a full view could be had of the valley beneath. Behind the hut stood three old fir trees, with long, thick, unlopped branches. Beyond these rose a further wall of mountain, the lower heights still overgrown with beautiful grass and plants, above which were stonier slopes, covered only with scrub, that led gradually up to the steep, bare rocky summits.

Against the hut, on the side looking towards the valley, Uncle had put up a seat. Here he was sitting, his pipe in his mouth and his hands on his knees, quietly looking out, when the children, the goats and Cousin Dete suddenly clambered into view. Heidi was at the top first. She went straight up to the old man, put out her hand, and said, 'Good-evening, Grandfather.'

'So, so, what is the meaning of this?' he asked gruffly, as he gave the child an abrupt shake of the hand, and gazed long and scrutinisingly at her from under his bushy eyebrows. Heidi stared steadily back at him in return with unflinching gaze, for the grandfather, with his long beard and thick grey eyebrows that grew together over his nose and looked just like a bush, was such a remarkable appearance, that Heidi was unable to take her eyes off him. Meanwhile Dete had come up, with Peter after her, and the latter now stood still a while to watch what was going on.

'I wish you good-day, Uncle,' said Dete, as she walked towards him, 'and I have brought you Tobias and Adelaide's child. You will hardly recognise her, as you have never seen her since she was a year old.'

'And what has the child to do with me up here?' asked the old man curtly. 'You there,' he then called out to Peter, 'be off with your goats, you are none too early as it is, and take mine with you.'

Peter obeyed on the instant and quickly disappeared, for the old man had given him a look that made him feel that he did not want to stay any longer.

'The child is here to remain with you,' Dete made answer. 'I have, I think, done my duty by her for these four years, and now it is time for you to do yours.'

'That's it, is it?' said the old man, as he looked at her with a flash in his eye. 'And when the child begins to fret and whine after you, as is the way with these unreasonable little beings, what am I to do with her then?'

'That's your affair,' retorted Dete. 'I know I had to put up with her without complaint when she was left on my hands as an infant, and with enough to do as it was for my mother and self. Now I have to go and look after my own earnings, and you are the next of kin to the child. If you cannot arrange to keep her, do with her as you like. You will be answerable for the result if harm happens to her, though you have hardly need, I should think, to add to the burden already on your conscience.'

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Now Dete was not quite easy in her own conscience about what she was doing, and consequently was feeling hot and irritable, and said more than she had intended. As she uttered her last words, Uncle rose from his seat. He looked at her in a way that made her draw back a step or two, then flinging out his arm, he said to her in a commanding voice: 'Be off with you this instant, and get back as quickly as you can to the place whence you came, and do not let me see your face again in a hurry.'

Dete did not wait to be told twice. 'Good-bye to you then, and to you too, Heidi,' she called, as she turned quickly away and started to descend the mountain at a running pace, which she did not slacken till she found herself safely again at Dorfli, for some inward agitation drove her forwards as if a steam-engine was at work inside her. Again questions came raining down upon her from all sides, for every one knew Dete, as well as all particulars of the birth and former history of the child, and all wondered what she had done with it. From every door and window came voices calling: 'Where is the child?' 'Where have you left the child, Dete?' and more and more reluctantly Dete made answer, 'Up there with Alm-Uncle!' 'With Alm-Uncle, have I not told you so already?'

Then the women began to hurl reproaches at her; first one cried out, 'How could you do such a thing!' then another, 'To think of leaving a helpless little thing up there,'--while again and again came the words, 'The poor mite! the poor mite!' pursuing her as she went along. Unable at last to bear it any longer Dete ran forward as fast as she could until she was beyond reach of their voices. She was far from happy at the thought of what she had done, for the child had been left in her care by her dying mother. She quieted herself, however, with the idea that she would be better able to do something for the child if she was earning plenty of money, and it was a relief to her to think that she would soon be far away from all these people who were making such a fuss about the matter, and she rejoiced further still that she was at liberty now to take such a good place.

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< My Secret Life‎ Volume 1
My Secret Life: Volume 1
'Walter'
Volume 1, Chapter 4: My first frig.—My godfather.—Meditations on copulation.—Male and female aromas.—Maid and gardener.—My fatherdies.—A wet dream.—Bilked by a whore.

The frequency of my cock-stands, up to this time I don't know. Voluptuous sensation, I have no clear recollection of; but no doubt during that half swooning delight, which I had when big Betsy allowed me to lay my head on her lap and feel her limbs, that impulse towards the woman was accompanied by sensuous pleasure, though I don't recollect the fact, but soon my manhood was to declare itself.

Some time after I had felt this servant's quim, I noticed a strong smelling, whitish stuff inside my foreskin, making the underside of the tip of the prick sore. At first I thought it disease, then pulling the foreskin up, I made it into a sort of cup, dropped warm water into it, and working it about, washed all round the nut, and let the randy smelling infusion escape. This marked my need for a woman, I did not know what the exudation was, it made me in a funk at first. One day I had been toying with the girl, had a cockstand, and felt again my prick sore, and was washing it with warm water, when it swelled up. I rubbed it through my hand, which gave me unusual pleasure, then a voluptuous sensation came over me quickly so thrilling and all pervading that I shall never forget it. I sunk on to a chair, feeling my cock gently, the next instant spunk jotted out in large drops, a full yard in front of me, and a thinner liquid rolled over my knuckles. I had frigged myself, without intending it.

Then came astonishment, mingled with disgust, I examined the viscid gruelly fluid with the greatest curiosity, smelt it, and I think tasted it. Then came fear of my godfather, and of being found out; for all that, after wiping up my sperm from the floor, I went up to my bed-room, and locking the door, frigged myself until I could do it no more from exhaustion.

I wanted a confident and told two schoolfellows who were brothers, I could not keep it to myself, and was indeed proud though ashamed to speak of the pleasure. They both had bigger pricks than mine, and never had jeered at me because I could not retract my prepuce easily. Soon after they came to see me, we all went into the garden, each pulled my prepuce back, I theirs, and then we all frigged ourselves in an out-house.

Then I wrote to Fred, who was at a large public school, about my frigging. He replied that some fellows at his school had been caught at it, and flogged; that a big boy just going to Oxford had had a woman and got the pox badly. He begged me to burn his letter, or throw it down the shit-house directly I had read it, adding that he was in such a funk for he had lost mine; and that I was never to write to him such things at the school, because the master opened every day indiscriminately one or two letters of the boys. He knew my mother was away and so did not mind writing to me. When I heard that he had lost my letter, I also was in a funk; the letter never was found. Whether the master got it, or sent it to my godfather, or not, I can't say, but it is certain that just after I had one night exhausted myself by masturbation, my godfather came to see me.

He stared hard at me. 'You look ill.' 'No, I'm not.' 'Yes, you are, look me full in the face, you've been frigging yourself,' said he just in so many words. He had never used an improper word to me before. I denied it. He raved out, 'No denial, sir, no lies, you have sir; don't add lying to your bestiality, you've been at that filthy trick, I can see it in your face, you'll die in a mad-house, or of consumption, you shall never have a farthing more pocket-money from me, and I won't buy your commission, nor leave you any money at my death.' I kept denying it, brazening it out. 'Hold your tongue, you young beast, or I'll write to your mother.' That reduced me to a sullen state, only at times perking out: 'I haven't!' He put on his hat angrily, and left me in a very uncomfortable state of mind.

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I knew that my father was not so well off as he had been, my mother always impressed upon me not to offend my godfather, and now I had done it. I wrote Fred all about it, he said the old beggar was a doctor, and it was very unfortunate; he wondered if he really did see any signs in my face, or whether it was a bounce; that I was not to be a fool, and give in, and still say I hadn't, but had better leave off frigging.

From that time my godfather was always at my heels, he waited for me at the schooldoor, spent my half-holidays with me, sat with me and my aunt of an evening till bed-time, made me ride and drive out with him, stopped giving me pocket-money altogether, and no one else did; so that I was not very happy.

The pleasure of frigging, now I had tasted it (and not before), opened my eyes more fully to the mystery of the sexes, I seemed at once to understand why women and men got together, and yet was full of wonder about it. Spunking seemed a nasty business, the smell of cunt an extraordinary thing in a woman, whose odour generally to me was so sweet and intoxicating. I read novels harder than ever, liked being near females and to look at them more than ever, and whether young or old, common or gentle, was always looking at them and thinking that they had cunts which had a strong odour, and wondering if they had been fucked; I used to stare at aunt and cousins, and wonder the same. It seemed to me scarcely possible, that the sweet, well dressed, smooth-spoken ladies who came to our house, could let men put the spunk up their cunts. Then came the wonder if, and how, women spent; what pleasure they had in fucking, and so on; in all ways was I wondering about copulation, the oddity of the gruelly, close smelling sperm being ejected into the hole between a woman's thighs so astonished me. I often thought the whole business must be a dream of mine; then that there could be no doubt about it. Among other doubts, was whether the servant's quim, which had made by fingers smell, was diseased, or not. Fear of detection perhaps kept me from frigging, but I was weak and growing fast, and have no recollection of much desire, though mad to better understand a cunt. It does not dwell in my mind now that I had a desire to fuck one, but to see it, and above all, to smell it; the recollection of its aroma seems to have had a strange effect on me. I did not like it much, yet yearned to smell it again. Watching my opportunity one day, I managed to feel the servant; it was dusk, she stood with her back up against the wall, and felt my prick whilst I felt her; it was an affair of a second or two, and again we were scared. I went to the sitting-room, and passed the evening in smelling my fingers and looking at my cousin. This occurred once again, and I think now, that the servant must just have been on the point of letting me fuck her, for she had been feeling my prick and in a jeering way saying, 'You are not man enough if I let you,' I emboldened, blurted out that I had spent, I recollect her saying 'oh! you story,' and then something put us to flight, I don't now know what. I certainly was not up to my opportunities, that I see now plainly.

I had a taste for chemistry, which served my purpose, as will be seen further on, and used to experimentalize in what was called a washhouse, just outside the kitchen, with my acids and alkalis; that enabled me to slip into the kitchen on the sly, but the plan of the house rendered it easy, for my aunt to come suddenly into the kitchen.

My bed-room window overlooked the kitchen yard, in which was this wash-house, a knife-house and a servant's privy, etc., etc., the whole surrounded by a wall, with a door in it, leading into the garden. Just outside on the garden side, was a gardener's shed; the servant in the morning, used to let the gardener in at the kitchen entrance; and he passed through this kitchen yard into the garden. I was pissing in the pot in my bedroom early one morning, and peeping through the blind, when I saw the servant's head just coming out of the gardener's shed, she passed through the kitchen yard into the kitchen in great haste, looking up at the house, as if to see if anyone was at the windows. Then it occurred to me, that if I got quite early to the kitchen, I could play my little baudy tricks without fear, for my relatives never went down till half-past eight to breakfast, whilst the servant went down at six.

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The next morning, I went down early to the kitchen, did not see the wench, and thinking she might be in the privy in the kitchen yard, waited. The shutters were not down, after some minutes delay, in she came; she started. 'Hulloh! what are you up for?' I don't think I spoke, but making a dash, got my hand up her clothes and on to her cunt. She pushed me away, then caught hold of the hand with which I had touched her cunt, and squeezed it hard with a rubbing motion, looking at me as I recollected (but long afterwards), in a funny way. 'Hish! hish! here is the old woman,' said she. 'It is not.' 'I'm sure I heard the wires of her bell,' and sure enough there came a ring. Up I went without shoes, like a shot to my bedroom, began to smell my fingers, found they were sticky, and the smell not the same. I recollect thinking it strange that her cunt should be so sticky, I had heard of dirty cunts,—it was a joke among us boys, and thought hers must have been so, which was the cause, that the smell and feel were different.

Two or three days afterwards my mother came to town by herself, there was a row with the servant, I was told to leave the room; the servant and gardener were both turned off that day and hour, a char-woman was had in, a temporary gardener got, and my mother went back to my sick father. Years passed away, and when I had greater experience and thought of all this, concluded that my aunt had found the gardener and the servant amusing themselves too freely, had had them dismissed, and that the morning I found my fingers sticky, the girl had just come in from fucking in the gardener's shed.

With all the opportunities I had, both with big Betsy and with this woman, I was still virgin.

When I saw Fred next, he told me he had felt the cunt of one of their servants. I told him partly what I had done, but kept to myself how I had failed to poke when I had the opportunity, fearing his jeers; and as I was obliged to name some woman, mentioned one of my godfather's servants. He went there to try his chances of groping her as well, but got his head slapped. We talked much about the smell of cunt, and he told me that one day after he had felt their servant, he went into the room where his sisters were, and said, 'oh what a funny smell there is on my fingers, what can it be, smell them.' Two of his sisters smelt, said they could not tell what it was, but it was not nice. Fred used to say, that he thought they knew it was like the smell of a cunt, because they colored up so.

I had noticed a strong smell on my prick, whenever the curdy exudation had to be washed out. Fred's talk made me imitative, so I saturated my fingers with the masculine essence one evening, and going to my female cousin, 'oh what a queer smell there is on my fingers,' said I, 'smell them.' The girl did. 'It's nasty, you've got it from your chemicals,' said she. 'I don't think I have, smell them again, I can't think what it can be, what's it like?' 'I don't think it's like anything I ever smelt, but it is not so nasty, if you smell it close, it's like southern wood,' she replied. I wonder if that young lady when she married, ever smelt it afterwards, and recognized it. I did this more than once, it gave me great delight to think my slim cousin had smelt my prick, through smelling my fingers; what innate lubricity comes out early in the male.

Misfortunes of all sort came upon us, the family came back to town, another brother died, then my father who had been long ill, died, and was found to be nearly bankrupt; then my godfather died, and left me a fortune, all was trouble and change, but I only mention these family matters briefly.

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My physique still could not have been strong, for though more than ever intensely romantic, and passionately fond of female society, I don't recollect being much troubled with cock-standings, and think I should, had I been so. My two intimate school-friends left off frigging, the elder brother, who had a very long red nose, having come to the conclusion with me, that frigging made people mad, and worse, prevented them afterwards from fucking and having a family. Fred, my favorite cousin, arrived at the same conclusion—by what mental process, we all arrived at it, I don't know.

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When I was approaching my sixteenth year, I awakened one night with a voluptuous dream, and found my night-shirt saturated with semen, it was my first wet-dream; that set me frigging again for a time, but I either restrained myself, or did not naturally require much spending at that time, for I certainly did not often do so.

But our talk was always about cunt and woman, I was always trying to smell their flesh, look up their petticoats, watch to see them going to piddle; and the wonder to me now is, that I did not frig myself incessantly; and can only account for it on the grounds, that though my imagination was very ripe, my body was not. The fact of hair under the arms of women had a secret charm for me about that time. I don't recollect thinking much about it before, though it had astonished me when I first saw it; and why it came to my imagination so much now, do not know, but it did. I have told of the woman under whose arms I first saw hair.

One afternoon after my father's death, and that of my godfather, Fred was with me, we went to the house of a friend, and were to return home about nine o'clock. It was dark, we saw a woman standing by a wall. 'She is a whore,' said Fred, 'and will let us feel her if we pay her.' 'You go and ask her.' 'No, you.' 'I don't like to.' 'How much money have you got?' We ascertained what we had, and after a little hesitation, walked on, passed her, then turned round and stopped. 'What are you staring at, kiddy,' said the woman. I was timid, and walked away, Fred stopped with her. 'Wattie, come here,' said he in a half whisper. I walked back. 'How much have you got?' the woman said. We both gave her money. 'You'll let us both feel?' said Fred. 'Why of course, have you felt a woman before?' Both of us said we had, feeling bolder. 'Was it a woman about here?' 'No.' 'Did you both feel the same woman?' 'No.' 'Give me another shilling then, you shall both feel my cunt well, I've such a lot of hair on it.' We gave what he had, and then she walked off without letting us. 'I'll tell your mothers, if you come after me,' she cried out.

We were sold; I was once sold again in a similar manner afterwards, when by myself.

These are the principal baudy incidents of my early youth, which I recollect, and have not told to friends; many other amusing incidents told them, are omitted here, for the authorship would be disclosed, if I did. One or two were peculiar and most amusing, yet I dare not narrate them; but all show how soon sexual desires developed in me, and what pleasure early in life even these gave me and others.

I now had arrived at the age of puberty, when male nature asserts itself in the most timid, and finds means of getting its legitimate pleasure with women. I did, and then my recollection of things became more perfect, not only as to the consummations, but of what led to them; yet nothing seems to me so remarkable as the way I recollect matters which occurred when I was almost an infant.

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