Views: 335 Created: 2017.03.24 Updated: 2017.03.24

Arabella and the rod by stephen rawlings

CHAPTER 11 - A FOOLISH FILLY

After the excitement of the Court of Honour, Arabella slept well, but woke to find her bed-mate still exhausted from her ordeal, or rather its beginning. As they took their morning chocolate, Julietta spoke gloomily of her coming regime of a bare-arsed caning every night, and her present predicament with her crotch chain.

"It's not just that it hurts, which it does intensely especially if I make any ill-considered movement, but its effect on my natural functions can only be described as humiliating. One needs a quarter hour on one's bidet basin after, if one is to maintain hygiene and avoid sores, as opposed to mere soreness; that is inevitable and the reason for being put in one in the first place. Of course one is allowed to ask for the chain to be removed, and a proper inspection of one's vulva and anus made to see if medical attention is required, but you had better be more than sure first, or the penalty may be salutary."

She gave a shudder and continued, "as to my evening visits to the Aunt Magdala, it makes me cringe just to think of it. My bottom hurts enough now, from last night, and I keep remembering the state of Bernice's, and how she screamed with only six. In a month's time that will be me." "Can I do anything for you to ease the hurt?" Arabella asked solicitously.

"It's kind of you to offer, but I really don't think there is." She sighed. "Anything I'm allowed to have, the maid can do for me. Actually, we are not mennt to try to ease things in any way that is not for strictly hygienic reasons. What I am concerned about is that you are our guest and I shall not be in any condition today to entertain you in a proper manner."

"Please do not give any thought to that. I shall be quite all right on my own," Arabella reassured her, "the sun is almost hot again today, and I shall ride out this morning for another look at your beautiful valley."

"Well, if you're sure that's all right. Do take care though. It's not a good idea to wander around on your own," she warned, "you should take a groom with you."

Arabella was indignant.

"What nonsense. I can perfectly well look after myself without some clumsy groom getting in the way."

Half an hour later saw her setting off on her own to follow one of the little streams that flowed near the rocky out-crop on which the fortress stood. In the unseasonal warmth she rode with her jacket open to reveal a silk blouse tucked into a long riding skirt, the top buttons opened almost down to the lace edge of her corset.

At first she followed the stream past empty fields and a few cottages, then through the edge of a sunlit wood, beyond which the valley wall started to rise on its way to join the mountain crags above. The stream came from a little side valley which gradually closed in from both sides, although the track was well defined, and not over steep. It was such a peaceful scene, with the sunlight on the slender trees, and the sparkling brook, that she gave no thought to Carlo's warnings about the dangers that lurked in the hills, and rode quietly on.

Her peace was shattered by a gun-shot. The ball, presumably intended to stop her in her tracks, struck the path just in front of her horse's feet, and the animal reared, throwing her from his back, before turning to gallop away from the shot. Landing on the hard track, the breath knock from her body, Arabella struggled onto one knee to see several rough looking men, guns in their

hands and knives in their belts, jumping down from the rocks beside her. Half dazed, she made no attempt to escape as the four of them surrounded her,prodding her with the barrels of their long hunting rifles, and exchanging what appeared to be lewd jests at her expense. As a well educated daughter of a family with connections with the Two Sicilys, her Italian was polished enough that she would have been at ease in any house in the Kingdom, even if the rampant officers of the Royal Navy hadn't passed so much English across the bed-springs that almost every Lady of Quality in Naples and Palermo was fluent in it, but the crude patois of these brigands and charcoal-burners was almost incomprehensible to her.

"The jacket, the jacket," she made out, and anxious not to cross them too far, she removed it and handed it over, but they were not satisfied, and pointed to the rest of her clothing. To her horror, she understood that she was to strip. Drawing herself up, she gave them a haughty refusal, and told them to take her to Petraverdi. The leader, a large coarse fellow with ragged beard and hair, laughed and made some remark about Petraverdi someday, clothes now. When she repeated her request to be taken to Petraverdi he struck her across the face with the full force of his arm.

The suddenness and violence of the blow knocked her to the ground. Sick and dazed she struggled to her feet. In fractured but intelligible Italian, quite different from his speech with his fellows, he ordered her to remove her clothing, reinforcing his words with a raised arm. Still dizzy and sick from the first blow, and conscious now of the helplessness of even the most determined woman against male brutality, she put her hands to her blouse buttons and stripped it from her. The leader gestured again and with sinking heart, she undid her skirt and stepped out of it. Launched now on a downward course, she dropped her petticoats, to stand in front of them in corset and chemise.

"Boots. Boots," he bellowed, and stabbed at her calves with the barrel of the gun. Meekly, she went down on each knee in turn and removed her boots and stockings. Barefoot she stood and faced him.

"Corset now," came the order, and when she baulked at removing almost her last protection, he gave some unintelligible order to his men, who seized her by the arms, while one sliced through the lacing of her stays, and all roared their laughter as the boned carapace fell to the track, leaving her standing only in her shift, but not for long. Terrified now, she watched the man with the knife approach her from the front, and slide the cold steel blade down the valley of her breasts, but not to rend her, only her last garment, which he ripped from top to hem before his fellows pulled it off her altogether. Their admiring stares at her exposed bosom turned to murmurs of surprise at the tracks still visible across her breasts, and she flinched as a rough finger traced the fading spoor.

Completely naked she stood, pinioned by one brigand, while his fellow tied her wrists cruelly tight behind her. At the leader's direction, the fourth man was gathering her discarded clothing and tying it into a bundle. She hoped the references she caught to Petraverdi and ransom meant that their object was kidnapping, rather than murder, but was very aware that neither possibility ruled out rape as a preliminary.

Taking the free end of the rope that tied her hands behind her, the leader passed it between her legs add gave it a vicious tug. The harsh cord bit into her female parts, driving her up onto her toes to a burst of guffaws from his men. She had no option but to follow where he led. She stumbled after him for a few hundred yards around a bend in the track, to where four mules stood at a widening in the defile, where a knot of trees grew. The man with the bundle of her clothing mounted a mule and rode off down the track. Arabella took this as a good sign, since it seemed likely that the clothing was designed both to provide proof that they did, indeed, have her in their power, and also add a threat as to the abuse she was open to, if ransom was not forthcoming. The other three also mounted, but set off up the track. Arabella, perforce, obliged to follow as best she could in her bare feet on stony track, her bound wrists unbalancing her, to say nothing of the

intermittent sawing of the rope in her vulva.

They climbed for twenty minutes or so, the path much steeper now, and the sharp stones cutting her tender feet, until they came out onto a small plateau, a mere shelf on the way to the real mountains, but with some thickets of trees, even at this height, and covered in grass. They tethered the mules in a thicket and gathered round her.

"We wait here for our messenger to deliver your clothes, and then we move on. To pass the time, you will entertain us. First you will sing, then you will dance, and then you will make love to all of us. Toni can have his share when he gets back, before we move on into the hills." "You cannot make me sing or dance," said Arabella defiantly, " and, if you try to rape me, the Count will have you hung by your balls until they pull off."

"Ah ha, a little spirit now, Lady," the leader grinned, "well, we will see," and he seized a delicate pink nipple in each horny finger and thumb. As he twisted and squeezed the tender buds, Arabella screeched and rose, quivering, on her toes.

"I like the music very much, so we'll have a few more choruses." For five minutes he kept her on her toes, stamping her feet, trying to wrench her abused teats from the relentless vice of his fingers, and, all the time, she mewled and keened in her agony. When he let her go, she fell to her knees and sobbed in humiliation at her defeat.

They made her dance for them with the vicious nettles that grew in that place. They stood around her and laid them on her most tender parts until she hopped and flinched. When they had tired of the sport, they pegged her out on her back, her hands still cruelly tied behind her, and now, not only making her position intensely uncomfortable, but also raising up her belly and pelvis to offer them more openly to the rape to come.

As she lay in agony and apprehension, an altercation broke out among the men. Even in the vile patois, it was clear that they were arguing over who should have her first. Eventually the leader asserted his claim to the first entry into her belly, while the others agreed to a toss of a coin to decide who should penetrate her next.

The matter being settled, a man crouched either side of her, grabbing a breast, while the leader knelt between her thighs, unbuckling his belt and extracting an erect and menacing penis. He leaned forward to aim it at her reluctant opening, and she spat in his leering face. As the gobbet of spittle touched his forehead, it seemed to lift him backwards, off her and away. A split second later the sound of the shot caught up the bullet, just as one of the men at her breasts spun away to lie still on the grass. The third man leapt to his feet, but had only taken two strides before he too was still.

Quick hands freed her from her bonds, and raised her up. A soft cape covered her nakedness, and a flask was held to her lips. She leaned against her rescuers, and drank deep.

Two hours later, bathed, fed, dressed and recovered, Arabella stood before Carlo's massive table he used as a desk for his estate business. "I've come to thank you for sending my rescuers. How did you know where to find me?" she asked

"I didn't. I went to enquire after you, and Julietta told me you'd gone out alone, and she was worried that you appeared heedless of my warnings about the dangers in these parts."

"I know better now, Carlo," she said, humbly.

"I hope so. Anyway, I was very concerned, and sent out pairs of men in the most likely directions you might have taken. Giovanni and Julio happened to follow the stream, but when they got to the entrance to the defile they were convinced that even a foolish Englishwoman would not be so deluded as to go up thereunescorted."

Arabella blushed and looked at the floor.

"Luckily, they had only just turned back when your horse came racing down the track, riderless. Of course, they set off immediately to find you, and half way up, came across this curious fellow with all your clothes in a bundle."

Another blush. Curiously, she felt uncomfortable that Carlo should know that she had been naked in front of those men.

"They persuaded the fellow to talk. I haven't enquired how, but I gather that it will be a little while before he is fit enough for me to hang him. If those men had actually raped you, it would have been by the balls. As it is, I gather the neck will do."

She suppressed a desire to giggle hysterically. It seemed her empty threat to her would-be ravishers had not been so empty after all. She was glad Carlo knew she had not actually been penetrated.

"So that was more or less that. When they got to the plateau, your admirers were so taken up with your beautiful body that my men were able to come within yards of them. For two experienced hunters, the rest was easy."

"I'm truly sorry for all the trouble I've caused, Carlo, and very grateful to you for pulling me back from disaster. It's almost as if you tugged on those reins you spoke of, and got me back."

Carlo regarded her sternly.

"Yes, you should be sorry. Your recklessness caused all of us, not least myself, great heartache, and the men spent many hours scouring the country, long after you'd been found. As to the reins, you may be right, and perhaps they should be made tighter."

He held her eyes with his.

"Do you also remember what I said went with the reins?" She returned his gaze.

"Yes,"she said, "I remember."

"I have no engagements after supper, and will be here up to midnight." She lowered her gaze to the floor again.

"I understand," she said, in a low voice.

Back in Julietta's room, she found her friend gloomily awaiting supper.

Arabella tried to make amends.

"I'm sorry I ignored your good advice this morning.

Please forgive me, and lets be friends again. It hurts when you are so silent and withdrawn."

"Arabella, dearest." The words came in a rush, as shegrasped her hands. "How could you think I was angry with you! Of course we're still friends. There's nothing to forgive,"

She gave a wry laugh. "In fact I'm the one that should be asking forgiveness for being too absorbed in myself. More specifically, in the fate of my bottom."

"Oh! Poor Julietta. I had forgotten."

"I wish I could. As it is, I'm horribly aware that in an hour or so, I'm going to have to take my behind along to Aunt Magdala's room, and put it up for six more cuts with that beastly cane. My bottom hurts too much to sit on as it is, and six more will be agony. You remember how poor Bernice screamed, and she was always reckoned to be the bravest of us. You'll probably hear me clear down the corridor."

But the spell of gloom that had hung over her had been broken, and their meal passed quite cheerfully, with Julietta even managing a few attempts at gallows humour.

Supper over, Julietta sent for her maid to undress her, sponge her purple buttocks and put her in the simple red robe she had worn to the court. Arabella had been watching these preparations, thoughtfully. "Do you have another of those robes?" she asked.

"Oh, yes, I've two or three. They can get stained, you know, blood, urine or worse, when you're under stress."

Arabella looked at her very directly.

"Do you think I could borrow one this evening?"

Her friend's eyebrows shot up in two exclamation marks, but she asked no questions.

When the maid had fetched the gown, Arabella indicated her needs, and Julietta chatted on inconsequentially while her friend was stripped, her buttocks scrubbed by the sponge and finally helped into a penitent's gown, the twin of her own. Without a word, they left the room hand in hand, and walked, barefoot, down the corridor. At the corner they kissed and separated, Julietta towards Magdala's room, and the certainty of six venomous cuts into already lacerated flesh, Arabella towards Carlo's room, and the uncertainty of what awaited her there.

What awaited her was a long yellow streak of pain that seemed to be the hall mark of Petraverdi. It lay between them on the otherwise empty table, and drew her eyes like a magnet.

"How many?" she asked.

"You are not a child, and I won't insult you with a mere half dozen, and it is necessary that both you, and all the others concerned, know that you have paid a significant price for your folly. Fiftteen strokes should be sufficient."

With trembling hands she drew off the robe, and bent herself naked, across the heavy table, the hard wood chill on her breasts. The cane disappeared from her field of vision and a moment later she started as the tip touched the inside of her thigh.

"I'll take you with your legs well parted, and up on your toes. It spreads you better and also the cane can cut in underneath, where you'll feel it more."

Feeling sick, she waited. There was a ripping sound as the air parted in the cane's path, and a white hot iron was pressed to her lower buttock. She gasped, and then moaned, and a second application of fire ripped into her.

He caned her slowly, and methodically. He caned her, not as in the women's room but as a man does. The rip of the rod was an octave above the more mellow tone in female hands, and the lancing fire across her buttocks white heat, to feminine rose-red. She howled, she screamed, she stamped her feet, she arched her back in agony, she held on as best she might for honour's sake. She had come to take his whipping of her own free will, and take it she would, but she rose at ten, and an

extra was added to her tally. Fourteen saw her arched upright, her hands on her bleeding rump, and her bill went up two more, while she knelt and held out each offending hand for two cringing cuts across the palm.

Seventeen could not be endured, and for her lapse she was awarded another three. The horror of the fourfold penalty that would follow a further failure kept her in position for the last, and she fell to his feet, her arms clasped round his knees, twenty-one savage purple welts, oozing scarlet droplets, meldingin her under-buttock.

Sniffing and choking, she kissed the rod he proffered, and, through her sobs, thanked him for his correction.

"One thing more remains to be done, before your slate is clear." She shuddered and clung tighter as if he were her only lifeline in a stormy sea.

"The people of the house will soon know, by their own mysterious means, that you have paid your debt, but the villages are far away. They went after you at my request, knowing that they could be at risk, two of them did, indeed, come up against actual danger from the brigands, and they should be shown that the foolish woman they set off to rescue, heedless of any harm to themselves, has not escaped to her pampered life without rebuke.

"Moreover, most of them lost the best part of a day's work on their holdings or trades. I shall compensate them financially, of course, but work has a value and a respect beyond mere money in these parts, and it is right that work should be done as symbolic recompense."

She looked up at him questioningly. What work could she do? He soon made good her ignorance.

"Tomorrow, you will go down to the home farm, dressed in this." He lifted a corner of her borrowed red gown with the point of the cane that had just rended her below. "You'll find Guido ready with his cart. Sit on the cart tail on your tail. It's a long and bumpy ride to the village, and you'll arrive looking suitably penitent. When you get there you'll be put to turn the cornmill in the village square, in place of the donkey that's usually harnessed to the shaft. You'll work the mill from noon to sundown, and what is more, you'll do it naked, so that all can see your rump, and the evidence that their trouble has been paid for."

She shuddered at the thought of her coming humiliation, but murmured her assent into the muscular thigh she nuzzled.

Julietta lay, naked and heaving, in the bed. Stripping off her gown, she added her own bare flesh, and hiccuping sobs. When they had

comforted each other a little while, Julietta whispered through her sobs.

"She really hurt me. I screamed at every stroke. Did you hear me?" "No," choked Arabella in reply, "I was too busy screaming myself." Lying there in their bed of torment, their lacerated bottoms screaming protests at the abuse to which they had been subjected, they thought the smarts would drive away sleep, but pain and exhaustion, and the comfort of warm bare flesh held close, are more potent than the poppy, and sleep soon found them, locked in each other's arms.