From A Certain Point Of View

July 5, 1896
Margaret Spooner

There was not a cloud in the sky today. It was beautifully blue and the sun was hot. Edgar and I went for a walk in the park in the mid afternoon. We were sitting on a bench watching ducks swim on the lake when it inexplicably began to rain. Not a cloud in the sky, but we were drenched from head to toe in less than five minutes.

Mother would have called it a sign. Thankfully, neither Edgar nor I am superstitious about such things. I could actually explain why it occurs from time to time but I realize it is far from an engaging subject. We took shelter underneath an old oak tree.

“Summer rain.” Edgar said, shaking his head in an expression akin to disbelief.

I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him. Edgar returned it with a firm arm pulling me tighter to him. Just as soon as it began, it stopped. The kiss that is, not the rain.

“I wish you didn’t have to go.” I said.

“We have all our lives, Maggie. More days ahead than behind and I plan to spend more of them with you than without you.”

“I hope you really mean that.”

“You can believe it. Since the first time I saw you, I’ve done nothing but think about you.”

“Yet, it took you two years to say anything to indicate how you feel.”

“Well, to be honest I thought maybe it would pass.”

“I’m glad it did not.”

“So am I.”

He kissed me again and in that moment I was certain that being with him was more important than anything else I had ever wanted. He is my sustenance, my air, my shelter and I think I might just be his as well.

At last the rain stopped and we began to walk back toward the house. We held hands and walked in silence. It was not strange or awkward but, peaceful and secure. There was no need to talk because we were together and that was all that mattered.

Unfortunately, in silence my mind begins to wander. My thoughts turned to the private conversation once promised me and then bestowed upon Edgar without me.

“What did my father say to you the other night?” I asked.

“Were it up to me, I would tell you, but your father’s words were not meant for your ears and I will not betray his trust. Do you understand?”

“I do and I do not. You need not give me specifics, but was it about school?”

“I am sure your father will tell you in time.”

“You have known me long enough to know I am not a patient woman.”

“Yes, and you should work on that. All things come in their own time, it is not for us to rush them.”



“I suppose I will be better suited to pester my father, than you.”

“Perhaps, but I think he might take you over his knee if you push too far.”

“Are you claiming you would not?”

“Time will tell.”

“It always does, but the question is not when, it is what.”

“Would you have me make a threat to prove my intentions?”

“Threats are so ugly. Tell me, did it have something to do with Edith or Penelope?”

“Maggie.” He said in a scolding tone.

“A yes or a no will do.”

“Talk with your father. What kind of a man will he think me to be if I break his confidence at your first inquisition?”

“It is hardly my first inquisition.”

“True but the subject has yet to change.”

“Give me something, Edgar.”

“We spoke in your father’s study.”

“I all ready knew that much!”

“There is nothing more I will say on the matter. If your curiosity must be satiated, you will have to pursue it with your father. It is not my place to say.”

“Fine.” I said with a hint of pouting in my tone.

Edgar placed a finger beneath my chin and turned my head to face him. His eyes were laughing but his expression was stark.

“Do not pout, Maggie. It does not suit you and I will not tolerate it.”

“Oh very well, Edgar.” I replied and kissed him.

He smiled in response.

After we arrived back at the house, Edgar disappeared with my father again. I must say, I am pleased at how well they have gotten on. It was a small fear of mine that he would not approve of Edgar, but it has now been put to rest. Even mother likes him.

“Margaret?” Father called for me.

“Yes, sir?”

“Come in here for a moment.”

I rose from the sofa and joined Edgar and father in the study.

“Edgar tells me you are insatiably curious.” Father said once the door was closed.

I glared at Edgar for a moment.

“Yes, I am.”

“I realize I promised you an explanation and have yet to fulfill that promise, but it is entirely inappropriate, not to mention disrespectful, for you to be enquiring into the details of a private conversation.”

“Yes, sir. I am sorry.”

“I should think you would be.” Father said.

It was all I could do not to roll my eyes.

“I was not aware until Edgar arrived, I am quite familiar with his father. That is why my plans changed, not that I should have call to explain myself to you. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir. I was not aware you knew Edgar’s family.”

“Now you are. Our conversation entailed more than I am prepared to share with you, but I suppose we will have no peace until I explain that which you overheard last week.”

I nodded my head in agreement. What could I say?

“The conversation you overheard was not something you were to have heard and that which I am about to share is not for the ears of anyone outside of this room. Are we understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“The men who were here, were frustrated with the state of political affairs. Business and politics have become intertwined and the government has taken to interfering in matters such as labor disputes.”

“I have read about it.” I said.

“What you have read is only a portion of the story. The press takes liberties with what portion of the truth and facts they wish to share. It is in this manner they can shape public opinion.”

“To what end?” I asked.

“That is a very good question but extremely difficult to answer because not all of them have the same goals and even those who share common goals differ in how they think the goals can best be reached. Suffice it to say, the ultimate ends are in money and power as they always have been.”

I nodded my head.

“A young woman, only just eighteen years of age, landed square in the middle of a labor dispute in Colorado. She probably did not even know what she was doing, but her actions have had long reaching consequences. In fact, there are likely more consequences left to come. Without getting into all the details, let us just say she managed to light a fire in the labor unions and because a few disgruntled men got some of the things they wanted out of a strike, we now have a nation full of laborers who are wanting to know why they were forced back to work and did not get a single concession on their demands.”

“Okay, but what about the journal?”

“Her father was a difficult man who inserted himself into the politics of labor disputes many years ago. He blackmailed several men, including one of the men who was here, in order to get what he wanted. His journal contains specific information about a number of men that would not be in their best interest to become public knowledge.”

“If they did things bad enough they have to keep them secret maybe the secrets should not be kept?”

My father and Edgar laughed at me.

“If only the world was so simple. All men have things they would rather keep hidden from the world. It is an unfortunate reality of life that at certain moments we can be forced to do things we are not proud of or sometimes in our reckless youth we do them without understanding the long term ramifications. To have made a mistake at some point in your life, and with these men it was all more than a decade ago, does not make you a bad person.” Father explained.

“I understand.”

“The man who kept this journal was killed by a trigger happy sheriff. All my clients wanted was the journal. Daniel Waters death was a disaster for everyone.”

“Should not the sheriff be tried for murder then?” I asked.

“It is too late for that.”

“It is never too later.”

“The man’s daughter shot and killed the sheriff on the very same day.”

“Oh. I guess it is too late then.”

Father nodded.

“The men are now concerned she might have the blackmail information, because she produced a list of her father’s demands for the General who put down the strike. They are concerned she might, in anger, find a way to publish that information and publicly hurt some very good people who did some rather dumb things a very long time ago.”

“I think I understand, but what does all this have to do with Primrose College.”

“Well not much, other than the girl will be attending in the fall.”

“But, I recall something being mentioned about Edith and Penelope?”

“The issue at your school is a separate matter entirely and heavily political. There is a growing movement in the country to rewrite the Constitution with women being placed equal to men.”

“You do not think we are?”

Again they laughed at me.

“I do not look down upon women. I do not think your potential needs limiting, but there is absolutely no possibility of total equality. Many of your sex will fight for it, but in reality they do not want equality, they want specific rights. I do not take issue with that, but spare me the equality line. We may be created equal but we do not stay that way long.”

“I see.”

“In the coming years, you will undoubtedly find Primrose College become a battleground for this equality movement and you would be wise to refrain from becoming a part of it.”

“I think I all ready am.” I said.

“How so?” My father asked with concern in his voice.

“I am trying to become a doctor.”

“There is no harm in you learning all you can. I would be proud to see you graduate a medical woman. The fight I am talking about is not over matters such as that.”

“Maybe I do not understand then.”

“Perhaps not, but it does not matter. All you need to know is to stick to your studies and stay out of politics.”

I nodded my head.

“Well then, I believe Edgar requires a private word with you, so I will leave you to it.” My father said and left the study.

“Now that your father has eased your curiosity over our conversation, I thought I could put your mind at rest on another matter.” Edgar said once we were alone.

“What matter is that?”

“Come here.”

I walked to him. He sat down in one of the open chairs father has for guests. He patted his lap and looked up at me expectantly. I smile and sat on his lap, wrapping my arms around his neck.

“Nice try, Margaret.” Edgar said.

“You wouldn’t.” I said staring into his eyes.

“Indeed I would. Now get over my lap proper.” He ordered.

I bit my lip but did as I was told. Once there, Edgar spent several minutes pulling my skirt out of the way. Were I not facing the floor I would have found his struggles hilarious, as it was I giggled quietly, hoping he could not hear. At last I felt his palm on my bloomers.

He slapped his hand down with stinging results several times. Oddly, though it hurt, it was not the same as when father does it. There was something about his firm hand and the electric quality of his touch which set me at ease despite the discomfort in my bottom.

His hand bounced from cheek to cheek until I could take the stinging no more.

“I’m sorry, Edgar.” I shouted.

He continued to spank.

“Please, stop. I won’t do it again.”

He laughed.

“I am absolutely certain you will.” He said.

He spanked some more with a bit of fervor to let me know he meant it too.

“Edgar!” I shouted.

Finally he stopped and turned me on his lap so I was looking up at him.

“What?” He asked.

“Kiss me you fool.” I ordered.

For the first time all week, he actually did what I told him. How about that?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Ashley, I've read that line so often, I have never heard anyone use it.
Warm hugs,