Sisters should suffer. More flogging, torture, and sex.
Maybe we should go in a PM exchange for this project.
I am no bastinado fan and would like to see the punishment develop like announced. But I hope both sisters will be rescued. Their father was a person with pull. If the story of the punishment of the Laura got to England, maybe it caused a scandal and someone was send to investigate the story?
Sisters should suffer. More flogging, torture, and sex.
I particularly liked the invention of ginger root, a treacherous and ... stimulating choice. Mina was forced to lift her ass as if she died from the desire to receive the blows even if she really wanted to escape. Now, however, her back entrance needs a clean up and she certainly suffered a lot: as the great Winston Churchill said, the stick and carrot method must be used ...I'll probably not have any more bastinado scenes. I was going to wrap "Mina" up in the next chapter or two. But I am interested to know what people like to read. Do you mean you'd like to see bastinado done to or by Madame Louisa?
I did ask for comments on what people wanted to read, but I agree, PM is probably the better place for that.Maybe we should go in a PM exchange for this project.
The most people are consuments. Write what you like, probably the best.I did ask for comments on what people wanted to read, but I agree, PM is probably the better place for that.
Thanks to all for the comments. As I said above, I'll probably be wrapping "Mina" up in the next chapter or two. But I will keep your suggestions in mind for future stories.
I'd like illustrations for the history of Miss Berkeley's Voyage, please.
Well worth the wait. (maybe a slightly shorter wait?)Thanks to all who commented and got me motivated to write the next chapter. Without further ado--
Two soldiers walked Mina to the post in the center of the platform.
They turned her around in front of it, Mina unresistant, nearly moribund from her suffering, and forced her back against the rough wood. She grunted in agony as her deeply bruised and bleeding buttocks and back pressed against the wood. Her head slumped to her chest and she coughed and gagged weakly as the soldiers bound her wrists tightly behind the post. Her body drooped in weariness.
“Hold her up.” The Warden ordered as he approached. He pulled her chin up.
“I think you’ve had this on long enough, Miss Berkeley,” he said, giving the straps of the brank a shake. “I know you like to speak out, and it’s only fair you should have a voice in what happens to you next. To put it plainly, Miss Berkeley, I should like to hear you scream.”
Grabbing her by the throat and lower jaw, he pushed her head back as he withdrew the vertical leaf blade bit from her mouth. Despite the bit being dull, the Warden noted some blood on it, and a few spots darkened Mina’s lips.
“There you are dearie,” the Warden said, massaging Mina’s jaw and neck. “Isn’t it loverly to be able to talk again? Thank Warden Thompkins for what a lovely time you’ve had.”
“Please,” she whispered, her voice hoarse. Even through her pain addled mind, she knew what was coming. Mina looked into the Warden’s eyes, trying to find some hint, some spark of human compassion. Some mote of pity she could appeal to. But she saw none. His eyes were hard, and she saw in them nothing but a deep contempt for her, and pleasure at her suffering. And she knew that there was nothing that she could ever say or do that would stay his hand, nor would any man here. They had broken her, and then they had gone beyond merely breaking her. She knew that her flesh was now to be permanently, indelibly marked. Like an animal. Or a slave. Her terror rose up in her like gall, nearly choking her. But something else rose up in her as well; Anger at the rank, barbaric, monstrous injustice being done to her.
The Warden had turned away from her to announce the next punishment to the crowd when she whispered “Wait.”
“Wait!” she said again. Her voice was hoarse and cracked. “I have something I must tell you! Water, please, sir.”
Intrigued, the Warden turned to her.
“Indeed, Miss Berkeley, what could you possibly have to say to me?” Thinking perhaps she would beg, or apologize for her past rudeness, or even offer herself to him if only he would spare her. He wanted to hear it. He fetched his flagon of ale and pressed it to her lips.
Up until that moment, Mina had not approved of spirituous drink. When she was still a girl Mina had tasted ale once on a dare, and had not liked the bitterness of it. And once on shipboard with her father she had been given a mouthful of by a sly, venturous midshipman. She had liked that even less. Wine, she had supposed, was acceptable in moderation. The Madeira she had partaken of while giving her testimony to Commodore Smythie had been as much as she had ever drunk at one sitting. Alcoholic beverage, especially among the lower classes, led to poor judgment, regretful behavior, and ultimately, degradation.
That is what she had always believed, and as a general rule, had found to be true.
But of course she was not thinking of any of that now.
The draught of ale she now had was the best, most refreshing drink of her life. The bitterness of it washed out the coppery taste of blood in her bone dry mouth and the sheer wetness of it was a delight, a blessing. She swallowed greedily as the Warden tipped another mouthful to her lips.
“Careful, Miss Berkeley, wouldn’t want you to get tipsy. Now, what have you to say to me?”
Mina dropped her head, and for a moment, the Warden thought she had fallen unconscious. But he could see her throat working, and she was making odd, snoring sounds. Was she having some sort of a fit? Almost gently he slapped her cheek.
But Mina was neither unconscious, nor having a fit. She lifted her head up, and with one last snort to collect whatever precious fluids were in her mouth, she spat in the Warden’s face.
It was a rather paltry effort. But Mina was weak from her ordeal, and in a great deal of pain. She had never done anything so crude, and so she was inexperienced in the proper technique. A few flecks of blood, saliva, and ale peppered the Warden’s face, that was all. But it had been done with all the will in her mind and body.
Surprised, the Warden lurched half a step backwards.
“Bitch!” he roared. He stepped forward again and slapped Mina hard across her face with a heavy hand and immediately backhanded her as well, snapping her head side to side.
He drew his fist back to smash it into her face, perhaps giving her a killing blow, when the Sergeant of the Guard called out, “Warden Thompkins!” And rushed to his side.
The soldiers on either side of Mina were startled, but did not intervene, unsure how to respond.
“Warden Thompkins, do not forget yourself sir!” the Sergeant said. He put his hand on the Warden’s arm. “Let us finish this, and be done with it!”
“Do not touch me, damn you!” the Warden said, violently shaking off the Sergeant’s hand and eyeing the Sergeant and the two soldiers. “The little bitch spat on me!”
One of the soldiers snickered.
There was a gasp of surprise and appreciation from the onlookers who could see what Mina had done, and shouted the news.
“She spit on the Warden! That a girl! She’s a wild ‘un!”
“Thar she blows!”
The Warden turned to Mina.
“You shall suffer for that, you little strumpet.”
“I shall suffer for it, shall I?” Mina said, her voice stronger but still hoarse, “Do as you will sir, for I cannot stop you, but God damn you to hell sir.”
Only a few at the front edge of the crowd heard her words, but delighted at her show of spirit, they quickly echoed them to others.
“Strap her up tight!” the Warden ordered the soldiers. “I don’t want the cunt to so much as twitch.”
The soldiers hesitated, looking to each other, then to the sergeant.
“Damn your eyes! Do as I say!”
“Do as the Warden says!” the Sergeant of the Guard said.
At the Warden’s instruction, the soldiers fixed leather straps around Mina’s body at her thighs, stomach, and forehead, binding her tightly and motionlessly to the post.
The Warden had grabbed the brank as well, thinking to put it back on her, but then threw it down in disgust at Mina’s feet.
“No. I shall have you begging and screaming, you uppity cunt.”
It had been part of Ebo’s job to bring and prepare the small iron brazier and the branding irons, which he had done with his usual efficiency. The irons had been heating in the brazier and were now red hot.
Glaring at Ebo, all but daring him to say something, the Warden drew the “S” iron from the brazier. Ebo did not glance in the Warden’s direction, and gave no sign that he had even noticed him. He stood with his muscular arms crossed, looking out over the now restive crowd, with his usual expression of truculent contempt.
The Warden held the iron up as though studying it, and thought to say something to Ebo; either that it was too hot or not hot enough. But instead, he gave Ebo nothing more than a resentful glance, and replaced the iron in the coals.
He took a deep breath and a drink from his flagon. Like the coals, the Warden’s fire banked a bit.
He could sense that the crowd’s mood was becoming dangerous.
The general feeling of entertainment had been replaced with angry scowls and mutterings. The temper of the crowd, always a fickle beast, had changed. She had spit in the Warden’s eye! Whipped, branked, beaten with the bull’s pizzle, and about to be branded, she had looked her tormentor in the eye and spit on him! What a girl! What spirit! That was some English pluck for you! Many of those who had been enthusiastic initially, now saw the punishment as barbaric and vindictive.
He walked to the front of the platform.
“How’s she taste, Warden?” a mocking voice called from the first rows of the crowd.
“Like many another woman who’s spit on him!” a voice answered.
“Silence!” the Warden shouted. “The next man who speaks I will settle with myself! Silence, I say!”
But the crowd did not quiet. The Warden shouted over the hubbub.
“In accordance with the sentence duly handed down by the right honorable Judge Higgens, the criminal Mina Berkeley is to be branded upon her breast with the marks of her crimes, so that all may see and be mindful. And the marks shall be the ‘S’ for Sedition, and the ‘M’ for Incitement to Mutiny. This is the King’s justice upon a traitor. Mark it well! God save the King!”
There were only one or two ragged cheers from the crowd and little japery. Alarmingly, more voices were raised in protest.
“She’s had enough, damn you!”
“Let her off!”
Turning his back to the angry shouts, the Warden walked back to the brazier, and again picked the “S” iron out of the coals. He approached Mina, wielding the iron in front of him like a sword.
Although she tried to master her fear and terror, Mina’s eyes fixed in horrified fascination on the iron. She struggled in her bonds, but the pain of rubbing her back and butt against the post caused her to gasp. She willed herself to stare back at the Warden, and to hold still, for she did not want to give him the satisfaction of her terror. But she could not control the trembling that wracked her.
Just for show, and to get the crowd back on his side, he wet his forefinger on his tongue and touched it to the head of the iron, shaking his hand theatrically to show how hot it was. But his little act had the opposite effect, and goaded the crowd. More voices rose in protest.
“I hope you’re little show of fire was worth it, you hopped up cunt,” he said to Mina. “Remember it well when you’re admiring these marks. And I’ll be reminding you myself soon enow when I’m widening your bunghole with my cock.”
The Warden brought the iron slowly up to Mina’s face, smirking as her eyes widened in fear. Every muscle in her body seemed to tighten and contract, as though shrinking from the terrible heat of the iron. Slowly the Warden lowered it and hovered it close over her right nipple. Mina grunted and writhed within the strictures of her bonds, grinding her teeth and grimacing in pain as the hot iron reddened and blistered the bud of her breast.
Shouts of anger mounted, rising up like a wave.
“She’s had enough!”
“He’s torturing the poor girl!”
The Warden’s face hardened. He pressed the iron against Mina’s chest, a few inches below her right collar bone.
Mina screamed in agony as the brand burned into her flesh. Forgetting all her other wounds at the blindingly intense pain of this new outrage, Mina lost her mind for that moment, and writhed and twitched against the straps like a mad thing. Her urine splattered on the planks.
“How do you like that, now missy?” he said. “Now you’ve been well and truly marked!”
There is a skill to branding a person, as the Warden well knew, for he had served for a time aboard a slave ship, and had branded more than a few slaves himself. Leave the iron on too long, and the iron fuses with the flesh, tearing some of the skin away as the iron is removed, and making a mess of the brand. Too short a time, and the burn may not be deep enough to form a noticeable scar.
He had gauged it perfectly. It was a deep burn but with clean edges. It would scar up nicely. Of course, the pain of it would last a good long while and the brand itself would last a lifetime.
The Warden was proud of himself that neither the Berkeley woman’s pathetic show of rebelliousness, nor the crowd’s fickleness had affected the performance of his duty.
He held the iron aloft and smirked at the crowd as he walked back to the brazier. He drew out the “M” brand.
The protest was now general. Certain elements, mostly young toughs always spoiling for a fight, had pressed to the fore of the crowd, cursing at the soldiers who stood in front of the platform.
“The woman has been sentenced to be branded as a seditious, mutinous traitor, worthy of no pity, and I intend to finish the job!” the Warden shouted. “If any try to interfere, they will be beaten to the ground and arrested! Stay back, all of you!”
He took up the “M” iron and stepped back to the post. He paused a moment in front of Mina. Her eyes were dull, unresponsive. He ordered one of the soldiers to splash some of the salt water on her face and chest to revive her.
“Just finish the job, sir,” the Sergeant of the Guard urged the Warden. “The mob is becoming unruly.”
“I don’t give a damn about that worthless scum,” the Warden said. “I’ll have her feel the iron. Now bring over that bucket!”
Rather than waste time arguing, the Sergeant brought the bucket, and splashed some of the salt water on Mina’s face.
Mina sputtered, gasped, and whimpered in pain.
“And the brand as well,” the Warden said.
“Damn it, just finish this!” the Sergeant said. The soldiers were being hard pressed to hold back the crowd. Hurriedly he splashed some water on the brand.
Mina cried out as the salt water hit the burn.
She grunted in pain as the Warden brought the iron to bear.
“It seems you have won the crowd over, Miss Berkeley, much good may it do you. Perhaps when you look upon these marks burned above your titties, you will think the “S” and “M” means the Scum and the Mob who cried out for you. Why don’t you thank them now?”
So saying, the Warden’ pressed the iron to her chest, just an inch or so below the collar bone on the other side.
Mina shrieked in agony as the brand seared into her, and then her voice was suddenly stilled as she pitched into the welcome arms of unconsciousness.