When he awoke, it took him some time to get oriented. Where was he? Whose bed was he in? Slowly the happenings of last night came back to him. Was it all true? Or were there things he had just dreamed? And which things were real and which not? He remembered having champagne was it all a crazy, drunken dream?
He looked around, saw the bell-rope close to his bed and decided to try it. Seconds later Suzanne entered greeting him cheerfully.
“I was just coming to wake you up. Madame wants you to join her for breakfast in half an hour, so we must hurry.”
She pulled back the satin, down filled blanket. Too late, he tried to hold on to it to keep himself covered.
“Come on, don’t be bashful, I’ve seen you completely naked yesterday, so there is no reason to hide anything today. Come on, get up now.”
When he tried to jump from the bed, he discovered he was still laced tightly into a corset, which prevented him from bending his body. He had to sit up carefully and then glide from his bed. He wore a beautiful nightgown of the finest muslin, encrusted with heavy lace all around his neck and shoulders and at his hands. Suzanne put high heeled mules on his feet and pulled him up.
“Take off the nightgown I’ll loosen the stay-laces.”
That was music to his ears because, standing, he felt the terrible constriction of that awful garment again. He shed the gown in two seconds.
After letting him out of the corset, Suzanne took him to the bathroom where a wonderful smelling warm bath already awaited him. She soaped his entire body down with perfumed soap and toweled him dry. He felt great.
“Sit over here so I can attend to your hair.”
She directed him to a chair in front of a mirror and started to curl his hair.
“Why do you do this,” he asked, “Can’t I wear male clothes today?”
“If there weren’t any around last night, there aren’t any around now. Nothing materialized during the night. Your trunk has not arrived yet and today is a holiday and all the shops are closed. I am afraid you will have to be a girl again today and I’ll do my best to make you a pretty one.”
After about 10 minutes he had a very girlish hairdo with most of his hair piled up in curls.
“Now you just slip into the dressing-gown you had on yesterday and off you go to meet Madame.”
He was a little afraid to see her after what happened last night if it had happened and he had not just dreamed it. Suzanne brought him to his aunt’s bedroom door, knocked, and shoved him in when she answered.
“Good morning my dear, did you sleep well?,” she greeted him cheerfully.
She was sitting dressed in a wonderful “dishabille” at a little table covered with all you could want for breakfast. He went over to her and answered, greeting her with a polite little bow.
“Good Morning, Aunt Margaret.”
She laughed and stopped him.
“Now this is not at all the behavior of a pretty girl. You still have a lot to learn. Girls don’t bow, girls curtsey. You know how to do that, don’t you? Well then, go back to the door and come in again.”
Hey, I am a boy and she should be content with my bowing he thought. Just because I am wearing this silly gown doesn’t mean I’ve become a girl, he thought. But when he looked into her face and saw she was completely serious, he thought it best to humor her, so he did go back and returned, curtseying deeply in a totally exaggerated way.
“Good morning, Aunt Margaret.”
“Now this was not what I had in mind. I don’t want to be made fun of. Please go back and do it again properly this time. I know you can do better.”
She was dead serious now. He had to go back and repeat the whole scene. This time he did it like a young girl would have done it.
“Good morning, Aunt Margaret.”
She smiled at him. “Good morning, Gloria.”
Somehow he felt that there was much more to this scene than what it appeared to be.
“Have a roll and butter. There is jam and marmalade and honey. And here is coffee, tea and milk.”
He was really hungry and started to devour a roll as soon as he had buttered it.
“Please restrain yourself a little bit: eat a bit more civilized,” she admonished him. “By the way, I can see your behavior leaves much to be desired. I think we must lay down some ground rules for you while living here with me.”
“You see, while you are living here as a girl, I want you to behave like one at all times. I don’t want to see a dragoon in skirts. And I want you to show me the respect I am entitled to. You are my ward and I am your guardian and I want your behavior to show this period. So as long as you are dressed as a girl, you will curtsey to me when you greet me. Further, you will ask permission for everything you want to do and if you receive it, you will say “thank you” and curtsey. If I give you permission to do anything that you hadn’t requested in the first place, you will interpret this as an order to do it, but treat it as a wish granted anyhow, thank me for it and curtsey before you go and do it.”
He was taken aback she evidently meant everything she said. Had nothing happened last night? He was more insecure than ever. Well, lastly what she had said was of no real importance for him, because this afternoon at the latest he would become a boy again and shed these silly feathers.
“You know, you need some rules in society, which make living together possible, and smooth the edges in the relations between people. I don’t want to oppress you, but some rules are necessary, and I think we shall get along beautifully if we both observe these basic rules.”
There obviously was some truth to this, he had to concede, but he had some doubts about the necessity of exactly the rules that she had laid out before. But he did not worry too much. These rules would not outlive this day, he was sure.
“Would you like to go horseback riding through the Tiergarten with me this morning?” she asked him.
He was all for it. He would show her some equestrian exercises that no girl could do and thereby assert his masculinity.
“Of course, I would love to.”
“Then go and get dressed and I’ll meet you downstairs at the stable in 15 minutes.”
Although he could have eaten at least two more rolls, he got up. He remembered to curtsey before he turned toward the door. He almost bumped into Aunt Margaret’s maid who brought her a stylish riding suit with black riding coat, red vest, black breeches and boots. He was glad to see this, evidently there finally were trousers available here.
Entering his own suite, he found Suzanne waiting for him. She took off his dressing-gown and put him into a corset again using the lacing bar. He had expected this somehow and was glad that it was shorter in its lower part than the ones he had worn the day before. A chemise of fine linen followed, then a white satin blouse with long sleeves. A big, light grey satin cravat was tightly tied around his neck. He was waiting for the breeches when Suzanne pulled a riding habit from one of the closets: No breeches, but a long, wide skirt of fine black cheviot and a small and tightly cut jacket. All his hopes were gone. He gave in, however, and let Suzanne dress him in the severely cut habit. It fit him perfectly. The riding boots, though, had heels about two inches high quite unusual.
Suzanne guided him down to the stables, carrying his hat and gloves. Aunt Margaret had already mounted her dapple-grey mare.
“Hurry up now, we haven’t got all day.”
She looked marvelous, if a little masculine, with her black top hat. Before he mounted his horse, Suzanne fastened his hat in his curls, a small, feminine thing, decorated with a long thick veil, which she tied in a large bow under his chin, letting the long ends stream down his back. He looked extremely feminine with his hour-glass silhouette, the long, full skirt and the veiled hat.
He experienced a real shock however, when he realized that his horse bore a side-saddle. He had, of course, never used one of these before and did not know if he would be able to handle it at all. Before he could make up his mind, the coachman had already bent down, offering his help and suddenly he found himself seated in the saddle.
“Let’s go. Show me if you really can ride,” and off Aunt Margaret went.
He felt very humiliated having to ride side-saddle in a dress while she rode in breeches like a man.
It went better than he had feared, but it was an unaccustomed and rather strenuous exercise for him and he was really tired and hungry when they finally came back at noon. After a light lunch together, Margaret allowed him to retire for a little rest. When he asked about his trunk, he was in for the next shock: it had not arrived yet, and nobody seemed to know where it could have gone to. This meant he would again have to spend the afternoon and night as a girl.