When he entered Margaret’s sitting-room, it was precisely 8:15. He closed the door behind him and waited there until she looked up.
“Good morning, Madame,” he greeted her with a graceful curtsey.
“Good morning, Gloria, come and join me for breakfast.”
She looked him in the face. “Have you been crying? Tell me the reason.”
He truthfully related the whole incident to her.
“Now that was stupid of you, not to obey Mademoiselle in the first place, wasn’t it? Mademoiselle had every right to do what she did. You see, while you are living here as a girl, you have to be obedient and submissive as is befitting a young girl. I shall not tolerate any insolence or willfulness on your part. This kind of behavior, often found in young men, is not acceptable even in them, much less in a girl. I hope that you will soon adapt your demeanor to the ways expected by society as the proper behavior of a young lady. It will make things easier for all of us, but mostly for you, though. I hope you agree with me. Don’t you?”
He took a deep breath as far as the constriction of his corset allowed and silently nodded, his eyes downcast. No use putting up a fight here and now: he could only loose.
“Well, answer me, Gloria, and look at me.”
She treated him like a recalcitrant child, but he had to give in.
“Yes, of course you are right and I agree with you, Madame,” he finally managed to say.
“Well, then this is settled and out of the way. Let’s enjoy the nice day and our breakfast.”
He hoped she would release him from the handcuffs in vain.
“I see you are a little hampered. Well, then I shall prepare you a roll and feed you. Do you want coffee or tea?”
And she fed him like a baby, even dabbing his lips with a napkin after each bite or sip. Long before he had enough, she stopped and told him “Run along and ask Mademoiselle to get you ready for our trip. I shall meet you downstairs at the carriage in 10 minutes.”
He got up obediently.
“Thank you very much, Madame,” he managed to say, not forgetting his curtsey.
“You are very welcome, my dear. See how simple it is?”
Half an hour later they, which was Margaret, Suzanne, and Jean- Marie or as the two women wanted Jean-Marie to see it Madame, Mademoiselle, and Gloria, were sitting in a reserved first class compartment in the train that would bring them to the estate of their hosts for the holidays.
Suzanne had exercised another little tyranny over Gloria. After having “her” slip into a light dust-cloak, which matched the colors of “her” dress, she had hung an ornamental cord around “her” neck, which suspended a dainty velvet muff just below her waist.
“Slip your hands into it please,” she asked “her”.
Jean-Marie sensed something mischievous in her request, but was afraid to object. When he had put his hands into the little muff, Suzanne compressed something at each end of it and he heard two little clicks. Metal clamps had closed tightly around his wrists and he was unable to retract his hands from the muff. She looked at him smiling like the cat that had eaten the canary.
“Another little toy, that will teach you proper submissiveness. You will not need your hands until we get there and if you are careful and push your hands well in, nobody will see the fetters.”
After the train had started, Suzanne had drawn down the shades on the windows on the side of the aisle, so nobody could look into their compartment.
“I am just thinking: Gloria is wearing rather low heels today. I think she might be tempted to walk with an unfeminine stride when we arrive. The surroundings will be rather rural and that might make her forget to move gracefully. Her dress is very comfortable and does nothing to remind her to curb her stride. I think we should restrain her somehow to prevent any mistakes she might make.”
“An excellent idea, Suzanne, what do you propose?” Margaret supported Suzanne’s argument.
“Well, I have here a small gadget that just might do the trick. May I fix it on her legs?”
“By all means, please do.”
Suzanne drew back Gloria’s skirts to her knees. She knelt down and fastened a strong cloth ribbon around each of Gloria’s legs just below her knees. Other ribbons, adjustable in length, connected these in front and in back.
“All right Gloria, get up and walk up and down.”
He discovered that he could take only the tiniest steps.
“You can’t leave this on,” he protested, “I would not even be able to step down from the car in the station.”
“Don’t you worry your little head, my dear, I can easily give you some more room. Now sit down again.”
He did it and she reached under his skirts and pulled twice. But instead of getting more freedom, his knees were drawn tightly together.
“That’s the wrong way,” he protested.
“Oh no, as you will not be doing any walking for the next hour or so, your knees can stay strapped together like this. It will remind you, always to sit with your knees pressed together. Another lesson in femininity. And since you cannot walk anyway, I may as well bind your ankles together.”
She did it using a similar ribbon, which she wound around both ankles, pulled tight and buckled.
There he sat with his two mistresses, tied hand and foot, fashionably dressed as a girl, and he had not the slightest chance to escape them. It should have made him angry, rebellious or at least dejected or depressed. Strangely enough, none of this happened. The situation inexplicably aroused his passions, and he leaned back into the corner of his seat, closing his eyes, and gave way to these surprising, but very pleasant feelings.
During their ride, Margaret explained that her husband and Mr. von Eltzen, their host for the weekend, had been business partners. He had only recently acquired the estate and renovated the mansion.
Shortly before they reached their destination, Suzanne freed his ankles and his hands and loosened the straps at his knees. Somehow, he wished it had continued, but then he remembered his plan to escape his mistresses.
At the station they were picked up by a large coach. After their bags were stowed away, the coachman said they would have to wait a few moments, as he had to pick up somebody else; another lady.
“Look who’s coming,” Margaret suddenly exclaimed, “it’s Coco!”
Really, there she came, very stylishly dressed for a visit “… la campange” in a forest green wool suit, wearing a rather austere, almost masculine hat, which was only softened by a large veil draped around its crown, partly drawn over the face, partly hanging in long streamers down the back.
She marched toward the coach using a walking stick made of polished knotty wood to help her. Even in this costume without any frills or ruches she looked extremely feminine and her “marching” could hardly be called that. She projected the picture of a very fragile girl. Jean-Marie was again amazed by her extremely narrow waist. Even now with the heavier material of her costume, it was unbelievable small.
When she reached the coach and saw who was sitting in it, she let out a little shriek of delight.
“I don’t believe it. I had no idea you were coming, too. We could have traveled together. Well, I am glad to see you. I was afraid I wouldn’t know anybody besides the hosts.”
The porter who had followed her put her bag into the trunk at the back and she greeted everybody with a little kiss, and sat down opposite from Margaret.
“Well, what a pleasant surprise.”
Jean-Marie simply couldn’t believe that this ultra feminine creature could be a boy. He made a mental note to find out more about her during the coming days.
The coach took about half an hour to reach the von Eltzen estate. They were greeted by their hosts.
“I suggest you go to your rooms first and get settled and then we can all take a carriage-ride until lunch-time. My husband is dying to show off his property,” announced their hostess, Mrs. von Eltzen.
After the official introduction to their hosts, Jean-Marie had tried to keep in the background as much as possible. He had not seen the son of their hosts. He wanted to find him as soon as possible to get some male clothes, before any other guests arrived who could see him as a girl. He was afraid to ask for him directly; he just had to take his chances and keep his eyes open for him.
After they were shown their rooms and all their bags had been delivered, they returned to the hall. Where is this son-of-a-bitch, now that I need him, Jean-Marie thought. Much to his disappointment, he had to join the others for the ride. Luckily, they were the only guests so far. When Margaret enquired who else was expected to come, Mr. von Eltzen told her they were all neighbors and not expected until dinner.
The property was impressive. The mansion overlooked a lake: there was a boat-house and a private landing with a small sailing-yacht. The grounds were landscaped in the English country park fashion with groups of trees and hedges in the meadows. They saw orchards and fields and went through the village nearby, but nothing could hold Jean-Marie’s interest. He was glad when they finally returned and lunch was announced.
Then he appeared.
“May I introduce our son, Fritz,” Mr. von Eltzen proclaimed.
Jean-Marie looked him over with intense interest. He was taller than Jean-Marie, at least 5’ 9” but rather slim, definitely not the athletic type. That was good. Probably his trousers would be too long for him, but you could always fold up what was too long inside the leg. His shirts and jackets could just fit him maybe the arms would be a little long.
“You know everybody, Fritz, except our young guest here, Baroness Gloria von Leydenburg, Baronin von Leydenburg’s niece.”
Jean-Marie was still staring at him, calculating, comparing Fritz’ size to his, when he saw Fritz’ outstretched hand waiting for his. Oh my God, I am Baroness Gloria von Leydenburg! It suddenly dawned on him. Never before had he been introduced that way and for a moment he had not even realized that it was he who was being introduced. He offered his hand to be shaken and got another shock when Fritz bowed to him and breathed a kiss on his hand. Just in time, he remembered to curtsey.
“You seem to have flustered her quite a bit, Fritz,” Margaret observed “I hope you do not take advantage of her bewilderment. Be a gentleman.”
“But of course, Frau Baronin.”
At lunch Fritz took him to the table, but with all the others around then, he had no opportunity to talk to him about his problem. He could, however, watch him and his actions very closely. Fritz had very delicate hands, with long slim fingers. If he was a doctor, he had to be a surgeon. His face was finely cut, with soft features showing great sensitivity. He spoke in a low, modulated voice. The conversation mostly was about his work at a hospital in Berlin, and Jean-Marie felt that he was very dedicated to it. Had Jean-Marie really been a girl, he could have fallen in love with him. Good looking, coming from a good family but most important, a sincere, caring personality.
Jean-Marie was sure he would be understanding and help him if he just had a chance to talk to him in private for a few minutes. But his hopes dwindled when Fritz told him he had to go back to Berlin, to the hospital. He was scheduled for duty for a double shift from four o’clock that afternoon to eight Sunday morning. When he saw “her” obvious disappointment, he assured “her” that he would be back for the ball scheduled for Sunday night.
Jean-Marie was disappointed, but for quite different reasons than Fritz could imagine. He had to find another way to get to male clothes. Maybe he could just steal no, borrow some of Fritz’s while he was gone. But he had no such luck. After lunch, Fritz rushed off and everybody else went to take an afternoon nap. Suzanne and Margaret made sure Jean-Marie would stay with them. Maybe they had sensed his imminent rebellion. They had three adjoining rooms, all three interconnected and having a door to the hall. Suzanne closed and locked the door of his room leading to the hall and took the key along. He now could only exit through either Suzanne’s or Margaret’s room. He looked out of the window but it was too high to jump and there was nothing near he could climb down on. He was caught again.
Suzanne came and undressed him, leaving on his corset. She made him put his wrists through the garter loops again, fettering him in this simple and yet effective way, and put him to bed.
After he had rested and slept a little bit, Suzanne came and dressed him for the afternoon tea. He had to wear a gown that again was very tight in the waist and Suzanne had to take in his corset another half inch. When he looked into the long mirror after Suzanne had completely dressed him, he was quite taken by his reflection. Again, he was a very pretty girl. He would have liked to see Fritz’ reaction to seeing him. He shook his head he was even beginning to think as a girl.