Irish Kate.-Drink, heat, fleas, and French letters. • The bricklayer afterwards. • I give luck. The lost breast-pin. • The cholera’s victim.

One hot night in summer I slouched along one of the streets, and stopped in front of a woman who stood lolling against the door-post. I recollect her and my first sensations perfectly well, her white face, and dark hair hanging behind her in a net, her low dress, low in front, — showing a luscious neck and bust as white as her face. Her dress was of a very light colour, so her neck and face must have been white indeed to look so white by contrast. The street-door was close to a street-lamp, which shed a strong light on her face as it was turned upwards, and with her hand and arms folded behind her she lolled, her back against the door-post. She was a full-sized woman, but young, and exactly what pleased me then; black and white, young and full of flesh. I stopped, and gazed at her. She fixed her eyes vacantly on me, but neither moved nor spoke to me.

There were gay women standing at doors not far off, common men also at some stood smoking. They understood the habits of the neighbourhood, and never took any notice when a strange man and woman talked together at a door. I did not like to speak to a woman if others, or men were near, and would at times walk about till the coast was clearer. But this girl struck me with strong lust suddenly. “I’ll give you a shilling to feel”, said I. No answer, but she kept staring at me. “Half-a crown then”, thinking my offer too small, and stepping inside the passage to get out of sight. “Come in”, I said. She made no reply, never took her back quite from the wall; but turning herself round, continued looking at me, her head slightly moving about as if she did not understand.

Staggered at this behaviour I was coming out again to leave, but her lovely look fixed me. “I’ll give you five shillings”, said I, “to have you.” “Have me”, said she, “have me what?” Her voice was thick and broken. She turned into the passage. “Will you let me have you?” “Come and fuck”, said the husky, thick voice. She passed me, stepped heavily into the room, staggered to the bed, and then I saw she was drunk. I had not noticed it before, being absorbed in her fleshy beauty, and the desire to see her cunt, and all of her, and join my body to hers.

There was a single candle in the room, fluttering, and needing snuffing, but no snuffers. I snuffed it with my fingers. The room was in disorder, the pot full, water in the basin, the bed unmade, the whole place the picture of disorderly, drunken, harlotry. A night-gown was lying on the floor, clean linen on a little table. It looked so miserable, that I thought I would go away at once, so took out five shillings, and laid it down. “There is the money”, I said, “I shan’t stop.” “Come and fuck”, said she in reply, rolling on to the bed, and pulling up her clothes. She had but a gown on, nothing else. Thighs and legs as white and fat as her neck came into sight, and a thicket of hair at the bottom of her belly as dark as the hair on her head. The sight altered my intention, I walked to the bed, and placed my hand on her cunt. “Fuck me”, she blurted out in her drunken voice again. I felt wild with voluptuous delight, as my eyes gloated on the big breasts and thighs to where her garters and stockings hid the flesh from view. All was dazzling white except a nearly crispy-haired cunt in the middle of it. The contrast was exquisite, was absolutely dazzling.

A strange train of ideas (how oddly they spring up at such times ( came into my head. “You’ve just had a man”, I said, “your cunt’s wet, — you’ve just been fucked.” “He ain’t fucked me for three days,-we have been a drinking gin, we have, — he paid, he hain’t fucked me, — you fuck me”, said she making a grab at my prick which was buttoned up yet,-“fuck me,-you shall fuck me.” All this was said in a hoarse, drunken, incoherent manner, but the “fuck me” with a sudden violent energy, as if she suddenly felt a stinging desire to have her cunt stretched. “Fuck, — I’m bloody randy, -where’s your prick?”

I took the light, pulled open her thighs, almost put the candle in her cunt. She let me do just as I liked repeating, “Fuck me.” She was beautiful, her white firm flesh, her big round thighs, the lovely globes of her arse would have excited the dead. “Pull off your gown.” “I shant.” “You shall.” I helped her up into a sitting posture, and pulled it off in an instant. Then she fell back naked, showing peeps of black-haired arm- pits. The next instant I was up her, and injected her. How beautiful she seemed as I moved my prick up and down in that cunt, spite of the drunken manner, and the miserable surroundings.

A most violent letch for her took hold of me. The women in the streets I have described had fine women among them, but for the most part they were plain in face, indifferent in form somewhere, and hideously coarse in manner; but the beauty of this woman was so great, I forgot all her coarseness. When I came to myself after my pleasures, she was fast asleep. She had perhaps spent, that and the liquor called gin over- powered her, and she forgot her business. Then the biting of fleas worried me for half-an-hour, I spent my time in hunting for them, and scratching myself, snuffing with my fingers the only tallow candle, and now and then holding it over her to look at her beautiful face, naked body, and unwashed cunt. The heat was intolerable. To be cool I gradually took off all clothing but my shirt, at last took off that, and then sat at the edge of the bed naked. I pulled open her legs, each lay just as I placed them, wide apart. I held the candle between her thighs, and opened her cunt-lips. Masses of thick sperm lay over her cunt, and hid the entrance of the prick-hole. I played with it as my baudy fancy dictated, frigged her, dipping my finger in the spunk below, and then rubbing it on to her clitoris till it was dry, twisted down her cunt-hair till it was wetter, and played every trick which a lascivious fancy dictated. Gradually I stiffened under this exciting amusement, and throwing my naked body on to hers, fucked her again. God only knows if she knew I was fucking her, or not,-I don’t. She awakened after I had spent, turned on her side, and when I tried to get her on her back again, she swore.

Whether the slight dozing had relieved her brain, or whether the fumes of the liquor had evaporated, I don’t know, but she soon became more conscious, and though stupid, yet more awake. Her voice had still the thick utterance, her answers still those of a person only partially understanding what was said to her. I expect I had excited her passions by my fingers, and not by what I said, for after awaking she again blurted out, “Fuck me, — I want a fuck.” A grab at my prick showed that she knew where to find the means of giving herself pleasure, and I gave it her. Then I dozed.

Knocks at the door aroused me, and a shrill voice cried out, “Kate, Kate.” I listened, “Are you alone?” said the voice. I shook Kate, and awakened her a little. “Some one is knocking at your door”, said I. “Oh! damn,- arseholes”, said she turning on her side, and dozing again.

“Kate, — knock, knock, — Kate, are you alone? — I’m going to bolt the door, — they are all in”, said the voice.

Kate made no reply, I was dressing, so opened the door. “I’m here, and am going directly.” “Is she drunk?” said the woman. “I think she is.” “Do you know her?” “No.” “Well I will leave the door open.” “I’m going,- wait.” There lay Kate dozing. When dressed I said, “I have left five shillings on the table.” “Awake her”, said the woman (for I heard and saw it was one). “You had better.” “Kate, Kate”, sung out the woman. I shook Kate, who turned, opened her eyes, and said, “Oh ! damn, — don’t.” “Come in”, said I to the woman. She did, and shook Kate. “Oh ! arse- holes. “She’s been lushing for three days”, said the woman. “Mind there are five shillings”, said I, and disgusted I left, resolving never to go near the drunken beast again.

But the woman had made a great impression on me. I was always, even quite early in life, taken with a crummy woman, quite as much as with a pretty face; and although so low a woman, I longed for her again, and before many days sought her. It was on a blazing hot afternoon of a summer’s day, the sun shone brightly on the front of the houses on one side of the street, the other was in shade. A street with perhaps a dozen carts and wheel-barrows through it in a day, where children played in the roadway, and women sat on the footways. I went along slouching on the shady side, slowly looking, and not quite recollecting the number of the house, and saw Kate sitting on a chair on the footway by her door.

She looked up vacantly as I got close to the house, with that look which a low-class woman has who thinks the man above her, and not likely to take her. “Come in”, I said turning into the open door, and she followed me, bringing her chair. “I’ll give you five shillings”, said I. “All right.” “Take off your dress.” “All right, but give me the five shillings first.” I gave it her. She began undressing, her gown off left but her chemise. “You don’t want my chemise off ?” “No,-lay at the side of the bed.” She laid herself down, threw up her chemise, and the loveliest pair of thighs, belly, and cunt that ever man saw were disclosed. To look, to open its lips, and thrust my prick up her were the work of a minute. I roared as I touched her. I am told by women that at that time of my life, when thoroughly randy and I saw the cunt I liked that I gave a low roar as I closed on it with my pego. Kate told me that I did so this time, when my prick first neared her thighs. I did not then talk when in a woman’s em- braces; but fucked in silence. I pulled out my prick, “Lay still,-keep your thighs open, — let’s see your cunt”, said I trying to keep her in her position. “Oh! arseholes”, said she closing her thighs, and getting up, and looking at me.

“Did you get your five shillings the other night?” said I, “you were drunk.” “Lor! are you the gent?” said she breaking out in a laugh, “I didn’t know you, —now I see you are She him, — yes I was lushy, — so you’ve come agin. — Lor !” and she laughed. “How of-ten did you fuck me?” I told her. “Sit down, and talk”, said she, and we both sat down on her little cane-bottomed chairs.

“So you fucked me four or five times, — I don’t know if I spent or not, damned if I do, — think of your lying there, and being bitten by the fleas, — the room was washed out yesterday, there ain’t no fleas now. So you pulled me about, — what a beast, rubbing your spunk about on my cunt. — but Lor! a cunt’s the proper place for it.” After a few minutes similar conversation she suddenly said, “Let’s fuck agin.” “Well let’s strip,” Off went her chemise without reply. Gloating over her I stripped naked, and was soon on her, and up her. She had not washed. She enjoyed it. How we hugged each other’s nakedness! The first words she uttered afterwards were, “You are a bloody fine fucker, — where did you learn to fuck so well?” giving me a vigorous kiss, and squeezing her cunt up to me as she said it.

I washed, and wanting soap (she had none), she went to the door, and called out for some. The woman brought it. Then there was no towel, and again standing naked at the half-opened door, she called out to the landlady to lend her one “I shan’t”, said a voice, “you have now got two of mine.” “Oh ! arseholes”, bawled out Kate slamming the door, “the bugger won’t let me have one, — here dry your prick with my chemise, it’s quite clean.”

Kate stood naked looking at me as I rubbed myself dry with her chemise, bending slightly forward, holding her fingers under her cunt. “What a lot you’ve spent”, said she putting down the basin with my water in it, and beginning to wash. “That’s not clean”, I re-marked. “Oh ! it’s all the same spunk”, she replied, and afterwards, “You may look at my cunt if you like”, and she threw herself on the side of the bed, thighs wide open. She was faultless. I pulled a chair to the side of the bed, and contemplated her cunt at my leisure. The dirty white blind down in the window only just mellowed the light, it was as light as day, I could have hunted crabs, had there been any in her motte-thatch.

She asked me to give her gin. Some was sent for, then we sat drinking, she taking it neat, I mixed with water. “Let’s fuck”, said she again, and we fucked. More gin, more fucking, she was quicker to want fucking than I was. It was getting dusk, then she said, “You’re going, ain’t you? I want to make a few shillings to-night, — my rent’s due to-morrow.” I gave her another five shillings, made her piss in the basin, and we fucked again. I was fucked out, and at last she spent twice to my once, our bodies were sticking together with sweat as we fucked. Then for a few minutes we went to sleep. “You are a gent”, said she, “I likes you,-I hopes you’ll come agin, and see me, — I likes a real gent.”

As I went out I saw a man standing on the other side of the road looking like a bricklayer. Turning back after I had gone a hundred feet or so, I saw him cross the road, and go into the house. I went back, the street- door was as it always was, open. Stepping inside I heard a male voice through Kate’s door, a woman came out from the back. “Who do you want?” said she. “Kate.” “Oh! she has got a friend with her,-shall I knock?” “No”, I replied, and went my way. I didn’t like the idea of her having a working-man after me, or before me. I was not then a philosopher, “But what does it matter?” said I, “a man’s a man.”

I saw Kate next day, and told her she had had a man after me. “Yes directly,-a chap I knows had been awaitin an hour, and he come in in a hurry. ‘I’m done’, says I, but he would,-he’s a rough un, and he’d fucked me before you was at the end of the street.” “Why you had not washed your cunt.” “No”, she laughed, “the bugger went right into your spendings, —he never knowed, and I had a good un of a cove after him,- you brought me luck. I’ve got two new chemises, and four towels, — let’s fuck,-let’s fuck”, said she laying hold of me, and unbuttoning my trousers. My balls hung over her bum in no time.

I visited her at intervals for about a year. She had the whitest flesh I ever saw, and was very beautiful in face; the hair grew exceedingly low on her forehead, yet it did not disfigure her, from her neck to her calves her form was perfectly voluptuous, but she had big feet, and her hands were large. I could not bear to see her feet in great boots, and when looking at her lovely form used to keep my eyes from them. Her cunt was perfectly beautiful and small; black, white, and carmine were never more exquisitely blended. She was revoltingly coarse in her talk, and even when sober her voice was rough. That I did not like, but her language disgusted me. To anything she did not like she said “arseholes”, said it more frequently than any other word until I stopped her. “Give me some gin”, she would say. “No you have had enough.” “Oh ! arseholes.” Every body also was a bloody bugger, or a bloody shit. She was lewd on me for a time, and made me fuck her more than I wanted, but as I checked her foul language she became indifferent to me. “Oh ! I’m obliged to hold my tongue I suppose”, then she would sulk, and then, “Well let’s have another fuck”, and all would be right till I stopped her foul tongue again.

Half her time she was drunk. I would go there, not see her at the door, then call out to the woman, “Is Kate in?” “Yes she’s drunk, I ain’t seen her since the morning.” Sometimes her door was locked, nothing then roused her, and away I went. At other times she was in the bed, or on it, and all but insensible. Several times I lucked her, put five shillings in her pocket, and left without her knowing I had had her until after-wards.

I had now fits of timidity, and used French letters at times, even when she was quite sure she was all right. One day when she was very drunk, I had her with a letter on, and as my cock dwindled out I eased the letter off it, and with my finger pushed it well up her cunt, and went away without paying her. I should like to have known what she thought when she found the French letter up her. I never alluded to it, and she never did. Why I behaved so I don’t know, it is a wonder to myself. That night I had entered her room, and left unobserved by any one.

When she was a little drunk only, she got spoony, and I could not get away from her, she would lay hold of my prick, and keep to it. “I can’t do it again Kate.” “Get on me, and I’ll make you”; and she usually did. Then as liquor overtook her she ceased to wash her cunt after fucking, would turn on her side, and go to sleep. I left her often snoring with her cunt full, the money on the table.

It always was a wonder that she kept such a beautiful skin and look, but she did; and always was cool, fresh, and healthy-looking, even if she had been drunk for twenty-four hours previously. Her breath and body were as sweet as milk, yet she never had a bath as far as I know, but performed all her ablutions in a little basin, throwing the water into the street when she had done with it. I have seen her wash from head to foot that way in a quart of water, and a wet rag, and when done she looked like ivory.

She was called Irish Kate, why? — I never knew, nor did she. She was not Irish.

I had words with her one day, having lost a diamond pin. She had been pulling me about that night, but the same night I had been into a house with two women, and had felt their quims. I offered more than the value of the pin, but never got it back. After that I did not go near her again for a long time, but at length so longed for her that I did. She cried with joy, and kept me fucking till my back was well nigh broken.

Then I was for some time out of England. On my return, burning with desire, I went one night to her house. She had died of cholera, which was then raging.