Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Call Me Madam

Cordelia Lucas

Recommended Posts

On a quiet street named Grace Court not far from St James Square half hidden by the copious amounts of white rose bushes and set back from the road is a residence comprised of brick and stone. Its features speak of former times and additions made yet remains pleasing to the eye.


Four stories in height with multi-paned glass set into the three round bay windows that front the house it gives the impression of quiet wealth and elegance. A circular drive leads to the front entrance where a great oaken door reached by six shallow stone steps awaits.


The Hall is not overly large and the walls are white-washed with wooden floors beneath. Tall ceilings add height and plaster work of figures and fruits and flowers decorate. There are two rooms that flank the Hall on either side that have decidedly feminine touches with just the right amount of additions that any man would find comforting. Chairs and round tables and a wide hearth will be found in each.


A staircase of wood with wide planks leads up to fan out into six rooms comprised of a Dining Room for larger parties and provides views out one of the bay windows. Another more intimate holding six to eight then several bedrooms. A smaller staircase leads up again to four more bedrooms. Further up is reserved for servants.


There is a large garden space in the back which takes advantage of the small stream that runs along the property line creating opportunities for all kinds of uses.


Sitting in a wood paneled room on the second floor with its small fireplace and two windows curtained in rich burgundy brocade surrounded by papers set in neat stacks was a woman of middle years who wore her age well. Dressed in a fashion more suited to a country Matron yet in well designed silks Cordelia set down her quill. All had balanced as she had knew they would - for she did not entrust her accountings to anyone.


Business was very profitable and she could breath a bit and so enjoy the freedoms it provided and allowed her the opportunity to also think of the two newest arrivals and if what she had paid out would see a return of profit. She had a well practiced eye and could spot a pretender or a girl that would be trouble to one with little experience but trainable.


A clock chimed the hour.


She reached for the crystal glass and sipped the deep rich wine that a regular had given her with pleasure. Her maid would soon arrive with a tray for she ate light on days when she knew the evening would be a busy one.


Her Establishment was one of the most well known secrets in London amongst the Wealthy Aristocrats and Gentlemen yet she had worked hard to insure that herself and her girls were seen as what she intended - a wealthy Widow who provides a safe place to reside in the City for girls that seek to better themselves.


She was strict in this facade making sure that none could be viewed as of a wanton nature and so each was dressed in colors and a style that suited yet did not draw attention. And they NEVER went out unattended. She employed several burly men to keep a steady eye.


There were things that happened naturally for she could not keep that tight a watch and she was not so naive to think that those that lived there-abouts knew yet turned a blind eye for the sake of Peace and Harmony in their own Households!


Reaching into a drawer she took out a leather bound book and setting it on top of her desk she flipped thru the pages until she found the one she sought. It contained the names of those expected for this night and their preferences and desired girl.


All in a coded script only known by her. Nothing out of the ordinary there yet she paused to remember that the third name had made some trouble the last time so she would take the precaution of having Gerald at the ready and have a talk with Alyce about not screaming out so loudly - it was bad for Business and frightened the other girls' as well.


She gave a sigh as she rose pushing back her chair to walk to the mirror that hung over the fireplace. There she examined herself giving a half smile at the reflection before ringing the small gold bell.


First her meal then to bath and then dress. She greeted her 'guests' personally and it was expected. She would not disappoint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

London was awash with motives, even upon the swept path that led to the Grace Court pleasure house...


Making a discreet entry might be the want of some, but not Lord Chichester. A six horse carriage, with lanterns on every quarter, drew up outside. The pair of liveried servant leapt from the backstands, and made fuss of turning down the step and opening the door for the Lords exit. They had little need to rush however, as the gent within dallied over some adjustment...


When patent leather shoe was finally extended out the door it was accompanied with the little jingling noise of money about his person. Expensively attired George lingered in a street pose, with a glance up and then down. He for one would be seen, part of his ruse of being a natural man.


It was with a deep breath that he then turned his eyes to the door.


Clearing his breath he marched forth, and gave a stout rap upon the timber with his cane, the handkerchief he carried upon its handle shuddering with the gesture - though the gentleman was all smiles as he entered the foyer.


With a nod of his head he greeted. "Madam."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia, as she always had, placed herself slightly to the left of the doorway and stood with her hands folded in a relaxed manner at her lower waist. Attired in pale gold brocade with a cream underskirt trimmed with metallic threads that caught the light whenever she moved.


At her throat she wore her famous Pearl and Diamond necklace said to have been given to her by an un-named but rich and powerful man. It matched the earrings and two bracelets she wore. Her scent was something between innocent and wanton. It was a private mixture made for her alone that left an impression the oft times lingered in the minds of her Patrons.


The door was opened by a medium tall girl with her dark hair swept up beneath a cap of white linen its edges trimmed with lace imported from Belgium. Attired in a gown of soft dark blue woolen edged with the same lace about the bodice and the double row at her elbows she moved to answer the door with a nod from her Mistress.


The Gentleman would find her ready to take his cloak, cain, or hat and with a slight curtsey departed her eyes alight with amusement.


"My Lord. Welcome."


Came her reply and she favored him with a small nod and then a smile waiting patiently for him to further address her or to move freely into one of the two rooms.


The choice was entirely his.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Mild out," George continued with the traditional conversation about the weather. He passed the servant girl his overcoat and hat - but kept his walking stick with him upon account of the sizeable ruby in it's handle. No need to tempt fate, even in the most reputable locale. "...but might fog up later."


He turned towards the left door, for no other reason than because it was upon the side that the Mistress was stood upon, though he paused to allow the Lady to enter first. And old habit that could not be broken. "I heard there was a frost last week in Staines."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was an amusement silently held that Men often spoke of Weather upon entering this place as if keeping to a normal conversation somehow changed where they actually were.


At his pause she took the lead leading into the room her walk slow and without thought to tantalize. He would find several other 'Gentlemen' already in attendance and without pausing she led him to a corner where some privacy might be had. She went to the table that held an assortment of glass decanters with various sizes of crystal glasses took up one and poured a good measure of liquid into it.


Turning, she went to him and offered it, adding that "Well that is Stains but I do not think you need to fear a frost here tonight."


Her words teased him quietly sure that he took her meaning.


"I hope its to you're liking - tis something different and French. I know it seems as if everything is from there or Spain. But if you wish for something you have but to ask - my cellar is well stocked."


She would sit with him only for some five minutes or so until he was relaxed and at his ease then would leave him. Her practice was to not favor one over the other but sometimes that could not be helped. Charm after all won a Lady's Heart at any age.


She was curious about what he'd planned for the night.


She made no demands upon the Gentlemen who frequented for some the only desire was to sit in comfort and talk of this or that for others' it was never about the actual physical aspect but the mere 'idea' that captivated. And then there were those that had needs of a different nature that she cared for as well. They were different and so must be handled as such.


But everyone understood her Rules - she did not tolerate any roughing up of her girls beyond the normal amount expected and any that did would find themselves no longer welcome and her door closed to them.


She had had one or two bad times and that had been covered up and the poor lifeless girls body disposed of to those that Traded in such things.


Tonight was a new night and so she held no preconceived thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Belatedly he wondered if a red-blooded man would have made some manner of move on the coat-check girl. Damn.


He moved at a casual gait, or at least with every effort of a casual gait, his eyes grazing briefly past the other fellows in the room before he took the chair he was directed to. The room was aptly floral, not really so different to George's own favorite parlor, but then.


"Heh-heh, yes of course." he chuckled at the proprietresses wit, she was a quick one to so deftly turn talk of weather into that of, ahem, copulation. "... er, well stoked fires, and all that." His own attempt was pathetic to his own ears, and he laughed again concealing discomfort, pleased to be taking the offered glass.


Was she talking about wine now though, or the selection of girls upon offer?


"I prefer English myself." he met Cordelia's eyes. There was something warming about the hostess, she was almost motherly in her attention, and the understanding in her expression was also... "It's a crime hearing foreign tongues butcher the Kings English, pray keep the foreign dainties in the cellar where they belong - the finest are already on display." He complimented the hostess, though was ready at a pinch to claim he was talking about the coat-check girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It appeared, she thinks, that he was in a teasing state of mind as well which would make the night easier. Give or take.


He was not the most accomplished linguist yet he had a certain way about him that spoke of his Background. Breeding and Wealth always screamed so silently she had always thought and he was no exception. She had watched his arrival and then his moments preening before he advanced up the steps and thumped on her door the touch of Theatrics even there.


"You can be assured that nothing is ever left to chance My Lord. How remiss would I be to not see that every fire is well kept? And so you shall have only that - no foreign talk this night to distract you."


She smiled back at him her eyes meeting his.


"Ah how well you flatter yet how can I refute such a claim I wonder ....."


Her gaze left his to move slowly about the room only to fasten upon the girl that had just entered and stood a few feet inside where she waited calm and relaxed. Not more than five feet four in stocking feet yet her bearing gave the illusion of greater height.


Blonde hair the color of spun honey was gathered up then allowed to hang in a cascade of silk-like effect that drew attention to the graceful curve of neck and shoulder. A dress the palest shade of rose damask fit like a second skin with a bodice that showed to perfection her assets.


A thin black silk ribbon was tied about her throat with a tear drop creamy pearl that teased the eye where it lie against the milkiness of her skin.


She was Perfect. She was Exquisite. She was Expensive.


Cordelia spared a glance to the Gentlemen close to her and if he showed an interest she would tell him or not. She was not for just any Client.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Her words gave him the impression that she made a habit of studying her clients, that perhaps in some frilly little room here there was a cabinet with many files kept; though the details therein would venture far further than mere names and addresses. Likes, dislikes, quirks and preferences, all categorized for the madams reference. Had she a file upon him, he wondered, and what annotation had been therein made? How did she foresee his night's pleasures running, in these preparations that did intend to be caught by surprise?


"Well and good." One thing was settled, he'd not be needing to talk to some across-the-channel girl. He was pleased. Though would be more pleased to remain in a leisurely conversation with the Mistress. She seemed like a woman of some quality; there was surely a tale to be learnt to how her fortunes had become... this place.


"No need to refute words of wisdom." he spoke, and leaning back into his chair faked a relaxed state. Cordelia's movements had a hint of business to them, her eyes that looked, were an instruction for him to look also. Reluctantly he did.


There was a beauty. Gorgeous really. She had that detached manner at the moment, just arriving, undecided of course to take, teetering in an altogether precious manner, as though a soft gust of wind might blow her away. She was a picture, one that ought to evoke carnal desires in any normal man.


Unfortunate really, that the first question that popped into the earls mind was would she make a good Countess? If she entered a ballroom with half the sweet vulnerability and grace that was evident upon her now, then... perhaps.


Mirtel would have throttled George on the spot for thinking such a thing. Mirtel had disapproved of a respectable merchants daughter, what would she had to say about a whore. Harrumph. It was thought of his sisters disapproval that put fire into the Earls eyes then. Returning his gaze to Cordelia he gave a slight nod.


He might have been at an auction house and placing a bid, so discreet was his registration of interest.


"Where so you find these ah young ladies hmm?" he considered Cordelia again, though it was plain enough that the Mistress preferred to remain in the background (which in fact only spiked the earls interests more.) Had there ever been a Mr Cordelia, and what manner of man had he been?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Her newest acquisition had the desired effect. Her gaze steadily met the Gentleman's and an equally imperceptive nod returned.


Rising with an easy grace she walked towards him holding out her hand to take his now empty glass. She crossed over to the table stopping to exchange a few words with another Gentlemen, a soft smile, a pat to his arm, allowing her hand to be kissed then giving him a shake of her head and another smile.


He then looked back to where Cordelia's Guest reclined. Fixing him with a certain look before he turned back at the gentle touch on his arm.


Cordelia introduced him quietly to the young girl that had been called over to join them, smiled again then turned to refill the glass.


She apologized for the delay but offered no reason for it. It would have been obvious what was occurring.


Resuming her seat she did not at once favor him with an answer to his question. Twas not the first not likely the last time it would be asked of her.


"You have a mind for Business then My Lord?" She countered back.


She would only allow herself to go so far before the wall went up. Perhaps, if his interest continued, she might favor him with more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia did not immediately reply, but arose and moved off to greet another then. George supposed she had many to play hostess to, glasses to fill, rates to arrange.


Taking out a cigar, George took is leaure in the trimming of it, and then setting it to light. The habit was one adopted from his good friend Mr Boyle, a relaxing indulgence that was more about the rote than benefits - though Mr Boyle assured him that the health benefits were numerous. He watched the young woman from a distance, although he was less anxious to actually meet her, than to resume his conversation with the elder woman.


Eventually Cordelia returned and resumed her seat...


"Yes perhaps." he replied, in no rush to close any deals.


"You are much in demand, and well versed in the arts hostess. I don't believe I had seen such proficiency in many a year. In fact, the last time I can recall such well tended guests, was under the attention of the Late Lady Chichester." George's own mother. "Ha, although her menu was of a, ah, more conventional variety."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having once again resumed her seat she took in his remark to her question. She never made any of her guests feel rushed or pressured - it was bad for Business.


She was aware that this Gentlemen had kept his eye upon the Gilded Lily she had offered as well as knowing that he was far from ready to consummate. She had yet to learn his habits or preferences and her keen eye as well as ear was attuned to the slightest nuisance no matter how small.


She acknowledged his compliment. He could mean either his Mother or his Wife she thinks and so plays it safest by not asking to which he referred to.


"I find it so much more relaxing and enjoyable so keep things that way. A Gentleman should never have to worry when here. My Establishment caters to that My Lord and I have found that Life offers many menus in which to choose - depending upon ones' tastes. You can rest easy knowing that very little escapes my attention."


Her manner and speech were leisurely yet if he were of the observant kind he would see that she directed her gaze upon him but also managed to keep her eye on the entire room all done with a nonchalant grace she had perfected over these many years.


"Have you dined?" She inquired politely. "There is a private room for that if you wish it and my kitchen prepares whatever is fancied - in Season naturally. You have but to inquire.


"I wish you to be at your ease ..... "


She left the words unfinished giving him the opportunity to speak his mind or to simply recline at his leisure. Some men entered all full of themselves but when it came time for selection became rather like small children tempted with too many gifts to unwrap. Not knowing which to do first.


She suspects that this Gentleman has his 'preferences' and his attire spoke of one perhaps trying too hard to create an impression. She could hardly fault his taste and his tailor was excellent yet her instinct was saying something all together different.


There was the possibility that she was wrong. It had happened before and would again. It was just that in the making of that mistake it left a bad taste and she did not want to lose his Patronage.


He had the Funds. She would make use of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Thank you, but I am fine." George replied. While his last meal had in fact been hours ago, he had never been the sort to pay much heed to the state of his belly - when he became crotchety his man servant knew it was time to deliver some food to the Earl. George was not out f sorts now, but was at ease, relaxed almost.


As Cordelia restrained from explaining where she' had learnt her sensibilities (He was still sure there was a story to be told), George instead turned quiet interest to the yonder girl. "Has she been here long?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She understood that her desire to not be so forthcoming in regards to her own Life was viewed by some as far too 'secretive' but it was how she wanted it. The man opposite her was no different.


"Eleven days."


She replied without glancing in that direction. Perhaps her initial thoughts on him had been made unfairly. It would nevertheless be made clear by nights end - one way or the other.


"If you wish something in more detail then naturally I shall oblige. You must understand that even with that knowledge there will be no change."


A subtile hint for him. An agreement was an agreement.


"Her name is Alinor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eleven days. As the wares in a brothel eleven days might seem a lifetime - though the baring of the girl suggested she'd adjusted, perhaps even relished the work. It was hard for George to consider, when he himself was less than eager for the act itself.


But he'd procrastinated long enough already. He was here to make the right appearance. No charge? Cordelia subtlety was lost on George, he did not imagine she actually meant there was no charge. His brows puzzled upon each other and he asked with wry amusement, "You think her like opium, and after a taste I shall be hooked, and pay any price?" he chuckled at that thought. "I must meet your Elinor then."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As George and Madam held their discrete discussion the front door opened again, a tall figure in a heavy cloak worn against the cold was admitted, ducking slightly as he entered, dark hair just missing the door lintel.


Smiling warmly at the girl who met him, Douglas unpinned his cloak and handed it to her, revealing the rich, red velvet uniform beneath, adorned with white lace. Hi weapons were thrust through the sash at his waist but he made no move to touch any of them, they were simply part of the uniform, though handy in a pinch.


No, he was here for pleasure rather than work, and he took care to wipe any trace of mud from the soles of his boots before entering the parlour proper. Madam's had a reputation as an elite establishment and he respected that. He could appreciate those who took pride in their work, whatever that might be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The flash of a red Uniform had caught her eye and with a few polite words towards the man sitting opposite her she excused herself and went unhurriedly towards the entrance.


The Gentleman she had taken her leave of would be free to simply take his leisure or, if he felt inclined, might wish to have a closer view of the item he had purchased.




Came her pleasant greeting to the newest arrival as she allowed her gaze to quickly take in his tall frame, weapons in his sash, and lastly his face - one that was new to her.


"Thank You Lizzie."


She dismissed her maid with a soft smile then turned her attention back to her guest letting him know in quiet tones that he was free to choose his preference of rooms as well as anything that caught his eye. She would find him again at some point she explained but if he wished for something he had but to ask.


She would also discreetly find out the name of the Gentleman that had recommended this Establishment to him - for her's was not one populated by just any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

(Seeing to the newest Gentleman then returning to where George sits via a circumnavigation of the room first)


She ordinary would not have returned so soon but the hour was still early and everyone was being quietly entertained either here or above so she was free to choose her own path.


Frankly he interested her. He was there for a purpose she knew and had even made the generous off for Elinor. She approached him now ...


"I do apologize for the abrupt departure." She offered as she again resumed her place in the tall velvet covered chair. "Its a policy of mine to 'Greet' each arrival, much as I did you, and as such left your question unanswered."


She sat without fidgeting and her gaze was fixed on him and he might imagine that he was the only Man present. He had asked about Elinor.


"There is no accounting for Taste and tis a possibility that once tried t'will be too hard to imagine giving it up. Perhaps you shall be the judge My Lord? And the 'arrangement'' has already been agreed upon - there will be nothing added."


"What do you wish to know?"


Her hands were folded neatly but relaxed in her lap as she waited to hear just how much information he needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During said passage of time, George approached the girl himself. (She was not a woman of quality, so it was hardly necessary for him to await a proper introduction after all.) He made an estimation of the girl, while deciding she was not the one Peter Boyle had put him on a path to find, she'd serve perfectly well for his requirements for this night.


So that when Cordelia returned, it was to find her girl busily at her work charming the gent with display of wares. George was laughing of some joke Elinor had made, when he turned to see Cordelia after her circuit of the room. The Madam was returning to check up on them he supposed?


"Ah, yes, of course." he brushed aside their prior conversation, for he'd discovered his own answers in the meantime. And it was rude to talk of the girl, even though she was common born, when she was standing right there.


"Shall we?" he then smiled to Elinor, extending a gracious hand with intense to escort her to wherever it was she completed business. As he moved off he murmured, "'till anon." to Cordelia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She had seen, of course, the inter-play between the two of them and smiled a little at the apparent 'success' of the business arrangement.


His smooth brush off of her answer to his own question she did not give a second thought to. It was clear that whatever he had wanted to know he had found out in her absence.


Sitting relaxed and confident that he would have no complaints she gave a small nod of her own head at his parting.


Later that night she would be given all the details of what had or had not transpired.


Her gaze roamed leisurely and she was content. How far she had come indeed from the Life she'd had but a few years' past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...