The Lucky Numbers: Chapter 6 – Becoming an Upper Class Couple

The Lucky Numbers

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Becoming an Upper Class Couple

          Monday morning, while Paula is in the treatment room of the dentist, Jude has his teeth checked and cleaned by the hygienist. When he returns to the waiting room after about fifteen minutes Paula is waiting to replace him. While waiting Jude looks on his phone for two-family houses that have half of them for sale.

He is so engrossed that doesn’t notice that a velvet woman in lavender blue has arrived with a guardian before the receptionist addresses him. “The lady has an appointment with the hygienist next, but her guardian informs me she wouldn’t mind waiting another fifteen minutes if you are in a hurry sir.”

Jude looks at the lavender and black head of the velvet woman and says, addressing the guardian “That is most kind of you lady. I hope it doesn’t change your mind that it’s my servant who is waiting for the hygienist?”

The velvet woman doesn’t react but the guardian gestures Susanna towards the hygienist’s door. Without leaving his seat Jude nods to both of them and Susanna get up and curtseys twice to stand waiting for Paula who comes out shortly after. She of course studies both the velvet woman and the guardian as much as courtesy allows.

          About two minutes after Susanna has come out from the hygienist Paula is to see the dentist again. In five minutes he personally comes out to ask Jude and Susanna inside where Paula is seated in the dental chair with her tulle veil down around her shoulders. The dentist takes the new muzzle, a clamp made of two parts to fit over both the upper and the lower teeth, out of Paula’s mouth, rinses it and hands it to Susanna saying

“Most of the time it would be a guardian or Mrs. Russell herself entering or removing this muzzle but it is also important that Miss Clough knows how to do it, especially as you don’t have a guardian yet Mr. Russell.”

The dentist instructs Susanna and follows her closely as she inserts the muzzle and then he looks and feels into the mouth of Paula to ensure it is fitted correctly. He then explains to her how to remove it, and when Susanna has taken it out of Paula’s mouth and it has been rinsed again he produces three keys. Holding the muzzle in his hand he demonstrates how to insert a key and tighten the muzzle by turning the key several times, then shows them the thin tube for drinking that is attached to the lower half. He tells them that because of this it is completely safe to wear the muzzle for more than twenty-four hours. He further suggests that Jude and Susanna always have a key with them, adding that it fits in a phone cover, and that the third key should be fitted with a string or on a piece of elastic and be permanently placed in the bathroom of Mrs. Russell. He then instructs Susanna to reinsert the muzzle.

          The dentist checks the fitting again, saying to Susanna “Very good Miss Clough. Now try to speak Mrs. Russell, say for instance ‘I am at the dentist now.'”

Paula does as she is told and despite her words being very much distorted her speech is comprehensible.

The dentist then says “As the muzzle is now it’s the plate pressing on the tongue which makes the difference between what you’ve just heard and almost normal speech, and this demonstrates that for short utterances there is no need to remove the muzzle. Now Mr. Russell, please insert your key and turn as I have just demonstrated”.

Jude inserts the key and is surprised at how easily it turns. “Yes, it is as easy as that. Please try to speak again Mrs. Russell.”

Just a very low humming sound escapes Paula’s mouth as a greatly attenuated version of speaking with the mouth filled. The dentist asks Jude to unlock the muzzle, make Paula speak ‘just’ distorted again, and then Susanna is asked to lock the muzzle resulting in Paula again only able to produce a low humming.

After this demonstration the dentists says “Turning the key makes the muzzle expand outwards to suck to the gums and force the lips to be closed. Full blocking of sound requires attenuating sound from the nose as well. Wearing a velvet mantle does a very good job with this for a true Reformist woman not to be heard in public even if she sneezes or otherwise makes involuntary sounds. It will take some days, perhaps weeks to get used to the muzzle Mrs. Russell. If the muzzle still gives you problems after say a month, or if it cracks or otherwise fails, please contact the clinic immediately. I can see my hygienist has not found problems with any of you so I’m glad to say you hopefully won’t have to see me again for a long while. Have a nice day Mr. Russell.”

While he shakes hands with Jude, Paula veils herself. Out in the waiting room Jude has to wait while Susanna fits the mittens on Paula.

          Just as Jude is about to leave the lunch table his phone rings.

“Hello. Am I speaking with Jude Russell?”

Jude confirms that he is and the caller continues “Congratulations. My name is Ben Walker. I am a member of the true Reformist circle. I received a call from Robert McIntyre about you and your intention to join us; you are most welcome. I’m calling because I may be able to help you in finding an appropriate house. I have an old friend who has just let the word out about selling because he has to move to Preston to keep his job. He has not contacted an estate agency yet, and from what I understand from Robert what you would like the most is that it’s within a stone’s throw of Holy Trinity. The couple in the other half are just about to have their third child so he is very interested, especially if supported economically, in moving out to the edge of town where his children can go safely in the neighbourhood and play in nature.

Jude tells Ben he might be interested.

“I thought you might so I am about to transfer the exact address as we speak”.

Jude thanks him.

Ben Walker replies “Don’t mention it. Looking forward to meeting you on the fourth of June if not before. Bye.”

Jude checks the time to find it has just passed half past one. Their appointment at Isaac’s is in an hour. Paula has started reading the Bible. He gently interrupts her to say he would like to leave in twenty minutes; there is a house he would like to look at on the way. He informs Susanna as well and then calls for the taxi.

          On their arrival at the address Jude leaves the taxi to see as much as possible from the street. He then walks to the door of the seller and presses the bell. After the two men greet each other Jude is invited in to have a look at all the rooms, the porch and the garden. It is twice as large as his present house, so the total is about four times as large. He doesn’t promise anything, but in his mind he is very glad he took this detour before going to visit a house which for sure matches the needs of a true Reformist family. He gets the floor plan of the house before leaving.

          They have plenty of time before their appointment with Isaac so Jude instructs the taxi to criss-cross through the Oakgrove quarter for them to get an impression of the neighbourhood where all the Reformists they met in the park live. It is all large houses with generous spacing between them, but it also makes it more private and creates an emotional distance to your neighbours, Jude feels. Around most houses there are even fences or walls, although only a few so high as to block the view. You have to pass a gate to enter these houses. That goes for Isaac’s house as well. There is about two hundred and fifty feet from the gate to the entrance of the house where there is a small parking area for about five cars and two garages. Just as the taxi is about to turn into the driveway Jude sees Isaac coming out from the house to meet them and he tells the taxi to stop.

As he reaches the gate he gestures to Jude for a window to be rolled down and then says “You can all walk up to the house, can’t you, for a better look at the front garden while we are here?”

          Jude gets out quickly so he can greet Isaac but he has to wait as Isaac goes to the back door to help Paula out. While Jude, Isaac, Paula and Susanna slowly walk towards the house three women come out of the front door and descend the steps to wait for them at the end of the driveway. Mrs. Jones is wearing a velvet cloak and mantle in salmon like yesterday despite not really being in public, but she is of course outdoors. She fronts them while the two servants stand to her right a little in front of her turned to front the guests when they reach Mrs. Jones. As Jude, with Isaac next to him, reaches Mrs. Jones she curtseys while Isaac says

“This is my wife Megan.”

Jude bows to her and then Isaac makes him turn to face the servants who then curtsey as well for Jude to bow lightly twice while Isaac says “Miss Lescott and Rose. We manage fine with two full-time servants, and then Rose has a cleaning woman helping her twice a week.”

Both the servants are dressed for being in public as well. Miss Lescott is dressed as a guardian typically is. Her black tulle veil is too dense for Jude to get an impression of her face but her eyes are young; he estimates her to be below twenty-five. Rose is dressed like Paula used to do for work including wearing a thin tulle veil. Her face is much clearer to see, she is a Latino and very young, less than twenty Jude guesses.

          Isaac says so they all can hear “Jude one of the most important reasons to meet here at my home is for us to get more closely acquainted and for you to see an example of a true Reformist home. And I don’t mean see as we do now but see just about each and every room for you to have a full reference when looking for your own new house. For us to get everywhere without disturbing the women Miss Lescott has suggested that all the women stay out here for the time we take to look at the rooms where they reside. Please follow me.”

The first floor directly under the roof is divided into two halves: in one half there are three rooms and a bathroom for the servants. With only two servants they can have a family member staying overnight. The other half is bare attic used for storage. The working area of the kitchen is about fifty percent larger than their own, but the floor area is much larger to hold a table for eight with chairs. Isaac comments on this saying there has to be a place for all servants to assemble and have meals, including guardians of visiting ladies and neighbouring cooks who often go shopping together. The master bedroom has an adjoining large bathroom and is three times as large as their own despite the bed not being that much larger, so there is plenty of open floor space and all the available wall area is filled with full height cupboards except for a full height mirror and a dressing table. Isaac points out that the master bedroom, in fact all rooms where women in velvet are meant to come, have to be on the ground floor, or on the same floor to be precise, because their large dresses and several skirts combined with mittens makes it problematic to climb stairs. Next to the bedroom are two quite large guest rooms both with double beds and between them a smaller bathroom, which is still larger than the one Jude has at home. There is a combined living room and dining room for eight at both tables, an only living room with twelve seats, both facing the back garden, and an only dining room with twelve seats as well. When they have left the combined room, which Isaac says is where the women stay, he leaves Jude for a moment to signal Miss Lescott that they might come inside.

          Lastly Jude is shown Isaac’s study where they sit down to start talking without new impressions keep coming to Jude. He tells Isaac about the call from Ben, and Isaac, who went to Holy Trinity as well, says he might know the house. Jude transfers the floor plan he got to Isaac’s computer for them together to look at how and if this house could be made into something similar to Isaac’s. Just when they have come up with a possible solution the door is knocked and Rose says tea is ready. She is now unveiled and Jude thinks that is to her advantage. Isaac leads Jude to the living room for them to be seated in easy chairs across a corner of the coffee table with Jude able to look at the garden. They start telling each other about their upbringing and these seem quite similar. They tell each other about fun episodes from school but none of them has to do with the teaching. They have many teachers in common and of course they all have some peculiarity to laugh at. Isaac has never had a normal job. Until he got the Trivial Pursuit idea he had some outside of school hour’s delivery jobs. After he became wealthy he worked almost full time as a voluntary football coach for the small Holy Trinity amateur club, but right now the season is over and summer football courses hasn’t started so it’s his ‘holidays’. Jude offers a donation to the club and Isaac lists a number of possibilities. He is a little shocked, but then leans over to pat Jude on the shoulder when he offers to renovate the old club house. Jude suggests they, perhaps together with the chairman, take a look at the club premises in the not-too distant future.

          After a short break just eating and drinking Jude asks Isaac why he didn’t get to work for the company that produces Trivial Pursuit. Isaac says he would have liked to develop more special editions of the game to make other subjects more attractive to children, but he declined when learning that most of the job entailed going to meetings to make plans, make questionnaires and closely analyse their results to find the right subjects and the right questions.

Jude asks if he has played Trivial Pursuit himself since then. “Yes” he answers. “He both plays at the club when some of the boys complain to him about school in general and Bible classes in particular, and occasionally he plays with Megan as well when she wants to have a more fun but still righteous diversion from the Bible recitations and sermons that are filling the ears of true Reformist women for hours each day”.

Isaac says it may very well be something for his wife as well. It’s a good and fun way to right from the beginning better understand what she is going to hear, and most women not brought up with a true Reformist lifestyle don’t have any deep knowledge of the Bible. Jude says that it most likely goes for Paula as well because after her discovering she can take on the true Reformist lifestyle she has started both praying much more and studying the Bible as well. Isaac offers him a game saying he got fifty when the Bible edition was released. Jude says thanks but in his mind he is much happier than he shows, because this can make him and Paula do something in common to perhaps trigger some conversation besides what the game requires.

          While Isaac leaves to find the game Jude takes a look out into the garden. He sees two velvet cones, in salmon and dark red respectively, and Miss Lescott. Apparently they are not doing anything but slowly walking around but then, what else can a velvet cone do, he reflects. On Isaac’s return he asks Jude what he intends to do now he is no longer a receptionist and secretary? Jude replies that he has already made a few local inquiries to dig up investments himself instead of just putting his money in the hands of investment companies. In all cases he would like to do something which benefits the local community just like Isaac does. He asks what the other members of the circle do. No one has ordinary jobs so it takes Isaac quite a while to explain. With Jude not knowing most of the members at all and the rest just superficially, Isaac also has to put in more about each, especially tell why he is able to live a Reformist lifestyle.

          When Isaac finally pauses to think if he has missed someone or something important it makes Jude notice the smell of food. He discovers the time is close to six o’clock, and telling Isaac this makes Jude add he thinks it’s time to end today’s lesson in the Reformist lifestyle. Isaac doesn’t object too much and they get up for Isaac to go and tell the women. On his return he says that Miss Lescott has suggested their next time together should be a trip to Birmingham for Mrs. Russell to be measured for a corset and get a beginner’s corset Susanna can handle. Isaac says that with no football coaching as it is between seasons it might as well be very soon and he suggests Wednesday. He tells Jude that back seat of his car can hold two women in velvet and two servants so with Mrs. Russell not yet in a wide gown they won’t even be squashed, and besides the trip is not that long. Jude says thank you but asks if Isaac has to come; he can hire a taxi. Isaac says he has the time now and him being appointed as tutor is something to be taken seriously, but to be honest he thinks it will be fun to visit Birmingham with Jude. Only Miss Lescott, who is now unveiled and Jude sees a not especially pretty woman but she appears self-confident as knowing exactly what her mission is despite being younger than Paula, sees her out.

          Dinner begins a little surprisingly for Jude, as Susanna, straight after putting a pot of stew on the table, produces her key from the dentist to unlock and remove Paula’s muzzle. The surprise was that he had expected it to have been removed right after they got home. It doesn’t change the happy serene expression on Paula’s face though, which she has shown since the visit to Isaac’s, so he has to start a conversation somehow. Having seen her in velvet in Isaac’s the garden this is the sort of look he expected to see. As they start eating Jude notices a difference: Paula doesn’t change her expression but she now directly faces Jude whenever not needing to look down to fill her fork.

Jude gladly takes this as she has to tell him about her side of the visit so he says “I saw two velvet women out in Isaac’s garden. Was it you in the dark red cloak and mantle?”

Paula nods and after a short pause says “I need to tell someone about the visit to better absorb my overwhelming experience. Susanna has, from her position experienced it herself, and it won’t be right to tell it to our neighbours here who can never obtain to wear velvet. Would you listen to me even if I start right from the beginning just after you went inside with Isaac?”

Without lying Jude tells her “You may go on into the night if needed Paula. I’m all ears.”

          Paula starts to tell Jude of how she felt “As soon as you went through the door Megan pushed herself up against me for my face to be pressed against her mantle for me to feel the front of her bonnet around my forehead and through her cloak she tapped my stomach with a mitten covered hand. It was almost like when you touch my G-spot. Being muzzled and with my thick veil I think my excitement did not show.

Anyway Miss Lescott took hold of my wrist and made me turn and told me “Mrs. Jones is trying to greet you in the true Reformist women’s tapping language Mrs. Russell. First you let your mittens meet over the belly button staying in contact through the velvet for a couple of seconds, then you pull your hand just a little back before taking it forward to lightly make the mittens hit against each other. Please try again”.

Miss Lescott made me front Megan again. It was as if my right mitten was my lips and I was greeting one of my best friends. Miss Lescott said that as this was not a place for ladies to speak when the time could be used to learn about the other women present. She started with herself saying something about despite coming directly from school she had graduated from the elite class of Deepdene and had never been corrected by any of the more experienced guardians here. I didn’t get it all because Megan had placed herself close up behind me, her bulky cloak pressing against the back of my legs and with her veiled cheek touching my right ear. Miss Lescott then had Susanna tell her story and last Rose hers. You would like to know that she is a local girl from a lower-class family having got her cooking skills from elementary school and her mother, for her and Susanna having the best preconditions for getting along well.

          On going inside we went directly to the day room, Miss Lescott saying the two families were not close enough yet for the ladies to be seen unveiled by the men. Rose and Susanna went to make tea. Miss Lescott removed my black tulle veil but not my mittens or my muzzle. Then she removed Megan’s black veil, her mantle, her bonnet and finally her cloak. She showed an accommodating expression, but I must say I gaped because of seeing her velvet dress flowing around her to emphasise an incredibly narrow waist. With her right mitten she patted her waist and her dress where it started bulging over her hips to tell me she was proud of her own appearance and understood my surprise. Then she came close to me to lean forward and touch cheek to cheek. I smelled an expensive perfume and got moist spots on my cheeks from her perfect make-up. Showing her face she also showed her chestnut brown hair traditionally combed back in a bun. Miss Lescott then said true Reformist women only speak in the right situations such as meals, and waiting periods are often used beneficially by listening to the teachings of the Church. Hearing this Megan moved to where there is a cross on the wall, touched it with her forehead and then moved a little to the side where she knelt, put her mittens in her lap and faced down. Miss Lescott gestured for me to copy her. She opened a cupboard on the same wall to produce two headphones and two black sheets of cashmere wool. Megan was fitted with a headphone and then a sheet was unfolded and put over her head. It was very large to reach down and touch her thighs for only the lower wide part of her dress to show. I got a nod from Miss Lescott, touched the cross and knelt next to Megan. The headphones removed all sound from the surroundings then all light was removed as well by me being covered by the blanket. A few seconds later a recording from a service started. I quickly found out the hymns had been deleted from the recording so that I only heard the Bible reading.

          You know I have taken up the Bible myself because I know it’s an important part of a true Reformist woman’s life and quickly getting absorbed by the reading I am not completely sure how long I was kneeling, but it has to be between fifteen and twenty minutes because I didn’t get to hear the sermon. The coffee table was laid for two and I was shown to an easy chair while Megan seated herself opposite at one end of a large four seat sofa. Then Miss Lescott removed Megan’s muzzle and Susanna was there to remove mine. Miss Lescott poured Megan’s cup and Susanna copied pouring mine. Then Miss Lescott took the cup to Megan’s lips for her to drink, and Susanna again copied for me to drink.

For the first time I heard the voice of Megan and she said “Welcome to the Jones home Mrs. Russell and congratulations on your win. Everyone wanting to live a more righteous life should be helped the utmost to achieve this. The Church preaches this, my husband believes this and I, Rose and especially Miss Lescott are going to help you to become a true Reformist lady. Please call me Megan.”

          I thanked her and said it was a dream about to come true to live a life in velvet and show beautiful clothes and figure to the glory of God and to exhibit a successful husband. She said “It truly is the purpose of women to serve God, family and especially the husband, and the Reformist scholars had, through extensive research, found that those who could afford it would best do this by having their women live covered in velvet and pray for the family and society as a whole. But this is not an easy life. It is just hard in other ways than having to do physical work until exhaustion and not knowing if there is enough money for food and clothing next month. Just before I became a teenager I, like you with me now, admired my mother and her friends in their beautiful fabrics, but when entering a religious secondary school I was harshly disciplined to learn to behave like an adult lady. A lot of it was due to how human, and especially female nature, is during the teenage years, but the physical discomfort of being corseted and wearing thick fabrics doesn’t go away with age and it keeps being sad when a pleasant gathering among female friends is abruptly ended, at least for you, because you have very little say in how to spend your own life. But in those situations just remember your life pleases God and increases your chance of entering Paradise on Judgment Day. You were not brought up in a true Reformist family I assume?”

          I told her about my upbringing. Megan said to this “All women coming here and not living a true Reformist lifestyle always ask if they can see my wardrobe. Even if I find it totally intrusive on my privacy I can hardly refuse. You have to give an impression of how much clothing is required. My husband is not especially wealthy, he comes from strained circumstances and is completely happy with this cosy but not very large house, and he doesn’t buy me clothes each week, but only pays when Miss Lescott asks him to. Because of this I have close to a basic minimum wardrobe for our lifestyle. It’s fine with me. I’m not a fashion victim. Modesty goes for physical possessions as well. If filled then let’s go.’

          I nodded that I had eaten my fill which saw Miss Lescott muzzle Megan for Susanna to muzzle me as well. The bedroom is huge and filled with cupboards, but you have seen it. Miss Lescott opened all the doors but two saying this is Mrs. Jones clothing. I felt like a little child in a candy store. It seemed like there was mounds of velvet. Actually Megan had six complete sets, including the one she was wearing, consisting of a dress, a cloak and a mantle of the same colour. And then there was her underwear, plenty of skirts, several corsets, bonnets, mittens and more. I reached for the dark red dress and Miss Lescott let me take it out. I folded it at the waist and held it to my body. Susanna stifled a laugh and both Megan and Miss Lescott couldn’t help smiling. It was more than five inches too small for me. Miss Lescott said I was of the same build as Megan so I should be able to achieve her measurements. I have to start corset training very soon. We have to go to Birmingham to see a corsetière.”

          Jude speaks for the first time since Paula began to speak. “I know. Isaac was told by Miss Lescott. He will drive us there the day after tomorrow. Please go on.”

Paula continues “I couldn’t hide my disappointment by learning that it would take weeks, perhaps months before I would be able to wear a velvet dress. You see they are tailor made to measure and can’t be taken in, so with their high price it will be a waste of money to buy a dress I can only wear for a few weeks and besides it would show off my too wide waist. Then Megan patted my shoulder, stretched her mitten covered hand towards the window and finally reached into the cupboard to touch the dark red cloak.

Miss Lescott immediately said “Mrs. Jones suggests you can be covered for public and take a walk in the garden if you like?”

I nodded enthusiastically and then she took out the cloak, wrapped it around my shoulders and closed the front hooks. It probably made me even more excited than when Megan greeted me out front to now have my body for the first time in my life covered in velvet, but this time I wasn’t veiled to hide my expression. No one reacted visibly though, and soon my face was deep inside a bonnet followed by being completely covered by a mantle with eye holes. Miss Lescott made me turn so I could see myself in the full length mirror. I had to move my head up and down to see the full figure because both the bonnet and the eye openings of the mantle restricted my field of view. All I saw was a true Reformist woman, like those we have seen every Sunday afternoon since we married, except for the top of the head where I didn’t wear a tulle veil yet. I noticed Miss Lescott exchanged a few words with Susanna but I wasn’t able to hear what was said because of the velvet now covering my ears, although I guessed it wasn’t that large a hearing loss because she probably had spoken in a low voice. The glimpse of a salmon mantle in the mirror made me turn to see Megan have her veil attached to her bonnet with a clothes pin. Susanna copied fitting a veil on me to make me almost blind. For the little I could see in the mirror it looked as if I now wore dark brown. My veil was flipped back and I saw that of Megan was flipped back as well. With the veil down I think even Megan would have had to be guided as we went back to the day room to the garden door. Here the veil was flipped down but there was no problem with orientation outdoors. After looking around I estimated this piece of tulle was about the same sheerness as my own, but the bonnet and the small eye holes left me with a darker image. I imagined I was walking round the lake of the park on a Sunday afternoon with my cloak and mantle being admired by all the other people, although the garden is only about three hundred feet long, but Megan and I walked back and forth twice. Then Miss Lescott came up to me and reached up under my tulle veil. She loosened the mantle to turn it and fasten it again turned a quarter of a circle to move its eye openings to the side of my head while saying to me “True Reformist ladies are of course blind in church, but there are other occasions as well. I think you’d better try right from the beginning to walk blind in a cloak where if you stumble you can’t put your hands out so you have to completely rely that your guardian is keeping a close eye on you.”

          I was then guided to walk, I think, all the way to the far end of the garden and back, and then guided inside. It was Susanna who uncovered me. Megan was at the same time uncovered by Miss Lescott. Rose was ready with some damp cloths which I could see would do Megan good although she did not look that sweaty.

I felt quite hot though and the others looked at me with a grin on their faces making Miss Lescott say “You are certainly hot Mrs. Russell. I don’t think it all comes from the combination of sun and just a cloak and mantle. I think you’d better go to the bathroom with Miss Clough for her to dry you in other places than just the face.”

Paula continued “I didn’t object. Wearing velvet for the first time and for a longer period had turned me on without me really noticing. Wearing mittens I had to have Susanna lift up my dress to use the toilet, and then wash and dry me in my wet intimate area as well. Susanna afterwards opened the bathroom door to let Miss Lescott enter. She told us that a true Reformist woman wears make-up and uses perfume and showed Susanna how to do a basic make-up. She also said that expensive perfume was not necessary and that the best of what the local perfumery has to offer is just fine. Looking in the mirror some minutes later made me thank and praise Miss Lescott in any way I could still muzzled and wearing mittens.

          On my return to the day room Megan was seated in the sofa staring at the cross on the wall. Miss Lescott gestured for me to sit right next to her. As I sat Megan turned her head to face me but her expression stayed unchanged but she did put her left mitten closest to me over to have it rest on top of my left mitten in my lap, and tapping her right mitten in her own lap made me understand I should take my right mitten over on top of hers.

As I did this Miss Lescott said “This is the way to show close friendship after having said all that is possible with the tapping language and, as you Mrs. Russell only know how to greet each other by tapping further communication has to be oral and this isn’t the time for removing your muzzles. But for you I think a temporary unlocking of your muzzle for a question or two to me is permissible. Susanna please remove Mrs. Russell’s muzzle”.

          I found it odd having to speak with a voice being highly distorted but Miss Lescott of course didn’t react and so I asked if I might borrow a bonnet, cloak, mantle and veil to walk around our own small garden or another place not visible to the public. I was highly surprised when this made Megan’s inscrutable expression change to a grin, and Miss Lescott and Susanna giggled as well.

Miss Lescott said “I’m sure Miss Clough is going to agree with me that even a man can see that wearing a cloak without the right dress, like you did, looks wrong and the movement looks wrong as well. Without wearing a billowing dress underneath the cloak it just hangs directly down from your shoulders instead of widening out in the nice pretty cone shape, and without layers of skirts and the bottom of a thick velvet dress to move around you almost walk like you, I and Miss Clough do now instead of gliding along like you know a woman in velvet should. If you can’t go without velvet after trying it today I suggest we visit a true Reformist clothing shop when we visit Birmingham for you to get a large velvet blanket you can sit covered beneath. Many use a velvet blanket for shutting out the surroundings and light while praying, but in your case I have my doubts if precisely this fabric will create the right peaceful mind for you.”

          During her lasts words Miss Lescott moved towards the cupboard to fetch headphones. This time there was no blanket following but Megan’s face again took the inscrutable serene look and she stared at the cross. I stared at the cross as well, and soon I didn’t pay any attention to what was happening in the room. Because of this it came as a small shock to me when my headphones were removed and Miss Lescott said it was time for me to leave. Megan didn’t have her headphones removed but still sat staring at the cross. Miss Lescott took hold of her right mitten and lifted it towards me while gesturing I should let my own right mitten meet that of Megan, which is the signal for saying goodbye. This made Megan face me and put on a smile for a brief moment while we touched three times and then her head turned to face the cross.

Paula said “I would like tea right away and then I would like us to go to bed to make love. You may leave the bed again if you feel it’s too early for sleeping” her words catching Jude unaware.

          Susanna had cleared the table a while ago and when Jude now claps his hands she appears in the door to ask “Tea?”

Jude and Paula move to the coffee table. Not a word is said during tea. Jude is happy that visiting Isaac made Paula speak for so long. He also considers some of what Paula said but what is foremost on his mind is that it seems as if just talking about her experience in velvet has increased Paula’s arousal for her to look as if the only thing on her mind right now is getting to bed with him.

But it is quite early so he waits for almost fifteen minutes before saying “Perhaps it’s time for you to start prepare for bed darling?”

Paula leaves immediately.

          When Jude enters the bedroom Paula is in her nightdress and passive as usual with the small difference that the mouth opening of her hood is not filled by a ball because she is now muzzled entirely inside her mouth. Jude had got used to kissing her lips around the ball but now her lips are parted as much as the muzzle permits and he soon finds out that the muzzle allows for more lip movement than the ball. Also when he goes further Paula is very ready and accommodating.

Next chapter

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