There was the Bishop and a young woman, rather battered, standing on the doorstep.
I don't normally answer the front door, but it was Saturday morning and all the girls were lying late in bed. It was Saturday. I normally spend Saturday mornings with Josephine, but on that Saturday she was more inside herself than usual.
Oh, come inside! You are very welcome!
The very battered young woman looked at me, with the one eye that wasn't black, and turned and started to run away. She stopped and turned back. She came into the house with the Bishop.
My harem and I live in this house together, it is the only safe house for women in the town. Not that I wanted a safe house, no, it just happened, the girls do all the work.
Somehow this young woman trusted me, why I don't know, obviously some man had treated her very badly.
The Bishop introduced me to Cillophine. Tell me, Cuthbert! How do you keep the husbands and boyfriends out of the house? I mean, how do you keep the women safe?
Oh, I said, I don't do that. I don't do anything for the poor women. I keep out of the way. Don't get me wrong, please! I want to help, but it is no surprise that they cannot trust any man. However I will tell you how the men are kept out, but later. I didn't want to upset the poor young woman, she had suffered enough.
Just then there was a very loud knock at the door and a lot of shouting. Cillophine recognised the voice and started to shake.
I think, Bishop, you are going to discover right now, how the house is defended. I picked up Cillophine and carried her into the kitchen, somehow she trusted me. I placed her at the table and fed her breakfast.
Shouting, crashing, swearing, banging – was it loud! But Cillophine was safe in the kitchen with me.
Honey-Bunch and Mrs G came in for breakfast which I gave them on a tray. They took Cillophine upstairs, cleaned her up and bandaged her wounds. She was in safe hands.
After a while the Bishop entered the kitchen, I have seen enough.
Let me guess, I said, two elderly ladies dressed in battle-ready underwear went to the front door and asked the man to leave. He did not. One of two ladies picked him up and threw him to the other lady. They played a throwing game with him and missed the catch every third go. Yes, Miss Davis and Miss Jones are very violent.
When they are tired of this game they will dump him onto the flowerbed, the one with the roses, and start playing with me. They are very good girls really.
After a while there was quiet and Miss Davis and Miss Jones appeared in the kitchen. They were battered, but very happy. All their straps were broken, their corsets ripped, Miss Davis had lost her bra and Miss Jones had lost something else. They sat down and ate their breakfast.
He was a bit stronger that the usual brute? I asked.
Oh yes! But we had a lot of fun. Didn't we, Miss Jones?
Oh yes, said Miss Jones to Miss Davis.
I think that you had better take a rest now, you two, and I will play with you gently this evening.
Miss Davis and Miss Jones said “Oh yes!” together and left the room together.
The Bishop said that she needed time to understand what had happened. Let's go for a walk!
Only if you don't propose to me, I said. I am very fond of the Bishop, and I don't want to upset her.
After a week Cillophine started to speak, just a few words at first. After a few weeks her wounds had healed and – yes – she was very pretty. She stayed in the house. She told me her story. This was unusual, most girls say nothing.
Cillophine liked me. I liked her. I like all the girls in the house. I tell them that. I love all the girls in the house. I don't tell them that. Something inside me tells me not to do that.
After a year Cillophine walked up to me and said:
It is time!