I awoke with a start and sat up in bed. By the angle of the moon’s light through the east window, I guessed it was four in the morning. Beiju stirred in the bed next to me, but did not wake. I thought of rousing her to make love, but decided to let her sleep.
We were in the village of Deleng on the Amur River, where the Chinese Empire maintained a military outpost and little else. An active marketplace and a few craft shops, however, had sprung up in the shadow of the barracks, and the local tribes — and occasionally Russian hunters — brought basic goods there to trade. The Far East Crown Agent, Jackson, who was our contact in Deleng, had told us that it was our last good spot for any sort of provisions before we continued up the river, a journey for which he had engaged a bargeman to take us on our first leg.
We had originally planned to stay in Deleng for a week, but that had stretched into ten days with Lord Harrington’s typical hesitation before delving into the unknown, a tendency in him that I feared one day would put me in serious danger.
Still, it was ten days well spent. Jackson pointed out to me the six dialects spoken by the various locals, along with three separate racial types, not including the two Brits, me, and a few Russians.
The Cantonese I’d learned as a boy in Cheyenne, Wyoming was next to useless. I did manage to convey to the Russians that I was “Americanisch,” using the term I’d learned from Russian whalers in Alaska. I’m not sure they believed me, and, while I didn’t know the Russian for it, I thought it best not to mention my British companions in any case.
We also laid in several sacks of rice and barrels of dried meat, fish, and fruit. Harrington was upset that we couldn’t get wheat flour, but he’d get over it. And tea; Harrington insisted on a small crate of tea, and, ridiculously, a bulky Russian contraption called a “samovar” to boil water for it. While he never said so, I was certain that Jackson was glad he wouldn’t be continuing on with us.
My three rifles, two revolvers, and crates of ammunition for each had been brought from San Francisco. Even the Russians had had little better than flintlocks, so I kept the guns well hidden at all times; these were likely the most valuable equipment for a hundred miles around.
In the darkness, I considered whether there was anything I needed to prepare before we departed, but decided there was not. My thoughts returned to Beiju.
She şirinevler escort was a prostitute, of course, but in the ten days we’d spent together, I’d grown quite fond of her. Harrington, typically, had chosen the very youngest girls available, two of them, when we’d taken our rooms. I expected that he’d subjected them to every sort of abuse he could imagine; it was as if it was a matter of pride for him. I’d learned during our voyage across the Pacific to change the subject as quickly as possible whenever he started bragging about his sexual exploits: the man was a pig.
What I’d looked for was a girl at the state between the fear or misplaced excitement of youth and the bitterness of long experience; “resignation,” I’d named it to myself. I could neither bring myself to despoil innocence nor subject myself to the bitterness born of abuse from others, but for a brief moment in time, some prostitutes — probably not all of them — could be pleasant company.
And this was Beiju. She had come from somewhere to the north, I made out from our pantomiming to each other, but her parents had sold her several years before after their flocks had suffered an epidemic. She was a striking woman, full-breasted and curvy, particularly for an Asian, and with unusually thick eyebrows that at first I found a bit off-putting, but that I later came to like quite a bit.
For ten days we’d lived, to the extent that circumstances allowed it, as lovers, strolling together through the market and watching the musicians and acrobats together. I bought her baubles and collected bouquets of flowers for her, a gesture I’m not sure translated entirely as I had hoped. But she seemed eventually to enjoy herself with me, due in part, I expect, to me being the first person who’d ever cared whether she enjoyed herself or not.
Back in our room, I ran my hand slowly up her calf under the blanket, deciding that she might want as much as I did a last morning of love-making before I left. She stirred, and I sensed that she was awake, but she remained silent. I thought she might just have been staring at me, in the moonlight better able to see me than I could see her.
“John Smith … good man,” she finally murmured from the darkness. I started running my hand in earnest higher up her leg. “Make Beiju happy.” It pleased me very much to hear her say that, and I turned to prop myself over her hips on my arms, expecting şirinevler elit escort to start cuddling. She giggled and rolled to her back, spreading her legs. “John Smith … make Beiju happy … now.”
I certainly didn’t need any more encouragement than that. I threw the blanket off of her and made my way up her body, stopping along the way to caress and kiss her belly and soft breasts as I went. Finally in position, I arched my back and hips to bring my hard member to rest on her stomach, then embraced and kissed her. I wasn’t in a hurry, and I tickled my balls on her pubic hair a long moment before pressing my cock length-wise against her mound, slowly drawing it down against her pussy and turning small circles with my hips to help find the groove of her lips.
Finding the groove, I rubbed up and down against her. She moaned, and I could feel that she was getting wet. After a few minutes of this, she tried to reach down between us, but my arms were hooked under hers and blocked her access. She cocked her hand up by her shoulder, to slide it past my arm and between us by another route, but I pulled my arm in close to our sides again to keep her hand from getting by. I kissed her and slowly shook my head, whispering, “No, no,” and redoubling my pace up and down against her slit.
She exhaled sharply, spurred her heels under my buttocks, and grabbed me by the hair with both hands. “John Smith … bad man. No make Beiju happy!” But she started bucking her hips wildly against me, and after a few minutes moaned, “Oh! John Smith! Oh! Oh!” and, grinding against me a few last times, she collapsed under me.
I was a little winded just from holding on, and she took advantage of my distraction to get her hand between us finally, and hitched her hips up a moment as she forced the head of my cock down and into her wet slit, where it easily slipped a couple of inches into her. She spurred her heels against my buttocks again, urging me deeper, and tickled my balls a moment before rolling her fingers in her wetness. Then she reached her hand around my hips and slowly pressed two wet fingertips into my ass.
“Oh, fuck!” I shouted, and started plowing hard into her.
“Yes, John Smith. You fuck Beiju good.” Like an expert rider on a galloping horse, she directed my thrashing with a minimal amount of effort on her part, her two fingers prodding my ass and her heels and hips meeting my rhythm. şirinevler escort Before long I came so hard I felt sure my balls must have shriveled to the size of peas.
Her fingers still teasing my ass, she stroked my face with her other hand and kissed me.
“John Smith … good-bye today.” She brought my hand to her lips and kissed my fingers. “Come back.” She seemed genuinely sad that I was leaving.
We made love again, more slowly, more affectionately this time, and then we said our good-byes. I gave her a red silk scarf I’d found in the market for the occasion.
And then I went to get Harrington. Once again, he wasn’t ready, but Jackson was also waiting on him. The two of us hired a couple porters to take our luggage to the barges, and then, deciding that I had some extra time, I asked Jackson to stay with our goods while I ran a few last errands.
I went to the marketplace and bought some additional supplies, which I had delivered to the barge, and then I went back to the inn. Harrington was finally moving, and he started to tell me about how he had needed to give his two girls “something to remember him by,” but I quickly told him I had some last business with our innkeeper, and that he should get to the barges to make sure our goods didn’t disappear. “Quite right,” he replied, and he left in haste.
Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the barges, leading Beiju by the hand. When Harrington saw us, he shouted to me, “You quite like that girl, Yankee! Having your good-byes at the dock, are you?”
I walked right up to him and looked him straight in the eye. “She’s coming with us.” I shook Jackson’s hand and thanked him for his service, and then helped Beiju onto the barge before boarding myself.
After a long hesitation and then some sputtering, Harrington started bellowing, “Jesus Christ, Smith! We can’t have your bed-warmer tagging along with us!”
I barely acknowledged him. “She’ll be our translator. Can you talk with the bargemen?” I motioned to Beiju to tell the bargemen they could push off now, which she did.
“Well,” Harrington continued, “we don’t have provisions for her!”
“We do,” I replied. “I bought them while you were saying good-bye to your friends.”
“Then, why shouldn’t I have my ‘friends’ come along as well?”
I sat down with Beiju, leaning against the wall of the barge and trying to stay out of the sailors’ way. I shot Harrington a look. “They’d just keep you from making new friends, wouldn’t they?” I tilted my broad-rimmed hat over my eyes and ignored anything else he had to say, clutching Beiju close to my side to reassure her in case Harrington’s yammerings had left her feeling unwelcome. She leaned her head on my shoulder, and we both fell asleep as the bargemen set sail.