The Wench/Mora's Escape
The Wench/Mora's Escape
Richmond, Virginia, 1792
Constance Pendleton wiped a few drops of sweat from her brow. She had only been working in her beloved kitchen garden for only a little over an hour, but the morning was uncommonly warm. Her basket was filled almost to overflowing and she only needed to add a few of those exotic new tomatoes people were talking about. She would use these luscious vegetables to prepare a meal so fine that even her stern husband would have to praise it.
Constance's two years of marriage had been an unexpected trial. She had met Harold while he was a student at Harvard. Her father was dean of the College of Divinity and her handsome beaux had been his most talented student. The brilliant scholar had courted the shy girl with the kind of determination that he applied to all his endeavors. She had been carefully protected from any practical knowledge of men when she nervously accepted his marriage proposal. Her father had performed the wedding service one month after Harold's graduation.
The young scholar's intellectual gifts had earned him a call to one of Richmond's largest churches. The pretty bride had tried her best to be a credit to her husband, but life as a high profile pastor's wife had not been easy for her. The church's parishioners criticized her constantly. They accused her of lavish dress, being too opinionated, allowing the manse to be less than perfectly tidy, publicly drinking an occasional glass of sherry and, worst of all, spending too much time reading. A proper lady of her station did not need to have her nose in a book so often. The thing that Constance hated most was that Harold never spoke a single word in her defense.
She had just gotten to her feet and straightened her dress when she heard a sound that was all too familiar in the Pendleton household. The impatient pastor was applying his belt to an errant female's bare posterior. The man's words made the situation clear.
"Mary, I'll not have you kissing that stable lad." The smooth leather cracked against the hapless servant's bottom again. Constance turned the corner just in time to see Harold deliver another harsh blow. The wailing girl was bent over a garden bench. Her skirt and petty coats had been piled onto her back so her pink bottom was shamelessly framed by the billowing cloth. That disgrace was compounded by the fact that Harold had made the girl spread her legs. He regularly justified the humiliating pose so that he could effectively stripe his victim's thighs. Constance wondered if his real reason had more to do with how blatantly the poor girl's sex was exposed.
"If you keep playing the whore, I'll sell your indenture to the inn keeper," Harold growled as he quickly striped the back of Sarah's firm thighs three times. She wailed piteously as purple welts began to bloom. "He's a man who knows how to put a randy trollop to use. A slut like you can earn him a pretty penny as you ply your wicked trade."
Constance knew full well that any intervention on her part would be dangerous, but she could not keep quiet. "Husband, you must stop. This is not fitting."
The enraged minister whirled and glared at his impudent wife. "I am the master of this house. The obligation to discipline every female, including you, falls on my shoulders. I'll not spare the rod on any of you." He turned back to the wailing servant. A flick of his wrist brought the leather strap up between her legs and onto the sensitive skin between her legs.
"That's enough," Constance screamed. "What you are doing is not correction. It is cruel, it's shameful, and it's obscene." She pulled the trembling girl's skirt into place and told her to go to her room.
"How dare you interfere like this?" Harold's face was flushed with rage. "You have no right to defy me. My authority comes direct from God!"
"Your so called authority is not divine," Constance screamed. "It is a produc