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This summer I'm in a reading group for 19c
American fiction (I know, havin' to study over the summer didn't
seem fair to me either - almost as bad as working).
For this week, I have to read a novel first published as a serial
in the New York Ledger in 1858. The book is The
Hidden Hand, by a woman named Emma Nevitte, who published
under the pen name E.D.E.N. Southworth. It's a potboiler and
is great fun.
The main character is an irrepressible brat
named Capitola (nicknamed 'Cap'). She is an unrepentant tomboy
from the beginning of the book (where we meet her dressed as
a boy selling newspapers on the streets of New York) to the
end where she releases a criminal from prison on the eve of
her wedding. This is a character, indeed a book, that cries
out for a spanking scene. So inspired by Tasha's additions to
Lolita, here is my attempt to supply this obvious want. I had
a hard time cutting this, so it runs pretty long.
But first a bit of plot summary. . . .
At the point where the following scene picks
up, Capitola has already been found by her guardian (whom she
calls 'Uncle' despite a lack of biological tie) in New York
and rescued from the streets to live in (boring) luxury on his
estate in rural Virginia. She is being pursued by an arch-villain
who wishes her dead and thus must both learn to live like a
lady (when she has been used to the freedom of being a boy)
and be watched over most of the time. Thus she begins to take
pleasure in bratty tricks on her guardian, Major Ira Warfield
(nickname Old Hurricane). He is unable to figure out how to
discipline the young woman (age about 15), being used to dealing
with boys, so in despair consults his minister, Pastor Goodwin.
All of the following text before and after the break is edited
original. The text between the breaks is mine. We open mid-chapter,
the major having told something of Capitola's history to the
Rev. Goodwin. . . .
"I'll be merry and free,
I'll be sad for naebody;
Naebody cares for me,
I cares for naebody."
- Robert Burns
Cap's Tricks and Perils - The Missing Scene
from The Hidden Hand
by E.D.E.N. Southworth and Mija
The honest clergyman was shocked. . . .
"I say that she has suffered a frightful
series of perils."
"She has come out of them safe, sir!
I know it by a thousand signs! - what I fear for is the future!
She won't obey me except when she likes! She has never been
taught obedience or accustomed to subordination, and don't understand
either! She rides and walks alone in spite of all I can do or
say! If she were a boy, I'd thrash her! But what can I do with
a girl?" said Old Hurricane in despair.
"Lock her up in her chamber until she
is brought to reason," suggested the minister.
"Demmy, she'd jump out of the window
and break her neck! or hang herself in her garters! or starve
to death! you don't know what an untamable thing she is! Some
birds, if caged, beat themselves to death against the bars of
their prison! she is just such a wild bird as that!"
"Hurumph! it is a difficult case to manage;
but you should not shrink from responsibility; you should be
firm with her."
"That's just what I can't be
with the witch, confound her! she is such a wag, such a droll,
such a mimic; disobeys me in such a mocking, cajoling, affectionate
"Then you should talk to her! try moral
"Yes, if I could only get her to be serious
long enough to listen to me! But you see Cap isn't sentimental!
and if I try to be, she laughs in my face!"
"But then is she so insensible to all
the benefits you have conferred upon her? - will not gratitude
"Yes, so far as repaying me with genuine
affection, fevent caresses and careful attentions to my little
comforts can go! but Cap evidently thinks that the restriction
of her liberty is too heavy a price to pay for protection and
"This protegee of yours is a remarkable
girl, as interesting to me in character as she is in history;
her very spirit, courage and insubordination make her singularly
hard to manage and apt to go astray. With your permission I
will make her acquaintance, with the view of seeing what I can
do for her."
"Pray, do so, for then you will be better
able to counsel me how to manage the capricious little witch,
who if I attempt to check her in the wild and dangerous freedom
of action, tells me plainly that liberty is too precious a thing
to be exchanged for food and clothing."
"Oh! for heaven's sake, sir, no more
of that until we have further evidence," said the minister,
adding - "I will see your very interesting protegee to-morrow."
Do! do! to-morrow, today, this hour, anytime!"
said Major Warfield, as he cordially took leave of the pastor.
The next day, according to agreement, the pastor
came and dined at Hurricane Hall. During the dinner he had ample
opportunity of observing Capitola.
In the afternoon Major Warfield took an occasion
of leaving him alone with the contumacious young object of his
Cap, with her quick perceptions, instantly
discovered the drift and purpose of this action, which immediately
provoked all the mischievous propensities of her elfish spirit.
"Uncle means that I shall be lectured
by the good parson: if he preaches to me won't I humour
him 'to the top of his bent?' - that's all" was her secret
resolution as she sat demurely, with pursed-up lips, bending
over her needlework.
The honest and well-meaning old country clergyman
hitched up his chair a little nearer to the perverse young rebel,
and, gingerly - for he was half afraid of his questionable
subject - entered into conversation with her.
To his surprise and pleasure, Capitola replied
with the decorum of a young nun.
Encouraged by her manner, the good minister
went on to say how very interested he was in her welfare; how
deeply he compassionated her lot in having never possessed the
advantage of a mother's teaching; how anxious he was by his
counsels to make up to her as much as possible such a deficiency.
Here Capitola put up both her hands and dropped
her face upon them.
Still farther encouraged by this exhibition
of feeling, Mr. Goodwin went on. He told her that it behooved
her, who was a motherless girl, to be even more circumspect
than others, lest through very ignorance she might err; and
in particular he warned her against riding or walking out alone,
or indulging in any freedom of manners that might draw upon
her the animadversions of their very strict community.
"Oh, sir, I know I have been very indiscreet,
and I am so very miserable!" said Capitola in a heart-broken
"My child, your errors have heretofore
been those of ignorance only, and I am very pleased to find
out how much your good uncle has been mistaken; and how ready
you are to do strictly right when the way is pointed out!"
said the minister, pleased to his honest heart's core that he
had made this deep impression.
A heavy sigh burst from the bosom of Capitola.
"What is the matter, my dear child?"
he said kindly.
"Oh, sir, if only I had known you before!"
exclaimed Capitola bitterly.
"Why my dear? - I can do you just as
much good now."
"Oh, no, sir! it is too late! It
is too late!"
"It is never too late to do well."
"Oh, yes, sir, it is for me! Oh, how
I wish I had had your good counsel before! It would have saved
me from so much trouble!"
"My dear child, you make me seriously
uneasy! do explain yourself," said the old pastor, drawing
his chair closer to hers, and trying to get a look at the distressed
little face that was bowed down upon her hands and veiled with
her hair - "Do tell me, my dear, what is the matter?"
"Oh, sir, I'm afraid to tell you! - you'll
hate and despise me! you'd never speak to me again!" said
Capitola, keeping her face concealed.
"My dear child," said the minister
very gravely and sorrowfully, "whatever your offence has
been, and you make me fear it has been a very serious one, I
invite you to confide it to me, and having done so I promise
howevermore I may mourn the sin, not to 'hate' or 'despise'
or forsake the sinner. Come confide in me."
"Oh, sir, I daren't! indeed I daren't!"
"My poor girl!" said the minister,
"if I am to do you any good, it is absolutely necessary
that you make me your confidant."
"Oh, sir, I've been a very wicked girl!
I daren't tell you how wicked I have been!"
"Does your good uncle know or suspect
this wrong-doing of yours?"
"Uncle! Oh, no, sir! He'd turn me out
of doors. He'd kill me! Indeed he would, sir. Please don't tell
"You forget, my child, that I
do not know the nature of your offense," said the minister
in a state of painful anxiety.
"But I'm going to inform you, sir! and,
oh, I hope you will take pity on me and tell me what to do;
for though I dread to speak, I can't keep it on my conscience
any longer, it is such a heavy weight on my breast!"
"Sin always is, my poor girl!"
said the pastor with a deep groan.
"But, sir, I had no mother, as you said
"I know it, my poor girl, and am ready
to make every allowance," said the old pastor with a deep
sigh, not knowing what next to expect.
"And - and - I hope you will forgive
me, sir! but - but he was so handsome I couldn't help liking
"MISS BLACK!" cried the horrified
"There! I knew you'd just go
and bite my head off the very first thing! Oh dear, whatever
should I do?" sobbed Capitola.
The good pastor, who had started to his feet,
remained gazing upon her in a panic of consternation murmuring
"Good Angels! I am fated to hear more
great sins than if I was a prison chaplain." Then going
to the sobbing delinquent, he said:
"Unhappy girl! who is this person of
whom you speak?"
"H-h-h-him that I met when I went walking
in the woods!" sobbed Capitola.
"Heaven of Heavens! this is worse than
my very worst fears! - Wretched girl! tell me instantly the
name of this base deceiver!"
"He-he-he's no base deceiver; he-he-he's
very amiable and good-looking; and-and-and that's why I liked
him so much; it was all my fault not his, poor, dear fellow!"
"His name?" sternly demanded the
"Alf-Alf-Alfred," wept Capitola.
"Miserable girl! how often have you met
this miscreant alone in the forest?"
"I - don't - know!" sobbed Capitola.
"Where is the wretch to be found now?"
"Oh, please don't hurt him, sir! Please
don't. He-he-he's hid in the closet in my room!"
A groan that seemed to have rent his heart
in twain burst from the minister as he repeated in deepest horror:
"In your room! (Well! I must prevent
a murder being done!) Did you not know, you poor child, the
danger you ran by giving this young man private interviews;
and above all, admitting him to your apartment? Wretched girl!
better you'd never been born than to so received a man!"
"Man? man? MAN? - I'd like to
know what you mean by that, Mr. Goodwin!" exclaimed
Capitola, lifting her eyes flashing through her tears.
"I mean the man to whom you have given
these private interviews."
"I! - I give private
interviews to a man! Take care what you say, Mr. Goodwin! I
won't be insulted! no not even by you!"
"Then if you are not talking of a man,
who or what in the world are you talking about?" exclaimed
the amazed minister.
"Why, Alfred, the Blenheim poodle that
strayed away from some neighbor's houses, and that I found in
the woods and brought home and hid in my closet, for fear he
would be inquired after, or uncle would make me give him up!
I knew it was wrong, but then he was so pretty -"
Before Capitola had finished her speech, Mr.
Goodwin had seized his hat, and rushed out of the house in indignation,
nearly overturning Old Hurricane, whom he met on the lawn, and
to whom he said:
"Thrash that girl as if she were a bad
boy - for she richly deserves it!"
"What is it now?" inquired Old Hurricane.
The pastor took the major's arm, and while
they walked up and down before the house, told how he had been
'sold' by Capitola, ending by saying:
"You will have to take her firmly in
"I'll do it," said Old Hurricane.
"I'll do it."
The pastor then called for his horse and,
resisting all his host's entreaties to stay for tea, took his
Major Warfield re-entered the house, resolving
to say nothing to Capitola for the present, but to seize on
the very first opportunity of punishing her for this flippancy.
The village fair had commenced on Monday.
It had been arranged that all Major Warfield's family should
go, though not all upon the same day. It was proposed that Thursday,
when the festival would be at its height, Major Warfield, Capitola
and the house-servants should go.
Therefore, upon Thursday morning all the household
bestirred themselves at an early hour, and appeared before breakfast
in their best Sunday suit.
Capitola came down to breakfast in a rich,
blue silk carriage dress, looking so fresh, blooming and joyous,
that it went to the major's heart to disappoint her; yet Old
Hurricane resolved, as the pastor had told him to 'be firm'
and once and for all by inflicting punishment bring her a sense
of her errors.
"There, you need not trouble yourself
to get ready, Capitola, you shall not go to the fair with us,"
he said as Capitola took her seat.
"Sir!" exclaimed the girl in surprise.
"Oh, yes! you may stare but I'm in earnest!
You have behaved very badly! you have deeply offended our pastor!
you have no reverence, no docility, no propriety, and I mean
to bring you to a sense of your position by depriving you of
some of your indulgences. To begin, I say, you shall not go
to the fair today!"
"You mean, sir, that I shall not go with
you, although you promised that I should," said
"I mean you shall not go at all."
"I'd like to know who'll prevent me,"
"I will, Miss Vixen," and
with this dismissing the servants.
"Now, minion," he began as soon
as he found himself alone with the little rebel:
"I did not choose to mortify you before
the servants, but once and for all I will have you understand
that I intend to be obeyed!" And Old Hurricane gathered
his brows like a gathering storm.
"I order you to immediately go and take
off that gala dress and settle yourself down to studies for
"Uncle, I will obey you as far as taking
off this dress goes, for since you won't give me a seat in your
carriage I shall have to put on my habit and ride Gyp,"
"WHAT!! do you dare hint that you have
not the slightest idea of going to the fair against my will?"
"Yes, sir," said Cap gaily - "sorry
it's against your will but I can't help it! not used to being
ordered about and don't know how to submit, and so I'm not going!"
"Come here to me! Come - here - to -
me!" exclaimed the old man, peremptorily, rapping his cane
down upon the floor with every syllable.
Capitola danced up to him and stood, half
smiling, and fingering and arranging the lace of her undersleeves.
"Listen to me you witch! do you intend
to obey me or NOT?"
"NOT!" said Cap, good-humoredly,
adjusting her cameo bracelet, and holding up her arm to see
"You will not! Then demmy, miss, I shall
know how to make you!" thundered Old Hurricane, bringing
the point of his stick down with a hard rap.
"Eh!" cried Capitola looking up
"Yes, miss, that's what I said!
"I should like to know how," said
Cap, returning to her cool good humor.
"You would, would you? Demmy, I'll tell
you. I have broken haughtier spirits than you in my life. Would
you like to know how?"
"Yes," said Capitola indifferently,
still busied with her bracelets.
"Stoop and I will whisper the mystery."
Capitola bent her graceful head to hear.
"With the rod!" hissed
Old Hurricane maliciously.
Capitola sprang up as if she had been shot,
wave after wave of blood tiding up in burning blushes over neck,
face and forehead. . . .
[. . . end of original by E.D.E.N.]
of Mija's addition . . .]
Before Capitola could recover herself from
her guardian's rough threat, the major suited action to word
and pulled the girl by the arm over his lap, lifting her so
far that her black ringleted curls brushed the carpet and her
feet kicked high above the floor.
"Unhand me, sir! how dare you so abuse
Old Hurricane said nothing, but lifted layers
of blue silk and petticoat so Capitola soon found herself surrounded
by a tent of her own garments. Her heart quickened and mouth
dried as she felt the brush of the cool breeze as her pantaloons
were uncovered. Surely this could not be! In desperation she
kicked still harder.
"Be still, miss! I intend to tan your
backside as surely as I live and breathe! and the more you struggle,
my girl, the harder this will be for you," said the major,
tightening his grip on Capitola with his left arm while raising
Still he gave her one last opportunity to save
her remaining dignity.
"Say you will stay at home this day as
I have ordered and I will let you up and save you this thrashing,
for even now I trust your honesty, Cap, and know you to be a
To his amazement, and perhaps to hers, Capitola
cried from beneath her skirt:
"I recognize no authority but my own
and Him who made me! thus I shall go where I like!"
"Indeed, miss! Well let me introduce you
Steeling himself to be firm, and feeling his
blood rise at the scent of victory, Old Hurricane brought his
hand down hard on the seat of her pantaloons ten times in quick
The fiery pain of the slaps did not still
the girl, who kicked her gartered legs still harder. Old Hurricane
was not about to surrender his advantage, so untied her pantaloons
and, remembering the pastor's advice, slid them down to bare
her pale globes, his previous spanks having caused but a dim
Yet the sight of her fair bottom gave him
a moment's pause. For while he was to 'thrash her like a bad
boy' this slim fifteen-year-old was clearly no boy. Meanwhile,
Capitola's struggles were weakened as she found herself restrained
by her own tangled garments. Her legs were stilled as her pantaloons
bound her ankles, and her thrashing arms were wrapped in her
own skirts. Cap felt tears of frustration prick behind her eyes.
Meanwhile, Old Hurricane recovered from the
sight and unleashed a storm of hard smacks to Capitola's bottom
and thighs. His spanks were sharp and quick, forcing Capitola
to struggle for her breath.
A minute passed; the only sound in the room
was the major's ringing palm and Capitola's protests, which
were so muffled by her layers of clothing as to be inaudible.
The color of her bottom and thighs had increased considerably.
Major Warfield administered six increasingly
hard swats then paused:
"Do you intend to obey me now, miss?"
He heard nothing but the girl's rapid breathing,
waited, then his palm rained down another volley of spanks.
"I said, do you intend to obey me now,
Capitola clenched her teeth and vowed to remain
silent even if it should kill her. She said an ironic prayer
of thanks for the concealing silk, which hid from her oppressor
the shameful tears which had begun to fall unbidden from her
The major was irritated yet impressed by the
girl's stubborn spirit. He fought a desire to laugh and gather
her into his arms. Yet with her very safety at stake he steeled
himself again and began spanking without further pause, this
time lecturing as he went.
"Capitola, I love you as my own child;
you are the joy of my life. Yet I must get you to see that you
are not an adult, that you cannot make all choices for yourself."
The intensity of his smacks rose with his emotion. He continued
the spanking for another minute, then paused again.
"I shall ask you this last time, will
you submit yourself to my authority?"
Capitola's breaths were deep, almost sobbing
as she lay still across his knees, the message of his words,
his affection, still ringing in her ears. Her soul told her
to cry yes, that she did submit; yet still stubborn pride deterred
her from that course. Language from New York's rag-alley rose
to her lips:
"To hell with you and Rev. Goodwin, you
Major Warfield froze, anger tightening his
grip on Capitola.
"WHAT!" roared the old warrior.
Cap froze in horror. The word was one she
did not clearly know the meaning of, yet knew she had given
grave insult. And to have damned the gentle minister
who had wished her only well! Capitola was religious after her
own fashion, and felt from within a sense of God's own scorn
for her folly.
Meanwhile, Old Hurricane checked his own fury
and sensed his ward's softening. The child could not have known
what she said. He lifted her up off his lap to stand before
him, brushing her hair off her face. His heart caught and softened
as he saw the salty traces of tears on her face. As a Virginia
gentleman, he had been trained from childhood to think ill of
any man who left the gentle sex in tears. Yet the major knew
this was the moment to press for Cap's submission.
"Capitola, no, look at me," he began,
holding both her small hands in one of his large, "did
you intend to insult me so?"
The girl struggled to hold his gaze and flushed
pink, well aware that her pantaloons had fallen off her ankles.
"I - I -"
For once the brave child had no words.
"This is the sort of behavior I can not
- will not - accept from you. Since you persist in talking like
a rough school lad, that is how you shall be treated."
With that Major Warfield stood, and taking
the girl by the arm led her reluctantly into the library. Capitola
was too preoccupied by her lost pantaloons to wonder where she
was being led or why. The sting in her bottom became a warm
glow and she felt a sense of physical relaxation. The major
led her to a corner of the room and removed the chair which
stood there. Releasing his grip, he spoke with confidence, bending
close to her ear.
"Capitola, you shall stand right on this
spot until I return. I intend to punish you for your naughty
tongue and wild ways. This can be done one of two ways. Either
here, in private, between you and me. Or with you restrained
by the housekeeper over that table in the dining hall we just
left. The choice is yours. I should prefer you be brave and
save yourself the embarrassment of being punished before the
Cap felt her heart thud in her breast. Her
every instinct said "Fly!" Yet her pride shrank from
the idea of being pursued and captured. She straightened her
back and resisted the desire to rub her abused bottom.
"I shall stand fast, sir, until you return."
The major felt his heart swell at her quiet
but brave words. Yet he hid his pleasure least the child realize
his desire to spare her this last, for it was for her own sake
that this last punishment must occur, must be severe.
"Indeed, I hope so."
She felt his gentle fingers pluck two ribbons
from her hair and heard him leave the room. An eternity passed
as she contemplated her folly, her heart heavy with regret.
At last she heard his footsteps returning across the heavy rug.
There was the sound of shuffling papers and objects being moved.
Finally, she heard his voice.
"Turn around and face me, miss."
Capitola turned slowly, noticing his desktop
bare but for a single curled blue ribbon. She looked up at him
and saw him bearing a curious and fearful bouquet of birch twigs
wrapped 'round with her second blue ribbon. She looked down
again, shame flushing her cheeks, fear quickening her pulse.
Major Warfield held out the birch rod to her
"Come and take it from me, Capitola."
She searched in vain for her saucy tongue,
but it was lost amidst the shame of her earlier behavior. As
if in a dream she watched herself walk across the carpet to
him, reached out a reluctant hand and took the rod by its ribboned
end. Cap noted with dismay the abundance of budding twigs, still
damp with the morning dew.
Old Hurricane looked at his child-foe, his
dearest heart and saw her bite her lip in nervous anxiety. He
did not lecture her again as he had planned but merely said:
"You have been a naughty girl, miss;
you deserve to be punished, yes?"
Capitola, still lost in her dream, one that
she had never dared, would never dare mention, could only nod.
"Then tell me so; ask for your due reward;
hand me the rod."
"I should be a-a-ashamed to, sir."
Black ringlets fell before her eyes as her head drooped still
"But, child, the shame was in your action,
not your confession nor your punishment. Can you not see that?
Now, lift your face."
At his words Capitola raised her eyes and
held out the fearful birch. She swallowed, found her voice and
heard herself say softly:
"Sir, I have been a bad girl and deserve
Major Warfield took the birch from the girl,
much as he would accept a sword from a defeated soldier. Leading
her by the hand, he brought her to the desk, put the rod to
the side and picked up the ribbon. She held out her hands, the
dream guiding her actions, tempering the fear with fantasy.
He bound her hands in front of her with her hair ribbon and
gently bent and lifted her over the desk so her fingers gripped
the opposite edge and her toes left the floor. Firm yet gentle
hands lifted and folded her skirts neatly across her back, baring
again her bottom and thighs, unclothed from her waist to her
gartered knees. The blood pounding in her head almost drowned
out his now soft voice:
"You will receive eight strokes. Should
you attempt to rise, that stroke will be repeated. Is this clear?"
Capitola felt a chill as she nodded. There
was more silence as she found her voice.
Resolute, the major tapped the twigs against
her still-pink bottom. He drew back his arm and brought the
rod down full across the fleshy center of the left side, then
quickly again across the right. Stepping back, he could see
the beginnings of a gentle lacing of fine welts.
The sharp fresh pain awoke Capitola from her
dream and she kicked the front of the desk, losing one of her
slippers. Yet she did not dream of releasing her hold on the
Two more strokes fell, these lower than the
first, catching the gentle undercurves of her bottom, the twigs
biting her nether cheeks.
A gentle sob escaped her lips as she again
kicked the front of the major's desk, losing her other slipper
in her toes' mad scramble for purchase:
Ignoring her cries, Warfield brought the next
two strokes down still lower, across the crease where her bottom
and thighs met, letting the thin branches weal the area between
He paused a moment before the last four. His
ward's bottom, hips, and thighs were a maze of delicate red
and pink weals and he felt concern, hating the idea of hurting
her further. Yet, he told himself, this had to be done and done
well lest he be forced to repeat his performance for not having
been severe enough. Giving himself more time, he heard her sobs
"After these last two strokes, my Capitola,
nothing more will ever be spoken of your actions in these matters.
The subject will be forever closed and forgiven unless you repeat
these offences. Be a brave girl, Cap!"
Capitola felt a variety of curious feelings;
pain surely, a chastened suffering, a sense of atonement, a
lightening of her guilt, and, finally, a warm sense of love
and security, of being accountable and forgiven.
Through her sobs, Old Hurricane thought he
heard her whisper "yes". He brought the ribboned rod
up and then swished it down across the center of her cheeks
twice, watched as her legs stiffened, straightened and then
went limp. Her face an image of agony as her chest lifted from
the desk, while her fingers still held a vice grip on its edge.
"Ahhhhnnnoooooooo! I'm sorry!" she
sobbed, wailing like a child.
His hands gently lowered her skirts and lifted
her gently into his arms, his heart breaking with her cries,
bleeding with her tears. He carried her with him to a large
leather wing-back chair and held her on his lap like a babe,
careful lest he brush her tender bottom and cause her further
pain. As his heart shook with her sobs he wondered if her obedience
to his will would be purchased at the price of her brave spirit
and affection for him. Old Hurricane squeezed her gently and
wiped her eyes, dreading the moment hers would recoil from him
in hate and horror.
Capitola quieted and seemed almost to doze
in his arms, feeling a luxurious security and love. Affection
for the old man swelled in her breast. Yet he could not know
her feelings on the matter. Rising finally, she disentangled
herself from his grasp, stood and walked to the window. Should
she tell him how she felt?
The vacant spot on his lap where Capitola
had lain felt like an open wound. He watched her stand at the
window and hardly dared speak to her. But, taking a deep breath,
he finally said:
"I hope to never have to do this again,
Cap smiled a small grin he could not see.
Her own heart ached to hear the pain in her guardian's voice,
the love swelled within her. The imp within her awoke. Turning
. . .
[. . . end of Mija's addition]
[Back to the original by E.D.E.N.
. . .]
. . . she approached and stood before him,
and spoke these words:
"Uncle, [until now] in all the sorrows,
shames and sufferings of my destitute childhood, no one ever
dishonored my person with a blow; and if you should ever have
the misfortune to [again] forget your manhood and strike me
-" she paused and drew in her breath hard between her set
teeth. . . .
"Oh, you perilous witch, what then?"
cried Old Hurricane in dismay.
"Why then," said Capitola, speaking
in a low, deep, and measured tone, and keeping her gaze fixed
upon his astonished face, "the-first-time-I-should-find-you-asleep-I-would-take-a-razor-and-"
"Cut my throat! I feel you would, my
terrible termagant!" shuddered Old Hurricane.
"Shave your beard off smick, smack,
smoove!" said Cap, bounding off and laughing merrily
as she ran out of the room. . . .
Back to Mija's
Back to the treehouse