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c h a p t e r s e v e n t e e n A Mouse with Only One Hole Is Easy to Take “Maman’s eyes had never looked so odd: she was staring at Tifarès the whole time I was trimming the edge of my green skirt with a white ribbon.1 Her eyes were brimming with water, her breath was almost panting. ‘Maman,’ I asked, ‘do you need some fresh air? Would you like me to open a window?’ “‘No,’ she replied, ‘I am going to take a walk; this gentleman will offer me his arm. Finish your skirt.’ “I was longing to go out with them, but I thought . . . I don’t know quite what ideas could have entered my mind; I rose to my feet, went to the window , and watched them go up into a little woods. I was deeply lost in wonderment : ‘But what if Maman should be taken by a wolf?’ when I felt myself grabbed from behind. It was none other than Mordanes, who had come up from the corner of the poultry-yard where he was catching hens as soon as he saw Maman step outdoors. “‘Oh stop that, sir! Why frighten me so? I thought you were the wolf.’ “But as the proverb says, never cry wolf . . . Alas! I felt too soon how true this was.2 “‘Your mama is not quite ready to return,’ Mordanes said, seating me on his lap; ‘and our philosophers are busy with the monks. This is too good an opportunity for me not to take it—one I have desired for so long.’ He then insisted on kissing me. His hands were so strong, hard, like iron; I did my best to defend myself, but in vain. “All I could say was: ‘Hurry up, get it over with.’ But his tongue soon stopped my mouth. My body was bent over his left arm, and his mouth was A Mouse with Only One Hole Is Easy to Take 111 glued to mine, and his right hand . . . I feel ashamed whenever I think of it. He had gone straight to a spot so sensitive, so delicate! Books must never mention this part of the body at all, for Bissot’s hand has never quite located it. I would rather have felt no pleasure, but I was not in control, and I decided it made little difference: I could not cry for help. And I would have been lucky if Mordanes had stopped at that point. The bed was right nearby: he picked me up like a child and put me down in the middle. “‘Leave off, I am going to yell, I will tell Maman!’ I crossed my legs—but alas! not for long. He soon pried them open, and made me feel that philosophers are not the strongest of men. His stomach on mine was like a rock, like the mountain pressing down on the Titans. “But I knew I might already be pregnant—and I realized I would not want there to be any doubts about the father of my child. This notion gave me courage, and love gave me the inspiration for a trick that pleasure would surely condemn. Just when brawny Mordanes was trying his hardest, a slight imperceptible movement of mine shifted his target out of range. His lance missed its mark, and only bruised me. But he began huffing and puffing in a terrifying way; leaning on one hand, he helped himself with the other. He was getting closer to his target; and the closer he came, the more strength I needed to resist him. He soon discovered my ruse, and squeezed me down on the bed between his wrists, allowing me to move in only one direction, up and down. I almost gave in—but with one last effort I lifted myself yet another inch higher: he was pushing hard, but I knew that if I allowed him his mistake I could remain faithful. I soon felt myself penetrated in a place very different from the one I had been saving for my sweetheart. I—who always disliked even a cannula lubricated with sweet butter!—You be the judge of what I suffered. Every buffalo blow hurt me, though in a way it was also pleasurable; at last a soothing balm announced relief, and I congratulated myself on my fidelity. “Afterward I found he had left me covered with blood; I rushed to...


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