A young lady helps Jim out.
I looked on wide-eyed as some of the men danced with cigars in their mouths, whirling around in such a wild manner as to cause collisions with the other couples. I witnessed two girls waltzing; and two men who had apparently sat too long at the dinner-table getting up together to dance a "stag dance." I was quick to learn this practice was frowned upon by the master of ceremonies, as the dancing of a pair of male bipeds was not calculated to help the business of the place, and it was instantly suppressed, amid cheers and laughter.
Some twenty minutes later, I made the acquaintance of a young lady named Dolly, perhaps eighteen or nineteen, with flaming red hair, a delicate complexion and unusually white teeth; wearing what I knew to be the colourful, gaudy dress of a prostitute. That she was a prostitute I had no doubt. All the women present were prostitutes. For the most part they were all pretty and expensively dressed, unaccompanied by the pallor of ill-health. However, Officer Quigley quietly informed us that their looks could be deceiving in that their very appearance was doubtless due to the artistic manner of the make-up by powder and cosmetics, on the employment of which extreme care is bestowed.
I would soon learn that few of these women could write a decent letter, though some might be able to play a little on the piano, or to sing a simple song.
Their behavior was usually quiet and very little solicitation was observable. It seemed the custom held that they maintain all the outward proprieties of demeanor and gesture; for should any woman misconduct herself, she would be pointed out to the door-keepers with instructions not to admit her again to the rooms. No punishment could be heavier, no sentence more rigorously carried out.
Quigley laughed telling us how such a woman will attempt in vain by disguise to avoid recognition, or by bribes to soften the watchful janitor. Her efforts will be met with some such rebuke as this: 'It's no use trying it on, Miss Polly; the gov'nor says you are not to go in, and, of course, you can't!' Once shunned, her only chance of obtaining remission of the sentence is to induce some friend to plead with the proprietor on her behalf, who may, but does not always, readmit her after an exile of three months, and on her promising to behave herself in the strictest manner for the future.
As I chatted up Dolly, my first impression was that she was some gentlemen's mistress. But Dolly was reasonably honest and forthright, saying, "Oh, no, Mr. Fogg, oh, I may have a 'gentleman friend' or two I see on the regular, yer know, but what they gives me ain't that much. It helps 'o course, but I needs to meet nice gentlemen like yourself," and she managed to rub her hip against my thigh for emphasis, "to see me through, so's I eat proper, yer know?"
Since I had not had a good fuck with the Mooring sisters in a while, my prick was at full mast and she damn well knew of it, brushing against it from time to time and giving me this coquettish smile each and every time. Dolly spoke of many things, but always whether up front, or in the background, the subject of money was foremost the main topic.
I also knew that the gentleman, or gentlemen who paid Dolly on a regular basis, would not object if I were to occupy her of an evening. Further, the very fact of her spending this time with me meant her gentlemen were probably not in attendance that evening.
Dolly was not at all shy in requesting drinks and I had no reason to object as they were not all that expensive in the first place.
Having had several scotches myself, I tested Dolly by bluntly asking her how much she charged for her services.
She did not bat an eye, responding, "Just three sovereigns, Ducky, that's all.