Chapter 4: A Desperate Situation
She arrived and parked at the University of Wisconsin. Crossing the green on her way to the library, a young man dressed for sport passed by her and roughly grabbed her left buttock. She slapped his hand away and turned to glare at him. He puffed himself up and asked, "Are you new here? You look too young to be here."
Not wanting to answer his impertinent question or engage with him further in any way, she turned and again marched off in the direction of the library. He pursued her to grab at her again, but this time she was ready. She put him into a painful wrist lock, led him to a fountain a few steps away, and toppled him over backwards into it. His friends, at a distance from her, burst out in gales of laughter at their friend's misadventure. When she glared in their direction, they quickly quieted, and she again stalked off in the direction of the library. She was rarely accosted, but it happened. She shuddered to think what things must be like for most other young women.
As she had suspected, she discovered a wealth of information buried in the stacks of the library. She found scholarly works by Magnus Hirschfeld in German, and luckily she was fluent in German, and could scan them fairly rapidly. She also found works by English scientists like Havelock Ellis. She found fiction by D.H. Lawrence and John Cleland.
She found a work translated from the original Sanskrit by Richard Burton. Although she could barely crawl through Sanskrit with the help of a thick dictionary also in the stacks, it didn't take her long to see that Burton's translation was far from faithful, so she abandoned them both as too ureliable.
Her sweaty search for all this in the stacks, especially for the fiction, required several trips to the private accommodations back there to relieve herself. She was actually pretty lucky that she was only person back in the stacks on that hot July day, or some random graduate student might well have been waylaid, which was not part of the original plan.
Mary stayed in the stacks until the bell rang signaling the closing of the library. She finished herself off a final time, replaced the last book on the shelf, and left the library. Unbeknownst to her, for days afterwards, graduate students remarked to each other of a wonderful, sensual scent pervading the stacks. Mary drove back home over deserted roads and fell into bed, too exhausted to conduct any further research that evening.
The three housemates all met the breakfast table late and a bit bleary-eyed the next morning. No questions were asked, a relief to all, and pleasant conversation about the hot weather and so forth was had. Ten condoms were produced, and her father demonstrated their use by applying one of them to a banana.
Margaret, in an effort to be helpful in her own right, rolled the condom back off the banana, and then, demonstrating a technique she had learned from her mother, rolled the condom back onto the banana using mostly her mouth, a technique she asserted and her father agreed men tended to prefer versus merely hand application.
And so Mary was left with the remaining nine condoms to protect her during her research. She took to carrying two in her handbag at all times just so she was well prepared. From her book research, she formed the opinion that she should not just dive into human sexuality from the deep end, but instead she should find a way to wade in and sample the experience starting with the early stages of arousal.
For this reason, Mary decided she would get to know the flapper set from her high school who she had never really given a second thought to before. She saw them as creative types, band and theater kids, but most of her school had decried them as deviants, drug addicts, or worse. It was also rumored they hung out at jazz clubs and with negro folk, which many people found problematic, but certainly not Mary.
In particular, Mary had heard of petting parties or fussing parties held on a regular basis by this crowd. These were rumored to be parties where one could bring a young man, and, among other couples, do some kissing, and so it was rumored, maybe even a bit more. To Mary, it sounded like a perfect situation to dip a toe in.
She confirmed with her friend Mildred Rush, whose family owned a farm on the outskirts of town, and who had a toe in that world, that indeed every Saturday night at 7 PM at the local jazz club on the outskirts of town, a group of bad kids from her school got together for such a soiree. Tickets were expensive at $1 per couple to keep out the riff-raff and so that a small number of couples could afford to pay the jazz club owner enough to take the risk.
Mary fancied to take her friend Mildred's older brother George to the event, so with Mildred's permission, she drove out to the Rush farm on Friday to ask him. She found George hauling bags of grain out of a truck and stacking them in one of the barns. In the hot sun, he was covered in sweat, and looked amazing to Mary.
"Hi Mary. You're just who I was hoping to see, as I need to ask you a discreet favor."
"Anything for you, George," Mary replied, with hopefully enough English on it for George to get a clue.
"My father has just died, but we're keeping it a secret, because there's a problem."
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry! Whatever is the matter?"
"My father left a will, but due to his eccentric nature, he decided to store it in the belly of the Old Cock in front of our school, which has now been stolen. If we can't produce his will, the bank will reclaim the farm."
"My word! Of course I'll help you find it! Now I suppose there's a reason to find that old thing beyond my mother's photograph being in it, of course."
"To that end, many of the prime suspects in the matter will be attending a party at the jazz club this Saturday night."
"I know already what you're going to ask," Mary answered, "Of course I'll attend the party with you. I had actually come to ask you about the very same party."
"You had?? Oh no, Mary. That's not what I was going to ask! That's a bad crowd. Couples are expected to kiss at those parties. Sometimes they're expected to do more."
"A bad crowd in what way?" she inquired innocently.
"The boys who attend these, they are not upstanding boys. The girls are not headed in a good direction, and I would be worried about your reputation and your future."
"What do I care about my reputation in this one horse town? I'm going off to Vassar in the fall, and from there, the wide world. Are you concerned about your own reputation?"
"No, it's not the same for boys. Anyway, I've already been a few times a few years ago. I didn't continue because I broke up with my girlfriend at the time, and also, those lazy artsy types from town look down their noses at hardworking men like me. I didn't like their childish teasing."
Mary didn't look down at all on George. He was heir apparent to this huge farm and had lots of smarts and skill in everything mechanical and farm-related. And he also was so pleasant to look at! He was 6 feet tall and then some, lean and muscular at 21, with sandy blond hair. Of the men with which Mary was acquainted, he was at the top of the list of men she might like to know better and who were currently not spoken for.
"Wait a second. You wanted me to take you?" On second thought, maybe George was a little dim. But he was certainly all adorable.
Mary decided to spell it out for him, "We must attend so that I can pressure the suspects into confessing their crime, so that you can find your father's will, bury him, and inherit your family's farm, as is your birthright!"
George continued, "I know you are a great detective, and clearly the person to handle this difficult matter, but Mary, there will be kissing! Specifically, in order for us to maintain our cover, I may be required to kiss you."
Mary did not want to appear too forward, although she was desperate to be kissed by George and had lain awake at night sometimes pining for just that after watching him, mostly from afar, on many occasions while visiting her friend Mildred. "We must, for the sake of your farm," she squeaked with hopefully not too much excitement.
"But Mary, perhaps I'll have to do more."
"There's nothing for it," Mary responded with hopefully a convincing amount of non-glee, "We have to be in attendance."
"All right," George agreed reluctantly, concerned as any kind young man should be for protecting Mary's virtue, yet excited by the prospect of getting to lay hands on her delightful and delectable body.
"Are you resolved?" Mary tested him. "Even if you must touch my breasts, you must simply do it, and convincingly. We can't risk having our motives there questioned."
George swallowed hard, starting to get excited by the prospect. After all Mary, who he was secretly sweet on, was offering him her breasts, in a way. "All right," he said with he hoped a requisite amount of nonchalance.
"And if you must touch my bare vulva and clitoris with your fingers or your tongue until it becomes slick? Can you do it if need be?"
George answered, "I don't know what those are, but if it's required, I'll touch them, or put my mouth to them, and gladly. I like you Mary." George wanted to tell Mary he loved her, but he didn't want to put Mary on the spot. She was clearly sacrificing so much for his family farm, after all. Maybe she liked him too, but he didn't want to push it or belittle her sacrifice.
To George's great relief, Mary replied, "I like you too, George. This will be easy." It was a start for both of them.
"And if you have to spray your semen onto me, could you manage it?" Mary continued with barely contained excitement, "On my face, or breasts, or perhaps even my mons pubis?"
"If the situation demands, I would be honored to spray my semen on you anywhere, Mary," George replied with both confusion and excitement, moved by her willingness to do whatever was required to solve the case and save the Rush's desperate situation.
Later that night, Mary broke into the office of the doctor who had performed her father's vasectomy. There she collected the names of all the men in town who had gotten vasectomies. She endeavored to be always prepared, and she figured the information could be handy once matters advanced to the coital stage of her research. She carefully cleaned up any evidence of her intrusion on her way out.
(To be continued)