Clermont said that he had arranged a surprise for me as we walked together through the garden; but I was not walking really: after the amputation of my right leg I never really walked again, I stepped between my crutches and swung. Where walking was a single kind of action - though each leg took its turn, they did the same things - there were now two separate phases to my progress. As usual when we walked, somehow Clermont managed to fall half a pace behind, and then as usual I could feel his eyes on my gown where within, the little stump hung flaccid from my hip, stirring a little, almost imperceptibly, even to me, as I walked. Difficult to believe that Clermont should be so fascinated with the remnant. Only a year ago, it happened: one day, a numbness in the calf and one week later the surgeon came. Such a rough looking man, with great hands and arms. 'Do be quick.' I begged him, lying on the table in my shift. The helpers pinned me down, he took the knife and sheared in incandescent seconds to the the bone, and then the saw grated me into oblivion. Afterwards, the days came and went with no particular regularity, but I healed, and now a dimpled stump is all that remains of my leg, soft as my breast, it hangs and swings and shakes a little as I undulate between my crutches.
Esmeralda, my maid, and Giuseppe, his valet, were with us. They walked ahead carrying the wicker baskets containing the food and wine we needed for a meal al fresco, a pique-nique in the English style. I was of course concerned that I might get burned by the sun and wore a straw hat and muslin veil. Clermont was dressed in English hunting clothes, claw-tailed coat, and breeches of grey broadcloth, his cravat a flourish of white silk at his throat. I still missed my stays - How did it happen? A revolution in France and women all over Europe throw away their stays and dress in nothing, nothing at all, but white muslin - but at least I was cool in the sunshine. Giuseppe and Esmeralda were talking as they went before us from the lawn into the edge of a bower where they set down their baskets and laid out rugs, and then began to prepare the meal. The scene was fashionably picturesque as we prepared to take luncheon. The shade was green and dense and after we had eaten I felt so cold that I had to go out into the sunshine again. The servants took the rugs to the edge of the wood and there I could move from sun to shade and back again as I chose.
We were sitting on the rugs, Clermont with me, and Esmeralda and Giuseppe some distance away. They were too far away to hear what we were saying. After a while Clermont stood up and called Giuseppe and the two of them, walked a little way away. I watched as Clermont handed a small package to Giuseppe. Giuseppe took it to Esmeralda and they spoke together. Then Esmeralda brought the package to me.
'It's a present from M. Clermont.' she said. 'He doesn't want to give it to you himself. He is concerned that you will not like it, or feel he is impertinent in offering it to you.
She handed me the package which was surprisingly heavy. I opened it. Inside were two silver spheres the size of quails' eggs joined by a fine chain. Also attached to one of the spheres, where the chain was joined to it, there was a silken cord that ended in a little tassle. The spheres were very heavy and they were hollow, containing weights that rolled inside as you turned them in your hand. There was something very satisfying about the feel of them, solid yet mobile and unpredictable.
'They're like your godemiche, Madame.' Esmeralda explained. 'M. Clermont was afraid of affronting your modesty so he told Giuseppe and Giuseppe told me.' I looked over to the men. They were standing with their backs to us talking.
'You put them inside yourself and as you move or walk they feel good.'
It was easy to hide among the trees and with Esmeralda's help I pulled up my skirt, pushed them into me, readjusted my dress and walked back. The men said nothing. The undulation with the crutches stirred them and I felt the gentle quivering inside me that remained in the pleasant grassy foothills rather than ascending the peaks.
'I have something to show you now.' Clermont said. He led me back into the wood and we walked a little distance and came to a grassy clearing beside an ancient towering oak tree. A swing was hanging from one of its boughs.
'Perhaps you would like to swing.' he said. I sat in the seat and Esmeralda helped me tie a scarf round my leg to hold my skirt down, then Giuseppe began to push. With each cycle I swung higher and higher. The ascent was gradual: with each downward swoop of the swing the spheres stirred within me and what had at first been barely noticeable became pleasurable, and what had become pleasurable built unbearably to explode in delight.
Giuseppe swung me more gently then, as I gasped and caught my breath and the swing settled with decreasing amplitude to equilibrium. Then Clermont untied the scarf and helped me down from the seat.
'And now another game.' he said tying the scarf this time around my eyes. He left me with Esmeralda and Giuseppe.
'The spheres, Madame, take out the spheres.' she whispered. 'Turn your back, Giuseppe.' and we pulled up the skirt and taking hold of the tasseled cord I withdrew the spheres. Esmeralda took them. Then my dress re-arranged they lifted me between them. Clermont was sitting on the swing. His breeches must have been open because his cock was slipped into me from behind as they lowered me downwards into his lap and he guided himself into me. Then with his arms around me, his right hand on my left breast, his left cupped round my stump, Giuseppe and Esmeralda pushing the swing, we made love through the air in slow swooping gusts of pleasure.
Afterwards we went back to the rugs at the edge of the bower. We reclined there, my head on Clermont's breast. Giuseppe and Esmeralda remained for a while alone in the wood and we did not begrudge them their privacy.