A Feeling for History by virtual_vic
A Feeling for History
When I set up the itinerary for the trip, I had no plans to visit the city of Glenns Ferry. I had a morning meeting with a software house in a much smaller town up the valley and so I planned everything by the airline timetable. I took the weekly red-eye flight from Portland on the Wednesday; the meeting was arranged mid morning and I had to be back at the airport by four thirty pm to get the return.
Portland deserves a word of explanation. It wasn't strictly on the route but a girl I worked very closely with had moved to the States and settled there. When I booked my ticket, I suddenly found that, quite by coincidence, the Portland connection was the only one which worked out with the other meetings I had to make. I should also say that the interrupted nature of our previous relationship meant that I did not tell my wife and I was reasonably sure that she was not going to tell her boyfriend or whomever.
In any case, Wednesday evening, on my return to Portland after my meeting, was fixed for dinner for just the two of us at the world famous Portland Panhandle (number 3 in the Chevaliers de Tastevin Club's 1992 selection of America's Top Ten Steak Houses) and afterwards... Well afterwards, I hoped, might be as good as it always had been with her.
Given this background you can probably understand how upset I was when my visit to the software house started going badly off the rails. The first shock was when I checked in at reception to receive the news that the contact with whom I had an appointment was no longer with the company. Disaster! I had rather been relying on him. He was solidly sold on taking the US agency for our network performance monitoring package and, with their strong mail order business, I felt that we were onto a winner.
When I had explained the reason for my trip to the sympathetic receptionist - why aren't the girls I fancy ever so friendly and positive? - and she had tracked down the right person for me to see, it turned out that he did not have a gap in his schedule before lunch. And of course, when I did get to see him he just referred me to one of his department who turned out to be about seventeen without the authority to buy a new pencil. But he needed to see every architectural detail of the package, interrupt utilisation, protocol support, user interface design, hardware compatibility, copy protection mechanisms, so that when I got back to the airport I found that he had kept me for so long that I had missed my flight and there was no way back to Portland that night.
In fact, the only option was to take the bus down to Glenns Ferry, check in to a hotel and get the afternoon flight to Salt Lake City the next day; so I had to phone Portland and explain that my itinerary now no longer had an evening there. By the time that I got to the hotel, there was nothing to do but go up to my room and commune with the late night movie and a bottle of wine. First thing in the morning I checked the flight times, but the information from the night before was confirmed. I had a morning to kill. And I felt in just the mood to kill someone.
Breakfast cheered me up somewhat. One of those luxurious spreads that you can't get anywhere except in America with fruit and muffins and pancakes and bacon and eggs and several sorts of sausages and loads of cholesterol and real coffee and doughnuts. A sort of seventeen year old foodie's heaven. I thought of going shopping, but this was too early in my trip to accumulate any junk so when I saw an advertisement at reception for a city tour, it seemed the obvious answer.
I found the bus parked outside the main city library as promised with a handful of takers for the tour. There was an elderly couple from (I guessed) out of town, Doris and Bob Zuckermann. He was big in ball-bearings in Canton, before he retired, and now they were catching up on the real America. There were a couple of servicemen on leave. I don't know enough about American military dress to be sure what they were but they were really tough looking customers, both sergeants and smart as paint. There was a clergyman of about forty with a dog collar and a bible, there was Mary-Ellen, a girl in her early twenties and an incredibly short skirt and there was me.
After about five minutes the bus driver turned up, a little flustered. He was in his late forties, tall and thin with a protruding adam's apple and a cheap green suit.
"I'm real sorry for the delay," he apologised, "but our regular tour guide has called in ill. That's a real pity as she grew up in this town and after sixty years here there's nothing she don't know about it. So the publicity office has gotten in a substitute.
I don't know her, but they say she used to teach history at the local high school and I guess she knows something about the sites. But I wish Mrs Firkel was here because she knows all the houses where the well known citizens and heroes of the city were born and she can really show you the town. Maybe we should wait on the bus."
Bob and Doris and the man of God boarded the bus and sat down half way back. You could hear them talking about the weather and the decay of moral standards. Bill and Jeff, the two Sergeants were smoking so they couldn't go in and I stood with them and Mary Ellen, talking about their leave. They had intended to visit their families but had been placed on standby so they had just come into town from the base.
After a short wait in which Bob and Doris and the minister began to get quite upset about the arrangements the substitute guide arrived. She approached me as I stood at the edge of the group and asked whether I could direct her to the city tour. She seemed a little nervous as she explained to me that she had been contacted at the last minute - not more than an hour earlier - and, although she had been on the tour-guide course, this would be her first real trip. Her nervousness made me warm to her and I tried to reassure her and introduced her to the little group outside.
Although there was something of the old school about her, she looked more like a romantic heroine than a history teacher. Her blonde hair was set off by a flowing white dress, trimmed with lace with a gold chain round her neck on which hung a gold and ivory cross that I guessed was Spanish. She was slim - I guessed that she might think she could use a few pounds more - but with a stunning figure. She had something and the more you looked at her, the better she got. I noticed that Bill and Jeff shared my point of view. They had hardly glanced at her as she walked up but as they took her in, their tongues were practically hanging out.
We got on the bus and as she took her seat in the guide's swivel chair, slightly lower than the main body of the bus, they crowded into the seat behind the driver where the view of the city might not be so good but the view of our guide was at its best. I could not help but agree with their priorities and took the seat immediately behind them. Mary Ellen was across the aisle from me.
She took up the microphone: "Hi, Good morning everyone, I'm Julie, your guide. I have to apologise because there are some places on Mrs Furkin's itinerary" (Bill and Jeff suppressed a giggle and Julie blushed slightly, becoming aware of the effect she was having on them) "which I do not understand, and even people of whom I have never heard whose houses she normally describes, but perhaps Mr Doke, our driver, can help us out if I get stuck."
She was clearly still a little nervous but the slight reddening of her cheeks made her even more attractive. I smiled at her and she smiled back. I could see the rise and fall of her breasts under the white cotton dress, the nipples standing out slightly against the fabric. It was really low cut, pinned with a broach and going down below it in a deep vee at the front, right down between her breasts. When I realised that she could not be wearing a bra it was something of a shock because of the contrast with the romantic, slightly conservative image she had presented initially.
I looked at her more closely. She was in her early thirties, (perhaps thirty two?) clearly mature enough to be comfortable with her body but sufficiently aware of it to be prepared to provoke. The skirt was slit at the side almost to the waist and her leg peeped through provocatively. Her breasts were larger, rather than smaller. They looked intensely appetizing and, as I looked I could see the colour of her tan and the line of her bikini whiteness showing through as a different shade of the cloth. Glancing at Bill and Jeff, I realised that they were making the same discovery.
The bus pulled out and she began her commentary, the architecture of the city hall, rebuilt in 1962 on the site of the original fort. She described the Oddfellows Hall where dances were held, twice a year, before the planting and after the harvest. We saw the city hospital, endowed by someone who had been born on the site, which was then on the wrong side of the tracks. He had discovered an oilfield in Oklahoma in the early years of the century. In fact, the site of the hospital had previously been a saloon and it was rumoured that he was the son of one of the ladies who worked there.
Many young women had come out west in the hopes of finding husbands only to find themselves earning a living in places of this sort. Julie herself had done some research in the town archives which showed that many of them later married local ranchers and townspeople. That means that a lot of the respectable citizens who were so keen on high moral standards had to look no further back than their own grandparents to find that their view of the American golden age was very far from reality.
The twist in the commentary had clearly established a rapport between the four of us at the front and Julie. Our rapt attention seemed to make her more animated. She spoke fluently and eloquently, every now and then catching our eyes, smiling. Being the centre of attention stimulated her and she, in turn, captivated us all the more as slightly flushed and eyes shining she brought to life the history of the town. She told us of Elizabeth Banks, a lady who had died in the nineteen thirties, rich and with a grandson who was later mayor of the town who had one night laid every man in the town. She told the story in a very matter of fact way, as if she was lecturing in history to a class of students. Bill, Jeff and I were silent and she seemed engrossed in her thoughts.
"Some people have suggested" she continued "that this was a terrible case of exploitation of an innocent young girl. I have to say that in those days, before penicillin, she took as much of a risk as you would today. But eye witnesses reported that it was a fantastic party and that she seemed really excited at the start of it. She herself claimed that she came five times in that night. I can imagine how it could have happened. It must have been quite something to have been the only young, attractive woman in miles, who could have any man she wanted.
She may have been in the saloon singing - she had a famous voice - and she used to be able to make men's eyes glaze over. Each one felt that he was the only one she wanted: all those eyes on her in her low cut dress, you can imagine the feeling of tenderness between her legs, how she would have wanted them inside her."
Julie's voice was husky as she looked distractedly at and through Jeff and Bill. Her breasts seemed alive under her dress and she pulled up the fabric, which had grown taught over them. She adjusted their position, replacing the microphone in its holder and cupping them in the palms of her hands. She caught my eye and smiled, and I had the sudden sensation that she had really smiled at me.
I looked over at Mary-Ellen on the seat next to me and I could see at once that she too had caught the mood of erotic arousal which Julie had generated. Her face was intent, her eyes shining. Her mouth slightly open and her short skirt hitched up as she slid down in her seat, her arms folded across her chest. I could see that both Bill and Jeff had bulges in their trousers and I could feel my own excitement building.
I looked again at Julie, her hands now cupping and squeezing her breasts. The hardening nipples peeped over the edge of her fingers through the thin cloth. The dark rings of the areolae clearly visible. Still cupping her breasts, she continued speaking. All our eyes were on her, her face slightly flushed, her eyes years away.
"Yes, it was a glamorous life. She never cleaned the house. She had the very best. Fur coats brought in by mail order from New York, jewels, love. She was a queen. And it was so exciting, so glamorous. And they all admired her, wanted her and she normally had to ration herself, even though they were her friends. They would have to go away, most of them, and rub themselves."
Julie's hands moved gently over her nipples as she spoke. Then slowly, as if dreaming, she took her right hand down by her side and slowly slipped it into the long slit in the side of her dress.
"In some ways she was the one who held the community together. She slept with them all over a period of time, the lonely cowboys and field hands and the arrogant bosses with their society wives out on the ranch. The town was small enough for it to be more than just a commercial transaction. she was always going to meet them in the street the next day so that her night time sexual relationship had always to be balanced against a day time norm. For them she was sex incarnate in a way that a Hollywood star can never be.
A film star is always remote. She could be so achingly near and yet she always had the whip hand. She kept them in suspense, waiting for the glimpse of an ankle on the sidewalk, and oh, it excited her. When a group of men would gather round the piano in the evening and she would perform, always a lady but always able to do things a lady could not. To flash a glimpse of thigh or a delicious accidental slippage out of her bodice. She could have twenty men in a room and all of them gamely trying to pretend they did not have erections..."
I looked around the bus, and I could see no one who was pretending not to have an erection. Jeff, who was sitting in the aisle seat, was thoughtfully rubbing his trousers. Mary Ellen, eyes closed, was squeezing her breasts together and tracing circular movements around her nipples with her forefinger. Bill had turned away to the window and seemed to be quietly taking himself in hand and Mr Doke, the driver was struggling with the basics of keeping his concentration together enough to keep the bus on the road.
Julie, herself, was lying back in the tour guide's swivel chair, speaking softly and so far away from the microphone that Bob and Doris, half way back in the bus, were having difficulty following what was going on. Bob was adjusting his hearing aid and Doris was saying loudly:
"I don't think it's your loudspeaker, honey. I can't hear anything either. It must be the sound system in the bus. All I could hear was something about the elections."
The minister was on his way to the front of the bus. He started quickly, as if he were intent on putting a stop to something but, with each step towards the front he seemed to slow. I wondered if he would be strong enough to overcome the temptations of the flesh and the devil but in the end, I guess that he yielded for he sank down onto the seat behind me. His mouth was slightly open as he watched the wicked pleasure that Julie and Mary Ellen were giving themselves. As for me, I have to say that my pulse was pounding and I could feel myself, swollen and hard, but I was sitting as still as a statue for fear of interrupting.
"I think that it would have started as a bit of a tease. She would show them a glimpse of her legs, starting with the ankles, then she began to wear skirts with a slit and they would glimpse her knees. Everyone would pretend not to notice and gradually she would go a bit further until they could see she was wearing nothing underneath. And all the time it was illicit, unofficial, with no-one admitting they were watching anything, but they could not take their eyes off her. And she would feel the flush between her legs, and know that they were fascinated and they would know that she knew, but no-one spoke about it. And she would look into their eager, flushed faces and she would flirt with them and they would be so gallant and she would feel herself itching to escape from her bodice."
As she told the story, Julie caressed her nipples with her left hand, teasing them between thumb and forefinger. Her right hand stroked the inside of her thighs underneath her dress, opening up the side and turning the fabric over to expose her knees and, every now and then, as her hand stroked, a glimpse to show that she too was wearing nothing underneath. Bill and Jeff were both out in the open now. Fine examples of American manhood, upstanding and enormous as they methodically stroked up and down. Mary Ellen, her tiny miniskirt folded up over her stomach had her right hand inside her pants as her left hand reached up under her blouse. The minister and I sat transfixed. I could see his engorged penis pressed down along his thigh by the fabric of his trousers.
At the back of the bus, Doris was interpreting the commentary to Bob. "She's telling us about a woman a hundred years ago who ran illicit liquor but she caught some sort of itching disease when they installed a flush toilet for the customers, I think."
Julie slipped her hand up to her sex, covering it with her fingers and, delicately spreading herself apart, slid one finger down on each side and began to stroke. "It was so...." she caught her breath "exciting. And each night she could hardly wait to reach the bedroom to get what she wanted. First it was on the floor before reaching the bed, then outside on the landing, then on the stairs and then, one night, there was no time to reach the door. Right there, on the ottoman in the saloon, she pulled up her skirt and beckoned the richest local rancher onto her.
But he was a disappointment." Her hand slowed as Julie regretted his failure. "He came in less than a minute, leaving her writhing in frustration. But the saloon's professional gambler was made of sterner stuff. Or had more experience of how to please a woman. Because he came over and entered her, using his body as well as his cock to move against her while she pushed down her bodice so that he could kiss her breasts, and so she came for the first time."
The bus had stopped at a traffic light, some way back from the line and half way across into the next lane. Through the glass door, beyond Julie I could see the driver of the next car. It was some sort of Jeep wagon, quite high up and his head was only slightly below the guide seat in which Julie lay. From the look on his face, it was obvious that he could see what was happening and he sat in stunned amazement as the lights changed. The cars behind began to sound their horns and the bus jerked forward. The Jeep driver, too began to move, keeping station as he tried to get a better view. Unfortunately, our driver was also engrossed and, as he looked down sideways, the bus headed for the side of the road, forcing the jeep up onto the kerb where it ploughed in slow motion into a fire hydrant and then came to rest against a row of parked cars.
Mr Doke straightened up the wheel and we headed onto some sort of expressway, gaining speed as if he were afraid that if the bus slowed down something would explode. As he drove the bus, he too was clutching at his erection through his trousers.
"She had come with the gambler but she was not satisfied. Somewhere lurking just beneath the surface was another one: not a completely separate orgasm, the end of the first one, but the gambler was spent and she wanted more. So she called one of the other men in the bar. Unfortunately, though, the sight of Elizabeth's excitement had got to him. He could not contain himself for more than a few frustratingly brief strokes and her clitoris was crying out to be touched. She tried to resist. She called over first one, then another of the men in the room and then she gave in and, as they tried, her hand went down and she began to rub herself. She moaned slightly as she vibrated her fingers, first along the shaft of the clitoris and then along to the tip."
As she told the story, Julie matched her own arousal to the events she recalled. The front part of her slit skirt was folded back so that we could see her fingers playing along the delicious slippery length from the front end, down to where the inner lips met at the tip of her clitoris, and back. Mary Ellen, too, had now pushed her panties aside and was rubbing her middle finger faster and faster across the tip of her clitoris. She seemed to be very near to orgasm, her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open, her legs pressed tightly together and her breath coming in gasps.
The minister was watching as if transfixed and suddenly he unzipped himself but he had hardly touched anything before he began to come, squirting jism in every uncontrollable direction. I suspect that Jeff and Bill had also come already but, being about nineteen and in their prime, they were now into their second wind.
"As the last man in the room, the bartender, entered her, Elizabeth brought herself to climax. And this time it was complete and full, so that she could feel herself pulsing against him, sucking him into an equal participation." Julie's voice was now so soft that it was inaudible beyond the first few rows of seats, husky with the premonition of her own orgasm. It was enough to bring both Bill and Jeff to new climaxes and, simultaneously, the bus driver; who would have been better off watching the road where a queue of cars ahead of us were waiting for the traffic lights.
As he regained his senses and slammed on the brakes, throwing the bus into a four wheel drift, Mary Ellen began to come in the seat across from me. She was completely uninhibited, moaning loudly and calling out, so that even Bob and Doris at the back of the bus could hear that something unusual was happening.
Bob got out of his seat and started down towards the front of the bus, saying "There's something wrong with that girl. She needs help." While Doris shouted at him "Sit down honey, there's going to be an accident!"
Half sideways on, the bus was slowing down, but not fast enough. It skidded against the first of the queue of cars, knocking them out of the way like bowling pins as it bounced up onto the central reservation and mounted the division between the two carriage ways.
Bob was hurled sideways on top of the minister who was lying back, exhausted and messy. Mary Ellen slid down off her seat and landed in a crouch against the safety wall that kept the passengers from falling down onto Julie's guide seat. Bill and Jeff were thrown on top of each other and lay as if stunned. As the police sirens started to draw closer to the accident, Mr Doke, the driver was trying to tidy himself up.
Julie seemed almost puzzled by the interruption. Coming back to the present from what seemed to be light years away, she sat up and brushed down her clothes. She seemed to be remembering where she was with an effort and she looked up at me and smiled apologetically. I knew immediately what to do. I took her arm and helped her out of the bus and across the road through the gathering crowd towards a taxi parked in a side street.
"What you need," I said, "is a cup of tea and a shower. May I offer you one at my hotel?"
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