The story of a rich but girlish young gentleman under the control of
his pretty step-sister and her aunt: written by himself at his
step-sister's order, with an account of his punishments, the dresses he
was made to wear, his final subjection and his curious fate.
Dressed as a young lady for my step-sister's dinner-party. Phoebe's
glace - kid long gloves. My parentage and boyhood. I am left under the
guardianship of a girl. How "Dennis" was transformed into "Miss
Phoebe the maid, though she was as big and strong as a grenadier, had
the deft, neat hands of a French woman. She threaded a pink satin
ribbon amongst the shining curls of my coiffure, buttoned the last
button of my very long glace-kid evening gloves, and dusted lightly with
a powder-puff my white bosom and shoulders. Then she tucked a tiny
lace handkerchief in my corsage and said:
"There, now you are ready, Miss Denise. Stand up!"
" Miss Denise indeed!" and "Stand up!" The insolence of it! I remained
"Ah!" said Phoebe with a malicious smile, you don't like being
ordered about by poor servants, do you? You are the young master of
Beaumanoir, the wealthy aristocrat, the great landlord, Dennis Evelyn
Beryl," and she uttered my name with amused contempt.
"Bah! - I do not trouble my head about your position-you are in your
own house-it is true, but you are under the control of your beautiful
step-sister who very properly stripped you of your foolish trousers two
years ago to punish you for your impertinence. You are over eighteen
years old - I admit it, but for two years you have been mincing in
petticoats in a girls' school. You are a young gentleman, are you?
Nobody would believe it. Your hair reaches clown below your waist. You
have the figure, the face, the soft limbs, the hands and feet and the
breasts of a girl." I was dreadfully ashamed at Phoebe's outburst. I
could not deny a word of it.
"You are a very important person, I suppose," she went on jeering at
me, " with a great career in Parliament! Heavens how you used to
plague my ears with your boastfulness! It may all be true. What I am
concerned with is that you should he beautifully dressed for the
dinner-party which your step-sister Miss Deverel is giving on her
twenty-third birthday. Stand up at once, or I will lace you into a
corset one inch tighter than the one you are wearing now."
"Oh Phoebe," I cried, "I can hardly breathe in this one."
I was alarmed. Her tone was so menacing. She was much stronger than I
was. She could carry out her threat if she chose. I stood up. I had
a special reason for being obedient to-night.
"That's better, Miss Denise," she said.
I was dressed in an exquisite decollet frock of white transparent
chiffon glittering with silver embroideries over an underdress of soft
white satin. The corsage was cut very low, the sleeves being merely
shoulder straps of flashing silver bugles, and my tight unwrinkled
white kid gloves reached up to my shoulders. A sash of white satin
encircled my small waist and was tied in an enormous bow looped through
a huge diamond buckle on my left hip, whence the broad streamers
fringed with silver floated down to my feet. A bunch of pink roses was
pinned on the right of my corsage at the waist. The sheath skirt
molded my legs in its gleaming satin and chiffon, outlining the girlish
curves of my figure and was caught tightly in at the ankles by a scarf
of tulle passed through a big sparkling diamond buckle in front of the
dress and tied in a great bow behind. My legs were quite bound by
these dainty fetters of satin and tulle. The skirt was hemmed with
tulle and was bordered with a festoon of tiny pink roses, and on the
left side a row of flat diamond buttons sparkled up to the knee. The
skirt had a long train of white satin, lined with pleats of tulle which
rustled deliciously at each movement. Phoebe arranged the train in a
gleaming swirl about my feet, and stood up.
" Now Miss Denise, those smartly-gloved hands behind your back!"
" Behind my back! Like a child!"
" Don't argue. Behind your back with them at once, palm to palm, the
fingers pointing down."
I obeyed. How humiliating it was!
Now lift up this pretty face.
She took my chin and tilted back my head.
"I must say, Miss Denise, your governesses have done wonders for you at
your school. You always were a pretty girl of course, but you are
quite lovely now."
I blushed - was it altogether from shame, or was there not some thrill
of pleasure and of girlish vanity in the blush? Oh my two years at a
girls' school had left their influence upon my disposition.
"Now put the high heels of your satin slippers together under your
She looked down to the billowy satin and tulle of my skirt.
"Have you done it? Are the toes daintily turned out?"
"I'll make sure."
She stooped and thrusting her hand under my dress, felt my feet. The
blushes deepened on my face, and let me be frank - a soft wave of
voluptuous delight swept over me. I am to write the truth here, at the
order of my guardian and step-sister Helen Deverel, and she knows me so
well that I could not hope to deceive her. Therefore I am frank about
it. The thought that here was I dressed with all the dainty luxury of
a very fashionable girl, standing obediently with my hands behind me at
the bidding of a maid, while she adjusted my satin-slippered feet in
the attitude of a school-girl troubled my passions. There was
something sensuously bizarre in the contrast which fascinated me.
Besides, apart from the queer mental impression produced in me, the
actual touch of Phoebe's hands on my insteps and ankles gave me a
delicious physical sensation. For she was wearing long white glace-kid
gloves. I asked her why, and she glanced at me shrewdly.
"Miss Priscilla's orders," she answered, "No one is to touch you, or
dress you without long glace-kid gloves on their hands. But why do you
ask, Miss Denise?"
I was confused.
"Did the feel of the gloves on your silk stockings please you? Answer
"Yes Phoebe," I replied shyly.
Phoebe nodded her head.
"Miss Priscilla is a very wise lady. Now stand without moving until
she comes to inspect you."
Miss Priscilla, then, that old maid whom I had once been fool enough to
despise, had foreseen that the touch of the kid-gloves would make its
sensuous appeal to me. She had deliberately intended that it should.
Why? My old fear returned to me - a fear that she and Helen Deverel
her niece were in a plot together to nullify me, to make me of no
importance, perhaps by some enervating system to reduce me to perpetual
subjection. If so I had reason to shiver; they were so clever, they
had shown such insight into my character and failings. On the other
hand there was the promise of Helen Deverel given to me in the most
emphatic way two years ago that the day after I returned from the
girls' school I should be allowed to resume the dress of my sex, if the
head schoolmistress sent me home with a good report. Well I had
returned this afternoon with an excellent report. Tonight I was to be
Miss Denise Beryl, a cousin of Evelyn's. But tomorrow I was to resume
my liberty. I was to be once more the master of Beaumanoir.
I was turning over these doubts in my mind when Phoebe interrupted my
"You have moved your feet, Miss Denise, she said sternly. "In that
tight pretty satin frock, every tremor of your limbs is visible."
"I wasn't thinking Phoebe," I said humbly, "I am sorry.
Phoebe was appeased by the humility of my voice.
"I will forgive you this once," she said. "There's no doubt Miss
Denise that you ought to be kept in girls' clothes all your life."
"All my life I" I exclaimed horrified.
"You are so much easier to manage," she replied. What a selfish
argument! All she thought of was her comfort, not one consideration
did she give to me, my position, the career which awaited me. No! As
a youth, I should give her orders. Under discipline and dressed as a
girl I received them from her. That was all she cared about.
I was careful not to move again, and Phoebe busied herself in putting
away the school-girl's dress which I had laid aside to appear as a
grown up young lady in a decollet gown with a long train.
While I am waiting thus for Miss Priscilla, let me explain briefly the
circumstances which brought about my present position.
My father, who was probably the wealthiest commoner in England, had
inherited the great estate of Beaumanoir in Hampshire, a house in Park
Lane and a large fortune in the Funds, which by skilful business he had
greatly increased. He married late in fife and I, his only child, was
born when he was fifty-two. I was baptized Dennis Evelyn, and the
second name, which is given to girls as well as to boys, I always
resented. I resented it all the more, because in complexion, features,
limbs, and figure I was, alas! As the taunts of my school friends
assured me, more like a girl than a boy. My father lost his wife when
I was twelve and a year later married a second time whence came all my
troubles. He married a middle-aged widow Mrs. Deverel, who bad a
daughter Helen, a girl just four years older than myself. She was a
beautiful girl with dark hair, a pale sweet face and a slim figure.
She had the most winning manners and at once set herself to charm
everybody. She succeeded with everybody except me.
I resented my father's marriage, and the intrusion of these new people
into our house. I would not call the new Mrs. Beryl, "mother," nor
Helen "sister." Mrs. Beryl was considerate and Helen laid herself out
to please me, but I distrusted them both. I always had a fear that
they meant to take my place in my father's affections and oust me from
I remember particularly one day when I was home for the holidays. I
was thirteen at the time, Helen seventeen; she stopped me as I went out
of the drawing-room, and as she came in, she laid her little hand upon
my arm and said wistfully:
"Evelyn, can't we be good friends ? I am so unhappy that you dislike
The name Evelyn irritated me. I looked at her ironically and replied
"I suppose that you really want to marry me, to get hold of my fortune,
It was a foolish answer. If it had not been uttered I might not be
standing now in the fashionable ball-dress of a wealthy young lady,
waiting the moment when I should take my place at her birthday dinner
party, a living tribute to her domination from the Louis Quinze heels
of my smart satin-slippers to the pink ribbon in my curls. For to that
foolish answer I attribute the beginnings of her hatred and resentment.
She turned away deeply wounded and never made advances to me again.
That same year in the autumn my step-mother died and the shock of her
death prostrated my father. He was then sixty-five. He had a great
affection for Helen and a great faith in her capacity; and at her
suggestion, Miss Priscilla Deverel, an Aunt of hers, was introduced
into the household to act as companion to Helen and to assist her in
the management of the house. Miss Priscilla was really a remarkable
woman. She was a fully qualified doctor and had amongst lady-doctors a
great medical reputation. She gave up her practice to join us. But to
me at this time she seemed merely a harmless, slightly ridiculous old
maid. She was forty-seven or so when she came to Beaumanoir, a
wrinkled thin ungainly woman, who dressed very badly, was very patient
and submissive, and whom I treated with the utmost disregard. I did
not resent her presence in the house, as I did Helen's. For I looked
upon her as of no importance whatever. The first time I had any doubt
about her was a year later when I was ill with a cold: I was then
between fourteen and fifteen, and Helen brought her to my bedroom. At
first I would not allow her to examine my chest, but Helen threatened
to tell my father of my refusal and to send for a doctor from London.
That for a special reason I dreaded. I let Miss Priscilla open my
night-gown and I saw at once - for my pride was on the look-out - a
flash of wonder on her face. I flushed scarlet. I had a secret which
I had always tried to conceal. My bosom was much too developed for a
boy's and developing as I grew. I had not merely the nipples of a boy,
but the white globes of a girl's breasts threatened to become
prominent. Miss Priscilla examined them carefully. Then she turned to
Helen and exchanged with her a significant look. When she looked again
at me a slow smile of triumph was spreading over her face. It seemed
to say: "I have got you," and when she went out of the room I thought
with some discomfort of the impertinences which I had showered upon
her. However, I soon took courage. She could do me no harm, I
thought. What a fool I was!
The next term an episode occurred of which it is difficult for me to
write. But I must refer to it, because it affected my future
tremendously. I was, as I have confessed, girlish to look at although
I took my part in the games of the school and my appearance brought
upon me a great deal of chaff and ridicule. It also brought upon me
the attentions of the bigger boys in the Sixth Form. One of them, a
youth of nineteen called Guy Repton, pestered me. One afternoon I
struck him, and gave him a black eye. He attacked me, a master caught
us struggling. Guy Repton was expelled in disgrace, and my father was
asked to take me away. The head master wrote to my father as follows:
"Dennis is not to blame for the scandal at all, but he looks so much
like a pretty girl that I think him unsuited for a boys' school."
Accordingly I returned home, and nobody knew what to do with me. I
could not go to another school. I was too young for the University. I
stayed at home for six months. My father was already sickening with
his last illness. There was no one to control me; and no doubt I
bullied the servants, was tyrannical and threatening to the tenants,
was rude to Helen and contemptuous of Miss Priscilla. Miss Priscilla
bad precise old-maidish neatnesses which it was a pleasure to me to
offend. To stamp about the drawing-room in noisy muddy boots, to fling
myself on delicately upholstered sofas in dirty football clothes -
these things I delighted to do because I saw how much they shocked her
and offended Helen. Finally Helen made a suggestion to my father that
I should be sent round the world with a tutor for a year. My father
was delighted with the idea. He was very ambitious for me.
"There is no reason, my boy, why you should make money. I have done
that. You must make a famous name. Marry and begin a great family
which shall be associated the history of the country."
Oh, how well I remember him saying that! Helen and Miss Priscilla were
both at his bedside at the time, and both looking at me with a quizzing
enigmatical smile which I did not understand.
" You must go into Parliament, become a Cabinet Minister, perhaps Prime
Minister. Therefore go round the world Dennis and improve your mind."
I went, grateful to Helen, but after I had started I began to wonder
whether Helen had not some ulterior purpose. Whether she had not
removed me from my father's neighbourhood in order to oust me by
slanders from his affections and rob me of my inheritance. I wrote to
him therefore warning him against Helen and Miss Priscilla.
" They are both of them designing women, I am sure. They wish to
intrigue me out of my proper position as your son."
It was an unfortunate letter, for it came into Helen's hands
ultimately. But at the same time it had its influence on my father.
For a couple of months later, I received a telegram announcing my
father's death and that he had bequeathed the whole of his immense
fortune to me, with a request that I should make Helen such an
allowance as I thought sufficient for her and Miss Priscilla. There
was however a thorn in that as in every rose. I was not to come into
my inheritance until I was twenty-five, and until that time Helen was
appointed my guardian. I resented extremely the idea of being subject
to Helen who certainly disliked me and at this time was only twenty
years old herself. However I reflected that I had the whip hand of
her. For she would be absolutely dependant upon me and my money for
her meals. I returned to London where I found a letter from Helen
asking me to go and see Mr. Willowes the solicitor. Now Mr. Willowes
was a friend of Helen's and she had removed the entire affairs of the
family from our old solicitor, who had looked after them for twenty
years, into this new man's hands. I went to see him in a haughty mood
"I don't approve of the change," I said foolishly, "and I shall restore
the business into the hands of our old solicitor when I come of age."
Mr. Willowes, a young sardonic looking man, twirled his moustache with
an ironical smile.
"It is very kind of you to give me warning. Meanwhile here is your
first-class railway ticket to Beaumanoir. I have paid off your tutor.
Miss Deverel expects you this afternoon and if you will take a word of
advice, young gentleman, you will change your tone with her. You are
sixteen and a half. She has complete control of you for the next eight
years and I rather think that she has had enough of your ill-manners.
Wild with rage I was shown out of the office. I had hardly any money.
I had to go down to Beaumanoir, and at once Helen threw off the mask.
I arrived late, and I noticed that all the footmen and men-servants had
been dismissed. There were only the women now and new women-servants
in addition, all big and handsome and strong.
"You have just time to dress for dinner," said Phoebe, "if you will
"I shall be late," I replied. "How is it that there are no valets?"
"You must ask Miss Helen."
I had my bath and coming back into my bedroom I found Phoebe still
"What are you doing here? You can go," I said and I saw to my surprise
that she was holding up a dainty corset of white satin.
"I must lace you into this first Master Evelyn," she said impudently.
"How dare you? What impertinence!" I began and I saw her move to the
bell. "What are you going to do?" I cried.
"Ring the bell for some of the other servants if you are going to be
silly. I have definite orders from Miss Helen to lace you into a
corset and smarten you up."
I remembered with a sinking heart Mr. Willowes' advice. I couldn't
have a struggle with a lot of women-servants. It was a question I must
settle privately with Helen. A minutes conversation would settle the
matter and put a stop to the repetition of any such nonsense. I
allowed Phoebe to lace me up in a woman's corset. What a strange
luxurious sensation it was! An enervating, captivating sensation
against which I felt the need to struggle. I had a feeling now of
being really in a woman's power. The delicate thing, all lace and
satin outside, but relentless as steel in its grip, seemed to me an
epitome and a symbol of women. The rest of this story will show that
my intuition was correct. My hair I had carelessly allowed to grow
long. Phoebe curled it. I noticed that my new dress trousers had a
line of little effeminate black satin buttons running for a few inches
from the hem upwards on the outside of each leg. They were short too
and exposed my ankles which were clad in very fine black silk stockings
fixed up to my corset instead of in socks and my shoes were
patent-leather girls' pumps with neat flat bows and the straight
American heels, higher of course than those which men wear. But I
thought I could easily hide these. Helen was already at table when I
went down with five or six of her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Kivers, old
General Carstairs, a regular degenerate and some others.
"Ah here's the androgyne!" Helen cried as I entered the room. "Come
and sit down! How do you like your corset and your bright little
The company tried not to laugh. I was so confused that I wished the
floor would open and swallow me up. I ate my dinner not knowing where
"We have just been discussing your future, Evelyn dear," said Helen.
" I prefer not to discuss my future with acquaintances," I replied
" There's no reason why you should," said Helen, "for we have settled
it with a unanimous vote. You are too young still for College. For
reasons of which you are aware, you cannot be safely sent to a boys'
I grew scarlet.
"And you are too overbearing and untidy and impossible to remain at
home with a tutor. There is only one thing left for you, dear, and
that's a girls' school.
I started up in a rage.
"This is really too much."
" Come with me," said Helen, with a look on her face which frightened
me. She had absolute control of me for eight years. She took me up to
" I am quite serious about this Evelyn," she said in a gentle voice.
"It is the only thing to be done. I don't know whether you are aware
that I can, if I think you fit for your position, let you come of age
when you are twenty-one. If you behave very obediently as a girl for
two years at the girls' school to which I am going to send you, I may
perhaps shorten your minority."
It was a strong inducement. Besides, she need not have offered any
inducement. She had the right to do with me what she liked. I saw no
"Of course if I go as a girl to a girls' school for two years, I shall
be allowed to dress as a man at the end."
"If your school-mistress reports favourably. I don't want to seem
I had to consent. During the next day, I was busy with Helen's
dressmakers, Helen's milliner, Helen's bootmakers, Helen's corsetire.
In ten days I was fetched by a governess. I went by train in the
summer uniform of the school - a pretty pink frock of ninon, ankle
length, a big white straw hat, long brown glac-kid gloves, and patent
leather button boots with very high heels. At the school I had a
bedroom to myself, no one knew or found out that I was not a girl and I
went through the most rigid system imaginable all designed to make me
completely girlish in mind and body. Hair was removed from every part
of my body, except my head, by electric needles and depilatories.
Every morning and every evening I was massaged for an hour to reduce my
waist and develop my bust, and soften my limbs. Exercises with the
same object were carefully supervised. I wore face-masks for my
complexion, gloves at night to whiten my hands. My skin was carefully
tended, my hair treated with lotions and so successfully that it grew
extraordinarily thickly and in two years hung down below my waist. I
was never allowed to see myself in a mirror, for fear, I suppose, lest
I should revolt against the system. But of course I was none the less
aware that curves were coming where before there had been angles, that
the muscles were all vanishing from my legs and arms which were
naturally round, that my breasts were developing into the pretty white
round delicately-veined apples of a girl. I was now back at home,
waiting for Miss Priscilla to inspect the result. I was in a bedroom
which had been altogether refurnished in mauve. Over a thick carpet a
covering of mauve glac-kid had been tightly stretched, delicious to
feel under one's feet. The room was a girl's bedroom, the
dressing-table covered with feminine bottles of perfume and lotion,
jewelled powder boxes, gold-backed brushes. Why I asked myself since I
was to be a youth again tomorrow? A beautiful little marble-tiled
bathroom led from it on one side, and a dainty boudoir on the other.
The bed was an exquisite thing in the shape of a swan. It was
altogether a lovely suite of rooms - for a girl.
"I shall not sleep here tomorrow, "I said to myself, and then the door
opened and Miss Priscilla entered carrying a number of leather
jewel-cases in her hands.
END OF CHAPTER ONE