Victorian detective gets an introduction to female martial arts and dominance
I am fascinated by women who practised martial arts in eras of history when this was generally unheard of. That middle and upper class women in the Suffrajettes used Ju-Jitsu to battle Policemen in the Victorian era is well documented. Also that working class women and even some upper class ones engaged in boxing men using a form that closer resembles kickboxing is also true and forms the basis for this part of the story.
(c)Jim P 2014
Part 1: The Female Pugilist
Dear Mister Priest,
I hope this finds you well and in good health. I was sorting through some personal effects of my great-grandmother when I came across something that made me think of you, so I have made you a copy for your interest. This is an extract from the diary of Detective James Shelduck of New Scotland Yard. A gentleman who became a long-term companion of my great-grandmother although she was many decades his senior.
The events recounted took place in 1897, when my mother was only 10 years of age, my grandmother 45 and my great grandmother, who I’ve been told I take after, would have been 75. I fear that the title must have been added at a later date since this would have been 16 years before the Government passed the so-called “Cat and Mouse” act whereby Suffragette leaders on hunger strikes could legally be released from jail and then re-arrested. In response the Women’s Social and Political Union of which my predecessors were an active part established a thirty-member, all-woman protection unit known as “The Bodyguard”. Trained by Edith Margaret Garrud in Ju-jitsu and the use of Indian clubs as defensive weapons, they fought a number of well-publicised hand-to-hand combat battles with Police Officers attempting to arrest their leaders. This earned them the names “Amazons” and the “Jujitsuffragettes”. Maybe the Detective found my great-grandmother worthy of this accolade being ahead of her time in this regard and added the title accordingly, although she was more highly skilled in Aikido as am I. She was truly a Granny Strongarm although of course she was not an Armstrong – my little joke.
Feel free to visit me on your next visit to London. I would like to entertain you by showing you the techniques mentioned in the extract so that you may experience them first-hand. I am sure that you would enjoy it as much as Detective Shelduck did. I maybe 92 but I still maintain stiff discipline of staff and pupils alike at St. Agatha’s and more than capable of showing you a thing or two.
Mrs. Georgina Armstrong
26th April 1897
As the youngest detective at the Yard, I often receive the investigations that none of the seniors want. So I thought as I was called into the chief’s office. After pleasantries, he explained that because of my youth I was not set in my ways and so he was entrusting to me a case most baffling and perplexing. This was, it was stressed, to be a low-key investigation conducted by myself and myself alone, reporting only to him. It was a matter most sensitive that it must not become public knowledge for surely the fate of the whole Empire was hanging by a thread. He instilled in me that it was my solemn duty to Queen and country to resolve this case with the utmost speed and stealth. When I enquired upon the matter at hand, he was hesitant as if greatly ashamed. He lowered his voice yet could not look in the eye as he briefed me on the facts.
“The other day a group of suffragettes dared to gather outside Parliament The bare-faced cheek of it. Our officers were called to clear them in no uncertain manner. When they refused to move, they tried to arrest them”. His voice trailed off and went quiet for a moment before resuming so subdued that I had to lean forward to hear him. “This lady….a single well-to-do lady of some considerable age and distinction…”. His voice became choked with emotion and he had to pause to clear his throat. “She … overcame ten of our best. Literally throwing them around as if they were nothing more than rag dolls while her compatriots made good their escape”. I looked at him in disbelief. Were it April the first I may have thought he was fooling me, but his distress was plain to see.
“Are they sure it really was a lady and not, well a female impersonator or working-class woman?” I asked gently. He shook his head “No doubt it. All of the officers swore that it was a middle or upper class woman wearing a corset, white blouse, long black skirt with big hair and an even bigger hat felling ten of our best as if they weighed nothing” his voice cracked with emotion. Such a preposterous suggestion cut an incongruous image that I could not comprehend. Rough tough lower-class working women with strong study bodies from hard manual work and a propensity for drink and violence I could understand but not a decent gentle noble classed woman. That seemed something too abnormal and terrifying to contemplate. I told him so. He looked up and stared at me in earnest at me. “Now you understand why this must go no further. This is not an isolated incident. A lady meeting the same description has overwhelmed other officers at other suffragette outrages but previously only engaging with one or two officers never defeating such numbers before”.
He paused, cleared his throat once more then told me quietly “I had a discrete conversation with Colonel Smythe-Westington at the reform club not mentioning that our perpetrator was female. He informed me in confidence that the Army had similar problems out in the Indies and the Orient where the locals fought using some ungodly hand-to-hand fighting art of the military. There were several styles apparently but to him this sounded like something called, oh what was it called, Jujutsu or something”. He paused again to regain composure. “Find this Amazon, James. Find her and stop her before she can pass on this sinful unchristian knowledge to others of her fair sex. For once it is known that the Police cannot control mere womenfolk, it will be war. Mark my words it will be wife against husband, sister against brother, mother against son. How can a righteous noble upstanding gentleman bring himself to fight a woman? Even one with such dangerous tricks that should remain the providence of the military that could hurl him bodily around”.
27th April 1897
So sensitive were the reports that they were locked away in the Chief’s safe and he only permitted me to review them in his office. The reports were consistent yet bordered on fantasy. An elegantly dressed grey-haired lady of some elderly age stepped in to prevent the arrest of the suffragette leaders. In the first account I read, this lady placed her old wrinkled hand around the officer’s wrist in a shocking vice-like grip. Instantly he found himself writhing in agony with his knees bending as he was forced to march stooped facing the ground wherever she wanted him to be. He was in great fear that his arm was about to break in several places, while he watched helplessly as her companions escaped. Then with a flick of the wrist he found himself thrown by the arm with great speed through the air to land heavily upon his back rending the breath from his body. The other accounts were no less fantastical. An officer going to the aide of another who was restrained by the arm found himself similarly incapacitated as the old lady held both officers in grips of steel. Totally humiliated by an stern-looking elderly lady who forced them to their knees as the younger women made good their escape whereupon they were both hurled away as if disposing of rubbish upon the wind. No man it would seem could restrain this Amazonian old woman as she humiliated their pride tossing them this way and that, and contorting their arms and wrists to snapping point, no matter how many tried to subdue her.
I noted that a couple of the account described a different combative woman. In these instances the officers reported the presence of a younger middle-aged lady who bore some familial resemblance to the elder. Confronting the officers, this lady who was also well-dressed fought them like a prize fighter. Punching with startling strength unseemly for a gentle woman, the officers fell to the ground, rendered unconscious by the lady’s fists. One of the other officers being incapacitated by the elder woman wrote that he thought that she called out to the younger, who appeared to be her daughter, referring to her as Victoria.
27th April 1897
I never realised that there were so many boxing clubs in and around central London. However only a few had female members. Unsurprisingly none were from the middle or upper classes for such athletic activities were unfeminine and demeaning. At one establishment, Gordon, the elderly owner took me to task upon this matter. He informed me that in the last century and earlier in this it had been more acceptable for women to partake in physical sports. Boxing in particular had been popular among the top class ladies for fitness and defence. To my sceptical expression, Gordon, who was very knowledgeable in the history of the sport, took me into his office.
He pointed out a framed coloured engraving upon the wall. It showed a plumpish woman of middle age fashionably dressed in a long yellow dress with a big red bonnet featuring three large plumes. Her fists were bare and raised in a pugilistic stance. It was so strange to see an image of a woman in such an unnatural position yet at the same time I felt a strange attraction. “1819 that was published. The Boxing Baroness she was known as. Lady Barrymore wife of the 7th Earl Barrymore, a fast-living gambling hell-raiser he was. He enjoyed boxing for exercise and used to spar with his mistress, Charlotte, for fitness and amusement. In truth she were no titled lady being the daughter of a sedan chairman”. Gordon was well away into his discourse stopping briefly to pour us both a drink. “The Lady Barrymore, as she became, enjoyed sparring with her husband. Bare-fisted it were, as was the practice in those days. “The Marques of Queensberry only introduced his new rules 30 years ago which makes boxing the regulated sport you see today. In the days of the Baroness there were no rules and she was reported to be greatly accomplished in the sport. The Duke passed away in a shooting accident at 24 but the duchess continued to fight on alone becoming renowned for her riotous lifestyle, great strength and fearsome pugilistic skill taking on and laying out men and women alike”.
He noticed my expression. “Afraid of losing to a woman in a fight, lad?” he chuckled warmly. “There’s no shame in getting put down by a skilled female boxer. This is the 19th century not the dark ages. How old are you, 24, 25?”. I nodded my head. “There are women who are professional boxers of your age nowadays. Real athletes as competent and professional and in many ways, the equal of the men”. Could the daughter of the elderly Amazon be a professional boxer? “Do you have any such women here?” I enquired, sensing a lead. “Aye, a couple of lasses. Very promising, could go far” he replied. “Middle or upper class?” I enquired. “Why should that matter?” Gordon asked in suspicion. I had not revealed the reason behind my visit to his boxing club and never would with such a shameful matter. I indicated the etching. “It’s just that you were telling me about the Baroness” “Of course, of course. Parlour maids I believe. The Master of the house will get a nasty surprise if he tries to have some hanky-panky with them” he chuckled.
Gordon reached across his desk to pick up a small figurine then showed it to me. “So famous was she that Staffordshire made this”. That it depicted the same lady there was no doubt. She was even in the same pose as if ready to fight. That is except for the dress being green over which was a white floral smock. “Notice what she is holding” he said. I looked and saw she had a gold coin clenched in each fist. I told him this and he nodded.”Half-a-crowns. That was how the women often fought in those days. One would challenge the other to meet on the stage to settle their differences by boxing for three guineas. Each would hold half-a-crown in each fist. The first woman to drop her money lost the fight”. This was all very fascinating but didn’t help me progress the case.
“Are there any such classed lady boxers nowadays? You have made me very curious to see such a spectacle with such an otherwise respectable woman” I asked. “As a personal interest of course, not in my professional line of duty” I added. “I will ask around. There are usually some matches at the weekends arranged between clubs, there might be some women participating but I can’t guarantee any posh ladies. It has sadly fallen out of favour with their types” he chuckled. “Come back Friday at 6 and we’ll make a night of it”.
30th April 1897
I spent the evening in the company of Gordon and some of his friends who took me to a boxing establishment in Camden. Having sat through several matches between men, I had began to consider that this had been a wasted night when suddenly two young women got into the ring. In their mid-twenties these were big tough rough working class girls with unfeminine faces like fishwives, dressed only in their petticoats and gloves. Had I been expecting a back-alley cat-fight, I would have been wrong. These young woman maintained a professional disposition and demonstrated surprising skill for the weaker sex. Nevertheless they went at it hammer and tongs throwing sharp mean punches like no gentlewoman would. “Wouldn’t like to get in the ring with those two eh?” Gordon said in my ear. “No, indeed” I replied for these most indelicate of creatures fought harder than a man thoroughly blooding and repeatedly knocking each other to mat until finally the referee had to step in and declare one the winner. “Does that float your boat?” Gordon jested. I had to tell him that truly it did not for they were so unladylike they may well have been men. He and his friends found this very funny.
Next up was a challenge match. A huge muscular beast of a man got into the ring. With his snarling brutish face he scanned the audience bellowing out for someone to dare to get into the ring to face him and rudely insulting our manhoods and mothers when none did. “Don’t even think of it” Gordon advised, not that such a thought had crossed my mind. “Jack is the local area champ and a vicious bully. Even the ref’s too frightened of him to interfere when he’s beating some poor guy’s face to pulp until he is within an inch of his life. Which he will, mark my words. Some idiot full of bravado and alcohol will step up for a beating”.
To my great amazement, a cultured woman’s voice took up the challenge promising to give this “ragamuffin thug the clip around the ear-hole that he deserves”. I sat up straight in my chair as a smartly dressed woman walked towards the ring. Jack’s mouth stretched into a nasty wide grin while he punched his gloves together in anticipation. “Makes no odds to me. I’ll only be too happy to take down a rich bitch a peg or two” he bellowed most unpleasantly. As she climbed into the ring with the assistance of a couple of female companions I noticed that she was quite tall. Perhaps 6 foot or maybe an inch less with a strikingly stern-looking waspish face which would have been quite handsome if she smiled and didn’t look so strict like a school-mistress. Her face was small, long and thin with small piercing grey eyes that sat beneath a pair of fine arched eyebrows. Half-framed spectacles sat upon the tip of a fine sleek elegant nose over which she studied the belligerent ruffian as one would examine a piece of dog excrement upon the pavement. “You will apologise for your foul words or feel my wrath” her voice was strong, confident and highly refined indicating a good education. These words came from a small thin-lipped mouth red with lipstick and down-turned with her cheeks pinched in a sour expression of displeasure. Dark brown hair was pulled back severely into a tight bun behind her head. By the tone and condition of her skin I reckoned that she was in her forties yet her severe countenance gave her the authority of someone much older. Such an image of strict commanding stern discipline did she present that I found myself strangely attracted.
The woman was well-dressed in a white blouse with wide frills all the way down either side of the buttons. This was corseted tightly at the waist and clearly contained a very well-endowed large chest restrained by firm upholstery. With her corseted pinched waist this presented a stunning hour-glass figure that had not gone unnoticed. Below a wide black band around her narrow waist she wore a long black billowing dress that fell to slender ankles covered in thick dark stockings. Upon her dainty feet she wore soft flexible shoes like ballet slippers. Jack’s response was to laugh nastily.
As she removed her spectacles and handed them to her female assistants who then helped glove her I enquired of Gordon who she was. He had to think a while before he answered. “Victoria…Victoria something or other. Watson-Smythe I believe. Wife of a judge and the governess at St. Agatha’s, that domestic service college”. Well that explained her countenance. “Not a regular fighter. Think she only does it now and again when she gets bored of the rich life. Is this what you wanted to see?”. I nodded my head before I’d realised it. “Looks like you’re in for a treat tonight, me-lad”. Indeed I felt a growing excitement most unusual as this stern well dressed woman came out into the ring presenting an incongruous vision of a smartly-dressed middle-class corseted woman with big boxing gloves.
Both Jack and the lady stepped forward to the middle of the ring when summoned by the referee and gently touched gloves after he’d given them a talk about wanting a good clean fight. It was such an unlikely sight, a big brutish muscular man wearing a vest and shorts facing a stern classed woman in a long dress in the boxing ring. They both assumed a stance with one foot forward with gloves raised at the ready. In that pose she reminded me of that engraving of the boxing Baroness. With no regards to the fair sex of his opponent, Jack immediately stepped forward and threw two mighty punches one after the other straight into her gloves to intimidate her. A loud PHISH! PHISH! noise was heard as the sophisticated lady blocked the punches with her guard with an air of bored disdain. Several times more did the man slam his right then left gloves into her guard in rapid succession but she did not look in the slight bit intimidated. Neither did she waste any energy in returning any punches into his gloves. “So when are you going to start boxing instead of playing pat-a-cake?” she queried in a loud mocking tone for all to hear. Her sour down-turned mouth expressing what she thought of his boxing prowess. “Come on man, snap to it! Show some backbone!” she commanded nonchalantly blocking another pair of punches.
This so angered the brute that with an audible growl and no consideration of her sex, he launched a right and left punch in fast succession towards her head. As quick as a flash, the woman ducked, her long black dress splaying elegantly beneath her as his big fisted gloves whistled over her head hitting air. Immediately she sprang up, her arms pumping two very solid sounding punches to his stomach. WAP! WAP! I’m sorry but that is the sound her gloves made when they slammed again his strong flesh and I make no apologies for using them to enhance my narrative. “Urrrghh! Urghhh!” he grunted loudly, his teeth clenching in pained surprise as his body shuddered under the impact. I knew then as did Jack that this lady threw no feeble punches. Her heavy clothing was no impediment as she pressed the attack punching again very fast yet very solidly. WHAP! WHAP! Her gloves were a blur as they struck his stomach very firmly and with great confidence. “Urrrnnngh! Urnnnngh!” the brute grunted louder than before, his face looking pained as he tried to hold his body straight against the cramping pain in his gut. BAM! BAM! The woman’s gloved fists struck again faster than the man could protect himself. Very solid blows struck the left side of his torso in quick succession. “Urrrnnngh! Urnnnngh!” Jack visibly leant to his left, his gloves dropping his guard leaving his belly wide open. The lady’s gloves were a blur of action as she took the advantage. BAM! BAM! “Nnnnyah! Nnnntah!” her punches must have hurt indeed as he began to crease around his middle.
The crowd went crazy as the local champ and despised bully stepped back while grimacing, his expression clearly showing disbelief at being put on the defensive right at the start of the match by a mere woman. Victoria stepped after him with a fierce determination. “Come on man, fight! or has a lady taken the wind from your sails?” She taunted then without waiting for an answer threw a couple more fast punches towards his middle. PWAP! PWAP! Reacting almost in fear and openly panting from her attack the man managed to block these just in time. As she stepped forward to delivery another volley, Jack threw a wickedly strong punch right at her jaw. The glove hit thin air as madam neatly slipped sideways then snapped out a frilly white sleeved right arm from her eye-catching corseted top-heavy torso. BAM! BAM! Her right glove struck a mighty blow right on the chin jerking his head back immediately followed by her left which did the same and causing him to stumble back away from her.
That impressive figure formed by the wonders of female corset engineering and her ample bosom taunted him with its femininity as he tried to keep out of her reach to recover. Yet she kept pace, pressing forward the attack constantly peppering his guard with rapid one-two’s that threatened to break through at any moment forcing him to back up further until he was nearly on the rope. Large elements of the crowd were voicing their derision at his retreat from a lady. “What’s wrong tough man? Am I too much of a lady for you to handle? How humiliating that must be for you” she taunted in her prim stern governess voice. Jack tried to stand his ground and return some blows of his own. Except she was much faster. Each time he tried to make a punch, her frilly white sleeve would blast straight through the centre of his arms to hammer her glove with brutal intent upon his face. BAM! “Arghh!” his head shook again and again under the impact. His right eye and cheek receiving most of the punishment.
He tried to turn away from her but she was faster and her arm swung around in a roundhouse that firmly landed her glove in the middle of his face. BAM! “Arghh!” he cried twisting away with a bloodied nose for all to see his betterment by a woman. Showing great dignity and poise, Victoria had challenged the local male champion and was out-boxing him with style. So far he had not been able to land a single punch upon her although again and again her fists found their mark. Yet he had not given up and he tried over and over to hit her. She just weaved and ducked elegantly so that his fists missed. Her corset and long skirts was no impediment nor restriction to her grace. Jack would jab a punch only for Victoria to glide to one side as if at ball wearing that long dress. Then within less than a second while his guard was still open she returned a lightning fast punch to his head. BAM! Her glove landed hard upon his cheek bruising it visibly as well as his right eye.
This happened several times before with controlled rage Jack swung a nasty upwards hay-maker PHLAT! to my astonishment she stop his mighty punch between her gloves as if catching a ball. Then while pressing upon his glove with her left hand and with a distracting heave of her heavy bosom, her frilly right sleeve of her white blouse whipped up in a blur as she returned an upward punch. BERLAM! Her leather hit his jaw with a resounding solid sound. I swear I heard his teeth click together. The force of her punch lifted his chin right up pushing his face skyward in a rapid movement. “Aaa-Urrrgh!” he groaned as his head snapped back over his shoulders while her fist continued to rise into the air. The crowd watched in stunned silence as the big muscular thug wobbled unsteadily upon his feet. Suddenly the classed lady in the frilly white blouse, long black dress and strict expression leapt forward with an unsettlingly large wobble of her chest as she committed her weight behind another uppercut that cut through the air in a blur. KERBLAM! The sound of her glove hitting his jaw was so loud it reverberated around the hall. Jack’s head whipped completely over his shoulder in a spray of spit as his feet left the floor and his body whipped over backwards and crashed heavily to the canvas.
There were gasps of disbelief as the local champion lay on his back at the dainty slippered feet of a well-dressed governess. Then the crowd went crazy in a deafening noise as the referee leant over him to begin to count him out. To his embarrassment, the front of Jack’s shorts began to rise in salute of the woman who had just put him so decisively upon the canvas. I must admit that I too was exhibiting some of the same stiffness of excitement although I had never had such a reaction before over such a strange scenario. As the count continued Jack struggled to get his limbs working in a co-ordinated manner enough to get to his feet before the count ended.
Bull-doggedly determined not to be humiliated by a mere woman and a respectably dressed fine woman at that, Jack got to his feet again only to be met by the 3 minute bell. “Saved by the bell” Gordon remarked “She would have knocked his lights out for sure”. He returned to his corner looking battered, bruised and blooded with his head hung while he panted. While in the opposite corner his opponent sat prim and proper in her fine white blouse and black dress looking fresh-faced and confident staring down her sleek nose at him like a strict school-mistress giving a disapproving look at a naughty pupil. Soon the minute was over and the contestants rose for round two. Jack went straight in to compensate for his poor performance in the first round, blasting powerful punches that rocked the tall woman’s defences. PHAP! PHAP! PHAP! PHAP! His heavy bombardment forced her back and looked like he would break through at any moment. BAM! suddenly a mighty punch forced its way between her gloves and landed upon her fair cheek whipping her face to one side.
Fixing him with such a fierce look of anger, she froze him for a moment before he recovered but it was too late. A furious streak of white shot in a straight line towards his face before he could react. BLAM! Her glove hammered the side of his jaw forcibly whipping his face around to the left with his lower jaw ahead of the rest. In a white blaze of fury, the fiercely angry woman pressed the attack with another hard-hitting blow that got him right on the side of his turned face. BLAM! “Argh!” he grimaced in pain, the force of her punch sent him spinning around and stumbling away tripping over his own feet. He would have fallen if he hadn’t grabbed hold of the ropes.
“What a disappointment” Victoria sighed theatrically as Jack bounced in the ropes trying to pull himself up. “I had so hoped that you would give me a good exercise but you really are rather pathetic aren’t you?” she taunted like a stern disapproving teacher as Jack struggled to turn around only to further tangle his arms in the ropes. “Oh well I’ll have to go back to sparring with my 75 year old mother. She would have destroyed you in seconds” she teased. My ears pricked up that. “This is where it ends” She told him as she stepped deliberately slowly towards him as he fought to extradite himself. “You really do bore me now. You are no match at all for the modern liberated woman”. With that she turned to her side profile to let him savour her feminine figure before turning back. Jack’s face was one of stark horror as he was trapped like a fly in a web, only able to watch as she drew back her glove with deliberate show before sending it plunging towards his exposed unprotected belly. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! The frilly white sleeves of her blouse pumped in and out as her left and right gloves punched with a fearful rapid constant rhythm carving a deeper and deeper hollow in his firm stomach “Urrr uurn nnnagh nnnagh” He could hard get his breath as her fists pounded continually upon his gut. The force of the blows of this cultured lady were so strong that his body was bouncing around helplessly in the ropes with his face creased in pain and his mouth wide open trying to draw in the air that her fists had stolen.
The sight of such a formidable sour-faced yet feminine lady beating upon a helpless tough with such blatant power was exhilarating and I had to cover my rising embarrassment with my hands. Jack was in no position to do the same and became the butt of many rude calls from the audience. WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! The woman now targeted his chin, left, right, left. Jack’s head lolled back over his shoulders bobbing back and forth like some kind grotesque puppet unable to protect himself. Despite the pummelling to his head, he managed at long last to break free of the ropes and fell forwards to embrace the lady in a clinch preventing her from inflicting further damage. “Oh poor show” Gordon cried. The crowd began to vocalise their disapproval because he had stopped the flow of the action to regain his breath. He was clearly tired, hanging onto the woman to tie her up to stop the pummelling onslaught and possibly hold out for the bell. “Do you want to dance? Because you are not much of a fighter” Victoria taunted. The referee stepped to break it and force both to step back. Victoria did so with elegance and grace. Jack looked tired, battered and bruise and sporting a pronounced tent in his boxing shorts.
More used to being on the offensive, he took a couple of lazy swings which she easily danced away from forcing him to over-reach himself. The sophisticated severe-looking thin faced woman stepped forwards her arm rising from her side with great speed, shooting straight through the middle of his gloves. CRACK! The upper-cut landed with jaw-crunching impact lifting his chin right up towards the ceiling. His knees suddenly gave way causing his legs to go wobbly while his head lolled with his eyes open yet unseeing as if in a drunken state. The sight of such a tough in this battered, weak condition tottering around almost out on his feet while the woman who had caused it looked on in cold indifference in her white blouse, pinched corseted waist, large bosom and long black dress looking tireless and unblemished apart from a bruise on her cheek. Her arm flew out once more as straight as an arrow crashing her glove hard into the right side of his jaw. TWAP! The loud sound of leather hard against skin. His face snapped to the left, his whole torso twisted like a corkscrew as his legs gave way beneath him and he went crashing to the canvas. Whereupon he lay flat out upon his front unmoving.
The crowd went crazy even though the referee hadn’t even begun the count. Everyone knew that the fight was over, even if his supporters didn’t want to accept it, and he wasn’t going to get up again any time soon. I had never seen a lady render a man senseless before nor previously thought such a thing possible without the aid of implements. The sight of the cold emotionless strict-faced middle-class governess standing as the referee counted out the still form of the working-class brute she had just rendered unconscious with her own fists was such an invigorating sight that my member swelled to epic proportions. So much so that it was some considerable time before I could proceed without shame to the changing rooms to question this Victoria. By the time I had navigated the departing crowds and persuaded the manager to let me pass, I was informed that she had departed the premises.
Part 2: The bare-knuckle pugilist
3rd May 1897
I gave my verbal report to the chief then requested that he let me take some officers to St. Agatha’s college of Domestic Service to bring the Governess and part-time pugilist Victoria Watson-Smythe to the Yard for questioning. This being in relation to the attacks upon the officers trying to arrest Suffragettes and the whereabouts of her mother. For I was certain that Victoria was the younger of the two women described in the reports. Which meant that her mother was most probably was the dangerous one who threw men around like nine-pins. The Chief looked at me with a strange look of resignation. “I’m afraid that will not be possible. St. Agatha’s has a special protection. Please do not ask me for I am not permitted to divulge it. Let us just say it is a mason’s charter and leave it at that”. I tried to protest that even masons were not above the law but he chided me on my naivety and instructed me to find another way to get the information that I sought.
5th May 1897
A runner came to my office and passed me a note. I gave the lad threepence and bade him to wait in case there was a reply. “Jack challenged V to a re-match the old-fashioned way this Friday. V accepts. For your personal interest only. Please acknowledge you understand. G”. I did not know what ‘the old-fashioned way’ was but understood that the cultured Mrs. Watson-Smythe had accepted a re-match with the working-class bully Jack and that Gordon did not want me attending in my official capacity which meant it was probably an illegal fight. I was sure that Gordon would not take me to the location of the match otherwise so I wrote a new note saying that I understood and would drop by to see him for a drink after I’d finished work on Friday then gave the note to the lad to return.
7th May 1897
After work, I met Gordon and a couple of his friends at his club then together got a carriage to Whitechapel. This was one part of London where I never went. It was old, wooden, narrow and crowded. It was nine years since Jack the Ripper yet nothing had changed. Whitechapel was still populated with prostitutes, violent crime and, yes, murderers. Gordon led us to what he assured us was one of the better public houses in the area, which is not saying much. There he introduced me to some of his peers, other club owners and trainers, as well as some unidentified ‘acquaintances’ for a few beers. Ignoring the hostile stares of some of the locals, he proceeded to enlighten me with more history about boxing in the not too distant past. “Do you remember me telling you about the boxing Baroness?” I told him that I did. “And you remember she fought bare-fisted and without rules” I nodded. Such matches were now illegal. If this was the fight we were about to view then this explained why Gordon had been so insistent that I had come as an off-duty civilian. “Despite her background she was upper-class. Amongst the working class there is a much older more tradition prevalent. Brutal uncontrolled scraps that took place in the rookeries”. He was referring to the older parts of the City that had not burnt down during the Great Fire of 1666 and had not been rebuilt. “It differed from venue to venue but it was no holds barred and fought to the end. Some allowed clubs, swords, and staves. It was a nasty business and unprofessional. Injury and death was common”
“And women fought in such matches?” I asked. “Yes lad. Working class women or prostitutes trying to make a little money or to settle a grudge. Some did it for money, others fought for clothing, gin or men. The Irish lasses in particular were renown for being especially tough. They often fought stripped to the waist with their hair bound upon their heads so that they could fight unencumbered. The sight of an aggressive woman, sweaty, bloody and bare breasted gave the watching men a titillating display of animality and passion rarely seen in polite society. These were no ordinary cat-fights, things got very bloody indeed and vicious. It was also a powerful denial of the popularly held belief about the natural passivity, gentleness and weakness of the female sex”. That had been my perception too until the professionally run boxing matches at Gordon’s club. “Would they fight men?” I asked getting interested. “Indeed and sometimes beat them too. These were rough tough brutish women that kept on fighting until submission or death. They would fight on through broken jaws and noses, smashed teeth, bloodied mouths and swollen eyes”. That indeed was repellent. The thought that the otherwise respectable Mrs. Watson-Smythe would partake in such barbarism did not sit right with the image I had of her.
One of Gordon’s ‘associates’ announced that it was time to sup up and leave. Gordon advised that we should visit the bathroom before we leave unless I wished to urinate in public which I did not. We were then led through the maze of streets and dim narrow alleys. The further we went, the more my heart sank to see such endemic poverty. Finally we arrived at a large courtyard formed by tall filthy terraced housing on all four sides. We made our way to the front of a line of people lining a central area lit by the fading rays of the sun where the fight was to be conducted and waited as the crowd built up. Soon people were crowded from every open window and packed upon every terrace. “Keep your wits about you and your hand upon your wallet for the pick-pockets and cut-purses will be out in force, and don’t purchase food or drink from the sellers unless you want to spend the night throwing up your own guts” Gordon warned.
A commotion ran through the massed throng as at long last a small group of people moved into the middle of the square. Out came the organiser of the event, a tall seedy looking man in a long leather coat flanked by a gang of brutish thugs. Alongside was Jack and his seconds. He was stripped to the waist showing off his impressive powerful physique which would intimidate most men. His face still bore the bruises from his encounter the previous week. In his hand was a wicked looking cudgel and I became afraid for the woman remembering Gordon’s earlier historical discourse. Victoria herself seemed unperturbed, flanked as she was by a couple of well-dressed lady supporters. Once again, she dressed well wearing a smart white blouse with pretty frills and lace that seemed out of place for such a sordid location. Her waist was pinched by a corset beneath and belted with a wide black leather strap. Her large firm bosom and hour-glass figure drew much remark of a baldy nature. The skirt she wore was long and black made of some lighter fabric than when I’d last seen her box and came down to her ankles. However as she moved I saw that the skirt was divided with overlapping panels as if meant to allow movement for riding. Although why the lady would wear a riding dress, I could not understand.
Once more she resembled a stern-looking school teacher. Her hair was pulled back quite severely and pinned into a bun at the back of her head but remarkably it was topped with a large wide-brimmed showy hat featuring lace and plumes which seemed most out of place. Her thin pinched face was cold, stern and unemotional as she removed her spectacles and passed them to one of her ladies. I saw her glance at Jack and the cudgel in his hand then spoke with her supporters who passed her a rolled long-handled umbrella. I was most perplexed, was she expecting rain? There was no referee, no civilities. The organizer and his heavies and both sets of supporters backed out of the cleared arena leaving Jack grinning evilly while the tall, slim, strict-looking middle-class governess faced him showing no emotion. Her dainty fists were raised with the umbrella hanging from her arm. Dressed as for a garden party, she looked completely misplaced in this hell-hole. Surrounded by the dregs of humanity, the crowd weren’t here for a display of boxing skill and professionalism, they just wanted the entertainment of seeing two human beings beating each other senseless and the more bloody it was the better. I suspected that they wouldn’t be on her side due to her class which she flaunted in their faces. However in the end they would not really care who won as long they beat their opponent to pulp.
This time Jack didn’t even bother with any niceties neither did her even bother to engage in any fisticuffs. He raised the heavy cudgel above his head making his arms look thick, muscular and fearful. Then he ran at her screaming loudly. The mob roared their approval sensing the start of a bloody end to the snobby woman in their midst. My stomach clenched in knots of worry. The rampaging man was almost upon her about to bring the cudgel crashing down to smash her skull when showing no concern, she gracefully slipped the umbrella from her arm and, gripping it with both hands, quickly thrust it towards his oncoming body point first. Jack was too close and running too fast to stop. The out-thrust point impaled itself deep between the muscled ridges on his belly. “Arrrghhh!” he yelled as the point drove right in. Barely had he began to crease forwards when she withdrew the umbrella and in a single fluid movement with bent knee drove the point up into the flesh beneath the jaw. “Arghh!” he cried as the thrust of the umbrella elevated his face upwards. Deftly she spun the umbrella around and caught his neck in the crook of the handle. A sudden tug brought his head down to the level of her waist. With impressive athleticism her long black skirt divided and a panel rose as her knee snapped up to meet his face. CRUD! The crowd roared as blood spurted in all directions as his nose broke upon her knee. The umbrella spun once more and the point was driven hard into the crook of his right arm. “Argh!” his hand flew open and the cudgel fell to the ground. Once more the umbrella spun as Victoria’s skirt lifted and her booted foot came down upon his knee. “Argh!” he screamed again, only to be silenced when the handle of the umbrella was brought down with force upon the base of his neck. In an instant the ruffian was down upon the ground, once again the male champion floored within seconds by a sophisticated middle-class woman.
The crowd roared for her to smash his skull with the handle but instead the cultured woman kicked the cudgel out of the arena then threw her surprising deadly weapon to one of her seconds. With a look of stern reproach she addressed the bloodied man struggling to get to his feet. “Try something like that again and I promise I will break your arm. Now show some decorum and face me like a man”. Just then I felt a light tug upon my pocket. My hand closed around a tiny wrist and I looked down to find a small grubby face. The lad stuck out his tongue and his greasy wrist slipped out of my grasp and he fled without my wallet. It was then that I realised that unlike this low-life crowd who had probably never seen a bath let alone use on, Victoria was impeccably clean and washed.
Jack’s reply was unrepeatable and should never be heard by sensitive female ears. With a snarl he launched himself at her with fists the size of lump-hammers raised to give her a battering. Looking calm and collected with a studious glare, she waited with her own fists raised. The sight of a feminine graceful albeit stern-faced and buxom-figured woman in such a pose showing great confidence and ready for violent action caused my member to stir in arousal. She let him get so close that I nearly cried out aloud as he began to launch a mighty swing at her head. With her forearms in front of her face for protection, she surprised me by suddenly leaning her torso right back at a sharp angle out of reach of the blow. At the same time the front of her divided skirt snapped up high in an instant as her knee blasted into his sternum. WHUMP! “Naarurfffff!” he yelled as his body jerked upwards and his face became a grotesque mask of pain. I felt excitement in my loins that she could get her knee so high. Without pause her torso snapped up straight then her fists slammed right into his mouth. BLAM! BLAM! I was shocked, these weren’t dainty little punches from a delicate lady. BAM! BAM! Her fists struck rapidly again, too fast for him to block. They were audibly loud punches that rocked his head back and forth a couple of times in rapid succession. BAM! BAM! She struck again. There was something raw and feral and highly exciting about a well-dressed classed woman inflicting hard punches with her bare fists.
Jack managed to return a couple of punches of his own but Victoria swiftly leant out of their way. Suddenly her skirt flicked up as her leg rose in a swift blur to kick him hard in the side. WHOCK! “Narghh!” it sounded like a shockingly loud blow. I was shocked by how high she could kick. Jack recovered quick, snarled and swung at her head but she nimbly leapt out of the way around to his side. The hem of her skirt lifted as she raised her knee then suddenly her foot shot around the around the back of his leg and slammed into the back of his knee. WHAP! “Garhh!” the kick sounded loud and his body slumped sharply to the left as his knee collapsed forwards. With incredible speed, her skirt lifted at the knee once more and her leg kicked out again. Like a club her shin hammered the side of his knee. “WHAP!” “Arrh!” his body lurched unsteadily as his knee gave way. I was shocked that by how strong a woman could kick. It was really quite exciting for I had never seen anybody fight with their legs before. Yet it somehow seem right for a woman who lacked upper body strength and I found my manhood stiffening further.
The self-assured stern-faced woman stepped in close and blasted her fists into the face of the unsteady man. BLAM! BLAM! They were hard sharp punches that jerked his head and almost made him lose balance. Instinctively he raised his hands to stop any more punches and she slammed her bare hard knuckles into his unprotected stomach. BAM! BAM! “Nuughh! Nughh!” he grunted as his strong gut took the blows. Jack threw a punch at her but she deflected it with her right arm then hammered her left fist once more into his gut. BAM! “Mmmnnnargh!” he grunted as his muscular stomach absorbed the blow. Suddenly she stepped to his side and the hem of her skirt rose in the blink of an eye as her knee lifted before her higher than her waist before driving it into his stomach with fearsome sound and force. WHUMP! “Woaarrrrragh!” he groaned as he fought his body from creasing forwards with small success. She started to raise her devastating knee once more. Although clearly affected by that last blow with his face turning red and breathing heavily, the sight of that knee rising once more spurred him into action. Throwing his head down in front of him, he suddendly ran at close range into the lady. His thick muscled arms encircled her waist and he began to push her backwards to trip her up. I became alarmed, surely there was no way that she could break free of the strong man’s arms. Yet she did not look panicked. Raising her elbow level with the top of her head, she brought it down sharply upon the man’s back. WHUMP! “Nnnngh!” although he faltered he managed to bring her down to the ground in all her finery. Jack too nearly stumbled but recovered enough to crouch down low over her like a predator about to kill it’s prey with one strong hand pressing her right shoulder to the ground. The bile rose in my throat as he drew back his right fist to slam into her defenceless female face. Remaining calm while upon her back with the brute looming over her, the classed woman raised her knees and pressed her calves against the insides of his legs pushing them apart. Suddenly she slid both feet up the insides of his legs into his groin and with sheer strength of leg alone straightened her legs lifting the man’s body completely from the ground and throwing him with force over the top of her head. My manhood lurched strongly as the big muscular man whipped head over heels by the power of a woman’s legs alone. I had never before seen a woman do such a thing nor had previously suspected that such a thing was possible.
Whether Jack was as shocked as I was, he did not show it but by the time he had got to his feet, Victoria was right in front of him. But before he could throw a punch, the lady began slamming her bare fists towards his face. CRACK! CRACK! You could tell by the sharp loud sound and the way his head jerked under the impact that her punches were strong and that only made my member stiffer. Jack got his guard up and began returning punches of his own which she in turn blocked. Jack was a tough seasoned brawler used to using his fists and was determined to pay her back for the earlier humiliation. Clearly too impatient to batter down her guard, he took the brave maybe foolhardy decision to stand his ground, stoically taking several sharp punches to his chest and face looking for an opening before slamming in a punch of his own. BAM! A mighty punch to her chin whipped Victoria’s head back sharply and caused her to stagger back in a daze. Sneering in grim satisfaction the brute swung his mighty fist again. BAM! My heart leapt into my mouth as Victoria’s dress crumpled as she collapsed to the ground.
Jack leapt upon her, but she quickly raised her left knee in way of his belly. Undeterred he threw a punch towards her face but she threw up her forearms to protect her face. Sensing blood he kept slamming his fists into her forearms over and over while leaning over her raised knee and shin like punching over a gate. With a surge of athleticism I had not expected from such a cultured woman, the downed lady twisted upon the ground and while keeping her left knee and shin to keep him at bay, threw her weight upon her upper back in order to swing her right leg over the top. The top of her boot snapped across his face like a whip. CRACK! “Nnngh!” She immediately reversed the direction of leg and swung it back in the opposite direction in a whip-crack, the sole of her boot blasting his face hard from one side to the other. WHAP! “Nnngh!” unsightly spittle flew from his mouth as his face spun around. Jack tried to persevere but couldn’t even raise his fist before another lightning fast kick swept his face from right to left. Snarling in anger and with cheeks red from her kicks, the brute raised his arms to block the return kick. Her foot swept back in a blur, the boot crashing into his forearms and sending them smashing into his own face which jerked back hard. WHAP! “Nuurgh!”. The severe-looking college governess dropped her left knee and placed the foot upon his belly then reared herself up from the ground upon her arms like a bridge then drew back her right leg and began hammering his face with brutal stomps. BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! His head jerked back and forth, his face bruised and bloodied. The crowd cheered loudly at the sight of a big hulking man being pulverised at the feet of an unquestionably feminine although stern-looking woman.
Jack couldn’t take any more of this punishment and rolled quickly on his side out of harm’s way then forced himself to his feet, his face red with blood and fury while snarling and cursing. With a great roar of fury he drove himself towards the woman just as she had gained her feet, coming in close to launch a barrage of furious punches. Luckily for her, the stern-looking governess had amazingly fast reactions and managed to bring her forearms pointing vertically in front of her face just in time. They jerked visibly as his knuckles drove against them. Again and again Jack pressed forwards forcing the woman back as his mighty fists crashed into her forearms with such ferocity that for several moments she had to concentrate on protecting herself. At last she managed returned a couple of quick jabs to his face in between his punches which were largely ineffectual as she had to quickly return her forearms to protect her face. Suddenly Jack made a feint for her face before slamming his fists into her stomach. PAT! PAT! It was a loud sound of fists against padded fabric. A couple of unladylike grunts left her lips as her corset absorbed the blow. Before he could strike again, her long black skirt whipped up and her knee drove into his forearm spoiling his next punch.
Instantly she stepped up close and swung her right elbow around from the shoulder in a swift horizontal arc. It struck his chin with considerable force whipping his face around from one side to the other in a spray of spittle. CLUNK! In a dazed stupor, Jack lurched back swinging his fist widely towards her head. Her skirt folded elegantly as she ducked beneath his outstretched arm, then drilled a right then a left punch into his right side just beneath the ribs in rapid succession. WHUMP! WHUMP! “Naargh!”. Jack lashed out wildly and managed to connect with the side of her jaw. The woman in the blouse and long dress went down like a sack of potatoes, spilling her big hat from her head. The big brute snatched it up then punched his fist right through it. “That’s what’s going to happen to your face in a second, lady” he growled. The concern rose inside me as Victoria looked stunned. The muscular bare-chested brute leant over and grabbed the bun at the back of her hair and used it to pull her head from the ground. “Argh!” Her cries of pain were chilling. Smirking, Jack drew back his big hairy fist to mash her face. The woman writhed, yelping in anguish as she twisted around to face him. Then her long black skirt folded up like a rising mountain as she raised her right knee. “Hai!” such an unladylike shout came from the woman’s lips that even Jack paused. Her foot shot forwards like a bullet and slammed against his right kneecap. THUD! “Aaayahhh!” he screeched loudly but no sooner he had than Victoria whipped out her other leg and hooked the top of her foot behind his injured leg. Swiftly pulling her foot forward she swept his away causing him to fall down upon his back. BAM! “Arrgggh!”.
With her small sharp eyes glaring and her narrow face pinched in sour concentration, the lady quickly moved towards him. He tried to sit up and throw a punch at her but before he had barely raised his arm her boot slammed a brutal side kick into his forearm stopping him with numbing force. WHUMP! “Argh!” leaning over him, she began punching downwards into his face while getting lower. WHAP! WHAP! Jack tried to raise his forearms to protect his face but only one worked and she kept slamming stinging punches into it. Then in a most scandalous fashion, she leapt upon his waist, her long skirt splaying out around her as she straddled him. WHUMP! WHUMP! She began beating her fists into his unprotected chest. Angry, Jack sat up and threw a punch and hit her ample bosom WHAP! His fist plunged in until stopped by the cushion of her breasts. “Oooooo!” she squealed then with a frightening look of indignation swung her fist with such force that it connected solidly with his chin and sent his head crashing back to the ground. Whereupon Victoria leapt forward and ended up in the most un-seemingly of positions sitting upon his chest with her skirts arranged around. I had the disquieting thought of wondering what it would be like to be beneath a fair lady and thought that it might be quite pleasant until she began driving punches into one cheek then the other. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! Jack threw up his forearms to protect his face as she continued raining down punches. To my horror, Jack swept his arms and managed to catch one fist then the other. I saw her struggling but she could not free her hands for he was too strong. Sneering he began to sit up, pressing her back with his superior upper body strength. All of a sudden she rolled backwards onto his legs, brought her knees up between their arms and began slamming brutal close-distance stomps into his face. WHAM! WHAM! Jack quickly dropped her hands and bucked and rolled her off him.
Both fighters quickly got to their feet and once more faced each other with fists raised. “You’re nimble and pretty handy with your legs lady but you’re just a woman at the end of the day and I’m going to knock your block off and feed it to the pigs” he bellowed. Actually what he said was a lot courser than that but I cannot bring myself to soil the page with his words. “Boastfulness is a sin of pride and pride comes before a fall” she lectured. Jack suddenly rushed forwards with a terrible snarl upon his lips and his arm muscles bunching in knots ready to unleash a terrible beating upon the woman who was showing him up. Before Jack could get anywhere near to land a punch, the lady’s black skirt flicked up with a horizontal edge. In the blink of an eye her foot punched his lower abdomen. WHUMP! “Nnuuff!” he puffed. With shocking speed, she pulled back her foot and without lowering it to the ground, twisted and kicked the leading edge of her shin right across the side of his waist. WHAP! “Orraghh!” the sound of her foot connecting with his body was loud and solid indicating that she had a strong kick. Jack’s big fist flew out but she leant right back out of reach as her leg snapped out straight for her foot to hammer against his belly. WHACK! “Nnnngh!” he grunted, his body jerking under the blow. Not giving him time to recover, she raised her knee swiftly. The lower part of the leg snapped straight in an instant driving the point of her boot right beneath his rib cage WHUMP! “Bbbbmmmmmm!” he stifled a groan. The very next instant, without lowering her foot to the ground her skirt flicked up again and her knee cannon-balled straight into his gut with such a dreadful sound. WHUMP! I swear to you that the man’s torso shaped itself around it as it was carried into the air, his feet rising clear from the ground by a good foot or more before dropping back. The knee struck his body with such fearsome power that his voice was taken forcibly from him as his face drooped into agony.
No sooner had his feet returned to the ground and he began to crease forwards when the well-dressed lady with the severe countenance kicked up her long dress once more with astonishing agility, her skirt opened up like fan as her foot soared high like a showgirl until the top of her boot hammered cruelly into his face. BLAM! His head whipped back in a spray of spittle and blood while his knees gave way and he collapsed to the ground. “Oh you boastful man. Totally out fought and humiliated by a mere woman” Victoria lectured the fallen man who writhed on the ground, panting heavily and looking to be in a drunken daze. The prim and proper looking woman looked at his feeble efforts to stay conscious with amusement. “What was that rule you were so keen on insisting upon?” she pondered in a mocking manner placing a finger upon her small thin lips. Jack struggled to force himself over to his elbows and knees in an attempt to get back up but he was too dazed. “Ah yes, that’s right. It is to be a fight until the finish”. Looking at her standing over him with her corseted dress emphasising her buxom hour-glass figure looking so confident and superior as she looked down with contempt for the brute that challenged her the front of my trousers lifted to obscene proportions that were impossible to hide. Jack too was sporting a stiffness in his trousers although judging by his bruised, battered and bloodied face, he was a mix of conflicting emotions both embarrassed by the disobedient reaction of his loins and anger at his continued humiliation by this snooty middle-class woman. Once again, she had demonstrated her physical superiority and fighting skills over the man who was supposed to be the local area boxing champion and he clearly didn’t like it.
Jack was not the type of man to accept defeat easily and especially not twice to such a sophisticated lady. Cautiously watching her he got to his feet low down in a crouching position. Suddenly he sprang up, rising fast and bringing his sledgehammer-like fists to bear upon her face. Showing calm and grace, Victoria raised her right forearm to take the blow and drove her left fist against his lower abdomen. WHAP! “Nurgh!” he grunted. It was probably was no more than an inconvenient tap for his strong belly but then in a blink, the front of her skirt whipped up high as the front of her shin slammed like a crowbar across his stomach. WHAP! “Nuuargh!” his grunt was louder as was the sound of the impact. Grinning his teeth and baring it, Jack swung a punch straight at her. She whipped quickly to avoid it but the blow caught her heavily upon the shoulder, her torso turning in the direction of the blow. Jack quickly stepped forward to deliver the follow-up. That close he couldn’t possibly miss.
As his big fist rocketed towards her jaw, she quickly raised her right arm bent inward at the elbow and slammed it down upon his flying fist. His fist was brought down barely an inch from her jaw and forced onto the top of her shoulder. With her forearm pressing down upon the inside of his elbow to keep his arm in place, she jabbed a left straight into the right side of his jaw. CLOCK! as her arm extended his face was forcibly hurled towards the left. Like quick-fire her fist shot forwards again driving into his side beneath his ribs THWAP! “Argh!” he grimaced and tried to pull his right arm free but her arm hooked over the top stopped it. WHACK! Her fist fired again straight into his left eye. Seizing the hand upon her shoulder, she bent it sharply back at the wrist and leant away stretching his arm between them. Her skirt leapt up as she kicked him in the side of the chest BLAM! gut WHUMP! the side of his head WHOCK! and face BLAM! in a blaze of non-stop lightning-fast kicks where her leg never returned to the ground in between. Releasing his arm, she wrapped her forearms around his neck and drove her formidable knee straight into his gut. WHOMP! “Oraghhh!”. A figure of non-stop rapid motion, she pulled down his head at the time her knee rose SPLAT! blood sprayed everywhere as she re-awoke his already busted nose. The crowd loved it, this is what they wanted to see. There was no doubt that she was totally dominating him and I found it incredibly exhilarating and arousing.
Without mercy she stepped close to the battered man and swung her elbow around rapidly in a horizontal arc hammering the point against his cheek. WAP! “Nnnargh!” his face whipped around to his right under the impact. Then her elbow shot up vertically crashing into the underside of his jaw snapping his face skywards BLAM! His knees wobbled and he looked like for a moment he could barely stand. That’s when the well-dressed woman grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm over his shoulder while moving behind him then stomped upon the back of his knee driving him to the ground. She raised her foot to stomp him into the ground but remarkably in an act of self-preservation, Jack rolled out of the way.
A cunning sly smile stole upon his bloodied swollen lips as he cautiously regained his feet, spat a bloody gob then wiped his mouth with his thick bare muscled arm. “Don’t even think about. Remember my warning. I will make you live to regret it” the stern thin faced woman warned. I did not comprehend to what she was referring until the big hulking man reached into his back pocket and drew out a long chunky wooden object. With a flick a wicked knife blade emerged and without warning lunged right at her.
Strangely the woman did not show the alarm I felt of witnessing a murder and being unable to prevent it, knowing that I would find no-body in this crowd who would admit to being witness. She remained icy-calm, her severe features emotionless as he rushed to within stabbing distance. I think I cried out aloud as his arm flew out towards her, the knife aimed at her heart. With cold chilling precision the woman deftly stepped aside seizing his wrist with her right hand. Drawing it pass her in front of her body then turned away elegantly as if as a dance while pressing against his elbow with her own as she pivoted his arm against the side of her body. “Aieee!” he yelped as he was forced to bend by her side. In a rapid motion, she raised her elbow above the back of his stooped neck and brought it down ruthlessly. BAM! “Arghh!” he cried as blow jerked his head downwards. With emotions as chilling as ice, the stern no-nonsense college governess cruelly yanked his arm up high using both hands forcing him to stand. He was writhing and yelping in pain as she kept his arm bent. She kept him in that strange helpless position for quite time demonstrating how totally she was in control as his trouser-bulge got bigger and bigger as indeed did mine. She looked down her long sleek nose at him with open disdain as if looking at something nasty she had picked up from the pavement, which in a way she had. “If you are not sorry now, you soon will be” she spoke in a chilling cold voice that sent shivers down my spine.
With that she turned completely away from him and pulled his arm over her cultured shoulder. To my surprise she leant forward pulling the brute’s chest onto her back while his groin was balanced upon her rather shapely posterior with his feet dangling in the air well above the ground. Victoria’s ample bosom hung down low inside her blouse dangling in a very disturbing manner much to the delight of many men in the crowd. She kept him balanced in that strange exciting position with his crotch pressed against her behind for quite a while. “Ohhhh ohhhhh” to my surprise Jack began making strange moaning noises but not pain but almost in erotic pleasure and closed his eyes as if the same. “Ohhhhhh ohhhh Please please” he began begging but it didn’t sound like he was begging for mercy. Showing only cold contempt upon her face, she kept him balanced upon her back as his moans got louder and more lustful until the whole crowd was laughing at him and making bawdy suggestions. Suddenly he was rolling his eyes and thrusting his hips like a dog in rut. “Ohhhhhhhh ohhhhh Nnnnnnnargh!” his moans went insane then ended in a big sigh of pleasure. The lady returned his feet to the ground but then immediately bent sharply forward. To my absolute shock the big brawny man was again lifted onto her back but this time didn’t stop there and went hurtling at great speed over her shoulder with his head plummeting towards the ground while his body flipped right over so that his legs pointed towards the sky before whipping right over as he described an arc and his back slammed into the ground with great force. BERLAM! He lay there groaning and stunned. I had seen it, I had seen it with my own eyes! A mere woman of the middle-classes, a tall and slim one at that, had bodily thrown a man with great force to the ground with seemingly little effort. I was certain that I was on the right track in my investigation. As the vision replayed itself in my mind, rather than it being a thing of fear, I found myself highly aroused. So much so that my loins throbbed painfully tight inside my pants. That’s when I saw the dark glistening wet patch at Jack’s crotch and realised that he had abased himself in public. The sight very nearly caused me to do the same.
All of a sudden Jack began yelping and writhing. Then I noticed that Victoria had retained grip of his wrist and had stretched his arm vertical pivoting the back of his elbow over her skirted knee. Her other hand had bent his hand right back into an abnormal position. That a well-to-do lady could cause such distress to a big hulking brute of a man was both fascinating and exciting, nay, arousing. “Aie! Aieee!” he cried, his eyes screwed tight in pain. Coldly, she pressed her knee sharply into his elbow. CRACK! “Agggghhhh!” his blood-curdling scream filled the entire courtyard and reverberated off all four walls. “If you play with knives you will get hurt” She lectured then cruelly bent back his broken arm forcing him crying and sobbing to his feet without a fleck of compassion in her face. Such coldness chilled me and I wondered whether the chief was right to fear the spread of such cold-hearted fighting women such as this amongst the suffragettes. The man was clearly broken yet she cruelly forced him to stand stooped weeping openly in agony as she tortured his broken arm. Her harsh stern voice addressed him “Although you gave me better exercise than our last encounter, I still proved your inadequacy in physical combat. You are no match for me as I have demonstrated my superiority and dominance over you once again. Again I find myself bored of you and so bid you farewell and reminding you that it was you not I that wanted a fight to the finish”.
Still holding his ruined arm, she leant to one side away from him. “Hai!” an unusual loud unladylike from her mouth made me jump, Jack too. Her long black skirt opened up like a fan as her right right whipped up in a blur then her lower leg snapped out straight. The sole of her boot struck his sternum like a thunderbolt. BLAM! “Nnnnnnarghh!” his face screwed up and a loud groan escaped his lips. Pivoting quickly on one foot and without lowering the other to the ground, she snapped it forward in an instant hammering his upper thigh with her shin. WHAP! it made a solid sound and he lifted his leg momentarily as if stung. Like lightning and again not returning to the ground her leg immediately struck again, the length of her skirt draped shin clubbing him across his muscled belly. WHAP! “Nnnngh!”. With unbelievable speed, her foot folded back below the knee then snapped out again speeding gaining incredible height. The toe of her boot struck hard on the side of his jaw with a solid sound of hard leather boot connecting with flesh covered bone. WHAP! “Uggg!”
No sooner had his head flown back under the mighty impact than she released his arm, returned her foot to the ground and drove her bare lady-like fist into the middle of his face. BLAM! His head snapped back once more, his bloody nose re-awoken. The cultured woman was clearly intent on demonstrating to him once more her formidable fighting prowess. It was unnecessarily arrogant yet highly arousing. Barely had his head stopped rocking when she stepped forwards and hooked her hands around the back of his neck. The front of her long skirt rose fast as her knee lifted with dreadful power against his belly and plunged deep BERLAM! “Wooarghh!” he wailed, his whole body lifting onto the tips of his toes before settling down and folding over her strong raised knee. All the while she pulled upon the back of his neck as her knee continued to travel upwards at an angle into the depths of his gut to force out his breath. His strong stomach muscles were no match for the lady’s brutally strong knee. The skirt flicked upwards once more. “Nooo!” the man wailed pathetically as her powerful appendage rocketed towards his bent over face kept in place by her hands like a human sacrifice. BERLAM! Her hard unforgiving knee struck the side of his jaw like a hammer upon an anvil while the top edge of her thigh struck his cheekbone with terrible force. “Orargh!” his lower jaw lurched grotesquely to the right with a horrible CLOCK! Yet her knee was unstoppable continuing to rise driving Jack’s head and torso back up straight.
This brutal display of the woman’s domination of the brutish man was terrible to watch as well as incredible stimulating. Without mercy for Jack’s dazed state, the cultured woman bent her left elbow close to his body and drove her fist forcibly upwards into the underside of his chin. BOK! His teeth gnashed together as his jaws banged shut. Her fist continued to rise rapidly raising his head and knocking it back. Her fist soared triumphantly into the air as his head whipped back over his shoulder. That this well-dressed and corseted woman was totally and utterly destroying this man had my manhood thumping strongly in my trousers. Jack’s head flopped forwards and he slumped bending over his knees totally beat. The long black skirt raised at the front once more as her deadly knee came up and the lower leg snapped forward. The top of her boot clubbed the side of his jaw with solid strength. WHOCK! CRACK! His damaged lower jaw lurched grossly to the left as the sheer power of her foot lifted his face, contorted in excruciating pain and sent it hurtling upwards. Her leg continued to rise driving his head back over his shoulders. With stunning flexibility and athleticism the lady’s leg continued to soar towards the sky until her foot was way above her head, with her panelled skirt sliding back along her long raised thigh. Scandalously with the glimpse of thick black stockings protecting her modesty, I noted that the outline of her calves were thick, strong and most agreeably shapely. That furtive glimpse quickly vanished as her leg fell returning her foot to the ground.
Jack was barely standing, his head lolling heavily upon his shoulders while his knees sagged hardly able to keep him standing. He was quite visibly swaying. “Please no more” he mumbled barely understandable with his broken jaw. She faced him with her hands upon her hips emphasising her dramatic hour-glass figure with its tightly pinched waist and buxom top-heavy chest. She may be shrewish looking but she was all-woman and she was letting him know it. Glaring at him with a cold emotionless smile with her thin face and harsh cheeks firmly set in stern disapproval, the front of his trousers became stiff and began to rise once more. The crowd fell silent as the level of expectancy rose. Finally she spoke in words most chilling. “Beg as if to your mistress to put you away, out of your misery”. Jack’s trouser stiffness began throbbing strongly making mine do the same. He hung in shame but he struggled to voice his response. Victoria spoke up in harsh impatient tones “Well I can’t stand around all day for you to admit defeat. I’ve got pupils to punish and staff to discipline”.
With that and to astonished disbelief of all, she suddenly bent her arms with forearms vertical bringing these down as if pulling upon something while raising her knee high then bringing it back down. She gave a mighty leap into the air of such breathtaking height that it seemed like magic. Her feet quickly folded beneath her during the ascent until they were level with his face whereupon her long skirt slid back along her thigh once more revealing thick black stockings and a strong shapely calve as her lower leg kicked out straight in front of her. The sole of her boot hurtled straight for Jack’s dumbfounded face at shocking speed. BLAM! Blood exploded in all directions obscuring the man’s features as his body hurtled backwards towards the ground like a fallen tree. Her amazing athleticism was too much for me and I am ashamed to admit that I messed myself quite badly. Victoria landed lithely upon her feet then stepped one foot upon the unmoving male and in an oddly masculine gesture, raised both arms and bent them in victory as would have a man flexing his biceps. I noted the sleeves of her blouse became tight and seemed to thicken as if straining to contain something within. No, that must have been my imagination.
The crowd erupted loudly acknowledging her decisive victory. Embarrassment or not, I need to reach Victoria to speak with her. However the crowd surged in all directions, many to settle or collect bets, others to depart. Once I had pushed my way closer to the centre, I could see Victoria with her seconds readying to depart. However my way was blocked by the organizer’s thugs and I knew that flashing my Police credentials would probably get me killed. Admitting defeat I rejoined Gordon and his friends. “I think you rather enjoyed that, my lad” He told me rather enthusiastically then must have noted my embarrassed look. “A fine figure of a woman that one, although a bit too strict faced and cold for my liking, but an excellent fighter. That was how the women used to fight in the old days before Queensbury, feet, knees, elbows, teeth and claws too”.
We headed back through the throng, mindful of pickpockets, back to the Public house where we were to have one last pint before seeking a carriage. As he got the order in I went into the bathroom to use a cubicle. While I was in there I overhead the conversation of two men at the urinal. “That’s one hell of a tough woman that, all la-di-da and cold as ice but fought like the Devil’s daughter. I wouldn’t like to meet her in a dark alley, I can tell you”. Whereupon his companion replied “You think she’s tough, you’ve not seen nothing. Her mother, now there’s a scary one. A right old mean lady with grey hair and all. Could take on several like Jack and beat them harshly til they were weeping like kids. Works up at the Workhouse. I was in there once, never again I can tell you, because of her. That’s one to avoid believe you me”. Their business done, I heard them leave. I tidied myself and having flushed and washed my hands, returned to Gordon pondering upon how I could use this new knowledge.