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Two Years of Love-Making with Native Girls Had Taught Mr. Drew Just How to Treat His Domineering Wife

"The Taming of Mrs. Drew"

by Patrick Curran



Vol. 17 No. 4 1960

     A word of warning, friends. Don't go to sea in a 35-foot sailboat, especially when the captain is a woman and you're the crew.
     I made that mistake. But if I hadn't needed the dough, Mrs. Dorothea Drew and her boat could have rotted in Honolulu for all I cared.
     I was coming off a rip-roaring drunk that had left me stranded without a penny when she found me. I'd been haunting the waterfront for days, looking for a berth that would get me out of town. There was nothing to be had.
     I was lounging on a pier, wondering what to do next, when Mrs. Drew stalked up with a purposeful stride. She didn't bother to conceal her disgust as she looked me up and down. She wasn't used to seeing bleary-eyed men with four-day beards, I guess. But that didn't stop her.
     "You look like a seafaring man," she said briskly. "How would you like a berth on a 35-footer, with diesel auxiliary, that's heading for the Marquesas?"
     "Lady, you're off your chump. I wouldn't step aboard a 35-footer, much less sail on one--not for anything."
     She tapped her foot smartly. "Not even for $5,000?" she asked sweetly.
     "Not even for--" I didn't finish.
     Five thousand was a lot of dough, more than I would ever he able to pick up in one lump without robbing a bank to get it.
     "Lady, you're on. When do we sail and how long will we be gone?"
     "We weigh anchor this afternoon. I don't know how long we'll be gone, but it shouldn't be more than three months." She paused tl let it sink in. "And from now on you'll address me as Captain."
     It was time for some second thoughts.
     It was bad luck to sail with a woman aboard, and probably even worse to go to sea with a woman captain, but for five grand I could stand a little bad luck.
I swallowed what little pride remained. Picking up a duffle bag that was down
to a toothbrush and a pair of socks that I hadn't been able to hock, I followed
Mrs. Drew down to the yacht basin. She walked fast, like a soldier on parade. Her back was ramrod-stiff and there was nothing much to get excited about from the rear. I guessed she was curvy enough in the right places, but you couldn't tell from the clothes she wore.
     The Southern Star was another story. In spite of my hangover. I could see that she was as trim a little craft as ever touched salt water. I knew from the look of her that she could ride out any big wind that ever blew, and then some.
     As soon as I stepped aboard Mrs. Drew put me to work lashing down loose gear, getting out charts and preparing to sea. We chugged out of the harbor at 3 on the dot. As soon as we cleared, we shut off the diesel and tacked on all the sail she would hold.
     Mrs. Drew wept below for a second. She came back packing a big, black dangerous-looking .45. "Just, so you won't be getting any ideas, Mr. Curran."
     I felt like telling her she didn't have a worry in the world as far as I was concerned, but I was afraid she'd shoot me on the spot.
     "Lady--I mean, Captain, I'm on this tub for only one reason, or 5,000 reasons. I'll do what you want, when you want it, and that's it as far as I'm concerned."
     I looked her in the eye for ten seconds or so until she dropped her gaze. "But I would like to know Just exactly where in the Marquesas we're heading and what
the story is."
     "I'm an anthropologist," she said slowly, spacing the two-bit word out so I could digest it. "I study people, their cultures and civilizations. That's one reason we're going to the Marquesas."
     Other than the fact that the Marquesas were better' than 2,000 miles from the Hawaiian Islands, the only thing I knew about the lush islands was that they were populated by beautiful women and hospitable men--men who liked nothing better than to turn over their favorites wives to visiting firemen.
     As I was thinking of this delightful prospect, Mrs. Drew said: "There is a second reason, Mr. Curran. My husband, who is also an anthropologist, went to the Marquesas almost two years ago. I haven't seen or heard from him since."
     Her eyes glittered and I could see that she was determined to bring Mr. Drew beck to civilization come hell or high water. I' couldn't say that I blamed her. A gal as mean and tough as she was have a hard time finding another husband.
     I began to feel better the next few days as I sweated out the booze in the warm salt air. The weather was fine and clear, with a brisk southeasterly breeze pushing us along at a good clip in the right direction.
     I took Mrs. Drew and her business like .45 at face value as far as the sex angle was concerned. She kept a wary eye on me, and I figured the best thing to do was to ignore her completely outside the line of duty.
     Funny thing, she didn't like this sort of treatment at all. She was a hard-driving, domineering sort of gal, but I think she expected me to be panting after her a bit more than I did.
     She began showing me that she had curves under the shapeless clothes she wore stretching and twisting around in ways calculated to arouse whatever beast there was within me.
     I was aroused all right, but I didn't want to tangle with a dame that packed a .45, even though I knew it would be a simple enough job to get it away from her.
     The law of the sea held me back, for one thing. They no longer hang you for mutiny, but they do put you away for a good long stretch.
     The more I ignored her, the more she seemed to resent it. Mostly she found more work for me to do. She kept me going day and night when I wasn't on watch.
     At the same time, her teasing grew bolder. Finally she came out of the cabin one afternoon in a skimpy little pair of shorts and a wispy halter. She stood there, proud and bold, with a bottle of suntan lotion and a deck towel in her hand. The .45 was strapped around her waist.
     I looked at her for a long moment, damning her under my breath. Finally I looked away. "Gonna be another hot day, Captain." I said, emphasizing the last word and turning back to the wheel.
     Mrs. Drew tossed her head angrily. "I'm going up forward to get some sun, she snapped. "Call me if you need any thing." She disappeared around the cabin.
     She wasn't up there more than ten minutes before she called. I knew she would. She was lying face-down on the towel, soaking up the sun. She had unsnapped the halter, but the gun was still within reach of her outstretched hands.
     "There are a few spots I can't reach with the lotion," she said without looking at me. A thin edge of command came into her voice. "I want you to do it for me."
     "Very well," I said shortly, sensing that I faced a bullet in the gut no matter what happened. I picked up the bottle of lotion and began rubbing it into her skin with an almost savage intensity.
     It took all the self-control I could muster to ignore the soft white skin. In spite of myself my hands became more gentle, more persuasive. Finally she turned over, as I knew she must. The halter fell away as she came into my arms. Her eyes veiled with passion, she met me fiercely in a brief, brutal embrace.
     Later she turned from me and reached for her clothes and the .45. There was a glint of triumph in her eyes and a scornful smile on her lips as she strapped the gun around her waist. She'd gotten what she wanted from me.
     I hated myself as I went back to the wheel and steadied the Southern Star back on course for the Marquesas. I knew that I had been used and discarded.
     In spite of my determination, to steer clear, Mrs. Drew bent me to her will time and time again. Whether I was savage or gentle, there was something she always held back--love, respect, what ever you want to call it. Each time I felt unclean, as though I had been seduced.
     Between these brief encounters she treated me like a flunky, someone who was there to do her bidding. The only time she bothered to talk was when she wanted to give an order.
     I guess I realized then why Mr. Drew was still in the Marquesas. The poor guy probably didn't want to go back to this devouring creature. Mrs. Drew, on the other hand, was determined to drag him back. From what I knew of her, she wouldn't let anything stand in her way. If there was' anyone she despised more than me, it was her husband, I felt sorry for him, sorry as hell.
     It didn't take her long to locate him when we finally arrived in the Marquesas. The French official on the main island told her that Mr. Drew was on Talura, one of the more remote islands.
     We sailed into a natural harbor at Talura two days later and were met on the sandy beach by a crowd of grinning, copper-colored natives who welcomed us with all the hospitality they could muster.
     The girls, wearing nothing but scanty grass skirts and proudly exhibiting their other charms, were all anyone could hope for. With one on each arm it was only a minute or two before I began to feel like a man again.
     Mrs. Drew wasn't having any of the welcome, though. She had only one thought in mind and that was to find her husband. He was sitting with the council of elders, waiting for the welcoming party to bring us to the village.
     Mr. Drew looked just about the way I had expected him to--a thin, studious type who wore horn-rimmed glasses. But that was just about all. He apparently had gone native with a vengeance. His deeply tanned body was covered only with a loincloth. For a minute he looked scared when Mrs. Drew walked up to him.
     "Well, Henry, what have you got to say for yourself?" she demanded.
     He winced as her voice lashed out at him, and I could see that he was prepared to bow to her will as he had in the past. For a moment he looked about sadly, saying good-bye in his heart to the island where he had found happiness for a brief time.
     The natives were unaware of the drama being played out around them. Laughing and chattering, they made busy preparations for a feast to celebrate our arrival.
     They came to Mr. Drew time and time again to ask advice and seek approval. Lithe young girls and mature women giggled in happy embarrassment when he looked at them.
     Mrs. Drew didn't like it a bit that Henry was a big operator on Talura, some one who was respected by the men and desired by the uninhibited girls.
     Dorothea elbowed her way to his side, and her cold glance kept the girls at a distance. She kept talking intently into Mr. Drew's ear, telling him what a contemptible worm he was, no doubt.
     As the sun set the feasting began. There was laughter and singing to the accompaniment of wild drums. From time to time one of the girls would leap up in a frenzied dance that left her trembling and exhausted. As often as not, they were dancing for Henry, whose brooding gaze was centered on the roaring fire.
     Dorothea was content, knowing that she had won again. But as I watched, a strange sort of transformation seemed to come over the browbeaten scientist. Perhaps it was the, primitive beat of the drums. Maybe he realized that he didn't have to take orders any more. Suddenly he leaped to his feet with a strange, wild cry. Dorothea was too surprised to act scared. She should have been.
     He grabbed a fistful of hair and dragged her out into the center of the feasting, roistering crowd. He turned to face us with a proud, reckless grin as the natives whooped and hollered, waiting to see what he was up to.
     Mrs. Drew was getting over her, shock and as she began struggling to get to her feet, Henry shoved her back with a scornful gesture. With his free hand he caught the collar of her dress and ripped it completely off.
     He held her by the hair in an iron grip, forcing her to her knees and picking up a stout palm branch. She screamed as he lashed at her back with firm, even strokes. The triumphant grin never left him as he made up for all. the tormented years he had been less than a man.
     From time to time he stopped to tell her something. When she shook her head, he resumed the cold, calculated beating. Finally she screamed her agreement, groveling in the dirt to beg for mercy.
     With that, he put a foot firmly on her head and looked out into the crowd. While I never went much for this business of kicking women around, my roaring approval was louder than all the rest of the yelling from the delighted natives.
     When the yells showed signs of dying down, he grabbed her by the hair again and dragged her down a dark path away from the bright dancing fire.
     It was more than an hour before they returned; Henry walking straight and proud, and Dorothea limping along a good ten paces in the rear. He resumed his seat of honor, with Dorothea at his feet.
     The next morning he came over to me. "Dorothea and I are not leaving," he said quietly. "The Southern Star is yours."
     I had no kick with that. It was worth well over the $5,000 I had been promised.
     I made preparations to sail that day. Henry and Dorothea saw me off. She said nothing, looking only at Henry with a curious gaze that seemed to be mixed with fear and complete devotion.
     I gave Henry's hand an extra firm grasp before I left, trying to let' him know in some way how I felt--not only for saving himself, but for helping me find my own manhood again.
     It didn't take me long to get where I was going. I had noticed the island when we were on our way to Talura. The men were just as friendly and the girls were just as pretty and willing. I've found a happiness here that seemed to elude me before. It should be enough to satisfy me for the rest of my life. 


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