The woman moved with feminine grace that few
women could match. Every feature, sensuous and
alluring from the curves of her buttocks and the lift of
her breasts to her exotic almond eyes and long raven,
black hair. She had a power over men that other women
spoke of in hushed disapproving tones but secretly
envied. She was the kind of creature that proper women
often fantasized about being, wanting to be but never
could because polite society had little tolerance for such.
Only fear would make people accept what they usually
wouldn’t and people feared Captain Jon Mason.
The Asian girl, whose tongue licked Mason’s ear, cared
little of other people’s prejudices, she had lived with such
feelings for as long as she could remember and if people
couldn’t accept her for what she was that was their
problem. She had her man and that’s who she cared
Mai-Ling was twenty-seven years old and had shared
Jon Mason’s bed for the last eight years, ever since he
removed her from Madame Wu’s brothel in San Francisco
when she was nineteen, a time when she began to give
up any hope of leaving the wretched old woman’s employ.
Not that men hadn’t offered to take her away, there were
always offers, but as far as she was concerned it would
be just leaving one service for another, she didn’t see
After she was auctioned off at seventeen, she learned
quickly the ways in which to give pleasure to a man.
Within a year, she was one of Madame Wu’s most
popular young ladies in the establishment. She was
young and beautiful, witty in conversation, most
desirable to the men that surrounded her and wished
nothing more than a romp in the sheets with her. Mai-
Ling teased them and led them on, laughing at their
jokes regardless of their stupidity. She learned to deal
with the plain and uninteresting men, who thought their
money made up for their lack of character. As time went
on, she began to understand Madame Wu a little more
than she thought she would. The old woman for her part
could see the potential in the girl and treated her
The first time she saw Jon Mason, he was sitting at a
faro table in one of Wu’s gambling rooms. He appeared to
be doing well but was nonchalant about his winnings. He
drank his whiskey neat, usually in doubles and tipped
well. He was polite but never overly familiar with anyone,
men or women. He wore nothing outlandish, he dressed
like a gentleman. She caught his eye and he smiled. She
asked who he was and wondered how long it would be
before he requested her company, would it be that
evening or the next?
For four nights Mason frequented Madame Wu’s place
of business, gambling and drinking. It was on the fifth
night that he asked for her name and the pleasure of her
The working rooms were on the second floor of the old
woman’s building, each one identified by a number,
contained a highly polished brass bed, ornate wash basin,
long mirror, and lace curtains surrounded by walls of
dark red velvet. What men expected when they
frequented such an establishment.
When she did enter room six, she saw a most unusual
sight, Jon Mason pouring tea. “I took the liberty, I hope
you don’t mind, Mai-Ling.” he said in Mandarin, not
really caring if she did.
She was not surprised that he used her name, she was
well known. But his use of Chinese did surprise her. “Not
at all,” she replied in the same language, “it is not often
this worthless daughter is treated with such a simple
kindness.” This man might prove interesting after all.
She sat across from him and accepted the second bowl of
tea that was offered, after the first one made, according
to custom, was thrown out. As she sipped her tea with
both hands, she noticed him looking at the bowls they
were drinking from, admiring the work.
“Do you like Chinese things, Mr. Mason?”
He nodded, “Yes, particularly if they are both
functional and beautiful,” he said.
“And what about me?” she asked.
He grinned, “You appear to be both.”
It was an unusual evening, for unlike most men, he did
not hurry her onto the mattress, grunting like a farm
animal pushing to expel their seed. They talked. In fact,
they talked all evening. At first Mai-Ling was reserved,
she made it a habit not to revel to much about herself to
any one man, but as the evening wore on she found
herself more relaxed and enchanted by this strange man
and began to open a bit of her life up to him. She told
him of her parents, her childhood and the different
people that she knew. She learned that he was the third
mate on a small whaling brig called the TAURUS and
that their usual runs were five or six months long. He
could speak Cantonese as well as Mandarin, though he
could not read Chinese and like her, he enjoyed reading
though his collection of books was rather small. When
morning came, he told her he would return that evening,
excused himself and left. It was the most intimate
moment she’d ever spent with a man.
When he returned that night, they enjoyed a late
dinner and continued with their conversation. She asked
him questions about the whaling trade and his ship, the
oceans and the places he had been, he asked her about
the books she had read, food that she liked and wine she
enjoyed. Two nights later, with the permission of
Madame Wu and after paying a large sum of money, he
took Mai-Ling out to a dinner at one of San Francisco’s
better restaurants and a show. The more she was around
him the more free she felt and more wanted. He was
interested in her and treated her like a lady.
Over the next two weeks they saw each other whenever
they could and would often arrange to meet
“accidentally” enjoying a brief moments together. While
she was shopping and he ashore on “ship’s business”,
they would steal away to Mrs. Lam’s store where they
would make hard passionate love in Mai-Ling’s old room,
restraining primitive cries, every nerve tingling.
The day finally came when he told her that his ship
would be leaving and that he would have to go with it.
She was more upset by the news than she thought she
would be. She knew he would have to leave someday, but
in their short time together, he had become such a
normal part of her life that she felt somehow denied by
the fact that he was leaving.
Their last night together was quiet and gentle. The
next morning he kissed her goodbye and swore he would
be back. She told him it was unwise to fall in love with a
whore he agreed and told her the woman he loved was
not a whore. For the first time in a long time she felt the
pain of separation.
For five months he was away hunting whales, and
every day she looked over the blue that reached the
horizon and wondered if that was the day she would see
the sails of his ship returning. She was careful to hide
her feelings and carry on with her work. Even so,
Madame Wu was not deceived and kept a careful eye on
the young girl. Though she knew the time for women in
the line of work they were engaged in was limited, it was
not in her best interests to lose such a profitable
individual as Mai-Ling quite yet.
When he did return she could barely contain her
excitement. Upon entering Madame Wu’s, he tossed her a
roll of bills securing Mai-Ling’s company for three days
and nights. Money was money and who was the old
woman to argue with that? Over the next four months
they continued to see each other when they could,
between her schedule and his whaling ventures. The day
came when Mason asked Mai-Ling to go away with him.
“I’ve been offered a first mate’s position in the east,” he
told her, “I want you to go with me.”
Mai-Ling shook her head, her father’s debts the debts
she had incurred on her mind. The laundry and lye soap
never far from her thoughts. She didn’t want her
problems to be his problems.
“I can’t Jon, Madame Wu will never let me go, I owe her
too much money.”
Mason shook his head, “I’ll take care of it, don’t worry,”
he said, “go pack your things.”
“Jon, I’m telling you she won’t let me go! I owe her
“I’ll take care of it,” he said.
The next night, Mason stood before the wrinkled old
woman with Mai-Ling quietly standing near him.
“And what do I owe this pleasure Mr. Mason? As if I
already didn’t know,” said Wu, her voice crackling like
autumn leaves, a thin stream of smoke leaving her pipe.
“I’m taking Mai-Ling from here,” he said without
The old woman gave a knowing grin, “She cannot
leave,” she said.
Mason walked to her desk and placed a satchel in front
of the Chinese woman, “$2,500.What she owes you plus
extra, her debt is paid,” he said.
The old woman pushed the money aside. “She cannot
leave,” she said again. Two of her large muscled Chinese
bully boys stepped out of the darkness, mean with faces
showing scars from prior confrontations. They were
enough to intimidate most people. Jon Mason was not
most people, as Wu was about to learn.
“Come, come Mr. Mason, you didn’t think you were just
going to waltz her away did you? I am well aware of what
Mai-Ling owes me. It’s really all subject to negotiation
isn’t it? I say she cannot leave.” The Chinese men
continued to advance towards Mason, Mai-Ling clutched
his arm in fear she trusted him and would stay with him
no matter what happened. She just hoped he knew what
he was doing. In an instant Mason pulled out a pistol
and cocked it, pointing it at Wu’s head of thin white hair,
causing her henchmen to stop in their tracks.
“I beg to differ,” said the whaleman, “her debt is paid.
She is free to go.”
Wu began to laugh and signaled for one of the men to
collect the money. “Oh Mason, I do like you, the luck of
the dragon is yours! Take the girl by all means, but look
at me Mason. She is young and pretty now but time is
merciless. Her beauty will fade and wilt her hair will
thin and grey. In the end everything becomes what I am
now and there is no stopping it.”
Mason and Mai-Ling backed to the door and left to the
sound of the witch’s cackle. Within a week they were on a
steamer bound for Charleston, South Carolina and a new
life and though the law forbid them to marry, there was
never any doubt as to whose woman she was.
Their home, a seven room, two story house in
Mattaponsett was warm and pleasant. The area was
quiet which suited them both. The home was tastefully
decorated with a mixture of Chinese and nautical decor.
At the moment, none of that mattered as they lay in bed
content with each other’s company in the soft light of a
“I missed you,” she murmured, snuggling closer to him.
He kissed the top of her head. “I missed you too,” he
said. “Did you spend a lot of money while I was gone?”
She kissed his nipple and giggled, “Yes!”
Mai-Ling extended her arm and stretched her fingers,
curling it back, she laid it to rest on Mason’s chest. “Bess
and I went to Boston while you and Aesop were away, I
ordered some furniture and books, I think you’ll like
what’s coming. I also bought something special for you, a
surprise. It should all be delivered next week.”
“I’ve never argued with your choices my dear, you have
“How was the whaling?” she asked.
“Not bad. Three men deserted in Cape Town, but we
were able to sign up two Americans down on their luck
and a Canadian to replace ‘em. Lost two boats, one, six
months into the voyage and the second just afore we
came home, didn’t lose any men though, so that was
“Well, you’re home now and that’s all that matters,”
she said adjusting her position slightly. “Jon, why do you
have to go to New York? You just got home.”
Mason shrugged his shoulders, “I have to talk to the
owners, business you know, nothing that need concern
you my love.” The owners, even though Mason owned
half of the SHY LADY, he always referred to the three
men in New York as the owners, until he could buy them
out of their shares.
“Will you be gone long?” asked Mai-Ling.
He shook his head, “No, not long. I’ll be back in a few
She ran her finger over the red and green dragon
tattoo on his left upper arm. She recognized the work as
Chinese. She had seen similar ones in San Francisco but
those could never match the exquisite, colorful work on
her man’s arm. His was from the Middle Kingdom itself.
In the west the dragon was considered an ugly fire
breathing creature to be feared while in Asia, it had a
body like a serpent with four legs a wide mouth and
whiskers. It was the symbol for life and fertility, good
fortune and protection. As far as she was concerned it
was an appropriate mark for Mason.
“What do you want from New York?” he asked.
She kissed his chest. “Nothing, just come home, you’ve
been gone far too long.”
“I know,” he said holding her chin in his hand, “to
many years, but maybe I can make it up to you.”
“I don’t complain. All these years with you, I’ve never
had reason to. I love you, I want for nothing, you’ve
“I know and I love you, but I wish I could give you more,
I think you deserve better.”
“Maybe you do,” she said, kissing him hard, thrusting
her tongue deep into his mouth. Her hand reached for his
erect manhood and slowly stroked and squeezed it.
“That’s good,” he moaned, his hand over her breast, her
nipple swelling against his calloused palm, his other
hand reaching between her legs, rubbing her mound in a
soft rhythmic manner, increasing in speed as he
continued causing her to gasp with pleasure. His touch
light and pleasant making her quiver with joyful
anticipation, his fingers wet with her juices. She
stiffened and relaxed twice before she moved her head to
his groin and took him into her mouth, her tongue
flicking back and forth and her head bobbing like a
Mason twisted his body from the sensations his body
was feeling as one of Mai-Ling’s hands rubbed his inner
thigh while the other teasingly played with his testicles.
So long at sea, it was hard for him to hold back.
“Now,” he said with a rough dry voice, “I want you
She raised her head and slid her body up, his manhood
wet with her saliva, leaving a glistening trail between
her breasts and down her stomach. Crawling on top, she
straddled him, her vagina enclosing his stiff member, her
practiced muscles clenching. Mason grasped her buttocks
and Mai-Ling arched her back, her breasts thrust
forward gleaming in the lamp light, the shadows of their
union playing against the wall as she moved her body up
and down with increasing speed, his wet straining
phallus pushing into the depths of her body. Her
breathing came in short quick breathes, as her body
reached its climax Mason’s body tensed and jerked as he
came, shooting his warm seed inside of her. Sweating
from exertion, she collapsed on top of him.
“Catch your breath,” she whispered, “We’re just getting