Round the World and Back
T.S. [Training Ship] WARFLEET was in actual fact a great big Manor House standing in its own vast acreage of grounds situated by the River Hamble in the village of Botley, some five miles out of the biggest English port of Southampton. A former Royal Navy Captain together with seven other similar types ran the school. The Captain lived in the main house together with his wife and two teenage daughters. The officers lived in specially built quarters at the side of the main Manor House.
There were about 100 boys all aged up to 18 years. Most of them had been sent there by their parents or by local Town Councils. To some of them it was an honour to be there but to others like me, it was just another option. Our school uniform was identical to that of the Royal Navy, the only difference being that on the hatband it had T.S. WARFLEET instead of a more common naval tradition of HMS WARFLEET.
We slept in dormitories, each dormitory accommodating 25 boys. The beds were double-decker bunks. I was allocated a top bunk and told that I would be initiated later that day. I remember thinking 'Oh good a welcome party for me.' After being shown my quarters, I was issued with my uniform, exercise books, bed clothes etc. I was then shown around the school. There were several different classrooms a large recreation room, dining room, kitchens, gymnasium and a large terrace overlooking the river. In the distance I could see large ships in the docks at Southampton.
I was told that the terrace was called the 'quarterdeck' of the ship and every time we so much as glanced in its direction, I was to salute. This was where we had to muster every morning to be inspected by the Captain and to salute as the Union Flag was raised and also in the evenings as the flag was lowered.
After being shown around, I was shown to the Captains quarters. A sign on the heavy wooden door read,
"Knock three times. Stand to attention and wait"
I followed the instructions and half an hour later the door opened. An older boy in uniform confronted me.
"Enter" he said.
On entering the large book lined room, I found myself faced with a large wooden desk. Sitting behind that desk was obviously the Captain.
"Stand at ease" he said.
"Well boy", he continued, "So you are one of those Teddy Boys are you?"
Not waiting for a reply he continued.
" - - - from the Industrial North hey. Well, Well, Well and a fighting man to boot. Well laddie, it won't take long to knock the stuffing out of you. In fact I shall personally take great delight in teaching you a lesson myself. You will learn and learn so fast to be a self-sufficient sailor. You will be up in the mornings at 0530hrs, wash, make your bunk, clean the dormitory, polish your shoes and be on the quarterdeck by 0700hrs in full dress for my personal inspection. If I find the slightest irregularity in your presentation, you will be confined to quarters until I personally decide your punishment.
After morning inspection you will change into running shorts, vest and then along with First Officer Blunt, you will finish a five-mile cross-country run. On returning to ship, you will shower then have breakfast. After that, all hands to proceed to classes. These classes will consist of basic seamanship, fire fighting, navigation, signalling, first aid, nautical terms and ship's maintenance. One day every week you will work in the galley. Sundays you will attend church service and then if you have no defaults, you will be allowed Sunday afternoons to yourself. If you leave the ship, you must return by 1830hrs.
You will be allowed 7s 6d per week pocket money and from this you will have to buy toothpaste, soap, shoe polish and whitening for your white shoes so that should not leave you with so much to spend frivolously. In six months time from now, you will be given an examination. Depending on how you have done in that exam, I will decide whether you get to work on a commercial vessel or whether you spend more time with us.
O.K. Kelly, you're dismissed"
As he finished, the older boy took over.
"Attention, right turn, quick march" The heavy wooden door slammed shut behind us. The older boy told me to halt and then stand at ease. He then told me that my initiation party was waiting for me.
He told me to proceed to the recreation room and as I entered I felt a strange anticipation as the loud sound of 100 boys lowered to a murmur. All eyes were on me, the new boy, the Teddy Boy. One of the older boys spoke.
"Welcome to 'WARFLEET', he said
"But to become one of us, you have to go through a couple of tests of endurance. If you refuse, then nobody in this room will ever speak to you. You will spend your entire life here totally ostracised. Well, what do you say?"
I did not hesitate; I would play it their way.
"Okay, first test, - Spin round 50 times, if you fall down stand up instantly and start again. Then on completing 50 spins, hold your nose and force the air into your ears. Keep doing this for a count of 30. This test must be done three times"
About 25 boys made a circle around me excitedly. They goaded me to proceed, so I started to spin around and around. They all counted out loudly each turn. After only ten spins I became dizzy and started to stagger. The circle of boys tightened up and they all pushed me round. Each time I started to fall they held me up. My legs were like jelly, 30, 31, 32, I heard them shout. I was in oblivion. Round and round and round, I must have reached 50 eventually because they stopped me.
I was feeling sick but they demanded that I hold my nose and force the air into my ears. I did as they told me. Each time I did so all I can remember was the awakening dream and the ensuing headache. I passed out each time, for on regaining consciousness, it seemed like I had been out for hours when in actual fact it was only a short several seconds blackout. The third time I came to, all hands were holding me down.
I was naked. They had stripped me of my clothes and were proceeding to shave off all my pubic hair. My immediate reaction was to struggle but as soon as I started, all hands tightened their grip on me. I had no chance against the combined strength of so many boys.
I relaxed and let them do their worst. They were having a great time. The sound of laughter was so loud that it was deafening. My head was throbbing mercilessly. They shaved my pubic hairs totally, then my head and eyebrows. Then followed the 'after-shave' torture
They poured 'Jeyes' toilet-cleaning fluid over my entire body. The pain was so intense, especially round my freshly shaven willy, that I screamed uncontrollably. They continued to hold me down, the pain increased as it spread across my entire body. I was crying, screaming, pleading for release. This made them laugh louder.
After some time they decided to release me. I was still screaming uncontrollably, when the oldest boy said, "Okay boys he's now initiated into Warfleet. Take him to the showers". I was led to the bathhouse and the water turned on as I was pushed into one of the cubicles. The cold water slowly eased the, by then, excruciating pain. I stayed there for hours, sobbing and praying for release from their torture.
About two hours passed when a boy, whom I had not seen at the initiation ceremony, opened the door of my shower cubicle, He offered me some skin soothing cream and introduced himself as 'Don', my bunk partner. He said he was the one that slept underneath me. I put on the cream and gingerly limped to my bunk. I sobbed myself to sleep.
The next day I awoke to the hustle and bustle of the morning rush. My burnt skin was still hurting but I was hurriedly informed by an older boy in our dormitory that if I didn't get up and ready soon, I would be in for a further dousing with 'Jeyes' toilet-cleaner. So without hesitation, I eased myself into the first day. I followed the routine of the other boys. Don was very helpful; he assisted me to make my bed and showed me the routine.
I was surprised during the Captain's inspection. I had imagined him to be a tall impressive type of person however I had been fooled by my first impression of him sat behind his desk. This had given him an imaginary grandeur but now here he was, looking up at me with the grimacing face of a giant. I felt repulsed by this act of insecurity and was reminded of Adolf Hitler.
The months at Warfleet passed by slowly. Occasionally, on Sunday afternoons, Don and I would hitch a ride into Southampton. This would be quite easy as we were wearing the uniform of the country's navy. We would spend most of our visits in the dockland area, visiting ships and dockside bars. We were eager to gain all the information that we could about the ships and their crews. The crews of the freight boats were always talkative and we were invited to many homosexual parties on the boats. It was on these visits that I learned that there were other easier ways to get work on the ships, which influenced my life a great deal.
So, time passed, I would frequently notice the Captain's 14-year-old daughter looking at me. She always seemed to be 'accidentally' in the same areas and at the same times. We got to exchange short conversations and became very friendly. One day we conspired to meet that evening, it was our first date. The danger of the situation made it so thrilling that the kisses and embraces that we shared that night and for many more to come, were enough to satisfy any sexual desires we may have had under normal circumstances.
Suddenly, she disappeared. I could only guess that her parents had begun to suspect something or maybe discovered her returning late to her bed on our last date. Soon after and about 5 months since my arrival, I was out one night taking a walk in the grounds. At the same time I was practising Morse Code with a hand torch. I was flashing in dash dot sequence the girl's name. I suppose my sub-conscious desires motivated my actions. All of a sudden out of the stillness of the night, all hell broke loose. There, charging at me with stick in hand was the Captain. I did not wait to ask any questions, I took to heel like a scared rabbit. With him not far behind, I ran for the school. Surely he would calm down there in front of all the students and officers but he continued behind me, screaming strange words, which to this very day sounded like 'bilge' and 'poppycock'.
I ran into the dormitory. All the boys, by now, were already in bed. I hid under the bunk below Don. The Captain charged in totally out of control. He crashed into the bunk then fell to the ground. He had obviously hurt himself, for he now lay panting on the floor. The night officers were there in an instant. I remained hidden and watching as they lifted him onto a stretcher and carried him away.
I guessed why he was so mad. He had put two and two together, for when I had flashed his daughter's name in Morse, that was enough proof of my guilt. He had been watching nightly to gain the evidence. I waited until the commotion had died down then quickly collecting my civilian clothes and my most prized possessions I left T.S. WARFLEET forever. Once out on the main road, I changed my hatband to that of one I had gained from a friend earlier. I was now apparently a member of Her Majesty's Royal Navy.
I hitch-hiked to London. I was now a fugitive but in my uniform, I was just one of the thousands of Jolly Sailors in transit to and from or just on leave. I soon found some new friends who were on leave from the U.S. Navy. I told them I was overdue on my leave and they gave me some money to get by on.
I now used the information that I had gathered earlier from the homosexual merchant seamen that I had met in Southampton. I followed their advice to the letter. First I visited three of the best hotels in town, collecting from each one a sheet of their letter headed writing paper. Then I wrote out three separate references stating that I had worked at each hotel for a year starting as a commis waiter and finishing as a first class silver service waiter.
I then took the letterheads to a typing office and had them typed professionally. For this service I paid 10d each and then I signed each reference in different handwriting with the name of each of the hotel manager's names. I was now ready.
I discarded my Royal Navy uniform and changed into my civilian clothes. From the local newspapers I learned that there was a large passenger ship leaving for a six month round the world cruise. She was due to leave the very next day from the Port of London. I made my way to the port and watched them as they busily loaded the supplies on board working up my courage. The last of the crew were arriving and as they were presenting their papers to the officer on the gangway watch, I strolled forward. If the ship was leaving on time, then in only 30 minutes they would be sailing off, destination Australia and all ports en route. I was very nervous but I held back for I realised that the key to success or failure was to appear casual but confident.
I greeted the officer with an expression I had been told would guarantee an immediate response.
"Hi Chief" I said. He replied automatically.
"Hi, Log book?" he continued.
I told him that I didn't have a log book and that I was on standby. He understood and asked me what experience I had. I told him that I had worked my way up through some of the best London hotels. He informed me that the person I had to see was the ship's purser but he was now busy welcoming the newly arrived passengers. I should wait but he added that I had a good chance anyway because as it was now the first of December there would almost definitely be vacancies for stewards as some would prefer to spend Christmas at home with their family.
I waited and a few more crew arrived. Time passed slowly and then the ship's hooter blew. I looked up to see hundreds of faces peering down at us. The passengers were waving goodbye to their friends and relations. "Five minutes to go" the officer advised me. The gangway phone rang and I heard the officer saying that the crew list was short but that there was a steward on standby. He replaced the phone and told me to report to the Purser's office immediately. I felt like screaming for joy there and then. Within seconds in leaps and bounds I was at the top of the gangway and at the Purser's office. He was a very pleasant looking man and something he radiated from within created in me a smile, which he returned.
"What's your name and experience?" he asked.
I gave my true name and passed him the references. He read them out loudly, then without further questions he asked me if I had a tuxedo. I told him that I had just had all my luggage stolen whilst waiting on the dock. He gave this a few seconds thought then he said,
"Okay, we will supply you with a new outfit plus whites but you will pay for these out of your wages. You will only receive half pay until these things are paid for. You will work as a First Class silver-service steward, three meals per day, two sittings of ten passengers. That means you will serve 60 meals per day. Now go and report to the chief steward and good luck"
I was elated, I could not speak. Here I was, employed on a world cruise liner. So easy it seemed impossible. Even had I passed out of 'Warfleet' as a first class student, I would have then had to work for several years as a commis waiter before any sort of promotion never mind as a First Class silver service waiter, almost the top of the tree.
The chief steward was also a nice type of person. He invited his personal steward to give me several tuxedos to try on for size until I found one that fitted me perfectly. He then showed me my cabin and introduced me to the other 7 stewards I was to live with.
The cabin was in the very bowels of the ship, just one of many doors, each door leading to another cabin. I noted that there must have been hundreds of us crew. There was a large communal bathroom with row upon row of washbasins, toilets and showers. At one end of the corridor was the crew's dining room, which served meals 24 hours per day. At the other end was the 'Pig & Whistle' this being the crew's bar and cinema. One of my cabin-mates offered to show me the ropes. His name was 'Tom' and I guessed he was about 30 years of age.
We dressed in our tuxedos and made our way to the dining rooms. These were situated higher up in the ship. To get there we had to pass through a door which separated the crew's quarters from the passenger's areas. These doors were locked at night and only the night stewards, cleaners and telephonists were allowed a key. We went up the staircase and passed through the tourist class dining room. I remarked to Tom my surprised at seeing so many poorly dressed people on what I thought was an expensive world cruise. Tom replied that these passengers were only paying a small percentage of the fare as the Australian Government was assisting them. They were emigrating on the assisted passage scheme. Most of them were tradesmen and Australia needed an influx of skilled labour.
We continued up to the next level, this was more up to my expectations. The most luxurious carpeted corridors, gambling casinos, night club and dining rooms overlooking a large open-air swimming pool around which, people were sunning themselves. The view from the large dining room windows was of the whole front portion of the ship and beyond to the open sea. In my excitement, I had not realised that we had actually cast off and set sail. The open ocean was in front of me and my first night was nigh. I was on my way.
Tom introduced me to the 'Maitre de' or the head steward. He was a very nervous type of person or so it seemed on first impression. I told him it was my first time on a liner and that seemed to make him even more nervous. He explained that he was several stewards short and that already, some of the more experienced stewards were having to manage without the help of commis waiters and that the commis waiters were having to help serving also. Now I realise why it had been so easy to get the job. They were desperate. He said that he would put Leon with me to act as my commis waiter for the first few days until I had gotten used to where everything was.
I was put in charge of tables 6 & 7, the tables were already laid out for ten persons. I had never before set eyes on such a luxuriously laid out table. The tablecloths were a brilliant red colour and in the centre was a crystal vase containing a bunch of white roses. The chairs were black leather-bound wood, in front of which was an array of silver cutlery which at first sight worried me. So many different shapes of spoons, knives and forks, I would have to be very careful here because I did not know what each one was meant to be used for. I took a mental note to watch carefully, what each of the passengers used each one for and the specific position of each item.
Leon was about my own age and size, although he was obviously different from me. He appeared to be exceptionally feminine. I surmised that he was homosexual. I was later to learn that I was the odd man out in that world of First Class stewards aboard the Orient Lines biggest liner the 'Oronsay'. They were all homosexuals. Some were married to each other and lived their life on board as man and wife. It would be a common occurrence for a couple to get married on board. I attended a few of these such 'weddings', more out of curiosity than the desire to enjoy the same custom myself.
The menu, leather-bound with a gold embossed picture of 'Oronsay' on the cover, was passed to me by the head steward as he hurriedly scurried from table to table.
I nearly collapsed in horror as I opened the menu. I guessed that the foreign words I saw before me were printed in French. "Oh no" I exclaimed loudly. Leon was immediately beside me.
"What's wrong?" he said.
"Oh, er nothing" I replied. I contained myself. I needed time to think this one out. I thought, 'is it possible that if I admit now that I cannot understand French, they will realise that I am not what my references say I am?'
I was pondering to myself as I felt the ship start to rock for the first time. Leon broke the silence. "We are in the channel now and it looks as though it's going to be rough". I looked out through the large windows which were now wet with sea spray. Within moments, the passengers started to arrive for their first meal of the voyage and the band began to play.
The head steward led the way followed by seven men and three women. I copied the other stewards and pulled out their seats one by one for them. They chose their own positions and proceeded to introduce themselves to each other. I recognised the name of one of the men, Jimmy Wheeler, as did the rest of the passengers. He was a well-known theatrical comedian and within minutes of being seated all present were laughing loudly. It was as if Jimmy Wheeler's presence alone was enough to totally lighten the tense atmosphere that I was imagining out of fear.
Whilst they were chatting amongst themselves, I had an idea which I remembered from the local Chinese restaurant back home. The menu there, I recall was also impossible to read but it was easy to order as each meal had a number alongside its Chinese name. Without further thought or hesitation I marked numbers from one onwards alongside each dish. Then feeling more at ease, I presented the menus to the ladies first; jokingly I remarked that the numbers would help speed up the service as we had a couple of new chefs.
They, the passengers which I shall now continue to refer to by the nautical term 'The Bloods', did not flinch. The comedian remarked "How quaint" and this started them all laughing once again. I took the orders number by number as the wine water followed closely behind. Leon took the orders from me and then went off to the kitchens to collect the plates.
I was all eyes watching, the other stewards serve with spoon and fork with one handed manipulation. They held the spoon and fork separated by their first finger using a tricky sort of finger movement with the fork passing over the spoon as the food was delivered to the plates rather like an ice-cream scoop.
Leon arrived back with the trolley full of silver dishes. 'Which was which' I thought. In the middle of the trolley was a flaming spirit stove on top of which was a large silver bowl of soup. The movement of the ship was now becoming markedly worse, rolling from side to side. I was desperate; surely I would now be discovered. My legs were like jelly. I looked around the large dining room.
'Help!' I thought. I felt dizzy as I imagined all eyes would be watching my every move. Half conscious of my movement and half accidental, I tripped over my own feet. My hand went out in search of support. I lunged forward knocking over the bowl of soup, which luckily fell harmlessly on the floor, but I burned my hand on the stove. I felt like screaming out in pain but held back. The chief steward hurried over and on seeing my look of frustrated pain, escorted me to the sick bay.
The burn was not as bad as I first thought but I realised that I had been reprieved from discovery. I was given the job as night cleaner and bathroom attendant. My right hand was slightly burned but I pretended that it was much worse than it actually was. As night cleaner I had to push round a polishing machine, polishing the floors and corridors of this vast floating labyrinth. This was what I needed, time and space to adjust. I practised the spoon and fork serving and confided in my cabin mate, Tom. He used to collect the menus for me and spend some time each day teaching me the English translations of the French dishes. In return for his help, I would open the door between the crew's quarters and the First Class passenger's area for him to enter.
In the centre of the passengerís cabin area were the bathrooms and toilets. Tom would wait until he saw a woman of his fancy go into the bathroom in the centre block. He would then lock himself in the next bathroom and remove the screws of the soap holder dishes so that he could watch them take a bath. This way he relieved his sexual desires and I learned to be a silver-service waiter. About three weeks passed, I could not delay any longer and I was returned to the First Class dining room. My tables were waiting and the passengers ignored any simple mistakes that I made as I became an acceptable First Class silver service steward.
Australia was not all as I expected. Not one kangaroo did I see. All we saw were large cities. In Sydney I met a girlfriend. She was working in a local pub. One night I was in the pub, the atmosphere was jovial and I was getting drunk. A fight broke out and I found myself right in the middle of it. There were about 10 Australians fighting against anybody who happened to cross them. They were breaking the bar up and I decided to protect my newly found girlfriend. I jumped up on the bar and suddenly I was knocked unconscious. Someone had clubbed me from behind.
I awoke to find myself in the back of a Police van speeding through the streets of Sydney with the sirens blaring. I was alone and my hands were securely handcuffed. The van screeched to a stop and I heard a commotion outside. The back doors were flung open and ten black men of the strangest kind I have ever seen before were hustled and kicked into the van with me. They had hair, which stood out around their heads like bushes about a foot high. Their faces were scared from cuts but in a design, probably tribal masks. They were talking in a strange language that I could not understand and so I remained silent as the van continued on its way.
Eventually we arrived at the local police station and I was hurriedly transferred from the van to a large communal cell, which absolutely disgusted me. There were already about a dozen people in there and the stench of vomit and urine was overpowering. There was a hole in the middle of the stone-floored cell, which was obviously the toilet. I was proven correct when one of the black men crouched over the hole with his trousers pulled down to his knees.
I was astounded at the lack of privacy. The rest of my cellmates were lying down on the damp floor amid the filth. I had no option and so I followed suit but I could not get any sleep for I was being eaten alive by the fleas and other insects as the cell was crawling with vermin.
I decided to complain to the guards and so I banged on the door to attract their attention. Either there was nobody there or they were ignoring me and so I banged louder and started to shout out for attention. Suddenly the door was thrown open and three guards grabbed hold of me. They beat me to the floor with rubber piping. I thought that they were going to kill me. I was covered in bruises. I submitted and stayed motionless on the floor.
The next day I heard my name called out through the fog of pain. I was in a mess. It took a while for me to regain my senses. The guard was impatient, "On your feet Kelly" he shouted. I obeyed. "Follow me" he ordered and so I complied. He led the way to an office, saying nothing; he just returned my money and papers. He then said, "OK you're free. Your fine's been paid by a ship's officer and he's waiting for you outside in a taxi, so on your way".
The morning sun hit me like a ton of bricks. I was blinded, unable to see where I was. I then felt someone take hold of my arm and help me into the waiting taxi. As my eyes became accustomed to the light, I recognised the chief steward who was in the taxi. He was my liberator. My girlfriend Irene who was also in the taxi, had gone to the ship to fetch the officer who had used his influence to have me released so soon.
The chief said we must return instantly to the ship, as there was not much time before we sailed. On arrival at the berth I said goodbye to Irene very quickly and I was ushered hurriedly on board. On reaching the top of the gangway, the chief told me that there was an empty first Class cabin on 'A' deck. He told me to go there and take a bath and to get some sleep. He said he would personally attend to my wounds and would bring me some breakfast.
It did not strike me at the time that it was highly unusual for a chief steward of such a large vessel to take the time or waste his energy on such an un-important crew member as me. I just felt very relieved that I was being looked after
I took a shower then slept until the chief awaked me. He presented me with a tray of breakfast. It was difficult for me to open my mouth as my jaw was swollen along with the rest of my body. I was a bundle of aches and pains and my whole body was covered in large blue welts where the Police had been beaten me with the rubber piping.
"Oh my goodness" exclaimed the chief when he saw the extent of my injuries. "You must stay in bed and I will come back later with some soothing cream".
I did not argue, I slowly managed to eat my breakfast then fell asleep again.
Sometime much later, I woke up as I heard the cabin door open. It was now dark and I realised that I must have been asleep for the whole day. I started to sit up as the cabin light was switched on. My pain forced an involuntary sigh from me. The chief was beside me in an instant. He was so attentive, like a hospital nurse or a mother looking after a scared child.
He helped me to sit up and puffed up a pillow to place behind my head. He then produced a jar of cream, which he said would help to soothe the aches and pains. He pulled back the bed sheets and looked closely at my wounds as he mumbled something like 'Oh you poor boy'.
I let him rub the cream on my bruises, "turn over" he said, which I did awkwardly. I was totally naked and I felt him rubbing in the cream. As his hands slid down my back lingeringly, I began to suspect - no, realised that my liberator was a fag.
Oh no. What could I do? He was only the one who had saved me! His advances went no further and so I said nothing. It was better to use this situation in a controlled manner until I was well enough to stand on my own two feet. I could feel that he was getting excited and so I said "Please stop now, as I am feeling sick" He stopped and I turned back over with his help.
The next couple of days were much the same and on the third night, the chief arrived as usual with a tray of food and a bottle of champagne. I could tell that he had already had a few drinks. I ate as he opened the bottle of bubbly. He poured two glasses and handed one to me. I sipped on mine as I enjoyed my food but he downed three glasses. I could see that he was building up courage.
I finished my food and drink and laid back. I was feeling much better now; my aches and pains were almost gone. The chief offered me more wine but I refused. He poured himself another and said,
"Time for your treatment."
He pulled the soothing cream from his pocket at the same time pulling back the bed sheets. I sensed that now the time had come for the showdown. I let him rub the cream into my now fading bruises. He was breathing excitedly and I could see his trousersí bulging as his penis was throbbing beneath. I knew what the situation was and I just hoped that he would continue to control himself as he had done so for the past few days. He helped me turn over and continued the treatment on my back.
Without warning he was on top of me, his trousers at his knees, his control gone. I could smell his hot breath as he was biting my ear and forcing his penis between my legs. I told him to stop but he just went crazy. I felt repulsed as my temper rose. I lifted myself up from the bed but he just clung on. This made me even angrier. I had to get him off and so I rolled sideways and off the bed landing on top of him on the floor, knocking the wind out of him.
I stood up and looked down at the chief. He was almost crying as he pleaded with me to let him have his way. I could not pretend any longer. I told him that I did not like that sort of thing and that I was normal and not a queer like all the rest of the stewards who worked for him. His attitude changed instantly as his penis drooped back to normal. He was on his feet fastening his trousers and regaining his aura of respectability.
"You will report to my office in the morning" he said as he shut the cabin door behind him.
I was up bright and early the next day and presented myself to the chief in his office. He was now a totally respectable person. He did not waste words. In an authoritative manner he informed me that my behaviour in Sydney was simply not that of a First Class steward and that I was now to work in Tourist Class. I was dismissed and I made my way down to the 2nd Class passenger area.
The chief of Tourist Class was a completely different kind of person. He was very tall and well built. On arrival at his office he welcomed me.
"So you're young Kelly are you? I suppose you didn't fit in up there with the nobs". This was obviously a joke, which he thought very funny as he laughed out loudly. "Well you'll fit in down here I'm sure and as you have First Class training you will be my personal Tiger. That means you will be my own personal steward. The job's not so difficult, just make sure that my quarters are kept clean and my clothes taken care of occasionally. You will be required to serve my meals, but all in all I do not expect much"
By now Oronsay was at sea again. Our next port of call, Japan.
The days went by easily and my new job was not at all difficult. The chief and I became quite good friends. At night he would entertain groups of passengers in his quarters and I would serve drinks etc.
Our first stop in Japan was Yokohama. It was winter and the snow was on the ground. I was given a couple of days off so I went on the rampage with a group of the crew. We decided to get drunk on the national drink, Sake which is an alcoholic drink made from rice and served in a ceramic jug. The bar was quite simple. Wood-lined walls with a window looking out onto the street. In the centre of the bar was a very simple but effective wood burning stove on top of which were kept the jugs of Sake.
Being accustomed to drinking pints of beer, I did not notice that the Sake was so strong until we were back out in the snow-covered streets.
"Let's go to the rags" said one of my mates.
"Yeah" was the chorus from all present.
I did not know, nor did I care what the 'rags' were, nor do I remember how far we walked. I was sick on the way. I can remember vomiting into the pure white snow. We arrived at another bar in the middle of an area full of street vendors. This was obviously the area of the poor people. On entering the bar, we were confronted by about 30 girls, all in various stages of dress. Some were in full Japanese geisha regalia and others in no more than a flimsy pair of knickers.
The jukebox was playing and the lights were dim. The girls wasted no time, for time to them was money. They were working girls with one aim in their workaday life, that being to seduce as many men as possible and to be paid as much as possible for that service.
I was still feeling a little queasy and so I sat down at a table on my own and watched as the rest of my friends laughed and joked and danced with the girls or even each other. One of the younger and prettier girls noticed me and came over to sit next to me. She was about 16 years of age and clad only in very skimpy see through knickers. She said she would cure my headache if I closed my eyes, which I did. I did not resist as the excitement of her unbuttoning my trousers made my head spin wildly. She gently took my penis into her hands. I opened my eyes in surprise but she said that this would break the spell of the age old remedy. I shut them tight again and then I felt her slip down underneath the table. Shock is not the word to describe the next thing. My penis felt so good, I could feel her ears between my thighs as I realised that she had my penis in her mouth.
She was gently humming a tune, which sounded like a lullaby. I could feel the vibrations of the notes from deep within her mouth, almost as if her tonsils were soothing away the pain. I could feel my heat rising. My penis was the only thing. My body had disappeared and so had my headache. I opened my eyes as she slipped my now hard penis back inside my pants and then returned to sit beside me. She took my hand into her two hands and proceeded to separate my first finger. This she put into her mouth and began to suck. She then took it out of her mouth and pushed it between her legs. I felt it slip gently inside her moist fanny as she pushed herself harder onto my hand. I remember looking closely at her face and body. I remember thinking that she was as beautiful a nymphomaniac as could possibly exist.
An older woman standing over us interrupted my thoughts. She was dressed in traditional Japanese costume. She addressed the girl first:-
"Do you waste time or are you to entertain our guests. Maybe your friend would like to buy you a drink."
"Of course" I replied, "Instantly, anything."
The word slipped out on its own. I had put my foot in it again. A bottle of champagne arrived at our table; I quickly and silently assessed my finances. I had 3 months pay plus a few tips in my pocket. I figured I had much more than enough with £150.
My friends were having a great time. I could hear their laughter as they faced me.
The girl that I had chosen to be with was called 'So So' and she told me that the old lady was the Mama San and that she and the Mama San liked me very much. The Mama San returned to our table with a handful of rice, which she threw at us both. She then said that we were now married. I enjoyed the idea as I felt So So's hand on my penis again.
"Come" she said.
So So took my hand and led me through a door down a corridor to a large open area. In front of us was a large wooden building with a veranda. In the centre was a wide wooden staircase at the bottom of which were many pairs of shoes, some of which I recognised as belonging to some of my fellow shipmates.
So So bent down and took off my shoes whilst the Mama San waited. She then led us up the stairs to the veranda and along until she silently slid back one of the many doors. We entered a room of tiles in the middle of which was what appeared to me to be a small sunken swimming pool with a set tiled steps leading down into the steaming water. At the side of the pool was a large fireplace with a copper chimney.
The Mama San took a large pair of tongs from the hearth and one by one picked up the large hot stones from the fire and dropped them into the pool. The water sizzled as the stones made contact and sank to the bottom. She must have put about a dozen stones into the pool. So So put one foot into the pool and nodded to the Mama San who then disappeared. So So then took off my shirt and trousers followed by my underwear. My embarrassment quickly subsided as So So knelt down in front of me and gently took my penis into her mouth again and began sucking.
The Mama San returned, bringing with her a small tray of tea and a sweet tasting delicacy which So So assured me would enhance my sexual desires and make me 'Fucky Fucky' all night long.
The Mama San made her exit once more, this time taking all my clothes with her. So So led the way into the pool and I followed. The water was very hot. At first I could not move. I wanted to jump out fast but So So once again took a hold of my penis. The heat of the water and my own sexual heat mingled into one as we lay there, drinking our tea and eating our love sweets.
So So put her legs around my waist and with her free hand she guided my now hard penis into her vagina. I lay in the shallows of the pool, even in my wildest dreams I would have been incapable of imagining such ecstasy. So So did not move her body, she just held me there as she massaged my penis with her inner vaginal muscles. Her hand was now pulling my bum open and I squealed as I felt her hot finger slide inside.
"What on earth?" I thought as I felt my sperm rising, So So pressing her young, firm breasts into my eyes.
The water in the bath suddenly felt hotter as I saw the Mama San dropping more hot stones into the water.
"HyEEE" I let out a scream of ecstasy. I was coming, burning, everything.
So So was up and off me, she moved away and giggled as my penis pumped forth my white hot sperm.
"Look Mama San" she said "See how it floats on the surface. I have filled it with bubbles of delight."
We stayed in the pool for a while longer, my desire beginning to return. So So said, "Now Johnny we go make cold love."
I followed her into the cold shower and continued our love play until our teeth began to chatter with the cold. Then she led me into another room, which only had a straw mat in the middle of the floor. I was really quite surprised when she lay down on the mat and then said to me, "Come and join me in bed."
I lay down beside her as she told me that the Japanese always sleep on these bamboo mats which they call Jalamis. As I lay there next to her I enjoyed the total silence as I remembered my life on the boat, always the throbbing sound of engines or air conditioning motors, the constant company of many other people. I excelled in the luxury of silence for the first time in my life.
The silence was only slightly interrupted by a swish of the rice paper door as it slid open. The Mama San returned once more bringing a tray of tea and delicacies. She placed them on the floor next to the Jalami and then she departed as silently and gracefully as she had entered with a swish.
So So sat up and poured the tea, she turned her back to me for a moment, then she turned to face me, pulling her knees up under her chin. I could see for the first time the delightfulness of her sparsely-haired pussy. The light from the bamboo paper globe light reflected off the glistening moist red lips. Feeling slightly embarrassed at staring for so long, I looked her in the face. Her hair was down to the top of her breasts and her large long dark eyes were the extreme of provocation. She smiled invitingly as she rolled onto her back still with her knees up under her chin and her arm wrapped around her ankles. I could now see the famous 'Little man in the boat'.
"Come," she said, "Kiss me."
As I moved to embrace her she said "No, not on my face, on my pussy."
I was shocked at her openness and as I hesitated she reached out with one hand, picked up one of the small round, red sweetmeats, and then pushed this gently inside herself.
"Now" she said "You must eat the sweet from me".
I was so turned on by this gesture that I sucked and sucked at her and as I did so she spun round so that she could now suck on my penis. The explosion of ecstasy that followed was the utter climax as I drifted into the oblivion of sleep.
I awoke to find myself alone. So So had disappeared. I called her name aloud and after a few minutes there was the by now familiar swish as the Mama San appeared. Enquiring as to the whereabouts of So So, I was told that she had gone to the laundry with my clothes and would be back shortly. Mama San brought me a meal, which I ate heartily even though rice and fish was not my usual breakfast.
I must have fallen asleep again for it was some time later when So So woke me up and presented me with my totally renovated clothes. I looked at my watch. It was four o'clock. I felt sick. The 'Oronsay' was due to sail at 3.30pm for Kobe. I told So So of my problem but it only seemed to make her happier in fact she even giggled about it.
I dressed and then remembering the money which I had in my jacket the night before, I asked So So where it was. She presented me with £100 and told me that the other £50 had been spent. I was thankful to receive any at all under the circumstances.
That evening I accompanied So So to the bar where I had met her the night before and again I enjoyed Sake and the company of a group of American Navy sailors. They were all off a visiting submarine. As the night drew to an end, the sailors, who were by now all drunk, invited So So and me back to visit their submarine. We were all a bit drunk and so this sounded like a great idea.
We all took taxis back to the dock where the submarine was tied up and had no difficulty getting aboard as it was tied alongside the quay wall. On board the submarine we all drank some more, but this time, whisky. Two of the sailors started a brawl over one of the girls and this in turn woke the captain who immediately called the Military Police.
Both the girls and I were arrested for being on board the submarine without the permission of the captain or an officer. I was questioned as to what an Englishman was doing in Japan. I explained that I had missed my boat and so they contacted 'Oronsay' by radio and the consequences of that communication led to me being given a lift in an American Military helicopter to Kobe and my return to 'Oronsay'. As luck would have it, they had a helicopter leaving that day carrying spare parts to another of their vessels stationed in Kobe. On reflection, I suspect that the lax security of the submarine and crew with whom we had partied the previous night, must have been an embarrassing situation so they just wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible.
On my return to 'Oronsay' I was informed by the ship's purser that I was not to be allowed any future shore leave and that I was to be brought before the seamen's council on return to England.
For me, the rest of the voyage was pretty boring. There was only one other incident which springs to mind. Remember my friend Tom who used to like peeping at the ladies through the soap dish holders. Well one night, he and I along with a group of stewards, attended the 'wedding' of a couple of first class stewards. We drank quite a lot and I began to feel it was time to retire to my bunk.
I bade goodnight to my friends and swayed my way back to the communal cabin. On the way I stopped by the mess to collect a mug of tea. When I arrived at the cabin, I noticed that all my cabin mates must have stayed at the party so I took off my clothes and climbed up into the top bunk. I placed my hot cup of tea on the shelf to my side. And I fell asleep immediately
I was suddenly and rudely awakened by a searing pain in my rectum. I had fallen asleep lying on my front. Tom had followed me back to the cabin and on seeing me asleep in that position he took the opportunity in his drunken stupor to try to bum me. He was on top of me, his weight was pinning me down. In my desperation, I managed to reach up and found my still hot cup of tea. I tipped some of the contents of the mug over Tom and as he eased off me I swung round and smashed the mug containing the rest of the tea across his head.
He crashed to the floor with a nasty thud and lay there motionless for quite a while. Blood was pouring from his head. I lay there looking down on his with a feeling of utter disgust at the thought that he had tried to rape me. I felt like jumping on him and giving him a good kicking but as the thoughts raced through my mind, Tom started to cry like a baby. He lay there crying and bleeding. Some of the other stewards arrived back and I explained to them what had happened. They had no animosity towards me as rape even for them was a dirty word. They lifted Tom up cleaned and dressed his wounds then put him to bed. Some time later, after the wounds had healed, Tom remained that same crying child, his senses gone. He was eventually sent to a Mental Hospital and I never heard of him again.
The six-month voyage passed quicker than I thought it would, and we returned to dear old Blighty in the middle of winter. The fog was thick as we steamed up the English Channel and into London Dock.
During the voyage I had bought half a dozen transistor radios which I intended to sell in England and make a handsome profit. I knew the Customs would search the boat on arrival and so I decided to dismantle the radios and hide the pieces behind the ventilation shaft in the cabin. I thought if they only find the pieces, they will not know who put them there. However I did not hide the batteries, the same batteries which I had bought with the radios in Hong Kong and which were also made in Hong Kong. The customs men came on board in force. There must have been about fifty of them. They carried telescopic sticks with little mirrors on the end. They searched and searched and searched until eventually they found the pieces of radio. All the cabin's occupants were to be present when the search took place.
The customs men addressed all present, "Okay lads, who do these belong to?"
"Okay then, open your baggage" he continued.
Everybody obeyed a quick perusal at the contents of each bag soon revealed the truth. When the Customs men looked in my bag they found the batteries specifically intended for the radios. I was told to report to the Purser's office once again. The Chief Customs Officer was present, I was fined fifty pounds, and the radios were confiscated.