An anonymous, luxurious and long established Gentlemen's
club serves the elite of the ruling class of England, those that answer
only to each other, and the young Queen Victoria (should she ever interest
herself in their affairs). It lies on an island far from any coast, and
thus far from the rule of any law other than the gentlemen's.
Its panelled rooms are provided with the finest food that
their gardens and the mainland can provide, good wine and brandy from nearby
France, and a retinue of servants who are grateful to be saved from the
ranks of convicts sentenced to a short and brutal life in the Colonies.
And from the same source, the gentlemen select women who think it on balance
better to agree to serve the gentlemen, and accept the certaintly of suffering
under their hands, against an uncertain, short and brutal life in the New
World, should they even survive the voyage there.
For the club caters for those gentlemen bonded together
by their shared enjoyment in inflicting pain and suffering on these women,
and this has been the way of the club for so long that the degradation of
these women has become accepted, and unremarkable, and the gentlemen's brutality
consequently careless and severe.
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