Margaret Sanger, "The Soul-less Maid," 19 Aug 1913.

Source: " Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress, L130:0575."


(Aug 19--1913.)

She entered the florist shop and, looked searchingly about foras if to find out the something which she did not expect to find. Then her search rested on a vase of large blood red peonies, which she purchased & departed.

She felt satisfied and gently crushed them to her ↑dress↓ , feeling that in these lay her power to win forgiveness from her lover.

Today she must be beautiful. True she was always beautiful but today she must be dazzling in that beauty-–superb magnificent-–and to this purpose ↑and↓ she had most carefully adorned herself-- She had chosen a soft clinging cream white silk gown--showing beneath the faintest outline of two perfectly formed limbs--fluttered about in a delicate pink which gave (one) a sensation of a stolen glance at the forbidden mysteries of the sex.

Her golden hair was coiled about her head like a halo--so when the white fur toque was to be removed--it would give the expression desired--

This she knew. All her arts & charms were needed today to win back that love in which she had basked like sunshine for the past six months--for she had cruelly hurt him. Often had she hurt him before--but a few caresses & smiles brought him to her feet-- This time however she felt it was different and the woman’s intuition was right--

She unlatched the door of his room--& found him lying ↑on↓ his back ↑on a couch↓ one hand under his head, his black hair carefully parted & brushed as if a certain determination had dominated the act. He had heard the click of the latch & knew it was she--but he did not turn his head--he closed his eyes as if indifferent to her presence.

She knew she had felt the truth-- Here was a difficult task-- She ↑had↓ relied upon her great beauty, but-- -- -- --perhaps it would fail her--she glanced hastily in the mirror over the mantle threw off her long coat & placed her hat aside & pinned one of the peonies to her bodice-- The others she arranged in a tall white vase & stood before them in all the innocence of a vestal virgin pretending to arrange them-- Good “I’ve brought you something Juan ”--she said Softlygently. She glanced slyly at him, but he did not move. She saw tho the color run red over his face & neck as if her voice had thrilled him to life-- She knew the power of her charmsvoice-- She grew encouraged & as she thought of it & ↑as↓ spoke again-- “Juan I’ve come to be forgiven”-- As he did not move she went to him & knelt on the floor beside him-- She took his hand in one of hers & purred a gentle voluptuousness in his [being?] . She smoothed back his hair, an act he ever loved & she softly bit his chin, and lobe of his ear. The golden ringlets of her hair swayed across his face & whispered memories to him-- Her hand crept close to his body & she felt his heart beat ever a determined beat.

“Juan” she whispered--“look upon me just once again & say I am forgiven & I shall go then--

She pressed her face to his--she lay full length beside him & sought his lips--in ecstasy & delight--

He had felt lifeless-- He knew had he trusted himself to open his eyes. His senses would leave him all his resolve--for nought--but now that kiss--and what was that--an odor--peonies-- He opened his eyes, sat straight upward, & caught her madly in his arms--

God--how beautiful she was! The peony first covered Both arms were now about his neck, he was mad, with joy passion-- Her eyes opened their & he looked into her being into the depths of her being for to find the traces of a soul-- She closed them & he knew it was not there-- All his life--his hope, his desire, ambition he had given for this--& found it souless-- She clung to his lips & sucked them into her own--as if she must have felt his loss-- He was mad wild & happy-- One thrust of the dagger through the peony which lay upon her heart and she lay quite still--and was forgiven--


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