I learned about L.U.S.T. in Haiti.
The League of Underground-Spies and Terrorists, that is.
At the time, I had no thought of becoming a spy. I was on, vacation and enjoying myself as I did not do at home, with the voodoo drums throbbing in the warm night air lying heavy on the slopes of Morne à Cabrits, a sea wind off the gulf bringing with it the languid scent of jasmine.
I was watching a naked girl dance la cumbia.
La cumbia is a voodoo dance, wild and erotic.
Her dance was getting to my date, George Norman, a fellow American vacationer, in Port Au Prince. The rhythms of the rada drums, those cylinders of wood and hide consecrated to the gods on banana leaves, before lighted candles and with votive offerings of food and drink, the eerie sounds of the lambi conch shells, the chanting of the mambo priestesses, were all around us. The clatter of the organ bells, the sight of the pretty mulatto dancer shimmying ecstatically so that her breasts shook like bowls of café au lait jelly, were filling George with a magic all his own.
His arms were tight about my middle, his eyes were fastened on the loins of the dancer his body was firm against my buttocks, His breathing was uneven.
"My, my,” he kept saying.
The mulatto girl was quivering from her knees tip to her shoulders, Her eyes were wide, staring. At her feet, the six votive candles blazed with a brightness oddly appropriate in the otherwise dark jungle-night. Her feet stamped, her heavy thighs shook, her soft buttocks jiggled as she moved between the waxen tapers, uttering soft cries.
La cumbia is a dance of passion. Just as the Corybantes, those priestesses of Cybele worshiped the goddess in Sumer and in Babylon with their extravagant posturings, so this young woman was adoring the life force that is in every man and woman. Her body was tuning itself to the vibrations of her gods, and because of her efforts, was glistening with sweat.
Her dance was akin to the fertility rites of the ancient religions, where the women worshiped the life principle itself, giving themselves to the embraces of strange men for the greater glory of a goddess like Mylitta. In la cumbia, there are no patterned steps, it is an individual offering by the dancer by which she hopes to free her spirit, offering it to the god, and through the god, to her loved one. The blazing candles symbolize the sun, the first life force which brings ripeness to the crops and warmth to animal life.
On spraddled legs the girl was moving above the clustered candles. Her head was thrown back, her shoulders barely moved yet her heavy breasts were leaping wildly. It was a stance by which the god was said to enter into the body of his priestess, but it was also a pose which was designed to rouse the primal lusts of the onlookers.
It was rousing George, all right.
I was not feeling any too cool, myself. I knew that when the solo dancing ended, everybody who wanted to, got in on the act. The onlookers came together and paid their own devotions to the gods. The names of the gods vary. There is Legba, who seduces women, Mange, who loves to eat, the female Erzulie who is the goddess of love, Guide Nimbo, the god of death. I think the mulatto woman was worshiping Erzulie. The way George was poking me in the behind was filling me with a desire to do some worshiping on my own.
Somebody pushed a cup of clairin into my hand. Clairin is a kind of raw rum. If anything were needed to get a girl in the mood to let Legba have his own way, it is this concoction. I swallowed it thirstily.
My hips began to move involuntarily. George was starting to pant. The dancer was crouching above the candles now, hips jerking savagely. Her parted lips gave little animal grunts, and her breasts moved in a steady shaking that added to the stark sensuality of the scene.
"Let's go find a little clearing,” George whispered.
"Mmmm, in a minute.” I was trying to play it cool.
My name is Eve Drum, I told myself. When I was much, much younger, I had wanted very desperately to become a lady cracksman, a latter day Lady Raffles, a female Jimmy Valentine, a girl Gray Seal. My father is a locksmith, and a good one, and he taught me much of the art of opening. safes and combination locks. My mother is a poetess of sorts, and gave me an inborn love of reading as her contribution to my upbringing. My memory trip was doing me little good. I started to wriggle.
George had his hands on my breasts.
I was wearing a thin print cotton and a Maidenform brassiere. His fingers were amorous feathers rousing my nipples, hardening the breast-flesh.
Think about Mamma, think about Daddy! I scolded myself.
I used to practice on the locks Daddy brought home until my fingertips were raw. I was rather miffed because there was no well-known girl safe-cracker. This fact made me lamentably ambitious in the wrong direction, but at least it gave me a reason for carrying on my researches. I even had a name picked out for myself. Penelope Courage, a girl crib cracker.
Naturally, since a lady thief might run into trouble from time to time, I went to classes in judo and karate, getting to be pretty good at them. I am a wearer of the red and white Sixth Dan belt, as a matter of fact. I guess I studied karate a lot more faithfully than I did my schoolbook lessons.
Mother was a free thinker. She encouraged my reading anything and everything. I became a theoretical Jill of all trades. I could write a thesis on the origin of the solar system or discourse for an hour about the use of the flying buttress in medieval cathedrals.
I also learned about boys and girls and what they did for kicks during the post-adolescent days. I had dates so that I could practice what others preached. I tested my responses to erotic stimuli with the right boys. The ones I was not enthused about got a sample of my karate technique. I am afraid I rather confused my school chums. Some of them reported me to be real hot stuff, others were convinced I was Eve Chill. Understand, I was never indiscriminate.
I learned to swim like a dolphin even in a heavy surf. I won expert marksman medals with my .22 Colt revolver. I even managed to master the trick of tacking a sailboat before the wind. I was a girl athlete, a femme fatale, and a walking encyclopedia, all at the same time. I was fun and games at almost anything. I did all right with my book learning, but when it came time to use some of the judo tosses and karate whacks as a girl thief, I simply chickened out. Or maybe I got more sense when I got older. Besides, I never needed money badly enough to steal it. Secretly, I have always felt that the criminal Hall of Fame lost a great candidate when I decided to stay honest.
So I got a job in government service. I hung my Sixth Dan belt on the wall of my little apartment and dropped my shooting medals in a bureau drawer. My many practice uniforms served to line my bureau drawers and protect my black nylon unmentionables.
George was lifting my skirt. His hands were hot fires on my stockinged legs, then on the bare flesh above my nylons. He was kissing my throat with his open mouth. I started to moan.
Thinking about Mommy and Daddy and my early childhood was doing me no good at all. I was getting as hot as the six ritual candles. The mulatto mambo was writhing like the snake she worshiped, ripples of flesh beginning at her thighs and traveling to her hips and then to her breasts. She was panting, only the whites of her eyes showed, and she moved as if enjoying the embrace of a lover.
On either side of us, women onlookers were dropping to the ground, emulating her, but with real men instead of the imaginary loa who was pleasuring the cumbia dancer.
"George," I whispered through dry lips.
"Do you believe in voodoo?”
“That isn't what I mean Voodoo is magic, it is a religion. Its appeal is based on the most primitive forces in the lives of human beings: a fear of death which ends life, a hunger for food that sustains life, and an enjoyment of sex which is the life principle in its most ecstatic form. By the rites of voodoo, the gods which attend these various functions of the living are worshiped, appeased and their intervention sought.
Nowhere but on Haiti has this vaudou flourished. They teach a distilled version of it in Columbia and Venezuela, but only on this jungle island does it appear in all its true significance. Uncensored, unabridged. Honest. Naked, for the gods like Damballah and Ayida, Erzulie and Father Agoue. Here alone are found the ouanga charms that bring health and sickness, love and lust, hate, birth and death. Here also one can watch la cumbia, the danse Congo, the Petro dancing. In Haiti the loi spirits are closest to the human heart. The serpent and the bull are worshiped as once, long ago, they were worshiped by the Bacchae in Thebes and Lesbos. There are scholars who say that voodoo derives from veau dor, the golden calf which Aaron made for his people while Moses was on Mouft Sinai. Others maintain it comes from vodu, a term for spirits, either good or bad, in the language of Dahomey in Africa. No one knows for sure.
The only thing I knew was that George Norman had his palms on my buttocks binder under my upraised skirt, that he was caressing me, that somehow he had lowered my ten-dollar Parisienne panties without my knowing it. The mamalloi priestess was writhing on the ground now, with a big ebony male. I was staring at them with wide eyes, half hypnotized by their lascivious motions.
George breathed, "Let's get out of here!"
"Yes—oh, yes!” I panted, pulling up my panties. He caught my hand, he dragged me between the boles of the tall trees at a run. My skirt was up to the middle of my thighs, anyone who cared to look could probably see the firelight winking off my garter-clasps.
For my part, I would have fallen right down on the dirt floor of the jungle and become just another worshiper of Legba, but George was more civilized, I guess. He wanted a bed.
We were almost at the little taxi he had rented for the night, to drive us up here into the hill country, when the four men came out of the shadows. They were not native Haitians. They were muscular white men and they ran at George with an intentness that was frightening. Their eyes gleamed in their pale faces, their hands held wickedly curved machetes.
The man nearest to me cried, "He's lust!" I thought he was only being complimentary at the time but the long knife in his hand held my eye, and before I really knew what I was doing, I remembered my old judo lessons. My hand went out, gripping his wrist. I chopped down with my left hand across his arm above the elbow. I had broken wooden planks with that blow. I broke his arm just as easily. He screamed as he fell and saw the bone protruding from the bloody flesh. George risked one glance at us. I guess he thought it was his date getting her lumps. His eyes goggled when he saw the man kneeling on the jungle floor moaning in pain, doubled over.
I reached across George and caught hold of a second man by the shoulder of his cotton shirt, yanking on it. As he lost his balance I drove the edge of my hand against his temple. As he made choking sounds, I swung my right leg from the hip at the same moment, taking both his legs out from under him. He went down flat on his back and his head cracked against a big rock half buried in loam.
He never made another move. George had come out of his paralysis by this time. His fist rammed into a jaw, driving his man backward. I stepped in between the other man and George and caught him under the chin with my rigid fingers formed into a cone, driving them into his soft throat. As he dropped I hit him hard on the back of his neck.
George said in awe, "Cheeeest, Eve!”
The man he had hit was lying on the ground by this time too, so we had nothing to worry about at the moment. I became a helpless female again. I stepped over an unconscious man and let George feel my body right up against him.
"You were so masterful, darling,” I breathed.
"Me? It was you who did all the damage."
George is a very practical man. I put my arms around his neck and hugged him, kissing him feverishly,
"You saved me from getting raped. I'll never forget this, George.”
"Neither will I," he breathed, pulling away. The mood was broken. The Haiti moon was still the same silver orb, the night warmth was as romantic. The rada drums throbbed with that same beat which dug down under your skin, and from time to time we heard the soft cries of women and the bull bellows of rutting males. But George looked at me with different eyes, and the body that had needed me so much now poised for instant flight.
I sighed. The night was going to be a fiasco. George muttered something about the four men being secret agents, that we could leave them here and get back to our hotel in Port-Au-Prince. He caught me by the hand and began dragging me down the little trail.
I was going to have to do something about the boy, I told myself. Obviously he was not swallowing my line about having rescued me from a gang bang. He had stood and stared at me performing that major outer wheel hold on tough guy number two. It is pretty impressive when done properly. As a Sixth Dan, I was a step above a black belt wearer. I could take care of myself.
I cuddled next to him in the vintage 1940 Ford that served as a taxi, but the poor darling didn't dare lay a finger on me. I kissed his throat and whispered delicate invitations to venery, but he was having none of it. I decided something drastic must be done.
"George,” I said right out. "You're chicken!”
“You're so right,” he agreed eagerly.
"You probably think I am quite muscular.”
"Oh, I do, I do!"
"I'm not,” I wailed. "I'm soft and smooth and very female."
"You are, indeed." George would have agreed with anything I told him at the moment. I gritted my teeth. I vowed to restore my girl-girl image. I had broken it only so that George himself would not be broken in half by those four hoods.
When the taxi stopped, I said, "Pay the man, George. Then come upstairs to my room. I have something I want to show you.”
"I think—“ he began.
I looked at him.
He said hastily, "I will, I will!"
My room was a tiny, two room suite. Twin lamps were aglow as I opened the door and dragged George in with me. The door of my little bedroom was slightly ajar. I told George to park himself in a chair, I would be no more than a minute.
"Eve, maybe another time—”
"George!” I snapped.
He sat down. I left him there and went into my bedroom, pulling down the shades and snapping on a vanity bench light. I kept the scotch, in the large drawer of my vanity table. I lifted out the bottle, and stared over it at my mirrored image. I needed no LSD to see myself with big cracks running from my forehead all the way down to my slippered feet. I had broken my girlish image.
I looked like a Gorgon to the boy. I am not named Eve for nothing. I would restore myself to his good graces very simply. I undid my blouse and took it off. My breasts bulged white and soft above my black lace Maidenform. I reached behind me, unfastened the bra straps and eased the frilly things downward.
My breasts shook-slightly as I lifted off the bra. I wear a C cup, size 38. My globes are round and white, with large brown nipples. Being a female female, I am naturally proud of them.
I got to my feet and walked out to George carrying the Scotch bottle in a hand. George made a gasping sound. He half rose in the chair and his eyes bulged. I was wearing my high-heeled shoes and my skirt. My every step made my breasts sway and shake.
George had been holding his hat in his hands. He dropped it on the floor as he went on looking at me.
"Take your jacket off, too, George.”
He nodded like a man in a trance. "Those topless waitresses have nothing on me,” I giggled. "I don't even have anything on myself. Above the waist, that is.”
I got ice cubes from the little fridge in my kitchen area. I put two in each glass and poured the Johnny Walker Black over them. I put them on a tray. I carried them to George who was in his shirt-sleeves.
He said, “You're a different woman, Eve.” I put a knee on the chair, and leaned closer so that I could touch my glass to his glass. My breasts shook and jumped right before his eyes, the dark nipples erect and eager. My shoulders moved, my nipples played tennis for his moving eyes. I think I could have hypnotized him. I dipped my nipple into George's glass. George drank eagerly, thirstily. His eyes closed in pleasure, it was such good Scotch. I patted his head gently, happy to see that he was losing his fear of me. I had to repeat the dosage with the other nipple. George was leaning his head back against the chair, helpless in his enjoyment as any baby. His right hand held his glass, his left hand was resting on the chair arm.
I bumped his right arm when his teeth forgot to be gentle and send a pleasurable pain all the way to my toes.
"Ohh, George,” I breathed.
"Mmm-hmmm," he agreed. His hand fell off the chair arm onto my stockinged calf. "I'm a real female woman, darling,” I informed him. "You know that, dear. Don't you?”
His hand came alive on my calf, moving leisurely to the bend of my knee where I knelt on the chair. His fingers were amorous snails sliding across the stocking, growing aware of the warm flesh beneath it. Up over the back of my thigh they slid, around to the front where the garter-clasp made a bump. He caught the garter, snapped it.
"George, you're a devil.”
“Mmm-hmmm.” Now his fingertips were on my bare thigh. I wriggled in delight. They moved upward slowly onto my hip and pastured for a minute or two on my black nylon panties.
His fingertips moved. George opened his eyes wide, looking up at me where my black hair hung down, covering my flushed face, His eyes were on fire.
"You are a woman, Eve,” he whispered. "Oh, my.”
I bent my head. We kissed lazily and without haste. Soft moist lips and tongues moved back and forth, around and about. I just had to convince this handsome man that I was not the whirling dervish he had seen in action an hour ago. I would be soft and seductive for him, someone he could overpower with his masculinity.
"George, have you ever heard of the kelouci?”
"No, what is it?”
"Or the kebachi?” He shook his head back and forth and since his head was buried between my mammaries at the moment, he caused some interesting reactions, I bent and kissed the top of his head.
"You don't read very much, do you, George? Well, I've had a real off-beat education." I told him. "Mamma and Papa were advanced thinkers. Those things I mentioned—the kelouci and the kebachi—are really unusual ways of making love.”
George actually glowed with anticipation. I got off the chair and smoothed my skirt down, letting him have the benefit of my toplessness. I put out my hand to him, wriggling my fingers.
"Come, darling. You must forget I am Eve Drum. See me only as a teacher of the esoteric arts.”
He came eagerly, rising up to stand against me. I purred my approval of his readiness as a pupil. I had never actually set out with the idea of teaching a man to love me, ever before. In the past I have always been the pupil, for the most part. Tonight I would vary the procedure.
I started for the bedroom, lifting my skirt as I went, wanting George to see how perfectly shaped were my legs in their nylons, and how pleasantly curved, the cheeks of my rump. I dropped the skirt outside the bedroom door. It needed to be dry-cleaned, anyhow,
I did not remove my panties. I was remembering the somersault position as outlined in the love treatise of the Shiek Nefzawi—el kelouci—and the fact that a pair of panties would come in very handy. I sat down and told George to get ready.
"I am ready,” he grinned.
He got rid of his clothes. He was a muscular young man, his body was heavily tanned except where his swim trunks would cover him. George liked to swim and sunbathe and his body showed it.
I patted the bed. "Come up here, darling. Then do as I say."
I got over him, dropped my black nylon panties about my ankles and bent over. As I directed, he caught my hips, somersaulted me and—
I cried out with delight. So did George. It was a strain on the leg muscles, but the pleasure was intense. Those old Arabs sure knew how to get their jollies, I give then that. Three hours and a number of experiments later, George lay exhausted beside me. I was pretty tired myself.
"Eve, you're wasted as a secretary,” he said thoughtfully.
"Am I, darling?”
"You ought to be in L.U.S.T."
"I just was,” I giggled.
"No, I mean The League of Underground Spies and Terrorists." Enthusiasm caught hold of him. He propped up his head with a hand, elbow sunk into the mattress. "Yeah. You have all the qualifications and then some.
I snuggled against him. "Tell me more, George."
The league had been begun some years before, as a result of the cold war and the spy activities of foreign countries carried on inside the United States. L.U.S.T. had no official status. It was a by-blow out of the State Department by way of the Central Intelligence Agency. Only a limited few knew of its existence at all.
Members of L.U.S.T. were given assignments which were criminal in nature. A man must die, a document must be stolen, a building must be blown up. The league was never used until all other diplomatic channels had been found wanting. Even then, there must be agreement from those higher-ups who controlled the destinies of the country.
The pay was extremely good, if sub rosa. After all, every time you went out on an assignment, you risked your neck for Uncle Sam. The name of the game was kill or be killed. For this you wanted to live good between jobs.
"Those four men tonight wanted to kidnap me. I know things the—er—other side wants to learn. Usually I'm not caught that easily. I kind of lost my head, being out with you. Fortunately, you saved it.”
"How glad I am,” I purred.
"Are you interested?”
"Darling, you can't. Not again!” He laughed. "I didn't mean that. Or did I? Actually, what about trying out for L.U.S.T., Eve?”
Next morning, George Norman and I caught a Pan American plane that carried us to Miami, Florida. George explained that my background would be explored in minute detail by L.U.S.T. agents, that I would have to undergo, a training period. With my unusual qualifications—George grinned slyly, thinking of how I would surprise certain instructors assigned to me—I would have no trouble passing the physical tests.
We dropped onto a landing strip at Miami International Airport in the early afternoon. Less than an hour later, we were walking into a notions shop on N.W. 19 Street. George nodded briefly to a pert young thing, took me into the back room and lifted a trap door.
A flight of aluminum steps took us down to a lower floor that looked like something out of a science fiction movie. Indirect lighting showed glistening linoleum floors, a delicately tinted, ceiling, and a dozen desks where typists were banging away at I.B.M. electrics.
My head was swiveling this way and that, trying to see everything at once. Banks of computers lined the walls, their lights flickering back and forth, up and down. With his hand at my back, pushing me ahead of him, George ushered me into the presence of a big blonde-man named David Anderjanian.
"I have a volunteer, David,” said George. David Anderjanian looked a time. He was a huge Viking of a man, six feet four inches tall and built like a pro football lineman. His eyes were dark blue and his lips were quick to smile with pleasure or tighten with grim disapproval. I got to know David much better, much later, when L.U.S.T. assigned him to me as my case officer.
Right now, however, he gave me a cold fish eye and grunted. He was spectacularly unimpressed, even though I was wearing a tight Orlon sweater and a mini-skirt. I held my breath when he asked what gave George the idea that I might be a good L.U.S.T. agent.
George smiled gently as he said, "Give her a little test, David. I think she's ready right now.”
David laughed, not nicely. "You mean that?”
George nodded complacently. He explained how the four secret agents had made a try for him in the Haitian hills and how I had felled three of them.
"Just lucky, David growled, but he lost his fish eye stare and looked at me as if I might be a human being. He said softly, “Miss Drum, I am a sex maniac. It is night: You are walking home from a movie. I approach you and—”
He lunged for me, both hands grabbing at my shoulders. I bent, caught his right arm above the elbow with my left hand, slid my right arm under his left-armpit and turned, easing his weight onto my right hip. I rammed my high heeled shoes back between his feet.
I bent. David Anderjanian rose into the air and sailed. I aimed him at the big couch. He fell across it upside down. The floating loin throw is very effective, if one does it properly. I did.
David grunted hard when he hit. He lay there staring at me upside down. I thought he might be angry but he began to laugh.
"George,” he said. "Chalk one up for you.”
"Yeah,” George said and winked at me.
It wasn't all that easy, of course. L.U.S.T. sent me to its spy school where I listened to lectures day after day, and refreshed my memory about target shooting with pistols, about throwing a knife fast and deadly. I knew how to swim but L.U.S.T. retrained me as if I were out to make the Olympic team. I took the judo and karate courses just for kicks.
The locale where L.U.S.T. maintains its school for agents is high priority hush-hush, but I can tell you I myself was trained on a big farm not too far outside Washington. We candidates for admission rose at dawn, we went horseback riding before breakfast, we did calisthenics and isometric exercises until I thought my muscles would wear out; then we ate.
Classrooms were complete with desks, notebooks, and hard-nose instructors. We learned about the 'drop,' the 'cut out,' the 'safe house.' We were taught tricks and techniques, we studied means and methods by which to stay alive when on a case.
We did field work on judo mats, on target ranges, in pools and pounding surf. We went on mock missions to meet a 'cut out', who was an in-between contact man or woman, at a pre-arranged 'drop' where we would pass over little messages. We learned, above all, the value of little things that might betray an agent to the opposition.
We were worked hard. There were times when I wanted to chuck it and go back to my safe and sane typist job, but I am a stubborn girl. I gritted my teeth and hung on. Then David Anderjanian came to see me.
We met out on the target range on a June night. Ordinarily the spot would have been right for romance, with the early summer wind sighing down from the Virginia hills and a big hazy moon high overhead. David was all business.
“You’ll do,” he told me casually.
"Oh, goody,” I smiled.
"You want a case or not?” he growled.
There were times when David Anderjanian seemed not to have a heart in his big Viking body. I wiped the grin off my lips and nodded.
“I want anything that'll take me out of this prison.” I told him honestly.
"Fine. You're going to be a call girl.”
So what else is new? I thought.
“Really? Sounds funsville.”
“It might be at that. You're going to visit a real Count on his yacht. Then you're going to rob him. Got it?
So I went to work for L.U.S.T.