The Woodlander


“Come back here you!”

The shouts were getting louder.

Tom Carpenter ran for his life through the trees of the vast Higglesworth estate, cursing his ill luck. But the law of averages said he would get caught poaching one day, after all the many days of free meat. His father never asked where it came from, though he knew, for they were a desperately poor family.

Not far to the wall surrounding the estate; he could just make out the straight line running through the trees in the fading light. Once over it he stood a much better chance. The gamekeeper must have thought the same for the ferocious barking of the dogs suddenly became a racket; they had been let loose. Tom could hear the savage pack almost upon him, so he jumped up to grab a tree branch and climbed as fast as he could, kicking away the savage teeth snapping at his ankles.

The old gamekeeper, Henshaw, stopped beneath, puffing.

“Got ya’, y’little devil!” Henshaw gave a toothless grin of satisfaction, lowered his rifle as he gazed up at Tom. “They’ll deport y’ for this, like as not, an’ good riddance too.”

With Henshaw at his back, Tom was marched to the imposing manor house, which he had only glimpsed through the trees before.

A burly, smartly-dressed man strode up to them rubbing his hands together. “I say, excellent work, Henshaw. One of the peasants who’s been stealing my game, no doubt.”

“That he be, sir. Caught ‘im red handed, I did.”

“Jolly good. Lock him in the stables for the night and take him into town on the morrow. Will they hang him, do you think?”

“Don’t rightly know, sir. Reckon deportation’s prob’ly more likely these days.”

As he was taken through to the stable courtyard to one side of the grand house, Tom chanced to glance up and notice he was being looked down upon from a balcony by a younger fancily-dressed gentleman. Pompous nosy bugger, thought Tom, glaring back.

He was shoved into an empty stable, the heavy door slammed and bolted behind, sealing him in darkness.

His first thoughts were of escape and he spent some time going over his confinement, but solid stone walls sealed him in, the door solid and secure. Finally he gave up and sank in a corner.

He didn’t fancy his chances at any trial. The black thought of deportation, which had always been at the back of his mind when poaching, now loomed closer, suddenly a very real and immanent threat. Who would now look after his young siblings, keep the peace with their drunkard father? Their mother had passed away some years ago in childbirth at which their father, a farm-labourer, had turned to the bottle. Tom, though young, had been forced to start work, though he enjoyed his woodland work. Among other skills, such as coppicing and hurdle-making, it had been the woodlanders who had taught him to make a bow and arrow. When starvation struck in winter, he had been forced through desperation to take up poaching. Without his poaching they would have starved by now.

Tom pricked up his ears at the sound of the bolt being drawn slowly back. He got to his feet hoping it wasn’t Henshaw come to rough him up. The door creaked open and a tall dark figure slipped inside, quietly closing it again.

“Pssst!” a young man’s voice hissed. “I just wanted a word. Don’t attack me, okay?”

A match was struck and put to a candle-wick. In the flickering glow Tom recognised the face he had seen watching from the balcony, and felt immediate resentment.

“I don’t mean you any harm,” the young gentleman continued in such an upper-classed tone that it sounded comical to Tom’s ears. “I was merely concerned to see that you are alright.”

Tom’s mind was racing, half minded to barge past and make a run for it, but equally curious to know what the toff had to say. “Why should you care?”

“Dash it all, promise not a word to anyone! Because I liked the look of you, okay. After watching your distress from my bedroom balcony, I couldn’t abide the thought that you might hang for stealing my father’s game when I found out what had happened. Plus, I cannot stand our ghastly gamekeeper, Henshaw. Dreadful fellow.”

“So you came here to say you’re sorry about it?” Tom hissed angrily. “I don’t want your pity, rich boy.”

“Actually, I had it in mind to set you free, but perhaps you don’t warrant my assistance.”

“I could make a run for it now, without your assistance.”

“That would not be wise for I should call out. Henshaw would set the dogs on you.”

Tom considered this. “Okay, then. I accept your offer of help. Now set me free.”

“And what may I ask is your name, that I might know who I rescued?”


“Tom? I’m delighted. Charles Higglesworth at your service.”

Charles offered his hand which Tom clasped. Tom felt as if a charge passed between them as he took Charles’ smooth long fingers in his own rough calloused grip. Tom stared into Charles’ earnest, intense eyes in the flickering orange glow and liked what he saw. He noticed for the first time that it was a handsome face, perfectly proportioned, smoothly shaven, with straight blond suriyeli porno hair combed to one side, much in contrast to his own ragged, dishevelled looks. Owning no mirror, he only knew his own face from his refection in water.

Their hands lingered before parting.

“Now,” said Charles, “I have a plan of sorts. If you will give me a lift up I shall open the old hay-loft door. We shall lock the stable door again when we leave. Henshaw will be left in wonderment that you can jump higher than he thought, that you managed to grab hold of the rafters.”

Tom agreed, bending down for Charles to place a boot in his hands. Muscles solid from hard labour, Tom lifted Charles easily.

“I say, you are strong,” Charles exclaimed as we was hoisted up, then opened the creaking old wooden door.

Tom lowered Charles back down and they stood for a moment regarding each other in the candlelight.

Charles moved forward hesitantly, then quickly kissed Tom on the cheek.

Tom recoiled as if he’d been struck.

“Call me all the horrid names you want, I don’t care!” Charles blew out the candle and moved to the door. “I shall be out of here in a few days, for the army. Now go.”

Tom recovered himself. “Thank-you for freeing me, Mr. Higglesworth.”

“Please, just Charles-“

Just as Charles opened the door, Tom plucked up his courage and gave Charles a quick peck on the cheek, then they were out into the dark night. The curtained light from Charles’ balcony window was the only light. With that Tom stole away into the darkness, making for the woods he had come to know so well.

Once safely back over the estate wall Tom breathed easier. Just before dawn he slipped back into his father’s cottage on the edge of the hamlet of Brackenworth. Yet despite the late hour he could not sleep. His mind was aglow with anxiety and excitement, replaying the evening’s events. He would need to lay low and keep an eye out for Henshaw. And no more poaching, he told himself.

The next day was a busy one as usual, the mundane chores, seeing to his two younger brothers and sister, then off splitting and stacking logs. Yet through it all he wasn’t really present, his mind dreaming of the previous evening, of Charles kissing him.


Tom pressed his knuckles to the glass and tapped once. The noise shocked him into awareness of his situation. He couldn’t believe he was really doing this, that he’d actually got this far. Every step of the way he’d told himself he’d just go a little further then turn back, that he wouldn’t really go through with it.

After a precarious climb up thick ancient wisteria, he now stood on Charles’ balcony, caught in the moonlight like a burglar. If Henshaw appeared, he’d be shot dead on the spot.

Some time passed and he tapped again on the dark glass. What if Charles was a heavy sleeper? What if he wasn’t even in the room?

Tom gave one last knock. Enough foolishness, he told himself. What was he ever thinking of? Why should Charles even want to see him again?

Just as he was about to turn to leave, the curtain jerked back. Then the glass door soundlessly opened.

Tom waited, his heart pounding, but there were no shouts of alarm, so he slipped inside, the dark figure beside him closing the door behind.

“It’s you, Tom!” came Charles’ excited voice. “What in heavens are you doing here? I never expected to see you again. Are you in trouble?”

Tom felt himself going red, knowing at the words that he should never have come. What a fool he felt. Charles had probably given no further thought to him. “I just wanted to thank-you. No stranger’s ever shown me such kindness before. I just wanted you to know that, is all.”

“Well, I’m only too glad I could help. Glad it was appreciated, old chap.” Charles lit a lantern on a bureau and they stood contemplating each other.

A silence began to draw out and Tom struggled for words, itching to get away again. “And to wish you luck, was all.”

Charles took a step closer. “You were brave coming here just to tell me that, Tom. I’ll never forget.”

Charles’ words struck a note of joy in Tom’s heart. Charles was glad he had come and wouldn’t forget him. That was worth something.

“You could make it up to me, you know,” continued Charles.

“How?” asked Tom eagerly, watching Charles’ perfect lips extend into a grin.

“A mere kiss is all I ask.”

“Oh.” Tom could not hide his disappointment that Charles might have had an exciting errand in mind.

“But I expect a measure of passion,” said Charles, noting Tom’s expression.

They had been unconsciously edging towards each other already, like two slow magnets that at the last moment spring together. Tom cupped his hands around Charles delicate cheeks and kissed him, with passion. Charles responded, wrapping his arms around Tom’s back, hugging him to him. Their tongues touched.

At that Tom pulled back, pushing Charles away. “Ugh, no, we shouldn’t. We shouldn’t be doin’ this. This stuff’s to be done with women only.”

“Says who?” qiqitv.info Charles stepped away, hurt. “Tell me you feel nothing for me too and be on your way!”

“I’m sorry Charles. I must go.”

“So you feel nothing then? Own your feelings, man!”

Tom found to his further embarrassment that a tear had escaped and he wiped angrily at it. “You’re right, Charles. I have got feelin’s for you, okay? So now you know. But it’s pointless. We could never be together and we weren’t meant to neither. I have to go.”

And with that Tom slipped back outside, the night air cooling his hot cheeks. He made considerably more noise than he intended clambering back down. He couldn’t help it; his hands were shaking. He crossed the courtyard, stole across the lawn and entered the emptiness of the woods once more, alone.


Tom awoke to the cockerels and his father’s warted face pressed close to his own.

“Where’s you always off to, sneakin’ about in the night? I’ve not seen no meat of late in return. An’ you was actin’ all queer yesterdee. Got yourself a bird or summit? ‘Bout bleedin’ time if you did, mind, though they ain’t nowt but trouble.”

“Nothin’s up, just went for a late walk, is all.”

Tom spent the day working in the woods as usual, though his mind was in turmoil. Walking wearily home, he hoped his father had at least prepared some stew.

Nearing the cottage he had a sixth sense something wasn’t right. Perhaps it was the unusual quiet.

Pushing open the creaking cottage door he was surprised to be confronted with a stranger whose smart attire suggested he was a provost, a gun at his side.

“Well, well, look who it isn’t.”

Tom glanced over to the toothless grin of Henshaw and he felt faint.

“Tom Carpenter, I am arresting you on the charge of poaching-” the provost began formally.

“Tom, m’lad,” his father groaned. “Wasn’t I always tellin’ you not to go messin’ in anything like that? Tried my best to bring you up good ‘n proper, I did, and now look what trouble and shame you bring on us.”

“Mr. Carpenter-“

“Look at him, no more than a boy. Can’t you see it in your heart to let him off this one offence, kind sirs?”

Henshaw sneered. “One offence? ‘E’s been at it some time, I reckon. Prob’ly stolen enough game to feed half o’ London by now.”

Tom looked at his young siblings one last time, seeing their mute alarm as his hands were bound to be lead away by the provost.


Greenborough jail, where Tom spent the night, the following day and another night, stank foully. The whole town had wreaked as soon as the walls had closed in around him, sealing him off from his free country life. He sat on damp straw in a corner of the darkened cell he shared with several other ragged prisoners, too despairing to engage with them. He recalled all the terrible tales he’s heard of deportation, if he was spared the noose which was too horrific to contemplate.

On the second afternoon he heard his name called. With a loud jangle of keys the solid door swung solemnly open, the entrance to a hell he was about to hear of.

Tom kept his head down the whole time until he found himself looking at the floor of the dock.

“Tom Carpenter, you stand accused of the crime of poaching on the Higglesworth estate,” he heard a loud, deep upper-classed voice firmly state. “How do you plead?”

Tom glanced around at the large room-full of smart faces coldly watching him. He had no defence and knew he would be found guilty however he pleaded. He didn’t imagine for a minute that the fat pompous-looking bewigged judge would be lenient if he pleaded guilty.

“How do you plead?” the judge boomed.

“Not guilty, your honour,” Tom croaked.

“Not guilty? Would the prosecution proceed.”

A thin formally-dressed man wearing a long wig stood up. “Mr. Henshaw, the estate gamekeeper, caught the accused red-handed, your honour, trespassing on the estate with a bow and arrows on his person.”

Tom looked down from the dock to see the ugly face of Henshaw, the only familiar face in the room. He groaned inwardly. How he had come to hate the cursed man.

“Would you confirm this, Mr. Henshaw?”

Henshaw, who had turned red as beetroot, got nervously to his feet. “Well, now, your honour, now it comes to it, I can’t exactly say. You see, twus very dark and its been a-worryin’ me that I may have been mistaken. I believe the man may possibly be innocent.”

Tom stared at Henshaw dumbstruck. Did the old gamekeeper have a conscience after all?

“What?” the judge bellowed, making Henshaw jump. The judge’s face looked like the devil as he waggled his finger at Henshaw. “I should have you charged with wasting court time! Get out! Court adjourned.”

At that a great chatter went up. Tom remained in a daze as his hands were freed and he was lead out of the dark, gloomy court into the glorious sunshine.

No sooner was he out of the door than he was grabbed from one side with a whoop. He turned in shock to stare into the face of Charles hugging him.

“Tom, I’m travesti porno so sorry.”

“Charles?” Shock gave way to a rush of joy and he sank in Charles’ arms.

“Tom, you’re faint.” Charles helped Tom to sit down at the edge of the court steps, squatting down next to him. “I came as soon as I heard. It was only by pure good fortune that I heard Henshaw discussing the matter with my father. But I know one or two of Henshaw’s little secrets, more serious offenses than poaching. I threatened to inform my father and that it would be him being deported next, if he didn’t drop all charges and see you freed.”

“Thank-you, Charles. You’re a true gentleman.”

“Might I offer you a ride home? I’ve a good horse who can easily carry the both of us.”

Tom accepted and soon they were trotting along green byways, leaving the foul air of Greenborough behind.

“You will have to keep on guard for Henshaw in the future,” said Charles. “The old schemer may plot against you in my absence.”

At Charles’ words Tom felt a pang of sadness. Swaying with the motion of the horse, Tom held on to Charles’ firm, tall body that oozed confidence. He stared at the back of Charles’ head, liking the sight of his golden hair shifting in the breeze. Charles was about to leave for his army commission. In all probability they would never see each other again, his dashing hero who had rescued him from a miserable fate, probably saved his life, someone who had stuck up for him when no one else had. After all the emotional turmoil, the thought brought tears to his eyes and he was glad Charles couldn’t see.

“Confound it, I do believe we are lost,” Charles suddenly announced. “Get down a moment, would you?”

Tom dismounted, paying attention for the first time to the track Charles had brought them down, wooded on one side, bounded by high hedges on the other. There were many ways back from town, so Tom hadn’t wondered why he didn’t know the route, though he knew roughly where they must be.

“Come along, I believe we can cut through this wood to get back on track.” Charles lead his horse along a path through the wood, dense with recently-coppiced low hazel growth, standard oaks towering above. “This way.”

Charles clearly did know the route.

Tom allowed himself to be lead through the hazel to a small grassy clearing where Charles tethered his horse who immediately lowered her head to graze.

Charles turned to Tom. “Might I kiss you?”

This time Tom had no nagging doubts. “How could I refuse when you have saved me? ‘Twould be an honour.”

Tom put his arms around Charles and hugged him, unable to hide the tears this time. He kissed Charles delicately on the lips. Charles hands moved behind Tom’s head, holding Tom’s head to his as he kissed back with increasing passion.

Charles drew back with a grin. “Am I really that bad to kiss that it’s making you cry?”

Charles slipped his hands under Tom’s shirt, gliding his wiggling fingers up to tickle Tom’s armpits. Tom jumped away, laughing, then tripped backwards to fall sprawling among the leaves.

“You poor sir, allow me.” Charles held out his hand.

Tom took it with a firm grip and pulled Charles down on to him.

“Why, you rogue,” Charles laughed.

Tom delighted in Charles’ laughter, and tickled him back. Charles struggled against him and they rolled together through the scrunching leaves, laughing. Whether through accident or design, Tom wasn’t sure, but somehow his shirt was torn open and their rolling ceased.

Charles sat up on Tom, staring down. “My, my, aren’t you muscular. If only I was so fit.”

“Let me see,” Tom whispered.

Grinning, Charles unbuttoned his shirt to reveal an only slightly less muscular torso, his white flesh contrasting with Tom’s dark tan.

They contemplated each other’s bodies for a moment, reaching out to feel each other’s hot chests, to trace their curves.

Charles’ eyes narrowed mischievously. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

Tom considered, feeling himself begin to stiffen at the idea. This was likely to be their only time together, maybe the only opportunity Tom would ever get to experiment with another man. And he knew he was in love with Charles. “Okay. You first.”

When Charles’ already proudly erect manhood appeared before Tom’s eyes, it took his breath away. Tom just stared up at it in wonder, mesmerised by the sight, the solid shiny end, the veins standing out.

Charles got to his knees and shuffled back. “Okay, now you.”

Tom reached down and released his own straining manhood. Charles eyes widened with interest. He bent down to examine it more closely, before it disappeared into his mouth. Tom licked his lips in wonder at the new sensitive and tingling sensation, as Charles head bobbed up and down before him.

After a time, Tom plucked up his courage and said, “I should perhaps return the favour.”

“Much obliged to you, kind sir.”

Charles got to his feet. Tom knelt to take Charles’ manhood into his mouth. Swirling his tongue about the wide girth he took it further, and further still, as far as he could, feeling his own body responding with excitement. His heart thudded as he tried mimicking what Charles had been doing, moving his head up and down, gripping the shaft with his lips, hearing Charles’ murmuring encouragement.

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