Hank Janson’s Lilies For My Lovely

Thanks to Murray Roberts for sending in another testosterone- fuelled novel extract from the hard-boiled 1950s when men were men and women were spanked – good and proper!

Hank Janson was the pseudonymn of an English author who wrote violent faux-American thrillers which were sold as cheap paperbacks with erotic cover art. I’ve illustrated the extract with a few of these covers.

Murray writes:

For a period c.1950, Hank Janson was Britain’s top selling author. His monthly stories sold in hundreds of thousands. In this one, heiress June has been kidnapped, her hair cut off and sent to Papa. She has been rescued by Papa’s bodyguard, but does not seem very grateful…”

liliesformylovelyI said: “All right, can the big I am stuff, Jane. If you can’t treat Dan like he’s a human being at any rate stop getting at him all the time.”

She tried to toss her head at me. But it didn’t come off. She’d have made a pretty good show if she’d had her hair. But she hadn’t and the result of her action was to make her look pretty silly.

I grinned. Sally tried to suppress a smile and Dan said:

“Creepers, don’t she look queer that way.”

June flew into a rage. She slung a jug off the table at Dan. He dodged and it smashed against the wall beside his head. She’d have probably thrown a lot of other things and Dan would probably have gone on dodging them if I hadn’t stepped in and grabbed her.

I said: “Look you two. You’d better start getting sociable because you ain’t gonna have no other company around.”

“You ain’t leaving are you, Hank?” said Dan. He sounded scared.

“Me and Sally are clearing out.” I told him. “We’re gonna take a little trip together.”

“Gee,” he said. He looked at June, looked at her cropped head and shuddered. “You gonna leave me alone with her,” he said. “She gives me the creeps.”

Luckily I was standing right behind June and I was able to grab her when she started throwing things again. And then after she’d quietened down I said to Sally: “Okay, honey, get your things packed.”

Dan looked at me with a sorrowful expression on his ugly face. ” Gee, Hank” he said pathetically.

I said: “Look fella, come outside I wanna talk with you.”

We went outside and walked down into the woods. I said: “D’you want some good advice?”

“You’ve helped me a lot. Anything you say is okay by me.”

“You’re letting that June make a monkey outa you.”

“I know,” he said. “But that’s the way things are. She’s that kinda dame. What can you do with a dame like that?”

“Give her a damn good spanking.”

“That’s what she needs,” he agreed. “But honest Hank. I can’t get tough with a dame. If it’s a fella now…”

“That’s your trouble,” I said. “You’ve been brought up in the old school. You think women have gotta be treated gentle and polite all the time. But wake up, Dan. That line’s okay with dames that have got something to their credit. But this dame’s a pain in the neck. All her life she’s had what she wanted. She’s got no more regard for human feelings than she has for a train-line. What you got to do, Dan, is to show her that human beings are human beings.

“I’d like to get tough with her, Hank. Sometimes she makes me so mad I wanna take her apart. But you can’t treat a dame that way.”

“Nonsense,” I said. “There’s some dames that need slapping around. And the fella that does it is doing them a favour. It might make all the difference to their life.”

His big eyes looked at me seriously.” You really mean it Hank? You really think I should teach that dame a lesson?”

“What have I been telling you for the past ten minutes?” whendamesgettough

He thought about it. The idea was new to him. And when he churned it over in his mind he could see the possibilities.

I said: ” It’s a piece of cake for you. She’s stuck here with you for at least a coupla months. That’s a long time to be shut away with somebody. Are you gonna do those two months the smart way or the tough way?”

“I think you got something, fella” he said.

“Attaboy,” I felt in my pocket and brought out the photographs. “Just as a little extra encouragement to her to be good, you can wave these around in front of her. Tell her that you know a fella that’ll like to give these to his editor.”

“I’ll take those,” he said. “Maybe they’ll come in useful later. Right now I’ll try without using them.”

We walked back to the cabin. “You wanna make a start now,” I said.

“Yeah, I’d like that. I’ll feel better if I know you’re around.”

“I’ll be right behind you. And remember, every time you feel like backing down, I’m right there watching you. I don’t think you’re yella, Dan. Just prove it to me, willya?”

“Course, if she gets tough, it won’t be like fighting a fella,” he said.

“No,” I said. “You gotta develop a new technique. You just leave it to instinct. You’ll find out what to do right enough.”

We went back to the cabin. Sally was already packed and waiting for me to come back.

June was sitting back in the chair with a magazine across her lap. She said airily to me: “Well, I’m much obliged for the help you gave me. I guess my father paid you plenty for it. That’ll help you on your way.”

I stood in front of her and said levelly: “Listen, Miss June, I ain’t received a penny from your father and if he offered it to me, which I doubt, I wouldn’t accept anything. Maybe I did help you outa a jam. So did Dan here. But has it ever occurred to you that we did that just so we could be useful to somebody?”

“Yeah, but you coulda got some dough outa Dad.”

I said slowly: “Your Dad can go to hell, his money can go to hell and you can got to hell as well. And while I’m about it let me tell you what I think of you. I think you’re the miserablest, worthless slut I’ve ever met.

She sat bolt upright in her chair, her eyes flaming an the cropped scrub of her hair seemed to bristle. “You insulting swine,” she mouthed. “How dare you speak to me like that.”

Dan hitched his trousers uneasily. I’d given him a lead and this was his chance. He said: “Don’t you go talking to Hank that way. I guess everything he said is right.”

June may have been scared of me but Dan was a different proposition – she thought – she got up outa her chair with a slow menacing movement. Her eyes were slits and her fingers crooked like talons.

She advanced slowly towards Dan, her lips writhing and curling back over her sharp teeth. Mad viciousness expressed itself in every taut line of her body.

“You scum,” she mouthed at Dan. “How dare you talk to me that way”

Normally maybe, Dan would have backed away. But now he stood his ground. June went right up close to him and then one of her hands shot out like a raking claw. Blood spurted from his cheek as nails shredded skin from his face.

June musta been surprised at Dan then. He caught her hand, spun her around and shoved her so that she went flying across the room to bang against the wall. But if she was surprised she was much more angry. It was a maddening insult to her that Dan should have treated her in the way she asked to be treated. She turned and rushed at him. Sally made a movement as though she was truing to stop her. I grabbed Sally by the arm. “Leave them to it,” I said. “Let Dan settle this his way.”

sisterdon'thatemeI watched them as June, mad with rage, flung herself at Dan. He caught her by the hands, swung her around and shoved her towards the wall for the second time.

June was good for a long while yet. She turned, ran at Dan and at the last moment kicked him in the groin. It was a vicious kick and June didn’t know it, but Dan had got himself a bad rupture through a blow like that. Dan doubled up in agony. June picked up a table and smashed it on his head. Dan crumpled up on the floor. He wasn’t unconscious but he was badly dazed.

I resisted an impulse to do something to try to help Dan. But this was his trouble and he’d have to deal with it himself.

June started kicking him. She couldn’t hurt him much because she was wearing high-heeled sandals and they wouldn’t hurt a tough guy like Dan provided it was his side or his shoulders she was kicking. Dan was still groaning but I could see he was recovering. And then he reached out, grabbed June’s ankle and jerked. She came down hard on her fanny with a bump that shook the floorboards. And when she came down she squealed like a stuck pig. Dan reached out and wrapped his hands around her mouth. She clawed at his hands and long bloody streaks gouted blood across the backs of his hands.

I guess that was when Dan entered into the spirit of the thing. He let go of her and slapped her face. She slapped back. But whereas her palm bounced off Dan’s face, her cheeks were stained red, smarting so the tears ran down her face.

“You beast,” she raged.

Dan got up slowly. She got up slowly. Then her eyes ran around the room wildly. There was a cane chair nearby. She snatched that up and brought it down with all her strength on Dan’s upraised arm. He got hold of her by the shoulder and she jerked away. She left most of the top part of her dress in his hands. Her soft breasts curved invitingly.

Up went the chair again and this time it splintered against Dan’s arm. He was tough that guy. And when he grabbed at June he didn’t miss. He grabbed her good and hard. She struggled like a wildcat, but in his strong arms she was like a child. He twisted her over his knee and then he spanked her. He spanked her with the ease and assurance that a parent smacks a naughty child, but there was a lot more steam behind his slaps. He was slapping to hurt and he meant to hurt.

June was only wearing a thin frock and that didn’t muffle the slaps any. At first June kicked her legs and screamed with the humiliation and indignity of being slapped. After that she began to scream because she was being hurt and then finally she slumped into a kinda stunned acceptance, sobbing and moaning, her body jerked painfully every time Dan brought his hand down. But it took quite a while to get to that stage.

I’ve seen some spankings in my time, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody so soundly spanked before. Dan went on slapping, it seemed never-endingly. And every time his large hand came down it had plenty of steam behind it. But by the time he was finally through he was good and tired. His shirt was soaked beneath the armpits. And when he was through he just let June roll on the floor where she lay and sobbed.

“I think,” said Dan, “that we’ll have a drink all round.”

“I’m all with you. You’ve given that dame what she’s been needing for longer than I can reckon.”

“She ain’t going to like that,” said Sally. But I could see by her eyes that she thought June deserved it.

“She’s gonna like that.” said Dan determinedly. ” If she don’t. she’ll get the same again until she does.” He was completely sure of himself now. “Get up,” he said to June.

June lay there and whimpered. Dan bent down, grabbed her by what was left of the dress and pulled her to her feet.

“Get some drinks,” he said.

June whimpered.

Dan bent her around, twisted her, got her across his knee again. “Gonna get those drinks,” he said.

June gulped. “I’ll get them you bully.” she said.

She did too. We sat there while June got the whisky bottle and set up the glasses. We smoked a coupla cigarettes and drank and talked and all the time June sat there quietly, broodingly, looking at Dan with a strange expression in her eyes.

And she was still watching him like that when me and Sally got into my car and drove off.

The last thing June should have been able to do is sit quietly, but an author having to churn out 20.000 words by lunchtime can be forgiven the odd non sequitur.

4 thoughts on “Hank Janson’s Lilies For My Lovely”

  1. An interesting email from a reader about this post:

    I thought I knew – and had owned – every Hank Janson-spanking, but Murray Roberts can still come up with surprises.
    There’s one though that comes to mind where Janson is the spanker and the woman struggles and kicks and tries to get off his knee until she suddenly lies still and he asks her:
    – What now?
    – You’re right, I deserve to be spanked.
    That’s when I stopped spanking her. When a woman knows she needs to be spanked there is no need to spank her.

    Or something along those lines.

    I also remember that Roberts sent me an excellent excerpt from another crime novel where the gangsters tie a woman to a bed and slowly undresses her (panty-girdle and all, I’m a sucker for panty-girdles) and then whips her naked bottom with a belt.

    I don’t know here he finds these things. I gave up years and years ago after having gone through every second hand-book store in New York.

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