This is Chapter Thirteen -- "Cincy"
The other stories in the "Wayfarers" series.
Features Brian Kinney, William Reynolds, Lady Fern, Sugar, Mandy, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Reynolds' shows off his prize. Cincinnati, July 1843.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
"There is a ship and she sails the seas,
She's loaded deep as deep can be,
But not as deep as the love I'm in,
I know not if I sink or swim.
The water's wide, I cannot get o'er,
Neither have I the wings to fly,
Give me a boat that will carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I."
"Your Boy has a sweet voice," said Lady Fern, fanning himself languidly. "He's a sweet piece altogether. I wish I could find such diamonds lying around in the mud as you seem to, Mr. Reynolds."
The Lady glanced at the gentlemen assembled in his large parlor, drinking, smoking, and eyeing the possible evening's entertainment. Most of the Lady's boys were idling around the gentlemen's chairs, trying to get their attention, but all in the room were listening with marked interest to the young singer. The story of the gambler who had won the beautiful Boy in a poker game was already legend in sporting houses and gambling halls all along the Ohio River and beyond and all wanted to get a good long look at Reynolds' Boy.
"It was not difficult, Lady Fern," said William Reynolds, sitting back in his chair. Sugar, a slight fair-haired boy wearing a rose-colored robe, leaned over and relit his cigar. Reynolds took a leisurely puff. "I simply keep my eyes open. And when I see something of value that is not being used properly, then I manage to acquire it. This acquisition is so far proving to be quite satisfactory. More than satisfactory, in fact."
Lady Fern, an obese man in his fifties, was wearing a heavy brocade dress, which Reynolds thought quite inappropriate for a humid July evening. He was also wearing an elaborate red wig and some garish jewels that were obviously paste, including a huge, ornate necklace. But Lady Fern's jewels were his trademark. They also gave his establishment its name, the Jewel Box.
Reynolds was not terribly impressed with the Jewel Box. The appointments were shabby, the food and drink second rate, and the boys on offer a ragged bunch at best. There were one or two passable lookers, but the others were either scrawny, colorless swamp trash or ex-slaves that Lady Fern had likely picked up on the cheap in Kentucky and imported across the river into Cincinnati. The former slaveboys seemed hardly even aware that they were on free Ohio soil -- perhaps they were not aware of it. One whorehouse was like another -- no matter what side of the river they were on, the boys still obeyed a similar master. And the white boys of the Jewel Box had a pinched, hollowed-eyed look about them that suggested Lady Fern used the opium pipe as their main recreation. Reynolds had expected to find something much better than this in a city like Cincinnati. Why, Madame Heloise's place in Pittsburgh was a palace compared to the Jewel Box.
"I believe Sugar likes you, Mr. Reynolds," Lady Fern pointed out. "He's one of my most accomplished boys and knows a few interesting tricks. Perhaps a little later you might be interested to make his further acquaintance upstairs?" The blond boy smiled at Reynolds and tossed his long yellow hair, which trailed down well past his thin shoulders. But it looked stringy and streaky, as if it had been bleached with some harsh concoction. And Sugar, like many of the Jewel Box boys, had an unhealthy air about him.
"No thank you, Lady," the gambler replied, staring up at the singer. "I am quite happy with my own Boy. I need no other amusements."
Now Reynolds remembered why he'd stopped going to boy houses years ago -- it was too dispiriting. The way the Lady had her boys arrayed in various stages of female dress and called them by female names was not at all to the gambler's taste, although he knew it was the norm at such places. If he wanted a woman, thought Reynolds, he was quite capable of getting a woman. These faux females did not stir him in the least. But he had to be polite to his hostess.
"Oh love is tender and love is kind,
A little while when first it's new,
But love grows old and waxes cold,
And slips away like the morning dew.
I leaned my back up against an oak,
I thought it was a trusty tree,
But first it bent, and then it broke,
So did my love prove false to me.
Had I a gist before I kiss'd,
That love had been so ill to win,
I'd tied my heart in a lover's knot,
And pinned it with a silver pin."
"That's such a woeful little song," commented Lady Fern. Brian's voice was high and haunting, just on the verge of breaking. "Doesn't your Boy know anything a bit livelier?"
"Well, Lady, he's Irish and they have a melancholy temper, so I suppose it is their nature to sing melancholy ditties," Reynolds replied, gazing up at Brian. At his Boy.
Now HIS Boy -- THAT was something worth having! Brian stood out like a blooming rose among Lady Fern's bouquet of limp posies. Yes, even in his velvet jacket and lace-trimmed shirt, Brian looked like a real BOY and not some pathetic counterfeit girl. Yes, it was his boyish traits that were the most endearing to the gambler -- his rough mop of golden brown hair, his long limbs, his smooth torso and firm flanks, and, of course, his perfectly formed prick. Lady Fern's boys hardly seemed aware they had pricks. And the way they giggled and fluttered about like a gaggle of schoolgirls at a Sunday School Picnic -- that was most unstimulating, Reynolds thought.
"I would let his hair grow long, Mr. Reynolds, down to his shoulders at least. It's pretty but too wild. He looks like a common street urchin that way," Lady Fern suggested. She thought that with the proper handling, Reynolds' Boy could be a prime commodity. "And a touch of kohl around his eyes would bring them out so much more. See the way I've done Mandy here?" The Lady beckoned a quadroon boy in a yellow frock. The gambler thought the canary yellow dress against his pale but sallow complexion made the boy look jaundiced. Lady Fern pulled Mandy down beside his chair and pointed to the boy's face. His large dark eyes were outlined in some kind of black muck and his full lips were painted red. The boy grinned and batted his eyes at Reynolds. No, decidedly unstimulating.
"Brian's hair is quite fine the way it is," the man retorted. "And he doesn't need any paint. Nature has given him all the color he needs for beauty."
"I say that Nature can always use a little help, isn't that right, Mandy?" Lady Fern said, prodding the sallow boy with a fat finger. "You should have seen Mandy here when I found him. Not exactly the prize that your Boy is, Mr. Reynolds, but I was very happy to have picked him up in Louisville for a mere song. With a little work he has cleaned up right nice."
"Indeed," sniffed Reynolds, puffing on his cigar.
"When cockle-shells turn to silver bells,
And pennies hang on ev'ry tree,
When roses grow out of the snow,
I'll know my love's been true to me.
When my sweet baby is finally born,
And sitting on the nurse's knee,
And I myself am dead and gone,
For a maiden I ne'er more shall be.
There is a ship and she sails the seas,
She's loaded deep as deep can be,
But not as deep as the love I'm in,
I know not if I sink or swim."
"Yes," continued Lady Fern as Brian finished his song and shyly took a bow to a round of admiring applause. "He is a melancholy little piece, I think. Be careful that he doesn't pine away, Mr. Reynolds. I had an Irish boy like that once, but he didn't last. Consumptive, he was. They are always so mournful, the consumptives. It's because they know their time on this Earth is short. Yes, the one I had took too much laudanum one night to end his woes. It was so sad. He was such a pretty boy, too."
Reynolds glared at the Lady with fire in his eyes. "My Boy is neither mournful nor consumptive! He is in perfect health and he is perfectly happy!" Just then Brian came over to the gambler's chair and sat on the arm of it, pressing himself against the man and putting his arms around his neck. Reynolds' own arm encircled the Boy protectively. Brian smelled of rose-scented soap and the cinnamon stick Reynolds had bought him on the street as a treat. The gambler kissed his Boy and tasted the cinnamon on his ripe lips.
"Of course he is, my dear man. Of course he is perfectly happy. Anyone can see that. But if you'll excuse me now?" Lady Fern stood up and clapped his hands, calling the company to attend to him. "I think we should have a bit of a dance before the gentlemen choose their favorites for the evening."
The Jewel Box boys scrambled around, giggling, as they gathered in the center of the large parlor. One of them, an older dark-skinned youth, sat at the pianoforte and played a little flourish.
"Would your Boy care to join our revels, Mr. Reynolds?" the Lady asked. Yes, the dance was a regular feature of evenings at the Jewel Box. Lady Fern found it a good way to show off the boys to his clients. And the gentlemen enjoyed it as well. It stirred their blood to watch the boys cavorting about the place while they studied on which one they were going to select. The Lady already knew of a couple of the gentlemen present who were extremely interested in Reynolds' Boy. If there was a competition for him, then the price would be boosted up accordingly. The gambler might stand to make a tidy sum for one evening's leisure -- and Lady Fern would take his cut, too, of course.
"Would you like to dance, Boy?" the man asked, nudging the lad.
But Brian felt ill-at-ease in front of all these strangers, even after his little song had been so well-received. It was a sad song that his Mam used to sing and it fit his troubled mood. They were such a strange bunch of people at this house Reynolds had brought him to. He'd never seen anything like them before. And Lady Fern -- Brian couldn't stop staring at the person. "I never danced with another boy before," he replied, looking at his master. "I might feel funny."
"Don't fret. Just pretend you are dancing with Mae or one of the other girls," the gambler cajoled. "These fellows hardly count as boys at all, from what I can see. So go ahead, Brian. I know that you love to dance."
Brian smiled. "I DO long to dance." And Reynolds gave him a slight pat on his rear end, sending him over to join the other boys in the line.
The dark-skinned youth played a lively reel and the boys danced with more spirit than skill. Reynolds thought they appeared quite ridiculous in their cobbled-together frocks, and most of them were also decidedly clumsy. That pianoforte was horribly out of tune, too, making Reynolds, who enjoyed good music, wince whenever the player hit a bad key.
But Brian looked beautiful next to Lady Fern's rabble and that's all that truly mattered. That everyone present recognize that HIS Boy was vastly superior to anything the Jewel Box had to offer. Or that any other place on the river had to offer. Reynolds was certain that a man would have to go a pretty far distance to find a boy who could even begin to compare with Brian. Why, he doubted that there were any in New Orleans or New York that could surpass his Boy! And he had a brain in his head, too, which was something most mere beauties could not claim. Reynolds smiled to himself. The gambler liked to BE the best and he liked to HAVE the best -- and he wanted everyone else to know it. That was the main point of this little excursion to the Jewel Box. He wanted to go somewhere and show off his Boy! Somewhere they could sit a while and not have to cover things up. He couldn't very well take the Boy to a regular tavern and sit him on his lap and fondle and play with him. Why, they'd be run out of town on a rail! Besides, Brian needed a little recreation to keep him happy. The Boy was still learning the basics of his trade and until he was more seasoned Reynolds could not chance taking him into the gaming rooms and casinos where he might make a dangerous mistake. But Brian was getting bored and lonely sitting in the hotel room every night while Reynolds was deep in a card game or working a mark somewhere. No wonder he seemed a trifle melancholy.
But here at Lady Fern's place Reynolds could have a drink and a smoke and a little conversation with like-tasted gentlemen. And his Boy could sit next to him and the gambler could pet him and coddle him all he wished. Maybe Lady Fern and her customers weren't the creme de la creme of Cincy Society, but they didn't judge. No, instead they looked at Reynolds with envy as they admired his Boy. He cast his gaze around the room and saw a number of the men staring openly at Brian. Well, let them look! But they had better not touch! They better not dare! Reynolds was surprised to find just how possessive of the Boy he had become in so short a period of time. It had only been a few weeks since they'd left Pittsburgh, but already he was acting like a jealous husband with a beautiful young wife. And Reynolds, who had always prided himself on his lack of feeling for anyone, was enjoying the unfamiliar emotion.
Looking at Lady Fern and her array of fake jewelry reminded Reynolds that it might be time to buy the Boy that little present he'd promised him on the steamboat. He hadn't forgotten that promise of a present. And the Boy had been good. Yes, very good.
"One of my regular gentlemen has asked if I might put an offer to you, Mr. Reynolds?" said the Lady, breaking into Reynolds' thoughts.
"Offer? What kind of offer?" Reynolds replied, narrowing his eyes.
"He wonders what is your usual rate for the Boy? And if you charge by the hour or for the evening in total? Because he is interested in the whole night, if that is possible." Lady Fern's tone was very businesslike now that money was involved.
Reynolds stamped his cigar down hard in a ceramic ashtray, trying to control his anger. "There IS no usual rate, sir, because my Boy is not available to anyone for ANY price!"
"Come now, Mr. Reynolds!" Lady Fern retorted. "You bring the Boy here and parade him about in front of the assembled company. Everyone here knows where you acquired him and how. He's a whore, the same as my boys. He may be pretty, but he's no different from them -- and no better! And now you claim he is not available! I believe you are simply driving the price up, my dear man, which is understandable when you have a valuable piece of merchandise, but let's not play any games here."
Reynolds stared up the Lady with his steely blue eyes. "I am playing NO games, sir. I brought my Boy here to enjoy some company and that is the only reason! If there was another assumption, that is a mistake on YOUR part." Reynolds abruptly stood and held out his hand to his Boy. Brian immediately broke away from the dancers and went to the man's side, taking a tight hold of his hand. "I think it is time for us to leave this place, Brian." And Reynolds and his Boy left the parlor, stopping only to reclaim Reynolds' hat from the servant at the door.
But Lady Fern came bustling after them. Reynolds was an important man in the insular sporting world and it would not do to anger him. He might spread bad words about the Jewel Box from New York all the way down to New Orleans! "Mr. Reynolds, please! I believe there has been a misunderstanding! I simply assumed that the Boy was...."
But the cold look that the man gave him brought Lady Fern up short. "Make NO assumptions about me OR my personal business, sir. I shan't be patronizing your establishment again. Good evening." And Reynolds put on his hat and began to usher Brian out the front door.
"But my dear man, perhaps I can make it up to you in some small way?" The Lady coyly took hold of the gambler's elbow.
Reynolds paused. "I doubt that highly."
The Lady smiled primly. "Perhaps you and the Boy would like to view a very special tableau that we arrange only for our most favored guests in the back parlor? Sugar, the blond boy, and Emmy, that tall black-haired boy, will put on a special entertainment -- just for you, Mr. Reynolds. Both boys are very talented and the tableau should prove most stimulating. Your Boy might enjoy watching it, too. If you are moved to participate in any way then there is a special rate I'll give just for you. And if the Boy wishes to join in -- there will be no extra charge at all! Just to make up for this little disagreement. I want all of my clients to go away from my place contented, Mr. Reynolds, and you are no exception." Lady Fern smiled, thinking that no gentleman would turn down such a tempting offer. Sugar and Emmy put on quite a popular show and she was offering it to Mr. Reynolds practically gratis!
Reynolds pressed his lips together tightly. "Thank you, no, sir. I believe we have had enough 'entertainment' for one evening. Again, I bid you good evening." And the pair were out the door.
Reynolds could hardly get away from the Jewel Box fast enough. He pulled the Boy by the arm as they hurried down the street and back towards the main part of town. Brian trotted briskly along next to him, but then he stumbled slightly on the uneven pavement, and that is when Reynolds finally slowed his steps.
"Are you all right, Boy?" the man said, steadying Brian.
"I'm fine. I think my bootlace is broken." And the Boy bent over to secure it. When he stood up, Brian took the gambler by the hand and they continued on at a more leisurely pace. "I didn't like that place. It wasn't anything like Madame's house. Those boys seemed... so odd. Those clothes they wore." The Boy wrinkled up his nose. "And that Lady Fern... Is she really a lady, or is she a man?"
"I think Lady Fern is a bit of both. And so are her boys," answered the gambler.
"Like me, I guess," said Brian, sadly.
The man stopped in his tracks. "Who says so? You aren't anything like those painted Nancies! What makes you say that about yourself?"
"Well," said Brian, frowning. "They're whores and I'm a whore, too. And... I don't know." His voice trailed off.
"You are NOT a whore, Boy! You are MY apprentice -- remember that fact!" Reynolds huffed. "And you are completely a BOY and not a simpering she-male like Lady Fern or her cohorts. So don't compare yourself to them! Couldn't you clearly see the difference?"
"But I heard the Lady say those men wanted to buy my time, same as her boys. And if they'd come to Madame's house a month ago, they could have. So what's the real difference?" Brian kicked at a piece of loose pavement with his boot.
"The difference is that I SAY it is different! You're MY Boy -- don't you believe that?"
But Brian said nothing more as they walked along and Reynolds began to worry. Lady Fern had been right about one thing -- the Boy HAD been melancholy recently. He'd been quiet around the room, mainly reading and doing his lessons, but rarely laughing or romping about the way he had those first few days on 'La Belle Helene.' And at bedtime he seemed hesitant and sad when before he had been eager and playful. It was all due to Reynolds' own bungling, the man was certain of that! Brian was still balking whenever Reynolds fucked him, even though it seemed to be getting easier, seemed to be hurting him less each time. Or else his Boy was merely pretending that it was easier when it was not. And now this freakish evening at Lady Fern's. The outing at the Jewel Box had been meant to cheer up both of them -- and in that it had failed miserably. No wonder his Boy was melancholy, because Reynolds was feeling dejected himself!
"Let us go directly to the hotel and get some rest," Reynolds said. "I am quite tired tonight." And they walked back in silence.
In the room Reynolds undressed, got into the bed, and turned over, closing his eyes. He didn't sleep, but lay there pondering the circumstances. Brian also undressed, but he fidgeted about for a while, putting things away, folding some linen and handkerchiefs, and generally avoiding getting into bed. Finally, he turned down the lamp, climbed in, and lay quietly in the dark.
"Brian," said Reynolds. "If I am hurting you, then tell me. Because I don't mean to. I'm sorry if I have. That was never my intention. I... I've been a foolish man. I thought it would be as pleasant for you as it is for me, but I seem to have misjudged the situation. You are NOT enjoying making love with me, you are only tolerating it."
"It doesn't matter," whispered the Boy.
"But it DOES matter," Reynolds replied. "Because now you are afraid of me. I know you are, so don't deny it. I don't want you to be afraid of me, Boy. It is more than simply a matter of sex. Because you cannot be my apprentice if you are in fear of me. One day our lives may depend on how we work together, on your ability to signal me, or slip me the card I need at the time I need it. That is what I am teaching you and for that we must have a perfect understanding with one another. And that cannot happen if you don't trust me."
"But I do," said the Boy, his voice very small. "I DO trust you."
The gambler shook his head in the darkness. "I don't believe you, Boy. But do not worry -- if I feel like I need to perform that act you find so distasteful, I will not force it on you any longer, so have no fear."
"You won't?" said the Boy. Reynolds could hear the doubt creeping into Brian's voice.
"No, so you needn't fret. Go to sleep and have no fear of me ever again." The gambler paused, pulling out his trump card. "If I wish to fuck a boy, then I'll go over to the Jewel Box while we're in this town. Lady Fern said that Sugar took quite a fancy to me. Or I'll have him come here to the room if I need him. Either way, you won't be troubled by me any longer."
Brian sat straight up in the bed. "That whey-faced blond tart? That Sugar? You would fuck that boy? You'll fuck anyone! He's ugly! You don't even know him! And I'm beautiful! You said so yourself! Why would you want to fuck an ugly boy when you have me right here!" Brian's voice was sharp with anger.
"I told you, Boy, I don't wish to hurt you," Reynolds answered, raising his eyebrow. "All you do is fight against me the whole time and that makes for no one's pleasure. So, from now on you shall be my apprentice and learn my trade and I shall be your master, but that is all. I will make certain you have your own bed whenever it is possible, so that you can sleep without worry. And whenever we come to a new town, I'll find a good place to seek out a boy and then you will not be bothered."
"But you said that I was your BOY! I was -- and I AM!" Brian cried with a passion. "You said you cared for ME! And now you're going to banish me from the bed and look for other boys? Like HELL you will! If that Sugar or any of those other sluts come to this room I'll pull their stringy hair and throw them out that window! I swear to God!"
Reynolds almost laughed out loud to hear how riled up Brian was over this new turn of events. Yes, he was a passionate creature and no doubt! The gambler could feel his prick stirring. "But, Boy," he said. "I am simply doing what I believe is best. You don't like me to make love to you, so I am merely bowing to your wishes."
"That isn't my wish!" the Boy countered. "You told Lady Fern not to make assumptions about your business, but YOU are making assumptions about ME! You must have lied when you said I was beautiful, because now you want to get rid of me and put that horrible Sugar in MY place!"
"No, I do NOT want to do that, Brian," Reynolds said, truthfully. "You are very beautiful. There isn't another Boy that can approach your looks on the entire Frontier and that's a fact. But I also don't want to compel you to put up with my advances if you don't want to. I think it is making you downhearted and I cannot stand to see you downhearted."
"And you think replacing me will make me happy?" the Boy answered, his eyes filling with tears. "Next you'll send me back to Madame's in disgrace! And... and...." Brian swallowed. He didn't want to mention the thing that was truly distressing him. His best britches were getting tight in the waist and he knew what THAT meant. That was the first sign that you were in trouble! Soon everyone would know he was in a real fix. Brian remembered his mother's belly swelling that final time after they had come to Pittsburgh. He also remembered the dead baby lying on the mattress before the midwife took it away. And Brian shuddered. Now he was truly afraid. Mam never really got better after that, she just coughed more and more until she finally died. Then his Da went away, making it clear that Brian was nothing but an unwanted burden. And now Reynolds no longer seemed to want him, either. Maybe even Madame Heloise would not wish to be bothered with a boy in trouble! The tears overflowed and ran down Brian's cheeks like rain.
"I would never dream of replacing you, Brian. You ARE my Boy -- and no one else's," whispered Reynolds with a smile. He reached over and brushed away the Boy's tears with his thumb.
"Then show me! Show me right now!" the Boy demanded, pulling Reynolds over on top of him. He could feel the gambler's blunt prick hard against his own swelling peg. "I'm your Boy! I am!"
Reynolds knew that the day would come when the Boy would be begging to be fucked, and he felt a slight pang of guilt over working Brian's emotion the way he would work a stubborn mark. But it had been necessary in order to manage Brian's feelings. He didn't want the Boy moping all day or falling into a long-lasting gloom from which it would be impossible to divert him. And this time Reynolds would be more careful -- he knew that he would never get another such chance to make things right.
This time the gambler tried something different. Instead of rolling Brian over and proceeding from there as usual, Reynolds left the Boy on his back and pulled his long legs up around his waist, the way he would fuck a woman. He had done it this way before in the past, but most men he had dealings with preferred the more usual position. Perhaps they had no wish to look their partners in the eye when performing such an act. But this seemed just the thing for the Boy. This way Reynolds could kiss him and speak to him, face to face, distracting him from any possible hurt.
But Brian was avid now for it, almost as if attempting to prove to his master that no one else could ever take his place. This time when he cried out, Reynolds could see that it was not out of pain. He knew that there was a place somewhere inside a man that brought pleasure, much like a female had. Reynolds, who would never allow himself to be used that way if he lived a thousand years and so had never experienced that sensation, thought that he must be touching that place inside the Boy. Then he was certain of it when Brian began to urge him forward again and again and again. And then once again, much more forcefully, until the Boy shouted out with ecstasy and they were both spent.
Brian felt lightheaded with depletion, but his whole body was also buzzing like a beehive. He felt as if he were afloat a foot in the air, even though Reynolds was collapsed heavily on top of him. But he did not want the man to move. He did not want anything to move, for fear of breaking the moment! If they were still enough perhaps their bodies would continue to vibrate, like the plucked string of a Spanish guitar. But then that note began to fade and Reynolds shook himself and turned over on his side, staring at his Boy.
"I think that tomorrow we shall take a turn downtown, Boy," Reynolds said. "We will look for that silver bracelet I promised you. I have been thinking on that bracelet lately and a promise is a promise. Have you been thinking on it, too, Brian?"
"Yes," breathed the Boy, smiling contentedly. "I want a big bracelet with roses carved into it! In silver AND gold! With a fancy clasp!" Brian sighed. The gambler was NOT going to send him away! He was going to buy him a present! Brian was sure that once they were about the city tomorrow the gambler would also buy him a new pair of britches to replace the tight ones. And a new jacket. And perhaps some fine linen shirts like Reynolds himself wore.
"Now you want silver AND gold?" the gambler laughed. "You will make me spend every penny in my hard-earned cache on objects with which to adorn yourself by day! And then you will make ME spend myself inside you every night until I founder with exhaustion! There will be nothing left of me but an empty shell by the time we get to New Orleans!"
"When we get to New Orleans I want to ride in that golden carriage you spoke of!" cried the Boy, his eyes glowing. "With those high-stepping white horses! And we'll have plenty of champagne, too! You said so! You promised me!"
"You truly ARE a courtesan-in-the-making, Boy!" Reynolds said, caressing his golden brown hair in the candlelight. "I think I have somehow gotten myself in over my poor head. How did that happen, I wonder?"
"I don't care!" Brian growled, pouncing on top of the man. "Fuck me again!"
©Gaedhal, July 2003.
Posted July 31, 2003.