Murph was bent over the desk, awaiting his fate. He had been told to grip the far edge of the desk, so he was stretched across it. His school blazer, shirt and white vest had ridden up his back. His grey school trousers and white Y-fronts were down at his ankles.
Getting into position meant bending over and presenting his bared backside for a caning even though he was a grown-up young man of eighteen.
In front of him, Dr Henderson-Smith, the headmaster, was rummaging through his punishment cabinet intent on finding just the right stick to take the bully’s arse off.
Eventually he took hold of the Malacca, a fearsome specimen. .It was no longer or thicker than the rattans among his vast collection; but it was denser. And every three or four inches along its length were notches which, the headmaster knew from the rod’s satisfactory use in the past, would raise serious wounds on a boy’s buttocks. A deep red welt would raise immediately the Malacca connected with flesh, then within minutes deep purple bruises would cover the entire area of the globes. The marks would stay for days, more than a week sometimes, and the boy on the receiving end of such a thrashing would find it painful to sit for many hours. Some areas of the buttocks would remain tender to the touch for days.
Yes, Dr Henderson-Smith was convinced this was the cane to deal with young Murphy.
Mick Murphy, naturally known across the school as ‘Murph,’ was from the town’s growing Irish stock. He was typical of the breed; his head was oblong shaped and his face looked like a potato. His body was built like a navvy’s and covered in hair. The good doctor had never before seen such hairy buttocks on a teenager.
Murph shuddered in anticipation of the ordeal to come as the headmaster moved into position behind him, and swished the cane menacingly through the air, adding considerably to the young man’s trepidation.
Dr Henderson-Smith had no sympathy with the boy now prone across his leather-topped desk. He was a bully and an extortionist. For many months the lout had been terrorising junior boys and taking their lunch money. Murphy’s was a simple plan. At St Francis Independent Grammar School the prefects were not allowed to punish the younger boys outright; instead they distributed punishment slips for breaches of good behaviour. If a boy collected three such slips it meant an automatic caning from his housemaster.
Murphy dished out the slips as if they were confetti; but he would ‘let a boy off’ if he coughed up his lunch money; which they always would do. The cash kept Murphy in smokes and paid for the ‘girlie’ magazines that were easily available from certain newsagents in town.
It went on for months: perhaps the only question to ask is why he did not get caught sooner. It was only by chance that Mr Tooke, a junior master, looking through the chemistry lab window saw the brute attack the tiny eleven-year-old boy. Albright rolled in a ball on the ground to protect himself from the flailing legs of his attacker.
That was how Murphy found himself knocking on the heavy oak door of the headmaster’s study.
Murph gulped and entered the study closing the door behind him, the desk in front of him was clear. The headmaster was a bit of a drama queen. Calmly, he told Murph that his behaviour was unacceptable.
“You’re going to be sound-er-ly th-rashed, my boy, and that means a prop-er can-ing,” he rolled every syllable around his tongue, fondly believing this would drive terror into any misbehaving teenager’s heart.
“Move over to my desk, drop your trousers and underpants and spread yourself across it, gripping the sides. This will hurt and is intended to.”
Murph had expected this. Although he had never been sent to the headmaster’s study before, he had heard tales from other boys who had. His friend Mitchell had been caned last week; he said it hurt something awful. Felt like a red hot poker against his skin.
In a trance, Murph unbuckled his belt, unfastened his trousers, pulled the zip and let them slide off his hips and down his thighs. As he did as he was told he dreaded what was to come next.
“Underpants too, boy!” It was a sharp command. The headmaster was not about to have his time wasted by this sixth-former.
Still Murph hesitated; he really did not want to expose his bare flesh to the headmaster.
“Please don’t make me come over there and take them down for you!” Dr Henderson-Smith would have too. He found that many of his pupils were far from stoical when the time came for a caning. In generations past it was a matter of honour for a schoolboy to present himself gallantly for a beating, but many modern boys lacked the courage to do this.
With shaking hands and scarlet face, Murph stuck his thumbs under the waistband of his underpants and dragged them to his knees, displaying his genitals. Quickly, he cupped them in his hands to hide them from the headmaster’s view.
“Stupid boy! I am not the least bit interested in your private parts,” the headmaster thought, but did not say aloud. It was another part of the boy’s anatomy that interested the good doctor.
He tapped the wooden desk with his finger. “Bend over.”
Murph bent right over it, clutching the far edge and offering his huge haunches most submissively for what was to be a thrashing of a lifetime.
There was no ceremony with the headmaster. He had a job to do; no a duty to perform and he got on with it.
The boy felt the cane rest on his backside and then it was gone. The next thing he felt was the cane land on his bare backside and an intense line of fire erupted across his buttocks. This was Murph’s first bare-bottomed caning and the eighteen-year-old screamed. He had never felt anything quite like it. He was hot all over, but his bottom was definitely hotter still and rapidly overheating.
It might have been fairer not to give such a vicious first stroke, but the headmaster was in no mood to show any leniency, and had delivered it with every ounce of effort at his disposal. A scratch about six inches long formed across the boy’s buttocks.
After a slight pause, a second stroke landed a little below where the first had marked him, turning the scratch into a deep cut. Blood began to form along the line of the cut. Murph was astonished by the severity and intensity of the stripe. He felt flushed and humiliated to be fully dressed on his top half, but naked from the waist down. Cold perspiration ran down his back.
“Please Sir!” Murph wailed. “Please Sir, I’m sorry!”
“Silence boy!” thundered the headmaster and cracked the cane down again. Strokes three onwards landed on the bare flesh, hurting, if possible, even more than the first one. By the fourth stroke, snot and tears were cascading down Murph’s huge face. The headmaster did not decrease his punishment one bit and was well satisfied with the boy sobbing on the desk in front of him.
The sixth stroke slashing across the base of Murph’s bottom, where it joins the thighs, was the final straw, causing him to yell out and bawl loudly. His legs danced and thrashed about. He had never been in such pain, nor imagined that such pain was possible to survive.
With Murph still across the desk, the headmaster gave him a final warning about his behaviour before giving him permission to get dressed. As the teenager was dressing Dr Henderson-Smith replaced the cane in the cabinet and sat down before opening the punishment book. He wrote Murph’s name, the nature of the offence and details of the punishment inflicted. He noted with some satisfaction that this was the fifteenth entry in the book that month and it was still only the second week.
When instructed by the headmaster, Murph slowly pushed himself back on his elbows as he got unsteadily up. His legs felt weak and he had to lean on the desk for a couple of moments before he got his balance.
Murph slowly pulled his underwear back up over his buttocks, unable to resist gently probing the damage with his fingers as he did so. He could feel the painful ridges that would be visible for quite some time to come. Finally he got his school trousers up and fastened, then stood, hands clenched at his side, in front of the headmaster, his hands gently massaging his throbbing backside and his eyes wet with tears. He signed his name in the punishment book with the lecture from the headmaster on his future behaviour and a warning that it would be worse if he ever came before him again on a similar offence, ringing in his ears.
Murph was dismissed and slowly he limped from the study his hands rubbing his buttocks and his eyes still moist with tears.
Other school stories you might like.
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second