Andrew picked up his short trousers from the shelf in the changing room. They were properly short shorts, the kind that just about covered his underpants with at best only two inches of leg.
They were grey flannel and immaculately laundered and pressed so that he could have cut his finger on the crease down the front if he had a mind to. School was starting again and here in front of him was the school uniform he loved to wear.
Matron was very fussy and had laid out his togs with orderly care. Everything was prepared to perfection. He was late for class and he knew he would draw the fury of Dr Bulstrode, the form master, when he eventually put in his appearance in the schoolroom, but he did not care, he wanted to savour every moment of his transformation to prep school boy at Lyncroft Court.
Carefully he scanned the room to make sure nobody could see him. Then, confident his nudity would remain undetected, he quickly stripped off down to his birthday suit.
Then, he picked up the gleaming white Aertex white briefs with interlocking fronts and wide elasticated waist band. He stepped into them, noticing at once how the thickness of the material clung to his buttocks. He wriggled a little to ease them on comfortably. It was still early in the morning and the temperature was cold, it might warm a little later, but this was the end of winter and he did not expect it to get much warmer all day.
Next, he pulled the Invictor singlet over his head; the snugness of the cotton against his flesh defined his body. In the correct fashion, he tucked the singlet into the waistband of his underpants. He wished there was a mirror close by so he could admire himself. He loved to be in traditional vest and pants but it was only at Lyncroft Court that he had the opportunity; even his mother would consider them to be a bit old fashioned.
Andrew reached over to the shelf once more and extracted a grey school shirt from a paper wrapper. Matron was so very good to the boys. The shirt was ironed to perfection and as he pulled it on he caught the faint whiff of the starch that had stiffened the collar. The creases down the sleeves might have been even sharper than those in his short trousers.
He buttoned the shirt and found his school tie. It was of light blue and dark blue diagonal stripes, the Lyncroft Court colours. Without a mirror, Andrew had to make several attempts to knot the tie to the expected satisfaction of Dr Bulstrode. He could swear his fingers were turning blue with the cold as they struggled to make the required ‘windsor knot.’ Then, the tongue of the tie had to hang down to rest comfortably on his tummy.
The doctor was a stickler for the uniform and constantly berated the boys. He insisted they be proud of the school and that meant their uniform had to be perfect. He punished all uniform infringements and sometimes the punishment was severe.
The tie eventually tied, he hoped to the doctor’s satisfaction, Andrew fingered the short trousers. A shiver ran through his body, but it was not the cold weather. He unfastened the button at the waist, and the three on the fly, opened the top of the trousers and stepped in. Within seconds he had pulled them up and was tucking in the shirt and vest. The short trousers were especially tailored and fitted him snuggly. Even though it was unnecessary, he took down the elasticated snake-belt that Matron had left on a hook and threaded it through the belt loops.
He so wanted there to be a mirror. He turned to the window hoping to see his reflection, but the light was not good enough. Disappointed, he sat on a rickety wooden chair to pull up his woollen stockings. They were so very long they reached up his thighs and there was hardly an inch of flesh left uncovered between sock and trousers. This would be ideal protection from the cold on a winter’s day such as this, but that was not how the boys wore their uniform. Andrew folded over the dark and light blue tops of the stockings until they rested just below the knees. He flinched slightly as he accidentally touched a cut he had made earlier shaving.
Soon he was in his shiny black lace-up Clarke’s shoes. Now, he was almost ready: only two more items to put on and he would be fully dressed. The school blazer was draped over a heavy wooden coat-hanger. Andrew caressed the lapel between his finger and thumb. The quality of the cloth was superb; Lyncroft Court had done a magnificent job once again. Lovingly, he picked up the garment and smelled its freshness. ‘Beautiful,’ he didn’t say the word aloud since there was nobody there to hear, but ‘beautiful’ it was. The light-and-dark blue-striped blazer had been made especially for him and fitted, if one is allowed to use an awkward simile, ‘like a glove.’ He stood to attention, once again trying to catch a glimpse of himself in the window and once again to his intense disappointment, he failed.
Finally, he took hold of the blue quartered woollen cap and carefully placed it squarely on his head. It completely covered his recently cut short-back-and-sides haircut, as it was intended to.
Andrew was ready to go to the schoolroom. Only, now in his delightful school uniform, did he remember that he was at least ten minutes late for class and he should expect anger (and possibly much more besides) from Dr Bulstrode.
The schoolroom was situated one floor below where Andrew now stood, so it was a matter of seconds before he found himself outside, wondering how he should proceed. Through the door’s window pane, he could see Dr Bulstrode in full flight, lecturing the five pupils in the schoolroom. Should he wait for the doctor to finish; or should he enter now; or should he knock on the door first and see what transpired?
The idea of the knock won. Rat-a-tat-tat! Andrew always had a heavy knock. Nobody could ever say they had not answered his call because they had not heard it.
Dr Bulstrode certainly heard the knock. He stopped in mid-sentence and positively growled. ‘Come in! Who is it?’ He knew of course who it was. Andrew’s absence had been noticed immediately form-room registration had been taken. When interrogated, none of the other boys professed to know Andrew’s whereabouts (Dr Bulstrode doubted the truthfulness of this, but what could he prove?). Lowther would turn up eventually, the doctor supposed, and when he did he would give him what for.
Six pairs of eyes turned on the door as slowly it eased open and Andrew’s school cap appeared, followed shortly by his head and then the rest of his body.
‘Don’t dawdle boy,’ Dr Bulstrode thundered, ‘Come in at once!’
Sheepishly, Andrew walked a few steps into the schoolroom and then paused, not sure what to do next. The five boys had a jolly good idea what would happen next and perked up at the prospect of the entertainment to come.
Dr Bulstrode was a tall man in his fifties. He had once been a sportsman; it was rumoured he had played rugby for England Juniors, a long time ago in his youth. Now, he was losing his shape, and a small paunch at his belly was developing into a gut. He was dressed in the traditional schoolmaster’s gown and even inside the schoolroom he donned a mortar-board cap, under which untidy grey hairs emerged. His eyes were very searching and he had a jaw like a steel trap. His nose upon which he perched prinz nez spectacles was shaped like an eagle’s beak.
“The first thing you can do is to close the door behind you!” Dr Bulstrode said everything at the highest possible volume. He had practised for many years a character that could bring even the most rebellious schoolroom full of boys to heel. When the doctor spoke he was listened to.
Now, crimson from ear to ear, Andrew turned on his heels, and closed the door.
“Stand there Lowther!” Dr Bulstrode pointed to a spot in front of his desk. Andrew stood and surveyed the schoolroom. It had not changed since last term, and he had not expected it to. There were the same low wooden desks with sloping tops, some were paired and others stood singularly on their own. Each desk had an inkwell and a groove where the boy kept his nibbed pen. The schoolroom was decorated with a map of the world (most of the countries coloured pink), a large clock and several pictures of groups of schoolboys, all formally staring straight ahead.
To Andrew’s left was the schoolmaster’s desk, a cupboard for books and a blackboard and easel. And hanging from the easel on clear display was a crook-handled swishy cane.
Andrew had seen that cane many times before, but his heart still beat a little faster now. There was a very real prospect that it would be connecting with his stretched backside at any moment.
“Late again Lowther! I thought we had dealt with your time-keeping problem last term! Face the wall! Place your hands on your head! I shall deal with you later!”
With the sniggers of the others boys clearly audible, Andrew moved and stood facing the map with his nose almost touching Canada.
Behind him Dr Bulstrode was in full stride. In fact, Dr Bulstrode was no more a ‘doctor’ than Andrew’s Aunt Fanny; it just added to the supposed authenticity of Lyncroft Court to give him such a title. Nobody questioned his academic credentials and why would they? It was universally acknowledged by those who paid the school fees that he gave ‘satisfaction.’
Dr Bulstrode lectured his charges about the rules of the school. Andrew had noticed that everyone in the group except one were new boys. The one boy he knew from last term was called Harry Wharton (at least at the school) and he had developed a reputation as a ‘prankster.’ He had received lots of corporal punishment for his troubles, but it did not seem to do him much good. He should be good fun, Andrew hoped.
Dr Bulstrode was extremely agitated about his rules and the consequences for any boy who deliberately broke them. He reached a climax when he spoke of “contraband.”
“No boy is to bring contraband onto the school premises,” he shrieked. “And any boy found with contraband will suffer the severest punishment! Do I make myself clear?”
He was met with silence. In part because the boys were stunned by the ferocity of his oration, but also because they were unsure what he meant by “contraband.”
Andrew, who had heard it all last term, and had suffered the direst consequences for breaking rules, knew the doctor mostly meant cigarettes and sweets. The punishment would be severe: the only matter in question would be whether the boy’s short trousers would be snugly fitted across the buttocks as he bent over or down at his ankles.
The doctor’s lecture now completed, he turned his attention to Andrew. “Turn around Lowther, face me!”
Andrew turned on his heels, still with his hands firmly on the top of his blue-quartered school cap.
“Late again, I think you know by now that I will not stand for this kind of behaviour!” Dr Bulstrode strode to the blackboard as he was speaking and reached up for the whippy rattan cane. Behind him, five boys sat up to attention.
“Bend over that desk, Lowther!” The doctor pointed to one of the single-seat wooden desks. It had been left unoccupied at the front of the schoolroom, especially to be used for such contingencies.
“But it wasn’t my fault, Sir,” Andrew started, with no expectation of winning this argument.
“Bend over that desk!” Dr Bulstrode’s impatience was clear for all to see.
“But, it wasn’t my fault the train was late.” And, then just in time he added the obligatory, “Sir.”
The doctor swished the cane fiercely. If Andrew did not obey his order immediately the consequences could be insufferable.
Swish! “Bend over!” Swish! Swish!
“But it wasn’t my fault, Sir,” Andrew continued to protest, even as he stepped forward and lent over the desk. The desk sloped forward and was the correct height and shape to take a boy’s body so that his bottom was raised at a perfect position to receive a whopping. Andrew clutched tightly onto two wooden legs and felt his Aertex briefs ride up his buttocks. He remembered how thick the material was, but he knew from painful experience the pants would be no protection from the caning he was about to get.
All the boys had a perfect view of Andrew’s bottom and legs as he stretched across the wooden desk awaiting the onslaught on his bum. No doubt, the positioning was deliberate. Dr Bulstrode liked his boys to witness corporal punishment sessions. It was a notice of what would certainly happen to them if they decided to step out of line.
He might have intended it as a deterrent, but boys can be evil creatures and at this moment they were more excited about seeing their fellow pupil thrashed than for the future safety of their own backsides.
The doctor took hold of Andrew’s blazer and moved it away from the target area. Then, he ceremonially pulled first the boy’s shirt and then his vest out from the waistband of his grey short trousers. Finally, he tugged the top of the trousers so that they fitted snuggly against the boy’s buttocks. When he could clearly see the outline of Andrew’s underwear under the material of the shorts, he was ready to go.
He swished six cuts into the boy’s buttocks, one whop after the other with no pause. As school canings went it was not a severe thrashing. It was delivered with enough force to make Andrew gasp a little after each stroke and to leave a tingle in his buttocks, but when Andrew was allowed to stand up his face was redder from the embarrassment of the public chastisement than his buttock cheeks must have been from the caning itself.
“Take your seat, Lowther and next time get an earlier train,” Bulstrode barked, unable to disguise a slight smile.
The distraction of Andrew’s caning over, the boys quickly settled down for the first lesson of the day: Sums.
“Boys!” Bulstrode intoned, “I trust you have all done your prep and you are ready for the test I am about to deliver.”
Some of the boys actually groaned aloud at these words, while others silently grumbled. None of the six boys looked forward to this. They had been instructed to prep for this test and, because the good doctor considered that eight-year-old boys at a Council school should pass it with flying colours, his own pupils were expected to obtain maximum marks.
“Any boy who fails to get at least seven out of ten in this test, will feel my leather taws across the palms of his hands!”
The news did not come as a surprise; they had been warned beforehand. Dr Bulstrode was quite right about the simplicity of the task he had set the boys: any boy who failed only had himself to blame.
The test papers duly distributed, Bulstrode gave instructions to. “turn the page over and begin.”
Andrew did so and picked up his pencil and began. The boy was a whiz at long division and multiplication, and he knew it. His pencil flew across the paper as he filled in the answers. He stopped for a second when confronted by “vulgar fractions.” Ah, vulgar fractions, how rude. He chortled to himself at the little joke.
“Is something amusing you, Lowther!” Bulstrode’s beaky eye had caught him. Andrew flushed a little and stared down at this test paper.
Within minutes Andrew had completed the test. In triumph, for he was certain none of the others in the class would have finished so soon, he plonked his pencil down on the desk and sat back in his uncomfortable wooden chair.
He glanced around the room. The intensity of concentration on the faces of the boys amused him: surely they weren’t struggling with this silly test. One boy chewed on his pencil thoughtfully, but the taste of the wood and graphite did nothing for his memory; he still did not know how to multiply fractions.
The test was over; papers collected and in no time at all Bulstrode had marked them. “Lowther, come here, distribute the papers!” Andrew rose from his desk and took the sheaf from the schoolmaster’s hand. As he handed them back to each boy, he sneaked a look at the marks: nobody had scored more than himself.
But, oh dear! one boy was for it. Five out of ten. Only five out of ten, Andrew thought scornfully, he deserves all he gets.
“Wharton, stand up! Come out to the front!” The boy was expecting this. He made no protest as he climbed out of his desk, barking his shin as he did so.
“Stand there boy. Face the class!” Bulstrode ordered as he opened his desk drawer and took out a two-tailed leather taws.
Most of the boys had never seen such an instrument before. It was made of heavy tanned leather with each tail about nine inches long and less than an inch wide. Bulstrode held it by a short wooden handle and tapped the business end against his thigh as he berated Wharton.
“You are a lazy boy, Wharton, what are you!”
The boy agreed that he was indeed a lazy boy.
“And you are very, very stupid! What are you boy!” One boy Andrew could not see towards the back of the schoolroom, suppressed a giggle. Yes, Andrew agreed silently, old Bulstrode was laying it on a bit thick.
Again, Wharton was forced to say he agreed with his master’s assessment, but he did not really agree. He was not stupid, just lazy. He had not prepared for the test and had failed it. It was his own fault that he found himself in this predicament.
Bulstrode instructed Wharton to hold out his right hand. Reluctantly, the boy did as he was told, unsure that he would be able to keep his hand in place for the beating he deserved. He had never received corporal punishment on the hand before. He had been spanked, slippered and caned many times before; but all his punishments had been delivered to his bottom. Getting it on the bum was easy; all a boy had to do was bend over in the required position (over the knee, chair, desk or what not) and let his tormentor get on with it. If the pain was too great the boy could cling on tightly until it was all over.
Getting it on the hand was altogether a different experience. A boy had to face the schoolmaster eye-to-eye and he was obliged to look on as the punisher brought down the strap or cane into his outstretched palm. The temptation to withdraw the hand at the last moment to avoid the agony of the lash would be difficult for Wharton to resist.
“Put your left hand underneath your right hand!”
Wharton’s hands trembled as he raised them into position.
Bulstrode lifted the strap straight up and behind his shoulder. Wharton screwed his eyes tightly shut, not wanting to see it.
“You shall receive two licks, one on each hand!” And with sentence pronounced, the schoolmaster smacked the taws so that it landed squarely on Wharton’s palm and fingers. He let out a yelp and bounced around a bit but stayed in position. Then, Bulstrode made him switch hands and followed with another equally hard whack.
Wharton’s hand was crimson and burning. Bulstrode never did a thing by halves. If punishment was earned it was given, as Wharton and the other pupils found that out many, many times.
By the time Bulstrode had finished, Wharton was rubbing his hands up and down against his outer thighs but it was of little comfort.
The schoolmaster returned the leather taws to the desk and moved to a cupboard from which he removed a cardboard hat in the shape of a cone. Across the front in tidy black letters was the word ‘DUNCE.’
A wave of giggles travelled around the schoolroom: the boys had never seen anything quite like this before.
Dr Bulstrode, evidently pleased with the response, handed the Dunce’s cap to Wharton.
“Take this and stand in the corner and stay there until play time! If you are going to behave like a dunce in my class, you might as well be treated like one.”
Miserably, the boy stood in the corner, still evidently in much pain from his leathering.
The cold sleet lashed against the schoolroom window; another winter’s day had set in. Even hardy schoolboys could not be expected to play out in such conditions, so Bulstrode declared a ‘wet play time.’
This meant the boys could go to the junior common room for play time. Andrew was delighted; it meant he could read comics. But, first he had to endure the free school milk. This was a ritual in schools across the nation. Every morning junior-school children were forced to drink a small bottle of milk. Joe Lane was that day’s milk monitor and he took his duties very seriously indeed. He had been allowed to carry the tiny knife that was needed to slice a hole in the metal top of the bottle so a drinking straw could be poked through. Lane was so proud of the responsibility he had been given.
With no grace at all, Andrew accepted the proffered bottle of milk and dramatically holding his nose to show his distain, he sucked up the whole third of a pint of milk in two almighty gulps. Yuck! He cried loudly and went off in search of his favourite comic.
Playtime was soon over but Bulstrode was nowhere to be seen and the schoolroom was getting restless. Any schoolmaster knows that you cannot leave a group of boys with the presumed age of eight alone; they cannot resist getting into mischief. So it was that morning. No one boy started it; there were no ring-leaders, but within minutes chaos ensued. Alfie Cook tore a sheet of paper from his exercise book, scrunched it up into a tight ball and using his wooden ruler flicked it across the desk. It landed squarely in the eye of Dick Durrance, who did not take the disturbance kindly. With the precision usually associated with a surgeon, he tore a corner from his blotting paper and dipped it in his inkwell. It flew across the room, but mercifully, for the matron, who would have had to spend hours trying to remove ink from the boy’s blazer, it missed Cook, its intended target.
Paper darts whistled across the form room. Joe Lane produced a catapult (how had he smuggled that into the schoolroom?) and was searching the desks for suitable projectiles to launch around the room. Not a single boy was where he should be; sitting quietly at his desk waiting for class to begin.
The door burst open and the from-master surged in. “What!!” That was all that is was necessary for Bulstrode to bark before the boys to come to order.
The master did not have to ask; it was perfectly obvious to him and anybody else within a hundred yards of the schoolroom what had been happening.
The boys sheepishly stood still and Lane hurriedly stuffed the catapult into the pocket of his trousers, hoping he had been quick enough to escape Bulstrode’s eagle eye.
The schoolmaster hesitated for a moment; weighing up the situation. He spied the swishy rattan cane hanging from the blackboard easel. Who could doubt that each of the boys deserved a sound caning? But, the schoolmaster had a better idea.
“Stand alongside that wall, all of you.” The boys were still frisky and pushed and shoved one another until they were in some semblance of a line.
“Stand up straight! Keep still! Be quiet!” One command followed another, until eventually Bulstrode had the boys calmed to his satisfaction.
He honoured each one of them with his most steely scowl. No schoolboy could hope to return such a glare and they stared down at their own shoes.
Corporal punishment was imminent, but none of the boys could have guessed what was to happen next.
Imperiously, Bulstrode marched towards his desk, but instead of taking the cane from the blackboard easel, he reached over and picked up a wooden chair. Even though it was small and had no arms it was remarkably heavy. Six pairs of eyes watched in wonder as the schoolmaster manoeuvred the chair from behind the desk and laid it down with a heavy crash in the very centre of the schoolroom.
Then turning to the boys, he confirmed to them the actions he was about to take.
“If you insist on behaving like kindergarten children that is precisely how I will treat you!”
With that, he sat down in the chair, straightened his back and set his legs apart by about three feet.
He clicked his fingers angrily. “You first, Durrance! Step forward!”
Dick Durrance knew they were all going to get it, but why did he have to be the first? Maybe if he was second, he would know what it was that was in store for him.
Even, if he did not know the details, the basic premise was clear for all. The doctor intended to take each of the boys across his knees for a traditional spanking.
Bulstrode had not taken himself a weapon. Boys knew from past history that the schoolmaster delivered corporal punishment enthusiastically and he had a number of instruments of persuasion (as he liked to call them) to choose from. That day the boys had already witnessed the cane and the taws in use, but had he a mind to, Bulstrode could call upon a large rubber-soled plimsoll, a selection of light- and heavyweight spanking paddles and a heavy ebony-backed hairbrush that had once belonged to his mother and he could recall (not altogether fondly) being used across his own bared bottom when he was the age of the boys now standing in front of him.
None of these instruments of torture (as the boys called them) were evident.
Durrance had been spanked many times before, corporal punishment played a large part in his life, but that did not mean that he did not have butterflies in his tummy as he stepped forward as instructed.
Bulstrode clicked his fingers again to indicate the boy should stand directly in front of him.
“Hands on head, Durrance.”
The boy was unable to meet the master’s eye, so when he clasped his fingers together and placed them on his head he intently looked over Bulstrode’s shoulder to the window beyond, in a vain attempt to imagine that this might not really be happening.
But it was. Bulstrode undid the snake belt that held up the boy’s short trousers and let them slide into a puddle around his feet. Alfie Cook blushed to his roots as it dawned on him what was about to happen to his pal Dick and what would shortly to happen to him.
Bulstrode placed his thumbs inside the wide waistband of the boy’s Aertex briefs and lowered them first over his buttocks, then down his thighs until the rested at the boy’s knees. Dick still stared out of the window at the falling sleet. He shuffled a little as a cold breeze brushed against his naked skin and the underpants continued their journey south until they rested on top of his shorts. He blushed profusely. He had been spanked many times in the past, but this was the first time he had travelled across the lap in full public view.
Soon he was across Bulstrode’s knee, affording his witnesses a perfect view of his chubby pink buttocks as they pointed towards the ceiling. Anxious not to let himself down in front of his fellow form-mates, Dick Durrance raised his bottom high, as if to say to his punisher, “Yes, I have been a naughty boy, I deserve to be punished and I will take my spanking like a man.”
Dick placed the palms of both hands flat on the dusty wooden floorboards and looked directly ahead: he was ready for anything the good doctor had in store for him.
There were no hidden weapons. Bulstrode smacked his hand into the boy’s buttocks with some force and at rapid speed. In seconds he had covered the whole area from the top near the base of the spine, across the fleshy globes, down to the very sensitive spot where the bum meets the thighs. Then he covered the area again and again. Durrance gasped as the heat of his bare-bottomed spanking intensified. It started as nothing more than a warm glow, but it grew to a scorching pain as Dr Bulstrode spanked on and on. He had never known an over-the-knee hand spanking hurt so much.
His bottom and thighs were the colour of a good Burgundy by the time Bulstrode released him and ordered him back into line.
“Don’t you dare rub that bottom, or I’ll put you back over my knee!” Durrance’s hands had started to drift toward his very sore backside.
“Keep those shorts and pants at your feet, until I tell you that you may take them up!”
Durrance shuffled back in line. He was a little proud that he had withstood the severe spanking in front of his pals without too much fuss, but he was not at all comfortable standing in line naked from the waist down. He slipped his hands in front of his private parts.
Dr Bulstrode noticed the boy’s discomfort and demonstrated his mean streak. “Hands on head, Durrance!”
Miserably, his face blushing even redder than his bottom, the wretched boy obeyed the command.
‘You next Lowther!’ Bulstrode snapped his fingers again and Andrew walked forward to the point of execution.
And so, one after another, the boys went across Bulstrode’s knees for a forceful bare-bottomed spanking. A disinterested observer would have admired the schoolmaster for his strength and determination as his palms hammered into the fleshy globes of his charges. He spanked at such pace and with such force that surely by the time that Harry Wharton, the sixth and final boy, had been dealt with Bulstode’s palms must have been throbbing with more pain than any of his charge’s backsides.
But, even as Wharton rose from Bulstrode’s knees, that was not the end of the punishment session. Joe Lane might have succeeded in hiding his catapult when the form-master had entered the room earlier, but it was detected in the boy’s pocket the moment the good doctor started to unbutton his short trousers.
Lane was spanked like the rest of the class for his unruly behaviour, but he now must endure an additional six-of-the-best for bringing a prohibited item into school.
His form-master pointed with the cane to the chair he had just sat on.
“Bend over that chair, Lane!”
The boy’s short trousers and underpants were still at his feet, but silently, doggedly, he bent over. He shut his teeth hard as the swipes came down. Bulstrode handed out six of the very best, and though Lane went through it in silence, he had to keep his teeth clamped to keep back yells of anguish.
Bulstrode put beef into every swipe! Lane’s face was deathly pale when he had finished, but his bottom was scarlet and crossed with six deep crimson lines.
His eyes shone as he pulled up his clothes, dressed and limped back to his desk.
Despite his physical exertions, Bulstrode was calmness personified. Beating boys’ backsides was all in a day’s work.
Once the boys were settled at their desks, all except Lane, who wriggled like an eel, Bulstrode arranged himself in front of the class.
“Boys I was delayed returning to the class after playtime because I had to go to the headmaster’s study!”
Andrew suppressed a chortle at the image of Bulstrode bent over touching his toes while Dr Manners, the headmaster, delivered six stinging swipes into the seat of his trousers.
“I have a message for Herries! Stand up Herries!”
Andrew swivelled at his desk as a boy behind him slowly raised himself from his seat. He was a tall, gangly boy, with an unusually long neck. He reminded Andrew of a giraffe.
“Herries, during the first period this morning a search was made of the changing rooms and in the pocket of your outer coat there was found a packet of five Player’s Weights cigarettes!” Bulstrode intoned this in the way a hanging judge might pass sentence of the noose.
All eyes were on Herries. He was for it, now. Breaking the cardinal rule about ‘contraband.’
“And,” the good doctor had not finished, “two of the cigarettes were missing.” Then he added further, rather unnecessarily, “Presumably they had been smoked.”
“But, S..s..sir,” Tom Herries stuttered.
“Silence, boy! Leave your excuses for the headmaster. You are to attend his study immediately after this class has completed.”
Then, Bulstrode launched into a geography lesson.
Andrew sat puzzled. If the headmaster had discovered cigarettes in Herries’s pockets, why had be not found the packet of cigarettes in his own coat?
Tom Herries spent the next hour in fevered anticipation. Summoned to the headmaster’s study; there could be only one outcome.
The door of the headmaster’s study was made of heavy oak. Shaking a little in nervous anticipation, Tom Herries balled a fist and rapped his knuckles against the dense wood.
“Enter!” It was a loud, clear command. Tom took a deep breath, turned the handle and opened the door.
The study was larger than he expected it to be and more antique in style. Facing him was a large oak desk with two chairs in front. The headmaster Dr Manners was standing stiff-backed behind his desk, dressed in a schoolmaster’s black gown over tweed jacket and striped trousers, with a mortar-board on his head.
Dr Manners stared at the boy. He was more than six feet tall and looked a little absurd in his school uniform. He had long ago grown too tall to be wearing short trousers.
Manners knew his boys very well; their present-day characters and their past histories of conduct. He knew Tom was one of those in-between boys as far as behaviour was concerned; not bad, though far from being a goodie-goodie. He had racked up a few detentions and had been spanked on his bare bottom only that morning, but until that day he had never felt the cane.
Tom stood and watched as the headmaster went to the corner of the room. The wall on the left side was lined with floor to ceiling shelving from the door right across to the window. The centre section of this opened when he touched something at the edge, to reveal a cupboard, in which Tom could see a selection of canes. Most had curved handles, and were lying on shelves, though the headmaster selected one that was straight. This was about four feet long, maybe a quarter of an inch thick, and had ridges every four inches or so along its length.
Tom watched him as he put it back and took out another cane and flexed the wicked looking rod and swished it down before placing it back and selecting another cane. He flexed that cane three times and swished it down twice.
Waiting for his punishment, Tom had a mixture of fear and excitement as the headmaster selected yet another cane which he could almost bend tip to crook handle. He repeated the procedure with the cane before putting it back and taking out another cane and flexing it, he put that cane back and seemingly took out the cane he had selected before.
Apparently at last satisfied with his selection, Dr Manners turned to the boy and delivered a sermon. “Corporal punishment is painful, but if you want to improve your life, I’m afraid it is a necessity. Believe me young man, nothing will help you learn to obey the rules than the burning memory of the last good caning you got and the realization that another one is coming if you don’t shape up.”
Tom stood hands behind his back and feet about a foot apart as the headmaster swivelled an armchair round so that its back faced into the room. Tom could not help but look at the cane on his desk.
“Your punishment will be six of the best strokes of the cane,” he informed Tom. “Take your blazer off and put it on my desk and then bend over the chair in front of you and place your hands on the seat.” Tom’s stomach churned as he barely managed to stutter, “Yes, Sir,” before removing his blazer and resting It on the leather top of the headmaster’s desk. Then, with a deep breath he launched himself across the back of the chair and manoeuvred into place. He was very tall and thin and his stomach easy cleared the chair’s back.
In his bent-over position Tom’s pants had sank between each buttock, clinging to the soft curves. The boy was entering for him unchartered territory: his first-ever caning. The muscles in his thighs and calves tightened in anticipation of the imminent cascade of pain. He screwed his eyes shut, held tightly on to the seat cushion and braced himself.
He could hear the headmaster breathing, then the rustle of his gown as he took up position behind him.
The first stroke was a beauty. The cane slid over the crown of the tightened buttocks, moved away, and with a rush of demonic enthusiasm, struck on the precise spot it had selected. Tom’s teeth ground together in a determined effort to control any audible or physical reaction.
The headmaster lifted the cane high into the air a second time before bringing it down again with a will. The boy heard the swish then felt the line of fire, the pain was ten times worse than he expected it to be. Tom jumped and only just managed to hold his position, as the third stroke landed just below the first right in the lower part of his buttocks.
The cane tapped across his bottom again, and then cut in slightly lower. Whack! Although his buttocks jerked, this time the pain was stingy but not agonisingly so.
Dr Manners raised the cane high, had second thoughts and raised it higher and then had third thoughts and raised it higher again. Tom’s bottom tautened. The cane stayed up. Tom’s bottom relaxed. The cane came down.
After a few seconds wait, the headmaster raised the cane for the final time and placed the last searing stroke across the centre of Tom’s bottom. The effect was as expected, with Tom’s head lurching backwards when the cane impacted and the pain exploded across his bottom like a red hot poker had been placed on it. Tom, gasping for breath, fought to remain bent over the chair.
It was over. Tom had taken his first caning and it had been quite a “six-of-the-best.”
“Stand up Herries,” Dr Manners ordered imperiously. Clearly in some pain, the boy hauled himself to an upright position. Instinctively his hands shot to rub at his tenderized buttocks. Tom’s face was scarlet and his eyes moist.
“I can see that you didn’t enjoy that,” the headmaster remarked matter-of-factly, for he had no sympathy for the boy.
Tom could only sniff his response.
“Well that’s good. I think I woke you up and I believe you will be obeying instructions in future. Am I right?”
“Yes, Sir!” it was a muffled reply.
“Well, just keep in mind that this cane is here waiting for you if you don’t. And next time it will be six strokes with your trousers down.”
And with that Dr Manners dismissed Tom from his study and the boy shuffled off in great discomfort to join the other fellows for school dinners.
It was five-thirty; school had ended more than an hour ago and six “boys” and their “schoolmaster” relaxed in the bar of the George Hotel. Most were on their second gin-and-tonics.
Tom Herries wriggled a little in his hard leather chair. Harry Wharton was surprised that the palm of his hand tingled as he held onto his glass. And, Andrew Lowther wondered what chance he had of getting Dick Durrance into one of hotel’s bedrooms and taking him up his chubby arse.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second