Alexander Aldridge stood dumbfounded. His mouth literally gaped open. Before him stood a figure menacingly flexing a school cane between his huge hairy hands.
“Y… you want to cane me?” It was question as much as a statement.
The sun was quickly setting and the drawing room was gloomy. Soon they would need to turn on the electric light.
“Yes. And I hope it will bring you to your senses.”
William Beaver swished the cane through the air with some force. Alexander blanched. His housemate seemed to be entirely serious.
William gently tapped the cane against his right leg. “You must pay the rent. You cannot expect to get away with it.”
At that moment their other housemate George Templeton entered the room. “Don’t start without me,” he chortled.
William began to berate Alexander. He had the self-importance befitting a former School Captain at St Tom’s.
“We haven’t seen a penny from you in two months. George and I have had to pay your share. It can’t go on.”
He swished the cane once more. He had beaten countless backsides while School Captain and he would not be averse to swiping Alexander’s right then.
“You spend too much time on racecourses. You give your rent money to bookmakers.”
Alexander blushed profusely, but remained silent.
“We can’t carry you. If you don’t pay up, you’ll have to leave.” William had never particularly liked Alexander, not even at school. He would not mind in the least if the leech moved out.
“Gerald Hawkins is looking for a place,” William intoned, “He could move in.”
Alexander screwed up his nose. “Hawkins. That nancy boy?”
“At least he’d pay the rent,” George chimed in.
“So that’s it,” William was anxious to get on with it. He swiped the cane through the air once more.
Alexander’s eyes followed its flight apprehensively. “All right. All right. I’ll ask my father to loan me the money.”
“Good,” William glared. “But don’t think that will spare you from this,” and he wobbled the crook-handled stick in his housemate’s face.
“B… but,” Alexander stammered.
“No buts chum, you know you deserve it,” George said. He was looking forward to a little sport.
“Right,” William pointed the cane towards a worn armchair. “You know what to do.”
Indeed, Alexander knew what to do. It had been six years previously at the age of eighteen that he had been last ordered to present his backside for the lash of the cane. It had been Williamson, his housemaster. “Slacking,” the old man had called it. It was a peculiarly old fashioned word for “lazy.” So, Aldridge went over the schoolmaster’s desk, his trousers and underpants at his feet for six of the hardest whops he had ever received.
It took weeks for the cuts to heal completely. It worked though. The boy knuckled down and passed his school examinations.
William’s patience was almost spent. “Bend over the chair. Quickly. I haven’t got all night.”
Alexander stood his ground, uncertain what to do. His housemates had been correct. He had not paid the rent and he took the two fellows for granted. He could not deny that. But, did it give them the right to thrash his backside with a school cane?
“Come on Alex,” George whispered, “Get on with it. Take it like a man.”
Yes, Alexander thought, a St Tom’s chap should always do the honourable thing.
Without further fuss the twenty-four-year-old shipping clerk stepped toward the chair. He hesitated momentarily to get his nerve and then slid his body over its back. He gripped the seat cushion tightly and held his head high so that he was looking frontwards.
“Feet further apart. Bottom higher.” William had administered many beatings when School Captain and always demanded a posterior should be perfectly positioned.
Alexander shuffled his body a little until his punisher was satisfied.
William brushed his cane across the centre of the young man’s buttocks. They were broad and fleshy. His housemate needed to spend less time at the racecourse and more on the running track, he thought unkindly.
Alexander stared impassively ahead, waiting patiently for the first cut to land. He had never received a caning that had not hurt considerably. This thrashing would be no different, but he would be stoic. He knew how to take six-of-the-best.
“Twelve strokes,” William barked. “Six for each missed payment.”
Alexander only had time to think, “Crikey!” before the first slash sank deep into his wobbly buttocks.
George watched in wonderment as one of his two housemates slashed his stout but springy cane across the wide buttocks of the second. Dust rose from the seat of Alexander’s pin-striped trousers. William flogged with such force it was as if he were beating a carpet.
Alexander’s mouth opened and closed like a goldfish. His eyes blazed, but he made no sound. The young man’s knuckles whitened as he squeezed the seat cushion.
Sweat soaked William’s shirt although the room was cold, as the cane rose and slashed; rose and slashed. He paused after delivering the first six. His breathing was heavy, betraying the considerable physical effort he had been making.
Alexander sucked huge gulps of air into his lungs. His face was scarlet and George supposed the poor man’s backside was by now the colour of a good Burgundy.
William left the most severe cuts to the end. Alexander’s cries were muted. George watched mesmerised as Alexander clenched his cheeks as the streak of pain injected by the cane fully penetrated his buttocks. He watched with an increasing sense of awe as he controlled his reactions to the vicious strokes.
William aimed the final two diagonally across the proffered buttocks. The first went from bottom left to top right; the second from bottom right to top left, so that poor Alexander had a perfect “X” emblazoned across his bottom. The pain was searing and too much. Alexander’s body reacted instinctively. His shoulders heaved, his hips swung from left to right and his feet marched up and down on the carpet.
Then, he steadied himself and repositioned his posterior, ready for the next cut.
“That will do Aldridge,” William’s School Captain’s pomposity was once more in evidence. “You may stand.”
Slowly, Alexander straighten. Unsteadily, he stood before his tormentor. His eyes stared blankly.
“Thank you Beaver,” he whispered, remembering the etiquette from school. He offered his right hand and William shook it.
William tucked the cane under his arm. “You had better go to your room for a while. Then you should visit your father and bring the rent money to me before bedtime.”
Alexander nodded silently and shuffled from the room.
An hour later Alexander stood by the side of the road waiting for the trolley-bus that would take him to his father’s home. Mechanically, he rubbed his thumbs across the seat of his trousers. The pain had turned to a warm glow and for that he was grateful.
He eased into a seat on the bus and tried to look out of the window at people on the pavements. He would do anything to take his mind off the impending flogging he was to receive from his father.
Other caning stories you might like.
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second