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Mr. Tyler, the geography master, did not like it. Not one little bit. He was nearing retirement age, he didn’t want change. What couldn’t things be left alone. He was too old to learn new tricks.
“What’s up old man,” Jessop of History handed Tyler a cup of tea. “Why so glum?”
Tyler took the cup and sipped. “Urghhh.” It was lukewarm and stewed. With an unsteady hand, he put it down on the table.
“Field trip,” he wailed, and as if that was sufficient explanation he turned the pages of the Daily Express in search of the gossip column.
“And …?” Jessop was always amused when old Tyler had a bee in his bonnet and he wasn’t about to let the chance of some fun escape.
“There was a time when geography was all about capital cities and Norwegian timber exports,” Tyler groaned. “Now, it’s rivers and mountains,” his face contorted into a sneer, “and glaciers.”
Jessop grinned. “Ah, the new examination curriculum. So, what is it a fieldtrip?”
“The bloody Lake District,” Tyler spat out the words. A trip with the Upper Sixth Geography set. What in the world, he wondered, could be worse than that?
“Never mind old chap,” Jessop chortled, “think of it as a holiday.”
Tyler’s already ruddy face turned puce. “Holiday!” he roared. “It’s the Lake District, it’ll be cold, grey,” and he shuddered, “very wet.”
The boys took the news more cheerfully. They would be at an educational field centre; a schoolroom in the mountains. Any distraction from their dreary, mundane lives would be mightily welcomed.
“Do you think there will be girls there?” Jay Collins feigned indifference. His lack of access to the fairer sex was getting him down. Did masturbation really make you go blind? He hoped not, otherwise he would soon be walking with a white stick.
“One track mind, Collins” Bob Lender grinned. “I’m sure the Windermere Field Centre is really a hot bed of vice. Mountain treks by day, orgies by night. Cherries will undoubtedly be popped.”
Collins blushed. He hated it when the boys teased him. Was he really the only virgin in the Sixth-Form?
If there were girls at the field centre the boys never found them. Proprieties of the day ensured that boys-only schools visited one week and the girls another.
“Hard luck Collins,” Lender chuckled when the awful truth was revealed. “It’s back to the four-fingered shuffle for you.”
“Hey guys, guys!” Bertie Price rushed into the dormitory, breathless. He had news to impart. He loved it when he knew things that the others didn’t. “Guess what?”
Six eighteen-year-old boys groaned. It was going to be like a number of the Twenty Questions wireless programme.
“Animal, vegetable or mineral?” one squeaked.
“Animate or inanimate object,” another groaned.
“Well, if you don’t want to know?” Price sniffed, “Then I shan’t tell you.”
“Get on with it Pricey, you know you’re dying to tell us,” Lender genuinely did not care to hear but he wanted the pest to shut up.
“St. Tom’s,” Price was breathless. “They’re here.”
There was no need for further explanation. He meant that a group of sixth-formers from St. Tom’s, a school housed in the locality of St. Septimius, were also resident at the camp.
The rivalry between the boys of the two schools was intense. St. Tom’s was an elite “public” school for the sons of the higher classes. St. Septimius, as an “Independent Grammar” was considered to be one rung below in the pecking order. Such social class distinctions were important in England. The boys of St. Septimius thought themselves the equals of their rivals in every way, but the chaps at St. Tom’s begged to differ.
“Well boys,” Lender stretched, “We need to devise a plan.”
The field centre was not so large that the chaps from St. Tom’s did not discover the existence of their rivals. They set about drawing their own campaign of action. It would have to happen at night. When everyone was in bed, they would have the centre to themselves. St. Tom’s was a boarding school; the chaps were well versed in japing after lights-out. A dormitory raid! They would climb in through the window, take the oiks from St. Septimius by surprise, rough them up a little, and steal their pillows for souvenirs. That would show them who was the boss.
Mr. Tyler was settling down for the night when he heard the first mysterious sound. It was excited voices. Somebody was out of bed. He glanced at his alarm clock; it was nearly ten o’clock, fifteen minutes after lights-out. Could it be burglars? Surely not; the education centre was remote and the nearest village was five miles away. It wasn’t his business, he thought, the centre had its own manager and caretaker, let them sort it out. He wrapped his dressing gown around his body; the dreadful room they had given him was draughty and he hadn’t been properly warm from the moment he had arrived.
The chaps from St. Tom’s didn’t get it all their own way. Their plan had leaked (there’s always one sneak at school) and when they clambered through the window they were greeted by a welcoming party. It is an old prison trick to take a towel and tie it in knots to make an effective weapon. This is especially so when it is whirled around the head at speed before connecting with the body of its target.
Biff! Bang! Bosh!
“Ouch! Gerroff! Yaroo!” the cries from the chaps at St. Tom’s were pitiful.
“Get that one with the specs!” Bob Lender was having the time of his life. “Give him what for!”
A knotted towel sent the spectacles flying, an ugly red mark instantly spread across the young man’s face.
“Oooofff” Another chap got a whack right in the belly. He sank to his knees, gasping for air.
Mr. Tyler heard none of this; his boys’ dormitory was some distance away. His peace was disturbed by a furious hammering on his bedroom door.
“Mr. Tyler, Mr. Tyler, please open up.”
The geography master recognised the irritated voice of Mr. Boston, the manager.
“Coming man, coming. Stop that infernal knocking,” Mr. Tyler was equally irritated.
He opened the door to be confronted by a red-faced, portly man. He wore a long mackintosh over his pyjamas.
“There’s been a riot,” he spat the words. “Your boys ….” He waved his arms about frantically. “I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been here.” He added hysterically, “It’s a disgrace.”
It took some time before Mr. Boston calmed sufficiently to tell the story. Mr. Tyler listened, at first impassively, and then with mounting anger. When he was told about the smashed spectacles and bruised bodies, he became furious.
“Damn and blast!” he bellowed. He had known this trip would be a disaster. Why had he agreed to come? He took a huge deep breath, but it did nothing to control his anger. Boston was correct; his boys were a disgrace. They had let themselves and the school down. More importantly, they had humiliated himself. There could be only one recourse to action.
“Do you possess a cane by any chance?”
Mr. Boston looked blank, as if he hadn’t understood the question.”
“A cane, man,” Mr. Tyler had lost none of his fury. His arm rose and fell, imitating a cane as it swished through the air.
“Oh, sorry. No,” Mr. Jessop flushed at the image of eighteen-year-old schoolboys touching toes and being caned on the seat of their pyjamas. It’s what the blighters deserved, he thought. Out loud he said, “We rather leave that sort of thing to the schools.”
“Mmmm pity,” Mr. Tyler’s brows knitted. Corporal punishment must be administered, of that he was in no doubt. He sat on the edge of his bed and slipped his bedroom slippers on his feet. “Please take me to them, Mr. Boston.”
He found a subdued group of sixth-formers, sitting on beds, silently contemplating their fate. They stood as Mr. Tyler entered the dormitory. He glared around the room and then stared intently at each miscreant. Many of the teenagers could not meet his eye.
The schoolmaster’s fury had not dissipated. “Stand by your beds, all of you.” Soundlessly, they shuffled into position.
“Thank you, Mr. Boston, I think I can take it from here,” he nodded at the door. The centre manager’s glum look did not mask his disappointment.
Mr. Tyler turned his attention once more to the sixth-formers standing miserably before him. What possessed them to behave like small children. Each one of them was clearly a young adult. Several in the room would need to shave their beards before breakfast time. The baggy pyjama bottoms they wore did little to disguise the presence of genitalia.
He jawed and jawed them. “A disgrace to the school.” “Your parents would be ashamed.” “What would the headmaster say when he found out?” The sixth-formers took it with mounting embarrassment. This episode could end in only one way.
“Well, if you insist on behaving like small boys, you cannot complain if I treat you like small boys.” He picked up an old wooden straight-backed chair and set it down in the middle of the room. A dozen pairs of eyes burned into him as he sat, stooped down to remove a slipper from his right foot and spread his legs a little.
No boy dared look him in the eyes; had they done so they would have detected an unreadable gleam. The schoolmaster squeezed the bedroom slipper in his right hand before waving it in the general direction of the boys. “Lender, you first. Come here and bend over my knee.
“Oh, no, Sir.”
“Please, you can’t, Sir.”
“We’re sixth-form, Sir.”
The protests were predicable. Mr. Tyler cut them short.
“Would you rather I reported you to Dr. Fortescue? I am sure he will take a dim view that you have disgraced the school so publicly. I have no doubt he would convene a special school assembly to deal with you.”
He would do. Every boy in the room had no doubt at all about that. A public thrashing. Maybe even followed by suspension. No, matters had to take their course; this night, in the dormitory.
“Step forward, Lender.”
The eighteen-year-old’s face reddened. He had no choice. He must take a slippering. But, over the knee? That was just too humiliating
“Can’t I just bend over the end of the bed, Sir?” he implored.
“Pah! Don’t be absurd boy. If you want to behave like you are in a nursery, you must face the consequences.”
Lender shuffled forward. Bend over his knee? How was this done, exactly? Mr. Tyler was a shortish man and Lender was probably eight or nine inches taller. He stood to the schoolmaster’s left and looked down at his knees; they seemed a very long distance away.
“Come on boy, we don’t want to be here all night.”
Landers bent his own knees and leaned forward. He put his hands on the schoolmaster’s legs and eased his body down until his stomach rested on his bony legs. His own legs stretched behind him so his toes rested on the ground. He reached forward and placed the flat of his hands on the worn floorboards. He couldn’t see it, but his bottom rested at a forty-five-degree-angle ready to receive a spanking from the schoolmaster’s slipper.
But, Mr. Tyler was not yet ready. He had promised a “nursery” spanking and that was what he was going to deliver. An audible gasp echoed around the room when he gripped the waistband of Lender’s pyjama bottoms and tugged them, once, twice and three times until the teenager’s bottom was completely bared. Lender wriggled in protest, but the old man pressed his arm into the boy’s back. He was going nowhere. The movement sent the pyjamas slithering down his thighs until they came to rest at his knees. He was naked from his knee hollows to the small of his back.
Every boy in the room had a perfect view of his hairless bottom. Mr. Tyler, should he chose to, could see right into his crack. Nothing in Lender’s past life had been so humiliating. Not even the time he was caned bare-arsed in the headmaster’s study. Poor Lender soon found the slipper had a bite of its own, a stabbing ache rather than the vicious agony of the cane. The pain was slower to build up, but it did so nevertheless. The big supple slipper stung like crazy. Mr. Tyler spanked Lander’s bottom from side-to-side and up-and-down. His bottom was turning scarlet and his teeth were clenched and his eyes squeezed shut but his backside had not moved one inch.
“Up.” The spanking was over. For Lender, but not for Mr. Tyler. “Price. You next.” Over the next thirty minutes the old man put every sixth-former in the room through their paces. It was a very tired schoolmaster who retired to bed later that night. But, he slept the sleep of the Just.
Across the education centre grounds, six eighteen-year-olds took turns to lower their pyjama bottoms and bend over a bedstead for a searing six lashes of a Malacca cane administered on the naked haunches by an irate master. He had come on the fieldtrip prepared: St. Tom’s was after all a school for the sons of gentlemen.
Picture credit: The Hotspur
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