Please come in, sorry you caught me making some notes for a story I’m writing. It’s about something that happened last evening. As you know I’m the head boy here at St. Tom’s school and that means one of my duties is to keep discipline among the boys here. Usually, that means punishing the younger boys when they step out of line. I probably swipe my rattan cane across two or three backsides a day. The actual number can depend on how rowdy the juniors are in the dormitory at night. My record is twelve boys in twenty minutes.
But that’s not the story I want to tell you today. This one’s about a fellow in the sixth-form. A chap called Porterhouse. He’s eighteen – the same age as me – and he’s a right rum fellow. He’s been at St. Tom’s all his life, but he’s never learned to behave himself. Most of the time he’s worse than the juniors. Of course, he was never made a prefect. How could you put a chap like Porterhouse in charge of the youngsters.
You see what happened was this. It was on Tuesday that I sat alone in my study. It was a warm evening and I had completed my Greek essay and my mind was so engaged with it that I found it difficult to rest. I decided to take a stroll. I am not in the habit of patrolling the house after lights out. It is my prefects’ duty is to keep good order in the house. To that end they are expected to account that each boy is safely tucked up in his bed before they too retire for the night.
All was quiet, as indeed it should be at that hour. For no particular reason that I can recall, I ventured down the passageway that led to the junior studies. I could tell at once something was amiss. A shaft of light gleamed beneath the door of number five. As I approached my nostrils were assailed by a familiar scent. An aroma that was unwelcome in the junior boys’ studies. It was the smell of cigarette smoke.
I gripped the handle and twisted it. The door would not budge. It was locked. There was some illegal activity afoot. I hammered the palm of my hand against the heavy wooden panel.
Inside the study a little poker party was suddenly startled. Tracey jumped up, his hand of cards slipping from his fingers. “What the …” he exclaimed.
Wright, Amber and Prior were all on their feet. That sound could mean only one thing: either a prefect or a master had discovered their game.
“What dashed bad luck,” breathed Wright. “Quick get the cards out of sight.”
I banged again, somewhat louder this time. “Open up in there! Open up I say!”
“The smoke; we can’t clear the smoke,” hissed Amber, waving his arms around like a demon.
“Keep the door locked Wright,” whispered Prior. “Tell him you’ve dropped the key to make us some time.”
I continued banging.
“All right Sir,” called out Wright in a shaky voice while his chums frantically hurried cards and cigarettes out of sight. “I … I’ve dropped the key.”
I called out, “You will open this door immediately Wright. At once, or the consequences for you all will be very grave indeed.”
I heard the scrapping of the key in the lock and slowly the door eased ajar; but only by an inch. I pushed it open and strode into the study.
Four ashen-faced fourteen-year-old boys stood before me. They were dressed in their regulation red-and-white-striped pyjamas. The evidence of their crimes lay all around them. A deck of playing cards and hastily extinguished cigarettes. And also, cowering in the far corner of the room hoping against hope that he would not be spotted was Porterhouse.
I sent the four youngsters away. I would deal with them next day. My concern now was Porterhouse.
“Go wait outside my study,” I ordered. He looked sheepish as well he might. It is one thing for senior boys to play cards amongst themselves, but to take part in an illegal game with junior boys present. And smoking cigarettes! Can there be a greater crime that can be committed at boarding school than smoking cigarettes? Certainly, I for one cannot imagine.
I gave it a few minutes before I followed him. He stood nonchalantly, shoulders stooped, hands in pockets, professing not to have a care in the world. He didn’t fool me. “Come into the study,” I snarled as I brushed past him, “And be quick about it.” I unlocked the door and left it ajar. I strode to my desk and took the seat behind it. From this position I could dominate the whole room. “Close the door,” I barked as Porterhouse entered, his casual air, now a little deflated. I snapped my fingers, “Stand there,” I pointed to a spot on the worn rug. He shuffled into position, his hands still firmly rooted in the pockets of his trousers.
I let a small smile curl around my lips. If the idiot thought I wouldn’t thrash his backside because he was a senior boy, he had another thought coming. “So, Porterhouse,” I spoke calmly, “Let me get this straight. You were playing cards and smoking cigarettes with the junior boys.” Porterhouse remained silent. I hadn’t made it clear enough that this statement was meant as a question. I swear I saw the slightest smirk on his face. “Take your hands out of your pockets,” I growled. His nostrils flared, but with great ceremony he did as I instructed. For a moment he couldn’t decide where to put his arms. He tried leaving them at is sides, almost as if standing to attention. I suspect he thought this made him look too much like a supplicant, because within seconds he decided to clasp his hands behind his back. He was now poised rather like a minor member of the Royal Family.
I tried again, “Do you admit that you were playing cards and smoking cigarettes with the juniors?” This time my question was clear; Porterhouse would have to answer. He shrugged his shoulders. It was a noncommittal answer. That got my goat. “C’mon, Porterhouse,” I flared, “You were caught red-handed.”
He grinned insolently, “Then, I suppose it must be true.”
“Don’t get fresh with me, Porterhouse,” I barked, fighting to retain my temper. “You are in enough trouble as it is.”
“Oh,” his eyebrows raised heavenwards, “really?”
He was trying to goad me and he succeeded. “Yes, really!” I retorted, “I am going to beat you Porterhouse, how do you like that?”
His face coloured, but he was full of spunk. “I don’t think so. I am a senior. Senior boys aren’t caned.”
That was true up to a point, indeed no senior boy had been caned in living memory, but that did not meant that he couldn’t be. I did not intend to argue with Porterhouse, so I played my trump card. “No? Perhaps you’d like to tell that to the Headmaster?”
I had won: game, set and match. If Porterhouse refused to be disciplined by me and the Headmaster was informed, Porterhouse could look forward to a severe bare-bottomed birching, followed by expulsion. I had him by the short-and-curlies. It was what our American cousins might call a lose-lose situation for Porterhouse. Colour drained from his face and he went quite pale.
“Good,” I intoned. There was nothing more to say. I had won and Porterhouse had lost. “Let’s say, jacket off, trousers down and bend across my desk.” I rose to my feet and tapped the top of my desk to emphasise my superiority. He stood dumbfounded. “Now, Porterhouse, it is long past our bedtimes.”
I walked across the study to the far corner where dangling from a coat stand by their curved handles were two whippy, rattan canes; one a little thicker than the other and both capable of leaving severe welts across the backside of a miscreant schoolboy. I reached up and took hold of the thickest of the two. It was a little longer than three-feet and had notches every six inches or so along its length. It was dark-yellow in colour and as thick as a pencil. I flexed it thoughtfully between my hands. Porterhouse had not moved. “Jacket off. Put it on that armchair.” I swished the cane through the air to demonstrate my impatience. If looks could kill, the glance Porterhouse gave me at that moment would have slain me. I suspect that only at this moment did it sink in that he had absolutely no choice in the matter.
“Hurry along,” I tried not to grin. He turned his back on me so I could not see his look of bewilderment and he unbuttoned his jacket. He slipped it from his shoulders and tossed it on to the armchair, a half-empty packet of cigarettes poked out from a side pocket. I made a mental note to confiscate them before I allowed Porterhouse to hobble from my study. With the jacket now removed, Porterhouse hesitated. “Stand by the desk,” I jollied him along. “Trousers down. All the way. Bend over.” I confess that by now I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I had never liked Porterhouse and I resented the way he disregarded the school and all it stood for. He refused to be one of the chaps. I couldn’t understand him. Why attend St. Tom’s if you had no intention of fitting in? Fitting in, and learning your place in the order of things, was the school’s very ethos.
I swiped the cane through empty air several times as I watched Porterhouse prepare himself. His trousers were held in place by several buttons and it took some moments of fumbling before he was able to release them. Once that was done, the heavy flannel bags fell easily to his feet. His off-white woollen drawers hung loosely and I was unable to discern even the outline of his private parts beneath them.
“Bend over Porterhouse,” I called and without further hesitation my eighteen-year-old school fellow swivelled on the heels of his leather shoes, faced the desk and slowly lowered himself forward. I had not instructed him to do so, but he chose to lay flat on his stomach and stretch his arms ahead of him and grip the far end with his fingers. At first he rested his chin on the cold wooden desktop, but realising this was an uncomfortable position to hold, he turned his head so that his left cheek rested on the desk and he gazed towards a picture of the King that was on the wall.
I tucked the cane under my arm and approached him. I took hold of the end of his shirt and tugged it up his back and away from my target area. Porterhouse’s body shivered, but he soon recovered. In this prone position the loose wool of his drawers had tightened a little against his beefy buttocks. I gripped hold of the waistband and Porterhouse let out an audible gasp. The sucker must have thought I was about to rip down his drawers so I could thrash him on the bared bottom. This was not my intention and instead I pulled the drawers tight so that the smooth material showed the outline of his cheeks and dug into his crack. Porterhouse closed his eyes.
I took up a position slightly behind Porterhouse and a little to his left – a cane’s length. I placed the tip of my cane against the centre of his right buttock and tapped. I was getting my aim. Although only eighteen years old myself, I have a great deal of experience with the cane. I knew that once I took my aim and then raised my cane in an arc away from the quivering buttocks I would be able to bring it down with as much force as I wished and strike both cheeks equally, leaving behind a deep, red throbbing welt. And that is precisely what I did. The crack of rattan against wool-covered flesh resounded around my small study. Porterhouse winced, but otherwise made no movement. Just as I am an experienced giver, it is certain that Porterhouse is an experienced receiver.
I landed the second stroke an inch higher across his bottom. The third went an inch lower than the first cut. His bottom now had three heavy cuts running along his backside in parallel. They would give Porterhouse something to play with under the blanket that night. I took a breather after three strokes to allow their full significance to be felt. Of course, as a younger boy I had been caned on several occasions myself – what boy at St. Tom’s could go through his entire school life untouched? – so I knew that the full agony of a cane stroke was not felt immediately the rod fell. The pain built and travelled from the posterior and through the body. Because of that I waited a full minute after I delivered the third stroke before I laid on the fourth.
This one struck into the soft undercurve. Porterhouse wriggled his hips when that one cut him. His knees buckled and his eyes opened wide, before immediately clamming shut again. I am no sadist. I am aware that some masters like to lay fresh strokes over ones that had previously landed. I am not that man. I sent the final two: one high, the other low, parallel to the others. Porterhouse had a well-welted bottom. He would not sleep comfortably and in the morning there would be marks; not that he would wish the other fellows to know he had been caned by me.
Porterhouse knew the rules of the house and remained bent across the desk until I gave him permission to rise and dress. This he did without fuss. He was unable to look at me while he did this and (kind heart that I am) I turned my back on him and took some time replacing my cane on the stand. This would give Porterhouse the opportunity to furtively rub his aching buttocks without my seeing.
“You are dismissed,” I said curtly and he strode from the study. Only after the door had closed and Porterhouse had scurried up the passageway did I remember about the cigarettes in his pocket. Oh, well, I consoled myself I had still not smoked the three packers I had confiscated from members of the junior rugby team earlier in the day.
Picture credit: The Magnet
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