The Poker School

new story 2

In February 2006 Mr R. A. F. Brightlington-Pugh, a former housemaster at the Ridgeway private boarding school in the west of England, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of ninety-seven. Some years later, his great-great-great-great nephew found a leather-bound travelling chest containing diaries he had written during the 1930s and 1940s. This present story The Poker Game was inspired by the diary entry for 3rd February 1938.

z used cane pyjamas up armchair school london (2)

All schoolboys like to think that they are adults and should be treated accordingly. It is the schoolmaster’s duty to disabuse them of this notion and be a constant reminder that they are indeed children who must subordinate themselves to the will of their elders.

It was for this reason that Ridgeway insisted that all its pupils wore smart short trousers as part of their school uniform until they attained the age of sixteen and entered the sixth-form. Personally, I should be very content if they continued to wear short trousers until the day they left school in their nineteenth year.

A Ridgeway boy is instantly recognisable in the locale. In additional to the dark-grey short trousers that reach to an inch above the knee, he wears a bright red woollen blazer with white edging; a red-and-white-hooped cap and grey knee socks with red tops.

Despite, all our attempts to remind the boys they are but children some continue to defy us. Thus it was that this evening I chanced upon the sixth-form poker game.

I am not in the habit of patrolling the house after lights out. There is a prefect body whose 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.

This evening I was feeling particularly irritable. There was nothing to listen to on the wireless save for Bandwagon, a humorous programme (or so says my copy of the Radio Times). I could bear Arthur Askey and Stinker Murdoch no longer, so decided on a tour of the house.

All was quiet, as indeed it should be at this hour. I did not venture inside the dormitories; I trust my prefects to do their jobs properly. I was certain all would be well. For no particular reason that I can recall, I ventured down the passageway that led to the senior 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 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: 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 scraping 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 eighteen-year-old boys stood before me. They were dressed in their regulation grey-and-white-striped pyjamas. The evidence of their crimes lay all around them. A deck of playing cards and hastily extinguished cigarettes.

There was very little to say. They had been caught in the act.

“Attend my study immediately. Wait outside for my arrival.”

Such a command could mean only one thing: a beating was imminent.

I watched four sorrowful schoolboys as they trudged down the passageway. I put the cigarettes in my pocket; I would smoke them myself later. I searched the room half-expecting to find a whisky bottle secreted somewhere, but there was none.

Minutes later I joined the four miscreants at my study. They stood in the passageway facing the wall with their hands on their heads. I had not instructed this, but it was a standard requirement of any boy sent to attend a housemaster’s study. These four knew the drill. There was not a bottom before me that I had not thrashed before.

I called the four into my study and they stood in front of my leather-topped desk. Like so many schoolboys in their situation they took an intense interest in the rug beneath their feet. I instructed them to look at me and I jawed them. I did not take too long; we all knew why we were there.

As any schoolmaster should attest, the cane is a highly efficient tool of punishment. No caned boy can be in any doubt of his schoolmaster’s disapproval. His buttocks will glow and so they should. The punishment is delivered and is then over within minutes; then we all move on with our lives.

I knew each of the four boys before me intimately. They were all similarly culpable in this evening’s crime. None of them was a leader and none the led. I could treat them all equally – and that was precisely what I did.

Hardly a day goes by without my caning a boy. My preferred method is to make him lay face down across the back of my worn armchair; his arms stretched ahead of him; his feet firmly planted eighteen inches apart on the ground and his bottom raised. The buttocks are presented at the perfect angle to receive swipes from my cane across the fleshiest part of the posterior.

I reached across to the hat stand that stood in the corner of the study. I always have at least two canes – one thick and one thin – dangling ready for action.

“Wright,” I called, “Bend over the chair.”

Wright would not catch my eye, even though this was hardly a new experience for the eighteen-year-old. He stepped forward and rather like a diver going into an icy pond he flopped forward and held on to the arms of the chair.

“Come now Wright,” I sighed, “You have been here often enough. You know the form: head low, bottom high, feet apart.” He wriggled about a bit until he was presented to my satisfaction.

I choose the thicker of the two canes, flexed it between my hands, and tapped Wright gently across the very centre of his bottom. Six strokes of the cane fell, hard, one after another.  Every one was a hefty lash; but no sound came from Wright. When I gave permission, he rose from the desk, his face pale, and his eyes glinting. He resumed his position alongside his fellow poker players.

“Amber, step forward.”

The boys were stoical, but Amber, who it must be reported had a very meaty backside, wriggled a little as each stroke fell. I do not play games when I cane a boy. Each swipe fell with great force. It was as if I were beating a carpet.

Tears were forming behind Amber’s eyes when he rose from the desk. I could see he desperately wished to rub at his fleshy behind, but such a thing is not permitted. There is some unwritten code: no rubbing until you are out of the eyesight of the schoolmaster.

Prior was next. I had last thrashed the boy only the previous week. That had been for breaking bounds. I had laid it on him with terrific force; he was a recidivist and often skipped out of school. He must have a high tolerance for pain; it was as if he had hardly felt a thing. I had considered later that perhaps he had smuggled some padding beneath his trousers. This time with only his pyjama bottoms for protection there would be no doubt.

As had his fellows, Prior positioned himself without fuss. I saw him close his eyes and shut his teeth in anticipation of the searing pain he was about to endure.

A caning is really a competition of sorts between the master giving correction and the boy accepting it. One has to inflict; one has to endure. I must lay these strokes on the boys’ bottoms with all the skill I can muster. I must be firm; I must be precise. My job is to be the agent of authority. The boy’s job is to hold fast, without crying or begging to be let off. In short, to accept the discipline.

Prior behaved admirably. I could see welts forming under the thin cotton pyjamas. The thrashing must have hurt him terribly, but he showed little outward sign. When commanded, he rose and took his position alongside the others.

Tracey was last to go. He had witnessed the stoicism of his fellows. I do not know if this adds to the intensity of the occasion. Did knowing that the others had taken their beating well put additional pressure on a boy not to let himself down?

Tracey was over the chair in a trice. It was as if he were saying, “Go ahead, do your worst. I can take it.”

I did indeed do my worst; or do I mean my best? I delivered six of my very best across the most tender part of the boy’s bottom at the point where the under-curve of the cheeks met the thigh. Tracey’s body wriggled and writhed; his hips swayed and his feet marched up and down on the carpet. I heard him cough and splutter as he successfully stifled the yells he most certainly wanted to make.

It was over. I estimate it had taken no more than three minutes to put the boys through their paces. They stood before me with four pairs of blazing buttocks. I am not a cruel man, I knew they very much wanted to be on their way down to the lavatories where they would inspect the damage, admire my handiwork, and congratulate one another on their fortitude.

I sent them on their way. Later, I lit one of the confiscated cigarettes and returned to the wireless. A musical interlude was being broadcast. I leaned back in my armchair and blew smoke rings at the ceiling and reflected on my efforts – a very contented man indeed.

Picture Credit: CP Services London

Other stories you might like

The Tyrant Headmaster 1. The boy at the bar

The night porter

Caught in their underpants

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

First Day At School

z used drawing cane SFIGS (63a)

A St Francis Independent Grammar School story. Click here for the full series.

John Allison walked through the gates of St Francis Independent Grammar School for the first time as a pupil.

All around him boys were hurrying along, anxious not to be late.

“Hurry along you tykes,” a senior boy, obviously a prefect, called to a group of eight or nine young boys, who were some way off from the gate. “Gates are closing. You don’t want to be up for a bowing.”

The boys ran at fall pace and as the last one made it through the ornate gates, the prefect slammed them shut. Any boy who arrived now would have his name taken and could find himself up before his housemaster for a caning.

John stood unsure where he was supposed to go. For a moment he paused to take in the splendour. St Francis Grammar School, Brocklehurst, reputedly could trace its roots back to the 1700s. It certainly was a splendid old building, but not ancient. John had never seen anything quite like it. His previous school had been modern in all respects: the buildings, the curriculum, the attitude of teachers to their charges.

Seemingly hundreds of boys streamed into the building. They certainly didn’t look too modern in John’s eyes. All the boys in the first, second and third forms wore grey short trousers. John didn’t know any eleven- to fourteen-year-old boys in the real world who wore short trousers to school. If it had been said that the boys should wear short trousers at Calmbury, his previous school, the boys – and the teachers too – would have mocked the suggestion.

John surveyed his new schoolmates. He didn’t feel quite so absurd now wearing his green-and-gold-hooped school cap: everyone as far as the eye could see wore the strange headgear. His mother had laughed out loud when she read the school’s regulations and teased him unmercifully: school cap; white Y-front underpants (how would they know?); short-back-and-sides haircuts and Ha! Ha! Ha! six-of-the-best-for-you-young-man if you are naughty. And, no girls!

His father did not join in the fun. Even now, more than twenty-five years after he had left behind St Tom’s forever, he still resented the canings he and his fellow pupils had endured.

John hated the school uniform. His green school blazer with gold braiding around the edges shrieked of self-importance. At least, aged eighteen, he would not be forced to wear the short trousers.

St Francis had a fine academic record. It was a traditional school: traditional teaching methods, traditional sports, traditional school uniform and traditional discipline. It was a boys-only independent fee-paying grammar school with delusions that it was an elite public school. This was such be a contrast to Calmbury, also an independent school, but it had girls as well as boys and attitudes were so informal the pupils were not expected to wear school uniform and corporal punishment was unheard of.

“Excuse me.” John was approached by a short, stocky boy, about his own age.  “Are you by any chance Allison?” He seemed friendly and John was happy to confess his identity.

“I’ve been told to take you along to meet your form master. My name’s Anderson.”

And, with that he led John into the ancient building and his new life at St Francis.

His form master Mr Tatler gave him a lot of information about his lessons timetable and where the classrooms were. But, John couldn’t take it in. Tatler (the boys, John later discovered, called him ‘Tatters’) was dressed in a formal academic gown and resting nearby on a desk was his mortar board cap.

John didn’t know how to react; it was as if he had stepped into a time machine and travelled back; how many years? He had never seen a schoolmaster dressed like this. He assumed all the teachers, or ‘masters’ as he had better get used to calling them, wore something similar. He had never seen anything remotely like this in his life, except perhaps once when he had been a small boy and he went exploring in the attic at his granddad’s home. He had found a pile of old comics; the Magnet and the Gem he thought they were called. They weren’t very good, they were full of words with few pictures, but the drawings he did see were of schoolmasters dressed like Tatters.

Anderson was a good sort and he soon took John under his wing. At lunchtime he was given the ‘grand tour.’ And, ‘grand’ the school certainly was: ivy-covered walls; mullioned-windows in the library; a ‘clock tower’ with narrow stone steps leading to the headmaster’s study.

“You don’t ever want to go up there,” Anderson said cheerfully. “It can mean only one thing.”

He laughed at John’s puzzled expression. “A bowing from Dr Henderson-Smith,” he laughed as merrily he swiped his right arm through the air in parody.

John blanched. He was silent, unsure what he was expected to say in response. His mother had mocked the corporal punishment regime at St Francis, but John was not so offhand. This school gave him the creeps. Anyhow, he knew he was only nine months away from taking his final examinations and leaving school for good. He would just keep his head down. Besides, he was eighteen and far too old to be summoned to the doctor’s study for a ‘bowing.’

The tour continued through the passageways (as ‘corridors’ were called at St Francis) of the three main buildings.

“And around here is where the housemasters’ studies are.” They turned a corner into a long passageway, almost bumping into four boys standing in a line, facing the wall.

“Ha!” Anderson, chuckled and called over to the miserable looking youngsters. “Hello there! What’s this, the ‘lunchtime line-up’?”

Suddenly, behind him, he heard footsteps. It was Mr Durrant, the housemaster of Treacher’s.

“Quick!” Anderson grabbed John by the sleeve of his blazer. “Let’s go, we don’t want to get caught here.”

But, Mr Durrant was in no hurry; he had enjoyed a satisfying meal and was on his way to his study for what had become known among the boys as the ‘lunchtime line-up.’

Every day, almost without fail, one or more boys would be sent to him for a caning. St Francis Grammar was a traditional school and corporal punishment was regularly used. There were rules and if a boy got caught breaking them, he was punished, and very often that meant a beating.

One of Mr Durrant’s duties, and he took it very seriously, was to be impose discipline. That day he expected to find four boys waiting nervously outside his study and as he turned the corner he was not disappointed. They were an assorted bunch; two eleven-year-old juniors dressed in short trousers; most unusually, a prefect; and then Anthony Brewer, a fifth-form rebel who was becoming a regular visitor.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” he always called the boys he was about to thrash, “gentlemen.”

“Stand up straight all of you. Keep facing the wall.” The boys did as instructed, but the housemaster detected some resentment from James Axford, the prefect. Well, if he did misbehave and break rules he shouldn’t be surprised that he was treated the same way as the first-form boys; in every respect.

Mr Durrant unlocked the door of the study and beckoning to the prefect, said, “Come with me Axford.”

Showing no enthusiasm, the eighteen-year-old prefect followed behind the gowned master. James Axford entered the study, splendid in his smart green blazer with gold braiding. He looked a little apprehensive as well he might; senior boys, particularly prefects, were expected to set an example to the younger pupils, not to break the rules themselves.

“Stand there, in front of my desk.”

It was a large room, gloomy, with dark oak bookshelves around three walls. A large desk, also made from oak, dominated the room and there were a number of small wooden chairs. Two large padded armchairs were arranged around a small coffee table. The chairs were called ‘comfortable chairs,’ but to the boys who bent across their backs routinely during the lunchtime visits they were far from comfortable. In the corner was a tall, thin, cupboard that housed the implements that were responsible for that discomfort: Mr Durrant’s vast collection of canes.

He sat behind his desk and surveyed the boy. Mr Durrant knew he should have sent the boy to the headmaster, but he was certain Dr Henderson-Smith would have given Axford a special thrashing because he was a senior boy and also withdrawn his prefect status. Mr Durrant thought that punishment was too harsh for Axford’s crime.

He had been spotted in town during school hours: the school uniform was very conspicuous. Mr Durrant suspected prefects sometimes left the school premises during their free periods: the only thing Axford did differently was to get caught.

He selected a longer, thicker whippy rattan cane from his cupboard.

James had been expecting this and had a speech rehearsed, “You can’t cane a prefect, Sir; it’s not allowed.”

The barrack-room lawyer! Mr Durrant was more amused than angry, but tried not to show it.

“Pardon?”

“Prefects aren’t allowed to be beaten. No prefect has ever been beaten, that is,” he trailed off a bit as he realised his housemaster was in no mood for this.

Mr Durrant knew Axford was both right and wrong; no prefect had been caned in recent memory, the boy would have the privilege to be the first in a very long time; but there was no rule that said he could not be beaten.

The housemaster was beginning to wish he had sent the brat to Dr Henderson-Smith. All he wanted was for Axford to bend over and take his Six and they could both move on.

Then he had an idea. “Take off your tie, Axford.”

The boy was genuinely puzzled by this order. “Tie, Sir?”

“Yes Axford, take off your prefect’s tie.”

The boy hesitated, trying to work out in his mind what was going on.

“Please do it now Axford, I have others waiting outside to visit me.”

Still unsure what this meant, the boy loosened his tie and pulled it from under his shirt collar.

He held it in his hand, wondering what he was meant to do now. He didn’t have to wait long to find out.

“Hand me the tie, please.”

The housemaster took the tie and put it on his desk.

“Now, Axford, you are no longer a prefect. Please bend over that chair.”

James was indignant; he was to be beaten and lose his prefect’s status; just for being out of the school. The other guys did it all the time.

The housemaster swished his cane impatiently.

“The chair, Axford, the chair.”

James took a deep breath and stood close to the back of the armchair. He had been in this position before, but not for at least three years, when he had been caught smoking; it had been the first time he tried cigarettes and after the whacking he got then from Mr Durrant, it was also the last.

“Bend over please.”

James leaned forward and reached out to grasp the front of the seat cushion.

“Let’s have your bottom a little higher please.”

James had to stretch on tip toe before he satisfied his housemaster.

“Legs further apart.”

James screwed his eyes tight and gripped the cushion for dear life.

Mr Durrant whipped six stingers into the boy’s submissive buttocks: rat-tat-tat- rat-tat- tat. The strokes were a little more vigorous than he had originally intended and the cracks of his rattan cane against the tightly-stretched grey Terylene trousers rang around the room like machinegun fire.

James groaned as the whacks pounded into his buttocks, but stifled his desire to yelp out loud. He could feel moisture behind his eyes and prayed he would not cry; not at least until he was far away from the housemaster’s study and the boy standing outside waiting his turn.

Mr Durrant had not yet allowed Axford to stand. He put the cane away and watched the boy from a distance; Axford was breathing heavily and his head was so low he was almost kissing the seat cushion. The caning had hurt; Mr Durrant knew it but he also understood the importance the boys placed on their dignity, it would not matter how much agony the caning caused them, they would not want to let their punisher know.

The housemaster saw the boy wanted to get out of the study without delay, so he put him out of his misery.

“You can remove yourself Axford. You took that well.”

James stood and despite himself, his hands shot to the seat of his trousers to hold his throbbing buttocks tightly.

Mr Durrant pretended not to notice and turned to his desk and picked up the tie.

“Take this Axford, you are now reinstated as a prefect.”

Despite the agony in his buttocks and his original resentment, James was genuinely pleased to be restored to the prefecthood.

“Thank you very much, Sir.”

He signed the punishment book and Mr Durrant offered his right hand and they shook; like gentlemen do.

As he painfully shuffled towards the door, Mr Durrant called after him, “Ask the next boy to come in please.”

Picture Credit: Unknown

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Other stories you might like

Name check

The troublesome lodger

The milk bottle thief

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

School, st francis independent grammar school,

 

The Padded Armchair

z used drawing armchair (1)

A St Francis Independent Grammar School story. Click here for the full series.

Jack Wilks stood about two feet from the padded armchair. At any moment he would be bent across its back, face in the soft cushion with his bottom high for the schoolmaster to whack it with a heavy slipper.

He deserved it, of course. He knew that: he had no argument. The rule was simple and all the boys understood it. If you got less than sixty percent in a class test you got the slipper. It was as simple as that. It didn’t matter whether you were in the first form, or like Jack the Upper Sixth. He wasn’t alone. His friend Jenks had just been dealt with and Tony Wheeler was standing outside the room in the corridor waiting his turn.

Jack wasn’t a fool. In fact he was quite bright but he hated history and nothing Mr Hendry, the history master, did would change that. If he paid attention in class and read the text book he would pass his tests with ease.

But, he didn’t so here he was about to get a sore bum: again. It wasn’t the first time he had received corporal punishment and it wouldn’t be the last, it was that sort of school.

Jack looked across at Mr Hendry and only half listened to the lecture he was delivering. “Idle, blah blah; lazy. blah, blah.”

Mr Hendry wasn’t like most of the other masters at the school. He was only twenty-five and had a round open face that naturally liked to smile. Jack had seen Mr Hendry one weekend in town at a coffee shop. He was dressed in fashionable summer shorts with a flower-patterned shirt. He was with a young lady (was it his girlfriend, or wife even?) and they were laughing and joking and having fun. They seemed very relaxed in each other’s company. No one would have guessed he was a schoolmaster at crusty old St Francis Independent Grammar School.

Mr Hendry looked very different now. He was dressed in a dowdy checked sports jacket and big baggy dark grey trousers. And of course the traditional academic gown, the schoolmasters’ uniform at St Francis. Mr Hendry had learned a long time ago that masters did not smile, and he had perfected a sour expression that fell somewhere between a man who had both a pain in his stomach and a very unpleasant smell under his nose.

“Bend over the chair Wilks.”

Jack took a pace forward and eased himself into the soft padding of the chair. It was a huge leather chair with cushions at the back, the seat and even the arms. His body sank into the padding and his face rested on the seat. He put his hands forward and held on to the edge of the cushion and noticed there were two sweat stains in the shape of palms.

From his vantage point Wilks could watch Mr Hendry make his final preparation. The slipper he was to use was a size-ten white plimsoll, the type all the boys used in physical training classes. It was rare for schoolmasters to use the slipper at St Francis, the curved-handled rattan cane was the preferred weapon of chastisement.

Herr Mueller, the German PT instructor, was the only other master Jack could think of who used the slipper: and, he used it all the time. Only yesterday in gym class he had lined all the boys up to begin physical jerks and warned. “From now on, any boy who talks gets ten swats.”

Of course, the class joker Morrissey couldn’t resist saying, “Jawoll Mein Führer!” in a stage whisper.

 

Later that day when Morrissey showed off his marks (tight cotton PT shorts are no protection), he reckoned, “Do you know I think he enjoys whacking our arses.” It could be, and, one might suspect, Morrissey enjoys giving him the excuse.

Mr Hendry gripped the slipper tightly in his right hand and gave it a few smacks down into his left palm, to get its measure. Then Jack saw the master disappear behind him. The teenager was still wearing his green school blazer and the master had to manoeuvre it up his back a little away from the area of immediate interest.

Satisfied that the target area was clear, the schoolmaster gripped Jack’s trousers at the waist and tugged them up tight so that they performed a ‘wedgie’ emphasising the shape of his buttocks and the outline of his underpants were clearly visible.

Jack took a deep breath and screwed his eyes tight and waited for the pain to begin.

The boys often discussed whether the cane hurt more than the slipper; Jack always voted for the cane. In truth, it depended on who was inflicting the punishment. The cane tapped lightly into fleshy buttocks is unlikely to hurt as much as a size-ten rubber-soled plimsoll whacked in at great force.

Mr Hendry believed in corporal punishment and knew for it to be effective it had to be painful. So he was of the ‘whack it in with great force’ school of disciplinarians. And, that’s exactly what he did to Jack.

Six swipes crashed into his upturned buttocks. He pushed his face down into the vast soft cushion to stifle any yelps he might need to make and gripped onto the front of the armchair for dear life.

Every whack hurt him, but he had to admit, it did not hurt so very much. He was sore, but very quickly the throbbing would turn into a warm glow. His buttocks would be tender for a while and he would have some bruises to show off to his classmates, but they would wear off pretty quickly.

“Stand up boy.”

Jack was red faced from being bent upside down over the chair, but there were no tears. Despite the number of times he had been beaten at school, the experience always embarrassed him and he kept his head down to avoid looking at his punisher. He even avoided eye contact when the master handed him the punishment book to sign.

Then, with his bottom tingling, Jack was dismissed with the words, “Send in the next boy.”

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Picture credit: Unknown

More stories you might like

The Gaffer of the Academy: 1. Beginnings

Through the window

The honourable thing

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

A Punch in the Face

used drawing birch hold (1)

A St Francis Independent Grammar School story. Click here for the full series.

 

Cristopher could feel a searing pain in his knuckle as he crushed it into the face of the opposing team’s centre-half.

Blood poured from the schoolboy’s nose as in agony he sank to his knees. His piercing scream drowned the shrill blast of the referee’s whistle. His nose could quite possibly be broken, Christopher didn’t care. It served him right.

It only took seconds for the referee to point to the dressing room. Sent off! For violent conduct.

Grim faced and unrepentant, the eighteen-year-old trudged off the pitch. As he passed his livid sports master, he heard the instruction, “Go to the changing room and wait for me there.”

Rain began falling as Christopher walked the hundred yards or so to the shower block. His heart was thumping; adrenalin rushed through his body and his anger would not abate.  Their centre half had been kicking lumps out of him all through the match; was he really surprised that he had retaliated?

Once in the changing room Cristopher plonked himself down on a hard wooden bench; head lowered, almost to between his knees. Slowly, his breathing became more even as he regained some composure. Now, he had to contemplate his fate.

Five minutes later, the match over, his fellow schoolboy footballers filed into the room. Each in turn looked over at their disgraced colleague, but none had a word of support or comfort for him. To a man they had been genuinely shocked at the savagery of the attack. The poor boy was now on his way to hospital with a suspected broken cheekbone.

Christopher raised his head to acknowledge his friends but they would not meet his eye. Instead, hurriedly they stripped off their kits, grabbed towels and dashed to the showers, leaving Christopher to his fate.

The boy could not summon the will to follow the other players into the shower; instead he sat still, head in his hands, waiting for Mr Richardson, the sports master.

Mr Richardson was with his counterpart from St Anthony’s School. His own school, St Francis Independent Grammar School were the school’s guest that afternoon. Mr Richardson was both embarrassed and angry. Never in his twenty years as a schoolmaster had he witnessed such a spectacle. Yes, sometimes a boy would overstep the mark and tackle too heavily. Or a player would mistime a tackle and bring an opponent crashing down; cut off at the knees. But, never before had he seen such premeditated violence. If his pupil had punched a boy like that away from the playing field, he would certainly be facing a police charge and an appearance in the magistrates’ court.

Mr Richardson apologised profusely to Mr Stringer of St Anthony’s, but he recognised it would not be enough.

“We need to take severe action,” Mr Richardson told him. “And, we should do it right away.”

He knew that when his headmaster heard about the incident he would expect to also be told the boy had received an exemplary punishment: the thrashing of his life, at the very least.

“Can you lend me a cane, the heaviest that you have? I should beat the boy before we leave.”

Mr Stringer was taken aback by the request. Not that he didn’t expect Christopher to be punished, he did. But, he wanted the boy to be suspended or expelled from school at the very least for such an attack. A beating with a cane did not match the severity of the offence, and Mr Stringer said as much.

As the words came from his mouth his own headmaster, Dr Shorter appeared. “A cane?” he pondered when Mr Richardson asked again for a loan. Dr Shorter was uncertain. “A cane,” he repeated, as if weighing up options.

“No,” at this school a boy is beaten with a rattan if he misbehaves, breaks the rules, that kind of thing. But, this violent attack goes so much further than that.” He let the words sink in. Mr Richardson was confused by the ensuing silence, but Mr Stringer thought he knew where this was going.

“A birching then, headmaster?” he asked.

“Quite possibly. If it is to be corporal punishment, then it must be the birch.”

Mr Richardson’s mouth gaped open a little. He wasn’t sure what to say. The birch? Such an implement had never been used at St Francis, at least not to his knowledge. Was it even permitted?

The headmaster was in his stride. “It just so happens, that I already have a birch rod prepared that would be suitable for the purpose. Jenkins, one of our fifth-formers is due a birching after chapel tomorrow.”

He read Mr Richardson’s blank expression. “For bullying. He is to be birched for bullying. If you consent, we can use the birch on your boy and have another one made up for Jenkins.”

“Headmaster, I am really not sure,” Mr Richardson began, but his sentence trailed off.

The headmaster could be stern when the occasion demanded. “It is your decision to make. But, I must say, I do not think a caning sufficient punishment. If we decide not to birch the boy, I would expect the police to be informed and they can take up the case. Alderson is in the hospital, he would expect us to give your boy the harshest-possible punishment. So, too would his parents.”

The police? God no. Think of the bad publicity. Mr Richardson knew the headmaster would blame him for it. Dr Henderson-Smith already had his doubts about the sports master’s ability to keep order when he took teams away from the school.

The headmaster’s mind was already made up. “We can do it now, without delay. We can go to the gymnasium. I am sure any one of Alderson’s team mates would oblige in holding your boy down over the vaulting horse.”

Mr Richardson blanched. Would he be expected to deliver the birching? He was not experience in administering corporal punishment. The most he ever gave was a whack or two on the seat of a boy’s shorts, touching toes.

The headmaster seemed to read the man’s mind. “If you wish, Sir, I would be willing to wield the birch rod on your behalf.”

Mr Richardson meekly nodded his assent. And, in those few moments, Christopher’s fate was sealed.

Christopher took the news of his impending birching impassively. He had expected a beating; this was school after all and that’s what they did to you at school. A birching, however, would be a new experience.

Mr Richardson felt obliged to give the boy a lecture on his behaviour and how violence was not the answer.  The irony that Christopher was to be birched was lost on him.

Minutes later, Christopher and his sports master were into the gymnasium. Mr Richardson was surprised and a little angry to see the entire St Anthony’s School football team lined against one wall. He had not agreed to a public birching, but it was too late to argue now. At least Christopher would be spared the humiliation of having his own team mates witness his flogging.

The boys who had been standing easily straightened up in readiness for the evening’s entertainment. How absurd they looked, Mr Richardson thought, in their blue and yellow striped blazers and grey short trousers and knee socks. Fully grown men forced to dress like little boys.

A vaulting horse had been placed in the centre of the floor and nearby, soaking in an enamel bucket, was a birch rod.

Mr Richardson had never seen a birch before, and, he supposed neither had Christopher. This one was a cluster of seven or eight leafless branches three feet long, tightly bound near the base with sticking plaster.

“Come boy, stand here,” the headmaster pointed to a spot in front of the horse. Christopher affected no emotion as he complied with the order, inwardly he was in turmoil. The birch looked fearsome. He was used to the cane, he had been thrashed many times before: St Francis was that kind of school. It hurt like hell, but he knew he could stand the pain of six-of-the-best on the trousers. But, today he was going to get eight sticks across the backside with only his thin football shorts between his flesh and the rods.

“When I instruct you,” the headmaster intoned, “You will lower your shorts and bend over the horse.” Mr Richardson saw Christopher blanch: on the bare. Bare arsed: and in front of all these people.

The headmaster continued, “You will hold on to the handles of the horse and you will remain in position. You will take your beating like a man.”

The headmaster droned on for a while, but Christopher was deaf. All he had heard was “lower your shorts” and after that it was a blank. All the headmaster’s threats of the consequences of moving or screaming were lost on him.

By now Mr Richardson was having grave doubts. Was there still time to stop this? A public bare-bottomed birching was unheard of at St Francis. Would his own headmaster support him when he learned what happened here this evening?

“Take down your shorts and bend over,” the headmaster ordered as he himself lent forward to retrieve the bundle of birch twigs from the bucket.

Defiantly, Mr Richardson thought, Christopher placed his thumbs in the waistband of his football shorts and with the merest flick of the wrist sent them down to his knees. The shorts fell to his feet as he moved towards the horse so he stepped out of them. Now, naked from the waist down, the eighteen-year-old hooligan leaned forward and placing his stomach on the leather top, bent over the horse, offering up his bared buttocks to the headmaster and his birch rods.

He clutched at the pieces of rope that served as carrying handles and wrapped them around his wrists, in effect tying himself down in readiness for the thrashing.

The watching schoolboys were impassive, save for one, who Mr Richardson observed had a slight smile playing around his lips. Another folded his hands in front of his crotch in an attempt to hide the growing erection inside his tight grey shorts.

The headmaster was in no hurry. He swished the birch rods through space spraying droplets of water across the dusty floor of the gymnasium. Christopher stared down at the wooden floorboards, intently studying the many scratch marks: anything to distract him from his present predicament.

Mr Richardson stared too: at Christopher’s smooth hairless bottom; soon to be pounded into raw meat.

The headmaster was ready and without ceremony, he drew his arm back and swished the birch across the proffered buttocks. The merest gasp, escaped from the boy’s clenched lips. A second stroke quickly followed, met with an audible, “ouch” from Christopher.

It hurt, it hurt a great deal, but it was a different pain to the cane Christopher was used to. The rattan would slice into the bum, cutting a single welt with each rise and fall, creating intense agony where the rod landed. The birch was different; his bottom was on fire, but it felt as if a white-hot egg-whisk had been pressed into his flesh.

The headmaster paused to admire his handiwork. The hairless buttocks were scared with dozens of thin white lines, narrow welts were rising where the birch twigs connected with the boy’s fleshy globes. As yet, no bruises had formed, and there was no sign of blood.

The birch swished again; Christopher screwed his eyes tight and stifled the yell, he so desperately wanted to make. The eyes of the schoolboy footballers seared into his neck, feeling almost as hot as his burning backside. He would not let himself down: he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of seeing him in pain.

Swish! Swish! The birch rose and fell: sweat poured from the boy’s back, soaking through his football shirt. Christopher’s gasps were louder, but he was still in control. Swish! the hardest cut yet and the boy’s response was to beat his legs up and down against the wooden horse. Tears were forming behind his eyes.

Nobody in the gymnasium, Mr Richardson included, doubted that Christopher deserved all he was getting. But, many of the boys were dissatisfied with the punishment: they wanted blood, literally.

Perhaps the headmaster could read the thoughts of his pupils: he lashed down two more strokes with full force. That did it: the skin opened and blood seeped through. Christopher’s yelp echoing around the gymnasium was greeted with smiles of satisfaction from many of the boys.

“Right boy, stand up,” It was over: Christopher had survived. Slowly, he relaxed his grip on the rope handles and raised himself from the horse. Instinctively, his hands shot to his buttocks to gently rub against the dozens of raised stripes that decorated them.

Unsteadily, he retrieved his football shorts and gingerly stepped into them, all the time avoiding looking at the headmaster or the schoolboys who lined the walls. How he hated them; all of them. Given a chance he would gladly smack each and every one of their smug mouths.

“Take him away,” the headmaster’s order was directed at Mr Richardson. Christopher violently shrugged off the sports master’s offer of his arm, determined to leave the scene of his humiliation under his own stream.

They returned to an empty changing room; his team mates too embarrassed to await his return. The warm water from the shower washed away the blood but did little to relive the intense throbbing in Christopher’s backside. Mr Richardson had enough sensitivity to leave the boy to his own devices.

Fifteen minutes later the motor coach left to return the boys to their own school; a journey made in total silence.

Picture credit: Unknown

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Other stories you might like

My first spanking — aged 18!

The troublesome lodger

A kiss too far

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Pyjama Bottoms Down. Bend Over

z used cane pyjamas bare desk london CPS

I was sitting in my oak-panelled study waiting for Tomkins of the Sixth to report to me. He didn’t know it yet, but I was going to give him twelve on the bare. He needed to learn a lesson and I was the one to teach it.

I luxuriated in my armchair reading the evening newspaper, enjoying my pipe. I was in no hurry. I had made him wait all day and only now, just before lights out, I sent word for him to see me immediately.

There was a light tap on the study door. Tomkins was here. I paused before answering. “Come!”

Tomkins knew he was due a beating. The door handle turned slowly and very reluctantly he pushed the door open and stepped cautiously into my study.

“Come in boy! Don’t dawdle! Close the door!” I snapped.

He closed the door as instructed and stood only a couple of paces inside the room, not sure what to do next.

“You wanted to see me sir.”

I peered at him over the top of my reading glasses. Tomkins, an eighteen-year-old senior boy, a prefect no less, was dressed in grey-and-white-striped pyjamas. He was hopping from one bare foot to another in confusion.

“I’m not yet ready for you! Face the wall and wait for me.”

He looked around the study unsure where he was meant to go. It was a large room; one side was dominated by an as-yet unlit open fireplace. Mahogany bookshelves behind glass doors ran the length of the room alongside it.

The other main wall had closed cupboards, for teaching materials and so-forth. One cupboard that was taller and narrower than the others contained implements of an especial educational nature.

“There boy,” I pointed with my pipe to the corner nearest the door.

He turned around to face away from me.

“Closer boy! I want to see your nose touch the wall.” He shuffled into position.

“Hands on head!” He did as he was told.

I returned to my newspaper. Let him sweat a bit, I thought.

After a few minutes I had finished the newspaper and contemplated the task in hand. Tomkins was a repeat offender and had been caught smoking again. As his housemaster, I’d already beaten him once this term for smoking and he had been warned about his future conduct.

Smoking was bad enough, I thought as I puffed on my pipe, but to do it again after a previous punishment and thereby to disregard my instruction was rank disobedience and I would have none of it. His beating had to be exemplary.

“Turn around Tomkins,” I ordered. He did so, still clasping his hands to the top of his head.

“Come forward and stand in front of me.” He did. He must have been two or three inches taller than me, and I noticed for the first time that he was really incredibly thin.

Maybe it was because he was in his pyjamas. Last time I thrashed him he had been in full school uniform, including a pullover and blazer. That clothing must have bulked him out a bit.

“Take your hands off your head and stand up straight.”

He did so. Tomkins wasn’t a particularly pretty boy, I noticed. His thin face was pock marked and his teeth were pretty bad and if he carried on smoking the way he did they’d soon be yellow.

But, it wasn’t his front side that I was interested in this day.

I lectured him a little. It wasn’t really necessary: he knew why he was here. And, then I pronounced sentence.

“So, you deserve a sound thrashing and that is what you will receive. I’m giving you twelve cuts on the bare.”

I’m not sure he was expecting that. It was twice the number of strokes I had ever given him previously and canings on the bare at this school were rare indeed.

The colour drained from his already pasty-coloured face, but he remained standing, silent, waiting for my further instructions, and ready to comply with them.

I’d thought hard about whether it should be on the bare, after all his pyjama bottoms wouldn’t be much protection for the twelve stingers I intended to administer. But, he was a prefect and a serial offender and I was convinced he was cocking a snook at the school rules and my authority in particular, so I wanted to make him suffer.

I was also aware of a newspaper report I read a year or two previously. A school housemaster was in court charged with ‘indecent assault’ after he beat a boy on his bare bottom. How it got to court I don’t know. The magistrate dismissed the case and said if this was to be considered indecent assault half the housemasters in English public schools would be in court. Sensible fellow.

Not everybody believes in caning naughty schoolboys, of course. I have a housemaster colleague at the school here who never canes. He says the embarrassment of the punishment is as effective as the pain it might cause. Therefore, he takes his boys across his knee for a spanking.

I looked at Tomkins. Think about it, telling an eighteen-year-old boy to bend over your knee and then smacking him on his bottom.  Can you imagine such a thing?

I went to the tall, narrow cupboard and took out the cane I had already decided to use. It wasn’t a big thick stick. People with no experience of these matters always assume the bigger and thicker the cane is, the more it will hurt. Not so.

The cane I chose was dark yellow in colour, quiet thin, but made of very dense rattan. It would leave its marks on Tomkins’ behind for many days to come.

I took it from the cupboard and swished it through the air, to show the boy what it could do. He looked apprehensive, as well he might.

“Stand by the desk,” I pointed with the cane. He moved in the right direction, but stopped short by two or three feet.

“Right up to the desk, boy.”

He moved forward a little more.

“Get those pyjamas down boy.” After some hesitation, Tomkins looked down at his waist, pulled at the cord holding his bottoms up and allowed them to fall to his ankles.

I stood within his eye line, swished my cane through the air two or three more times. Then I tapped it against the desk.

“Bend over.”

Without question, he leaned forward, resting his stomach on the desk top with his arms stretched to his front and overhanging the end of the desk. His pyjama jacket was covering his bottom. I pushed it further up his back.

“Underpants Tomkins. You don’t wear underpants with pyjamas. Stand up.”

I suppose he wanted the extra layer of protection the Y-fronts would give him. He might have got away with it if he was to be whacked on his pyjama bottoms.

“Get them down.” Sorrowfully, Tomkins took hold of the waistband of his underwear and pulled them down to his ankles, where they rested on top of his pyjamas.

“Bend over boy.”

Tomkins repeated the manoeuvre. I pushed his pyjama jacket up, this time revealing a pair of surprisingly smooth and hairless buttocks.

“You are about to learn a very painful lesson young man.” I stood to his side a full cane length from him and after bending my knees a little I tapped the tip of the cane against the edge of his left cheek.

The tapping allowed me to take aim and then drawing my arm back several feet I crashed the cane across both buttocks. He whelped and a thick red line immediately appeared where the cane had bitten into flesh.

I repeated the procedure. He gasped and jerked his head.

“Feeling that aren’t you boy?”

“Yes, sir,” he replied, even though I had intended it as a rhetorical question.

Two thick welts were rising, running across both his buttocks.

I managed to land the third and fourth cuts on top of the previous two. Tomkins was jerking his body from side to side. This was a reflex action against the pain, but mostly he was managing to keep quiet.

I liked the boys I thrashed to be stoic. I despised the boys who couldn’t take their canings and yelled and bawled their eyes out. I had enough experience beating schoolboys (and of being on the receiving end myself) to know that my canings hurt like hell. The boys might try to make it look that they were unconcerned by the pain, but I knew otherwise.

I lashed down strokes five and six. Tomkins’ head rose from the desk and he brought his arms back so he could bury his face in them.

I swiped a couple of strokes high and a couple low and was rewarded with a four almost inaudible “Arrrggghhhhs” from Tomkins.

The boy seemed to bite into his own arm after I delivered the next cut.

I whipped the final stroke diagonally across both of Tomkins’ buttocks, making sure the cane hit as many of the previously delivered cuts as possible. This time he desperately tried to muffle a loud yell, but he couldn’t quite keep it in.

I looked over at his face. It was almost as red as his backside. I could see his eyes were watering and he was trying not to cry.

I tapped the cane across his bottom. He braced himself, expecting another slash. But, there were to be no more. I had promised him twelve strokes and I had delivered twelve. I was a man of my word.

I tapped the cane on his left buttock one more time.

“Don’t let me catch you smoking again.”

“No sir.”

He was still lying across the desk. I walked behind him to admire my handiwork. His smooth, hairless, previously white, bottom was a mass of red welts. Some were turning blue and would change to purple before too long. Blood was forming at some of the intersections where my final diagonal cut had crossed the others.

“Stand up Tomkins. Get dressed.”

He shot up at such a speed he startled me. In one swift movement he bent down to grab his underpants, but it was with great difficulty that he pulled them up to his waist. He winced in agony as he pulled the Y-fronts over his buttocks and they connected with his wounds.

He bent down to his ankles again to retrieve his pyjama bottoms, flinching as he stretched the flesh of his buttocks against his pants.

He stood up and I was able to look him in the face. I could see he wanted to bawl his eyes out, but pride I suppose stopped him from doing this.

I gave him time to tie the cord of his pyjamas waistband.

“Back to your dormitory. No more trouble.”

He was through the door in a heartbeat.

Picture Credit: CP Services London

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Other stories you might like

 

Winker Wilson’s visit

If you dress like a little boy …

The military kid

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Headmasters, Like Elephant’s, Never Forget

z used drawing cane quelch (78)

Former pupil Kevin Smith returns to St Francis only to find there is painful unfinished business with the headmaster

A St Francis Independent Grammar School story. Click here for the full series.

 

This cannot really be happening; but here I am a twenty-one-year-old newspaper reporter standing in the headmaster’s oak-panelled study about to get six-of-the-best. The very best.

My name’s Kevin Smith and I work for the Brocklehurst Bugle, a weekly newspaper in a small town on the south coast of England. I’ve only just started as a cub reporter. I think I got the job because I was born and brought up in Brocklehurst and they wanted someone who knows the area. Also, I live with my mum and dad so that means the paper doesn’t have to pay me too much. Jobs in journalism are as hard to find as hens’ teeth so I was absolutely knocked-out when I got the job. I like it a lot and I hope in time I’ll be a really good journalist.

I used to be a pupil here at St Francis Independent Grammar and after I got my A-levels I went away to university. But, now I’m back. My editor knows I used to be a pupil here and that’s why he sent me on this job. The Grammar’s just had its annual speech day and I have to pick up the names of the pupils who got prizes and so on. Pretty boring actually, but you know local papers they love stuff like that.

I was really pleased to be asked by my editor to do this job because I thought it would give me a chance to go back to my old school and maybe show off a bit, about how important I’d become.

But, I had forgotten something very important. And, now my past was about to catch up with me.

“Well Smith,” Dr Henderson-Smith, the headmaster, looked at me stone-faced; his white moustache bristled and his knitted white brows frowned.

“Before we talk about speech day, I think there’s some unfinished business we must deal with.”

“Unfinished business.” What did he mean?

And, then in a rush, I remembered. Blast! How could I have forgotten?

The headmaster, dressed in a rather old-fashioned academic gown, was seated behind his huge desk, topped in green leather. I knew from experience that when he stood up he was commanding figure, tall, grim, stiff as a ram-rod. And, he was strong as an ox, as could be testified every time he swiped down a cane across a boy’s backside.

I was standing in front of him, every inch, in his eyes, the naughty schoolboy deserving of just such a sound thrashing.

“A matter of the decomposed frog in the science laboratory, I believe.” Dr Henderson-Smith was rather pompous in the way he talked. He always had been. He still was. He strung out the word “la-bor-a-torrry” to give it full dramatic force.

Now, I was absolutely certain what he was talking about. But, he wasn’t going to leave it alone. I couldn’t look him in the face and cast my eyes down to examine the red patterned rug that I was standing on. I noticed my shoes could do with polishing.

The headmaster had centre stage and like the old ham actor he was, he was going to have his moment. He intoned the details of my crime, making sure every last detail was recorded for posterity.

In truth, there wasn’t much to tell. Three years ago when I was in the sixth-form here, I played a prank on my final day as a pupil. It was silly and very unpleasant for Mr Wilkinson, the science master, but that’s all it was, a schoolboy prank.

None of the boys much liked Mr Wilkinson. He was very strict and he thought nothing of peppering our backsides with the cane. There can’t have been many boys he taught who didn’t get a whacking from him at least once. You could get it for anything. With other science masters, pupils used to love to lark about during lessons; science does that to you, all those Bunsen Burners and test tubes. But, you never larked around with Mr Wilkinson – or, at least if you did it once, you never did it again. His cane made sure of that.

Mostly, though we got the stick for poor work. God help any boy who didn’t do his homework or did badly in a test. And, I don’t mean fail a test, if you did that, it meant death. But, Wilkinson would beat you if you got less than seventy out of a hundred in one of his classroom exercises and as you might imagine that meant a lot of boys showed him their backside over the years.

So, you can see why I thought it would be jolly good fun to play a trick on him. Here’s what I did. I took one of the frogs that we had for dissecting so we could explore the gizzards inside. You know the sort of thing; you would have done it yourself at school. So, I took one of these frogs, mashed it up a bit and put the dead body in Mr Wilkinson’s desk.

Then we all set off for our summer holidays and for me it was the last time I set foot in the school until today.

So now here I am standing in front of the headmaster listening to him recount my misdeeds. How, six weeks later the by now fully decomposed frog had been discovered in the laboratory. He told me about the stench, the bluebottles and the maggots. The headmaster seemed to be enjoying himself.

“So, Smith, what do you have to say for yourself?” I wanted to ask how he knew it was me, but I think I know the answer to that. As every schoolboy knows there’s no point in playing a trick on a master and keeping it to yourself, where’s the fun in that? So, that summer hols I was full of it. It wouldn’t have taken anyone at Brocklehurst long to find out who did it.

There was no denying it. I had done it and now I was found out.

I really didn’t have anything to say, so I just stared at the rug. I could see it was a little bit threadbare (generations of naughty boys shuffling their feet before being ordered to bend over so they could get a close up view of the pattern?).

The headmaster mistook my silence for denial. “Do-you-deny-you-did-this-thing?” he tried to get dramatic effect with every word.

“No sir,” I blurted out the response. I think this took him a bit by surprise, I think he was expecting denial and then a big argument.

“So-you-do-not-de-ny-you-per-pet-rate-ted-this villle-cer-ime?” he seemed a bit disappointed he wasn’t going to get to play another dramatic scene.

So, I coughed to it. Yes, it was me, I did it, I’m sorry, it seemed like a good idea at the time, now I know it wasn’t a good thing to do, I’m sorry.

Actually, I am sorry. I’m not in agonies of guilt about it, but I can see that the frog must have been a pretty disgusting mess by the time Wilkinson discovered it at the end of the summer vac. I also know I was just trying to show off in front of my friends.

There was silence for a moment as the headmaster seemed to weigh up his options about what he would do next.

And, unsurprisingly perhaps, he decided to do what a headmaster would do in these circumstances.

“You committed this crime while a boy at this school and you should be dealt with accordingly,” he was speaking more naturally now.

Without another word, he stood up from his plush leather chair and walked the three or four paces to a set of cupboards running the length of one wall. My eyes followed him. He pulled his academic gown to one side so he could delve into a trouser pocket to withdraw a small bunch of keys. Selecting one, he unlocked one of the cupboards.

I should have guessed. Inside were an array of punishment canes, the headmaster was blocking my sight, but I could see at least four crook-handled rattans. Dr Henderson-Smith put his hand in the cupboard and as he did so he moved his body a little and I could see it contained many, many more. He seemed to be looking for a particular stick. In no time he found it, withdrew, locked the cupboard, and turned to face me.

I wasn’t terribly surprised. If I had been found out while I was still a pupil here I would have been beaten. Maybe, Wilkinson would have done it himself, or maybe he’d have sent me to the head. Who can be sure? But, either way my bum would be on fire.

The head placed the cane on his leather topped desk and walked to the far side of the study. There was a wooden-backed chair leaning against the wall. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. He picked it up and placed it on the rug in front of his desk, just as if he was putting it there for a visitor to sit on. But, I knew I wasn’t going to be sitting down, not on this chair, and probably not anywhere comfortably, for some hours to come.

“Stand by the chair,” it was a calm instruction, not barked as if an order. I walked over and as instructed stood facing the back of the chair. “Closer boy,” Of course, I was about three feet from the wooden back of the chair, there was no way I could bend over from there.

I shuffled a couple of paces forward. Dr Henderson-Smith stood to my right hand side, I turned my head slightly to see what he was doing and for the first time I saw close up the cane he was going to use to whip me. It wasn’t like any cane I’d seen before. I’d been caned a few times before, not just by Wilkinson, it was that kind of school, so I’d seen a few sticks in my time.

This one was different, it was amber in colour and no longer than any others and no thicker, if anything it might be a bit thinner than the one Wilkinson used on me the last time. Dr Henderson-Smith held the cane at the crooked-handle end with one hand and he ran the other over the length of the rod, bending it ever so slightly as he did so. Then he let go and swished the stick through the air. That’s when I realised this cane had more power than any I had suffered before. It might be thin, but it was whippy and it was going to pack one heck of a punch.

I looked down at the trousers I was wearing thankful that they were rather fashionable and expensive. They were made of a very dense material and would provide some protection, I was sure.

The headmaster pointed the stick at the lower half of my body. “Take down your trousers and bend over the chair.”

“What the hell, no way!” I didn’t say it out loud, of course. Up to this point I wasn’t too worried about getting the cane. I’d had it a few times, I knew it would hurt, but I also knew I could take it. I’d take my Six and that would be it.

But having seen the implement he intended to use on me and now being told it’s “trousers down,” I was far from sure.

What could I do? There was a simple answer: walk out. He had no right to thrash me, even though I had been a naughty boy while at school. That was in the past and he had no jurisdiction over me now. But, I knew, or thought I knew, that if I did that Henderson-Smith would tell my editor about it and I’d be in trouble at work.

I’ve only just started at the paper and I’m on what they call ‘probation’ for six months, that means if I don’t fit in I get sacked. I didn’t want that. Jobs in journalism were hard to come by and I might not be lucky enough to get another one. I really didn’t have any choice.

“Quickly boy, do as I say,” the headmaster swished that fierce rod once again.

This is it. Deep breath. Let’s get this over with. Although in my mind I had decided to take my punishment trousers down, I couldn’t get my body to agree. My hands fumbled at the buckle of the thick black leather belt I was wearing. I couldn’t quite get that prong thing out of the hole in the belt.

“Come on, I haven’t got all day.”

There, I’ve managed it, the belt’s undone. Getting the trousers undone was just as bad. I’d never noticed before just how many buttons there are on trousers. My fumbling fingers got the two at the waistband undone.

I couldn’t see him, but I felt the eyes of the headmaster burning into the back of my head, Swish! He was practicing his strokes.

At last the waist was loose and I pulled at the fly. All undone. I let go of my trousers and the weight of the thick leather belt and the force of gravity sent them crashing to my ankles with no help from me. I felt a breeze as the thick cloth passed by my knees.

And, that I think is where you came in. I’m standing here in the headmaster’s study my trousers around my ankles in my blue-and-white striped Boxer shorts about to bend over the chair for Six.

The headmaster is still behind me. I can feel his cane tapping my behind. “Not exactly school uniform are they?” he says, almost absent-mindedly. I want to say “No they’re not and that’s because I am not one of your schoolboys, I’m a grown man.” But, I don’t. The tapping continues. Christ! Please don’t tell me to pull down my pants.

Before he can say anything else I bend over the chair. It’s quite an ordinary chair really. The back isn’t so high so I can go over it without my stomach touching it. I am putting my hands out in front of me clutching the far corners off the seat, one with each hand.

I am as ready as I am ever going to be. And, so is the headmaster.

Swipe! Jesus H. Christ! That hurt. It got me right in the centre of my bum. I can feel a welt rising and I’m pretty certain it runs across both cheeks from left to right.

Swipe! Crack. I can’t breathe. I’m clutching onto the chair for dear life. Gasping.

Swipe! No! Please no more! I’ve got three stripes, all on the fleshy part of the buttocks. I can feel where each one has landed; they’re running parallel about a quarter of an inch apart.

Swipe! Swipe! God in Heaven! I will not cry. I will not cry. These two are lower than the others. One has hit me on the crease where the fleshy bum connects with the thighs.

Swipe! Ouch! One cut lower than all the others. I can’t help it I yell out and my legs kick out behind me. I want to stand up and rub and rub at my bottom. I have gripped the chair so tightly that as I move to stand I find myself lifting the front two legs clean off the ground.

That’s it. Six-of-the best. It’s over. I’m waiting for permission to stand. I just want to get the Hell out of here. I want to run down the street clutching my bum and howling. Please let me up.

Swipe! Swipe! Yowll! No! No! No! Stop I cannot take any more. My whole body is writhing in pain. I can hear the headmaster speaking, it sounds as if he is miles away. He is instructing me to keep still.

Swipe! Swipe! Ouch! Arrrrh! I’m bleeding. I’m sure I can feel blood seeping under my Boxers. I move my lower torso from left to right and back again. Has the blood made my underwear stick to my bum?

Swipe! Yow-yow-yow!! The bastard! I can’t breathe, I’m truly gasping. He’s deliberately laid the cane diagonally across both buttocks so it landed across all the other fresh welts. I cannot, I cannot, take any more of this. There is a pause. I can feel the headmaster moving from my left hand side to my right. Oh, no, he isn’t?

Swipe! Yesss He Is!! He whipped the cane across my wounds from the other side. I can feel criss-cross cuts right the way across my buttocks, running from the top to the bottom and from left to right and back again. I am bleeding and I am beaten.

“Get up.” I stay still across the chair breathing heavily. I can stand but I cannot be sure that I will be able to walk. The throbbing pain is so severe; I have no words to describe it.

“Up boy.” I can feel his hand on my shoulder helping me to rise. He lets go of me as I stand unsteadily. Tears are flowing and sobs are coming in great big gulps. I watch as the headmaster returns to his cupboard, unlocks the door and replaces the cane that has just ripped me apart.

“Get dressed boy.” I hadn’t realised I was still standing trousers at ankles. I desperately want to touch both buttocks, to explore the extent of the damage, but I don’t want the headmaster to see.

Oh my God, how will I explain this to Cindy, my girlfriend? It will take weeks, no months, to heal.

I am bending down to grab the waist of my trousers. The pain sears as my buttocks stretch with the effort. I grab the trousers, pull them up and repeat the fumbling with buttons and belt.

I am not quite sure what will happen next.

“Tuck your shirt in boy,” the headmaster is smiling as he returns to his desk, sits down, opens a drawer and pulls out a sheaf of papers, which he is handing to me.

The speech day results.

Picture credit: The Magnet

 

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Other stories you might like

The drunken neighbour

Changed Times 4. Global Petroleum

Bend over. Touch your toes

 

 More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

A Teen’s Tale

Was I a typical teenager? I think so. Certainly I was no different from my friends. We couldn’t stand adults; our parents, schoolmasters, the vicar at church. We didn’t think they had much to tell us.

We spent a lot of our time just hanging around in groups “having a laugh.” There was a particular bus stop just outside of town that was our meeting place. Buses didn’t run much after about seven o’clock so we weren’t usually disturbed. We’d buy (or sometimes steal) bottles of cheap cider and get rowdy drunk. If a passer-by complained, we’d soon chase them off: law-abiding citizens are easily cowed by drunken teenagers.

I had just turned eighteen and was close to leaving school. My dad had just been promoted at work and was now a factory manager, but it meant he had to move to a town about a hundred miles away. I didn’t want to go; I’d have to leave all my mates and I hated my parents so much I was pleased to see the back of them. But, I still had a few months left at school so I couldn’t get a job and find a place of my own to live.

My Uncle Alistair and Aunt Alice stepped in and said I could stay with them until I left school. I hated them us much as my mum and dad, but I had no choice. She was such a stuck up cow who always thought she was a cut above the rest of us. Her father worked in an office, while my family were mostly factory workers. Uncle Alistair was a jobbing builder, so I don’t know she had much to crow about. They only lived a couple of streets away, so I wouldn’t lose my friends and my life wouldn’t change much: worse thing.

I went to the local grammar school, so that suited her social pretensions. I didn’t like school much, but had a knack for passing examinations without doing much work and my parents made me stay on into the sixth form. Another reason I hated them. I didn’t like being bossed around, and if you don’t like being bossed around, you should not be at grammar school.

There are so many useless, pointless, rules. I loathed wearing school uniform; you could see us coming from a mile off in our pink blazers. We even had to wear short trousers until the end of the third form: fourteen-year-old boys in short trousers, no other school in town humiliated their pupils like that. And, don’t get me started on the stupid school caps they forced us to wear.

I hated the “masters” as we had to call them. Most of them had been at the school since Adam was a lad and had never done a proper day’s work in their lives. They wouldn’t last an hour at dad’s factory. They thought they were proper Christian gentlemen and decided the boys at the school should be too. Nobody ever asked me. I skipped chapel once; I was eighteen and decided I could make my own mind up about God and Jesus and all that. There was Hell to pay.

I was found out of course, I knew I would be. We were always answering to roll calls, having our names taken, masters checking that we hadn’t absconded. It was a caning offence, but I reckoned that sixth-formers were immune from the stick, even at that school.

My headmaster soon corrected me on that idea. I didn’t get thrashed that time, but he told me if I skipped chapel again he would whop me himself. I had to write a two thousand word essay on why Jesus was important in my life. Two thousand words! Believe me I would have preferred the cane to that any day: trousers down; pants down, six strokes, twelve: anything but that essay.

One thing I did like about being in the sixth-form was the power it gave me over the younger boys. They were terrified of me. It was only a few years earlier that the headmaster had taken away the prefect’s power to spank the younger boys. I would have loved to parade around the school, gym plimsoll in hand, able to whack the arse of any boy I fancied.

In my time the best we could do was to hand out ‘punishment slips’ which the boy took to his form master. When the boy collected three slips he was beaten. It wasn’t the same as the plimsoll, but the boys knew I scattered slips like confetti so it came pretty close.

You didn’t have to be in the sixth to be a bully. One thing I loved to do when I was about fifteen or sixteen was to beat up on the sissies; those boys who were a little bit different from the rest of us. They were easy targets, scared of their own shadows most of them. They would never defend themselves. There was one lad (I forget his name now: Kevin? Keith? Karl?) who I loved to push around. You only had to touch him and he would fall to the ground and curl up into a little ball. He was crying before I ever got the first kick in. I took his lunch money most days – it helped to pay for the cider and my smokes.

With my parents out of the way I tried it on a lot with my aunt and uncle. I skimped on my homework, lazed around in my bedroom most of the day; that was when I wasn’t out with my friends hanging round the bus stop and haranguing old folk going about their business.

The final straw for pious Aunt Alice was that I stopped going to church. It’s not that I refused to go: there was no argument, no discussion even, I just stopped going and that for me was the end of the matter. Not so for my aunt and uncle. Aunt Alice in particular berated me for non-attendance and was rewarded by my most hostile indifference.

Maybe that was the point at which they decided I needed a damned good hiding, but if it was, they put it off for another week or so.

I finally found myself with a red backside one Wednesday in June. It was a school night and as had become my habit, I would return from school, get out of that horrid uniform and wait in my bedroom playing records at full volume until it was time to eat. My aunt often implored me to turn down the noise, but the more she showed her dislike, the more determined I became to annoy her.

Meal times were always strenuous times. Looking back on it I wonder if my aunt and uncle weren’t going through a difficult patch in their lives: surely, I thought at the time they must have been bored to tears with their pathetic mundane lives. They definitely found it difficult to communicate with one another and impossible to do so with me. I made no concessions to them: any question they asked me would be returned with a one word answer, or just a grunt.

When tea was over I would almost immediately disappear out the door, never telling them where I was going, who I would be with and what time I would be back.

Eventually, Aunt Alice imposed a curfew: I should be home by nine-thirty at the latest on school nights and ten at the weekend.

Yeah right, I thought. I didn’t say it out loud, there was no need to. I had no intention of sticking to her stupid new rules. To Hell with the both of them, what right did they have to order me about!

The very same night I rolled home drunk at past eleven o’clock. Nobody was up. Emboldened by this, two days later I missed curfew again.

At breakfast the morning after I skipped curfew for the third time, Uncle Alastair simply informed me that he had been keeping watch and if I was late ever again there would be “dire consequences.”

So, naturally, I took this as a challenge and even though it was a quiet night at the bus stop and most of my mates returned to their homes early, that night I walked the streets alone for another hour to make sure I wouldn’t get back home before eleven.

I could see the lights were on in the living room as I approached the house. As I turned the key in the lock I heard Uncle Alastair call.

“In here. Now!”

Sullenly, I slouched into the room, with the most disrespectful expression on my face that I could assemble. My uncle was alone, he looked very tired indeed, of course it was way past his bedtime. I can’t be sure if he had prepared a little speech for me, but if he had he muffed his lines. He was incoherent with anger but “brazen”, “audacious” “insolent”, “disrespectful” and “rude” were some of the words that faltered from his mouth.

He was impatient for me to respond but I said nothing. Who cared what he thought, the miserable little man.

His lecture at an end, Uncle Alistair commanded, “Go upstairs, have a wash, clean your teeth, put on your pyjamas and then come back down here, and be quick about it.”

Corporal punishment was imminent: I knew the tell-tale signs; I’d been spanked often enough at home by my father. I trudged upstairs and as I spread the Pepsodent on my toothbrush I wondered what uncle would do to me. My dad’s preferred method of torture was the razor strop. He would make me take down my trousers to my ankles and I would have to lay face down on the bed with two pillows under my stomach so my bum was high to meet the lash of the leather. I kept my hands well clear of the target while he raised the strop back over his own shoulder, took aim and whipped it down into the seat of my underpants. The pain was immense, but I soon learned not to wriggle about. If he missed my bum and hit the bare flesh at the back of my thighs I wouldn’t be able to stand for a week, let alone sit down.

“Hurry up!” It was uncle, as impatient as ever.

I rubbed a wet cloth across my face and hurried into the bedroom, quickly stripped off my clothes and stepped into my pyjamas. I was still tying up the drawstring of the bottoms as I descended the stairs.

Uncle Alistair and Aunt Alice were waiting for me in the living room. I gave her my most disrespectful stare. So the snooty mare was going to witness my spanking was she?

I quickly glanced around the room but could see no obvious implement of punishment. Uncle was wearing no belt. Did my aunt have a hairbrush in her apron pocket? Was he going to smack me with his hand?

He gave me a short sermon about manners and disobedience and even managed to bring God into it. Then he hopped on one leg, bent down and removed one of his bedroom slippers.

It was all over in a flash. He grabbed me by the left arm, quickly untied the string on my pyjama trousers and they easily fell to my knees. Then, unceremoniously he took me by the scruff of the neck and pushed me over the back of the worn-out sofa. Then there was a frenzied attack with the slipper on my bare bottom.

I was indignant. The sod didn’t believe I would present myself for a spanking. Who did he think I was? Corporal punishment was common in those days and we boys had an unspoken code of conduct. We often misbehaved and sometimes we were very bad indeed. We got away with it a lot, but when we were caught we accepted it. So we would submissively sprawl across a knee, bend over a chair or sofa or spread ourselves across the dining room table. We would be on the painful receiving end of the slipper, belt, razor strop, hairbrush, hand or cane. And we would take it like troopers.

Next day we would report back to our mates; often displaying the cuts and bruises to our admiring friends. Then, like film critics, we would award ‘stars’ for the best performances. My father always got the top five stars for the deep welts on my poor bum.

Uncle Alistair loosened his grip on my neck and I struggled to my feet. My buttocks were a little sore, but it was nothing compared to my father’s beatings. I said nothing, but I hoped my look of utter contempt told its own story.

I didn’t wait to be dismissed; I pulled up my pyjamas and went to my room. My bum wasn’t very sore, but there was a tingle that soon disappeared. There would be no marks to show the next day, not that I would tell the others. We were eighteen years old now and I doubted if their dads were still spanking their bottoms at that age.

….

z used drawing cane master (18)

I was counting the days until I could leave school. The examinations were a little over a month away and then I would be free. I had all but given up on my studies. I still attended school (there were many opportunities to bully the younger boys), but took no interest and did as little homework as possible.

I was idling around the sixth-form common room one day, shortly after my run-in with Uncle Alistair, when the sixth-form form master approached.

“See me in my study immediately after school,” he was a man of few words and he swept away, the tail of his tattered schoolmaster’s gown flapping, before I could ask what it was all about.

It could have been about anything. If there was a rule to break, I was likely to break it. Even as I sat pondering, I knew I had in my pocket a packet of illicit cigarettes, paid for with money I had extorted from an eleven-year-old first-former who was desperate not to get his third punishment slip and the beating that would come with it.

I had more than an hour before I had to obey the summons. I cursed; I had no lessons at this time and was intending to bunk off early. Wearily, I picked up a football magazine that one of the other boys had left behind, sat down and flicked through the pages.

I didn’t want to delay this longer than was absolute necessary. Two minutes after the bell had stopped ringing for end of school my knock on the study door received a haughty response.

“Come!”

It wasn’t so much a schoolmaster’s study as a functioning office. There was a desk and a large padded chair behind, where the form master was seated. A couple of low back chairs were ranged in front of the desk for visitors and apart from that there was a sideboard affair consisting of some cupboards and bookshelves.

I stood facing the desk a foot or two back from the chairs. From this position I could see that they were the ideal height for a boy to bend across. Doubtless, they had been chosen with this purpose in mind.

I still did not know why I had been summoned by the form master. I didn’t have long to wait as he got straight to the point. “slacking”, he called it: a peculiarly old fashioned word for “lazy.” I had not been working hard enough in his classes. I had not submitted homework on time. My marks were falling. He didn’t ask me to respond, but if he had I could only agree with him. I despised my form master. He taught the sixth form poetry and he was lousy at it. I couldn’t understand the point of it (and to this day still can’t). He could not, as we say these days, “motivate” me.

He was a decaying old man and I scorned him for being so old. His liver spots spread from his neck to his face and it had been many years since he stood erect and his stooped shoulders reminded me of a bird. A shock of untidy white hair stuck out from beneath his mortar board and his moustache and beard were as white as his hair. He was the image of the schoolmaster in that film Goodbye, Mr Chips.

Old though he might be, my Mr Chips could still pack a punch with his right arm as I was about to find out.

Once he had read out my crime sheet, he moved straight to sentencing. I swear I heard his bones creak as he slowly raised himself from the chair and shuffled over to the sideboard. Only then did I notice that one of the cupboards was an unusual shape: tall and thin. He opened it and even though his body obscured my view, I could see inside were a number of crook-handled rattan canes. There must have been six or seven of them in varying thicknesses and lengths. I could hear the canes rattling around the cupboard as he searched for the implement he intended to use on me.

Within seconds he had extracted his preferred model and turned to face me. He flexed the cane between his left and his right hand as he gave a little lecture about the need for me to study hard. If I did not have the self-discipline to do this on my own, then he had the perfect remedy: he would impose discipline on me.

I couldn’t take my eyes of that cane. I still don’t know why I was so transfixed by it. I had seen canes before; indeed I had felt them across my backside a few times. This one was deep yellow in colour and was as thick as one of Mr Chips’ bony fingers. It must have been three feet (maybe more) long and flexed easily in the form-master’s hands.

He swished it through the air for effect, if he intended this to intimidate me, he failed. It just made me hate him all the more. This pathetic old man, who couldn’t teach for toffee, was going to beat me because I was not doing well in his class. I was eighteen years old and in a few weeks I would be away from that goddam school forever, but here I was expected to submit myself to Mr Chips so he could whop me with his cane.

I had a choice, of course. Even as I stood watching the cane swish through the air I knew I could refuse to take a beating. I could tell him to stuff it and swagger out of the study. I could do that, but it would be a direct defiance of his authority. The headmaster would be involved and I could rest assured that he wouldn’t be on my side. There would be no two-thousand-word essay (“Why the cane is not an effective punishment for slacking schoolboys”) as an alternative. All I could look forward to was expulsion from the school and the bastards probably wouldn’t let me take my exams.

I only had five more weeks left at this school and I didn’t want to throw away the past two years of misery now.

Mr Chips pointed with his cane to a spot in the middle of the room.

“Bend over and touch your toes.”

I hesitated and he must have read the contempt I had for him in my face because he almost bellowed, “Bend over and touch your toes, this instance!”

I moved to the spot, took a deep breath and placing the palms of my hands on my knees I offered Mr Chips my backside.

Swish!

“Ouch!” I yelled and stood bolt upright, squeezing my hand under my armpit. Mr Chips had lashed his cane across my knuckles.

“When I say touch your toes boy, I mean touch your toes. Now, bend right down.”

I blew on my knuckles, parted my legs a little, bent at the waist, and stretched my fingers so that the tips rested against the toe caps of my shoes. A thick stripe across the back of my left hand was turning blue.

I was quite a fit lad at the time and was able to keep in place without much effort, but there was pressure against the back of my knees.

Looking through my parted legs I saw Mr Chips approach me and then I could feel him take hold of my pink blazer and push it up my back away from the target area. Then he rolled up my jumper a little, giving him an unobscured view of the grey trousers, now stretched across my buttocks. Still not satisfied, he took hold of my shirt and pulled it so that the tail came away from the waistband, then he did the same thing with my vest. I felt a cool breeze blow across the inch or so of now bare flesh at the base of my back.

Finally, he grabbed the waistband of my trousers and tugged so that any wrinkles were smoothed from the cloth.

Then he took my arse off.

He had the strength of an ox. With no interval between cuts, he lashed down six stingers across the very centre of my buttocks each one landing very close to, and sometimes right on top of, others already delivered.

It took my breath away. Quite literally. I was gasping and stifling yells at the same time. It was all over in about twenty seconds, six whacks crashing down one after the other. I buckled a little, but just about managed to stay in position. No matter the agony I was suffering, I was not going to stand up and give him the pleasure of inflicting extra strokes.

It was over. I stayed looking at my scuffed shoes awaiting his permission to stand. My backside was throbbing. It must have been red raw and I could feel welts had formed across my bum. I had been caned before, but this beating was not like anything I had endured previously. I so much wanted to run away to the bogs, sit down on a lavatory pan and pull the flush so the cold water could soothe my aching buttocks.

Eventually he said, “Stand up, boy. Stand there.” I rose and moved to a spot in front of the form-master’s desk. I could not look him in the eyes. I had despised him when I entered the study and I hated him even more now, but my contempt was mixed with the intense pain in my arse. I did not want him to know he had hurt me.

He wrote some words in the punishment book and handed it to me to sign.

Then to add to my fury, he said, “If you fail to get at least an Alpha-minus in the essay I set the form today, you will be back here for another thrashing. Is that clear?”

It was, and I was. No number of beatings could make me good at poetry.

Picture Credit: Unknown

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

Other stories you might like

 

 

When Dad got home

One hot summer afternoon

The drunken neighbour

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com