Henry Pottinger’s souvenirs

new story 2

Henry Pottinger let the suitcase fall onto the bed. It was lighter than he had remembered. The accumulated dust of years – no, decades – was undisturbed. It was small and battered and made of stiff carboard. They didn’t make suitcases like that anymore. Utility, they had called it. Cheap, no frills. Like so many things manufactured at the end of the war.

Henry turned the case on its side so he could get at the catches. They flicked open easily. The case had laid in the attic room since his youth. When he had first lived there; the family home. When his mother and father were still alive.

Henry’s heart beat faster. It had been fifty years at least since he had last rummaged through the contents of the case. Part of his life was there. He paused, but only barely, since the case held no fears. It contained no hidden secrets.

He opened the lid and without looking inside he lifted the suitcase and turned it over so that its contents fell with a satisfying plop onto the heavy mattress. Carefully, almost reverentially, he placed the case on the bedroom floor. He peered at the litter on the bed with some disappointment. He had remembered it differently. This pile represented his youth. He had expected so much more. He hoped this would not turn out to be a wasted effort.

He leaned forward and carefully smoothed the jumble. He hadn’t seen this junk in more than fifty years but immediately so much looked familiar. His souvenirs. Why had he collected them? He supposed it had been the arrogance of youth. Had he believed that one day he would be famous and revered; that these pathetic artefacts would be sought out by scholars and historians. A professor at an Oxbridge college would use them as source material for his third or maybe fourth book about the importance of Henry Pottinger.

Ha! To be young again. Henry, now fast approaching his seventy-fifth birthday, often spoke about the arrogance of youth. He knew the best way to deal with that. The old-fashioned ways were still the best.

Henry had achieved some degree of fame in his life, but no scholar had wanted to write about him. Ironically perhaps, his fame (and quite a small fortune) had been made as the author of a series of history textbooks. For more than thirty years he had been required reading for every schoolchild in Britain and the Commonwealth. That was a lot of books and a great deal of royalties. That income and a legacy from his parents meant Henry had never done a day’s proper work since the age of thirty.

Henry had used the time that money bought him industriously. Henry Pottinger had constructed for himself a second life. An alternative existence. Henry Pottinger was not in fact Henry Pottinger. Henry Pottinger was an assumed name; a cipher. Henry Pottinger would never have been allowed to write and publish a textbook for schoolboys. Henry Pottinger would never have allowed near a schoolboy. Not in a million years. So, the name that adorned the history textbooks was not Henry Pottinger.

Henry Pottinger enjoyed his life. And he intended to go on enjoying it for many more years to come. He had made a great number of friends and his home, tucked away in a leafy suburb of the non-descript town of Brocklehurst, was famous among men who shared Henry’s (non-history) interests. Indeed, it was on account of these friends that Henry Pottinger was now rummaging through his souvenirs.

A seventy-fifth birthday celebration was being planned for Henry Pottinger and, as is often the case at such milestone anniversaries, his chums thought it would be a cracking wheeze to surround him with memories of his life. That had sent Henry Pottinger climbing into the far recesses of the attic.

He surveyed his early adult life spread before him. Time plays tricks on a person and had it really been about fifty years since he had last seen all this? So much of it looked familiar. The edge of a small pink-coloured box peeked between a dozen envelopes. Ha! Henry Pottinger knew what that was. He gripped it eagerly in his hand. The box had a clear transparent plastic lid. Henry Pottinger did not have to open the box, its content was clearly visible. It was a plastic key, silver in colour, attached to the numerals two and one. A twenty-first birthday memento from his parents, deliberately chosen for its tackiness.

He tossed it back onto the bed and retrieved one of the envelopes. You didn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to see it contained a birthday card. Eagerly, Henry Pottinger pulled back the flap and tugged out the card. “Happy 21st birthday,” he read. “Now we are legal. Love Uncle Ricky.” Henry Pottinger chewed down on is bottom lip, an affectation that indicated his intense pleasure. “Ha! Ha! God almighty!” he said aloud, even though there was no one in the house to hear him. Now we are legal. How much had changed since he had turned twenty-one. And “Uncle” Ricky – he was no blood relation. Gosh! Henry Pottinger giggled at how much Uncle Ricky had taught him.

Gently, he placed the card on the bedside table. It would raise a smile at his birthday party.  He returned to the bed; a formal brown envelope lay askew on top of a copy of Football Monthly. Henry Pottinger didn’t need to look at that – he knew already, it celebrated England’s victory in the World  Cup. He just as easily recognised the envelope. He couldn’t supress his excitement. With trembling hands he eased out the one sheet of flimsy paper it contained. “Ha!” He boomed and dissolved into chuckles. His final school report. He licked his lips and started to read. Even after so many decades he found he could recite the contents of the report by heart.

He is “headstrong,” his housemaster had written. “Will find it difficult to make his way in life if he continues to be unable to accept authority.” His chuckles rose to roars of laughter. “Oh, yes,” Henry Pottinger said, “I must frame this. It will take pride of place.”

Henry Pottinger (as he was not called while at school) had joined the sixth-form at St Francis Independent Grammar School when his father moved to Brocklehurst to take up a senior post at the local municipal council. Unable to accept authority. The eighteen-year-old Henry Pottinger had been a frequent visitor to Mr Durrant’s study. Henry Pottinger held the school report, his eyes misting. He saw himself lowering his body across the low back of the housemaster’s old leather armchair. His head low, bottom high. His pale-grey trousers pulling snugly into his stretched buttocks. The aroma of stale sweat that permeated the chair’s seat clogged his throat. Once again, Henry Pottinger felt the gentle tap-tap-tap of the thick, but whippy, rattan cane as it found its aim across the fleshiest part of his round buttock cheeks.

Henry Pottinger could never see this (of course, since his gaze was committed to the seat cushion) but he imagined Mr Durrant then flexing the cane between both hands before swishing it through the air. Henry Pottinger could feel the cane return to its target. Then the cane lifted away before returning with tremendous force to strike deep into his meaty bum before rebounding. The cane rose and fell six times. Six-of-the-best. St Francis was a traditional school after all.

Henry Pottinger read the words again: unable to accept authority. He had been beaten like that on three separate occasions in his final term. Three times! Aged eighteen. Had Durrant been a complete imbecile? Had he not realised what was going on? How Henry Pottinger had lusted for those sessions in the housemaster’s study. How he fantasied about one day being ordered by the cane-swishing Mr Durrant, “Lower your trousers. Bend over that chair.” Oh, how Henry Pottinger had wanted to take a full-six across the seat of his white cotton Y-fronts. Henry Pottinger laughed at the memory. It would not happen at his school but it did not take too long after he arrived at Oxford before he experienced that exquisite pleasure.

Oxford. University. Suddenly Henry Pottinger remembered. The photograph. Did he still have it? He delved into the pile on the eiderdown. Yes! Yes! He pulled at a yellowing envelope, hands trembling. “This is it! Oh My God!” he trilled. “I haven’t seen this since ….” His eyes misted. A young man (himself) in pyjamas standing in the corner of  room, hands on head in the traditional naughty boy pose. The pyjama bottoms are at his feet and bottom bare to the wind and red raw after a sound spanking. Henry Pottinger licked his lips. “Oh Lor!” he exclaimed. “I had almost forgotten.”

z used after corner pyjamas down study or domestic

That bonkers weekend at Brocklehurst he had spent with his pal, Gregor. That mad man (what the dickens was his name?) who turned half of his house into a replica public school, complete with classroom and headmaster’s study. The photograph showed Henry Pottinger in that study. His heart raced and his throat dried simultaneously as it all flooded back.

“You boy, stand there,” the headmaster glowered as he pointed to a place on the carpet in front of his desk. “Why have you been sent to me at this ungodly hour?” Henry Pottinger stands nervously, feeling a little conspicuous in his heavy striped pyjamas. They were made for a taller, stouter boy. Even with the drawstring tightly knotted he feared the pyjamas bottoms would slip down his thighs at any moment.

“Maitland, the head boy sent me. I was out of the dormitory after lights out.”

“Ha!” the headmaster ejaculated. “Up to no good, of course. No good comes from being out of the dormitory after lights out.”

Henry Pottinger nods his agreement. It is unsure what else he is expected to say. There is an uncomfortable silence. The headmaster breaks it with a bark, “Well, boy what have you got to say for yourself!” Henry Pottinger stares down at his bare feet. What is he supposed to say? His head is in a whirl. Frankly, he wishes the headmaster would stop all the jawing and move onto the action.

“Pah!” he headmaster rises from his chair. “So, you want to add dumb insolence to the charge list, eh?” Henry Pottinger shrugs, realising he is not very good at this. “Bah! Pah!” the headmaster is hamming it up  bit. “Well, m’lad,” he says, suddenly adopting a cod Scottish accent, “Och! w’ll see abah tat.” He opens the drawer to his desk and reaches in. Henry Pottinger’s eyes follow the headmaster’s movement closely. His heart is racing and he feels a slight clenching in his buttocks. The headmaster withdraws a leather strap. It has a handle at one end and the business end is split into three tails.

The headmaster holds the tawse high in both hands so that Henry Pottinger gets a good look. It is as if the headmaster is making a religious offering. “Och,” the headmaster says, “yer know what to expect.” Henry Pottinger honestly does not. He knows he is to receive corporal punishment as that is the whole point of the weekend. But, he had never been beaten with a leather tawse before. His bottom has been battered with canes, slippers and hairbrushes. On one memorable occasion he received six cuts of a heavy birch rod; but a leather tawse, no.

The headmaster is now on the move. He stands in front of his desk alongside Henry Pottinger. The headmaster swipes the heavy strap through the air. Sweat trickles down Henry Pottinger’s spine. At close quarters he can see the strap is awesome. It is about a foot or fourteen inches long and maybe a quarter to half inch thick. It will pack a wallop, Henry Pottinger has no doubt about that. Especially in the hands of the headmaster who has already demonstrated his expertise with a swishy rattan cane.

“Take down your pyjama trousers and bend across my desk,” the headmaster says swiftly. In his excitement he has forgotten to speak in the Scottish accent. Henry Pottinger fumbles with the drawstring of his pyjamas, he will be glad to let them down before they fall under their own steam. His buttocks and legs are now bare and for the first time Henry Pottinger feels how cold it is in the study. There is an open fire but it hasn’t been made up.

The headmaster moves away from the desk, he places his hands behind his back and strolls purposefully across the room. When he gets to the far wall, he turns and retraces his steps. Henry Pottinger thinks he looks a lot like Groucho Marx and stifles a giggle.

“Bend over boy!” the headmaster shouts the instruction. Henry Pottinger wonders if the neighbours will hear. Then he remembers the houses in this part of The Avenue are large and detached from one another. The headmaster could commit murder and no one would hear.

Henry Pottinger is a short distance from the desk so he shuffles like a penguin until he is close enough so he can bend across. The headmaster has cleared the desk top and all that is left is a large blotter. The lower button of Henry Pottinger’s pyjama jacket is undone and his bare flesh touches the cold walnut desk. Its coldness and the excitement of presenting his bared bottom for chastisement sends a shiver through his body.

The headmaster has stopped his pacing and from the other end of the study he admires the sight presented for him. He has become intimately acquainted with Henry Pottinger’s bottom over the past twenty-four hours. The fading lines from a swift six of the best delivered across the seat of the trousers earlier in the day bare testimony to this fact.

The headmaster stands behind Henry Pottinger and admires once more his fine round buttock cheeks. They firm up when he is stretched across the desk, but when standing they are a little more fleshy. The headmaster runs the tip of his tongue across his dry, almost chapped lips. He rests the tawse on the desk so as to free-up both hands. With those, he carefully takes hold of the end of Henry Pottinger’s pyjama jacket and ever so carefully he folds it once, then once again so that it is quite clear of his target area. He cracks a smile, cups his right palm and then gently he caresses Henry Pottinger’s left buttock. The headmaster is delighted that Henry Pottinger shivers when he does this. The headmaster pats the left buttock and rubs the back of Henry Pottinger’s thighs. Then he gives the boy a playful smack across the fleshiest part of his right cheek.

The headmaster stands back and gently lays the three tails of the worn leather tawse across the centre of Henry Pottinger’s bottom. He licks his lips one more time, grips the handle tightly, raises the strap so it rests on his shoulder and then with all the force he is able to muster he whips it down so that it sinks into the flesh. He is rewarded with the sight of a glowing red stripe. Henry Pottinger’s hips wriggle and he grips the far edge of the desk. A second stroke whistles through the air before connecting an inch below the first. Henry Pottinger turns his head, a long drawn out whistle escapes from his half-closed mouth.

Back in the bedroom Henry Pottinger the soon-to-be seventy-five-year-old carefully replaces the photograph in the yellowing envelope. What a day this is turning out to be, he tells himself as once again he burrows among the debris in search of more memories.

Picture credit, CP Services, London

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Charles Hamilton the Second


Celebrity encounter

new story 2

Walter’s eyes shone with excitement as he bent forward to pick the letter off the doormat. The BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation. He had replied. He had written back. He slipped the letter into the inside pocket of his blazer and ran up the stairs back to his bedroom. He hadn’t told his parents about this. It was his secret. For now.

His hand trembled and his heart raced as he pulled open the drawer where his socks and underwear were. Hidden at the back was his penknife. At the third attempt he had the blade open. Carefully he slid it under the flap of the envelope. There was a single sheet of paper inside. He grasped it between finger and thumb. He held it carefully and paused. What did he say? What would happen next? He was too nervous to find out.

In the distance a civic clock struck the quarter hour. If he didn’t get a move on he would be late for school. He unfolded the paper. It was a letter. Handwritten. He had replied in person. This was no standard letter typed by a secretary. He checked the bottom of the page. The proof was there. The signature of Prosper Howard. Walter sat on his bed and unable to control his beating heart he read carefully.

Dear Master Harding, it said. I was astounded to receive your letter requesting an interview for your school magazine. The blasted impertinence. I resolved at once to write to your headmaster and demand that he administer corporal punishment upon you in the form of a severe caning.

Walter stopped reading. Crikey! He had told nobody he had written to Prosper Howard the most famous broadcasting personality in the country. His radio show What Do You Know? was listened to by millions each week. Everyone with a TV set tuned into his panel game Guess What I Am on Sunday evenings. Prosper Howard was always in the newspapers attending one swell party after another. He wrote a column in a Sunday newspaper. He was well known as a miserable curmudgeon. And, the nation loved him for it.

Walter realised he must have been mad to write to him. There would be hell to pay now. The headmaster was certain to be furious. Writing without his permission. It would be a beating for sure.

There was still more in the letter. Walter read on. However, on further reflection I considered it might be a bit of a lark to meet you. Walter paused his reading. A bit of a lark, what the dickens did that mean? He would soon find out. The letter continued, As you may know I keep a house in Brocklehurst not far from your school. You are to report to me at 57 The Avenue at 5.00 p.m. on May 23rd 1956. Do not be late.

Walter read the letter again and then for a third time. Prosper Howard had granted him the interview. What a scoop! Carefully, he put the letter back into the envelope and put the envelope with the penknife at the back of the drawer. It was an elated Walter Harding who cycled to St. Francis Independent Grammar School that morning.

To get to The Avenue Walter had to cycle through Widdicombe Woods. He knew them well. There were many dark and secret places there. On this occasion he kept to the main paths. It was a cool spring evening, the light was fading but it would not be completely dark for some time yet. The Avenue was a long street consisting of many large upscale houses, each standing hidden behind walls or hedges. There were also smaller but no less opulent homes nestling side by side disconnected by garages or open spaces. He felt sure number fifty-seven would be one of the larger more secluded places. And it was so. Walter would have missed it altogether if he had not found number fifty-one and then fifty-three until by the logic of omission, he concluded the closed gate with no number upon it must be the home of Prosper Howard.

The gate was closed but not locked. Walter dismounted his bicycle and with some difficulty he eased open the heavy wrought iron gates. He stood for a moment to catch his breath. The house was modern. The number of windows he could count suggested to Walter there were at least six large rooms at the front. He had no ide how many there would be at the back. It was enormous. He had read Prosper Howard was a bachelor. Why did he need such a large house? Walter wondered.

He pushed his bicycle along the tarmacked drive that ran through manicured lawns up to the front door. His heart was beating with excitement. And nerves. Nervous excitement. He pressed the electric bell and waited. Moments later the door opened. Walter’s jaw opened. Standing before him as large as life was Prosper Howard. A slender, somewhat dapper man with a severely clipped moustache. Walter had expected a butler, or at the very least a maid, to answer the door. Walter supposed Mr Howard had recently returned from a professional engagement as he wore an expensively-tailored dark-grey business suit.

“Ha!” Prosper Howard snorted in the rich, plumy tones so beloved by his broadcasting audiences. “On time I see!” He pulled open the door to allow Walter through. “Follow me, lad! Follow me!” Walter let his bicycle fall to the ground and entered the house. He had little time to notice the large spiral staircase, the dark wooden furniture and the general gloomy aspect of the house. Prosper Howard was already entering a room at the far end of the hallway. Walter skipped to catch up the great man.

Prosper Howard sat in a large leather armchair. Walter’s eyes examined the rest of the room. It was some kind of living room, he supposed. Did people who lived in such large houses call them living rooms? Perhaps it was a drawing room, what did he know. There was a large Chesterfield couch and several smaller armless chairs and a coffee table. At the far end of the room stood a set of dark mahogany bookcases and cupboards. Walter stood uncomfortably. He had not been invited to sit. Would Prosper Howard think him impertinent if he pulled up a chair?

Prosper Howard wriggled his bottom as he made himself comfortable in a chair. He picked up a pipe from a nearby table and with what looked like a gold cigarette lighter he reignited the tobacco in the bowl. Walter saw the craggy lines that criss-crossed Prosper Howard’s face. He hadn’t noticed them when he watched him on television. Prosper Howard leaned forward towards Walter, the boy caught a faint aroma of whisky and tobacco, mingled with coal tar soap.

“So,” Prosper Howard said with sonorous tones, “You’re in the sixth-form, yes?”

“Yes, sir,” Walter replied, “I turned eighteen last Tuesday.”

“Eighteen eh,” Prosper Howard’s already rheumy eyes moistened further, “What a splendid age to be. So young. So virile.” Walter blushed unable to think of a suitable response.

“What a fine school uniform,” Prosper Howard reached out and took the lapel of Walter’s blazer between finger and thumb. I see many of you boys around the town. These colourful blazers are very distinctive. Why aren’t you wearing your cap?”

Walter spluttered, “Oh, erm, it’s in my pocket.”

“Put it on lad! Put it on,” Prosper Howard blared. “That’s better. Yes, you look very smart. A picture.” Prosper Howard let go of Walter’s lapel and slumped back in his chair, “Of course, it would be so much better if you wore short trousers.”

“Oh, the chaps only wear those in the first form,” Walter spluttered, trying to make sensible conversation.

“Pity. Pity.” Prosper Howard puffed on his pipe. He glanced at an empty glass on the table, paused as if trying to make a decision, and then said, more quietly this time, “Eighteen. What-ho! Let’s have a drink.” He hauled himself from the chair and moved swiftly crossed the room. One of the cupboard doors hid a cocktail cabinet. In seconds Prosper Howard returned to his chair grasping two tumblers of whisky. He thrust one into Walter’s hand. The boy received it gratefully. Prosper Howard was treating him like a grown-up. Like an equal.

Walter sipped the whisky. He had no experience of drinking beyond the cheap cider they took into Widdicombe Woods. It burnt his throat. He struggled to suppress a cough. Now, a little self-conscious that he was still standing, Walter transferred his weight from one leg to the other.

“Of course, I was a schoolmaster once,” Prosper Howard said unexpectedly. “Long time ago, of course. Police constable for a while too.” He fell into silence. Walter looked deep into his glass before taking another sip. This one went down a little easier.

“Discipline.” Prosper Howard was off again. “I suppose it’s about discipline. School-mastering and coppering. Both the same really, I suppose.” Walter suddenly remembered an article Prosper Howard had recently penned for the newspaper: ‘Bring back the birch for juvenile delinquents.’ It had cause quite a stir. Questions had been asked in the House of Lords.

Prosper Howard took a long, hard gulp of whisky. “What about you lad?” he waved his glass at Walter. “Do you behave yourself?”

Walter knew his face must be burning. What was Prosper Howard talking about? “Yes, sir,” Walter stumbled uncertain what he was supposed to say.

“Really? Truly? You are a paragon of virtue? Always?”

Walter sipped more whisky. Did Prosper Howard know about the filthy things he did under the bedclothes at night? Did he know about Widdicombe Woods? What he did with David McCormack. No, of course not. How could he? He took another sip.

“Drink up lad! Drink up,” Prosper Howard beamed, “We have work to do.” Walter sipped hard at his whisky. It was a warm evening and the room was airless. His head was feeling stuffy. He felt his knees buckle. How he wished Mr Howard would ask him to sit down.

He didn’t. Instead, he said rather cheerily. “Come on lad. We should go to my study. Follow me.” Prosper Howard bounded to his feet. “Come along. Come along!” he called as he made his way through the door. The study was on the first floor. The passageway was gloomy and Walter slipped on the over-polished floorboards as he tried to keep up with his host. “Upstairs! Upstairs!” Prosper Howard had boundless energy, he reminded Walter of an over zealous scoutmaster. Walter stumbled on the stairs but gripped the ornately carved bannister before he fell on his face.

“In here lad. In here!” Prosper Howard was holding open a heavy oak panelled door. “The study,” he beamed as he held the door open wide. “Get inside,” he added, as a more sinister tone entered his voice. “Quickly boy. Don’t dawdle!” Walter hurried to catch up.

The study if anything was larger than the living room. And every bit as gloomy. All four walls were panelled with heavy mahogany. There was little furniture for a room so large, but it too was mostly made of dark wood. Along one wall there were rows of bookshelves encased behind glass. A large heavy desk topped in green leather stood at one end. Opposite it across the room were two small leather armchairs with low backs. A straight backed chair leaned against a wall. An unlit fire dominated one wall.

“Stand there boy.” Prosper Howard spoke gruffly, his previously pleasant demeanour now vanished. Walter’s head was aching. How he wished he hadn’t tried to look grown-up. He should have left the whisky alone. A bottle of fizzy Tizer was more to his liking.

“Now boy,” Prosper Howard paced the study, his hands behind his back. “This is what we shall do,” his spoke ominously. He paused while he carefully unbuttoned his jacket and slid it off his shoulders. He lay it down carefully on the large shiny desk. He turned to face Walter. “I will not countenance impertinence. Especially, not in one so young.”

Walter’s face darkened with puzzlement. What did Mr Howard mean? Impertinence. “How dare you write such a letter to me. To think that you might question me. Impudence. That’s what it is sheer impudence.”

He strode across the room, his heavy shoes echoing against the bare floorboards. “I won’t stand for it.”

Walter’s eyes widened. His mouth opened. Only now did he see the small umbrella stand tucked away in one corner of the room. It contained no umbrellas. It almost certainly never had. Walter gaped as Mr Howard leaned forward and took up a long, thin punishment cane. He had several to choose from, of varying lengths and thicknesses. Prosper Howard flexed the cane between his hands. “You will be familiar with one of these, of course.” He swished the curve-handled cane through the air. “I have heard many favourable reports about your school.” He bent the cane between his hands until it formed a perfect arc. “Very traditional, I hear. Traditional curriculum. Traditional uniform. Traditional sports,” he swiped the cane through the air once more. “And most of all, traditional discipline.”

z used drawing cane hold (28)

Prosper Howard grimaced. All colour had drained from Walter’s face. He hopped uncomfortably from one foot to the other in confusion. What did Prosper Howard intend to do? If Walter’s head had not been so befuddled with whisky he would have had no need to ask such a question.

Prosper Howard tucked the cane under his arm. He towered over the perplexed schoolboy. “Now lad,” Prosper Howard intoned. “This is what’s going to happen. You are going to submit to a thrashing.” The voice seemed far away. Walter shook his head trying vainly to clear his brain. It could hardly hear Prosper Howard speak.

“When I give the instruction, you are to take off your blazer and hang it on that hook on the door. Then you are to stand behind that chair.” He slipped the cane from his arm into his hand and pointed to one of the small leather armchairs. “Then, when I so order, you are to lower your trousers.” He paused to allow the enormity of this to sink in before continuing, “And then lower your underpants.” Prosper Howard peered intently at the eighteen-year-old schoolboy standing before him. He could detect no reaction. “Dumb insolence,” he thundered inwardly. “We shall see about that!”

He swiped the cane through the air to emphasise the importance of his next words. “When I give the instruction, you are to bend over the back of that chair. All the way. You will place your head low into the cushion and raise your bottom high. You will grip the front of the chair.”

Prosper Howard’s voice croaked. He coughed to clear his air passage before continuing. “You will spread your legs. You will hold that position. I shall thrash your bared buttocks. It will be extremely painful. You are permitted to shout and holler. But, you must not move out of position. If there is any attempt to obstruct punishment, either by moving about, or God Forbid, standing. I shall start the punishment again.”

Walter remined emotionless. “Bah!” Prosper Howard said aloud. “You will count each stroke and then ask me for more.” He demonstrated, “One sir; thank you sir. Please may I have another. Two sir, thank you sir. And so on.” He cleared his throat once more and gripped the cane in his hand tightly. “You will continue this until I have deemed that you have been punished sufficiently. I cannot say at this stage how many strokes I shall administer. That entirely depends on your demeanour. I shall finish when I am satisfied of your contrition.”

Still Walter gave no sign of outward emotion. His brain had registered Prosper Howard’s words, but it could not figure them. Prosper Howard, Walter’s hero, intended to thrash him. On the bare bum. There and then. Walter’s head was light, the whisky and the heat of the room made him dizzy. His heart beat faster and faster. His breath came in short pants. Fear mingled with excitement. Where did the excitement end and the fear begin?

He watched Prosper Howard step towards the armchair, cane at the ready. The door and escape was behind Walter. Within seconds he could be out of the house and running down The Avenue to safety. Walter knew he, and not Prosper Howard, was in control. Prosper Howard could not – would not –  force him to submit. What happened next was entirely in Walter’s hands. His knees buckled, the room span, somewhere a long way away he heard a bird singing. Sweat ran down his back.

Prosper Howard cleared his throat, “Hang your blazer on the hook behind the door.”

Walter’s temples throbbed. What should he do? This was his last chance to escape.


Picture credit: Unknown.

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Charles Hamilton the Second


You, caught smoking

new story 2

z used school corner sting

You stand in the headmaster’s study facing the wall. Hands behind your back, forehead so close it almost touches. This cannot be happening. It’s bizarre. A dream. Nobody would ever believe it if you told them.

Behind you and out of sight the headmaster makes his preparations. First he must deal with Barker. Then it will be your turn. The wall smells musty, you think there must be damp somewhere close by. That wouldn’t surprise you as a lot of the school is ancient and crumbling. That’s tradition for you.

You hear the headmaster say, “Take off your blazer Barker. Put in on my desk.” There is a pause and then he says, “Hurry up boy I haven’t got all day.” All day, you think. You wouldn’t mind if they took all day about it. You are not looking forward to this. Not at all.

You hear movement. The floorboards squeak. Barker is moving about. “Stand there boy!” the headmaster barks. He seems incapable of speaking in a normal volume. You cannot see but you do imagine what is going on behind your back. This is complete madness.

A window is open and you can hear voices of dozens of pupils returning to school from lunchbreak. There is laughter. They seem very happy. Lucky them. You take a deep breath, you shuffle your feet slightly. It is surprisingly tiring standing like this. An involuntary shudder runs through your body. The headmaster is swishing his cane. Jesus Christ. This cannot be happening.

But it is and there’s nothing you can do about it. You sniff loudly, brick dust (or whatever it is was) tickles your nostril. What a morning it has been. It started at morning break. You thought it was just a normal day. You went across the playing fields to the cricket pavilion to smoke a cigarette. Nothing unusual about that. The sixth-form have always smoked at the pav. Always. Everyone knows that. Smoking is against school rules, but come on we are eighteen years old. It’s perfectly legal for us to smoke when we’re out in the real world. The masters turn a blind eye to us.

The swishing has stopped. There is a deathly silence. Then you hear heathy breathing. You can’t tell if that’s the head or Barker. There is a loud thwack. The headmaster has swiped his cane against an armchair. You suppose he is ready for action. You grimace. You still can’t believe this. So, you went for a smoke and were puffing away like always when Mr Thompson, the mathematics master ambles by. “Smoking!” he cries. “I don’t believe it!” We are puzzled and think he’s joking. He has seen sixth-formers having fags many times before. “After all the headmaster had to say.”

The headmaster is new. He’s been at the school about two months. You know he’s a bit old-fashioned, even for this school. He has been rabbiting on about standards, endeavour and attitude. He’s spoken a lot about discipline. “You know the headmaster spoke about smoking,” Mr Thompson tells us. You know what he means. The headmaster said smoking was banned throughout the school. Yes, you agree with Mr Thompson, you heard the headmaster. But, you tell him you are a sixth-former. The rule doesn’t apply to you. “Tell that to the headmaster!” Mr Thomson fumed.

You never expected to get a call. A note was delivered to you during double English Lit. Report to the headmaster’s study at lunchtime. The lads in class ribbed you a lot. “Better wear your rugger shorts under your trousers,” Clarke said. “No point,” was Smethwick’s rejoinder, “I hear he gives it bare-arsed.” “It’s six of the best for you m’lad. Swish. Swish. Swish.” That was your so-called “best friend” Albertson.

A caning? Don’t be daft, you told them all. You’re a sixth-former. It’ll be a wigging, nothing more. Even so you weren’t looking forward to your visit to the head’s study. You became seriously concerned when you found Barker waiting in the corridor. “Smoking?” he asks you. You confirm this and he says, “It’s to be the cane. Rooster’s just been done.” Your jaw goes slack, Rooster is a senior prefect. “B..b..b..” you don’t quite know what to say. Telling him that you’re a sixth-former won’t help.

Just then the door opens. The headmaster stands on the threshold. “What’s all this chattering!” he growls. “Don’t dawdle. Come inside.” He retreats into the study leaving the door open behind him. You exchange glances with Barker. His eyes blaze. He is seriously concerned. You both stand gormlessly. “Hurry up!” the headmaster calls, his impatience is clear. You bump into each other as you both try to get through the door at the same time.

“Stand there.” The headmaster is now seated at his desk. It is an enormous block of walnut. It is almost bare and you can see it has a green leather top. There is a large rectangle of blotting paper and an ornate holder for three fountain pens. The headmaster is wearing his academic gown over a neat dark-grey business suit. His mortar-board cap is resting on a straight-backed chair nearby.

“You know why I have sent for you,” he tells you. You want to reply, No, actually I don’t. You don’t say this because you are too scared. You could tell him about being a sixth-former and eighteen years old and how sixth-formers have always used the pavilion for smoking but what would be the point? He elaborates on his opening statement. “You have been caught smoking.” You look down at your feet, You are nervous and embarrassed at the same time. The headmaster questions you both. You confirm that you do know that smoking is against the rules. You agree that you heard him say as much during school assembly.

“So,” he intones, “Not only do you break a school rule, you deliberately ignore a direct instruction from the headmaster.” It annoys you that he refers to himself in the third person, but you have to let that pass. “That,” he growls, “is intolerable.” You try to shut out the rest of his speech. You now know where this is going. You are to get the same treatment as Rooster.

When he hauls himself from his chair and moves from behind his desk you realise he has finished. You daren’t move as he strolls across the study. For the first time you notice there is a wicket basket in the corner. Standing upright inside it are five curve handled canes. Even from a distance you see they are of different lengths and thicknesses. They are various shades of yellow. The headmaster reaches into the basket and selects a cane. His lips purse as if he is thinking very hard. He bends the cane between his two hands and, obviously finding it unsatisfactory for his purposes, he puts it back. He takes a slightly darker and thicker cane and tests that. His eyes brighten. You watch him flex it. He seems happy. Then he swipes it through the air. It makes a terrific whooshing noise as it travels. His mouth curls a little at the edges.

He points the cane at you. “You boy, stand against the wall.” He swishes the cane toward a noticeboard. Your mouth dries instantly. Your body won’t allow you to move. “Quickly boy,” he swishes the cane one more time. Now, you shuffle across the study. You stand hands behind back and get as close as you can to the wall. Absurdly, you wonder whether you are meant to put your hands on your head also. Isn’t that how it’s done? You decide to wait for further instructions but none come. The headmaster is more concerned with Barker.

Floorboards squeak and you can work out that both the headmaster and Barker are moving. Your pal has removed his blazer and is standing where instructed. “Lower your trousers and bend over the chair.” The words are spoken clearly. There can be no doubt what has been said but you can’t believe it. You turn your head away from the wall and see Barker standing behind an armchair. His face is bright red. Even from a distance you can tell his eyes are welling. “Face the wall boy!” The headmaster has spotted you. “Turn around again and it’ll be extra strokes.” You turn and place your forehead against the wall.

I hear he gives it bare-arsed. You remember what Smethwick had said earlier. Your heart races and you can feel your own face glowing red hot. You have never been caned. Not even spanked. The headmaster was correct when he said discipline was lax at the school. You can’t remember anyone being caned. The floorboards squeak some more. “Head lower boy. Bottom higher.” You don’t need to be able to see, it is clear Barker is submitting to the headmaster’s instructions.

There is a strong whistle, followed by a thud, followed by a noise sounding like a banshee’s cry. “Don’t make such a fuss boy!” Your temples throb and your throat is raw. There is a second whistle and thud. This time Barker yelps. You think he sounds exactly like a hurt puppy. You know he is not taking this well. He must be in agony. The third swipe falls. Your own eyes glisten. You know you won’t be able to take it when your turn comes. You hear three more thuds and associated groans, yelps and wails. Then, “Stand up. Pull up your trousers. You boy. Turn around and take his place.”

You are in a daze. It is all too unreal. You turn your head and are startled to find Barker standing close behind you. His face is scarlet and tears wash his cheeks. His hair is standing upright, like he has just received an electric shock.

“Blazer off.” The headmaster is talking to you. “Put it there on the desk.” He gives directions with his cane. You don’t know how you manage to shrug the jacket off your shoulders, your whole body seems to be quivering. “Stand by the chair.” You shuffle. “Closer boy.” The headmaster’s voice seems a million miles away. “Take down your trousers.” You turn your head slightly toward him. Incomprehension must be etched on your face because he says, “Get on with it boy. Right down to the ankles, if you please.” Your head pounds blood rushes through your arteries to the temples. You are unsteady on your feet. You gulp in air, afraid you might faint to the floor. At last your shaking fingers cooperate with your brain and the front of your trousers are open.

Without help from you the trousers slip down your thighs and over your knees before settling in a puddle on top of your shoes. Your white Y-front underpants are a little small and hug the contours of your buttocks and cock. “That will do,” the headmaster tells you hurriedly. “Bend over the chair please.” He touches the top of the armchair with the cane for emphasis. So it’s not to be bare-arsed after all.

In terror you bend forward; your bottom, a little wobbly when you are standing tightens into a smooth curve. You cannot see this but your buttocks are presented submissively over the back of the armchair at a perfect angle. Your thigh muscles and bottom tense as you stretch your arms out to grip the armchair’s cushion at the front. You feel the headmaster lift your shirt away from your backside. This makes  you shiver; not with cold but fearful anticipation.

“Keep very still, boy and push your head right down into the cushion.” You push yourself further down into the chair, raising your bottom well up for the cane.

“Don’t forget, don’t move around too much or you will get extra strokes.”

“Yes, Sir,” your reply is muffled as your head is in the chair cushion. You are now in the required position. Legs apart, knees straight, hands gripping the seat cushion. “Brace yourself! I shall make these hurt, boy. If you move out of position, I will give you extra strokes.”

The headmaster taps your bottom with his cane as he takes aim. You are conscious of the cane patting your bottom. It disappears and then lands, followed, after a brief interval, by an overwhelming sting. “Oww! Gosh, oww!” you gasp, trying to keep your scorching bottom still after your first-ever stroke of the cane. The cane taps again and with a swoosh! it lands in the same place as the first.

“Ow! Ow!” you yelp sashaying your bottom from side to side as you try to ease the sting. It takes maximum resolve for you to remain in position. It hurts horribly. The stroke cuts across your buttocks like a knife. You swear you are bleeding. Once again the cane sizzles across your upturned rear end. You cry out between gritted teeth. Your back arches, your eyes close and your face screws up with pain. Tears are starting at the back of your eyes. You close your eyes and grit your teeth and hang on to the chair. You are aware of nothing except the pain burning like a furnace in your bottom.

Then the rod whistles through the air and lands with a heavy thwack across the lower bottom where the cheeks meet the thigh. Your buttocks rock from side to side and you wiggle your hips frantically, attempting to stop the pain. Your whole body tightens as the next stinging lash cracks across the soft mounds of your backside. You wait for the final crack which is angled across the bum, crossing about three of the others. After a half dozen strokes you are amazed that there is this much pain in the world: it doesn’t seem that anything could hurt so much.

The caning seems to go on forever, but finally you hear the floorboards creak and headmaster is walking across the study. You feel a terrific sense of relief that it is over but remain across the chair, breathing heavily and in great distress.

“Stand up boy.” You draw a deep breath and exhale slowly as your head comes up just ten or twelve inches. You take another deep breath and slowly push yourself back on your elbows and rise unsteadily up. Your legs are weak and you have to lean on the chair before you really get your balance. Tentatively at first, you touch, then carefully clasp, your raw, ravaged buttocks and standing on tiptoes begin kneading them, as though you can somehow squeeze the pain out. Tears run down your nose.

“That concludes your punishment. I hope you have learned your lesson.” Your eyes are wet and blurry, but you get your trousers back up and find your blazer. You make your way to the bogs where you stay for a few minutes until you regain some composure. You cry a bit more and your bum throbs madly. The pain is killing you. You arrive at double Geography ten minutes late, but the master does not ask for an explanation and you are glad of this.

z used school cane pants armchair (7b)

Picture credits: Sting Pictures / CP Services London

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Charles Hamilton the Second


The Choice is Yours

new story 2

z used drawing cane quelch (100)

Cuckfield stood feet slightly apart on the worn rug in front of the desk, arms clasped behind back, head bowed, trying not to notice the thick, long curve-handled cane being flexed in the hands of the headmaster.

Dr Fortescue leaned forward, his steely gaze burning a hole into the sixth-former before him. “Pah!” he excelled air through clenched teeth. “So, Cuckfield you think you are above the school. That the rules do not apply to you,” he growled. “You think you should not be treated like a child. That punishments are not for you.”

Cuckfield recoiled. Even at a distance of three paces he could smell the headmaster’s foul breath. “So, Cuckfield, you feel you should be treated like an adult.” The headmaster sneered at the word “adult.” Dr Fortescue flexed the cane some more creating a perfect arc. “Let me tell you Cuckfield adults are required to make decisions. Often harsh decisions. Often complicated decisions. Do you understand boy?”

Cuckfield breathed deeply, remained silent, unsure if he was really expected to answer the question. “Bah!” the headmaster exclaimed, his face reddening. “All right Cuckfield. Let me give you a choice. It is your decision to make. You shall choose,” the headmaster dripped sarcasm.

“Here is your choice. Look at me boy when I am speaking to you.”

Cuckfield forced his eyes from the ground and looked at the headmaster. He was a weasel of a man, his narrow eyes staring through round spectacles. His long nose and pointed chin were those of a witch. His body was gaunt, his skin grey. A tattered academic gown draped loosely from his body. His tweed suit was unbrushed. He gave off the faint aroma of coal tar soap.

His lips curled into a snarl. “Here is your choice Cuckfield. You can accept that you are a schoolboy at St Septimius and accept my authority – the school’s authority. So doing you will lower your trousers and bend across that chair.” He nodded towards an over-stuffed armchair. You will then submit yourself to a thrashing.”

The headmaster’s eyes blazed. Cuckfield’s heart thumped, he felt blood rushing to his face. “No wonder the boys call you the Tyrant Headmaster,” he thought silently. He stared at a photograph of the school rugby team on the wall a little to the left of the headmaster’s shoulder and waited for him to continue.

“You will then receive six swipes of this cane,” he pointed the rod at Cuckfield and snarled. “Six very hard cuts. Six-of-the-very-best Cuckfield.” He paused and observed the eighteen-year-old on the rug in front of him. “You will take your beating without fuss because you know you deserve to be punished. You know you have broken the rules and this is your just desserts.”

Cuckfield clenched his hands into fists. For tuppence he would sock the smug headmaster on the jaw.

“Then, Cuckfield,” Dr Fortescue intoned, once I consider you have been punished enough, you will thank me for correcting you.” He paused for effect and rather annoyed that Cuckfield remained outwardly impassive he continued. “You will shake me by the hand and thank me for beating you. I will make a note of your punishment in the book and it will be over. You will walk,” he paused again because he was about to make a little joke, “You will walk with some difficulty out of here and we shall both get on with our lives.” Another pause. “Do you understand, Cuckfield?” Still, no response from Cuckfield.

The headmaster was now visibly annoyed. “That is one choice you may make, Cuckfield. The second is that you refuse to accept just punishment. In that I case you shall be immediately suspended from school pending the next meeting of the governors when your suspension will be confirmed as expulsion. You will no longer be a member of the school. You will not be permitted to take your examinations.” He paused to allow the full import of his words to sink in, then continued. “Your records show you are an academically-gifted boy, destined for a place at university. Not any longer. You will not be qualified to go to university and thereby you will not be able to pursue the career of your choice. A life wasted, Cuckfield.”

The headmaster sighed as if he bore the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. “Think of your mother’s disappointment, the shame you will bring on your family.” He nodded his head gravely. “The shame when your fellow chaps learn you would not take your beating.”

He took a deep breath, his lecture had taken more out of him than he had expected. “Yes, Cuckfield, the choice is yours.” He growled, “But you have only thirty seconds in which to make it.”

Cuckfield’s eyes blazed – with indignation. Soon they would be aflame for an entirely different reason. The injustice of it. Why should this vile creature be allowed to treat him this way? What gave him and others like him the right to do this? His local vicar was just as bed. Was there a boy’s backside in the parish that had not been bruised at one time or another by his leather strap.

There was no argument to be had. Dr Fortescue held all the cards. He was quite right Cuckfield had no choice; no real choice. As the Americans were fond of saying it was his way or the highway. And, the highway led nowhere. Cuckfield spoke no words; he wouldn’t give the headmaster the satisfaction. He would not agree verbally that he had won once more.

Instead, he reached for the buckle of the belt that held his long pale-grey trousers aloft. They were typical of the time; tailored from heavy serge material, cut generously. Cuckfield’s fingers quivered, unable to grasp his belt buckle. His face reddened with frustration. He wanted to undo his belt with a flourish, pop the button on his waist rip open his flies and send the trousers sailing to his feet with a theatrical flourish. “There Fortescue!” was the message he desired to send, “Do your worst. See if I care!”

Instead, the prong in the buckle snagged and he pulled once, twice, three times before at last the belt was loosened. The top button was easy but the button flies resisted. How he wished the trousers had the new style zipper. Whoosh! he would be undone with the merest flick of the wrist. His theatrical intent was somewhat spoiled. At last the front of his trousers was open, the weight of the belt and the material sent them slithering down his thighs to snag at the knees. So much for his defiant flourish. He spread his legs a little and the trousers continued their journey and rested in a puddle on top of his black lace-up shoes.

His white cotton shirt was long and the tail covered his buttocks and continued half way down his thighs. Cuckfield stood, eyes still transfixed by the grimy rug beneath his trousers. He supposed it had once been coloured shades of blue, but the feet of generations of schoolboys shuffling had turned it to a dirty mush. A draft wafted across the study, originating from the unlit open fire. It breezed against his naked legs causing him an involuntarily shiver.

Dr Fortescue continued his antics with the cane. Headmasters can be ham actors and the head of St SIGS was one of the best. He flexed the whippy rattan cane. Then, he examined it carefully; with an index finger, caressing its tip and rubbing gently each of the notches that appeared every six or seven inches along its length. Finally, he peered closely at the curved handle; as if this was the first time he had set eyes on it. As school punishment canes went, this was a modest specimen. It was about thirty inches long and a little thicker than a pencil. It was a dark yellow Malacca rod, whippy and dense; eminently suitable for a senior boy, needing a lesson.

Satisfied in his mind that the cane was up to the job, Dr Fortescue swished it several times through the air. This action served no purpose at all, but it was one of those rituals beloved by schoolmasters up and down the land. One supposes it is intended to intimidate a boy. If that is the case, the little display was lost on Cuckfield. He was too angry for intimidation. His sense of injustice burned brightly. If he deemed to speak at all at that point he would probably only say, “Oh get on with it, do!”

Dr Fortescue was ready to do just that. He waved his cane towards an ugly armchair. Its leather was scuffed, the seat cushion deflated by untold numbers of visitors with heavy buttocks who had rested there. The leather on its back had been polished to a shine by cotton shirts. “Bend over.” It was a calm instruction, there was no need for histrionics, the headmaster was in charge and he knew this. The eighteen-year-old sixth-former would obey his every command.

Cuckfield was no stranger to this chair. Without further instruction he turned to face it, he was some distance off so he shuffled two paces forward. Still he would not look at the headmaster. He hesitated for a moment; behind him Dr Fortescue was pacing the room, the floorboards creaking with every step. “Come on boy,” he growled.

This was Cuckfield’s cue to reach down to the tail of his shirt and unceremoniously lift it high so that it cleared his buttocks and left a portion of his lower back naked. He left it hanging and with a single athletic movement he fell forward over the chair. He was a good height, his stomach rested comfortable on the apex of the chair’s back. He reached forward and gripped the front of the chair, his striped necktie dangled in front of his eyes but it did not obscure his close-up view of a large depression in the seat cushion.

The steady creaking of floorboards continued. Dr Fortescue was waiting for the boy to present his bottom submissively. Cuckfield’s white cotton Y-front underpants were a little too snug. The headmaster noticed this with his boys, often their blazers or trousers were a little too small; they grew so quickly. Of course, mothers compensated this by buying school uniforms that were too large so that their young ones would grow into them. So it was that schoolboys often wore clothes that did not fit them.

The smooth cotton of Cuckfield’s underpants dug into his crack and as he stretched forward they lifted and separated each cheek. He was a burly boy with square shoulders and a strong back. His waist hardly tapered into large meaty buttocks. They made a tremendous target. The headmaster ceased his pacing and slowly approached the boy, noting the fine downy hair on the teenager’s legs. His move served no practical purpose, but Dr Fortescue gently took hold of Cuckfield’s white cotton shirt and pushed it further up his back. The boy was naked from his waist to shoulders. In contrast with the legs, his torso appeared totally hairless.

He was nearly ready, but not quite. There was one last ritual. He puckered two fingers and took hold of the elasticated waist of Cuckfield’s underpants. The boy tensed, shut his eyes tight and held his breath. With three tugs they were over Cuckfield’s buttocks and down his thighs. The headmaster could have left them out of harm’s way at the knees, but instead he carefully transported them still lower until they bunched on top of his grey trousers.

The hairless buttocks twitched. Cuckfield had no control, a bottom about to be thrashed are apt to do such a thing. It is the anticipation of the agony about to come. “Legs further apart boy.” Another bluff command and again it served no practical purpose. Cuckfield eased his knees apart by an inch, conscious that Dr Fortescue could now see right into his crack. His hole winked a greeting.

The headmaster sucked in a lung-full of air, wiped sweat from his eyes with the back of his hand, and gripped the cane in his right fist. He straightened his arm, his elbow locked. Tap-tap-tap. He brought the arm back, twisted his wrist and with a forearm smash brought it forward with maximum force. A dark pink line blazed across the centre of Cuckfield’s bottom. The boy muffled a groan, dug his hands deeper into the seat cushion, and shook his head from side to side (rather like a horse does when it neighs).

Dr Fortescue took his time. He was on a mission. He had a duty. He had to save this young man’s life. The stupid boy would thank him one day. When he had climbed his way to the top of his profession; when he was a High Court Judge or a captain of industry or what-not, Cuckfield would look back on days like this with gratitude. “Thank you, Dr Fortescue,” he would say. “I owe it all to you.”

Dr Fortescue laid twelve stingers across the bare white bottom. It looked like a map of Clapham Junction railway by the time he finished. Lines criss-crossed across Cuckfield’s bum. They ran from north to south; and left to right, often intersecting. The cheeks glowed red hot with a claret-coloured sheen. Even now bruises were forming, within the hour they would be a deep purple. By the time Cuckfield crawled into bed they would be mauve. A week later the final yellow traces would disappear.

The cuts were already welts. When gingerly he traced his buttocks with the tips of his fingers they felt like corrugated cardboard. No, not card, but leather. It was as if a crust had formed on his cheeks. The agony was intense, but even as Cuckfield rose from the chair and unsteadily reached down for his underpants and wriggled until they were back in their rightful place, it was easing. The ache was tremendous, like someone had assaulted him with a cheese grater. He found his trousers and abandoning any attempt to button his fly, he did up the waist and hands shaking buckled the belt.

His behind throbbed like crazy, he wouldn’t be able to sit for an hour. How could he travel home on the school bus? His head ached almost as much as his bottom. He didn’t see Dr Fortescue return the cane to its home. But he smelt the vile stench of his breath as he stood in front of him. “Something to say Cuckfield?” he jeered.

We all sometimes have that fantasy, that if we had a machinegun in our hands we would mow down all our enemies in a single sweep. Later that night in bed, bruised and battered Cuckfield would indulge himself with his version. For now, careful not to look at his tormentor, he took a deep breath. “Thank you for punishing me, sir. I deserved it,” spoken with a clear voice. He watched Dr Fortescue stumble to his desk, open a drawer and delve inside. He heard a dull thud as something rolled across the drawer. The headmaster growled, slammed the drawer shut and opened another. “Ha!” he exclaimed to nobody in particular. He took out a large hard-backed book, leafed through its pages until he found the right one. He took a pen from his pocket and wrote the date, noting that it already appeared five times. He wrote Cuckfield’s name and the details of the punishment.

He tossed the book onto the desk, turned it round so it faced Cuckfield. “Sign!” With a steady hand, he did so. “Dismissed Cuckfield. Send in the next boy!”

Picture credit: C H (Charles) Chapman – The Magnet

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Charles Hamilton the Second



Portrait of an artist

new story 2

z used drawing quelch study boy (4) (2)

Oh Lor! Oh Crikey! Chris ‘Corker’ Corcoran was a schoolboy in trouble; but dashed if he knew why.

Anxiously, he made his way through school hall and out of the building. Turner Minor, one of the junior boys, had delivered the message. Well, it was not so much message as a summons. Attend at the headmaster’s study. At once. Brook no delay.

It could only mean one thing for the senior boy. The headmaster was not inclined to invite pupils to his study to partake in afternoon tea. There was no hot buttered toast awaiting Master Corcoran. But, undoubtedly the wretched boy would catch it hot when he finally arrived at Dr Wentworth’s oak-panelled study.

A sentimental onlooker might have misjudged the scene. Here was a boy dressed in his smart blue blazer with its red braiding around the collar, cuffs and pockets and dark grey flannel baggy trousers. He was extremely dapper in his grey waistcoat, orange and blue diagonally striped tie and a blue-and-white hooped school cap.

What could be more quintessentially English? The sun shines as Corker dawdles through the ivy-covered quadrangle and past the mullioned-windows of the library. Many a young boy might wish he were in Master Corcoran’s shoes. What a magnificent school! The privileged boys who attend here must have a wonderful time.

Crumbs! What was up? Corker was no angel. Indeed, at times he could be incorrigible and like most schoolboys he accepted the unwritten rule: if you are found out take your punishment like a man.

But, the boy was certain he had done nothing to warrant a summons from the head and the inevitable swishing that awaited him at Dr Wentworth’s study.

Was it the smoking? He and some of the other chaps had discovered cigarettes. Not that there was much that needed to be ‘discovered.’ All the chaps smoked even though it was strictly against the rules. The school playing field was the place to go. Corker and his chums had found a way into the old storage hut. It was the ideal venue to light up a Woodbine and share it with his fellow conspirators.

Corker did not much like cigarettes. It took only one puff to make him feel sick. Two or three draws on the obnoxious weed would make him choke. He tried to keep this secret from the other fellows and hoped in time he would get used to Woodbines.

But, he reasoned, as he continued his crawl to the execution block, this could not be about smoking. To be caught smoking was indeed a swishing offence. The tariff upon conviction was six on the bags, the boys accepted that: rules were rules and St Tom’s was a no-smoking zone for the schoolboys, even the seniors. He was guilty, but the whopping would be delivered by a chap’s form master, not the head. The head did not whop, he flogged. It was an awesome punishment and reserved for the most heinous of crimes.

Corker’s knowledge of such things was more in the abstract. He had been whopped many times, but not by his headmaster.  Dr Wentworth was not a tyrant, but boys at his school knew that the old man believed he had a duty to perform and when he was required to flog a boy, flog a boy he did.

Corker entered Founder’s Building, took the stairs at a pace that would be bettered by a snail, and reached the study door. Here he paused, took a deep breath and tapped his knuckles softly against an oak panel, so lightly that he hoped Dr Wentworth would not hear him.


What dashed bad luck, he had.

Corker fumbled with the knob, and meekly pushed open the door.

“You sent for me sir,” his voice faltered a little.

Dr Wentworth, sitting at his study table, turned his keen grey eyes on Corcoran as the sixth-former entered.

“Yes, Corcoran, I most certainly did.”

Dr Wentworth’s study was huge. Corker took up position in front of the old man’s desk. It was a modest size, but expensively made, with a dark green leather top. Dr Wentworth had a separate writing table with a small wooden chair with a red-and-white patterned seat cushion where he sat to prepare his Latin classes. It rested beneath a stained glass widow alongside a fireplace, still unlit for that day but with the traces of burnt wood from the night before. A dark wooden bookcase with open shelves stacked high with musty volumes in Latin and Greek ran alongside it.

The other wall had a number of cupboards, one of which was rather taller and narrower than the others: many visitors to Dr Wentworth’s study knew from painful experience what was contained within.

The room was large enough to house a number of chairs: two of them modest wooden numbers with curved backs and armrests, just the right height for junior boys in need of correction.

But, Corker would soon become more acquainted with one of the two expensively upholstered ‘comfortable’ armchairs that faced each other in front of a small table close to the bookcase.

Dr Wentworth had a red face with a heavy frown on his brow and his thin lips were set tightly. The boys could never be sure of the headmaster’s age; but to them he was as ancient as the mariner they were forced to learn about in English classes.

Dr Wentworth was an angular man with grey hair, balding on top with great tufts sticking out to left and right from his temples. He wore a traditional academic gown on top of a very heavy tweed jacket and a dark brown cardigan. His trousers were shiny, with black and grey stripes, and exceedingly crumpled.

He read out the case for the prosecution.

“I have here,” he waved a piece of paper torn from a school notebook, “a drawing.”

Oh, scissors! Corker didn’t need to be told, he knew exactly what it was:  a figure in a cap and gown brandishing a cane and the figure of a schoolboy bending bare-bottomed over a desk. He knew, because he had drawn it. And, the wretched boy knew also it had the words OLD DONKEY WENTWORTH GOES ABOUT HIS WORK written in his own hand upon it.

“What have you to say?” Wentworth thundered. Corker did as generations of schoolboys before him have done: he stared at his feet and mumbled.

“Pah! Speak up you impertinent boy!” Dr Wentworth’s face was puce with rage. He could hardly contain his anger. Never before in his thirty-five years as a schoolmaster had he encountered such insolence.

Corker knew the game was up. He had, as the boys in his form would say, been caught bang to rights. The thrashing of a lifetime was imminent. But, even in this moment of great travail, Corker wondered how the good doctor had discovered the drawing. Had one of his fellows snitched on him? Corker could not think such a thing possible. The boys at St Tom’s had a code of honour and at its head was, do not split to a master.

The eighteen-year-old had been very proud of his artwork and he was delighted to see it passed surreptitiously from fellow to fellow. Oh, how every one of them had enjoyed the little joke! They admired its great likeness to Wentworth. And the schoolboy: the boy bare-arsed awaiting the swish of the ashplant was a stroke of genius.

Dr Wentworth was the headmaster of a fine English public school and as such he did not possess a sense of humour. Nor, did he encourage such a trait in his boys. Schooling was a serious matter. Europe was heading for war; there was no place for satire.

What little patience Dr Wentworth had was exhausted. “Well boy, what have you to say for yourself?”

There was nothing much Corker could say. So he coughed to it. Yes, he agreed he had drawn it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it did not. In honesty, the fellows in the class had appreciated it highly.

Dr Wentworth respected the confession but was in no mood to hear how much the boys had relished the headmaster’s humiliation. Dr Wentworth’s voice was not loud, but it had gravitas. His face was inflamed with rage. Corker stood in front of him staring resolutely at the rug beneath his feet as the headmaster jawed and jawed him. He was “insolent,” “wretched,” a “cad” and “ugly.”

Dr Wentworth was in full flow, and Corker allowed his mind to wander a little so that he almost missed the command, “Bend over that chair.”

Corker hesitated, not sure he had heard what had been said.

“Bend over that chair!” Dr Wentworth rapped out the words. Oh lor! There was no mistaking his intentions. He pointed to the armchairs. He had not yet selected the cane he was going to use to whop the deviant artist, but waited to see that the boy had indeed taken up position before approaching the tall cupboard.

The armchairs had high backs, far too high for even the tallest, lankiest, schoolboy to put himself over and stretch out his arms to clutch the seat cushion for dear life.

Corker knew the routine in such cases was for a boy to drape himself over one of the upholstered arms, tuck his knees into the side of the chair and thereby raise his bottom high to meet the thwack of the ashplant.

The sixth-former took several deep breaths and then after one continuing movement he had his face in the seat cushion. It was dusty with a faint smell of sweat where visitors had previously sat in comfort to enjoy conversation, and who knows tea, with Dr Wentworth.

Corker could be assured that after what he was about to receive he would not be able to enjoy a comfortable sit-down for some time to come. That night he would be taking supper standing up, it was for certain.

With his face in the cushion he could not be sure of Dr Wentworth’s movements, but he heard the cupboard door open and the shuffle of canes being sorted as he selected the weapon to attack him with.

Evidently he had a prospect. Corker heard the sound of a cane being swished through the air. Was he testing it out? The boy moved his back slightly, intending to look round to see what was going on.

Dr Wentworth seldom flogged, but he had a sure and a strong hand when he did. He would make the young scoundrel wriggle for this.

“Keep perfectly still.” That’s all he said, but it was enough. Corker burrowed my head in the cushion and clenched his teeth shut.

Up went the cane with a whiz and down it came with a fearful slash.


Swipe! “Yow!”

Dr Wentworth’s ashplant cane came down across the seat of Corker’s bags as if he were beating a carpet. He might be an elderly man but he could still put a lot of beef into thrashing a boy.

Swipe! “Yarooooooh!”

This time the savage cane rang across his backside like a crack from a pistol. Corker compressed his lips to keep back a cry of pain.

Swipe! “Yow-ow-ow!”

He wriggled. He squirmed. Dr Wentworth did not care. He had a duty to perform and would have gladly cut the boy to pieces.

Swipe! “Hisssssssssssss!”

The cane bounced across Corker’s seat and dust blew off his trousers.

Swipe! “Yarooooooh!!”

He was breathing heavily, but he was taking it. A boy was allowed to howl during a whopping. How could he not do so, when the ashplant was laid on with such enthusiasm by a master. A boy could yell as much as he needed to, but he must not blub. That was out of the question. A boy must not weep tears. To do so would be a disgrace, a chap must never let the master see him cry. And if he did blub and the other chaps found out, he would never hear the end of it.

The execution was over. Corker hoped so at least. Nobody he knew had ever got more than six cuts.

Then, Dr Wentworth delivered two more fearful slashes.

Swipe! Swipe! “Oooooh!” Double crikey.

Dr Wentworth’s knuckles grew white with the hard grip he was putting on the cane.

Swipe! Swipe!

Corker let out howls of pain as the cane rose and fell without mercy.

Swipe! Swipe!

They were blows such as no master ought to ever have dealt, but Dr Wentworth was too furious to care how much he hurt the boy.

That was a dozen cuts. Corker lay limp and suffering trying his best not to blub, waiting for the headmaster to give the command to get up. He seemed to be taking an eternity.

“You may remove yourself.”

It was not merely six.  It was as thorough a licking as Corcoran had ever experienced before. He rose a little unsteadily; eyes shining, face pale and breathless, rubbing his bottom furiously. His bum was in shreds.

Dr Wentworth laid down the cane at last.  He looked quite tired with his exertions.  Corker was more than tired.

“Go!” he snapped.

And Corker went. He wriggled his way down the passage.  He squirmed out into the quad.


Picture credit: C H (Charles) Chapman – The Magnet

Other stories you might like

The Poker School

The Visitor

A Fragment of a Memory


More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second


Six of the best seasonal stories

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For those of us who like their stories with a seasonal flavour, here are six of my favourites from previous years. Click on the titles.


Better believe in Santa Claus

Lucas Lomas is a stroppy teenager and the magic of Christmas means nothing to him. There is no such person as Santa Claus he tells his kid brother — but is he right?

used drawing santa otk brush (2)

Approved-School Santas

Inmates at a school for young offenders are forced to show Christmas spirit to a group of orphans, but greed gets the better of them.


The Morning After the Night Before

Tony’s bad behaviour spoiled everyone’s Christmas Day. His friend Tony knows how to deal with that …

used drawing christmas otk CS (20)

Only Three Thieving Days to Christmas

Ben McKenzie works at a supermarket where he decides to steal bottles of booze to give as Christmas presents, but then his boss finds out …

When Santa Claus was caned

Three old men play Santa at a school’s Christmas party. All is well until silver trophies go missing.

used when santa was caned title (3)

The School Dance

The Christmas school dance always gets out of hand. More so when two horny virgin boys are enticed by the girls from St. Winnie’s.


z used school cane pants chair (19)

Picture credits: British Boys Fetish Club / Alan Paul / C of Sweden / Hotspur / Sting Pictures



More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second




You, the housemaster

new story 2

z used school pyjamas cane armchair London

You turn the pages of your newspaper. The world is going to Hell in a handcart. War, pestilence: everywhere. The bus drivers are on strike in Manchester. The Barbarians are at the gate. You lean back in your comfortable armchair and puff on your brier pipe. The aroma of sweet tobacco is somewhat consoling. You glance around the study: your terrain. It is a dominated by a dark, leather-topped desk. It might be a hundred years old. You know it is solid and enduring. It also weighs a ton. It has six drawers in two columns of three. There are two armchairs, each made of a wooden frame covered by a tough fabric coloured green. There are three equally heavy straight-backed wooden chairs arranged along one wall. Glass-fronted bookcases cover two sides. In one corner is the a coatstand with mortar-board cap and flowing academic gown dangling. In another is a tall, thin cupboard. A fireplace is unlit. Whatever might happen in the wider world nothing changes here. That is the way you like it.

The minute hand of the clock on the mantelpiece crawls to number twelve. You rustle the Daily Telegraph and turn the pages. Perhaps, there is better news in the sports section. No! England are failing miserably in the Test. The room is stuffy, only one window opens, the others have been stuck fast since long before you took over as housemaster. The bursar promised to get them fixed. That was two years ago. The muggy air makes you a little drowsy. You should like to abandon the study and return to your home, but you cannot. You have one more duty to perform before your day’s work is done.

All is silence. It is time for lights out. The school is preparing for bed. You hear the floorboards squeak in the passageway outside. You glance at the clock one more time. Your visitor is punctual. The squeaking stops. You imagine him standing outside your door, apprehensive. Not wanting to knock. Anxious, fearful even, about the fate that awaits him. Good, you allow yourself a half-smile, that is exactly how it should be.

At last there is a rap on the door. He has plucked up the courage. You wait counting time in your head. Let him sweat a little. Perhaps he will think you are not at home, that he has been given a reprieve. Ha!  “Come!” Your call is imperious. It is a command that must be obeyed. Your eyes are fixed on the door. Slowly it eases open. You see the top of his head first, the hair dishevelled. It is followed by a chubby face. It is the kind of face that loves to smile: but not this evening. It is etched in misery.

“Close the door, boy!” you bark.  He shudders, turns, looks at the door as if he had never seen it before. It is old and heavy and takes some of his strength to shut. You watch, puffing your pipe, as he moves further into your study. He stands, head bowed, feet slightly apart, a typical schoolboy pose. He is a large boy, a sixth-former, eighteen-years old, but in his dressing gown and bedroom slippers he appears much younger. He wipes his sweaty palms down the side of the thick woollen robe, then clasps his hands behind his back.

You are in no hurry. Your boys prefer you to “just get on with it”. They know why they are here; you know why they are here. But, you think, where’s the sport in that? You carefully fold your newspaper, shuffling the pages so they are carefully aligned. You put it down on a table then you lift yourself from your chair. The boy’s eyes burn into you as slowly you walk across the study and stand in front of the open, unlit fireplace. You turn and face him. He is sweating. Not for the first time he stealthily rubs his palms against the dressing gown. You place your hands behind your back, this is the posture you always adopt when delivering homilies.

You know there is little you can say in such situations. You summarise his misdoings. You demand his confession. This time it is breaking bounds. The young oaf has been at the Three Fishers, a notorious public house in the village. You know many of the senior boys frequent that den of iniquity. You have dealt with many of them in your study. But, you are certain, not all of them. You know that the schoolmaster and schoolboy play a “cat and mouse” game. The boys break the rules, often undetected. That is (if you will) fifteen-love to them. Of course, when they are caught they must accept their punishment (fifteen-all).

“Well, what have you to say for yourself?” you intone. You expect him to say, “Sorry, sir,” or some such banality. Then you can get on with the business at hand. But, the young fool stays silent. Suddenly, he frowns. Ha! He hasn’t been listening to you. “Pah!” you exclaim. (Is, you wonder, “Pah!” actually a word. You use it a lot but never in an adult context. That is, you only utter the word (sound?) when exasperated with silly boys.) “Do not add dumb insolence to your list of crimes,” you tell him.

His fearful stare tells you he has no idea what question you have asked of him. You repeat it and as expected he has nothing pertinent to add. You say nothing, but, hands behind back, you saunter across the study. You cannot see him, but you know his eyes are following you. You stop at the tall, thin cupboard, straighten your back and plunge your hand into your right trouser pocket. You know it is empty save for a small silver-coloured key. It is so tiny and the pocket so deep that you cannot at first locate it. You fumble around looking to all the world that you are playing pocket billiards. Your ire rises. At last you find it and at the second attempt you get it in the lock of the cupboard.

You are certain the boy is now standing in a state of great anxiety. He knows what is located within the cupboard. You lean into it and delve around for a while before you withdraw a long, thin yellow cane. You peer at it intently and replace it. You pull out a second cane. This one is longer and thicker than the first. It is a darkish-yellow-almost-brown colour. It is a Malay cane. It is denser than your standard “senior” canes but still has the traditional crooked handle. You know it will pack a punch.

You hold the cane at the handle with one hand and its tip with the other and flex it. Then you swipe it through the air. It travels at a terrific whoosh! You always do this. You think it adds to the drama of the occasion. It is meant to intimidate a boy. You have no idea if this is successful, certainly the sixth-former standing before you is no stranger to your study, or your canes.

“Take off your dressing gown and place it on my desk,” you speak slowly and softly. You are in total command there is no need to bark orders as if you were a sergeant-major on a parade ground. You watch as he unwraps the robe from his body and carefully folds it. Now, he wears only pyjamas. You swish the cane through the air, enjoying the rushing noise it makes as it flies. Your pulse quickens.

“Put the chair into place,” you tell him. He knows exactly what you mean and takes a grip on the armchair you were not sitting at and turns it so that the back faces into the room. The task completed, he stands back and respectfully puts his hands behind his back. You stand behind him and swish the cane, you notice with satisfaction perspiration soaks the back of his head. You are ready to go. You thwack the arm of the chair with the cane – you know this is completely unnecessary but you like to add to the drama. “Bend over.” You intone the words dreaded by every schoolboy summoned to your study.

He pauses as if sizing up the chair. You know he is familiar with the process. He is tall and the chair low, he leans forward, rests his elbows on the arms and spreads his legs. His face hovers above the old, worn seat cushion. The boy’s bottom is angled across the apex of the chair, it is perfectly positioned for your purpose. You can best describe him as “chunky”; that is, he is not fat, but nor is he slim. His buttocks, loose when he is standing, tighten considerably when stretched for a caning. Now they are firm and round. The cotton material of the pyjamas fits snugly across the buttocks, each cheek is well defined. He has presented you with a terrific target.

He tenses as you “saw” the cane across the fleshiest part of his bum. You tap it three times to get your distance. You stand about three feet to his left (a cane’s distance) and make sure the tip of the cane reaches the far cheek. You lift it off and raise it to the height of your shoulder, then with a slight turn of the body you crack it down at some pace across the centre of his buttocks. It is a manoeuvre you adapted from the golf links. The crack is satisfying (to you, not the boy since he gasps with the shock.) The cane whistles and thuds as you deliver the second stroke. He grips the chair stifling a groan.

You take in a deep breath and hold it there while you lift the cane once more calling up every ounce of strength. You let fly. Bingo! It swipes him on the back of the thighs. Ha! He’ll feel that every time he sits down for the next week. His hips sashay, his head bounces up and down. His neck is scarlet and so (you know from experience) is his bottom.

You lick your arid lips. Your heart pounds. Your palms are sweating. This time you stand on your toes as you swipe the cane higher across the boy’s quivering rear end. He punches his fists into the seat cushion and emits a “sssssss!” through not-quite clenched teeth. The sound reminds you of a steam train settling down. He stamps his feet up and down.

You tap the cane across his bottom again, taking aim. This time higher on the crest of the mounds, closer to his back. The bottom quivers with anxiety. The cut slices his meaty bum with a downward motion. You take a step or two back to admire your handiwork. You are delighted to see thin white lines from the cane embossed across the seat of his pyjamas. There are welts throbbing underneath. The boy’s face and neck are crimson.

You can’t see your face crack into smile. You have a special treat for the boy this evening. You alter your position. Now you lay the cane across his bottom so it runs the bottom of the left buttock to the top of the right cheek – a diagonal shot. Quickly, you raise the cane and with tremendous force (you might be beating a carpet) slash it across the four welts already pulsating across his backside. He wails like a banshee. His feet stamp, he headbutts the seat cushion. He is in great distress. You know he will remember this thrashing for the rest of his life.

Calmly, you reposition yourself and set the cane along the opposite diagonal. Within a second you have imprinted a perfect “X” across his backside. He repeats the shrieking and the stamping and shakes his hips from left to right. You suddenly realise that your nose is dripping. You wipe it with the back of your hand. Slowly, you move to the cupboard and replace the cane.

That done, you turn and survey the scene. An eighteen-year-old schoolboy is draped across the back of the armchair. His bottom still quivers and his knees remain buckled. His face is contorted like a gargoyle. “You may remove yourself,” you quietly tell him. The punishment is over. He has atoned for his misdeed. You must both now get on with your lives.

You return to your armchair and stare down at the pipe in the ashtray. “Go,” you say and wave a hand at the door. He grabs his dressing gown and struggles with the handle and heavy door on his way out. You relight the pipe and pick up the Daily Telegraph. The world outside may be changing, you think, but in this study things will always remain the same.

Picture credit: CP Services London

 For a version of this story from the boy’s point of view, click here


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What would his girlfriend say?

Expelled from school

Rory and Alistair 4: Young Ferguson


More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second