Winker Wilson’s visit

Mr Walter “Winker” Wilson exited the London Underground station and blinked in the early evening sunlight.

It was September and the weather could not decide if it was yet autumn. A gusty breeze welcomed him as he joined the crowds on the High Street. It was not cold enough for an overcoat, but he had the buttons fastened on his suit jacket.

He had not been to this place before. He had been given directions, but he wasn’t entirely sure he could find the house. It didn’t matter yet, he was early. He had twenty minutes in which to complete what should be a ten minute walk.

Wilson wore a blue pin-striped suit and sported a bowler hat. He always carried a furled umbrella, come rain or shine. He would have gone unnoticed in the City of London where he had joined the Underground. But, here in the poorer eastern part of London he stuck out like a sore thumb.

But Wilson, the thirty-six-year-old stockbroker, realised none of this. He was apprehensive about the visit he was about to make. He was unsure why this was so. He, himself, had arranged the meeting. Nobody forced him to be here. He could’ve been on the commuter train to his home in Weybridge.

He partly remembered the way. It went something like this: leave the station and turn right. Cross the road at the lights and take the first turning on the left. After that the details were a bit hazy. Walk down the road for a spell, turn right and then left and the house was in that street. He couldn’t even remember the name of the street, so he couldn’t ask a passer-by for help.

He didn’t want to do that. If he asked the way, he was sure the stranger would read his mind. He would guess his ultimate destination. His secret would be out.

The lights were faulty and the rush-hour traffic was heavy. Wilson had to make an undignified dash between a Ford Anglia and a bus. Otherwise he might be left standing at the kerb all night long.

He tried to look nonchalant, but inside he was churning. He was convinced every face he passed was staring at him. Some were. They rarely saw a toff in a bowler hat in these parts.

He turned left as instructed. It was a long narrow residential road. Large houses, some damaged by wartime bombs, lined the street. Already some had been renovated; small flats and bed-sitting rooms, where large expensive houses had once stood.

The directions were excellent. He found the street without difficulty. He was nearly there. He paused and looked down the road. It was almost deserted. But not quite. Small children played hop-scotch in the road. Two women stood on a doorstep gossiping.

Wilson paused. Did he want to go through with this? Was it too late to change his mind?

He had confirmed by telephone that he was on his way. Mr Teddington was expecting him. He was preparing for his visit. Wilson couldn’t possibly back down now.

The two women roared with laughter when he passed them by. He had raised his hat and bid them “Good evening ladies.”

“Lor,” one crowed, “I’ve neffer seen nuffink loike it.”

Number 27 was his destination. He felt the stares of the women burn into his neck. Did they know where he was going? Had they watched similar gentlemen in the past make the same journey? Would they still be there on the doorstep gossiping when he departed?

The house was shabby. It shocked Wilson, but he wasn’t sure why. What had he expected in a district such as this? It was one of the poorest parts of London and heavily damaged by the Luftwaffe. He stood for a moment on the doorstep. The door was coloured green, but had peeled so badly that blue paint poked through in large patches.

Wilson lost his nerve. This was just like reporting to the headmaster’s study all those years ago at St Tom’s. No, he realised, it had been a mistake. He would go. Later he would telephone and apologise.

Suddenly, the door inched open. A small elderly man, easily in his sixties stood there. He smiled. A weak smile, most of the old man’s teeth were missing. Despite his shortness he stood erect. He had presence.

“Mr Tompkins?” he smiled again. The puzzled look on Wilson’s face did not deter him. Often his gentlemen did not give him their real name.

“Yes, indeed, yes,” Wilson blustered. He felt his face glow scarlet.

“Then please come in.”

It was a surprisingly spacious house and remarkably clean considering the shabbiness of the exterior.

“Put your hat and umbrella there,” Mr Teddington said, nodding towards a table in the hallway.

Wilson did as instructed.

“Now, stand and face the wall. Hands on head.” It was a curt command. Wilson knew that tone of voice. He had endured it many times from masters at school. It was the tone that said, “I am in charge and you will do as you are told. Or else.”

Wilson hesitated.

“You are in enough trouble as it is boy, do not make me lose my patience.”

It was astonishing. Mr Teddington could have been old Flynn, his form master at St Tom’s.

Obediently, he faced the wall and after unbuttoning his jacket so he was free to move his arms, he locked his fingers and placed them on his head. The Brylcreem in his hair felt sticky against his palms.

“You will wait there. In precisely two minutes you will knock on my study door.” He nodded to a dark brown door across the hall. “When I give instructions, you will enter.”

With that, Mr Teddington went into the study.

There was still time to escape. The front door was only yards away. He could be through it and on his way back to the Underground station before Mr Teddington knew he was gone.

He could do that. But he wouldn’t. He wanted this. No, he needed this. It had taken him years to pluck up the courage to make the appointment. He would hate himself forever if he did not go through with it.

He stared closely at the fading wallpaper. There was a faint smell of damp coming from somewhere close by. Even that reminded him of his old school.

With his hands firmly on his head Wilson was unable to access his pocket watch. He improvised. Slowly in his head he began to count. “One … two …”

This concentration helped to steady his rapid breathing but did nothing for his racing heart.

“.. one-hundred-and-nineteen … one-hundred-and-twenty.” He felt like a very small child starting a game of hide-and-seek. “Well, here I come”, he thought, “Ready or not.”

He crossed the hallway to the study. He hesitated. Suddenly and for the first time the absurdity of his situation struck him. It’s too late now he thought and rapped his knuckles on the door.

“Enter!”

It was a clear command delivered in the pompous tone of voice so beloved of schoolmasters across the land. Wilson breathed deeply, turned the handle and opened the door.

Wilson was no fan of science fiction. Had he been, he might have ascribed the scene to time travel. The room was decked out as a schoolmaster’s study. It could have been 1938 again and he could have been back at St Tom’s.

Mr Teddington sat behind a large leather-topped desk. He was resplendent in an academic gown. Like so many worn by schoolmasters, it was old and a bit tatty. On his head sat rather unsteadily a mortar-board cap. The desk itself had two columns of drawers. It probably weighed a ton. A stuffed horsehair chair with low arms and a high back dominated the middle of the room. There were four straight-backed wooden chairs and a low table. Shelves ran alongside the whole of one wall, stacked high with what appeared to Wilson to be pre-War geography textbooks.

Behind the desk attached to the wall was a glass-fronted cabinet. Wilson had never seen anything like it before. Even at St Tom’s none of the masters had such a thing. It must have been specially made. It was a cabinet containing five curve-handled school canes. They were displayed as one might show a prized stuffed fish.

“Stand there boy,” Teddington growled. He pointed to a spot two feet in front of his monumental desk. Obediently, Wilson shuffled into place. He had assumed such a position many times at St Tom’s. He clasped his hands behind his back and bowed his head. It was a submissive posture, appropriate to his status. He was no longer a successful young stockbroker; he was a thoroughly naughty boy.

Teddington jawed him. The list of the boy’s misdeeds was long and varied. What had he to say for himself?

Not much. As all boys seem to do when confronted by such a question, Wilson mumbled, “Don’t know, Sir.”

“Don’t know boy!” Teddington ejaculated. “Don’t know! Well you’ll know what-for soon enough.”

“Look at me boy.” The schoolmaster’s glare roasted Wilson.

Miserably, Wilson raised his head and gazed back at the man who was shortly to thrash his backside. Teddington was small in stature; he was easily two inches shorter than Wilson himself. But, when he was standing he stood erect, with shoulders back. He was a military man of some experience, Wilson supposed. His face was lined and dominated by a hook nose. Untidy side whiskers stretched from under his cap to close to his chin.

“I am going to beat you,” he barked. “I am going to beat you most severely.”

With that, he rose from the desk, turned on his heels and faced the glass cabinet. The five canes were of different lengths and thicknesses. Teddington had already made his choice. He would use his favourite. It was an ashplant of about three feet in length and a little warped from use. It was as thick as a pencil and frayed at the “business end,” a consequence of landing many times with some force across the seat of stretched trousers.

Wilson watched impassively. He had been eighteen years old – a senior man at school – when he had last been beaten. That was half of his lifetime ago. He had missed the sting of the cane. Hardly a week passed by without him reminiscing fondly about St Tom’s. The schoolmasters prefects and the head beak himself strode around the buildings and grounds with a cane constantly under their arms (or so it seemed to the boys) waiting for the slightest excuse to slip it into their hand and apply it across the seat of an errant schoolboy.

Teddington was ready.

“Please remove your jacket and place it on my desk.”

Wilson’s heart raced and hurriedly he complied with the instruction.

“Stand by the chair,” Teddington preferred not to engage in histrionics ahead of a beating, nonetheless he swished the cane at the dusty armchair to emphasise his point.

Wilson took up position.

“Lower your bags and bend over the chair.”

Wilson suppressed a smile. This was the moment he had been dreaming of for these many years. Eagerly, he unhitched his belt, unbuttoned the fly and let his heavy pin-striped trousers fall to his feet.

The armchair had a high back, far too high for even the tallest, lankiest, man-boy to put himself over and stretch out his arms to clutch the seat cushion for dear life.

Wilson 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 behind high to meet the thwack of the ashplant.

He was over the chair in a jiffy. His head was down low in the dusty seat cushion and his bottom held high and at an angle; all the better to receive the stinging cuts from the schoolmaster’s whippy cane.

It was an authentic schoolboy beating. Six hard swipes delivered with vim. Each landed across the very centre of both buttocks. It was a “six” laid on with an energy and enthusiasm.

In his imagination, Walter Wilson was once more “Winker,” the incorrigible schoolboy of his youth. He was no longer in a strange house in bomb-damaged London. He was at the elegant St Tom’s school, the educational establishment for the sons of the gentry and the rising middle-classes.

He was showing his arse, but not to a paid professional “master.” In his imaginings it was Mr Flynn, his form master who was about to whip his bottom to shreds.

He shut his teeth and closed his eyes tightly and waited for the first shockwave.

It was not long in coming.

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It was as if Teddington were beating a carpet. The cane rose and fell in a succession of swipes that sounded like pistol-shots.  As the pain seared from his buttocks and engulfed his entire body, Wilson struggled to stay calm. A chap was allowed to holler when the cane was slashed into his flesh with vigour; it was a natural thing to do; but a chap must not blub. Blubbing was completely forbidden. No matter how severe the whopping, a boy must not weep tears. He would never hear the end of it from his fellows.

It was not merely “six.”  It was as thorough a licking as Mr Teddington had ever administered; such a licking as Wilson had seldom or never experienced before. He yelped and he howled and he squirmed and he roared, and still the cane swiped and swiped.

Then, it was over.

“Stand up boy.” It was a fierce command.

Wilson eased himself to his feet. It had been a long time since he had endured so much pain. Instinctively his palms shot to cover his buttocks.

“Stop that! How dare you!” Mr Teddington thundered. Wilson bunched his hands into fists and placed them at his sides.

“Get dressed. Hurry up boy.”

The pain was excruciating. Had the cane felt so awful when he was at St Tom’s? Memory plays tricks on people; he couldn’t be certain.

The agony was subsiding by the time Wilson was once again fully dressed. He stood motionless as the schoolmaster replaced the cane carefully in his magnificent cabinet.

Teddington turned to face Wilson once more.

“I want you to go into the hallway and face the wall. Place your hands on your head once more,” he barked.

Then he added, “I don’t want to see you rubbing your bottom.”

With his buttocks still throbbing, Wilson exited the study.

He stood as instructed, reliving the events of the past few minutes in his head. It had been an eighteen year wait, but it had been worth it.

Suddenly, the study door opened and Teddington emerged, dressed once again in his “civilian” clothes.

“Come,” his broad smile cracked his rather ugly face, “Let’s have tea. The kettle should have boiled by now.”

This story was first uploaded in April 2016

Picture credit: Charles H Chapman (The Magnet)

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

The headmaster’s guests

The headmaster and his two guests sat drinking tea in his study. The meeting looked to be a success. They had toured the school and they both seemed very impressed. Perhaps a deal was imminent.

There was a tap on the door. Blast, the headmaster silently cursed. He had forgotten all about Thompson.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” he nodded towards the door of his study. “Something I must attend to.” Then more loudly he called, “Come!”

The door inched open slowly and stopped.

“Well come in boy! Don’t keep me waiting!”

Then a face popped round the door. It was a shiny face, a face that liked to smile a lot. But, not that afternoon. There was nothing to smile about – not when the face’s owner had been summoned to the headmaster’s study.

“Come in boy,” the headmaster had now all but forgotten his important visitors.

A miserable sixth-form boy shuffled into the study and then stopped still: puzzled. He had been in this room many times before and he knew entirely what his fate this afternoon would be. But never before did he have an audience.

“Well Thompson,” the headmaster intoned, affecting a grave expression. Like all headmasters he could be a bit of a ham actor when the occasion demanded it. “You know why you have been sent for.” It was a statement as much as a question.

“Yes, Sir,” the eighteen-year-old prefect eyed the visitors apprehensively, still unsure what part they were to play in the little drama that was about to unfold.

“Good. Then don’t let us waste any more time. Go through into Mrs Tomkinson’s office, she has left for the day. I’ll deal with you in a moment.”

The teenager blinked, almost in gratitude. So it wasn’t going to be a public thrashing after all.

The two visitors look on in awe as the headmaster strolled to a cupboard, opened it and extracted a thick crook-handled cane. Without a further word he exited into the secretary’s office, accidentally leaving the door open a little.

Both men remained silent, at first not daring to look each other in the eye. Joshua Durnford fidgeted in his seat and crossed his legs. His companion Winker Wilson watched Durnford’s eyes shine as almost inaudible voices drifted in from the adjacent room. Then there was the sound of a cane being swished through the air a few times before it landed with a resounding crack. Four times the room was filled with the sound of the swish and crack of the cane. Twack number four was met with a loud yowl!

Sweat moistened Durnford’s brow when he heard the authoritative voice of the headmaster say, “Bend over. If you stand up again you will receive extra strokes, do you understand?” There followed a moment of silence and then two more cracks.

Still the two men stayed quiet, unwilling to acknowledge to one another what was taking place next door. Sweat trickled down Durnford’s neck and his hand shook a little as he raised the teacup to his lips.

The door opened and Dr Burnham returned, replaced the cane in the cupboard and sat down and as if nothing had happened. “Apologies gentlemen, now where were we?”

An hour or so later all three men sat in the VIP lounge of the rugby club sipping their third whiskies. Durnford seemed only to have one thing on his mind.

“Headmaster, this is 1968 I didn’t think they still used corporal punishment.”

The headmaster had not expected this to be their topic of conversation, but answered nonetheless. “It has indeed fallen into disuse in some schools, particularly, I believe, the state schools, but in high-class private schools such as ours, it is an important feature. We find the parents appreciate their sons are in a disciplined environment. It is why they send them to us and why they are willing to pay high fees.”

The headmaster was keen to impress Durnford. He was trying to sell him Draffield Independent Grammar School, of which he owned ninety percent of the shares. He knew Durnford from the rugby club as a very successful and wealthy entrepreneur. When Durnford heard the school was for sale, he had said he might buy it. A traditional (almost old-fashioned) school fitted in with his interests, he had said.

The headmaster knew the school was a robust business for now, but the socialist government had many cabinet ministers who did not support private education, so the future was less certain. If he could sell now he could retire very comfortably indeed.

“Do you use corporal punishment much, headmaster?” Dr Burnham was nothing if not perceptive and he noticed that Durnford appeared to have an unusual interest in the subject.

“No more than is necessary. I find once the boys understand the consequences of breaking the rules, they do not do so.”

Durnford leaned forward in his chair, spilling whisky from his glass. “But, headmaster, do you believe caning actually works?”

Dr Burnham noticed Durnford had referred to him as “headmaster” several times, even though they had been on first name terms for years. It was then the headmaster had the germ of an idea.

“It depends how you do it. If you do not cane a boy properly then you will have failed, he will learn nothing from it. However, if you cane him hard he will learn everything that you wish to teach him. The intense agony of the caning is short lived. I believe it to be a simple choice, a temporary sore and very bruised and painful bottom, or a lifetime of failure.”

The headmaster lapsed into silence and studied his companion who appeared to be debating with himself what to say next. So, the headmaster gave him the lead. “What do you think Thomas?”

Durnford blushed, a little, but this time it was not the effect of the whisky. “I was never caned at my school. I never went to a posh school like yours,” he trailed off regretfully, “just an ordinary Board school.”

Wilson’s ears pricked up. He had been Durnford’s business partner for many years but he never knew that. Wilson had assumed Durnford was a public school man like himself. What an oik, he hadn’t been to public school at all, just some simple council school.

He wanted to know more. “So tell me Thomas, were you thrashed at school?”

Durnford blushed and took a gulp of whisky as if distressed by the question, “No, we didn’t have the cane, nor the slipper. Nothing like that really,” he sounded disappointed and fell into an embarrassed silence.

“More drinks gentlemen” Durnford was relieved that the waiter had appeared from nowhere and they ordered another round of doubles.

“Of course,” Wilson said, enjoying his social superiority, “I was head boy at my public school, St Tom’s, and as such was allowed to cane the younger boys. This was long time ago of course. In the thirties.”

Durnford felt a surge of excitement and the whisky loosened his tongue and the words just poured out. “How did you cane them? How many strokes did you give? Was it on the trousers? I hear in some schools it was done on the bare?”

Dr Burnham’s eyebrows knotted and he smiled to himself. Now, he had the measure of this man.

Durnford, embarrassed by his outburst, swigged on his whisky; the men had not eaten and he realised he was more than a little drunk.

Winker Wilson had himself been thrashed many times at his school. All the boys had been; often by the senior boys who were prefects. Then, as they progressed up to the sixth-form and became prefects themselves, they had in turn beaten the younger boys. Such were the traditions of England’s finest – and not so finest – public schools.

Winker had loved the power that came with being head boy and he told his tale to his two drunken companions with some relish.

“At school there were several places where the chaps would go for a smoke after classes and on this day the prefects launched a co-ordinated attack. We raided all the smoking holes. We must have caught seven or eight boys.

“The worst of it was that one of the illicit smokers was a chap from the upper sixth. Charter, I think his name was. He wasn’t a prefect and so was subject to the same rules as everyone else.”

Durnford’s eyes shone in anticipation at the next part of the story and he shifted in his chair, crossing and uncrossing his legs in the vain hope that his companions would not notice his excitement.

Wilson relished increasing his embarrassment.

“So, I sent him to my wait outside my study. Poor chap, he was so embarrassed. He must have been eighteen years old, nineteen maybe, and he knew what was coming and there was nothing he could do about it,” Wilson almost giggled at the memory.

“I arrived and instructed him to enter. ‘Face the wall Charter’. I ordered as if he were one of the junior boys. He had no option but to comply. I had complete authority over him.”

He swigged more whisky, studying Durnford’s posture as he continued his story. “I began my preparations. The area in front of my desk was already clear of any obstruction so I placed a small chair about three feet away and sideways on to the front edge of my desk. I fetched a suitable cane from my small collection of five such implements in the corner cupboard and placed it on my desk.

“Charter had of course been caned previously – we all had – but it still came as a great shock when I ordered him to lower his trousers down to his ankles for six strokes across the underpants.”

Durnford was in great discomfort and would have been wise to adjourn to the Gentlemen’s lavatory to deal with his current predicament, but he was anxious to hear the rest of the story.

Wilson continued, “It is best to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, don’t you think so headmaster?”

Dr Burnham was determined not to be drawn into this discussion and remained silent.

Wilson had the floor to himself. I tapped the chair with my thick cane. ‘Bend right over the back of the chair, and put your forehead firmly down on the seat,’ I commanded. Of course, he had no choice and immediately complied. Boys did in those days. They took their canings without fuss. Is it much the same today, headmaster?’

The headmaster grunted, his response could have been Yes, or it could have been No, as far as Wilson could tell.

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Wilson was warming to this theme, “I waited only a few seconds between strokes, delivering six in a speeded up rhythm, which allowed very little time for the sixth-former to fully absorb the impact of the previous stroke before the next one landed. He did not take it very well, if I remember correctly. He was jumping up and down before the third cut hit home. I don’t suppose his underpants were much use to him.

“But it was over in a matter of seconds. When he stood he gave me such a look of contempt I was tempted to have him take his underpants down and give him another six on the bare. I restrained myself admirably, but did make a note to find an excuse to thrash him once again the very next opportunity that presented itself.

“He might have had contempt for me, but I had won. He was rubbing his stinging bottom like mad when he left my study that day.”

There was silence as all three swigged from their glasses. “Shall we go eat gentlemen?” Dr Burnham was keen to steer the conversation back to the sale of the school.

They tucked into steak and kidney pudding and potatoes, but the stodgy food did nothing to soak up the alcohol. Now, came the headmaster’s opportunity.

Speaking directly at Durnford he said in his experience many adult men missed the certainty of their school days. They knew what the rules were and what the penalty would be if they broke them: a beating.

“It was penitence,” he said. “The crime as it were had been committed, the bad deed had been discovered and six-of-the-best was the punishment. In that way they atoned for their crime and they moved on with a clean slate … until the next time, of course.”

Dr Burnham was ready to take an enormous gamble. On it could rest the future of his school, and certainly the size of his pension.

“Some former boys of the school still see me as their headmaster, an authority figure if you will. They find it a comfort to know that when they need to atone for some misbehaviour in their everyday life, their work for example, I can be at hand to help them with their penance.”

“Yes,” Durnford slurred, “I think I know exactly what you mean.” He stopped, his eyes glazed, it was as if he had lost his trail of thought. “You see, I have this thing, this problem,” he stopped in embarrassment.

“Thomas,” the headmaster leaned forward. “You have my number; telephone me if you need my assistance.” He did not need to wink, even in his drunken state Durnford knew what he meant. “I am usually in my study between four and five o’clock each evening. Please telephone me if you wish to.”

Durnford’s eyes glistened and the headmaster was certain he would soon receive the call. The headmaster was a man of the world and he knew what Durnford wanted.

Next day, the call came and they made an appointment for five o’clock that afternoon, by which time the secretary would have left for home.

Durnford was so excited at the prospect at his visit to the headmaster’s study he succeeded in arriving too early for his appointment. Mrs Tomkinson was still in her office, but hurriedly clearing up for the day, seemingly anxious to be away.

“Oh, Mr Durnford,” she greeted him formally. “The headmaster has somebody with him, but please wait he won’t be a moment.” And with that she darted from the room.

Somebody with him: did that mean what he thought it did? He stood close to the door that separated him from the study, hoping that it did mean just that. He was not disappointed. Through the door he heard the tell-tale sounds of cane swishing through the air, then a series of cracks, followed by gasps and ouches.

He retreated from the study door just as it opened and out came a young man he recognised. It was Johnstone, a young rugby player from the club where he and the headmaster were members. He knew Johnstone because he had been sent off during a match the previous Saturday for punching an opponent.

Was Johnstone a pupil at the school, he wondered. He rather thought he was a bit too old for that and did not expect to see him here. It was all the more surprising because the burly lad had tears streaming down his face and was rubbing his rugby-shorts-clad buttocks in obvious agony as he peered over his shoulder to try and inspect the damage. He had not seen Durnford in the room and drew up the hem of his shorts, revealing a tightly-packed cluster of livid weals along the under-side of his bottom. He had clearly been beaten very severely.

Suddenly, he realised the presence of another man in the room. “Ohhh, Christ!” he wailed, and with his face now as red as his buttocks, he fled from the office.

Durnford paced the secretary’s room, staring at the clock on the wall, waiting and waiting for the minute hand to crawl to twelve. On the dot of five o’clock he tapped on the study door.

The study was lined with books; on the mantelpiece stood two large silver trophies and above it a framed portrait of the Queen. In the centre of the study was a large mahogany desk which had been cleared but for three canes of varying lengths and thicknesses and the headmaster’s mortar-board cap. Two armchairs of well-worn leather were to the left of the desk and to the right french windows looked out onto the playing fields. Framed in the windows was the tall figure of the headmaster standing erect with an air of imperious authority.

He was tall and solid, as befitted a former county rugby player. He wore a dark grey suit with a tattered, academic gown over his shoulders.

“Stand there boy,” the headmaster pointed to a spot in front of his desk. “Tell me why you are here?”

As arranged previously Durnford listed the many misdeeds that had brought him before the headmaster. Dr Burnham listened patiently, but was anxious to get this over with.

“What punishment do you think you deserve?”

“Twelve strokes, trousers down, thank you headmaster,” Durnford replied too eagerly.

The headmaster should have expected such a reply, but did not. A proper twelve strokes on the pants would be unendurable by even the most hardened receiver of the cane.

“No, this is your first offence and I intend to be lenient with you,” he said.

The look of sheer disappointment on Durnford’s face unnerved the headmaster.

“But,” he hurried to regain the situation, “If you are sent to me again, it most certainly will be twelve cuts with your trousers at your ankles.”

“Thank you headmaster.”

“Take off your jacket, boy, and put it over the back of that chair!”

Durnford was surprised at his own calmness. With no difficulty he undid the buttons of his suit jacket, slipped it from his shoulders and folded it neatly on the seat of a straight-backed chair.

“Good, now pull that chair over here,” the headmaster ordered pointing to a medium-sized leather armchair.

Durnford submissively obeyed his master and moved one of the ancient worn chairs until the head was happy with its position.

“Good. I am now going to beat you and it will be six of the very best,” and so saying he walked to his desk and inspected his canes. He selected one and looked at it carefully and seemed to realise something about it. He replaced it on the desk and exchanged it for another one. The new one was slightly longer, a bit thicker and completely smooth with the traditional crooked handle of the school cane.

While he did this Durnford waited, the tension of excitement mixed with anxiety swelling inside of him.

Satisfied with his selection, Dr Burnham took a deep breath, as if gearing himself up to perform an unpleasant task.

“Stand there boy. Face me.” He pointed to a spot a foot or two from the back of the armchair.

Durnford stood; his head bowed a little, hands clasped behind his back.

“You are about to receive six strokes of the cane, and I promise you, young man, that I am really going to cane you as hard as you deserve to be caned.”

Then he spoke the words Durnford had dreamed off all his life, “Now, bend over that chair.”

His heart raced and the blood rushed at speed through his arteries so quickly that he feared it would flood out of his body through his ears. Breaths came in short gasps and suddenly his back was drenched in sweat.

The time had come; he had been dreaming of this moment, it seemed, for the whole of his life. He mustn’t spoil the event by collapsing in a heap on the carpet.

He gulped in two lungs-full of air to steady his nerves, then by rubbing his hands together he composed himself. In a continuous movement he leaned over the chair thrusting his bottom firmly upwards for what would be for him the thrashing of a lifetime.

“Further!” There was no reason for the middle-aged man to move; instinctively he had presented his buttocks perfectly to receive the cane, but the headmaster acknowledged Durnford wanted to experience the full drama of a headmaster’s caning.

By the time the good doctor was satisfied his companion’s large bottom was sticking out ideally, presenting the maximum surface for the application of the cane. The chair had accommodated so many boys in a similar posture over the years and Durnford fitted perfectly into the folds of the chair back.

The first thing Durnford realised was that he could not see himself draped over the chair awaiting his first-ever punishment. Nor could he see the headmaster swishing his cane and cracking it into his own upturned buttocks. That was how he pictured this event in his fantasies. Instead, all he could see was the seat cushion that his face was pressed into.

He did however know that his bottom was taut and in the air. He felt the headmaster grab the tail of his shirt and remove it from the waistband of his trousers and push it up an inch or two so that his lower back was bare.  He was truly helpless, just like a vulnerable sixth-form schoolboy in position submissively waiting for a caning. He was trapped and he suddenly became very conscious of the tightness of his trousers around his buttocks.

He clutched the seat cushion awaiting his punishment. He could not help it: his vulnerable buttocks quivered in anticipation.

Dr Burnham was an experienced and very expert caner. He knew how to inflict the right severity of punishment to fit an individual boy’s personality and the crime he had committed, but he was unsure about Durnford. He was a mature adult and could probably endure much more pain that the average schoolboy, but he was also a novice and even a mild caning would for him be “the thrashing of a lifetime”.

He was still unsure how hard to lay it on as he flexed the cane between his hands and contemplated the pair of buttocks presented to him. Durnford might be a middle-aged gentleman but he was still very fit. That was when he decided: Oh damn it! I’ll give it to him in the same way I gave it to Johnstone.

The headmaster took up his position and for the first time in his life Durnford felt a cane tapping his buttock cheeks, He tensed as the doctor raised the cane then struck it hard across the waiting target. Durnford heard the sickening swish then the fire exploded across his bum. He groaned as the stinging pain took control of him.

The head took aim a second time and swung the cane to land crisply on the crown of the buttocks opening up a fresh line of stinging pain, which made Durnford’s fists uncurl and grasp at the coarse fabric of the chair’s seat cushion.

Each stroke was laid on with the same dreadful force. By the third Durnford was unaware of anything except the screaming agony in his bottom. He yelped as the cane made contact but stayed in position, as slowly but methodically the headmaster lashed the senior cane a further three times across the tender buttocks, low down in a tight band just where he would have to sit down. All six strokes were a very narrow strip across the very base of his bottom.

Durnford did not take it well. The caning came with alarming accuracy and devastating pain. His buttocks clenched and unclenched, his legs shook, his feet beat a tattoo on the floor and a strangulated cry echoed around the room. Patiently, after each stroke Dr Burnham waited for him to subside once more, measured the cane across the lower part of the cheeks and struck again with penetrating force.

It was over in a matter of seconds. In the distance Durnford heard the headmaster telling him to stand up and place his hands on his head. Almost unbelieving, Durnford staggered into an upright position, he wanted to clasp his throbbing buttocks, but with tears in his eyes, and hopping about from foot to foot, he obeyed the headmaster’s instructions, placed his hands on his head and moved to stand facing the wall.

The headmaster stared at the back of the ‘boy,’ unsure how this was supposed to end. Durnford had calmed a little, but he still fidgeted in some discomfort. The headmaster avoided looking for a tell-tale bulge.

In time, he decided to dismiss Durnford in the time-honoured fashion of headmaster and punished schoolboy.

“Turn around.” Durnford did so. “Keep your hands on your head. Look at me when I am speaking to you.” The headmaster wobbled the flexible cane he had used for the thrashing close to Durnford’s face. “Remember next time it will be double the strokes and trousers down. Is that clear, boy?”

“Yes, Sir, headmaster Sir. Thank you headmaster,” the endorphins had kicked in and Durnford was on a high.

“If that is understood then please leave my study.”

Durnford did not need telling twice. The second he was through the door, his hands clasped his buttocks and he rubbed away furiously.

The headmaster replaced the chair to its rightful position and then gathered up the canes and put them in the cupboard. Then he sat down in the same chair that minutes before had held Durnford’s prostrate body, wishing a bottle of whisky was close at hand.

He stared through the french windows into the playing fields beyond where senior boys were engaged in rugby practice. How many more times would he have to do this before Durnsford agreed to buy, he pondered silently.

This story was first uploaded in May 2016

Picture credit: The Magnet

 

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Housemaster’s double caning

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Commander Reynolds’ boarding house

Commander Albert Reynolds, RN (retd.) turned the volume of his wireless down low and sat back in his comfortable chair. The boys had given him a strange proposition but he was not sure he should have turned them down.

He pressed his fingers together, pursed his lips and closed his eyes, allowing the sound of Henry Hall’s dance band to drift into his consciousness.

The three boys, well they were young men really, had departed back to their rooms, leaving the old man to re-evaluate their offer.

It had started a couple of months previously. Jack, James and Arthur had come to live at the Commander’s rooming house. They were from respectable families; otherwise he would never have let them stay.

They were students, just up at the Varsity. Out in the big world on their own for the first time in their lives.

The Commander recalled Mrs Rollington; Jack’s mother. “He’s a fine God-fearing boy, Commander,” she had intoned, rather fiercely, he thought. “He has been brought up in a good Christian family. His morals are impeccable.”

The Commander laughed at that as Henry Hall’s soothing voice introduced the next dance tune. “Impeccable morals, my eye,” he thought.

That had been the problem. Three eighteen-year-old boys let loose on the big city after years cooped up in high class boarding schools. The Commander was an old naval man, he knew what young men could get up to when out on the town. There was smoking, drinking, and, yes, even possibly the occasional woman: Jack, James and Arthur had been making up for lost time.

The Commander was no hypocrite; young men had appetites, he realised that. But there were his other tenants to consider. And there had been complaints; especially from Mr Bunyan at number eight.

Mr Bunyan had called on the Commander four times now. At each visit he was a little more irritated – and, irritating. The Commander knew the type, always finding something to complain about, but maybe this time he had a point.

“It’s just too much Commander Reynolds, Sir,” Bunyan had simpered, the first time he laid down the complaint. It had been about the boys arriving back in the early hours of the morning, clearly the worse for drink.

“It’s the ladies I feel sorry for.” He meant the women tenants. Apart from the three boys and the Commander, Bunyan was the only man lodging at the house, although the Commander was not so sure the word “man” quite described the flamboyant creature that stood before him. Was that a whiff of gardenia in the air?

The Commander was a leader of men and he expected to be obeyed. He had what he described to Bunyan as “a little word” with the boys.

Things improved, but not for long. By the time Bunyan was tapping on the Commander’s door with his fourth complaint, the Commander’s patience was exhausted.

That had been last Friday and it was yesterday he gave the boys formal notice to quit the lodgings. To go, find rooms somewhere else, leave Bunyan and the Commander in peace.

“Oh my, what will my mother say?” It was Jack who spoke first. The three boys were contemplating the devastating news – chucked out of their lodgings for immoral behaviour.

James and Arthur were equally aghast. James most certainly did not want to face his father with this news. Mr Miller expected impeccable behaviour from his sons, especially in public. He was old school, with the emphasis on “school.” He would not hesitate to take his whippy dragon cane down from its hook in the study and apply it with great force across his errant son’s backside; eighteen years old or not.

Arthur had no such fear of his own father. He had never laid a finger on him in his life. There would be no thrashing, but Mr Rhodes would show a deep sense of disappointment that would cut into Arthur much more acutely than any lashes with a cane across his bared buttocks.

“The Commander is right, we have behaved pretty badly,” Arthur had been raised to have a grave sense of guilt. But, neither of the other fellows disagreed. They were guilty as charged. They were not used to freedom that was the reason. They had spent the past ten years imprisoned at one boarding school or another; their lives totally regimented. Rules governed their lives. Do this, do that! Rules that must be followed, and of course, punishments endured if they were not.

“Yes, we have been rather foolish.” It was an understatement from Arthur. Too much wine, women and song had led them to this downfall.

“What if the university finds out? Will we be sent down?” James raised the question. Expulsion for bringing the university into disrepute would be disastrous. It would be the end of James’ chances of a career in the Foreign Office.

The three boys fell silent, each contemplating their own personal disaster.

Jack eventually piped up. “If we had been caught smoking and drinking at Bridgetown, my housemaster would have thrashed us.”

He left the sentence hanging. It was true; the consequence at school for bad behaviour was a very sore backside indeed. But, every boy who ever was ordered to “bend over that chair” to offer up his buttocks to a dominant master, agreed it was worth it. Six-of-the-best meant atonement. The crime had been committed, the punishment was accepted and everybody moved on with their lives.

“It was the same at my school,” James was almost misty-eyed with nostalgia. “Mr Horridge would’ve had us across his desk. Trousers and underpants at our ankles. Even when we were seniors. My hat! We couldn’t sit down for a week after that.”

James and Jack joined in companionable laughter. Arthur’s face drained of colour. How could they find this amusing? Bare-bottomed thrashings. Not sitting down for a week. What brutes these schoolmasters were.

“What about you Arthur?” James peered through his spectacles at his young friend. “What did they do at your school? Did you get it bare?”

Startled, Arthur found himself saying, “Oh, my yes, of course, ouch! Yarroo!”

Why had he lied? Was he ashamed that he had attended a Quaker school, founded by pacifists? Corporal punishment was unheard of. He had never even seen a school cane in his life, let alone felt one across his stretched bottom.

“Hey! I’ve got an idea!” It was James who made the suggestion. It was such an obvious solution. He was sure the Commander would agree. He must have been a public school man himself. Surely, he would understand.

“Let’s offer to take a beating. Apologise, say we’ll never do it again. And we should mean it.”

Jack’s face lit up. “Yes, that’s it. He’ll understand. We could offer to go bare, if that’s what it took.”

The two boys were so taken by their proposed solution they failed to notice Arthur’s coughing fit.

So it was that the three boys stood in Commander Reynolds sitting room, hands behind their backs, feet slightly apart, eyes downcast inspecting a rather worn green-patterned carpet.

It had been James’ idea, so he was the boys’ representative.

“So you see Commander,” it was a confident address. The boys might have spent a little too much time on the town recently, but they were intelligent articulate teenagers. In time they would all make their mark on the world, but now, on this day, they had to dig themselves out of a rather big hole.

“If we behaved like this at our schools we should have been soundly beaten by our housemasters.”

Jack found himself inadvertently nodding his agreement, but still he stared at the carpet, unable to look the Commander in the eye. Cold sweat poured down Arthur’s back, he was certain he would be sick at any moment.

The Commander looked at the three boys in astonishment. Beat them, as if they were schoolboys and he was their housemaster. Who had ever heard of such an idea?

“So, we respectfully ask that you punish us with a beating and then allow us to stay on as tenants.” James finished his little speech. He had decided not to include the offer to take it trousers and underwear down.

The Commander silently counted to ten. His mother had taught him this when he was a very small boy. If you think you are going to lose your temper count to ten before you speak.

Eight, nine, ten. “No, that is not a good idea. You will all vacate your rooms as previously ordered.”

James opened his mouth, but the Commander cut him off. He would not hear argument. “That is all. You are dismissed!”

Two crestfallen (and one very relieved) teenagers trudged up the stairs to their rooms.

Now, in a darkened room, sitting in his chair, was the Commander having second thoughts? Corporal punishment, was it such a bad idea?

Heavy rain lashed against the window, almost drowning out the dance music. Suddenly, in his mind it was at least thirty years ago, he was a sub-lieutenant, young men in thin white trousers were being bound hand and foot, and forced to bend their bodies over a triangle. Handkerchiefs were stuffed into their mouths. A chief petty officer armed with a cane lashed twelve strokes into their taut buttocks.

It happened all the time; there was nothing unusual about it. It was perfectly legal and still happened today.

There were lighter, more informal punishments. The Commander silently chuckled. There had been this boy; what was his name? He was no older than the three tenants upstairs. He was an incorrigible rogue, but not an evil sort. It soon became a ritual. Anderson was he called? Anderson would be caught smoking or absent from his post, the Commander (he was not a Commander then) would be informed. Guilt would be established. Then Anderson was given a choice: be put a charge or go across the knee.

He was a tiny fellow, this Anderson. He looked like a small child. Perhaps that was why the Commander felt he should punish him like a naughty boy. A heavy wooden clothes brush was kept in a drawer. Anderson would be ordered to fetch it while the Commander settled himself into his favourite chair. Then, without further instruction, Anderson would hand the Commander the brush before unbuckling his own belt and lowering his trousers.

Then with an air of resignation on his face he would lower himself across the Commander’s knees. He remembered it as if it had happened that morning. The underpants were a rather grubby grey-white colour. He would pull the drawers up tight so the outline of Anderson’s buttocks were clearly visible and then at a slow, rhythmic pace he would crash twenty-four hard whacks into the boy’s stringy buttocks.

It hurt the boy, probably a great deal, but he never showed his pain. It must have been a matter of pride, to be able to take a whacking stoically. The spanking over, Anderson would jump to his feet replace his trousers and stand to attention, thumbs in line with the seams of his trousers.

“Thank you Sir, I deserved that.” He always said the same thing after every spanking. Had the Commander made him say that or had he thought to do it himself?

A thunderclap woke the Commander from his dream. Heavens, he had not thought about Anderson in more than thirty years. Poor boy, he died in action before he reached his twentieth birthday.

The Commander had been on the receiving end himself. Many times; beyond the age of eighteen. He had attended a naval training ship. There had been this one time, he was with a party of about thirty boys who misbehaved themselves ashore; they had to be rounded up by the ship’s authorities. They used a birch in those days. It was not as heavy as the judicial birch that was still in use today. One by one the boys were forced to lower their trousers and go across the block. The Commander wriggled in his chair as if the scars of the birching were still troubling him.

He moved from his chair and switched on a light. Perhaps the boys had a point. They could atone for their crimes. He did not want them to get into further trouble at the university.

He had listened to the news earlier on the wireless. Mr Chamberlain had returned from Munich with a peace agreement. The Commander did not believe it for a moment. War in Europe was coming and these boys would soon be fighting for their country. The Commander himself would probably be recalled.

Damn it, let’s do it. The Commander was a man of decision. Yes, a caning. Twelve each: on the bare. It must be an exemplary thrashing, but once delivered and received that would be an end to it.

That was how the following evening the three young men stood once more before the Commander, staring down at the carpet.

The Commander had made much preparation. First, he had to purchase a cane. They are readily available in most oil shops, as any naughty boy could attest. The embarrassment of being sent by father to purchase a cane was intense. The shopkeepers never believed a boy’s tale that the cane was needed because they were “playing schools.”

The Commander wanted a special cane, a Malacca for preference. The thick dense rod was as whippy as a school’s rattan cane but it packed more of a punch and with ridges every four inches or so along its length it would leave deep bruises on the boys’ buttocks. They had asked for a caning and would certainly be given a caning to remember.

There was a specialist shop he knew in Earls Court that supplied just the thing.

The Commander was now armed with a suitable weapon, but he had another problem. He was not the boys’ parent or guardian and he had no legal jurisdiction over them. In short, he had no right to punish them.

He was not a legal expert, but he drew up a short contract. The boys were not yet twenty-one and so were not adults. Even so, he would make them sign to say they consented to a thrashing. Next, he needed a witness in case something went wrong. Nearly all of his tenants were women and it would not be right to ask them to see the boys bare their buttocks. Bunyan would have to be the witness. He agreed a little too eagerly when asked.

There were no speeches or ceremony. They all knew why they were there. The Commander went over to the far end of the room, swung round the large horsehair armchair that was to serve as the punishment chair and pushed it into the centre of the room. Having done that, he turned back towards a cabinet and opened the top drawer from which he took the cane.

“Right, Miller,” he swished the cane at James, “Trousers and underwear down.”

James knew he was blushing as he removed his jacket then unzipped his trousers and pulled them down. He stood behind the chair and peeled his underwear from his buttocks before letting them drop on top of his trousers.

“I assume that you know the procedure,” the Commander was still swishing the cane menacingly. “Over the chair, with your legs well apart.”

James did of course know exactly what was required. As he got over the chair, he pushed his arms out along the full length of its armrests, so that his buttocks were raised over the apex of the chair and his legs were stretched apart.

The Commander turned his shirt back and Bunyan sat upright on a sofa, ensuring a clearer view.

Unceremoniously, the Commander tapped the waiting buttocks then raised his arm to shoulder height, before with a flick of the wrist he brought the cane down hard across the exposed backside. James clenched his teeth but a groan still escaped as he absorbed the first of twelve stokes. The Commander was soon into his stride, ensuring he spread the strokes across the teenager’s bottom. Starting in the middle, he worked his way down till number six landed hard across the top of James’ thighs.

cane man seated watching (1)

No amount of teeth clenching could stop the loud howl that escaped from the boy’s throat. The Commander paused to admire the six thick red, almost parallel, lines across James’ once creamy white buttocks. He landed number seven higher up, before changing his stance and lashing number eight diagonally crossing the previous seven welts. James roared and his bottom gyrated. The Commander was breathing almost as heavily as the boy he was punishing as he whacked the rest of the strokes diagonally across the buttocks, from the left and from the right.

James gagged as howls and sobs were wrenched from his body and he clutched onto the horsehair sofa as if his very life depended on it.

Then it was Jack’s turn. He had been panting vigorously since the start of James’ beating and his short, sharp breaths now grew more urgent as he lay across the chair.

His bottom was well-rounded with firm and toughened muscles, but it had no protective layer of flesh. There would be no give and compression of the cheeks as the cane struck home, its impact would be imparted directly into the muscle of the suffering boy. Movement would remain agonising long after the beating had been completed and all strokes administered. The lack of absorbent meat on his buttocks meant that the knots of the Malacca cane were likely to tear the skin and cause bleeding, perhaps even with a single stroke.

With incredible speed, accuracy and force, the Commander lurched forward and delivered three rapid strokes which ricocheted off the boy’s backside, making him writhe and jerk and gasp loudly before slumping back over the chair, panting and twitching, in total subjection.

The Commander wielded the cane with stunning skill. The stinging lines of pain which sliced their way across Jack’s backside exceeded any previous canings he had received at school. He bounced up and down on the back of the chair and strained every muscle in his legs to hold them straight and apart.

The twelfth and final stroke was imminent. Jack’s clenched fists, wet with the saliva from his mouth into which they had been thrust to hold back his cries, and stinging with the imprint of his teeth, groped desperately to cling on to the chair.

The cane rose and fell. The collision was formidable. The cane cracked with unrestrained vengeance across the bare flesh of Jack’s buttocks. The sound reverberated around the room and a shudder rippled through the teenager’s body as the full impact of the stroke bit into him.

Arthur stood gazing at the sight of Jack’s striped, bruised, red and purple blotched buttocks clenching and unclenching, trembling like jelly. His own legs buckled and for a moment he feared he would fall onto the floor in a fainted heap.

“Over!” the Commander swished the cane impatiently. Arthur wanted to push past the Commander and his fearful cane, and dash from the room. He would not stop running until he had reached his mother’s arms at his home one hundred and fifty miles way.

That is what he wanted to do. But it was not what he did. His two great friends Jack and James had endured their thrashings. They had been brutal, but the two boys had behaved honourably. They had misbehaved and had accepted their due punishment. No matter how terrible the ordeal might be, Arthur resolved to take the caning. He deserved it. He would not let himself down in front of his friends.

In a trance he stepped forward towards the chair. He clenched his eyes tightly shut and fumbled at his trousers. He could not quite get his fingers to work and it took an age before he felt the heavy cloth of his trousers slide down his thighs before travelling past his knees to rest at his shins. His underpants followed reluctantly.

The Commander’s impatience grew. “Hurry up boy, I haven’t got all day.”

Arthur felt the colour draining from his face. His legs became weak and an immovable lump came into his throat. His eyes displayed the sheer horror and despair which was consuming him. A sudden realisation that this boy was terrified brought a sneer to Bunyan’s lips.

With eyes still tightly closed, Arthur stretched himself forward and offered up his bared buttocks to his tormentor.

The boy’s apprehension was obvious, even without studying the quivering vibration of his naked and expectant bottom, the Commander knew that he was terrified of the pain of the beating to come. He was horrified that he might fail the test.

No matter, events must take their course. The Commander, surprised that his palms had suddenly begun to sweat tucked his cane under his arms so he could wipe his hands against his trousers. Bun too was sweating, but anxious to get on with the show.

The Commander slipped the cane from his arm into his hand and prepared to administer the third thrashing of the evening.

The first cut bounced into Arthur’s mounds and sank deep into the flesh, before it re-emerged leaving behind a thick red mark across the centre of both cheeks. Arthur let out a piercing scream and jumped from the chair, both hands grabbing his ferociously boiling buttocks. He stamped up and down on the carpet in a fruitless attempt to ease the agony.

James’ eyes widened at the spectacle. He had seen many boys caned in his lifetime, but none had behaved like this. What was wrong with the boy?

The Commander thought he knew. This boy had never before been on the receiving end of a caning. How could such a thing happen? Was he not eighteen years old and the product of an English public school? The public schools – which were in fact expensive independent private schools – were renowned across the British Empire for their discipline. The school cane had been one of the country’s finest exports for a hundred years or more. How could this boy be a virgin to its lash at his age?

“Back over!” it was a ferocious command. “Do not dare behave in such a disgraceful way. Take your beating like a man!”

Totally humiliated and with tears streaming down his cheeks, Arthur prepared once more to receive the kiss of the cane.

The Commander was a military man through to his inner core. This shaking, wailing boy bent over the chair, bared buttocks pointing upwards at him, might be experiencing this for the first time, but he must not be lenient.  He was as guilty as his two fellows and he must be punished in exactly the same way. It would not be fair on them. Besides, if he laid the cane on lightly, Jack and James would know and they would despise Arthur for it. No, the right thing to do would be to tear the boy’s buttocks to shreds.

And, that is precisely what the Commander did.

The Commander saw the tension taking over Arthur’s entire body and sensed the teenager holding his breath to bursting point, as the older man realigned the cane to deliver a diagonal stroke to cut across the previous one.

His arm swept down. The cane struck the springy globes with a swish and leapt away. Arthur’s body convulsed on the chair, his fingers scrabbled and wrenched, he gave a pitiful whine and then settled again, ready for the next stroke.

The next lashes fell a fraction below each other getting lower and lower with number six landing right on the crease, by now Arthur was bawling and tears had fallen from his eyes and the chair cushion was wet with teardrops. His hands were tightly gripping the chair as another stroke landed at a right angle crossing all the previous stripes. Arthur howled once more and his backside wobbled and shook as he came to terms with this latest onslaught.

When number twelve landed the Commander whipped it with a will right on top of stroke number seven on the crease, Arthur’s head shot up and he screamed in agony.

“That will do.” It was a calm, courteous statement. The punishment was over.

Arthur let go of the seat cushion; his knuckles now bleached white. Nothing registered clearly or coherently as quickly he got up, but his hands immediately went round to feel his scalded buttocks and he could not get dressed immediately until the pain reached its peak.

The pain was so intense that in spite of his eighteen years he could hardly see for the tears which were flooding his eyes: he had taken as severe a caning as could have been delivered.

Five minutes later, the Commander was once more alone in his room. The three boys were upstairs admiring their corrugated backsides and congratulating one another on their fortitude. Mr Bunyan was lying on his bed, his trousers at his ankles. In the distance a thunderclap heralded yet another rain storm.

Picture credit: Unknown

This story was first uploaded in February 2016.

 

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

What strange times they were

new story 3

z used solo blazer badge cravat (1)

“Take down your trousers,” he rasped. “Underpants too.” I shuffled uncomfortably. The room was cool, even though outside it was a fine spring afternoon. “Bend over my knee,” the vicar scrunched a large leather-soled bedroom slipper in his right fist. He wriggled his buttocks on the worn wooden armless chair and parted his legs a little. “I am going to spank you on your bare bottom,” his eyes blazed.

I was one of three lodgers at the vicarage – the vicar called us “paying guests”. We were all up at the university in the nearby town. Without hesitation, but also without enthusiasm, I set about slipping the braces that held my trousers aloft over my shoulders. The trousers were loose at the waist and I hardly needed to unbutton them before they slipped easily over my thighs and down to my shins.

My underwear was the modern type with drawers that were separate from the singlet. If I had worn the traditional “combinations” I should have had to strip off all of my clothes to be able to offer the vicar my bared buttocks.

I undid the drawstring of the underpants and guided them down. I hesitated, The vicar frowned. I knew what I was expected to do. This was not the first time I had been across the vicar’s knee. It wouldn’t be the last. All we lodgers got it. This Sunday it was my turn. We were on a kind of rota. It happened as regularly as clockwork. Every week. Winter, spring and autumn. The university was closed in summer.

The vicar had rules. Lots of them. We were expected to obey. Without question. People did in those days. He used to inspect our university work as well. If an essay scored less than a B-plus, out would come his whippy rattan cane. But more of that later.

I was standing a couple of yards from the vicar, my trousers and underpants at my shins. He twisted that slipper in his hand and tapped it against his right thigh. It was his way of saying, “Get on with it young man.” And I was a Young Man. I went into the vicarage aged nineteen and left three years later when I graduated with my degree from university.

I took the hint and shuffled two small steps forward so that I towered over the seated vicar. At the time he seemed to me to be an elderly man, but thinking back he was probably only in his forties. He was tall and stocky. He had spent many years before the war as a missionary in Africa, thinking nothing of trekking tens of miles through the bush to take the word of God to the heathens.

I suppose he was what we used to call “a Muscular Christian”. He certainly had muscles, especially in his right arm and upper body, as I can attest. A spanking from the vicar was an ordeal to be endured.  I lowered myself across the vicar’s knee. His thighs were as thick as tree stumps and I was a few inches shorter than he was so my body made a good fit across him. I stretched my arms forward and planted the palms of my hands firmly into the thin rug. I could feel the heavy wooden floorboards beneath.

My legs dangled behind me and the toes of my feet did not quite reach the ground. Of course, I could not see this myself but like this my bared bottom was presented across the vicar’s right thigh at a perfect angle to receive the slipper. As usual, he slowly and gently tucked the tail of my shirt away from the target area so that I was naked from the shoulder blades to the shins. Then, with his left hand he gripped me around the waist and he lent his forearm into my back. I was pinned, face down across his knees. My head low, my bottom high, ready in the traditional spanking position.

I clenched my buttocks. I always did this. I supposed that this would toughen up my cheeks and defend me – at least a little – from the onslaught of the vicar’s slipper. It was as if my body was taking up some natural protection. I imagined my bum was as tough as rubber.

It was only many years later that I discovered this was in fact the worst stance I could take in such a situation. Tensing the muscles did not lessen the pain, indeed it did the exact opposite. I read in a reputable medical text book that the best way to endure pain is to relax the muscles, not tense them. I forget the reasoning now. Also, one should try to ignore the pain; that is think about something else.

Oh well we live and learn. I clenched my cheeks and stared at the worn red-patterned rug beneath my face. I felt the leather sole of the slipper tap not too gently across the centre of my right cheek. That was the vicar finding his aim. Seconds later it was lifted away. There was a slight pause and then Whoosh! Bang! The slipper flew through space and landed with an enormous wallop across my bottom. The sting burned furiously. It had been a hefty swat with a heavy slipper. Bedroom slippers back then were nothing like the light plastic things that fill the shops these days.

Before I regained my breath a second and a third wallop had my backside blazing. The vicar was old school. He believed in discipline. He believed in punishment. He believed in the Wrath of God. Bam! Bam! Bam! He fair took my backside apart. He showed no mercy. In his eyes I had sinned. I had failed to perform my household chores to his satisfaction. I had been late down to breakfast one morning and – in his mind at least – I had been disrespectful to Miss Frotherinsham, an elderly spinster in the village who regularly visited the vicar in search of spiritual guidance (and a free cup of tea).

So, I was in for it. The vicar had his little rituals. He would start by tanning the highest points of the cheeks and when the pounding made them as hard of leather he would turn his attention to the top of the mounds. After maybe fifty whacks he would go underneath. You know, the place where the bum cheeks meet the thighs. That’s the part that connects with the chair when you sit down. It meant that the pain would reignite for hours later whenever you sat.

Finally when there was no square inch of flesh left untoasted, the vicar would go for the back of the thighs. If you weren’t gasping in pain and praying (silently) for it all to stop already, you certainly were now.

I remember many times after a bare-bottomed slippering examining my ravaged buttocks in the bedroom mirror. The flesh was dark red and oftentimes I would see the imprint of the slipper emblazed time and again across my bum. The skin felt like leather and when I cupped my buttocks in my hand they seemed to be twice their normal size.

As I said, we took many spankings like that. Even when we were twenty-one. In those days you didn’t legally become an adult until you were twenty-one and we youngsters were used to being treated like children. People’s eyes pop when I tell them how we were spanked back then. “Crazy,” they say. “Why did you let him?”

The answer is: everything was different back then. We were much more deferential. You respected a vicar like he truly was God’s representative on earth. The Second World war was recently over and many men did not come home. That put enormous pressure on the mothers who had to raise boisterous boys without a father. Men of standing in the community stepped forward to lend a hand. The vicar was often called to deal with errant boys in the village, a duty he was happy to fulfil. I often returned from university just in time to see a boy hobbling down the drive, rubbing his bottom ruefully with his eyes blazing.

In the village where I grew up the local medical doctor took on this role. He often visited the homes of his patients not to offer remedies to the sick but to put his thick, wide leather belt to use.

Such was the way of life. It was how things were and we accepted it. I suppose, you could say we knew our place.

I certainly knew mine. It would never have occurred to me for a moment not to bow to the vicar’s authority. Even, when logically he had no authority over me. A case in point was in my first term at the vicarage. I was new to the university and it took me time to settle. I had attended a traditional grammar school where masters supervised every move we made. It was not like that at the university. We rarely had lectures and met with our tutors maybe once a fortnight. We were given essay titles to work on and told to go to the library and get on with it.

I don’t need to spell it out. My first essays were pretty poor. They were not failures but they would not set the world of academia alight. The vicar had already ruled that should any of we paying guests receive less than a B-plus we should be caned. Pure and simple. No discussion. No mitigation.

The vicar had a selection of crook-handled canes. He kept them in plain sight standing in an oversized vase in one corner of his parlour. You could buy these on any High Street in those days. Every classroom had one. Some schoolmasters would leave one hanging from the corner of the blackboard in easy reach should it be needed to encourage learning.

They came in all sizes and makes. The vicar’s were made of whippy rattan. Each was at least three feet long and they varied in thickness to one that was not much more than a reed to the largest that was the size of a pencil.

He asked his maid to call me to his room. She was a young woman, not much older than myself. I think she was often in the house when the vicar dealt with the village ruffians. I know for a fact she hovered outside the parlour door the time Higgins, a fellow paying guest, was beaten. Her flushed face betrayed her feelings.

She tried not to smile when she gave me the vicar’s instruction. I shrugged, affecting nonchalance, but my heart beat fast, I had by this time been spanked twice by the vicar but never caned. His beatings were legendary. I was not looking forward to this.

I had been caned before at school. Who hadn’t? It was that kind of school. My last beating happened only days before I was due to leave forever. Myself and two pals, Richardson and Jenkins, were summoned to the head’s study. The headmaster was an old stick (he and the vicar would have got on well together) and very hard on what he called “form”. To him behaviour was either good form or bad form.

The exams were over but we senior boys were expected to continue to attend school until the official leaving date. We had little useful to do and spent some of the day idly playing cricket. Oftentimes a master or two would join in. I suppose since we were eighteen and about to leave school we saw ourselves as adults. Our manners and behaviour slipped. Richardson, I know, was unabashed about smoking cigarettes behind the cricket pavilion. We joshed with the masters. Sometimes cheekily.

As I said there was good form and bad form. How the headmaster learned of our laxed behaviour I do not know. But that is as irrelevant now as it was then. So, we found ourselves standing three in a line in front of the headmaster’s desk.

I can picture it now, as if the scene was caught in a sepia photograph. Three thin, gangly senior schoolboys. Dressed in ill-fitting striped blazers and grey flannel trousers. Perched on our heads are ridiculous hooped caps. What a picture of a bygone age. If we had been first or second formers we would be dressed in grey short trousers and knee socks.

The headmaster was an ogre. A tyrant. A fiend. Boys trembled in dread as he swept through the passageways of the school, his academic gown flapping all around him. In my memory he always carried a stout curve-handled cane. Could that memory be true? Surely, not always?

We stood in terror. The headmaster was a smallish man and very wide. We had just been through a war and food and other commodities were still scarce but he appeared to eat well. His double chin had an extra chin of its own. His arms and legs were pudgy. His gown hid his hanging belly.

I can’t remember exactly what he said. It was many years ago. I do know he said it at great length. Every sentence or two he would pause so that myself, or Richardson, or Jenkins, or all three of us, could agree that we were the most disgraceful, shocking, scandalous pupils ever to set foot in his study.

The study was a large room but the headmaster’s huge desk dominated it. It seemed to me to be the size of a small paddling pool. At the other end of the room were a couple of armchairs and a low table. Several straight-backed chairs were gathered around the room. An open and unlit fireplace dominated one wall and two others had glass-fronted bookcases. Stained glass windows were on the fourth wall.

As I think I’ve made clear corporal punishment was common in those days. I think they still flogged prisoners in jail, certainly the cane was used in borstal and other institutions for juvenile delinquents. I tell you this to explain why nobody thought it strange that on one of the walls between the bookcases there was a display cabinet containing three curve-handled canes of various gradations and thicknesses. One for the junior boys, another for the middle school and so on.

The headmaster growled and heaved himself to his feet. It took some doing. Out of the corner of an eye I watched him wobble away from his desk. His destination was clear. He puffed and wheezed as he made his journey. He sucked in a lung-full of air as he reached up to the cabinet. Without hesitation he picked the longest and thickest of the three canes. My heart sank. Richardson bit down deeply on his bottom lip.

The headmaster turned. “Face me,” he growled. His breathing had eased and his authority returned. He flexed the cane menacingly between his hands. Why did all schoolmasters do this? Isn’t it the hammiest acting ever? He swiped the cane through the air to demonstrate its power. He needn’t have troubled himself. Each of us had been caned in the past by housemasters. Jenkins several times. We knew the damage a well-handled cane could inflict.

“Jenkins. Richardson. Stand and face the wall,” the headmaster barked. Relieved that they were not the first to get it my two pals hastily retreated. I breathed deeply. My heart raced, I couldn’t help it. I had no control over the inner workings of my body. I clasped my hands behind my back to steady myself. “Cap, blazer off,” he wobbled the cane as he spoke.

Despite unsteady hands I got the cap off my head and hung it on a hook on the door. Getting the buttons of my blazer undone was more trouble. “Hurry boy. We haven’t got all day,” the headmaster snarled. As far as I was concerned we did have all day. I was in no hurry to be flogged. I flushed bright red and with difficulty placed the blazer alongside the cap.

“Bend over the desk.”

It was a firm command and, of course, one I expected to be made, but I couldn’t get my legs to work. I was only three steps away from my destination but as I attempted the first of them my knees buckled. I gathered myself before I fell to the floor. The humiliation avoided, I staggered like a drunk man to the desk.

I had been ordered over the desk before. It was my form-master’s preferred positioning. My housemaster in contrast preferred a sixth-former to go over the back of his armchair. It’s all about the angle that the bum is presented, I suppose. It would depend on how tall the boy was. If you have him over the chair your swing with the cane might be in the upwards direction; if over the desk it might be downwards.

“Over the desk,” to my form-master meant laying flat on the stomach across the desk top. You had a choice of gripping the edge of the desk with your hands of folding your arms and burying your face. In the absence of further instructions from the headmaster, I lay flat and gripped the far edge of the desk. I turned my head so my left cheek touched the cold wood. Like this I had a clear view through the window. All I could see was blue sky and the lightest of fluffy clouds.

The floorboards creaked with the headmaster’s weight as he shuffled into position. My cock and balls were pressed hard against the desk. My trousers were tight across my buttocks. Clothes were still rationed so I had to wear them even though they no longer fitted well. I heard the headmaster move to stand by my left. The tip of his heavy cane touched the centre of my right bum cheek. He “sawed” the cane across the plumpest parts of the buttocks. It lifted away. I held my breath. I gripped the edge of the desk tightly. I closed my eyes and sucked my lips.

Swish! Crack! An almighty swipe slashed across both buttocks. It whizzed with great speed and force and sliced through the meat of my bum like that hot knife and butter everyone talks about. I heard it land across the seat of my stretched trousers but it seemed an age before the agony followed. I’ve never had a red hot rod pressed into my bum before but if such a thing were to happen it would not hurt as much as the headmaster’s first stroke.

My whole body shuddered. My hips swivelled. I humped the edge of the desk like I was servicing a chambermaid. The agony was so great I didn’t have the strength to cry out.

Then the second swipe cut. Lower than the first but equally as deep. I could feel a welt rising under my underpants. My head banged up and down into the desk. Water filled my eyes, blinding me. A yap like a little whipped puppy might make fractured my throat.

“Huh!” The headmaster behind me seemed pleased with his handiwork so far. “Keep still boy,” he hissed. That was easier said than done. All the breath had been knocked out of me, I was gasping for air.

The third swipe sliced me across the top of the buttocks. The headmaster was an expert. He had landed three cuts perfectly parallel. I had a burning stripe about four inches wide across my backside. I didn’t know because I couldn’t see but my pals were staring at my blistering bum wide-eyed with terror.

“Face the wall!” the headmaster raged. “Do you want extra cuts?” That was a rhetorical question, if ever I have heard one.

The headmaster gave me a full Six. Six-of-the-best we called it back then. I don’t think that phrase did the headmaster’s beating justice. It was the harshest thrashing I had ever received. Each stroke delivered with aplomb, landing with power and accuracy. The man was the best – literally, a master.

You might wonder why I let him do it. Looking back after several decades I wonder why too? The exams were over, we were going to leave school for good in a few days’ time. What would have happened if we had refused?

Nothing. That’s the answer. But, as I said, things were different back then. Deference. We knew our place. It did not even occur to any of us: myself, Richardson or Jenkins, to refuse. Our superior ordered us across the desk, so across the desk we went.

So, when a few months later the vicar summoned me to the parlour for a taste of his cane, I went without question. And I went on doing so for three more years. Over the desk. Over the knee. What strange times they were.

 

Picture credit: Unknown

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

 

The cunning plan

new 5

z used cane (94a)

I made a fist with my right hand, rapped on the dark-oak door and strained to listen for the imperious command from within. It came immediately for I was expected. “Ent-ter!” the headmaster boomed. I surprised myself by my own calmness. I was entering unchartered territory. I took hold of the handle and pushed. The door was heavier than I anticipated and I had to put my shoulder against it. When it gave way unexpectedly I half tumbled into the study

The headmaster glared from behind his desk. Meekly, I pushed the door shut behind me.

“There!” he bellowed, snapping his fingers to indicate I should stand on the rug before him. I obliged without question. Humbly, I held my hands behind my back. My gaze did not leave the old man.

Dr Butterworth was dressed in a dark suit over which he wore a formal black academic gown. He was nearing sixty years of age. He was over six foot tall and as bald as a badger. When the weather was hot and he did not wear his mortar-board cap his head was often sunburned, which caused a lot of amusement among we boys. Round rimless glasses perched on his hooked nose and his moustache gave the impression that a small bat had landed on his top lip.

I had never been summoned to the headmaster’s study before so I was entering new terrain. This was more than fifty years ago and mine was an old-fashioned Grammar. They said they could trace its history back hundreds of years. I doubt much had changed in that time. The buildings had ivy-covered walls and mullioned windows. The schoolrooms were large and draughty. This was in the days before they built the science block and multi-purpose sports hall.

The study was imposing befitting the status of the headmaster. To the rear of the desk was a mantelpiece on which stood a number of cups and trophies. Framed photos of rugby teams lined the panelled walls. It was spring and the large open fire was unlit even though there was a definite chill in the study. In one corner was a hat-stand and dangling from it ready for action was a stout crook-handled cane. It is a cliché but my heart really did skip a beat when I noticed this weapon of punishment. I had never been caned, but there was no doubt that was about to change.

Dr Butterworth did not speak, He held a sheaf of papers in his hand and affected to study them intently. He tore his attention away from the papers and glared at me. A lump formed in my throat.

His eyes returned to the file. I waited submissively. I looked what I was, a typical boy from the professional classes. We were an elite school and it showed in our uniform which was a blue blazer with gold stripes, pale-grey long trousers, black lace-up shoes, a gleaming white shirt and a striped tie. On my head was the blue-and-gold hooped cap they forced us to wear.

The headmaster examined more papers and then, very abruptly, he slapped them down on his desk. The glistening spectacles were removed, meticulously folded and placed beside the papers. His claw-like hands met and clasped each other on the polished surface of the desk, and the clear icy blue eyes fixed their penetrating gaze on me. I swallowed hard. The headmaster breathed deeply and clearly irate he moaned, “Three detentions this term.”

There was a pregnant pause. I twisted my fingers behind my back. Was that a question? Indeed I knew it to be a fact. “Yes sir,” I mumbled.

“Pah! Twice found smoking cigar-rettes.” He rolled the word cigarettes around his mouth with relish. “Twice!” he exploded. “And once for disrespecting Mr Albertson the maths master. What was all that about boy!”

I explained I had been cheeky to him when he caught me reading the Football Monthly at the start of his class. The headmaster gurgled. I couldn’t be sure if he was upset that I had been reading, or that my choice of magazine was the Football Monthly. I didn’t feel able to question him on the point, so still I do not know.

The headmaster grimaced as if he had accidentally sucked on a lemon. “Three detentions,” he grunted. “You know the rules.” I did but he was about to confirm them to me anyway. “A caning. Six strokes.” He hauled himself from his padded chair. I watched as he smoothed down his academic gown before slowly traversing the study to the hat-stand. He reached up and grabbed the cane, like plucking an apple from a tree. He turned to me and flexed it between his hands. Even from a distance I knew this was an awesome rod. It was dark yellow and as thick as a pencil. I guessed it to be more than three feet long, not counting the handle.

Dr Butterworth swished the cane gently through the air as if getting its measure. I saw then how worn and warped it was. This cane had seen some action. I imagined generations of boys before me. All standing on the same spot. All waiting for the headmaster’s command.

His command to me came quickly enough. “Stand in the middle of the room. Face the window. Bend over and touch your toes,” he hissed. “And toes, means toes,” he snarled. I took a deep breath. The middle of the study was devoid of furniture so there was plenty of space for me to bend and for the headmaster to swish his whippy cane through the air. I noticed at that moment how high the ceiling was.

I walked to the spot and reached for my toes. My cap hurtled to the floor. In my enthusiasm I had forgotten to take it off my head. “Leave it be,” scolded the headmaster. He took up position to my left and began to saw his cane across the centre of my buttocks.

I was fifteen years old when that happened. I think I had realised I was entranced by corporal punishment a couple of years earlier. I would dream of visits to the headmaster’s study or of being taken across the knee by my Uncle Reginald and having my pyjama bottoms taken down. For some reason I cannot explain I never imagined being spanked by my father.

Corporal punishment was not used in my family, even when my brothers and I drove mother and father to distraction. It took me a while to work out that I could engineer a visit to the headmaster’s study at school. There were so many rules it was impossible for any boy to keep to them all. There was an elaborate series of available punishments ranging from the mildest awarding of demerits through writing lines and attending detentions. At the apex of all this was corporal punishment.

Some bright spark had ordained that there would be an automatic caning for three detentions. That made my task all the much easier. After that first time I treated myself to a visit to the headmaster’s study once every term. Dr Butterworth never suspected. Or at least I assume not. If the cane was supposed to be a deterrent against bad behaviour it obviously wasn’t working in my case. Who knows? Perhaps he knew more than he let on. I’m sure I wasn’t the only boy in the school who was a repeat visitor. Did they share my interests? I wish there had been some way available back then for me to find out.

Dr Butterworth retired by the same time I was in the sixth-form and his replacement a Dr Bludginton was an equally enthusiastic caner. He also believed in what today we call ‘equal opportunities,’ by that I mean he was not averse to caning senior boys as well as juniors.

My last visit to the headmaster’s study occurred when I was eighteen and on the cusp of taking my examinations and leaving. We had a small number of formal classes and a lot of so-called study periods. I took to escaping school during these times which was strictly against the rules. Well, boo-hoo. What are you going to do? Cane me? Please!

Bludginton took the bait. The fact that I had all but given up performing my duties as a prefect would have helped his decision to beat me. He was a much younger man than Butterworth, and it was common knowledge among the boys that his right arm was somewhat stronger than his predecessor’s. I looked forward to the new experience.

Where Dr Butterworth was a touch-your-toes man, Bludginton preferred to order a chap to drape himself across an armchair. There was a marvellous padded leather effort in the study. Its arms were high enough to accommodate the junior boys while we taller seniors were ordered across its back.

I wondered whether the new headmaster would allow that the sixth-form boys were seniors and accordingly treat them more harshly. I would gladly lower my trousers and offer him my bottom clad in tight, white cotton Y-front underpants. And, if I could plot a repeat performance before it was time to leave school I’d happily take Six across the bared buttocks.

I plotted a cunning plan. After Dr Bludginton had jawed me about my rule breaking, he announced the inevitable. I was to be caned. He moved over to the low armchair at the furthest end of the study, swung it round and pushed it into the centre of the room. He picked up his cane – the same one old Butterworth had used for many years – and whacked it across the back of the leather chair. “Bend over,” he intoned.

In one smooth movement, I walked to the chair, halted about two feet from its back and swiftly took hold of the buckle of my belt. It was loosened in moments. I popped the button at the waist of my pale-grey trousers and undid the fly. The weight of the belt and some coins in a pocket helped the trousers slip swiftly to my knees. I spread my legs and they continued to my shoes. I gripped the tail of my gleaming white shirt which hung over my privates and buttocks and lifted it clear of my Y-fronts, then I dived over the back of the chair, took hold of the cushion and spread my legs.

Dr Bludginton had a perfect target. I was growing out of the pants so they clung snugly to the contours of my buttocks. At home earlier I had set up mirrors so I could observe myself bend over the armchair in the living room. If I say so myself I looked terrific.

In the study I looked down at the cushion waiting patiently for the first swipe across the underpants. Nothing happened. I heard floorboards creak, Dr Bludginton was pacing the study. Perhaps he was admiring my young, lithe body submissive in underpants. I supposed I would do something similar in his position.

He was breathing heavily, like an asthmatic without his inhaler. “No, no, no,” he gasped. “This will not do. No. Stand up boy.”

I stood my ground. I was not ready to give up quite so readily.

“Stand up, stand up,” he spluttered.

Still I did not move. If this was a contest of wills I intended to be the victor.

“Stand up!” he almost shrieked. Unnerved, I pulled myself to my feet and stood, trousers still at my feet. Dr Bludginton’s face was as scarlet as I’d hoped my bottom would be.

“No, no, no,” he was dumbfounded.

A sudden thought struck me, “But sir,” I purred, “This is how Dr Butterworth did it,” I grimaced, “Trousers down, sir.”

Dr Bludginton’s eyes popped. He suspected it was a lie. He blustered, “No. No, I don’t believe it.” His head shook violently, “That’s not true. It’s simply not true,” he protested. “Get dressed, get dressed,” he was becoming hysterical. “Now. Get those trousers up boy.”

Reluctantly, I reached down and pulled the trousers up. At a snail’s pace I tucked in my shirt and rebuttoned the fly. I still hoped he might relent and whip my backside on the pants.

Dr Bludginton watched me with fear in his eyes. I didn’t think it then, but looking back I wonder if he thought I was setting him up for blackmail. Caning a senior boy on his underpants was irregular. A schoolmaster might end up in the law court for less.

The new headmaster relaxed visibly when I was again fully dressed. I waited head bowed a little embarrassed that my trick had been uncovered. I waited for him to order me back over the chair. Maybe, I thought he would award me extra strokes for my hoax.

Dr Bludginton smiled, a broad, open grin. At that moment I knew I had been rumbled. He chortled quietly and walked across the study to return the cane to the hat-stand. When that task was completed, he turned to me. “No caning,” he said. “Not now. Not ever. Not for you.” I felt my face hot with embarrassment. My mouth opened, but I bit back the plea I wanted to make.

“Instead,” the new headmaster had not finished, “You will write me a four-page essay entitled, ‘The pitfalls of corporal punishment.’ By next Monday. You are dismissed.”

“No,” I wanted to beg. “Please don’t do this to me.”

“Go lad, now.” Dr Bludginton held open the study door. Crestfallen, my legs like lead, I shuffled from the room, never to return.

In videos these days I have seen many scenes where headmasters cane their naughty boys with trousers and pants down. Alas, that never happened in real life – or at least not at my school (worse luck!).

Picture credit: Unknown

 

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

Sgt Trueform takes charge

new 5

z used plimsoll in drawer sting (2)

“Freeman. Hardy. Willis. Come here lads. Now. All three of you!” Sgt Trueform barked as he strode through the playground. Three hapless sixth-formers trailed in his wake. The sergeant was a typhoon. He never stopped. He had energy to burn. He may have been discharged from the Army at the end of the war but he never gave up military discipline. Even now since his appointment as senior sports master at St Francis Independent Grammar School.

The school suited him well. Tradition. What was the Army about if it wasn’t about Tradition? St FIGS, as the school was affectionately known, was no different. It believed in tradition: traditional curriculum, traditional uniform, traditional religion and, of course, traditional discipline.

“Follow me!” Sgt Trueform led the way into the changing room adjacent to the gymnasium. The three fellows straggled after him. None was anxious to arrive at their final destination. A cold wind blew across the open, asphalt playground. Ancient buildings stood on three sides, the fourth led onto a grass playing fields where at the far end stood the school’s latest proud possession, the gymnasium.

The wind bit through the boys’ thin singlets and white cotton physical training shorts. Hardy’s legs were already turning blue. Willis could feel a cold coming on. My how all three hated sports classes. Especially in the depth of winter, when the pitches froze and the old martinet Sgt Trueform sent the boys out on a cross country run, through the town and into Widdicombe Wood.

“Get a move on lads!” Sgt Trueform bellowed. He was incapable of speaking in a normal tone of voice. He had reached the changing room and by the time the wretched threesome arrived he was unlocking the door. The sergeant stood to one side, “Get in there now,” he barked. Freeman and Hardy ducked but the sergeant caught Willis with a hefty clip on the back of his head. He rubbed it ruefully as they stood in the large, empty changing room.

“Stand there. In a row,” Sgt Trueform roared. “Stand up straight Hardy. Don’t slump Freeman.” Sgt Trueform imagined he was back on the Army parade ground. In his mind he had never left it. For him the school was merely an extension of his military days.

“So,” he paced up and down in front of the three lads. “You thought you could skive off Games did you?” He paused as if he genuinely expected a reply. When none came he blustered on. “Not in my school you don’t. Freeman,” he leaned into the eighteen-year-old, “It’s not your first time,” he glared ominously. “I suppose you were the ring leader here. You led the others on,” he narrowed his eyes and leaned into the boy so that Freeman could smell his sour tobacco breath.

“Oh no Sergeant,” Freeman moaned, “That’s not fair. It wasn’t me. They did …”

Before he could finish his sentence, Sgt Trueform growled, “I should keep quiet of I were you lad, you are in enough trouble as it.” Freeman’s jaw dropped and his face sulked.

“Don’t think you’re getting away with this. I don’t care if you are sixth-formers. You think you’re so grown up. Well, let me tell you, you obey the rules just like everyone else. Or else,” he threatened. All three boys stared at their own feet. Willis’s spine shook but it wasn’t the cold that made him shiver.

“Why if this happened back in the Army …” Sgt Trueform let the thought drift in the icy air. He marched across the room to an old, rickety table. Three pairs of eyes followed him. Each boy had a jolly good idea what he was up to. The sergeant tugged open the drawer on the table and reached in. There was only one object inside. His face split into a grin as he picked it up and turned towards the boys. In his hand he brandished a size twelve rubber-soled plimsoll. It was old and well used, but had not seen the inside of a gymnasium or a sports field in many years.

Sgt Trueform gripped it by the heel in his right fist. Then, with his left hand he took hold of the toe end. Menacingly, he flexed the slipper between his hands. Three pairs of eyes turned away. Sgt Trueform grinned maniacally and thwacked the rubber sole against the palm of his hand, savouring the sting it made.

“Step forward Freeman,” he barked, wringing the plimsoll between his hands. Colour drained from Harry Freeman’s face. He had been here before. He knew exactly what to expect. There was nothing he could do about it. It was that kind of school. Sgt Trueform was the master; he was in charge. The boy took a pace forward.

“Stand in the middle of the room, lad,” Sgt Trueform waved the slipper in case Freeman did not understand the instruction. Sorrowfully, the boy shuffled forward. “Since you are a recidivist, Freeman,” Sgt Trueform sneered and then stopped. The blank look on Freeman’s face told him he did not understand, “Since this is not your first time,” the sergeant scoffed, “And since I believe you were the ringleader, we’ll have those shorts down.”

Freeman’s face fell, he could not disguise his shock. “No, sergeant, no,” he protested, “I wasn’t the ring leader, honest, serge.”

Sgt Trueform’s eyes narrowed. He was a fair man (although the boys at the school might not agree) and he had no evidence for his accusation. He dismissed the case immediately, “This is your second time, Freeman. Take down those shorts.”

There was no arguing with that. It was true. It was a verifiable fact. Freeman had been done before. This was his second time. “Oh, serge,” he said piteously.

“Don’t, ‘Oh serge’ me lad. Get those shorts down,” Sgt Trueform glared, twisted the slipper in his hand and then with an almighty whack slammed it down into the palm of his hand, “Now lad!”

There was no more to be said. Nothing more to do. Freeman had skived off the cross-country run. Freeman had been caught red handed. Sgt Trueform had the authority to punish him. “But, serge,” Freeman tried to reason with the man. “We are seniors, serge. Seniors don’t get the slipper.” He started his plea with some confidence but the glare in Sgt Trueform’s eye silenced him.

“Ha!” the sergeant cackled. “What you expect a detention instead,” he sneered. “You think I’m going to sit with you lot in a room for an hour one evening watching you write out lines?” It wasn’t a question, for he carried on, “Shorts down. Bend over.”

Freeman sucked on his bottom lip. He had no choice. He had to do it. With no enthusiasm he took hold of the elasticated waist of his white cotton shorts. He wore no underpants. He would be naked from the waist down. He dismissed the thought of a further protest from his mind. He just had to get on with it.

He turned his back slightly so Sgt Trueform would not have a clear view of his cock and balls, put his thumbs inside the waistband and slowly pushed the tight shorts down until they had cleared his buttocks. He left them bunched up over his thighs.

“All the way Freeman. Let them fall to the floor,” Sgt Trueform slapped the slipper across his palm once more. He watched intently as, red-faced, the eighteen-year-old shoved them to his knees and let them slip down to his feet.

Sgt Trueform pretended not to notice Freeman’s long, thin cock, nestling in a hairy bush.

“Bend over, lad,” he snapped. “Touch toes lad. Not knees lad. Toes. All the way.”

It is not easy to take up the “touch toes” position, especially if like Freeman you were a dough boy, running to fat.

“Spread your legs, lad. Now touch toes.”

Freeman could not do it. He huffed and he puffed. He wheezed like a steam engine settling down. He could only get down as far as his knees. “Stay like that,” Sgt Trueform barked with exasperation. Freeman’s buttocks wobbled like jelly. If any boy would benefit from regular exercise it was him.

He was a tall boy when standing and bent like this he presented his bum at a perfect height to receive Sgt Trueform’s slipper. Freeman’s cock dangled in front of his upturned face emphasising to him his nakedness. Cold air wafted across his bare cheeks and suddenly he realised the sergeant and his two pals had a perfect view into his crack and hole. He shut his eyes tight.

Whap!!! The sergeant was delighted to see the sole of his size twelve plimsoll imprinted on Freeman’s left cheek. A deep pink pattern quickly emerged. The boy’s hands rose from his knees and in a panic he stopped himself just in time from jumping to his feet to rub away the sting.

“Steady lad. Stay down,” Sgt Trueform growled. He waited for Freeman to resume the position. Head down, bottom jutting out. Whap!! The rubber sole pounded into the right buttock. Now he had two identical footprints across his bum.

The next whack went higher on the left cheek. Then lower on the right. After twelve swats no square inch of Freeman’s buttocks were un-toasted. The pink was turning to red, and even mauve in some places. Sgt Trueform grinned. He rubbed the palm of his hand across Freeman’s left cheek. “I could warm my cold hands,” he said enigmatically. “Stand up lad.”

Freeman rose. He had never sat down on an open coal fire, but he imagined if he ever did, it would feel like this. His bum was blistered. “Shorts up. Stand by the wall,” Sgt Trueform ordered. As Freeman ruefully tugged up his shorts and gave his bum a couple of furtive rubs, the sergeant barked, “Hardy. Take his place.”

All colour had drained from Joe Hardy. He watched awestruck as Freeman shuffled across the room and stood by the wall. Hardy had been given a perfect view of his pal’s torment. His own legs shook as he tried to move forward. He didn’t think he could take such a slippering.

Sgt Trueform read the eighteen-year-old’s mind. “Bend over. You can keep your shorts up. But if you ever come back here again, you’ll know what to expect.” Hardy almost gasped with relief. He took a deep breath and stretched down. He was slimmer than Freeman and had little difficulty touching his toes.

Sgt Trueform watched him go. The cotton shorts were truly short – not much longer than undershorts older men wore – they clung to the contours of Hardy’s bottom. The white shorts gleamed. Evidence, if any were needed, that Hardy had not been on a muddy cross-country run that afternoon.

z used plimsoll gym white pants sting (3)

Hardy clenched his buttocks tightly, now his bum was as hard as a rubber ball, it was protecting itself from the expected onslaught. Hardy sucked down a mouthful of saliva, his heart pounded through his thin vest. He felt a slight tap-tap of the rubber sole across his stretched bottom, the sergeant was finding his aim. Hardy’s shoulders tensed. The slipper was lifted away, Hardy bit down on his lower lip. There was a pause, but not much of one and then WHACK! the sound of plimsoll against tight flesh resounded around the room. The shock pushed the teenager forward, his fingers flew from his toes, his knees buckled and he almost toppled over.

Sgt Trueform hadn’t said but Hardy knew instinctively the punishment for standing up would be extra whacks. With something akin to a superhuman effort he forced his fingers back to the toecaps of his own plimsolls. His bum burned, his head throbbed and blood raced through his arteries.

Sgt Trueform was taking no prisoners that afternoon. He laid the second whack harder and tried not to show the enthusiasm he felt. The victim bent over submissively before him gasped with the shock of the impact. The lad’s hips twisted and his knees creased. The sergeant took aim for the third stroke.

Joe Hardy felt a certain pride after the twelfth stroke landed on the underside of his left cheek. It missed most of the thin cotton shorts and fell on naked flesh. The pain was excruciating; he would have difficulties sitting for the rest of the day, his bum was roaring hot, but it was over now. He had survived. His head was close to exploding, his face and neck were as scarlet as his backside. The back of his singlet was drenched with perspiration. His throat was parched and his temples pulsated. He was a wreck, but he had come through. His grey eyes blazed but no tear had trickled down his face.

“Stand up!” Sgt Trueform bellowed. “Back to the wall. Willis, take his place.” Hardy stretched his back and staggered to the upright position, he shocked himself when he stumbled with his first step and almost went tumbling to the ground. He was so concerned about getting himself safely to the edge of the room that he didn’t notice his pal John Willis was rooted. Tears washed all colour from his face.

“Willis!” Sgt Trueform jeered, “I’m waiting lad! Get yourself over here!”

“No sergeant, no sergeant, no. Please,” Willis begged. “No, please.”

“Now boy!” the master snorted.

Joe Hardy and Harry Freeman exchanged glances. Willis was a funk. He couldn’t take it. He was pleading to be let off.

“Couldn’t I do lines sir. Detention. Anything,” panic was rising in his voice and Willis wrung his hands pleading.

“Bend over lad!” Sgt Trueform squeezed the size twelve plimsoll in his hands. His muscles tensed and his face snarled. “Don’t test me boy!”

John Willis had lost it. Tears flowed down his face and his shoulders heaved. “No. No. No,” was all he could sob.

“Lads,” Sgt Trueform addressed Freeman and Hardy. “Grab him. Hold him down over the bench.” He nodded across the room to a low wooden structure.

Joe Hardy and Harry Freeman did not utter a word to each other. But they communicated nonetheless. Both were nursing sore backsides. They had taken their whackings. Freeman’s was on the bare. They had all skived the cross-country run, they had all been caught, they all deserved punishment, why should John Willis get away with it?HardyH

Without hesitation, Hardy moved forward and gripped Willis by the left elbow. Freeman took his cue from his pal and grabbed the right. Together they dragged a howling Willis across the floor. The boy’s feet slipped against the cold ground as he failed to get traction to resist.

Within seconds they were at the bench.

“Face down,” Sgt Trueform ordered. “Hold him steady.”

Two boys were always going to be stronger than one. John Willis had no chance. He was upended and dumped unceremoniously along the bench. It was about ten feet long and two wide, there was ample room to take the eighteen-year-old schoolboy.

“Shorts down?” Freeman asked a little too eagerly.

Sgt Trueform glared at the writhing Willis. What a coward the lad was. Couldn’t even take a spanking. His two pals had followed his orders and accepted their punishment. They were fine men. Fine English men. But what about this other snivelling wretch? He had known men like Willis in the Army. Weaklings, quitters, defeatists, deserters. How he hated them all. They would always let you down.

“Shorts down, serge?” Hardy was ready to rip them from the teenager’s backside. Sgt Trueform’s heart sped. Bare-arsed. Yes, he would love to whip the boy bare-arsed. That would show him. Show him who was the boss. Who was the master and who was the subordinate.

Willis wriggled and writhed, he hollered and screamed. The yells were so intense the sergeant feared he would be heard all across the playing fields and back in the main school buildings. Any moment someone might burst into the changing room attracted by the racket wondering whether a murder was being committed.

Sgt Trueform wanted dearly to beat Willis’s bare bum black and blue but he was a realist. The school allowed him a great freedom when dealing with the boys. It was a traditional school, health sports and healthy discipline were high in its priorities, but even St FIGS might baulk at the sight of two senior boys holding a third over  a bench while the sports master spanked his naked buttocks with a heavy plimsoll.

“Better leave them up lads,” he sighed and then with more gusto, he added, “This time.”

Freeman took the shoulders and Hardy the legs. That way they were clear of Willis’s torso and bottom. The sergeant had clear access to his prey. He stood towering over the prostrate boy. Willis was a smallish lad with narrow shoulders and slender hips but his bottom was round and ample. When he stood it jutted out behind him and some people said it looked like the tail of a bird. Now, with Willis flat on his stomach, the buttocks were presented as two hillocks, full and fleshy.

The sergeant took a deep breath, tensed the muscles in his forearm, laid the slipper across Willis’s left cheek, then he raised the rubber-soled plimsoll high and hammered it home. The boy’s wail outperformed a banshee. It sent a cold shiver up Harry Freeman’s spine but he pressed down harder onto Willis’s shoulder; he wasn’t letting the coward free.

“Keep him pinned down,” Sgt Trueform encouraged. Harry Freeman was so strong and Willis so weak there was no chance of escape. Harry felt the bones in the shoulder of the boy beneath him. From his vantage point he had a perfect bird’s-eye view of Willis’s buttocks.

Harry’s eyes swivelled from sports master to prostrate boy; from the hand holding the slipper, to the plump backside about to receive it. The next whack cut across the boy’s bottom raising dust from the stretched cotton of his shorts. Willis tried to kick his legs up and down and to summon the strength to lift himself free of the bench, but Hardy had a firm grip of his ankles.

Harry Freeman swallowed hard as he caught sight of the stern, impassive look on Sgt Trueform’s face, and the icy coldness of his blue eyes, as the sports master assessed the impact of each whack and took time to determine which part of Willis’s bottom would be the target of the next smack.

Willis’s entire body was quaking; his backside was quivering and wobbling; even spasmodically jerking.

The twelve whacks that Sgt Trueform pounded across Willis’s backside were no more severe that those Freeman and Hardy had received, but by the eighth stroke the boy was hollering to be let off. Screaming, and writhing and twisting as much as Harry Freeman’s heavy hands would allow.

Then, the beating over John Willis gradually ceased his screaming. Freeman and Hardy released their grips and embarrassed shuffled across to the other side of the room. They stood unsure what to do next. Had they been dismissed? Should they get dressed and go home?

Willis was crying. Quietly. Tears rolling down his cheeks. Trying to suppress any sound and unable to stop the sobbing.  Neither could he stop the sniffing nor the noise in the back of his throat as his body tried to gulp in the air his lungs needed between sobs. He was trying to keep as quiet as possible but the noise was deafening.

Picture credits: Both Sting Pictures

More stories from St FIG’s are here

Other stories you might like

Housemaster’s double caning  

Uncle Martin lends a hand

Memories of Dad’s slipper

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

St Francis Grammar School – the compilation

As readers know one of my favourite subjects for stories is the old-fashioned English school. Masters prowl the passageways dressed in academic gowns and caps. They swipe whippy curve-handled rattan canes across stretched backsides. Sometimes the unfortunate victims have their trousers – or Glory Be! – their underpants at their ankles. My heart is racing just thinking about it.

Some of my earliest school stories were set in St Francis Independent Grammar School (affectionately known as St FIGS). St FIGS was a traditional school: traditional curriculum, traditional uniform, traditional sports and, of course, traditional discipline.

I have gathered some of those stories together here in one place. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Charles

 

First Day At School

z used drawing cane SFIGS (63a)

Picture credit: Unknown

John Allison is on his first day at St FIGS. He is new in town and has a lot to learn. He encounters the housemaster Mr Durrant and his lunch-time line-up: the boys sent to him each day for caning. Boys like James Axford … 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.

 

The Padded Armchair

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.

 

A Punch in the Face

used drawing birch hold (1)

Picture credit: Unknown

Christopher 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. He would, of course, have to suffer the consequences of his action.

 

Headmasters, Like Elephant’s, Never Forget

z used drawing cane quelch (78)

Picture credit: The Magnet

Former pupil Kevin Smith is now a junior ‘cub reporter’ on the local newspaper. He returns to St Francis to collect details of the annual speech day and pick up the names of the pupils who won prizes only to find there is painful unfinished business with the headmaster.

 

Murph in the Headmaster’s Study

z used drawing cane picture quelch Mag no 6

Picture credit: The Magnet

Murph was bent over the desk, awaiting his fate. He had been told to grip the far edge of the desk, so he was stretched across it. His school blazer, shirt and white vest had ridden up his back. His grey school trousers and white Y-fronts were down at his ankles.

 

The Run

z used twosome the runPicture credit: Unknown

Brother Sebastian sends the sixth-formers out on a cross-country run. All but two arrive back on time. But where are Allison and Howard? There will be hell to pay when they return. A heavy rubber plimsoll applied with great force across the backsides would be the solution.

Housemaster’s Double Caning

z used drawing cane master (3)

Picture credit: Unknown

Da Silva recounts a visit to Mr Hill, his housemaster … I flinched as I felt him pull the end of my shirt out from under the waist-band of my trousers and all too soon the cane was tapping the middle of my buttocks. I kept telling myself that it was not going to be too bad, right up until I heard the crack then felt the fire sweep across my bum, Jesus he was going to rip my backside open.

 

Snowballs

It is winter and the throwing of snowballs is banned. George Baker, sixth-former and prefect knows the penalty for disobeying the headmaster’s ruling. The snow is falling fast and the temptation is great, what will he do?

 

A school-leaving present

It was now halfway through the last week of summer term and in just a couple of days another batch of what Mr Price, the deputy headmaster, regarded as his natural prey – the sixth-form boys – would be leaving forever and be beyond his gasp. Or more specifically beyond the reach of his cane. The thought made him grind his teeth.

 

All is well in the world

Harry Clifton is off to the headmaster’s study. It’ll be the cane for sure – it always is. But something most unexpected happens … Harry Clifton swallowed hard. The canes were of differing thicknesses, densities and lengths but he knew with absolute certainty that in the hands of the headmaster any one of these rods would “take his backside off” as the schoolboy slang then circulating had it. Alongside the canes hung the headmaster’s black academic gown and the flat mortar-board cap, the official uniform of schoolmasters across the land. The badge of office. The seal of power.

 

It was thirty years ago

z used drawing cane prefect boy Mag (2)

Picture credit: The Magnet

Corporal punishment was banned in schools thirty years ago but two present-day sixth-formers are keen to travel back in time … Robbie inspected the cane carefully. It was a little over a metre long and had four notches along its length. One end had been curved. It was very light brown, almost yellow, in colour and as thick as a pencil. He gripped it at the end near where it curved. It slipped in his sweaty hand. Then, holding it in front of his face he wobbled it. The rattan was highly flexible. He gripped the cane tightly and swished it through the air. It made a wonderful whoosh as it went. He bent it again in his hands. Yes, it was the real deal all right.

 

A memory

z used drawing cane master Mag (53)

Picture credit: The Magnet

A chance encounter at a bus stop takes George Harkness back to his schooldays in the housemaster’s study with Will Rigley …. George Harkness watched intently as Dr. Cuthbertson sawed the cane across the centre of Will Rigley’s bottom. He took careful aim, then lifted the cane away from the seat of the pale grey trousers, before whipping it back with terrific force. A tremendous crack as cane connected with backside echoed around the study. Air hissed through Will Rigley’s clenched teeth. His buttocks swayed under the sting, but he quickly settled himself for stroke number two. George Harkness watched in awe as a white line appeared across the seat of Will Rigley’s trousers. He imagined a thick red welt must be throbbing across Will Rigley’s buttocks.

 

Some of these stories were collected together as a free-to-download book in PDF format.

Click below to download.

Tales from the study 1. St Francis Grammar School by Charles Hamilton II

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com