In Uncle Gascoigne’s Library

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z used uncle gascoigne study (21)

Harry slouched disconsolately in the corner seat. The third-class carriage was empty, as was most of the train. A Thursday afternoon in late November was not a popular time to travel. His buttocks ached on the hard wooden seat. He hugged his arms around his body. Miserably, he shivered. At this rate, he reflected, he’d end up in the hospital with pneumonia.

It had been five hours earlier that the porter at St. Tom’s had put him unceremoniously on the train. There was no word of farewell; the brute hadn’t even carried his suitcase. That’s how they treated a chap when he was sacked.

At last, the steam train chugged into Weatherstone Halt. Journey’s End. Or, Harry supposed, New Journey Starts. What did his future have in store? Who knew? The only certainty was that first he must face Uncle Gascoigne.

He stepped from the train into a swirling mist. It engulfed the small platform; he could barely see a hand in front of his face. His feet slipped on the frost beneath his feet. An eerie silence enveloped him. If Harry had been a reader, he might have likened it to a scene from a Victorian ghost story. He stood, uncertain, suitcase by his side. How was he to get to Weatherstone Manor? It was some distance off; too far to walk with a heavy case.

“Hello Master Harry!” it was a croaking voice. It seemed to come from nearby, but the mist was thickening and he couldn’t see. “Over here!” As if by some magic the fog cleared and Harry saw an old man wrapped in a heavy overcoat, a scarf and a big woollen hat. It was Tom, his uncle’s Faithful Retainer.

The journey by pony and trap was short. A biting wind tore through Harry. He wore only his school blazer and it was no use against the cold. Nor did his grey trousers give protection from the wind. Tom, drove in silence. He was a man of few words as was expected from a devoted servant. He geed the pony and steered it along the narrow lanes to the Manor. His was the only vehicle on the road. Harry hugged his own body with cold and let the wintry countryside pass him by unnoticed.

The Manor loomed; an imposing Gothic pile. Even on a summer’s day it looked unwelcoming. On this day and in these circumstances it seemed especially hostile. Tom steadied the pony while Harry climbed down. “I’ll take care of your case, Master Harry,” the Faithful Retainer spoke with a hint of regret, “Your uncle says you are to go directly to the library.” He studied his own hands intently.

“Oh,” Harry spoke softly. The summons had not been unexpected, but he had hoped there might be some interval before he faced Uncle Gascoigne. He trudged towards the door. The inside of the manor was as ugly and imposing as the outside. The hallway could have been the entrance to a municipal town hall. It might be large enough to house a cricket pitch. Several doors of heavy dark oak ran into it. Harry was not concerned with these. The room he sought was up the imposing spiral staircase on the first floor. He trudged up it.

Harry was a boy of little imagination, so as he made his journey he did not reflect on its similarity to St. Tom’s. He had been summoned to the housemaster’s study countless times, each journey requiring a long trek through School House, along a narrow passageway towards a heavy wooden door. On the other side he would be confronted by a cane-wielding master. What happened next can be safely left to the reader’s imagination.

Harry reached the library door and paused, unsure how to proceed. Should he turn the handle, fling open the door wide and burst into the room and offer Uncle Gascoigne a cheerful “Hello Uncle! I’m home!” Perhaps not. Uncle Gascoigne was not by temperament a cheerful fellow and was generally feared and respected in equal measure by his household and the tenants of the estate he ruled over. He was dreaded by the petty villains who appeared before him at the local magistrates’ bench. Harry tapped his knuckles respectfully against the panelled door.

“Come!” the boomed command was self-important. Uncle Gascoigne was a man who demanded obedience. And invariable received it. With a quaking hand, Harry turned the handle and eased the door open, making only enough space for him to squeeze into the room. He stood anxiously. Uncle Gascoigne sat in a large, padded armchair, a cup and saucer held daintily in his hands. “Close the door boy! Close the door! You’re letting the heat out!” he barked.

Once this was done, Harry stood, hands deferentially held behind his back. Uncle Gascoigne called the room his “library” but in truth it was a drawing room with shelves of books. Harry had never once troubled himself to handle any of the hundreds of volumes that surrounded him. As well as an armchair the room contained a dining table, matching chairs and an ancient Chesterfield-type couch.

Uncle Gascoigne returned his cup and saucer to the table and stretched his arms wide. He was an imposing figure, standing head and shoulders above Harry, who himself was no dwarf. He wore a frockcoat, waistcoat and striped trousers. Harry did not know this but he had recently returned from the Magistrates’ Court. Even as they spoke seven youths were under the lash of the local police sergeant.

Uncle Gascoigne frowned. He gripped the lapel of his coat and steadied himself. This was how he stood when making speeches at the Tory Association. He had prepared some words. Harry did not change his stance; hands behind back, head high. At St. Tom’s the form was always to look at a master when he was jawing you.

“Since your parents passed on,” Uncle Gascoigne droned, “I have taken care of you. I have paid for your education.” He delivered a liturgy on his generosity. “So this is how you repay me.” He picked up a letter from the table and (for dramatic effect) peered closely at it. It was an unnecessary gesture since he knew its contents by heart. It was a letter from the headmaster at St. Tom’s detailing Harry’s misdeeds leading to the inevitable conclusion that the eighteen-year-old must leave the school forthwith.

“You spend your time playing billiards in some God-awful public house when you should be at your studies.”

Harry suppressed a smile. He did much more at the Three Fishers than play billiards, but it was better that the headmaster and Uncle Gascoigne did not hear about that.

“A disgrace!” Uncle Gascoigne had used similar words to the louts at the court earlier that day. For it was true, Harry was no better than they. For all his privileges, he was a wastrel. “We shall have to consider your future at a later date,” Uncle Gascoigne said, his puffy eyes narrowing, “For now …” he let the words trail away and glanced across the room. Harry followed his gaze. His heartbeat skipped, standing in the corner of the room was a large enamel bucket and soaking in water and sticking from its top was a freshly-cut birch rod.

Silently, Uncle Gascoigne took hold of one of the dining room chairs and moved it so that it was in front of Harry. His beady eyes met those of his nephew. He hesitated, trying to read the mind of the wayward teenager. Harry’s eyes were dull; unreadable. “Bah!” Uncle Gascoigne ejaculated. “Take off your blazer, put it on the table. Lower your trousers and underwear. Bend over the chair.” It was a simple set of commands, sternly spoken. The boy would do as he was instructed, Uncle Gascoigne was in no doubt.

While Harry climbed out of his school blazer, Uncle Gascoigne stood over the enamel bucket and gripped the birch rod by its handle. He swished it through the air allowing droplets of water to dampen the solid wooden floor. He tested the rod in his hands, taking its weight. Birch rods were made for purpose and each was unique. They could be long or short; heavy or light. They might have six branches or dozens.

The one Uncle Gascoigne held was not in fact strictly-speaking a birch rod, since it was constructed of hazel branches. Hazel was more easily available in local woods and had the properties of both suppleness and strength. It had been made at the local police station. It was unheard of for Uncle Gascoigne to request them to make him personally a birch, but they asked no questions when he did. Col. Trumpington-Smythe, his fellow magistrate, often made such a demand.

The rod in Uncle Gascoigne’s hand had been expertly constructed. There were fifteen twigs, each almost perfectly straight, that were between twenty-six and thirty inches long. They had been clipped into a conical shape. The ends and tips had been trimmed and a handle bound with cord made. It tapered gracefully from handle to tip and felt comfortable and balanced as he held it. He swished it through the air once more, it had been soaked in water overnight and felt fresh and supple.

Harry watched aghast. His blazer was safely laying on the table but his trousers and underwear were still in their rightful position. “Quickly!” Uncle Gascoigne snapped. “Or do you want additional strokes?” It was a question that needed no answer. Harry had no doubt that his uncle was serious. He forced his hands to unfasten his trousers, the weight of the heavy wool sent them hurtling to his knees. He wore fashionable athletic underwear of the short variety. He hesitated until Uncle Gascoigne’s heavy, impatient breath spurred him onwards. Soon he was bare from the waist to his ankles.

“Bend over the chair,” Uncle Gascoigne swiped the birch, “I assume you know the drill.” Indeed Harry did. Schoolmasters had their own peculiarities when administering canings. One might require a boy to present himself touching toes, knees straight; that was probably the most “traditional” position known. It was, however, not the most efficient method. The posterior was stretched and bent at such and angle that the size of the target was diminished. Others would make a boy go over a chair. How this was done depended on the furniture available. The back of an armchair could be used, but so many of them were tall and a boy could not properly reach over. Most studies had at least one hard wooden chair and this was perfect. A boy faced the seat, gipped tightly on both sides, spread his legs, arched his back and jutted his rear end out. A perfect target, offering up a generous expanse of stretched bottom for the schoolmaster’s cane. Harry chose that latter position.

Uncle Gascoigne was no expert at birching. It was one of his roles in life to order others to perform such acts. He acted on instinct. He supposed the general idea was to assault as great an area of the naked buttocks now on show as possible. The posterior should end up raw and tender, but there was no need to leave the boy bloodied and battered.

He took up position to Harry’s left. The cheeks quivered in anticipation of the  assault to come. The other end of Harry appeared stoical. He held the seat cushion tightly, his eyes focused on a small stain on its fabric. His breathing was easy. Uncle Gascoigne rested the birch against his nephew’s bottom so that it covered nearly every square inch.

Harry bit down on his lower lip. He had long since been hardened to the ordeal of corporal punishment, but the application of a well-made birch rod wielded by his angry uncle might prove to be a torment of great proportions.

With the skill of a golfer, Uncle Gascoigne turned his body, screeched, and then flogged the birch across the eighteen-year-old’s bare bottom with startling speed. Harry’s head rose, his mouth gaped and his face tightened, but he uttered no sound.

The birch struck again and the delinquent schoolboy swayed noticeably. His face was now as scarlet as his bottom. He shook his head from side to side, rather like a braying donkey. A third cut slashed his once-pale buttocks, small cuts ranged from his undercurves over the fleshiest part of his bottom. Already his bum was beginning to resemble raw hamburger meat.

Harry gasped, drank in a mouthful of air, then sighed long and loudly. He wriggled and writhed, but he knew better than to try to stand. To do that in the middle of punishment always meant extra strokes (it was an unwritten law). His heartrate sped as the agony travelled through his body; his legs in particular ached terribly.

Uncle Gascoigne slashed two more into the pulsating cheeks. Whip-whip. The second swipe fell low, across the backs of Harry’s thighs. His almighty screech bounced around the library. In the passageway outside, with his ear close to the door, Old Tom the Faithful Retainer winced in sympathy.

“I think you are learning your lesson,” Uncle Gascoigne intoned.

“Yes, Sir,” Harry croaked, feeling he was required to answer.

The birch flew through the air applied with considerable beef one more time connecting with the battered and bruised bottom higher. Harry convulsed. His legs marched up and down like a demented sentry, his hips swayed from left to right and his cheeks rose and fell. He wheezed heavily, sucked a throatful of vomit back down and sniffed back the snot that was promising to drip from his nostrils.

Blood raced through his body, his temples throbbed; his ears were about to explode. The agony was intense, but it was over. “Get up.” Uncle Gascoigne, himself wheezing, returned the birch to the enamel bucket. As it jangled against the side he noted how sturdy the rod was. Very expertly made, he thought.

He turned to see Harry struggling back into his underwear and trousers, the boy’s face was drenched in tears. He stood unsteady, holding the back of the chair for balance. His backside felt like he had been forced into a bathtub of boiling water; he thought he would be unable to sit down for a week.

Uncle Gascoigne pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and swabbed his brow and the back of his neck. The flogging had taken more out of him than he had expected. “You may go,” he grimaced, “And ask Old Tom outside to fetch me a glass of whisky.”

 

Picture credit: The Magnet

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Saturday School

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In February 2006 Mr R. A. T. Brightlington-Pugh, a former housemaster at the Ridgeway private boarding school in the west of England, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of ninety-seven. Some years later, his great-great-great-great nephew found a leather-bound travelling chest containing diaries he had written during the 1930s and 1940s. This present story was inspired by the diary entry for 14th April 1936.

Other diary stories here

 

I had always thought schoolboys lived in dread of the cane and that it was the three-feet of swishy rattan that kept them in order. I believed they would obey any rule or instruction to avoid being ordered to present their backside for chastisement.

In my own case a caning is an awesome event. After six-of-the-best from me a boy leaves my study in some distress. Undoubtedly his backside would be severely bruised and sometimes, when I have administered a particularly severe thrashing, he would have grazes and cuts on his buttocks.

No schoolboy, I had thought, would want a caning if he could possible avoid it. I had not, however, reckoned with Green of the Upper Sixth. He visited my study at lunchtime last Thursday with what he termed “a proposition.”

There was a confident knock on my door which I had not been expecting. It is true that one boy or another – and sometimes more – would be summoned to attend my study most lunchtimes. Today had been no exception. I had dealt with two fourteen-year-old boys from the Remove form. They had been caught in Wringleton Wood. The headmaster had declared the place out of bounds to boys for reasons that I could not properly fathom. But, rules are rules and if a boy breaks bounds he had better not get caught.

They each took their Six like the gentlemen they undoubtedly are.

I had not expected Green and was a little irritated when he appeared uninvited. He had disturbed my reading of the Daily Mail newspaper.

I called him to enter and he stood before me confidently. Usually, a boy in my study would exhibit an overwhelming interest in the pattern on the rug beneath his feet, or alternatively he would be intrigued by the bookshelf behind my desk. Some boys would be unable to turn their attention away from the hat stand in the corner of the room and the two crook-handled canes that hang there.

Green did none of these things; he looked me straight in the eye and said what he had come to say. Green is eighteen-years-old and like all boys at the school who are not in the lower forms, he wears the Ridgeway uniform of dark-grey trousers, a bright red woollen blazer with white edging and a red-and-white-hooped cap.

Green had made a particular effort with his uniform. The three buttons on his blazer were fastened; his tie was tightly knotted. His trousers had been brushed and looked from a distance at least to be as new.

Green has always been a bit of a charmer. His open face is often covered with freckles; his fair hair was today neatly combed and hidden underneath his school cap. He is an athletic boy and something of a star of the school’s association football team.

Association football was the subject that had brought him to me.

He launched into what I supposed was a rehearsed speech. He had, he told me, been misbehaving in class and as a result landed himself with a spot in Saturday School. Saturday School as the name surely demonstrates is a school session that is held on Saturdays for misbehaving boys. Saturday for everyone else is a day of leisure.

Green’s pale blue eyes bore into me as he made his case. This coming Saturday was the semi-finals of the inter-schools’ association football knock-out cup. Ridgway, he assured me, were “in with a chance” of beating rivals Witchdale and securing a place in the final.

This could only be achieved, he averred, if he took up his usual place at inside-right in the team. Alas, for Green, the match coincided with Saturday School. If he were made to attend detention, he would miss the match and Ridgeway’s chances of cup glory would be no more.

I was startled by the boy’s arrogance, but that was as nothing compared to what he said next.

“So Sir, I wish to have my detention caned-off.”

My brows must have knotted betraying my lack of understanding, for he continued. “Caned-off, Sir. If I could be caned instead of attending detention …” He trailed off as he saw the look of astonishment in my face.

Caned-off! What a preposterous suggestion. It was not for a boy to decide his own punishment. What on earth would be the point of that?

I could have caned him there and then for his impudence and still insisted he attend Saturday School. Instead, I sent him on his way with merely a flea in his ear and returned to my newspaper. Perhaps, I had to concede, my canings are not quite as awesome as I had supposed.

I did not think of the matter again until earlier this evening. I had spent the morning in the nearby town and followed my shopping expedition with a stroll in Wringleton Wood. I had quite forgotten that the association football match was to take place today.

I was reminded of the fact by Wilson, a junior colleague. It had been his misfortune to be assigned to supervise Saturday School. Green, he told me, had not attended. His inquiries soon unearthed the information that the wretched boy had been seen boarding the motor coach that transported the association football team to its match.

I am not a man given over to temper. It is true that just like the next man I can become angry at times. I do not, however, rant and rave or behave in ways that later I might regret. When the need arises I show my anger calmly, as Green was to discover.

I had an hour or so to prepare for the boy’s return to the school. I used the time wisely. I spoke with Mr Anderson, the school porter, who assured me he would be able to assist.

It was nearly eight in the evening when Green tapped on the door of my study. It was not the same self-confident Green who had attended on Thursday. His blazer was unbuttoned; his tie was loose. His school cap was nowhere to be seen.

His usual open and cheerful face was grim. The day had been a disaster for him. Ridgeway had been trounced in the game, going down by four goals to nil. Now, to round off it all off he was appearing before his housemaster to explain his absence from Saturday School.

There was not much to say. He was clearly guilty as charged. Corporal punishment was of course imminent. Green undoubtedly expected a caning. It was after all what he had wanted when he asked for his detention to be caned-off.

“Remove your blazer, Green and hang it on the hook on the study door.” Green had been a frequent visitor to my study and he knew the ritual that preceded a caning. Soon he would expect to be face down across my desk with his arms stretched ahead of him and his backside pointing at me.

He removed his blazer and turned back to face me. The puzzlement on his face was evident. He watched me take two wooden chairs and place them in the centre of the room back-to-back. Satisfied by the re-arrangement of the furniture, I ambled to the other side of the study and picked up from an empty bookshelf a dusty sack. The contents bulged but it was surprisingly lightweight. Green’s pale blue eyes burned into me as he studied my every movement.

I placed the sack on my desk, opened its neck and reached in. Green’s face blanched as he realised what was emerging from the sack. It was a freshly-made birch rod. Mr Anderson had made a splendid job of it. He had found the leafless branches at Wringleton Wood. He cut eight of them so they were three feet long and tightly bound them at the base with twine. Usually, a birch rod would be soaked in brine for as long as possible to ensure the suppleness of the rods and the effectiveness of the sting they would inflict on bared flesh.

I had considered delaying Green’s punishment for a day to allow the birch to soak overnight, but I always prefer to administer punishment as soon after the crime is committed as possible.

“Remove your trousers and underwear, Green,” I intoned. I do not believe I have ever seen a schoolboy look so horrified. “B..b..” he tried to speak, but really what was there for him to say?

“Please, let us do this without fuss.” I had no pity for the boy, he deserved everything that I intended to deliver. He would not be the first boy at Ridgeway to be birched. I knew from experience that boy’s believed a birching to be an extreme punishment. In fact, I have it on good authority that a birching hurts a lot less than a traditional caning with a rattan rod. It hurts a great deal, but the birch delivers a different pain to the cane. The rattan would slice into the bottom, cutting a single welt with each rise and fall, creating intense agony where the rod landed. The birch was different; the boy’s bottom would be on fire, but it would feel as if a white-hot egg-whisk had been pressed into his flesh.

The other difference is that a birch is only effective if it is swished into a bared bottom.

Green stood motionless as if he had failed to hear my command. I repeated it. “Take off your trousers and underwear.” I hoped the boy would be man enough to comply. I know that boys do not like to expose their bare bottoms to schoolmasters, but that is not my problem. If a boy behaves such that he deserves a thrashing bare, he has only himself to blame.

The eighteen-year-old’s hands fumbled at the buttons of his trousers. They fitted him well and he needed no belt or braces to hold them up. Once loosened they fell down his thighs and snagged to a halt at his knees, before slowly slithering to his feet.

“Step out of them, Green.”

As if in a trance, he lifted first his left foot and then his right and stepped clear of the trousers. He was now standing before me in his underwear. He wore modern drawers that fastened at the waist; it would be easy to remove them. But the boy needed to demonstrate the will to comply with my instruction.

He remained silent, but his eyes pleaded with me for mercy. Please, he seemed to be saying, do not make me expose myself to you.

I was in no mood for mercy. “Take down your drawers, Green.”

His face was that of a ghost. He closed his eyes tight and placed his thumbs in the waistband of the drawers. They were soon at his feet. Unbidden, he stepped out of those too. He clasped both hands in front of his privates. His eyes were still closed as he stood trembling awaiting my further instruction.

“Kneel on one chair and reach over the back and grip the seat of the other.” It was a standard position for a caning. Many of my colleagues preferred the two-chairs technique because it could present the boy’s posterior at the perfect angle if you wanted to slash it rather like a batsman at cricket slogging a ball to the boundary for four runs.

I admit now that I was relieved when Green complied with my instruction. I had been unsure that he would be brave enough to do so and I had instructed Mr Anderson to wait in an adjoining room should I need his assistance to hold the boy down.

Green kneeled, his stomach resting against the backs of the chairs with his bared bottom raised in the air. Slowly and with some ceremony I took hold of the tail of the boy’s shirt and rolled it up his back. I was now staring at a considerable are of naked flesh from the boy’s shoulders to below his knees where his socks were slumped.

 

The boy gripped the edge of the wooden seat and flexed his buttocks a little in anticipation of the agony he expected as the rods struck home. I measured my distance and swung the birch round my head and brought it down with a terrific upper-cut on the Green’s naked flesh. The hairless buttocks were scarred with dozens of thin white lines; narrow welts were rising where the birch twigs connected with the boy’s fleshy haunches.

z used birch and marks sting (1)

The birch swished again; Green screwed his eyes tight and stifled the yell I knew he so desperately wanted to make. He was a trooper. He would not let himself down: he would not give me the satisfaction of seeing him in pain.

Swish! Swish! Sweat poured from his body, down his half-naked back and into the crack between his cheeks. There were dozens of lines across his bottom, arranged neatly from left to right and from the top of the bottom where they meet the spine to under the curves close to the thighs. Every square inch of his rear end was scarred.

The sixth-former wriggled his body from left to right, as he struggled to remain in position, prostrate across the wooden chairs with his bared bottom still pointing submissively at me.

Swish! the hardest cut yet and the boy’s response was to beat his knees up and down against the wooden chair. Tears were now forming behind his eyes.

I lashed down two more strokes with full force. That did it: the skin started to open. Soon blood would seep through. Green’s scream of agony echoed around the study and no doubt could be heard as far away as study hall.

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

Unsteadily, he retrieved his drawers and gingerly stepped into them, all the time avoiding looking at me. Soon his trousers were in their rightful place.

“Dismissed.” I had no desire to prolong this meeting. The boy had transgressed; he had been punished most severely. The matter was now closed. We should all get on with our lives.

He limped from the room, pausing only to unhook his blazer from the door.

Picture credit: Sting Pictures

 

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

Uncle Festus

new story 2

z used otk birch CS

Neither of my parents were bothered with religion so I grew up without knowing about “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” My Uncle Festus was altogether different as I would find out. I went to a modern school, they taught us sciences as well as humanities. It was a progressive place and corporal punishment was unheard of. I was a bright child but distracted. I wasn’t lazy, but I never worked; not on my academic studies anyway. I was a good and popular sportsman and made many friends. There were girls at the school and in my later years they were a distraction.

I did badly in my examinations and my parents’ hopes that I would go to Oxford or Cambridge University were dashed. I wasn’t even qualified to attend one of the smaller, less prestigious varsities. That’s how I found myself at the Brocklehurst Crammer. Brocklehurst is a small town a long way from my home. My father arranged that I should attend the college for three months during the autumn. The idea was that I would be force-fed all the learning I had passed up at school and then retake my exams. That way, so the theory went, I could get a university place and get my life back on track.

I was never told why I was to be sent to Brocklehurst as there were many similar colleges close to my home. Looking back I suspect the deciding factor in sending me away was Uncle Festus. He lived alone in a large house in Brocklehurst. He had never married and was a pillar of the local community, especially one particular church. It was arranged that I would lodge with him, returning to his home at the end of each college day. I was not consulted over the arrangement, but I could see no reason to object. I would be the first to admit I had let myself and my parents down; I should be grateful to be afforded a second chance.

I took a very long journey by three steam trains and was near exhaustion when finally we chuffed into Brocklehurst Station. I had been told my uncle would meet me. I had rarely met him and had no idea what he looked like. I spotted him immediately. He was a young child’s nightmare of a latter day Old Testament prophet. His hair was wild, his side whiskers were overgrown, a waxed moustache curled above his upper lip. Wild blue eyes stared through half-moon glasses. It was a late summer day and seasonably warm but Uncle Festus was dressed in a heavy serge suit with buttoned-up waistcoat. Cutting into his neck was a stiff cardboard collar from which a tightly knotted tie hung.

He recognised me too. Father had insisted that I wear my old school uniform.  My bright red blazer shone in the sunlight. I had abandoned the stiff collar and tie but wore a white shirt and pale grey trousers. Uncle Festus grunted something that might have been a greeting. He peered at me over the top of his glasses, inspecting first my hair and then my face. Evidently he was not pleased with what he saw. “Hair needs cutting. No cap. Where’s your collar?” He did not wait for my response and instead turned on his heels and sped off in the direction he had come. “Follow me!” he barked. I watched him disappear down the platform. When it became clear that I was not following he stopped. He stared at me from a distance of fifty feet; his eyes blazed, I swear I saw then spin, he drew back his shoulders, gulped down air into his lungs and roared, “I said follow me!” The few people still at the station stopped what they were doing and turned startled, wondering what manner of emergency had taken place.

My face reddened, my hands trembled, I was sure tears were close to forming. “B.. b..” I stumbled, terrified to speak. At last I found the courage and the wind, “But Uncle, I have to get my luggage from the train,” I bleated pitifully. Thankfully, at the a moment a porter approached pushing a trolley heavily loaded with two trunks and a suitcase; the provisions for my stay.

The porter might well have encountered my uncle in the past and knowing of the old man’s temper, he kept his distance and waited silently for instructions. “Pah!” my uncle ejaculated. “Take them to the trap,” he barked and like a frightened rabbit the ancient porter scurried on his way.

The nag pulling the trap was on its last legs, before too long its dead body would be served to cats. I sat behind Uncle Festus as we bumped over every hole in the roads, and there were many. He was silent the entire journey. I sat despondent. My uncle’s appearance and attitude had scared the living daylights out of me and his silence as we made our way to his house was oppressive. I had a close view of his broad shoulders and powerful back, I had no idea what he did or a living but from my short distance he had the appearance of a manual labourer. He certain had the tang of one; he omitted a sour aroma which was unsurprising considering the warmth of the day and the heaviness of his clothing.

At last the pony and trap turned into a wide street called The Avenue. The road was paved with cobbles and the noise of the pony’s hooves as it clip-clopped along was deafening. The house on each side were large and imposing, nearly all of them hidden behind vast hedges and ancient trees so high they blocked out the sun. The driver cried out “Whoa there!” and the pony shuddered to a halt. Neither the driver not my uncle made to move. I sat for a moment before it dawned on me I was expected to haul the trunks and case from the trap and drag them into the house on my own; surely an impossible task. I was summoning up the courage to ask the driver or my uncle to help when a boy, about my age, bounded out through the gateway of one of the houses. This was evidently my uncle’s home. The boy nodded a greeting to me and took hold of one end of a trunk. He said nothing yet I understood perfectly his intention. I took hold of the other end and together we manhandled it into the house.

The boy led the way into the house. Once inside I could see immediately that it was vast. I would later learn there were five bedrooms and two living rooms along with a private room that uncle used, as well as the usual kitchen and so on. The hallway was dark and cold, you would never guess it was summertime. Gas lamps were attached to the walls at long intervals. The boy led the way up the wide staircase and took me to the room that I had been allocated. It was large and musty and sparsely furnished. A large bed with what I supposed was a cast-iron bedstead dominated. The floors were bare, without even a worn rug. A bowl and water jug was on a stand in one corner. In another there was a cupboard. Next to the bed was a set of drawers and on top of this stood a candle in a dish with hardened melted wax.

It was then I realised the house had no electricity. By that time electricity was available cheaply all over the country and there could have been no reason but by choice that uncle had not had it connected.

The boy helped me to put the trunk down and we went out to fetch the rest of my luggage. The boy seemed to me to be rather preoccupied with his own thoughts and he made no attempt to make conversation. I wondered if he was in fact a little simple.

At last my possessions were in my room. I was uncertain what I was expected to do next as Uncle Festus had given me no instructions; he had hardly said two words to me since we met on the station platform. I resolved I would seek him out. I was making my way through the dark passageway when the front door opened and six men all dressed in similar fashion to my uncle entered. Each had a thick black book in his right hand. They moved swiftly through the hallway and entered uncle’s private room. The boy emerged from another room and joined then. I stood on the staircase and watched. They appeared to have come for a meeting of some sort.

My uncle was already in the room and I saw him close the door. I am not generally a curious boy, which is one reason why I didn’t do so well with my studies, but this time my interest was aroused. I tip-toed down the stairs and approached the now-closed door, very aware that my footsteps were amplified by the bare floorboards. My heart thumped as I pressed my ear against the heavy oak door. It was too thick for sound to pass through and I could not hear what the group inside were saying. I stooped down and placed my eye on the eyehole. I am not one who is often wracked with guilt but I felt my presence snooping at the keyhole would not be well received by my uncle if I was discovered. It would be in my own interest to make my exit.

Intrigued, and determined to discover what they were doing inside uncle’s room I left the house and entered the garden. The house was huge and there was no shortage of windows but at last I found the one I was looking for. It was closed, despite the fine day. I thought how hot and stuffy it must be in the room, especially since by now there was a small crowd of people, all dressed in heavy clothes. The aroma of uncle’s stale sweat came to my mind. Large trees overshadowed most of the house and I used one as a cover and I was able to secret myself and still have a passable view into the room. The men were on their knees with their books open in their hands. They were reading something aloud in unison. A prayer, I supposed.

I remembered that Uncle Festus was an active member of his church. Was this a service of some sort? I wondered. That might have been the case but this was a Tuesday; perhaps it was some kind of Bible study group.

I watched for a moment or two and since nothing much was happening I was about to leave to explore the rest of the house and garden when I saw the boy stand. Even from my distance and peering through dirty glass into an unlit room I could see he appeared in some distress. He sank to his knees and held his hands together as if in prayer. The others then stood and in unison recited an incantation. The boy looked close to tears. Intrigued I resolved to stay and watch developments. I didn’t have long to wait. My uncle suddenly placed his Bible on a small table and then with great deliberation, he unbuttoned his coat and slipped it from his shoulders. With solemnity he handed it to a colleague who hung it on a hat stand. While that was being done, Uncle Festus slowly undid the buttons of his waistcoat. All eyes in the room were transfixed.

Having loosened his clothing he took a couple of paces across the room and leaned towards a vase-like ornament that stood easily three feet tall. He reached his hand inside and with a flourish (rather like a magician taking a rabbit from a hat) he extracted a bunch of twigs. No one in the room was the least surprised, but I almost fell backwards with amazement. There were about a dozen or so twigs or small branches and they were tied together at one end to make a handle. Even I, with my great lack of knowledge of such things, recognised it as a birch. Any number of the trees in the garden where I stood could have supplied the wherewithal to construct it. Uncle Festus held it upright in the palms of both hands and presented it as if it was an offering to the assembled audience.

There was complete silence. I watched astounded. There was movement in the room. It seemed everyone knew their role in the unfolding drama. Two men took hold of a large, ornate armless chair that was leaning against a wall and manoeuvred it into the middle of the room. Uncle Festus seated himself. I had not noticed but while Uncle Festus was taking centre stage, the boy had removed his own coat and shirt collar. He stood forlornly. Uncle Festus made some remark to his congregation and they chanted their response. Satisfied with that my uncle turned towards the boy. Uncle’s face was set firmly. I did not see his lips move but he must have spoken some words because as if following a command the boy proceeded to loosen his britches. They had complicated fastenings and the boy’s trembling hands made heavy work of getting them to fall to his feet. He made a better job with his underwear and within seconds his buttocks were bared. He had his back to me so I have no way of knowing his expression or gauging his sense of humiliation which must have been acute.

My uncle squeezed his thighs together, the boy shuffled forward, and with a practiced move he dived headlong over Uncle Festus’s knees. He stretched his arms forward and placed both palms firmly into the ground. His naked buttocks rested across uncle’s right thigh and he kept his knees straight. They were presented to my uncle at a perfect angle. Uncle Festus was not yet quite satisfied, he took hold of the long tail of the boy’s shirt and gently tucked it away up the small of his back and away from the target.

All eyes, my own included, were glued to the boy’s naked, quivering milk-white posterior. Uncle Festus raised the birch twigs high above his own head; there was a collective intake of breath in the room. I bit my bottom lip hard. Uncle whipped the boy over the upturned bottom, the boy gasped as pink flecks, bruises, and abrasions burst across his shapely buttocks. Uncle’s arm rose again and the strong, broad-shouldered man flogged the birch down with increased vim. The boy twitched, sniffed and quivered.

With the window tightly shut I could not hear a sound from the room. I have no idea if the boy, yelped, yelled or screamed. Certainly, as the beating continued he wriggled and writhed. His hips swivelled, his legs kicked. I imagined that was only to be expected, his body was being asked to absorb great pain, to twist and turn must surely be a natural physical reaction to such an assault.

The men in the room watched impassively.

Uncle Festus set about his duty at a steady pace. The birch lifted and fell. The spread of the twigs was such that a single stroke covered most of the boy’s bottom. Soon, his once smooth, white buttocks were a mass of scratches, cuts and grazes. His cheeks flamed crimson. I couldn’t begin to imagine how sore they must feel; the sting must be agonising.

I didn’t think to count the number of strokes delivered, but by the time it was over the boy’s bottom, from the top of the globes, over the peaks themselves and into the under cheeks resembled raw meat. I couldn’t imagine that he would be able to sit down after that for a week or more. When there was no more flesh to flay, Uncle Festus desisted. Again, no word was spoken, but he released his hold on the boy who immediately sprang to his feet.

For a moment he looked unbalanced and dizzy but Uncle Festus put a steadying hand on his shoulders, while the boy’s own hands moved to ease his burning rear and he sobbed gently. Then, uncle put his hand firmly on the top of the boy’s head and took up what seemed to me to be a low moan. My heart fell; he was in ecstasy. The congregation joined the chanting and it continued for what seemed like several minutes. At last uncle released his grip on the boy’s scalp and unbidden he reached down and retrieved first his underwear and then his britches. Once suitable attired, he was handed his coat and silently and without ceremony he left the room.

Within moments they all left. I thought it unwise to be caught snooping and moved off to the furthest part of the garden as far away as possible from uncle and his cronies. There, I replayed it all in my mind. I had not the slightest idea what I had witnessed, but I knew for certain my three months lodging with Uncle Festus would prove to be the longest of my life.

 

Picture credit: C of Sweden

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Father deals with idle student

Lazy students home for the hols

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

A Punch in the Face

used drawing birch hold (1)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A birching then, headmaster?” he asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: Unknown

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

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My first spanking — aged 18!

The troublesome lodger

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

The Military Camp

z used birch for military camp

Lieutenant-Colonel Toby Masterton looked the boy straight in the eyes. “Your behaviour has been contrary to good military discipline. You will now drop your trousers, bend over and touch your toes.”

Eighteen-year-old Sapper Alan Barrett had been returning his commander’s stare impassively; but now his eyes sparkled as the seriousness of the situation sank in.

He had not expected this. Barrett knew the Lt-Col was newly appointed to command the Royal Engineers embarkation camp. What he didn’t know was that Masterton had specific instructions to tighten up discipline at the unit. And, he was going to do this in traditional military style.

The Lt-Col rose from behind his desk and picked up his swagger stick. It was a solid rod, about twenty inches long. He knew from experience this would leave an impression on the boy’s behind that he wouldn’t forget in a very long time.

“Get on with it Barrett,” it was a stern command. Masterton smacked the stick into the palm of his left hand to emphasise his impatience.

Barrett had not expected this. He had been absent from the camp without leave and knew he would have to be punished, but usually a lad was confined to camp or lost some other privileges, or even a day’s pay. But, to be ordered to take down his trousers and bend over like some schoolboy in front of the headmaster was unheard of.

Blushing scarlet, the boy began to loosen his trousers and let them drop to the top of his (not very highly polished) army boots. Then in one athletic movement he swooped over, stretching his fingers so the tips touched his steel toe caps. Barrett knew the procedure. He had been caned many times both at school and the orphanage where he had been brought up. He knew very well the sting a whippy rattan cane could make as it thwacked into his stretched backside.

The difference today was that he wasn’t at school, his trousers were at his feet and it wasn’t the headmaster about to whack him with a thin whippy cane, it was his commanding officer who was going to lay into him with a solid stick.

Masterton looked on impassively as the boy obeyed his order without question. He deserved this thrashing and it would do him a lot of good, he thought. Once word got around camp that this was how miscreants were treated, the Lt-Col expected behaviour to improve immeasurably.

Masterton took hold of the boy’s khaki shirt and moved the tail away from the target area, revealing an expanse of off-white cotton underpants. Barrett was quite small, a consequence of poor diet from an early age. Most men of his social class were the same. It was a wonder they were fit enough to undertake military service.

He placed his hand on the base of Barrett’s back to move him slightly so he could get an uninterrupted swing into his buttocks, raised the swagger stick shoulder high and brought it crashing down into the boy’s cheeks. He let out a gasp and screwed up his face tightly, but otherwise remained impassive. After a dozen strokes he was ordered to stand.

Barrett had never known such agony, it felt like his bum was a covered in welts and his pants were stuck to his skin; he was sure he was bleeding.

His face had turned from scarlet to deathly white and he was desperate to scream out with the intense pain, but he was a military man and as such he could not show he was hurt.

On command he pulled up his trousers and was dismissed. Later, he was still so sore he had to eat his lunch standing up.

Masterton was thirty-nine years old and had been brought back to England from Germany to take command of the camp. The Top Brass had decided it was going to ruin and it needed a strong disciplinarian to turn it around. Masterton was their man and they didn’t mind too much how he went about the job as long as he succeeded.

The Lt-Col soon let it be known to fellow officers and NCOs that he approved of corporal punishment above all other sanctions and he was prepared to turn a blind eye to its use.

That was how Peter Jenkins found himself, trousers and pants down, bent across the knee of Lt Allenby. Gunner Jenkins was a mess orderly and among his other duties he was expected to keep Allenby’s quarters clean and tidy. He was a jolly boy and Allenby liked having him around. He wasn’t well educated and Allenby had started helping him with his reading (many of the boys joined up especially so they could have a chance to learn to read and write). Allenby thought he had developed a good relationship with the eighteen year old and hoped the boy saw him as a bit of a father figure.

Things went very well until one day anxious to get away from camp on a forty-eight hour pass Jenkins skipped his chores and left the lieutenant’s bed unmade and his room un-cleaned.

Jenkins knew he had behaved badly and expected to be punished on his return. But he didn’t expect to find himself face down across his commander’s knees staring at the un-swept floor while the lieutenant whacked his bare arse with a gym slipper. The pain was intense and so was the humiliation of showing his crack and balls to his master.

After a couple of dozen hard whacks the boy was released. For some moments he stood hypnotized, not certain what he should do next. His rear was on fire and raw from the top of the cheeks to his thighs. The imprint of the slipper was clearly visible where the sole had branded the flesh. If you looked closely you might be able to read the trade name ‘Dunlop’ in reverse across his buttocks.

Allenby ordered him to get dressed and resume his duties. So, fighting back the urge to bawl his eyes out and with a throbbing backside, the eighteen year old held onto a broom and started to sweep the floor.

..

No boy on the base was allowed to smoke until he reached twenty-one and became a legal adult. If he did Lt-Col Masterton had ordered he should be flogged across the buttocks with a stout cane. He preferred it to be done with some ritual.

The camp’s military police soon devised a ceremony that struck fear into the hearts of all the young tobacco addicts. Tommy Alberston, a twenty-year-old serial smoker, was the first to go through the rite. The camp had a dummy gun, rather like a canon used one hundred or more years earlier, and this became the centrepiece of the proceedings. He was marched in to discover beside the gun a file of men and a corporal from the military police; he was a big, powerful fellow and he fingered a stout cane.

On command Alberson stepped forward hitched up his trousers and threw himself across the gun on his stomach; his head hanging down one side, his feet on the other. A couple of men knelt by his head and took a wrist and an ankle each and drew them together so that the trousers fitted very tightly across the young man’s firm buttocks.

The corporal threw himself into his striking stance, intending to inflict the maximum pain possible. Swish! Alberson stifled a scream and tried to wriggle free, but the two men gripped him firmly in position.

The corporal was in no hurry. The first stroke had been a sort of overhead and downward cut. This second one – swish! – came underhand and upwards. He wriggled on the gun, sweat now pouring from his body and his face was scarlet as one supposed were his buttocks.

Whizz! A straight forearm cut fair across the other two lines. The men let his hands and feet go, he sprang erect with flushed face and suspiciously brilliant eyes, and trotted off to his duties, but he wouldn’t be able to sit down to do them for a day or two.

..

Nobody could remember the last time a lad had been birched at the camp. The police corporal didn’t even know how to prepare the birch rods so he sought the advice of a willing retired officer. He was able to find the necessary leafless branches in a copse close to the army camp. He cut eight of them so they were three feet long and tightly bound them at the base with sticking plaster. He had been advised to soak the birch in brine for as long as possible to ensure the suppleness of the rods and the effectiveness of the sting they would inflict on bared flesh: he found a large enamel bucket and thus prepared he was ready to deal with Gunner Johnstone.

Johnstone was nineteen-years-old and something of a recidivist; he was constantly in trouble and often for similar offences which other punishments had failed to control. When sentence was passed, twelve cuts of the birch bare breech, he was impassive. He too knew no lad had been birched in living memory and when he survived the ordeal he would be something of a hero in the camp.

The sentence was set for the following morning (to allow the birch to soak overnight) and Johnstone was summoned to the camp gymnasium for nine o’clock. As with Alberston’s caning, there was a guard of honour to meet him when he arrived as instructed dressed only in a white PT vest and tight gym shorts. Johnstone was a big fit lad, standing over 6 ft tall and he was a keen football player and athlete. His body was muscular and well-toned and he fitted snugly into the vest and shorts; not that it mattered too much since the shorts would be removed and the vest pulled right back so that he was naked from nearly the shoulders down.

He was commanded to stand in front of the vaulting horse and after the charges and the punishment details were read aloud, he was instructed, “shorts down and over the horse lad.”

Johnstone wished that some of his pals were among the guard of honour to witness how well he would take the birching; after all a little bit of history was about to be made here.

The corporal and his colleagues had decided Johnstone should not be held down for his whipping, instead he would be expected to take it like a man. They fully expected that he would not be able to do so and would try to escape his punishment after the first lash landed eight supple birch twigs into his bared buttocks. Then, they would add to his humiliation by forcing him back over the horse and holding him steady while the corporal laid in the remaining eleven cuts.

Johnstone stuck his thumbs in the waistband of the tight white shorts and tugged them down to his feet. Then, not looking to left or right he swiftly dived across the back of the horse. It could have been tailor made for him. A fit young man of 6ft easily fitted across the horse and with his feet planted firmly on the ground on one side he was able to stretch over the horse’s back and grab hold of the rope handles on the side that were used for carrying the PE equipment.

The corporal had a grudging admiration for the boy, who seemed ready to take his punishment without fuss. The corporal had never birched anyone before but had been advised that the pain from such a punishment could be less than that from a traditional caning and therefore he must ensure he lashed the birch rods into the proffered fleshy buttocks at considerable force.

He withdrew the birch rod from the enamel bucket and the sound of wood against metal echoed around the gymnasium, making Johnstone crane his neck to see what was going on behind him.

“Face the front lad,” ordered the leader of the punishment detail and then after a pause. “Let the punishment commence.”

The corporal took a moment to take his aim; he admired the muscle tone of the lad and his almost completely hairless body. Johnstone flexed his buttocks a little in anticipation of the agony he expected as the rods struck home, the corporal took a deep breath, lifted the birch, then lashed down the first stroke.

Johnstone gasped and gripped tightly onto the rope handles, but other than that he made no reaction. Eight small scars immediately formed across the centre of his buttocks.

Number two hurt the boy even more, but he was determined not to show it. He groaned a little, but he was still in control of himself. Lash number three was directed to the lower part of the cheeks where they met the thighs and the pain was excruciating; Johnstone gagged a little and vomit rose to his throat but he managed to swallow it down and he hoped no one in the punishment detail had noticed.

Sweat poured from his body, down his half-naked back and into the crack between his buttocks. There were dozens of lines across his bum, arranged neatly from left to right and from the top of the globes where they meet the spine to under the curves close to the thighs. Every square inch of his rear end was scarred.

The pain turned to agony and the boy’s face was as white as a sheet. The next swipe had him almost tearing the ropes from their moorings. He groaned at the agony and tears formed in his eyes, but he was not a broken man.

The corporal, unsure how a boy should react during a birching and thinking he might not be whipping the nineteen-year-old gunner hard enough, laid the next strokes on with renewed vigour. Johnstone wriggled his body from left to right, but with the aid of the horse’s handles he struggled to remain in position, prostrate across the wooden vaulting horse with his bared arse still pointing submissively at his punisher.

By cut number ten, blood was forming as some birch strokes landed upon those that had already marked the once white and now reddening bottom. Johnstone let out a silent cry; it was a wonder that he wasn’t howling the gymnasium down. The agony was intense and the pain had travelled from his blooded buttocks throughout his whole body. His shoulders ached with the effort of gripping at the rope and his finger nails had cut deep trenches in the palms of his hands. His head ached as his blood pressure went through the roof and tried to burst through his ears. But, he refused to cry out: he would not give them the satisfaction.

Then, cut number twelve thrashed into his flesh, Johnstone’s head rose and he bit deep into his tongue to stifle the yell he so wanted to make. His tongue would be damaged and he would have as much trouble speaking over the coming days as he would sitting down.

“Punishment over,” the leader of punishment detail intoned and unceremoniously the corporal replaced the birch rod in the bucket of brine.

Johnstone lay across the vaulting horse; a spent man. He could barely breathe and was in urgent need of medical attention, but the punishment detail being inexperienced in birching had not thought to invite a doctor to attend as witness.

“Dismissed.”

It was a curt instruction; Johnstone fell off the back of the horse but managed (just) to stay upright. He took a deep gasp, hauled his shorts up to cover his blazing bottom and staggered out the door, bouncing off the wall as soon as he was through it and out of sight of the others.

The punishment detail was dismissed and the corporal tidied way the horse before picking up the birch rods and the bucket.

He wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but the corporal had a grudging admiration for Johnstone and the way he had taken his whipping. But the admiration was only grudging. Next time, he vowed to himself as he closed and locked the gym door, he would whip the brat to death.

 

Picture credit: Sting Pictures

This story was first uploaded in September 2015.

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Public Birching

z used naked stocks restrained outdoors (1)

George was walking his dog towards the recreation ground one morning when he realised there were a lot of people on the street, all seemingly going in the same direction. He spotted a neighbour Colin.

“Hi Colin,” he said tugging on his dog’s leash to slow him. “What are all these people doing? Is something happening?”

Colin rolled his eyes. “Good morning Rip Van Winkel. Where have you been these past years?” When George failed to respond, Colin went on. “Don’t you watch the news?”

The news?  George was puzzled. “No,” he told his neighbour, “It’s all wars and the economy. Too boring.”

Colin smiled, “Well you do know that about a couple of years ago they passed a law saying that juvenile delinquents could be birched.”

“Yessss,” George replied with some hesitation since he wasn’t at all sure he knew that.

“Well,” Colin went on, “Now they’ve passed another law saying the courts can order the birching to be in public. If the crime is serious enough.”

They were approaching the open piece of land. It was mainly an area of grass. Usually kids kicked footballs and adults walked their dogs. Today would be different.

“This is the first one in this town,” Colin said helpfully, keeping George abreast of what was happening. The News might even be here. ‘Live on Sky News,’ you know.” They had reached the Rec now. “Want a hot dog?” he asked nodding to a row of concession vans. The ice cream man was doing a good trade.

“No I’m good,” George surveyed the scene. There was maybe a hundred people present; mostly elderly. Retirees like himself, George supposed. Nothing better to do than to watch a public whipping. He smelt a strong aroma of onions, Colin had returned.

“C’mon, let’s get a closer view.” Only then did Gorge see in the near distance a wooden structure had been built. It was clearly brand new. Never before used, probably. Two posts had been driven into the ground and there was a plank running between them. Three round holes, one quite large and two smaller had been drilled in to it. George recognised it immediately. It was like medieval stocks, the kind where the criminal had his head and arms locked so the crowd could pelt them with rotten fruit and vegetables. A simple contraption, George recognised, but highly efficient.

The crowd had organised themselves well, standing around in a semi-circle on one side of the stocks; everyone would get a clear view. There was an expectant buzz, people talking in hushed tones, showing reverence before the action began.

“Who is it?” George asked. He meant who was going to be birched.

“Young lad, twenty-something,” Colin said, trying to remember details he had heard on the radio that morning. I forget his name. He beat up an old woman. Street mugging.” He curled his lip, “Deserves all he gets.”

George moved from one foot to another, standing still could be quite tiring. “Is she here?”

“Who?”

“The lady. The one who was robbed?”

“No idea.”

Just then a dark blue police van turned off the road and with its lights flashing, slowly it drove across the grass. Groups of people parted to let it through.

“Looks like we’re under starter’s orders,” Colin grinned ruefully.

The expectant buzz was louder. The van stopped and three young police officers got out. All were younger than his own grandchildren, George estimated. One went to the back and unlocked the back door. Another police officer, this one much older, stumbled out. He got his footing n the uneven ground and then reached back into the van. The murmur from the crowd increased ten fold as a young man was pulled from the van. He was tall and quite thin. His dark, unkempt hair fell across his eyes which were blinking incessantly, as if unused to the light. He was also completely naked.

“Bloody hell,” George said, for want of a better expression. A shiver ran up his spine although it was quite a warm morning. Without thinking, he pulled on his dog’s leash keeping the mutt close to his own feet.

The young man’s head was bowed. His hands were cuffed but he managed to keep them strategically placed to cover his cock on balls. The older officer said something in the young man’s ear and pushed him aggressively towards the stock.

The crowd hushed once more. Only then did George realise most of the people in the crowd were women. Why was that, he wondered. Had the men deliberately decided to stay at home. The three young police officers spoke into radios and then began to move the crowd back.

“Come on ladies and gents,” one said waving his arms to encourage movement. George noticed how much the copper looked like the delinquent about to be whipped. While the crowd was moving back, the other policemen readied the stocks.  It was a beautifully simple contraption. The plank split in half and lifted. The criminal’s head and wrists were placed in the holes and the plank was locked together. The stocks were low off the ground so the young man had to bend his back. He needed to spread his legs wide to stop him slipping on the grass. That way his buttocks were stuck behind him at a perfect height and angle to receive the birch.

A tense silence descended on the crowd as the police officer reached in the van once more, this time retrieving a large enamel bucket. Inside, were two enormous birch rods. He placed the bucket on the ground and took hold of one of them. It was about a metre in length and comprised about twenty or so heavy rods. These were bound at one end with twine to make a handle. The burly officer swiped the rod through the air. Droplets of brine fell from it. He swished it once more. It had been soaking overnight. This increased the birch rod’s suppleness, and, so legend had it, the pain it would cause.

The officer took a moment to take his aim; he admired the muscle tone of the lad and his almost completely hairless body. The culprit flexed his buttocks a little in anticipation of the agony he expected as the rods struck home. The crowd held its collective breath. The officer took a deep breath, lifted the birch, then lashed down the first stroke. The hiss that escaped through the culprit’s clenched teeth was drown by the gasp of the crowd. George twisted the dog’s leash in his hand, his heart thumping.

Lash number two fell. That must have hurt the culprit even more, but he was determined not to show it. Number three was directed to the lower part of the cheeks where they met the thighs and the pain was excruciating; the culprit gagged a little and vomit rose to his throat but he managed to swallow it down. Sweat poured from his body, down his half-naked back and into the crack between his buttocks. There were dozens of lines across his bum, arranged neatly from left to right and from the top of the globes where they meet the spine to under the curves close to the thighs. Every square inch of his rear end was scarred. It reminded George of raw hamburger meat.

The police officer, unsure how a man should react during a birching and thinking he might not be whipping the culprit hard enough, laid the next strokes on with extra power. The culprit wriggled his body from left to right, his knees buckled, his feet stamped up and down on the uneven. But his head and wrists were securely fastened. There was no escape.

Swish! Swish! Blood was forming as some birch strokes landed upon those that had already marked the once white and now scarlet bottom. The culprit let out a silent cry; it was a wonder that he wasn’t howling. His agony was intense and the pain had travelled from his blooded buttocks throughout his whole body. His shoulders ached with his wrists were sore. His head ached as his blood pressure went through the roof and tried to burst through his ears. But, he refused to cry out: he would not give them the satisfaction. Nobody in the recreation ground doubted that the culprit deserved all he was getting.

As, cut number twelve thrashed into his flesh, the culprit’s head rose and he bit deep into his tongue to stifle the yell. His tongue would be damaged and he would have as much trouble speaking over the coming days as he would sitting down.

With no word spoken, the police officer returned the birch rod to the enamel bucket and put it in the van. The young policemen unlocked the stocks. The culprit stood unsteadily, his knees buckled. One young policeman grabbed him before he fell, took his arm placed it around his own shoulders and unceremoniously dragged him to van, bundled him in and slammed the door shut. Within seconds the van was edging its way through the crowd towards the road.

“Are you coming?” Colin asked, “I want to see it on the News. They’re bound to show it all day long.”

The crowd was quickly dispersing, group of people muttering amongst themselves, re-living the experience.

“No, I’m going to let the dog run,” George said slipping the lease from the collar. The dog bounded across the recreation ground. George watched it run. Behind him, two teenagers, both a little high, inspected the stocks. One stuck his head and arms through the holes. Trying to see what it was like.

 

Picture credit: Unknown

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

Christmas is coming …

aldi birch

On sale at Aldi supermarkets across the United Kingdom. Very effective as ….. a Christmas ornament.

 

Picture credit: Charles Hamilton II

Some stories including birching you might like.

 

The wrong pub

Bend over my knee for a birching

The debut

Lord Bowinem’s chauffeur

The glorious summer

Changed Times 6. Birched live on TV

Changed times 2: Neighbourhood watch

The thieving window cleaner

The apprentices

The Gaffer of The Academy 3. Caned-off

The military camp

A punch in the face

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

 

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com