A night on the tiles

new story 2

z used dinner jacket mirror posh by Leyendecker (1)

“When Mr Winston comes in send him immediately to my study.”

The words were spoken imperiously by an elderly gentlemen with a sharp, deeply-lined face, and narrow slit eyes. Robbins, the butler, knew from his master’s tone that Mr Winston Cardew had in some way violated his father’s authority. With a sedate, “Yes, sir,” Robbins retreated feeling a sense of benign pity for the breezy blue-eyed youth – the only son of the bookworm and recluse.

“Wonder what Mr Winston has been up to now,” Robbins remarked to his fellow servants. “The master looks black as thunder this afternoon.”

Upstairs, Mr Cardew gazed unseeingly upon the open page of the book before him. His anger was all-consuming. He remembered his sweet-voiced, dearly loved but now departed wife. How she used to say, “Don’t be hard on little Winston.” Bah! Now “Little Winston” was no longer so small. He was nineteen-years-old, not yet legally an adult, but he was acting as though he were. He was without doubt off the rails. He needed to be reined in. Mr Cardew knew exactly what Little Winston needed.

He had expected such great things from his son. Instead, he only had misery and heartache. He sent his son to the best schools money could buy, but he was expelled from them all. He had no interest in studying. At each opportunity he would absent himself from the dormitory and go carousing. From an extraordinarily young age he spent more time in the alehouses and billiard rooms than in his study. His schoolwork suffered and he failed his examinations. It had been a dashed hard thing to find him gainful employment since. Mr Cardew had called in some favours among former business acquaintances to secure the boy a position.

As he pondered these things the door to his study opened unceremoniously. A tall young man with fair hair, greased and styled in the latest fashion stood before him. Winston was dressed in a tailcoat and striped trousers. His stiff collar was a little askew and his tie loose. The boy clearly had only now returned from some social event or other, a little the worse for wear. Mr Cardew knew his son to be vain about his appearance. He would spend hours in front of the mirror before leaving the mansion to descend on London. Winston would admire his reflection in every window he passed along the journey.

“Oh! So you’ve come at last,” Mr Cardew growled, closing his book with a heavy slam and tapping it irritably with his fingers.

“Yes,” the boy responded calmly, “I did not know you wanted me till Robbins gave me your message or I should have been a little sooner.”

Mr Cardew made a snarling sound, “Hum!,” he said, “You think because I don’t go out and about in the world that I sit at home hearing and seeing nothing. Allow me to tell you sir, that in this you are mistaken. I do see and I do hear – I am neither deaf nor blind – and rumour carries fast, evil rumour especially. Now explain, if you can, why you violate my expressed wishes and associate with low-born actresses – women of the stage?”

Winston flushed deeply, “Really, I don’t understand you,” he exclaimed. In his mind he recalled events over the past week. Which of these had his father heard? Women of the stage? Winston was genuinely perplexed.

“Well,” his father continued relentlessly, “Can you deny that yesterday afternoon you were seen escorting a certain Miss Fox from the theatre at which she is playing after the afternoon matinee?”

Winston’s blue eyes glazed. Miss Fox. It was only about Miss Fox. “She is not low-born,” he stuttered. “She is a friend of mine.”

“Oh! I know the sort of friend!” sneered Mr Cardew. “I know the way of the world. When young men make friends with such women they generally end___” he spluttered and left the final words unsaid. Mr Cardew glared through his spectacles at his son. He struck the desk with his fist violently. “I’ll stand no nonsense. I have repeatedly told you so.” When his temper was thoroughly roused argument became useless. Winston was forbidden to speak in his own defence.

“I have warned you of the consequences of your own behaviour. Repeatedly. Mark my words sir I’ll stand no nonsense. I will cut you off without a shilling, you shall be no son of mine.”

Winston’s attempt at protest was overruled. “I shall give you one last chance,” Mr Cardew’s eyes blazed, his face attained a red flush. “I intend to thrash you most severely.” He spoke hurriedly, “You have consistently and wilfully disobeyed me. If you do so again you will be asked to leave the house, never to return.”

Winston stood still. It would do no use to complain that at nineteen he was too old to be beaten. When his father sat on the local magistrates’ bench he sentenced men far older than Winston to cuts of the birch. Also, he did not want to prolong this conversation with his father, too many secrets might be revealed. His heart raced as he watched his father make his way across the study. Winston knew his father’s destination. In one corner of the study, alongside a magnificent glass-fronted bookcase stood a narrow, tall mahogany cabinet. His father fumbled with its door, opened it and reached in. A familiar rattling noise echoed from within. Winston took a deep breath.

His father held a splendid ashplant cane. It was about three feet long and as thick as his little finger. A curved handle had been shaped at one end and its entire length had been expertly smoothed. Mr Walker from the village had made it. He supplied local schools and many more fathers in the district. Winston knew his own father had quite a collection hidden in the cabinet.

Mr Cardew tucked the cane under his arm and faced his son. “We should not delay. You know how to prepare yourself. Indeed Winston did. A boy with his scholastic record was very used to presenting his rear end to a headmaster’s cane. Also, his father was no stranger to his son’s bared buttocks.

With steady hands Winston unbuttoned his tail coat and slipped it from his shoulders. He glanced around the study unsure where he should leave it. It was a large room with several armchairs and a large horsehair sofa as well as his father’s magnificent desk and two smaller occasional tables.

“Place it there,” Mr Cardew said brusquely, nodding his head towards a small walnut table. Winston did so. “Now stand there.” Another nod directed the boy to his father’s desk. Winston shuffled forward and stood three feet away. He placed his hands behind his back and with head bowed slightly, he awaited further instructions. “Too far away!” his father barked. “Stand closer.” Once positioned to his father’s satisfaction Winston heard the words that are designed to make a young scoundrel’s blood freeze. “Bare your but-tocks.” Mr Cardew placed great emphasis on the final word.

Winston had bared his buttocks many times but no matter how experienced he had become in such a matter, he still found the act of disrobing in front of a master profoundly embarrassing. To do so before his father was especially humiliating. Nonetheless, Winston was aware he had no choice. His father must have his way. He must accept a thrashing. He had little doubt that the punishment would not make him mend his ways. His future conduct would not change; could not change. His father did not know the full extent of Winston’s behaviour.

With an unsteady heart and shaking hands, Winston released the braces on his dress trousers. They immediately fell with a thud to his feet, revealing that the boy was wearing the most fashionable woollen drawers. His father sneered at the sight. The young were going to Hell in a handcart! Winston gripped the tops of the drawers and turning his back on his father, he eased them down his thighs. They snagged at his knees and he left them there. He felt a sharp slap from the cane across his now naked flanks, “Bend over the desk, bend over,” his father sounded both impatient and exasperated.

Winston took one more deep breath and with some expertise born of experience in one flowing movement he stretched forward, lay his stomach and chest flat on the huge desk and reached forward with his arms and clutched its far edge. His bared buttocks rested at an angle over the nearside edge. He opened his legs slightly and wriggled so that his Manhood did not press into the desk. In this position he offered his father a splendid target for his cane. He then closed his eyes tightly and in his imagination he conjured up memories of joyful scenes from the previous days.

The first stroke brought him back to reality. The cane sliced across his buttocks at an angle. Winston heard a swooshing sound and a dull thud as it struck his stretched cheeks. There was a delay of six or seven seconds (there always is in such circumstances) before he felt the agony. It was as if his father had pressed a red-hot poker from the fire across his bottom. Winston bit deeply into his bottom lip. It suppressed any yelp, but he could not stop the trembling in his body. His shoulders shuddered and his waist twisted.

His father waited for the boy to settle. He knew that it would take several seconds for the impact of the stroke to travel fully through Winston’s body. Only then would he lay on the next cut. This one higher, across the top of Winston’s quivering bottom. A dark welt immediately raised where the cane fell. It was raw and sent a wave of tremendous throbbing through Winston’s backside.

Mr Cardew was not a cruel man, but he was exasperated. His son had consistently disobeyed him. He had always been lazy and unreliable but now he brought the family name into disrepute. He did not want to disown the boy; he truly wanted him reformed. A thrashing might do that. It was, he believed fervently, his duty to get Winston back on a straight-and-narrow path to decency. He swiped and he slashed the cane. After eight cuts the lines across Winston’s once white, but now red-raw, buttocks resembled a map of a railway junction. The boy’s face was almost as scarlet as his backside.

Winston very nearly bit off his tongue in an effort to stifle yells. He wanted to, he wanted to express the agony he was feeling. It was a physical emotion. Any person suffering so much pain would want to howl like a banshee. But, he was an English gentleman’s son, he was raised to suffer stoically.

Mr Cardew raised the cane high again and jumping a little from the floor slashed a swipe into Winston’s posterior. He waited for the impact of that to subside before taking three steps backwards, raising the cane high above his shoulder and rushing in at Winston, swishing the most almighty slash into his backside.

At last it was over, Mr Cardew, his whole body shaking threw the ashplant onto the sofa and panting for breath he slumped into an armchair. From this vantage point he surveyed Winston’s bare buttocks. Thick red welts criss-crossed the cheeks, it looked from a distance that some might be weeping blood. The boy himself was in some distress, but he hid it well and Mr Cardew admired him for that. His breathing was harsh and irregular. His knuckles were white as he continued to grip the edge of the desk. The back of his neck was moist with perspiration.

“You had better stand,” Mr Cardew’s voice croaked. Slowly, and obviously in agony, Winston slid his body backwards across the smooth top of the desk. He planted his feet firmly on the ground and using his hands as support he rose. He had to grip the desk to stop from toppling to the floor. He took several deep breaths, trying to gain full control of his body once more. The pain was intense. It felt like he had been forced to sit in a pan of boiling water. He desperately wanted to knead his savaged cheeks, to try to rub away the pain. This, of course, was not permitted. A chap never did this in front of his punisher. He had to pretend he was not at all hurt.

After at least a minute, Winston felt able to gingerly reach down for his woollen drawers. He pulled them up wincing as the soft material connected with his wounds. This sent a new shockwave through his body and he bent forward almost double to absorb it. Then, slowly, with every small movement reigniting the pain, he took hold of his fine, fancy trousers and returned them to their rightful place. He stood, his backside burning, his head pounding, his throat raw and his temples throbbing. As he took the few steps across the study to retrieve his coat it felt as if his bottom was being stabbed with sharp knives.

He climbed into his coat. He headed towards the study door. “Aren’t you forgetting something,” his father’s voice was clear and calm. Winston stopped and turned. His father was on his feet again, his own composure seemingly fully recovered.

Winston winced, “Thank you, sir,” he grimaced through gritted teeth and offered his hand for his father to shake.

Moments later in his room, face down on the bed and his head buried in a pillow, Winston cried like a baby. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably for a week. The cuts and bruises would last much longer. Oh what was he to do? How would he explain this to his friends? What life could he live henceforth?

What would his father do when he learns his liaison with Miss Fox the actress was nothing but a ruse. The true love of his life was Tommy Alsop, the stagehand at the Majestic Theatre.


Picture Credit:  J C (Joseph Christian) Leyendecker


Inspired by the opening paragraphs of ‘The Fairy With the Grey Beard’ by Winifred Graham. The Strand Magazine, June 1900.

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Trousers down. Over my knee

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second



His new job

new story 2

Mr Conan, the senior partner of Conan and Connelly, the well-known scholastic agency, was a large, gregarious fellow with a bulbous nose and several chins that wobbled each time he moved his head. His fleshy jowls trembled as he clutched his fountain pen and held it over a lined secretarial pad.

“Your name, sir.”

I told him.

“Oxford or Cambridge?”

I had not attended university. “Neither sir. London. By correspondence.”

He peered at me doubtfully. “By correspondence. Honours?”

“No, sir,” I squirmed in my seat. The office was as small as Mr Conan was large. I shrivelled before him. Mr Conan shook his head. I knew at that moment my chances of gaining gainful employment were zero. Vacancies for teaching posts were few and the number of applicants better qualified than I were many. But, Mr Conan was not despondent.

“I have the very thing,” he beamed. “An admirable institution. You will be well suited.”

He was not deterred by my dubious expression.

“Yes, indeed young man,” his chins and his jowls moved in unison. “You may start tomorrow if you are so inclined.”

“The salary is not so generous but there is board, lodging and washing,” his smile was infectious. I would have been hooked even if I had not been so desperate. I had not worked in weeks and shortly I would be on the streets, lacking the funds to meet my rent. I was eager to accept, but in my soul I was certain there must be a catch.

“Where is this establishment,”  asked.

“The delightful town of Brocklehurst,” he replied. “One of the finest smaller towns in the land.”

I had heard of the name but knew no more about the place. I knew roughly where it was located. It was a journey of an hour of so by train. It was by no means an isolated location. I was sure it is was as amiable place to live as any other. Why then had the vacancy not been filled by a man more qualified and experienced than myself?

“What kind of establishment is this?” I ventured to inquire. I was uncertain that I wanted to hear the reply. It must, I supposed, be a school with some fearful reputation.

Mr Conan, I later concluded, would be able to sell snow to the Eskimo. His face shone brightly as he told me, “It is one of our newer establishments. A specialist college, so to speak.”

He had my attention. “Specialist?” I asked dolefully, fearing he was going to tell me it was a college for some fundamentalist religious sect. Perhaps, Mr Conan read my mind. “No, young sir,” his face radiated honesty, “It is a small college intending to encourage students towards examination success.”

Examination success? Don’t all schools promise that. “How so?” I croaked, still not convinced. “Aha!” Mr Conan, had a ready explanation. “It delivers a curriculum for the older boy who, for whatever reason, requires an intensive period of study in a controlled environment in order to acquire the necessary qualifications to go forth and become a successful member of society.”

He sounded like he might be quoting from the college’s perspective. I suppose I still looked puzzled, so Mr Conan offered a further explanation. “They seek to take examinations by Christmas.”

My own face brightened; the penny had dropped. “Oh,” I ejaculated, “A crammer!” Mr Conan frowned, for once the jocular veneer had been pierced. “I don’t believe young man,” he said, “Such institutions like that terminology.”

Why not? The college was one of many I supposed existed across the country. They catered for the pupils who failed their school examinations. More truthfully, they existed for the fathers of the failures. It was they who insisted the boys must get qualifications and take up careers thereby freeing the fathers of future financial responsibility for their sons. There was nothing reprehensible about this. The boys were probably dunderheads or just as likely were lazy blighters who did not work with sufficient diligence at their studies.  Now, they were to be force-fed enough “learning” over a few number of months to allow them successfully to take the examinations again.

I apologised to Mr Conan, saying I had intended no offence. He accepted and his sunny nature returned. I accepted the offer of employment with alacrity and the following day with my worldly possessions only half-filling my suitcase I set off for Brocklehurst. Mr Conan told me it took a maximum of fifty boys each term and I was expecting to find the “college” consisted only of two rooms above a snooker hall. To my astonishment, the building was a massive pile. Having been recently built it was square and very ugly, standing in its own extensive grounds with a broad driveway curving towards the front entrance.

The door was opened by an elderly lady whom I later discovered fulfilled a combined role of matron, cook and general handywoman. She greeted me warmly as if she was genuinely pleased to meet me. She took my suitcase and showed no sign of noticing that it was much lighter than she had expected. I loved her for this. “Please,” she said pointing towards a grand spiral staircase, “Mr Doyle is expecting you. The first door on the right.”

Mr Doyle was the principal of the school. By now I already knew there were three members of teaching staff, including himself. All the boys boarded at the school and one of my duties would be to supervise the dormitories at night. I had no qualms about this. They were all eighteen years old and could be expected to take care of themselves.

I mounted the stairs, noticing the expensive carpet beneath my feet. The house, despite its unprepossessing exterior, appeared well furnished and appointed. I reached the landing and saw the door to my left had a shining brass nameplate: Mr A. Doyle, Principal. I had arrived at my destination. The door was made of dark-wood panels; another example that the college did not lack money. I was about to raise my fist to rap on it when I heard voices on the other side. I am not generally an inquisitive person and it would never occur to me to peek through keyholes but for a reason I cannot explain I lowered my hand and waited.

I was rewarded by the sounds of voices. I couldn’t hear the words explicitly as the door was too heavy, but it seemed that one person was interrogating another. One voice spoke, there was a moment’s pause and the second voice replied. It went on like this for a few seconds. Then, there was silence. I expected the door to open and one of the parties to leave. This did not happen. I stood transfixed. I could not believe my ears. I was sure I must be mistaken, that I was incorrectly interpreting the sounds from within.

I heard a noise that I can only describe as a “thud”. It was as if something had been struck by I know not what. It was followed by another thud and this time there was an accompanying sound that I took to be a gasp or a yowl of some kind. My imagination raced. I thought I had recognised the noise. Surely not, I thought. I must be mistaken. I counted six thuds in total. Not each was supplemented by a gasp or yelp, but the final one was accompanied by what I can only described as a cry of pain.

There was a silence during which I moved back from the door. My mind was reeling. I was certain I was not wrong. My conclusion was confirmed when the door edged open and a young man slowly emerged. He was perhaps an inch or two taller than myself. As the door closed behind him his hands ruefully massaged his backside. I saw his eyes were wet and his face pale. Only then did he spot me. He shot me a stare of such intense hatred. His white face turned puce and he hurried down the passageway, turned a corner and was soon out of my sight.

I watched him go. It did not take much imagination to conclude the boy had just received a caning. The six thuds, gasps and yelps I had heard were proof of that. And, how the boy despised me for having been a witness. That he was a pupil at the college there was no doubt. But there was still one puzzle. The boy wore a black woollen blazer, the type any schoolboy up and down the country might wear. There was nothing unusual in that, but in addition this boy wore well-cut grey short trousers along with socks that reached to his knees. He was dressed as if he were eight years old, not eighteen.

Intrigued, I knocked on the door and when invited I entered. Mr Arthur Doyle was sitting behind a large desk. It was completely empty except for a blotter encased in leather. My eyes quickly scanned the room; I was searching for the cane I supposed he had used to beat the boy. All evidence had been removed. I noticed a chest of  drawers and at least one cupboard that could at that moment be secreting canes.

“Sit down, please,” Mr Doyle indicted a heavy straight-backed chair that was positioned in front of his desk. As I did so I wondered if the boy had moments earlier been draped across this very piece of furniture. From the corner of my eye I saw an armchair that could also have been be used. Then, again the desk I was facing was of a good height to accommodate a prostrate body.

It was difficult to get the image of Mr Doyle caning the boy from my mind. Maybe the boy had been ordered, “Bend over and touch your toes.” Had he been required to lower his short trousers for the caning? What about his underwear? Distracted in this way I am afraid I missed much of what Mr Doyle said to me. Possibly that is of no consequence because once he had finished his welcoming chat he sent me to meet Mr Percival Manners who Mr Doyle said was to show me the ropes.

Manners, “Call me Percy when the boys aren’t in earshot,” was in his mid-thirties. I immediately liked him and it wasn’t only because he brought out his gin bottled and poured us both generous measures. After he refiled our glasses I felt the courage to ask him to explain what I had witnessed. “Yes,” he sipped at his drink. “Corporal punishment is an important part of the regime here, the fathers expect it. In fact, they are prepared to pay a little extra on the fees for it.”

My eyebrow must have shot heavenwards because he hooted a raucous laugh and said, “Stranger things happen at sea.” He explained that the boys sent to Brocklehurst were not stupid; in fact they were mostly academically bright. “Just bone-idle, the lot of them,” he roared. He loved to laugh, even when sober. “So we have to persuade them to study.” His face beamed, “Three feet of whippy rattan applied with some force across the you-know-where makes a mighty-fine inducement for them to work hard.”

“Oh,” I said weakly, unsure how I was supposed to respond. Of course, corporal punishment was used in schools although not as much as it once was. It was banned in the school I had attended. I couldn’t believe colleges were using it on eighteen-year-old boys. But then again that probably explained why Brocklehurst had a devoted clientele prepared to pay a little bit extra. Would I be expected to cane the boys myself?

Percy might have read my mind. “I have a cane here for you to take.” He nodded towards a cupboard but made no move otherwise. “There’s also a list of written rules. It’s not only about studying, it’s the whole way of life.”

That prompted me to ask about the short trousers. Percy laughed again. “Blooming great brainwave. This isn’t a prison, we don’t lock the blighters up in their dorms. What’s to stop them absconding during the day or going down the pub at night?” He answered his own question. “Short trousers. We take away all their civvy clothes when they arrive. All they have is their school uniform. Short trousers.  Which of them is going to be seen dead dressed like that in public.”

I nodded my agreement. He was correct, a brainwave indeed. Percy hadn’t finished, “And it reminds then that they aren’t yet adults. They are still children and should be treated as such. Wearing short trousers keeps them in their place.”

We finished our second drink and Percy rose to refill our glasses. While he was on his feet, he opened a closet door and extracted a cane. “Ever use one of these before?” he asked passing it to me. I took it. My eyes popped. “Used one,” I said, fearing my voice might be slurred, “I’ve never seen one before today.” I held it in my hand. It felt light as a feather and I told Percy so. “Don’t be fooled. That little beauty can do a lot of damage.”

I caressed the cane, running my thumb and finger along its length. It was about three-feet long and as thick as a pencil. There were notches every six or eight inches. At one end it had been curved into handle. I held it in my hands and bent it, it flexed easily into an arc. I swished it through the air. “And,” I asked incredulously, “the boys let us beat them with this?”

Percy roared, “Let us!” He took his drink back to his seat, “Well, ‘let us’ might not be the best way to put it.  But really they don’t have a choice. Remember their fathers are paying for this. What’s a boy to do? If he refuses he gets expelled. He could run away. Either way, he’s got to face his father’s wrath at some point. No, believe me: we say, ‘Bend Over’ and over they bend.”

The room fell silent for a moment. Then Percy piped up once more. “So you’ve never seen a cane before and obviously never been caned.” We let that remark hang in the air. It was a sultry evening and Percy’s room was stifling. My head was beginning to ache (I was not much of a drinker in those days). “I thought you might benefit from a little tutorial,” Percy’s eyes shone. I blustered.

“You don’t want to make a darned fool of yourself in front of the boys,” he gestured towards the cane that was still in my grasp. “You have no idea how to use that thing.” There was nothing to be gained by denial. Until this day it had never occurred to me I might need to develop such a skill.

“Don’t worry,” Percy beamed, “Percy has it sorted.” I think like me he might be getting drunk. “I’ve asked one of the boys along. You know for a demonstration.” I must have looked incredulous. “A guinea pig, like,” he said by way of explanation. “Namby’s coming,” he put his left hand on his hip and flounced his right wrist (his idea of an effeminate man). “I think he likes it, Ha! Ha! Ha!”

As if on cue there was a knock at the door. Namby was dressed in his school uniform, complete with short trousers. He did not appear the least ill at ease as Percy gestured him to come into the room. He introduced us. He called the boy “Namby” and I assumed incorrectly as things transpired that this was a nickname of some sort. Percy and I both affected not to see the boy glance at the gin bottle. Apparently it was permissible to bring a boy into one’s room to thrash him, but not to drink alcohol.

“Right then,” Percy took immediate control. I wondered at that moment if this was not the first time he had instructed a colleague in the use of the cane. He manoeuvred a sofa so that it was in the middle of the room. Then, he took up the cane and swished it through the air. I could not see Namby’s face but by his general demeanour I calculated that he was not troubled by this scenario. Certainly when Percy instructed, “Bend over the sofa,” the boy did not hesitate to assume the required position.

The back of the sofa was quite high. Namby rested his stomach on the apex and reached forward with his arms and gripped the seat cushion. He spread his legs and bent his knees. “Well done, lad,” Percy encouraged him. Then to me he said, “Always have the head low and the bottom high. See,” he touched the tip of the cane against the crown of Namby’s buttocks, “Perfect.”

z action cane school shorts couch domestic

He continued speaking as he moved the cane across Namby’s buttocks making a sawing motion, “Ideally, you want to get all the strokes to land as close together as possible. Get one to land on top of another. That’s really painful.” He tapped the cane harder, “Isn’t that so Namby.”

“Yes sir, Mr Manners, sir,” he replied, speaking into the seat cushion.

“Right,” Percy stood to the left of his target. “Stand about three feet away. A cane’s length, then lay the tip across the crest of the furthest buttock.” He demonstrated what he meant. “That way when you whack the cane down it’s sure to hit both cheeks evenly and not just the nearest.” He wobbled the cane, laid it across the seat of the teenager’s short trousers and tapped it with some vigour into Namby’s bum.” Percy looked across at me, “That’s all there is to it really. It’s more craft than science. You just need to practice. It’s all in the arm and wrist. Bring your am back, bring it forward and then at the last moment reverse the wrist so that the cane snaps into his backside.”

I looked on intently as he demonstrated. There was an almighty “Crack!” as the cane whacked into Namby’s tight buttocks. The boy gasped. “Felt that didn’t you lad.” The boy replied, “Yes sir, Mr Manners, sir,” but from where I stood he appeared sanguine. Here,” Percy handed the cane to me, “You have a go.”

My palm was sticky as I received it from him. I held it by the handle and realised immediately this gave me no control over it. “Hold it further down. Here,” Percy took my hand and guided it. I wriggled my wrist trying to get the measure of the thing. From the wobble it made I could see that the cane would be a more powerful weapon than I first supposed. I swiped it through the air and the whoosh it made as it flew sent a small shudder through my body. I stood to the boy’s left, laid the tip of the cane on his far buttock and lifted my arm as instructed. I took one, then two practice strokes. Unaccountably, my heartbeat raced. I raised the cane and then trying to get the correct wrist action I brought it down across the seat of the short trousers.

I was very pleased that it landed where I had intended. “How was that lad?” Percy sipped on his gin. “Sorry Mr Manners, sir,” he said, “I didn’t feel that one.” Percy put down his glass. “Here,” he stood behind me, “Let me help.” He instructed me to lay the cane across Namby’s bottom. Then, he leaned across my body bringing his mouth so close to my face I could smell the gin on his breath. He held my hand in his and directed the cane so it made an arc. Then he guided my wrist so that it made the final snap. “There,” he said. “Try again.” He was very patient with me and I could tell he was an excellent teacher. I would bet the boys loved him.

I took my aim once more. This time I put more beef into the final delivery. It landed with more power. “Better Mr Manners, sir,” Namby said without being asked. I allowed myself a small smile and tried again. This one elicited a gasp from the boy. I wasn’t sure if he truly was in some pain or it was only meant as a gesture of encouragement. Either way, I laid on another and then another. My aim each time was true and each landed with increased force.

“Good,” Percy beamed encouragingly. “Right, Namby brace yourself.” Percy winked at me and said, “Go on. Give him a real six-of-the-best. Make him feel it.” I noticed Namby’s body stiffen, his legs straightened a little and he gripped the seat cushion. He at least had the confidence that I could deliver. I took a deep breath. For the first time I noticed the shape of Namby’s bottom. It was well rounded when stretched across the sofa. His legs were not muscular. This and the short trousers emphasised the buttocks as a target. Trying to remember my instructions, I put the cane across his bottom, taking a horizontal aim. Satisfied by this, I drew the cane back slowly in an arc and keeping my eye on the target I whipped the forearm and wrist. Bingo! Bang on target. Namby’s shoulders stiffened, but he made no sound. I was certain he had felt that one.

I gave myself perhaps twenty seconds to settle and repeated the manoeuvre. The stroke landed about a quarter inch below the first. The third stroke cut between the two. That made Namby gasp. Now, he had three cuts and a throbbing strip of flesh about an inch wide across both cheeks. He wriggled his hips. He was not faking this. My confidence was sky high. I allowed myself to believe I was good at this. A natural even. Whack! Number four landed on top of one (or possible more) of the previous cuts. Namby’s legs flinched. Air hissed through his pursed lips.

The next I landed with full force. I hit so hard I might have been beating a carpet. Namby yelped. I heard Percy speak, “Steady on man.” His voice seemed to be coming from a long distance. My heartbeat was racing and blood rushed to my ears. The room was hotter than ever. I lay the cane across Namby’s bottom. This was to be the final stroke. I wanted it to be memorable. I touched it low down just below where the buttock cheek meets the thigh. It was in fact touching the back of his thigh. The area was still covered by his trousers. I raised the cane, brought it forward, snapped my wrist and left the boy with a red-hot line of fire. His head rose, he let out a yelp, but just in time he managed to prevent his feet from stomping up and down with the agony.

I admired my handiwork. There were thin lines embossed into the tight material of his short trousers where the cane had landed. I was no expert but I presumed his bottom was welted. That’s how it should be, I thought. A caning should be awesome, otherwise both Namby and I should be wasting our time. He remained bent over the sofa, bottom still held high and his head low. His breathing was regular, I am sure he felt pain, but he was not in any agony. Next time, I thought, I would lay it on with more vigour. The boys in my charge must learn I am not a man to be trifled with.

“Stand up lad,” Percy gave the command. I was too engrossed in my own thoughts. The boy scrambled to his feet. His face was scarlet but I could see his eyes were dry. I should concede that perhaps Namby was a more practised receiver of a caning than I was a giver. I had no way of knowing if a less experienced boy would have reacted differently.

I could feel Percy’s eyes burning into me. “You should go now Namby,” he said.

“Yes sir, Mr Manners. Thank you sir,” he said and he offered me his hand to shake. I, my face burning with confusion, shook it. After the door closed behind him I stood in the middle of the room dumbfounded. I still held the cane in my hand and looked at it as if only now seeing it for the first time. I was light-headed and I blamed this on the gin. “You did very well. You learned a good lesson there,” he said. I mumbled some kind of agreement. I hardly heard him, my senses were somewhere else; I was at a place where I had never been.

Percy smiled at me and moved across the room. He held out his hand so I could return the cane to him. As I did so our eyes met. He smiled. “You passed the first test. You know how to deliver a caning.” He paused for an exceedingly long time. I felt my throat tighten. My temples throbbed. He glanced at the cane in his hands, then looked at me straight in the eye. “Do you think you should also learn how it feels to take a caning.”

“Oh yes please Mr Manners, sir,” I wheezed before I stepped forward and dived over the back of the sofa. Then, I wriggled about a bit making certain that my head was low and bottom high.


Picture credit: unknown

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Charles Hamilton the Second


You, caught smoking

new story 2

z used school corner sting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

z used school cane pants armchair (7b)

Picture credits: Sting Pictures / CP Services London

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Charles Hamilton the Second


The rising star wanes

new story 2

z used adult cane longs down white pants touch toes

Stephen Spreadbury was twenty-five years old and a rising star at Ponsonby-Meredith. His clean-cut affable demeanour ready smile and his ability to flatter when necessary were a big success with the stockbrokers’ women clients (and it has to be said, quite a few of the men). He made the partnership a lot of money. He would go far.

Then things started to go wrong. The smile was less fixed, the soft-soap had less lather, accounts were not closed on time, the money was not coming in as it once had; percentages were pared. Spreadbury had lost his touch. In the language of the cricket pitch; it was considered he had taken his eye off the ball. He had let things slip. He no longer brought in the money. Some days he didn’t make it into the office until lunchtime.

Mr Algernon Ponsonby, the senior partner, had seen it all before. He had been in his chair for close to thirty years. His men had made him a pile of money in that time. He expected that to continue. Spreadbury had been a golden goose. But not so much lately. The young man needed to concentrate on his work; Mr Ponsonby wanted his percentages, he had his winter home in the Bahamas to consider.

He summoned Spreadbury to his office. Mr Ponsonby had luncheoned well. He leaned back in his overlarge leather chair and caressed his stomach. Often at this hour of the day, it gave him trouble. The pain was tolerable, this afternoon. His florid face was testimony to the bottle of vintage claret he had drunk at the club. He shook his head, sipped water from a pewter goblet and hoped his aching gut would not get worse.

His secretary, a woman even older than Mr Ponsonby himself, announced Spreadbury’s arrival. She was a tiny, bird-like spinster who often gave the appearance of being half-starved. Her shoulders hunched and her spindly legs looked incapable of holding up her body. “The boy is here,” she cackled, her long nose pointed to the door behind her, “Shall I send him in?” Her cold grey eyes sneered through spectacles.

“Yes please, Miss Alsop,” Mr Ponsonby had known the woman when man and boy but had never once been at comfort in her presence. What passed for a smile troubled her face and she turned slowly, almost painfully, to retrace her steps to the door. Back in her own room she examined the young man standing there at ease. He was tall, a little thick-set; with a shock of hair over a wide-open face. He had the look of a contented man, he oozed “entitlement”; he was destined to get whatever he wanted. Oh, how she despised him.

“Mr Ponsonby will see you now,” she said haughtily. “Go in straight away.” She did not try to hide her distain. “What did they all see in him?” she wondered as she watched him stride confidently out of her room, “They’re all the same. Just overgrown schoolboys.” She saw him knock on the office door, wait for the command “Come!” and then enter. She shuffled to the door of her own room and opened it wide so she would hear everything.

Spreadbury closed the door and stood uncertainly. He had no idea why he had been called. He might be considered by many to be “on his way up” in the hierarchy of the firm, but he was still a relatively junior member of staff. He was a little surprised that Mr Ponsonby even knew who he was. His eyes travelled around the room. It was huge, as befitting the senior partner of a moneyed firm. It was dominated by a walnut desk the size of a tennis court. A pair of luxurious padded armchairs around a heavy glass table were at the far end. A Chesterfield couch was close by. Along one wall were shelves filled with leather-bound tomes; none of which appeared ever to have been opened. An ornate cupboard (a drinks cabinet, Spreadbury guessed) was towards one side of an open, but unlit, fireplace. A chest of drawers completed the furniture as far as he could see. It was a magnificent office, all set off by the deep-pile carpet underneath his feet.

Spreadbury waited hoping his impatience would not show. The bars were open and he had a regular appointment at Harry’s. At last his boss spoke. “Spreadbury,” he intoned. “I have received reports …” he then went on to list the young man’s successes. Spreadbury’s chest puffed out. He loved to be praised.  Maybe this visit would not be a waste of his time after all.

Mr Ponsonby paused and peered closely at the young man standing, hands respectfully behind his back, “But,” he rasped and after taking a sip from his goblet, he listed the junior’s many inadequacies. Spreadbury bit down on his bottom lip, he felt his face flush. His pride was hurt. Such unkind things were said.

Mr Ponsonby was not a man to waste his time. “You are slacking. It will not do Spreadbury,” he grimaced as his stomach rumbled. “Not at all. This must stop. Action must be taken.” He paused and wriggled in his chair. Spreadbury’s mouth opened to argue but just in time good sense prevailed. Mr Ponsonby had spoken the truth.

“You are an Old St. Tom’s man,” he said. Spreadbury was startled by the sudden change of topic. Was this a question or a statement? His face betrayed puzzlement. “You were schooled at St. Tom’s,” Mr Ponsonby repeated, “So you know what to expect.” Spreadbury did not. He did know both he and Mr Ponsonby had attended St. Tom’s, an elite public boarding school for the sons of gentlemen – albeit several generations apart. That was why he had been hired at the firm – the “old school tie”. He watched Mr Ponsonby struggle to his feet. He said nothing as he wobbled across the room and reached the chest of drawers. He reached down and opened the first one. He looked inside, rummaged around and within moments found what he was seeking. He turned and faced his junior employee.

Spreadbury gasped and then a broad smile crossed his face. Mr Ponsonby was holding a long, thin school cane. It even had the traditional crook handle at one end. Spreadbury laughed heartily at Mr Ponsonby’s joke. “Oh my hat! Jimmy Edwards. Whacko!” He smiled as he watched his boss swish the rattan cane through the air, it made a terrific whooshing sound as it flew. Then he saw the expression on the old man’s face. Spreadbury’s smile evaporated.

“What are you blathering about boy?” He flexed the cane between his hands as if testing its strength.

Spreadbury coughed, embarrassed, confused. “Jimmy Edwards, Whacko! From the television. Chiselbury School.” It felt like he was digging himself a hole in the deep-pile carpet. He wished it would swallow him. “He swishes a cane all the time and threatens the boys with six-of-the-best,” he trailed off, his humiliation complete.

Whereas Spreadbury was by nature affable, genial and pleasant, with a ready wit and quick to smile, his boss had none of these attributes. He was dour, haughty, conceited and self-important. He did not watch comical programmes on the television.

“Pah! Such nonsense,” Mr Ponsonby’s once florid face was now puce. “You need to pull yourself together. Stop slacking. Knuckle down to your work,” he growled, all the time flexing the cane between his hands. “I daresay your housemaster must have beaten you many times.”

Now, Spreadbury understood the St. Tom’s connection.

Mr Ponsonby considered himself a fair man. Spreadbury was a fine worker and he would one day be a credit to the firm (and  a considerable money-earner). But, like so many young men these days, he thought, he had lost his way a little. He would benefit from a guiding hand. He needed his comeuppance; to be set back on the straight and narrow. A sound beating should do the trick.

“Stand there,” he pointed with his cane to a clear space in the middle of the office. “Lower your trousers. Bend over. Touch your toes.” Mr Ponsonby was a wealthy, powerful man. It did not occur to him for one moment that Spreadbury would disobey his instruction. He was correct. St. Tom’s had trained them both well. There were rules and they had to be obeyed. Otherwise, anarchy would prevail. There were people who were in control and those who were controlled. The powerful, and the powerless. At this point in his life, Spreadbury knew his place. In time that would change. Who knew one day in the future it might be Spreadbury flexing the cane and a different junior (a St. Tom’s boy, naturally) submitting his backside.

But for now …

He looked around the room. Should he remove the jacket of his suit. Back in the day, a boy would hang his blazer on the housemaster’s hat-stand before preparing himself for a beating. It was part of the ritual. Mr Ponsonby had given no such instruction. Spreadbury would not press the point. He moved to the spot, turned his back to his boss and loosened his belt. He undid the buttons on his fly and let the trousers slip over his knees and down his shins to rest untidily over his shoes. Then, he leaned forward. It had been eight years since he left school and his once supple body had thickened since. At school “touch your toes” meant just that: “toes”. Now twenty-five years old, Spreadbury was unable to accomplish that feat. He reached down stretching his fingertips towards his toecaps, but the effort put a terrible strain on his back and his knees. He settled for a more comfortable pose with his hands firmly clutching his shins. Like that his buttocks were still raised at a convenient angle for Mr Ponsonby to do his duty.

Spreadbury felt no embarrassment, bent submissively to allow an older man to lash a thick, whippy rattan cane across his backside. St. Tom’s was what was called “a caning school”; corporal punishment was the norm. Mr Ponsonby had been correct earlier when he said Spreadbury’s housemaster would have beaten him many times. “There is one consolation,” the young man thought as he waited patiently for the punishment to begin, “at least my underpants are not at my ankles.”

He clasped his shins tightly. He looked hard at the carpet beneath his feet. It was a modern Axminister or some such, he reckoned. He tried to make out the patterns in the red, green and blue colours. He would concentrate on it; it would take his mind off his awful ordeal.

Mr Ponsonby felt no hostility to his employee. A quick dozen applied with beef across the seat of the underpants would buck his ideas up. The lesson would be learnt. Tomorrow would be another day. They would both get on with their work. The money would keep rolling in. He knew this for a fact: he had thirty years of experience to prove it.

His stomach was grumbling, his temperature was rising, the room felt unduly hot. Despite these hindrances, Mr Ponsonby set about his task with vim. He tapped the tip of the cane just below the centre of Spreadbury’s bottom. “Spread your legs, Spreadbury,” he intoned. The young man complied. The cane rose. It fell with a tremendous whoosh and crack. Spreadbury sucked in his breath and shut his eyes tight. That hurt. It had been more than eight years (not counting that little fooling around at the Varsity) since he last felt the sting of the rattan. A second and then a third stroke fell. Mr Ponsonby used all his strength; he might have been beating a carpet.

Already, Spreadbury’s bottom had three deep stripes along the underside of his bum. It hurt terrifically: had Mr Ponsonby taken a red hot poker from the fire and pressed it into his flesh? He went higher with the next set. Now, the backside glowed from the top of the mounds, and over the crowns. Spreadbury’s head ached and his temples throbbed every bit as much as his rear end. Had his housemaster’s beatings (even those on the bare) hurt so much?

Six strokes had been administered. Six-of-the-very-best. Surely, it was over. He waited, breathlessly for the command to stand. The cane whipped him again; the hardest stroke yet. Right in the underside of the cheek. He would feel that one later in the evening as he perched on the barstool at Harry’s.

“Jeez …” Spreadbury clenched his teeth. It wasn’t over. How much more of this could he take? Mr Ponsonby was not a cruel man; nor was he fit. The strain delivering the beating had sapped his energy. He was huffing and puffing more loudly than the young man under his lash. He needed to conclude this punishment. He sucked in a lung-full of air, aimed the cane, raised it and then in a flurry of action bounced the cane off the stretched backside. Whack! Whack! Whack! To Miss Alsop next door it sounded like a machinegun had been fired in Mr Ponsonby’s office. Spreadbury growled, he yelped, and some might say he even yapped as the pain increased into agony.

Mr Ponsonby stopped. This time it really was at an end. The punishment was over. Twelve strokes of the cane had been delivered (and received). He admired his handiwork. Thin lines were embossed across the white, cotton seat of Spreadbury’s underpants. He knew there would be glowing weals, each one painful to the touch. The pain would soon subside to a glowing throb, but the marks would last a few days as a reminder to work harder.

“Stand,” Mr Ponsonby commanded and he turned his back on his thrashed employee and made to return the cane to its drawer. It gave Spreadbury a moment gingerly to rub the tops of his fingers across his blazing bum. It was corrugated and felt like leather. He bent forward to retrieve the trousers at his feet, stretching the flesh across his bottom. It seemed like he had sat in a bathtub of boiling water.

Mr Ponsonby turned in time to see his junior buttoning his fly. The young man’s face was scarlet and his neck was drenched in perspiration.

“Good evening, Mr Spreadbury,” he said and collapsed into the large Chesterfield couch wheezing like a beached whale. Spreadbury stood, uncertain. It took some seconds to understand he had been dismissed. “Thank you sir,”’ he said boldly (as was the etiquette at St. Tom’s) and stiffly he left the office.

Miss Alsop was in the doorway of her room making sure he knew she had heard it all. Spreadbury smiled, tipped an imaginary hat and said, “Have a pleasant evening Miss Alsop,” omitting to add his thought, “you sad old cow!”


Picture credit: Unknown

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Charles Hamilton the Second


The Choice is Yours

new story 2

z used drawing cane quelch (100)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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At the Hotel Spanko

new story 2

waiter by kane

“Look at those boys down there, they might as well have For Sale signs around their necks.”

“Yes, they are rather lush. Which do you prefer?”

“The blond one in the green trunks is rather something.”

“Yes, I’d take him across my knee. Not that the trunks would stay on for long.”

“How do we do this?”

“The waiter Charles will make all the arrangements. He’s very discreet.”

“Is this your first time here?”

“Yes, but I’ve heard a lot about it – on the grapevine.”

“I stay here all the time, We call it Hotel Spanko, they’re very accommodating here. Ha! here comes Clifton.”

“Hello chaps, I’ve just had the most wonderful time with the bellboy.”

“Which one? The small one or the big lanky fellow.”

“The small one. Ginger do they call him? Looks like a  naughty little schoolboy. Delicious. Lovely round bottom. Surprisingly soft. I could have spanked it all day long.

otk bellboy spanked cs otk

I rather like the other fellow. Tall and skinny. He’d look wonderful draped over the back of one of those large leather armchairs in the lounge. Lovely. Head low in the cushion, bottom held high. The manager said he would try to arrange an exhibition. Give us the opportunity to take his B.T.M. off with a thin, whippy cane. I for one can’t wait.

retro bellboy hotel barbasol for better shaving, 1934

“You’ll have to forgive me. I have to go. I’ve been summoned to see Mr Talbot Wynyard at his rooms. They caught me smoking my cigar out of bounds.”

“Crikey. They call him the Victorian Master. He’s brutal. It’ll be a caning for sure. Trousers at the ankles, underwear at the knees I shouldn’t wonder.”

cane older man couch cs

“Oh I do hope so! See you later by the pool? I hear they have a new lifeguard, he’s said to be quite a dish. They say he takes the younger lads over his knee if they take a dip without their costumes on. That would be quite something to behold.

beach lifeguard otk (1)

“Oh look over there. I see Ridley Redway’s hooked himself a dish. Look at the legs on that boy. They go all the way up to his throat. Does he even have buttocks? They’re just a couple of acorns nestling inside those shorts. Lucky fellow Redway.

poolside posh short shorts l fellows (25)

“Yes. It’s making me very restless. Where’s Charles. I rather fancy I’ll take that boy in the green trunks back to my room. Of course, the other two are most welcome to join us. What about you? Are you in the mood for a spanking party?

retro short shorts threesome

“It is a very tempting offer but I’m already booked at the hotel gymnasium. The coach has lined up some very sweet young gentlemen for a session with the paddle. Frankly my dear, I just can’t wait.”

coach copper (8)

“Have fun! Maybe I’ll catch you later at the crush bar. They have special entertainments during the Happy Hour. There was a luscious bit of rough in yesterday. Oh what a night I had with him. I can feel a shiver running up my spine just thinking about him. What an arse. I believe our American cousins call them ‘buns of steel’. Ha! Ha!”

gay bar by atsushi

“It’s Wednesday. Are they opening up the dungeon tonight do you know?”

“The dungeon? What’s that?”

“Oh, it’s for special guests. For those with discerning tastes. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, don’t you know.”

“Sounds great. See you there. Toodooloo!”

z used whips and chains philip swarbrick 023

The Hotel Spanko

art notice (2)

Picture credits: Kane / C of Sweden / Barbasol / C of Sweden / Unknown / Laurence Fellows / Unknown / Copper / Atsushi / Swarbrick / Unknown


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The sixpenny bazaar

new story 2

I was heading for the 10.14 train up to town when I turned into the High Street and was passing the Sixpenny Bazaar at Tomkinson’s when I remembered I needed a packet of razor blades. When I got to the soap counter the manager, or whatever you call him, was cursing the boy in charge there. Generally there aren’t many people in the Sixpenny at that hour of the morning. Sometimes if you go int here just after opening time you see all the boys lined up in a row and given their daily curse, just to keep them in order.

They say these big chain stores have chaps with special powers who are sent from branch to branch to ginger the boys up. The manager was squat with an oblong-shaped face, set in a permanent frown. His eyes were deep set and dark. A neatly clipped moustache, the style so beloved of English Fascists, failed to conceal a mean mouth.

He had just pounced on the boy about something, some mistake, and ordered him into a little back office. It was one of those rooms that have the wall divided down the middle. The bottom half is some cheap board material and the top is clear glass. I could see – and hear – everything that was going on.

“No, of course you didn’t count it,” he berated the boy. Apparently, some stock had been misplaced. The boy, who was probably about eighteen or more, was a callow youth. His pasty face was almost entirely hidden by big, bulbous spots. He was maybe about five-three tall and really quite thin. The product of a lifetime of poor diet, no doubt. The boy shuffled from foot to foot and stared down at the cheap linoleum floor.

I turned quickly, fearing he might catch me watching and pretended to be interested in some stuff at the next counter. But, the manager’s voice was both loud and shrill and you could hear it half way across the shop.

“Course, you didn’t count it,” he wasn’t about to let the boy off the hook. This went on for what felt like several minutes, but probably wasn’t that long. I edged away a little and sneaked another look. The boy had turned quite pink now and I could see his eyelids were flickering madly and his brow was covered with sweat. The boys and girls at the other counters were pretending not to hear.

Finally, the manager decided he had said enough and strutted out of the office, leaving the boy standing there. I watched astonished as the manager strode with great purpose across the shop floor. He halted at the far end where I saw him delve into a large vase-like ornament. It was one of those fake-Chinese pots that you see in the reception areas of the larger picture houses. They are usually full of sand and are there for customers to stub out cigarettes. This vase had a different purpose. It was full of whippy, curve-handled school canes.

You can buy such canes in any High Street and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the fathers in Brocklehurst didn’t have at least one of the specimens tucked away in their homes. They were, naturally, in constant use in schools up and down the land.

The manager rattled the rattan canes around in the earthenware container for a while before withdrawing one. It was not much longer than two feet and quite thin. He shoved it back in and had another go. It was like he was trying the lucky dip in the bran tub at a travelling fair. This time he selected a longer, thicker rod. He tested it between his hands and I could see it was dense but terrifically whippy. The manager did not disguise his intention, he swiped it a couple of times through the air and satisfied that it was up to the job, he turned on his heels and retraced his steps to the office.

The boy had gone quite pale by now. He stood, hands behind his back, eyes still downward. He seemed from a distance to be perfectly still, but I suspect his hands were shaking as he clasped them tightly together behind his back, rather in the way that King George does.

The manager swished his cane. He had no academic gown on his back or mortar board on his head but he looked every inch like an irate schoolmaster. An involuntary shudder ran up my back. I was transported back several decades to St. Francis Independent Grammar School, my own alma mater. I was a frequent visitor to the housemaster’s study (weren’t we all, it was that type of school). I would have been about the same age as the boy when I was last summoned. It would have been weeks before the final examinations. “Slacking,” the housemaster intoned. “Not working hard enough. Letting the school down.”

My thumbs rubbed against the seat of my trousers; after so many years I can still remember the pain. The ridges remained imprinted across my backside for about a week.

I watched the boy turn his back on the manager and then in one simple movement, he leaned forward until he was spread-eagled across a small desk. He lay with his stomach flat on the wooden top, his arms reaching to the sides and his head facing north. He spread his legs and wriggled so that his bottom was raised over the edge. Clearly, he had been in this position before, submissively offering himself up to his master.

Why did he do it? Pure fear of course. Put one foot wrong, disobey an order and you get the sack. It’s the same everywhere. There’s always some lump of a lad – young men really – who all but tug their forelocks at customers. “Yes, sir, how may I help you madam?” The customer is always right. The boy lives in mortal dread that you might report him to his boss for impertinence and lose him his job.

used drawing cane hold (40)

I had a perfect view and so did many of the other shop workers. As far as I remember I was the only customer present. The boy shut his eyes tight, his bottom quivered in anticipation of the ordeal about to start. The manager took his time. I wonder how many times in a week he went through this routine. Was there a boy (or indeed a girl) in the shop who had not been similarly positioned at some time? Have you noticed how many petty managers are really Little Hitlers. Drunk with power. They act abominably because they know they can get away with it.

Or maybe, they live in fear of their own bosses. Later would the manager have to account for the missing stock. How would his boss own react to the news? Was the manager due a whipping himself?

He took up position to the side of the boy and rubbed his cane across the centre of his buttocks. The boy’s trousers had ridden up and dug into his cheeks so that each buttock was lifted and separated. That made a terrific target. The cane was whippy and the manager made it bounce off the boy’s hard bottom as he tap, tap, tapped it to get his aim. Then in a swift movement he lifted the cane away so that it made a perfect arc; he took it to shoulder height before returning it with considerable force so that it crashed into the boy’s hard meat.

The Crack! of cane across trouser seat echoed around the shop. The boy’s fellow workers pretended to be busy at their counters, tidying stock and folding items. I watched fascinated. The boy’s head rose from the desk and he expelled air through clenched teeth. It sounded in all the world like a steam engine settling down. His bum rose and fell. It must have been a reflex action because the boy quickly steadied himself, ready for stroke number two.

The manager was in no hurry to deliver it. He made a tour of his office, the cane tucked under his arm, in the way of a sergeant-major. This gave him time to admire his handiwork. A line had appeared across the very centre of the boy’s rear end. It had been a perfect hit, across the fleshiest part of the bum.

When he was ready, the manager took his aim once more. This time, he went a little lower, into the undercurves. He laid it on with tremendous vim. It swiped down about a half inch below the first. The boy’s head banged up and down on the desk top. His hips wriggled, but this time he made no sound (that I could hear). The manager went for another walk before settling down for the third stroke, which he slashed down just above the first. The boy now had three blazing stripes running in parallel across his cheeks, making a band of pain about two inches wide. The manager was clearly an expert with the cane. I suppose he had practiced a lot.

The manager was sweating by now. The effort for a man of his size must have been considerable and I imagine that the office was warm and airless. He rested the cane on the desk, leaving it where the boy could enjoy a close up view of it, and then took a large white handkerchief from his pocket and mopped the sweat that soaked his face and neck. Then, he folded it in half and then in quarters before fastidiously returning it to his pocket. He picked up the cane, swished it through the air a couple of times and was ready to resume his duty.

The final three strokes were laid on as if he were beating a carpet. He put tremendous beef into each one. Apart from a little wriggling and head shaking the boy took it well, although he must have been in considerable agony. I remember from my schooldays that a severe caning left me feeling that the housemaster had forced me to sit on the embers of the open fire in his study.

The manager commanded that the boy stand up and I watched him rise while trying to muster as much dignity as the circumstances allowed. His face was scarlet and covered in perspiration. He looked at his tormentor and in so doing glanced me watching from a distance. With extreme embarrassment, I bought three penny razor blades and made to leave.

The boy was looking at me as I went out the door. He’d have murdered me if he could. How he hated me because of what I’d seen. Much more than he hated the manager.


Picture credit: Unknown

CHARLES’ NOTE: A quick nod of gratitude to George Orwell’s ‘Coming Up For Air’ for the inspiration.

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