St Francis Grammar School – the compilation

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

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

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

Charles

 

First Day At School

z used drawing cane SFIGS (63a)

Picture credit: Unknown

John Allison is on his first day at St FIGS. He is new in town and has a lot to learn. He encounters the housemaster Mr Durrant and his lunch-time line-up: the boys sent to him each day for caning. Boys like James Axford … Mr Durrant whipped six stingers into the boy’s submissive buttocks: rat-tat-tat- rat-tat- tat. The strokes were a little more vigorous than he had originally intended and the cracks of his rattan cane against the tightly-stretched grey Terylene trousers rang around the room like machinegun fire.

 

The Padded Armchair

Jack Wilks stood about two feet from the padded armchair. At any moment he would be bent across its back, face in the soft cushion with his bottom high for the schoolmaster to whack it with a heavy slipper. He deserved it, of course. He knew that: he had no argument. The rule was simple and all the boys understood it. If you got less than sixty percent in a class test you got the slipper.

 

A Punch in the Face

used drawing birch hold (1)

Picture credit: Unknown

Christopher could feel a searing pain in his knuckle as he crushed it into the face of the opposing team’s centre-half. Blood poured from the schoolboy’s nose as in agony he sank to his knees. His piercing scream drowned the shrill blast of the referee’s whistle. His nose could quite possibly be broken, Christopher didn’t care. It served him right. He would, of course, have to suffer the consequences of his action.

 

Headmasters, Like Elephant’s, Never Forget

z used drawing cane quelch (78)

Picture credit: The Magnet

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

 

Murph in the Headmaster’s Study

z used drawing cane picture quelch Mag no 6

Picture credit: The Magnet

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

 

The Run

z used twosome the runPicture credit: Unknown

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

Housemaster’s Double Caning

z used drawing cane master (3)

Picture credit: Unknown

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

 

Snowballs

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

 

A school-leaving present

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

 

All is well in the world

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

 

It was thirty years ago

z used drawing cane prefect boy Mag (2)

Picture credit: The Magnet

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

 

A memory

z used drawing cane master Mag (53)

Picture credit: The Magnet

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

 

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

Click below to download.

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

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Drama in the Housemaster’s study

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z used study (48)A theatre play

The scene is set in the housemaster’s study at an elite public boarding school. It can be set anytime between the 1930s and the early 1960s but it has to be ‘old fashioned.’ If theatre resources allow the room should have wooden panels. At the very least it must have an old wooden desk with a chair for the housemaster. In one corner there is a hat / coat / umbrella stand. Hanging from it are at least three traditional whippy punishment canes. There can be more but however many are available, the canes must be of different lengths and thicknesses.

There are two characters the HOUSEMASTER who is aged fifty-plus. Ideally, he will be dressed in an academic gown. His mortar-board cap can hang alongside the canes. If the gown is not available, he should be dressed in a formal suit. He may leave the jacket hanging also.

The second character is REYNOLDS, a senior boy. He is eighteen years old and soon to be leaving the school. He is dressed in traditional school uniform of pale-grey trousers, grey socks and black shoes. He also wears a white shirt with a striped tie. He should also wear a school blazer with a crest. Since this is an elite school it is preferable that his blazer is not just a simple black one. Ideally it should have some colour (red, blue or green are typical) or it can be in different colour stripes. There is no need for him to be wearing a school cap.

Throughout the scene the HOUSEMASTER adopts a stern visage and tone of voice.

 

THE SCENE

HOUSEMASTER (H.M.) is seated behind his desk. There is a whisky bottle (almost empty) on the desk. He holds a glass in his hand and is staring blankly into the middle distance. There is a knock on the study door that wakes him from his apparent stupor. Suddenly realising that the bottle and glass are visible, he hurriedly opens a drawer to his desk and hides them there.

H.M. Come!

The door opens slowly and REYNOLDS stands half in and half out of the doorway.

H.M. Don’t dawdle boy. Come in.

REYNOLDS reluctantly enters the study. He stands uncertain what to do next.

H.M. Close the door boy.

REYNOLDS closes the door.

H.M. Stand and face the wall boy.

H.M. waves his arms about and vaguely indicates a spot against the wall. REYNOLDS shuffles into position. He slouches.

H.M. Stand up straight boy. Hands on head.

REYNOLDS does this. H.M. sits still at his desk. It is obvious that he has no pressing business to attend to. He merely wants to make Reynolds wait; to let him stew. After a few moments H.M. rises from his chair and slowly paces the study. REYNOLDS can hear his footsteps and turns his head slightly to see what is going on.

H.M. Face to the wall boy!

H.M. paces some more staring intently at REYNOLDS all the while. After about one minute of pacing H.M. returns to sit at his desk.

H.M. Turn around Reynolds. Stand there

H.M. indicates a spot in front of his desk. REYNOLDS tries to look unconcerned (although he is). He slouches.

H.M. Straighten yourself up boy. How dare you present yourself to your housemaster in such a fashion.

REYNOLDS straightens himself up with his hands by his side. Thinking this makes him look too much like a soldier, he clasps his hand behind his back. He looks directly at the H.M.

H.M. Well Reynolds you know why I have summoned you.

H.M. pauses expecting an answer and when none comes he continues.

H.M. I have it on good authority that you have been frequenting The Three Fishers public house.

H.M. pauses once more. REYNOLDS looks ahead blankly. He starts at a spot somewhere over the H.M.’s shoulder.

H.M. Well boy what have you got to say for yourself.

REYNOLDS shrugs his shoulder but does not answer.

H.M. Pah! Don’t add dumb insolence to your crime boy. Were you or were you not in The Three Fishers?

REYNOLDS. [Almost inaudibly] Yes sir.

H.M. Speak up boy. Were you in The Three Fishers?

REYNOLDS [Louder] Yes sir.

H.M. leans forward in his chair and steeples his fingers. He glares at REYNOLDS.

H.M. You are aware that The Three Fishers is out of bounds. To all boys. Seniors as well.

REYNOLDS. Yes, sir.

H.M. You are aware that earlier this term the headmaster himself announced that fact.

REYNOLDS. Yes, sir.

H.M. And yet Reynolds you took it upon yourself to ignore the headmaster’s instruction.

REYNOLDS stares down at the floor and wrings his hands behind his back.

H.M. Well Reynolds. Do you believe the headmaster’s instruction does not apply to you.

REYNOLDS continues to look at the floor.

H.M. Well boy! Answer me Reynolds!

REYNOLDS. No sir.

H.M. No sir. That is correct Reynolds. The rules apply to you and to the other boys equally. You have deliberately flouted the headmaster’s instruction and for that you must be punished.

H.M. hauls himself from the chair and paces the study once more. He stops at the hat stand. REYNOLDS follows his progress with his eyes. H.M. looks intently at the canes dangling. He chooses one and flexes it between his hand. He acts as if he had never seen the cane before. He puts it back and takes a second cane. He flexes this as before. He swishes it through the air. He puts that back and selects a third. He flexes and swishes it. Then he turns to face REYNOLDS.

H.M. I shall cane you Reynolds.

REYNOLDS looks alarmed. He waves his arms.

REYNOLDS. You can’t do that sir. Cane me. I’m in the Sixth. A senior. Seniors aren’t caned sir.

H.M. glowers at REYNOLDS. He flexes the cane menacingly.

H.M. How dare you Reynolds! Such impertinence. I shall cane whomsoever I wish.

REYNOLDS. But sir. I’m a senior. Eighteen. I’m too old to be caned.

H.M. leans into REYNOLDS. He is so close the boy can smell the whisky on the H.M.’s breath.

H.M. As long as you remain a pupil at this school REYNOLDS you are never too old to be caned.

REYNOLDS. But sir. It’s not done sir.

H.M. Not done! Not done. It might not have been done before in recent history but never have I been faced with a wretch such as you Reynolds.

H.M. wobbles the cane and points to his desk.

H.M. Take off your blazer. Leave it on my desk.

REYNOLDS rubs sweat from his face.

REYNOLDS. Sir you can’t cane me. Really you can’t.

H.M. Outrageous! Truly outrageous. If you do not comply with my instruction immediately, I shall take you to your headmaster. Rest assured he will flog you before putting you on the next train away from here. Expelled Reynolds. Never to return.

REYNOLDS is sweating. He stares anxiously at the cane in the H.M.’s hand. He looks across at the desk. Slowly, he unbuttons his blazer, slips it from his shoulders and carefully places it on the desk.

H.M. wobbles the cane and points to a spot in the centre of the study.

H.M. Stand there boy.

Reluctantly, REYNOLDS shuffles to the spot. H.M. swishes the cane through the air.

H.M. As you were quick to remind me Reynolds you are a senior boy, I shall deliver a senior boy’s beating. [He pauses for dramatic effect] Take down your trousers.

REYNOLDS looks shocked. His mouth gapes. He thinks about making a further protest. The words “But sir” form on his lips, but he says nothing. There is a long pause before, his hands shake as he struggles to get his belt undone and the fly buttons of his trousers open. The trousers are open but he holds on to them so they don’t fall.

H.M. Drop the trousers Reynolds.

REYNOLDS lets go and the trousers fall to his feet. He is wearing traditional white cotton Y-front underpants.

H.M. Bend over boy.

REYNOLDS glares at the H.M. before he bends down and places his hands on his knees.

H.M. All the way REYNOLDS.

REYNOLDS grabs his shins.

H.M. Pah! Right down boy. Touch those toes. Knees straight.

REYNOLDS struggles to get into the right position.  H.M. watches him thoughtfully flexing the cane in his hands. At this point the theatre group must decide how to proceed with the caning. It might be possible if REYNOLDS keeps his back to the audience for some protective padding to be hidden inside his pants. Or he may be required to bend at such an angle that it looks like he is being caned, but the cane actually misses – it would prove difficult to do this in such a way that all members of the audience wherever they are seated are deceived. It is also possible that the young actor playing REYNOLDS is sufficiently dedicated to his craft that he is prepared to take an authentic caning. This would be the author’s preferred course of action but it is recognised that if the play has a long run at a theatre the actor will have to endure a corrugated bum for the entire duration.

H.M. tucks the cane under his arm and then takes hold of the elasticated waistband of the underpants and pulls so that they hug the contours of the buttocks. There should be no creases in the cotton. He then gently rubs the palm of his hand across first the left buttock and then the right. He gives one cheek a playful slap. Then he slips the cane from his arm into his hand. He steps back and stands to the boy’s side and gently taps the point of the cane across the very centre of the buttocks. REYNOLDS visibly flinches. H.M. “saws” the cane from side to side across the tensed buttocks. He raises the cane and swipes it across the buttocks with tremendous strength.

REYNOLDS. Ouch! Oww!

REYNOLDS shakes his hips. Almost raises from the touch-toes position. Steadies himself.

H.M. Tucks the cane behind his back and slowly paces the study. He reaches the far end and from a distance he admires the figure of the submissive boy. He does this pacing after delivering each stroke. H.M. knows that the boy’s buttocks are blazing and it will take a few seconds for the intense agony to ease before he can lay on the next stroke. He paces back to the boy and takes aim again. A little lower this time. REYNOLDS visibly tenses. H.M. swipes the second. H.M. tucks the cane behind his back and paces again. Then he repeats the tapping and sawing and delivers the third stroke.

H.M. I trust I am getting through to you Reynolds.

REYNOLDS [Gulps and gasps] Yes sir.

H.M. Will you be visiting The Three Fishers again?

REYNOLDS. No sir.

H.M. I’m very glad to hear it.

H.M. tucks the cane under his arm and with both hands he takes hold of and pulls at the elasticated waistband of the underpants.

REYNOLDS. Oh no sir. Please no sir.

H.M. Snorts. He peers under the cotton at Reynold’s backside. He is only checking to see how accurately his cuts have landed. He lets go of the waistband, tugs again and with the palm of his hand he smooths creases from the cotton.

H.M. A fine set of marks so far Reynolds.

REYNOLDS shuffles his feet slightly. He is finding it hard to take this severe caning.

H.M. [Barks] Keep still boy. Steady. Let me get on with my job.

H.M. taps and saws and whacks down stroke number four into the underside of the cheeks. REYNOLDS yelps and starts to stand. He just about manages to steady himself and bends over again so that he brushes the toes of his shoes with his fingers.

H.M. Yes Reynolds. Stay in position. If you do that again I shall administer extra strokes. And we’ll see how you like it with your underpants at your ankles.

H.M. taps and saws and strikes across the centre of REYNOLDS’ bum. REYNOLDS’ body shakes. His head rises and shakes. It takes a monumental effort for him to stay bent over touching toes.

H.M. Nearly over Reynolds. Two more to go.

H.M. taps and saws and lands a terrific swipe. REYNOLDS goes through a litany of wriggles and shakes while yapping and yelping. H.M. presses his hand into Reynolds’ back to stop him jumping up. When he is satisfied the boy is steady H.M. paces the study. He returns, taps and saws.

H.M. Last one boy. Brace yourself.

H.M. swipes the hardest cut yet.

REYNOLDS yells. His knees buckle, he almost topples onto his face.

H.M. You may stand Reynolds. Get dressed.

REYNOLDS jumps to his feet and hops from foot to foot doing the spanking dance. Both hands grasp his buttocks and he rubs furiously. H.M. stares at him with undisguised contempt. After much jumping about REYNOLDS reaches for his trousers and pulls them up. He flinches as the trousers touch against his roasted bottom.

H.M. Take your blazer and leave.

REYNOLDS grabs the jacket from the desk and not waiting to put it on he rushes from the study. H.M. watches him go. Then, slowly H.M. walks across the study and returns the cane to the hat stand alongside the others hanging there. He is breathing heavily. Unsteadily he slumps in his chair at the desk and he tugs open the drawer. He grabs the whisky bottle and holds it up to the light. It is almost empty. A look of fear crosses his face. He doesn’t bother to pour it into the glass but raises the bottle to his lips and drains the last of the whisky.

Light fades to dark

 

Picture credit: The Magnet

Other stories you might like

Rock ‘n’ roll truants

Smoking on the bus

The freshman class

 

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

The disgraced prefect

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z used school headmaster study boy by H M Brock

Worthington stood before his housemaster in the dark luxurious study, his hand deep into his trouser pocket. He was the senior prefect in the House and quite used to being called in to see Mr Whitbread; often late in the evening after ‘lights out’ and the juniors were safely in bed. This evening, he supposed, was no exception. The Old Man probably wanted to congratulate him on how well Worthington ran the House. The Association Football trophy had already been bagged and they had high hopes for Cricket that summer. He might even offer him a glass of sherry – which they would enjoy together, man to man.

Mr Whitbread sat imperiously in his leather chair behind a large mahogany desk. He still wore his formal academic gown, despite the lateness of the hour. Worthington hesitated. He had arrived at the study fully two minutes ago, he had expected to be offered a take a seat by now. From the corner of his eye he saw a fine leather armchair was placed close to the housemaster’s desk. He toyed with the notion that he might sit down uninvited. He glanced at it, hesitated for a moment, and then decided to make his move. He took one step and was halted in his tracks.

“Stand there!” Mr Whitbread roared. “How dare you be so impudent!” Worthington froze, startled. “And take your hand out of your pocket! I have never witnessed such impertinence!” Worthington turned and faced the desk to be confronted by an icy stare. He stood, puzzled. This was not what he had expected.

“There boy!” Mr Whitbread waved his hand royally and indicated a spot in front of his desk. Worthington shuffled and stood. No, this was not going to plan at all. The housemaster leant forward in his chair so that his hands gripped the desk. Worthington blanched. Instinctively, he clasped his hands behind his back. He felt like the most junior boy in the House called in for a wigging.

“You are a disgrace to the House, Worthington! I have never known anything like it!” Mr Whitbread thundered. Worthington looked down at his own feet, lost for words. What was happening? He could think of nothing he had done to warrant such an outburst. “Shameful …” Mr Whitbread shook his head violently and his three chins wobbled like jelly. A thin line of spittle trickled from the corner of his mouth. “What have you to say for yourself?”

Worthington stood perplexed. What was the Old Man talking about? Mr Whitbread mistook his silent puzzlement for something much worst. “Answer me boy! I shall not tolerate such insolence!” he thundered. Again, Worthington stared at his own feet, “B.. b..” he stuttered, but could not start a sentence.

“A card game!” Mr Whitbread boomed. “How dare you!”

Suddenly, it dawned on Worthington. Card game. The Old Man knew about the card game. “Smoking. Gambling. And much else besides I should not wonder,” Mr Whitbread fumed. A lump rose to Worthington’s throat and stuck there. How had the housemaster found out?

Mr Whitbread half rose from his chair and with his hands firmly on the top of the desk he leaned forward so that his face was only inches from Worthington’s. The boy could smell the tobacco on the housemaster’s breath. For a moment he feared the Old Man would grip him by the lapels and throw him to the floor. “Never before in my entire career as a schoolmaster have I encountered such a thing,” he intoned pompously.

Worthington’s head buzzed. Now he understood. It was all about the fourth formers. They had taken to abandoning their beds at night. They had formed a poker club in study two along the fourth-form passageway.

That night Mr Whitbread, bored to distraction, had taken a stroll through the building. A shaft of light gleamed beneath a door. As he approached his nostrils picked up a familiar scent. An aroma that was unwelcome in the junior boys’ studies. It was the smell of cigarette smoke. Six astonished juniors were caught playing poker. Now, only moments before Worthington’s arrival they had hobbled from the study with their bottoms glowing red-hot.

Before commencing the swishing, and on pain of a bare-bottomed thrashing, the housemaster had ascertained from the wretched youngsters that the poker school was a regular event informally sanctioned by the prefects, headed by Worthington.

The housemaster’s complexion was the colour of prunes. He straightened himself and still glaring at the woeful boy standing before him, he boomed. “You have betrayed my trust. You have dishonoured the position of senior prefect. You are an abject disgrace!”

Worthington withered under the onslaught.

Mr Whitbread shoved his chair to one side as he wobbled from behind the desk. “Scandalous. Disgraceful. Unutterably …” he broke off, seemingly unable to think of further insults. He straightened himself and stood so close to the hapless Worthington that they were eyeball to eyeball. Spittle once more dribbled. “Beyond comprehension! Such behaviour!” the housemaster appeared to have gained a second wind.

He backed away from the boy and unsteadily made his way across the study. Worthington’s eyes followed him on his travels. The boy’s jaw opened in astonishment. The housemaster had stopped beside a hat-and-coat stand. He wheezed and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Then, without ceremony, he reached up and snatched from the stand a long, thick crook-handled cane. He swerved around so he faced the boy and with fury waved the cane through the air.

Worthington blanched. Involuntarily he took a small step backwards. “Now, boy,” Mr Whitbread swiped the cane through the air, it made a terrific swoosh noise as it flew. “Bend over that chair!” He pointed the cane at the chair that stood in front of his desk. Worthington was rooted to the spot, aware that suddenly he was sweating profusely.

Mr Whitbread’s already-mauve complexion turned dark red. He wobbled his chins and waved the cane once more. “I said bend over that chair!” his voice cackled with emotion. “Now boy!”

Worthington felt the room spin. This could not be happening. It must be some kind of dream; a nightmare, he thought. In a moment he would shudder awake and find himself in the sixth-form dorm, safely in his bed.

“I do not propose to tell you again Worthington!”

Worthington shook his head, trying to get his brain to work properly. “But Sir,” he almost wailed. “You can’t,” he said and realising he might have been too bold in answering back to his housemaster, he added, “Sir.”

Spittle flew from between Mr Whitbread’s lips, “How dare you!” he exploded. He swiped the cane through the air, “Bend over that chair!”

“But Sir,” Worthington had found his voice. “You can’t Sir. I’m a sixth-former, a senior boy. Sixth-formers can’t be beaten.” He bit down hard on his lower lip. No sixth-former was ever beaten. It was unheard of. Not only in this House, but anywhere in the whole school. He was eighteen years old dammit. Of course, he could not be beaten.

“Bah!” Mr Whitbread exploded. “I shall decide who can and cannot not be beaten.” He furrowed his brow and his eyes shone malevolently. “I have told you to bend over that chair, Worthington! You must not resist my authority. If you are so ill-advised, I shall take you to your headmaster with a request that you shall be immediately flogged and then expelled from the school for rebellion against authority! I am waiting, Worthington!”

“But, Sir,” Worthington’s heart thumped. The housemaster was serious. He really intended to thrash him.

“I’m waiting, Worthington,” the housemaster had traversed the study and now stood directly behind the sixth-former. He had half a mind to grip the boy by the scruff of the neck and force him face-down over the back of the chair. Decorum won the day. It would be undignified to scrap with a boy in the study. Worthington must bend to his will. Quite literally. If he refused to take his punishment the housemaster would make good on his promise and march him off to the headmaster’s study first thing next morning.

“But, Sir,” Worthington was an intelligent boy and usually more literate than he was at this moment. Words failed him. What argument could he put forward to escape the thrashing? He was guilty as charged. He had permitted the juniors to play their poker games. He had done similar things and much more beside after lights out when he was younger. It was almost a House tradition. It would be pointless to try to explain that to Mr Whitbread. He was ‘old school’. He would never understand.

The cane swished for the umpteenth time. “Do you intend to keep me waiting, Worthington? Bend over, this instance.” The housemaster flexed the cane. It was about three feet long and as thick as a pencil. It had notches along its length and was coloured dark yellow. At one end it was shaped in the traditional curved handle and the tip at the other end was frayed. The whole whippy, rattan cane was warped, due to excessive use.

Worthington stared intently at the cane. It looked a mightily-effective weapon. Mr Whitbread was aged and long-ago had run to fat but he was still strong enough to take any boy’s backside off with that cane. Worthington sank a mouthful of air. What choice did he have? Take a caning now, or wait to the morning when the headmaster would almost certainly flog him on the bares with birch rods. Then, once he was able to walk again he would unceremoniously be taken to the railway station and sent home in disgrace where his father would in all probability repeat the thrashing.

The cane swished once more. Worthington took another long lung-full of air and shuffled so that he stood behind the chair. It was a smallish chair with a soft back and wooden arms. It was just the right height for a boy of his size to fit over comfortably. Of course, what happened next would be far from comfortable.

The floorboards creaked so Worthington knew his housemaster was taking up his position behind him. Worthington licked his now-dry lips and rubbed his sweaty palms together. Then, in one continuous movement he leaned forward and stretched his arms so he took a grip of the front end of the soft seat cushion. He spread his legs so that he was able to rest his stomach on the top of the chair’s back. He felt the material of his trousers stretch over his buttocks. He could not see himself, but in this position he made a terrific target for chastisement.

Mr Whitbread took a moment to take in the sight before him. Worthington was one of the House’s finest athletes and his body demonstrated this. Back muscles rippled beneath his jacket and his buttocks, now stretched across the chair, were firm and meaty and his thighs were taut.

The boy’s face was deathly pale and his light brown hair fell in a fringe over his forehead. He closed his eyes tight and tried to pretend this was not happening. Mr Whitbread slipped the cane under his arm and with two free hands he took hold of the tail of Worthington’s jacket. With some force he tugged it so that it rode up the boy’s back and away from the target area.

“Thank your God that you are not presenting yourself to me with your trousers at your ankles,” Mr Whitbread snarled. He stood to the boy’s side and gently rubbed the cane in a sawing motion across the highest part of the cheeks. Satisfied that he had his aim, he gently lifted the cane until it was at shoulder height, then swiped it down with all the energy he had. The cane thwapped against the tightly-presented backside and bounced away. It sounded like a pistol shot. A wide, white line formed across the seat of the trousers. Worthington gasped and held on tighter to the chair.

Mr Whitbread frowned. He was not sure of the quality of his performance. His aim was true, but had he struck with sufficient force? He sawed the cane across the meaty buttocks once more, this time about an inch lower than the first. He lifted the cane away in an arc and swiped it home with all the vim he could muster. The boy yelped. His bottom shook violently and his knees buckled. Mr Whitbread silently congratulated himself on a job well done.

Fortified by this success, he whipped the third stroke higher than the previous two. Worthington’s head rose from the seat cushion, he shook it like a horse bothered by flies. His feet stomped up and down.

Mr Whitbread licked his bottom lip so intense was his concentration as he lined up the next stroke. Swish! Crack! “Agggghhhh!” Worthington could not control himself. The pain was intense. A wide strip of flesh beneath his trousers and underwear was burning like the fires of Hell. Never in his life – and this was not the first caning he had endured at the school – had he hurt so badly. It was agony. Worse even than that time when he was hit between the legs by a cricket ball.

So it went on. Mr Whitbread delivered a full dozen. Twelve strokes of his heavy, whippy rattan cane. Each time the rod fell it left a line embossed across the seat of Worthington’s trousers. The housemaster had no doubt that the boy’s bottom was in ribbons. Welts would be throbbing across his corrugated buttocks. Worthington’s face, once deathly pale, was now glowing scarlet. Perspiration soaked the back of his neck. His eyes blazed.

Worthington lay over the back of the chair choking for breath like a goldfish out of water. His bottom was raw; as if he had been forced to sit in a cauldron of boiling oil. He desperately wanted to get up and rub the ache from his backside. But traditions were traditions and he could not rise until his master gave permission.

Mr Whitbread slowly paced the study before returning the cane to the hat-and-coat stand. From his vantage across the study he surveyed the miserable boy, still head-low, bottom-high across the chair. The buttocks continued to quiver long after the final stoke was landed. It gave him grim satisfaction to see the boy so distressed. It was a job well down, Mr Whitbread was relieved that he still had it in him to deliver such an exemplary thrashing.

In his own time, he barked, “Get up and go!” He watched, now impassively, as the senior prefect hauled himself unsteadily to his feet. He neither looked to left or right as he hurtled towards the study door and freedom on the other side.

Mr Whitbread stayed standing for a while, then slowly crossed the study to a cupboard which he opened. From inside he took a heavy glass whisky decanter. He held it to the dim light and confirmed to himself that it was indeed empty. He had cleaned it out early that evening just before he took his tour of the building.

Picture credit: H M Brock

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

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Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

A housemaster muses

new 5

Without doubt the most annoying thing about being housemaster at a boarding school is I am never off duty. There is not a moment of the day I can truly call my own. By the nature of my work I have responsibility for a house full of schoolboys. During the day I am one of a number of masters who teach them; by evening and night we live under the same roof and I must account for their safety and general welfare.

It can be very wearisome. My wife would prefer it if I went to teach at an adult college or preferably a university where we could have a home we could call our own. I think she also finds the company of adults more agreeable.

This evening has been a case in point. We had settled down after supper to enjoy a glass of whisky (one each that is not one between two) and listen to a concert on the BBC Third Programme on the wireless when we were interrupted by Blair, the school porter. He had a message he felt he must convey to me with the utmost urgency.

I cursed under my breath when he arrived on my doorstep, but propriety requires that I treat such visits with the utmost seriousness. I allowed him to enter into the hallway, but, keen to get rid of him at the earliest opportunity, I did not invite him further into the house. I had no wish to antagonise my wife further.

Blair told me in the breathless way he has that he had intercepted Wilson, a senior pupil in my house, as he climbed over the exterior wall of the school. He had been out of school illicitly. Blair did not have the sense to ignore this and allow the boy a safe passage to his dormitory. The dunderhead decided he had to come to inform me.

There are many rules at boarding schools; too many some would say. Boys break them all the time, but logic suggests that a rule can only be noticed to have been broken if the boy is caught. Put another way, if I did not know that Wilson had been breaking bounds then I need not do anything about it. Now, that I did know, I was required to act, thereby disturbing my cosy night at home with my wife.

Blair was without doubt exceedingly pleased that he had intercepted Wilson. I knew he would not allow me to turn a blind eye and he would expect me to fulfil my duty as a housemaster. Of course, I had to act. Now, that Wilson had been caught he would expect nothing less of me. If I failed to do so word would soon spread among the boys and my credibility would be ruined. I would become a “soft touch” and they need never heed my word again. No, my hands were tied. I had no choice.

I might have left this problem until the morning but since my evening had already been disturbed I reasoned I might as well get it over with now. Blair was inordinately pleased when I asked him to seek Wilson out in the dormitory and instruct him to visit me in my study. “He’ll be in his pyjamas,” he said, his mouth widening into a cruel snarl. “It is a warm evening,” I responded evenly, “Tell him not to get dressed.” The snarl became a broad grin and Blair darted off enthusiastically.

I popped my head around the drawing room door to appraise my wife of developments. She did not speak but her icy stare said enough. I went across the passageway and awaited Wilson’s arrival. I know enough about the senior boys here to know he had probably been visiting The Three Fishers which is a run-down hostelry a short distance from the school. It is a disreputable establishment where they think nothing of serving pints of mild beer to our boys. I also knew without doubt that Wilson would not have been alone. Blair would be disappointed to know that although he had snared Wilson there were others who had evaded his capture. I also decided that I would not make it my business to try to get Blair to give me the names of his companions. The schoolboy code of honour runs deep and I did not want to spend more time on this than I absolutely had.

No more than two minutes later there was a knock on the study door. I called for Wilson to enter. He waited hesitantly in the doorway. “Come in. Stand there.” I pointed to a spot in the middle of the room and Wilson went there, his feet apart, his hands clasped behind his back and head bowed. He knew what to expect; he had been a pupil at the school for long enough.

Indeed, he was eighteen years old and in less than a month would be leaving us for good. I walked to the corner of the study where several whippy, rattan canes dangled from a rail by their crook handles. I took down the thickest cane from my collection. Wilson continued to stare at his bare feet. I flexed the cane between my hands; this serves no practical purpose and I suspect I do this by habit.

“Look at me Wilson,” I intoned and he did so. I continued bending the cane. It was less than three feet long and dark-brown in colour.  It was denser than the other canes and most suitable for a senior boy. It had notches every six inches or so along its length and I knew from experience it would deliver a satisfactorily sound beating.

Boarding schools are unusual places; they are their own little world. I wonder how many people realise just what goes on here. I was about to cane an eighteen-year-old pupil for staying out late. Is there a father in the entire land who would do the same to his son of similar age? Would such a boy submit himself to punishment if called upon? I don’t need to answer those questions.

But at boarding school we have our rituals and one was about to play itself out here. I read Wilson the charge sheet. Did he know being out after lights out was against the rules? (An unnecessarily question, but one needs the miscreant to acknowledge same.) Did he have anything to say in mitigation? (Of course not, what could he say?). So, the verdict was guilty as charged. Let punishment commence.

I swished the cane through the empty air and pointed it at a somewhat worn armchair that I had already strategically placed. “Stand behind the chair,” I instructed. In my years as a housemaster I have never had a boy refuse my instructions. One or two of the younger ones, and therefore with less experience of corporal punishment, might plead for clemency. I have known them shed tears before the first stroke has landed. But, none, ever, has refused to comply.

Wilson positioned himself to my satisfaction. He placed his steady hands on the back of the chair and waited further instruction. “Take down your pyjama bottoms. Bend over.” A flicker of his grey eyes and a slight colouring of his cheeks revealed to me that he had not expected that order. His hands were less steady when he took hold of the drawstring on his pyjamas and undid it. Once the front of his pyjamas were open all he had to do was to let go and the bottoms hurled to his ankles.

He turned his body slightly to conceal his privates from my view then after taking a deep breath he slumped across the chair.

z used cane pyjamas armchair london CPS

Wilson was the prefect height to fit across it. His stomach rested easily on the back’s apex. He reached his arms forward and gripped the seat cushion tightly. He kept his head low and stared down at the rather soiled material. Without my requesting, he spread his feet and raised his bottom high. He presented me with a perfect target.

All I had to do was take hold of the tail of his pyjama jacket and pull it away from the buttocks. I could hear he was breathing heavily and saw a trail of moisture forming down the centre of his back. As if to remind me that this was a senior boy submitting his backside for discipline, his bottom and legs were covered with fine hair and two testicles hung below his cheeks and between his legs.

There are some people who object to the corporal punishment of schoolboys. I can only say they have probably never taught; and certainly not in boarding school. A caning is an effective discipline and unlike a detention or the imposition of lines or an essay it is takes up no time. It is over in minutes. The boy has committed a misdemeanour, he has been found out, he admits his guilt and he submits to a beating. Then he and the schoolmaster get back to work. I have no doubt whatsoever that if the school decided to abolish the cane in favour of some other punishment the boys themselves would lead the complaints.

So it was that Wilson submitted himself to my cane. He tried to be stoic but his bottom quivered the moment I sawed my cane across the centre of his cheeks. I took my aim, raised the cane high and twisting my torso slightly (as a golfer does when taking a swing) I slashed the whippy rattan down. It hit him exactly where I intended and a glowing red line immediately appeared. A hissing noise like a steam engine setting down whistled through his clenched lips, but otherwise he made no sound. He gripped the seat cushion harder and pursed his lips.

I know (because I was beaten often enough myself as a boy) that the agony as the cane impacts is intense. Almost immediately that pain dissipates and becomes a throbbing ache. For maximum effect the master should wait a few seconds before delivering the next stoke. I have my own ritual whereby I hold the cane behind my back and gently stroll the length of the study. It is not a big room but by the time I have circumnavigated it and returned to stand behind the boy sufficient time has elapsed for me to continue.

I put the second swipe an inch below the first. Wilson’s knees wobbled but he showed great fortitude and otherwise remained motionless. I went for my walk and then laid the third cut high. Now, he had three parallel lines and a band of throbbing, red flesh three inches wide to contend with. My method of caning is quite typical. When presented with a boy’s bottom there isn’t much more one can do. I believe that a good master should put six strokes one beside the others across the posterior and that is a sound enough caning. Some of my colleagues try to get a stroke to land on top of one previously delivered, thereby re-opening the cut and intensifying the pain. I am sure the boys agree with me that that this is not cricket. Let punishment be appropriate to the misdeed committed; there is no need to resort to torture.

That can be left to our headmaster; his preferred method is to deliver four parallel strokes and then place two diagonals across them so the boy has a perfect “X” embossed across his bottom. Now, that really is not cricket; but I, a humble housemaster, will keep further comment on this to myself.

So, I put six parallel strokes across Wilson’s bare bottom. He took them well. They hurt and I could see his buttocks were glowing. I had roasted his posterior well. I toured the study for the last time giving my beating time to fully sink in. Wilson’s pyjama jacket was soaked with perspiration and the back of his neck was almost (but not quite) as scarlet as his bottom. In contrast, his face was a deathly white. I instructed him to stand and quickly he pulled up the pyjama bottoms and tied himself up. I could see he desperately wanted to rub away at his buttocks, but in the etiquette of these things, that is not allowed. A boy must never let his master know he is in pain.

I let him out of his misery and dismissed him. I am sure the moment the study door had closed behind him he massaged  his rump vigorously. He certainly would have dashed to the lavatories to inspect my handiwork in the mirrors there before belatedly going to bed.

I replaced the cane with the others and went to re-join my wife. She poured us both whiskies and we settled down to enjoy the final movement of the concert on the wireless.

 

Picture credit: CP Services, London

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Tompkins in the housemaster’s study

new 5

Tompkins stared down at the dirty grey carpet. From his position he had an excellent, close-up view. It wasn’t the first time he had been in this position with his knotted striped tie dangling in front of his face and his fingertips brushing the toes of his black, shiny shoes. It probably wouldn’t be the last time either, St. Tom’s was that kind of school.

He waited, stoically. He was in no hurry to have his backside blistered one more time by the housemaster. His heart raced as he felt the tail of his shirt being raised and folded up his back.

He tried to ignore the sight of his pale-grey trousers bunched at his ankles. His back was arched, it ached a little. Touching toes was more difficult than it looked.

He could feel his white Y-front underpants stretched across his firm bottom. They fitted a bit too snugly and rode up into his crack. Not that it made much different, this was to be a bared-bottom caning. Not that the thin cotton pants could offer any protection against the housemaster’s thick, but whippy rattan cane.

Tompkins felt the housemaster’s warm hands on his flesh as he took hold of the elasticated waist of his underpants. Then they were fluttering down his legs to land on top of his trousers. Now, he was ready for a stinging Six.

The housemaster wasn’t quite ready. He had a ritual and it included preparing a boy by uncovering his bottom and then going to fetch the crook-handled cane that dangled from the hat stand in the corner of the study. From the corner of his eye Tompkins watched the headmaster’s feet as he made his journey. A cool breeze from an open window tickled Tompkins’ naked legs.

z used cane pants down touch toes school London

He could hear, but not see, the cane being lifted from the stand. It made a slight rattle. There was a pause, followed by a tremendous whooshing noise as the headmaster swished the cane through the air. Tompkins’ heart skipped a beat. It usually did at this moment, even though he was eighteen years old and no stranger to the sting of the rattan across his stretched bottom.

The housemaster’s creaking footsteps announced he was nearly ready for action. He stood to Tompkins’ left and slightly behind him. Again, the boy could see him from the corner of his eye. The feet swayed slightly. Tompkins knew that the cane was high in the air. Any moment now!

Swipe! Crack!

Tompkins grunted as the cane landed in the centre of his naked cheeks. It was a real stinger. The housemaster put all his beef into it. He could lay it on when he wanted to. Tompkins knew he was really going to take his backside off. He expected nothing less. The housemaster was a renowned caner, one of the best (or the worst, depending on your point of view) in the entire school and he had many rivals for that honour.

The housemaster waited, counting slowly to twenty in his head; waiting for the pain in Tompkins’ bottom to ebb away. Then he lashed the second stroke, landing it an inch below the first. The pain rose sharply to a new peak. He was rewarded with a sharp exhalation of breath. Tompkins screwed his eyes tightly and shut his teeth. Before the housemaster was finished Tompkins’ rear end would be a raging fire.

The third cut made him yelp and he rocked on the balls of his feet. His fingers shot up off his toes but he quickly grabbed his ankles and this stopped him jumping to his feet. He must avoid that at all costs: he didn’t want extra strokes. His bottom roared like mad, he knew three deep welts were throbbing across the middle of his bum, expertly delivered in a strip no more than two inches wide and perfectly parallel. There was still plenty of space on Tompkins’ quivering bottom for more strokes.

Crack!

“Yarooh!”

It was a full-throated cry. Tompkins couldn’t help it. He shook his head from side to side as the excruciating agony coursed north-south; east-west throughout his body. His bottom wriggled.

“Steady, boy,” the housemaster intoned. Tompkins watched the housemaster’s feet, whenever he raised the cane, he dug his heels into the carpet.

Tompkins clenched his buttocks as he waited for the next stinger. It was a natural reaction. His bottom tried to compressed itself into something approaching a hard, rubber ball. It was supposed to be a protection from the stick. It didn’t work.

Slash! Slash!

Two in quick succession. Tompkins’ bottom felt like it had been cut open with a razor. His knees buckled and he let out a shrill scream. He was fighting back the tears. The housemaster’s shiny shoes disappeared. Tompkins knew then that he was returning the cane to its resting place.

Tompkins waited, head low, bottom high, fingers now back on toes. The punishment wasn’t yet over. The housemaster had one final ritual to perform. With the cane now safely stashed away until the next time, he sauntered over to Tompkins. The boy held his breath. This was the worst part. The housemaster patted Tompkins naked rear and gently caressed the corrugated flesh. Then, the hand rose and slapped down hard first on the left buttock and then the right. They were painful blows, reigniting the cuts on Tompkins’ roasted rear. He wriggled from side to side.

“Up you get!” the housemaster ordered brightly.

Tompkins sucked down a lung-full of air and slowly straightened up. The housemaster stood directly in front of him, gazing at Tompkins’ cock as it bounced up and down while the boy struggled into his Y-fronts. Soon, his trousers were back in their rightful position
Now, fully dressed again, Tompkins gingerly rubbed the seat of his trousers. “Thank you, sir,” he croaked and he hobbled towards the study door.

“My pleasure, Tompkins,” the headmaster replied graciously.

Picture credit: CP Services, London

 

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

Penalty for ‘Attitude’

new 5

z used study (73)

A cold wind whipped through the quadrangle of St Tom’s school. It was only just four in the afternoon but already the sun had disappeared below the far horizon. Coals blazed in the fireplace of Mr Stanley’s study. The housemaster himself rarely felt the cold. His heavy tweed suit and waistcoat protected him from the worst of the elements. An ancient academic gown, draped from his shoulders, acted like a shawl.

Mr Stanley sat in his heavy leather armchair, leafing through the pages of the Morning Post. The Socialists had been defeated in the recent elections, a new Tory Government was in power for another five years. All was well with the world at large.

Much, Mr Stanley mused, could also be said about the world at St Tom’s. Nothing much changed. God was in his Heaven. He folded the newspaper and hauled himself from the deep leather chair. He dropped the Post onto his desk and slowly took a gold pocket watch from his waistcoat. Any moment now …..

As if on cue there was a timid knock on his study door. He allowed a slight, almost unnoticed, smile to curve his mouth. He waited before responding. He knew who was standing outside. Mr Stanley had after all summoned the boy to his study. Let him suffer, he told himself.

Outside in the freezing passageway McAlpine, a recent arrival into the Sixth at St Tom’s, stood hopping from foot to foot. He was eighteen years old, but had only attended the school since the beginning of the term. In the few weeks he had been at St Tom’s he had developed, a reputation for precociousness, with a stubborn inability to remember to address Masters as “Sir.”

Mr Stanley was first to recognize that the good of the House would be best served if McAlpine spent a spell in the study touching his toes. It would improve his attitude somewhat.

Nothing could be more important than a boy’s “attitude”, at St Tom’s. Parents sent their sons to the school to have the attitude knocked out of them. Where would the country be if young people were permitted to display attitude? Obedience. That was what they had to learn. First, how to take orders. Later, how to give them. The British Empire was built on obedience.

“Come!” at last Mr Stanley acknowledged the wretched boy’s presence. He stared intently as the handle slowly turned and the heavy oak door creaked open. McAlpine was a slender youth with a mop of fair curly hair and finely chiseled features, with sensuous shining grey eyes.

He hesitated in the doorframe, uncertain of his next move. “Close the door, boy! Don’t let all the heat out!” Mr Stanley barked. “Right, boy,” he intoned once McAlpine had successfully done this. “Stand there,” he snapped his fingers and waved at a point in the middle of the study. He sat behind his desk and closely surveyed the sixth-former. McAlpine was clearly perplexed and very edgy. He chewed on his fat bottom lip. All bravado was gone.

“I have spoken to you before about your attitude,” Mr Stanley had prepared a short speech. “Now, it is time to deal with you.” The housemaster peered into McAlpine’s soul. The boy flinched as if an arrow had shot through him.

“Yes, Sir,” he murmured, his lips pressed tight in concentration and regret. McAlpine showed no signs that confirmed the reports of voluble dissent and disorderliness Mr Stanley had heard of him. He stood timid and fearful awaiting his fate, his eyes moistened. He shivered, although the fire was roaring. He fidgeted while Mr Stanley jawed him.

“And so, McAlpine,” the housemaster had finished his speech, “You deserve to be beaten.” The sixth-former sighed deeply, his pale face flushed. At last he forced out a whisper, “Yes, Sir.”

Mr Stanley hauled himself to his feet, steadied himself and then proceeded with a glide across his study. McAlpine’s eyes followed his master’s procession. It was a large room, made mostly gloomy by the heavy, dark furniture that dominated it. As well as the huge desk there were several heavy, straight-backed chairs. They had not been made for luxury. Towards one corner stood a much more comfortable armchair with a small, low table beside it. The walls were lined with shelves and cupboards.

It was towards one of these cupboards that the housemaster made his way. Reaching his destination, he stopped. His hand delved into a small pocket in his waistcoat. McAlpine stood, wide-eyed and uneasy. At last Mr Stanley found what he was seeking; a small gold key. He unlocked a tall thin cupboard and with his right hand reached in. The rattling sound he made was unmistakable.

Soon he had a light, whippy cane in his hand. It was perhaps three feet in length. He peered at it, tightened his lips and quickly replaced it. He cleared his dry throat with an almost unnoticeable cough and reached in again. He had a selection of canes to suit all bottoms; large, small, tough, and tender. “Aha,” he said, almost to himself. He had a thicker, longer, more dense cane in his hand.

He turned away from the cupboard and swished it through empty air. It made a tremendous swooshing sound as it flew. McAlpine’s eyes shone brightly. The housemaster held the cane close to its crook handle and flexed it between his hands. It bent easily. Mr Stanley straightened his back and peered cross the room at McAlpine. The housemaster swished the cane once more and with an air of finality said sternly, “Stand there, boy.” He pointed his cane to a point on a worn rug close to the middle of the study. “Bend over. Touch your toes.”

McAlpine might have been new to St. Tom’s but he had learned enough to know he had no say in the matter. A summons to the study was not a summit. It wasn’t a debate, a discussion. Mr Stanley was the master; he, McAlpine, was the submissive. If the housemaster ordered, “Touch your toes!” that was the end of the matter. His heartbeat raced and suddenly the palms of his hands felt very sticky as he shuffled across the rug. He reached his point of destination and hesitated.

“Bend over, boy!” Mr Stanley intoned. The cane swiped through the air once more. McAlpine took a deep breath and in one swift athletic movement bent his body double. He took it as Gospel that “toes” meant toes and not knees or shins. His fingertips brushed the caps of his shoes. It was a difficult position to attain, even for a slender, fit eighteen-year-old. There was a tremendous strain on the back of his calves.

Mr Stanley tucked the cane under his arm as he moved closer to the submissive boy. McAlpine presented a good shape, his school blazer flowed around his buttocks. The housemaster took a gentle hold of the tail end and pushed it away from the target area. Now, McAlpine presented two hard, round buttocks. The housemaster gripped the waistband of the boy’s pale-grey trousers and tugged hard. This smoothed creases from the folds of the flannels and lifted and separated each cheek.

“Touch your toes and keep those fingers there, if you move those fingertips, I shall award extra strokes,” Mr Stanley announced. He stared down at the sixth-former bent submissively before him. The back of his neck was glowing bright red. His bottom would be a similar colour very soon.

He stood about a cane’s length from McAlpine’s left and swished the cane through the air one more time. He sucked down a deep breath. His own heart raced equally as fast as the boy offering up his buttocks. The cane was about the thickness of a pencil and just under three feet long. He tapped its tip against the centre of McAlpine’s right cheek; finding his aim.

Tap, tap, tap. Mr Stanley derived satisfaction seeing McAlpine close his eyes and grit his teeth. He pulled the cane away, rose it high and brought it down with some beef across McAlpine’s buttocks. The boy flinched as the rattan cane bit deep. It had not been a tap, it was a swipe. The housemaster put his full force behind the stroke.

McAlpine’s his face reddened, his mouth opened and a gust of wind escaped through his lips. A thin white line formed along the boy’s tight trousers.

McAlpine’s eyes blaze, he had a close-up view of the faded red rug. He couldn’t make out the pattern. He examined it closely. Some kind of building? A farmhouse perhaps. He concentrated hard, anything to keep his thoughts from the ordeal he was experiencing.

Mr Stanley flexed his cane once more. He watched McAlpine, bent submissively, offering up his backside for punishment. “Yes,” he said to himself. “This will beat the ‘Attitude’ out of him.”

McAlpine felt the cane tap against his stretched trousers once more. The first slash had burnt a welt across the centre of his bottom. His trousers and underpants did not protect him. Mr Stanley had really laid it on. The tapping started again. Any moment now. McAlpine braced himself. His buttocks clenched, his eyes screwed up tight. He bit down on his bottom lip.

Swish! Crack! The cane swiped through the air and landed with even greater force, an inch lower than the first. McAlpine hissed like a steam engine settling down, his head nodded back and forth. He couldn’t help it. He was out of control, it was his body’s reflex action against the agonising pain.

Another swipe bit deep into his flesh. McAlpine’s buttocks blazed. Mr Stanley was an expert with the cane. He ought to be, he had twenty years and more of experience thrashing boys’ bottoms.

Swipe number four hit the top of his thigh. “Yarooh!” He wriggled his hips left and right. His fingers left the toecaps of his shoes. He nearly jumped to his feet, remembering just in time, the awful penalty for such an action. He most certainly did not want extra strokes. But, the cut was low, too low. The pain seared. He had never had a stroke of the cane hurt him so much. It felt like Mr Stanley had pressed a red-hot poker from the fire against the back of his thighs.

Mr Stanley’s own eyes glowered. He paused, allowing himself a moment of self-congratulation. McAlpine was suffering. Good! The boy needed to be taught some manners. He had to learn his place in society. He waited upwards of thirty seconds while McAlpine settled down. He took a careful aim. The previous swipe had struck low, the next would go high. McAlpine’s buttocks were hard and round. Mr Stanley bounced the cane off the top of the mounds and was pleased to be rewarded with a clear yelp. “Good,” he told himself, “the young scoundrel deserves it. That’ll knock some of the arrogance out of him.”

McAlpine breathed hard. His temples pounded. The back of his throat was raw. Waves of pain shot up and down his legs. Perspiration soaked the back of his shirt. Welts had risen under his tightly-stretched trousers in neat parallel lines leaving a strip about two inches wide blazing across his buttocks.

He heard footsteps on the floorboards. From the corner of his eye he saw Mr Stanley adjusting his position. Now he placed the cane at a diagonal across both of McAlpine’s cheeks, so it went bottom left to top right. Tap, tap, tap. The sixth-former tensed his whole body. His shoulders shook. Whop! The cane sailed at the speed of sound, crashing down into the boy’s bottom, intersecting the welts already weeping under the boy’s underwear. It set each of them ablaze once more.

McAlpine gripped his shins. He wanted to jump up and stamp his feet about, or march up and down like a sentry guard. But he stayed down. Like generations of schoolboys before him, he refused to reveal to his master how much he was hurt. He felt as if he had sat on a coal fire.

Mr Stanley slowly paced his office and opened the door to his cupboard. He replaced the cane before turning slowing to admire his handiwork. McAlpine was still bent double, touching toes submissively.

“Up you get,” Mr Stanley barked. Slowly, McAlpine unfolded himself. He stood unsteadily, feet apart, his moist eyes downcast. His bottom roared. His heartbeat was slowing, returning closer to normal. He desperately wanted to rub away at the pain. But, that would have to wait until he was dismissed from the housemaster’s study.

Slowly, the housemaster returned to his desk. He slumped into his chair, suddenly noticing his own tiredness. He leaned toward the inferior boy and growled. “I trust McAlpine you have learned your lesson?” He paused for dramatic effect rather than in expectation of an answer. The tip of his tongue darted through his almost closed lips. “If not and you are before me again, we shall see how much you like my cane with your trousers and underwear at your feet. Do I make myself clear?”

This time, he did expect a response. McAlpine croaked an almost inaudible: “Yes, Sir.”

“You are dismissed,” the housemaster waved his hand and watched with deep satisfaction as McAlpine hobbled to the door.

Picture credit: Charles H Chapman, The Magnet

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Also writing school stories as Scholastic here

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

My caning history

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z used cane longs sting (15)

I was interviewed the other week by two delightful sixth-form schoolboys. They were doing a history project about the town and since I had lived in Brocklehurst for all my 76 years a local vicar I know pointed them in my direction. I had never thought of myself as a “historical figure” but they seemed like nice boys so I decided to oblige them.

They visited me at my home in The Avenue and because it was such nice weather we sat in my extensive garden. They complimented me on this and that row of plants and the small clump of trees that run along the far boundary. I accepted their praise, although I did not reveal that I have never in my life lifted a spade or a pair of secateurs and that I pay (quite handsomely I must say) a father and his son to visit twice a week during the season to keep it in tip-top condition.

But I digress, the boys who were called Clem and Jake recorded my voice on their phones, and because they were not writing notes it was very easy for us to chat along merrily. We sipped home-made lemonade (not, of course, made in my home) and ate small sticky cakes. It was a delightful occasion and we talked a lot about how Brocklehurst had changed over the years. I told them that I had attended their school sixty years ago. It had been a grammar school back then and things had changed greatly.

Naturally, we quickly got onto the subject of corporal punishment (as you do). Clem rolled his eyes in astonishment when I told him about the cane and how we boys regularly presented ourselves at the housemaster’s study for six-of-the-best across the seat of our trousers. His colleague Jake had a much deeper interest and asked me all sorts of questions and many of them were very detailed. Schoolboys today know nothing about corporal punishment, it was banned in schools sometime in the nineteen-eighties. Even Clem and Jake’s fathers wouldn’t have felt the swish of the rattan.

I told Jake and Clem they didn’t know they were born. Jake wanted to know more. When I was a boy we took corporal punishment for granted. It was everywhere; it was natural. Fathers routinely took a belt or a slipper to the backside of their errant sons. The plimsoll and the cane were in regular use in schools across the land. In Brocklehurst the parkkeepers would take off their belts to boys who fired their catapults at birds or squirrels. You could expect a clip round the ear (at the very least) from the local “bobby” – the police constable who patrolled the streets. When was the last time you saw a bobby on the beat?

But it was my experience at the school that interested Jake the most. The rule was that only housemasters and the head himself were permitted to cane a boy. The school was divided into various houses (the one I was in was called Wilson’s) and we would compete against other houses for sporting and academic awards. We were all encouraged to work hard for and be proud of our houses. It was a form of team-spirit, I suppose. Woe betide us If we let down the house.

Discipline was strict. There were all kinds of rules. Jake who was interviewing me had hair way over his ears. That wouldn’t be allowed in my day. Short back and side haircuts were the rule. If you tried to grow your hair a master would order you to the barbershop. If you didn’t go pronto you’d find yourself bent over in the housemaster’s study. Jake thought this was fascinating.

Discipline was strict and so was punishment. People who supported corporal punishment against critics who wanted to see it banned always said it was used as “a last resort”. They meant other punishments were tried and if they didn’t work only then would the cane be taken out of the cupboard. Not in my school: the cane was pretty much the first resort. We boys took it for granted. Break a rule, get found out, attend the housemaster’s study, bend over, whack-whack-whack-whack-whack-whack; six strokes of the cane and on your way. The problem sorted. There were hardly any detentions, writing lines was unheard of and there was no need for “exclusions” like they have these days.

I told Jake I got the cane so many times I couldn’t remember how many. He asked what was it like? Well, it was just part of the school day. I wasn’t an especially rebellious boy who took on the school; if I had been I wouldn’t have accepted the cane. I should have refused to be beaten. There were some who did. No one at my school but I heard an interview on radio a while back with a disc jockey who was famous in the nineteen-seventies. I forget his name. He was in the sixth-form and they took some beer into the common room. They got found out and the headmaster wielded his cane. The DJ chap refused to bend over and had to leave the school. Who knows if he had taken his punishment like a good fellow and stayed on at school to take his exams he might have had a better job than playing records.

No, I was no rebel. I just couldn’t stick to all the rules. So, I got the cane. That’s how it was. I had to explain to Jake what “the cane” actually was. There were rules about what you could and could not use to pepper a boy’s backside. At my school the cane was made out of very flexible rattan. It had a curved handle and was maybe three feet long (or a little shorter). We called our housemaster Hector because he had the hang down look of a well-known children’s cartoon character of the time. Hector had a big collection of canes: some thin and some a bit thicker. They were all very pliable and he liked to flex his cane between his hands and swish it through the air before he set about your rear end with it.

Jake wanted to know if the cane hurt. That made me smile. Of course a caning hurt, otherwise what’s the point of it? But, I had to admit it was something a boy got used to with each successive visit to the study. I was terrified on my first visit to Hector; we all were. What would happen? Would it hurt? Would we cry? Would we have to take down out trousers? Would we get it on the bare bottom?

There were a lot of stories going around the school that you could get the cane on your underpants. Nobody ever did, but it didn’t stop rumours flying. It did happen in some schools. I vaguely remember reading a report in a newspaper at the time about a court case. A housemaster from some elite boarding school was prosecuted for caning boys on the bare. They called it “sexual assault”. The magistrate or judge, or whoever it was, dismissed the case saying if this was sexual assault, then half the housemasters in the country would be in the dock. So, obviously a lot of boys were being caned on the bare bum back then; or at least they were when the magistrate was at school.

So, I never got in trousers down. Except for the first time, it was always six strokes. People often call it six-of-the-best, but that isn’t strictly true. The housemaster – should he so choose – could deliver no more than a flick of the wrist. That would hardly even raise the dust from the seat of the trousers. On another occasion he might flog the boy with all his energy and leave severe welts throbbing beneath his underpants. I suppose it depended on the mood of the housemaster, or the severity of the offense caused.

Jake was agog when I said that the last time I had been caned I was the same age as him. It was late in my final year. I had turned eighteen a few months earlier. It was so typical of my school. They had a rule that you couldn’t leave the premises during lesson time. The headmaster for some reason I cannot now recall had made a special mention of this rule at morning assembly. By this time classes for senior boys had halted and we were revising for exams. Bored one afternoon me and a couple of pals slipped away and idled around the town for an hour. We were spotted and reported.

Hector hit the roof. There was no point telling him that we hadn’t actually skipped any lessons. He said we had deliberately disobeyed the headmaster’s expressed rule. Such behaviour was intolerable. It could not be allowed. We had to be caned. Unlike that DJ I mentioned, it didn’t occur to any of us to refuse. Hector had a point. I don’t think we even considered the headmaster’s edict when we went AWOL, but we had broken the rules. If it had been a boy in any of the junior years he would be showing Hector his arse.

I had been caned so many times previously this final visit to the study held no terrors. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I said this to Jake and he insisted I tell him exactly what happened. He wanted on all the details. I joked that he was after a blow-by-blow account.

Hector’s study was in fact a very modern office. It was nothing like the ornately-furnished studies that were pictured in the classic stories about public school life, or you sometimes saw in old films on TV. There was a desk made of light wood and some ordinary wooden chairs. There was no open fire or glass-fronted bookcases. Hector didn’t wear a heavy academic gown or one of those crazy mortar-board caps with the tassel hanging down the back. He was dressed in an ordinary suit and wouldn’t have been out of place working in an office for the local council.

When it was my turn to be done, he made me stand in the middle of the room. One of the straight-backed chairs had already been strategically placed in space in front of his desk. He didn’t interrogate me, we had already established my guilt. I waited patiently for the inevitable command. If I was anxious at all it was just that I was anxious for it to be over, so I could go home and carry on revising for an exam I had to take the next day.

The cane was on his desk. I saw immediately that it was one of his stouter and thicker specimens. I had no doubt that Hector intended to lay it on hard. This was going to hurt. I watched as he reached across his desk and took up the cane. He swiped it through the air and then walked towards me, flexing it all the while in his hands. Such action might have intimidated a younger, less experienced, boy. Hector was demonstrating the power of that cane. His showboating was wasted on me: I already knew.

Hector tapped the tip of the cane on the seat of the chair and intoned those words that must have instilled dread in generations of schoolboys: “Bend over the chair.” It was an ordinary chair, but the back was quite high and my stomach rested comfortably on its highest point. I took hold of either side of the seat. It was summer so I wasn’t wearing a blazer and my striped school tie fell in front of my face. I spread my legs a little and lifted my head so I could stare across the study at a photograph of last year’s house rugby XV.

A less experienced boy than myself might have felt foolish or even humiliated submitting his backside to the attention of a much older man in the knowledge that at any moment he intended to inflict the greatest pain possible. I had no such feeling; it was what it was. This was a ritual that had taken place in that study, perhaps every day for countless years. Back then we had no reason to believe that such things would ever change.

I couldn’t see Hector because I was concentrating on the rugby photograph, but I could hear his body moving. Then, I felt the tap-tap-tap of the cane against my right buttock. He was taking his aim. I clenched my hands and held the chair seat tighter. Hector raised the cane away from the seat of my trousers and a second later there was an almighty whacking noise as it connected with the fleshiest part of my bum. It remained numb for maybe another second and then I felt the familiar deep burning pain. It hurt! A lot! It was by far the hardest stroke of the cane I had received in my considerable career. I didn’t yell out. I didn’t stomp and wriggle. I let the pain sink in.

There was another series of taps as Hector got his mark to deliver Number Two a little lower than the first. This was a typical caning method. You put a strip along the dead centre of the buttocks and then land subsequent cuts above and below that first marker. Hector always made sure to land at least one in the undercurve on the “sit-spot” just where the bum connects with the back of the thighs. You need to be an expert marksman to get it right. Many lesser caners than Hector would strike the back of the thighs themselves and that would be agony. It helps also if the boy being beaten has the fortitude to keep still and not move about and distract the master. I had that fortitude and Hector duly put a cut there. It was a deep stripe and I felt it every time I sat on a hard surface for days to come.

In our school we had what was called by the boys a “headmaster’s caning”. He would deliver the first four strokes as I have described but for the final two he would lay the cane along one diagonal so it went from the bottom of one cheek to the top of the other and then he would reverse the diagonal for the last stoke. It meant the cane twice intersected the already throbbing and possibly weeping strokes he had already administered. This was a particularly awesome punishment. I never experienced it personally, but one friend of mine who did sportingly showed us his bared bottom. We admired the perfect “X” mark that decorated his buttocks.

The six stokes Hector gave me were definitely his “best”. My bum was alight. Each successive stroke added to the pain until my arse felt like it had swollen to twice its natural size. Hector left me bent across the chair while he returned the cane to his desk. He had not finished yet, there was still one more boy to beat after me. Even in the few seconds he left me waiting the pain was subsiding. That is one of the attributes of a severe caning. The pain as the rod strikes is intense. It burns like the fires of Hell and quickly radiates from the point of impact. That initial pain is doubled by the second stroke and is added to until the whole punishment has been administered. Then, almost immediately the caning is over, the pain diminishes. Even then as I lay across the chair waiting to be dismissed the pain had eased. It was still an intense throbbing but I knew that very soon that would become an ache and then only an irritable discomfort.

Hector told me to stand. I did so and he quickly sent me on my way, telling me to send in the next boy as I went.

I could tell Jake was transfixed by my story and he probably wanted more detail, but some innate sensibility cautioned him not to display too much interest. We spoke of other things; school sports, the Officers’ Training Corps and so on. Clem and Jake politely thanked me for my time and went on their way. I took the lemonade and poured what was left of it in the sink. I took an opened bottle of white wine from the fridge and poured myself a generous helping. I sat in my favourite chair and replayed the past hour in my mind.

I took a big slug of wine and castigated myself for one oversight in my story. I had not told Jake that I myself possessed a couple of school-type canes that I keep in the wardrobe in my spare bedroom. I am sure he would have liked to see them.

Picture credit; Sting Pictures

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Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com