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

 

Out of the bushes and into the study

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The headmaster was at his most sonorous. He was reading a list of names. “And finally, Upper Sixth: Hawkes! Those people are to report for detention straight after school.” Dr Hines peered along the row of senior boys but Hawkes was not present.

“Creasey,” the headmaster moaned, “After assembly find Hawkes and tell him to report to my study immediately.”

“Yes sir,” the head boy smiled. It would be a pleasure.

Hawkes was in the bushes at the side of the school field. He popped out of the rhododendrons and looked down the slope to see if the classrooms were still empty. “Come on Janet, they’ll be out of assembly in a minute.”

They hurried through the bushes and over the muddy paths. Larry Hawkes ran across the wet grass, past the empty rooms and into the boys’ entrance round the side. Janet watched him go, then made her own way to the girls’ entrance.

Larry walked straight to a radiator and started to dry the two dark stains on the knees of his trousers.

When the assembly dismissed Larry still had his knees pressed to the radiator waiting for the natural colour to return to his trousers. His pal Terry Edwards joined him. “Hey up, Lar, where you been?”

“Celebrating.”

“Where?”

“In the bushes.”

“Who with?”

“Janet.”

“Again! You’ll both get expelled if you’re caught.”

“I don’t intend to get caught.”

Creasy came in and watched Larry. “This is the third time you’ve been late this week and missed assembly, Hawkes,” the head boy whined.

“No it’s not,” Larry protested. “I’ve been here ages.”

“You haven’t,” Creasy snarled. “Dr Hines called out your name for detention. You weren’t there. He’s sent me to tell you to report to his study at once.”

“Oh heck,” Larry grimaced.

“It’ll be six, easy,” the head boy smiled malevolently. There was no love lost between the two.

“I’ll just dry off my trousers.”

“Shouldn’t bother,” Creasy smiled. “You probably won’t be needing them.” He hurried away to his first class of the morning.

Larry Hawkes took his time. He was in no hurry. Nothing he did or said could change the course of events. He had been summoned to the headmaster’s study, it would mean only one thing.

Satisfied that the knees of his trousers were dry he gathered up his bag and headed at a snail’s pace out of the building and across the quadrangle to Founders’ Building. The headmaster’s study was on the first floor. Larry gently tapped his own backside with his thumbs as he walked. He had been here before.

He stopped at a large oak door and tapped on the “M” of the nameplate. A voice echoed from within, “Come!” Larry turned the handle and put his shoulder to the heavy door. Dr Hines was seated behind his large mahogany desk. He rested back in his padded chair and peered intently at Larry as he stood in the doorway. “Close the door lad,” the headmaster snarled and snapped his fingers. “Stand there.” He pointed to a spot on the rug in front of his own desk.

Larry stood as generations of schoolboys in similar circumstances had stood: hands behind his back and head slightly bowed. The headmaster shuffled through some pages of foolscap paper. He paused, shook his head and growled. “Quite a litany of offences, Hawkes. You seem to have forgotten that you are a senior boy and as such are expected to show the younger ones an example. Instead you behave no better than a first former.”

Larry grimaced.

“What have you got to say for yourself?”

Larry knew nothing he said would alter a thing. Matters had to take their course. “Sorry, sir,” he said quietly, although he wasn’t particularly. He was incorrigible and unable to follow rules. He would never learn. Not today. Not ever.

“Well,” the headmaster sighed, “If you insist on behaving like a junior boy, you cannot be surprised if I treat you as one.”

Larry looked transfixed as the headmaster slipped off his black gown and hung it on a hook behind the door, then took off his charcoal-grey suit jacket and hung that up too.

Then, slowly he crossed the study lecturing Larry about the headmaster’s shock and horror at his misdemeanours. He reached the cupboard. The door was already slightly ajar. He reached in an gripped a cane. He paced the large open space in the centre of the study, flexing the cane to and fro the whole time. He bent it almost into a circle, then let it spring back.

Larry’s head bowed lower and lower, his hands now clasped tightly his backside, as though trying to protect his tight bottom from the imminent chastisement.

“Right Hawkes. Take off your jacket, hang it on the door. Then stand in the middle of the room.”

Larry took his time. Matters had to take their course, but he was in no hurry to get on with them. He slipped the blazer off his shoulders and reached up to the hook. Slowly, he turned and took up the required position.

Dr Hines watched him thoughtfully. He flexed the cane once more and intoned, “Lower your trousers and underpants.”

Larry blanched. He had expected the cane. Perhaps even trousers down. But on the bare. That was unheard of. He looked intensely at the headmaster. His stare spoke volumes. He opened his mouth to protest. The headmaster cut him short, “Hawkes, you might want to consider the likely consequences if you refuse to accept your punishment. You will be immediately suspended from school and later expelled entirely. You are a bright boy and despite your abominable behaviour you should do well in your examinations. You could go on to the university. Why put all that in jeopardy?”

It was a long speech and Larry listened to every word of it. The headmaster held all the cards. Larry had no choice. A bare-bottomed beating would be a terrible humiliation, but what choice did he have.

“Trousers and underpants down,” the headmaster repeated solemnly. Larry reached for his belt. It was the second time that morning he had lowered his trousers and pants; the first time had been ecstatic. The trousers tumbled down his thighs and bunched at his shins. He slipped his thumbs under the waistband of his Y-fronts and helped them slip down. He cupped his hands over his privates; they were still a little sticky.

“Bend over. Touch your toes,” the headmaster swiped the cane through the air. “Touching your toes is a position normally reserved for the junior boys,” he said, “but it seems appropriate for you Hawkes since you are being punished for the sort of behaviour we normally associate with first or second formers.”

Larry reached for his toes. He was an athletic boy, the star of the nearby youth club’s football team, and his body was lithe and supple. Many of the local girls admired it. He stared down at his trousers bunched at his ankles. He concentrated on the label giving cleaning instructions. He felt his shirt being folded back so that he was bare from halfway up his back down to his ankles.

His buttocks were creamy white, hard and smooth, in spite of the hairs elsewhere on his body, particularly his legs.

Larry was humiliated and blushed red, but the headmaster had not noticed, he was looking at the cheeks of his bottom not the cheeks of his face. Larry reflected that only a few minutes ago he had had sex with his girlfriend. He was eighteen years old, but here he was, bent over touching his toes, like a junior boy, waiting to have his bare bottom lashed by the cane.

The headmaster stood to Larry’s left. He was a man of action. He studied the rounded buttocks presented before him and saw how the naked orbs seemed to twitch slightly and the two cheeks pulled tightly together as though trying to reduce their size so the cane would not have so much to whip down upon.

z used cane school white pants down touch toes sting

He didn’t waste time, tap-tap-tapping, taking aim. He drew back the cane and let fly. There was a hiss followed by a barely audible “hhhha.” Larry sucked in his breath sharply. Across the middle of his bottom was a crimson blotch that was slowly fading into a pink stripe. His bottom looked like a hot cross bun with a thin line at right angles to his deep dividing cleft.

The headmaster raised the cane and then whipped it down again, not too hard but with enough strength to make Larry hiss wildly.

The third vigorous stroke landed across the full meat of Larry’s backside, very close to the line of the first. His bottom danced franticly. Larry sagged and the agony was intense, Larry struggled to stay down in the “touch toes” position, he wanted to leap up and rub away at his scorching bum but he wouldn’t give the headmaster the satisfaction of seeing he had hurt him so much.

The headmaster laid the cane across the fullest part of Larry’s buttocks, making them jiggle. Then smoothly he raised it and brought it down with a quite a sickening Thwack! Larry gave a strangled gasping cry.

The cane bit into his hard bottom again. Once more he jerked as another scarlet line blazed across the firm flesh like a red-hot needle. Larry moaned softly.

Larry was expecting six strokes and bit his lip in anticipation that the final cut would be awesome. The cane whipped into the gentle underswell of his buttocks and needles of fire lanced through his whole body. He gasped and all the breath was expelled from his lungs, causing him to gulp for air, exaggerating and prolonging the sharp pain and hurting him beyond belief.

He writhed and moaned and yelped a bit while wriggling his backside from left to right.

“Stand up. Get dressed.”

Slowly, Larry unfurled himself and rose. It felt like his bum was on fire. He desperately wanted to rub away the pain. But that would have to wait until he was far away from the headmaster’s study. He pulled up his pants, wincing as the cotton pressed against his scorched skin. Soon his trousers were up and fastened and he was climbing back into his blazer.

Dr Hines was not a cruel man. He knew he had punished Larry severely and that the senior schoolboy wanted nothing more than to run away to the lavatories for a prolonged howl. He dismissed him curtly and Larry half-ran and half-stumbled down the stairs and out to the quadrangle.

He had a free period and so no class to run back to. As he entered the school building he saw Janet waiting. She greeted him with a beaming smile. “Been to the headmaster, I see.”

“Does the whole school know?”

“Probably, you know what they’re like.”

Larry made a joke of rubbing his bottom vigorously and kneading pretend tears away from his eyes.

“Well,” Janey shrieked, “Let’s see then?”

“Do what?” Larry laughed.

“Let’s see the marks then.”

Larry blushed, his heart raced. He took Janet by the hand and together they raced towards the bushes.

Picture credit: Sting Pictures

 

Other stories you might like

New boy at Albion

Bend over. Touch your toes

The fire-raiser

 

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

 

Birching in school hall

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birch at school Mag (6)

Adapted from stories in The Magnet

 

The hushed school hall was packed with boys. Every fellow of every form was there, from sixth-form seniors down to fags of the second form. The prefects were in their places, canes under their arms: the masters, with grave faces: the hapless culprit, quiet and subdued, but with a hint of defiance in his glinting eyes. The Headmaster’s voice was deep and stern.

Hargreaves, his face very pale, stood. The eyes of the boys followed. There were two grinning faces. They seemed to think there was something amusing in a public flogging.

A public flogging was a rare occasion at St Tom’s. The hard old days were long gone when that ancient hall had often echoed to the swishing of the birch in the hands of grim old head-masters and to the painful howls of the victims. St Tom’s men were “whopped” when they required the same, but “six on the bags” in a study was the usual limit. Only on very rare

Occasions – very rare indeed – was there a public “execution”: with the school assembled in the Hall, masters and boys all present, and the culprit “hoisted” in the old fashioned way – and no doubt it was all the more impressive for that reason.

“Hargreaves” – the Head’s stern voice was audible throughout Big Hall.  “You have a disobeyed my commands, and committed what was apparently an unprovoked assault upon a boy belonging to a Highcliffe School. You have not been able to offer the slightest excuse in extenuation of your conduct. I am about to flog you, and I trust the punishment will be a warning to you in the future!”

Hargreaves did not speak. The Head made a sign to Gosling, who advanced to “hoist” the eighteen-year-old. Hargreaves clenched his fists for a moment, and unclenched them again. Apparently the thought of resistance had passed through his mind, only to be dismissed at once. He submitted quietly. Gosling took him up.

Through the silence of Big Hall the lashes of the birch sounded clearly and distinctly. It was a severe flogging, but no sound came from Hargreaves’s lips. His face was pale, his teeth hard set, his eyes gleaming. If the punishment had been doubly as severe, he was determined that no cry should be wrung from his lips. Hardly a sound was heard in the crowded hall.

It was a severe infliction. There was nothing of the grim old Bushy type about the Headmaster, but he had his duty to do, and he did it. And kind old gentleman as the Head seemed at happier moments, there was no doubt that he could whop! Skinner whispered to Snoop that he wondered where the old boy packed the muscle, and Snoop grinned, and Taylor giggled. But most of the fellows were grave and quiet. Hargreaves had asked for it – and more – Hargreaves was tough all through, hard as hickory, and he would have disdained to allow a single cry to leave his lips. But very few fellows could have gone through that castigation in silence.

The last blow delivered, Hargreaves was lowered from Gosling’s back. He slipped to his feet, and stood a little hesitantly, his face white as chalk, his eyes burning. The Head’s glance was compassionate. He had done his duty, and it had been a painful duty to him. “You may go!” he said quietly.  Hargreaves went without a word.

The Head made a sign, and the assembled school in silence, crowded out of Hall. Tom Spencer slipped his arm through Hargreaves’s and led him away. Some fellows would have spoken to him – but the look on Hargreaves’s face did not encourage them. It was pale, set, with eyes smouldering like live coals. Spencer led him away in silence, and the door of No. 4 Study closed on them. Hargreaves leaned on the study table, breathing in gasps. He had succeeded in keeping up an aspect of iron endurance and indifference while many eyes were upon him. But it had fallen from him now like a cloak.

Picture credit: The Magnet

 

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

 

Other birching stories you might like

Bend over my knee for a birching

The debut

The thieving window cleaner

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

new 5

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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Yank at English school gets ‘six of the best’

The Country Club

Late for breakfast

 

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

Bring back the cane

new 5

Scenes we’d like to see (or wishful thinking)

 

The staff lounge of Albion Academy was quiet, it was lunchtime and most of teachers were in classrooms working their way through piles of paperwork. Monthly assessments were due. Mr Whitfield, merely months away from his pension was not one of them. He sat in a battered armchair, eyelids closed, his hands serenely placed on his lap. Opposite him sit Mr Hancock, still in his twenties and restless, leafed through the Daily Telegraph. The headlines disagreed with him and he became increasingly irritated.

Suddenly, he cried, “Ha! Look at this! Says here more than seventy percent of people surveyed want to bring back the cane in schools.” Whitfield suppressed a sigh. He would not get involved. Unperturbed by the silence, Hancock continued, “Even the majority of the kids want it,” he said with a note of triumph. “Quite right too!”

Corporal punishment had been abolished in schools thirty years previously, before Hancock had been born. The impending anniversary had prompted renewed discussion about the state of discipline in the land. Hancock was “old guard.” He believed in law and order and respect for elders and betters (especially schoolmasters).

“It would do this place a lot of good,” he spread his arms to encompass the room so Whitfield would understand he meant Albion Academy. “Used to be a fine school. A grammar. Best in the town. Respected. Now look at it.”

Whitfield would not be goaded. Could he pretend to be asleep? Hancock sighed as if he carried the burden of the entire universe on his shoulders. “No discipline nowadays, none at all.” He pored over the details in the news report. “Pah!” he exclaimed, “Everyone wants it except the damned politicians. Well if I had my way …”

He hesitated. Perhaps it would not be wise to share with colleagues what he would do if he had his way. Several of them would be making their way to the job centre to seek new careers; along with half the administrators and all of the politicians. School masters (as he insisted on thinking of himself, although all his colleagues were happy to be called “teachers”) were given no support these days. What discipline was there? How were they supposed to punish misbehaviour? If you wanted to put a kid in detention you had to send a note home to their parents. Then, maybe – just maybe – two days later they might condescend to turn up. Or not. Then what could a teacher do? Nothing. The next step up on the discipline ladder was “exclusion” – they used to call that suspension in the good old days. Or even expulsion. No chance today. The school didn’t want that on its record. Exclusions meant the school was failing. Well, it was bloody failing. It was churning out nothing but hooligans. He could cry. Albion Academy sold itself as a school with “standards.” It was enough to make Jesus weep, Hancock thought.

Hancock looked to the past. He knew his history. When Albion had been a grammar school, and not so very long ago, it had been a traditional school; traditional curriculum, traditional uniform, traditional sports and, of course, traditional discipline: the cane! Today the school had to follow the national curriculum; where was Latin and Greek? (not that Hancock himself spoke either of these dead languages). They still had a uniform but back in the day when it was an all-boys’ school they wore short trousers even in the third form until they were fourteen. Proper shorts. Neatly tailored trousers that came to just above the knee. And long socks too. They could do a lot worse than bring that uniform back. If Hancock had his way they’d all wear short trousers, right up until the day they left school. The seniors as well. They might be eighteen years old (some of them even nineteen), but they weren’t adults. Not yet. They were children and they ought to look like children. These days they were indulged to think they were adults; that they had “rights”. They had no rights, they only had responsibilities and the first of these was to do as they were damn well told by their elders and betters.

Whitfield eyes remained closed and his hands rested on his lap. He had no idea of the turmoil inside Hancock’s head. The young man’s heart was racing, anger was rising in his body. He clutched the newspaper tightly. Why, he thought, if he had his way. What he would do. The boys would wish they had never been born. And he would start with those louts in the school football team.

Albion had recently won a new (but apparently prestigious) soccer tournament among schools in the region. Hancock thought members of the team had become insufferable. They had been superior and self-centred (like all kids at the school) before but their success took this to new levels of arrogance; nobody could claim to be their equal (let along superior) and Hancock, the young teacher still making his way at the school, suffered more than many.

This was Hancock’s first appointment. He was the youngest member of staff. When he first arrived some of his older colleagues had joked injudiciously that were he to dress in a school uniform he would be indistinguishable from the senior lads. One or two of the elder ladies “mothered” him a little, to his intense irritation.

With the staff seemingly patronising him Hancock took to exerting his authority on the kids. He could succeed with the youngest; to them a man in his twenties was ancient. The older ones had no such illusions. Mostly, they ignored him; the sixth-formers – the most senior students in the school – disdained him. Students!, how Hancock hated that word. They were not students, they were school pupils.

Now, he read the newspaper story once more; carefully. Yes, bring back the cane. What he wouldn’t do then. Those sixth formers would catch it hot. Especially the players in the football team. Especially that Bagnis; the worst of the lot: arrogant, self-opinionated, cocksure. Hancock’s breathing hardened. He closed his eyes to concentrate, he could see it now.

Bagnis stands in the gymnasium changing room, he is alone. There is a faint aroma of stale sweat about the place that he hardly notices. Hancock is in the adjacent office. He peers through a connecting window, not hiding his loathing for the eighteen-year-old. Oh, how he needs taking down a peg or two. Well, now is the time. The law has been changed (no, better, it had never been passed. The cane had never been abolished. Schoolboys still knew their place.)

Hancock turns away from the window. Standing snugly in one corner of the room is a tall thin cupboard. It is unlocked. There is no need for a lock as no boy in the school will dare go near it. Hancock opens the door, he does not hurry. He has all the time in the world, Bagnis is going nowhere, not until Hancock says so. There are five whippy punishment canes hanging on a rail, of various lengths and thicknesses. Each one has the traditional curved handle. Above them on a shelf are three leather straps; two of them are traditional Lochgelly tawes, one cut with two tails, the other with three. The tawes so beloved by Scottish schoolmaster and equally loathed by their charges are ancient and worn. They belong to Mr MacTaggart, one of Hancock’s older colleagues. He alone uses them, the preferred weapon of choice among masters is the cane. That said, a huge, size twelve dirty-white, rubber-soled gym plimsoll is propped up against the back of the cupboard. The sports masters use this for instant punishments on the younger boys.

Hancock handles each of the whippy rattan canes in turn. He is familiar with them all, but he likes how they feel in his hand. He takes one out of the cupboard and flexes it between his hands. As always it bends easily and forms an almost perfect arc. He replaces it and takes out a second. This is a little denser than the first. It is dark-yellow and not quite three feet in length (Hancock refuses to use metric measurements). It is as thick as a pencil and his heart judders when he swishes it through the empty air. This is his favourite. Lovingly, he tucks it under his arm and quietly closes the cupboard door. He turns and once more looks through the window. Bagnis is standing, hands behind back, eyes downcast at the floor: it is, Hancock agreeably notes, the perfect naughty-boy posture.

He strides through the connecting door into the changing room. Bagnis raises his head; his face pales, thereby acknowledging that he has seen the cane under Hancock’s arm. It confirms his expectations: corporal punishment in the form of a caning is imminent. Hancock slips the cane into his hand and taps it gently against his own right leg. Tap-tap-tap. Bagnis cannot help himself, his eyes hypnotically follow the cane.

Hancock looks at Bagnis. He is the Bagnis of today; he is tall and beefy. He has a clear open face and his arrogant hazel eyes shine. He still has the tattoos down his right arm. It is Bagnis; but he is also altogether different. His hair is cut short in a conventional style. He is dressed in a traditional grey shirt and a darker-grey sleeveless pullover. He wears mid-grey, tailored short trousers. They fall to a couple of inches above the knee. Hancock smiles. The uniform gives his fantasy a nice touch. This is school uniform as it should be.

He swipes the cane through the air and then wobbles it in front of Bagnis before he turns and points across the room. Standing there is a leather vaulting horse. It is about four feet off the ground with four short and sturdy wooden legs. Hancock has no idea when it became a tradition at the school for masters to deliver beatings in the changing room. It may have been a matter of necessity. Masters do not have their own private studies and the staff lounge and classrooms are too public. The gymnasium is in a building of its own tucked away from prying eyes. Its location adds to the drama; a boy sent to wait at the gym is left in no doubt about his fate.

Bagnis is one such boy. He is to be beaten. He knows this. Mr Hancock is in charge. His word is law. When he says “bend over”, then over you bend. No questions asked; no quarter given. It is what it is. There is a reason they are called school masters.

“Stand by the horse, Bagnis,” Hancock intones. Sorrowfully, but submissively, the egotistical sixth-former takes the three steps needed to cross the room. He stands close to the horse, towering over the worn, leather top. His breathing is heavy. So is Hancock’s. Hancock swishes the cane once more and then thwacks it across the top of the horse, a thin line imprints into the leather. Hancock allows himself a slight smile. He knows Bagnis will soon have similar lines throbbing across his backside. It gives him great satisfaction to know Bagnis also knows this. “Bend over, lad, you know how it’s done.”

Indeed he does. This is not his first thrashing and although he only has a few more weeks until he takes his exams and leaves Albion for ever he knows it probably won’t be the last. He lets the tip of his tongue run over his dry, cracked lips before he leans forward. Because he is tall and the horse relatively low, Bagnis spreads his legs wide so his stomach can rest comfortably across the leather top. He grips the two legs of the horse and concentrates on the dirty carpet beneath his nose. He tries to block out his surroundings. He knows the best way to get through this ordeal is to try to ignore what is going on.

Hancock allows Bagnis to settle. The boy’s buttocks jut out at a perfect angle and height. The tail of his shirt has slipped out of the waistband of his short trousers and although there is no practical necessity to do this, Hancock takes hold of both the shirt and the pullover and pushes them further away from the short trousers. This exposes an area of naked flesh on Bagnis’s lower back. Although he tries not to notice, Bagnis feels exposed; more vulnerable.

z used gym short trousers cane horse (3)

Hancock grips the waist of the short trousers and tugs vigorously. Now, they fit snugly and each buttock cheek is clearly defined under the material. Bagnis stays still. He shuts his mouth firmly and closes his eyes. He is ready. But, Hancock is not yet. He takes up a position to the left of the boy and taps the cane across the centre of his buttocks. The cane is warped through age and use. The far tip is frayed. Hancock cannot be certain his aim will be true. He saws it across the lower part of the cheeks. The short trousers have back pockets and Hancock fears this will afford Bagnis protection from the sting of the rod. Hancock knows he must make the strokes land below these and well into the sensitive “sit spot” where the cheeks meet he thighs. If his aim is true Bagnis will reignite the welts every time he tries to sit down for many hours to come.

Hancock saws some more, then he lifts the cane away from the seat of Bagnis’s short trousers and raises it in an arc. The ceiling is high and there is plenty of room to swing a cane. He holds it for a second at its highest point and then using all the strength in his upper body, he flogs it with great force across the lower buttocks. A thick line instantly digs into the stretched material of the short trousers. Bagnis reaction is imperceptible, the merest shudder in his shoulders speaks to the intense pain he feels. He bites down on his lower lip and tries to ignore the inferno in his bottom.

Hancock grimaces. He expects more reaction. Clearly, he thinks, that stroke was not hard enough. Maybe, he tells himself, he carelessly struck the pocket. He takes careful aim, lower this time. The cane rises and falls, the noise of the thwack of rattan cane across stretched backside rolls around the room. Bagnis wriggles his hips and grips the legs of the horse. If he dared open his eyes he would see his knuckles are turning white. His once pale face is now scarlet as surely are his throbbing buttocks beneath the short trousers.

Hancock is disappointed. He wants to hear Bagnis howling, to see him wriggling and writhing across the horse. He wants him to beg for mercy. Hancock lays a third stroke across Bagnis’s by-now quivering rump. It is the hardest yet. Bagnis thinks his  head is about to burst open. His buttocks are flailed. Can he feel blood weeping from the wounds? With magnificent self-control, he stifles the yells his body demands he must make. He will not cry out, he will not give the schoolmaster the satisfaction.

Hancock delivers six of his best. Never before in his short history as a schoolmaster has he flogged a boy so well. Still, Bagnis appears unperturbed by the ordeal. Hancock’s temper rises. So, he says, the boy is so arrogant and insolent that even a caning won’t change him. “Stand up, Bagnis,” Hancock intones. With difficulty, because it feels like his backside is blazing like the fires of Hell, the boy climbs to his feet. He leans against the horse to stop himself tumbling to the ground. He fears he will not be able to walk unaided from the gym. The room swirls around him so that he hardly hears the words spoken by his master.

“Well, Bagnis,” Hancock snarls. “It seems that beating didn’t quite have the intended effect.” He wobbled the cane up and down in front of Bagnis before pointing it at the boy’s middle. “Take down those shorts, and bend back over.”

Hancock steps away from the horse and looks on at the boy from a distance. Without a murmur, but with unsteady hands, the eighteen-year-old reaches for his belt. It takes several tries before it is unfastened. The button on the waistband is even harder to deal with. “Bah!” Hancock ejaculates with genuine anger, “Get on with it. Do you want me to come over there and take them down for you?”

The threat spurs Bagnis on to success. The top of the short trousers are undone and the fly buttons burst when he tugs. They lunge to his feet. Hancock is delighted at the sight before him. Bagnis is wearing gleaming-white, cotton Y-front underpants. “Bend over, boy.” The cane wobbles some more.

Sore and aching, Bagnis turns his back and with super-human effort he flops back over the horse, once more gripping the wooden legs. Hancock notices the pink botches in the otherwise white underpants. There are also two heavy, dark-red stripes throbbing in the bare flesh below the smooth cotton. Hancock smiles. In the distance he hears a bell ringing. Afternoon school is about to start. He flexes the cane and saws it across the fleshiest part of the bum.

“Come on Hancock, wake up, are you sleeping?” It was the voice of Whitfield. “Classes are starting. You mustn’t be late. The little buggers will destroy the classroom if you’re not there.” Hancock threw down the newspaper with disgust and dragged himself to his feet.

 

Picture credit: Sting Pictures

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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