Once, student teachers were a common feature in schools, as in this period piece.
By Jane Fairweather
“Bend over, Miss Johnson, right over, if you please.”
Feeling rather ridiculous and ashamed at having to be caned at the advanced age of nineteen, Eleanor bent at the waist. She could feel her long black hair flop down the side of her left cheek as she did it and her white cotton drawers, which were quite loose on her, tightened slightly. She rather self-consciously clasped her hands together, resisting the very real temptation to put them across her buttocks. There was a slight pause. Why was Mr Jack not getting on with her punishment, which she was all too aware was very well deserved? She had behaved, she knew, in a very unladylike and sluttish way and she had not really needed the angry lecture from Mr Jack to tell her that.
She wondered how Lizzy and Alice were feeling, stood outside the door and waiting. At least she was first and she was going to get it over with first; and at least it was not her first caning and she knew more or less what was going to happen, though she suspected her two punishments from her father had been fairly mild compared with what was coming now. Mr Jack had been furious with them and to be fair he had some cause to be.
Poor Alice though, especially; Alice had not even had her bottom smacked, Eleanor was pretty sure of that. Alice must be on the verge of passing out, she thought, though maybe Alice would just take it in her stride; Alice was quite brave.
But why the delay, which she realized to her annoyance was making her tremble? Was Mr Jack going to frighten her to death and then let her off? He probably did not know she had endured those canings from her father and imagined she was much more afraid than she was. And she had always been somewhat of a favourite with Mr Jack ever since she had come here as one of his pupil teachers. An odd role, she thought. You taught the children like a teacher and yet in the last resort were subject to discipline from the headmaster, just like a child, even if she was nineteen now and about to take her exams for college for the second time. If she had not made such a flipping mess of that the first time she would not now be bent over awaiting the impact of cane! It suddenly felt that this was almost like a punishment for her failure to do the work needed to pass.
Eleanor felt a firm hand on her neck and a sharp instruction to bend over properly and touch her toes. Clearly her rather half-hearted attempts at bending over had not impressed Mr Jack and clearly he was not going to let her off at the last minute as she had more than half hoped, or was he? Better, she decided, to do exactly as she was told and then he might just let her off. Very reluctantly she stretched what seemed an extremely long way to her toes. She could feel her drawers moving on her bottom and tightening. Her heart began to pound uncomfortably. Now he was going to take her skirts up, wasn’t he? She remembered the sheer humiliation of that from the two previous occasions with her father. Still at least she had clean drawers on!
* * *
The previous evening in the little cottage which was just next to the School House the three girls had been chattering as usual and feeling a little bored, even though it was midnight. It was Lizzie who had said how wonderful the moonlight was and couldn’t they slip out for a walk? But the real fault had been Alice’s. She had suddenly come out with how hot it had been all day in school and how she was longing for a swim; and then Eleanor had chimed in and agreed it would be a wonderful idea to slip out in the night under the full moon and swim in the river.
“But it is not exactly the seaside round here and we’ve no swimming costumes.” Lizzy had exclaimed.
“Well let’s swim without anything on. My brother and his friends do it all the time!” Alice had said very archly.
“We will be really for it if we are caught. It is alright for boys; they are allowed to do things like that, but we aren’t!” Lizzy had said very dubiously, remembering the very full bathing costume she had been obliged to wear on family visits to Brighton.
“We are all a bit big for the cane and anyway we are most unlikely to get caught.” Eleanor remembered herself saying, a statement she now felt rather late in the day to have been somewhat foolish.
Still it had been deliciously daring to slip out of the cottage door at midnight with their towels and a rug and then down the green lane with its orange sandstone walls down to the aspens and larches by the river. The moonlight added a fairy tale quality, especially to the very battered old oak tree, which they agreed was ideally suited to druidical rites. And by it there was something like a beach, which they knew from perfectly legitimate Saturday picnics.
They had thrown their clothes off with great abandon and leapt in the bright water and fooled about, shrieking madly. She remembered how pretty Alice had looked with her gold hair shining in the moonlight and her perfectly shaped small breasts and buttocks splashing about in the shallows. Lizzie, for good or ill, was fatter and less interesting to look at, though she liked Lizzie.
“Why on earth did you not at least leave your drawers on?” Mr Jack had asked, was it fifteen minutes before, but it felt like days. “I would probably have just told you off if you had kept them on.”
“My brother wouldn’t have kept anything on, Sir, so why should we do?” Alice had very foolishly replied, which had probably been what finally decided Mr Jack to cane them; it had not been the most tactful of comments, Eleanor decided.
She realized far from getting on with her punishment Mr Jack was swishing his cane and presumably practicing his stroke. No doubt it was meant to get her worked up. If so, he was going to be disappointed! Eleanor rather self-consciously gritted her teeth despite her pounding heart, while wishing the silly man would just get it over with.
James Jack, meanwhile, was undergoing some strange emotions. He had been woken by the moonlight and had been seized by an impulse to go for a walk and taste the magic of it. Since he was a confirmed bachelor there was no wife to worry about his odd behaviour, and his elderly house keeper, who might well have objected, was snoring away in the next bedroom anyway, he had thrown some clothes on and rushed out. Thinking the river would be beautiful in the moonlight he had rushed down to it.
To his bewilderment he had heard female voices shrieking. He had almost turned away from whatever odd event this was, but then thinking some village girls must be being raped or seduced by the village louts he had reluctantly investigated. To his horror he found his three pupil teachers stark naked, shrieking their heads off, splashing one another. Well aware he was responsible for their moral welfare he had ordered them to get out of the water and get back into their clothes and report to his study at seven-fifteen the next morning, when they could expect to be dealt with for this dreadful behaviour.
He had never seen a girl naked before, let alone three such pretty ones. Alice’s gold pubic hair and little breasts and buttocks startled him as much as they had Eleanor. Lizzie was much more buxom, which he was not at all averse to, and Eleanor was undoubtedly rather shapely. But it was above all Alice’s bottom that had intrigued and excited him. He had not meant to look at it closely. He had headed back up the path to the school with the deliberate intention of not seeing any more than he already had done and one of the girls shouted after him, was it seven-fifteen or seven that they were to come to his study, she had not caught what he had said. He had turned to reply and seen Alice’s white cheeks shining in the moonlight as she bent to dry herself and it had made rather an impression.
And now in a few minutes he was going to have to whip this beautiful object for its own good! Should he cane all three girls’ hands after all, but that was a cruel punishment. Three on each hand, which they thoroughly deserved and they would not be able to write for several days, which would anyway get in the way of their teaching duties. Besides he was so angry with these lively creatures’ mad behaviour that he might really damage their soft white paws. No, he decided, it would be much safer to thrash their behinds, even if that did mean taking skirts up and seeing the outline of three very pretty bottoms through their drawers. Anyhow, better get it over with before they all died of fright with waiting! He only hoped there were not going to be too many hysterics; you never knew with the female sex.
He stopped swishing the cane and strode over to her.
“I had better tell you I am going to take your skirts up now, just in case you are not used to it and you are not expecting it.” He stated with distinct awkwardness.
“I have been c-caned before, Sir. Please could I just g-get my punishment over with; you’ve k-kept me waiting so long,” he heard Eleanor’s lovely voice from somewhere near her toes, unwontedly stammering with fright. “And how m-many am I g-going to g-get, Sir.”
“Six, given your age and your stupidity.”
“Oh law! N-not six, Sir! The m-most I have ever h-had is four.”
She felt her thumping heart descend somewhere well below the floor as her summer dress and petticoat were unceremoniously hauled above her waist.
He stood back and aimed the cane at the seat of her rather slack white drawers. You could see the two buttocks and a rather large gap between them. The gap was probably a result of bending over so long, he concluded. But he had better stop gawping and put the poor girl out of her misery. He swung the cane hard with a neat twist of the wrist and saw it bite deep into the middle of the bottom, which visibly moved forwards and backwards as the girl said “ouch” with some feeling. He then slowly and systematically worked his way down his victim’s lower buttocks till the last two ended in the crease between bottom and thighs.
Eleanor found herself saying: “Law, oh law, please no more,” after each of the second third and fourth strokes and, much to her annoyance, her bottom kept thrusting backward and forwards as if it had a life of its own. Then the last two landed in her crease and she really screeched. Then, very determinedly, she stood up and composed her skirts, wondering how on earth she had not fallen over.
“Send Miss Holt in on your way out, would you?” He said very formally, wondering why he had found the sight of this very pretty bottom thrusting backwards and forwards so exciting and whether this was altogether proper? And he had really put the poor girl through it; he should not have kept her waiting so long just because he was so unsure about the whole thing.
* * *
“He is really taking his time over it.” Lizzie said to Alice. “I wonder if he is going to let us off after all. We are quite big girls and he has already given us a real old telling off.”
Alice shuffled with her feet uncomfortably and said: “I feel terribly guilty about it; swimming with nothing on was all my idea. I should have realized just how bad it would be if we got caught at our age. Do you think I ought to own up to being the brains behind it? I do feel terribly guilty.”
“For god’s sake don’t!” Said Lizzie. “You will only get thrashed even worse. And anyway, who could have guessed he would go for a walk the same time as we were fooling about in the river. It was after midnight after all. And anyway he’s already told you to come in last, which probably means you are really for it for saying that stupid thing about your brother, assuming he does not change his mind and let us off.”
There came the sound of the caning.
“I really did not think he would do it!” Said Lizzie shivering. “Oh god, this is awful. He is normally such a nice man.”
“She is really making a noise,” said Alice, shuffling her feet even more and wondering if Eleanor had liked the sight of her naked as much as she had liked the look of Eleanor.
There were two loud screams.
“Do you make that five or six?” Lizzie said very shakily, but determined to at least give some appearance of nonchalance.
“Well presumably it’s over now, thank goodness.” Alice briskly replied. “I think I counted four or five, but it was hard to be certain. It certainly wasn’t six. I hope it wasn’t. My brother says six of the best is really dreadful.”
Eleanor opened the door. The other girls noted her tearful eyes and tear-stained cheeks and lowered head with very real unease.
“What did you get, El?” Alice enquired, trying to make it all sound as normal as possible and nothing much to worry about.
“Six!” Said Eleanor. “And god that man can cane. I thought my father was bad enough. I was swaying all over the place. I don’t know how I didn’t fall over flat on my face.”
“It sounded like four or five to me. You must be exaggerating, El.” Said Alice stubbornly, not wanting to face the worst.
“I thought it was five or six.” Said Lizzy diffidently.
“It was very definitely six of the very, very best. I was there, I should know! And he took my skirts up, which was almost worse than the caning. Why couldn’t the stupid man let me do it? It was so demeaning!” Eleanor snapped. “I am going to light the copper in the cottage and boil as much water as I can. I want a hot bath as soon as I can get it and I expect you will be the same. God I am hurting. I am afraid you are next Lizzie. He said just to go straight in. See you both in a little while. At least it’s Saturday and we do not have to go into school or to church.”
Eleanor vanished round the corner, waddling rather than walking and rubbing her bottom with both her hands.
“Yes, at least it is Saturday.” Said Lizzie, going ashen grey and feeling as if she was about to be violently sick.
“At least you’ve got a bigger bottom than me or El.” Alice observed, trying to introduce a little levity.
“Yes, I suppose I have.” Said Lizzie. “Oh well, maybe he was especially mad with El for some reason, though I don’t see why he should be, though maybe it was failing the exam? I’d better go in, I suppose.”
Lizzie very reluctantly put her hand on the door knob and very slowly twisted it.
* * *
“Can I please take my own skirt off, Sir, before I bend over?” Lizzie asked very diffidently, gulping as she said it.
Perhaps it was better if the girl removed her own skirt, though something in him wanted to pull it up, and no doubt there would be at least one petticoat .Perhaps he should have let Eleanor pull her own dress and petticoat up; no doubt that was the more proper procedure with an older girl. He looked his second victim over and realized Lizzie’s grey skirt was tighter than Eleanor’s dress and might cause complications if he tried to pull it up after she bent over.
“Yes, Miss Holt,” he said. “Do that, if you please, and pull your petticoat up above your waist at the same time.”
The girl fiddled nervously with the belt and buttons on her grey skirt and took her time over it. He almost snapped at her to get a move on, but eventually she stepped out of it and he had to admit there was something rather exciting about the sight of her pretty green petticoat; he was not used to seeing female underwear except on washing lines.
Lizzie gulped when her skirt came off, even more than she had been doing. Something female in her made her fold it neatly and put it down on the sofa. Now she had to pull her petticoat up, didn’t she? Was he going to watch her pulling it up? Perhaps she should ask him not to look. But he was going to see her bent over in her drawers anyway, so did it matter? She very unwillingly pulled her petticoat above her waist and realized she was shaking. Eleanor said she had nearly fallen over, hadn’t she?
“Could I please have something to hold on to, Sir? I am not used to this.”
“No, I don’t suppose you are. I am not sure I am either. You are by far the oldest girls I have had to cane. I will get you a chair.”
He walked into the corner and fetched a wooden chair, feeling this was all rather odd and ridiculous. Still, proper standards had to be maintained and young ladies of eighteen and nineteen could not be allowed to get away with disporting themselves naked in rivers, and he wondered, not for the first time, what would have happened if some of the village boys had come along.
“Put your hands on the side of the seat of the chair and hold it.”
It was a great relief to have something to hold. She gripped the cold wood as if her life depended on it.
He noted Lizzie’s rust red drawers were both thicker and tighter than Eleanor’s and her bottom was much more substantial. In many ways it was more like caning a boy, which he had done on quite a few occasions.
He stood back and tapped the middle of the girl’s buttocks with his long thin cane, then sent it swishing with a neat twist of the wrist. The cane seemed to bite inches into the flesh. The girl’s reaction was quite slow as if she could not at first believe it, then she let out something close to a scream and then started to sob quietly.
Lizzie felt her head swimming and her bottom burning.
“Please Sir, not so hard, Sir. I am not used to it.” She protested through her sobs.
But the cane remorselessly worked its way down the lower half of Lizzie’s plump behind till the fifth stroke seared where thighs and buttocks meet. Each time the girl’s wails grew a little louder and each time she clenched the chair a little harder.
“Five bar gate!” James Jack thought to himself; and then said aloud: “This will be the last stroke.”
He very carefully aimed the cane to cross the previous five and sent the sixth stroke swishing across the previous five as hard as he could. There was a tremendous yell and the girl was upright, clutching her buttocks and crying her eyes out. James Jack concluded he had never seen anyone cry quite so much after a caning, but then he was not used to caning girls of this age.
* * *
“I really am not very happy with you, Miss James for saying that you and Miss Holt and Miss Johnson were only doing what your brother and his friends do as a matter of course. I hope you are going to apologise for saying that at our previous interview before we proceed to your punishment. I think it was only you who was saying it. Otherwise, I would have said more about it while the other girls were present.” Mr Jack began the interview.
“But Sir, it is true; boys bathe naked all the time and nobody says anything.”
“Boys are not likely to become objects of desire and, indeed, rape, like girls are. There are separate standards for boys and girls in these matters for very good reasons and that is how it is. Now are you going to apologise, or do we have to start talking about additional punishment?” James Jack observed with the air of an adult who knows beyond any shadow of doubt he is right.
“I suppose so, Sir.” Alice replied, feeling she was in the right, but not easy about the additional strokes.
“Young lady you will apologise or there will be additional strokes.” James Jack snapped, beginning to feel angry.
“I suppose I ought to apologise for that, Sir, though I am really not sure I should. But Sir, it was my idea to go swimming naked, and I suppose I should apologise for that as well, if I am apologising.”
There was an awkward pause during which Alice found herself gazing at the cane in Mr Jack’s hand. This was going to be quite awful she knew and yet there was something exciting about undergoing what her brother had so vividly described to her on a number of occasions. In future she would have a caning of her own to boast about.
James Jack was normally a calm man who did not get that worked up when administering a punishment, but for some reason the girl’s demeanour got to him.
“‘If I am apologising’, did I hear you say, Miss James?” He said very frostily after what seemed to Alice an extremely ominous delay. “Are you apologising or not?”
“Well just for thinking up the idea of us going swimming with nothing on, I am apologising for that, Sir.” She blurted out and knew as soon as she said it that she had just put her foot well and truly in it.
“If there is anything I dislike, Miss James, it is insolence. You have just earned yourself a further two strokes above the six you were already going to get. Now haul your skirts up and get your backside over the back of that chair.”
He wondered if she realized how close she had come to having her bottom bared, but he could not do that with a girl, not even one who had been as insolent as Alice James just had.
She paused very deliberately and hauled her skirts up with a certain unexpected haughtiness. He noted her almost offensively red petticoat and her tight white linen drawers. Then without a further word from himself she had bent very resolutely across the back of the chair. The effect was half to make him admire her courage, half to make him even angrier with her and want to break her haughtiness, which he found utterly infuriating.
“Four by four,” he thought to himself. “This is going to be a caning both of us are going to remember.”
He took careful aim at the trim little bottom that was so clearly outlined through the girl’s drawers and raised the cane with more than usual fury, wondering why the girl was not pleading.
* * *
“We did rather make fools of ourselves.” Eleanor observed rather severely. “I know I did. You ought to be able to take a well-deserved punishment without making too much fuss. Boys do it all the time.”
“I wonder if boys swell like we have.” Alice observed. “I bet our bums are softer than theirs.”
She was lying face down on the sofa and, despite her time in the hip bath and liberal applications of face cream, was clearly in some agony.
“Well they talk about boys not being able to sit down, don’t they!” Said Eleanor rather dryly. “I suppose if we have the same sort of punishment we are bound to get a similar result, though I can just about sit if I keep the weight on my thigh.”
“I could be worse.” Observed Lizzy. “At least I can just about sit. I don’t seem to have swollen like you two, though he did not half let me have it. But he was quite nice about letting me hold a chair when I asked him. That was kind of him.”
“He made me bend over the back of it.” Alice cut in. “I suppose I am taller than you two.”
She did not mention the sheer terror she had felt when she heard that she was going to get two strokes more than Lizzy or Eleanor. She had been very foolish to admit the nude swimming had been her idea and more or less refuse to apologise for it. Lizzie had so sensibly warned her not to own up. Without that, she would have had the same punishment. Perhaps she should have asked to have six strokes on her bare bum rather than eight with her drawers on? The thought had gone through her mind, but she had concluded Mr Jack would not go for it. She imagined the cold air coursing round her soft bare flesh and the cane searing it six times like a red hot iron, but there would have been a certain odd pleasure in letting Mr Jack see her most private parts; she definitely liked Mr Jack. As it was, the cane had swished four times across her small bottom and thighs at fairly equal intervals, and then four times across the first four and she had made rather a fuss, which she was very fed up with herself about. But strangely she had definitely enjoyed the terror and the pain, not that she wished to go through it again on that scale. Yet she had a strange feeling that Mr Jack had enjoyed rousing her to such a peak of agony, despite or because of his anger, and she half wondered if he could be persuaded to do it more mildly for fun when there was nobody round. But if she said any of this aloud it would sound dreadful and be quoted to her embarrassment for ever after, so she firmly buttoned her mouth.
“He’s not a bad soul though, is he?” Lizzie remarked. “He could have made an awful lot more of it. And we really did ask for it. As it is, the whole stupid thing is over and forgotten and we have got all Saturday to recover.”
“I hope I can sit by tomorrow!” Said Alice. “We’re going to have to sit on those wooden pews in church, you know. And we daren’t not go after last night.”
“Oh you will manage it by then.” Eleanor assured her.
“And we can always take cushions.” Lizzie added.
“I’d rather not take cushions.” Alice sighed. “Someone is bound to notice and put two and two together and then the whole village will know.”
“Have it your own way!” Said Lizzie and Eleanor in the same breath.
* * *
“Really, Mr Jack, I do wish you’d stop going on about it.” Miss Taylor, the elderly Scottish house keeper, observed. “The stupid lasses earned themselves a hiding in any one’s book and that is all there is to be said about it. If you didn’t like doing it because you are a man and they’re female, you should have asked me. They’re all little monkeys and I’d have enjoyed giving their pretty little backsides what for.”
“But that is the whole point, Miss Taylor, I enjoyed it far too much!”
“Well I don’t suppose you saw any bare flesh and I don’t suppose they enjoyed it at all. From their point of view they must know what they did was wrong and they have been soundly punished. Leave it at that, for the Lord’s sake. Next you will be saying you will never punish those girls again, however bad they are. And they are a handful, those three!”
“Yes Miss Taylor, I am sure you are right really.” Mr Jack rather diffidently replied.
He wished his imagination of caning Alice’s very pretty white bottom with her lavish golden pubic hair visible between her slender thighs would not flash before his eyes. He had glimpsed her private parts briefly and unintentionally at the river and he had been within an inch of taking her drawers down when he had caned her because she had been so blatantly naughty and almost glorying in being the prime motivator of this awful event. If he had done it, then it would most certainly have been her fault and not his. And anyway, he had very properly resisted the temptation, so why was he being haunted by something he had not in fact done?
And then there had been the incredible gyrations of Eleanor’s bottom and Lizzy’s strange preciseness in arranging her own punishment and her incredible tears after it. Somehow he suddenly felt he knew the female sex far better than he had ever done before, but was that altogether proper, especially as it had left him with this deep irrational attraction to Alice?
But on the other hand the punishment had been very well deserved and necessary and it was unlikely anything like this would ever happen again; and whatever you said it had been an experience. He ought to put it all out of his mind, just as Miss Taylor had insisted, but was he going to have the moral courage to do it? Alice was very attractive.
© Jane Fairweather 2017
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