A former student gets entrapped

By Capstan

It was now mid-November 1986, and things were now running smoothly in Alicia Henderson’s life. The beautiful, 23-year-old blonde was enjoying her job, as sous-chef, in the Michelin starred restaurant of Herr Wladimar Stockhausen on the outskirts of Neuchatel, Switzerland.

On Friday 14th, Alicia was called from the kitchen by Wladimar to a table in the restaurant where Mrs Somerville, the Headmistress of Saedyl House, the finishing school, where Alicia had passed three wonderful years whilst also taking her degree at Neuchatel university, was entertaining three of her senior girls.

Two of the girls Alicia knew as friends, with the numbers being made up by three local university students of whom Mrs Somerville approved. The Headmistress had adapted to the changing times and, in addition to offering the normal one term courses usual for such establishments, also offered three-year courses for young ladies who were studying degrees at Neuchatel University, providing guidance and support to foreign students during their studies. Alicia had been one of the first to sign up for the new regime.

Hortense Somerville, a most cultivated, elegant, grey-haired lady, aged about sixty, of Anglo-Swiss extraction, was keen to hear of Alicia’s progress and invited her to visit the academy the following Tuesday, Alicia’s next day off, and to stay for dinner. Alicia, who had always both liked and respected Mrs Somerville, was delighted to accept.

As the table was leaving and Alicia was helping with the coats, Frances, the new head girl, whispered to her; “I say, Alicia, old girl, when you come on Tuesday could you bring me a carton of cigarettes? Lucy and I are both out and we won’t be able to get away this weekend.”

Alicia was surprised at the request. “I don’t think I ought to. I assume smoking is still forbidden, and Mrs Somerville would be most upset if she found out.”

“Come on, be a sport. It is not as if I am a child anymore, and anyway it’s not as if she could slipper you if you were caught.”

Alicia reluctantly agreed, just as Mrs Somerville remarked; “Polite young ladies do not whisper in public. If something is worth saying it can be said openly. If not, it is better left unsaid.”

Alicia blushed at the rebuke and felt like she was about five years old. Mrs Somerville, observant as always, smiled and said how much she was looking forward to spending time with her the following week.

Next Tuesday, the 17th, Alicia duly purchased the 200 B&H Gold and, finding that the carton would not fit in her coat pocket, transferred the 20 packets, and a plastic bag into which to put them, into a leather shoulder bag.

It was mid-afternoon and, although cold, it was not snowing. Alicia decided to walk to the academy, which was on a hillside only about a mile away. As usual, she had dressed with care; her gold-coloured silk underwear and matching slip were worn with lace topped hold-ups, under a mid-length emerald green long-sleeved dress which was not too revealing but still emphasised her figure. A white long coat, burgundy woollen scarf, tan leather gloves and fur hat completed her outfit, with the matching tan leather shoulder bag worn across her body.

Forty-five minutes later, she had walked through the grounds surrounding the distinctive 19th century gothic style building and rung the brass bell. Mrs Somerville answered and escorted Alicia inside, taking her coat, into the pocket of which Alicia placed her gloves, her hat and her scarf, and leading her to a seat in the elegant sitting room beside a roaring log fire.

Tea was served and soon the two ladies started to happily discuss everything that had happened to them both since Alicia had left the school some sixteen months earlier. Hortense noticed Alicia’s elaborate, gold, heart shaped, locket and asked about it. Her guest, smiling broadly, slipped it over her head and passed it to Mrs Somerville, as she described how Sir Peter Millington had given it to her, the inscription, the contents and what he had said about the key to his heart. She could still hear his voice in her head as she repeated to Hortense Peter’s exact words. “My darling girl, you hold in your hands the key to my heart. Do with it what you will. Remember the thing about keys is that they always work and that you choose when to use them. Whenever you need me, I will be there for you.” She then described how he had proved as good as his words and how much she loved him, as Hortense returned the locket and Alicia slipped it back over her head.

Mrs Somerville asked Alicia to call her Hortense whilst they were together, now that she was a professional young lady in her own right, reverting to Mrs Somerville only if students were present. At about 6.00 pm, in a break in the conversation, Alicia asked; “Hortense, would it be all right if I visit some of my friends in their rooms before dinner, to catch up?”

“Of course, my dear, please do.”

It was at this point that Alicia’s plan to deliver the cigarettes went awry. She had forgotten unfastening the buckle of her shoulder bag, having briefly intended to put her gloves in it before instead putting them in her coat pocket. Picking up the bag and putting it on the arm of the chair in which she was sitting, the bag overbalanced and inverted, spilling the entire contents onto the carpet, including the twenty packets of cigarettes.

Mrs Somerville, having risen to help recover the contents, was shocked.

“Alicia, I did not know that you had started smoking since you left us, and so many packets with no lighter or matches. Would you care to enlighten me?”

Alicia remained silent, but her confusion and the deep blush that rose to her cheeks betrayed her.

“You do not smoke, do you Alicia?”

“No, Mrs Somerville.” Somehow, Hortense no longer felt appropriate.

“Therefore, they were for someone else. Would you care to tell me for whom?”

“I would really rather not, Mrs Somerville.”

“I understand that. I will assume this little subterfuge was arranged last Friday, and therefore at least one of the young ladies present then was involved.”

Alicia remained silent.

“Please wait here,” Mrs Somerville added as Alicia finished replacing the contents of her bag. “But place the cigarettes on the table. They are not permitted on school premises, as you well know, and are confiscated.”

“Yes, Mrs Somerville.”

“I don’t need to tell you just how disappointed I am with you, Alicia. I did not expect such deceitfulness from you, of all people.”

“No, Mrs Somerville, I am really most very sorry.”

“That is the usual response of a young lady who has been caught, is it not?”

“Yes, Mrs Somerville, but in this case it happens to be true. I feel both guilty and ashamed of myself.”

Hortense picked up the telephone on the desk and dialled the number for the common room. It was answered immediately.

“Ah, Jane, please ask Frances Mackenzie, Lucy Makepeace and Teresa Von Braun to join me in my sitting room as soon as possible.” She replaced the receiver.

“I will ask you, one more time, to please tell me for whom the cigarettes were purchased.”

“Please, Mrs Somerville, I would really prefer not to answer.”

“And I would prefer that, as my guest, you had not brought cigarettes into my school and my home, and that I did not have someone here who was deceitful enough to ask you to do so.”

Alicia, standing, looked down at her shoes, her cheeks bright red. She was close to tears.

“Well?” Mrs Somerville paused, looking at the obviously upset Alicia. She really did like the lovely young lady and was still hoping for a way to recover the evening.

“If you will not help me, I am going to have to hope that the actual culprit or culprits choose to own up. If not, although I hate collective punishments, I will need to ensure that all three are punished with sufficient severity to send a message to the whole school.”

Alicia did not want to incriminate Frances, but at the same time felt that she could not stand by and see Lucy, and in particular Teresa, whom she did not know and had no reason to believe was involved, be punished unjustly.

“Mrs Somerville,” Alicia looked up and, taking a deep breath, continued; “I was the one that was caught. I was the one that bought the cigarettes and brought them into the school. Without me, no one would be about to be punished. Could you not just punish me instead, as if I was still one of your young ladies, which in many ways I still consider myself to be? Please, I know that I have let you down and I feel so guilty. I do deserve to be punished and will accept whatever you decide.”

Hortense, relieved, now saw again the real Alicia re-emerge; the sensible, supportive, well-mannered young lady who sometimes did not think through the consequences of what she was about to do. She remembered Alicia had only been physically punished once whilst at the academy, when she was Teresa’s age and had become inebriated at a party, and afterwards had become one of her favourite pupils.

“I understand all that and, if you wish, I will punish you with the others. I will give the guilty party or parties a chance to own up and will then allow you to indicate which, if any, of the young ladies were not involved, only if they fail to do so. Would that ease your conscience?”

“Thank you, Mrs Somerville, I knew I could rely on you always to be fair.” Alicia was relieved but, not daring to ask what her punishment would be, was also most apprehensive.

At this point, there was a knock at the door and the three young ladies, all elegantly dressed for the formal dinner with their headmistress to which they had been invited, entered when bidden to do so.

“Ladies, please stand in the centre of the room. I have some questions to ask you.”

Frances, in a pale green silk dress which showed off her russet curls to perfection, looked first at her headmistress, then at the pile of golden cigarette packets on the table, and finally at Alicia with a look of absolute disgust. Alicia returned her stare, all sympathy for the Head Girl evaporating in an instant. To think she had tried to get Frances off!

“You see on the table some cigarettes, which I accidentally discovered in Miss Huntingdon’s bag. As I know that she does not smoke, she was obviously bringing them here as a misguided favour for a friend, whom she refuses to identify. So, the question is, ladies, who requested Alicia to purchase these cigarettes?”

There was silence.

“Ladies, if the person concerned does not own up, I will have to consider that you are all equally guilty and punish you all accordingly, either with expulsion or the slipper. I require an answer.”

Alicia looked directly at the tall, well-built Scottish girl and willed her to do the right thing.

Eventually, with a sigh, Frances spoke; “Mrs Somerville, I asked Alicia to buy them for me and bring them here tonight. She was reluctant at first but eventually was persuaded to do so.”

“Thank you, Frances, you have the option of twelve strokes of the slipper or immediate expulsion; which is it to be? Needless to say, in any event you are no longer Head Girl.”

“I will take your punishment, Mrs Somerville, and I would like to apologise to both you and Miss Huntingdon.”

“One more thing, were the cigarettes entirely for your own use or were others involved?”

Before Frances could decline to answer, and make matters worse for herself, Lucy, dressed in a long strapless scarlet gown, stepped forward.

“Mrs Somerville, Frances and I were to share the cigarettes; she was getting them for me also.”

Mrs Somerville responded predictably. “In that case, as you would have shared in the proceeds you can share in the punishment. As you were not the instigator, I am giving you the option of eight strokes with the slipper or suspension for the rest of term, which is it to be? With immediate effect, you are no longer a prefect.”

“Thank you, Mrs Somerville, I will also take your punishment, and I would also like to apologise.”

Turning to the pretty, if slightly plump, 19-year-old blonde; who was dressed in a silver knee-length gown, with a miniature silver and diamond tiara in her elegantly coiffured dark blonde plaited hair and a matching choker necklace, Hortense continued.

“Now, Teresa, I do not believe that you smoke, do you?”

“No, Mrs Somerville, I have never smoked, not even once.” The Anglo-Swiss girl replied in a faint German accent.

“But you did know what the others were planning and chose to keep it a secret?”

“Yes, Mrs Somerville, but the others would have been so disappointed if I had told and I would have been ostracised by everyone.”

“I see that, Teresa, but do you know why cigarettes are banned in this school?”

“Because they are bad for you and can cause cancer, because they are unpleasant to those around the person smoking and, above all, because they are not ladylike.”

“Correct. So, because of misplaced loyalty to your friends, you were prepared to stand by and let them harm themselves and be unpleasant to others. Not a very good reason, is it?”

“No, Mrs Somerville.”

“So, Teresa, I realise that yours was a minor part in this affair, but that you could have taken action to prevent it and chose not to do so, that you were therefore part of a deceitful act. You have the choice of accepting four with the slipper or being confined to the grounds for the rest of the term. Which is it to be?”

“I understand, and will also take your punishment, Mrs Somerville, thank you.”

“Now Teresa, take the packets of cigarettes from the table, throw them into the fire and resume your place in line.”

Hortense then looked at all four ladies, motioning Alicia to stand next to Frances at the end of the line as she did so.

“Now, ladies, Miss Huntingdon has accepted her role in this affair. She is fully aware that were it not for her none of you would be being punished this evening. She is an adult lady with a career ahead of her and, having spent three years with us, should know better. Alicia, you will also receive twelve strokes of the slipper.

“Thank you, Mrs Somerville, I accept my deserved punishment and hope you can forgive me. Ladies, I would also like to apologise to you all for what you are now to receive as the result of my failure to refrain from doing something that I knew was wrong.”

“And for getting caught,” muttered Frances to Lucy.

Hortense, whose hearing was acute, overheard and responded. “And that comment has just earned you another two strokes, Frances. A Lady should look at matters from the perspective of what is right and not what she feels she can get away with.”

“Yes, Mrs Somerville, I understand. I’m sorry.”

“Now Ladies, I will explain how we will proceed. You will all remain in line and will watch each other being punished. In turn, and in order of culpability, you will each stand next to the armchair to my right, bend over the arm and place your hands on the seat. This should enable you to be bent over enough to achieve the aim without risking ripping your dresses. You all look lovely, by the way. You will remain bent over until the punishment, which will be administered over your dresses without any need to disrobe, is completed and I tell you to rise; you will then resume your place in line. Frances, once all four ladies have been punished, you will bend over the chair a second time for your additional strokes.

“Once the punishments are completed, I will consider the matter closed except for the announcement of a new Head Girl and two new prefects tomorrow. We will all go into dinner as if nothing has happened. After all, Ladies should be able to carry on polite conversations as normal even whilst dealing with distractions. Am I clear?”

A chorused response of, “Yes, Mrs Somerville.”

“Ok, over you go, Alicia.”

The lovely blonde strode determinedly to the indicated position, gracefully bent as instructed and crossed her ankles. Her blonde tresses fell forward, partially obscuring her face and the golden locket assumed a vertical position, moving clear of her breasts. The emerald green fabric of her dress moulded itself around Alicia’s delightful bottom.

Alicia forced her breathing to slow and willed herself to take her punishment without too much fuss.

Hortense retrieved a size 12 leather-soled slipper from a drawer and, holding it by the heel, placed it against the centre of the target.

“Ready, Alicia, I will stop after six strokes until you are ready to continue.”

“Ready Mrs Somerville, and thank you.”

The slipper rose and landed with an audible thwack across the tightly stretched fabric, causing the target to wobble. Alicia absorbed the sting but stayed silent. The strokes continued in succession on alternate cheeks, the sounds of the impacts echoing through the room. Although the pain built uncomfortably in her bottom and she squeezed her eyes shut, by concentrating on her breathing she was able to take the first six strokes in total silence. Alicia, whilst happy that she had so far not embarrassed herself, realised that there was a way to go and was not sure how she would cope.

After a pause of about a minute, Hortense placed the slipper gently against Alicia’s bottom. “Next six?”

“Yes, please Mrs Somerville,” came the polite response.

Six equally hard strokes were then applied, in quick succession, to the perfectly presented target. Only her increasingly laboured breathing, together with the uncrossing of her ankles on stroke nine and a bending of her knees on stroke eleven, providing evidence of the effectiveness of the punishment. With her eyes tight shut, a solitary tear ran down Alicia’s right cheek.

Hortense gave her a couple of minutes to recover before asking Alicia to rise, with a whispered, “All over, well done.”

As she did so, although the tears had stopped, Alicia rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand before, head held high, she calmly re-joined the line, although with her hands clasping her burning bottom through her dress.

“You are next, Frances. Assume the position,” Hortense addressed the russet-haired beauty who, having watched Alicia’s punishment, was now feeling much less confident that she could do as well, let alone better. She also bitterly regretted the catty comment that had earned her additional punishment.

Nevertheless, the statuesque beauty was soon bent over the armchair with her clothed bottom presenting an elegant pale green target, through which the outline of her panties and suspenders were just visible.

Frances was not as brave as she had hoped, with a loud “ouch” on the first stroke providing an indication of what was to come, and the volume increasing with each stroke. After the sixth stroke she rose, rubbing her bottom, and it was with great difficulty that Mrs Somerville persuaded her former Head Girl to resume her position.  The next six was an even bigger challenge, with a screech after every stroke, and her hands coming back to protect her bottom after each swat from nine to twelve. Hortense was losing patience but still managed to coax her through to accepting the last two.

Whilst Frances was being punished, Alicia moved gently sideways next to a very worried Lucy and grasped her by the hand. Risking further punishment, she whispered to the slim dark-haired beauty in the red gown; “It’s not so bad, just keep concentrating on breathing normally and grab the edge of the cushion to keep your hands out of the way and it will soon be over.”

Lucy turned to her and, forcing a smile, whispered; “Thank you.”

Hortense turned around and saw the worried look on Alicia’s face, which vanished when the head mistress smiled and quietly remarked; “Thank you, Alicia, that was kind.”

As Alicia moved back to allow a distraught Frances, still crying noisily, back into line, Lucy stepped bravely forward and bent, exposing her slim bottom, over which her red dress clung invitingly, for the slipper’s attention. Whether it was Alicia’s advice and encouragement or whether the dark-haired beauty was braver than she thought, Lucy took her eight strokes with remarkably little fuss and just whispered oohs and ouches. Her face, however, showed the obvious pain and the hazel eyes filled with tears by the time she was invited to stand and return to the line, frantically rubbing her bottom.

It was now Teresa’s turn, and the curvy blonde in the silver dress was in position before needing to be told. As the slipper landed four times across her ample buttocks, the blonde, plaited pony tail swished, and her breasts, only partially restrained by her half cup lace bra, swung.

Thwack, “Oooh!”; thwack, “Owwww!”; thwack, “OOOH!”; thwack “AIEE!”

Then, turning to the headmistress as she stood, Teresa unexpectedly remarked; “Thank you for punishing me, Mrs Somerville. I am sorry I let you down,” before returning to her place in line.

Hortense turned to the four young ladies standing quietly with feet together and hands clasped demurely in front of them, with only slightly puffy red eyes and smudged makeup betraying their recent ordeals. “Well, Ladies, I am very proud of the way you have comported yourselves and, as I said, we can now put this unfortunate matter behind us.”

Alicia thought of theatrically rubbing her own behind at that point, but decided that, in view of what she was about to ask, it would be wiser not to do so. Hortense looked at the mantle clock which showed seventeen minutes to eight. “Shall we say ten minutes to freshen up and then back here and into dinner at eight?”

Alicia then spoke; “Mrs Somerville, may I ask a favour, please?”

“Of course, dear, I will grant it if I can properly do so”

“As Lucy admitted to her lesser part in the plan to supply the cigarettes before you asked her to, was entirely honest, and accepted her punishment with such grace and fortitude, despite being very scared, don’t you think she is just the sort of young lady to set a good example to the others in future? I am sure this evening has given Lucy a different perspective on cigarettes and has been an experience she would not want to repeat. “That being the case, would you not be able to reconsider keeping her as a prefect, as I am sure you will find her continuing support useful? I know you may think this is impertinent, but you could possibly do worse than consider her for Head Girl. In any event, please let her say as a prefect.”

Hortense looked at the pretty blonde with surprise and delight. “Alicia, that was so kind and you have made a good point. Lucy would indeed make a very good Head Girl, but as one of those involved it would seem wrong to promote her. Lucy may, however, remain as a prefect, and I am sure our trust in her will not be misplaced.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you, Mrs Somerville. Thank you, Alicia, er, Miss Huntingdon, you will not regret this I promise.” With that, Lucy turned to Alicia and hugged her.

“Off you go now, back in ten minutes please,” instructed a smiling Hortense. “Alicia, I cannot tell you how proud I am of the wonderful young woman you have become. Sir Peter is a very lucky man and, as I do not think he is a fool, I look forward to reading of your eventual engagement.”

Exactly ten minutes later, the headmistress, accompanied by four very elegant young ladies, joined the others for dinner. An enjoyable evening was had by all, despite four of the diners appearing to have varying degrees of difficulty sitting still on the firm dining chair cushions. When at last it was time to go, Alicia and Hortense hugged each other and the latter asked Alicia to invite Peter to visit her, if they had time on his next visit, as she would very much like to meet him.

The End

© Capstan 2020