After punishing several girls, a teacher finds a possible ally.
By Samantha Wilson
Saint Helena’s is all girls private school situated in the town of Grahamstown, which is located in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The school was founded in 1874 and is one of the oldest girl’s schools in the Country. St Helena’s has an extremely high academic and sporting record and draws girls from the most affluent families, from across the Country. About 95% of the girls are boarders and the 337 girls currently enrolled are housed across five Houses where they sleep, study, play and develop under the guidance of their House Mistress.
Mrs Evelyn Rutherford is a tall and elegant lady with English ancestral roots. Her great grandparents moved from England to Stellenbosch. They bought a small parcel of land and planted some grape vines. Their success has been built on by successive generations, and the Winery now boasts thousands of acres of vines producing some of the most widely sought after wines from the Region.
Evelyn attended St Helena’s as a girl. After graduating, she read law at Rhodes University, fell in love with Charlie Rutherford, and moved to his home city of Cape Town where she joined a Law Practice. Unfortunately, Charlie was killed in a motor cycle accident shortly before his 30th birthday. Two years after his death, Evelyn found she was still unable to focus on her career and moved to Stellenbosch to be with family. It was there she met the headmistress of St Helena’s who was vacationing at the Winery with her husband and some friends. To cut a long story short, the two women bonded over long walks and horse rides, which resulted in Evelyn being offered a teaching role at the school. That Evelyn is a very accomplished and competitive horse rider and hockey player helped her cause too.
Fast forward 20 years, and Mrs Rutherford now enjoys the role of House Mistress of Merriman House. One particular Sunday evening, Evelyn was taking a walk and enjoying the coolness of an early autumn evening. The girls were all in their dormitories and the prefects would ensure the lights-out and no talking process would start in less than 15 minutes. She passed the small building attached to Merriman house, which was used as a storage room for many things, including the girls trunks, cases, bicycles etc. The flicker of a light through the tiny window of the building caught her eye. She stopped walking and crouched down to look through the window.
The very faint light seemed to be coming from somewhere under the storage floor, which seemed odd to her because she didn’t think there was a basement. Intrigued, she walked all of the way around the building but still couldn’t understand where the light was coming from. The building was surrounded by bushes and, not to be deterred, she pushed through the bushes to get as close to the building walls as possible. It was then she saw a small flight of steps leading to a very rusty, old metal door.
The door was quite heavy but the fifty-seven year old realized that if she lifted it slightly it would swing open with ease. Crouching so as not to hit her head, she cautiously walked through the door and into the corridor, following it to where the light was dimly shining. She saw a lamp on a table with and, wondering if it would work, she turned the switch. The small room was bathed in light. Evelyn Rutherford gasped in surprise at what was revealed to her.
Rumors abounded among the girls as to why they were told to report to the Armstrong House Common Room immediately after Chapel that Sunday morning. The only people who had been told of the ‘discovery’ were the deputy House Mistress and the house prefects. Each prefect had met with Mrs Rutherford individually, and she was certain none of the four prefects were responsible for, or had any knowledge of, what she had found.
Evelyn entered the meeting room and a gradual hush descended as the girls all respectfully stood up. They were still in their school uniform following the Chapel service and would be eager to change and wear non-uniform clothes in the only day of the week it was permitted.
“Please sit, thank you,” she instructed. Watching their faces as she spoke, she explained why she had asked for this extraordinary meeting.
“I won’t keep you long, girls. Yesterday evening, I took a walk and, through a window I didn’t even know existed, I saw the flicker of an electric light. The window is buried behind tall shrubs that cover the south wall of our storage room.”
She paused to see if there was any reaction but saw nothing but puzzlement on the sea of faces listening intently to her.
She continued, “Now, on further investigation behind the bushes, I noticed a natural pathway that I can only assume has developed over time by visitors to the doorway I discovered.”
Pausing again, she looked towards the back of the room where the older girls were sitting and saw there were glances being exchanged between a few of them, while the younger girls at the front continued to look puzzled. Keeping her focus on the older contingent, she carried on with her story.
“Being curious, I managed to open the door and carefully followed the corridor towards the light. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a comfy sitting room with a sofa and armchairs, a kettle, a refrigerator and an old laundry sink with hot running water and neatly stacked drinking mugs. The floor was covered with old rugs. Quite the cosy hide-out and very creative, if I may say so.”
Mrs Rutherford paused to let the murmurs die down.
“What isn’t so clever, though, is the fire hazard that has been created. Numerous old extension cables are eventually connected to an out-of-date fuse box. I wonder if whoever uses the room noticed the sparks I did when the light switch is turned on and off? Even more disconcerting to me was finding half consumed cigarette packets and three bottles of alcohol which, as you all know, is prohibited on school property. Any girl found in possession of such items would risk expulsion from this fine establishment.”
She finished her story with the room in total silence.
“My study door is open to anyone who would like to come and enlighten me about my findings. Of course, if no one claims to know anything about this situation then I shall be investigating further. Thank you for your time, ladies. Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday.”
Soon after lunch there was a knock on her study door. Mrs Rutherford called out for the visitor to enter, put her book down and walked from behind her desk towards the door. The visitor turned out to be visitors, plural. Five of them, to be precise, all of whom were now out of uniform. All of the girls were very well known to Mrs Rutherford and known for the right reasons too. Academically studious, competitive with the sports they played, and just really nice, pleasant individuals. The girls, aged 17 and 18, were all coming to the end of their year 11 and entering their final year before graduation and then university.
The door closed and Mrs Rutherford used her hand to indicate the girls should sit on the sofa and chairs situated around the low coffee table.
“I am assuming you are here to talk to me about my discovery?” she asked, smiling and looking at each girl.
Unable to meet their House Mistress’s gaze, they all nodded and shifted uncomfortably.
The truth gradually came out, with 17 year old Chloe Schwartz taking ownership of being the one who had found out about the secret room and revealed its presence to her co-conspirators. Satisfied she now had more of the facts, Mrs Rutherford understood more. She told them to wait outside her office and then called each of them into her room individually.
“I want to see Chloe last, please,'” she added.
This time, she sat behind her desk with each girl standing in front of her desk. She asked the same questions to each student. When she had seen each girl, she was pleased she had received the same response from each, knowing there was no way they could have anticipated and rehearsed their responses.
“Have you used the secret room to avoid attending school activities you should have attended?”
“Have you taken any boys to the room, or have you ever seen a boy in the room?”
“Did you buy and/or consume the cigarettes and alcohol that I found?”
“Are you very, very certain, young lady?”
“Did you give any consideration to the fact that your little scheme could have resulted in burning down the House and potentially killing many students? It is impossible that you could have missed the sparks and burning smell!”
“Do you realize how embarrassing this is for me personally, young lady? A House Mistress who doesn’t know girls are using a secret room to avoid school responsibilities? Even worse, right under my nose too! The Head Mistress is going to be very unhappy with me,” she lectured. “You have been very disrespectful to the school and to me, and that is unacceptable.”
Standing up, she went to a cupboard in the corner of her room and removed a large rubber soled plimsoll.
“Bend over the front of my desk, young lady and make sure the only piece of clothing covering your bottom are your knickers.” Evelyn waited for each girl to settle. “Six whacks and don’t you dare alter your position,” she instructed, and raised the plimsoll to shoulder level and followed the same process for each girl.
WHACK! The plimsoll connected with the right cheek, causing each girl to squeal in surprise. Pausing for about 10 seconds, the second followed with a solid WHACK to the left cheek. Gasps and a tightening of hands on the desk were common as each girl tried to stay in place. The third WWHHAACCKK connected slightly lower than the first one. While most stayed stoic, one girl actually raised her body off the desk and started to plead with her House Mistress, but to no avail. The fourth WWHHAACCKK was harder than the first three and its placement was perfect, being slightly lower than the second. Some of the girls reacted by swaying their hips to one side and took their time to resume the original position, before being surprised by the speed of the fifth WWWHHHAAACCCKKK! The plimsoll struck each girl at the base of her bottom, exactly where the lower bottom meets the top of the thigh. Without fail, each girl dissolved into tears at this stage as they either swayed or crouched down, trying to absorb the pain. WWWWHHHHAAAACCCCKKK! The noise of the final impact was followed quickly by an agonizing screech and nearly all of them stood up and rubbed their bottoms, tears streaming down their faces.
Mrs Rutherford instructed the girls to stand up and dress. Each were given a tissue as they tried to compose themselves. They left the study with the following words ringing in their ears, “The existence of the room is not to be talked about with anyone and you will never set foot inside it every again. Am I crystal clear?”
Things went slightly differently for Chloe. Her punishment was the same and her tears and pleas were just the same. However, she was asked one additional question before lowering her jeans and receiving her punishment.
“How did you find out about the room, Chloe?”
“From my cousin, Jennifer, Miss,” Chloe replied.
Mrs Rutherford, paused and added, “As in Jennifer Schwartz, who was Head Girl at St Helena’s and graduated three years ago?”
“Well how interesting! Apparently she is passing through Grahamstown on her way to Port Elizabeth for a job interview and she emailed me asking if she could take you out for dinner tomorrow night. I did say yes and, despite your behavior, I won’t change my mind. Please tell her to come and see me when she brings you back to school, and make sure it’s no later than 8pm please.”
“Good girl. Now, bend over my desk.” Like the others, Chloe left the study clutching a tissue and with red tear-swollen eyes.
Shortly after 8pm, there was a knock at her door and Jennifer cautiously walked into the room. Mrs Rutherford smiled, walked towards the young woman, and gave her a hug.
“It is lovely to see you again, Jennifer. My, how you have grown up,” she said, absorbing the fact that Jennifer was now a grown woman and a very attractive one at that. Pointing to the sofa, she poured two glasses of red wine and handed one to Jennifer before settling into the arm chair opposite. “This is a particularly nice Pinotage,” she said and then, before taking a sip, added, “I assume you haven’t already been drinking, Jennifer, because you are driving?”
The young woman flushed a little and replied, “No Mrs Rutherford.”
“Good, then enjoy it and tell me all about what has been going on in your life since I last saw you, and you may call me Evelyn, now you are no longer a student!”
After listening to the younger woman for some twenty minutes, Mrs Rutherford asked the question, “So you still have ambitions of teaching here at St Helena’s?”
“I do, Miss, very much so,” Jennifer enthusiastically answered. “I hope you will let me know if you see a suitable position open up?”
“Well, you put me in a difficult position asking for that, young Jennifer.”
Mrs Rutherford’s words caused Jennifer to look at her with a puzzled look on her face.
“You asking me to believe that Chloe didn’t tell you about me finding the secret room which caused me to punish her and her friends?”
Jennifer’s face flushed and she felt her chest tighten as she looked away, unable to hold eye contact.
“Judging by your reaction, it is pretty clear to me she did tell you. Please explain to me how you expect me to sponsor you for a role at this school knowing you have put me in a very embarrassing position?” Raising her voice and speaking more slowly, she added, “If I had followed the rules to the letter, your cousin and her friends would be looking for a new school right now rather than being tucked up in their dormitory room. I am so upset and annoyed with you, young lady. The whole House could have burned down, for goodness sake! Even when you were a student here, you sought my mentorship and that has continued since you left the school as I have guided you in the early stages of your career. All along, you have deceived me. Are you going to lie to me and tell me the cigarettes and alcohol didn’t belong to you too?”
Jennifer looked up and replied in a shaky voice, “Not the cigarettes, Evelyn. I did bring the alcohol into school. A guy from the University bought it for me.”
“Did he indeed?” Evelyn responded with disdain. “And I suppose you are going to tell me you entertained him in the room too?”
Evelyn exploded, “You were Head Girl, for goodness sake! You would have been expelled had you been discovered. Your whole career would be a shambles. You silly, silly girl!”
Exasperated, Mrs Rutherford stood up and walked to the window, taking some deep breathes and leaving Jennifer to squirm on the sofa.
With her back to Jennifer, she said, “It really is a good job you aren’t a student here, Jennifer, or I’d be teaching you a lesson in responsibility.”
Her comment was met with silence.
Turning, she added, “I think you should leave. There is nothing more to be said. Thank you for coming to see me and for taking Chloe out. I am sure she enjoyed the brief change of scenery. Despite your behavior, I want to hear how your interview tomorrow goes. Good luck.”
Jennifer stood up and walked to the door, where she paused and said, “I’m sorry, Miss,” and then quickly left and went to her car.
Towards the end of the week, Evelyn received a phone call from Jennifer. Jennifer told her all about the interview and the school in Port Elizabeth. “I don’t need to make a decision for a few more weeks, but the job is mine if I want it,” she concluded.
‘I can hear the reservation in your voice,’ thought Evelyn.
“It sounds like a great opportunity, but what aren’t you telling me?” Evelyn enquired.
Jennifer went on to explain that it was an inner-city school and she’d prefer a more campus-based environment like St Helena’s. Her major issue was the lack of a sporting program due to the lack of facilities and space, and she really wanted to coach sports as well as teach.
The conversation ended pleasantly without reference to their previous meeting. Evelyn told Jennifer to keep in touch while she made her decision.
She added, “Term ends on Wednesday this week, so on Friday I will be going to my beach cottage in Kenton-on-Sea for a few days. Be sure to use my mobile phone if you want to call me. I assume you still have the number?”
Jennifer confirmed she did, and they said their goodbyes and hung up.
Around lunch time on Friday, Jennifer nervously called Evelyn. She knew Evelyn would be at her beach cottage by now. Evelyn answered and, based on the tone of the older woman’s voice, Jennifer was relieved she was pleased to hear from her. They discussed their end of term pressures before Evelyn went on to explain that the Operations team had been working on the secret room all week and had resolved the electrical issues as well as having secured the building to ensure no one could get into it without multiple keys.
There was an uncomfortable silence during which Jennifer took a deep breath and said, “Actually, that is why am calling you, Evelyn. I know I messed up and I hate the fact that if a teaching role at St Helena’s comes up I can’t rely on your support to secure it. You have been an amazing mentor to me and I feel guilty and selfish for disappointing you the way I have.” She let out a soft sigh of relief having said what she had been practicing for days.”
Evelyn paused before replying, “I don’t like this coming between us either, Jennifer. I was young once too, remember. I made mistakes and I got up to all sorts of mischief in school too. However, I knew the rules and I knew the consequences. Speaking adult to adult here, Jennifer, if you really want to clear the air you can come and visit me for the weekend, and accept the consequences of your actions. Otherwise, I am sure that over time we will continue to stay in touch and will naturally move past this. Now, I need to go and take a cake out of the oven. Text me later and let me know what you plan to do. Goodbye, dear.”
Evelyn hung up before Jennifer could absorb and respond.
Less than an hour later, Evelyn received the expected text message. She had company for the weekend. She pondered for a moment and decided to make sure Jennifer really understood what was going to happen.
She texted back, saying, “Be here for lunch time, and on your way down please go via school. Mrs Walters will let you into my apartment. Go to my study. You know where I keep the plimsoll. Put it in a bag and bring it with you.”
Reading the message, Jennifer needed to quickly sit down. Her legs felt weak and her chest tightened.
She texted back, “OK, see you tomorrow.”
Evelyn heard a car pull up outside her remote cottage shortly before noon the following day. She didn’t wait for a knock but opened the front door and gave the nervously smiling woman a reassuring hug.
“Let’s get you inside and settled, and then I thought we could take a walk to the beach and my favorite pub where we can have a drink and some lunch. Sound good, Jennifer?”
“It sounds lovely!” Jennifer replied, running up the stairs and putting her small overnight bag in the room Evelyn directed her to.
Evelyn picked up the one small bag Jennifer didn’t take with her. She peered inside and, as expected, found the plimsoll. She put the bag out of sight. Evelyn locked the cottage and they started their walk. Following Jennifer along a narrow pathway, Evelyn admired the pretty sundress Jennifer was wearing. It was fashionably short for someone her age and suited her perfectly. She smiled to herself seeing the dress catch slightly on Jennifer’s underwear as she walked.
‘The girl has clearly thought ahead and decided a fully covered bottom might help her,’ Evelyn thought to herself.
They had a very nice walk followed by lunch and then returned to the cottage.
Once inside, Jennifer asked, “Evelyn, the suspense is killing me. Can we please get this over with?”
Evelyn saw the anguish on the girl’s face and stepped towards her, pulling Jennifer into a hug. She took Jennifer’s hand and led her into the living room. The curtains had been shut while Jennifer was in the bathroom and there was a dining room chair in the middle of the room. Not letting go of Jennifer’s hand, Evelyn sat in the chair and then looked up at the scared young woman.
“You behaved like an immature schoolgirl, and I’m going to spank you like one. After that, you are getting exactly what Chloe and her friends received. You have exactly thirty seconds to back out of this or get over my lap. Your choice, Jennifer.”
Jennifer hesitated, but then awkwardly lay herself over Evelyn’s lap and, with the assistance of her ex-Housemistress, found herself staring at the polished wooden floor, resting on her fingertips with her toes just about touching the floor behind her.
The sun dress didn’t require much raising as Evelyn lifted it above the slim woman’s waist. Underneath, the pink and white boy shorts covered a very firm bottom, and Evelyn couldn’t help noticing Jennifer’s long and toned legs.
“This isn’t going to be fun for either of us, young lady, but I’m proud of the decision you have made.”
Jennifer didn’t have to wait long before her bottom was really uncomfortable. She was surprised at how much Evelyn’s hand stung, and how quickly she spanked. She couldn’t stop writhing in a vain attempt to avoid the smacks which covered her entire bottom and the very top of her thighs. She started to get vocal and then tried to put her hand back to stop the spanking.
“Put your hand on the floor, Jennifer. If you put your hand back again these pretty knickers are coming down. Understand?”
She glanced up and looked at the clock. Only three minutes had passed since the first spank, but she knew it felt like an eternity to Jennifer.
‘Two more minutes to go,’ she thought to herself, and continued the hand spanking.
Jennifer was getting very distressed and was pleading and apologizing as the fire built in her bottom. Her hand went back again, causing Evelyn to sigh, but of course she understood and knew her message was getting through.
“I warned you, Jennifer. Lift your hips, young lady.”
Jennifer cried out, but did as she was told and felt her knickers leaving her bottom and being drawn all the way to her knees. She clamped her thighs tightly together as the onslaught continued and, by the time Evelyn reached the five minute mark, Jennifer had lost all attempts to protect her modesty, and tears were falling onto the wooden floor in front of her.
Evelyn stopped and caressed Jennifer’s back gently, allowing her hand to move across Jennifer’s very red and sore bottom.
“Let’s get you up,” she said, helping Jennifer onto her feet and making sure she had her balance before pulling the bare-bottomed young woman onto her lap and holding her as the wracking sobs slowed and subsided. She could feel the dampness of the tears on her blouse as the girl tried to compose herself.
After a few minutes, she took Jennifer to a corner and told her to stand there until she called for her.
“Hands on your head, young lady, and don’t you dare touch your adorable bottom.”
As Jennifer stood precisely as she was told, Evelyn busied herself while allowing time for Jennifer to compose herself and reflect. She took the plimsoll from the bag and put it on a side table where Jennifer, out of the corner of her eye, would be able to see it. She poured water into a glass and, telling Jennifer she could put her hands down, handed the glass to her along with fresh tissues. Jennifer gratefully sipped at the water and blew her nose, aware that her knickers had slipped down to her ankles.
She bent to pull them up, only to be rebuked, “You may as well take those off as they will only be in the way, Jennifer.”
The young woman stepped out of them, grateful her dress was covering her private areas. Placing a cushion on the back of the sofa, Evelyn told Jennifer to bend over the back of the sofa and rest her tummy on the cushion.
“Right over please, young lady. Use your tip-toes and reach all the way forward. You will need to move your feet apart to balance.”
When Jennifer was finally in place, Evelyn flipped the hem of her dress back over her back. She paused for a moment, noticing how red and sore the 23-year-old’s bottom looked. Jennifer, for her part, felt herself blushing as she realized what a vulnerable and exposed target she was now presenting.
Evelyn counted to ten between each of the very hard whacks with the plimsoll. Evelyn would later recall that Jennifer’s attempts at stoicism were admirable despite her writhing and yelps. She presented quite the sight.
Finally, the ordeal was over and tears, hugs, promises, apologies and thanks ensued as the evening progressed. Evelyn had pre-made dinner for them, after which they sat next to each other on the sofa and chatted while watching the TV. It wasn’t long before Jennifer was starting to fall asleep. Evelyn suggested an early night.
She awoke the next morning to sounds and aromas from the kitchen. Making her way downstairs, she found Jennifer dressed, and a kitchen table laden with food.
“I wish I’d be more aware of how my bottom would feel this morning when I packed yoga pants to wear!” Jennifer joked.
About an hour later, Jennifer was driving off, feeling very sore but mightily relieved. Evelyn tidied up and left a few hours later. She still had a lot of school work to complete before she could come back to the cottage for a few weeks.
Much later that night two women were having similar thoughts. Jennifer lay in bed on her tummy. Her bottom was still stinging and sore, and yet she was feeling an inner calmness and a warmth in parts of her body. When she picked up the plimsoll from school she had noticed a crooked handled cane in the same cabinet. She had held it in her hand, then guiltily put it back. She couldn’t stop thinking what it would be like to be caned.
Mrs Rutherford was standing at the cabinet and putting the plimsoll in its rightful place. She too saw the cane and, picking it up, playfully swished it through the air.
‘Should I have used this on young Jennifer instead of the plimsoll?’ she wondered.
She smiled to herself knowing that there was a position opening up at St Helena’s come the end of this term, and Jennifer would be a perfect candidate.
© Samantha Wilson 2020
Samantha is happy to correspond with readers at email@example.com