Exams are often a worry, but that doesn’t excuse these girls’ actions.
“I’ll never be able to do this,” Diana Andrews said to her friend June Dempster, waving her maths book. “I know you’ve helped me a lot but the exam’s this evening and there just isn’t time.”
The two girls had worked hard together. June coaching Diana for the last month, but both knew that if she passed her A level maths it would be a miracle. She had probably scraped through the first two papers, but the third was more difficult and she had trouble with calculus and trigonometry.
“If we could see the paper before then I could show you how to do the questions,” June said.
“How would we do that?”
“Well St Vivien’s do the exam this morning so we could have a look at the paper.”
“That would be cheating, and we might get caught.”
“But we probably wouldn’t.” June paused, thinking it over. “We could bike to the school, it’s only three miles. I have a friend there. I’ll phone her and get her to meet me outside the gate when the exam’s over. Then we would have a couple of hours to go over the questions.”
“What if we’re caught?”
“Then we would have a caning from old Ponsonby and probably not be allowed to take any more exams, and our parents would be told, but we would be wearing bike helmets so who would recognize us? Besides without it you wouldn’t be able to go to university together. It’s worth it.”
“OK then, let’s try.” Diana looked at her watch. They could do it if they went right away.
The girls of St Vivien’s were just coming out of the exam when Diana and June arrived at the gates. There was a man in the gatehouse wearing a blue uniform, who gave them a hard look through the window, and picked up his phone. The two girls had to wait several minutes before June’s friend appeared and passed them a sheet of paper. She had glanced at it for only a few seconds when the security guard came out of the gate house.
“And what exactly do you think you’re doing?” He asked, holding out his hand for the exam paper. “Stay right where you are.”
Moments later the headmistress appeared almost running.
“Caught them trying to get a look at this,” the guard said, holding out the paper.
The teacher took it from him, studying it for a moment.
“Take your helmets off please.”
The two girls obeyed reluctantly.
“You are both from Queen Isobel’s, I believe. I remember you from the hockey match.” She picked up the phone and pressed the keys from memory.
“Margaret, I have two of your girls here.” She explained the situation and listened for a minute. “Yes, I agree. Right away.”
She turned to the two frightened girls, who were wondering what was going to happen to them. Their whole future was in the balance, and their immediate future seemed certain to include a very painful session with the head. The Headmistress of St Vivien’s confirmed this.
“You are both to report to your headmistress as soon as you get back. She said something about severe caning. If it were up to me you’d have a dozen bare. Off you go.” She turned to the other girl. “Carol, come with me.”
Half an hour later the two girls hesitated outside the headmistress’s study. The school secretary sat behind her desk.
“Aah, the two cheats. You’re going to have very sore bottoms.” She smiled in anticipation. “She’s going to cane you on the bare.” She stood up and knocked on the door.
“Come.” The girls filed in followed by the secretary. “Lock the door please Jean.” The headmistress sat behind the desk glaring at them. A cane lay ready on the desk and both girls looked at it, horribly fascinated. They had never felt more miserable and just wished she would get on with their punishment. The punishment book lay beside it. June strained to see what was written in it.
Miss Ponsonby spoke only briefly.
“You have both disgraced the school and your attempt to cheat is despicable. Really you should both be banned from taking the rest of the exam, however I understand you did not have a chance to read even one of the questions, therefore you will be able to sit the exam, provided you are able to sit after I have finished with you. I have spoken with your parents and the school governors. They have authorized a twelve stroke caning on the bare bottom, and you will both lose your prefects badges, of course. Do you agree? The alternative is fewer strokes and not being allowed to sit the exam, and you would both be expelled.”
The two girls looked at each other. They had expected a caning, but they had never heard of anyone getting caned on the bare bottom, and a dozen strokes was twice the usual punishment. Both girls had been caned several times and thought they knew what to expect but this sounded awful. They felt the way they had when they had been summoned the first time they were caned. The feel of the cane directly on the skin sounded really frightening.
“I’ll take the caning,” Diana said after a long moment.
The head looked at June.
“Yes, me too,” the pretty eighteen year old said. “Do you want our badges?”
“Of course. Give them to me and both take off those shorts and knickers.”
June removed her shorts reluctantly but hesitated when it came to getting completely bare in front of the head, however Diana was already standing there ready to have her backside caned and she pulled off her skimpy knickers and stood naked below the waist.
“Diana, June, I’ve caned you both before so you know the rules. Today you are both having twelve strokes. I am extremely angry with you and I had considered a public caning. I am not doing that, but the caning will be very hard and I will not tolerate any bad behavior. If you stand up before I tell you there will be extra strokes. You will both be crying by the time I’ve finished with you, but bad language will also be punished.” She picked up the cane from the desk. “I have only used this cane a few times, and it is kept for girls who behave in a despicable manner.”
Both girls looked with horror at the long cane held in her hand. It was not much thicker than they had both felt before, but there were ridges every few inches along the slender shaft and it seemed to tremble as she shook it gently.
“Diana, you first.”
The pretty dark haired girl stepped forwards and bent over the desk, holding on tightly. June watched, admiring her friend’s rounded bottom. The head took a full swing and brought the cane hissing down. June’s body jerked and she let out a gasp, almost letting go before she settled again to receive the second stroke of her punishment. The next three strokes were equally severe but the brunette was able to stay in place but she let out a howl with the fifth and started to sob.
“Stay still girl,” the headmistress warned. “Remember if you stand up you get extra. Do you understand?”
“Yes Miss Ponsonby, but it hurts so much,” Diana sniffed.
“Well it’s going to hurt more. Seven to go.”
It seemed to June watching that the next few strokes were a little less hard but the final three were delivered at full strength.
“Stand up Diana, it’s over.”
The sobbing girl stood clutching her bottom which was adorned with twelve fiery welts. She was unable to keep still and danced across the room. June had watched her friend’s punishment fascinated by the swish and crack of the cane and the appearance of the red stripes which turned rapidly to purple, even though she was horrified by the agony Diana must be feeling, and she was scared by what was going to happen to her in a moment. She became aware of the eyes looking at her, waiting for her to take up her position stretched across the desk. The school secretary, who had been called in as a witness, was smiling, obviously enjoying the experience. Diana looked at her scornfully and took three strides across the room and bent over the desk which felt cold across her naked belly. The cool air of the room chilled her embarrassingly bare bottom.
It seemed she waited a long time, but in reality it was only moments before the lissome cane sang its song and cracked across her naked buttocks. The pain was worse than anything she had felt before and her back arched as she half stood and she let out a gasp. She managed to hold on to the desk, standing up would mean more strokes than she already had to take, and she settled back clinging frantically. She had been determined not to scream or cry, but she already had tears in her eyes, then she saw the school secretary grinning and she became angry. She was not going to give her the pleasure of seeing her writhe or hearing her yell. The cane lashed repeatedly across her naked buttocks, each stroke as bad as the last, and she lost count, then finally came the order to stand up. She hadn’t been able to prevent the tears which were streaming down her face, and she sniffed and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. She desperately wanted to rub her burning bottom but was determined not to until she was on her own.
The head pushed a box of tissues towards her and she wiped her nose then blew it loudly.
“You may get dressed. Your exam is at four o’clock. Remember you are no longer prefects. I will be talking to your parents again, so there is no need to bring a note.”
Outside Diana said: “That really hurt, still does.”
“Yes she laid it on as hard as she could.”
“Well come on,” June said. “We’ve got work to do.”
“It’s no good going now June. I can’t possibly learn enough to pass.”
“Di’, dear, I have no intention of wasting a real thrashing, and a bottom that’s going to hurt forever. I had a look at the paper for several seconds before that man grabbed it from me.”
Diana stopped and looked at her friend and grinned with delight.
“Did you really? Did you see enough? I forgot I have a photographic memory. Oh my god! Let’s do it! Do you think the library has any padded seats?”
“Not likely girl, we’ll have to sit on our blazers.”
June was met by her mother with the car when the exam was over.
“I can’t believe you did this,” she said. “Whatever possessed you, especially as I thought you were good at maths?”
“Di’ isn’t though, and she was going to fail.”
“Well now she’ll fail anyway and she’s had a severe caning and she’s in disgrace.”
“Mum, we went over her answers together and she’s done really well. We had a couple of hours together before the exam, and it seems to have helped.”
Mrs. Dempster looked at her daughter. “Did you happen to have a good look at the paper dear?”
“Only for a few seconds.”
“Was it enough?”
“Mum, if I told you, you might want to tell someone and it will all be wasted. Besides, purely by luck of course, I managed to look up the final calculus question. I think I might have a chance at the scholarship I was talking about.”
“Surely there must be someone who has done better.”
“No one can get more than 100% Mum. I should have my fees and living expenses paid for the next four years. Then you and Dad wouldn’t have to worry about money.”
“Really I should give you another thrashing, girl, but as you say a scholarship would be very nice. It will make a huge difference to your father and me. I hate to think what you and Diana are going to get up to when you’re on your own. This doesn’t mean you’re immune from feeling the cane in the future of course. If you don’t behave you could still get a sore bottom.”
June grinned. “You mean I have to tidy my room?”
A month later Miss Ponsonby looked through the exam results of her pupils. June, as she had told her mum, had managed 100% in all three papers, and Diana had scraped a pass in the first two and had 96% in the third. She picked up the phone and spoke to her friend the headmistress of St Vivien’s.
“Margaret, how long did that girl have the exam paper in her hand before it was taken from her?”
“Five seconds, perhaps even less.”
“Well one of those girls who couldn’t add two and two together got ninety-six per cent in that paper, which is the advanced one. They must have found a way of cheating.”
“What did you do to them?”
“They had the worst caning they will probably ever have, twelve really hard on the bare. I was very angry.”
“So you have the choice of punishing the girls twice for the same offence, and you can’t really be sure they cheated, or you can use June’s results as an advertisement for the school. You know she got the Wrightson scholarship?”
“Oh, did she really? Well that does make a difference. Perhaps I should phone and congratulate her.”
“Really Elizabeth you’re just as ready to cheat as the girls. Perhaps I should have you bent over the next time we meet. Don’t worry dear, just joking.”
Elizabeth Ponsonby put the phone down wondering what it would be like if she took her friend’s threat seriously. They had been at school together at a time when canings were common and usually on the bare. Margaret had been head girl and as such had been allowed to use a light cane. Elizabeth had been caned by her on several occasions. She would of course be embarrassed to uncover her mature body, although she exercised regularly and her figure was still good. She didn’t know if she could take a caning now although the idea fascinated her.
Minutes later she was on the phone to Mrs Dempster.
“I’m afraid June’s out,” her mother said. “I’d like to thank you for allowing her to take the exam, and for the caning. She’s been pretty well behaved since.”
Miss Ponsonby paused a moment before replying. “Mrs. Dempster, you have a delightful daughter but she doesn’t believe in going by the rules unless they suit her. You are welcome to send her to me if she needs her bottom caned again.”
She put the phone down again. Perhaps she would phone Margaret again. She wondered if she would really do it and not just laugh at her. She thought she probably would. She would have to think about it. Probably not, though.