Dilemmas after the Nature Walk

Exploring a close pupil/teacher relationship.

By Jane Fairweather

“You may all be seated.” Miss Johnson proclaimed from the small stage at the front of the Hall, now the hymn was sung and the prayers said.

There was a rustle of skirts and gym slips as the younger girls of Corry Hall School sat down cross legged on the polished wood floor and the Five Uppers and Sixth Form sat down on the chairs that went with their seniority in the school. Mary Gulliver noticed that all three of her friends were shuffling much more on their bottoms than they would normally have done.

“There is a fair chance that we won’t get it at all and she will just blame Miss Black for getting us into it. We just have to stick to our version. And even if we do get the stick, which I doubt, she won’t be as hard on us as she would be on Mary by herself. If Mary admits what she really did, she will be really for it.” Sarah, or in full, Sarah Vane-Scott, the imperious, but very quiet daughter of a full colonel, had observed both on the previous afternoon and on several occasions since.

The other three had nodded sagely and pretended to a certain nonchalance, and Mary for one had felt real gratitude for her friends’ support. However, now the clock on the wall had ticked remorselessly through the hymn and the prayers and they had reached the notices.

Mary, for one, felt extremely nervous. It was one of the odder and more uncomfortable customs of Miss Johnson’s regime that she always thought about it over night, and it was only next morning in Assembly that you found out if you were going to be caned, or not. And then you had to wait till six o’clock in the evening to be punished and go without your evening meal as well.

“In Period Four and Period Seven, Miss Constantine will be taking 4B for Maths in Miss Smith’s continued absence due to her Mother’s illness; and in Period Two Miss Jones…”

The complicated re-arrangements due to the illness of the school’s principal Maths teacher’s mother droned on while Mary barely listened. There was a sudden uncomfortable pause. Now, were they going to hear anymore about yesterday, or not? Perhaps Miss Johnson was just going to dismiss the Assembly. She felt Sarah’s clammy right hand reach over and clasp her left one.

“There was a most unfortunate episode during yesterday’s half day in the course of which some Senior girls, who should have known a great deal better, were caught trespassing on our neighbour’s land and were extremely rude when the error was brought to their attention. Sarah Vane-Scott, Mary Gulliver, Anne Kirkpatrick and Jane Anderson will all report to my office at six o’clock where they may expect a severe punishment. Oh, and I would also like to see Miss Black at Five o’clock. Assembly is now dismissed.”

Mary could feel her best friend’s hand increase its grip till it hurt. She almost protested, then thought Sarah absolutely hated being caned, but no doubt she would calm down in a second. Not that she was that keen on it herself. It really was very sweet of Sarah and the others to try and spare her from the full effects of her foolishness of yesterday. How had she managed to let herself get into such a temper? She really did not know why she had done it.

Sarah suddenly let go as the line of Sixth Form girls in their white blouses and black striped ties and blue pleated skirts rose to leave the hall.

They headed for the two studies that the four of them had managed to bag side by side and somehow ended up in Jane and Anne’s room, sat two on each bed.

“Poor Miss Black!” Said Anne. “I bet she will get a real earful. Miss J’s almost as tough on young mistresses as she is on us.”

“Well at least she will be able to sit down.” Said Sarah, going into one of the darker moods that her friends were all too used to. “I always bruise when I am caned. You other girls are lucky; you don’t swell like I do.”

“Oh come off it! You’ve only had it once! And you said yourself there is a fair chance Miss J will think of something else now we are Sixth Formers.” Mary said severely, remembering her own three canings in one term in 4A; once for smoking, once for being rude to Miss Reynolds, once for being out of bounds with cigarettes.

“Mary must hold the record.” Observed Jane. “You’ve had it five times, haven’t you Mary?”

“Yes,” Mary replied rather grumpily.

“Which was your worst time?”

“Oh, when we all got it for ganging up on Miss Reynolds in 4A. Actually I am not sure we did not deserve that. We were pretty rotten to her. I got five; three into the top of my thighs, which really stung, and two into the lower bit of my bottom, which left me feeling uncomfortable for a week at least. Miss Johnson can really cane!”

“We probably did deserve it. Poor Miss Reynolds, she left at the end of the term anyway.” Anne cut in.

“Unless she was pushed. She was a terrible teacher and I am sure Miss J knew that.” Jane said.

“Anyway, I got only one less than Mary and she really whacked me. She said I was especially deserving of punishment because I was normally a good girl.” Sarah cut in almost boastfully.

“Serve you right for always being good!” Mary retorted giggling. “Anyway,” she added. “What do you think the form will be, girls? It is not exactly an advantage in this situation; this new rule that Sixth Formers have to wear panties and slips and nylons ‘like grownup young ladies’, now is it? At least those horrible things we wore lower down the school were quite thick and took the worst of the sting away.”

“I bet when she changed the rule about uniform she was thinking no Sixth Former would ever need to be caned.” Said Jane dryly. “And on the whole we are much better behaved now we are older. We are going to be the first for a long time, you know. I bet she is wracking her brains wondering what to do with us.”

“I reckon there is a pretty fair chance that, though she is bound to punish us, it won’t be the cane. She won’t want to cane Sixth Formers in panties.” Sarah cut in.

“I haven’t got any of the older variety of knickers here. Have any of the rest of you?” Mary pursued her awkward line of thought.

There was a general shaking of heads.

“Well I am not going to ask a Five Uppers if I can borrow theirs; we’d be the laughing stock of the school.” Said Sarah, with her air of command that no one felt like contradicting.

“Maybe she will let us keep our slips on, if it happens, and she does not decide on something else, which I think she may?” Jane commented. “Boys are supposed to have two layers of clothing; my brother told me that.”

“We’ll just have to see what she decides.” Said Mary briskly, who was getting fed up with the topic.

“My panties will stretch so tight they will give almost no protection, so I hope to god she does leave us some other clothes on if it happens. I suppose it would be too obvious to put two pairs on.” Said Jane with real unease.

“Come on, girls, we have got other things to do between now and Six o’clock. We had better get on and do them. Its no use worrying about what may happen and it’s always possible, even probable she has some other punishment in mind. And we discussed all this last night and we are not going to change our minds now, are we? It would not be fair to Mary. And it’s time for lessons and we certainly don‘t want to be late,” Sarah stated decisively, so bringing the little conference to an end.

It was not that surprising that Sarah was widely tipped as the next head girl, Mary dryly thought.

*         *          *

Peggy Black was in a more than slightly bemused state. It did not help that she had only three periods of teaching that day. In between them, she was going for walks or locking herself away in her room and avoiding entering the staff room.

However, she found this did not help greatly. Someone to talk through the bizarre events of the previous twenty-four hours would have been very helpful, but after only six weeks in the school she had no close friend of the sort she had been used to at College, well except Mary Gulliver. And Mary had become the source of real sexual pleasure, perhaps more than she had ever known before, but also of a certain guilt.

She should not be having this affair, she knew, and she had kissed Mary first; but it was an interesting question who had seduced who. She had started it in theory, but Mary had responded immediately and passionately and had been making eyes at her for some while before; and Mary and her wicked black eyes had been born naughty and because of her constant smoking the girl knew every last nook where something could take place against school rules and so far they had not been caught and it seemed on the whole unlikely that they would be.

But partly, at least, yesterday’s events had been the price for these secret kisses. They had gone into Lord Landon’s wood with its prize pheasants for a Nature Walk. She had never thought anyone would object to girls looking at the various fungi. And it had seemed easy enough to send the other girls off on their own in one direction, while Mary and she went in the other.

They had found a very discrete thicket, which even had some interesting mushrooms that they picked a few prime specimens of, before laying down a small rug and continuing their mutual exploration of one another’s bodies. Mary was still at the stage of just wanting to kiss and cuddle, though the very experienced Peggy was more than slightly hoping that this might be the time they got beyond that.

Anyway, they both still had their clothes on, which in view of what happened next was perhaps as well, even if they both had their skirts and slips well above their waists and Peggy’s finger had just slipped inside her lover’s very moist nylon panties.

They heard men shouting and girls shrieking. Mary leapt to her feet, seized the mushrooms, presumably to provide an alibi, and started to move away from the hullabaloo.

“No!” Said Peggy, “We have got to see what is going on. I am responsible for you all.”

Mary, perhaps rather surprisingly, obeyed. The two of them headed for the shouting and shrieking and almost fell over Jane, Sarah and Anne being pursued by two hefty keepers in old fashioned plus fours. The girls were shrieking as they ran. The game keepers were yelling to them to stop. When they saw Peggy and Mary, all five seemed to stop in their tracks.

Peggy kept her nerve and strode up to the men.

“I am just taking these girls from the school for a Nature Walk.” She stated brazenly. “Whatever is the matter?”

“The matter, Miss, whoever you are, is that these are his Lordship’s woods and nobody is allowed in it because of the pheasants, like. And I’d be grateful if you would take your girls out of here and not come back.”

Peggy shrugged and felt a gracious retreat was in order.

Then she heard Mary.

“Why should you keep these woods for some nobleman? I have as much right to be here as you have. And what right have you to frighten my friends?”

It had never occurred to Peggy that Mary had a temper like that. Oh dear! Peggy apologised frantically and told Mary to shut up, but Mary, far from shutting up, was shrieking and swearing in a most unladylike fashion in between expressing views on land ownership that would have done credit to the far left of the Labour Party.

The face of the older, very white haired, keeper was getting redder and redder; it crossed Peggy’s mind that Mary at least was heading for a very painful unofficial spanking; it did not seem in the least unlikely and would not, she thought, in the circumstances have been that unreasonable. She only hoped it was not going to extend to her own backside and the other girls.

But no, the man was very meanly demanding all their names so he could report them to the school; and saying he would take them to the Police Station if they did not co-operate.

Peggy very reluctantly gave the information, thinking it was the least of the very real evils that seemed to be confronting them and hopefully he would not remember the names; he was after all fairly elderly.

However the man, to her surprise, took out a note book and wrote the names down and went off muttering he, or more likely his Lordship, would be phoning the school in the very near future and now would they please get out of his Lordship’s wood.

The younger and less voluble keeper silently escorted them, with a large knotted stick in his hand.

“Miss, you should have let us run. We could have run faster than them.” The normally demure Sarah said when they reached the school grounds. “And, Miss, you did not have to give them our real names; you could have lied.”

And then, several hours later, there had been the very painful scene in the Headmistress’s study. She had thought Mary would own up and be caned, which her lover deserved, and she would not have objected to doing herself, even though Mary was rather old for such things. However, very unexpectedly, all four girls had made a joint confession to deliberately scaring pheasants and being abusive to the Keepers. She had been barely allowed a word in edgeways.

A more than slightly puzzled Miss Johnson had said that it sounded most unlike Sarah at least, and what they said did not seem to match what she had been told by Lord Landon. However, then she had added the dreaded words that she would think overnight about what was appropriate.

Mary had quietly slipped into her room later that evening and explained that when Miss Johnson said that it usually meant the cane, Peggy felt mildly stunned.

“But three of you don’t deserve it, and you are all Sixth Formers anyway.” She said.

“Sarah came up with the idea that she would probably not be that hard on us, if it was all four of us. If we get caned we will probably get fewer strokes than me by myself, and there is a fair chance it won’t happen at all. She will probably think of something else. That’s what Sarah thinks, anyway. Miss Johnson won’t like caning four Sixth Formers. She will probably have us picking up litter or something.”

“But Mary, she may well not have you picking up litter or something. I really think you should own up even now. It is not fair on the others. I think it is highly probable that if you do not own up, you will all get the cane severely.”

“I wanted to own up, I really did, but Sarah just would not allow it. She said if it was me by myself I would get a real hiding and the others agreed. I was told to shut up. I did not really get a chance to say no.”

“Are you sure this is Sarah and not you?”

“Yes, of course, Peggy. And it is brave of Sarah; she hates the cane. Mind you, the bitch must be hoping to watch me being swished with just my knickers on. She did last time and she really enjoyed watching, even if she absolutely hated it when it was her turn. She‘s got a real thing about me, not that she knows about us. I‘ve managed to keep that quiet.”

Then they were in a passionate cuddle, during which Peggy kept imagining Mary being caned on her bare bottom while she and Sarah waited their turn together and watched intently. In real life, things went considerably further than they had previously and Peggy found herself going to sleep feeling intensely gratified. She was barely conscious of Mary slipping out of the bed and sidling out of the door.

*         *          *

But now it was ten to five in the afternoon on the day of judgement. Peggy had prepared almost as for an interview, realizing her presence on the teaching staff of the Corry School could be very short lived if this went wrong. She had stripped completely, washed all over, put on clean underwear and stockings and finally her slinkiest nylon slip which, she felt in an odd way, would give her confidence. Then she added an almost new cream coloured skirt that hugged her bottom closely and in an odd way made her feel secure. Then, after changing her mind three times, she put on a dark blue blouse that she felt complemented her auburn hair rather well. Then she brushed her hair thoroughly and put the hair clips back. Finally she checked her deodorant very self consciously and headed out into the corridor.

Her knees were knocking and she was only going to be told off. She wondered how the four girls were feeling. They were going to be caned, almost certainly, whatever Sarah’s silly fantasies. And even though or because there was the slightest element of doubt they must be dreading it, but perhaps they were glad it was finally going to be over; it had been an awfully long wait for them to find out what was going to happen.

But why did the silly monkeys not just let Mary take the fall? To say the least, it was perverse. Perhaps Mary was right about Sarah wanting to watch her being caned, but it seemed unlikely. Probably Mary had realized in some telepathic way that telling that story would get her and Peggy really going, which it had. She smiled at the recollection despite the awkward interview that was coming.

Then she wondered if the girls wore the same type of panties as Mary, who wore them almost to her waist? She felt sorry for any of them who had to bend over in panties that only went up to the top of their thighs. Undoubtedly Mary’s style of panties was ideal if you were going to get the cane.

It struck her that she wore her own fairly high on her waist, if not as high as Mary, and fairly tight. She wondered if it mattered that they hugged her bottom so tightly. It was unlikely, to say the least, that she would be punished with anything other than words, but that would be quite unpleasant enough; yet the thought of being caned with just panties on made her feel slightly sick. It was almost certainly what was going to happen to Mary. She could feel it in her bones. Poor Mary!

*         *           *

“How did Miss Black get on?” Sarah asked the School Secretary, just as Mary had asked her to do.

Mary listened with real anxiety; she was worried that Peggy might have been asked to leave the school and it might quite possibly be because of their relationship. Pupils and teachers were not supposed to do that sort of thing, she had known that all along; but what the hell! She felt a certain guilt that she had deliberately drawn Peggy into the affair, even if Peggy had kissed her first.

“Oh she got a roasting, poor girl.” Miss Hughes, the rather middle aged, but not unpleasant, school secretary replied. “I am afraid she was in tears. She’d done her best to get her make-up looking good for the head and her waterworks made it run all over her face. She even kept touching her bottom as if she had been caned, but she was probably just trying to adjust her skirt; it was rather tight. It would have been more tactful if she had worn something more demure. Miss Johnson does not like clothes like that. She probably got an extra earful for it.”

“The head wouldn’t really cane a mistress, would she?” Mary asked, rather startled and suddenly realizing how genuinely fond she was of Peggy. Up to this point, the affair had seemed an exciting game, but now she was crossing a boundary into a dangerous but inviting country that she had no intention of leaving.

“No, of course she wouldn’t, dear. You didn’t think I meant it seriously, did you, dear?”

“No, of course she didn’t!” Sarah cut in. “But please could you just tell the head we are here for our punishment, dear Miss Hughes. We would like to get it over; it’s been such a long day.”

“Of course, dear.”

Miss Hughes stepped across her office to the headmistress’s door and knocked.

“Those girls are here to be dealt with, Headmistress.” They heard her say.

No more than a minute later they were standing in an uneasy line in front of Miss Johnson’s desk. Mary could hear the head’s voice a very long way away asking if they had anything to add to their comments of the previous evening. Nobody had.

*         *          *

It was six in the morning and Peggy was half asleep in bed, lying on her face, burying her head in her tear-soaked pillow. She had spent a very troubled evening and a worse night feeling crushed in body and soul. The sudden enforced loss of her relationship with Mary had made her suddenly realise this was not the casual fling she thought it was. But there was no way out of it. Mary would stay here and she would have to go goodness knows where.

Because of the rule that girls went to their rooms without their evening meal after a caning, she had not seen her lover. Anyway, she should not be worrying about Mary; she should be thinking about her own very awkward situation.

It had scarcely helped that she had gone to sleep with the screams of one of the girls, which had been so loud she had heard them through the open window of her room, still echoing in her head and periodically she had woken up weeping about the whole crazy turn of events. One girl must have had a real hiding. Either that or someone had made a dreadful fuss. She kept hoping that it had not been Mary.

Nevertheless, she glanced up at her alarm clock, which now said 6.15 and started to go to sleep again. Then the door must have opened and shut without her noticing and Mary’s sparkling black eyes were gazing at her radiantly and that lovely voice was asking how she was.

“You shouldn’t be here, love; you will get caught and be in even more trouble.” Peggy said nervously, feeling anything but romantic.

“No, I won’t get caught. And anyway, if I do I don’t care that much.”

“Anyway, since you are here, what happened? What was that dreadful screaming about? It wasn’t you, was it?”

“No, it was poor Sarah. She got six with only her panties between her and it. The rest of us kept our slips on. It was horrible! She really howled and her bottom kept thrusting forwards and backwards. I really don’t know how she stayed in position. I suppose she had the sides of the chair to cling on to.”

“In heaven’s name, why Sarah? She did not have much to do with what happened in the wood.”

“Miss Johnson said she had been the brains behind half a dozen pieces of mischief up the school and she has always got away with it because she is so quiet and clever. And then she said that she did not believe a word about what we said happened in the wood, and only Sarah was clever enough to have made up the story we told her. So Sarah really got it.”

“What about the rest of you?”

“I got five and it wasn’t much fun. She whacked me quite hard and I cried a bit, but it was mild compared with what happened to Sarah. She let Jane and Anne off with two each. She said they had probably been just spectators and led on by Sarah as usual. Anne cried quite a lot afterwards, even though it was only two. She‘s got two large bruises. Jane wasn‘t too bad.”

“What about you?”

“I’m used to it, and anyway I’ve got a tough hide. It was awful for Sarah though. She had pink panties on, which made it worse to watch in some ridiculous way. You couldn’t see much through the other girls’ slips, but you could see everything when Sarah got it.”

“Did she get to watch you being caned? You said…”

“Yes, I know what I said. No, she got it first, and I got it last, and I had to watch all the others, which was not nice. I really do not want to see another caning ever again. Anyway, what happened to you, Peggy? I was really worried about what Miss Hughes said about you when Sarah asked, just before we went in.”

Peggy paused, then said: “I was told every conceivable aspect of my teaching was bad and incompetent, and she has grave suspicions about my morals, though she cannot prove anything. And she is giving me two weeks to find another job, which means I shall not be seeing much more of you, I am afraid.”

“We will keep it going. I love you.”

“We cannot, dear love, if I am on the other side of the country, which I quite probably will be.”

“Yes, we can. My father is already saying it might be better if I left school at the end of this year and got a job, because he is running short of money to keep me here. I might persuade him to let me leave even earlier.”

“Do you really mean that? It is incredibly brave of you. Do you know how many lovers I have had? It would not be fair on you.”

“Do you think I am stupid? Of course I know that you know lots more about it than I do and you must have learnt it somewhere. But that means you can teach me.”

“We will talk about it in a couple of days, when we have both had a chance to think.” Said Peggy as firmly as she could, but not convincing herself let alone her lover, that she had any intention of behaving rationally and reasonably.

“Anyhow, many did you get?” Mary asked abruptly.

“What ever do you mean?” Said Peggy awkwardly.

“Miss Hughes said she thought you could have had the cane and she saw you adjusting your skirt afterwards.”

“If we are going to have a long relationship then you are going to have to learn to accept that there are some things I am not going to tell you, and this is definitely the first of them.” Peggy said in her most school mistressly voice.

“So you did have it.” Mary said with an odd smile on her face.

“I said I am not prepared to tell you. And if we are going to go through with this mad plan I would much rather you did not get expelled, which would make it far more difficult to get you a job when you leave, so please go back to your room.” Peggy stated firmly and unyieldingly.

Mary reached down and kissed her passionately before going out of the door without another word being said.

Peggy very cautiously eased herself out of bed, trying not to put too much pressure on her inflamed lower regions, and trying not to think too much about the cold air coursing round her bare flesh and that horrible moment of waiting while she gripped the sides of the chair, which seemed for some reason much worse than the pain that had followed.

For the hundredth time, at least, since 5.30 the previous afternoon, the culmination of Miss Johnson’s lecture started to hammer through her head. Perhaps she thought it would have been easier to tell Mary about it. Probably she would one day, but now today it seemed just too humiliating. And yet she could not stop thinking about it.

The beginning of it, Peggy had been more or less prepared for. She was a terrible second rate teacher, far below the standard even of the average new mistress straight out of college. “Well,” thought Peggy. “At least that gives me a chance for her to tell me how to improve.”

But then the lecture moved on ominously. The Corry School had always maintained certain academic standards, which Miss Black seemed incapable of fulfilling. She was going to be dismissed, Peggy realized, unless this was just an attempt to frighten her in to higher standards.

“And then, Miss Black,” Miss Johnson fulminated. “There is the question of the example we expect our mistresses to give to our pupils. Do you think that ridiculous tight skirt is either a good example to the girls or conducive to your own authority! Of course it isn’t. And while I do not object to mistresses wearing some make up, you are positively plastered in the stuff.

“But, we are skating round much more serious issues, aren’t we? Your College principal was very tactful in her written reference, but on the phone she said quite bluntly that at college you had a certain reputation for amorous relationships with your own sex. I said: ‘Can she be trusted not to do such things with her own students?’ And she assured me that you were extremely trustworthy and she was sure that any such relationships would be kept strictly extra curricular. I took her word; and low and behold I notice a certain light of love on Mary Gulliver’s face. ‘Well girls get crushes at that age,’ I thought. ‘And quite possibly Miss Gulliver’s love is not my newly appointed biology mistress of dubious morals‘. I am anyway a little concerned because I am fond of Miss Gulliver. She is a little wild and naughty, but very bright and very pleasant.

“Anyway, I put it out of my head till yesterday afternoon, when I received a most extraordinary phone call from Lord Landon. It was bad enough, frankly, that you had thought fit to take some of my brightest girls looking for mushrooms in an area which they at least must have known is totally out of bounds. To be fair, I suspect they did not tell you; and that will be adding a little to their punishment in half an hour’s time. Not to mention, of course, their quite blatant lies of last evening! And how they ever expected to get away with that, I do not know. I sincerely hope it was not your idea, but I think even you are not stupid enough for that.

“However, what really annoyed me was that Lord Landon’s game keeper apparently told him that he heard some quite disgusting noises in the distance, and you were with Mary and carrying a rug when he finally caught up with you. It is a little circumstantial, but it is enough to turn Miss Gulliver’s five strokes for lying, being rude and abusive and being out of bounds, to a very sound baker’s half dozen, though I shall pretend with her that I know nothing about what you and she were doing. And it is an interesting question whether her bare bottom is going to pay for this or I let her keep panties on. Panties should tense the skin up nicely of course. But on the other hand there is something very humiliating about being whipped on the bare bottom.

“Now, given that Miss Gulliver’s backside is going to pay for this, I think yours should too.”

Peggy froze. She had never been caned and the thought terrified her, but she just did not feel brave enough to refuse the punishment. There was just a chance that if she took it she thought she might be allowed to stay in the school and keep seeing Mary, though they would have to be infinitely more discreet.

Not that she was allowed much chance to argue. She heard herself being ordered to ‘step out of that ridiculous skirt and take a firm grip on the sides of this chair’. And when she hesitated just for a second she felt the headmistress’s hands on the zip of her skirt.

“No, I will do it.” She said desperately, trying very hard to keep her dignity.

It was never an easy skirt to get into or out of and with Miss Johnson shrieking at her for being too slow, it seemed to take forever. However, finally it was done and she felt Miss Johnson’s firm hand on her arm, marching her to the chair.

“Hold the sides of the seat of the chair and keep your hands there or have extra.”

She obeyed, thinking the wood of the chair felt quite cold. Her bottom felt extremely exposed. Still she still had her slip and panties on, which seemed a little better than the waking nightmare she had endured on the way to the interview. Then she felt her slip being pulled above her waist.

“Please no!” She said.

“I don’t see why a grown woman like you should escape having her bare bottom whipped after such heinous behaviour.”

“Please, I am sorry for everything. Please let me keep my knickers on.”

It was unbelievable. She felt them being pulled down to her knees and she did not have the strength to oppose it. There had been tears in her eyes before, but at that point she really started to weep.

Then there was that horrible pause, which really got to her, and then the whipping. She thought it was nine strokes, counting them afterwards in the mirror, but some crossed over or were close to others, which made counting difficult. At the time, she lost all count, but at least somehow she managed not to shriek or cry out. The first couple of strokes were the worst, but they all hurt a lot. And she was extremely swollen.

She recovered slowly and in silence. At least Miss Johnson left her to it. Finally she felt able to stand and pull her panties up and her slip down. Then there was the agony of putting her skirt back on, which for a second she thought she was just not going to be able to do.

She very reluctantly turned to her executioner and asked very quietly if taking the beating meant that she could stay in the school.

“No,” said Miss Johnson from behind her desk, almost kindly. “It would be too difficult for everyone, including yourself. However, you did show some real dignity and for that I will give you a rather better reference than you would otherwise have got; and I will even give you the two weeks till half term to find another job. But you are not to see Mary Gulliver in that time, other than in class. I hope you will learn from this very painful experience and move on. Despite what I said earlier on you could be a good teacher one day. Certainly I will write you a decent reference.”

“But what when she finds out what Mary and I have just agreed to do, and I mean to do it and I am sure Mary does.” Peggy thought as she painfully rubbed some cream into her still very sore bottom. The future seemed exciting but also very uncertain.

But why had Mary said she had five strokes and Miss Johnson had said it was going to be a very severe baker’s half dozen, or seven. Perhaps it had been Mary shrieking after all and not Sarah. Had she swapped round her and Sarah’s punishments? And yet Mary’s description of Sarah’s six of the very best in her pink panties had been extremely vivid. Perhaps it was how it had happened, but Sarah had not yelled. It was most odd. Possibly Mary would tell her the truth one day, but she would not press her now; there was plenty of time for that.

The End

© Jane Fairweather 2016  To view Jane’s Amazon Author Page and details of ebooks she was written, click here