A teacher helps a headmaster deal with two girls
By Jane Fairweather
“Time to stop girls! Make sure you don’t linger changing! Unless you want the boys from the Upper Fifth watching you, that is, especially you Gillian…”
Miss Carter had blown her whistle for the end of the period of PE in the solitary gym that St Edward’s school possessed and the impromptu basketball game had come to an abrupt end. The Upper Sixth girls (or those of them that had not found a convenient excuse to avoid this session of enforced activity), were all in white tee shirts and often tight blue gym knickers and some at least looked distinctly sweaty.
Miss Carter looked round them, reflecting that girls dressed like this had a certain lack of individuality. No doubt when they got in the changing room, even at eighteen, some of them would skip out of having a shower, and some would take far too long. She had taught at enough schools to know that schoolgirls of all ages behaved like this. And no doubt Gillian Clarkson would be last again and have to be chased out.
She watched them head through the gym doors to the changing room, deciding she would take her time and follow them in a little while. Then she went and stood at the far end of the gym and looked out at the bright September light on the playing fields, where some Upper Fifth boys were playing rugby.
This made her remember this was her last year of teaching and she did enjoy her work. In fact she had enjoyed it rather more for the last three years, after her mother’s death had left her with just enough money to take this very part-time job with the Sixth Form girls at St Edwards.
“A very brave step our taking girls, or so many of my fellow headmasters think!” The Headmaster, Mr Williams, had observed to her during her interview, which had made her smile. And he had gone on, just a touch surprisingly, about any girls that needed discipline could go to her, couldn’t they? It had seemed best to agree, but in fact no nervous young female had come knocking on her door as yet.
This was scarcely surprising when the only girls at St Edwards were handpicked Sixth Formers. And what was she supposed to do if it did ever happen? She had slippered the odd twelve, or thirteen, or fourteen year girl for fooling about in Games or PE at much tougher schools than St Edwards when she was young, and she had worked at one school where the cane on the hands from the headmistress was not unknown, but really corporal punishment for girls had been on a distinct decline all through her teaching career and in many, many schools it just did not happen.
Then she realised the young secretary to the Headmaster, Miss Rogers, had swept into the gym and was walking towards her. She could see the girl’s hips moving under her white skirt, which she found attractive. However, she would have preferred to see Miss Rogers’ splendid backside, which Miss Carter always admired in an abstract, asexual sort of a way.
A slip, quite possibly two slips, always modestly hid all but the faintest shadow of the girl’s knickers. Or was it one of these modern panty girdles? Miss Carter from long experience of female garb thought it was likely to be a pair of rather old fashioned, rather full knickers, which if true suggested Miss Rogers had a surprisingly modest and feminine side to her. And today’s pink blouse was quite fetching and feminine too.
No doubt, though, neither garment stayed on for too long when Miss Rogers was cavorting with one of her numerous boyfriends! She wondered if Miss Rogers was one of the modern breed of young woman who took the pill and took everything off and let the boy have his way. Or was Miss Rogers a touch old fashioned and, like her own generation, had almost always kept their underclothes on?
It was a curious fact Miss Carter reflected that she had enjoyed a great deal of gratification when she was young, but somehow was still technically a virgin. She wondered whether it was something to be proud of, or not? Certainly she was now too old to be married and her virginity was going to be there till she died. But now Miss Rogers’ red hair was almost on top of her.
She paused to wonder cynically how easy it was to get out of the sort of skirts Miss Rogers seemed to delight in; she had always worn her own so much slacker. But perhaps that kept unwanted young men out. While thinking this, she politely greeted the secretary and asked what she wanted, since the girl seemed distinctly slow to say anything.
“The Headmaster’s compliments and could you come and see him in his office?” Miss Rogers came out with, rather nervously.
“Now?” Enquired Miss Carter rather needlessly. She liked teasing Miss Rogers, who she suspected was more than a little nervous about dealing with older women.
“Yes, I think so, Miss Carter.”
The secretary did not sound too sure, but then added: “And if Adele Davidson and Gillian Clarkson are with you the Head would like to see them as well.”
“Before they have changed?” Miss Carter enquired dryly.
“I am sure it can wait till they have changed.”
“Actually I don’t think Adele was here.” Miss Carter ruminated. “She is probably reading a book somewhere. Try the Library or her study. I will chase Gillian into her clothes; she always has to be chased over that. The Head did not say what this was about I suppose?”
“No, Miss Carter. I will go and look for Adele Davidson Miss Carter”
Miss Rogers’ red hair was scurrying out of the gym. Miss Carter noticed the splendid rippling of the white skirt. It must give a lot of men a great deal of pleasure, she reflected.
Then she went in search of Gillian, who not for the first time was taking slightly longer than anyone else. She had got as far as her yellow blouse and red tie and white nylon slip and presumably her bra. The other three girls who were left were that bit further on, combing their hair or putting on their skirts or blazers or shoes.
Miss Carter told her of the Head’s summons, then turned away politely as the girl started to put on her brown knickers and fiddle with suspender belt and stockings under her slip. However, politeness kept being overwhelmed by worry at keeping the headmaster waiting and she kept glancing back and shooing the girl to hurry. Now Gillian was fiddling with her grey skirt and having trouble with the zip.
“Have I got time to comb my hair Miss?”
“Yes, if you are quick.”
If the girl was in trouble it would help her to look smart, and if she was not in trouble it would do no harm. But why did the Head want to see his gym mistress and these two rather innocuous young ladies? Surely it could not be a question of corporal punishment and neither girl was exactly astounding at games. Adele indeed was more notable by her absence than her presence and, being a Sixth Form girl, she got away with it. Miss Carter knew little about either girl. Probably they were quite academic to be here at all. Gillian had pretty brown hair down to her shoulders, which she was now laboriously combing; it was still damp of course. Adele’s was prettier; it was gold and had a lot of curls she remembered.
“I’m ready, Miss.”
Gillian had got her hair under control with the aid of several hairclips and had put her red blazer on, which went well with her red striped tie.
They strolled across the school in the pleasant sunshine.
“Have you any idea why the Head wants to see us, Miss? It seems strange you having to come with me.”
“I haven’t the foggiest. All I know is the Head wants to see you, me and Adele Davidson.”
“Well Adele is my friend after all. I suppose that makes some sense.”
They relapsed into silence.
* * *
Miss Carter noticed with faint amusement that Gillian was fiddling with her fingers continuously. Was Gillian noticing her own slight shuffling of her feet as they waited for Miss Rogers to arrive with Adele? There was a certain tension about waiting to see a Head Teacher, even if you were not in trouble; she had noticed that all her working life.
Miss Rogers arrived with Adele. Miss Carter noticed the contrast between the splendidly permed red hair of the school secretary and the more relaxed curly gold hair of the schoolgirl and decided she marginally preferred the school girl.
Adele was asking if anyone knew what this was about and everyone was saying they didn’t. Miss Rogers was asking if Mr Johnson had come out from seeing the headmaster. Gillian was replying that he had come out and the Head had said that they had better wait as he wanted to see all of them at one go.
“Bit of a mystery then!” Said Adele.
“I will tell him you are all here.” Said Miss Rogers and knocked on the door.
Mr Williams was beckoning them in. He seemed to be leading them towards the old fireplace rather than his desk for some reason and they followed and then stood in a rather uncertain semi-circle in front of it.
While she waited to find out what was going on, Miss Carter was struck as she usually was by how tall and formidable, but also how attractive, this man was. He had played rugby for England, she knew, and the fact she had played hockey for her country very briefly many years before had undoubtedly played its part in his appointing her to this very part-time post. Still this surely could not be a matter of discipline; these were very nice girls, she was quite sure of that.
The Head glanced round at the three of them and paused a second before opening his mouth, as if he was not quite sure what to say. Miss Carter thought, not for the first time, there was something rather endearing about this very powerful, masculine man being so diffident.
Then finally he said very quietly and very firmly: “Miss Clarkson and Miss Davidson, some cannabis has been found in your study. Have you anything to say?”
“You’ve no right to look in our study. That’s private!” Adele was saying rather rashly, but in Miss Carter’s view rather bravely.
“You brought it on yourselves by being so obviously affected by the drug in your Maths lesson the other day, which Mr Foulkes very properly informed me of. Quite apart from which it is totally illegal and if I took the matter to the Police you would both be in real trouble and I would have to expel you. I imagine you would not want that. Well, would you?”
“No Sir.” Adele and Gillian uttered in more or less the same breath.
“Your parents did sign forms permitting corporal punishment in exceptional circumstances. I am inclined to go down that route on this occasion, provided you both accept that you are guilty and provided you both accept the punishment. Your parents have been rung up and they will both accept it, provided you two accept it. Do you?”
During the silence that followed Miss Carter realised that presumably she was here to carry out the punishment. The thought irrationally flashed across her mind that executioners must hate having to kill some of their victims. And these were rather nice girls, not that she knew them very well. She was not sure she wanted to punish them. Besides it was a long time since she had punished anyone. And she had never caned anyone; it had always been the slipper. She hoped devoutly she was not going to have to cane them.
“Well girls, I have not got all day!” Mr Williams was demanding in his deep, rather ferocious voice. “Do you want to take this way out, or shall we call the Police?”
Then, seeing the confusion in the two girls’ faces he seemed to change his mind and added, not unkindly: “Perhaps it is hard to think in here. Do you want to go outside the room and talk about this by yourselves?”
This sudden kindness pleased Miss Carter; the man did have a soul after all, then.
“Yes Sir, thank you Sir.” Adele was replying and then she was leading the way out of the room. Miss Carter noticed there were tears in Gillian’s pretty black eyes.
“I am sorry to spring this rather unpleasant thing on you, but you said at your interview you had punished girls in the past and were willing to do it.” Mr Williams said, almost apologetically. “And if you would do it I would be very grateful. I am well aware it is not the most pleasant thing to have to do.”
He said it so graciously that Miss Carter found herself stifling the protests that had been welling up in her. Perhaps if she did it she would be helping the girls? And they were such genuinely nice creatures.
“If they want to be caned, I will do it.” She said very reluctantly and then added almost in protest: “I presume you do mean on their hands, do you?”
“I usually make the older boys put their hands on the mantel piece and whack their behinds.” Said the head awkwardly. “But I usually cane the younger chaps on their hands.”
“I doubt if I could get through their skirts anyway, I am not strong enough. You could, of course, but probably you don’t think that is proper. I’d better cane their hands.” She replied and then added rather dryly: “But I need to have a good look at a cane. I’ve slippered at least a dozen girls, but I have never used a cane. I have never even seen one. But still, I used to have a good tennis serve. Show me!”
The Head opened a tall cupboard and extracted three short very swishy canes. She thought their yellowness made them look very snakelike. She tried each one in turn till she found one that seemed to suit her. She carefully practiced the action of raising her hand and cocking her wrist and bringing it down.
“If I have to do it, then I can.” She said eventually.
“Thank you.” Mr Williams replied very simply, but with a certain amount of feeling as she suddenly noticed how much she liked his blue eyes; not, she imagined, that he was in the least taken with her.
“I wonder if they’ve finished making up their minds yet.” He added. “But I am most certainly not going to rush them. It is important they genuinely accept the punishment and don’t go rushing to their Mummies and Daddies saying it was forced on them. And if they prefer to have the Police called and be expelled that is their choice.”
“I quite agree.” Said Miss Carter, putting the cane down on the mantel piece because holding it was making her feel slightly tense and ridiculous.
They relapsed into a rather sombre silence.
A good minute later there was a knock at the door and then the two girls were walking in without waiting for the knock to be answered. Miss Carter saw that Gillian was crying a lot now, though Adele was looking surprisingly calm.
“We are prepared to take our punishment.” Said Adele quietly but audibly. “Gillian would like to go first because she is quite upset. I hope that is alright Sir.”
“That is correct, is it Gillian?” Miss Carter found herself saying, feeling that for practical purposes she was in charge now.
“Yes, Miss Carter, I’d rather be first. What do I have to do?”
“Well for a start you can both take your blazers off and put them on my desk and roll your sleeves up so Miss Carter can cane your hands.” Mr Williams was interjecting briskly.
Both girls did as they were told. While they were doing it, Miss Carter was asking herself if she was altogether pleased with Mr Williams’ sudden interjection; she could have thought of all that for herself.
But now the girls had turned from the desk and were looking at her for instructions about what to do next; they must be as confused by this situation as she was.
“What am I giving them?” Miss Carter found herself asking; she realized she had not the faintest idea how many strokes to give, but in the circumstances it would probably be six of the best or even more, she imagined, wincing as she thought it.
“Two on each hand.” She heard the voice in the distance, which was a relief.
“Adele, go and stand outside the door. I don’t think it is quite nice for you to watch Gillian being punished.” She found herself saying.
The door shut, she picked up the cane from the mantel piece and instructed Gillian to stand with her back to the fireplace and hold out her hands for two strokes on each. She tried very hard not to look into the girl’s face, which was full of tears, but to concentrate on the soft white palm of the girl’s right hand.
Then she swished the cane hard. Gillian made a rather odd noise when it hit her. Her hand moved slightly lower and she shuffled her feet slightly. Though Miss Carter was trying to ignore the girl’s face she could not avoid the look of sheer agony. However, she steeled herself and brought the cane down hard again. This time the girl let out a stifled “Ow!” and there was a slight flutter of skirts as the victim lifted her legs up and down several times. She wondered if the look of agony was quite so bad this time.
She paused and moved the left hand slightly and flattened it out because Gillian had moved it quite a lot from its original position and unconsciously bent it. The girl took the last two with some stoicism and very little noise, though her feet seemed to be constantly moving up and down. Then it was over and Gillian was clenching her hands hard together.
Miss Carter found herself wondering who was more relieved, now it was over; herself or Gillian. She put the cane back down on the mantel piece; she found that she had a quite strong dislike of holding it any more than she had to.
She heard Mr Williams telling the girl to go and send in Adele, which irritated her slightly, she could have done that. Gillian picked up her blazer from the desk as if it was a very difficult thing to do at this moment and put it over her arm. Clearly she did not want to put it back on just yet. Miss Carter restrained herself from telling her to roll down her sleeves; no doubt Gillian would do it when she felt better.
“She was braver than I thought she was going to be. When I saw those tears I thought we were in for some fuss.” Observed Mr Williams as Gillian’s grey skirt disappeared through the door and Miss Carter, for some reason, imagined Mr Williams caning Gillian’s bottom through it with her hands on the mantelpiece. Had the girl got off lightly or not? Would that have been better or worse?
After a brief pause a visibly apprehensive Adele entered. Miss Carter immediately picked up the cane from the mantel piece. Adele took one look at it and panicked and started saying she really did not want to be caned.
Before there could be any further argument, Mr Williams grabbed the girl and walked her into position with her back to the fireplace. Then Miss Carter took the girl’s quivering forearm and gave her two hard rapid strokes on her right hand before the victim quite realised what was happening. The shrieks were very loud, but Miss Carter ignored them and took the left hand and swished it even more severely, for she was furious with the girl for trying to back out of her punishment after she had said she would take it.
Mr Williams let her go, but Adele stood clenching her hands and wailing for several minutes, before Mr Williams lost patience and ordered her to pull herself together and go.
Annoyingly she forgot her blazer and Miss Carter had to run after her with it. Gillian actually took it and so ended up with two blazers on her arm. Adele definitely seemed in another universe, Miss Carter decided.
She returned to the study and they filled in the Punishment Book together in something approaching silence.
Then Mr Williams said: “You handled that very well, Miss Carter, you really did. I was dreading it when you said you had never caned anyone and thinking perhaps I should let you use the slipper.”
“I would have had to have done it bare to have made as much impact as that caning did, and that really would not have been very nice with girls that age.” She replied. “But somehow I seemed to get it right by instinct, as it were. You were a great help with Adele.”
“Did you get the dreaded cane as a girl? You acted as if you knew what it was all about, despite not having used it before?”
“No, not the cane. I had my wrist slapped a few times when I was young; we all did.”
Then she added mischievously: “Of course, if schoolgirls wore skirts as tight as Miss Rogers does over her pretty young bottom, it would make it a lot easier to cane them. She’s such a pretty young thing and she’s got no more bottom than most school girls, so it’s not a bad comparison, is it?”
For a second she held her breath as it suddenly struck her she had almost certainly said totally the wrong thing. It was the hysteria of the situation that had made her say it, she supposed. She opened her mouth to apologise.
However, Mr Williams rocked with laughter and replied, not altogether logically: “Oh come on, I am quite sure my pretty young secretary wears one of these modern panty girdles, simply to get into her skirts. Otherwise they would burst! She is not quite as voluptuous as she looks and her backside is rather larger than it first appears. I am quite sure it is.”
“I am not sure she does wear a girdle, or if she does I’ve never noticed it.”
“So you have thought about Miss Rogers’ underwear too, have you? I am afraid I think about it quite a lot.”
“Of course I have. She is so pretty and young. But I don’t suppose I’ve thought about it in the same way that you have! You are a man, after all, and I am a woman.”
“Yes, you are. And as a woman would you like to have a cup of tea or even a meal at the Headmaster’s house this evening?”
“As a woman I would like to.” She replied, pleased and trying not to sound startled. “Is this something like a date?”
“As near as you get at our age.” He replied. “Do you like theatre?”
“I used to go a lot when I was young. I have not had anyone to go with for years; my mother being so ill certainly did not help. I looked after her every evening for seven years.”
“We will see what we can do about that!” He answered. “Anyway, I will see you this evening about seven. Is that a date?”
“Yes it is a date and I will look forward to it.” Miss Carter replied and meant it, though she found herself wondering just how the two girls were. She hoped they had the sense to get some ointment from Matron.
© Jane Fairweather 2016
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