The ninth instalment of the “Girls of St Mary’s” series

By Penny Morton

When Jane Menzies went up to the room she shared with Zoe Singleton at the beginning of the summer term she had a surprise. A bright new label said ‘Zoe Singleton Prefect’. Jane tapped anxiously on the door and heard Zoe’s voice call out: “Enter.”

“Hi Jane, have you heard the good news?”

“I’m not sure Zoe… er… what do you mean?”

I’ve been appointed a prefect and so I won’t have to share this room with you. You’re going to share with Amanda Patel next door. Miss Gregory phoned me at home last week to give me the good news.”

“Congratulations, Zoe. I am pleased for you,” said Jane with a shiver, not really sure if Zoe’s elevation to the prefecture was a good thing.

“Go and fetch Amanda, Jane. I want to speak to you both and warn you. Quickly girl.”

“OK Zoe,” replied Jane feeling worried.

“Hi Jane,” smiled Amanda. “It’s really great that we are sharing. Did you hear about Zoe being a prefect?”

“She’s just told me and she wants to see us and give us a warning,” replied Jane.

“That sounds rather ominous,” Amanda frowned. “I think she will be a very bossy prefect.”

“Yes,” replied Jane, knowing that Zoe was already very bossy, encouraged by Jane’s mother, when they shared a room and before she was made a prefect.

Zoe had held regular confessions sessions for Jane on Sunday evenings after chapel. She kept a small book labeled ‘Jane’ in which she entered all her room-mate’s offences and omissions and punished her with a spanking using her leather-soled sandal.

“Come in you two,” ordered the new prefect. “Stand there.” She indicated a point near her desk.

“Stand up properly when you are talking a prefect,” snapped Zoe. “If I see you slouching in my presence again I shall punish you, OK?”

“Yes Zoe,” replied two quiet voices.

“I thought I should warn you that now I am a prefect I shall rule without fear or favour and I shall enforce school rules with a rod of iron. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Zoe.”

“It won’t be an actual rod of iron. It will be a slipper with a rubber sole,” explained Zoe.

Jane and Amanda glanced anxiously at each other.

“Jane,” ordered the prefect. “Fetch me that cardboard box on the little table. Quickly girl!”

Zoe opened the box to reveal a plimsoll wrapped in tissue paper. Zoe lifted the slipper from its wrapping with a grin.

“This is the slipper I shall mostly be using when I punish naughty girls,” she said.

Jane and Amanda looked anxiously at the slipper. It looked quite well worn and was a little smaller than the large plimsoll that was frequently used in the prefects’ study.

“This is actually a very experienced slipper. Do you understand Jane?”

“Not really, Zoe.”

“My uncle Bob was a housemaster in a boys’ boarding school. When he heard that I was a prefect he passed it on to me. It was the most effective slipper he had ever had and seemed to sting more than any other he had ever used. On most evenings just before bedtime he and this slipper dealt with a number of naughty boys, so you can see why it is experienced?”

“Yes Zoe,” replied Jane and Amanda.

“It was very kind of Uncle Bob to give me his old spanking slipper to help me keep you girls in order.”

Zoe had wanted to be a prefect ever since she entered the sixth form and was angry at being overlooked earlier in the year.

“I warn you I intend to be really strict,” she said. “Vicky, our head girl, told me I must never let anybody off but always punish severely. Miss Gregory said I may contact her directly, er, through her secretary of course, if I need any advice about discipline.”

Jane and Angela waited patiently as Zoe continued as she tapped her new slipper enthusiastically against her palm.

“It’s really super to be so powerful and there are so many punishments I can dish out. I can give you lines and detentions, make you learn poetry or Shakespeare, make you run round the sports field or pick up rubbish in the playground. But I intend to use corporal punishment whenever possible. Jilly Hicks is going to give me lessons in how best to slipper naughty girls. You know she’s an expert don’t you?” smiled Zoe.

“Yes Zoe,” replied Jane and Amanda. They both knew from personal experience how good with a slipper Sports Captain Jilly was.

“Excuse me, Zoe. Could I say something?” asked Jane, conscious of her face going red.

“Permission granted,” said the prefect.

“As you’ve never had the slipper yourself, Zoe, is it fair that you can wallop other girls when you don’t know how much it hurts?”

“I consider that to be an extremely impertinent remark, Jane, and I really should punish you for it. I’ve told you before my nanny said I have a very sensitive bottom and must never be spanked, slippered or caned. I’ve a good mind to spank you now. You had better apologise.”

“I’m sorry, Zoe,” said Jane quietly.

“Right, you may go, but I shall be keeping a close eye on you.”

After their session with Zoe it was time for lights out. Jane and Amanda chatted quietly about their recent holidays. Jane had had her first date at the cinema with a boy called John. He had kissed her several times during the film and then suggested they stop for a drink at a pub on the way home.

Jane felt guilty because she was forbidden to kiss boys or drink alcohol.

Having a date made her feel very grown up and in any case Mummy would never find out. Two gin and tonics had made her quite giggly and talkative. In a silly moment she told John she had broken her mother’s rules and asked him not to report her.

“He told me he was cross with me because I hadn’t been honest or told him about my parents’ rules.”

“‘Tell me more,” whispered Amanda sitting up in bed.

“He said he would have to tell my parents, but I begged him not to. But he said I must be punished for being so naughty. He gave me a choice of being reported or being punished by him.”

“Well what happened?” Asked Amanda.

“I asked him not to report me to Mummy and he told me to get in the back seat of his car with him.”

“Were you scared?”

“Well yes in a way.” Jane felt herself blushing. “Then he said I must give him a very apologetic kiss.”

“What’s that?” Said Amanda excitedly.

“Well I had to say sorry whilst giving him a passionate kiss and then he would decide on my punishment.”

“Go on Jane! Don’t keep me waiting.” Amanda bounced excitedly in her bed.

“Shushhh!” warned Jane. “Zoe might hear us. She’s desperate to catch girls to punish. Anyway I kissed him and felt all tingly and then he told me to get across his knees so that he could spank me.”

Spank you?” squeaked Amanda. “Let me have more details!”

“So I got into position as best as I could. It was sort of cramped in the car and I remember sort of giggling and feeling scared and excited.”

“Did it hurt?” asked Amanda. “Had you been spanked before?”

“Yes. Mummy used to spank me over her knee quite often and still does sometimes. John had a very hard hand and it made my bottom sting but not as badly as when you get the slipper here.”

“Did you cry?”

“I had tears in my eyes after getting twelve or so spanks. Then he made me get back in the front of the car and said spanking me had hurt his hand. I said I was sorry but he said I had to go to his house in the morning for a proper punishment.”

“You didn’t go round did you?” asked Amanda impatiently.

“Yes. I had to because I didn’t want Mummy to know the naughty things I had done.”

“What did you wear?” Asked Amanda.

“Well, I wore my little black blouse and shorts set. I thought if I looked nice he might let me off,” explained Jane.

“When I got to John’s house, his mum answered the door and said something like: ‘Oh, you’re the naughty girl that John’s going to deal with. Wait here and I’ll call him.’”

He said: “Good morning, Jane. You had better come up to the games room with me.”

He made me stand with my hands behind my back and asked me if I wanted to apologise before he punished me. I said I was sorry and he made me give him a juicy apologetic kiss. He told me that if I was a naughty boy at his school he would slipper me but he hadn’t got a suitable plimsoll at home and so he would give me twelve of the best with a table tennis bat instead.”

“Gosh that sounds kinky,” observed Amanda rather loudly.

“Shush please, darling. You know her majesty, Zoe, is just next door and we don’t want her to punish us.”

“Sorry,” whispered Amanda with a grin. “Go on.”

“He made me bend over a small table and said he was going to roast my bottom for being a naughty girl. The whacks made a lot of noise and stung like anything, not quite so bad as the slipper though, and he whacked me very slowly, making me wait for ages between each stroke. Then he allowed me to get up and made me apologise again with a kiss and suddenly pulled me close and dug his fingers into my sore botty and said he hoped I had learned my lesson. It made me go all shivery. In a funny sort of way I hoped he would spank me some more.

“After he had spanked me we went downstairs and his mum said she hoped John had taught me a lesson and that I would behave properly in the future. John walked me to the gate and said he might ask me out again and then he slapped me hard twice on my sore botty and said I could go.”

“Do you think he’ll ask you out again?” Amanda’s voice was quite loud.

“Shush Amanda! In a way, I hope he does.” Jane began thoughtfully. “He’s very bossy though and…”

The conversation was halted as the light was switched on and newly appointed prefect Zoe entered the bedroom.

“Right, which of you girls was talking?” she asked.

“We weren’t talking Zoe,” said Amanda.

“Don’t lie to me girl, I heard you!” snapped the new prefect.

“We whispered,” explained Amanda. “Please don’t be cross with us.”

“You will both report to me in the prefects’ study at break tomorrow, wearing your gym blouses and shorts.”

‘Please let us off, Zoe. It’s the first night of term,” pleaded Jane.

“I warned you earlier that I would not be letting anyone off. I shall slipper you both very soundly tomorrow. Now, no more talking or I’ll double your punishment.”

With that warning, Zoe switched the light off and went back to her room next door.

“Sorry that was my fault,” whispered Amanda.

“I was talking too,” whispered Jane. “It’ll be really horrible having to see her in that beastly prefects’ study in the morning. We better shut up now. Goodnight.”

“Night night, darling.”

Both girls cuddled down but their minds were thinking about tomorrow’s punishment.

Jane and Amanda changed into their PE kits at the beginning of morning break and knocked anxiously on the door of the prefects’ study. It was the least popular room in the school and most girls associated it with tellings-off and punishments.

A junior girl on prefects’ waitress duties opened the door and let them in. Zoe was across the far side of the room with Jilly Hicks. They were questioning two lower sixth girls, Charlotte Miller and Liz Cooper.

Zoe called Jane and Amanda over and ordered them to stand facing the wall close to where the two lower sixth girls, also in their PE clothes, were being dealt with.

“No talking and no looking round,” ordered Zoe.

It seemed Charlotte and Liz had been talking in assembly and their excuses and pleas to be let off were dismissed.

“Right you two,” began Zoe. “You have both broken an important school rule and I am going to slipper you both. Because I am a new prefect Jilly has kindly agreed to help me punish you.”

“Jilly please, we only said two words. Surely we don’t deserve the slipper just for that?” said Charlotte.

“Shut up Charlie,” ordered Jilly. “Unless you want extra. You’re lucky to be the first girls to be spanked with Zoe’s new slipper. I’ll start with you Liz. Come here and bend over this chair.”

Liz bent over the back of the chair holding the seat with her hands and with her feet slightly apart. Jilly explained to Zoe the importance of the correct position for a girl being punished, how to hold the slipper firmly and not to slow it down as it met the bottom it’s going to punish.

“You should count five between each stroke and work your way down the bottom so the whole area stings. Make the last two strokes the hardest and aim them for the junction of her bottom and her thighs. That’s the most sensitive part of a girl’s bottom.”

She would give Liz the first two strokes and Zoe would then give her the remaining four.

Liz waited patiently and moved her bottom, clad in its white shorts, anxiously. Charlotte looked on sympathetically, knowing she would soon take Liz’s place.

Liz, whose blonde hair was in a ponytail, had a slim waist but quite a broad bottom and Jilly made a remark about her making a good target.

Jilly landed a hard whack on either side of Liz’s bottom, making her gasp, and handed the slipper to Zoe. The new prefect landed two rather tentative whacks.

“Much harder Zoe,” advised Jilly. “She can hardly feel the slipper.”

“I jolly well can feel it Jilly,” protested Liz with a pout, looking round accusingly at the girls who were whacking her. “They are hurting me aren’t they Charlie?”

“Yes I am sure they are Liz,” replied her friend quietly.

“Shut up the pair of you,” snapped Jilly. “Zoe, lay the last two on really hard.”

Zoe whacked the slipper down twice more, making Liz gasp again with a long ‘owww’ as each stroke landed on her thinly covered bottom.

“Get up, Liz, and change places with Charlotte. Charlie, come and bend over.”

Liz’s face was very pink and her eyes were full of tears and both hands were firmly clasped to her bottom.

Charlotte got into position and presented her shapely bottom for punishment.

“Quite an attractive target too,” commented Jilly as she landed the first two strokes.

“Oww,” protested Charlie. “That slipper really stings.”

“Good,” replied Jilly sarcastically. “That’s the general idea, dear.” She handed the slipper to Zoe who completed the punishment.

“Stand up,” ordered Jilly, and Charlotte, with a red, tear-stained face, got to her feet rubbing her bottom. Her light brown hair was damp from tears and perspiration.

“Right. You two may go, and obey school rules in future,” said Jilly. “Now we’ll deal with you two sixth formers. Jane and Amanda, come here. Stand up properly and hands behind your backs. Now you were both talking after lights out despite a warning from Zoe.”

“Well Jilly, oh, and Zoe, sorry, we only said a very few words, didn’t we Amanda, and we are very sorry,” explained Jane.

“You broke a school rule and we are going to slipper you both,” said Zoe. “Amanda come and bend over.”

Amanda got into position and received two whacks from Jilly. She got to her feet after Jilly’s two, complaining about how much the slipper stung.

“What do you expect you silly girl?” Snapped Jilly unsympathetically, as she handed the slipper to Zoe. “I ought to give you extra. Now, get over the chair again!”

A tearful Amanda received four more strokes from Zoe.

Jane was ordered to take her place. Jilly suggested Zoe gave all six strokes.

“I’ll have to whack her as hard as I can,” observed Zoe, who had spanked Jane unofficially with her leather sandal on many Sunday evenings after Jane’s weekly confession. “I am sure her puppy fat gives her extra protection.”

“It doesn’t, Zoe. That’s not fair,” protested Jane, her eyes filling with tears.

“Just lay it on as hard as you can, Zoe,” said Jilly. “Let’s see how effective your uncle’s slipper is.”

After six of the best, Jane got to her feet and clasped her bottom as she danced on the spot.

“Yes,” grinned Jilly. “Quite effective, I would say.”

“Alright get out you two. Oh Jane, wait, I want a word with you.”

“Yes Zoe?” Jane said tearfully.

“I want you to ask Miss Gregory if you can have the chocolates back she confiscated last term.”

“But I can’t Zoe! She might cane me again,” pleaded Jane, still rubbing her bottom.

“Disobeying a prefect is a punishable offence, Jane, and so you will go later today.”

The four recently slippered eighteen year old girls met in the changing rooms as they replaced their PE kit with their school uniforms. Amanda said corporal punishment was too common at St Mary’s and something should be done about it. The other girls agreed and decided to meet that evening after prep and before lights out to discuss what could be done.

At lunchtime Jane went to ask Miss Gregory if she could have the confiscated chocolates back. Miss Gregory was very sarcastic and asked Jane if she had come to be caned again.

“Oh no, Ma’am. I just wondered if I could have them back.”

“No you can’t girl. I passed them on to the staff room. You could ask there.”

Jane pleaded with Zoe not to make her go to the staff room but Zoe was adamant she wanted the chocolates if there were any left.

An anxious Jane, with her bottom still burning, tapped on the staff room door which was answered by Miss Harrison, the French mistress.

“Ah Jane, I have been expecting you. Come with me,” said the mistress. Miss Harrison led the way to the staff cloakroom.

The mistress stood aside for Jane to enter the room, followed her in and shut the door. She opened a locker and took out a black plimsoll like the one she used in her French classes.

“Jane, remind me why I was going to punish you.” She asked.

“Please Miss, I haven’t come to be punished. I only came to ask if any of the chocolates Miss Gregory confiscated from me last term were left.”

“Nonsense girl! I was expecting you for punishment. Now bend over the table or you’ll get extra.”

Jane decided to try and explain to Miss Harrison again.

“Please Miss, you really weren’t going to slipper me…” she began.

“Jane, I’m getting cross. You were having six. Are you asking for eight? Bend over at once!”

Jane bent over with tears in her eyes and felt Miss Harrison lifting her short summer uniform dress exposing her blue regulation pants. The slipper tapped her bottom and then gave the first stroke on the right side of Jane’s bottom. A second hard stroke landed on the left side, then Miss Harrison paused.

“Ah, Jane. Come to think of it, you may be right. Stand up. I remember now, I was actually expecting Julie Spencer to report for punishment. She looks a bit like you.”

Jane got to her feet, rubbing her stinging bottom and feeling very unhappy at being punished by mistake.

“Now you said something about chocolates. I think there is a box in the staffroom but they’ve mostly been eaten. Come with me.”

Miss Harrison found the crumpled chocolate box which had only two hard sweets in it.

“I’m afraid a lot the staff have a sweet tooth and these are all that are left. How many whacks with the slipper did I give you?”

“Two, Miss,” replied Jane quietly.

“Right, those two strokes are on account. If you are ever going to be slippered in French, remind me you should only have four strokes, not six.”

“Yes, thank you Miss,” replied Jane politely.

“Oh and when you see Julie remind her that I am wanting to see her.”

“Yes Miss,” replied Jane feeling very hard done by.

Zoe was very cross when Jane handed her the severely depleted chocolates. She had no sympathy for Jane’s stinging bottom.

“It’s entirely your own fault girl,” she said crossly. “You should have tried to get them back last term. I’ve a good mind to punish you for letting me down. Now get out.”

Jane felt very fed up and was determined to get her revenge on prefects and staff who slippered you without letting you speak.

After prep Jane, Amanda, Liz and Charlotte discussed punishments at St Mary’s over mugs of cocoa. Charlotte said that Miss Meredith, the Latin mistress, had given her another six of the slipper during the afternoon’s first lesson for forgetting her homework.

“Oh you poor thing! Like me, twice in one day,” said Jane sympathetically. “How does your poor bottom feel now?”

“It still stings like anything,” grimaced Charlie as she massaged her tender bottom. “I think my bottom is quite resilient, considering how many times it’s been whacked in the last eighteen years.”

“It’s not just the slipper is it?” Said Jane. “Miss Gregory is very ready to use her cane. She caned me last term for leaving the school without permission when Zoe made me go shopping for her.”

“Ma Gregory caned me for snogging outside the school gates about a month ago,” said Charlotte. “That bendy junior cane of hers doesn’t half sting!”

“Well snogging in public was rather asking for it, wasn’t it Charlie?” smiled Liz. “You shouldn’t be calling her ‘Ma Gregory’ either. I’m sure that would be a caneable offence.”

“Hm, er, yes, eight with my pants down was bloody painful but that juicy snog almost made it worth it!” Charlotte grinned.

“She gave me ten with my pants down because I wouldn’t tell who made me go to the shop,” reported Jane.

“I’ve only been caned once. Six of the best when we were in the fifth form for being caught writing on one of the toilet doors,” confessed Liz.

Amanda had only been slippered twice at St Mary’s, the second time being today.

The girls agreed there was definitely too much slippering and caning at their school. They wouldn’t want it completely abolished and replaced with more detentions and lines. Charlie said she and Liz had quite enjoyed getting the slipper from the curate, Rev John Perkins. He was shy and sweet and they were sure he fancied them. Charlie also said she would happily have six of the slipper, as long as Miss Howarth didn’t give it, for snogging with her boyfriend after the dancing class.

“What about the cane Charlie? You had that for your last snog?”

“Um…well, OK. I think I would even swap six of the best for a really good snog and two love bites, but eight with my pants down for snogging was too much and I’d think twice about doing it again,” Charlie smiled.

Jane said she would always prefer the slipper to lines but wanted to avoid another caning at all costs.

The girls agreed that they would send an anonymous letter to the school governors complaining about excessive use of corporal punishment by teachers and prefects. Jane would compose the letter and Charlie would write it in disguised writing and sign it ‘ A concerned schoolgirl.’

The letter ended up on Miss Gregory’s desk. The headmistress was furious and was sure the letter was the work of a senior girl. At a special assembly she threatened to cane the whole of the upper and lower sixth unless the culprit owned up. In addition, everyone would lose a week off their summer holidays. The Governors were consulted and the chairman and former head mistress, Dr Mary Benstead, advised a choice between immediate expulsion or the birch. Several girls were suspects but Miss Gregory believed the Spencer Twins, who she had caned previously, were responsible.

Jane and Charlotte couldn’t let Angela and Julie Spencer take the blame. Jane wanted to say she alone was responsible but Charlie decided she had to confess too.

The following morning at assembly, Miss Gregory announced that the governors had decided that the birch would be reinstated as a punishment for naughty girls at St Mary’s in addition to the cane, Miss McKenzie’s strap and the slipper. Dr Benstead had kindly presented the school with her birching stool and would give free access to her birch trees.

Twenty-four hours later, Jane and Charlotte sat in the back seat of Miss Gregory’s car as the headmistress drove them to Dr Benstead’s house to prepare birches for their punishment the next day. Miss Gregory gave them another lecture on their naughtiness and reminded them how lucky they were to escape with just a birching. The girls shivered in the back seat, held hands and glanced anxiously at each other.

Dr Benstead had a small copse of birch trees in her garden. The girls were made to cut young pliant twigs about twenty-four inches in length and strip them of leaves. Bunches of six twigs were tied tightly together with their slight curves pointing inwards. The thick ends of the twigs were bound together with tape to form a handle and blue ribbon was tied round them. The free end of the twigs would whack the naughty girls’ bottoms. Each girl made three bundles and the birches would be soaked in salt water overnight at St Mary’s. Miss Gregory explained this would increase their suppleness and their sting.

“I am really looking forward to birching you girls tomorrow and teaching you a lesson you won’t forget in a hurry,” enthused Dr Benstead. “It’s some years since I birched a girl’s bottom but I am sure I’m still very capable of doing so. I had quite a reputation for having a strong right arm and not many girls came back for a second birching,” added Dr Benstead with a withering smile as she and Miss Gregory sipped tea in the kitchen.

The girls waited anxiously.

“Are you looking forward to being birched, girls?” asked Dr Benstead.

“No, Ma’am, we’re dreading it,” replied Jane with a shiver.

“Could we be punished today instead of tomorrow, please Ma’am?” asked Charlotte.

“No, unless you want a trial birching. Quite a lot of people are looking forward to seeing you formally punished tomorrow.”

The girls had an uncomfortable journey back to school holding the birches on their laps and knowing that the flexible twigs on their bare thighs and knees would be forcibly applied to their bare bottoms tomorrow.

Jane and Charlotte were made to apologise to the school at assembly and Miss Gregory announced that they would be birched at two o’clock. The girls showered, washed their hair and changed into clean blue gingham uniform dresses, pants, white ankle socks and sensible flat shoes before reporting to Miss Howarth outside Miss Gregory’s office at five to two. Miss Howarth explained in detail what would happen to them.

She led the two naughty girls into the head’s office where a group of the governors were seated. A number of teachers were also present as were head girl Vicky Scott and prefect Jilly Hicks.

Miss Gregory reminded the audience of the girls’ offences and announced that they would receive twelve strokes of the birch. They had come within an inch of being expelled. Dr Benstead had kindly agreed to administer the punishment. Miss Gregory asked her to carry on.

“Bring me Charlotte Miller, Miss Howarth,” ordered Dr Benstead. “Jane Menzies, stand in the corner with your hands on your head.”

Charlotte was led forward by an ear and was released to curtsy to Dr Benstead.

“Fetch me a birch rod, girl.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Charlotte curtsied and fetched a bundle of birch twigs from the bucket and curtsied again as she handed it to Dr Benstead.

“Get on the birching stool, girl,” came the chilling order.

Charlotte knelt on the bottom step of the wooden stool and leaned forward over the top step. Miss Howarth tightened a strap over Charlotte’s back.

“Bare her bottom!” ordered Dr Benstead.

Miss Howarth tucked the back of Charlotte’s short dress under the back strap and lowered her pants to her knees, and then moved round to grasp Charlotte’s hands.

“Count the strokes, girl!”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Charlotte shivered as she felt the damp birch twigs touch her bare bottom.

Thwick! The birch lashed full across Charlotte’s shapely bottom.

“One, thank you Ma’am,” gasped Charlotte, slightly relieved that the birch didn’t hurt quite as much as she had feared.

Thwick! The second stroke elicited a quiet “Ow” as it landed, adding considerably to the sting left by the first stroke.

After six strokes Charlotte’s bottom was burning and she longed to rub it.

“A fresh birch, Miss Howarth,” ordered Dr Benstead. “I want her to feel the second six strokes.”

“My bottom really hurts, Ma’am,” pleaded Charlotte, as she tried to move her bottom, but the strap held her firmly in place.

Thwick! The sting in Charlotte’s bottom was building up with every stroke administered by the elderly but fit Dr Benstead.

“Ahh… Seven, thank you Ma’am.”

The birching continued with Dr Benstead pausing after each stroke to ensure its sting was fully appreciated.

“Ten, thank you Ma’am. Please Ma’am I’m really sorry. Please no more,” gasped Charlotte, her face damp, hot and red. Her frequently spanked, slippered and caned bottom, now also very red, had met its match in the birch. She resolved never to be a naughty girl again.

“Two more to go,” announced Dr Benstead cheerfully. “These will be the hardest.”

Thwick! “Owww, Ahhh, Please… eleven, thank you Ma’am. Honestly I’ll never be naughty again!”

Thwick! “Thank you, Ma’am. Thank goodness you’ve finished,” sobbed Charlotte.

“You didn’t count, girl. That’s one extra.”

“Sorry! Please, no more!”

Thwick.!

“Oww! Thirteen, thank you Ma’am,” Charlotte said quickly.

Miss Howarth released her. Charlotte curtsied to Dr Benstead and was sent to replace the birches in their bucket and then to stand in the corner with her hands on her head.

“Bring me Jane Menzies,” ordered Dr Benstead. Miss Howarth led Jane forward by an ear.

Jane had been listening to Charlotte’s punishment with increasing anxiety. The nerves in her bottom now on full alert.

“Fetch me a fresh birch rod, girl”

“Yes. Ma’am.” Jane curtsied and obeyed.

“Get on the stool.”

Jane got into position and Miss Howarth lifted her dress, tightened the waist strap and lowered Jane’s pants to her knees before gripping her hands.

There was a slight delay while Miss Gregory served her guests with a glass of sherry.

Jane felt embarrassed and anxious having to wait bare-bottomed for Dr Benstead to birch her. She looked at Miss Howarth’s face hoping for a sympathetic smile but saw a look of grim satisfaction on the strict young mistress’s face.

At last the birching began and Dr Benstead administered twelve hard strokes, changing the birch after six strokes. Jane’s bottom became hotter and hotter and the sting left by the birch increased with every stroke.

As Jane gasped: “Oww, Ma’am. Twelve, thank you Ma’am.” Dr Benstead administered another hard stroke.

Thwick!

“That’s one for luck, girl.” She said.

“Owww, Owww! Thirteen, thank you Ma’am.”

“Get up girl. Replace your pants.”

“Thank you, Ma’am.” Jane got up, carefully replaced her pants, curtsied and put the birch back in its bucket.

Jane and Charlotte received a final telling off and were sent to matron, leaving the adults in conversation as Miss Gregory served tea. They girls would be excused prep but would resume lessons in the morning.

Later that evening Jane and Charlotte were lying on their tummies. Liz and Amanda were gently applying cold cream to two tender, red, burning, recently birched bottoms.

“What was it like?” Asked Amanda sympathetically. “I’ve never seen a birched bottom before.”“I’ve never had a birched bottom before,” said Charlie.

She gave a detailed, graphic description of their punishments in Miss Gregory’s office.

“It was so embarrassing,” began Charlie. “God it still bloody stings – I’ll never be able to sit down again. Being birched in bloody public! I’ll be the best behaved girl at St Mary’s from now on!”

Jane would be leaving school in a few weeks. Her protest at the frequency of corporal punishment had backfired. Rather than less corporal punishment, there would be more as an additional punishment, the birch, was now available for naughty girls at St Mary’s. Charlotte had another year at school. Those who knew the bright, bubbly, cheeky, attractive, fun-loving but naughty girl, thought it highly unlikely that she could go a whole year without being punished. Time would show.

The End