Two girls join a school under false identities
Lady Upshott’s School for Young Ladies (Dorset) June 1985 to July 1987
Queen Theresa I (Celadon-Teal) of Azuria (40) 5’ 7” Chestnut shoulder length hair
Crown Princess Melissa Annetta Victoire (19) (Celadon-Teal) of Azuria. 5’6” curvy, Chestnut hair (Melissa Teal)
Lady Ekaterina Sophia De Meret (20) 5’8”, slim, Long Honey Blonde hair (Katie Meret) (competed in world championships in Modern pentathlon in1981 at 15 and subsequently at Judo)
Countess Louisa Antonia De Meret (40) 5’6” blonde curvy (Katie’s mother and Queen Theresa’s Private Secretary & Lady in Waiting)
Lieutenant the Hon. George Albert De Meret (26) Katie’s cousin (and later Melissa’s fiancé)
Ernest Eastern-Roberts (48), 6ft, Dark brown receding hair: Headmaster
Miss Sylvia Masters (34) 5’6” Blonde shoulder- length hair, school secretary/administrator, Headmaster’s PA & fiancée
Amanda Heatherington-Smythe (24), 5’6” attractive, blonde, Economics teacher
Alberta Brunswick (45) 5’4” plump Auburn hair worn in a bun – Deputy Headmistress and head of science
Mrs Rosalind Marks QC JP (68) 5’2” plump Grey-haired Chairman of Governors.
Introduction: Azuria 1982-3
In April 1982, the tiny (fictional) country of Azuria was the last absolute monarchy in Europe, ruled over by the young, thirty-five-year-old Queen Theresa 1st and her forty-year-old British-born consort Prince Stephen. They had one child the, then 14-year-old, Crown Princess Melissa Annetta Victoire.
The country was ringed by high mountains and the main means of access was its small port on a deep tributary to one of the major European rivers, the only other access being a couple of winding narrow mountain roads. Azuria was bounded by a communist country over the mountains and by neutral Austria.
The Queen, like her father and grandfather before her, had chosen her advisors well; including representatives from within the small number of noble families and the most talented subjects in every area of public life. The country was prosperous and the populace generally content and supportive of the Royal Family and the tiny statelet’s history, traditions, and laws.
Azuria had managed to stay neutral during both World wars and also during the difficult periods after the wars.
As befits such a state, there was a small but efficient police force serving a well-trained and independent-minded judiciary. The tiny ceremonial Royal Guard constituted the army, and the navy consisted of one small elderly river gunboat and the 40 metre long Royal Yacht ‘Azuria’ built in the United Kingdom in the 1930s to a traditional design.
In April 1982, a small group of Azurian communists led a coup supported by Soviet paratroopers. Although the country was soon in communist hands, the Royalist forces fought bravely and bought time for the Royal Family, half the council, and a number of other supporters to escape on the Royal Yacht.
As the vessel was just manoeuvring off the quay, Prince Stephen, who was commanding the yacht, was shot and fatally injured. Young George De Meret, a 21-year-old Sub-Lieutenant on leave from a secondment to the British Royal Navy, took command and safely managed the escape down the river to Austria.
From there, most of the party continued in the yacht to the United Kingdom where they were granted asylum by the British Government, making their temporary refuge in the ancestral home of the Celadon family, ‘Highdown Hall’, where the late Prince Stephen was buried with his ancestors.
With the world, particularly Britain and the USA, distracted by events in the South Atlantic, there was little tangible support for action against the new regime, and when, a year later, a bogus referendum purported to show the Azurian nation’s wish to merge with their communist neighbour, the completed coup went almost unnoticed.
In England, Princess Melissa and her friend and lady in waiting Lady Ekaterina (Katie) Sophia De Meret, a cousin of the heroic George, were initially educated at home, but in June 1985, after three years in exile and with no sign of a return, thoughts turned to the Princess’s future and how she could earn a living and continue to act as a symbol to her country.
It was decided that the Princess Melissa, then 17 years old, should join a small but well-respected private girls’ school to take her A-levels. She would not use her title and would be accompanied by Katie, who was already 18.
Katie was herself a remarkable young lady, having represented Azuria in the second-ever lady’s modern pentathlon world championship in 1981 when just short of her 15th Birthday. Already an expert shot, fencer, and rider, and a proficient swimmer and runner, she was by now also a judo black-belt. Katie agreed to enrol in the school herself, taking the same A level classes as Melissa, putting her sporting career on hold in order to accompany and protect her friend. Queen Theresa had been told that British protection officers were being withdrawn as, officially, Azuria no longer existed.
Lady Upshott’s School for Young Ladies was finally selected and the headmaster, Ernest Eastern-Roberts, travelled to Highdown Hall accompanied by his school administrator and fiancée, Sylvia Masters, to meet the prospective pupils and their parents, and answer any questions. Arrangements satisfactory to both parties were put in place and the two young ladies returned with Sylvia and the headmaster to the school to settle in two days before the other pupils arrived for the start of the 1985 autumn term.
1: Time to face the music
10.30 am, Monday 8th June 1987.
Melissa Teal and her friend, Katie Meret, were standing, in the secretary’s office outside the oak door of the headmaster’s study at Lady Upshott’s School for young ladies. Both these attractive young ladies had taken particular care with their appearance and were dressed in the school’s sixth-form uniform of white blouse, burgundy cardigan and a tailored medium-grey mid-length skirt, worn with tights or stockings of ‘an appropriate colour’ and smart black low-heeled patent-leather shoes. A coloured band on the pocket of their cardigans identified the young lady’s house. The curvy 5’6” tall Melissa wore her beautiful long chestnut locks in a neat plait, while the slightly taller, slim and athletic Katie had arranged her long honey-blonde hair in a ponytail.
Both normally confident young ladies were apprehensive, as Melissa struggled to make a decision that would have consequences for them both. Neither had really done anything wrong and, as they had always got on well with the headmaster who was known to be scrupulously fair, both should therefore be able to avoid the cane and the alternatives of expulsion or suspension. They realised this would, however, require the headmaster to announce to the school their real identities, of which only he and the school administrator, who was also his fiancé, were aware. Doing so would at a stroke, Melissa smiled at the pun, undo the efforts of both young ladies to lead a normal life and be just one of the girls during their two years at the school.
Their final ten days at the school before the end of term would therefore be impossible and, realistically, there would be little option but to leave early. Their classmates and the wider school community would not know the full story and would therefore see them as both cowards and frauds, whose influence had unfairly saved their pampered behinds.
Melissa was actually, at nineteen, a year older than her classmates, and Katie, a couple of inches taller than her companion, was a year older still. Their dates of birth had both been adjusted for the school register, but the correct details including full names and dates of birth had of course been entered in their external exam applications.
“Katie, this really has to be a decision that we are both happy with, but if Mr Eastern-Roberts decides that we should be caned I intend to accept his punishment. I want our real identities to remain unknown until the last day, when I will ask him to announce them during the final assembly. I also intend to accept full responsibility for Saturday and try and get you off.”
“Fortunately, Mel, that would also have been my preferred option, much as I want to avoid a caning. I still remember the single stroke of the cane, and two with the slipper, that we were each given by George that summer two years ago, before our families decided that we could come here. We have both been so happy here over the last two years and it looks like, as our exams have gone well, we will still be together at Law school next year. I will, however, have to get used to properly addressing you again soon. I may forget from time to time and if I do then please forgive me.”
“If you get the cane, I really do not think there is any way that I would not. Miss Hetherington-Smythe banned our whole Economics class from leaving school grounds for two weeks for making a noise in class and then caught us both out celebrating your birthday on Saturday night. It would look very strange to the rest of the school if I somehow got away with it. I suppose we will both have to figuratively grin and bear it, although I doubt that either of us will be smiling and I know he will not take down our knickers.”
There was a brief silence and both girls looked at the light next to the door which remained red. Ernest Eastern-Roberts, the headmaster, also had a decision to make, and had needed to make a number of phone calls.
2: A teacher’s explanation
An irate Amanda Heatherington-Smythe, the young attractive, 24-year-old, Economics teacher, still in her first year at Lady Upshott’s, had been to see the headmaster first thing that morning. She was furious and insisted that Melissa Teal and Katie Meret both be caned for deliberately disregarding a punishment that she had awarded.
The headmaster asked for an explanation and was told that, ten days previously, she had briefly left her ‘A’ level class doing last minute revision for their final exam. She had told them that, whilst she was away, they were to remain at their desks and work in absolute silence. After a bit more digging from the headmaster, Amanda reluctantly admitted the unusually strict instruction to the girls in the upper sixth was probably the result of her being both hungover after an outing with her boyfriend the previous night, and of her irritation at a series of low-level disturbances and chatter before she was called away.
In the absence of their teacher, several girls had, however, got up either to chat or to revise together in small groups. In the corner of the class Katie and Melissa, sitting side by side, were the only two in their places when the young teacher returned. They were, however, obscured from the teacher’s view by the others.
Amanda Heatherington-Smythe was even more irritated when, as she approached the classroom, she distinctly heard a student speaking loudly enough to be heard through the door, mimicking her particular upper-class accent with the words ‘settle down, what a frightful bunch you all are, you have all been dreadfully disobedient’. Another girl then added, and you will all jolly well be confined to the school grounds until after the end of your exams’, followed by laughter. The impersonations were so good she could not identify who had spoken.
The furious teacher had then opened the door with a bang.
“So, I leave you for ten minutes and this is what I find. I should slipper all of you, but you have instead pronounced your own punishment. All passes for this class are cancelled and no more can be issued for two weeks until after your exams. Now, let us get on.”
There was a collective gasp and some muttering, but eventually the lesson resumed.
When questioned by the headmaster, Amanda admitted that she had made no attempt to identify whether all the class had been involved in either the mimicry or in disobeying her instructions in her absence, and that she had seized the chance of imposing what she saw as an entirely appropriate collective punishment.
Ernest looked at the seated teacher in her neat navy-blue suit and white blouse, her knees demurely crossed displaying tan stockings under her knee length skirt. Looking her directly in the eyes, the headmaster spoke. Amanda noticed the anger in his own blue eyes.
“Do you remember what I told you about my views on discipline, and particularly about collective punishments, when you joined us, Amanda? Are you unaware that I disapprove of collective punishments as they almost always result in some students being unjustly punished? Are you also unaware that I feel corporal punishment of a pupil can only be justified if the teacher concerned is convinced the individual is guilty beyond reasonable doubt? That you are absolutely certain?
“In practice this means that the student must be either caught in the act, that other evidence is overwhelming, or that the girl is persuaded to admit to the conduct concerned and accept that she deserved punishment. Did I perhaps not make myself clear?”
The worried young teacher replied, “No Sir, you were quite clear, but I understood I was allowed to make my own decisions and use my own judgement.”
“So, you were convinced that every one of the young ladies in that class had individually disobeyed your instructions and was involved in the mimicry, and to an equal extent?”
“I thought it likely.”
“Did you take any steps to find out? Did you ask those concerned to own up?”
“No, Sir! And you thought that gave you sufficient justification to tell them you were prepared to administer collective corporal punishment, and then to actually impose, on every girl in the class, the maximum punishment of confinement to the school grounds that you are authorised to give. You also felt that you had sufficient authority to cancel any passes that I may have previously personally authorised, for very good reasons, following requests from either students or their parents?”
“Yes, Amanda, I mean that, following a request from Miss Teal, Miss Meret, and Miss Teal’s mother, I had given both young ladies my permission to attend a very important family celebration meal on Saturday night, the night after their last exam. Permission that you saw fit to cancel without any evidence that either young lady had misbehaved at all! You will not be surprised that I do not find your own conduct in the least satisfactory.”
“But I didn’t know! They didn’t say anything.”
“Well, they would hardly be likely to do so in front of their friends, would they?”
“I suppose not.”
“Amanda, you are a lovely young lady and have both the ability and character to become a fine teacher. I must confess that at the moment I am very disappointed in you, and consider that your own actions are probably more deserving of punishment than those of the young ladies you are insisting that I cane. I will, however, see Katie and Melissa and administer whatever punishment I deem appropriate after I have heard their explanation. I want to see you back in my office at 16.00, where we will discuss how you make sure that you do not make a similar error of judgement or abuse your authority, in future. You may go!”
A very sorry young lady then left the headmaster’s study with her eyes downcast, passing through the school office, before meeting Melissa and Katie heading in the opposite direction.
The two students each greeted their teacher with a polite, “Good morning, Miss Heatherington-Smythe,” but received just a mumbled, “Good morning,” in response from the distracted and embarrassed young teacher.
3: Concerned mothers informed.
In his office, Edward then picked up the phone and dialled the number that would connect him with two ladies he had met for the first time two years before. The phone rang in an ante-room to a spacious drawing-room in ‘Highdown Hall’, the ancestral residence of the Celadon family.
“Royal Household of the Kingdom of Azuria, Her Majesty’s private secretary speaking.”
“Good morning, Lady De Meret? Ernest Eastern-Roberts, headmaster of Lady Upshott’s School for Young Ladies. May I speak with both yourself and Queen Theresa, please. It is a matter of some delicacy, concerning both Princess Melissa and Lady Ekaterina.”
“Of course, one moment.”
In a matter of moments, the clear voice of the startlingly beautiful, 40-year-old, exiled monarch was on the line.
“Good morning, Mr Eastern Roberts. What have the young ladies been up to, and how may I help?”
“Good morning, your Majesty. At this stage, I am not sure they have actually been up to anything. As you are aware, and with your approval, Her Royal Highness and young Lady De Meret were granted permission to be collected by Lady De Meret’s cousin and to celebrate Her Royal Highness’s nineteenth birthday and the end of their exams at ‘Axington Manor country house and restaurant’ on Saturday evening.”
“Yes, Ernest. Let us dispense with the formality. I understand from Lt. De Meret that all had a wonderful time and that he and Melissa are now engaged. George did say a rather unpleasant young lady was quite rude to them when they were leaving, but that neither Melissa or Ekaterina would tell him who she was.”
“Ma’am, the rather unpleasant young lady was Miss Amanda Heatherington-Smythe, Melissa and Katie’s Economics mistress. Ten days ago, unknown to me until this morning, there was a minor disturbance in her class. Although we do not know which pupils were involved, as a result she banned the whole class from leaving the school for two weeks. It appears Melissa and Katie disregarded the collective punishment and, in accordance with the permission they had previously been given by me, went out on Saturday night as planned. Miss Heatherington-Smythe feels that her authority has been flouted and that both young ladies should be caned.”
“I see, but did you not assure me that you disapproved of collective punishments?”
“Yes, Ma’am, you are quite right. I made this point very forcefully to Amanda this morning and am considering appropriate consequences for her. The fact remains, however, that if Melissa and Katie admit they knew they were under restriction, and chose to disregard it, then some punishment would be appropriate. We do not need to consider expulsion, but if it were other than corporal punishment then it would mean any suspension would last until the end of term. This would also mean that we needed to reveal the young ladies’ true identity sooner than planned as I would need to involve the governors.”
“Are we talking the cane, Edward, and if so, how many strokes?”
“I am afraid we are, Ma’am. It would normally be at least six strokes with the senior cane over their knickers, but in view of the fact that they had previously been given permission and the collective nature of the punishment awarded, especially if they were not involved, then I think four strokes, possibly with either the medium or Junior cane would suffice.”
“Edward, I know your views on the matter, that you are a fair man and will show what leniency you properly can. Whatever you decide, you have our full support.”
Katie’s mother then spoke. “And mine too with regards to Katie,” before Queen Theresa continued.
“In any case, both young ladies are adults and it will be their decision. Thank you for letting me know. Can you please appraise me of the outcome?”
“Of course, Ma’am.”
“Oh, and Edward?”
“Would it be possible for you and your fiancée, Miss Masters, to deliver Melissa and Katie’s exam results here, and then stay overnight for a celebration as our guests afterwards?”
“With much pleasure, Ma’am. We both look forward to it.”
“Thank you, Edward. Until later, then.”
“Thank you, Ma’am. Until later.”
4: Her Majesty’s painful recollections:
Queen Theresa replaced the receiver and turned to her friend and Lady-in-Waiting. She was concerned about the fact that her beloved daughter and Katie, about whom she also cared deeply, were likely to be caned. The subject of corporal punishment had been the one reservation that she had about the choice of Lady Upshott’s. She, together with Lady Meret and the two young ladies, had discussed it with Ernest and Sylvia during their first visit.
Theresa had even asked Ernest if he could apply two strokes with a tawse, instead of the slipper, and one stroke of the cane to her own bottom and to that of each of the young Ladies so they would all know what it was like and be able to make an informed decision.
Queen Theresa had been surprised when her request, which had been supported by the two young ladies, was refused outright by the headmaster, who explained that he would only ever use corporal punishment for a serious offence, and then only when he was sure that the young lady was guilty.
For a while, it appeared that there was an impasse. Then the Queen remembered George De Meret, who was visiting, had been a prefect at a major boys’ public school and had both administered and received the cane and the slipper. An astonished George was called in and, after Ernest and Sylvia briefly left the room, was instructed to give his hostess and monarch, and the two young ladies, two strokes of the tawse and a single stroke of the cane each on their bottoms over their knickers.
At first, George had assumed the request was in jest, until the instruction was repeated in a manner that left him with no choice. Theresa remembered vividly how George had the three of them stand in a line, a metre apart, and then, simultaneously, bend over and touch their toes, being proud that she had no difficulty in doing so at 38 years old.
With their skirts and slips lifted, and with Melissa on her left and Katie on her right, she recalled how George did not hold back, how she heard Melissa receive her two strokes with the tawse with a distinct ‘ouch’ on each stroke, then how two stinging bands of fire scorched her own lovely bottom, forcing similar responses from her own lips. She remembered how Katie had taken her two strokes without a murmur.
George had then put down the tawse and picked up a senior cane. Theresa recalled her shock and apprehension as he swished the cane through the air, then the swish-crack as it landed squarely on Melissa’s knickers across the very centre of her buttocks, and how her daughter had squealed. Her own shock at the extent of the pain as her own bottom was similarly visited also had her calling out, and even Katie was unable to remain silent and groaned when George completed proceedings with a hard stroke across the lower curves of the teenager’s slim buttocks. George then left the room.
Discussions had followed as the three punished ladies had pulled down their knickers, compared marks, and then bent over the chesterfield for Louisa De Meret to liberally apply soothing balm.
All three ladies finally agreed that, whilst challenging and definitely to be avoided if possible by simply obeying the rules, the punishments, within the normal limits of six with the cane and eight with the slipper, should be bearable and a reasonable alternative to suspension, and certainly preferable to expulsion.
With the three ladies, now with slightly red and sparkling eyes, once more properly attired, Ernest and Sylvia had been invited back in and advised that Melissa and Katie would be joining Lady Upshott’s and whilst there should be treated just like any other girl.
The required forms were signed and the names to be used at the school agreed before luncheon was served. The girls were picked up two weeks later by Ernest and Sylvia, with the two mothers saying reluctant goodbyes, and taken back to the school to settle in.
5: The young ladies’ previous disciplinary history:
Meanwhile, in Sylvia’s office outside the still closed door to the headmaster’s study, the two girls were having similar thoughts, both remembering vividly how much the single cane stroke from George had hurt.
Melissa turned to the school secretary, immaculately dressed in a cream satin blouse and a tailored burgundy mid-length skirt, with her shoulder length blonde hair beautifully styled, and asked quietly; “Miss Masters, could you please tell us how many strokes you think we’ll get for skipping Miss Heatherington-Smythe’s punishment, and also what we will have to do? We would like to be prepared and, to be honest, I am scared.”
“I am assuming you have both decided to accept the cane or the strap rather than suspension?”
“As far as the extent of your punishment is concerned, the theoretical maximum is eight strokes of the cane over your knickers or twelve with the tawse or slipper. In practice, if it is the cane, then the maximum would be six, as otherwise the headmaster would need to obtain the permission of the Chairwoman of the School Governors, and if you have opted for corporal punishment rather than suspension, he will want to keep this private to preserve your identities.
“The headmaster will then want to reduce your punishment, if possible, by taking into account all the circumstances. Having listened to anything you both have to say, he will question you about everything that happened. Don’t forget he will be trying to help and be fair. He will treat you both as individuals and so you will not necessarily receive the same punishment.
“He has already asked me to look up your previous disciplinary records. I remember that, although you only joined us in the sixth form, you settled in well and have only two entries each for having received the slipper or the strap, the first from Mrs Brunswick, the deputy headmistress, on only your second day for talking in class. You each received four whacks with her famous plimsoll over your knickers.”
Melissa remembered how she had asked Katie a question whilst Alberta Brunswick, the forty-five-year-old, plump, Deputy Headmistress, who she had since come to both like and respect, was addressing the General Studies class. She recalled her shame as she was ordered to the front of the class, publicly rebuked for her rudeness, and then ordered to bend over the teacher’s desk with her back to her classmates.
It was at this point Katie had almost given the game away by standing and calling out, “No, you can’t!”
Mrs Brunswick’s response was, “We appear to have two new girls who do not know when to keep silent. So, Katie, you can come up here and join her.”
The two friends, side by side over the desk, then had their skirts raised and each received four hard swats with a size 12 white gym-shoe to the centre of their buttocks.
Melissa remembered that she had been unable to prevent a quiet ‘Ouch!’ after each stroke and that she was rubbing her bottom as she returned, red faced, to her seat, but that Katie was able to hide her discomfort somewhat better and took her punishment without a sound.
Sylvia Masters continued, “The only other incident was two months ago when you, Melissa, got three with the slipper from the headmaster, and Katie got three with the tawse for the same incident which also involved Miss Heatherington-Smythe.”
Melissa blushed as she recalled that Thursday which was also the fifth anniversary of her father’s death. It was another General Studies class and the young teacher was leading a discussion on politics and revolution. She highlighted the revolution in Azuria which she described as a ‘bloodless’ overthrow of a tyrannical regime by the people, leading to the reunifying of a country.
Melissa had burst into tears, stood up and shouted at the teacher, “You liar! You absolute liar! You know nothing about it. You ruddy communist!” She had then got up and stormed out of the classroom, slamming the door.
Katie stood up to follow as Amanda Heatherington-Smythe reached for a pad of punishment forms on her desk and started writing.
“Well, really!” Noticing that Katie had stood up, the teacher said, “Meret! Where do you think you are going? Sit down!”
“But she is really upset, miss!”
Katie reluctantly did so, as the teacher continued to fill in the form.
Headmaster’s Punishment. Date 02 Apr 1987
Name: Melissa Teal Form: 7A
Offence: Insolence, disruption of the class, foul and abusive language.
Recommended punishment: Six strokes of the senior cane and a public apology.
Having completed the form, the teacher had then called Katie to the front. Although it was usual for teachers to address sixth formers by their Christian names, she remarked, “Meret! Find Teal, give her this note and tell her to report to the headmaster’s study immediately.”
Katie was shocked. “But Miss, please! You were wrong. The revolution was not bloodless. A number of people, including someone very close to Melissa, were killed during the communist invasion of Azuria five years ago. I know you didn’t set out to mislead the class or to upset her, but if you have any compassion please think again and try to understand.”
Far from listening, this intervention had made the young teacher even more angry.
“How dare you! Be quiet! Or Teal will not be the only one bending over for the headmaster’s cane!”
Under her breath Katie murmured, “Bitch,” but unfortunately was overheard.
Amanda Heatherington-Smythe reached for another form.
“I heard that, young lady. That was unforgivable. Once you have found Teal you can both report to the headmaster.”
She handed Katie a second slip.
Headmaster’s Punishment Date 02 Apr 1987
Name: Katie Meret Form: 7A
Offence: Insolence, disruption of the class, foul and abusive language.
Recommended punishment: Six strokes of the senior cane and a public apology.
Teacher name and signature: A Hetherington-Smythe.
“Now get out of my sight, Meret! Now class, before we were so rudely interrupted. The revolution and liberation of Azuria 1982.”
Katie heard no more as she left the classroom, worried that both she and Melissa would shortly receive their first proper caning.
Five minutes later, both young ladies were standing in Sylvia Master’s office outside the door to the headmaster’s study. Sylvia had looked at their notes.
“This sounds so out of character for you both that I am sure that there must be a reasonable explanation. Just make sure you tell the headmaster everything. He will want to understand, so don’t worry. It may not be as bad as you think.”
Melissa knocked on the door and the light turned green, with both entering together.
As they both handed him their notes, Ernest gestured them each to take one of the two armchairs either side of his desk.
“I am assuming there is more to this than meets the eye. I cannot think of two young ladies less likely to have been either insolent or disruptive, still less to have resorted to foul and abusive language. Please tell me, one at a time, exactly what happened and why. Melissa, you first, please.”
Melissa explained how she was remembering her father being shot exactly five years before whilst trying to save her and her mother from the revolutionaries and communist invaders, and how she was at his bedside when he died. She also remembered the loyal bodyguards who gave their lives to buy the Royal party time to escape. How she burst into tears when her teacher had spouted the communist version about the revolution having been bloodless. How she had then been able to take no more when Miss Heatherington-Smythe had gone on to say that her beloved parents had been tyrants when, generally speaking, they were loved and respected. Far from the Azurian people wanting union with their neighbours, it was almost certain that the results of the subsequent referendum were rigged. Being perfectly honest, she told the sympathetic headmaster that she had called her teacher both a liar and a ruddy communist and had slammed the door as she left the classroom.
Katie then supported Melissa’s account, before describing how she had wanted to comfort her and had then tried to plead her case by explaining why Melissa was upset, without specifically mentioning her father, and asking for sympathy. Being equally honest, she then admitted that she had called her teacher a bitch under her breath when her pleas fell on deaf ears.
Ernest Eastern-Roberts thought carefully about his next move and there was silence for almost a minute before he spoke.
“How very unfortunate. I will need to speak to Miss Heatherington-Smythe and review her lesson plan for today to see how and why the events in Azuria five years ago were presented in the way that they were. But I need to do so without encouraging her to undertake research which might lead to your true identities being uncovered. But what to do with you two?
“Melissa, I fully understand why you were upset and I will make full allowances for what was said in the circumstances. I accept that the term liar was merely an over-the-top way of telling your teacher she was mistaken, which was factually correct, and that you did not actually swear at her.
“Calling her a communist was unfortunate but understandable as she only gave the class one side of the case. Taken as a whole, and making every allowance, I cannot ignore your display of childish temper, which would have been unacceptable in a first year girl.
“As to your punishment, if you behave like a child then I will treat you like one. You will go over my knee, like a little girl, I will lift your skirt and I will then give you three strokes of the slipper over your knickers. It will be recorded as childish overreaction to severe provocation.
“I will not ask you to apologise, especially not in public, but you may of course do so in private should you so wish. I feel you deserve an apology but, for reasons I have already explained, I will not ask Amanda Heatherington-Smythe to do so. Melissa, my dear, I hope you will accept my apology on behalf of myself and the school for having let you down today. This should not have happened.
“As to you, Katie, this is really unfortunate. You have been such an asset to the school in so many ways and your intervention on Melissa’s behalf was most commendable. I am proud of you. There is no excuse for calling your teacher a bitch whatever your understandable frustration, even if you did not intend the remark to be over-heard. Your reaction was slightly more like a typical frustrated young lady, so you will touch your toes and I will give you three with the tawse over your skirt.
“In both cases, I propose that Miss Masters will be the official witness and that you both be present throughout. I would, however, exceptionally, allow Miss Masters to administer the punishment if you prefer. You are both adults and may of course decline to accept my punishment, in which case there would be no alternative than to award a suspension which I would need to report to the governors.”
At this Edward rang Sylvia Masters and asked her to join them.
Melissa replied, “Thank you for being so understanding, Sir. I feel that I let both you and myself down today, and what is worse dear Papa would have been most disappointed in me. Your punishment is entirely appropriate and I deserve it. I would prefer it if you did it in Papa’s place.”
Katie then added, “I would also like to thank you for your understanding, and I willingly accept your punishment.”
The headmaster then stood and, having removed a size 12 black plimsole from the bottom drawer of his desk, placed a straight-backed chair in-front of the desk. He sat down and beckoned Melissa to him. Blushing furiously, the chestnut-haired beauty draped herself over her headmaster’s knees and sighed as he lifted her skirt and exposed her ample and beautifully rounded bottom to his gaze, revealing burgundy coloured silk French knickers and tan hold-up stockings. Melissa, relieved that she was not to be caned, but hugely embarrassed at the childish position in which she found herself, resigned herself to her fate, crossed her ankles and steadied her breathing. Edward gently rested his left hand on the small of her back, holding the skirt out of the way, and then raised the slipper shoulder high. Waiting for several seconds, Edward then brought the slipper down full force to strike the centre of Melissa’s silk covered right buttock. Smack.
“Ouch!” The sting took the lovely young lady by surprise and her eyes opened wide.
A second stroke was then administered just as hard to her other cheek, eliciting the same reaction. The headmaster paused and counted silently to ten before bringing the plimsole down for the final stroke to strike the lovely right buttock in such a way that the impact was just where the lace trim of her panties and the bare flesh of her sit-spot intersected.
“Owww!” Melissa gulped in air and then relaxed, knowing her ordeal was over. Edward then helped the young lady to her feet as her skirt fell back to hide her stinging bottom, which she proceeded to rub gently.
“All over now, but please sign the punishment book and then wait whilst I deal with Katie.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you, sir, and I am sorry, really!”
“Ok, Katie, your turn. Please bend over and touch your toes.”
As the blonde did so, the headmaster replaced the plimsole in the drawer of his desk and took down the tawse from the hook adjacent to the cupboard in which the canes were kept.
Standing next to the trim, athletic, but very feminine figure of the 20-year-old beauty, whose curved but slender bottom stretched the grey fabric of her pleated skirt tightly, he drew back his arm and sent the eighteen inches of twin-tailed thick leather to impact across the full width of the target area three times in quick succession, and in ten seconds it was all over.
Katie was certainly not immune to the lines of fire that decorated her bottom under her skirt and knickers, but her steady soft breathing had not altered and she made not a sound. When told that she may stand and sign the punishment book, the lovely young lady’s hands briefly cupped her bottom.
Katie turned to the headmaster and replied, “Thank you, Sir. I will be more careful of my language in future.”
“Well ladies, I am so sorry that you both had to go through this ordeal, but please understand this has not in any way changed my high opinion of you both as delightful young ladies who have both been and remain a credit to Lady Upshott’s. You may now return to class. Melissa, please hand this note to Miss Heatherington-Smythe.”
Taking his fountain pen, he wrote a few lines in his neat handwriting on a sheet of headed paper, blotted it, folded it into three and secured it with a paper-clip before handing it to the brunette.
Melissa remembered the look of shock on Amanda Heatherington-Smythe’s face as the young teacher read the note and once more left the class for an appointment with the headmaster, taking her lesson notes with her.
6: As lenient an outcome as possible:
The two girls and Sylvia masters were brought back to the present, when the light turned green and the clear voice called, “Come in, ladies, and you too, Sylvia.”
Two worried young ladies followed Sylvia into the office and the latter closed the door as Edward flicked the switch that turned the light outside to red.
“Ladies, please sit down. It appears that we have a problem, which I have already discussed with your respective mothers. Before we start, I would like to congratulate you on your engagement, Melissa. George De Meret is a fine young man and I hope you will both be very happy. I do hope you had an enjoyable night on Saturday and enjoyed your birthday as I had intended when I gave you both permission.
“You will be aware that Miss Heatherington-Smythe has complained you should not, however, have gone out at all, as she had told you both you were not to leave the grounds for two weeks as a result of an incident ten days ago. Katie, can you please tell me what had happened that day from your perspective?”
“Well Sir, it appears that Miss Heatherington-Smythe was in a particularly bad mood that morning, but we all started our revision for our Economics exam. It was the one subject that both Melissa and I were concerned about and we were determined to make the most of the opportunity. Miss Heatherington-Smythe then received a message from a first former and had to leave us. She told us to continue our revision in silence whilst she was away. As I said, both Melissa and I needed to revise and ploughed on. Some of the others, however, started to talk amongst themselves and move around. Someone pointed out that Miss Heatherington-Smythe was in a foul mood and it would be best if everyone settled down before she came back, and then a couple of the others took up the theme by mimicking her voice, which almost everyone found very funny as the impersonations were very good. Then Miss Heatherington-Smythe came back to find most of the class out of their seats and laughing.
She was very annoyed, and as far as I can remember she said, “So, I leave you for ten minutes and this is what I find,” and continued that she should slipper all of us but would instead punish us by cancelling all passes for everyone in the class and forbidding any more to be issued to any of us for two weeks, by which time we would have completed our exams. We were, of course, all upset but we were all convinced that, if anyone spoke out, she would use the slipper on all of us. The lesson then resumed for the remaining 15 minutes.”
“Thank you, Katie. I see. Melissa, do you have anything to add?”
“No sir, that was what happened. Katie and I were both sitting in our seats and had not moved, and been studying hard throughout, although we might have joined in the laughing. We felt that the punishment was very unfair, especially as you had already given us permission to go out for my birthday. We also didn’t think she could cancel a pass that you had given us, as it would be very unfair. Neither of us wanted the slipper if we spoke up so, like the rest, we said nothing.”
Edward paused. “I see, so you were not talking and were in your seats when Miss Heatherington-Smythe returned and did not feel you should have been punished. Why did you not then come to me afterwards?”
“Well, Sir, we did think about it. Especially as you said that there were to be no collective punishments. We also were convinced that only you could revoke a pass that you had given, so it didn’t apply to our going out on Saturday night. We decided that if we approached you it would cause problems for you if you allowed us to go, and for us if you did not, so decided not to risk it. So, we went anyway. We had a lovely evening on Saturday night and George’s proposal on the terrace after dinner, when he went down on one knee, was just perfect. I had just said yes and George was helping me to my feet when Miss Heatherington-Smythe, who was spending the weekend at the manor hotel as a guest with her boyfriend, spotted us, came over, and shouted something like, “Teal! Meret! How dare you both defy me! I will make sure you are both caned or expelled for this! Get back to school at once!”
George turned to her and said, “Do you mind? I have no idea who you are, madam, and quite frankly I do not care. You are without doubt the rudest woman I have ever had the misfortune to come across and, if you are a guest here, all I can say is that standards at Axington Manor must be slipping badly. Don’t worry, the young ladies and I are leaving. Come along Melissa, Katie, I promised to have you back by 11.00 pm.”
We then left and when George then asked who the obnoxious woman was, and whether she could really cause problems. We would not tell him but just said that she was of no importance and we would not let her spoil a perfect evening.”
“I see. Well, what to do about this. Did you actually remain seated at your desks and silent whilst Miss Heatherington-Smythe was absent?”
“Yes Sir, that is silent except for laughing briefly at the impression as it was so good”.
“So not entirely innocent but only a participant at the very lowest level?”
“Then, and I accept that you thought the punishment was unfair, you were not entirely convinced her ban on you both leaving the grounds did not apply, but you decided to take a chance rather than ask?”
“Because you knew that if you had asked and I said no, I would, because my agreement was at her request, have phoned your mother to ensure she was aware of the need to change the arrangements?”
“Yes Sir, it was just too important to me. We had both worked so hard for our exams that I felt we deserved to be able to celebrate.”
“I see, and Katie, what was your involvement in the decision?”
“I encouraged Melissa and fully supported her, and also felt we deserved to go out.”
“But surely the others also deserved to be able to go out and celebrate, but they all delayed their celebrations until after they had completed Miss Heatherington-Smythe’s punishment, did they not?”
The response was in unison, “Yes Sir.”
“You know that neither of you are completely innocent and, even if I do not feel you deserve the cane, if I do not punish you both there will be questions asked. If you are suspended rather than caned, then I will have to advise the governors and that means that, at the very least, Mrs Marks the head of our board of governors will need to know your true identities.”
“Yes Sir, I know. If we are expelled for something like this, then it is likely that the College of Laws will withdraw its offer. If we are suspended, then not only do our identities come out early, but the other girls will either think we are cowards for not accepting the cane, or that the school could not in the end treat us like any other pupil because of who we are or because my mother would not permit it, neither of which would be true.”
“I think you are right and I have already spoken to Her Majesty, your mother, and to Lady Meret who reached the same conclusion. We all agreed that, if I deemed it appropriate, I would award you both a caning, but that as you were both adults you had the option to accept a ten-day suspension instead. Having carefully considered everything, I have decided that the alternative to suspension is four strokes of the cane each for failure to satisfactorily complete a form teacher’s punishment.”
“Thank you, Sir. We have both decided to accept the cane,” replied Melissa, to which Katie added, “Yes Sir, we agreed from the moment we were caught neither you nor we really had a choice.”
“So, Ladies, either I cane you over your knickers now, or you can return at 4.00 pm in just your tracksuit bottoms with nothing on underneath and I will cane you then.”
“I would prefer to get it over with now, please Sir. You have, after all, already had cause to slipper me over my knickers,” replied Melissa.
“I suppose it would be better to get it over with. I had thought I would rather not show my knickers, but I realise you will have seen just as much of my bottom when you watched me swim for the school.”
“All right ladies, let us proceed. Please stand, put the two straight backed chairs in front of my desk side by side a metre apart and facing the desk. Then, raise your skirts above your waists and bend over the back of the chair and hold onto the front legs of the chair, please.”
Whilst the two young ladies carried out the instructions, Edward went to the cupboard and unlocked it to remove the junior cane. Less severe than the senior cane, it would be more than sufficient to impart a painful sting to the two lovely bottoms and leave marks which the young ladies may choose to show to prove their punishment was genuine. Sylvia Masters, meanwhile, prepared the entries in the black leather-bound punishment book.
With both in position, Ernest approached the two lovely young ladies with his cane in his hand. Their raised skirts revealed two magnificent and perfectly presented bottoms. Melissa was positioned to Katie’s left and her beautifully curved and ample buttocks filled and stretched the teal-coloured silk French knickers edged with cream lace. She had chosen these as a deliberate pun on her name, knowing that a caning was in prospect after their unfortunate meeting with Amanda Heatherington-Smythe on Saturday night. Also displayed were white hold-up stockings with stretchy lace trimmed tops.
To her right, Katie’s trim and shapely bottom was clad in black lace-edged satin knickers of a generous cut, worn with a matching suspender belt and sheer black stockings.
The headmaster swished the cane through the air and Melissa gasped. She was genuinely frightened to be facing four strokes. She was unused to pain and recalled vividly how much George’s single stroke two years before had hurt. She told herself, however, that many schoolgirls, some far younger, had received more severe punishments and been none the worse for it, and that she too would survive. Melissa closed her eyes, crossed her ankles, pressed her knees together and forced a picture of her fiancé into her mind.
Katie, with her sporting background and associated injuries, was much more used to coping with pain. Whilst she would definitely have preferred to have avoided the very painful and undeserved punishment she was facing, and was hugely embarrassed to be displaying her knicker-clad bottom to the headmaster whom she liked and respected, she determined to accept her punishment bravely. Unlike Melissa, she had not reacted at all to the sound.
Ernest rested the cane across the curve of Melissa’s bottom with the tip touching the centre of her right cheek towards the top of her knickers, marking the highest point of his intended target area. The pretty brunette trembled slightly as the headmaster spoke.
“I am going to administer the strokes alternately, starting with Melissa. Please hold on and keep in position and it will soon be over. Ready Melissa?”
Ernest raised the whippy rod shoulder high and swung it in with moderate force into the target, the cane biting deep into the silken surface. Swish-Thwack!
There was a gasp from Melissa. She gently shook her head and grasped the chair legs firmly as the fierce sting assailed her bottom. Her eyes closed, the image of George with cane in hand remained, and her gentle breathing quickly returned to its normal rhythm.
Moving across to Katie, the process was repeated. The stroke was just as hard and hurt just as much, but there was no reaction at all from the beautiful blonde.
Thirty seconds later, the next stroke impacted Melissa’s posterior just below the centre. She struggled to maintain her position but a soft ouch was forced from her lips under her breath. The sting grew and was most unpleasant, but the recipient realised the whippy cane had nowhere near the bite of George’s senior cane administered at full force. Again, she kept his image in her mind and a hint of a smile passed her lips.
Katie’s second stroke was slightly harder as Ernest looked for a reaction. There was only a slight widening of her eyes from the blonde victim as the whippy wand cut into her satin covered cheeks. Apart from the ripple of the underlying flesh, she remained both silent and as immobile as a waxwork.
Melissa’s third stroke, applied below the second to the very edge of her knickers at the join between bottom and thigh, resulted in a high-pitched squeal and a wriggling of her chubby cheeks as she struggled to absorb the increased sting. She remained in position and her ankles briefly uncrossed as she fought to keep George’s image in her mind and pretend that he was her loving chastiser.
Still trying to make an impact on the stoic blonde, Ernest landed Katie’s next stroke on the fold between buttock and thigh just below her knickers. This time there was an audible gasp and the blonde’s hair swished as a white indented line in the smooth softness of her bottom became a clearly visible crimson tramline.
Back to Melissa, and Edward landed a firm stroke across the very centre of the silk-covered softness. The stroke was slightly harder and, sinking into the fleshy pillows, finally brought the brunette beauty back to the present.
“Yeouch!” Her head snapped backwards, her hair cascaded and she gasped for breath. She was not far from tears and her lovely blue eyes, which had been forced wide with shock, were sparkling. Bravely holding position, she tried to compose herself, realising her ordeal was at an end.
Thirty seconds later, Edward put down the cane, Katie having received the final hard stroke across the very centre of her bottom, enhanced with a flick of Edward’s wrist.
“Ouch!” The first vocal reaction from the lovely blonde was accompanied by a wriggle of her bottom as she realised it was all over.
“Ok ladies, you may now stand. Please sign the punishment book. The two young ladies stood and, as their skirts covered their stinging bottoms, turned to each other and embraced, hugging each other tightly. A few seconds later, they separated and approached the desk to sign the entries.
Noticing that their two entries were the last on the page, Melissa remarked, “I think proper signatures this time, don’t you, headmaster?”
Ernest smiled as Melissa signed just her Christian name, with a small crown above, and Katie signed as Lady Ekaterina Sophia De Meret.
“Ok ladies, very well done. You both took that very well and I am so proud of you both. Once you have composed yourselves, get back to your next class. I understand that you have a review of the economics paper with Amanda Heatherington-Smythe that you will not want to miss. I am having a couple of the other of prefects over to dinner tonight, please come and join them. 7.30 for 8.00?”
The review class could easily have been awkward, except that Melissa and Katie did not let it become so. They arrived happy but not disguising that they had just been caned. They admitted it was because they had been caught out celebrating on Saturday night and that they had no hard feelings. They had taken a risk. It hadn’t paid off, and they had suffered the consequences.
Amanda Heatherington-Smythe was meanwhile trying to keep herself from worrying about the outcome of her meeting with the headmaster at the end of the school day. At the same time, she was considering an unusual suggestion for repairing her relationship with Ernest Eastern-Roberts and regaining his trust.
Meanwhile, the headmaster was updating two worried mothers on the outcome of the morning’s events, but was able to reassure them that all would be well.
At the end of the lesson, after the teacher had departed, Melissa and Katie were persuaded to show the others the cost of their night out, raising their skirts and briefly lowering their knickers. The day, far from destroying it, cemented the pairs relationship with their school-mates.
When the true identities of Crown Princess Melissa Annetta Victoire (Celadon-Teal) of Azuria and Lady Ekaterina Sophia De Meret were revealed at the prize-giving at the end of term, they were embraced by many who later celebrated the fact that they had been to school with these remarkable and charming titled ladies.
The pair, and their illustrious mothers, gradually developed a close friendship with Edward and Sylvia, attending their wedding later that summer and meeting Edward’s daughter Aurora with whom the two young ladies also became friends. Aurora then accompanied her father and new step-mother when Melissa’s and Katie’s excellent exam results were delivered to the delight of all. All reunited later at the Azurian Royal wedding between Melissa and George four years later after Melissa and Katie had graduated.
© Capstan 2021