Mr Jones has to deal with two unruly girls

By Jane Fairweather

“Barbara Googe, I would like a word with you, please, after the lesson, when the other girls have gone. Nothing too important, but I need to discuss it with you.”

“Yes, of course, Sir.” Babs said with a slight giggle, wondering what on earth her very attractive music teacher wanted, and wondering if it was quite proper. Ought they to have a chaperone? Not that she minded.

“Now girls, we are going to proceed just a little further with our consideration of the basic minor and major scales and the associated chords.”

The lesson ground on. Babs normally enjoyed anything to do with Music, but she found it hard to concentrate. Probably it was just something to do with Orchestra, which she was proud of being one of the stars of. But it just might not be. There was just a chance she was going to find herself in the headmistress’s study, being soundly whacked by Wilco yet again; but surely Mr Jones was much too nice. And anyway, what could she possibly have done to deserve it? But what did he want?

“Right girls, you can all go, except for Barbara.”

There was a noise of chairs as the girls stood up simultaneously and started to walk out towards their next lessons.

“See you in Geography, Babs. Hope you’ve got blotting paper down your drawers this time.” Elspeth, her best friend, said mischievously, squeezing Babs’ hand as she said it.

“Don’t be silly! I haven’t done anything.” Babs snapped, all the crosser because Elspeth’s teasing was uncomfortably close to her own fears.

“Barbara, come over here. I am not going to eat you.” Mr Jones was saying.

She realized he had sat himself down on the side of the teacher’s desk, which suggested nothing very alarming was going to happen, so she walked quite slowly over to him, reflecting as she did on the attractiveness of his curly ginger hair.

“Barbara,” he said rather diffidently, “You do enjoy being in the orchestra, don’t you?”

“Yes, of course, Sir! I wouldn’t come if I didn’t!” She retorted, thinking this was rather a silly question.

“It is just you have had several big outbursts recently. There was that time when you objected to the harmony of that old song I had arranged.”

“Well you did have several sharps where I wouldn’t have had, Sir!” She stated, wondering if she was being too forthright; Jonesy seemed to take you saying things back better than most, but you never knew how a teacher would react when you answered back.

His lip curled with amusement, to her relief, and he said, “Well, at least you noticed I was being adventurous, which most of the girls would not have done. But you did get rather carried away, even when I explained. Yelling that I was, ‘Wrong, wrong, wrong,’ at the top of your voice was not very ladylike, now was it Barbara?”

“But you did not say that much at the time, Sir; and anyway it was last term.” She said, sounding and feeling quite indignant that this should suddenly be brought up against her, though it had been, she was uncomfortably aware, rather a tantrum.

“Well, normally I would treat it as a private disagreement between you and me, for orchestra is not really like a normal lesson. However, the headmistress seems to have heard of this or some similar outburst. Miss Monks, who has the History room next to the hall when we do practices, has been complaining. Anyway, I have been told it must stop. I am afraid dire things have been mentioned if it does not.”

“You mean the cane, don’t you, Sir?” Babs exclaimed. “Oh god, not the cane again. It hurts so much, and it would be my fifth time. And it is such a little thing. Surely, she would not do it?”

“It would, in some ways, be a lot easier if Miss Wilcocks did cane you, if you do this again, but in fact she is talking about throwing you out of the orchestra for good. Losing you from the orchestra would be a very real loss, Barbara. But it is a lot worse than that, I am afraid. I rather think she has come to the conclusion that caning you has little effect; and if you misbehave badly again, it would be simplest to expel you. She more or less said that, I am sorry to say. I must say I would prefer you to be caned, even though I remember my own punishments with rather less than pleasure.”

So the man was human! He had actually been naughty enough to have the cane! She had always thought Mr Jones was much too nice and well behaved, even though something always stirred at the sight of her music teacher.

“What did you get it for, Sir?” She asked just a touch archly.

“Oh, idleness, I am afraid, in Latin and Maths. I spent all my time on music that I could and quite a bit I should not have. I don’t think it had much effect in Latin, but my Latin Master only punished me fairly mildly, though having it at all was a shock to the system. But I had a very vigorously applied six of the best from Mr Miles for inattention in Maths, and I did make more of an effort after that; when you have been punished as hard as that you want to avoid a second dose, or at least I did.”

“I don’t blame you, Sir. I always make an effort after a session with Miss Wilcocks, but it never lasts and there I am back again, over her desk. But you are right, I would much rather have the cane than leave the orchestra, or the school.”

“Oh well, let us hope it does not come down to it and it will all go away.” Mr Jones said awkwardly.

“Anyway, I will try not to let you down, Sir, I really will.”

Mr Jones thanked her gravely and asked her if she had any intention of doing anything with her interest in Music and the obvious fact that her violin playing was a lot above average.

She replied with sudden seriousness, “I would like to, Sir, but I don’t know how.”

He mentioned Music College and offered to help with preparation for the auditions, which she rather diffidently accepted, subject of course to her parents being willing.

Mr Jones ended the little interview with the feeling that real progress had been made. But would this lively girl suppress herself enough to escape the wrath of Miss Monks and the unwillingness of the headmistress to cane her again. There was little doubt in his own mind that Barbara was probably going to be expelled before he could prepare her for Music College, which was a great pity.

***

“I don’t know much about music under Henry VIII.” Mr Jones said hesitantly. “Well, he is supposed to have written ‘Greensleeves’ isn’t he? And there must be some choral music, somewhere. But it’s when you get to Tallis and Byrd, when you get to the great Elizabeth, that it gets interesting.”

“Much as I thought,” Miss Monks replied, who had asked the question genuinely wanting to know.

It was, he realized, the third or fourth time that Miss Monks had put her head round the door of his music room and asked if he had time for a chat; and it seemed to him that the woman genuinely wanted to make his acquaintance. Luckily, they both had an interest in Tudor history, and, under the crusty surface, Miss Monks was rather sweet and charming when she was not dealing with difficult schoolgirls.

However, unfortunately his favourite pupil fell definitely into the latter category as far as Miss Monks was concerned. Babs, he realized slightly uncomfortably that he had taken thinking of her by her nickname, had already been reported once to the headmistress for too much loudness in orchestra by the not unpleasant woman who was sat opposite him, since his conversation with the girl. He had been able to say, perfectly truthfully, that his favourite pupil had not been that loud and he had already spoken to her. Fortunately, Miss Wilcox had left it at that and not carried out her threat to withdraw Babs from orchestra. But there was always going to be a next time with Babs.

“Penny for your thoughts.” Miss Monks said almost mischievously.

“I don’t know how to keep Barbara Googe in the school. Miss Wilcox is saying she won’t cane her, because it has never worked with Barbara in the past, which virtually means that the next time she puts her foot in it she will be expelled. And then there is the threat to withdraw her from orchestra when she needs every bit of playing she can get if she is to stand a chance of Music college, and I and the orchestra desperately need a genuinely good First Violin. The concerts will be dire without her.”

“Which no doubt you think is my fault; and if so I am sorry. But she is and always has been the sort of girl that needs reining in hard, not that I have ever known her be malicious.” Said Miss Monks rather ambiguously, but he thought he detected genuine concern in her voice.

“So, what is to be done?” He asked.

“Oh, I would chaperone you if you wanted to discipline her yourself the next time she plays up. Provided it’s done decently and sensibly I don’t see any reason that you should not do that. And if you do it like that, I won’t report her to the headmistress.”

“I am not at all sure a man should be caning a grown girl, and anyway I have no authority to do it. But have you authority to use the cane, Miss Monks. That might be one way out.”

But it worried him that it all sounded that little bit dubious and, anyway, Babs would furiously resent being punished by her arch enemy and he had a feeling that the girl might even refuse point blank to take the punishment.

“Yes, Miss Wilcox told me years ago that if she was out of the school and anyone needed caning I should do it. And I have done it a few times. It always seems mean to keep a girl waiting to be punished. And she did add vaguely that if there were particular circumstances I could do it, if I wanted to avoid sending someone up to her. I have never actually availed myself of that, but she definitely said it.”

“It would be very helpful if you would deal with Miss Googe, if it becomes necessary. In a way, it would be a genuine kindness to the girl.”

“And no doubt to you and the orchestra!” Miss Monks said sardonically. “But alright, if it comes down to it I will deal with Miss Googe. You may have to hold her, though. I don’t know how she will take to being caned by me. But let us hope that her genuine and obvious respect for you, Mr Jones, and her admirable, if sudden, desire to get on in Music make her a reformed creature and these problems can be put behind us.”

“Yes, let us hope so.” Said Mr Jones, more than a touch sententiously.

They then spontaneously entered into a lively discussion of the social divisions and unrest of Henry VIII’s reign, which would have bored most people in the school, other than themselves.

In the days after this rather unusual discussion, Mr Jones found himself going back to his rather guilty memories of having caned a few boys when he was head prefect of his house. He had always done it for the very best of reasons, usually bullying or smoking, but it had left him with an odd fantasy about caning girls on the seat of their drawers, despite the fact he had never actually seen a girl in her underclothes, and there was no likelihood that he would do, unless or until he got more involved with the female sex than he had hitherto.

At least that had been the situation until Miss Monks had started on rather ridiculously about the possibility that he might have to end up chastising Babs Googe, though it had ended up with the History mistress saying she was quite willing to carry out the punishment herself, which sounded much more proper.

***
There were three weeks to the end of the Spring term, and one till the next school concert. The orchestra was doing well, Mr Jones thought, though the first cello, Susan Wilkins, was way out with her tuning in the Purcell piece he had carefully and laboriously arranged to be just within the limits of his players. As it was, he was struggling to hold them together from the piano. Perhaps it was too ambitious, he thought.

“Let us try it one more time.” He said aloud. “And Susan, please try to keep in tune.”

“Yes, jolly well try, Susan. I don’t think you are even trying.” Babs was snapping from first violin.

“Oh really, Barbara, that is not helping. Please keep your comments to yourself.” He said severely, restraining a vision of his favourite pupil bent over for six of the very best, which he was more than half inclined to give her at that second. When Babs was exasperating, she was very exasperating.

However, to his relief, Babs did shut up and they started to go through the Purcell again.

Then Susan went wrong in the same crucial bar she had gone wrong at each run-through, and Babs had suddenly left her position and was screaming into Susan’s face. And then, he was never quite sure which of them started it, though he was told later it was Susan, the two girls were on the floor and fighting like wild cats, scratching with their nails and pulling one another’s hair and shrieking.

For a second, he did not know what to do, but luckily Elspeth, Bab’s friend who played the flute, and several other of the girls got up and started the far from easy task of separating the two screaming girls. He stood by, bemused, wondering how he was going to protect his favourite and seeing no easy way to do it. If only the headmistress had not set her face against caning Babs. Would the headmistress hear and come to see what was going on, or not? If she came, everything was over as regards Babs and Music college.

Then a grey-haired Miss Monks was standing in the doorway, having strode ferociously from the History room across the corridor. Whatever else might be said for Miss Monks, she had real authority and the room went very quiet, very painfully quiet, as everyone waited to see what the dreadful consequences of this unseemly behaviour were going to be.

“Miss Wilkins and Miss Googe, you will come with me to my study.” Miss Monks was saying in a voice of thunder.

“Don’t you mean the headmistress’s study Miss?” Susan Wilkins was very reticently enquiring; now the fight was over both girls were looking extremely nervous.

“No! I mean my study, Miss Wilkins; the headmistress is out of school this afternoon meeting the architect who is designing the new wing. And that, Miss Wilkins and Miss Googe, is just as well for the pair of you, as I have no authority to expel you. Now come along. I suggest you pack up your lesson, Mr Jones. I don’t think there is much more you can do in the circumstances.”

So, the orchestra rather sadly occupied themselves in putting away music and instruments and music stands.

“I do hope they only get the cane, Sir.” Elspeth, Babs best friend, said to him. “Couldn’t you say something, Sir. It might make a lot of difference and we were all of us getting very fraught because we could not get it right.”

“Very sensible, Elspeth, but I don’t know what to say.”

“Susan did definitely start it, Sir!” Elspeth pleaded, as behoved a best friend, and several other girls vehemently agreed.

Apparently, Susan had stretched out her claws and scratched Babs’ face when Babs had started shrieking at her, but he did not know what use the information was, given that Babs had started it by her stupid shrieking in Susan’s face.

But eventually he was standing there by himself, wondering how severe the canings were, and how brave the girls were being, and whether Miss Monks would report it to the headmistress or not, when rather to his bewilderment Susan Wilkins walked through the door. Her eyes were red and clearly she had been crying, which in the circumstances was not altogether surprising, but strangely he could not help noticing the lovely light on her face under her long ebony hair.

“Miss Monks, would be very grateful for your help, Sir. She wants you to come to her room, if you are available.”

“Yes, of course!” He found himself saying, and, rather bemusedly, followed Susan’s lanky body out into the corridor, praying he was not going to have to hold Babs down for the cane, which was the obvious explanation.

“I hope your punishment was not too severe?” He asked, as much in the hope of slowing Susan’s long striding legs to his own pace as anything.

“We both have just had the lecture, Sir, so far. The punishment is still to come.”

He could tell from the breaks in the girl’s voice, Susan was trying to sound nonchalant about the prospect of a sound caning, and not entirely succeeding.

But why was he needed? Almost inevitably, he thought to hold Babs down, which he did not altogether like the thought of, but suspected there was no way out of. But perhaps the girl would surprise everyone by taking her punishment without a murmur. Unless the girls were going to be made to apologise to him before their punishment, which was not impossible.

They got to the door of Miss Monks’ study and were admitted. Babs was standing there looking extremely tense. Her eyes, like Susan’s, were very, very red and she was sobbing quietly. Mr Jones guessed that this was the tail end of a lot of tears. Miss Monks was sat in an old armchair twirling a piece of paper for no obvious reason; probably she just wanted something to do.

“Ah, Mr Jones!” Said Miss Monks. “Perhaps it is a little late in the day, but the two girls would like to apologise to you.”

There followed some rather forced apologies, which in the case of Babs were uttered painfully slowly because of her sobbing. Naturally he accepted them, but then he realized that it was not being suggested that he should go and yet there seemed no great reason why he should be staying.

“The two girls have a request,” said Miss Monks.

“Yes, fire away,” he said, wondering what on earth was coming.

He realized Babs, who was normally eager to be the first to speak about anything, was looking incredibly embarrassed and did not seem able to look him in the face.

Susan obviously realized the same and looked at Babs and said, “Shall I ask him?”

“Yes, alright.” Babs said, and descended from quiet sobbing back into tears, which Mr Jones found upsetting.

“It is just we are in a bit of a jam, you see, Sir.” Susan explained. “If the headmistress hears what we have done, even if Miss Monks canes us, she is very likely to expel Babs, and she is quite likely to expel me. And if Miss Monks canes us then she will have to tell the headmistress she has done it, because that is how it is done.”

“I am afraid that is how it is.” Said Miss Monks very apologetically. “It is more than my job is worth not to put a caning in the punishment book, and even if I don’t actually tell Miss Wilcocks I have caned them, then I am afraid it won’t be long before she spots the entry, as she usually canes one or two girls a week.”

“We would be very grateful indeed, Sir, if you would borrow Miss Monks c-cane and p-p-punish us.” Susan said with what was clearly a painful effort.

Again, he noticed how lovely the girl’s face was, despite the awfulness of the situation.

“But I am a man and not even your father.”

“Yes, but you were the person that the two girls offended against. Besides, Miss Wilcox is very bad at knowing what goes on in her own school. If none of us tell her I doubt if she will ever find out.” Miss Monks said dryly.

He felt genuinely nonplussed.

“This is what both of you want, isn’t it?” He said, looking hard at Babs and half hoping she would say no, it was not what she wanted.

But Babs stated as firmly as she could through her tears, “I feel really ashamed at letting you down so badly, Sir, when you have been so kind to me. It is only fair that you should be the one to punish me.”

“And I would much rather get it out of the way without having to explain it to the headmistress.” Susan cut in.

There was no doubt that the two girls meant it, he realized.

“But it really isn’t done for a man to see girls’ drawers,” he protested.

“The sort of things our girls wear are not exactly the most exciting lingerie. They usually need washing and they don’t wear them that tight, so you wouldn’t get to see that much, even if you wanted to, which I am sure you wouldn’t.” Miss Monks said with something approaching a giggle.

Mr Jones was left with the intriguing feeling that at some point in her life Miss Monks might have worn something rather interesting under her plain skirts, but perhaps it was pure imagination, though you were never quite sure of anything with Miss Monks.

“Anyway, Sir, we thought you might say that,” said Susan. “So, we had a think and we thought that if we took our drawers off and our tunics, we could tuck our petticoat between our legs and you could whack us without seeing too much. Didn’t we, Babs? It was your idea.”

“It does seem the obvious way out.” Said Babs, who suddenly seemed to be recovering slightly at the thought of coming to the end of this long drawn out punishment.

“It was entirely the girls’ choice, both asking you to cane them, and tucking their petticoats in. They suggested it when I thought we had run out of options. On a better day, I would praise them for original thinking.” Miss Monks cut in.

He nearly declined, but then he imagined Babs as some young wife without anything real to do except run a house and have children, which was so often what happened to bright young women, and he said yes, though very reluctantly.

“Right girls, you had better slip into my bedroom and divest yourselves of your surplus garments.” Miss Monks said rather impishly.

The girls departed, shutting the door.

“I suppose you have seen a cane?” Miss Monks asked briskly as she fiddled behind the desk in the window and produced one of about three feet.

“Oh yes, I have even used one on occasion, when I was a Head prefect.” Mr Jones observed as he took it from her and tried swishing it.

It was like riding a bicycle, he decided. Once you had done it, you did not forget how to do it.

“I think the girls were rather hoping you did not have much experience, but it looks to me as if you know what you are doing.” Miss Monks said, echoing his thoughts.

“Yes, a little,” he said.

Then there was a very diffident knock from the bedroom door and both adults jumped. Before either of them could answer it, a very nervous Susan Wilkins put her long black hair through the door as if almost spying out the land, and then walked through it, wearing a long white linen petticoat.

There was clearly a vest and possibly a bodice under it, so her small breasts were little more visible than normal. However, in spite of himself, Mr Jones could just about make out the shape of her belly and buttocks through the otherwise decent garment. He reflected it was the first time that he had ever seen so much of a woman, young or old.

“Susan, why ever did you take your shoes and stockings off?” Miss Monks was asking.

“It just seemed the right thing to do, Miss. We thought they might get in the way.”

“Oh very well, but really not at all necessary, Susan.”

“Where do you want me, Sir? The headmistress usually makes us bend over her desk.” Susan was saying very reasonably and with even something approaching a smile, as if almost trying to help her executioner.

“Most certainly not my desk; it is in the window and people will see, though I suppose I could draw the curtains.” Miss Monks exclaimed.

“I used to cane boys bent over the side of an armchair anyway, so that is what I am used to doing. Let’s do that. If you would be kind enough to move, Miss Monks.”

Miss Monks shuffled rather awkwardly out of the only armchair and stood by the window.

“Now, Susan Wilkins, if you would be kind enough to walk to the armchair and bend over with your hands on the far side of the chair.”

He could see the girl start and her face contort as she suddenly realized that this was really happening. He wondered if she had half hoped to be let off at this point. However, she walked to the chair and reached over to the further arm. Her small bottom rose up into the air. He noticed the two small neat buttocks and the space between them at the bottom and thought how different to a boy’s behind it looked. Miss Wilkins, he rather incongruously decided, was a very pretty girl, arguably prettier than her partner in crime.

“Please Sir, what am I getting?”

“Six,” he said very firmly, though in fact he had been hesitating between four, five and six.

Miss Monks, without saying anything, walked over and tucked the petticoat between the girl’s legs, making the contours of her body even more visible and leaving Mr Jones to wonder if the tucking-in was really a good idea.

He stood back and carefully positioned himself. In his previous incarnation as a head prefect he had been troubled at first by his own lack of muscles, but in the end he had worked out that an effective caning was not necessarily a question of force, but timing was important, and a long slow swing was surprisingly effective.

He drew the cane right back and sent it singing towards its prey, slowly and deliberately.

‘Whack’ went the cane and he could feel it bite deep into the middle of those small neat buttocks.

“Ow. Ow. Ow!” said the victim, as her behind visibly pushed up and down.

‘Whack’ went the cane.

“Aah, aah, aah!” went the victim, who was beginning to move her legs about and was clearly suffering.

The third stroke swished. There was something close to a scream, and the victim pleaded desperately for it not to be so hard.

For the last three strokes, he switched his attention to the top of the girl’s narrow thighs and the girl seemed to suddenly break and lose control, crying uncontrollably and emitting loud yelps. He thought it, to her credit, that she stayed in position and somehow avoided yelling at the top of her voice, which would have been awkward for girls and teachers alike.

After the sixth stroke, Susan jumped up and started doing a most strange dance on the spot, clutching her small bottom through her petticoat.

“You can use the water on my wash-stand and the sponge, if you want to.” Miss Monks said, not unkindly, when the dance had declined to a shuffle.

“Thank you, Miss Monks,” Susan said between her gasps and tears, and then staggered in the direction of the bedroom door, saying almost to herself as she went, ‘I never thought anything could be so painful; it was so much worse than the last time.’

The door shut behind Susan’s tall, leggy body.

“She was quite brave, considering it was only her second time and the first one was a very mild affair by all accounts.” Observed Miss Monks. “Anyway, you clearly have done it before, Mr Jones. I think they were rather counting on you not having done it before, or being kind to them because they are girls.”

There was a distinct pause.

“I think I had better knock on the door and summon Miss Googe.” Mr Jones exclaimed, who was feeling very much that he wanted to get this wretched business over and done with.

“No! Give her a second. She’s probably helping Susan, who probably needs it.” Miss Monks said with an air of practicality.

They waited in fact for several minutes. Mr Jones was divided between feeling more and more irritated at the delay and worrying that they would end up dragging the girl out of the bedroom by force, which was the last thing he wanted to do, for it was important that this punishment was accepted willingly, if at all possible.

“Mary Queen of Scots had to be fetched to her execution, of course, which she managed to be quite late for, if you believe some of the sources.” Miss Monks began, obviously working up to fetching Babs out of the bedroom.

Mr Jones flinched but, luckily perhaps, the door opened and a disconsolate Babs emerged, wearing a very similar petticoat to Susan, except it looked as if it had been dyed; at any rate it was a most odd shade of green. Like its predecessor, it showed just enough of the girl to be interesting to a male eye that was not used to seeing anything, but it was not indecent, he decided. He noticed the much larger, much more solid bottom and the protruding breasts, and the fact his next victim was a good deal shorter than his previous one.

“I am sorry I took my time, Sir. I hope you don’t mind. Susan needed a bit of comforting and to be honest Sir I had to screw myself up before I could face it.”

Babs was looking at him very nervously, obviously dreading the delay was going to increase her punishment. She seemed to have stopped crying, which had presumably been part of ‘screwing herself up’.

“Very well, Barbara,” he said. “We will forget about that. Put your hands on the far arm of the armchair and stick your bottom out.

Visibly shaking, the victim positioned herself and Miss Monks tucked up the petticoat and, rather in spite of himself, Mr Jones found himself briefly admiring that splendid posterior before he punished it. And yet he could not help thinking that in some ways Susan’s bottom was more interesting. This startled him, for he had never really taken much interest in Susan previous to this bizarre occasion.

Babs wriggled less than her predecessor and also made a good deal less noise. He concentrated on the lower part of the girl’s buttocks. Four strokes quite close to each other, and then two hard ones across the previous four. Even Babs made some very odd noises during and after the last two. But when she stood up, she was very obviously holding in her pain and she was not really crying.

“Can I go, Sir?” She asked through gritted teeth.

“Yes, you can go.” He said and the girl walked to the bedroom door without obviously staggering and disappeared through it.

“She is much more used to it than Susan, of course.” Miss Monks observed as she took the cane off him and replaced it behind the desk. “But I think you got through to her. You have a way with the cane, Mr Jones. I was quite impressed.”

“I really did not like doing it,” he said with a shudder.

“No, but it probably made you do it all the more effectively, which is very unlike the headmistress, who is never very efficient and I think enjoys it far too much. Anyway, after those monkeys have gone, which hopefully will not be too long, we will have a cup of tea, Mr Jones, which is always comforting in difficult situations. Incidentally, did you see the way the Wilkins girl looked at you? I think she has a real crush on you.”

“Surely you mean Barbara?” he replied.

“No, Miss Googe has a definite schoolgirl crush, as I am sure you have noticed, but I think Miss Wilkins’ feelings might go a great deal deeper. There was something in her face, especially just when she bent over, which I don’t suppose you could see.”

At the time, he laughed at Miss Monks, but seven years later, just after Barbara had to Mr Jones’ great pleasure graduated from the Royal Academy and begun her career in Music, it was Susan Wilkins that he married.

The End

© Jane Fairweather 2020

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