An innocent girl feels she has to join the guilty
6th January 1986: The morning assembly on the first day of the spring term at Lady Upshott’s School for Young Ladies was one that those present never forgot. After the usual welcome, prayers and hymn, the headmaster waited until those girls excused the religious part of assembly had re-joined. Mrs Brunswick, the deputy headmistress, then welcomed the girls back from their Christmas break and made some administrative announcements before handing over to Ernest Eastern-Roberts. The headmaster, after his own words of welcome and encouragement, then dropped his bombshell.
He explained the throwing of snowballs had, despite his warnings, got out of hand and that a six-year-old girl had been accidentally struck by a snowball which contained ice. He then told the shocked school what he intended to do about it. All girls would return to their form rooms, and all those who had thrown snowballs on the last day of term, after his warning, were to stand behind their desks. Those who had not thrown snowballs should take their seats.
Each girl who was standing would then, one at a time, be bent over to receive the slipper over their skirts in-front of the whole class, after which any prefects who had been involved would report to the headmaster for the cane.
There were gasps of shock, and it was a subdued line of girls that filed out of assembly, only slightly buoyed by the headmaster’s assertion that, as the punishment was relying on the young ladies’ sense of honour in owning up, the details, although properly recorded, would neither be reported to their parents nor be included in their reports.
Form 5A, on the way back from assembly on that last day of the autumn term, deliberately ignored the headmaster’s words and had quite a snowball fight, albeit with the softest of snowballs. It involved almost all the girls, who all had thought it great fun. Only Debbie Williams had taken her headmaster’s words to heart and therefore refrained from joining in. She had, though, thought it harmless and amusing fun.
She therefore found herself the only seated girl in her class. All the others were standing behind their desks. Debbie saw that she was getting some strange looks from the other girls, even though they knew she had not participated. It was a silent dare, and she knew it.
Finally, and just before Miss Faith Northcott, their 25-year-old form teacher, arrived, Debbie gave in and also stood behind her desk. She thought about the kind words her headmaster had said to her parents when they came to pick her up on the last day of term, and how he had praised her ability, conduct and character. His paragon had now decided to enhance her standing with her classmates by receiving an undeserved slippering.
Seeing Debbie standing came as something of a surprise for her teacher, as the very well-behaved and academically gifted young lady had not so much as been awarded lines during the time she had been in her form. If, however, her star student was determined to be punished with the others, then Faith Northcott, who was very fond of Debbie, decided that it would be kinder to punish her first.
Picking up her large white plimsoll, Faith turned to the expressionless young lady and remarked, “Debbie, I am surprised to find you in this position awaiting punishment. If you are indicating by standing that, on your honour, you threw a snowball, then you must be punished like the others. Bend over please. The headmaster has decided that all fifth and sixth formers involved in the throwing of snowballs will receive six strokes with the slipper over your skirts.”
Without a word, Debbie bent smoothly and presented her bottom for punishment.
What neither her teacher nor her classmates knew was that, although never before punished at school, Debbie was not a total stranger to a parental chastisement, although it happened rarely and almost always had something to do with her twin brother.
With the rest of the class to punish, Faith could not afford to show any favouritism. She swung the slipper hard onto the part of the grey skirt which was stretched tightly over Debbie’s well-rounded right buttock. Whop!
This was followed in quick succession by an equally hard stroke to the left buttock. Whop!
To the surprise of her classmates, who had expected miss goody two-shoes to make a fuss on her first spanking, and of her teacher who was worried she might not be able to cope, the headmaster’s paragon succeeded in taking the first hard strokes of the slipper without a sound. With the exception of the involuntary wobbling of her bottom, she remained as still as a waxwork.
This was not to say Debbie was immune to the very real sting that the slipper imparted to her bottom. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, she then absorbed the third stroke applied across both cheeks, and then the last three slightly lower across her sit-spots, taken with commendable fortitude. Invited to rise, she was a little misty eyed, blushing, and she placed her hands on her bottom over her skirt before calmly apologising to her teacher for her misbehaviour.
As the others were being punished in their turn, Debbie was struggling. Not so much with her stinging bottom, as she had actually found that, taken over skirt and knickers, it had not been too bad, but with her conscience. She knew that if she told her parents, let alone her grandfather, a retired headmaster, about being punished after owning up to something she had not done, it would not go down well.
If she told her parents, the very least she could expect was a further slippering, and more likely the cane. Her grandfather would regard it as a gross deception and misrepresentation of a type that could undermine the whole disciplinary process. If she did not own up, as it would not be on her record or in her report, they may never know. In her heart, though, that would mean that she was lying by deception. Still, nothing could happen until at least half-term, so it was not a decision she had to take immediately.
At 9.40 am, three prefects including the Head Girl and her Deputy, all with stinging bottoms, made their way to the Administration Office where they waited to see the headmaster. Sylvie Masters, the Headmaster’s fiancée and the School Administrator, was waiting for them. She told them to stand facing the wall, then she knocked on the headmaster’s door to confirm whether he wanted to see them individually or collectively.
Ernest had decided the three young ladies would be seen in reverse order of seniority. Therefore, Louise Kingston as Head Girl had to wait. First Collette ‘Letty’ Beaumont, a junior prefect from the lower sixth, and then Victoria Hamworthy, the Deputy Head Girl, who had both ironically thrown their snowballs at Louise herself, were dealt with.
Louise heard Letty take her three strokes in silence before emerging with her hands clamped to her bottom. Then Vicky took her four strokes with a muffled yelp on the last. Then Louise was called in.
The light turning green on Vicky’s departure, Louise knocked and entered. Sylvie was not sitting in her usual armchair, but was standing next to the headmaster’s desk. The Head Girl then stood on the carpet in front of the desk with her hands clasped in front of her.
“Good morning, Sir. Miss Masters. Happy New Year!”
“Good morning, Louise. Thank you. We hope you had a really enjoyable Christmas and trust that 1986 brings you all that you wish for. I believe, however, we have some unfinished business from last term.”
“Yes, Sir. Where do you want me?”
“Bend over and place your hands on the seat of the Chesterfield. Like the others, I am going to cane you over your skirt. That means I am going to have to chalk the cane to make sure that the strokes do not cross. That also means that you will have chalk marks on the seat of your skirt for the rest of the day, as you are not to change or sponge off the marks. The whole school will therefore be aware that even my almost perfect Head Girl can occasionally be naughty.”
As Louise bent as instructed Ernest picked up the junior cane, chalked it, touched it most gently to her bottom to get his aim, and then landed a stroke applied with only moderate force. Under her skirt and silken French knickers, her bottom was already a dark pink and quite sore, and the cane imparted a most uncomfortable sting. Louise merely gasped and remained in position.
In forty seconds, it was all over. Louise’s mid-grey skirt now sported six neat parallel white marks and its owner’s soft and shapely posterior, which was stinging furiously, had six dark pink lines. She had remained silent throughout, except for a quiet ‘Ouch’ as the final stroke landed below her knickers where buttock meets thigh. Although fully aware that the headmaster could have caned her much harder, Louise felt that, coupled with the six strokes of the slipper, she had received sufficient encouragement to refrain from throwing snowballs in future.
Having signed the punishment book entry which read; ‘childish and potentially dangerous act bringing the school into disrepute, six strokes, junior cane over skirt’.
She turned to the headmaster and said, “Thank you, Sir. I am so grateful you gave me a second chance. I promise I will not let you down.”
“Louise, you never have and you never will. Now, we all have work to do.”
Outside, the sky was overcast and the first flakes of snow started to fall.
© Capstan 2021