The Difficult Girl

A girl is required to move to a new school

By Jane Fairweather

The door to the Headmistress’s study opened.

“Mr Smyth and Jennifer.” The School Secretary announced, ushering in a man in a grey suit who looked rather old to be a father, and a tall girl with red hair and a green dress. As she got up from the three neatly arranged armchairs at the side of the room to greet her visitors, Miss Burton caught a glimpse of the girl’s bottom through her dress. Long and narrow buttocks, she noted with approval, but had the girl got a slip on? If she hadn’t, it suggested a certain lack of attention to the normally accepted, but then again maybe the light was going through the thin dress on this very bright August day.

They went through the usual things about what the school could offer and the possibility of a scholarship for somebody with such outstanding School Certificate results, even if the girl was proposing to start here in the Upper Sixth, which seemed odd to Miss Burton when this was so obviously a University scholarship girl, who had obviously been doing well at her previous school.

After some edging round the topic she asked: “Mr Smyth, just why are you proposing to start your daughter in the Upper Sixth Form here, rather than leaving her at St Joseph’s which has at least as good an academic record as this school? And it is not exactly as if Jennifer’s School Certificate was a disaster. Indeed these results are excellent. Frankly I would not move her unless you have some other reason. Changing school can often be very unsettling.”

Miss Burton wondered if it was obvious that, during the five minutes of the interview so far, she had kept glancing from the clearly embarrassed father in his grey suit and waistcoat, and rather demure tie, to the tall willowy red head in a very pretty green frock who was the proposed candidate for late entry and had been sitting shuffling about in her chair with her legs uncrossed in a distinctly unladylike manner. Jennifer looked a naughty, rebellious child and Miss Burton, who had a soft spot for real rebels, kept playfully asking herself how Jennifer Smyth would react to being caned. St Joseph’s, she knew, did not go in for such things. Not that she did it a lot, but you could learn a lot about a girl’s character from that moment when you told her to lift up her skirts and bend over the back of a chair. She suspected Jennifer would accept it with a certain dignity, which was rare. No, ‘Oh golly, please not the cane, Miss Burton,’ from Jennifer Smyth, she suspected, or all the tears and pleading before the victim finally succumbed to her fate, which happened often and always irritated her.

She had realized from the moment Jennifer walked in the door that she was being looked at just as hard as she was looking at Jennifer. Not a shrinking violet, definitely. And very attractive. The girl’s red hair was done neatly in the modern short style with a bob, though it would have looked ravishing worn long over the shoulders as it would have been when Miss Burton was young; and the dress was undoubtedly well chosen.

And the girl’s bottom, which she had only glimpsed as Jennifer came through the door, had the long narrow buttocks with quite a bit of space between that she always rather admired, because her own had always seemed ridiculously big to her. They would definitely look interesting with a pair of school knickers stretched tightly across them. The only thing that worried Miss Smyth was that she would have liked said buttocks to be a little more carefully hidden from view; it was rather as if the girl was very quietly flaunting herself.

“Her Mother and I think it is the better school.” Mr Smyth stuttered after a definite pause; he was clearly out of his depth with headmistresses.

“That is very flattering,” Miss Burton responded, “but I do have the distinct feeling that you are not telling me everything, Mr Smyth. The letter I have had from Miss Robson is just a touch curious. I have rarely read a document that said so little, especially when the subject is such an obviously bright, and if I may say so, attractive young lady. Presumably she has not been expelled, so I am left to wonder if Miss Robson does not wish to lose Jennifer because she is so bright, or Jennifer has been causing trouble and Miss Robson is passing her on to someone else to sort out. Now, which is it?”

“Really, I would much rather that Jennifer started with a clean slate.” Said Mr Smyth awkwardly.

“So there was a problem,” Miss Burton said thoughtfully. “Do you want to tell me about it, Jennifer? I would anyway rather hear about it from you than from your father.”

She realized Jennifer’s very striking brown eyes were meeting hers straight on and she had a very pretty and attractive mouth. Really, Miss Burton thought, she was far too old for a ‘pash’ but this girl was so fiercely attractive.

“Well it is a bit awkward, Miss, but I will tell you if you really want me to, but I am not sure that you would really want to know.” Jennifer said as if about to disclose something forbidden under the Official Secrets Act.

“Jennifer, I have heard many things in my life, not least in the War when I was something much more interesting than a headmistress, so don’t hold back; I am hard to shock. Mr Smyth, provided you don’t mind dreadfully, I would be most terribly grateful if you would go and ask my secretary to make us all a cup of tea. I think it would be easier for Jennifer if she and I had five minutes to ourselves, perhaps quite a bit more than five minutes, if you don’t mind. I will tell my secretary when I am ready for you.”

Mr Smyth went with barely a word. Miss Burton asked herself if he did not want to be part of this female conversation, or was there something really embarrassing about his daughter’s conduct at her previous school? And why was the mother not here?

“Now Jennifer,” she asked, “What happened? I like the look of you and I like your school record. Pity you are not into games, of course, but not everyone can be; but your academic work sounds way above average, especially your English Literature. However, if I am to take you on I do want to know the whole truth, not just the bits that are fit for your Father’s ears, if you see what you I mean. And incidentally I was an interrogator in the War; I had to make up my mind quite frequently whether I was being told the whole truth, or a lie, or various points in between.”

“Gosh Miss, you had to ask spies questions!” Jennifer exclaimed, clearly impressed.

“Rather boringly, it was people who might have been spies, but usually weren’t. They were usually too sympathetic to the enemy, without actually working for them. German intelligence work was rather poor, to my mind; I could have run it better. Anyway Jennifer, tell me what happened.”

It pleased her that Jennifer paused and seemed to take stock before opening her mouth; most girls would undoubtedly have blurted out some jumbled mass of words.

“I suppose I have to tell you, Miss, I was accused of stealing.”

“Well stealing can cover a multitude of sins; what were you actually accused of?”

“I was very good friends with Miss Murdoch, my housemistress, all of the way up the school, Miss.”

‘Good friends’ with a girl as pretty as Jennifer Smyth could cover an awful lot of things, Miss Burton thought, but she did not say it.

“She was also head of English, Miss, and she used to let me go to her room and read. She had a lot of books, Miss. Anyway, one day in the Lower Sixth ‘the Cat’, I mean Miss Murdoch, Miss, left me alone for an hour reading Ben Johnson. Miss, I really like the Alchemist, Miss. Anyway she was away for more than an hour and I went off to my class. She always left the door open, so I did not lock it. Then, no more than twenty minutes after that, she came storming in to French looking really angry and asked to speak to me. She said that there had been two one pound notes in a purse in her desk drawer just before I came in to read and now they were gone. She asked if I had been in the room all the time or gone wandering off. I said I had been there all the time till I had to go to French.

Anyway, she took me to Miss Robson and they looked through my satchel and even in the pockets in my knickers, but they could not find anything. And there was the definite gap during the beginning of the French lesson when I could not have been in the room, so Miss Robson said someone must have slipped in then, but ‘the Cat’, Miss Murdoch, was still mad and said I was the only person who was likely to know where she kept her purse and they should look in the desk I had been using during French, and then of course there was my cupboard in my study. Anyway, they still could not find anything, so they let it drop.”

“So you were exonerated.” Said Miss Burton briskly with some relief. “Did they catch anybody?”

“No Miss, but I don’t think they really looked. I think they thought I must have done it and I was too clever to be caught.”

“I see!” said Miss Burton, feeling very puzzled, then added: “It sounds to me as if there was something else going on, something more subtle, perhaps. Was there?”

“Well, there was my boyfriend, Miss. Miss Murdoch did not like me having a boyfriend. She thought I was her friend and it got a bit awkward, you see. I was silly enough to tell her I was writing to him. It was nothing improper, Miss, my parents knew.”

“But I imagine you had no chance to meet him unchaperoned, or anything like that. So what was the fuss about?”

“We were allowed to go to the pictures in a group on Saturday afternoons. He was at a school nearby and I would slip away from the others and sit with him. And sometimes we slipped out of the cinema and went for a walk together. One day, Miss, we were strolling by the canal and one of the mistresses saw us and reported me to Miss Murdoch. She gave me a terrible lecture. And my poor boyfriend got the cane at his school; it was terribly unfair.”

“Well you just don’t go out with a boy in term time at a girl’s boarding school!” Said Miss Burton, laughing nevertheless and wondering if Jennifer was as sexually innocent as she sounded, which she somehow doubted.

Then the Headmistress added much more seriously: “When did you have this lecture?”

“A couple of days before I was accused of stealing.”

So Miss Murdoch could have framed her pupil because she was angry at being rejected, Miss Burton decided; it was a very tempting proposition.

“Were you punished for walking out with your boyfriend, apart from the lecture?” She asked Jennifer as an afterthought.

“I got a horrid lecture from Miss Robson as well, Miss and a stroke of the cane on each hand. That really hurt, Miss. And she said I would get considerably more if I did anything else bad in the Sixth Form.”

“I thought St Joseph’s did not use the cane?”

“Only very rarely, Miss, but I got it.”

Very curious! What had annoyed Miss Robson so much that she had abandoned her normal principles and used the cane, especially on a Sixth Former? She could remember a heated conversation with Miss Robson at a get-together for the heads of Girls schools. Her fellow headmistress had been quite shocked at the amount Miss Burton used the cane and said it should never be used on schoolgirls; it was something for school boys. She imagined the tall willowy Jennifer reluctantly extending her right hand and the look of defiance in her eyes; this girl would be very defiant.

But Jennifer was suddenly chattering again without waiting to be asked.

“And I got it again for being rude to Miss Murdoch in English. I said she was wrong about something in Shakespeare, and she said I was wrong, and I refused to apologise, Miss. And Miss Robson said that I would either have to apologise or leave the school. I said couldn’t I have the cane again, and she said why not? So I got it, Miss.”

“What did you get?” Asked Miss Burton, now thoroughly intrigued.

“It was really mean, Miss. She sent me back to Miss Murdoch with the cane. I wasn’t expecting that, Miss. She made me bend over her bed and she pulled my gymslip and petticoat right up and gave me five of the best as hard as she could with only my knickers for cover. God it hurt. And I could tell that c…, I mean, Miss Murdoch, Miss, was enjoying every second of it. It was so embarrassing and humiliating. And she took so long over it. But I did not make a sound, Miss, not a sound, though I cried a lot.”

“So what did your parents say to all of this?” asked Miss Burton, imagining Jennifer’s pretty young bottom bent over what was quite probably the bed in which the girl had lost her innocence. Or was that unfair to Miss Murdoch? She had no real evidence there had been an affair between housemistress and student, but her usually reliable instinct said that quite probably there had been. She would have moved Jennifer to another house quite early in the proceedings; it was usually fairly easy to spot such things.

“My father was shocked I’d had a real caning; my mother laughed and said it was a pity it had not happened years ago.”

“What do you think?”

“I did not mind being whacked if it kept me in the school, but I hated Miss Murdoch getting her revenge like that. It was much too severe; three would have been quite enough. If I deserve it and it’s fair, I would rather be caned than gated or given lines or detention.”

“Was that what you said to Miss Robson? That you don’t mind being caned if it is fair?”

“More or less, Miss, but I was not expecting her to send me to Miss Murdoch. And having to walk through the school carrying a cane was so embarrassing. I got laughed at quite a lot.”

Clearly, thought Miss Burton, her fellow headmistress had been in a creative mood that afternoon after having to deal with an extraordinarily stubborn and rebellious girl, which did not alter the fact that the matter needed dealing with in a rather different way. She would have left Miss Murdoch out of it and had the girl back in a couple of days later after she had time to repent of her impertinence and imagine the punishment that was coming. And the punishment would have been one to remember, certainly five, quite possibly six strokes. There was no point in being nice and kind with the Jennifer Smyth’s of this world.

“Would you have accepted a caning from me in the same situation?” She asked.

“Oh yes, Miss. My mother’s friend says you are always very fair; and at least you know you are going to get the cane here. It must be much simpler than not really knowing what is going to happen. And though I thought Miss Murdoch overdid it, I prefer having my bottom caned. Hand caning is horrid!”

Miss Burton paused and wondered if she really ought to do this. Inviting a potentially very disruptive influence into the Upper Sixth was a risk. However, she was just not willing to turn down a girl as interesting as this.

She opened her mouth and very formally said: “From what I have heard of you I think I will have to cane you during your stay with us, probably on several occasions. I will not stand for insolence to staff, or slipping off with boyfriends, or smoking, or several other things I cannot think of at this moment, even in the Upper Sixth. Provided you accept, that then you can have a place here, and a scholarship. I like difficult girls, you know.”

Jennifer did not quite throw her arms round her future headmistress, but the ecstasy on her face was marvellous to see.

*          *          *

It was a bright, cold day in early November, and Miss Burton was feeling far from discontented. Generally, the school seemed well ordered with some very bright pupils coming on well, not least the new scholarship girl, Jennifer Smyth, and the hockey team was also doing well.

The only slight hiccough had happened the previous day, when she had been obliged to cane two Five Uppers and a Sixth Former for smoking quite blatantly in the Sixth Former’s study. The Sixth Former had been the same Jennifer Smyth, who was doing so well with her English and Latin.

She strongly suspected that Jennifer had been quite deliberately pushing it to see how far she would have to go to get the cane. At least, it was hard otherwise to understand her defiance when asked to explain herself, which had earned all three girls a sharp punishment. Normally she let girls off the cane on the first occasion they were caught smoking and she wondered how popular Jennifer’s behaviour had made her with her new friends.

Three very different bottoms the headmistress remembered.

Jean Rhodes was small and petite and she had made Jean put her hands on the side of the chair instead of bending her over the back of it as she had done with the two taller girls. It was a plump little bottom and thin cane she had used had bitten deep into it and the girl had squealed her head off and howled for mercy in the most undignified fashion, during four sharp, but not actually very hard strokes. With luck Jean had endured four incredibly painful stings, but was not that much marked. In an odd way Lucy Burton would have been upset if she had left Jean with any significant marks

Jean’s best friend, Erica Heaton was almost comically the opposite to her, tall and wiry without much flesh on her and indeed without much bottom. She had bent over the wooden chair and taken her punishment of four strokes with almost no noise, though she had kept lifting her legs up and down and there had been a lot of tears in her eyes. She had given Erica two hard strokes into the middle of her small bottom and two across the top of her narrow thighs. Looking back she wondered if she should have given Erica five or six strokes. Erica normally had a lot more sense and so probably deserved extra. However she had not held back with Erica and she suspected the girl would have a tender behind for some while.

She remembered Erica’s aside to the waiting Jean as she limped out the study, “Streuth she can cane; that was worse than my Dad.” So at least she supposed it was not Erica’s first experience of the dreaded punishment, so maybe she should have given her the traditional six; she suspected the girl could have taken it.

Then it was the tall and elegant Jennifer’s turn. Jennifer, even in her gym slip, had seemed uncomfortably like a young woman who was too old for punishment and Miss Burton had thought seriously about admonishing her. However, the girl had been so aggravatingly defiant that in the end she had taken quite a lot of pleasure in giving her something altogether more severe than her partners in crime. She had used a larger cane and really tanned that errant behind with the traditional six which she had distributed at equal intervals along those narrow buttocks, which her headmistress, in spite of herself, found annoyingly attractive through the thin white knickers, despite her real fury.

Notably unlike Jean who had wailed not to be caned and had to be threatened with a doubling of her punishment before she would bend over, Jennifer had pulled up her own gym slip and petticoat and, despite wearing distinctly non-regulation knickers that gave her a lot less protection than the normal school type that everyone was supposed to wear, and a very stylish suspender belt, had taken six genuinely hard strokes with a significantly larger cane, without a tear and not much noise, though her very pretty bottom had kept thrusting back and forward. Miss Burton found herself remembering Jennifer’s caning with wry amusement. She had really let the haughty Sixth Former have it, despite the girl’s indignation about getting five strokes at her previous school. She felt Jennifer Smyth was really trying it on. And she had been so angry that she had nearly gone on beyond six strokes.

Had it done any good or not? She was looking forward to seeing if a little well timed severity would bring the right result. Jennifer was already getting a reputation among the mistresses for a certain rudeness in class that was not quite sufficiently insolent to get her sent up to the Head, but nevertheless worrying. Sooner or later that haughty behind was going to have to be taught an even more severe lesson. Unless of course…

There was a knock at her door. It was Ethel Blunt, her oldest housemistress and one of her oldest friends, saying could she have a word? Of course the answer was ‘yes’ to Ethel, and they sat themselves in the armchairs and exchanged some not too serious school gossip.

Then Ethel said much more seriously: “You really let the Smyth girl have it, you know. I got to see her marks, because she wanted some cream, and they were quite spectacular. I think she could barely sit, though she was too proud to admit it. Are you sure you did not overdo it?”

Lucy Burton shrugged and said: “I was severe, but everything I know about that girl suggests she needs reining in very hard. Did she complain?”

“No, surprisingly. She just said she had been very rude to you and deserved what she got, which surprised me. I thought it was close to excessive myself. And I don’t think you should have caned the other two girls, when it was only their first time smoking. It was not their fault that they got tangled up with such a dominant character as Miss Smyth.”

“My dear Ethel, I always value your thoughts and I will definitely bear it in mind, but she is tough as a boy, though maybe I was wrong about the other two. Actually I am not sure I was; I doubt if either of them will smoke again for a while.”

“I am not sure that all boys are that tough.” Ethel replied. “Personally, I think a lot of boy’s schools overdo it. Anyway, what is done is done. I really came about something quite different and quite worrying. I left some money in a purse on my bedside cabinet while I was teaching 4A. Normally,I would lock my room even though our girls are on the whole extremely honest. I suppose in a way I was asking for it, but we have almost no theft in this school and I did not think about it. I should have locked the door, so it is partly my fault. But anyway, when I came back from the delights of 4A the purse had gone. I thought at first it must have fallen down somewhere, but it has not. Someone has taken it, I am afraid.”

“Was much money involved?” Lucy Burton asked her friend, with some concern.

“Enough! Three pound notes and a bit of silver, which I was going to take into town to find presents for my Mother’s birthday and to start Christmas shopping with what was over. And the purse had some sentimental value.

“But what worries me more than the loss is the likely culprit. You are not going to like this, Lucy, and I don’t make the accusation lightly. It happened just after Jennifer Smyth finally came to me and asked for some cream to put on her bottom. If the girl had any sense she would have come the previous evening after the punishment, but she’d been too proud and got quite swollen in consequence. As far as I know she was the only person to come into my room and see the purse. And Ellie Fox and Mattie Smith say they saw her in the corridor near my room just after the bell went for period three; they were slightly late for class. I think we should at least do a search of Jennifer’s possessions.”

“Oh God!” Said Lucy Burton with real feeling. “This is exactly what they accused her of at her previous school, and I thought it was a mistake, possibly even malicious. Well, it will have to be done. I do hope it isn’t her. But we will have to be canny. At St Josephs, they could not pin it on her, though they seem to have been convinced it was her that was responsible. Now where, I wonder, would an unusually intelligent girl hide something she had stolen? It won’t be under her mattress or in the obvious places.”

“Was she trying to get revenge for the beating?” Said Ethel thoughtfully.

“Why take it out on you and not me?”

“True, but her father is well off and I am sure she does not need the money. There is something odd about this, Lucy.” Ethel murmured.

*          *          *

Half an hour later, they were back in the Headmistress’s study. The purse had been found. Lucy Burton almost wished it had not been, but there it was, sitting on her desk. Ethel had thought to stand on a chair and run her hand along the pelmet in Jennifer’s room, which was very clever of Ethel, for the purse was quite invisible from ground level. Jennifer was standing there, looking oddly unflustered considering she was almost certainly going to be expelled, and was heading for an even more severe caning, either as part of her expulsion or instead of it, if she was very lucky and her headmistress was forgiving. Lucy Burton wondered what was going through that very pretty head. It even had a very sweet demure smile on it, which she felt like wiping off with a sharp slap. However, she also felt that would be to lower herself in her own eyes and she just managed to restrain herself.

She calmed herself to some extent by the odd device of abruptly wandering off to the cupboard in the corner where she kept the basket with her canes. She tried a variety, which varied greatly in length, thickness and whippiness, swishing them purposefully, before putting each one in turn back into the basket and returning to her seat without one. She sat at her desk, glowering and speechless, quite unsure what to do.

Jennifer was standing in front of the headmistress’s desk, which was shimmering in the bright, cold autumn light. Ethel had brought up a chair and was sitting at the side of the desk. It was quite clear that she meant to play a part in this, though Lucy would have been quite glad not to have her old friend’s voice added to this already too complicated situation. Ethel would almost certainly want some mercy for the girl and Lucy was rather less than willing to give it, for she felt she had been lied to on a monstrous scale at the interview when she accepted Jennifer into the Upper Sixth. No, she was going to expel this little monster!

The only question was whether she should cane Jennifer as well as throw her out of the school. She knew  she would feel a great deal of very  personal pleasure in swishing the girl in her too-adult under clothes, which she should not be wearing anyway; but maybe that was a good reason for not thrashing this infuriatingly attractive red head. The nicer side of her thought: ‘You really should not take pleasure in punishment.’

“Please, Miss Burton, what is going to happen to me? I know I should not have done it.”

Clearly the wait for judgement was getting to Jennifer. She remembered the girl’s eyes had been following her when she was swishing the canes.

“I am sure it would help the headmistress if you could give us some reasons for your behaviour, Miss Smyth.” Ethel said quietly but firmly.

Oh well, there was going to have to be a little sentencing session, Lucy Burton thought to herself. Trust Ethel to want it done as fairly as possible.

“I just wanted to be expelled.” Jennifer uttered in little more than a whisper. “I want to leave school and get a job, and my Father won’t let me. He says I am made for better things. Please don’t cane me as well, Miss Burton. I am still sore from yesterday.”

Was it only yesterday? Lucy thought to herself that she had dealt with those three girls. At the time, she had thought it had been rather a successful punishment. She noticed Ethel looking at her with a distinct hint of amusement.

“I am not sure you should expel her, if that is what she really wants.” Ethel was saying.

‘Fair point!’ Lucy thought, but did not say it. But it was ridiculous that the girl wanted to be expelled, when she was so bright. She really had the makings of a good professor or journalist or teacher, or something similar.

“I am certainly going to take away your scholarship, Miss Smyth,” Lucy said deliberately, noticing Ethel was still looking at her appealingly. “Though I am fairly sure your Father will happily pay for you. But it seems absolutely ridiculous to throw you out of the school when that is precisely what you want and you have such academic potential. For the rest, I think you are going to have another caning, whether you like it, or not.”

Her eyes wandered to Ethel who was sitting on the wooden chair normally used for punishments. She would have to politely ask Ethel to move, wouldn’t she?

Then Ethel said very unexpectedly: “Headmistress, I hope you won’t mind my asking, but I feel very much the person offended against. I would very much like to carry out the punishment myself, if you have no objection. I suggest two on each hand, since her bottom is already so sore from yesterday and the remaining four on her bottom and the back of her legs.”

Lucy felt a certain relief because she just did not trust herself not to overdo it given the very real, almost overwhelming, anger that she felt, so she said yes with a minimum of fuss, though she did wonder how good Ethel’s timing with a cane was, till it suddenly struck her that Ethel at forty still had a very mean tennis serve and played golf regularly.

She lingered because she wanted to be sure that the punishment was carried out properly, but also in case Ethel had a sudden fit of forgiveness; but also just a little bit because she had never seen a caning (even though she had carried out so many) and it had a certain odd fascination.

Ethel went to the cupboard and carefully selected a short but very whippy cane and a rather longer one that also looked horribly swishy. Lucy reflected she had never actually had the cane, she had always been rather a good girl and her knowledge came from using it. She moved herself to the side of the room, feeling ridiculously detached from these proceedings.

Now Ethel had got her victim standing in front of the desk with her back to it, hands outstretched, and was purposefully swishing the cane in Jennifer’s eyes while lecturing her ferociously but quietly about what happened when everyone felt free to steal everyone else’s possessions. Eventually she stopped and asked for an apology, and got a very whimpered one.

Ethel raised the cane.

The victim suddenly pleaded desperately. “Please, Miss Blunt, please don’t cane my hands. I hate being caned on my hands. Please, anywhere else!”

The cane swished down hard on Jennifer’s right palm, which visibly moved downward and clenched itself at the same time as Jennifer let out a terrific shriek of agony.

“Open your hand now and hold it level.”

The girl very slowly obeyed with the tears pouring down her face. The cane swished again with the same result, except the wailing went on longer.

“You are play acting, no need for quite so much noise, Miss Smyth.” Observed Ethel. “You will get extra strokes if you go on like this.”

The noise hurriedly ceased and Jennifer took the two beautifully timed lashes on her left hand with, if possible, even more tears, but notably less noise.

The girl stood there clenching her hands and pleading desperately for the punishment to end there. Lucy, watching, almost thought the punishment should have ended there, but the executioner was quite remorseless.

“Stop weeping, girl, and get your gymslip off.”

“My gymslip, Miss Blunt?”

“Yes, your gymslip, Miss Smyth, and double quick about it.”

“But Miss Burton doesn’t do it like that, Miss.”

“Well Miss Blunt does! Get it off girl.”

With a good deal of fumbling, the gymslip was removed to reveal a very pretty silk petticoat in pink.

“Take your petticoat off!”

“But I can’t do that without taking off my blouse.”

“Just do it!” said Ethel; there was no mistaking the real anger in her voice.

The victim’s injured hands struggled with her tie and then the buttons on her white blouse, which she added to the brown gymslip, which she had put down on the desk. Then, visibly gulping and looking extremely embarrassed, she took off her very stylish petticoat, revealing a thin cotton vest with a bra under it .Her very stylishly cut white knickers were very similar to those that she had worn the previous day. And finally above the white knickers was a very elaborately decorated suspender belt which was attached to the girl’s black schoolgirl stockings.

“Now take off that ridiculous suspender belt.”

“But they stop my stockings falling down!”

“Well that is precisely what we want, isn’t it young lady? A nice patch of soft white flesh on the back of your legs for the cane to feast on.”

“Please, Miss Burton!” Jennifer cried out.

“I am not really here.” Said Lucy sardonically. “Do carry on Miss Blunt.”

Off came the suspender belt and it joined the heap on the desk; and, as Ethel had predicted, the black cotton stockings slipped a long way down the girl’s long legs.

“Now bend over and touch your toes, facing the desk.”

“Please Miss! Please! We normally have something to hold onto. We normally bend over a chair.”

“Well this is how I do it.” Said Ethel firmly. “Now bend, young lady, right down to your toes and stay there, or I will have your knickers off you.”

The victim bent. Lucy, watching, found herself fascinated, and also rather shocked by the amount she could see that she was not supposed to see.

The actual caning was almost an anti-climax. The cane swished once into the upper part of the bottom where Lucy always thought it seemed to hurt less, judging by the reactions of various victims, twice into the soft flesh at the edge between buttocks and thighs, which produced the hysterical wails that Lucy would have expected, and once into the back of the girl’s white thighs, raising a huge weal and a causing a loud scream.

Jennifer leapt upright and started to squeeze the afflicted areas extremely hard. Ethel unkindly started to tell her to bend over again till she was told she could stand; but now Lucy felt justified in intervening and saying firmly that the punishment was over and Jennifer should get dressed and go.

There was a charged silence as the victim put her clothes back on and staggered, in obvious pain, very sheepishly out of the door.

“Why did you stop me?” Said Ethel quite angrily when Lucy and she were by themselves. “It is not just the pain, that girl needs a lot of humiliation.”

“I would hate to break her spirit.” Lucy Burton said seriously. “And we were quite close to something snapping. No, I think we shall have less trouble after this. You did it very well, but there are limits.”

“You do know that she has a real thing about you caning her, don’t you?” Said Ethel sharply. “She said some very odd things when I was rubbing the cream in for her. I should stay clear of punishing her again if you can avoid it.”

“Good god!” Said Lucy. “Are you seriously telling me that she deliberately set up getting severely caned twice in two days because she has got a crush on her headmistress?”

“She knows you are a soft touch.”

“Well if she tries it again,” Lucy said laughing, “then you can deal with the little bitch again. Do you believe that she does want to leave school.”

“I am not quite sure, but I doubt it. I think it was a plausible excuse for her awful behaviour.”

“Oh well.” Said Lucy, “We will have to see how it all turns out. I bet she will get an earful for losing her scholarship.”

“Oh the father believes in the hairbrush for errant young ladies. He told me so when he brought her to the school.” Ethel said extremely dryly.

“Well perhaps we can leave it in his capable hands.” Lucy Burton observed, thinking she had never seen a girl spanked with a hairbrush; it must be quite interesting, judging by the strange scene she had just witnessed.

But now she must turn her mind back to being a headmistress.

The End

© Jane Fairweather 2018

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