A girl revisits her old finishing school with a guilty secret on her mind.
by Pat Greenham
The Frantz Wells Finishing School was located high in the mountains of Switzerland and had been established in the thirties by Dr Frantz Wells himself. Although Dr Wells had long ago passed away, the tradition of the school was upheld by the latest Headmaster, Dr Fuller, and was held in high regard by those parents that sent their daughters to the school for a final finishing year after they had completed their studies in their homeland.
The students at the School were from all round the world and often had parents in the Military. During their year, students were expected to learn how to be a ‘lady’ in the finest tradition of the word. Every aspect of etiquette and protocol was taught, and every student was expected to be fluent in at least one language other then their ‘mother-tongue’ by the year’s end. Other parts of the curriculum included how to dress for any occasion; beauty courses in make-up and body care. The students were also expected to learn about wider subjects such as food and wine.
The class sizes were very small; no more than eight or nine, and the student to teaching staff ratio was around one to ten. As such, a year’s tuition fees were high, but for the parents electing to send their eighteen or nineteen year old daughters to the school this was of little consequence. For the girls themselves, they had always known of their parents wish to send them to Switzerland for an additional year and never questioned it.
Whilst the school prided itself on being caring, there was a very strong code of what was right and wrong. Certainly any relationship with the opposite sex was prohibited during term-time, and any breach of this rule would mean a trip to see Dr Fuller. Other offences that would lead to a trip to see Dr Fuller included stealing and bullying.
During a term Dr Fuller would see no more than four or five girls and it was widely known and accepted that a visit to the Headmaster would culminate in a thrashing with the cane. Those girls that had suffered a beating never spoke about their experience except to say that it had been extremely humiliating and painful.
From Dr Fuller’s point of view, he was simply carrying out his duty and acting ‘in loco parentis’. The school’s rules were there for a reason and any serious wrongdoing only had one outcome. Indeed it was a condition of entry to the school that students, being over the age of consent, signed an agreement stating they accepted, and would abide by the disciplinary policy.
During the June of 1978, Paula Lang reported that her purse had been taken from her locker in the dormitory. Stealing was one of the offences that resulted in an automatic visit to the Headmaster. During the following morning’s assembly, there was an announcement about the purse and a request for anyone knowing anything about the matter to come forward. Julia Harris was at the back of the hall and suddenly remembered that she had found a purse the previous day and had put it into her own locker. She actually intended to remove some money and find somewhere to ‘lose’ the purse before she got found out. Only she hadn’t got round to carrying out her plan because she had not yet worked out where to put it. Now she was in trouble and knew it. Julia quickly hatched a plan and slipped unnoticed out of the back of the hall, made her way up to the dormitory and with no time to spare put the purse into another girl’s locker. She then went to the toilet and simply joined the other girls as they came back from assembly prior to the first lesson of the day.
Julia breathed a huge sigh of relief as she felt she was now in the clear having got rid of the evidence. The morning passed without any further incident, until lunchtime when an announcement went onto the notice board that Annette Simms had been caught stealing and was to see the Headmaster at the end of lessons. Immediately Julia realised that she had put the purse into Annette’s locker and there must have been a search. A huge surge of guilt hit Julia, but she knew that to own up would result in her getting the dreaded headmaster’s cane. She also knew that if she didn’t, Annette would be the one who would receive the cane from the Headmaster, quite unfairly. Julia went into a state of denial and later that day Annette received only the second caning of the term. Afterwards she was desperately upset and refused to talk about the thrashing other than to say over and over again that it was so unfair and shameful – and to make it worse another master had witnessed her caning.
The School had a tradition that three years after a particular year had finished all students were invited back to share their achievements and experiences. Annette had spent three years doing very well and despite her unfair beating had good memories of her time at Frantz Wells and was looking forward to the reunion and had even forgiven the Headmaster who she accepted had made a mistake. Julia meanwhile was worried about the reunion because she, and she alone, had kept a secret that had left her racked with guilt ever since she had put the purse into Annette’s locker.
She wished that she had been the one punished because it would have been over, dealt with and consigned to history. She decided she was going to ask to see the Headmaster and confess.
When the time came, all the ex-students, who were now twenty-two or twenty-three years old, arrived at the school during the ‘Welcome Day’. The reunion was always timed for the first weekend after the school had broken for the Summer Break so there was plenty of room for those that made the trip to stay at the school.
Most of the girls looked fantastic and Julia was no exception. In the three years she had developed into a stunning looking woman, and her fitted suit showed off her figure to perfection. It was at the reception that Julia approached Dr Fuller and asked for a private meeting with him the next day. In a strange way she felt relieved that she had made the first move to try and put things right after three years of guilt.
The following day was organised around each ex-student making a short presentation about what they had achieved since leaving the finishing school. This took most of the morning before the school laid on a splendid lunch buffet with superb wine. This was very much the school welcoming back ex-students who were treated absolutely as adults. It was at this lunch that Dr Fuller asked when Julia wanted to meet with him. They agreed to meet in his study at four.
Again Julia felt relieved that she was following through with her planned confession – almost not worrying about the consequences, but keen to expunge her guilt.
When, at four o’clock she told Dr Fuller everything, it was like a great weight was lifted off her and she cried with relief. Dr Fuller listened to what she had to say before asking why she had chosen to admit her terrible sin. Julia told him that she wished she had never put the purse into Annette’s locker and had felt dreadfully guilty ever since. The Headmaster asked her if she wanted to repent for her sin, and Julia told him that she felt it was the only way she could move on.
Dr Fuller said that whilst she may feel better to have admitted her heinous crime, the only correct way for her to repent would be to take a just and full punishment. Julia could have worked out for herself what was coming next but was not prepared for the severity Dr Fuller was about to propose.
He told her that if she had admitted her crime at the time she would have received the caning Annette received – the standard six severe strokes. However she did not admit the crime, as she should have. Therefore, he proposed, that if she was to fully repent her sins, she should get six strokes of the cane for the original offence, six further strokes for letting Annette take the cane in her place and another six for leaving it for over three years to admit her sin; eighteen strokes in all. In the back of Julia’s mind was the possibility that Dr Fuller would suggest a caning, but never had she thought it might be eighteen strokes.
He added that only twice in his time in charge had he given a girl more than six strokes – on both occasions twelve strokes for flagrant repeat offences. Never had a girl been given eighteen strokes, so she should understand the gravity of the sin she had committed – the worst part of which was letting another girl be caned, who she knew to be completely innocent.
The Headmaster told her that for the period of her punishment she must return to the mentality of a student, and that taking such a caning was the only way that she would be able to free herself from the extreme guilt that she had suffered for over three years. For Julia, the choice had been taken away, and she knew that Dr Fuller was right. She simply told him that she would do whatever he said.
The Headmaster then reminded Julia that he was aware that she did not suffer a caning during her year, and as such she would be unaware of the procedure. He told her to report back at 5.30 pm and that he would ensure that the Matron was available – adding that because of the procedure a female member of staff must be present.
A little over an hour later Julia returned to Dr Fuller’s study. Despite being incredibly nervous, she knew she was doing the right thing. Knocking on the door, she was surprised to be met by the Matron who was alone. She was told to come in and follow her through to a side room. The Matron then told her what was to happen – first, in the side room she would have to take off all her clothes as any girl to be caned by Dr Fuller must be completely naked – humiliation and shame being an important part of the punishment. Once she had undressed, the Matron said she would inform Dr Fuller that she was ready – at which point the Headmaster would return to his study, and she would be taken before him. At no stage would she be alone, naked, with the Headmaster – hence the need for a female witness.
In her year at the school, none of those that had been punished had ever mentioned that the cane was given on the bare and certainly not fully naked. As such it was a considerable shock to Julia that she would have to undress and the idea of being completely naked in front of Dr Fuller was as dreadful as the prospect of the cane itself. If she had thought about it, maybe she might have expected to be punished across her knickers, but it wasn’t just baring her bottom, it was a complete strip.
The Matron told her she should now undress as delaying things would only make it worse. Julia started by taking off her jacket that was part of her lovely expensive suit. Then she unzipped her tight pencil skirt and pushed it down her long slim legs. Her blouse followed as she was now down to her underwear – she kicked off her shoes and feeling very self-conscious, even in front of the Matron, removed her expensive designer bra and with her face reddening peeled her matching knickers down and took them right off. She was now completely naked and the Matron told her that she must be respectful to Dr Fuller and take her caning well. The Matron went onto say that whilst she was being caned, she should think about her sins and be grateful to the Headmaster for bringing her to task.
The Matron then left Julia for a moment before returning to say that Dr Fuller was ready. This was the moment that Julia was dreading as she walked back into the Headmaster’s study completely naked. However, there was a further shock in that also present were Mr Zimmer and Annette. Dr Fuller told Julia that it was only right for Annette to witness her caning having herself been wrongly caned three years previously. Further that Mr Zimmer had been the teacher that had conducted the search for the purse and had reported the thief as Annette. He had witnessed Annette’s caning and now felt horrified that he had been the one that was responsible for the severe caning of a completely innocent student. As such it was only right that he also witnessed justice being administered. Dr Fuller added that she could expect a thrashing of great severity having been responsible for the only ever case of a student being wrongly beaten.
Julia had never even seen a cane, and she was mesmerised with the weapon itself on the desk, which was over three feet long, very whippy and looked capable of causing much pain.
Julia did not know where to look in the presence of the two men, the Matron and Annette with her nudity for all to see. Dr Fuller was completely emotionless, but Mr Zimmer was fully appreciating the sight before him. This was only the second caning he had witnessed, and he remembered the moment Annette, completely naked, was brought in over three years ago. She was nineteen at the time and had a teenage body, quite slim and underdeveloped. Julia, now twenty-three was however very much a woman, tall and elegant. Zimmer could not help himself but to stare at her pert breasts, a C or D cup he estimated, her slim but shapely hips, her wispy golden triangle of hair at the top of her long legs. In a few moments when she turned, he would be able to savour her bottom.
Dr Fuller told Julia that she must take her punishment in a dignified way in position over the chair in the centre of the study. He added that although he did not expect her to be silent, her hands must grip the chair legs throughout and she must not stand up at any time. Any breach of this rule would mean an extra six strokes.
As she turned toward the chair, Mr Zimmer having enjoyed looking at her from the front now had her beautiful round bottom to admire. The heavy chair had a padded roll top and Julia was told to bend right over the back of it and reach down to grip each of the front legs. The position meant that her head was almost touching the seat. Julia’s legs were the ideal length for the chair with her bottom perfectly presented at just the right height and angle for the cane. She felt totally ashamed with her bottom so prominently presented and Mr Zimmer moved into a position directly behind Julia for the best view also noting that he could see hints of her most private parts between her slightly spread legs.
As the Headmaster picked up his cane from the desk, he told Julia that he prided himself in not getting any two strokes in the same place, which was easier when he was giving six. However, he added that it would be more difficult giving eighteen but he would do his best. He then touched her bottom at quite a low point before taking the cane slowly back over his shoulder and bringing it back down really hard and fast on exactly the spot he had touched moments earlier.
For a split second Julia felt nothing before there was an explosion of fire right across both cheeks and Julia could not believe the pain. She had known a caning would be painful, but never had she thought it would be this bad and she had only received one stroke. The headmaster touched her bottom again before again delivering a second very hard stroke, a couple of inches higher which caused another line of pure fire across her bottom. Julia wanted to jump up but knew she must not let go of the chair legs.
Dr Fuller let the pain of the second stroke sink in for 10 or 15 seconds before touching her bottom once more and slicing a vicious stroke into her bottom again two inches higher. He touched her bottom with the cane for the fourth time, and struck with another stroke, this time again a little higher.
The four strokes were perfectly parallel, and Dr Fuller turned to his small audience and said that for the rest of the caning he would use the first four strokes as ‘markers’ – in effect he had created three zones for the remaining fourteen strokes. He said that he would put four strokes into each of the high and low zones – with the final six all being in the centre zone.
Julia felt like she was being treated as an object or patient of interest, almost as if a great doctor was telling a group of students about his treatment procedure.
The next four strokes were all delivered between the top two strokes and Julia did not believe anything could be more painful. Dr Fuller had been good to his word, because at this stage all eight strokes could be identified, with the upper part of Julia’s bottom now completely covered. The Headmaster then gave Julia a short break before administering the ninth stroke low down just above the first stroke and near the crease of her bottom.
Julia cried out for the first time but did not let go of her grip to the chair legs fearing the consequences of an additional six strokes. She had forgotten all about the shame of being naked, and was just trying to cope with the appalling pain. The next three strokes came quickly and as with the upper part of her bottom, the lower part was now completely covered, and whilst the strokes were very close together, Dr Fuller had been as good as his word using every space of Julia’s bottom to avoid strokes in the same place. The Matron had seen the Headmaster in action many times before, but to the others his accuracy was impressive.
Again, there was a short break and Julia knew she simply had to get through the last six, which were going to be to the middle of her bottom. Dr Fuller knew she had been caned hard, but was determined that if he was to ram home the message, the last six were the ones that were going to really count. And count they did – with the first two being absolute crackers. Julia was controlling herself well but was holding onto the legs of the chair for dear life. Up until this point she had kept her legs only slightly spread, but for the final strokes she needed more balance and parted them a little more, much to Mr Zimmer’s delight as he got an even better view of the secrets between Julia’s legs. Dr Fuller decided that the fifteenth and sixteenth strokes were going to be the ones that would finally break her and were delivered in quick succession right across the very middle of Julia’s bottom. The sixteenth had the desired affect and Julia for the first time cried out. He had finally conquered her and filled the remaining gaps with the last two strokes, which were delivered with slightly more moderate force.
The people in the room had witnessed an extraordinary event, a thrashing the like of which had not previously been administered, certainly by this Headmaster. Dr Fuller knew he had carried out a caning that was fully deserved and he had done his duty. He bitterly regretted that Annette had been wrongly thrashed three years earlier. Mr Zimmer had enjoyed himself, and the Matron knew that Julia had been dealt with harshly but correctly.
Julia was told to stand and Dr Fuller told her that she should stand to attention and not to rub her bottom. Despite his anger, he was pleased that she had taken such a severe beating with dignity. Whilst she stood in the room still completely naked, the Headmaster asked her to apologise to Annette for allowing her to be unfairly caned and to Mr Zimmer for putting him a position whereby he had accused the wrong person.
She told Annette that she was simply ‘so sorry’ and she hoped she could be forgiven.
Annette, rather surprisingly replied: “Of course, you are forgiven and I think you have been very brave. In any case whilst I was caned unfairly, I do not regret experiencing the cane, as I sure that over the course of the year I deserved to be beaten and I believe the experience made me a better person.”
Annette actually had a slightly strange, almost affectionate memory of her caning, of being completely dominated by a man of great power, and for those few minutes three years ago being his absolute focus of attention as he had caned her bare bottom. There was a small part of Annette that wished she had the courage to be caned again, be dominated again – but this was a feeling that she kept in the back of her mind.
Julia also apologised to Mr Zimmer who accepted, but in reality he hadn’t regretted it at all as he had very much enjoyed seeing Julia and three years previously Annette suffer a caning.
Julia also thanked Dr Fuller, telling him: “That despite being in considerable pain, I know that I fully deserved my punishment.”
As Julia was the taken back to the side room by the Matron, Dr Fuller felt very satisfied that he had delivered the most severe caning even administered, and that justice had been done.
Later after a buffet dinner, Julia was seen talking and smiling with Dr Fuller, again looking stunning in yet another expensive suit. She had not at any stage tried to sit down since her caning – but knew the still throbbing bottom was her constant reminder that a little unfinished business had finally been dealt with at The Frantz Wells Finishing School.