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Friday, 27 January 2017

The Schoolmaster’s Wife

Story from Janus 25 by R.T. Mason
It was Priscilla Browne’s first chapel on this, her first morning at Kingswood School and she found herself seated on a rather uncomfortable backless bench with the other Masters’ wives. When the school filed in to the chapel the masters and wives had to stand.
The Upper School had to pass along directly behind the bench where the junior masters’ wives were now standing, and the first time it happened Priscilla assumed it was an accident: a boy’s hand brushing against the cheeks of her bottom.
But then followed a second, and a third, and then a fourth; and two of them were quite unmistakably bold ‘feels’ of her rather ripe bottom, contained this particular morning in only a thin summer dress with wispy brief knickers underneath.
She bit her lip and sensed that she was flushing. But she could hardly make a scene on this very first morning at the school.
At the end of the short service the same thing happened; staff and their wives standing while the school filed out, at a somewhat leisurely pace. And again three or four boys, either the same ones or others, did it again; treated themselves to an open appreciative feel of the posterior of this new and very pretty young master’s wife.
And again there was nothing Priscilla could do except stand there, mentally squirming, and letting it happen.
It was definitely a shock introduction to life at Kingswood, a somewhat minor boys’ public school, but Priscilla decided, for the present at least, to say nothing to her husband, Derek. He, new like her, of course, to Kingswood, had to go off to teach his first classes and so probably had enough to think about. Directly after chapel, though, Priscilla found herself walking in the quadrangle with another young wife, a pretty brunette, who, like Priscilla, was in her early twenties. She introduced herself as Angela Bowen.
Angela asked if Priscilla was settling in all right. Then added, laughing, ‘I expect your bottom got a few feels and pinches in chapel?’
Priscilla was horrified. So it was evidently not an isolated incident. Her pent-up feelings burst forth, ‘It’s simply outrageous! Doing that to a master’s wife! Haven’t you complained to the headmaster?’
Angela chuckled. ‘You’ve got to be joking! Have you met the Head yet? You’ve a treat in store! He’s the worst of the lot!’
----//----
Priscilla had not in fact yet met Dr Stirling. She had unfortunately been indisposed when she and Derek had been due to come and look over the school before term started and so Derek had gone by himself.
This, the first day of term, was the first Priscilla has actually seen of it. It was considered that wives had an important role to play in supporting their husbands so she had been interviewed along with Derek for the job — Derek to teach English and to take charge of a school House. It was seen that Priscilla would have a major supporting role in this latter function.
The interview had been in London with the Board of Trustees and Governors. And none of them had pinched her bottom, although she blushed as she remembered that one or two of the men had stared with evident interest at the pretty blonde girl and her shapely figure, full firm breasts and equally ripe and firm young backside.
Priscilla was due to meet the Head for the first time for coffee later that morning, and Angela Bowen’s words did not have her exactly looking forward to it. Worst of the lot? What did that mean?
She knocked and entered his study with some trepidation. He was a large man, tall and bulky, with sharp appraising eyes. Eyes that went quickly over Priscilla’s shapely form as he rose to greet her. After the boys in chapel and Angela Bowen’s warning, she half expected him to pinch her bottom right away. But he didn’t — oh no, it must have taken him all of five minutes!
He had led her over to his French windows overlooking the lawn — after a friendly greeting and saying how sorry he was that they had not been able to meet before. And was she settled in all right in Delaney House? Then, after a few words about the school, he said how glad he was to find that she was such a pretty and shapely young woman.
‘Naturally the Governors would have taken that into consideration when they appointed you and your husband. A lovely woman does so much for the boys’ morale in an otherwise all-male school. And of course it does wonders for the headmaster’s morale as well!’
He laughed rather loudly. ‘Yes indeed. A lovely woman with a very shapely figure. Including a rather splendid bottom, I must say!’
And at that point he simply reached round behind her and took a firm hold of Priscilla’s backside. A much more firm and no-nonsense grip than any of the feels she had received from the boys in chapel.
Priscilla gasped and involuntarily squirmed. But what do you do when you are the very new wife of a very new and junior master and it’s the headmaster who has a hold on your bottom? Priscilla felt she didn’t have a lot of choice but to let him continue.
He groped and fondled at her full firm cheeks, and then gave her bottom a sharp slap. ‘And speaking of your bottom, Mrs Browne, leads me on to another matter. Discipline.
‘Discipline for our young wives, that is. Sometimes young wives become troublesome in a place like this and, heaven knows, their husbands have enough to worry about. So what I like to do, if our young wives get into any little problems, is to treat them just the same as I treat the older boys. I give them a good caning.’
Could she possibly have heard correctly? Priscilla’s incredulity must have shown by the manner in which her face flushed bright red and her mouth dropped open.
‘Yes, Mrs Browne, a sound caning.’ He smiled disarmingly.
‘To be perfectly frank, caning a pretty young woman is a very pleasant diversion after dealing with young males all day. And I can assure you it is something I shall look forward to with great pleasure in your case.’
He gave Priscilla’s bottom another sharp slap and indicated that the interview was over.
----//----
Still in a daze Priscilla happened to see Angela Bowen again just a little later. Smiling brightly, Angela asked how Priscilla had got on, then invited her over to her own House, Perceval, for another cup of coffee.
‘Did he get his cane out?’ laughed Angela.
Priscilla was now prepared to believe anything! ‘H-he doesn’t really cane us, does he?’ she asked weakly.
‘Oh I’m afraid he does, dear. Whenever we give him the excuse and sometimes when there is no excuse at all. I’m afraid, like he says, we are a pleasant diversion from the boys.’
‘But — but does your husband know?’ asked Priscilla, incredulously.
‘Oh yes, of course he does. And he just has to accept it as one of the Head’s little quirks. After all he values his position here... and it’s not as if the Head was screwing me, is it?’
‘When — when does he do it?’ asked Priscilla, completely stunned and feeling a little weak at the knees.
‘Like I say, whenever he gets the excuse.’ She poured the percolated coffee into the cups. ‘And that’s another thing, of course. Have you ever been in charge of a school House before? I mean you have the same degree of responsibility as your husband, and that’s how the Head views it.
‘And if you can’t control the little monsters, that’s one sure way of giving dear Dr Stirling a wonderful excuse. So ask yourself, Priscilla, can you control fifty hormonally charged boys who are all dreaming of getting you naked and giving you a good shagging?’
Priscilla felt her skin pricking with little beads of perspiration. She had never taken charge of a group of boys before, as this was Derek’s first regular appointment. She stared at Angela and bleakly shook her head.
‘Drink your coffee,’ said Angela. ‘The trick of course is to get the Head Boy and all the prefects on your side, then the battle’s won. But getting them all on your side poses its own problems.
‘Of course, you could be like Susan Rogers, whose husband runs Lamont House, and simply allow the boys to screw you. She never has any trouble with discipline.’
Priscilla gasped in disbelief. This just couldn’t be happening!
‘No, it’s true,’ said Angela. ‘Mind you, Susan is a little tart. She loves screwing them anyway.’
Priscilla, struggling to maintain composure, asked what Angela did to ease the pupil problem.
Angela flushed slightly. ‘Let’s just say I’m very friendly with them, without letting them have... er... you-know-what. I sometimes let them watch me undress and sometimes — well, I do sometimes let them spank me.’
Priscilla gave another incredulous look, and Angela smiled. ‘There’s no need to look like that.
‘It’s perfectly normal for boys of their age to want to see a woman’s body and also, well, have a little intimate contact with it. Spanking is harmless enough.’
‘Wh-what sort of... spanking?’ asked Priscilla, now struggling for breath it seemed.
‘Oh well of course they want your bare bum. A good hiding with your knickers down. And I do usually agree to that.’
So now you know it all, thought Priscilla. Bottom pinching in the chapel, the Head canes you, and on top of that you have to let young boys spank your bare bum! Quite, quite inconceivable!
She went back to her own sitting room, her mind bemused by the morning’s revelations. She still hadn’t formally met the members of her House — that little treat was scheduled for this afternoon. And what would happen then? Could she possibly cope after what she knew now?
Derek came in ten minutes later, his first classes at Kingswood over. He seemed quite pleased and said it hadn’t gone too badly. ‘And how about you, darling?’ he asked, kissing her, ‘Are you getting your bearings?’
She managed to force a smile. ‘Er... yes, slowly,’ she said, and left it at that. As he settled down with his newspaper she unhappily reviewed her problems. There was presumably nothing she could do about getting her bottom pinched in chapel; clearly you either stood still and let it happen or made a scene. And what would that do for Derek’s prospects? Quite simply she wasn’t prepared to make a scene. And the Head? Well, she could only wait and see about him. But the boys in the House? Surely she didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of pandering to their every whim?
----//----
The Head introduced Derek and Priscilla to the members of Delaney House right after lunch. Forty boys ranging through to 18 plus.
Derek made a little speech after Dr Stirling, then Priscilla stood up, smiling, to let them see her. Smiling outwardly but cringing inside as she thought of what Angela had said. ‘Get the Head Boy and the prefects on your side.’ Then it was plain sailing. But to do that........!
The real shock came right after the House meeting. Derek had to go and take a class and Priscilla was to serve tea to those very same dreaded Head Boy and his prefects in their living room.
Five strapping youths, all of them just a few years younger than Priscilla’s 22 years... and what had Angela said? All dreaming about stripping you naked and giving you a good shagging. Priscilla blushed hotly and gritted her teeth.
In her sitting room the Head Boy, Robert Maidment, tall and dark, said, ‘We’re really pleased to see you here, Mrs Browne. And clearly Delaney House is now going to have the prettiest wife in the school.’
As Priscilla blushed slightly one of the others added, ‘And the one with the best figure too!’
The others enthusiastically nodded and voiced agreement, their eyes running all over her body.
‘Christ!’ thought Priscilla, becoming nervous. She quickly excused herself to go into the kitchen and make the tea. But they all immediately followed, crowding around her. A hand slid over her bottom cheeks.
She tried to move but they were all swarming round. ‘Look,’ she said imploringly, ‘Please....’
Robert Maidment said, ‘A housemaster’s wife is always very friendly to the prefects, Mrs Browne. That way we all co-operate to keep the other little tykes in order.’
‘Yes, Miss, very nice and friendly,’ said a thick set youth she could only remember as Desmond something. ‘And by the way, Mrs Browne, you really do have a gorgeous pair of tits.’
And then, before Priscilla knew what was happening they had all moved in on her; all five at once grabbing and groping. She felt like the ball in the middle of a rugby maul.
One boy was trying to unfasten her dress, another had his hand up her skirt and was twiddling with a suspender, three or four hands were trying to squeeze her breasts at the same time.
Priscilla did the only thing possible, she let out an ear-piercing scream. One could imagine the sound echoing across the whole of the school and it did have some effect. They let go of her.
Straightening her dress and with tears in her eyes, she gasped, ‘You boys should all be ashamed of yourselves. You’re acting like wild animals. I’ve a good mind to tell my husband!’
Robert Maidment, his face a bit red, said, ‘Now that wouldn’t be a good idea, Miss. We didn’t mean to rough you up. It was just spontaneous and we got a bit carried away. But the fact is that in this school, the housemaster’s wife is always nice to the senior boys. That’s just the way things work here.’
‘What does ‘being nice’ mean, exactly?’ asked Priscilla, still flushed from her struggles.
‘It means let’s see what you’ve got under that dress, for a start,’ said one of the other boys with a leer, ‘we’re starved for a sight of soft rounded female flesh!’
Desmond added. ‘And Mrs Bowen lets us spank her bottom too.’ As Priscilla reddened, he added casually, ‘Her bare bottom, naturally.’
She spat back angrily, ‘Well I’m not doing any of those things, they’re disgusting and degrading. I’d advise you to forget this conversation.’
She gave them tea and cakes with the thought that maybe her strong stance just might have got through to their better natures but she could tell from their general demeanour that it was a forlorn hope.
An hour after they had left, sullenly, there was a knock on her door. It was the Head Boy again. He told her that the junior members of the House were likely to be very boisterous that evening and there wasn’t a lot the prefects would be able to do about it. Priscilla turned slightly pale. This was blackmail. She tried to argue the issue but he nodded politely and walked away.
That night there was a minor riot in Delaney House, boys shouting and screaming, rampaging about all evening and the racket continued after Lights Out.
Derek, white-faced, did his best to produce some semblance of order; but as soon as he’d got one dormitory quiet, a riotous noise would erupt from another. His repeated queries of the senior boys as to why they were doing nothing to help quell the disturbance finally drew a comment from one prefect —
‘If your wife was more pleasant to us, sir, we’d be more inclined to get involved.’
Things finally quietened down when the Head came over, breathing fire and thunder.
He said he would see Derek and Priscilla about these shameful goings-on in his study in the morning... separately.
‘Whatever is all this about?’ asked a bewildered Derek Browne when he and his wife were finally alone in their sitting room at about 12.30 am.
‘The senior boys want me to undress for them, that’s all!’ said a tight-lipped Priscilla, ‘and that’s just the start. Of course I said I wouldn’t.’
‘Whaaaaaattt?’
‘You heard. It’s the done thing here, didn’t you know? A housemaster’s wife is supposed to be nice to the senior boys. Yes, that sort of nice! Susan Rogers lets her senior boys screw her!’
Derek gasped in horror. ‘Jesus, they haven’t asked you for that, I hope!’
Priscilla said, her voice tense, ‘No — not yet! Though I expect they’d all like to.’
----//----
In the morning, with an air of ominous calm about Delaney House, came the reckoning. Derek was to go and see Dr Stirling at 9.30 am, Priscilla at 10. Before these dread appointments, though, there was chapel. In which Priscilla, this morning in a pink-flowered blouse and blue skirt, suffered the same treatment as the day before. Standing at the backless bench with the other wives, her bottom was openly felt up when the boys filed in and again when they went out. It was hateful but today she had more worrying things on her mind — that 10am appointment.
In the Head’s study Derek found himself well and truly ‘on the carpet’ as Dr Stirling told him, in icy tones, he expected much better from his housemasters. It had been an utterly weak and disgraceful performance. But Derek could hardly blurt out what Priscilla had told him as, in any case, it would make him look extremely foolish.
‘It won’t happen again, Headmaster,’ he said, hoping he sounded confident and sure of himself.
‘It had better not!’ replied the Head grimly, ‘or you may find this tenure to be of short duration. You haven’t made a very good start!’
He was still looking grim when Priscilla knocked and entered, though now the grimness was tempered with a feeling of pleasurable anticipation.
‘Do you have any word of explanation for last night’s disgraceful business?’ he sternly addressed the unhappy-looking Priscilla.
She shook her head miserably. Well, what could she say? It was probable Dr Stirling already had some idea why. ‘When there is disruption in a House, Mrs Browne, I always attribute a lot of responsibility to the Housemaster’s wife. She has to learn to get along with the boys in her care. You are going to learn that... and quickly I hope!’
Priscilla bit her lip. ‘Y... yes, Dr Stirling,’ she muttered miserably.
‘Yes indeed, Mrs Browne. And what did I tell you about what happens to the young wives here when they fail the trust placed in them? I give them the cane, Mrs Browne. Will you therefore kindly pull down your knickers and then bend right across my desk!’
He went to the door and locked it — while Priscilla stood rooted to the floor with shock, her heart thumping. ‘Look... Dr Stirling... you can’t mean that... I’m not a pupil, I’m a grown woman!’
‘Undoubtedly you are, Mrs Browne. Undoubtedly fully-grown and especially so in all the best parts. And it is one of those best parts which is now going to feel the sting of my cane. And why on earth shouldn’t a fully grown woman be caned, eh? So get those knickers down, please! At once!
What could she do? It seemed that all the others got it. And... at least it was private. Just her and Dr Stirling. And no one else had to know. She finally, hesitantly, raised her hands and slid them up under her skirt. Looking fixedly at the carpet she slid her knickers down to the tops of her nylons.
‘Over the desk!’ instructed Dr Sterling. Papers, inkstand etc had all been thoughtfully cleared to one side.
‘Good!’ he said. He pulled up her full blue skirt and there indeed were a pair of brief pink nylon knickers at the tops of Priscilla’s dark nylons. And then the full pale upper thighs and, above them, a splendid bare bottom; two ripely rounded globes of creamy female flesh.
Dr Stirling gave this splendid bared bottom a preliminary appreciative smack. There was a satisfying sound of flesh meeting flesh. The bottom wobbled delightfully at the contact. Priscilla, her face in close proximity to the polished desk-top emitted a sharp gasp. This whole business was simply mortifying!
And then after a slight pause; CRACK!... An unbelievable pain in her defenceless rear as the cane swished vigorously down.
She let out an agonised yelp. Her bottom went into a desperate flesh-wobbling dance.
Then CRACK!... A second vigorous stroke across the full meat of that so appetising backside, very close to the line of the first. A second desperate yelp... the bottom’s frantic dance re-intensified... and CRACK!... a third... then CRACK!... a fourth. At which point Priscilla sagged somewhat at the knees and Dr Stirling had to haul her back into position, her juicy bottom now with its four distinct red stripes.
‘No!’ she cried. ‘No more please!’
But there were naturally two more to come. Because, as in all good schools, six of the best was the norm. And at Kingswood School that naturally applied to pretty young wives as well.
When he had finished he dropped the cane and ran his hand approvingly over Priscilla’s smarting backside.
‘There now, Mrs Browne, I found that most enjoyable. But for the sake of your husband’s career, not to mention your own bottom, I hope you quickly get matters sorted out over in Delaney House.’
Her hand went up to wipe away the tears.
----//----
Priscilla saw Derek again later in the morning when he had a free period. Looking tense, Derek said the same thing as the Head.
‘Look, we’ve got to get things sorted out...’
She looked at him bleakly. For the moment at least she couldn’t bring herself to tell him that her bare bottom had just been caned by the Head. It was just too humiliating.
‘So you want me to agree to the boys demands then?’ she asked.
‘Pris, we’ve got to get the senior boys co-operation. Otherwise — well I could lose this job. And, I suppose they only want to have a bit of fun, really.’
She replied angrily. ‘What they want, Derek, is for me to let them spank my bottom. My bare bottom! You want me to agree to that, do you?’
Derek flushed guiltily. ‘No, I don’t actually want it to happen but... well... if they won’t agree to anything else. And if they don’t go any further... ask you for... you know... that. I suppose they just see it as a bit of fun thing.’
‘Well it’s not my idea of a fun thing,’ Priscilla replied unhappily, ‘...letting five 18 year old boys get their hands on my bare bottom.’
‘Well you better talk to them anyway. Talk to that Robert Maidment.’
----//----
Priscilla saw Robert Maidment at lunch time. Controlling a tremor in her voice she said they’d better have a chat. Derek was conveniently out at a staff meeting and took the Head Boy into her sitting room.
‘That... er... situation yesterday was quite awful.’ she said quietly.
Robert Maidment nodded in agreement and said he was sorry.
‘No you’re not. And I suppose the same thing will happen tonight if... if I don’t....’
He shrugged his shoulders. ‘We’d like to co-operate, Mrs Browne, but you have to co-operate too. It’s Kingswood tradition you see.’
‘It can’t be tradition,’ she cried, ‘not that you force your Housemaster’s wife to... to...’
‘Oh, not force, Mrs Browne! The tradition here is to persuade. We’d much rather you did it of your own free will. But every wife co-operates, just ask the others. Mrs Mather, she was the housemaster’s wife here before you, Miss, she was quite happy to let us... eventually.
‘She used to take her knickers down every day for us. She wasn’t half as pretty as you though.’
Red-faced, Priscilla asked, ‘What... what exactly are you asking for?’
He replied, his voice calm and even, ‘We want you to take all your clothes off in front of us. Give us a good look at you naked. And then we’ll want to spank you. That’s all.’
Priscilla’s voice sounded to her as if it was coming from another body as she asked, shakily, ‘How... how often will all this happen?’
‘Twice a week, I’d say.’ he calmly replied.
Priscilla gulped His words hung in the air, and she could feel pin-pricks of perspiration beading her skin as she suddenly had an all too vivid picture of it — a picture she tried in vain to erase. Her thoughts twisted and turned — so, without her being aware of it, did her hands — but she could see no way out of it. She glanced at Robert Maidment, still calmly surveying her, then she quickly looked down at the carpet.
‘Look...’ she began desperately.
She did the best she could. She got him to agree that it didn’t have to be all of them at once.
That would have been quite unbearable; five boys and her... whereas at least one at a time allowed some delusion of equality, even if she did have to shamefully submit to it. It would be each of the five boys once every two weeks.
And she would either take all her clothes off or she would get across the boy’s knee, then let him take her knickers down and smack her bottom. The boy could choose one but not both.
That was agreed, which was awful enough — then Robert Maidment, sharp-eyed as ever, said, ‘To show good faith though, we all want a try-out now. So that we know you’re not having us on, Miss.’
Priscilla gulped; felt the pin pricks of perspiration again. While Robert Maidment stated his further conditions. Then she began to feel really shaky.
‘Can you please go out after tea?’ Priscilla asked Derek quietly, an hour later. When he looked blank she added, somewhat hysterically, ‘Out! Out of the house! Out of the school! Anywhere! Or do you want to stay around and watch how your dear wife keeps the senior boys happy in this awful place?’
Derek flushed and bit his lip. ‘I-I’ll go into town... maybe see a film,’ he said lamely.
Only a couple of minutes after he left there was a knock at the door. Robert Maidment. With the feeling that she was in some kind of nightmare, Priscilla let him in, then closed the door... and locked it. As she did so the boy’s arms came around her waist.
She started to push him away but he said ‘Hey, that’s not a very good start, is it!’ and then she stopped fighting. He pulled her up close against him.
His face was red and she could feel his stiff erection. His hands cupped her bottom.
He said smoothly, ‘Now that’s much better, Miss.’ And then his hands began pulling up the skirt of her dress and her slip. Pulling them right up to her waist, then his hands were at the waistband of her knickers, yanking them down roughly. His hands on her now bare bottom, squeezing and groping.
Priscilla weakly pushed him away and said, softly, ‘Come on then... if you’re going to do it...’
And then she was over his lap as he sat on her sofa. Her head down near the carpet and her bottom up over his lap. Her naked bottom. And his hand starting to smack crisply down on those bare buttocks. Jolting sharply into the full firm bare cheeks in a briskly rhythmic tempo.
He was smacking her hard and it stung like hell but worse than any pain was the thought that such a humiliating thing could be happening to her. That she, newly married Mrs Priscilla Browne, had an 18-year-old boy spanking her bare bottom. Her eyes were rapidly filling with tears, not so much of pain as of mortification.
At last Maidment stopped and let her get up. Tight-lipped, fighting her tears, Priscilla pulled up her knickers and adjusted her dress. Her bottom really stung. Robert Maidment smiled a wolfish smile. ‘There now. That wasn’t so bad, was it, Miss? You might get to like it soon.’
Priscilla said nothing. Then he told her he’d like some coffee and, obediently, she went to make some. With any luck he would drink it and go and her ordeal — for the moment at least — would be over.
But, eyes bright over his coffee cup, Robert Maidment said, ‘And now I want to see everything you’ve got, Mrs Browne.’
She stared at him, open-mouthed with horror. He said, evenly, ‘That was part of our bargain wasn’t it?’
No it damn well hadn’t been part of their bargain! But what was the point of arguing? As he said, pointedly, ‘We all want a nice quiet night in Delaney House tonight, don’t we Mrs Browne? I’m sure your husband does!’
Trying not to look at him, trying not to think of her shame, trying not to cry, Priscilla made herself comply. Standing in front of him she took off the pink dress. And then her slip.
Then, cringingly, her bra. Her full, firm breasts pointing at him. Her large nipples, she realised with deep shame, were, for some reason, erect.
‘Well those are something special, Miss,’ he exclaimed, grinning. ‘And now, very slowly, the knickers off please.
‘You can keep your nylons and suspender belt on but please spread your legs.....’
She was beyond shame now and her shapely bottom, when he eventually made her turn around, shone scarlet in comparison to the rest of her pale trembling flesh.
----//----
When Derek got back at 11pm, Delaney’s like all the other Houses, was as quiet as a mouse. Priscilla, he found, had already gone to bed. She was lying in the dark staring up at the ceiling.
‘Well, it’s quiet at least.’ said Derek hesitantly, turning on the bedside lamp.
Priscilla said nothing.
He looked at her, then looked away in embarrassment. He didn’t ask what had happened. Whatever it was it couldn’t have been too bad, he convinced himself.
‘Yes,’ he said finally. ‘I think things are going to work out all right here. I mean once we accept that boys will be boys.’
Priscilla remained silent.
She was thinking of Robert Maidment, of course. And of the two other senior prefects who were due to come round, one at a time, and attend to her tomorrow, and the following day the other two.  Perhaps I’ll get used to it, she thought. Maybe I’ll start to like it, like he said.  After all it was true that boys will be boys. She tried to think that maybe she was helping them. After all they must get so frustrated in an all male world...
Derek repeated. ‘Yes, dear, I think things will be all right. It’s just a question of getting to know them well, don’t you think?’

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