Story from Blushes Supplement 24
‘What do you think, Emily?’
It is the grounds Mrs Wilding is referring to, not the house. The grounds, the gardens, these flowerbeds. The house is probably early Victorian, quite large and evidently not in the best state of repair. Partly no doubt, as Mrs Wilding has said, because it has not been lived in for several years. But it is the grounds that Mrs Wilding means. The grounds that have likewise evidently not been cultivated for at least that period. They look more like a jungle. It is difficult to see where the flowerbeds begin and the lawns end. These lawns which look more like fields of meadow grass.
‘It shouldn’t be too difficult. What d’you think? I mean for a big strong girl like you.’
Emily is quite strong. She is well-built, a shapely girl whose shape is at present shown to good advantage in a brief, form-fitting outfit of skimpy sleeveless top and short, tight skirt. Below, her long bare legs end in white high-heeled shoes, which one might think are entirely unsuitable for this task Mrs Wilding is proposing for her.
‘I can’t...’ she gasps. There’s no way. It needs... ten gardeners or something. There’s no way!
Mrs Wilding makes a snorting sort of sound. ‘Don’t be silly, Emily. Don’t be negative. A big girl like you. Nineteen, isn’t it?’ She steps close, her voice harder. ‘Let me spell it out, Emily...’
‘How old is she, exactly?’ the voice asks on the phone and Constance Gilford says ‘Nineteen’.
‘Oh well, she’s certainly old enough then. In fact any older and a girl will be getting very set in her ways. If she’s never had any... er... of it before. And you did say she hadn’t?’
Constance Gilford, blinking, says an awed ‘No’ into the phone, as if the very thought is not easily comprehensible. No, Emily has never had anything remotely of that sort. ‘I haven’t... well I couldn’t... You see, her father... left. Some years ago and...’
‘Ah yes. Well then...’
‘But she won’t. I mean I don’t see how!’ Emily simply wouldn’t accept that sort of thing is what Constance is saying. The thought is quite impossible. ‘She has developed... a rather strong will, you see. A very strong will in fact. Discipline... oh dear...’
But the voice at the other end of the line sounds quite unimpressed by Emily’s strong will. ‘Oh don’t worry about that, Mrs Gilford. I assure you I am quite capable of handling her. All I require is your agreement.’
Mrs Wilding has left. Going off in her smart little car and saying she won’t be long. And when she gets back she wants to see... Emily shakes her head in impotent anger. If she had any transport — a car, even a bike — she would simply clear off. It is outrageous of this Mrs Wilding and also of her mother who has agreed to this outrageous thing. Emily gives the wheelbarrow a vicious kick. All this succeeds in doing is scratching the toe of her shiny white shoe. There is some satisfaction, though, in imagining that it is not the wheelbarrow but some soft part of Mrs Wilding’s anatomy.
She has had a look round this dreadful place. It is big, the grounds probably over two acres in extent and all the same — like a wilderness. How can Mrs Wilding conceivably tell her she has to clear this place up. Single-handedly. She should have told that Mrs Wilding... well she did in a way. And of course Emily has not got on with it, as Mrs Wilding instructed. And when that woman gets back...
When Mrs Wilding gets back she is not alone. A male passenger has got out of the little car and is coming with Mrs Wilding across to the weed-infested terrace where Emily was left and where she stands now. Emily experiences a little shiver. Mrs Wilding has a somewhat formidable manner and there is of course now this man. Mr Wilding? He is in an old jacket and trousers. Older than Mrs Wilding: 50-ish?
‘Hello, Emily. This is Mr Smilby.’ Mrs Wilding’s voice is bright and cheerful, but with an edge. ‘Well, show me what you’ve done then.’
There is of course nothing to show. The wheelbarrow and other garden impedimenta — rake, clippers, shears, etc — are all exactly as Mrs Wilding has left them. And every weed is still flourishing, every overgrown shrub as luxuriant as before.
‘I... uh...’ Somehow Emily’s aggressive and hectoring speech will not come out. Perhaps anyway it is better to be more diplomatic. With this man...
Mrs Wilding strides forward, to put her face only inches from Emily’s. ‘I told you to get started, Emily. Do you perhaps not understand English?’
Mrs Wilding turns, to this Mr Smilby who is standing watching with interest. ‘Mr Smilby, go and fetch my cane. In the back of the car.’
Mr Smilby says a respectful, ‘Yes, Mrs Wilding.’ Mrs Wilding’s words hang in the still air. They were enunciated quite clearly in that precise upper-middle-class diction. There can be no doubt regarding the words. But the meaning... there must be some other meaning...
No, it is a cane as normally understood that Mr Smilby is carrying. A long, thin, whippy-looking cane of the type used... well, in boys schools, Emily thinks. Boys at school can get this, or could in the past, haven’t they stopped that sort of thing now? She momentarily pictures a boy bent over so that his buttocks are skin-tight in his trousers. And this cane... The thought is arousing, but... Mr Smilby has handed the cane to Mrs Wilding. Her eyes are gleaming. She looks angry. She says —
‘I am going to cane you, Emily. You seem to need something to buck your ideas up. So I am going to cane you. I am going to cane your bare bottom. So will you take your knickers off please?’
Emily stands, struck dumb, and numb. There is no mistaking Mrs Wilding’s words which again are spoken with crystal clarity. But it must be at the least... a joke? Emily produces an uncertain smile. Mrs Wilding’s cheeks are distinctly pink. With excitement — or anger?
‘You’ll be grinning on the other side of your face, my girl. Get those knickers off at once.’
If it is a joke it is an elaborate one. ‘Look...’ Emily manages.
‘Will you take your knickers off?’
Emily shakes her head. What is happening. Has Mrs Wilding gone mad?
Apparently. ‘Smilby! Get this girl’s knickers off, will you.’
The silently watching Smilby steps smartly forward. ‘Yes, Mrs Wilding.’ To grab Emily firmly by the arm. She yells out. At close quarters he has a slightly sweaty, unwashed smell. A working-class smell, it seems to Emily. But it is not this that is primarily concerning her. His grip on her arm is like a vice and his other hand... ‘Aaaaiiieee...’
His other hand has slid up Emily’s short skirt. Up the front. Emily’s legs are apart and the hand is in between them. She automatically closes her legs but the hand is in there. It pushes on up between the smooth inner slopes of her thighs; up to the brief crotch of Emily’s knickers. This large male hand simply takes hold of her. Cupping Emily’s crotch. Mr Smilby’s hand is intimately holding her sex through the single layer of thin nylon, a layer so thin that it might as well not be there. Emily lets out a desperate yell and doubles forward, her own hand grabbing at Mr Smilby’s shocking hand.
Mr Smilby is making no attempt to do what he is supposed to be doing which is get Emily’s knickers off. He is simply having an outrageous feel at her private parts. Mrs Wilding doesn’t know this, she can’t see what his hand is doing and it probably seems to her that he is merely struggling with Emily to get her knickers off. Whereas in fact... Emily lets out another yelp. The hand is now working at the thin strip of nylon between her legs. Pulling it away. Unbelievably baring crisply curling hair and moist flesh. And...
‘Aaarrghhhh...’ Mr Smilby’s fingers — two or three of them — are actually up inside her.
Just for a short but devastating few seconds. Then the fingers slide out, the hand comes away, out from between Emily’s legs. It now does what it is supposed to be doing. Begins dragging her knickers down. Emily is too shell-shocked to put up any resistance. The brief white knickers appear below the hem of the short skirt. Emily is trembling like a leaf. Mr Smilby bends, to get the knickers off over the high-heeled shoes. There is nothing Emily can do except numbly put her hand out, to Mr Smilby’s bending figure, for support... and weakly lift her feet — left... right...
‘He... he... touched me. Right...’ she stutters, to Mrs Wilding.
‘And I’ll touch you, my girl,’ Mrs Wilding rasps, clearly unconcerned as to what may have been going on under Emily’s skirt. ‘I’m going to touch you all right. Pull up your skirt and bend over there.’
Mrs Wilding is indicating a low stone parapet which like everything else here has splendid weeds springing from every crevice. For the moment Emily has forgotten the cane, the excuse for Mr Smilby’s horrendous assault. She is shaking, gasping for breath, the memory of those fingers as vivid as if they were still inside her. But now... the cane...
Emily doesn’t intend any further argument but in the numb state she is in she doesn’t immediately do as instructed. ‘Smilby!’ barks Mrs Wilding. ‘Get her over there.’
Another frantic yelp. Emily is going to do it. But Mr Smilby is more than ready to oblige. He unceremoniously grabs her again. He is a lot stronger than she is. Mr Smilby may be 50-ish but he is fit, his body against her, with its strong, stale smell, firm and hard-muscled. He roughly manhandles her over to the parapet. There he has his body between Emily and Mrs Wilding. So she cannot see what he is doing. Mr Smilby’s hand slides up Emily’s skirt again. Up the back this time, up the undersides of her thighs; to her now nude bottom. A quick grope at that and then the hand is doing what it did before — delving in between Emily’s legs. She yells out but she can’t stop the hand. His fingers are at her now quite unprotected sex.
As before, having accomplished this devastating act Mr Smilby after a few seconds desists. The probing fingers withdraw. The hand comes away. As before he has managed to do this dreadful thing without Mrs Wilding knowing... His action has once more reduced Emily to a quivering jelly though. She has no resistance as he now pushes her face-down over the low stone wall. And drags her skirt up round her waist.
Mr Smilby holds her there and now it is the turn of Mrs Wilding. With her cane. Slicing it vigorously down onto those ripe and quivering bare nates. Emily emits another frantic yelp. A yell of pain this time, not outrage. Well there is probably some outrage in it, it is an outrageous thing to be held down by a dreadful man while an equally dreadful woman whips a cane into your bare bottom. But mostly it is the killing pain...
Emily gets four. Four zipping, mind-bending cuts with the long whippy cane. The pain is unbearable, sufficient to cause her to forget, for the present at least, the dreadful actions of Mr Smilby. The explosive pain of the cane drives everything else out of head. Emily’s bottom writhes and clenches, her bare legs kick and jerk. But the upper part of her body is firmly held down throughout by the large and capable hands of Mr Smilby.
Four vicious cuts. Mrs Wilding puts down the cane. ‘Let her go, Smilby. We’ll see if that has changed her attitude at all.’
Released, Emily almost collapses to the ground. The fiery pain in her rear is for the moment still as hot and urgent as ever. Somehow she manages to stay upright. Her skirt is up round her waist still. Emily weakly pushes it down.
‘Well, Emily. Do you now get the message?’
The sharp, authoritarian tones of Mrs Wilding. Emily tries to answer but finds that words are difficult to produce. She is gasping for breath for one thing. She manages a ‘Nnngghhh’ sound. It is meant to be ‘Yes, Mrs Wilding.’ For Emily has certainly got the message that she had better comply, and at once, with whatever Mrs Wilding says. Or else...
‘I want this whole place cleaned up. This back area for a start. I don’t want to see one weed. All of this terrace and the paths and these flower beds. They’re to be completely cleared out. After that I want the lawn cut and then you can take all the weeds out of that. Is that understood, my girl?’
Yes, it is understood. It is an impossible task but it is understood.
‘I have to go off now. I shall be back this afternoon. When I shall expect to see it all done. And as you are such a wilful and defiant girl, Emily, what I am going to do is leave Mr Smilby here with you. He will see you do keep at it.’ Mrs Wilding turns to Mr Smilby.
‘I shall leave you the cane, Smilby. Just do whatever you think is necessary.’
Emily, mouth dry and feeling like she is going to faint, hears Mr Smilby say a smug ‘Yes, Mrs Wilding.’
The voice on the phone is as confident as ever. ‘Just a quick call, Mrs Gilford. To let you know everything is going very well. Yes, we’ve made a very good start.’
Constance Gilford blinks, finding this difficult to believe. Emily, knuckling under to discipline! Amazing. But Mrs Wilding did seem a very capable person. ‘Well, that’s excellent,’ she said. ‘And I expect once she’s settled in she’ll find it quite pleasant and rewarding.’
The gardener’s shed is round to the side, hidden from general view by a laurel hedge which like everything else is rampantly overgrown. It is dark inside, a bit gloomy. In the gloom Emily is struggling with Mr Smilby. It is not a struggle she can win of course, he is much too strong. Emily is making frantic yelping sounds but there is no one else to hear the yelps.
‘Come on.’ Mr Smilby says through gritted teeth. ‘Don’t be silly. You’re a big girl. And then I’ll help you with all the work. But first of all we’re going to...’
Emily is in just her top. Her short skirt has already come off in the struggle, removed by Mr Smilby’s strong, deft hands. And her knickers of course were removed earlier. Mr Smilby wants to get her over the work bench. And it is not Mrs Wilding’s cane he is going to use on her.