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Friday, 13 April 2018

Eliza and the Philanthropist

By Rachel King from Janus 31
Grimeswold Industrial School for Girls, Yorkshire, 1867. A low forbidding grey-stone edifice, fringed by stunted wizened trees bent grotesquely by the keen hungry wind blowing in from the North Sea. Within the bare spartan walls of the Headmaster’s gloomy study a grim lesson in discipline was being enacted…
Behind the Headmaster’s desk sat five portly bewhiskered gentlemen, the Board of Governors, in a row — like an audience before a play. With one accord their eyes were fixed on the riveting spectacle of a partly-clad girl standing in front of them, wearing only flimsy white cambric drawers, chemise and stockings.
Beside her, his large squat frame emphasising her fragility, stood Mr Wicker, the Headmaster, cane in hand, eying her severely. In a voice ringing with deep moral outrage he informed the distinguished personages seated in judgment of the heinous crimes which the girl was supposed to have committed.
The pretty little blonde culprit was Eliza Fairchild, 18-year-old pupil-teacher at the school. She was accused of spreading ‘rank ungodliness’ among the pupils in her care. A copy of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, a God-denying, blasphemous work if ever there was one, had been found secreted in her locker. Gasps of angry indignation from the Governors! But worse still…
‘I myself,’ declared the Headmaster, ‘actually overheard this wicked girl telling her charges that man is here on earth without the grace and handiwork of our creator!’ He glared at the miserable, trembling girl who stared forlornly down at her feet — too terrified even to protest her innocence. It was all a dreadful mistake really — she’d purchased the book out of pure misguided curiosity, having heard so much about it… and as for her uttering such sinful, irreligious things as that in front of her pupils — Mr Wicker, who was a trifle deaf anyway, had clearly misheard what she’d said…
But she had no one to plead her case for her — and the governors were bristling with righteous wrath and fury. No punishment, they all agreed, could be deemed severe enough for such a grave offence. Their verdict: a sound flogging, followed by instant dismissal.
Eliza uttered a stifled cry of despair and swayed unsteadily on her dainty feet. She was no stranger to the rod and indeed had been expecting it — why else had Mr Wicker so abruptly ordered her out of her gown and petticoats before the commencement of the judicial proceedings? But to be dismissed without references or testimonials to her name! What was she to do? Where was she to go? For the sad truth of the matter was that she was an orphan, without a friend in the world.
The Headmaster brandished the cane at Eliza and instructed her to bend over the chair in readiness for the flogging. In utter misery and degradation she obeyed, and stretched herself forlornly across the back over the Headmaster’s low heavy wooden chair. At Mr Wicker’s command she leant right over and clutched the lower rungs of the front of the chair so that her bottom was prominently raised, directly facing the intense, questing gaze of the five gentlemen witnesses. Each noticed with deep satisfaction her abject distress: the agitated heaving of her bosom, the tremble of her lower lip, the terror in her wide blue eyes, the groan of mortification as she tried to heave her nubile body even further over the chair-back. The thin cotton cambric of her drawers stretched across her buttocks until it was as tight as a drum-skin. There was silent speculation among the audience that the central seam of the drawers might burst open any moment.
The Headmaster slapped the cruel swishy rattan rod against the side of his leg. It had been decided that Eliza was to receive twelve strokes on the seat of her drawers, and the grim, purposeful look on Mr Wicker’s face assured the governors that poor Eliza would feel the effects of the flogging for many a sore day… Excitement hung in the air as five pairs of eyes ran gloatingly over Eliza’s vulgarly stuck-out bottom-cheeks. The sight of a beautiful young girl bending over before them in her semi-transparent underclothes, was doing strange things to them. For her eighteen years, Eliza Fairchild possessed the curves of a mature woman — and she was revealing them!
Mr Wicker took up his position to the left of the girl, tap-tapped her briskly across the crown of her buttocks, measuring his aim. Then, finally satisfied, he raised the three-foot cane high in the air.
Eliza whimpered like a distressed kitten, and involuntarily wriggled her seat in anticipation of the dreadful thrashing it was about to receive.
The governors, as one, leant forward, their eyes shining with suppressed excitement. To watch an 18-year-old young woman being soundly caned was somewhat of a rarity — even in their privileged experience — and they were resolved to savour the whole incident to the utmost, safe in the knowledge that the girl’s offence was grave, and that therefore it was all entirely proper and permissible.
Truly it was an unforgettable tableau: the half-naked, whimpering girl; her comely young bottom, nicely raised and sharply delineated by the drum-tight drawers; the Headmaster’s cane, still hung aloft in suspended animation…
One of the governors, Mr Edward Dyson — landowner, philanthropist, and well-known religious zealot — rubbed his hands together ecstatically and beamed beatifically. Aah! To make this fallen creature see the error of her ways… to thoroughly reform her character! What a noble, generous pursuit!
The force of the first stroke sent Eliza, and the chair over which she was bending, in motion across the cold tiled floor. Her eyes grew wide and her mouth assumed the shape of a soundless yell, as the appalling smart registered throughout her shapely body. But before she had time even to draw breath, Mr Wicker drew back the supple cane and with measured intensity delivered another stroke.
The room exploded with the noise of the impact. This was closely followed by wails and frantic bottom-surgings from the demented, pain-stricken girl. The governors gazed in silent wonder at the arresting spectacle — none more so than Edward Dyson, who positively throbbed with missionary fervour.
Amid the sobbing and wailing of the lovely young girl the caning continued. It was a lengthy, protracted business, thanks to the Headmaster, who took pains to allow the outrageous smarting of each stroke to fully take effect before commencing afresh. Again and again the viciously swishy rod landed with a pistol-crack report upon Eliza’s tender yielding buttocks, until it seemed to the poor wretched girl that her entire hindquarters were burning up in an unquenchable fire.
Through her semi-transparent drawers stretched tautly across her madly gyrating bottom-cheeks, thick purple-red weals were becoming distinctly visible — the governors bent their heads forward eagerly to scrutinise Mr Wicker’s handiwork. Had they been able to see her face instead of her bottom they would have noticed with profound satisfaction the tears flooding down her lovely cheeks, the agonised lip-biting, the flared nostrils, the desperate grimaces of pain. But as it was, from where they were sitting, they were more than contented with the erotically suggestive wriggling and writhing of Eliza’s lovely young buttocks as they swerved and shimmied in a feverish attempt to evade the relentless strokes of the cane…
The final stroke landed with a resounding Thwack! upon its hot, quivering target. A piercing howl issued from Eliza, as she clung wretchedly to the chair seat, near to fainting with pain and utter humiliation.
At length the girl drew herself upright and stood motionless, still with her back to the governors, her figure the pathetic parody of a marble statue, the rubescent glow of her well-whipped bottom-cheeks tantalisingly discernible through the flimsy cambric drawers.
Mr Wicker laid down the cane on his desk and proceeded, in a lofty sonorous voice, to address the still-weeping girl:
‘Eliza Fairchild,’ he boomed, ‘you have been soundly whipped for your wicked heresies. It is my bounden duty now to inform you that you are banished forever from this establishment, for you are an evil influence, not to be tolerated in our midst.’
Poor Eliza broke out into fresh sobs as she realised how hopeless her situation was — she was sure to end up destitute, in the workhouse.
The governors, all except for Edward Dyson who remained silent and thoughtful, loudly and emphatically supported the Headmaster’s pronouncement of expulsion. The gentlemen were in truth relieved to give vent to their suppressed erotic excitement through hearty and universal condemnation of the guilty culprit.
‘But, gentlemen, what will become of her?’ interposed Dyson, a look of troubled concern on his elderly, craggy face.
‘I neither know nor care,’ replied the Headmaster unfeelingly.
Dyson sprang to his feet and addressed the gathering:
‘My dear friends, I feel it is our duty to reform this wayward creature and teach her the error of her ways. She is perhaps a misguided sinner —’ he threw his arms open in a wide embrace. ‘I shall take the onerous task of her reformation upon myself. She shall be received into my care — and we will see if the Lord’s mercy shall prevail!’ His face shone with the ecstasy of one granted a divine revelation, a God-given purpose.
His fellow governors unstintingly applauded his undeserved generosity, his bountiful Christian charity. Edward Dyson, philanthropic and evangelical almost to the point of fanaticism, was a distinct asset to any governing Board. His good works and benevolent deeds were famous throughout Yorkshire. No one dare question the impeccable purity of his motives.
It was readily agreed, therefore, that Eliza — who had absolutely no say in the matter — should be formally bestowed into the care and control of Edward Dyson. An hour later, Eliza Fairchild, bundled into Mr Dyson’s awaiting carriage, was on her way to Lympynge Hall.
Lympynge Hall, built in the reign of Queen Anne, looked gloomily out over the Dales. Its windows gaped sadly, like the mouths of petrified gargoyles. Scrubby heathland encroached to the very walls like a creeping marauder. The high iron gates swung shut and the carriage approached the house, whose icy coldness seemed to reach out and touch Eliza even before she went inside.
The severity of the caning which Eliza had received at the hands of Mr Wicker had left her in a state of numbness and shock. In the carriage she had avoided Edward Dyson’s eyes, and had looked steadfastly out at the fog looming miserably over the moors.
Dyson studied Eliza closely. ‘Free-thinker’ she might be — but a very pretty one at that. Tumbling blonde curls, finely angled features with high cheekbones, pert little nose, and lips which were habitually forming into a pouting rosebud — symptomatic, Dyson reflected, of the wilful rebellious streak that she needed to be broken of. Her eyes, however, were soft and dreamy; pale-blue with long curling lashes. Her trim figure, so blatantly on display a few hours before, was now wrapped in a flowing tarlatan gown. He looked down at her feet… such tiny feet… such slender ankles… and he gave himself a severe mental shake as the recollection of her beautifully-formed young body clad in only drawers and chemise consumed his thoughts.
Eliza did not know what to make of her benefactor. Ruddy-faced and burly, with thick calloused hands planted determinedly on his knees, his grey watery eyes seemed constantly aglow with some mysterious fervour. Apart from a few questions about her childhood, he spoke little during the whole of the two-hour journey.
It came as no little surprise to Eliza that Mr Dyson set to with great determination to turn her into a young lady of refinement. Up until now Eliza had only experienced the brutally spartan regime of Grimeswold Industrial School and she was heartily glad to be away from it.
Dyson placed her in the care of his housekeeper, Mrs Weekes, a lady of some breeding and widow of the late parish clergyman. Eliza should read, sew, learn to play the pianoforte, and apply herself to all the other many desirable accomplishments of a cultured young lady.
But every evening at eight she was to present herself to Mr Dyson in his study for what he referred to as ‘corrective education’. Eliza was mystified as to exactly what that meant. Whatever it could be, it seemed to her to be a small price to pay for so much liberality, freedom and gentility.
Unfortunately her fond illusions were soon to be shattered…
By now it was late afternoon. Mr Dyson spent the rest of that day closeted in his library. Eliza found she was free to wander about the house as she wished. Apart from the friendly, garrulous Mrs Weekes, the servants were sullen and unforthcoming. The gloomy mansion possessed a mournful air of dusty neglect: heavy mahogany furniture, dull collections of stuffed birds and waxed flowers under glass domes… monotonous collections of drooping ferns housed in large Wardian cases… dim rooms, dark meandering corridors. There was a thudding silence in the place, while the wind moaned constantly on the window panes…
That evening, promptly at eight, Eliza tapped timidly on Edward Dyson’s study door. He received her in austere silence, his massive form seated behind an ugly desk. Then he looked up at her and spoke:
‘Eliza. While you remain here at Lympynge Hall under my care and guidance, it is clearly my mission to ensure that you never again stray from the paths of righteousness.’ He spoke fervently, almost passionately, his deep-set watery eyes never leaving Eliza’s. ‘Your redemption,’ he continued, as though addressing Eliza from the pulpit, ‘will be two-fold. Firstly I shall endeavour to inculcate some moral instruction into that self-willed head of yours.’
Eliza pouted and fidgeted impatiently. It had been a long eventful day and she rather feared that Mr Dyson’s lecture would prove interminable.
‘Secondly,’ he went on more warmly than ever, ‘I intend to reinforce your submission to my authority by administering physical punishment to you daily.’
Eliza blanched and involuntarily rubbed her sore, cane-marked bottom. Mrs Weekes had bathed her and had put vinegar on her weals, tut-tutting with disapproval at the sight of them — a well-intentioned act, but the vinegar had stung unbearably.
‘Sir?’ Eliza’s tiny voice trembled. Self-consciously she looked down at her shoes. She was totally in Edward Dyson’s power. If it were not for him she would be in the workhouse — or even on the streets.
‘I shall chastise you every evening at this time,’ Dyson informed the stupefied girl, ‘commencing with tonight!’
Eliza felt sick and near to fainting. Part of her wanted to wail hysterically, but she knew she must submit.
‘I am merely reinforcing the correction you have already received,’  he explained expansively, rising and moving towards her. ‘It is for your own good, Eliza. I shall, of course, avert my eyes while you remove your outer garments,’ he added. Fumbling rather self-consciously with his ruby cuff-links, he discreetly turned his back on her.
Eliza, blushing and paling by turns, had little choice but to undress. As she shyly removed her gown and petticoats she kept her eyes fixed on the back of Dyson’s head, fearful lest he turn and catch her in the very act of disrobing. That would have been unthinkable. But worse was to follow. The dress and petticoats sank to the floor. Eliza stood shivering in her white cotton chemise — lopsided and dangerously low on one shoulder — drawers and stockings. Dyson, his gaze averted, stood twiddling impatiently with his watch-chain. Eliza anxiously wondered how he would determine when she had removed sufficient garments for punishment. Would he suddenly turn round? Should she cough gracefully, rustle her fallen petticoats — or simply stand stock-still in meek readiness?
She felt dreadfully agitated and embarrassed, standing in her underwear before a male audience for the second time that day. Long blonde ringlets trickled down over her bare shoulders in disarray. The lacing at the top of her chemise had come undone and the garment had gradually worked its way down over the rich fullness of her breasts. Noticing this, she turned scarlet and scrabbled furiously with fingers that would not obey her, to pull the drawstring tight around her shoulders.
Meanwhile Dyson was shifting heavily from one foot to the other, his great bulk swaying from side to side like the pendulum on a grandfather clock; he was beginning to grow impatient, clearing his throat and looking at his fob-watch.
Panic made Eliza’s pretty face look even lovelier: her long eyelashes fluttered like butterfly wings, her rosebud lips parted as she gave little gasps of fear. Before departing from Grimeswold School that day Eliza had felt compelled to change her drawers. She couldn’t bear to go on wearing the ones she’d been publicly caned in — they were a constant reminder of her shame. So she’d donned instead an old-fashioned pair of split-legged ones, naively supposing that her poor, aching bottom would be spared from further punishing assaults that day… How wrong she’d been!
With moist, trembling fingers she felt her drawers, front and back, smoothing and overlapping the open crotch-panels. She screwed her face into a grimace of utter mortification at the awful thought of them parting company during the course of the punishment. That Dyson should see her in her underwear was bad enough… but the possibility that her bare, naked bottom might end up on show as well made her temples throb and brought fresh blushes to her red, miserable face.
There she stood, hands clasped protectively in front of her; her plump white thighs and ripe yielding buttocks trembling in uncontrollable  spasms. Somehow this was even worse than the caning at Grimeswold, she thought ruefully, as her hands moved to touch the tender parts of her bottom-cheeks that still smarted angrily. A stifled sob of alarm and terror escaped her lips.
At the sound, Dyson turned and in a glance took in Eliza’s quaking frame: the bowed head with blonde ringlets tumbling in profusion over her blushing cheeks and neck; the rapid, fluttery heaving of her bosom, the tight whitening knuckles, the awkwardly-protective cross-legged stance. Dyson stooped slightly, trying to catch the expression on Eliza’s face, trying to make her look at him. But in her acute, near-to-fainting embarrassment all she could do was stare hopelessly at her feet.
He grunted approvingly at this pleasing manifestation of Eliza’s humiliation, and moved towards her, pulling a chair out in front of the desk till it was positioned beside her. She paled and shook visibly, knowing that her punishment could be postponed no longer.
Dyson sat down and turning to the trembling, cringing girl at his side, ordered her to present her bottom for chastisement by lying prone across his ample lap: ‘— to be soundly spanked, like a self-willed, disobedient child!’ he added severely.
Eliza, biting her lower lip abjectly, shuffled the few paces towards him. She squeezed her stocking-clad thighs as close together as possible — terrified lest her drawers might gape open and Dyson catch sight of her secret, closely-guarded regions, front and rear…
Pausing momentarily, Eliza took a deep breath and then lowered herself woodenly across his waiting lap, her lovely legs taut and rigid, her fingers seeking the chair legs on the other side so that she could ease herself into position with the minimal amount of indecorous wrigglings. She offered up a silent prayer that her drawers would not part company.
Due to the semi-transparent nature of Eliza’s underwear, Dyson was able to view her pertly provocative little buttocks clenching and unclenching in dreaded anticipation of the imminent chastisement. He studied the sweetly-fragrant girlish form spread out so immodestly before him, and sighed. She was indeed an adorable young thing; but he was too old now for the lusts of the flesh, so his mind turned back with zeal to the divine meaning and purpose of the occasion — to redeem Eliza Fairchild’s wayward nature. Slowly he raised his outspread, heavy palm in the air…
The first loud SLAP! landed resoundingly on Eliza’s prominently-upturned bottom, and she mewed in distress — widening her pale-blue eyes with shock, then screwing them up tightly with shame.
Another painful SMACK! immediately followed the first, Dyson’s slab-like palm easily doing justice to both buttock-crowns at once.
Eliza’s muscles, from her waist to her knees, ached with the desperate effort of keeping the crotch of her drawers together. If they should separate now, she would die!
Dyson’s broad hand rose and fell in a blur of motion, meticulously covering every part of Eliza’s rudely-squirming bottom and struggling thighs. The rosy glow he’d imparted to her skin showed through the flimsy cotton of her drawers, like a diffuse watercolour wash on a painting.
Eliza hung on tight to the chair legs, her pretty face contorted into a grimace of pain. By now her well-spanked behind was truly burning up; the intense heat growing like a fanned fire. Silent tears of anguish and mortification eddied down her angelic face and splashed onto the floor. The peculiar sensations engendered by Dyson’s rapidly descending hand were causing her to wriggle in a far-from-ladylike manner, although she fought against the impulse with all her might. Soon the inevitable happened…
The more desperately she wriggled, kicking her stockinged calves in abandonment, the more the crotch-panels of her drawers inched out slowly from their niche between Eliza’s bottom-cheeks.
Dyson noticed that her bottom and thighs had now relaxed, fleshing out into fluid, quivering curves which were infinitely more satisfying to spank than tense, resistant flesh. He felt a glorious surge of righteousness as Eliza’s buttocks bounced and danced frantically beneath the chastening, educative wrath of his heavy hand.
Eliza by this time was panting tearfully; holding her breath, then letting it go in noisy, explosive exhalations. Her poor beleaguered rear hurt so terribly that she completely forgot about the precarious state of her drawers, and she proceeded to vent her anguish by kicking furiously and humping her tormented bottom up and down on Dyson’s thighs.
She was sobbing too: great hysterical floods of tears which made stinging salty rivers on her cheeks. She cared little for anything that moment other than a cessation of the dreadful punishment… how could she possibly endure such an ordeal as this every night?
Dyson, red-faced himself and wheezing with exertion, was astounded when suddenly Eliza’s drawers parted company at the back, exposing her bottom-crack and her blotched, ruby-red buttocks bearing the shameful imprints of his rough, calloused hand. Eliza’s frantic kicks and surgings came to an abrupt halt as, with awful, shocking realisation, she felt Dyson’s hot palm make intimate contact with her bare skin. The loud, unmistakable sound of flesh against flesh — like a sharp pistol-crack — stunned her into utter silence.
At that moment there came a discreet tap on the study door. Dyson ceased spanking Eliza but still held her in place across his knee. The door opened and Betsy, the young parlour-maid entered to announce the arrival from London of Dyson’s son, Christian.
Betsy deliberately loitered in the doorway, gaping in amused curiosity at the strange sight of the half-naked Eliza draped in so undignified a manner across her master’s knee. Eliza found it bitterly mortifying to be thus gazed upon — especially as Betsy was in all probability a year or two Eliza’s junior…
Only when Betsy had gone did Dyson allow Eliza to clamber stiffly and painfully up off his lap. Sobbing pathetically, she fumbled childishly with her undone drawers, trying to make them decent again. Her blonde hair, all damp and tousled, clung to her face; her large, pale-blue eyes were swollen with crying. Hastily she got dressed, eager to escape from the scene of her humiliation as soon as possible. Dyson, anxious to see his son, handed the weeping girl a large volume of sermons and gave her permission to leave.
Smoothing her dress and wiping the tears from her pretty face, she stumbled out into the hall. She faltered, looking up in paralysed embarrassment at a well-groomed young man standing just beyond the study door, with flushed face and excited, astonished eyes that met her own. It was obvious from the smile on his thin lips that he had been there for some time and had heard everything. Eliza’s hands flew to her face and she rushed upstairs in total confusion, hearing his mocking laugh echoing behind her.
Christian Dyson stood fingering the pearl buttons on his waistcoat, still smiling wickedly to himself. He was disarmingly handsome, with dark hair and complexion, angular features, and wide thin lips that perpetually smiled, as though he was constantly being amused by his own thoughts. Recently expelled from Theological College for an ‘unspecified incident’ with a chambermaid, the ne’er-do-well son had returned to the indulgent bosom of his doting father who, doubtless, would take a considerably more tolerant view of his son’s moral lapse than he did of poor Eliza’s.
While eavesdropping on the spanking and the accompanying cries of female distress in his father’s study, Christian had tried desperately to think of an excuse to burst in on the scene and see, delightfully revealed, the adorable young creature who’d fled upstairs.
He assumed that Eliza had been punished for a specific crime. Surely one as lovely as she could have done nothing to merit such a resounding spanking? He was reluctant to ask his father lest it be construed that he was showing an interest in the girl… She was obviously a destitute orphan who had been taken under his father’s philanthropic wing… But how the sound of that spanking had excited him! He was haunted by imaginary visions of Eliza’s nubile, trembling bottom shamefully exposed…
With malevolent cunning, Christian resolved to ensure that Eliza’s spankings continued… He would lay traps for the unwary beauty. He would enjoy seeing her squirm like a butterfly on a pin…
In the days that followed, Eliza tried to avoid Christian as much as possible. She found him confusing, embarrassing, and upsetting. Whenever his father was present, Christian ignored her completely. Yet when she was alone, sewing or reading, he would slip quietly into the room and shower the bewildered girl with compliments and amorous advances.
True to his word, Christian’s father punished Eliza daily. Every evening, at eight o’clock prompt, Eliza had to present herself before him, strip down her underclothes and stockings, bend blushingly over her benefactor’s knee, and offer up her scantily-clad bottom for its nightly dose of childishly humiliating punishment.
Afterwards, as she tottered out of his study scarlet-faced, tear-stained and sore-bottomed, she invariably encountered Christian lolling raffishly in the hallway, gazing lewdly at her, as if to say: ‘I know full well what has been happening to you, my young lady!’ She hated this even more than the spankings themselves…
A fortnight after she had come to live under his roof, one morning at nine, Dyson summoned Eliza to his study and informed her that business affairs down in Leeds — some sixty miles away — necessitated his absence from Lympynge Hall for about a week. In the meantime she should apply herself diligently to the volume of Barrow’s Sermons he had given her to read, in preparation for a detailed, searching catechism on his return.
Eliza breathed an almighty sigh of relief. A welcome reprieve from those dreadful spankings: a blissful respite for her sorely bruised bottom, and a chance to restore some of her shattered dignity, offered itself like a port in a storm…
Dyson departed that day, shortly after luncheon. Eliza, fully resolved to make the most of his absence, took a leisurely bath — revelling in its sinful luxury. Then she put on her prettiest, most frivolous underwear: white batiste camisole and drawers, filmy and frothy with pink rosebuds embroidered all over them; lacy stockings, gartered at mid-thigh; filmy white petticoats, and a beautifully demure muslin dress.
She felt, and looked, every inch a lady… Dyson, though strict and harshly unbending, was by no means ungenerous. He provided Eliza with a monthly dress allowance quite ample for her needs.
She spent the rest of the day in her room, peacefully dozing and idly scanning the pages of The Gentlewoman’s Magazine. The garden below, bathed in warm spring sunshine, beckoned enticingly, but she resisted the temptation for fear of encountering Christian. There was something about the younger Dyson that frightened her more than the elder.
After dinner, which she habitually took with the housekeeper, Mrs Weekes, in her cosy parlour, Eliza returned to the comforting privacy of her own room. The shadows outside in the garden were lengthening as it grew near to eight o’clock.
The old grandfather clock down in the hall was just striking the hour when there came a loud knock on Eliza’s door. Before she could utter a word it flew open violently and Christian Dyson confronted her. He was flushed and leering — obviously the worse for wine.
‘Your presence, Miss Eliza, is requested down in my father’s study,’ he said, bowing with mock courtesy.
Eliza blushed and trembled nervously. Presuming that Mr Dyson had swiftly and unexpectedly returned from Leeds, and that he wished to see her, she followed Christian downstairs.
But when she entered the gloomy, oak-panelled study she found herself alone in the room — with Christian.
Triumphantly he locked the door behind them and pocketed the key.
‘Now, my dear little Eliza,’ he smirked, advancing towards her menacingly, ‘as my father left behind strict instructions that you are to be disciplined by me in his absence —’ Eliza flinched, horror-struck, and retreated to the far corner of the room ‘— the appointed hour for your corrective education is at hand,’ he went on in his odiously sanctimonious voice, ‘and I must ask you to prepare yourself in the customary manner.’
Eliza groaned and looked piteously at him with her innocent wide eyes. ‘Oh no! Surely, sir, you cannot — you would not!’ she gasped, in total confusion.
‘I assure you, Eliza, that I can — and indeed I will!’ he hissed gloatingly, a ripple of smug self-satisfaction twisting his mouth downwards into a complacent sneer. ‘The reformation of your wayward nature is far too precious a task to be shirked!’ he chuckled cruelly.
Eliza’s heart pounded madly, her delectable bosom heaved in fear and trepidation. Was Christian telling her the truth? Had the fanatical father in his absence, delegated the task of punishing Eliza to the son? She had no way of knowing. The fact of the matter was, she simply dared not disobey for fear of the terrible wrath the young man’s father might wreak on her when he returned.
‘Oh, Master Christian… I implore you!’ she begged desperately. ‘To be so shamefully… punished by someone… as young as you… It would be so improper… so indecent!’ she stammered, consumed by blushes.
‘Eliza — prepare yourself,’ he snapped impatiently. ‘I am going to birch you — for the good of your soul!’ So saying, he withdrew from the brass ewer in which they were soaking, three stout, supple birch rods, bound together at one end with twine.
Poor Eliza nearly fainted on the spot. A birch! She’d heard gruesome tales of the appalling pain that could be inflicted by such an instrument… That such a cruel device of correction was about to be used on so pretty and delicate a posterior as hers — the very idea was unthinkable!
‘Eliza!’ the young man repeated, growing ever more impatient, ‘remove your outer garments immediately, or I myself shall assist you — none too gently either!’ Christian Dyson, his lust rising like a fever, fought with an overwhelming desire to rip Eliza’s gown and petticoats to shreds with his bare hands.
Terrified beyond all words, Eliza hastily unbuttoned herself and soon white muslin gown and sweetly-scented petticoats slid rustling to her ankles. She resembled a beautiful mermaid, washed-up on Edward Dyson’s rich silky Persian carpet.
Gingerly she stepped out of the garments entangling her dainty feet, blushing furiously as Christian Dyson feasted his eyes on her very best embroidered batiste underwear. The drawers especially fascinated him — they were loosely gathered just above her knees, but erotically tight and revealing around the hips and buttocks. Eliza bitterly regretted putting them on now.
Below hooded lids Christian lusted at her evilly… His cruelly perverted appetite demanded that she be naked…
‘Your drawers, too, Eliza,’ he insisted, uttering the syllables with clinical precision, ‘they must come down as well!’
‘My drawers?’ Eliza repeated the unmentionable word lamely, without thinking — then crimsoned deeply at what she’d said. ‘B-but your father, when he… punishes me, never makes me take down my… d-d-’ She looked miserably at her feet, unable to reiterate such an indelicate word before a gentleman…
Christian’s lower lip curled wolfishly. He laughed — a mocking, humourless laugh — and swished the birch up and down in the air, as if to test its suppleness.
‘Since I am fully resolved to birch you on your bare flesh, Eliza,’ he went on, completely unmoved by her pathetic pleadings, ‘you have no alternative but to submit to my will. The room is locked and I am far, far stronger than you… And my father would not countenance any disobedience from you towards myself. Do not attempt to thwart me, Eliza, or it will go much the worse for you upon his return.’
Eliza gave a heart-rending sob of abject despair. She knew he had won, although deep within herself she disbelieved his claim to act in his father’s name. Slowly, with the bitterest reluctance, she loosened the draw-string around her waist and her pretty, lavender-scented drawers began their slow descent to her feet. Her gauzy, exquisitely embroidered camisole ended well above her waist. Below — down to her stocking-tops — she was naked as the day she was born.
Christian stared in fascinated longing at the delightful brown curls that fringed Eliza’s pubic mound. She turned deathly pale and tried in vain to conceal her intimate regions from his insultingly greedy eyes, but he gripped her by the arm and led her over to the ponderous gleaming Chesterfield covered in brown leather that stood by the shuttered windows.
Twisting her arm cruelly, he made Eliza bend her lovely body across the back of the couch so that her bare bottom was raised at a ludicrous, obscene angle high in the air.
Her bottom, softly downed and pertly plump, held Christian spellbound. Her pale, round buttocks wobbled slightly with the effort of adopting the mortifyingly unladylike posture Christian had forced her into. The deep, shadowy division between Eliza’s quivering bottom-cheeks seemed, to the man who avidly studied them, to offer matchless pleasures…
Christian Dyson felt the front of his trousers tightening unbearably. He was a total debauchee: the schoolboy floggings he had witnessed at boarding school, up in Westmoreland, had left him with an uncontrollable urge to inflict like punishment on a beautiful young girl. Now his chance had at last arrived — his cruel, dark fantasy was coming true…
Eliza wailed piteously as Christian raised the birch rods. She’d noticed to her horror that the swishy wands were covered with spiky buds, sharp as needles. She didn’t need telling that this was going to be the most agonisingly painful punishment she’d ever received in her whole life…
Christian put all the force he could muster into the stroke. The birch hissed and sizzled on its downward arc, and caught Eliza fairly and squarely right across the plumpest, sauciest part of her comely backside.
She howled like a scalded cat — her bottom rose at least six inches in the air. She pummelled the seat of the Chesterfield dementedly with her tiny fists, and watered the cushions with her tears as the unmistakable marks of the birch’s cruel kiss began to appear on her bottom — like a developing negative. Angry-red, goosepimple-like weals now marred her smooth, pale cheeks.
With each new stroke that Christian laid on, the rubicund, goosepimply patches grew in size and intensity. After twelve strokes it might have seemed to an innocent bystander that the unfortunate girl had been sitting naked on a hornets nest!
There was an electric tension in the study, punctuated only by the girl’s frantic cries and the rhythmic, insistent hissing of the birch as it made intimate, painful contact with the whole of Eliza’s nether regions — from where her waist ended, right down practically to the tops of her stockings.
Eliza’s bottom was now uniformly scarlet in hue, deepening in patches of raised purplish welts. But more striking even than that it was an unforgettable study of poetry in motion. It weaved, it danced, it wobbled, it wiggled, in a vulgarly suggestive parody of the sexual act — as the birch descended again and again in a blur of punishing fervour.
Some of the thorn-like buds detached themselves and flew onto the carpet beneath Eliza’s kicking heels. One or two of them even embedded themselves in her hot, yielding bottom-flesh.
Christian Dyson birched Eliza unmercifully until vivid blisters began to show high up, on the summits of her cheeks, and several further down, where her bottom-cleft widened. She was streaming with tears. She’d quite forgotten about her shame at being naked… she threw her legs wide open, kicking and scissoring like a wild thing, totally uncaring that she was thus revealing those secret parts of herself that every chaste maiden treasures…
The sight of Eliza’s unravished love nest so maddened and goaded the young man that he dropped the birch, swiftly unbuttoned himself, and seized Eliza roughly in his arms, dragging her to the floor. She was near to swooning, and in no state to offer any resistance whatsoever.
With one tremendous lunge he was there — piercing deep within her. Eliza Fairchild had irrevocably lost her maidenhood. She uttered an abandoned, paroxysmal shriek that seemed to make the very rafters ring, and then…
Edward Dyson returned from Leeds a week later to find his son and Eliza gone. Mrs Weekes and the servants could throw no light on the matter — the couple had seemingly vanished in the middle of the night two days before.
Had Christian abducted Eliza, or had she gone with him of her own free will? Dyson was never to know the answer, for he never returned to Lympynge Hall in his lifetime. 

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