They assembled in the drawing room for drinks at 7.30. In addition to Hilary and Mr Silton three other men whom he introduced as members of his Division. Ordinary Ministry faces and their names did not register. You were of course trained to latch onto a person’s name and commit it to memory but Hilary’s mind in its present state was quite incapable of such routine matters. Not after that experience some 90 minutes earlier. In the dining room next door. When she had been upended on the dining table and had her bare bottom caned by Mr Silton.
Still feeling numb she automatically accepted the first drink suggested, white wine. The drinks had been brought in by Mr Rutter, Mr Strangeway’s chauffeur, who earlier that afternoon had driven Hilary and Mr Strangeway up from London. That had been an unbelievable journey too — but not as bad as being upside down on the dining table.
Mr Rutter’s eyes briefly met Hilary’s as he handed her the glass. Did he know what Mr Strangeway had done to Hilary, his new Personal Assistant, in the back seat of the Daimler? Or could he have any idea what Mr Silton had done here, next door? Hilary felt little beads of perspiration on her upper lip.
General chat; including of course the fact of Mr Strangeway’s abrupt recall to London immediately after arrival on some major flap. ‘Leaving poor Miss Wareham at quite a loose end,’ laughed Mr Silton.
Hilary couldn’t help flushing. Mr Silton had seen that she wasn’t at a loose end. He had used the opportunity to progress her training. That was what he had said. And progressing her training had meant caning her bare bottom. First bend over the edge of that table and then up on it, her legs in the air. She couldn’t do anything; she couldn’t refuse. Because she was only Miss Wareham and a very recent recruit. And Mr Silton was a Very Important Person, Head of a Division, as was her own Mr Strangeway. So all you could do was… co-operate.
Afterwards, when Mr Silton had finished with her, Hilary had had a hot bath and changed her clothes. That made you feel just a little better but not very much. In the bathroom mirror she had seen distinct red stripes across her bottom.
Soon they went in to dinner. Into that room where… Mr Silton taking her arm. asking if she knew Yorkshire. Hilary mumbled something. There was the table, now glitteringly laid for dinner. The table where not long before she had been upside down and displaying… everything. Did these other men know? Were those bland Ministry faces smirking? Had one of them possibly been peering through the keyhole watching it all?
Hilary, sitting down, felt a sudden urge to go to the loo. But you could hardly do that. She bit her lip. A servant was bringing in the soup.
Somehow the meal passed. Had she eaten anything? Hilary didn’t really know. Back up in her room. She had pleaded a headache. Perhaps if she stayed the rest of the evening up here, forcing herself to look at some of Mr Strangeway’s papers, and then had an early night —
A knock at the door. A brisk little knock. The same knock that earlier had announced Mr Silton. She forced herself to get up and go… Yes, Mr Silton.
‘Hello, my dear. Headache any better?’ He had something in his hand. Pale blue material.
‘Look, what I’d like, if you are feeling a little better now…’
Ten minutes later Hilary was knocking at the door of his room. Along the corridor, second on the right. She was in that nightmare again. In her dressing gown. And underneath it…
He opened the door. On numb legs, barefoot, she entered. ‘Good. Very good. Because I thought we might do a little more. A quick little after-dinner session, eh?’ Mr Silton gave a little laugh. ‘I must say I’m not regretting that poor old Bob was called back to town at all.’
He had carefully closed the door and now he told Hilary to take off the dressing gown. She had known that he would tell her to take it off. There hadn’t been much doubt about that. But…
‘Come on, Miss Wareham.’ From somewhere that dreadful cane had appeared again. That too must have been expected. Mr Silton swished it through the air. Hilary’s hands went to the belt of her pink gown.
Underneath there was that blue thing he had held as he came into her room. It had turned out to be a pair of pyjama trousers. Large, possibly men’s, pyjama trousers. With the seat seam split open from waist to crotch. This was what Hilary had on when she removed the dressing gown. Nothing else.
‘Excellent, Miss Wareham.’ Mr Silton’s eyes approvingly took in Hilary’s full nude breasts as well as the pyjamas themselves. Hilary’s full nude breasts. ‘Excellent. What d’you think?’
What did she think? That if it was meant to humiliate her it was excellent. Maybe that was the aim. Could it be that this was how girls were routinely inducted into the Ministry? Humiliated and beaten to test their mettle. Or was it just her dreadful misfortune to fall into the hands of two men who correctly assumed that she wouldn’t dare complain.
Hilary had no idea. Mr Silton had moved behind her. She bit her lip as his hand slid in the open gap at the back, to grope her bottom.
‘Yes, Miss Wareham. You really do look most charming. And now to our business, eh? Up on the stool please.’
An ornamental stool or chest that stood in the centre of the room. Hilary was made to kneel up on it. Then told to put her hands behind and pull open the slit in the seat of the pyjamas. Was Mr Silton just seeing how far he could humiliate her? Perhaps she should have refused at the beginning of all this… and let them kick her out. Hilary did as she was told.
Mr Silton looked. The marks of the earlier caning were still quite clear. He brought the cane slicing in again.
Hilary gave a gasping yelp.
‘Mmmm. Get down. Hands on the stool.’
Abjectly, with the fresh sting in her bottom, Hilary did it. On hands and knees on the stool now.
The cane whistled in again. ‘Aaeeeooowww!’
And again. ‘Aaaeekkk!’
It was perhaps not quite what Mr Silton wanted. The cane was meeting parted pyjamas as well as bared bottom. Perhaps he felt this might be having a deadening effect on the impact — although the pain to Hilary was diabolical enough. He pulled the pyjamas down, around her lower thighs. The kneeling girl now quite nude from there up.
Mr Silton grunted approval of the change. And once more sliced the cane in. This time the unmistakable sound of cane hitting bare flesh only — and also a more urgent squeal from Hilary. Yes: better.
CRACK!… again. And again.
The squeals desperate. The clenching. jerking nates desperate too.
Mr Silton delivered some more…
Then, later, taking Hilary’s arm. At least it was over, she told herself. But it wasn’t. Simply another position. Kneeling on the floor now, her body draped over the stool. Her bare bottom arched and the wicked cane biting in again. It was too much. She couldn’t take any more. She would roll away from that impossible cane. Onto her back on the floor. Roll up in a ball and cry: No! No more! You can kick me out but no more!
Hilary didn’t do that though. It would be an open challenge to authority and she couldn’t bring herself to do it. So she suffered till the end, until Mr Silton had had his fill of her quivering, jerking, red hot bottom.
He pulled her to her feet. The lowered pyjamas simply slid down to her ankles. For the moment she was in too much of a state to do anything about them — and in any case Mr Silton would probably tell her to leave them where they were. He came close. He had dropped the cane and his hand slid over the jutting breasts.
‘Mr Strangeway is going to be very pleased with you.’
Mr Silton’s voice was soft, though perhaps a little excited. A contrast to the vicious sting of that cane which had left Hilary’s bottom still feeling as if she’d sat on a red hot stove. The hand stroking her bottom slid down. Hilary’s agitated breath snorted out as the hand reached her pussy. That thick bush of hair. Was there now to be a further test of a girl’s discipline, her submissiveness?
The hand was cupping. Hilary trembling afresh. Mr Silton was asking if she had a boyfriend. The same question Mr Strangeway had asked. A stuttered affirmative. Robin seemed light years away since that drive up the M1.
Mr Silton made a soft ‘Mmmm’ sound and was no doubt about to say more when providentially there was a discreet knock at the door. A female voice, one of the servants presumably. ‘Would you like some cocoa, sir?’
Mr Silton took his hand away from what he had been stroking. Er, yes he would. ‘Er, make it two, would you, one for Miss Wareham who is here. In five minutes perhaps.’
Saved by the cocoa? Or perhaps Mr Silton was anyway more interested in beating girls than in doing… that other. Shivering, Hilary was allowed to pull up the pyjamas and put on her dressing gown. Mr Silton did not seem too disturbed at the interruption.
‘I always like my cup of cocoa before bed. Always had it as a boy, regular as clockwork. My nanny used to make it. Ah those blissful days of childhood, eh Miss Wareham?
Hilary, still suffering from her humiliating beating, made sounds of agreement. The cocoa when it came was brought in by Mr Rutter. Again that same quick frank look at Hilary. A look that took in her dressing gown and the pyjama trousers beneath. The look of a man who knew what Mr Silton and Mr Strangeway liked to do?
It was just the one quick glance and then Mr Rutter was the attentive, somewhat obsequious Ministry servant. In answer to Mr Silton he said he hadn’t been able to drive Mr Strangeway back because it would have exceeded his allowed driving hours. Mr Rutter went out with a correct, ‘Goodnight sir. Goodnight Miss Wareham.’
‘Would you like a little drive out in the country, Miss?’
It was Mr Rutter and that half-apologetic voice. He went on to say that he had checked with Mr Silton who said it was quite all right. Mr Silton was in conference with some of his people and would not be requiring Hilary. ‘It is a nice fresh morning, Miss.’
It was, bright and sunny. Hilary glancing out of the library window had been thinking that very thing and wondering if she could go for a stroll in the garden, but Mr Silton might require her. ‘Oh super!’ she said with a smile.
Hilary had had a reasonable night. There had been no more knocks at her door after she left Mr Silton —and no master keys for instance quietly opening it. Perhaps it was silly to think things like that but there had been frantic little thoughts running round in Hilary’s head. Although Mr Silton after his cocoa had seemed ready to call it a day — perhaps a conditioned response from his nanny-cossetted childhood. Cocoa and then quickly to bed like a good boy. Today…? Well Mr Siltori was here of course and Mr Strangeway was due later. So there were fearful possibilities. But Hilary had had her breakfast and no problems so far. And yes, a drive out in the country did sound super. Even if it was with the slightly scary Mr Rutter.
In the front seat of the Daimler, Mr Rutter said that Mr Strangeway had gone back in the other car, a Rover. ‘Not half the motor that this is, Miss.’ Hilary smiled brightly. Perhaps he wasn’t really scary. It was all her silly imagination. He didn’t have his cap on today — it was placed carefully on the back seat — and maybe that helped. He would be about 40, just an ordinary-looking man.
‘Those gentlemen can be very hard on a girl, Miss. Especially when she’s new.’
Oh dear. They were outside the big iron gates and going along a leafy lane. Please God let Mr Rutter not be referring to… that.
‘Very hard, Miss. Eh?’
What did you say? She smiled weakly. ‘There is a lot to learn at first, Mr Rutter. I… expect you found that in your job too.’
Mr Rutter chuckled to himself. ‘That is not the same, is it Miss? Oh dear me no!’
Hilary remembered that the chauffeur had last seen her in Mr Silton’s room, in her dressing gown. ‘Last night I… I was in Mr Silton’s room because he wanted to check on something.’ She didn’t have to explain her actions to a mere chauffeur but on the other hand…
He laughed again. ‘Check on your bottom, Miss, I daresay.’
A silence. It was exactly like Mr Silton first coming into her room and saying what he had said. Or Mr Strangeway in the back seat of this car. A sudden yawning crack in Hilary’s normal, everyday existence. But Mr Rutter was only the chauffeur. Not a Very Important Person. As such he was being very impertinent.
‘I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Mr Rutter,’ Hilary said haughtily, though feeling herself colouring.
‘That same as what he did earlier, Miss, is what I mean.’
Oh dear! ‘Mr Rutter if you wish to be impertinent I think we had better turn round and go back.’
Mr Rutter just laughed and drove on at the same steady speed. Conversation stopped. Perhaps stupid, impertinent Mr Rutter realised he had gone too far. What he had said had made her go all hot and cold but it could only be conjecture and he had better not say it again.
Not too much later he was slowing, and pulling off the lane onto a track. And then pulling off the track and stopping. A lovely desolate moorland spot. Mr Rutter turned to Hilary, smiling.
‘Lovely bit of country, Miss.’ He was reaching inside his coat, to his wallet.
A colour photograph. It showed Hilary and Mr Silton in the dining room of the house. Hilary bent over the dining table with her knickers off, her ripe bottom bare, and Mr Silton with that cane. A polaroid photograph taken presumably from the window. Having allowed sufficient time for Hilary to see it Mr Rutter put the print back in the security of his wallet.
‘Those gentlemen can be awfully hard, Miss. Like I said.’
There was nothing Hilary could say. There were things she wanted to say but for the moment she was struck dumb. And anyway saying those things would not help. Mr Rutter’s hand came down and patted her thigh. She angrily brushed it off, words now coming.
‘Now Miss, please. We don’t want any of that. I would say it’s in your interest to be friendly. Co-operative. I mean you want me to keep these photos I’ve got in safe keeping, don’t you Miss?’
His hand came down again. Hilary moved to push it abruptly away again but then stopped herself. The hand squeezed her thigh through her skirt. ‘Now Miss, let’s just say we’re going to have an understanding.’
‘What do you want?’ she asked in that shaky voice. Rutter gave some indication of what that might be by moving his hand from her thigh up to her breast. Mounding it through her sweater.
‘It won’t be the cane, Miss. Not like those two so-called gentlemen. Mr Strangeway may not have caned you yet but he will all right. I don’t think that’s right, Miss, I really don’t. But, well, I would like to give that lovely bottom a bit of a smacking!’
The hand was still at her breast and there was nothing Hilary could do about it. Her brain took in what he had just said.
‘To tell the truth, Miss, I am very partial to nice, well brought up girls like yourself. Good breeding. that’s what gets me. Of course being from a working class background and not a lot of education I don’t often get that chance. But I’ve certainly struck lucky with you, Miss Wareham, and especially with you being such a lovely girl as well.’
It was sickening for Hilary to have to listen to this obsequious talk, but talking in that obsequious manner didn’t prevent Mr Rutter from indulging in his pleasures. Taking her knickers down and smacking her bare bottom, as Mr Strangeway had done in this very same car.
Mr Rutter took his time about it, enjoying the feel of her wriggling bare-belly against his thighs. Hilary’s legs kicked, ineffectually, and her head jerked up every now and then; her squeals and tearful protests rang clear in the still air beyond the car’s open window. A flight of birds took wing suddenly, their high-pitched cries echoing those of well-spanked Hilary still struggling against Mr Rutter’s spanking hand in the Daimler.