Story from Janus 139 by S.T. Rogers. Final part of a Victorian trilogy.
When Susan entered the study, Mrs Dickens and Mr Balfour were already present.
‘Sorry I’m late,’ she said, ‘on my way here a tradesman called at the back door and I was forced to attend to him.’
The clock on the mantelpiece chimed as she took her position — exactly 3 o’clock. Glancing momentarily at the calendar beside the mantel, she noted the date: twenty-third of November. The year — 1996.
The anachronism never failed to amuse her, when it infrequently occurred to her. She was content and that was all that mattered. It did not matter that the study was filled with Victorian furniture and decorations; nor that its occupants all wore the livery of that era.
She was content and that was that.
Master Grimes was particularly fond of the Victorian age and expected his serving staff to feel likewise. If they didn’t, they were free to seek employment elsewhere; no one was forced to comply with the master’s wishes. Emily certainly wasn’t.
She stood holding her ankles in the middle of the study; around her waist, pantalettes open behind, awaiting the kiss of the master’s cane……
It was a week to the day after Emily had stood in the attic and witnessed Susan’s punishment on the rocking horse. The staff were seated at dinner in the downstairs kitchen and Master Grimes was entertaining business colleagues in the drawing room.
Mrs Dickens, placing her knife and fork neatly by her plate, turned to Susan.
‘The master has informed me of his pleasure at Emily’s appointment and her decision to remain as part of the staff here. He was impressed by her conduct in the attic last week and he feels it’s time she ‘does the rounds’.
Emily, watching Mrs Dickens intently, felt irked that the housekeeper ignored her and spoke to Susan about matters that concerned her. However, she was still sufficiently wary of Mrs Dickens to remain silent. Moreover, her excitement seemed to outweigh all other considerations; she had waited patiently for the master to turn his attentions in her direction and now, at last, that seemed to have happened.
‘When is Emily to begin her rounds?’ asked Susan.
‘This afternoon,’ replied Mrs Dickens, ‘the master will have concluded his business by one o’clock. He then has matters to deal with in the city. He will expect Emily to be in his study by ten minutes to three and the rest of the staff five minutes afterwards. She will visit my quarters at two o’ clock precisely and thereafter report to Mr Balfour.’
Susan nodded and returned to her meal. Emily’s attempts to catch her eye met with failure. Her eyes remained focused on her plate.
After dinner, Emily accosted Susan in the hall. ‘Susan, what’s going on? What is all this about me ‘doing the rounds’?
Susan smiled. She put her finger to her lips and led Emily upstairs to her bedroom. When they were both inside, Susan began to explain. ‘Doing the rounds is an expression, a roundabout way of saying… an initiation ceremony.’
Emily looked mystified.
‘I went through it when I first arrived here. Let me explain……’
At two o’ clock precisely, Emily presented herself at Mrs Dickens’ room. The housekeeper showed her in and ordered her to stand by the bed while she cleared away the embroidery material she had been working with.
‘Now then, my child,’ said Mrs Dickens eventually, seating herself in a plain armless chair, ‘You know why you are here?’
‘Yes, miss,’ said Emily, lowering her head shyly.
‘Of course, I shouldn’t call you child — you are nineteen years old, you’re an adult. You have seen what goes on in this household. You were in the attic with Susan when the master administered her… punishment.’
‘Yes, miss, I was there,’ said Emily. She almost blurted that she had also witnessed Mrs Dickens being thrashed by Master Grimes, but managed to bite her tongue.
‘Well, I’ll get to the point,’ said the housekeeper. ‘Frankly, I am not very happy with your work, young lady. I think you need to be taught a lesson, don’t you?’
‘Yes, miss,’ whispered Emily, entwining her fingers and wiggling her hips; every inch the naughty girl about to be punished.
‘Come over here then,’ said Mrs Dickens, patting her lap, ‘and bend over my knee.’
Emily complied. As the housekeeper raised her skirt, Emily wished it was the young master’s knee she was bent over. He was so handsome and she was half in love with him. Still, she had to come to terms with her submissive nature and, though Mrs Dickens would not have been her choice as punishment administrator, she was still overwhelmed by erotic excitement.
Mrs Dickens undid the buttons and pulled apart the seams of Emily’s pantalettes, exposing her bare bottom. The pearl-white cheeks seemed to please her and she uttered a barely audible grunt of approval. Without further ado she began to smack the girls’ delightful cheeks. Emily expressed herself freely; kicking her legs and feigning resistance, but Mrs Dickens held her firmly and continued with unwavering determination.
Emily sensed her bottom was getting very red — what with the firmness of the hand spanking and the rapidity of the blows.
‘Oh dear, I’m afraid my hand is becoming sore,’ said Mrs Dickens. Still holding Emily firmly in place, the housekeeper reached over and took a hairbrush from her dressing-table.
‘Oh no… please don’t use your hairbrush,’ pleaded Emily, when she turned and caught sight of the implement. The hairbrush had a large, oval-shaped head which was made of ivory.
The spanking continued with Mrs Dickens declaring that the hairbrush was an ideal tool for saving one’s hand. The beating grew to a crescendo as Emily struggled wildly.
‘Don’t you struggle with me, my girl!’ barked Mrs Dickens.
She administered six firm and righteous strokes before pulling Emily to her feet. ‘Now,’ she said, ‘I hope you’ve learned your lesson, my dear.’
Emily stamped her feet and wiped her eyes. ‘Yes, Mrs Dickens, I have’ she moaned.
Five minutes later, Emily stood in Mr Balfour’s room. She had made herself as decent as she possibly could. Her bottom was still smarting from Mrs Dickens’s hand and hairbrush and she rubbed it gingerly.
‘You seem to have a sore bottom,’ observed the butler.
‘It’s not that bad, Mr Balfour,’ Emily replied.
Mr Balfour went to his bed, reached under it and brought out one of his slippers. He tapped it against the palm of his hand several times before approaching the young maid.
‘Leather upper — leather sole,’ he declared indicating the slipper, ‘the master brought them home from Italy and gave them to me as a present. I haven’t worn them yet — but then slippers aren’t just for wearing.’
Emily shrugged and began to chew her finger.
‘Take your finger out of your mouth and come over here.’
The butler’s tone brooked no disobedience. ‘Kneel on the bed and stick your bottom out.’
Emily obeyed and Mr Balfour raised her skirts. ‘You’ve been a very naughty girl, haven’t you? I’ve seen the way you giggle and caper at my expense, you and that other minx — Susan. Laughing when you pass me in the hall, teasing me at breakfast, lunch and supper. You think I’m a stuck-up old buffoon, don’t you?’
N-n-no sir, honest I don’t.’ Emily’s pleading was ignored as the butler yanked her white pantalettes down to the bend of her knees and began to slipper her pert posterior.
‘Raise that bottom higher,’ he demanded.
Emily pressed her face into the bed cover and pushed her rear into the air as high as she possibly could. Mr Balfour seemed satisfied with her efforts. ‘That’s better,’ he barked.
He varied his strokes, first the far buttock, then the near; alternating between them with gusto. Every sixth stroke he paused and stroked her smooth skin, relishing the warmth he was creating. It was so good to be in control, he thought. How many men had merely fantasised about what he was actually doing? Being the butler in the Grimes household certainly had its rewards.
Emily, too, was in a kind of heaven. Despite the smarting of her belaboured backside, she was deliriously happy. How many nineteen-year-olds held a job which embodied and fulfilled their fantasies? Mrs Dickens must have seen her potential at the interview stage; had realised she was a ripe submissive who was ignorant of the fact.
‘Now my girl,’ said Mr Balfour, after what seemed to be an eternity of slipper strokes, ‘I’m going to give you six final smacks across both cheeks and I want you to count them out and thank me for each and every one. Understood?’
‘Yes, sir… Mr Balfour,’ sniffled Emily.
‘Aowwwwww! One… thank you, Mr Balfour.’
‘Aowwwwwwww! Two… thank you, Mr Balfour.’
When he reached the sixth stroke, the butler paused.
‘This is the final stroke and I’m going to make it a good one. Are you ready, girl?’
‘Aaaoooooowwww! Six… thank you, Mr Balfour!’
Taking his hand from the small of her back, where he had held her firmly throughout, Mr Balfour pulled Emily off the bed. ‘Are you going to be a good girl in future?’ he asked.
‘Yes sir,’ she replied. But Emily suspected that she would not be a good girl and would visit this room many times in the future.
At ten minutes to three, Emily reported to the master’s study. She rubbed her glowing bottom with one hand and knocked timidly on the door with the other. ‘Come in, Emily.’ She recognised the master’s voice and he had used her name for the first time.
He was sitting behind his desk when she entered, one of his numerous ledgers and making notes therein. He looked up and noticed Emily standing by the door. ‘Come over here, girl — don’t be shy.’
Emily shuffled over to the desk, still rubbing her bottom and avoiding his eyes. Master Grimes told her to sit down and smiled gently when she did so; noting her discomfort as she rested her weight on her tender behind.
‘I see you have visited Mrs Dickens and Mr Balfour,’ he said.
She raised her eyes momentarily and looked at his face. She thought she might swoon, his handsome face was creased into a wicked grin and there was a twinkle in his eye. She stared at her hands which were clasped in her lap.
‘Do you enjoy working here, Emily?’
‘Oh yes, sir,’ she replied, ‘very much.’
‘And do you want for anything?’
‘No sir, I have everything I need.’ She found the courage to look him straight in the eyes. ‘This is the best job I’ve ever had. I hope my duties are performed in a satisfactory manner, sir?’
‘Yes, Emily, I am very happy with your contribution to the household. I shall tell the rest of the staff so when they arrive shortly. You are exactly the type of girl we need here and the fact that you were willing to do the rounds today is a testament to your suitability. Now, you have only one test more to undertake. Are you willing to undergo this final hurdle?’
‘Yes, sir. I hope I may please you in whatever duty I have to perform,’ Emily said firmly.
‘That’s the spirit,’ Master Grimes said enthusiastically and rose from his seat. ‘I want you to stand here,’ he said, indicating the middle of the floor.
Emily stood where she was told.
‘Now I want you to bend forward and clasp your ankles. That shouldn’t be difficult for a healthy nineteen-year-old girl, eh? And one as pretty as you.’
Emily returned his smile and did as requested. She found the position somewhat awkward initially and had to adjust her stance several times in order to maintain her balance.
A knock at the door was followed by the entrance of Mrs Dickens and Mr Balfour. They exchanged pleasantries with the master for several minutes and then took their places at the side of the room. Master Grimes undid the buttons at the back of Emily’s pantalettes and pulled apart the seams of the garment. He stroked the exposed cheeks of the girl’s bottom and admired their angry red hue, complimenting the housekeeper and the butler on the thoroughness of their handiwork. He then went to his desk and took a short thin whippy cane from one of its drawers, brandishing the implement by its crooked handle and swishing it through the air several times with perfunctory coolness.
Susan knocked, entered and apologised for being late as the master approached Emily and stood directly behind her. He seemed unhappy with the position of her legs and ordered her to move her feet further apart which, with some difficulty, she managed to achieve.
‘Well,’ he said eventually, ‘now that we are all present and Emily is in the correct position, I think we should get down to business.’
Susan watched Emily closely as she awaited the kiss of the master’s cane. She was reminded of herself when she first arrived at the Grimes household; a naive eighteen-year-old with a lot to learn about life. She was sure that Emily would cope as well as she had four years previously; she certainly had the right attitude to do so.
‘This is a test of discipline, Emily,’ said the master, stroking the cane over the surface of her already reddened rump, ‘and I must ask you to be silent while punishment is administered. Any sound you make will detract from your performance of the test. Do you understand?’
‘Yes, master,’ said Emily, apprehensively.
Without further ado, the master began to cane Emily’s pretty bottom with firm, but not excessive, strokes; steadying her with his hand on the small of her back. Susan, Mrs Dickens and Mr Balfour looked on impassively.
To her credit, Emily did not utter a sound, even after about five minutes of punishment. The master paused and rested his arm.
‘You are doing well, Emily,’ he said.
Emily was determined to please Master Grimes; she held her leather ankle-boots tightly and when he continued her chastisement, she remained silent — apart from the occasional muted gasp or groan.
‘The final six strokes,’ said the master. ‘I want you to count them out loud and clear.’
Susan and the others had a perfect view of Emily’s well-decorated bottom as he administered the final blows. Her fiery cheeks were delightfully framed by the parted seams of her frilly white pantalettes.
With a final righteous stroke of the cane, Emily’s punishment ended and she was allowed to stand and rub her scorching bottom. Master Grimes turned to the others.
‘You may leave us now. Emily has passed the final test with flying colours and she deserves to be soothed.’Susan gave Emily an encouraging smile as she left the study behind Mrs Dickens and Mr Balfour. At last Emily was alone with the young master. Her heart leapt when he put his arms around her and gave her a sympathetic cuddle, stroking her bare bottom with his free hand. She had often asked herself when it would be her turn. Now that time had come, and when the master produced a bottle of soothing oil, she hoped that her job in the Grimes household would develop into a long and satisfying career.