By Rebecca Walker and Charles Langford from Roué 42
Wednesday March 21st, 9.30am. Morning Assembly has just finished and two fifth year girls are standing self-consciously outside Mr Royce’s study, waiting their turn for one of his so-called ‘little pep-talks’. A third fifth former, Carolyn Eglinton, is already inside, being ‘attended to’.
Wendy Ferguson bites her lower lip anxiously and whispers in her companion’s ear, ‘We’re really for it this time, Lynne! He’s in a foul mood — you can tell by the way he glowered at us.’
Lynne Challenor tries to look poker-faced and pretend she doesn’t care. Petite, with black urchin-cropped hair, she barely seems old enough to be a fifth year girl. She has about her an air of sullen insolence that simply invites punishment. Needless to say, this is by no means her first visit to the Headmaster’s study; nor, in all probability, will it be her last…
Mr Royce’s study is located at the end of a long, baize-green painted corridor. A deathly hush hangs forever in this corner of the school. The green uniformed pupils avoid it like the plague, never venturing near ‘Rolls’ Royce’s sombre dark varnished door unless summoned. It’s altogether not a healthy place to be in.
‘Gives me the creeps, this does,’ Lynne mutters mournfully, kicking her heels in a little show of defiance.
Wendy nods miserably in agreement. ‘I’d rather have the school dentist than this, any day!’ she observes grimly — and is about to say more when Mr Renshaw, Deputy Head of Burtonwood College, suddenly appears — as if from out of nowhere — and advances on the girls, eyeing them with an extraordinary amount of interest.
‘Oh no — not the Vulture! Just our luck!’ gasps Wendy. They call him ‘the Vulture’ not only because of his scrawny birdlike appearance and nervously pecking mannerisms, but also because he’s always lurking frustratedly in the background whenever there are girls being caned — just like a vulture hovering near a lion when it’s making its kill.
He asks them why they have been put on ‘Headmaster’s Report’.
‘Please, sir,’ Wendy bleats blushingly, ‘it’s because we got low marks in our mock O-levels.’ Lynne gazes up at the ceiling, insolently ignoring him.
‘Well,’ Mr Renshaw wheezes lasciviously, ‘if either one of you girls wants to come and have a little, er, chat about it afterwards… you’ll find me in my room. Good counsel is a healing balm, and it’s part of my pastoral care duties to attend to the needs of every girl placed in my care…’ He licks his thin lips and gazes longingly at those soon-to-be-caned teenage bottoms. ‘I’m a very good listener, you know. You need never be afraid of coming to see me!’ And with that he walks away reluctantly — reluctantly because he can think of nothing else to say.
‘Kinky old pervert! I know all about him and his jar of cold cream!’ Lynne retorts scathingly as Mr Renshaw disappears round the corner. Wendy shudders at the thought of Mr Renshaw’s wrinkled, claw-like fingers hotly caressing her well-caned buttocks. ‘No thanks!’ she says.
Then it begins. Those unmistakeable whirring and swishing sounds from within Mr Royce’s study, punctuated by high-pitched girlish yelps. Carolyn Eglinton is having her bum whacked.
Wendy and Lynne eye each other in alarm. Lynne is beginning to turn a little pale — not quite so cocky now by half.
SWISH — SPLAT!! — ‘Eeow!! Oooh!!’
SWISH — SPLAT!! — ‘Aaaaargh!!!’
‘God, I was right about him being in a foul mood,’ Wendy gasps in terror. Lynne starts to fidget nervously and turns even paler as the fearful sounds of corporal punishment continue to emanate from the Head’s study…
SWISH — THWACK!! — ‘AAAH! OH NO — PLEASE!!!’
Carolyn Eglinton is crying, they can hear her through the door; big babyish gurgles and sobs…
Lynne looks at Wendy and sees that she’s almost near to tears herself. Lynne begins to feel distinctly queasy. All her bravado has somehow melted away… she just feels like a very frightened little girl.
The dreadful caning sounds have ceased. In their place, faint rustling noises of kickers being painfully pulled up into place around fiercely aching hindquarters… elasticated ping! of knicker waistband… then the muffled buzzing of a zip as the short green pleated skirt is fastened up around hips. A low murmuring of Royce’s parting remarks.
The study door opens. Carolyn Eglinton stumbles out into the corridor, her freckled face splashed with tears. Her hands are up under her skirt, trying to rub away the blazing sting. She’s a rather pretty, well-developed girl with auburn hair loosely flowing to her shoulders and fringing her pale-blue eyes. ‘Christ! That was unbearable!’ she gulps miserably. ‘I pity you two — you’ve both got it still to come!’
‘Thanks a bunch!’ Lynne snaps acidly.
‘Sorry girls — but don’t say I didn’t warn you!’ Carolyn replies with the wisdom born of painful experience. ‘What I need now is a lovely cold flannel to put on my poor you-know-what!’
‘Watch out — the Vulture’s about!’ Wendy warns her.
‘Gosh, thanks for the tip, Wendy. I could do without being molested in my present condition!’ and Carolyn walks slowly and stiffly away, all too conscious of her woefully affronted dignity.
‘Next!’ booms the harsh voice from within the study. Wendy and Lynne are rooted to the spot. Both are suffering from the medical condition known to Burtonwood scholars as ‘jelly-legs’ — a recognised symptom of pre-punishment nerves.
The door swings open and Mr Royce’s red-cheeked, beetle-browed head juts out like an angry question mark. ‘Well? Which of you two young ladies am I to have the pleasure of attending to next?’ he snaps impatiently, scrutinising the girls with a stare of cold appraisal as though deciding which one’s knickers he’d like to take down first.
He crooks his index finger at Wendy. ‘Ferguson, you’ll do!’
Wendy is definitely the prettier of the pair: doe-eyed, fragilely lissome, flawlessly complexioned, with long flowing almost saffron-coloured hair. It’s also patently obvious that she’s the more petrified of the two: she’s knock-kneed and trembling — whereas Lynne, with her cropped black hair, snub nose, and tomboyish figure, is still desperately trying to look blasé and unconcerned.
Royce scowls malevolently at the dark-haired girl. Her sulky, pouting insolence never ceases to infuriate him. It’ll do her good, he thinks, to stew in her own juice a while longer He’s looking forward to dealing with her last of all…
He pokes Wendy in the small of her back and she walks leadenly into his study. The door slams behind them.
Lynne tries all manner of tricks to fight off the unpleasant images her mind keeps throwing up: a pale shivering Wendy, fingers fluttering at the zip of her skirt… the soft whoosh as the green pleated garment rapidly descends to her ankles… the crimson flush of shame invading her cheeks when Mr Royce beings to walk round and round her, cane in hand, inspecting her dainty little green-knickered bottom… the ‘target area’, as he always jokingly refers to it. Lynne knows full well how skilfully adept Mr Royce is at spinning out the agonising humiliations, stage by stage and step by step. He knows how to make a girl cry before he takes her knickers down — before he even produces the cane from his cupboard…
Minutes go by. Lynne’s lurid imagination goes into overdrive.
Then the tell-tale sounds of girlish distress, faintly audible. Morbidly fascinated, Lynne puts her ear to the door just in time to catch Wendy pleading urgently with the Head: ‘… N-not with my knickers down… P-please… not that!’
‘Just you take ‘em down this instant, my girl, or else I’ll do it for you!’ Royce cuts through Wendy’s protests like a knife through butter…
… Babyish weeping, accompanied by a muted ssss as Wendy despairingly lowers her pants and reveals all her schoolgirl charms — both fore and aft — to the eagle-eyed gaze of her stern, unyielding Headmaster.
Lynne, her ear pressed tight against the door, hears Mr Royce mutter something that sounds like ‘… have to examine you first…’ and in the silence that ensues — broken only by the childish blubbing of the intensely mortified fifth former — Lynne’s imagination again works overtime as she conjures up the appalling scene within: poor bare-bottomed Wendy being briskly shepherded into punishment positions, bum upwards across the highly polished top of Royce’s mahogany desk — where literally hundreds of girls’ quaking tummies have lain before…
‘Open your legs, girl,’ Lynne hears him say (she blushes at the awful implication those words contain) followed by a doleful wail from Wendy as she reluctantly obeys.
Lynne can only conclude that Mr Royce is at that very moment subjecting Wendy’s rear-end to a most minute pre-caning inspection. This is his usual custom. He claims it to be a necessary preliminary in order to determine which grade of cane to apply to the bottom in question.
The data he bases his final decision on include such factors as what he terms Buttock Resilience (i.e. is the girl’s bum tautly firm or fleshily soft?); Buttock Dimension (the bigger the girl’s bottom, the more extensively it can be caned); and also Buttock Sensitivity, which presumably means how susceptible the girl is to being whacked on the bum — although for one or two of the more masochistically inclined pupils (you get them at any school) Buttock Sensitivity can take on a somewhat different meaning…
As Mr Royce has even felt prompted to observe on page 47 of his personal memoirs: Some girls make the very devil of a racket while being caned… one exceptionally nubile eighteen-year-old moaned and cavorted her way through a twelve-stroke caning, which left her well-rounded backside splendidly striped and wealed, and even carried on groaning and wriggling after the twelfth stroke… whereupon I felt urged to administer a further eight hearty strokes to purge her of her sinful excitement… but instead of having that salutary effect the eight additional strokes only served to inflame her further; with the result that her moans rose to high-pitched shrieks of sado-masochistic ecstasy, and by the time I delivered the twentieth and final stroke she was threshing her purple-striped bottom up and down in utter abandonment, deep in the throes of some highly perverted sexual consummation… Greatly embarrassed, I decided to send the girl straight away to Matron who is, after all, more skilled and qualified on the strange subject of female masochism than I am…
Lynne holds her breath and strains to hear even the slightest noise from within the study.
Ominous rattan-rattling signifies that Royce has at last chosen the appropriate grade of cane to use on Wendy Ferguson’s bottom. Lynne shudders — not for Wendy’s sake but for her own. She prays that when it comes to her turn he won’t select a thin swishy rod that bends so readily on impact with her bum that its tip whips spitefully into the tops of her thighs… cane-marks on thighs are a million times more embarrassing than on the bum because they’re so glaringly visible below the hem of her school skirt.
Mr Royce is saying something to Wendy — Lynne can’t quite catch the exact words, but it sounds like something horribly personal like: ‘Stick it well up now!’ or worse: ‘Keep it well stuck up and still!’
Whatever it is, Wendy obviously doesn’t like it very much because she starts to cry again: a series of poignant little hiccupping sobs that end abruptly in an almighty yell of shocked disbelief as the first lightning stroke of the cane hums through the air and explodes with a resounding THWACK!! against her rudely exposed bottom-cheeks.
Lynne’s tummy lurches and once more she’s beset by a violent attack of ‘Burtonwood jelly-legs’.
‘… And that was just for starters!’ she hears Royce drawling lazily in his well-educated Daily Telegraph accent, while Wendy is blubbering away to herself in truly punished schoolgirl style.
‘KEEP THAT BOTTOM OF YOURS STILL, WENDY!’ he roars, suddenly as angry as a chafing bull.
‘That’s the trouble with bloody old Rolls,’ Lynne reflects bitterly. ‘You never know where you are with him — one moment he’s as nice as pie, next moment he’s yelling like a sodding madman!’
Wendy’s blubberings cease momentarily… she’s holding her breath… waiting in dread for the second cruelly stinging visitation…
Lynne tries to imagine how Wendy must be feeling — all alone in that grim oak-panelled study (apart from him!), green school knickers twisted round her ankles, skirt neatly folded over a chair, bum vulgarly bare and ‘well stuck up’, just as he likes it… with a thin reddish-purple stripe of throbbing pain imprinted right across the plumpest, rudest part of it…
SWOOOOOSH!! — SPLATT!!
Again the cane falls. Again Wendy’s voice howls its shrill protest. Again it drowns in a sea of tears.
This arresting sequence of happenings repeats itself six more times. By the end of it all, Wendy is sobbing and mewling like a baby, and Lynne — awaiting her turn for a dose of Mr Royce’s stick — is nearly wetting her pants in terror.
The door opens and a tear-soaked Wendy totters out. She’s wearing only her blouse, socks and sandals. In one hand she clutches her skirt and knickers.
‘My God!’ Lynne thinks in mounting panic as her turn draws near, ‘She’s too sore to even get dressed!’
Wendy manages a wry ghost of a smile. ‘Your turn now, Lynne,’ she murmurs with an air of relief that at least for her it’s all over. ‘Oh, and he told me to tell you he’s only been warming up so far… using me and Carolyn as ‘target practice’… It’s you he’s really saving it all up for…’
Lynne starts to blubber and snivel. No man has ever made her cry before. But then there’s always a first time for everything…
‘Cheer up, Lynne,’ Wendy says commiseratingly, ‘at least you won’t have to wait for it any longer — I always think the waiting’s the worst part!’
Lynne nods bleakly, ashamedly brushing away the tears.
‘I’ll be in my dorm if you need a shoulder to cry on afterwards,’ Wendy adds ruefully, ‘… lying on my tummy of course! ‘Rolls’ Royce has forbidden me to wear my skirt and knickers for a whole hour — says it’ll ‘act as an example to the rest of the school’… so I’m going to cut the Biology class and hide in the dorm. I’m blowed if I’m going to let Mr Forbes feast his eyes on my bare bum — especially the state it’s in right now!’
As she turns to go, Lynne sees for the first time the awful purpling streaks emblazoned on poor Wendy’s dainty little rump…
Feeling very alone and vulnerable, Lynne creeps into Mr Royce’s study, dreading every step she takes.
It’s quite obvious from the very start that Mr Royce means business. He has that brisk no nonsense air about him that the girls have learned to fear.
The first thing he does is to lock the study door and pocket the key. The reason for this is not so much to spare Lynne’s blushes as to ensure there are no witnesses as to the manner and the severity of the punishment she’s about to undergo.
Next he tells her to undress completely. Lynne almost faints with shock when she hears this — although he does make a slight concession: she may keep on her socks and sandals.
While the petrified girl is unwillingly divesting herself of tie, blouse, skirt, vest, and bottle green knickers, Mr Royce cheerfully places two upright wooden chairs back to back.
Lynne, halfway through taking down her pants, watches him out of the corner of her eye. She wonders what fearful ordeal awaits her now…
At least she doesn’t have long to find out. Once she’s naked, save for socks and sandals, Royce impatiently guides her into position by delivering spiteful cane-taps to her thighs. He makes her kneel up on one chair and bend forward across the backs of both chairs until she can support herself by placing the palms of her hands on the seat of the other chair.
Her small round bottom is elevated to an angle of ludicrously obscene exposure. Mr Royce will now be able to cane not only the crowns of her buttocks, but also the soft delicate undercurve of bum just above her thighs.
Never in all her life has Lynne felt so thoroughly abject — so helpless, so animal-like in dumb subjection… Two big tears trickle slowly down each cheek. She’d do anything not to give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry, but there’s no way she can stop herself from bawling her eyes out like a stupid baby…
‘Hmm now, let me see,’ Mr Royce murmurs smugly, critically assessing the faint hint of rotundity and fleshiness in Lynne’s quivering, cringing buttocks. ‘I would think cane number three will be just right for this little job,’ and he goes to his cupboard to select the rod in question.
Lynne hears him energetically swishing it up and down. Her heart starts to thump madly and her eyes are misted over with fresh tears. Then she feels the canes cold caress against her taut, stretched bottom-cheeks… and as he slowly raises it to deliver the first stroke Lynne begins to cry in earnest…
A SCHOOLGIRL’S LAMENT
Burtonwood College for Girls,
Dear Mummy and Daddy,
PLEEZE take me away from this beastly skool as soon as poss. I hate every minit of every day spent here! Here is a list of all the things I detest about Burtonwood:
1. Cold, draftey dorms, gail force winds blowing down the corridoors.
2. Matron’s Cod Liver Oil, which she makes us take whenever we are unwell. It’s so unspeakably horrid that none of us ever go on sick parade — unless we’re practically dying on our feet. Besides, we have to be in a really bad way before she’ll allow us to go to Sick Bay. If she suspects us of ‘malingering’, as she calls it, she pulls our pants down and tans our bottoms with the back of a big hairbrush which she keeps in her medicine cupboard speshially for that purpose. She calls it her ‘ultimate deterrent’. She has a funny taste in magazines, too. I know ‘cos she leaves them lying around in her room. One was called ‘Amazons in Leather’ and was full of enormous 18 stone women dressed in leather gear, brandishing whips!
3. The food is yukky, spechially the puddings — Spotted Dick, Murder on the Mountain (jam roll), Frogspawn (Tapioca), gooey Rice Pudding, and worst of all — Burnt Custard — Ugh!
All meals have to be eaten in strict silence. Any girl caught torking gets hauled up to the staff dining table and is usually spanked there and then by the duty master — in front of everyone which is very humiliating, as I know only too well, ‘cos it’s happened to me on more than one occasion!
I hate it most of all when grumpy old Mr MacPherson does dinner duty. If he bares a grudge against you he always picks on you to say Grace — and if you giggle or as much as stumble over one little word he tells you to report to his stockroom after dinner, where he pulls up your skirt, takes down your knickers, and whacks you ever so hard on your bare bottom with a wooden ruler. Then he makes you stand there displaying your red hot bottom (ever so shameful!) until it’s time for afternoon lessons.
He did it to my friend Annabelle (remember you met her at Speech Day?) and she said it hurt so much it made her cry… Annabelle sez he’s a ‘saydiste’ (sorry don’t know how to spell that wurd). I said I agreed with her, but I don’t really know what the wurd meanz. P’raps you know?
All the punishments are absolutely beastly here — as I’ve told you so many times before. Bet you think I’m fibbing, but I’m not — honestly I’m not! But before I menshion any more punishments I must first tork to you about another equally distressing matter:
My blouse is much too tite, and I find it very embrasing embarasing embarassing (there, got it right in the end, didn’t I!) ‘cos I’m a growing girl. But worse than that, my school skirt is now so short it barely covers my bum. Yesterday Mr Williamson punished me in a truly orful way during his English lesson, for forgetting to return a skool library book on time (he’s also skool Librairian). First he told me to stand on a chair in the middle of the classroom, and he started telling me off — and all the time he was getting a really good eyeful up my skirt at my bottle-green knickers (which are now so tite I can hardly get them on — they look really rude and vulgar… PLEASE send some money so I can go to the skool outfitting shop and buy some more pears of pants — S.O.S.!!!) Anyway, to get back to what happened yesterday — Mr Williamson made me stand on the chair showing my knickers all through the lesson. Then at the end he dismissed the clarss and told me he was going to ‘smack your insurlent little backside’ with a horrid old size ten gym slipper which he pulled out of his desk drawer. Next minit I was down over his knee, my pore bum getting a terrable roasting! I cried buckits and buckits, and kicked and struggled — but he just went on wallopping me until my bum cheeks stung like fire!
At least he leant me his hankey afterwards to dry my tears—and I s’pose I must be greatfull he didn’t take my knickers down!… I HATE SKOOL KNICKERS! They’re hot and itchy. I detest doing P.E. in them! Miss Patterson (P.E. mistriss) has some very funny ways — always patting (true to her name!) our bottoms, and saying how ‘sweet’ we are!… And I do wish she wouldn’t let ‘the Vulture’ (that’s Mr Renshaw) cum and wotch us doing our ecsersizes! He’s nothing but a durty old man — always encouraging Miss P. to punish us on the bottom so he can wotch!
One day he cort Penny Carter sticking her tongue out at him — so he got Miss P. to bend her over the back of the volting horse, pull down her knicks, and soundly slipper her bare bottom — all so that he could stand there gloating and licking his horrible rubbery lips!
Then later on I saw him ogling her in the shower — feasting his eyes on her brite red slippered bum! Ugh, he’s so vile — I do hate him so!!!
I know I’ve already menshioned this — but there’s so much of it at Burtonwood that it creeps in everywhere — and I simply must get it off my chest…
PLEEZE believe me, Mummy and Daddy, when I tell you that we girls get walloped and walloped and walloped and walloped AND WALLOPED ALL THE TIME!!!
ALL the teechers do it. We get smacked and spanked and slippered and strapped and haribrushed — for the teeniest, weeniest things! Thank God ownly Mr Royce can cane us — but that’s a constant threat hanging over our heads (or rather our bums!) all the time. So far (fingers crossed) I haven’t had the cane… but there’s always tomorrow…
I know plenty of girls who’ve had it — the cane, I mean. First you have to stand outside ‘Rolls’ study for hours and hours… then he calls you in and lekchers you — makes you feel really stewpid and afraid… then he orders you to take off yore skirt (why he just can’t pull it up I don’t know… unless he likes to make us girls do a sort of strip-teeze in front of him!)… then he comes out with his awfull ‘Knickers down, girl,’ (that’s when a lot of the girls start to grizzle and blubber) ‘and touch your toes!’… you feel awefully embarissed ‘cos you’re showing him all you’ve got (Jennifer Pugh sed she felt so petrified she wanted to excuse herself — but old Royce wouldn’t even allow her to go and do that… she sed she thought he actually enjoyed working her up into such a dreadfull state!)… then he strokes and taps your stuck-out bare bum with one of his horrid swishey canes, and you try to sort of squeeze in yore bottom cheeks as a way of self defence… but old Royce won’t even allow you to do that! I know, ‘cos he told Jennifer to ‘Relax your buttocks, girl — unless you want an even stiffer dose of my stick!’ Oooooooh — the utter brute! Jennifer sed that after only four strokes she was practically yelling her head off! She sed it was a million, zillion times wurse than being spanked — and that’s bad enough! She sed that after the caning her bum felt like it had bin stung by a swarm of bees. She even showed me the marks on her bottom — nasty big red wheels! Ooh, I did feel sorry for her!
PLEEZE, Mummy and Daddy, let me leave this awefull skool before the same thing that happened to Jennifer happens to me! By the law of averages alone, Im bound to get it sooner or later! Love from Sharon.
Thanks for your letter which we read with great interest. You do have our sympathy, darling. However, we cannot help but feel that you’re exaggerating things just a little bit. You always were one for telling whoppers, weren’t you!
It’s only natural, at your age, to try and ‘buck the system’, but we really do feel that a little discipline will do you all the good in the world. After all, your father and I both got punished at our respective boarding schools — and it’s done us no harm whatsoever!
Burtonwood has a peerless reputation, and Mr Reginald Royce’s academic credentials are, to put it mildly, extremely impressive. Furthermore, we noticed from your letter that your spelling still leaves an awful lot to be desired… and until we see some definite signs of improvement we simply cannot consent to you leaving Burtonwood College.
Much love,Mummy and Daddy