A story with a French connection to mark Bastille Day. From Blushes 11
In the middle of the school gymnasium stands a vaulting horse. A girl — blonde, well-built, in her late teens — is bent over it by touching her toes, gym knickers lowered to mid-thigh, her bottom bare. To the girl’s left stands a senior mistress holding a 3ft 4in punishment cane. Behind the girl, standing near the gym wall with a view of both cane and target are two other people: a form mistress, and myself, Pierre Deauville, a teacher from France on exchange for the summer term. Fiction?
No, for I was really there, one hot summer’s day at an exclusive girls school in Berkshire, England on 29th June 1984. An invited guest to witness, and, dare I say it, to enjoy le vice Anglais corporal punishment administered to young female bottoms.
Two days before term started, I arrived at Kingsmead School from Paris to meet the headmistress and settle myself in.
Miss Marsden was pleasant and friendly, filling me in briefly about the history of the school (founded1842); the present structure — 150 girls, of whom 40 were day-girls, the remainder boarders, with 30 staff — and the aims and traditions.
‘We believe in a flexible but firm framework both for work and play. When our girls are good, they are rewarded. When they are not, they are punished. We have a system here called Two Stripes, which has worked well for many years. Normally, girls are punished with a detention on Saturday afternoons after games. But we do give them an alternative. Any girl can fill in a form requesting corporal punishment instead of a detention. One detention equals two strokes of the cane: Two Stripes, you see?’
‘The younger girls get the slipper instead. To be fair to them all, girls are punished in the PE kit. And anyone failing to attend a detention without a very good reason receives two stripes automatically. So most Fridays we have a session in the gymnasium to which a senior mistress attends. Severe misdemeanours are dealt with in this office, but they’re few and far between. So our system seems to work, Monsieur Deauville… you look unconvinced.’
‘No, no, not at all, headmistress , it just seems a little… well, well… antiquated.’
‘Victorian, perhaps?’ asked Miss Marsden. ‘But the system works, and the girls don’t resent it. A two stripe is quick, efficient… and painful only for a short time.’ Miss Marsden smiled, ‘I’ll ask Mrs Landseer to let you attend one Friday later in the term so you can see how we work. Have a pleasant term at Kingsmead, Monsieur: we’re very pleased to have you with us.’ She held out her hand, I shook it firmly and left her study.
The girls, all 150 of them, arrived for the first day of term, and I soon settled into a routine of French and PE classes, evenings at the local pub, in the staff room, or marking books in my study.
It was three weeks later that Mrs Landseer entered the gym during a lesson and asked for a word: ‘Miss Marsden mentioned you should witness one of our Friday afternoon sessions, Monsieur Deauville. Half past four here in the gym, please.’ And she stomped out. So I was actually going to be allowed to view an official punishment: how many girls, I wondered, were down on the list for tomorrow?
I must confess that I looked forward eagerly to the next afternoon. At last it came, and I walked over to the gym after a leisurely tea, arriving a little early.
I was greeted by Mrs Landseer and Miss Frost. A crook-handled cane about three feet long and a plimsoll were on a chair by the vaulting horse, now moved to the centre of the gym and lowered, I noticed, presumably to allow the girls to bend more easily over it.
‘This is the list of requests for today, Monsieur Deauville,’ said Miss Frost handing me a typewritten list of just four names in form order, with the age in years and months entered on the right. There were three names I knew, including a pretty sixth former I taught: Lower VI, Karen Stone, 17.2.
The list was headed with the date and the legend Two Stripes. There was a note attached to the list which I was not given the opportunity to read, as Miss Frost asked me to pass it to Mrs Landseer.
‘Right, let’s have the first: Cindy Redmond,’ Mrs Landseer shouted out to the ante-room, where the anxious owners of soon-to-be-warmed teenage bottoms stood waiting.
In trotted a nervous young lady, clad only in gym knickers and vest, no shoes, with thighs and bottom tending to plumpness.
‘First time, Redmond?’ asked Miss Frost pleasantly.
‘Yes, miss,’ responded the girl, licking her lips.
‘Right, come and bend over the end of the horse here, and hold on to the handle. Stretch up until you can reach.’ The girl was on tiptoe, her vest pulling out of her knickers.
‘It’s just two with the old slipper, so grit your teeth and it’ll be all over in a moment. Right, Miss Frost.’
Miss Frost, standing by the vaulting horse to the girl’s left , took aim and gave the girl a resounding whack on each buttock with the plimsoll which elicited two startled yelps from the recipient. Up she got, and walked stiffly out.
Next in was 16-year-old Kathy Fairmile, a stunning-looking but snobby day-girl whom nobody really liked. She strode haughtily across to the box, placed her feet carefully twelve inches apart, bent over, and presented a well-proportioned oval bottom. She reached up and gripped the handle, her tight gym knickers riding up to expose the first two inches of the target. This girl is no first-timer, I thought to myself.
As this was my first experience of the cane, I watched carefully. I saw the girl’s bottom tense momentarily as Miss Frost measured the cane across the lower part of Fairmile’s backside. The bottom relaxed, and the flexible wood swished and thwacked twice into the soft cotton-covered flesh. Kathy Fairmile didn’t utter a sound. She merely got up, hitched her knickers back down over both cheeks, and stalked out. Miss Frost glared at the retreating figure.
Carol Phipps-Morgan, a stylish 16-year-old from Kansas, USA, bounced into the gym wearing bright scarlet running shorts instead of the regulation gym knickers.
‘What are you wearing, Carol?’ asked Mrs Landseer.
‘Gee, I’m sorry, miss, but I couldn’t find my gym kit, so I thought I’d better wear these. I haven’t been up for one of these affairs before, so you see…’ Carol blabbered.
‘Well, you’re up for a Two Stripe for a missed detention, and you’ve requested a Two Stripe for this week’s detention, so you’d better get those shorts off,’ Mrs Landseer snapped. ‘Off, miss?’ But I’ve only got briefs on under,’ Carol complained.
‘Then you’ll be caned in your briefs. Now please get those shorts off.’
‘Yes, miss.’ Carol tugged her shorts down and off to reveal a pair of knickers for which the description ‘briefs’ was generous. Carol Phipps-Morgan was possessed of a remarkable figure, including a tastefully rounded bottom which was set off beautifully by the scanty knickers she wore.
She had done some modelling in the States, I knew, and was liked or tolerated by most of her contemporaries because of her fast wit and flashy ways. Her good body was admired or envied by many.
‘What do I do, miss?’ asked Carol, her hands clasped coyly in front of her, ‘do I bend down or what?’
‘Just stand up to the end of the vaulting horse there, bend over and grip the handle,’ said Miss Frost, walking over to a wall cupboard to select a slightly thinner cane which she flexed almost double before presenting it across the American girl’s near-naked backside to measure her swing. Carol’s knickers, cut high on the hips in any case, in her bent-over position now barely protected either buttock. Hence, I assumed, Miss Frost had very fairly selected a lighter malacca.
‘Have you been punished before?’ asked Miss Frost, pressing the cane into the meaty lower part of Carol’s well-fleshed bare rump.
‘Yes, ma’am, with a paddle at home. My folks have warmed my butt with that when they figures I deserved it. But I ain’t never had the stick before.’
‘Right, well keep still until you’ve had all four strokes. I want you to count them out loud as you’re ready for them, one at a time. Do you understand?’ asked Mrs Landseer.
‘Yes, miss.’ There was a long pause while the nearly bare bottom tensed and wriggled further up onto the horse, then: ‘One,’ and the cane whistled down and bit deep across both bare cheeks. Carol yelped and heaved, her buttocks clenching momentarily.
‘Two.’ A loud swwiissh, followed by a meaty Thwack! and an ‘Aarrr’ from Carol.
‘Three.’ Another stroke joined the pair. Three perfectly parallel tramlines now decorated the cocky American’s bottom as she strove to keep still for the last stroke.
Finally: ‘Four!’ and the cane bent itself for the last time round both cheeks, burying itself in the yielding softness.
‘Get up, Carol, and take those shorts outside to put them on,’ said Miss Frost. I was amazed to see how the cane had corrugated the skin to form the tramlines, each double ridge a brilliant red fringed with blue where the bruises were appearing already. I watched Carol’s undulating multicolour-striped bottom jiggle enticingly across the gym to the door, where it disappeared. A moment later, the lovely Karen Stone walked through the door.
Seventeen, every inch a lady, Karen listened by the horse while Mrs Landseer read out the note I had not been able to see earlier.
It was from the headmistress: ‘Stone K has requested a Two Stripe. SHE ALREADY HAS A Two Stripe for a missed detention, and has another two detentions outstanding. I recommend that she attend all the detentions assigned to her, and be denied corporal punishment as an alternative. However, if she still insists on having this Saturday afternoon free, she must receive a full six strokes, in which case she will have only one detention outstanding.’
‘Well, what do you want to do, Karen?’ asked Mrs Landseer.
‘Six, miss? But I’ve never had six. No-one’s had six for ages,’ mumbled Karen. ‘But I’ve bought tickets for the concert, so I’ve got to go.’ She paused. ‘Couldn’t you make it four and two detentions, Mrs Landseer?’ she begged. As she spoke, I noticed she gently rubbed her cotton-covered bottom, as if in anticipation of the punishment which might come.
‘It says quite clearly six, Karen, but as you’re a sixth former I’ll let you off with four strokes on the bare.’
There was a pregnant pause.
‘I’ll take the four, miss.’
‘Right, Miss Frost, the other cane I think. Knickers right down and bend over, hands on knees, please, young Stone.’ Mrs Landseer said briskly.
As Miss Frost replaced the lighter cane and selected the longer malacca, Karen meanwhile had pulled down those protecting knickers to bare a truly magnificent bottom which I’d noticed in PE classes before. Full, round, both cheeks well-fleshed without any excess fat. Firm thighs, slender waist, the tantalising glimpse of her pubic bush between her legs as she bent forward.
Her buttocks tensed, ready. Miss Frost bent the slender cane between her hands a couple of times, placed it gently across the crown of the bare seventeen-year-old bottom before her, and said: ‘Down you go and touch your toes. Don’t get up until you’re told.’
Karen slid her hands slowly down her legs to grip her ankles, then released them and firmly pushed her fingertips onto her toes. Despite her fully-bent position, her buttocks were not stretched — merely slimmed — the plumpness of both pale white cheeks an ideal target.
Standing there, in that sunny gym in June 1984, I could not believe that it was still common practice to beat young girls. This was no youngster, either, but a full-grown woman bent over, quite bare from waist to mid-thigh, waiting to receive a thrashing such as a criminal in Victorian times might have had.
I flinched as each of the four strokes rained down in slow succession, a pause of about four seconds between them, the cane whistling as it curved wickedly down to unwrap itself eagerly round the presented smooth pale bottom, the girl jerking forward onto her toes with the force of each blow.
Swwittttt. ‘Ahh. Oooh.’
Swwish. ‘Oooohh, no’
SWWITT. ‘Ouch. Oooh. Aaarh!’
Eight vivid red stripes, slightly out of parallel, witnessed the sound thrashing the girl had received. Still she remained touching her toes until, given the order to stand, she shot to her feet and rubbed vigorously at the corrugated surface of her bare behind. Eventually, she pulled up her panties and shuffled slowly out of the room. ‘I only hope the concert is worth it,’ smiled Miss Frost.
‘Yes, miss,’ Karen squeaked through suppressed tears as she went through the door.
That was the only time I witnessed any official punishments at Kingsmead School. But there were other occasions when I was able to indulge my new-found pleasure, before I had to return to my own school in Paris. I left Kingsmead at the end of term with promises from some of the girls to visit me in Paris if they came over on exchange, a plan which was already well-advanced with my own school.
Just before the end of term, I borrowed one of the canes from the gym to take back with me to France — just in case!
· We are hoping to persuade Monsieur Deauville to tell us of his other experiences at the school, and of what happens in France. The name of Kingsmead is fictitious, the facts though are true.I guess they persuaded him, because he returned in the next issue in The Cambridge Candidate.