Caroline, Jill and Vanessa picked unhappily at their food. None of the three sixth form girls was looking forward to the rest of the evening. They had been told to report to Mrs Buckeridge's study at 8.00pm and they all knew, only too well, what was going to happen in the headmistress's study.
It had all started when Caroline had had the bright idea of smuggling their three boyfriends into the school for a celebration of her seventeenth birthday. The other two girls had agreed, although Vanessa had been rather hesitant. King George's School was a co-educational public school but there were strict rules against girls in the boys' dormitories and vice versa. Only two weeks before two fourth year boys had been caned by the deputy headmaster for visiting a girls' dormitory without permission. The girls concerned had been given lines and detentions. But Caroline and Jill had persuaded Vanessa to agree. They had assured her that there was practically no chance that they'd be caught, because their dormitory was in an isolated part of the school's grounds, and that even if they were the fun they'd have would be worth a few lines. Caroline's only regret was that Sarah, the fourth girl who shared their dormitory, would not be able to be with them as she was still in the school's sanatorium, recovering from flu.
The boys had accordingly come, bringing generous supplies of alcohol with them. None of them were pupils at the school; they all lived in the small town nearby. They had come determined to have a good time and, although they did not want to get their girlfriends into trouble, they did not so clearly appreciate the need to be quiet. A passing teacher had heard the noise and entered the dormitory. He had made them pour away all the remaining lager and had then escorted all six of them to Mrs Buckeridge's study.
The headmistress had taken the names and addresses of the boys and had then sent them away, as she had no authority over them. With the girls, however, it was otherwise and she had told lectured them severely. She had enumerated the number of their offences: breaching school security, eating after lights out, drinking alcohol, disrupting the school's peace at night time and entertaining boys in their dormitory without permission. Mrs Buckeridge had concluded by saying that she rarely used the cane, but that it was there to be used as a last resort and that she felt that she had no alternative in the present circumstances. She told them to report to her study at eight the next evening.
All three girls were shocked at the prospect of being caned. They knew that, in theory, girls could be caned at King George's. In a way they were quite proud of it. It set their school apart from other schools. But the idea that they themselves might be caned, at their age, was dreadful. They were old enough to get married, girls their age just didn't get the cane. Caroline recovered her wits first and begged for leniency.
"It's my birthday tomorrow, ma'am, can't you let us off with lines?"
"The only lines you'll get, young lady, will be bright red ones across your behind! And the more you argue, the more you'll get. Then, looking at Jill, she said "I'm sure that you'll be able to tell Vanessa and Caroline what to expect, Jill. Dismiss!"
The shocked girls left her office. Until then Vanessa and Caroline had had no idea that their friend had ever had the cane. Back in their dormitory Jill explained. It had happened three years before and had been so hideously embarrassing and shameful that Jill had hoped that no-one else would ever know about it. Even now she refused to tell her friends the reason for her earlier caning, although she said that she had deserved it and that she could have been expelled.
Reluctantly, she described the caning to them. She had reported to the headmistress's study at the appointed time. Mrs Buckeridge had not wasted any time in a lecture but had immediately made Jill pull out a chair and bend down over it. "It was awful," Jill told them, "she moved me about as if I was a doll to get me in the right position for her. Then she pulled my skirt up and pinned it out of the way and started." Jill fell silent.
"Did it hurt?" asked Caroline, nervously.
"What do you think?" Jill responded angrily. "Of course it bloody hurt! It stung like hell!"
There was silence again as the three girls contemplated the fate in store for them the next day. Then Vanessa asked "How many strokes did you get, Jilly?"
"Three! And they were all in the same place! I looked at my bum afterwards and there weren't three marks, but just one awful weal an inch wide across both sides. The marks stayed for weeks and I had to make excuses to get out of gym and games."
"How did you manage to keep it a secret, Jilly? I had no idea!"
"Well, the girls in my dorm knew, of course, but they promised not to tell. Cathy rubbed some zinc and castor oil cream on, which got rid of some of the sting. Then, the next day, I just had to try to act as if nothing had happened. Actually I got told off twice for fidgeting in class, but no-one put two and two together. After a couple of days I could sit down all right unless I sat down too quickly without thinking. Luckily Buckers never made an announcement about me getting the cane. Once the marks went I tried to forget about the whole thing and I almost had. And now we're all for it again, and I just bet it'll be worse this time!"
"Is it always on the bum," asked Caroline miserably. "If I've got to be caned I'd rather it was on the hands. It would hurt just as much, but it'd be less embarrassing."
"No chance," answered Jill. "I asked her that, and she said she always caned on the 'posterior'"
The girls tried to sleep. Vanessa felt angry with her friends. She had always thought it was a bad idea, and had only agreed when they had made fun of her. She had always been well behaved at school and had never even been in detention. And now her previously unsmacked bottom was going to be caned. It wasn't fair.
But Vanessa was a sensible girl and by the time she finally dropped into a troubled sleep she had realised that she had agreed in the end and that if the other girls deserved punishment then so did she. She just wished that it could be something other than the cane, though.
None of the girls had slept well and a further shock had awaited them in morning prayers. Mrs Buckeridge made an announcement:
"Last night three sixth form girls outraged the rules of the school by inviting in three young men to their dormitory and drinking beer with them. As you all know I do not believe in the frequent use of corporal punishment. In this case, however, I feel I have no choice and all three girls involved will be severely caned. Stand up Caroline Hughes, Vanessa Keiller and Jill Wilding!"
The three naughty girls stood up, blushing deeply as they felt the eyes of everybody in the school on them, knowing that their bottoms were soon to be caned.
"You will report to my study at eight this evening. All right. Sit down again."
For the rest of the day the girls had been teased mercilessly, mostly by the boys in their class. All of them were urged to wear extra pairs of knickers and to sit down as much as possible while they were still able to do so. Everywhere they went they were greeted with swishing noises and mimed simulations of canings. Jill's earlier caning became known and many boys picked on her, telling her that Mrs Buckeridge was always harder on repeat offenders.
All three of the girls were very attractive and a lot of the boys in their class had asked them out. Now there was quite a strong feeling that the girls were getting what they deserved for having turned King George's men down to go out with lads from the town.
It was the worst birthday Caroline had ever had. Friends came up to her with cards and small presents and tried to be sympathetic, but no-one knew what to say. Perhaps there was nothing that could be said.
Vanessa telephoned home to her father. It was awfully embarrassing telling him that she'd been sentenced to a caning and the reason, but she knew that he'd find out anyway and she thought this could be her one chance to escape with an uncaned bottom. Her parents had never spanked her and she hoped that her father would speak to Mrs Buckeridge and forbid the caning. Unfortunately Mrs Buckeridge had already spoken to Mr Keiller and he told his daughter that she deserved her punishment and that she should take it bravely.
The day had been a complete misery for all three girls and they had hardly paid any attention in class. The teachers all knew what was going to happen and went lightly on the girls, but Jill had still picked up a hundred lines for not answering Mr Johnson when he asked her a question.
Now it was dinner time and the girls picked miserably at their food. None of them felt at all hungry. Vanessa felt that if she ate anything she would just be sick
After the meal they went back to their dormitory and closed the door. They changed from their ordinary clothes into school uniform because Jill said that she thought Mrs Buckeridge would expect it. As Vanessa pulled her blue school knickers up over the smooth curvy flesh of her bottom she wondered dismally what it would be feeling like in an hour's time.
When they were all changed there was still almost half an hour to go. Vanessa and Caroline asked Jill again if she had any advice from her experience. The pretty girl grimaced.
"No, there's nothing we can do. We're going to get caned and it's going to hurt. It's not the end of the world - I lived to tell the tale - but it's going to happen and that's that. Just hold the chair as tight as possible and try to stay down! She gives extra strokes if you stand up or hold your bum. . .
"There's just one thing. I've asked Sarah to meet us here afterwards to put some cold cream on our bums. I can guarantee we'll need it."
Sarah was now out of "sanny" and had been shocked to hear what had happened. If she'd been well she knew very well that it would have been four for the cane and not three.
"How many strokes do you think we'll get, Jilly?" asked Vanessa, quietly.
"I don't know, Vee, I've been trying not to think about it. I've heard that Buckers always gives six strokes to sixth formers. That's twice what I got. But I don't see how anyone knows. I don't think any sixth form girls have been caned since we've been her."
Caroline drew a deep breath. "Yes, they have. Don't you remember when we were new girls. Sophie Rees-Howell told us that her sister in the sixth had been caned for smoking after a lot of warnings? She got six of the best, I remember."
Vanessa shyly asked Caroline if she'd ever been spanked before either at school or home. Caroline was a little surprised, but then decided it was a reasonable enough question, in the circumstances.
"Not for ages. Dad used to whack me with a slipper sometimes when I was particularly annoying. The last time must have been nearly three years ago, though. It was only one or two whacks though, but it really stung. I've never been smacked at school."
Jill snorted. "You're lucky! I still get the slipper from my dad, and he doesn't stop at two whacks, either. I bet that I'll be in for a session at the end of term when he finds out about this lot!"
Caroline looked at her watch. It was time to go. The girls made a final check to see that each of them was wearing full school uniform, that their shoes were polished, their ties were straight and their hair was nicely brushed.
"All right," said Caroline, "let's go girls. Good luck, we'll need it! I'm sorry my birthday idea turned out like this. Let's get it over with."
The three looked like model schoolgirls as they crossed the school grounds and walked along the corridor to Mrs Buckeridge's office. But everyone who saw them knew why the sixth formers were wearing school uniform and what was going to happen. Many boys watched them as they passed, imagining in their minds' eyes what was going to happen to the three bottoms under their blue school skirts in a few minutes time.
At last they reached the door of Mrs Buckeridge's office. It was exactly eight o'clock. Caroline knocked on the door and the headmistress called them in. She closed the door behind them. The girls' eyes went to her desk, which was bare apart from a crook handled cane. Jill thought it looked longer and thicker than the one of which she had such painful memories. She was right. This was the special cane, reserved for sixth form girls. It had not been used for four years.
Mrs Buckeridge picked up the cane as she addressed the girls. They stood to attention, hands at their sides, before her, although after a while Jill and Vanessa's hands went behind the back of their school skirts.
"You know why you are here," the headmistress said curtly, "so I will not waste time. I believe that you will more clearly understand the outrage and disgust felt by the school at your appalling behaviour from the communication made by this cane to your bottoms than from anything I could say to you.
"You were all equally involved and you will all be punished equally. You may be aware that, on those rare occasions when it is necessary for me to punish a sixth form girl with the cane I never allot fewer than six strokes. I do not think that that number is appropriate in this case."
She paused. Vanessa was hoping that she might say three or four strokes. The other two girls had a much more accurate suspicion of what was in the teacher's mind.
"You will each receive eight strokes of the cane. I expect you to remain in position for the punishment until I tell you to stand up. If I have to warn you about this more than once, you will get extra strokes. Do you understand?"
The girls were all too shocked to reply. Vanessa had started to cry quietly to herself. Mrs Buckeridge took their silence as assent.
"All right, then. I'll deal with you first Caroline. You two go and stand over there facing the wall."
Jill and Vanessa walked over to the wall while the headmistress instructed Caroline to pull out a chair into the centre of the room and to bend over it. Caroline was the shortest of the three girls and she had to stretch hard to reach the chair seat. The back of the chair dug uncomfortably into her stomach. The headmistress picked up a safety pin from a shelf and walked over to the bending girl. She could feel the tension in Caroline's body as she flicked up her skirt and pinned it well out of the way.
She stood back and carefully took aim at Caroline's rounded bottom, now covered in taut blue cotton. The only trace of the emotions that the girl must be feeling was a slight trembling in her legs as she tried to hold them straight and firm.
Mrs Buckeridge beat her slowly and soundly, laying on strokes as hard as any she had ever previously administered. Caroline did not react at first except for a sharp exhalation of breath as the cane swished into her cheeks and, from the fourth stroke, a wriggle and squirm each time the cane bit in. The headmistress grudgingly admired her self-control, but she continued to lay on each stroke with all her strength and expertise.
The sixth stroke was the hardest yet. When it made contact, landing exactly over a mark left by an earlier visit of the cane, Caroline's whole body shuddered. Her head shot up and she gave a loud cry of pain. She had held out for as long as she could, but now the pain emanating from her blazing buttock cheeks was overpowering and she writhed desperately across the wooden chair, gasping with pain. Jill and Vanessa were horrified. They knew that their friend was no coward. Mrs Buckeridge must be really hurting her.
"Keep still, girl!" Mrs Buckeridge ordered. She knew that the last few strokes of any caning were always the most effective. "There are two more strokes to come!"
She raised the cane and brought it lashing down again onto Caroline's stinging behind with full force. It landed lower than the others, across a previously uncaned part of the girl's posterior and this time the pain was so tremendous that Caroline lost concentration and stood upright, clasping her burning rear with both hands. Tears were flooding from her eyes.
Mrs Buckeridge watched impassively for a few moments, giving the sixth former time to recover herself, and then she spoke angrily.
"I meant what I said, Caroline, if you are not prepared to take your well-deserved punishment of your own accord you will receive ten strokes, not eight, even if I have to ask junior girls to hold you down! Now, back down over the chair. There's another stroke to come, and if you stand up again before I tell you, there'll be extra!"
Slowly Caroline obeyed, presenting her already soundly-caned bottom for more punishment. "I'm sorry, ma'am," she sobbed as she did so, "but it hurts so much . . !"
"That's all right," said Mrs Buckeridge implacably, "I meant it to hurt!"
It took Caroline a while to resume her position and even then she could not help wriggling her intensely sore bottom. The headmistress waited a while, watching her, as she screwed both hands into tight fists, trying to prepare herself for the last instalment of her punishment.
Mrs Buckeridge always placed the final stroke of a sixth form caning across the tops of the girl's thighs, where it hurt so much more and where there was no protection from the girls' knickers. She lined the eighth stroke up, straight across Caroline's thighs. The sixth former moaned as she felt the tap of the cane across her thighs, warning her. Mrs Buckeridge took two steps back and then skipped forward quickly, slashing the cane down across Caroline's firm white thighs with all her skill and strength.
Poor Caroline shrieked like a banshee and writhed madly over the chair back but, as the headmistress noted approvingly, she didn't attempt to rise and rub her intolerably sore bottom.
The headmistress admired her handiwork. Caroline's wrigglings had slightly upset her aim on the last stroke and it had landed about an inch higher than she'd intended. Nevertheless Mrs Buckeridge was satisfied. The girl's behind bore clear evidence of the promised bright red lines and she was sure that it would be some time before little Miss Hughes sat down in any degree of comfort again. She laid the cane down on her desk.
"All right, Caroline. Stand up."
The seventeen year old straightened like a released spring, her hands going to her smarting bottom. She rubbed her knicker-clad rear madly, but it had no effect on the intense sting. Her blue skirt was still pinned up, revealing the punished area. After a few moment the headmistress spoke again.
"All right, Caroline, that's enough. No more rubbing. Go and stand over by the wall next to Jill and put your hands behind the back of your neck. Vanessa, you come over here, it's your turn!
Caroline stumbled over to the wall, her skirt still pinned up. Vanessa was already crying and the state of her punished friend did not reassure her.
"I don't know why you're crying, Vanessa," said the headmistress. "I haven't started yet. You'll have something to cry about in five minutes!"
Vanessa was taller than Caroline and had less difficulty in positioning herself over the chair. Her long light-brown hair fell loosely onto the chair seat. Mrs Buckeridge took another pin and fastened the girl's blue skirt out of the way. She picked up the cane and bounced it up and down on Vanessa's squirming bottom. Then she drew it back and brought it down sharply for the first of Vanessa's eight strokes.
This time the reaction was immediate. The sixteen year old yelled loudly and half rose, losing her grip on the chair. Just in time she realised what she was doing and bent down again. She was now sobbing loudly and her long legs were twitching involuntarily. Mrs Buckeridge smiled grimly.
The second stroke was as hard as the first and was delivered across exactly the same area of Vanessa's bottom. Again the schoolgirl screamed and lost her grip on the chair. But this time she twisted round and stood facing her chastiser, her hands grabbing at her sore bottom.
Mrs Buckeridge was angry. "Come on Vanessa, I've hardly started yet. You've got six strokes to come. Get yourself over that chair again - NOW!"
Vanessa wailed like a naughty six year old. "Oh . . . ow . . ow . wow! It h u u u rts! Oh, god, god, god, oow, it hurts!"
"It's meant to hurt, dear. It's a cane. That's what it's for. And I meant what I said earlier. Now get back down this instant or you'll be getting extra strokes and you'll find out a whole new meaning to the word 'hurt'."
With a last inaudible plea for mercy Vanessa stretched herself over the chair again. Jill had turned round as the drama unfolded, shocked at how much effect just two strokes had had on her friend. Mrs Buckeridge seemed to have eyes in the back of her head. Ignoring the weeping, bending girl she walked over to Jill.
"I told you to face the wall, girl."
"You will be!" Mrs Buckeridge took hold of Jill's skirt with her left hand and raised it. Then she delivered two hard, rapid slaps across the back of the girl's thighs. "There, that's your warning. Now, if you turn round again without permission you will get two extra strokes of the cane!" Jill's skirt fell down again over her smarting thighs.
Caroline remained facing the wall, her only concern the impossible pain that was pouring out from her own bottom and the difficulty of trying to keep her hands away from it.
Mrs Buckeridge's attention returned to Vanessa, who was trying desperately to tense herself for more strokes of the cane.
This time there were no warning pats from the cane. The headmistress merely lined up the bottom, took aim and, after a long pause, whipped the cane down again across the centre of the girl's bottom, about an inch above the earlier two strokes.
Vanessa's head shot back and she gasped loudly, but she forced herself to stay in place, although her legs stamped hard on the floor.
Two strokes followed with similar reactions. But when Mrs Buckeridge whipped in the sixth stroke, Vanessa again leapt upright and grasped her poor bottom in both hands, hopping from foot to foot in her distress. Tears were falling down her pretty face which was contorted with pain.
Mrs Buckeridge ignored her. "Jill, come here!" she ordered.
Jill was taken by surprise, it wasn't her turn yet - Vanessa still had two to go. Was the headmistress going to let her friend off?
"Sit down in that chair, Jill" said Mrs Buckeridge, pointing at the chair over which Vanessa and Caroline had bent.
Jill did so, wondering.
The headmistress walked up to Vanessa, who was standing sobbing and holding her bottom. Taking her by the shoulders she propelled her towards Jill.
"Vanessa, you now have four strokes to come. Two from your original punishment and two additional penalty strokes. Now bend over Jill's lap and she'll hold you down."
Vanessa had no choice. Slowly and painfully she draped herself across her friend's knees until her upturned caned bottom was the highest part of her anatomy. Jill took a firm grip of her friend's arms to hold her in place. She could feel the rapidity with which Vanessa's heart was beating and could sense the heat pouring out of her bottom. Vanessa turned her tearful face towards her, but the only service she could do for her friend was to hold her as tightly as possible.
Mrs Buckeridge warned Jill that if Vanessa did get up again both girls would now get extra strokes. Then she rapidly whacked in the remaining four strokes. Once again the last stroke was aimed across the naughty girl's thighs, but Vanessa's kicking meant that it landed lower down on her right leg, where it would be clearly visible if the girl wore a shortish skirt.
The headmistress considered whether to deliver the stroke again. Then she looked down at the hysterically struggling girl whom Jill was vainly trying to comfort and decided that she had been punished sufficiently.
"All right, Jill. You may release her. Vanessa, stand up!"
Jill let go, but Vanessa wasn't ready stand up immediately. She fell off her friend's lap and rolled about on the study floor, crying her eyes out. Mrs Buckeridge allowed her a minute and then pulled her up, surprisingly gently. She moved the sobbing girl until she was standing next to Caroline, facing the wall, and then placed her hands behind the back of her neck.
The headmistress returned her attention to Jill, still sitting in the chair. "Stand up, Jill. It seems that it's just you and me again."
Jill stood and went behind the chair, waiting to be told to bend over it. She was the tallest of the three girls, taller than Mrs Buckeridge herself.
"Over the chair!" Jill obeyed and soon felt the headmistress pulling her skirt up and pinning it in place. She tensed herself for the first stroke, but then felt the teacher's hands on her knickers. "I don't like it when one caning isn't enough for a girl," said the headmistress. "I think we'll have these down!"
"Oh no, ma'am, please!" Jill protested.
In fact the headmistress had not really intended to carry out this threat. "Well, perhaps eight strokes of the special cane will be enough for you this time. But, remember, if you're ever sent back here again it will be the cane on the bare."
"Thank you, ma'am!" breathed a relieved Jill. She was now just determined to stay in place no matter how much it hurt. She didn't want what had happened to Vanessa to happen to her.
Mrs Buckeridge began Jill's punishment. Stroke after stroke cracked down across the teenager's large bottom, protected only by her navy blue cotton school knickers. By sheer force of will the girl remained in position, making hardly a sound, although tears were now flowing copiously from her big blue eyes.
After five strokes Mrs Buckeridge paused. Her right arm was beginning to tire but she didn't want Jill to benefit from this. As she had earlier done with Caroline, she took two steps back and then skipped forward quickly, whipping in a truly vicious stroke across the bottom of Jill's stinging behind.
Jill gasped for breath in a strange "Oh oh oh oh oh" and stamped her feet madly as the pain climaxed. But she remained bending over with her hands gripping the chair seat and after a few seconds she straightened her legs and, apart from her whole body trembling, returned exactly to her position before the caning had started.
Mrs Buckeridge took full advantage of this, stepping back again and delivering an identical stroke to exactly the same place. This time it was too much for Jill who shrieked like a banshee and finally lost her grip on the chair. But no sooner was the tall girl upright than she recollected her self and bent down again, presenting her bottom for the last stroke.
Again Mrs Buckeridge made sure that the last stroke was the hardest as she whipped it in skilfully across Jill's thighs, which still bore her red handprints. Jill remained bent over the chair, crying bitterly.
The headmistress returned the cane to its cupboard and extracted the school punishment book from her desk before returning to Jill and telling her to stand up and put her hands behind her neck. Then she called Caroline and Vanessa over to stand next to Jill while she made the necessary entries in the book. Caroline was the only girl to notice that, due to the infrequency of canings of girls, Jill's earlier caning was recorded on the same page that was now opened.
When the book had been written up Mrs Buckeridge walked behind the girls and unpinned each skirt, pulling them down over the caned area.
"I hope that this has been a lesson to you. You may go now." As they turned towards the door Mrs Buckeridge said "Oh, by the way, happy birthday Caroline!"
The three girls left the study almost crawling. None of them was able to walk properly. They stumbled back to their dormitory stopping every few paces to cradle their well-caned bottoms in their hands. Jill and Vanessa were both still crying and Caroline knew that it would take very little to set her off again. Luckily they didn't see anyone else on the way.
When they reached their dormitory all three girls immediately threw themselves face down on their beds and buried their faces in their pillows. Caroline grabbed her teddy bear and held it close to her tear-stained face.
"Crikey," said Sarah, "it looks like you've been through it, you three! Do you want the cream?"
"God, yes," answered Jill. "My bum's on fire! Come on, girls, let's get our skirts and knickers off."
Jill and Caroline pulled their knickers off quickly, wincing as they came down over the wealed and swollen flesh, but Vanessa took her time to ease hers off very slowly and carefully.
Sarah undid the jar of zinc and castor oil cream, reflecting as she did so that if she hadn't caught the flu when she had then her own bottom would be looking and feeling like these. "OK, who's first?" she asked.
"Vee first, she got it worst; then Jilly and me last," answered Caroline.
Sarah did her best to apply the cream carefully although she was shocked by the purpling weals and yellow bruises covering the girls' bottoms, and the room was soon filled with the moaning of the caned girls as the worst of the fierce stinging faded. She compared the girls' marks but to her it looked, despite Vee's extra strokes, that Jilly's bottom had suffered worst and that there was little to choose between the other two girls. Unlike Jill's earlier caning, this time the weals covered nearly the whole area of each girl's bottom. Her task done Sarah tactfully left the room leaving her friends lying face down on their beds until it was time for lights out.