Twenty-three-year-old Linda Charlton was coming to the end of her first year as a teacher at the Redmont School. She had enjoyed her time at the school, which she had joined after leaving her Teachers Training College, and now felt that she had definitely made the right choice of career. The young and pretty teacher was popular with the pupils both male and female and was able to convey her love of History to them and help them enjoy learning. The older girls, particularly, also admired the way in which she made the most of her slender figure and always wore fashionable clothes, and yet always maintained an air of unobtrusive authority, allowing her to effortlessly maintain order. And the headmaster, Colin Preston, had recently taken her to one side to tell her that she was doing an excellent job and to ask her if she would be willing to become a house mistress next term.
As the end of term approached Linda found that much of her time was taken up in preparing assessments for all of the pupils in her History sets and collating these with the marks earned in their assignments during the year and in their tests. In order to catch up with her work she took the folder containing all the relevant information away from school one weekend, to work on it at home. But when she looked for it on Saturday morning she couldn't find it. Thinking that she must have left it at the school she went back immediately, but she could not find the folder. Linda realised that she must have mislaid it somehow on her way home. It was lost!
For a while Linda was almost frantic and had no idea what to do. She didn't want to admit to Mr Preston that she had lost such important information, not when she had just been told how well she'd been doing. She went home, calmed down and tried to think things out. She had a pretty good idea of how well each pupil had been doing and she set to work trying to reconstruct their end of year positions. It took her a lot of work but on Monday she was able to hand in the results to Mr Preston without the headmaster suspecting that there was anything at all wrong.
The next day Mr Preston looked into the classroom where Linda was teaching and asked her to come to see her in her office after the end of the day's lessons at four o'clock. Linda had no idea what it could be about, but she was not at all apprehensive. In fact, ironically in the light of later events, she reflected that a summons like that to her headmistress's study would have scared the living daylights out of her when she'd been a schoolgirl, but that now she had nothing to fear.
After lessons Linda walked to the headmaster's office. However she did not knock when she arrived there. A red light was shining on a panel to the side of the door, and Linda knew what that meant. Mr Preston was administering a caning to a naughty boy. Only the headmaster and the senior mistress were permitted to make use of the cane at Redmont School, on boys and girls respectively, and it was not used very often, being retained as an exceptional punishment for the worst breaches of school rules or for the naughtiest of repeat offenders.
Nevertheless Linda knew that a caning at Redmont School was no light matter. Over the course of her first year there she had seen several pupils in her History sets, mostly boys but also a few girls, after a visit to the headmaster's office and had noticed how they fidgeted and squirmed uncomfortably in their seats, sometimes for days after their punishment. She wondered who the latest victim was and whether it was one of the boys she taught.
As Linda stood outside the door she could just hear faint sounds of the punishment. There was a muffled noise which she realised must have been caused by the impact of a cane across a schoolboy's vulnerable backside. Then a moment later she heard a half-suppressed squeal from the young victim. The teacher wondered how many strokes the boy being punished had received before she had reached the door, and how many more were to come.
Another stroke landed and this time, even through the thick wooden door, Linda heard a genuine yelp of pain. Linda smiled wryly to herself. It certainly sounded as though Mr Preston was getting through to the wretched boy, whoever he was. Linda had no doubt that the punishment was fully deserved and that it would be effective.
Although the cane had not been used at Linda's own school she had been convinced that it could be an effective punishment for some girls as well as boys shortly after her arrival at Redmont. A couple of weeks into her first term she had been complaining to Miss Green, the English mistress, about the disruptive behaviour of Julie Hallam, a girl in her fifth year History set.
"Oh, I don't think you need to worry about her," Miss Green had said, smiling. "I think Mrs Longworth has got to the bottom of the trouble where that young lady's concerned!"
Linda hadn't understood what she meant at first, and then the penny had dropped. Julie had been caned by Mary Longworth, the senior mistress, and on the bottom, like the boys, not on her hands! And indeed her behaviour had improved out of all recognition for a long while afterwards.
Linda had been distracted by these recollections, but she suddenly realised that the punishment must be over. She stepped back from the door just before it opened. A thirteen year old boy emerged, his face screwed up in pain. He had obviously been trying hard not to cry, but had not quite succeeded. A single tear glistened as it slowly trickled down his left cheek. Linda had to look at his contorted face twice to recognize him, but then realised that it was Derek Newman of the third year. On reflection Linda was not really surprised that Derek had been sent for a caning. The boy's behaviour had been getting worse recently. In fact there had been two occasions earlier that term when Linda had come close to sending him to Mr Preston herself.
Derek ignored the teacher, if he saw her at all, as he stumbled out into the corridor and pulled the door shut behind him. He hopped up and down from one foot to the other with both hands carefully massaging his sore bottom through his dark grey school trousers. He was breathing in quick, shallow gasps as if he couldn't quite catch his breath. Then, still without taking any notice of the staring History teacher, he clenched his hands tightly into fists and limped slowly down the corridor. When he reached the corner Linda saw the small thirteen-year-old reach into his pocket for a hanky to wipe his eyes, obviously trying to put a brave face on things before walking into an area where his friends might see him.
Still smiling Linda knocked and walked into Mr Preston's office. The headmaster was sitting at his desk. Linda had never seen a punishment cane and she looked around the office curiously, but there was no sign of a cane or that a punishment had recently taken place. Mr Preston didn't speak, but looked at the History teacher with a severe expression on his face. Linda was quite surprised. She was used to the headmaster smiling approval to her. But she supposed that he hadn't got back to normal yet after administering Derek's caning.
"You asked me to see you, Colin," Linda reminded him.
"Yes, Linda. You remember those History results you gave me yesterday?"
"Yes, of course. There isn't anything wrong is there? Have I filled in a form wrongly?" Linda still couldn't understand why the headmaster was looking so angry with her. A minor clerical error with the results forms surely wouldn't have upset him.
"No. Everything seemed to be completely in order. That's why I was so surprised when a member of the public handed this in!" And Mr Preston produced a folder from the drawer of his desk which Linda recognized as the one which she had mislaid.
Mr Preston continued to address a now dumbstruck Linda. "These are the genuine results I take it? They were found on a bus! But when I compared them with the 'results' which you gave me I found that they were very different. You've got Kate Shires down as top for the second year, but she actually came fourth! And you've put Paul Grogan, who was really top, in second place! These results which you gave me are fiction. They're lies!"
Linda was completely taken aback. At first she couldn't speak at all, but than she somehow managed to explain to Mr Preston what had happened. She had not set out to alter the results but had merely been trying to cover up her carelessness in losing the folder.
The headmaster was still very angry. He told Linda that after this episode there was no way that she could continue as a teacher at Redmont. The negligence in losing the results on a bus was bad enough in itself, but if it had been admitted Linda could have continued at the school with merely a verbal warning. But as it was she had tried to deceive the headmaster and, even worse, been prepared to fob off the pupils in her care and their parents with false and misleading results. That, in Mr Preston's opinion was unforgivable. He concluded his reproof:
"I have no alternative Miss Charlton but to summarily dismiss you for gross professional misconduct. And, in the circumstances, I am afraid that the school would not be prepared to provide a reference for any future potential employer. I am sorry, you were a promising teacher and I honestly thought that you had a successful career here ahead of you, but no other course is open to me in the light of your actions."
Poor Linda was appalled. She had only ever wanted to be a teacher. And now was her career to be over at twenty-three? If she was dismissed like this she could never hope for another job as a teacher and would probably have a hard struggle to get any work at all. She begged the headmaster for a second chance. But Mr Preston was adamant.
"Miss Charlton, my hands are tied. I cannot tolerate the wholesale falsification of pupils' results. I'm sorry it has to end this way, but your actions have made it inevitable. You are suspended from all teaching duties with immediate effect. I would be grateful if you would not come back to the school after today until Friday. I will arrange with the Bursar for your P45 and a check for your outstanding salary to date to be available then for you to pick up. I'm sorry, but there's no more to be said. Please leave the school now."
Linda burst into tears. "Please, Mr Preston, oh please. There must be another way. I know what I did was wrong and stupid and I know that you can't just ignore it. But I really don't deserve to have my whole career, my whole life, ruined because of just one mistake. I've always wanted to be a teacher and I know that I can be a good teacher. Please give me another chance, please. I'll work overtime for nothing, I'll take a cut in pay, anything - but let me keep my job, please"
But Mr Preston had not changed his mind.
"There is no point to this, Linda. You are just distressing yourself unnecessarily. Losing the papers in the folder was a mistake. Giving me falsified marks was not a 'mistake'; it was professional misconduct of the worst description.
"Even so, I would like to give you one last chance if I could. But it is not possible. You can't do unpaid overtime or work for half-pay without the Bursar and other members of staff noticing and asking questions. The reasons would inevitably come to light. I would be criticized for allowing you to stay on and you would have to go anyway."
Linda was about to give up. She had tried and she had failed. Any further pleading would clearly just be a humiliating waste of time. She forced the tears to stop and took out her handkerchief to dry her eyes so that she could leave with at least some dignity. Somehow, deep in her mind, an association was made with the time, barely five minutes earlier, when she'd seen Derek Newman using his hanky. An idea struck her and she made one last desperate plea.
"What if the punishment was just between you and me? You could cane me like you just caned Newman! I know I deserve it. I'd accept whatever you said was fair. I know it would hurt, but then no-one else need ever know about it. I wouldn't have got off lightly, but I could stay on as a teacher. And I promise you, I'd never, ever, do anything like this again."
Mr Preston was taken aback at this unexpected proposal. Never in his long career as a teacher had he come across anything similar. He did not reply for quite some time while he considered whether Linda's idea could really be feasible. The young teacher's behaviour had truly been outrageous, but if it were possible for her to be punished in a manner commensurate with her offence and yet be able to stay with the school that might be the best of all possible worlds. The headmaster had seen no alternative other than to dismiss Linda, but if there really was another choice he didn't want to dismiss the possibility out of hand. Finally he replied, speaking slowly and carefully, trying to think through the consequences as he spoke.
"That is certainly an interesting idea. I have no doubt that I could apply the cane to your bottom in a way that would constitute adequate punishment for your behaviour, as reprehensible as that has been. But this is not a simple matter. You are not a thirteen year old schoolboy like Newman.
"I would be risking my own position by agreeing to this. If I do consent then the whole matter must always remain a secret between the two of us. If any rumor were to leak out, whether to the staff, the pupils or otherwise I would dismiss you instantly for the offence to which you have confessed. And, if I agreed, I would certainly make sure that it was a real punishment for you. So don't think that you would be getting off lightly.
"You've given me something to think about, but I'm not going to make up my mind, now, on the spur of the moment. I suggest that we both think about this overnight. Come and see me here half an hour before assembly tomorrow morning. If you are still willing to take a caning from me I will give you my answer then."
Linda had to be content with this for now. At least there was some possibility, if a very painful one, of her staying at the school. She had much to think about as she drove home.
That night, too, she stayed awake for a long time thinking about the alternatives. Logically she was quite clear that she would be better off taking the caning, if that was allowed. However she was frightened of how much it would hurt. If it was just a matter of the caning itself hurting at the time, that might be one thing. But she knew from what she'd seen of naughty pupils after a dose of the cane that the discomfort lasted for a long time afterwards. Linda began to worry that, if she agreed, she would not be able to hide the fact that she'd been caned afterwards, and then might be sacked anyway if the whole affair came to light. One good thing was that, although the summer holidays were coming up, she was not due to see Dave, her boyfriend, until the middle of August. With any luck the marks would have gone by then.
Linda also fearfully wondered how many strokes Mr Preston would decide she deserved. She knew that girls at the school usually got between two and six strokes, although on the rare occasions when a sixth form girl was caned she had heard that Mrs Longworth could give up to eight strokes. Linda felt that one stroke would be adequate. She was sure that just one stroke would hurt and would be terribly embarrassing. Her acceptance of the humiliating punishment would show that she recognized that what she'd done had been seriously wrong and that she would never act in that manner again. But she was well aware that Mr Preston was not likely to agree and that she'd given him carte blanche as to the number of strokes.
And would all the pain be worth while? After having been caned by the headmaster, even if nobody else ever found out about it, would they ever be able to get back to their previous relationship? Poor Linda imagined herself blushing every time she saw Mr Preston afterwards, always aware of how he'd spanked her like a naughty little girl. From her knowledge of Mr Preston's character she didn't think that he would take the situation as a sexual come-on, but this, too, was an uncertainty.
Despite these and other thoughts Linda did eventually get to sleep. Next morning she drove in earlier than usual so as to be able to see Mr Preston before assembly.
In the office the first thing Mr Preston asked was whether Linda still wished to accept a caning as an alternative to dismissal.
"Yes, Mr Preston, I do. I've been thinking about it all night. I know it's going to hurt, but I deserve to be punished and I do want to stay on as a teacher." "I dare say you do, Linda. But the question I've been pondering overnight is whether you are a fit person to be a teacher! I should not normally think that someone who can substitute false marks for the correct ones is suitable. However your willingness to accept severe punishment does give me some assurance that this was indeed a solitary transgression, perhaps partly due to your inexperience, and that you would not act in the same way in the future.
"So, in these unusual circumstances, I am prepared to keep you on my staff if you accept a caning and I have prepared two hand-written agreements for your signature. But, before I hand them to you to sign, I want to ask you a question: did you ever get the cane at school?"
Visibly embarrassed, Linda answered. "No, they didn't have the cane at my school. But I got the plimsoll from the gym mistress once, and when I was naughty at home my mother used to take her hairbrush to me sometimes."
Mr Preston smiled as the teacher volunteered this irrelevant information. "Well, Linda, I can assure you that the cane is a serious punishment instrument. Unlike the plimsoll and the hairbrush it is designed to punish naughty bottoms and, in my hands at least, it hurts a good deal more than they do. I just want to make sure that you realize that it is going to hurt a great deal and that you are going to be feeling very sore and tender for a long time to come!"
Linda wriggled uncomfortably on her seat and nodded her head unhappily. "I know it's going to hurt, but I'd rather have a sore behind than give up teaching."
"All right then, Linda. Just so long as you realize that this is a punishment and that we're not just playing games." He passed a sheet of paper and a ball-point pen to Linda.
"You will see that this document sets out what you did and says that you have agreed to resign. If the fact that I have caned you ever becomes known I will make that document public and you will resign. You are no worse off by signing that, because if the alternative punishment of a caning is not carried out I will dismiss you anyway, but I want to keep it in reserve."
Linda signed the paper without any comments and handed it back. In return Mr Preston passed over another sheet.
"I do not expect that this document will ever be needed, but just in case the matter does become public I want it to be clear that the caning was your idea and that you agreed to it voluntarily, and so this paper sets that out."
Linda looked at it before signing it and then blinked in horror. It read as follows:
I, Linda Charlton, having proposed to Mr Preston, the headmaster of Redmont School, that he cane me severely as an alternative to dismissal, do hereby agree that he administer twelve strokes from the special cane to my unclothed behind.
"Oh, please, not on the bare! And not twelve,! It's far too many, I won't be able to take it!"
"I do not enter into negotiation with the schoolboys here as to the number of strokes of the cane they will receive and I shall not do so with you! You will be caned on the bare, partly because I will not then have to use so much effort in order to produce the necessary effect, but mainly as an additional mark of humiliation. When I or Mrs Longworth cane a pupil here everyone knows it and boys or girls in their class see the marks in games and gym and watch carefully every time they sit down to see if they've got over it. This element will be missing from your punishment. It is in both our interests that no one knows that you've been caned. But an element of shame is necessary, so you will be caned on your bare bottom.
"And twelve is not too many. Last year Mrs Longworth gave Cheryl Watkins of the sixth form - she's left now - eight strokes of the cane for smoking and for giving cigarettes to younger girls. She was five years younger than you and her offence was, I'm sure you'd agree, very much less serious.
"Don't worry about not being able to take them. You have volunteered for this punishment and, so far as I am concerned, you can elect to resign from my staff whenever you wish. If you do so after ten strokes, of course, it would mean that you would have received an extremely painful caning for no purpose whatsoever. So I would suggest that you reconcile yourself to the fact that the only way you are going to stay at this school is by taking twelve strokes of the cane on your naked bottom. And I can tell you now that I intend to lay them on just as hard as I know how!
"Also, if you interrupt the punishment by standing up or by putting your hands in the way, but do not then say that you wish to resign as a teacher, I will do as I do with any boy here in similar circumstances and give you extra strokes. Now, if all that's understood, are you signing or shall I announce your resignation at assembly? It's starting in three minutes!"
Linda could see that arguing would be fruitless. She had already made up her mind to accept and even though the proposed punishment was worse than she'd imagined she wasn't going to change her mind now. With a very shaky hand she signed her name. Mr Preston took both signed papers and locked them in a drawer of his desk.
"You will report here at ten o'clock this evening," he said to the History mistress. "By that time most of the pupils will be in bed or in the blocks on the other side of the school and those staff who stay here will be with them. You can pretend to be working late. Once you enter my office this evening you will be, to all intents and purposes, a naughty schoolgirl here for punishment. You will address me as 'Sir', as the pupils do, and any impertinence or disrespect will earn additional strokes. I don't think there's anything more to be said. Now cut along to assembly, I'll just be a moment."
Linda forced herself to concentrate on her work that day; she didn't want anyone to suspect that there was anything wrong. By coincidence her first class was the third year set which included Derek Newman. The normally lively boy was much more subdued than usual. He had obviously not yet fully recovered from his recent caning and he squirmed and wriggled uncomfortably in his seat, quite unable to find a position in which he could sit still. Normally Linda would not have taken much notice, but now she felt a great deal of sympathy for the naughty thirteen-year-old as she reflected dismally that, sore as Derek's little bottom obviously felt, her own was going to be much sorer still.
About twenty minutes into the lesson Derek shifted his position again. Unfortunately the movement inadvertently resulted in him putting his weight on the most painful part of his bottom. He squeaked in pain and half stood up, his hands going behind his trousers. His face blushed bright red as he realised what he'd done and he carefully lowered himself back onto the seat.
The reaction from the class differed. The naughtier boys, those who had either had the cane themselves or who thought it likely that they might feel it in the future, ignored Derek's antics. But the better-behaved boys and the girls who knew, or thought they knew, that their bottoms were never going to feel the cane were amused. One girl in particular, Celia Roe, giggled loudly and gestured towards Derek.
Celia was normally rather one of Linda's favorites, but she was not going to allow this.
"Celia Roe! Stand up, girl!"
The dismayed Celia stood up, her mouth open in shock.
"I see that you think there is something funny about getting the cane. I think you'd change your mind if I sent you to Mrs Longworth. I'll make my mind up about that at the end of the lesson. Until then you can stand in your place with your hands on your head."
Celia obeyed, hardly believing that this could be happening to her. She was never in trouble, Miss Charlton couldn't intend to send her for the cane. Now it was the turn of the naughtier elements in the class, including Derek, to be amused, but Linda did not reprimand them.
At the end of the lesson Linda kept Celia standing in her place, hands on head, until the others had filed out. She told the now apologetic girl that she thought that she deserved the cane but that she was prepared to be lenient. She told her that she was going to deduct a house point from Celia's house and that the girl should write out "It is wrong to derive pleasure from another person's misfortunes" two hundred times. The lines were to be handed in the next morning. "And if you have not done them or if they are not written neatly enough I will send you to Mrs Longworth for the cane. Now take your hands off your head and get along to your next lesson." In her next lesson an embarrassed Celia had to explain why she was late.
Linda, meanwhile, was wondering what her own bottom would be feeling like when Celia handed the lines in.
The morning somehow passed. Linda wished it was too late for her to change her mind. She was tormenting herself, wondering if she'd made the right decision. At lunchtime in the staff room Emma Valentine, Celia Roe's house mistress, referred to the girl's behaviour that morning. She thought that the punishments which Linda had imposed were appropriate and that it would be salutary for Celia to realize that if she misbehaved she was liable to be caned just as much as Derek Newman and his friends.
"I'm surprised that Newman was still finding it so difficult to sit down properly, though. It's not as though it was his first time for the cane and I understand he only got four strokes. But Colin was in a really foul mood yesterday afternoon for some reason and I think he must have let some of it out on Derek. Oh well, I dare say it'll do him good. That young scallywag's going to do his best to avoid another dose of the cane!"
Linda grimaced to herself and wriggled in her armchair. She had a good idea as to why the headmaster had been so upset the day before. And the next bottom to suffer for it would be her own. As Emma had introduced the topic, Linda wondered if she could get some information from her about the subject that was monopolizing her thoughts.
"Does Colin use the same cane on all the boys, Emma? Or would Derek, say, get it from a different one than a sixth former?"
"I keep forgetting you haven't even been here for a year, Linda. It's no secret. He's got four canes: junior, medium, senior and special. The junior one is for first and second years. The medium is for third and fourth years, and particularly naughty second years. And the senior cane is for fifth and sixth formers although third and fourth years can also get it when Colin thinks they deserve it. Actually, I wonder if that is what Derek got. It's supposed to sting a lot more than the medium cane."
Linda digested this in silence for a moment or two and then went on, asking about the matter of most personal interest to her. "That's only three canes. What about the special cane?"
"Oh! That doesn't get much use. Colin keeps it for particularly heinous behaviour by sixth formers. I can't remember the last time it was used. I don't think Colin's caned a sixth former at all in the time since you've been here. The last sixth former I can think of who got the cane was Cheryl Watkins and she got the senior cane from Mary. Still, I think she learned her lesson, though. She never put a foot out of line again afterwards. Silly girl!"
Linda was not particularly reassured by this, but at least Emma had not suspected that she had any particular interest in the subject. Somehow Linda got through the afternoon. After school she sat in the library, trying to read, until the time of her retribution arrived. She did not feel like eating anything and so did not join the girls and the other teachers who remained at the school for dinner. Celia, who as a third former did not have a study of her own but shared a dormitory with five other girls, came into the library to write out her lines after the meal. She had done almost half during lunchtime, but still had over a hundred to do. The unhappy girl ground out line after line in dismal silence, glancing up from time to time at the teacher. She still felt aggrieved and thought that Miss Charlton was enjoying her humiliation and the fact that she was missing her favourite television programs in order to write out these awful lines. In fact Linda had completely dif! ferent thoughts on her mind at which Celia could not even have guessed!
Celia's arm began to ache badly from the repetitive exercise, but she forced herself to continue to try to write neatly. She knew that Miss Charlton had been serious in her threat to send her to Mrs Longworth for the cane if the lines were not done properly. An aching wrist and arm were much preferable to a stinging cane-marked bottom!
Eventually the lines were finished and, as Miss Charlton was still sitting in the library, apparently daydreaming, Celia got up and walked over to the teacher. The lines didn't have to be handed in until tomorrow, but it seemed like a good chance to put the whole episode behind her.
"I've done my lines, miss" she said.
Linda was startled. She had been far away in a world of her own, thinking about the effect a yard long length of rattan would have on her bare, yes her bare behind. It took her a second to come back to reality and to realize that she was being addressed by Celia Roe, the thirteen year old who had been so amused by the effect a caning had had on Derek Newman.
Forcing herself back under control Linda took the offered lines from Celia and inspected them. They had been done on the school's standard imposition paper which had fifty lines to a page, thus making it easy to count the number of lines written. Unfortunately for Celia she had been unable to fit the wording given by Linda onto one line and she had therefore had to use eight sheets of imposition paper. Linda scrutinized the lines carefully, more carefully than she usually did when lines were handed in.
The writing was very neat at first but it had undoubtedly deteriorated towards the end as Celia had become tired. Also Linda spotted several instances where Celia had omitted the apostrophe in "person's" or had wrongly positioned it after the "s". She coldly pointed out these lapses to the miserable girl and told her to report to Mrs Longworth's office tomorrow at morning break.
Celia's eyes widened in shock and horror. She had thought it was funny when Newman had found it painful to sit down, but she certainly did not want to experience a caning for herself. Celia had never been caned or even spanked and she knew that she wa nowhere near as tough as Derek. If a caning had hurt that naughty boy so much she could not begin to imagine the effect it would have on her own tender posterior.
But Linda had mercy on the worried little girl. She waited a few seconds, so that Celia would fully believe that she was really going to get the cane, and then told her that, in view of her previously unblemished record, she was going to let her off.
"You've had a lucky escape, Celia. I could have sent you to Mrs Longworth - you fully deserve the cane. Remember, this has used up all your chances. Next time it'll be straight to Mrs Longworth, no questions!" The teacher threw the imposition into a litter bin.
Celia gasped with relief and left the library as soon as she was dismissed. Linda was left alone with her thoughts. There were still nearly two hours to go before the time set for her meeting with the headmaster. She picked up her book again and looked at it, though the words immediately blurred in front of her. Over and over again she thought about her decision. There was still time to change her mind. But every time she decided that she would have to go through with it. Teaching was her life. Every few minutes she glanced at her watch, time had never seemed to pass so slowly. At half past nine she went to the toilet, to be on the safe side, despite the fact that she had not eaten and had scarcely drunk for twenty four hours. Then she returned to her solitary vigil in the library and her pretense at reading. She wondered what Dave would say if he knew about this. She didn't intend him ever to find out but she rather suspected that it would turn him on if he did.
But then, suddenly, as it seemed, it was five minutes to ten and time to report to Mr Preston. Now there could be no turning back.
She put the unread book back on the shelf, turned out the light and left the library to walk to Mr Preston's office. Once outside she stood still and drew a couple of deep breaths to compose herself before knocking firmly on the door.
When she entered the office she saw Mr Preston sitting at his desk. But this time she did not perceive him, as on previous occasions, as her friend or her boss but as her angry headmaster who was about to beat her. Her eyes darted about the office, but she could not see the cane. Mr Preston remained silent, forcing Linda to speak. "You asked me to report to you at ten o'clock, sir," she said, remembering her instructions.
"Yes, Linda. And for what purpose?"
"To be punished, sir," Linda whispered, feeling herself blushing.
"That's right, girl! And what is that punishment to be?"
Linda looked down at her feet and mumbled embarrassedly, "Twelve strokes of the cane, sir . . . on my . . . bare bottom, sir!"
"Very well, Linda. Put your handbag on the floor." She obeyed in silence.
The headmaster rose and walked over to a large cupboard in the corner of her room. He opened the door and stood back slightly so that Linda could see the four canes of which Emma Valentine had spoken, hanging by their crook handles. It was the first time Linda had ever seen a cane in her life. Mr Preston paused briefly and then selected the rightmost cane. Closing the cupboard door he turned and walked towards Linda, holding the cane horizontally in her two hands.
"This is my special cane," he said. "It doesn't get a lot of use, but I think it will be appropriate in this instance." Linda stared wide-eyed at the horrible punishment instrument. It was yellowish-brown in colour, over three feet long and looked to be almost half an inch thick. Swollen whorls encircled the cane at regular intervals of about eight inches. The teacher flexed it between his strong hands. Despite its thickness it appeared to be wickedly flexible. He curved it and then released one hand so that it sprung back straight with a hiss.
"You've never seen a cane before, have you, miss?"
Linda shook her head, not trusting herself to speak, she could already feel herself ready to burst into tears.
"Well, take a good look at this one, and try to imagine what it's going to feel like on your behind!" With that Mr Preston handed the cane to a surprised Linda. "Twelve strokes, young lady, just as hard as I can. It's not going to be very pleasant, is it?"
Linda hook her head again. The cane felt heavier than she'd expected and she could feel its suppleness. She could imagine only too well the effect it would have on her curvy bottom.
"What's the matter, girl? Cat got your tongue?"
"No, sir. Sorry sir."
"You will be, Linda. You will be, believe me!" The headmaster took back the cane and placed it on his desk.
"Right, girl. Take off your skirt and underclothes and place them on my desk."
When she had dressed that morning Linda, knowing what she was going to agree to, had chosen her clothes with some care. She had wanted to wear smart and professional clothes which would reassure Mr Preston that she was serious about wanting to keep her position. But there had been a separate agenda as well. She had not know how much protection the headmaster would allow for her bottom and had selected her green corduroy skirt because its material was the thickest. She had also decided to wear a pair of old white cotton panties, because they would cover much more of her bottom than the scanty briefs she usually wore, and a pair of pantyhose. All her forethought had been wasted. She undid the green skirt and placed it on the desk, as instructed.
"And your pantyhose, Linda."
Grimly the twenty three year old teacher complied, first slipping off her shoes. When her pantyhose were on the desk she paused for a moment, looking at Mr Preston.
"Don't waste time, girl! Knickers down. All the way off. Place them on the desk."
Linda obeyed, deliberately not looking at the headmaster. She expected to be told next to bend over so that the caning could start, but the headmaster surprised her by instead telling her to go and stand facing the wall, with her hands on her head. Mr Preston was in no hurry. He knew that Linda probably just wanted to get it all over with now, but he was in no mood to oblige her. He wanted Linda Charlton to remember her humiliation, as well as the pain of a well-caned bottom, for a long time to come. Also he wanted Linda to stand in the punishment posture for some time so that he could get used to thinking of her as a naughty girl sent for severe punishment, rather than the witty and very attractive schoolteacher he had laughed with at staff sherry parties. He walked up behind Linda and rolled her blouse up out of the way, pinning it into place, so that the whole of Linda's bottom was exposed.
"Stand still, girl, and don't fidget. I want you to stand there, hands on your head, nose against the wall, legs tight together until I tell you to move!"
Mr Preston settled back into his chair as Linda stood facing the wall, aware from time to time that the middle aged man was watching her, looking at her exposed bare, pale, bottom. In fact she was not really feeling the additional humiliation that the headmaster had hoped for. All day she had been growing more and more apprehensive but now that she was in Mr Preston's room all this pretending to be a schoolgirl and saying "sir" just seemed ridiculous.
Linda studied the wallpaper at close range, her breasts pressed against the wall. This was just so stupid ! She'd agreed that she'd acted wrongly and agreed that Mr Preston could cane her as he did the naughty schoolboys, but this playacting was a waste of time. She didn't want to be caned; if Mr Preston were now to announce that she was going to be let off she would be relieved beyond measure, but if she was going to be caned she wanted to get it over with now so that she would have longer to recover from its effects. Still, she had a part to play so she stood there looking at the wall and wondering if this could possibly be Colin's idea of sexual role-play. She dismissed the idea. She was sure that he had never thought of her in a sexual way.
But after a few minutes as Linda felt the eyes of the headmaster watching her again she decided to spread her legs slightly and wiggle her bottom suggestively to see how he reacted. It was a mistake. Mr Preston rose from his seat and angrily walked over to stand behind the young woman.
"How dare you, girl! You are here to be punished, not to make a disgusting display of yourself! Stand straight, with your legs together."
Linda did so, and a moment later felt an intense stinging pain as the headmaster rapidly slapped the backs of both her thighs, hard. She gasped with surprise at how much it hurt and her bottom wriggled again, this time involuntarily, as her hands went away from her hair to protect her smarting thighs.
"Hands back on your head! How dare you!"
Linda put her hands back on her head. Her thighs blazed like fury. She could hardly believe that the headmaster could have caused such pain with just two slaps from his bare palm. It was a long time since Linda had felt her mother's hairbrush but she didn't remember it causing such a fierce sting. If Colin Preston's hand felt like that, what would he do to her bottom with a cane?
"Now, stand still and keep your hands out of the way."
With these words he delivered three sharp slaps to the same place on Linda's right thigh. She gripped her hands together in her long blonde hair and yelped at each whack on her intensely sore flesh.
"Does that sting, Linda?"
"Yes, sir", she replied sullenly, feeling tears pricking at her eyelids.
"Well, let it remind you to stand still, until I tell you to move."
The headmaster returned to his chair and once again regarded the culprit. Both of her thighs now bore patches of scarlet, much deeper on the right thigh.
It was over a quarter of an hour later before Mr Preston rose from his desk and walked towards Linda. She heard him pull a chair into the middle of the room. Linda trembled in apprehension but kept her nose pressed to the wall.
"Right, Linda," he said, "let's get this over with. You will receive twelve strokes of the cane on your bare behind. Get yourself over here and bend over this chair!"
Linda took a deep breath and walked over to the wooden chair. She bent over its back and held onto the seat. Colin admired the sight. The smooth whiteness of her unprotected bottom was accentuated by her reddened thighs where he had slapped her. She was keeping her legs tightly close together. The sight was a good deal more intriguing than the clothed teenage male behinds he was used to caning. Nevertheless the only thought in Colin's mind was to deliver an appropriate penalty to a teacher who had badly failed in her duty to the pupils of his school.
Linda looked back. She could see the two trousered legs of the headmaster standing behind her. Next to them she saw a hand, holding the cane. It was finally going to happen. The cane suddenly vanished from her view. Linda squeezed her hands on the edge of the chair seat and shut her eyes tight. The cane tapped lightly across her rear. Her muscles tensed. The cane rose and hissed down angrily.
Whoosh! . . . Smack!
The first stroke landed across the center of Linda's stretched bottom. She gasped at the sudden sting and her whole body spasmed. She had thought that the slaps on her thighs had stung, but they were nothing to this. Still after the incredible build up of tension it was almost a relief that the whacking had finally started.
Swish! . . . Whack!
The second stroke landed about three inches below the glowing line left by its predecessor, across the tops of Linda's thighs. Colin's idea was that the first two strokes would operate as markers. He intended to land all ten subsequent strokes between them and produce a throbbing band of intense pain that would prevent young Miss Charlton from sitting down comfortably for a good long time.
But apart from that those first two strokes also stang like crazy. As the blonde girl waited for the next stroke she sought to obtain some relief from her ordeal by clenching and unclenching her bum cheeks.
Whirr! . . . Thwack!
Now that Colin had got his eye in and his target defined he started to cane harder. He applied the next stroke with as much force as he would have used in caning an eighteen year old sixt former. Of course that sixth former would have been wearing trousers and underpants and would probably have had previous experience of the cane. Linda did not have the benefit of these and her reaction was vocal.
"Aieee! Ooooh! Oww!!" she shrieked. Her back arched and she threw back her head, the blonde hair flying wildly.
Colin watched unemotionally. He knew that Linda's bottom was already very sore after just three strokes, but he intended that it would hurt a lot more before he finished. Why, he had hardly started yet! He paused for a while, allowing the sting to build up.
Linda raised one ankle in the air and waggled her bottom from side to side. She began to sob.
The caning settled into a steady rhythym.
Thwack! . . . "Oww!"
Thwack! . . . "Oww!"
Thwack! . . . "Yeeoww! Oww! Owwch!!"
The sixth stroke caused the young blonde to lose her grip and jerk bolt upright with a piercing yell. She twisted round to face her chastiser, tears flowing down her face. She was oblivious to everything except the pain in her behind. She desperately massaged her bottom with both hands, vainly trying to ease the pain, quite unaware of the view she was presenting to the headmaster.
"Linda! Back down, now!"
But the weeping schoolteacher did not respond.
Colin placed the cane on his desk and walked towards her. He took her by the shoulders and looked into her pretty face, distorted into a mask of pain. She trembled in his hands like a frightened animal and he felt her body heat and her sweat.
"It's up to you Linda," he said. "Either you bend back over that chair and take the rest of your punishment as agreed or we leave it here. In that case you've had a severe caning for nothing and you leave Redmont School anyway . . . . Well, what's it to be?"
Linda tried to force herself to think logically. She had no real choice. She had agreed to this, it was what she had asked for! She had known it would hurt. She nodded her tousled head and turned to slowly lower herself across the wooden chair. No longer concerned with trying to protect her privacy she spread her legs wide apart.
"Right, miss! If there is any repetition of that performance you will receive additional strokes. Do you understand?"
There was no answer, just the sound of Linda Charlton's sniffs and sobs. Colin walked up to her and slapped her left thigh, hard. "Well?"
"Ow! Yes, sir, I understand! Oh . . oh . . oh!"
This time it didn't seem to Linda that she was "playacting" as she called Colin "sir", it seemed right and natural.
Colin was finding that he was responding to the circumstances in an unexpected way. His only intention had been to discipline a culpable member of his staff. But now, despite himself, he was very much aroused. There was a very definite bulge in the front of his pants. He decided that this should have no effect on the punishment. Linda deserved her twelve strokes and he would administer them as arranged. Nonetheless, perhaps in compensation, the final six were even harder than the first six had been.
Linda screamed and kicked her legs as each stroke landed across the already wealed flesh of her bottom. She forced herself to stay in position despite the pain, but couldn't keep still. Her bottom wriggled frantically between each stroke. Colin remembered how he had slapped her for wiggling her rear earlier. Now she couldn't help it.
Finally it was time for the last stroke. Despite his feelings towards Linda he intended it to be the hardest stroke of the caning. He waited nearly a minute before delivering it watching the attractive girl squirming in her shameful posture. Then he took two steps backwards before moving sharply forward and bringing the cane down hard at the same time. Linda howled like a banshee as the pain coursed through her body. She had been counting and knew it was finally the last stroke. She straightened and danced stiff-legged round the room rubbing furiously at her blazing bottom. Her lower body was completely naked and her blouse was still pinned up high on her waist, but she was oblivious to the display she was making of herself.
Colin replaced the cane in the cupboard and looked on. For a girl who had never before had the cane Linda had taken her punishment well. The wriggling teacher, holding her bottom and crying as though she would never stop aroused his protective instincts. He walked to her and hugged her slender body to him, comforting her. He kissed the tears on her pretty face telling her to stop crying, that it was all over and that she'd been very brave.
Eventually Linda calmed down. Colin released her and sat down behind his desk. He told Linda that she could get dressed now.
She picked up her panties but then thought better of it and stuffed them and her pantyhose into her handbag before carefully maneuvering her green skirt back on.
"Right, Linda. That's over with now. You've taken your punishment. I'm sorry this has been neceesary but I hope that you will remember this lesson and never again disregard your duty to the pupils of this school. This matter is now at an end and we'll start agin tomorrow. Remember - I expect you to turn up normally tomorrow and work as usual. I don't want anyone to know about this and I'm sure you don't, either. Now you may go."
Linda walked out of the room slowly and deliberately. Her bottom was still throbbing and stinging like mad and every step hurt. As soon as she was out of the office she stood still and her hands went up under her skirt to try to comfort her poor injured bottom. She stood there like that for a few minutes, but she didn't want Mr Preston to come out and see her like that, so eventually she hobbled off.
In fact she had been in no danger. While she had been hopping from foot to foot trying to soothe the raging fire in her bottom her haeadmaster's trousers were about his knees as he masturbated his swollen member.
A little later a somewhat ashamed Colin looked out of his office window onto the car park. He could see Linda standing by her car, one hand on the door and the other pressed to the back of her skirt. He suddenly realised that she was probably not feeling in much of a state to drive home.
He went down and offered her a lift which she gratefully accepted. Linda chose to kneel in the back of the car rather than try to sit down. He left her at her home, reminding her to be in on time next day.
Linda took off all her clothes and soaked a bath towel in ice water. Then she lay on her bed, crying into her pillow with the cold towel alleviating the worst of the sting. Eventually she fell asleep, and when she woke again after a couple of hours the first thing she was aware of was the ache in her bottom.
On Thursday morning Linda stood in front of her History class as usual. No one in the class noticed that the teacher chose not to use her chair, but to stand up in front of the board for the whole lesson. No one dreamed of the marks which adorned "miss's" bottom under the loose summer dress which she wore without panties or pantyhose.