Linda Peterson attended the Queen Charlotte school in Ewell. It was an all-girl direct grant school and discipline was strict. Many teachers, especially the gym-mistresses, made use of a plimsoll or slipper for some immediate corporal punishment, but, more usually, they would stick to the 'reprimand' system.
The way this worked was as follows. For a minor offence, such as talking in class or running in the corridor, a girl would be given one reprimand, or 'rep'. This would be indicated by the teacher or prefect initialling a board kept in each class listing all the girls' names. If a girl accumulated three 'reps' in a week she was in detention the following Monday and had to stay in for an hour. And if a girl got five detentions in a term she was sent to Mrs Southworth, the deputy headmistress - for the cane!
Teachers could give up to six 'reps' at once - a double detention; prefects could give two 'reps' and sub-prefects one. The headmistress and her deputy could give an unlimited amount. When a girl reached three detentions in a term a letter was sent to her parents apprising them of the fact; if she reached four she had to visit the headmistress for a final warning, and then the fifth meant the cane.
Linda was not a particularly naughty girl, just rather lively and given to talking a bit too much, and up to the first term of her fourth year, when she was just fifteen, she had never accumulated more than three detentions in a single term. That had been in the second year and the consequent letter home had resulted in poor Linda squirming over her mother's knees as Mrs Peterson smacked a wooden- backed hairbrush onto her bared behind.
Apart from that occasion Linda had received a few slipperings at school but none that had really hurt. Now, however, for some reason everything seemed to go wrong. There was another letter home - followed by another painful session over her mother's knees! But this time it was quickly followed by a visit to Mrs Winterton's office. The headmistress's warning was quite forceful, and Linda had seen other girls in her class after they'd been caned, but somehow that term she just couldn't seem to stay out of trouble.
It was for the rather banal offence of talking in a French class that she picked up the final reprimand that left her with five detentions. She pleaded with Madame Leclerc to let her off, telling her that it would mean the cane, but it was to no avail. She had to take the Board, showing her five detentions, to Mrs Southworth immediately.
The deputy head looked at the Board for a few moments and then told the trembling girl to come back to her office after school when she would deal with her. Linda's friends tried to encourage her, saying that the cane was not much worse than the slipper and that she would only get two or three as it was her first time, but by four o'clock she was feeling dreadful.
After school Linda went to the deputy heads's office. Another girl, a second year named Wendy Barber, whom Linda knew because they lived in the same street, was already standing there. From her apprehensive expression Linda guessed that she, too, was there for punishment. Linda didn't speak to her but gestured to ask if she had knocked on the door yet. She signed that she had and Linda stood there in silence next to her. She was surprised to see Wendy there as she knew her to be a well-behaved girl whom her mother often held up to her as an example. After a couple of minutes Wendy turned to her and asked in a whisper 'Are you here for the cane, Linda?'
Linda nodded, biting her lower lip.
'Have you had it before?' asked the shorter girl.
This time Linda shook her head. She really did not feel like talking. Wendy fell silent as well.
Five more minutes passed. Linda started to wonder if Wendy really had knocked on the door. Finally Mrs Southworth called out 'Come in!' The second year turned, as if to ask Linda whether she wanted to go in first instead and then slowly opened the door and entered the office.
Linda couldn't quite hear what was being said, although she listened carefully, but she could hear the sound of Mrs Southworth's voice. Then it stopped, and after a short pause she heard the sharp crack of the cane landing. Wendy yelled and immediately started to cry loudly. There was the sound of two more strokes delivered at regular intervals. Then there was a pause during which Linda realised that it was her turn now.
Mrs Southworth opened the door and Wendy came scuttling out. She was blushing a deep crimson and tears were pouring down her face. One hand was pressed against her bottom. Suddenly Linda felt dizzy with fright a the thought that in a few minutes her own bottom would be as sore as Wendy's obviously was. Mrs Southworth beckoned her inside the office and, screwing up her courage, she entered, closing the door behind her with an awful sinking feeling in her stomach.
She saw the cane immediately. It was about two feet six inches long with a crook handle and was lying on the desk. A chair had been pulled out into the middle of the room. Linda had expected a lengthy lecture but Mrs Southworth did not waste any time. She shut the door and said that as detentions and repeated warnings obviously had no effect on Linda's behaviour she had no option but to see if an old-fashioned caning would prove more effective in her case. Linda desperately wanted to beg to be let off, to explain that she had not done anything bad enough for the cane, but she was frightened that it would only serve to make the deputy more angry. So she stood in silence in front of Mrs Southworth's desk, looking down miserably at her feet.
The deputy headmistress told the girl to take off her blazer and hang it over the back of the chair. Then she made Linda bend over the sides of the chair seat and hold onto a bar between the legs. She rolled her light grey school skirt up and tucked the hem under the waistband. Linda shivered as she felt the cold air on her exposed flesh.
Then, warning the scared teenager to stay in position, she walked to her desk and picked up the cane. Linda looked round and saw her raising the cane high. Immediately she lowered her head again and closed her eyes tight.
Once again she heard the loud CRACK of the cane landing, but this time it was on her own bottom. She shouted at the impact, more from the built-up tension than anything else. There was a time-lag of one or two seconds before she felt the stinging pain and by then the second stroke was on its way. The first two strokes hurt but were not really too bad. But the third, landing in the same place, hurt like Hell - an unbearable searing pain as if the flesh of her bottom had been slashed open. She yelled again and straightened up; she clutched her backside with both hands, feeling the swelling weals through her thin blue panties, trying to contain the frightful pain. Despite the pain there was also a feeling of relief that it was all over.
But it wasn't! Mrs Southworth yelled at her: 'Who told you to get up!' I haven't finished with you yet, girl! Back over that chair! Now!'
Linda was dumbfounded. She had heard Wendy's punishment just before and she had definitely only got three strokes. Also she knew that other girls from her class sent to Mrs Southworth with five detentions had only got three. But she was in no position to argue. Reluctantly she slowly bent over once again, presenting her already so sore backside to the Deputy. Tears pricked at her eyes and began to fall slowly, dripping down her nose and onto the floor. She gripped the bar as hard as she could and bit into her lower lip. Her skirt had fallen back down and Mrs Southworth raised it out of the way once more.
There was only one more stroke, but it was by far the hardest. Somehow she managed to force herself to stay in position as the agonising stinging pain flooded through her. Through the pain she heard the deputy's voice. 'That will do. Stand up, Linda!'
She straightened and immediately went into a dance of uncontrolled agony, with her hands pressed to the seat of her skirt. Mrs Southworth told her to stand still, and then to put her blazer back on and return the chair to its normal place. Then she told the tearful teenager to leave the office.
Linda did so, but as soon as she had closed the door behind her she hopped around holding her poor bottom and breathing deeply. She took her handkerchief out and wiped the tears away, deeply ashamed that the deputy headmistress had succeeded in making her cry. She was not a little second year like Wendy Barber - she was fifteen years old! It was some time before she had recovered sufficiently to start on her journey home. She found that every step hurt and it took all her will power not to stop walking and cradle her stinging bottom in her hands, but she kept going. It also seemed to her as if everyone who looked at her must guess, from her stiff manner of walking and the expression on her face, what had happened to her and she was horribly embarrassed. She knew it would take very little to set her off crying again.
When she was nearly home Linda overtook Wendy Barber, who had been walking even more slowly, more because of a reluctance to face her mother than because of the continuing sting in her bottom. The girls exchanged shame-faced greetings. Linda asked how Wendy was feeling now and said that she had been the last girl in the school whom she'd expected to see get a caning. Wendy explained that she had not accumulated five detentions, but that she had been unfortunate to be caught writing something rude about Mrs Winterton on the blackboard for a dare. The teacher had come back and she had been caught. Normally such behaviour would earn at most a detention or two, but Wendy's teacher had decided that as it was the headmistress who had been insulted the girl should be sent to her. And Mrs Winterton had sent her to the deputy headmistress for the cane!
'I never dreamt it would hurt that much!' she said. 'It's ten times worse than the slipper, isn't it?'
Linda agreed and, rubbing her own bottom, said 'But I got it worse than you. You only got three, but she gave me four and they were all really hard!'
The two girls walked together until they reached Linda's house. Her mother was waiting outside the door; 'Where have you been, Linda? I've been waiting for you for over half an hour!' Both girls blushed and Wendy scampered off homewards as fast as she could.
'You've had the cane, haven't you? Both of you?' Mrs Peterson demanded. Linda told her the truth and did not receive any sympathy from her angry mother who sent her straight to her room, telling her to get changed. After about a quarter of an hour she went upstairs herself and into her errant daughter's room. Linda was lying face down on top of her bed with her face buried in the pillows, wearing her pink cotton nightie.
'Right. Let's look at the damage, then!' said Mrs Peterson briskly, lifting the nightie to reveal her daughter's caned bottom. Linda found it horridly shaming but passively allowed her mother to examine the marks.
'How many strokes did she give you?' asked Mrs Peterson. She could see several cane marks on her daughter's bottom and deep areas of dark bruising beginning to form, but there were not the three or four parallel lines she had been expecting.
'Four! And it hurt! Mum, I'm really sorry. I'll never get in trouble at school again, honestly!'
'Make sure you don't, young lady! Let this be a lesson to you. And now I'll give you something for disgracing yourself and letting your family down like this!' And, still holding the hem of her daughter's nightie in her left hand, Mrs Peterson delivered two sharp slaps onto Linda's wealed behind, causing her to start crying loudly. Mrs Peterson left the room.
But she burst back in a few minutes later and cradled her daughter in her arms. 'I'm sorry, Linda!' she said. 'I know you'd already had enough. But you make me so angry!'
Linda was allowed down for supper at eight o'clock. Her father didn't refer to her punishment when she walked into the kitchen, but her twelve year old brother, Robert, thought it was a great joke. He brought a cushion in from the front room and offered it to his sister if she wanted to sit down. Only firm warnings that he would find out for himself what a well-smacked bottom felt like stopped him from continuing to taunt Linda. When she did sit down Linda almost wished that she had accepted her brother's jesting offer. She realised that it would be some time before she could sit down without an uncomfortable reminder of her humiliating punishment.
After that episode Linda's behaviour at school did improve, but one day in the next term she and three other girls - Joanne Allardyce, Claire Stringer and Cathy Stone - were quietly doing private study in the dinner hut when they should have been in a PE lesson. Mrs Drake, the new PE mistress, noticed that they weren't where they were supposed to be. She left the class and came looking for them. She found them in the dinner hut and told the girls to see her after school with their Reprimand Board. Linda was not too worried as she didn't have any detentions that term yet. Jo was on four detentions and very upset at the looming prospect of the cane, Claire had two detentions and Cathy, who was usually very well behaved, also had none at all.
When the girls took the Reprimand Board to Mrs Drake they were surprised when she offered them a choice. They could either have a detention each or they could take a slippering from her. The teacher gave them a few minutes to make their minds up, saying that if it was to be the slipper they had to be unanimous - otherwise it would be detentions.
Of course Jo was very keen on the slippering option. For her it was a straight choice between the slipper and the cane. Claire also favoured this choice as otherwise she would have the headmistress's letter sent to her parents and she knew she'd get the slipper from her dad then anyway. Linda herself didn't feel strongly either way as, although she had no detentions that term yet, she wasn't too worried by the prospect of getting the slipper again. Cathy, however, was strongly in favour of the detentions idea. Unlike the rest of her friends she had never had the slipper at all, either at home or at school, and she didn't want to start now.
Jo and Claire soon persuaded Linda to support them and together they convinced Cathy to change her mind. Jo told Mrs Drake that they had all decided to take the slippering. The gym mistress told the girls to change into their PE things and pull a vaulting horse into the middle of the gym. Then, much to their surprise, she told them to start running round the sides of the gym as fast as they could. She said 'If I think you're not trying your best it will be the worse for you!' and smacked a large plimsoll down on the leather top of the vaulting horse.
As they circled the gym she explained that she would call them out one after the other and slipper each girl in turn while the others were running. They would get as many whacks as she could deliver before the three runners completed two circuits of the gym. It was the time of the last girl that would count. None of the girls was very athletic, which was perhaps why they had avoided a gym lesson, and they were already feeling puffed when Mrs Drake called for Cathy to bend over the horse.
Linda, Jo and Claire lined up again in a corner of the gym. Their 'starting pistol' was the WHACK of the plimsoll on the seat of Cathy's white gym-shorts tightly stretched across her chubby bottom - never before smacked, as she stretched herself in her undignified position over the horse. As they ran they could hear the sound of the slipper repeatedly landing, mingled with Cathy's squeals of pain. They all ran as fast as they could (which was not very fast) but the superbly fit Mrs Drake never paused between whacks and Cathy had received a very thorough slippering indeed by the time Claire completed her second lap.
'I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Claire,' Mrs Drake said, ' think you were trying.' Then she told Cathy to line up with the others and made Linda bend over the horse in her place.
Linda soon realised that Cathy was not such a coward and cry- baby as she had at first thought. Mrs Drake really walloped the plimsoll down - much harder than she did for dirty gym kit or not trying in PE. Linda never knew how many whacks she'd received but was sure it must have been at least thirty. She lost count after about a dozen and just tried to concentrate on not crying out - in which she was unsuccessful. The last girl by a long way was Cathy, suffering from a very sore bottom after her first ever slippering and still in a state of shock. Afterwards Jo told Linda that she'd got about a dozen whacks between the time the other two finished and when Cathy finally arrived.
Mrs Drake did not give Cathy the benefit of any doubt. 'You weren't trying, girl. Back over the horse!' she said. Cathy protested tearfully that she had been, but Mrs Drake said that she was sure Linda wouldn't agree. When Cathy was bent over the horse again Mrs Drake handed the plimsoll to Linda and told her to give Cathy six whacks. Linda knew that she should have just tapped her, but what with the sting in her own bottom, she delivered them as hard as she could, ignoring Cathy's yells.
It was Jo's turn next and once more Cathy was last. But Linda only just beat her. It was difficult to run fast after that slippering! This time Mrs Drake decided that all the girls had been trying.
Claire, the last girl to be punished, received the most whacks of all. The others were all really tired out from the running they had already done and Jo, who was the best runner out of them all, had just had her own dose of the slipper. Still by then Mrs Drake herself was getting rather tired and perhaps she wasn't hitting quite so hard. When the girls had finished Mrs Drake chose to decide that none of them had been trying and Claire was handed the slipper to give the other three six more whacks each. Unlike Linda, however, she didn't hit as hard as she could have done.
Afterwards the girls, panting and tired out and with very sore behinds, all agreed that if they were ever given the same choice again they would choose the detentions! Jo and Claire did not obtain any benefit from their choice anyway. They each received further detentions later that term and were duly caned.
Jo Allardyce was also involved in Linda's most severe school punishment. When they were in the fifth form Linda and Jo, together with two girls from the 'A' stream, Karen Hunt and Fiona Townsend, started to go around together and visit local shops and shoplift from them. It was more of a lark then anything else - at least until they were caught by the manager of the local W H Smiths.
Karen and Linda were wearing school uniform so he knew they were from the Queen Charlotte, and they could not give false names because he made them open their bags to check they hadn't taken anything else, and their names were on their books.
He told the girls that he would report them to their school so that Linda was not surprised when in the second lesson next morning a prefect looked in and said that she and Joanne Allardyce should report to the headmistress's office after school. Mrs Winterton allowed her deputy to deal with most disciplinary affairs but she still dealt with some serious matters herself.
Linda found it very difficult to concentrate for the rest of the day. It was well known that Mrs Winterton caned harder than Mrs Southworth and she still remembered all too clearly just how much her caning of the previous year had hurt. Jo, however, who was, in fact, one of the few girls in their class to have been caned by the headmistress, tried to act unconcernedly as though nothing had happened. She went too far, however, when she answered the History teacher back that afternoon.
Miss Desmond immediately ordered her out to the front of the class and withdrew a large plimsoll from her desk. Jo had expected a reprimand, as Miss Desmond did not usually resort to the slipper, and protested. 'Please, miss, not the slipper. I'm going to get the cane from Mrs Winterton after school!'
'Joanne,' said the teacher, 'if you think that the fact that you are due to be punished by the headmistress for disgracing the school's name means that you are exempted from the rules of this school you are very much mistaken. Come out here immediately!'
So Jo reluctantly walked out to the front. She had realised that she and the others would probably get the cane and had worn a pair of rust-brown trousers to school that day rather than her usual skirt. The wearing of trousers, although not of denim jeans, was permitted for girls in the fifth form and above. Linda, however, had been hoping against hope that they wouldn't be reported after all or that they would be let off and was wearing her usual light grey skirt. As she had got dressed that morning she had, rather superstitiously, thought that if she wore trousers, or even thicker panties than usual, it would somehow make the caning take place! It was better to act as if she didn't think anything was going to happen.
Jo had to bend down and hold her legs below her knees. Then Miss Desmond applied six hard whacks from the plimsoll to the seat of her tightly stretched trousers. Miss Desmond did not often slipper, but when she did she laid it on really hard, and on this occasion she surpassed herself. Jo made no sound, but she certainly felt it, and when she returned to her seat she swallowed hard as she sat down.
At four Linda and Jo made their way down the corridor to the headmistress's office. They knocked at the door and went in. Karen and Fiona were already standing there with downcast heads. Linda noticed that Karen, too, was wearing trousers although hers were light blue in colour. But what was most surprising - and terribly embarrassing - was that the manager of the W H Smiths was also standing there! Mrs Winterton explained that he would wait in her secretary's office while the girls were being punished and that she wanted them to apologise to him afterwards.
He left the office and Mrs Winterton launched into a long lecture about the awful thing the girls had done by stealing and how they had damaged the school's reputation. She ended by saying that she thought she knew who the ringleaders were here and would punish them accordingly. She turned to a cupboard behind her and selected a cane. It was longer and slightly thicker than the one Mrs Southworth had used on Linda just over a year before. She bent it almost into a semi-circle to demonstrate just how flexible it was. Then she told Fiona Townsend to move a chair into the middle of the room, and to bend over it. Fiona was the only one of the four girls who had never been caned before and she looked almost as though she was going to be sick when she was selected to be first.
Mrs Winterton warned Fiona not to get up until told to, but didn't tell her how many strokes she would be getting. Linda was shocked at how hard she lashed the cane down. Fiona screamed loudly at each stroke but just managed to retain her grip on the chair. After the fourth stroke there was a pause and finally Mrs Winterton told her she could get up. She was sobbing loudly and cradled her bottom tenderly in her hands as if it was too painful to touch. She was made to stand against the wall, facing it, with her hands behind her neck.
Then it was Karen's turn. She, too, got four strokes. She took them much better than Fiona, not yelling at all - although she gasped as the last stroke landed. But when she stood up afterwards Linda could see she was trying hard not to cry. Linda wished she, too, had worn trousers. It probably hurt just as much but at least Karen's panties hadn't been on show.
Now Mrs Winterton turned to Linda. 'Get a move on, Linda!' she said angrily as the girl hesitated. Drawing a deep breath she slowly bent over the chair. She closed her eyes, clenched her teeth and gripped the bar. She felt her skirt being raised and its hem being tucked into the waistband. Then she heard the headmistress raise the cane and then the SWISSHH as she whipped it down.
The time-lag between the impact and the pain hitting her seemed even longer this time, and when it did come it was much worse than before. Her bottom was filled by a frightful burning, searing pain. Just as the stinging was reaching its most excruciating point the cane lashed in again.
It took all her willpower to stop herself yelling. Those first two strokes had hurt more by themselves than all four together last time. But Linda wanted her friends to know that she wasn't a coward. She felt the headmistress rest the cane across the middle of her panties.
The third cut seemed to hurt even more than the first two, and she gasped audibly as the new level of pain blazed across her bottom. Desperately she tried to think of something pleasant, the holidays coming up, anything to take her mind off the agonising reality of the caning, but her mind refused to budge from the intense pain. She prayed that the next stroke would be the last.
Linda's hands left the bar, to go to her anguished buttocks. Somehow she forced them back. She felt her legs kick wildly, she seemed to have lost control over her body. She was breathing in deep quavering gasps and she realised that she had started to cry. Surely Mrs Winterton would now tell her to get up.
No. Instead she felt another stroke land over the existing weals. This time she couldn't help herself and she yelled out loud. She wanted to beg Mrs Winterton not to give her another stroke, but before she could do so it had landed.
It was the hardest stroke yet and sounded like a pistol shot. But Linda hardly felt it! The nerves in her bottom were already registering maximum pain and couldn't cope with any more!
At last she heard Mrs Winterton's voice telling her that she could get up. Her hands went straight to her bottom, under her skirt. She could feel how wealed and swollen it was through her panties. She tried to bring herself under control. Mrs Winterton made her stand next to Fiona and Karen and put her hands behind her neck like them. She couldn't stop crying. Fiona was still crying as well and by now Karen had started too.
It was Jo's turn now. She was dumbfounded when Mrs Winterton said that as she was undoubtedly the ringleader and as she had received a headmistress's caning previously, unlike the other girls, she would be punished on the bare and receive eight strokes. Poor Jo had to take down her trousers and remove her panties knowing that the other three girls, although facing the wall, could hear everything that was happening. When she was bent over the chair Mrs Winterton noticed the marks left by her earlier slippering.
'Where did you get these marks, Joanne?' she asked, tapping the girl's naked bottom with the end of her cane.
'Miss Desmond slippered me in History, ma'am' the bending Jo answered.
'That confirms my opinion. You need a good lesson once and for all!'
And with that the headmistress hefted the cane and sliced it down viciously onto the soft flesh of the teenager's unprotected rear. Jo tried to take her caning bravely but the headmistress really meant business this time and Jo was already sore from the slippering. She straightened after five strokes, in tears, and twisted round pressing her hands to her wealed bottom.
But Mrs Winterton had no idea of letting her off. She waited a moment or two and then made the sobbing girl bend down again, threatening that if she had to be held down she would receive extra strokes. Jo somehow managed to stay in position for the final three strokes, though she yelled loudly at each new accession of pain.
Linda hardly realised that her friend was getting the cane at all, let alone the drama. She was in a world of her own where all she could think of was the pain in her own posterior.
When Jo's caning was finally over she still had to pull her panties and trousers back up. Both these operations took a considerable amount of time and were obviously intensely painful. Fiona Townsend at least was glad of Jo's humiliation. She felt that she owed her own sore bottom to her friend's influence. Eventually Jo, too, was standing next to the other girls, hands behind neck and crying unrestrainedly.
Mrs Winterton called in the manager and made the girls turn round to face him. She then asked him if he was satisfied that the girls had been suitably punished. Through a veil of tears Linda saw his head nod emphatically, his eyes shining brightly as he smiled his agreement. Then Mrs Winterton made each girl apologise to him in turn and then they were told that they could go.
Linda's parents were very angry when they found out what had happened and they forbade her to have anything more to do with Joanne Allardyce in future. She was sent to bed early that night but got hardly any sleep. It was over a week before she could sit down properly and she was too embarrassed to go back to that branch of W H Smiths for years afterwards.