The Life and Times of Rachel Bannerman

12Apr10

The further adventures of Rachel Kent

Rachel had been beating the carpet for an age now and still the dust would not get out. It was times like these that she longed for Boston where one had the help and much less dust.

Not that she thought of Boston much. It had been two years since she had married. She never knew that the hard work and married life would make her so happy.

True, ranch life was hard on the rear end. There were times when she practically lived in the saddle. Even when she didn’t, when she needed it, Tom was not slow with his belt, hand, hairbrush, or a switch.

She smiled at this. When had she started thinking of it as when she needed it? Not when he said she needed it.

Things had changed for everyone in their little corner of the world. Her cousin Ginny Peters had become a grandmother at barely 38. Hannah had married Daniel Hawker just over a year back and they had just had their first child.

As a consequence, Becky had come to stay with Rachel and Tom, as Ginny didn’t want her left alone at the Peters’ ranch while she was away at the Hawker spread to help with the new born.

“You been thrashing at that rug for a while now.” Becky said coming up behind her. “You want me to take a turn?”

“You fed the chickens?” Rachel asked.

“You bet ma’am.” Becky nodded earnestly.

The two women exchanged smiles, albeit Becky’s was a bit rueful.

Only that week Becky had forgotten to feed the chickens. Worse than that, her forgetfulness was brought on by her fear of Tom’s rooster of all things. When Rachel had confronted her about it Becky had looked at the ground shamefaced.

“I need to cut a switch don’t I?” Becky had offered.

Rachel had been about to spank her in the house. But Becky was right it was a more serious lapse. So Rachel had nodded.

Half an hour later, she had found Becky in the corner of the barn with her skirts raised and her draws turned down. She had held the switch under bare bottom just on the fold. It was a position Tom favoured and Rachel had cause to train the ever-biddable Becky into taking up.

“You are only going to be with us three or four weeks.” Rachel had said in exasperation. “How comes I have to tan your hiney twice a week at your age?”

“I’m just lucky I guess.” Becky said tartly.

“Smart mouth me again young lady and you can wait there for Tom to handle you.” Rachel had snapped.

“Sorry ma’am.”

It was strange that Becky had taken to ma’aming Rachel since she had got married, but she kind of liked it. Then with a chuckle at her cheeky cousin, she led her by the ear to the sawhorse and bent her over the folded sacking, which had more or less taken up permanent residence there.

Rachel had to admit that she got an immense satisfaction while whipping Becky’s bare bottom. Each little gasp and yelp reminded her of bedtime with Tom, she blushed. Also, the ever-growing garden of plum coloured welts on the girl’s bare bottom were a small joy to the eye.

“Don’t spare the switch.” Ginny had whispered to her when Lance and her had dropped the girl off.

“I have never.” Rachel began to protest.

“You remember the last few times I whaled your own hiney back at the ranch?” Ginny had pressed.

Rachel blushed to roots of her hair, remembering that winter in the early days of her marriage when she had stayed on at the Peters ranch while Tom was away. She nodded hastily to stave off any more such comments.

“Well it is just like that. Only from the other side.” Ginny chuckled.

“Its alright Rachel I know when to take my lickings.” Becky, who was standing nearby, offered.

Rachel handed Becky the carpet beater and went back to the house to prepare supper.

As She walked away, it sounded like Becky was giving the rug the spanking of its life.

Later that evening Tom made it back from town where he had errands to run.

“I half expected you to be in the corner.” He chuckled when he saw Becky sitting at the table.

“Aw Tom I didn’t forget to feed the chickens today.” She blushed shyly.

“What have you got there?” Rachel asked seeing a white paper sticking out Tom’s pockets.

“Oh I have a letter from Pa.” Tom said sadly.

“You have a pa?” Becky gaped. “He must be real old.”

“You do need another licking.” Tom laughed and chased Becky around the table.

“Not good news.” Rachel said interrupting the horseplay.

“How’d you know?” Tom replied handing her the letter. “His wife died.”

“Oh Tom I’m sorry.” Rachel rushed over and embraced him.

“Your ma?” Becky gasped.

“No, no.” Tom said dismissively. “Ma’s been gone well, since I were a young un. This was his second wife. I only met her but once.”

“Oh Tom.” Rachel clapped her hand to her mouth. “Your sister is coming out here.”

“My half-sister. If you are agreeable.” Tom nodded.

“Well of course but why?” Rachel asked hastily reading the note for a clue.

“Pa doesn’t say. But I think he might have taken his wife’s death hard. Besides, as you might guess, Becky is right he is a mite old now. Too old maybe to bring up a girl near 16.”

“Oh the poor girl.” Rachel hugged herself remembering her life before she left Boston and how hard she had taken the trip west.

“There’s one more thing.” Tom said. “The girl will need a school.”

“I am sure Miss Hacker will be.” Rachel began.

“No offence to Miss Hacker, but the Benson school won’t do. Elisabeth has had your kind of schooling and besides we are as near Cambridge Wells as Benson and the school is on the other side.” Tom sighed.

“The school in Cambridge Wells is no better than the one in Benson.” Becky said defensively.

“No its not. But there is a some kind of ladies academy.” Tom shrugged.

“The Bainbridge School for Young Ladies.” Rachel smirked. “I know of it. It is hardly Boston. Just some jumped up western college with pretensions I’ll be bound. And think of the money.”

“You have only been to Cambridge Wells but once.” Tom argued. “Besides you wouldn’t begrudge my sister an education. Besides I am sure pa can pay.”

“I have been twice and it’s hardly any bigger than Benson. If you are serious I know people in Boston.”

“Boston.” Tom growled.

Rachel held her tongue. So did Becky.

“Look all you know about this place is guesses and what folks who wouldn’t know a school from a barn say about it. All I am saying is go and have a look see. If it ain’t fitting then we’ll talk about other options.”

“I see.” Rachel nodded thoughtfully. “When is your sister coming?”

“I’ll write tonight, she’ll be here whenever after that. How long does it take to get from Denver anyway?”

“We’ll ride into Cambridge Wells next week.” Rachel suggested.

“Good I’m starved.” Tom said rubbing his hands glad things were settled.

That night Tom asked more carefully if Rachel was really to accept his half sister coming to live with them.

“After all it’s my father’s responsibility. No one made him start a new family in his 50s.”

“No we have to take her in, at least for a while.” Rachel said kissing him.

Tom kissed her.

“Have you been good these last few days while I have been away?”

“Pretty much.” Rachel snuggled into him.

“I am glad to hear it. In that case I have a little something for you.” Tom squeezed her.

“Tom Bannerman is that you?” She gasped feeling his arousal under the sheets.

“We’ll I do hope so.” He grinned.

“You are right it is a little something.” She teased and put out her tongue.

“Is that a fact?” He cocked an eyebrow.

“Only kidding.” She smiled back nervously.

Tom swept the bedclothes off her and knelt up.

“Tom Becky will hear.” Rachel wheedled jumping out of bed.

The chase was a short one and Rachel was soon across her husband’s knee while he turned up the hem of her nightdress to expose her bottom.

“Tom please I was kidding.” She struggled.

The first swat with the flat of his hand made her yelp. He grinned at the red handprint on her exposed bottom cheek.

“I’ll do that thing you like.” Rachel gasped.

“I accept. But we will talk about that straight after your spanking.” Tom said as his hand came down for the first of a great many spanks.

“I meant… ow.”

Becky, who had almost been asleep sat up in bed and cocked an ear. Then she grinned, only sorry that she could not peek. Rachel was getting another spanking. She might have known, it always seemed to happen when Tom got back after a few days away.

This time it was a long spanking. Although Becky could tell Tom was only using his hand and Rachel had had plenty worse. After a while, Rachel couldn’t hold her peace, but her distress calls were definitely half-hearted. The lady doth protest too much, Becky thought as she drifted off to the rhythm of the spanking. I can’t wait to me married, was her last thought.

A week later old man Hawker came over to watch the stock while the three of them took the wagon into Cambridge Wells.

The Bainbridge School was by far the most impressive building in town. Only the courthouse and hotel even came close. Even Rachel had to admit that it wouldn’t have looked out of place in Boston.

Becky and Tom exchanged glances at the mention of Boston and Becky rolled her eyes up.

It had taken all her skills of persuasion to get Tom out of his buckskins and into his Sunday best to call on the school principal.

“Ah Mr and Mrs Bannerman, do come in. Your sister, is she the one who is to enrol here?” A very prim woman asked indicating Becky.

“Oh no man I am just Rachel here’s cousin. Its Tom’s sister who is enrolling.” Becky gushed giggling at the misunderstanding.

“I see.” The woman said tartly openly dismayed at Becky’s temerity in speaking for her elders and betters.

“You must forgive my wife’s cousin, she is kind of excited. She is right though it is my sister who is the young lady in question. My wife here will do the talking if you don’t mind, she’s the one with the education in our family.” Tom offered.

“I see.” The woman answered studying Becky carefully, wary of another outburst. “I am Mrs Bainbridge, the school principal and founder.”

“I don’t wish to appear blunt, but I am not certain that this is the best place for my sister-in-law, I was rather wondering if it might not be better for her back east.” Rachel said pleasantly.

Tom started at his wife’s apparent rudeness. But Mrs Bainbridge seemed to take it in her stride. These Boston folks had a funny way of doing business, he thought.

“I quite understand and I will not claim to better a good eastern education. But I do promise that we can come close in both the curriculum and our standards of discipline. In fact, when it comes to discipline I feel we have the best marriage of eastern and western values and may indeed be rather better suited to the requirements of training up the pioneering women of the future.”

“Well I am certainly impressed by what I have seen so far Mrs Bainbridge. I am a slow convert to western disciplinary values myself, but I can see some of the advantages.” Rachel replied looking significantly at an oblivious Becky who was engrossed in a painting on the wall.

“Of course another advantage of this school is the costs.” Mrs Bainbridge continued looking slightly askance at Tom’s suit.

“Despite my husbands sartorial shortcomings I assure you that the costs are not an issue.” Rachel said evenly fixing Mrs Bainbridge with stare. “I have money of my own and in any case Mr Bannerman senior, the girl’s father, can meet any expenditure.”

“Of course Mrs Bannerman I really did not mean to imply otherwise.” Mrs Bainbridge twittered. “Perhaps you and I could take a tour of the school while your husband and cousin take tea.”

“Indeed Mrs Bainbridge, a capital suggestion.” Rachel nodded quite assent to Tom.

“I’m glad you ladies got to that because I haven’t understood a word either of you has said once you got to pecking on one and other’s eyes.” Tom chuckled.

Mrs Bainbridge and Rachel exchanged a Boston look and politely took their leave.

“I must say that cousin of yours would benefit from a year or two at this school.” Mrs Bainbridge confided.

“I think you might regret that.” Rachel laughed. “Besides I think she is far beyond help by now.”

After seeing a succession of classes, none of them very full, Rachel was impressed that the girl’s were all nicely turned out eastern style and stood when their principal entered the room.

Then they came to another class that quite forced Rachel to pause for breath. It wasn’t the two girls standing in the corner with their draws down and the hems of their gowns pinned to the small of their backs. Nor the fact that the bare bottoms displayed had been polished to a bright shiny red. She might have been surprised by the fact that each girl held a freshly cut switch neatly framing each pair of cheeks that signalled that the two young ladies may yet feel more of a bite across their dainty bottoms. She might have been if she had of noticed, but what had taken all of her attention was the woman instructing the other six members of her class. It was the schoolteacher from the stagecoach when she had first headed west more than two years before.

“Miss Coolidge, may I introduce Mrs Bannerman who is looking to enrol her sister-in-law in our school?” Mrs Bainbridge said pleasantly.

The woman turned to regard Rachel for a long moment.

“Ah yes, Mrs Bannerman you say, yes we have already made an acquaintance. You appear to have thrived out here Mrs Bannerman. Despite a somewhat negative attitude when last we met.” Miss Coolidge said evenly.

“Miss Coolidge I rather regret that we parted on such cool terms before. You are quite right I was feeling rather sorry for myself and I may have been somewhat rude.”

“More than somewhat I fear.” Miss Coolidge said tightly.

“I am not sure that.” Mrs Bainbridge began suddenly realising her mistake in allowing a prospective guardian meet the waspish Miss Coolidge.

“Perhaps.” Rachel blushed. “But you did threaten to switch my behind in front of some rather rough men.”

“I did, didn’t I.” Miss Coolidge chuckled. “Your bare behind I do recall.”

“Oh my.” Mrs Bainbridge concealed a smile at the exchange.

“I would have no doubt benefited at the time I am sure. Please accept my apologies.” Rachel was blushing vividly by now.

“How could I not?” Miss Coolidge beamed.

The girls in the class were whispering excitedly at the exchange.

“You see ladies, none of us are immune from a sound correction in the form of a sting to the tail when it is required.” Miss Coolidge intoned.

“May I ask what these two eh young ladies have done?” Rachel said eager to change the subject.

“They have displeased me.” Miss Coolidge said expansively. “And after class I am going to displease them further.”

“Yes quite.” Mrs Bainbridge said ushering Rachel to the door.

“I do see what you mean about discipline Mrs Bainbridge.” Rachel winked at Miss Coolidge. “Good day Miss Coolidge.”

“I do think you should call me Caroline, Mrs Bannerman.” Miss Coolidge suggested.

“Call me Rachel, Caroline.”

Once back at the office Rachel recommended that, the Bainbridge School would be suitable for Elisabeth.

“They have such great pictures on the walls.” Becky said earnestly pointing in unladylike manner at one that had taken her fancy. Then added. “Oh do you give girls a whopping at this fancy school?”

“Indeed they do.” Rachel said with a smile playing about her lips.

Days later back at the Bannerman ranch Rachel was concerning herself with the arrangements for Elisabeth’s stay.

Tom hadn’t been impressed with all the fuss that was being made so had decided to leave these details to the women folk and had gone to tend his small herd.

“I suppose I’ll be gone by the time she gets here.” Becky offered. “So what is wrong with my room?”

Rachel didn’t know what to say to this. Becky had taken one look at the spare storeroom when she had arrived and commandeered it. Rachel hadn’t argued, as it was no worse than the corner of the room she had been used to at home. But Rachel remembered how she had struggled with such primitive arrangements and wondered if they might not do better for Elisabeth.

“I am not sure it will serve come winter.” Rachel suggested.

“Maybe not.” Becky agreed. “I suppose you need somewhere more fancy for her anyways.”

In the end, Rachel decided to take over Tom’s gunroom. The gunroom was a modest room that took up part of the attic, where as the name suggested, Tom worked on his various fire arms in the winter when the barn was too cold. Rachel reasoned that most of the gear could be moved into the barn and the rest could be housed in the storeroom that was Becky’s room.

It took the two of them all day to haul the stuff to the barn and by the time they were through, Rachel felt that they had made a pretty good job of it.

Tom was less than happy with it and started to rage a bit about ‘uppity womenfolk’ messing with his guns.

“I ought to take my belt to the pair of you.” He simmered.

Rachel swallowed and Becky and her exchanged hurried looks.

“It isn’t Becky’s fault, it was my decision.”

“Just don’t go touching any of my guns while there in that room of yours.” Tom growled at Becky.

Rachel concluded that he would be like a bear with a sore head until bedtime, when he would probably spank her anyway. But at least he had accepted the new arrangement and without taking his irritation out on Becky.

“Phew. I thought we were in for a trip to the barn that time for sure.” Becky whistled while he was washing up.

Two days later, what happened was probably inevitable.

Rachel was hanging out the laundry when she heard a thunderous roar. It sounded like cannon far way. Then she saw smoke pouring from the storeroom window.

Becky ran out, her skirts on fire and grabbed a bucket and headed back inside. By the time Rachel got there, the drapes were out, but not Becky.

“I kind of had an accident.” Becky said casually, sporting a lopsided grin.

Rachel grabbed the bucket and emptied the dregs over Becky’s smouldering dress. It was then she saw the biggest gun she had ever seen.

“I eh found it in that trunk.” Becky cringed.

“And you just had to load it?” Rachel sighed.

“I was just seeing if it could take a regular shell. It looked so.” Her voice trailed off. “Barn?”

“Oh I think so.” Rachel growled with her hands on her hips.

“Yes ma’am.” Becky said, with her eyes downcast.

Becky followed her cousin meekly out to the barn, expecting to be told to cut a switch long before they got there. However, once they were in side Rachel produced a hairbrush from within her skirts.

“I’ve taken to keeping it handy ever since you came to stay.” Rachel said wryly. “I am just going to go at it with you with this for now. I know Tom will add something when he gets home.”

“You don’t have to tell him. I’ll take a proper licking from you. I know I got it coming.” Becky hung her head offering puppy dog eyes.

“Once Tom discovers that someone has messed with his gun one of us will get the mother of all blisterings.” Rachel shrugged. “And I have decided that it’s going to be you.”

“I am going to get a spanking as something on account.” Becky pulled a face.

“You catch on fast.”

Becky nodded and began rucking up her skirts.

Rachel sat on an old trunk and parted her Becky’s draws as she took he rover her knee.

“Just like home.” Becky said sagely.

The spanking was long, hard and efficient. Not an inch of girl flesh was spared on Becky’s behind and long before Rachel was done, Becky had decided that she never wanted to look at another gun for as long as she lived.

Rachel kept up her punitive task until Becky’s bottom was Raspberry red and she had acquired a dusty white patch around her sit spots. Even for an old trouper like Becky it was a challenging spanking and she was well into her tears by the time Rachel put her in the corner.

After Rachel’s efforts, the corner was a haven for Becky’s sobbing, but even as she struggled not to rub, she knew that Tom would add to her woes before she saw her bed.

“You stay there until Tom comes.” Rachel chided.

“Yes ma’am.” Becky sobbed.

It was little more than an hour later that Tom studied the hole in his wall and the place where the drapes had caught fire from the flash.

“What was she doing?” He said more in amazement than anger. “She could have been killed.”

“Its my fault.” Rachel sighed. “It was my idea to put the guns there, she is just still a kid after all.”

“We will come to that.” He said ominously. “But she is nearly 19 and old enough to know better.”

Rachel nodded.

“Where is she?”

“Still in the barn if she knows what is good for her.” Rachel replied.

“Best prepare a place at the mantle, that is Ginny’s way isn’t?” Tom growled.

“Who for?” Rachel said dryly with a mock cringe.

“Just the one place will suffice for now.” He chuckled.

Rachel shrugged, at least he wasn’t too mad, she thought.

Becky was indeed still standing with her nose to the corner in the barn when Tom entered.

“What were you thinking?” He gasped in exasperation. “Turn around.”

Becky complied happy to turn her bottom away from the man’s gaze. Even then she did not answer him.

“Well?”

“I am sorry I didn’t mind you I was only.”

“You know you could have been killed don’t you? Or worse you might have killed Rachel.”

Becky felt sick she had not considered that.

“I wasn’t that bad it just went off.”

“Oh so you were in control and you meant to shoot the drapes?”

“Well no.”

“Well no.” Tom snapped. “You know what happens now don’t you?”

Tom’s hands went to his belt and as he unbuckled he began puling it through the loops of his pants.

“I guess I got it coming.” Becky nodded turning to bend over a vacant saddle stand.

Her skirts were still held up in back and her red bottom could be seen through the opening in her draws. Tom pushed more of her skirts out of the way and undid the ties to let her bloomers fall to her ankles.

“Oh.” She sighed with her eyes fixed on a point ahead of her.

The first sweep took her low and she gasped at the impact on her already sore bottom. The crack of leather on girl hide could be heard all the way back to the house. It was pride that made her vow not to call out, but the determination to take what she deserved as well as she could.

Her face was still screwed up with the pain as she felt the leather peel away for another strike. It came. Her silent act was going to be a challenge, she realised as the blaze in her tail began to sear deeper.

Back at the house Rachel tried to count the strokes. Part of her would have liked to watch, but she knew it was needful this way. In her head she counted to 14 or 15 before the tally escaped her.

Back in the barn Becky had long since given up the count and her attempt to stay silent. At each heavy splat she let out a wet wail as she tried to draw breath.

For Tom it was not rage he felt, but indignation. In his mind, he saw Rachel dead on the floor overplayed by patch of Becky’s blood and blonde hair on the wall. Something like he had once seen in the war.

By now the girl’s bottom was imprinted with two purple pads of welts divided only by a strip of white unpacked flesh. As she clutched at the wooden stand and struggled to stay in place, he thought idly about the white unspanked areas and wondered why Rachel had not done a better job. He would have to instruct her more closely.

Then she finally broke and howled out in earnest at each fall of the belt. Tom let the blows fall lower then, more where she sat and onto her upper thighs. Becky began to dance a little at this.

Still he went on until she sagged over the saddle stand lost in tears.

“Alright.” He sighed. “We’re done.”

She fell to her knees and sobbed.

“Clean yourself up and then put that colourful tail of yours in Rachel’s corner until supper.”

“Yes sir.” She choked. “Please, I am sorry.”

“I know.” He breathed and replaced his belt as he left the barn.

Ten minutes later, a shamefaced Becky entered the house carrying her bloomers with her skirts still up in back.

“I am sorry ma’am.” She whispered.

Rachel walked to wards her and gave her a hug, which brought a fresh bought of tears from the girl. Then she kissed her on the forehead and let Becky walk stiffly to the corner.

“Oh my Tom really laid on didn’t he?” Rachel gasped.

“He’s got a heavier hand than pa.” Becky said ruefully but nonetheless managed a cheeky smile over her shoulder.

Rachel motioned her to turn back with a twist of her finger.

“I’ll put some goose grease on that later. Until then you keep it aired.”

“Yes ma’am.”

It was another hour until supper and then Becky faced the indignity of standing at the mantle with her bare bottom facing the room to eat hers.

“My you are a tough customer these days.” Tom chuckled to his wife as he studied his handiwork on Becky’s bare behind. “Ginny wasn’t half so strict about the mantle.”

“I dare say I may be joining her tomorrow if I am any judge.” Rachel replied ruefully.

Sure enough, later that night as Becky lay in bed trying to ignore her throbbing bottom as she tried to sleep on her belly, she heard the familiar thwack of the strap again. This time it was Rachel’s bottom on the receiving end.

“Sorry Rachel.” She whispered. Knowing it was her fault.

The next morning both women stood at the mantle at breakfast.

“Your mother taught me well.” Rachel shrugged with a blush as she took her place next to Becky.

The mantle was well used for the rest of the week and poor Tom felt almost lonely sitting at the table alone. Even by the time Ginny and Lance arrived to Becky home, their daughter was still wincing as she sat.

“You’ll tell me she was no trouble I assume.” Ginny said with a grim smile.

“She’s Becky.” Rachel shrugged as she hugged Ginny and Lance.

“I think maybe we need to have a chat when I get you home.” Ginny scolded her daughter.

Becky pulled a face and looked to her father for help, but Lance only shrugged and offered her pitying smile.

It was another week after that, when Tom drove the wagon into Benson to meet his sister.

As he leant against the rail watching for newcomers, he had to conclude that Elisabeth had missed the stage. There were no signs of any young girls and the only two women who got off the stage looked far too mature to be his 15-year-old half-sister. He was just tossing with the idea of getting a room for the night or heading straight back when he caught sight of her.

One of the women was the spit of his father. He was about to put it down as a coincidence when she spotted him.

“Tom?” She smiled. “Tom Bannerman?”

Tom shook his head. He had only seen his half-sister once and that had been, he hastily re-added the figures in his head.

“Elisabeth. You look mighty big for 15.”

“Fifteen, I am near 18, my birthday is this month.” She said politely. “Father said you never could figure. But I would have known you anywhere.”

“But it’s been 10 years how could you?”

“It has been 12 brother dear.”

Tom offered her a lopsided grin.

“I don’t suppose you want this then?” He blushed handing her a doll.

“Oh she’s lovely.” Elisabeth giggled. “But I haven’t played with dolls since I was 11 or 12. If I had been 15, I would have positively chewed you out about giving me this.”

“I thought you might resent being here?” He said quietly.

“I miss father but.” She shrugged. “Things have changed with him, he aged over night once mother died.”

Tom nodded thoughtfully.

“It’s going to be hard out here. It will be five years before I really get the ranch going.” Tom pulled a face. “Anyway are you up for a long ride home or do you want to go tomorrow?”

“I don’t know.” Elisabeth. “I did rather hope to hire a maid before we left town. I had to let my girl go.”

Tom let out a huge belly laugh. He was going to like his sister, with a sense of humour like that she was going to do well out here.

“I am sorry did I say something funny?” Elisabeth said rather puzzled.

“Didn’t you?” Tom stopped laughing abruptly.

Elisabeth shook her head not comprehending.

“Surely there must a reasonably presentable girl here who needs the work?”

“In Benson?” Tom was dumbstruck. “What kind of life have you been living?”

“A civilised one.” Elisabeth said pertly. “You don’t think I can live here without a personal maid?”

Now Tom had thought about getting some permanent help for Rachel once they got settled, but nothing quite as grand as a personal maid.

“I assure you their ain’t no personal maids in Benson. We had best get you home.”

Despite her protests, Tom got his sister to the wagon for the drive home.

“What for heaven’s sake is this?” She said when she saw it. “Surely you have a carriage or a buggy at least?”

“Unfortunately the coachman had to take it for repairs.” Tom growled.

It was in some consternation that Elisabeth got on board the wagon. And it was in a thankful silence that they rode the long way home.
“Heavens above.” Elisabeth gasped when she saw the ranch house.

“Its not much it is mine.” Tom said proudly. “Of course old man Wilkins built the middle part, I just added to it.”

“It is a bit.” Elisabeth swallowed wondering where she had been brought. “Basic.”

Rachel had heard the wagon and came out to greet her new sister-in-law.

“We were expecting someone a little younger.” Rachel grinned. “Tom’s math is not his strong point.”

Elisabeth was a bit taken aback by the well-dressed and well-spoken woman. She didn’t seem to fit the house.

“Is this the help’s quarters?” Elisabeth asked, looking frantically around for the real house.

“I am afraid not.” Rachel sighed. “We have to put all the money into the herd. I have quite a bit put by, so as soon as we are sure we don’t need it we will improve the house and hire some hands.”

Tom thought that he might need some hired hands long before they can even think about improving the house. But he held his peace.

“Elisabeth this is Rachel.” Tom said. “Rachel this is sister Elisabeth.”

“Oh I was forgetting my manners.” Rachel said helping Elisabeth down. “Come and have some tea.”

Elisabeth followed Rachel while Tom got the bags. During the entire walk to the door, Elisabeth prayed that the inside would be better. It wasn’t.

“Its rustic.” Elisabeth said pulling a face.

“I can see it with your eyes. I had much the same reaction when I arrived at the Peters’ place almost three years ago.” Rachel said uncomfortably. “But you will be spending much of your days at Bainbridge School. You will find that much more to your liking.”

“School?” Elisabeth said. “But it is scarcely worth it now, this was to be my last year anyway.”

“That’s still a lot of schooling to do surely. I really think that it would not hurt. It will give you time to adjust here.”

“But I haven’t been to school in over.” Elisabeth stopped.

Rachel began to ask some searching questions and soon found that beneath the gentile façade, Elisabeth’s education was woefully lacking.

It seemed that Elisabeth had broken off school at 16 to tend her mother when she had become ill. In her father’s preoccupation with the tragedy, she had never gone back.

“Well it seems to me that it is settled. In fact as Mrs Bainbridge takes girls up to age 21 you are in exactly the right place.” Rachel said firmly.

“But this is so unfair.” Elisabeth wailed as another façade fell away.

“What do you intend to do instead? Feed our chickens until one of the ranch hands asks you to marry him?” Rachel cried.

“Feed the.” Elisabeth did not know what to say. Then she changed tack.

“When am I getting a maid?”

Tom had entered by then and shot his wife a look.

“A maid?” Rachel’s mouth worked as it tried to coordinate with her brain as it was confronted with the strange ideas.

“I came from Boston.” Rachel said quietly. “I was rather spoiled and childish when I came and I do understand what you are going through. I have much the same background as you. But never in my most ignorant thoughts did I ever think that I would have a maid on a ranch. You talk as if Denver were on the moon.”

“Its only fitting.” Elisabeth said with a pout.

“I think the sooner we get you to Cambridge Wells and civilisation the better.” Rachel said shaking her head in disbelief.

Elisabeth was unbearable over the next few days. Although Tom thought it was funny and indulged the girl more than Rachel would ever have thought possible. For Rachel though, the girl reminded her too much of herself and what an embarrassing brat she must have been.

“I wasn’t that bad was I.” Rachel said desperately in bed that first night.

“Not entirely, but not that far off it.” Tom’s mouth was a straight line as he said it.

Rachel was about to protest, although full of doubt about her position as she remembered how she had once decided that single-handedly she was the best scout in the territory.

“Well except for the maid request.” Tom laughed.

Then Tom broke into pieces and forced the pillow into his mouth so that Elisabeth couldn’t hear him. Rachel couldn’t help but join him.

Alone in her room Elisabeth heard the laughter and knew it was about her somehow. She had never felt so lonely. Her room was an attic and her life was in the cellar. She rolled over and cried herself to sleep.

With their arrival at the Bainbridge School, Elisabeth tried to put on a dignified front.

“I suppose the best people go to finishing schools.” She said haughtily.

“I suppose they do.” Tom replied. And then to Rachel he whispered. “What is a finishing school?”

Rachel punched his arm.

“Can I wait outside?” Tom suggested. “The saloon maybe.”

“Don’t you want to see your sister into school?” Rachel asked.

“You gonna talk fancy at me again?”

Rachel rolled her eyes up in despair at him. In the end, he paid his respects to Mrs Bainbridge, bid his sister farewell for the week and made his excuses.

“Are you sure you want her home with you every weekend?” Mrs Bainbridge asked.

“For now at least.” Rachel said. “At least until we get to know her more.”

Mrs Bainbridge complimented Elisabeth on how she was turned out and then dropped a bombshell.

“I am afraid since for your schooling you are required to take lessons with the middle school, you will require appropriate attire.”

“You mean one of those delightful sailor suit affairs that the younger girls wear?”

Elisabeth turned to Rachel with a look of horror.

“Oh I knew you would understand. You see you did inform us that we were to finish Elisabeth here’s last year of education. But now your requirements have changed. So you see.” Mrs Bainbridge displayed her hands palms up.

“Yes can you add it to our bill?” Rachel asked. “I mean can I leave the details with you?”

“Oh yes indeed.” Mrs Bainbridge agreed. “We usually make those arrangements here.”

“I will not wear a child’s schoolroom garb.” Elisabeth wailed.

Rachel could almost swear she stamped her foot.

“Be reasonable it is the school rules.” Rachel couldn’t help enjoying her sister-in-law’s discomfort.

“Have no fear young Elisabeth here will soon come around.” Mrs Bainbridge smiled easily.

“Then I shall leave you to it.” Rachel nodded as elegantly as she could muster. “By the way is Miss Coolidge around? Please be so kind to give her my regards.”

Then she left.

Once outside she had expected Tom to be waiting for her.

“Where is that man?” She addressed the world impatiently.

Then she headed off to the hotel to see if he had found something to eat.

“No ma’am I ain’t seen anyone fitting that description.” The hotelier offered apologetically.

It took her an hour of hunting the streets to find Tom in a back street saloon. She was mortified to find him in such a low dive.

“Tom Bannerman you come away from here at once.” She ordered.

Tom looked up from his beer and gave her a hard stare.

“Do you hear me Tom?” She was suddenly aware that every man in the place was staring at her.

“Go on Tom better do as the little says.” Came a jeer from the back.

“Rachel Bannerman, did I hear some Boston in your voice? Because I am not sure I heard you a right.”

“You heard me Tom. What are you doing in this… place?”

“Oh that.” Tom said easily. “I am doing what ever the hell I like. Least I was until you came in. Now get to the wagon or the hotel if you are fixing to stay the night and I will be along when I am ready.”

“Tom you come out of here this instant.”

“You tell him honey.” Said a rather colourfully dressed woman who looked somewhat the worse for drink.

“Rachel Bannerman my lovely and adored wife. When I am through here, I am going to come and find you and give you the spanking of your life. So, if I were you I would get that room and be waiting meekly for me in the corner with your hairbrush to hand and your draws way down at your ankles. Now get.”

Rachel blushed to the roots of her hair and shared with her husband some language she definitely hadn’t learnt in Boston.

“You get or I’ll spank you right here.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Rachel yelled and grabbed a beer pot from another customer and threw it at him.

Tom ducked just in time and the pot went smashing into the mirror behind the bar. Even Rachel was shocked at what she had done.

Tom calmly put down his beer and began rolling up his sleeves.

“Tom I.” Rachel’s mouth went suddenly dry.

She made a bolt for the door but Tom got there ahead of her.

“Please Tom I’ll go to the hotel like you said I promise.”

The woman who had spoke earlier laughed out loud at this.

“Hear that? The prissy stuck up cow has to do corner time.”

The men all laughed at this and the growing redness in Rachel’s face descended her neck. There was a staircase to her right; she made a break for it. Tom caught her at the foot of the stairs.

He hauled easily under one arm and made for a chair by the bar.

“Tom please what are you going to do?” She wailed.

Tom sat in the chair and began raising several layers of his wife’s skirts.

“No Tom.” Rachel squealed desperately trying to hold her skirts down.

“You want me to tear this.” Tom snapped. “I don’t mind, it won’t be the first time before an entire town.”

“Tom if you do this I will never speak to you again.” She blustered.

“Is that a fact? What’s the draw back here?”

Then he dragged up the last of her skirts and asked the ‘lady’ at the bar if she had a pin.

“You gonna stick her?” The woman’s jaw dropped.

Tom didn’t need to explain as she handed over a hatpin, curious to see what he was going to do. Tom carefully pinned up Rachel’s skirts so that her bloomers were on show to the room.

“Tom please take me home. Not here please.”

“You were quick enough to humiliate me here.” Tom growled.

The Rachel’s worse fear was realised as she felt a draft on her legs and nether parts.

“Tom no.” She squealed.

Tom didn’t listen, but dragged her bloomers right off and tucked them into his pocket. Then he adjusted his wife so that everyone in the room had a good view of her bare bottom and she was well presented for his next action.

Then he administered the hardest hand spanking he had ever given her.

Overcome with embarrassment and not a little pain she burst into tears at once.

Tom ignored her fuss and continued a rapid spanking so that her bottom went quickly red. The pistol shot-like impacts must have been loud because those sitting near could hear them over the roar of the gathering crowd. And gather it did. Word soon went out among the street hawkers a livery boys and everyone came running.

Still Tom spanked on.

“Boy can that man spank.” Said a woman in a red velvet dress who had come to watch the fun. “I ain’t seen a spanking like that since I left home. Come to think of it I ain’t never seen a spanking like this. Hey Tom, you wanna borrow the paddle I use on the girls?”

Tom ignored her and carried on his marathon correction.

By now Rachel was limp and sobbing quietly, her world was reduced to her burning bottom and she was oblivious to the crowd. Then knowing she was through, Tom stopped.

“You ever gonna tell me where I can go again?” He said softly.

“No sir.” She sobbed.

“You gonna get to the corner to wait when I tell you?”

“Yes sir.”

“Then get there now.”

Then under the eyes of the still laughing crowd she eased herself of his lap will all the dignity she muster and then reached behind her to unpin and lower her skirts. She looked sheepishly at Tom as she did so only to see him slowly shake his head.

She gaped in horror and then blushing on blushes nodded in submission.

To anyone passing the saloon it appeared that a shamefaced tearful respectable woman was leaving the premises. Perhaps shocked at her mistake in entering such a den of iniquity in the first place. However, the now applauding rowdies inside could see the very red bottom of a recently publicly chastised wife.

Rachel walked stiffly to the hotel keeping to the side streets and entered the building by the side door. Most people passing did not look back, why would they? The men even doffed their hats to the lady. But the odd young man, who was so inclined to glance back at attractive ladies, had a shocking treat, for the beautiful woman had her skirts pinned to the small of her back and a very bare recently spanked bottom well displayed.

Rachel swallowed hard as she entered the almost deserted hotel lobby. She toyed with the idea of letting her skirts drop, but she would never get them back up the same for Tom when he came and the risk was too great.

“Ah madam. How can we be of service?” The desk clerk smiled.

“A room please for my husband and I, just for today and one night.”

“Certainly ma’am. Your bags?”

“My husband will see to them presently.” Rachel gasped terrified that someone would come into the lobby behind her. “Please if you could hurry.”

“At once madam. Does madam have any specific requirements?”

“Any room with a corner will do.” She said dryly.

The clerk looked up puzzled.

“Ah yes I see madam.” Said a woman who had entered from the dinning room behind her. “I will see to this lady.”

The woman ushered Rachel up the stairs to a room, taking care to stand behind her as she did so.

“You Tom Bannerman’s young wife?” The woman whispered.

“Uh huh.” Rachel nodded with a renewed blush.

“Figures. I heard you and him were in town.” The woman laughed. “I Know Tom from old.”

As they entered a room at the top of the hotel, the woman offered Rachel a broad smirk.

“The best corner in the house.” She smiled pointing to it. “I will see that you are not disturbed.”

“Thank you.” Rachel said tartly and waited for her to go before taking up her humiliating position.

It was late afternoon before Tom arrived. Not as drunk as she feared.

“I’ll never live this down.” She cried.

“Oh don’t take on so. Things like that happen every week in Cambridge Wells.” He chuckled.

“I still can’t show my face in Benson without getting smirks from every shop keep and sweep boy in town and that’s after two years.” She pouted. “There is only Independence left. I suppose you have plans to spank me in Main Street there one day.”

“And what if I did?” Tom said soothingly as he came and stood behind her and took her in his arms.

She turned and knelt at his feet. Then taking the hand that had earlier spanked her she inclined her head and kissed it.

“I wouldn’t speak to you for hours you beast.” She spoke huskily.

“I was thinking of taking my belt to you for good measure, but it seems a waste of the bed.” He replied archly.

“Punish me later.” She breathed as she from her position on her knees she began to unbuckle his belt.

The story continues in the School Daze of Elisabeth Bannerman.



3 Responses to “The Life and Times of Rachel Bannerman”

  1. 1 Carla

    Wow!

    Is it hot in here or is it me? *blushes*

  2. 2 paul1510

    DJ, very nice story, thank you.

  3. 3 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    This story just keeps getting better and better. The old-time schoolhouse and the cowboy memes make for a dynamite combination.


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