The School Daze of Elisabeth Bannerman: the last days of Eden

16May10

This story is part of the Rachel Kent universe.

With the glad tidings and surfeit of hugging over it was time for the old friends to climb into their hated salioresque blue school uniforms. Nevertheless, Elisabeth had been looking forward to getting back to school all summer and now that it had finally arrived, she even enjoyed joining her friends in complaining about their ‘blues’ as the uniform was invariably called.

“I wonder who is our new hall monitor?” Isabelle gushed excitedly. “I hope its someone as nice as Maud.”

There were similar conversations going on throughout the school. Although for the seniors dressed as ladies, it was an opportunity for them to look down their noses at the more junior girls.

The other new topic of conversation was the new fire bell and the reasons that it had taken up pride of place in the entrance hall.

“Did you hear about that fire in Kentucky, 13 girls died in a school like ours at the end of last term?” Edith said with her eyes wide.

The rumours were soon confirmed by Mrs Bainbridge, who told the girls that she was instigating a new fire drill.

Now elevated to the junior class and having a year of Bainbridge’s behind them the lesson were more demanding and it already seemed to Elisabeth on their first day that there were less of the pranks from the previous year. Also there was so much bustle at the induction that they hardly had time for anything else. So it was quite late before they got to see their rooms.

Elisabeth hadn’t been there long before the maid called to say that she was to stand outside her door fully dressed in her blues pending an inspection from the new hall monitor.

Elisabeth shrugged wondering what it was all about as Maud had never held any inspections, but then she remembered that she had missed the first few weeks of last year and supposed that it was a new girl thing.

As she took her place outside, she saw Isabelle in a state of some confusion.

“What’s going on?” She called over irritably. “I was already undressed for bed.”

“I don’t know. I thought you would tell me.” Elisabeth responded.

They soon found out. A tall redheaded girl breezed up the stairs from the direction of the senior’s room and clapped her hands officiously.

“Now girls I am Miss Clarissa and I am your new hall monitor. This year there will be none of the larks that you girls got up to last year. Oh yes I heard all about those. I have my own shiny new battledore and I fully intend to use it.”

“Come on Clarissa. I mean ‘Miss’ Clarissa, I remember you last year and the incident with the soldier.” Edith ventured.

They all laughed. Except Elisabeth, as evidentially it had happened before she had arrived.

“You would do well to remember to call me Miss Clarissa. Anymore such slips will be dealt with. As for last year, I was young and foolish and was rightfully punished for my error.”

“I’ll say.” Janie giggled.

“You have something to say?” Clarissa turned on her.

“I was just commenting that you were well punished for your youthful foolishness, as you say.” Janie smirked.

“Well let’s see if we can wipe that smile of your face shall we.” Clarissa growled. “Get to my room. The rest of you are dismissed.”

After she had followed the blushing, but still smirking Janie down the hall, Elisabeth ventured the question.

“What happened?”

“Oh our now so high and mighty Clarissa tried to elope with a young officer.” Isabelle giggled. “She had a chat with Paul. She certainly didn’t sit for her meals for over a week.”

“Paul?”

“Peter’s big brother. Mrs Bainbridge applies it to naked bottoms before the whole school.”

Elisabeth remembered her own ‘chat’ with Peter and how at her first meeting with Mrs Bainbridge, she had been told that there was a senior cane called Paul that was reserved for serious offences.

“Oh gosh.” Elisabeth exclaimed. “She was caned before the whole school?”

“Two dozen tight with bare bottom uppermost in the dinning room.”

Isabelle was grinning from ear to ear.

Elisabeth went to bed chuckling at the image, sorry that she missed it.

Over an hour later as she was just dropping off when she was disturbed by some sobbing in the hall outside. On going to the door she was greeted with the strange sight of a completely naked Janie taking careful steps back towards her room holding her clothes in a neat folded pile before her. Elisabeth noticed at once that her normally snow-white bottom was about as crimson as it was possible to be.

“My god Janie what happened?” She asked.

“I guess our new hall monitor doesn’t like being laughed at.” Janie sniffed.

“You have been with her all this time?” Elisabeth marvelled.

“Oh yes.” Janie wept. “The last half hour with my nose to the corner it has to be said.”

“Oh my.” Elisabeth gasped. “Something has to be done about her.”

“Just let it go.” Janie urged. “Goodnight.”

Elisabeth watched Janie enter her room and then returned to her own. It must have been one heck of a paddling, Elisabeth thought, it wasn’t like Janie to be so meek.

Things somewhat worsened for the rest of the semester. Clarissa was on their case at every opportunity. It seemed to Elisabeth that she was an enthusiastic bully. The last straw came she surprised them during their mid night feast for Edith’s birthday. Where Maud would have turned a blind eye and organised cocoa, Clarissa made them all bend over in a row in Edith’s room and paddle them all in turn.

“What a splendid row of naughty bottoms.” She gloated as the four girls stood bent at the waist with their nightdresses held up under their arms so that their bottoms were bare. “And so very white. You obviously don’t get punished enough.”

With that, she brought the paddle down hard on Isabelle’s bottom. Since she was standing second from the left, it was clear that there was to be no order to this and so it proved. She spanked Isabelle for seven or eight swats and then switched to Edith for six. Then back to Isabelle for two and long volley of uncounted blazing splats on Janie’s unprotected bottom.

Elisabeth’s friends were quite distressed from successive paddle strokes before the first swat made contact with her own offered behind. When it came, it was harsh and she had to take a ‘catch-up’ spanking as Clarissa informed her.

“Can’t have you getting off with less than your fellows can we.” Clarissa said with relish.

They all had a stiff bill before she had finished her fun.

After that, they all walked on eggshells around Clarissa, not that it always did them much good. Elisabeth noticed that sometimes she was obviously worse for drink and on occasion dragged them from their beds randomly on some pretext or other and spanked them at length in the nude in her own room. No one knew where she was getting her alcohol, but it seemed that she was careful around the staff and disguised her habit with a supply of mint humbugs.

Not that Clarissa was their only problem. They still had to contend with the strict class discipline.

“Elisabeth.” Miss Coolidge snapped one day in class as she was handing out grades. “You have an E girl. Again. That’s two Es, one F and a decided shambles of a succession of Ds and Cs for most of this semester.”

“I am sorry Ma’am. I will try to do better, really I will.” Elisabeth stuttered.

“I seem to remember you said that last time and the time before.” Miss Coolidge returned with a severe expression. “I think it is time to give you an active reminder to apply yourself.”

“Please Ma’am I will try harder.”

“Indeed you will.” Miss Coolidge snapped. “Stand out here girl.”

Elisabeth stood woodenly and took slow steps towards her teacher.

“Here now.”

Elisabeth hastened at the command only to be rewarded by being upended like an infant over Miss Coolidge’s knee. Before she could protest, her skirts were raised and her bloomers parted.

“Now if you will behave like a feckless child I shall treat you like one.” Then she set about spanking Elisabeth with her hand.

At first, it was the embarrassment that burned her. Especially as the class began to laugh at the sight and Miss Coolidge did nothing to discourage them. However, after awhile it was clear that the spanking was not going to end soon and it began to take its toll on Elisabeth’s resolve.

“Please Miss Coolidge.” Elisabeth wailed just before choking out the first sob.

Once Elisabeth had been reduced to tears from a simple hand spanking, she was set on her feet. Although not before Miss Coolidge had affixed the hem of the skirt to the waist by the buttons provided.

“Now you know by now where to go.”

“Ma’am?” Elisabeth glanced woefully at the corner as her classmates still laughed at her distress.

“Not there quite yet. Although you will be glad enough to stand there soon.” Miss Coolidge said dryly. “Go cut me a switch.”

“Oh Miss Coolidge.” Elisabeth wrung her hands.

The laugher began to taper off now; this new task set was one they had all had the misfortune to carryout at one time or another.

Elisabeth knew better than to make too strong a protest and took her leave with a cherry red bottom revealed to all she passed on the way to the yard. The last time she had taken this walk it had been without the knowledge that place where the switches could be cut from, despite appearances to the contrary, was in full view of the street through the hedge. So this time she looked nervously about her and did her best to keep her bottom turned to the outside wall of the school.

At the point in the process where she was most revealed, just as she reached up to cut the length of hickory, she heard some laughter behind her.

“Someone’s getting a licking.” Sang a young male voice, a voice that was joined in chorus by others.

Elisabeth gasped in horror and ran for squealing back to the side door of the school. As she dashed into the hall pell-mell Mrs Grace berated her.

“We do not run in the hall.”

“But.” Elisabeth blushed.

“I see you are to be corrected. But this is no excuse for indignant haste.” Mrs Grace scolded.

Elisabeth composed herself with as much dignity as she could and walked solemnly back to class.

“Elisabeth.” Miss Coolidge said brightly. “That will do nicely. Now stand in the required position in the corner until I can deal with you after class.”

Elisabeth scowled at Isabelle’s half-smirk and then walked dejectedly to take up the traditional posture with her nose in the corner and the switch held against her the underside of her bottom cheeks so as to frame the target of the forthcoming correction.

As ever the rest of the class seemed to last forever and once it was over, half the class dawdled gathering up their books as Elisabeth was made to bend over Miss Coolidge’s desk with her bloomers now lowered and her bare bottom presented to the open door.

“I want a B for your next contribution.” Miss Coolidge scolded. “And next time you grades fall below a C you get the same again.”

Then the switching began, describing its progress in lines of burning pain across Elisabeth’s bottom. It took a while to make itself visible to her audience against the already reddened flesh while Elisabeth gasped and winced at its attack, but all too soon, both her bottom and Elisabeth were announcing the affects. Not that Mrs Coolidge was unduly cruel. This was very light compared to Rachel’s efforts, she thought even as the first renewed tears began to roll down her cheeks and she gave up holding her peace.

Afterwards Miss Coolidge kept her in the corner well into lunch, by which time she was again more embarrassed than hurt. When she was finally released and could join the others, she found sitting for a late lunch rather a trial.

“Bad luck.” Isabelle said as Elisabeth gingerly tried to sit. Although her barely contained glee suggested her sympathy had limits.

“I was seen.” Elisabeth said ruefully blushing at the memory.

“I know we saw you.” Edith giggled.

“No outside I mean.” Elisabeth replied. “Some awful local boys.”

“Oh my gosh.” Janie gasped in horror.

“Oh its too much.” Edith pouted.

Isabelle was secretly thrilled at the revelation, although horrified that she herself might have been seen in the past.

But all thoughts soon turned to their evil hall monitor and the inevitable paddling she would hand out when next she had a chance.

“You had better keep well out of her way.” Isabelle suggested to Elisabeth. “Miss Clarissa would like nothing better than to find an excuse to paddle your switch fresh behind if she has a chance.”

“Don’t I know it?” Elisabeth grimaced as she shifted in her seat with her weight supported by her arms.

A few weeks later an opportunity arouse in a surprising way to settle the score with Clarissa. Edith ran up to Elisabeth one day in an agitated state.

“I know where Clarissa gets her booze.” She gushed dancing up and down a little in her excitement.

“So what?” Elisabeth said dejectedly. “How does that help us?”

Edith didn’t reply, but just smiled enigmatically.

“Well? What do you know?”

“I saw Clarissa sneaking into Mrs Bainbridge’s study.” Edith grinned. “That’s where she is getting her whisky.”

“Mrs Bainbridge drinks?” Elisabeth gasped.

“I don’t know, but she obviously has some whisky, for visitors perhaps.”

When they told the others Isabelle was beside herself with it all.

“I still don’t see how this helps us.” Elisabeth exclaimed.

“Don’t you see?” Isabelle sprang back with her arms and legs akimbo as she laid out her plan.

“We just have to take turns watching her.” Edith gushed hugging her friend as she finished her sentence.

Janie shook her head not quite getting it.

“How can we tell on her without getting into trouble?” Elisabeth began to see what her friends were driving at.

“Maybe there will be a fire when she is in there.” Isabelle suggested.

They all exchanged conspiratorial glances as they remembered the new fire bell.

“What reason can we give for ringing it?” Elisabeth asked, suddenly afraid of the consequences of raising a false alarm.

“On account of the smoke.” Isabelle said with a grin as she held up a box of cigars.

“Where on earth did you get those?” Janie gaped.

“I snitched them from Pa. I tried one but they’re awful.” Isabelle’s grin got broader. “But I bet our drinking friend won’t be able to resist.”

“What if she does?” Edith asked.

“I have an idea about that.” Isabelle said becoming thoughtful.

It was another three weeks before they had an opportunity to put their plan into effect. During that time, they all had to bend over and present their defenceless bottoms for Clarissa’s paddle more than once. It started to get that one of them was constantly sporting a red behind.

Then one Saturday afternoon Edith spied Clarissa creeping down the back stairs and on a hunch, she ran to get Isabelle.

“Elisabeth get the cigars and put them in Clarissa’s bottom draw in her room.” Isabelle instructed. “Edith hang around by the bell, but keep out of sight until you are sure Clarissa has gone into Mrs Bainbridge’s study.”

“What will you do?” Janie asked.

“You’ll see.”

Now it happened that Mrs Bainbridge’s study had two rooms. An inner room, where it seemed the whisky was kept and antechamber. While Clarissa was ensconced in the inner room, presumably to recover the booze and taking a nip while she was there, Isabelle crept into the antechamber and lit a cigar. It was all she could do not to cough and alert the despised hall monitor, but somehow she managed it before dropping the lit cigar into the wastepaper basket. Then she made good her escape, making sure that she left the door ajar.

“Go.” Isabelle shouted in a loud whisper at Edith and Janie standing the hall.

A moment later, the whole school was reverberating with the sound of the fire bell and staff and students came running in all directions.

“We saw smoke.” They both chimed together when challenged by Miss Coolidge.

Miss Coolidge’s eyes followed the direction they pointed in time to see Clarissa emerge from Mrs Bainbridge’s study.

“Hey you Clarissa. What are you doing there?” Miss Coolidge called.

Clarissa stood with guilt chiselled on her face mouthing silent excuses.

The subsequent investigation found that the whisky bottles had been tampered with, as in her haste to leave Clarissa had failed to cover her tracks. It also found the half burnt wastebasket and a box of cigars in her room. It was then that the maids admitted that they had suspected something for months but had not considered it their place to say anything.

By this time, Clarissa had broken down and admitted that she had been stealing whisky all semester. Although strangely she denied all knowledge of the cigars until she was threatened with even more dire punishment.

Although it was hard to see what that would entail because as it stood Mrs Bainbridge had stripped her of her post as hall monitor and sentenced her to a stiff bill with Paul before the whole school.

Formal public punishments were rare. But Clarissa was supposed to be a reformed character since her disgraceful attempted elopement the year before. Also, theft, drunkenness and endangering the school by smoking were all major offences. Under the circumstances, a public caning was getting off lightly, or so everyone agreed.

Elisabeth and her friends all shifted uncomfortably in their seats, whenever the last charge was discussed, but Clarissa’s bullying had gone unchecked for too long and so they had made a pact to live with the secret guilt.

The next day the entire school gathered in the dinning room before the evening meal to witness Clarissa’s correction. To add to her shame Clarissa was dressed in her blues, a garb she had long since relegated to the back of the wardrobe. If she were lucky, she would be allowed to change out of it after a week or so. If not then she might well wear it for the rest of the semester.

“I cannot believe that you would do such a thing.” Mrs Bainbridge said to Clarissa before her punishment. “Never in the history of this school has any girl ever spoken with Paul more than once.”

Clarissa just stood shamefaced looking at her feet as Mrs Bainbridge spoke.

“Wait until my father hears about this.” She offered weakly.

“Oh indeed you father will hear about this. I remember well his words at your last disgrace.” Mrs Bainbridge countered as she brandished Paul.

Clarissa swallowed hard. Perhaps remembering some private words that her father had said to her. Then Mrs Bainbridge instructed her to bend over the back of a chair that had been set before the assemblage. Clarissa seemed reluctant to do so and had to be prodded with the end of the cane and finally flopped over so that her blue clad bottom was uppermost.

Mrs Bainbridge flipped up her skirts and buttoned them to the waist, using the two buttons that served for ornamentation and this corrective function. Clarissa’s draws were then lowered so that her statuesque senior’s bottom was presented to the room. There was an audible gasp at this. Although all of them had seen at least one bare bottom correction in their time at the school. Although for most it was the first time they had seen a senior in this position.

Paul, the heavy senior cane that Mrs Bainbridge now wielded had been intended as a threat in the early days at the school. It was almost twice the weight of its smaller brother Peter, being almost half again as long. It had been advertised as a penal grade cane, although Mrs Bainbridge had acquired it from a naval college for young men.

“I think two dozen will address your crimes Clarissa.” Mrs Bainbridge said solemnly. “Don’t you agree?”

“Yes ma’am.” Clarissa whispered.

“Feet together, head down girl.” Mrs Bainbridge replied. “Clarissa attend.”

The first stroke cracked around the room like a shot making the girls watching jerk like puppets. Some of the girls leaned forward in anticipation and others clapped their hands to their mouths in shock.

A deep white line appeared on Clarissa’s buttocks and hung there for a small age until it began to colour. Clarissa appeared not react at this for the longest time. Then her head bobbed and she issued a strangled groan.

As if she had been waiting for this, Mrs Bainbridge struck again and another line appeared below the first, which had already become raised in a plum-coloured welt.

Clarissa’s reaction was much the same as before.

The third stroke extracted a fluid wail from the punished girl and from then on, she vocalised each impact as her bottom slowly collected a healthy crop of tramlines.

“Oh please Mrs Bainbridge I’m sorry.” She choked out at one point.

Around the 15th stroke Clarissa began sobbing her regrets and begging for clemency. Elisabeth remembered Edith’s own pleading at Clarissa’s hands and felt not the least shred of pity. She glanced at Isabelle, who as usual was lost in reverie at such sights, but Edith’s jaw was set in grim satisfaction and Elisabeth knew she must have been sharing similar thoughts as her own.

At the final stroke, Clarissa was a wailing mess of regrets and the lines on her bottom had long since merged into two oval pads of distressed flesh on each buttock.

Then as she was helped to her feet, she tried to pull herself together to shake Mrs Bainbridge’s hand before taking her place in the corner to display her punished bottom in lieu of supper.

Supper was a subdued affair, although the four friends could not help but take some satisfaction from the sight of their former hall monitor weeping gently in the corner.

For the rest of the week the blues-clad Clarissa kept herself to herself and averted her eyes whenever they passed her on the stairs on the way to her room.

“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.” Isabelle gloated within Clarissa’s hearing.

“Oh enough now.” Elisabeth snapped jabbing her friend in the side with her elbow.

A week later, with still no new hall monitor in place, Elisabeth was summoned to see Mrs Bainbridge.

“You don’t think she suspects something do you?” Edith said with an edge of panic to her voice.

Elisabeth shrugged. It was near the end of the semester and next year she was to be a senior. It crossed Elisabeth’s mind that she might be the new hall monitor to replace Clarissa.

She was still harbouring such daydreams when she entered Mrs Bainbridge’s study and saw her face. Perhaps Edith was right, she thought as a cold hand gripped her heart. Then she learned that the news was even worse.

“Please sit down Miss Bannerman.” Mrs Bainbridge said with an ashen face.

Miss Bannerman? Elisabeth was scared now.

“I am sorry to have to tell you this but I have received news that your father has passed away.”

Elisabeth might have expected this, but now she heard the words, they made no sense.

“I am sorry, what did you say?” Elisabeth said in a stranger’s voice.

“Elisabeth your father is dead.”

“I see.” Elisabeth said. But she didn’t see at all.

“Your brother is on his way to get you.”

“Thank you Mrs Bainbridge, it will be good to see him.” Then Elisabeth started to cry.

*

There was no question of travelling to Denver. By the time Tom had received the news of his father’s death he had already been long buried. The lawyer who brought the news also informed him that the bulk of his estate had been left to Tom with some ample provision for Elisabeth. However, the terms of the will stipulated that Tom was to be Elisabeth’s legal guardian until she was 21 and that even then he was to retain control of her money until she was married or until she had turned 30.

None of this was of any concern to Elisabeth who spent long days riding around the ranch and not speaking to anyone. She might have remained detached until she returned to school in September but Rachel had thought of a way to shake her out of her depression.

“You will have to share your room for the rest of the summer.” She announced one day. “We have a guest coming to stay.

“Oh.” Elisabeth looked up with some interest. “Who might that be?”

“You will have to wait and see.” Rachel informed her.

Elisabeth did not have to wait long. Three days later a familiar face arrived by buckboard.

“Edith.” Elisabeth exclaimed as she ran to greet her friend.

Tom and Rachel exchanged knowing looks. It was the first time they had seen Elisabeth really happy since she had come home from school.

The girls were full of chatter between themselves for the first few days. Rachel heard snippets about young men and the antics of Edith’s brother. Tom found a horse that Edith could ride and most days Rachel mad a picnic for the girls and sent them out for the day. However, after two weeks Rachel began to set chores for Elisabeth and her friend and Edith happily did her part.

Then one day while the three women were working in the laundry Edith remarked that the laundry paddle was rather like Clarissa’s had been.

“Who is Clarissa?” Rachel asked.

So the story came out about the dreaded Clarissa and her downfall. Elisabeth left out their part in the affair, carefully heading Edith off as she began to spill the beans in her enthusiasm.

“She sounds like a thoroughly bad lot.” Rachel agreed. “I am glad she was dealt with so decisively by Mrs Bainbridge. But tell me how do you imagine a fire got started?”

The two girls glanced at each other and shrugged.

“I think you had better explain don’t you?” Rachel said sensing that they were hiding something.

And so little by little, they told the whole story. Schoolgirl etiquette prevented them naming Isabelle and Janie’s involvement but Rachel was no fool.

“You know I really should tell Mrs Bainbridge about all this don’t you?” Rachel said darkly. “I mean you might have burnt down the school for one thing.”

Elisabeth nodded sullenly chewing her lips.

“But I dare say she deserved all she got. So I suppose I could deal with it myself and then there would be no need to tell your father Edith.”

Edith gaped in horror but all she said was; “yes ma’am.”

After they had finished with the chores Rachel sent the girls to the barn while she armed herself with a saddle brush and a couple of switches. Then she went to find them. She was pleased to see that the girls were standing facing the barn wall both divested of their dresses and stripped down to their shifts and draws.

“Does your father correct you Edith?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“How?”

“Usually with the flat of his hand on the seat of my draws ma’am. But I also get the belt when I’ve been real bad.”

“Like now?”

“Yes ma’am. I suppose.”

“You suppose right. Well its draws down in this house.”

“Yes ma’am. Ours too when I get the belt.”

Rachel sat herself on a pickle barrel and took Edith over her knee. It took only a moment to lower her bloomers and bare her bottom. Edith gasped at the sudden breeze and blushed that Rachel could see her half naked.

The spanking was long hard and efficient. Rachel snapped the back of the saddle brush down hard on Edith’s bottom until well after the point of tears.

“Fire is much too dangerous to set for any cause.” Rachel said quietly.

“Yes ma’am.” Edith wept.

“If I told Mrs Bainbridge do you reckon she would spare you Paul?” Rachel asked without missing a spank.

“No ma’am.” Edith wailed.

“And your father? What would he say?”

Edith answered with a howl.

Once the spanking was done, Rachel set the girl back to the wall with her plum red bottom left to the air.

Elisabeth need no bidding and walked meekly across the barn floor and went over Rachel’s lap. The spanking was much the same and Elisabeth took it no more stoically. Although her bottom looked more fiery and sore than dark dull colour of Edith’s bottom.

Afterwards Rachel gave them time to weep themselves out before she set them side-by-side over the trestle. She paused to inspect the two elevated russet behinds. She felt a faint rush of excitement at the task in hand. Well I should be happy in my work, she thought ruefully a little unsettled by her own reaction.

Rachel switched Edith’s bottom with vigour until she extracted the desired reaction and then swapped targets to Elisabeth. Both girls squirmed and yipped at the harsh correction, but neither begged off.

For good measure, she went round again so that each switching was given in two parts. By then both girls were thoroughly contrite.

Then in grim satisfaction Rachel ordered them both to the hose for some lengthy corner time before supper.

Supper itself was an embarrassment. Although Rachel allowed their draws to be pulled up, their dresses were left off as they stood at the mantle. Edith was wild with thought of standing so before a man. Especially as her draws did not quite close behind. Tom pretended not to notice, but they all know he did.

That wasn’t the last time the girls run afoul of Rachel’s switch that summer. In the days that followed the girls threw themselves into pranks and mischief, sensing as they did, that this was their last days of Eden and the coming senior year at school marked the end of their carefree youthful days. Also as time passed, Elisabeth thought less on her father and more on her future. For Edith too, her time at the ranch had been a happy one despite her many sore-bottomed experiences. So it was with some regret that Edith returned home for the last two weeks of the holiday.

*

It was strange to stand in the entrance hall no longer attired as a schoolgirl. Elisabeth almost missed it.

“Miss Elisabeth.” It took a moment to realise that it was her who was being addressed.

“Miss Elisabeth the new hall monitor would like to see you in her room.” One of the maids was saying.

Oh well, she thought, I guess they picked someone else.

As she made her way to Maud’s, and later Clarissa’s old room, Elisabeth felt strange and detached. Everywhere excited new girls and juniors ran about in their blues like children and she past between the throng like a lady. No more passing notes in class for me, she observed sadly.

She knocked on the hall monitor’s door in some trepidation. After all most of her visits to this room had ended with her bottom up for the paddle.

“Come in.” Said a familiar voice.

Isabelle exploded in a great giggle as she walked in.

“Oh Elisabeth isn’t this fine.” Isabelle danced around her every bit as girlish as the blues-clad throng outside.

“I don’t understand.” Elisabeth said thoroughly bemused.

“I’m the new hall monitor.” Isabelle exclaimed.

“Oh.” Elisabeth’s heart sank at the news. “That’s nice for you Miss Isabelle.”

“Oh phooey you don’t have to address me like that.” Isabelle gushed undaunted. “That’s just for underclassmen.”

Then the door burst open and Edith and Janie burst in.

“Oh we have just heard the news.” They danced excitedly.

It didn’t take long for Elisabeth to adjust to the new circumstances and within half an hour they were taking tea at the hall monitor’s breakfast table that had been supplied by the hall maid.

The days that followed were the best of Elisabeth’s life. Even the teachers seemed more relaxed and the lessons were far more interesting and often just dissolved into grown up chats about women’s roles in the new west.

Another perk of being a senior was also soon apparent. A week into the semester she was taking tea with Isabelle as had become their custom, when there was a knock at the door.

“Come in.” Isabelle said in her new authoritative voice.

In walked one of the new girls in an ill-fitting blue uniform with her eyes fixed meekly on her feet.

“Ah Milly.” Isabelle said. “You were up after lights out last night.”

“Yes Miss Isabelle.” The girl stammered.

“Well don’t take on so I won’t eat you.” Isabelle replied impatiently. “You know the rules, why were you out of bed?”

“I don’t know Miss Isabelle.”

Elisabeth laughed and exchanged a shrug with her fellow senior.

“You don’t know or would rather not say?” Isabelle asked.

“I would rather not say.” Milly mumbled.

“I see.” Isabelle shrugged. Then added pompously. “Then I won’t press you. Heaven knows we got up to enough japes when we were your age didn’t we Miss Elisabeth.”

Elisabeth nodded, glad that she remembered and was going down the Maud road to being a hall monitor and was not a bully like Clarissa.

“Never mind I’ve no time to waste, you know the drill, skirts up and draws down.” Isabelle said matter-of-factly.

“Yes Miss Isabelle.” Milly said softly.

Elisabeth started at this, but realised that Maud would have done the same.

Milly turned away as she deftly rolled up her skirts and buttoned them in place with the two small pearl fasteners at the small of her back. Then gently tugging her drawstring, she allowed her bloomers to fall to her ankles.

“Assume the position.” Isabelle said as she took up the battledore that hung on her wall.

The small dark-haired girl bent over daintily and grasped her ankles with some dexterity and offered her impudent bare behind. Then Isabelle moved around her to adopt a stance once favoured by Maud and Elisabeth put down her tea to watch.

The first swat rang out like a pistol and Elisabeth jumped even though she had been expecting it. Milly grunted but displayed no other reaction.

Then Isabelle paused to savour the moment as the white bottom blushed slowly pink. Then she added to the stain and Milly gasped again.

“She colours well does she not?” Isabelle observed.

The paddling progressed slowly and although Milly took it stoically, after a few minutes while her bottom held a strawberry hue she wept quietly.

“What do you think Elisabeth? Do you think she has had enough?”

“She has.” Elisabeth smiled knowingly as she watched Isabelle lick her lips and wondered if she were ready to stop.

“Pity. But I am inclined to agree.” Isabelle pouted. “Alright stand up and go to the corner.”

Milly did as she was told and put her nose to the wall and her hands on her head unbidden as if she knew the drill very well.

“You have spanked her before?” Elisabeth asked as if Milly wasn’t there.

“Only once.” Isabelle took a sip of tea. “Her mother was quite strict and she was brought up with a nursery drill, or so she told me.”

“How long did your mother keep your nose to the wallpaper Milly?” Elisabeth asked.

“Two minutes for each year old Miss.” The girl replied politely.

“I shall add 10 minutes on principle now that you are almost grown.” Isabelle said imperiously. “How long is that Milly?”

“Forty-four minutes Miss Isabelle.” She answered at once.

“Nothing wrong with your arithmetic then.”

In the event they forgot to check their watches and Milly stood obediently for nearly an hour before she was dismissed.

*

Milly wasn’t the only one of the Isabelle’s charges that Elisabeth got to see under the paddle. The sight of one, two or even sometimes five bare bottoms were often seen in Isabelle’s room over tea.

Isabelle always took care to not to cause any resentment, but nevertheless she did not go easy and was often breathing and perspiring as hard as her charges by the time she was done.

Her favourite method when she had more than two bottoms to swat was to have the girls bend with palms flat to her wall. Then she could take her time turning the row of creamy white or pink peaches to the desired shade of red.

Elisabeth was always amazed to see how a similar spanking could render bottoms such a variety of colours. One behind would turn deep rose, while another would take on an angry crimson hue. Here a bottom would polish up shiny while there one would go dull and maroon-like, sometimes with a hint of a return to white.

One common feature was that almost always after there would be tears as the girls stood with their noses to the wall. Isabelle rarely stayed her hand until her charges were quite contrite.

Then one sleepless night Elisabeth decided to read well after lights out only to find that she was quite out of lamp oil. So after one more try at sleep, she roused herself to fetch some from the storeroom. Unfortunately in the dark, she upset some boxes and some spare lamps ended up on the floor with a crash.

“Whatever is going on?” Isabelle said as she came up behind the awoken maids who were stooping to clear up the mess.

“Oh I’m sorry I just needed some oil for the lamp.” Elisabeth.

“Oh this is too much Elisabeth. It’s almost two in the morning. Don’t the maids have enough to do without your nocturnal meanderings?” Isabelle groaned. “You had better come see me after classes tomorrow.”

“Oh Isabelle whatever for I said I am sorry.”

“You’ll find out.”

The ominous words did nothing to aid Elisabeth’s sleep. Surely Isabelle wouldn’t treat her as a junior, would she?

The next day she was as casual as she could be as she knocked on Isabelle’s door.

“You wanted to see me?” Elisabeth said breezily.

“Don’t do that.” Isabelle replied.

“Do what?”

“Act as if we are just friends and there is nothing to say.”

“What ever do you mean?”

“Please don’t make this any harder.” Isabelle groaned as she took the battledore of its hook. “If you like I can send you to Mrs Bainbridge.”

“You don’t mean to?” Elisabeth didn’t finish.

“Well what would you have me do?” Isabelle sighed. “Reading after lights out is one thing but waking the whole house and the maids to boot, well what would you have me do?”

“How do you want me?” Elisabeth sighed.

“Best take the dress off so as not to crumple it.” Isabelle suggested.

Elisabeth did as she was told and then turned to see a pile of cushions on the bed.

“Whatever?”

“Its how my mother does it.” Isabelle shrugged. “I have to go hard, after all, but there is no need to be unnecessarily cruel.”

Elisabeth took her position and was horrified at how prominently her buttocks were raised up.

“I am not sure about this Isabelle.”

“Oh do be quiet.” Isabelle scolded.

With that she undid Elisabeth drawstrings on her boomers and dragged the under garments down to her friend’s ankles.

“Oh my.” Elisabeth whispered.

Isabelle felt momentarily embarrassed as she looked upon her friends offered backside. Then she let gravity take the paddle and even she jumped at the sound. Then a quite different emotion seized her.

“Ow. Steady on.” Elisabeth yelped.

Isabelle swung with a will and with growing satisfaction as her friend squirmed upon the bed. There was even a familiar tightness in her groin as Elisabeth’s bottom reddened as well as any sophomore or junior.

“Please Izzy.” Elisabeth wailed after a good two-dozen.

“You have this coming, you know you do.” Isabelle breathed.

After another two-dozen, Elisabeth was all broken sobs and set to biting the bedclothes. But Isabelle showed no sign of slowing.

Isabelle was gripped at the sight of her friend’s fiery red bottom and thighs and thought, in as much as she thought at all, just a few more. Then as she stepped back for an extra heavy swing she caught sight of her visage in the mirror and then turned back to regard her friend who lay sobbing hard prostrate upon her bed. Would she have been so hard on another senior? She thought. Yes, she decided, but it should not have been so with Elisabeth.

“Oh Elisabeth.” She exclaimed as she fell upon her friend in a hug.

Elisabeth cuddled into her sobbing hard. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She repeated over and over.

It took a while for Elisabeth to come to herself and then she smiled.

“You enjoyed that.” She accused without a trace of resentment.

“Yes.” Isabelle admitted and blushed.

“Don’t worry I have had worse.” Elisabeth winced. “Although I can’t quite remember when. Anyway I would have enjoyed it too in your position.”

“I haven’t spanked a senior before.” Isabelle grinned.

“Collecting bottoms now are we?” Elisabeth said tearfully. “Well next time try Heather McMurray, she has the posterior for it.”

“I will.” Isabelle grinned and then they both laughed.

*

In the months that followed no matter who else was spanked by Isabelle, hardly a week went by when Milly did not make an appearance bottom up in her room. After every correction Milly would come crying to Elisabeth for comfort, as a consequence Elisabeth and the younger girl became good friends.

One of the reason’s Elisabeth felt drawn to her was that she too was an orphan. Her father had recently died leaving provision for Milly’s education, but this meant that out of school time she had to travel to Sioux City to live with an aunt who kept a boarding house.

“I don’t mind the work, in fact I quite like it, but she doesn’t want me there and is mean to me.” Milly confided one day.

“Work?”

“She says I have to earn my keep and help look after the boarders.”

“Does she beat you?”

“Oh no. She does care about that. She doesn’t spank me when I am bad like Miss Isabelle. She is just so cold towards me.”

It was a few weeks later that Milly first started becoming morose and claming up. At first Elisabeth thought it was the theft. Around the same time that Milly’s behaviour changed, she had some money stolen from her room. Then there had been a whole spate of thefts and Mrs Bainbridge had even considered calling in the sheriff over it as nothing that had been done had as yet yielded the thief.

“Milly tell me what is wrong.” Elisabeth urged her one day.

“I can’t say, really I can’t. If you only knew, you wouldn’t like me anymore.”

“Oh don’t be silly.” Elisabeth chided.

But nothing she could say would get any more out of her friend.

Meanwhile the thefts continued until an expensive broach of one of the more well to do senior girls went missing. As a consequence, Mrs Bainbridge ordered a lock-down of the school and all the rooms were to be searched.

It was then that Milly came to Elisabeth in a panic and broke down in tears.

“I did it.” Milly sobbed.

“What? But why?”

Milly just hugged her and cried.

“Was it you all along?”

Milly nodded.

“You faked the first theft?”

“There was no theft. I just made that up. I had no money to pay for the books I had ordered. My father’s money has dried up; his business interests have gone bust. I got the idea that if I could get a little money then things would not be so bad. Oh Elisabeth at the end of this year I will have to leave and live with my aunt.”

“You have other things to worry about first.” Elisabeth shook her. “Where did you put the broach? If they find it then you will get a dreadful thrashing.”

Milly reached into her clothes and held it out to her friend.

“Give me that I will try and hide it.”

Elisabeth stashed the broach under her pillow, certain that no one would search her room for a while. Then she sent Milly to her own room. She considered recruiting Isabelle and Edith to her scheme, but concluded that it would be unfair to involve them. She would just have to find a way to return the broach without identifying the thief.

“Miss Elisabeth you are required downstairs in the dinning hall.” The maid said as put her head around the door.

Elisabeth was about to reprimand her for entering without knocking when she noticed a commotion in the hall and the fact the whole school was being turned out of their rooms.

“I just have to get something.”

“You are to come at once Miss.” The maid had forsaken all deference and stood steely-eyed in the doorway.

“Very well.” Elisabeth said with dignity. Then with one nervous look back she followed the maid into the hall.

They were all kept waiting in the dinning room for an age while evidentially a search was carried out of the rooms.

“No self-respecting thief would hide it anywhere so obvious.” Edith said excitedly.

“Quite.” Elisabeth agreed looking a little green. No thief would, but what about a well-meaning amateur, she thought.

It did not take much longer after that.

“Elisabeth Bannerman step out here please.” Mrs Bainbridge said holding out the broach in her hand for all to see. “How do you explain this?”

A gasp rocked the room and Isabelle and Edith stared at her open mouthed. Janie shook her head in puzzlement as if trying to figure out what the scam was.

“I… eh can’t.” Elisabeth admitted.

“I am sorry but that is not good enough.” Mrs Bainbridge persisted.

“I am sorry but I have nothing to say.” Elisabeth said firmly.

“I see.” Mrs Bainbridge concluded. “Then you leave me with no alternative.”

Mrs Bainbridge whispered something to the housekeeper and then beckoned to Elisabeth to step forward.

“You will go to your room and change into your blues, I trust you still have them. If not…” Mrs Bainbridge said icily.

“I do.” Elisabeth agreed.

Then she turned, escorted by Miss Coolidge, and went to obey.

Fifteen minutes later she had returned in the humiliating costume and stood before the assembled school while Mrs Bainbridge denounced all thieves as she brandished Paul.

“Miss Coolidge if you will do the honours.” Mrs Bainbridge said once she had finished her speech.

Miss Coolidge step forward and had Elisabeth bend over the back of a dinning room chair and flipped her skirts to secure them to her waist. Then she lowered Elisabeth’s draws without ceremony leaving her bottom bare to the world.

“Who are you protecting?” Miss Coolidge whispered urgently. “Speak up you silly girl.”

Mrs Bainbridge paused as if considering something then turned to address Elisabeth’s bottom.

“I believe two dozen will suffice today as long as your family makes amends for all that has gone missing this year.”

The first stroke hurt worse than anything Elisabeth had ever felt and taken by surprise, she screamed like a banshee.

“Mrs Bainbridge please, it was me.” Milly wailed.

“What is that you are saying?” Mrs Bainbridge called.

“It was me. I stole those things.” Milly wept. “Miss Elisabeth was just trying to protect me.”

“I see.” Mrs Bainbridge considered. “Then you had both better come to my room this instant and explain yourselves.”

Back in Mrs Bainbridge’s room, Elisabeth explained the whole story.

“I will make good on anything taken by Milly.” Elisabeth assured her.

“That’s as maybe, but I cannot have girls lying and stealing and covering things up. Oh why could you not have told the truth from the beginning you silly girls.” Mrs Bainbridge scolded.

“I am sorry Mrs Bainbridge, you are right.” Elisabeth said dejectedly.

“There is nothing for it there must be a reckoning.” Mrs Bainbridge said, picking up Paul.

Milly and Elisabeth exchanged horrified glances, but knew they deserved it. Then to their relief Mrs Bainbridge put Paul away and came back with Peter.

“You wanted a piece of Milly’s bill?” She said grimly. “Then let’s have you both side-by-side across my desk.”

In a trice, the two friends lay bared and bottom-by-bottom, as they had been told.

Elisabeth’s bottom still bore a single stripe from Paul, a state of affairs that Mrs Bainbridge soon rectified as she added six more from Peter. Elisabeth gasped and squirmed at this, thankful that it was not Paul, but struggling with the onslaught nevertheless.

Then while Elisabeth struggled to contain her tears she heard the application of six to Milly’s bare bottom. Her friend was altogether less resilient and yelped and wept from the first.

Then the set complete, Mrs Bainbridge laid on six more for Elisabeth, who grunted moistly at these. Then 12 strokes in and gasping for breath, she listened to Milly take six more.

The both cried freely as Elisabeth again took six, followed slowly but surely with another half-dozen for Milly.

“We are half-done.” Mrs Bainbridge observed to the sobbing girls. “Now take your places in the corner while I take tea and rest myself while you consider the 18 apiece you still have coming.”

Mrs Bainbridge took her time and then at length she had the girls once again take up position while she finished the well-deserved correction.

After Elisabeth and Mrs Bainbridge shook hands, the headmistress whispered: “I am proud of you. Now go and get out of that silly outfit.”

*

Although Milly was allowed to see out the year, it was impossible for her to stay on. So come graduation it was with mixed feelings that she cheered Elisabeth, Isabelle and the others as they collected their diplomas.

“Well it’s a ranching life for you and I am to be a maid.” Milly observed with as much bravado as he could muster.

“Oh how awful.” Edith sympathised.

“Oh as I said before I don’t mind the work. Its just that I hate Sioux City and though I mustn’t say it, I don’t much care for my aunt.”

“But Milly I have the most wonderful idea. My brother promised me a maid of my own. Well kind of. Why don’t you come home with me?”

“But that’s totally inappropriate.” Isabelle was shocked.

“Please Miss Isabelle. Do you mean it Miss Elisabeth? Oh that would be grand.”

“Of course I will have to spank you like Isabelle does when you deserve it.”

“Oh I know and you should. Jolly hard too, it’s the only way.” Milly enthused. “In fact I think I have one coming for not speaking up sooner when you were almost, well you know…”

“We won’t speak of that ever again.” Elisabeth said. “In fact really don’t say a word to Rachel when we get home.”

With that settled they all felt better about things. But the fact remained that these were the last days of school and things would never be the same again.

“Come on let’s have tea one last time in Maud’s old room.” Isabelle offered.

“Can I serve it?” Milly offered.

“Don’t you want to join us?”

“Oh no Miss Elisabeth they would not be proper. Not if I am your maid.”

*

The only thing left to explain was Milly’s new role at the Bannerman ranch. She realised that she had somewhat exaggerated about Tom promising her a maid and she had no real money of her own until she was 30.

“You said what?” Tom yelled when he found them both waiting with their luggage at the school gates.

It had all seemed such a good idea and now Tom was furious and Milly stood crushed and wringing her hands.

“Where were we supposed to put her?” Tom asked.

“I don’t know.” Elisabeth admitted.

“Well it’s a good job I do.” Tom growled as he put both their bags on the wagon.

When they arrived Elisabeth realised what he meant. There were kids running around the old ranch house and two men and some women she had not seen before. But what really took her eye was the half finished mansion on the hill above.

“We have had a good year and with father’s money I thought it was time to start a family. So yes, you can keep your maid. But I don’t know what Rachel will say.” Tom chuckled as he saw Elisabeth’s eyes go wide. “We are gonna have the biggest ranch in the county. Maybe the state.”

Of course Rachel had a lot so say. She said it with a switch. Milly stood wincing at each swish and yelp as she stood outside the parlour of the unfinished house listening to her new mistress getting soundly switched.

When it was over and she was summoned into the room, Milly wondered if it were her turn. Elisabeth stood bare bottomed and weeping in the corner.

“Don’t look so surprised. You might see a lot of this before we marry our darling sister-in-law off. Once I am done with her here, she is going to need some goose grease from the kitchen on that hiney of hers. I guess that’s your job.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Welcome to the Bannerman ranch Milly.” Rachel smiled. “I hope you will be happy here.”

“Thank you ma’am. I know I will.”

This story concludes in The Life and Times of Rachel Bannerman: the Next Generation.



3 Responses to “The School Daze of Elisabeth Bannerman: the last days of Eden”

  1. 1 Paul

    DJ, excellent conclusion to Elisabeths’ school days.
    Discipline was strict, if it was fair I’ll leave to the recipients.

  2. 2 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Great story, Damien. A nice finish. Although one has the feeling that the lives of the characters go on…

  3. 3 Sylvie

    A fantastic story. I very much enjoy the whole series.
    Thanks a lot


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