The Wendover Rebellion

20Mar14

late Victorian birchingThe clock ticked slowly, almost like a dirge to match the gloomy dark hall that led to the Dean’s office. There was a musty smell of polish and old wood here and with all the doors closed against them it was like a gaol-cell as they waited to be seen.

“It will be alright won’t it Rachel?” Emily Conroy asked her friend.

Her eyes, as blue as the sky in August, danced at the edge of her creamy blonde fringe; a deep sad blue that almost matched her crinoline frock so respectably buttoned to her neck in small pearl buttons and so provocatively flaring at her hips.

The rest of Emily’s hair was tied back and piled on her head as was the norm for a woman of her age, but she looked somewhat uncomfortable in such a grown-up style. Not like Rachel Wendover who would look at home in frontier buckskins.

She was almost a head taller than Emily and her piled-high mid-brown hair gave her a more authority than her more apprehensive friend. It was a colour that matched both her deep dark eyes and the powder brown of her long bodice-tight dress.

“It will be won’t it?” Emily asked again.

Rachel tilted her head so that her nose was set arrogantly against the world and pondered. For the first time since embarking on her protest she wasn’t entirely certain.

“I don’t see why not, our position is perfectly sensible,” Rachel said with confidence.

“But perhaps Mr Bartram won’t see it that way,” Emily said in a voice that was altogether too whiney for Rachel’s liking. “Mrs Lavender certainly doesn’t.”

Rachel adjusted her stance to one she imagined the noble Cicero would have adopted, her arm set almost as a classical rhetoric.

“This is a new age,” she announced, “Women no longer need be ashamed of their bodies, and we are ready to take our place among men in the world.”

Emily hated it when Rachel got political, and began to despair. The more she thought of it the more she was convinced that Dean Bartram was not going to be sympathetic. Her parents would be beside themselves if she were to be expelled.

“After all, we stand at the dawn of the 20th century,” Rachel continued, “Are we not surrounded by art celebrating the human form?”

Emily blushed. She had had quite enough of the human form for one semester. She didn’t think Corrigan College for Young Ladies was quite ready for any more either. The bicycles and knickers had been quite enough in her view. It had certainly caused storm enough under the circumstances. It was only supposed to be a short ride around campus to protest the removal of the classical statues from the quad. The adventure into town had been so embarrassing in such attire; people had even thrown rocks. Then there was the other matter.

“But we were naked,” Emily hissed, the last word softly spoken, “Naked in…” here she mouthed the next word, “public.”

“Nonsense, we were merely exercising our right to bathe,” Rachel said pompously, “How were we to know that those… those scoundrels from the so-called gentlemen’s college would be so caddish as to spy on us?”

“Well we were out of bounds,” Emily said meekly.

She eyed the Dean’s door nervously, certain now that Mr Bartram was not going to be at all sympathetic.

“A small matter set against the principle of privacy,” Rachel said piously.

Emily might have said more but just then the door finally opened and the middle-aged bespectacled Miss Hardham stepped out. She was an imperious woman with a quite officious manner Rachel always thought, but ultimately she was of no account, she decided.

“The Dean will see you now,” Miss Hardham announced in a cold hard voice.

“Thank you Miss Hardham,” Rachel said perkily and brushed past the Dean’s secretary with a dismissive wave.

“Not at all Miss Wendover,” Miss Hardham replied.

Emily fancied that the woman was smirking.

If the two women had expected tea and a civilised chat then it did not show one jot on Rachel’s face. But Emily took half a step back and gasped when she saw the bucket and what was within it. Next to this and its implication, the sight of the Dean in his shirt sleeves rolling up his cuffs was a mere distraction.

The Dean was not an elderly man, not like his predecessor and the gossip around campus was that he had been an invalid from the army. He certainly looked the type, with broad shoulders and a bearing complimented by a huge red walrus moustache.

He had been known to smile and make great witticisms at public meetings but that persona was at odds with the glowering man who now confronted them.

“Have we called at an inconvenient time Mr Bartram?” Rachel said airily.

Emily could not believe her friend’s sang froid in the face of the bucket.

“Not at all Miss Wendover,” the Dean replied stiffly, “Not for me at any rate, although I do mean to inconvenience you somewhat.”

“I see,” Rachel said tartly her attention finally regarding the bucket.

Within the old iron pail were a number of bundles all tied up into birchen rods of the type that were occasionally used at Corrigan College in lieu of expulsion.

“Are we not to be allowed to give a defence?” Rachel asked.

The Dean frowned and cast his gaze at Miss Hardham and then back again.

“Oh you have something to say by way of mitigation for your outrageous behaviour?” he said impatiently.

“Can’t we just apologise?” Emily wailed anxiously.

Rachel shot her an old-fashioned look and then turned to regard the Dean.

“Indeed I have,” Rachel began.

“I don’t want to hear yet another speech Miss Wendover, please spare us,” the Dean groaned. “You were out of bounds were you not?”

“Yes but…” Rachel tried again.

The Dean silenced her with a hand.

“You were what is commonly termed as ‘skinny dipping,’ is that correct?” Bartram said sharply.

Miss Hardham gave a gasp from behind them.

“Well surely Sir but…” This wasn’t going the way Rachel had presumed at all.

“So your words of mitigation concern the wearing of knickers, riding bicycles and riding around town like hellions I can presume?” Dean Bartram had finished rolling up his sleeves and had begun to stroll towards the bucket.

For a moment even Rachel looked somewhat disconcerted at this move and licked her lips before continuing. “We were modestly displaying the athleticism of the female form in light of the crass decision to remove all classical statues from around the quad,” Rachel told him.

“Your claims of modesty might have cut a modicum of sympathy from me if it had not been for the blatant and defiant display you later put on for the benefit of the town’s young men,” Dean Bartram shot back. “Not that you are excused such behaviour.”

“Merely college boys I assure you and I soon gave them a piece of my mind…” Rachel replied irritably.

Bartram sighed heavily.

“I am not here to discuss semantics Miss Wendover, you both brought the college into disrepute. But as the mayor and various authorities see the humour in the situation I can offer you leniency on this occasion,” he groaned, “Will you accept it or will you resign and accept permanent exclusion?”

“We will accept it,” Emily cut in hastily.

“Very well, Miss Hardham,” the Dean barked.

The secretary quickly stepped forward and began rucking up the back of Emily’s skirts. It was a quick efficient action as one by one she pinned the layers of the apparel to the small of the girl’s back.

“You don’t mean to thrash us,” Rachel protested.

“I certainly do,” the Dean said sharply.

Rachel opened her mouth to speak and then closed it again. Her father would hear of this of course, but she knew he would hardly be sympathetic. Angry possibly, but more likely and much like her older brothers somewhat amused. Her mother would be livid of course, but who would suffer the most ire was anybody’s guess.

She was not too old for a sound spanking now and again, she knew that, but such an indignity for standing up for her rights was outrageous. But then what could she do? She would be a martyr then, she decided, and put her nose haughtily in the air.

Miss Hardham had finished fussing with Emily’s skirts and directed her to step out of her bloomers. Emily gasped and shot a mortified look at the Dean.

“At once,” the secretary snapped.

Rachel half expected Emily to rebel, but she didn’t and Miss Hardham was left to cross the room to address herself to Rachel.

“Oh this is too much,” Rachel sighed and rolled up her eyes.

*

Despite her outward display of ostentatious dignity, Rachel had never felt so vulnerable and exposed. She and Emily now stood facing the Dean with their bare bottoms turned to his mantelpiece as he absently handled one of a great many birch rods from the bucket. The man was half-way through an epic scolding that even made Rachel doubt that she had been entirely reasonable about everything.

As yet he had not laid eyes on their exposed posteriors, having politely averted his eyes during the denuding procedure conducted by Miss Hardham, but all the same just having him know set Rachel at two’s and eight’s, while Emily was in a perfect funk and the colour of ripe cherries.

“Did you have no thought to your reputations at all?” he bellowed, “Do you imagine that this will be a jolly jape that you will one day recount at matronly dinner parties?”

Emily was wide-eyed now and her hands absently tickled at her tail. So much so that Rachel wondered if it was the rod her friend feared or the future shame. Poor Emily, Rachel sighed.

“You may well sigh Miss Wendover, you may well sigh indeed, but your behaviour has been an outrage,” the Dean barked at her.

“I did only what…” Rachel began, but she did not like the uncertainty that had crept into her voice.

“Now we come to it, don’t we?” the Dean said wearily, seeming now to abate his anger, “It is you isn’t it, all you? You have led this poor girl astray.”

“Please Mr Bartram,” Emily offered meekly, “I am as much to blame, really I am.”

“And so you are,” the Dean agreed and let out a long slow breath. “I ought to put you both across my knee and treat you like the foolish girls you are.”

Miss Hardham smirked at this even as Emily went peony and Rachel spluttered.

“Who is first?” the Dean asked suddenly taking a swipe through the air with his chosen rod.

Rachel clutched at her throat and Emily stepped back to cower a little behind her older larger friend.

“They rebelled together did they not?” Miss Hardham put in.

“Indeed they did,” the Dean said sharply, “Alright Miss Wendover, bend over my desk.” He smiled at his own little joke. “You too Miss Conroy, I want your rebellious behinds side by side for this.”

Emily looked to Rachel to make the first move and the elder obliged, drawing herself up and boldly walking forward not even pausing to blush as her bare bottom thrust out at the Dean.

“I can’t, I just can’t,” Emily wailed as she surveyed the scene.

Miss Hardham made to move but the Dean pursed his lips and waved her away prepared to be patient. As this happened Rachel jostled a little and pressed her heels tight together and pushed her bare bottom backwards and up a little more as if in pride.

“Come on Emily,” she said softly, “It’s licks for tricks,” she added remembering something from home when she had been rebellious there.

Emily sucked in a breath and then following Rachel’s example reluctantly pulled away from the relative safety of the fireplace and went to join her friend. An act that was strangely surreal, comforting and mortifying all at once. Then as she jiggled her thigh against Rachel’s their bottoms almost touched as they lined up together to receive the punitive gift.

“I am glad to see such an improvement in your attitudes,” Bartram said sternly, not entirely unmoved by either the comely scene or the young women’s humble submission. “I shall of course be writing to your families about this matter.”

Licks for tricks, Rachel thought ruefully, oh well, I wonder why I always go too far; poor Emily. The rash of fire that suddenly blazed across her backside transported her back to a certain New York State woodshed and she gasped. The man was no amateur then, she decided. A decision confirmed as another thousand biting flames nipped at her tail, not once but three times in as many moments. Rachel even began to wonder if she could stand it at all and got ready to cry out. My face must be quite a comedy, she pondered as she tried to contain herself under the onslaught.

Then saving Rachel the indignity the Dean switched targets and lay three strokes across Emily’s bottom. The younger girl was not so stoical and squealed from the first, her feet lifting as it they had encountered hot coals. But that was not at all where the heat was burning her.

Next Bartram put six across Rachel’s bottom, taking the pinkness to a somewhat ragged rash of red, but no skin was broken and although she hadn’t cried out as with Emily, she was breathing heavily now.

I will break this one, he thought, knowing it was both just and necessary. But he would be both fair and slow in his work. So in short order he switched back to Emily giving her six more too.

Emily had been spanked and hard, an experience that brought an unrelenting heat to her bottom and left her in tears. But not only were these private events rare, they were never so harsh and already she was bawling under a short duration of the birch as ever she had at her father’s knee.

To the viewer her bottom held a deep pink stain that held mottles of red, but some primeval instinct told her the matter was far from concluded.

“I’m sorry Sir, so sorry,” she wailed, a tear dripping at her nose.

Her face unseen, Rachel frowned; peeved that Emily should surrender so early in the game. Then it was her turn again.

The rod was becoming quite a trial now and she had to clamp her jaw against the waves of burn that clawed deep into her nether curves. To think it had been a mere bicycle that had brought her to this place and with so much less perspiration and breathlessness, Rachel considered by way of a distraction. Well I doubt I shall sit upon a bicycle any time soon, she thought ruefully.

Bartram laid nine thwacking strokes across Rachel’s exposed rear, frustrated that she had not once cried out or expressed regret. Her bottom was a multiplicity of reds, some deep in blotches while others hugged texture, and now looked rather raw.

Emily’s turn was a noisy affair and she bucked and shrieked as her bottom finally moved from dark pink to true red too. The girl was sobbing now and her shoulders dipped up and down as she made great laboured breaths.

“Have pity on her Sir,” Rachel said in a strained voice that was on the edge of an abyss, “She was trained up on slippers and the hairbrush.”

Bartram nodded and turned to regard Miss Hardham for a moment.

“Take this girl and once she is set, take her over your knee and spank her silly little bottom for her,” he said in gruffness that belied the kind thought, adding, “But soundly mind you.”

As he spoke he discarded the first rod and took another.

“This is not your first birching is it Miss Wendover?” Bartram rasped as flicked the rod.

“No Sir, I had it twice last semester, but at home I feel the strop and switch, both of which have their own charms,” Rachel said bravely, but her bottom felt like skinned knees and throbbed worse than it ever had under correction.

“You have never been chastised by me though have you Miss Wendover?” Bartram said as he lined up the rod to Rachel’s punished tail.

“No Sir,” she said emphatically, words that escaped her in a gasp.

Behind them Miss Hardham had already helped Emily to her feet and was leading her sobbing into the corner for a good cry.

Rachel was about to thank the Dean for his kindness to Emily when the fresh rod struck and she gasped. With no consideration for the meeker girl, Bartram was free to make his point. He first plied her with 12 in under a minute, an act that left her panting like a horse and grunting somewhat on contact, and then he paused.

“You are a rebel aren’t you Miss Wendover?” he said, some admiration creeping into his voice.

Rachel considered this for a moment and realised that she had been. It was a proud thought but all in vain now. She had been defeated, and knew it. But it was too hard to take that last step of surrender; it had been ever thus with her. So consequently she didn’t answer.

Rachel’s bottom, unconsciously or no, was thrust up more than ever, more plums than peaches now on account of the colour and Bartram considered it a little tender. Her punishment had outlasted most he had administered; young college women usually given to sobbing to surrender before the first strike and yielding totally at little more than a dozen strokes. But she was stubborn and would have to reap what she sowed.

The Dean wiped his brow and then brought the rod in wide sweep across both buttocks in a slow steady motion to another count of 12. Each biting swish-thwack made Rachel jump now and once or twice she lifted a leg and let it hang. Her breathing was laboured to grunts and she groaned little at each blow as it landed.

Her bottom too was more than raw and the colour of tawny port wine. It put him in mind of beefsteak before the fryer.

“Miss Wendover, are you alright?” he whispered.

She nodded and looked back, her face a picture of misery and tears pooled in her eyes. It was enough he decided and tossed away the rod.

“Then we are finished,” he sighed in relief.

Rachel clawed her way to a standing position, but remained at a stoop as she contended with the fresh fire of blood assailing and assuaging her posterior parts. She would have given dollars to rub at her behind but her pride would not allow it.

“Mr Bartram,” she said in strung out voice so close to cracking, “Thank you, that was most instructive.”

As they shook hands she started to cry and for the first time he was uncomfortable. To hide his consternation he reached for his coat and took his kerchief from his top pocket and handed it to her.

“You are most welcome Miss Wendover,” he said with a cough and turned away.

Miss Hardham too was feeling the strain and to cover it she reverted to type and turned her attention to Emily.

“Right you madam,” she barked, “Let’s have you across my knee for that good sound spanking.”

It was almost amusing to watch the hapless Emily mewling like a child as she was spanked by Miss Hardham until she regained her posture of abandoned tears. It was hard going on a bottom that had been first birched, but at least she was on familiar ground and felt better for it.

As Rachel watched she felt she had earned the right to enjoy it somehow and identified with her friends cathartic punishment as she kicked and sobbed across Miss Hardham’s knee. As she looked on she even felt a little homesick for simple times. Licks for tricks, she thought ruefully.

“I’ll be good, I’ll be good,” Emily bawled as the secretary’s hand spanked on for some minutes.

Then at a nod from the Dean Miss Hardham brought the spanking to an end and set Emily on her feet. They all waited in silence while the Bartram replaced his jacket and Emily’s tears abated. Rachel even risked a surreptitious rub of her behind only to wince openly enough to collect a chuckle form the secretary. She blushed.

“Now young ladies, since you like to celebrate public nudity but can’t seem to behave yourself in town I have some news for you,” the Dean said sternly, his hands grasping the lapels of his coat.

Rachel suddenly had a sinking feeling and gulped. There was a rare sanction for rebels she had heard of and even giggled over. But surely… she swallowed down some dread.

“You are restricted to campus until further notice and for the remainder of today your skirts will remain pinned to the small of your back,” Mr Bartram intoned.

Emily gasped and Rachel felt as if she were falling.

“Be warned, I know my pin-work,” Miss Hardham scolded with a wag of her finger.

“Yes and you can collect your bloomers when you report to her to have the pins removed after supper tonight,” the Dean announced.

Supper, Rachel started, but that would mean…

“But we have class,” Emily wailed.

“Yes and any tardiness or failure to report will see you back in my study,” the Dean growled. “Now ladies I bid you adieu.”

*

As Rachel and Emily collected their short shoulder cloaks and hats from the hooks at the door in the hallway, both of them wished they had chosen longer outdoor attire.

“Oh Rachel whatever will we do?” Emily wailed.

Rachel sighed and regarded the tree-lined quad beyond the faculty building with dread. An apt lesson the Dean was teaching, she thought, grudgingly admiring the man. But she had to show some spirit.

“We are restricted to campus remember, a place forbidden to men,” Rachel said with more enthusiasm than she felt.

“There is the Dean and old Professor Jenkins…” Emily moaned, fresh tears springing to her eyes.

And the old gardener, Rachel thought silently, remembering that sometimes he had a young companion. But she didn’t remind Emily.

“Nonsense, the Dean has already seen the goods my girl and Professor Jenkins is a gentleman and will not look,” Rachel said boldly, “Come on, best foot forward, we have quite a day ahead of us and we must not be late, my posterior would not bear it.”

Then arm-in-arm the two women stepped onto the quad and marched as if to war as they headed to class. No one who saw Emily’s face could doubt her recent fate, although Rachel hid it better. However, there was no hiding the proof of their chastisement from the rear and as they walked they gathered a cascade of laughter, a sound that would follow them until the nine o’clock bell when the refractory emptied out after supper.

“Chin up, nothing to be ashamed of,” Rachel said boldly and slightly too loudly, but all the while she was thinking, licks for tricks, licks for tricks…

The end



4 Responses to “The Wendover Rebellion”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian,
    old fashioned discipline, help! 😉
    Paul.

  2. 2 SirT

    Wonderful,truly wonderful!

  3. 3 Tony

    Excellent story, almost believable.

  4. 4 DJ

    Thanks 🙂


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