The Sinclair Method (part 14)

28Aug14

1950 sittingOur story began here.

Before the girls returned that afternoon, Alice had been permitted to go to bed early with a ‘headache.’ This not only spared her blushes but spared her the ordeal of sitting down for supper. That is to say not sitting down and letting everyone know what had happened. Not that she had any energy or appetite to spare for something as prosaic as a meal. Instead she had limped gratefully to bed and slept the sleep of the just.

Nor did she rise for breakfast the next day, being too mortified as she was to face anyone much before noon. This normally wouldn’t have been tolerated but for once Muriel Baxter very much wanted Alice to be able to save face to preserve her authority.

Finally and just before luncheon Alice donned a loose fitting skirt and putting her best face on made her way downstairs. Even a day after her spanking and woodshed experience just walking was an ordeal. Each step flared in her bottom, which felt tighter than a jazz drum being struck three to the dozen in some relentless and reckless rhythm. Alice had to take slow careful steps with a practiced look of neutrality clinging to her face less she openly wince with each movement.

“Feeling better?” Jenny asked sympathetically on seeing the governess.

“Wh-what do you mean?” Alice said, as she startled.

“Mrs Baxter said that you had a headache?” Jenny put in uncertainly.

“Oh eh, oh yes,” Alice said quickly with a tight smile, “I-I’m feeling much better now, thank you Jenny.”

“Mrs Baxter says we might go back with her for a visit. To Sinclair Ladies’ College I mean.” Jenny still sounded uncertain.

“Yes I know,” Alice said pausing where she stood and desperately wanting to massage her bottom. “It is not exactly a school, more a house like this one but with a few more girls and some trainee governesses. But how do you feel about that?”

Jenny frowned.

“Is it because I have been bad?” she asked.

Alice laughed and shook her head. “No of course not,” she replied.

“I am not completely dumb,” Jenny said carefully, “I mean I do know that Mrs Baxter is the head honcho so to speak and I bet she is much stricter than you. I mean to say… well I know I behaved like a brat at first but isn’t Mrs Baxter’s place more like a reform school?”

“No, it isn’t like that, but you are right there will be higher standards. It is usually where the older girls go, the volunteers. Is that what is worrying you? Are you nervous that things will be stricter?” Alice was frowning now. Jenny didn’t have to go, but if she did she would effectively be a volunteer. Did that mean she could leave? Alice was suddenly nervous for the girl, she wasn’t ready to brave the world alone and if she went back to that aunt of hers she would fall into bad habits.

“No,” Jenny said slowly with some thought, “I’m not scared of worst punishments… well I am, but it is not that. I probably deserve stricter punishments. It is just… well I have a feeling that I belong for the first time and… and… no it’s not that either. I just don’t want to fail and I don’t want to fail you.”

“Oh you haven’t, really you haven’t,” Alice sighed, “If anything I have failed you.”

She remembered her own slip in standards and the previous day’s punishment. Also she didn’t want to say that Mrs Baxter wanted her to focus on Katherine and Mary. That would sound as if Jenny and Janet were less than they were.

“You haven’t failed me, or Janet, even I can see what we were like before,” Jenny gushed. “I couldn’t go back to how it was before I just couldn’t.”

“Then don’t. But all things change,” Alice said kindly as she took half a step forward, and the suppressing a wince she added, “Just think about it alright?”

“I will,” Jenny said brightly and smiled.

*

Alice was attempting to read with one leg tucked under her thigh so as to keep her bottom off the window seat. It was an uncomfortable enough posture, but not as unpleasant as allowing her behind take her full weight even with the soft padding on the bay window’s surface.

She was still wincing and squirming when she noticed Katherine approaching.

“Miss Bowman, can I have a word please?” Katherine asked politely.

Alice gave her a fixed grin and with a surreptitious stiffness adjusted her posture.

“Of course,” she said, the grin not leaving her face as she indicated the seat next to her.

Katherine sensed something was wrong but decided it was better to say nothing as she obeyed and sat in the opposite corner of the bay.

“Is there something I can do for you?” Alice asked seeing that Katherine wasn’t going to speak.

The younger woman sucked in a long slow breath and drew herself up to reply.

“I hear that Janet and Jenny are to return with Mrs Baxter,” Katherine said at last.

“That hasn’t been settled yet, but they may be,” Alice answered, “But Mrs Baxter has made the suggestion, yes.”

Katherine nodded.

“So what is troubling you about that?” Alice pressed the girl.

“Isn’t… isn’t that where Mrs Baxter trains governesses in the Sinclair Method?” Katherine was looking down into her lap.

“That’s right, it is where I was trained, but also a great many girls who are not following that path receive guidance there too,” Alice replied in a neutral voice.

“But I thought… that is… one day I thought I might too become a governess like you,” Katherine said, still not looking up.

“And so you shall and Mary too I think,” Alice said. There was a half-supressed urgency in her voice and now and a hint a puzzlement crossed her face.

Katherine looked up now, a wild expectant look dancing back and forth with her eyes.

“But…” she whispered.

“That is why Mrs Baxter wants Janet and Jenny to go with her, so I can further yours and Mary’s training somewhat. When you go to Mrs Baxter’s establishment it will be as a trainee governess I expect,” Alice told her.

“Oh,” Katherine squealed and launched herself forward to hug Alice.

Alice groaned as she was shoved back on to her bottom and had to grit her teeth.

“I won’t let you down, I am ever so grateful,” Katherine violently enthused, “I can’t tell you how… oh… oh, wait until I tell Mary.”

“Well yes, but do wait until it is settled won’t you?” Alice chuckled, “But Katherine, you do know what this means don’t you?”

Katherine nodded and smiled and then nodded some more before she giggled, “No, not really.”

“That with just Mary and you here I will have a free rein to bring you task,” Alice replied now suddenly serious.

Katherine flushed a little but the smile didn’t leave her face. “I know but… well I know… I think I do… you mean things will be stricter around here.”

Alice’s smile became a firm tight line and she nodded as if in regret.

Katherine shrugged.

“I guess I’ll cope,” she said ruefully. “But in for a penny…”

To be continued.



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