A Professional Inquiry


vin birching“Well I said I am sorry,” Ruth announced haughtily, “If that isn’t good enough for you then I am going to my room.” This imperious announcement was followed by a flounce and a door slamming exit that rumbled on as heavy stomps ascended the stairs.

The fiery little redhead would be unliveable with for the rest of the day and it was with no small relief that Prudence sighed when at last she heard the bedroom door slam on the floor above.

Prudence looked to heaven and then back at the trail of broken petals and twigs that littered the parlour carpet. At close to 20 Ruth was far too old for such tantrums and much, much too old to be making such a mess under the pretext of gathering a bouquet. Heaven knew what chaos she had left in the garden, Prudence thought as she rang for the maid.

The trouble was that at 28 Prudence was much too young to have a ward and Ruth was getting beyond her control. At this rate neither of them would be getting husbands and would end their days as old maids.

“Do I really have to put up with this until Ruth is 21?” Prudence sighed heavily.

“Ma’am?” the maid asked as she entered the room.

Prudence shook her head and absently turned to the mirror above the mantle to address a stray strand of chestnut hair. The polished brown eyes looking back at her had an accusatory air. Well she had to do something. What was it that Mrs Partridge has been going on about? Then she remembered the advertisement in the Times and crinkled up her nose as she struggled to recall where she had put it.

The small notice had been ringed in blue ink and sat half way down a column that included announcements and inquiries for new maids and an occasional governess.

Never too late, it began, continuing, Professional Mentoring Tutor and gentleman specialist in the guidance and instruction of grown girls and the training of governesses; suitable for respecters of traditional discipline. No young lady is beyond help.

For some reason the advertisement made Prudence’s tummy tickle and she blushed. But she owed to Ruth not consider such services. Besides, maybe she could get a few pointers.

Odd that it was a gentleman offering such professional help, Prudence thought, but if Mrs Partridge had recommended it then it must be above board.


Manton Overton was a tall sporty-framed man with a severe countenance and square face framed by grizzled grey sideburns. He looked more like a retired army officer from the Raj than a professional tutor and might have been at home as a head master at Rugby or some such school.

He now regarded the two young women standing before him in his library with a serious eye. It was difficult to decide who needed the most help.

The elder girl was not yet 30 and stood almost five feet five. She was of comely appearance and was perhaps the kind of woman who addressed too much of her time to her vanity. He could tell by her nervous gaze that she was not worldly and it was a wonder to him that she was ever made a guardian to her younger cousin.

The cousin was a diminutive redheaded girl with a sullen expression and a wandering eye that suggested enthusiastic carelessness. At five feet tall, her more rounded figure was all the more emphasised and he wondered if she would be trouble. Her haughtiness was a front and if he had not been assured that she was 19-years-old, Manton would have taken her to be younger.

“Which one of you ladies requires my guidance?” Manton said at last.

Prudence Tate blushed and opened her mouth to make a hasty reply but Ruth giggled before the elder could form some words.

Manton put up a hand to silence them both and warmly added, “From your letter Miss Tate, I gather it is both.”

“I assure you Mr Overton, it is Ruth who is the cause of the problem,” Prudence said sharply.

“I am not,” the other girl blurted as she stamped a small foot on the carpet.

“I rather agree,” Manton said smoothly, adding sharply. “But you, Miss Ruth, will not speak until you are spoken to while your elders converse.”

A wide-eyed Ruth gaped at him, but one glance at his face made her hold her tongue.

“But…” Prudence fluttered, “You see how she is…?”

“Indeed I do,” Manton said reassuringly, “But her behaviour is easy to correct, for me anyway, but what will you do when I am not there? That is the real matter in hand is it not?”

Prudence made a purse with her lips and then sank back on herself as she conceded his point.

“So we have two young ladies to correct don’t we?” Manton continued thoughtfully.

“Correct?” Prudence sounded nervous. The night before wild thoughts had troubled her and she entertained startling notions about her coming meeting with Manton Overton; notions that would have best been left on the pages of a penny dreadful.

Ruth looked even more uncomfortable and she gulped as she threw a blue-eyed accusation at her cousin.

“Correct is a good word,” Manton nodded in agreement with himself. “Miss Ruth needs to be taught the error of her ways and instructed in consequences and you need to be trained in suitable disciplinary methods to advance this.”

Ruth looked horrified and rolled her head back and forth between Prudence and Manton Overton while she summoned up the courage to protest.

Her cousin blushed and answered him with a small nod.

“Good,” Manton said firmly, “And do you have any ideas about what those methods are?”

Ruth was wringing her hands and began shuffling her feet. For some uncountable reason the lower rear portion of her person began to tingle and she became acutely aware of where she sat.

“No,” Prudence lied and swallowed down a knot in her throat. She was excited now, but she couldn’t grasp why.

Manton gave her a hard look that promised a warning. But he said, “I intend to chastise your charge, exactly how depends on her, but a young lady of her age should look to her dignity and stand on her honour when in need of correction.”

“C-chastise me?” Ruth spluttered.

“Yes, and I think you know that and I think too that you know you deserve it,” he said sharply.

Ruth glanced at the door and looked as if she may take flight, but Manton’s gaze held her.

“Please Mr Overton, I’ll be ever so good, I don’t mean to… I… I just…” Ruth looked even younger and smaller now.

“You are lost, you have no parents and no boundaries and Miss Tate, Prudence, doesn’t know how to guide you does she?” Manton said, kindness edging his severe tone.

Ruth bowed her head and steeled herself against the cutting truth of his words.

“Now you will raise your skirts and lower your draws,” Manton said sharply. “It is usual practice for a young lady to cut her own birch twigs, but that will come in time. Today I have one already prepared.”

“A birch…?” Ruth gasped, “By you… on the….” She gulped, “Bare?”

Even Prudence looked aghast, but she had no courage to speak and merely let a fluttering hand gather at her throat.

“That is the usual method,” Manton said in an efficient tone.

“I won’t do it, I won’t,” Ruth said in a tantrum voice. “Pru tell him, tell him that…” There were tears in her eyes and she threw helpless glances at her cousin.

“I rather think Mr Overton won’t be told anything by me,” Prudence said in a voice of wonder.

“Very well,” Manton sighed.

It made short work, but in a trice Ruth was over his knee with her skirts bunched at her waist and her draws crumpled south in a cotton cloud. Her bottom was two circles of white flesh and it was amusing to note that her neck was stretched so that the consternation of her face seemed to distance itself from the impending threat to her exposed behind.

Even Prudence was stunned.

“You consent to this?” he said to her.

Prudence nodded, although her mouth formed an uncertain O.

Swift proficient hands spanked in sharp applause and Ruth struggled amid bitter squeals.

“You can’t do this… I’m too old for a spanking… Pru please…” she shrieked, “Mr Overton… ooooh oh”

“When I spank, I spank long and hard on the bare bottom,” Manton said sternly as he addressed himself to the already crimson bottom.

Prudence was intrigued to see two bright ovals forming on the crowns of her cousin’s ample bottom and she could scarce catch a breath. It was just what Ruthie needed, but she doubted she could ever do such a thing.

“Please, please, I’m sorry, this is so humiliating,” Ruth wailed, but from her heavy breathing and the glow of her bottom the sting was as much of a trial.

“I offered you judicial dignity, you chose to be treated like a child,” Manton reminded her as strong just hands gave her the spanking of life, an activity she had long since thought to have abandoned.

Teeth strained at her upper lips and she tearfully gave herself over amid slow defeat.

“Please stop, please,” Ruth wept.

“You agree that you deserve this?” Manton asked.

“Yes,” Ruth sniffed.

“Then you agree to bend over the back of chesterfield for a slice of the birch?” Manton pressed.

“What? But….” Ruth gasped.

Manton shrugged and put some more force into an even more rapid spanking.

“I can do this all day,” he snarled. “Don’t test me girl.”

“Ruth, you must do as you are told,” Prudence said in her bossiest voice.

“But it is so unfair,” Ruth sobbed, but as she was set on her feet she stumbled over to the chair and with all the reluctance of a condemned woman solemnly lowered herself over the back of the stuffed leather.


By an instinct Prudence could only guess at Ruth had folded herself over the back of the stuffed leather like a contrite cat. Her heels too were pressed together with the feline grace of a finishing school girl so that the deep red stained globes of her bare bottom were full and round as they were directed at the ceiling.

The birch rod looked a vicious thing, a yard long with a dozen twists of grey brown strands so that it resembled a dark brand of fire. Manton held it like a sword and wielded it with such expertise it was like watching a ballet. The music too was moving.

Ruth’s breathing was loud and rhythmic as she waited, a percussive prelude to a rattle-thwack that overwhelmed her like a wave crashing on rocks when it fell. Her shrieked was tight and accepting like a song.

The birching was a thing of beauty to watch and Prudence hoped that Ruth was going to be a very bad girl indeed; an unworthy thought soon scotched when she saw how knuckle-white tightly her cousin gripped the arms of the chair.

In a dozen biting strokes Ruth’s bottom held more shades of red than Prudence knew of and purple tracery reminded her of a summer sunset with the same texture as the small clouds that gather at such times.

It was the second dozen that chased away the poetry and Ruth’s throaty yells began to gain Prudence’s sympathy.

“I think perhaps…” she began, extending a tentative arm to Manton in a gesture of pity.

He dismissed her with a glance. “The governess birch is not as harsh as the cane say, not if we hold the count at less than three dozen. She will learn to take much more unless her demeanour improves.”

Ruth made a sobbing exclamation at this news.

“You didn’t think you could endure this much did you?” Manton chuckled in the punished girl’s direction.

“No Sir,” Ruth said meekly.

There was a hint of spirit in her voice that startled Prudence and she was reassured.

“Kiss the rod in acceptance and I will finish this with a mere six more,” Manton said warmly as he extended the rod in front of Ruth’s face.

She had to crane her neck to reach it, but with tentative lips, she was almost eager in her kiss when she finally surrendered to it.

“Oh my,” Prudence gasped.

The last six were sizzlers and Ruth screamed out heartedly for each before descending into a collapse of sobbing.

“We’ll leave her for a few moments,” Manton said gently as he led Prudence away.


Ruth was sniffing she got to her feet and was as meek as a kitten when Manton extended his hand to her. She didn’t exactly smile when she shook it, but a curious shyness came over her as her lips did a coy little dance in the middle of her face.

“You will stand in the corner at the end of the hall…” Manton told her and she nodded without protest, “…with your chastised derriere exposed mind you.”

Ruth and Prudence gasped at the instruction but neither made verbal objection.

“And I warn you, do not even contemplate taking your nose from the wall or lowering your skirts until I give you an instruction.”

“Yes Sir,” Ruth squeaked, her face was the colour of a summer rose, “I mean no Sir,” she blustered.

Prudence was astounded.

“I can’t see that girl sitting at meal times for a week,” she giggled, “yet she bears you no malice. Quite the contrary I would say.”

“The wonders of a firm hand Miss Tate,” Manton beamed.

“But…” Prudence paused, “I won’t be able to do that, not even if she listened.”

“Perhaps, perhaps not,” Manton’s eyes twinkled. “What if you were to return here every week for the next two or three months? I would chastise her soundly for every least thing until she rues our little visits.”

Prudence was already mentally writing the cheque and licked her lips in anticipation.

“You could then mitigate each sin with a punishment of your own, which if she accepts would negate the need to report it to me,” Manton suggested casually.

“But I don’t think I…” Prudence protested.

“Oh I think you could,” Manton said, “Tell me Miss Tate when was the last time you had a good sound spanking?”


Prudence had to swallow hard twice in a moral equivalent of pinching herself. She had been reduced to her bodice, stockings and draws while she stood nervously clutching her breasts in Manton Overton’s library. The latter of these were no doubt soon only to be partially granted to her.

“Mr Overton, I really think…” the opening of this pompous address tailed off, it was much too late to stand on her dignity.

Manton held up his hand and tutted her. “You have admitted that so far you have failed Ruth and you have to this point in time admitted that my methods have had a miraculous effect,” he countered. “Not only do you deserve a piece of the bill for your shortcomings, how do you expect to address your ward’s bare bottom when the need arises if you have no relevant experience?”

“But…” Prudence struggled with short breaths.

“Am I wrong?” Manton said sharply.

“Nooo but…” Prudence shook her head slightly, as much in denial of the situation as anything.

“Make up your mind to it I am going to spank you, and I am going to spank your bare bottom; first with my hand and then with a hairbrush. The rest we will take from there,” he scolded.

“Oh, oh, oh…” she countered as she was pulled helplessly across his lap.

Her draws slid down with shameful ease and she gasped that a man could see her bare behind.

“Mr Overton, mister… oh… eh,” she spluttered.

“Do you want my services or not?” Manton rasped.

“I suppose,” Prudence squeaked.

His hand was sharp and it burned. Her eyes bulged in surprise and she kicked her heels a little. There more like that and in moments she was hissing and mewling in her throat while the sting grew.

“Mr Overton,” she groaned.

The spanking was a sound one and lasted a good 10 minutes until her bottom stung as it glowed and tiny tears pricked at her eyes. Prudence was breathing vigorously by this point and wondered if Ruth still stood in the corner outside or if she now listened at the door. In any case, she was now helpless before the mastery of this man and must submit to any shame. The idea that Ruth knew of her ordeal trilled in her and the heat rose to her face even as it touched her more intimately.

The switch to the hairbrush was an education. One moment she was coping and the next she wasn’t. Only the hope of solid doors and a respectable distance to Ruth’s corner was between her spanking and her ward discovering her shame. For at each impact now the sharpness of the burn overwhelmed her until she was bucking and yelling like an infant.

“Do you think you will apply yourself now?” Manton asked her as he spanked.

“Yes Sir,” Prudence gasped, her wail ending in a shout.

“We will leave it there for now and you can experience the humility of the corner while I take a whiskey,” Manton said at last. “From now on you may discipline Ruth anyway you wish, but anything left unpunished will leave you getting whatever I later give her on your behalf and a session over my knee besides. Are we clear about that?”

“Yes Sir,” Prudence sobbed amid hiccoughing as she clawed at her aching burning bottom and the pain that would not yet quit. “B-but… I haven’t yet agreed.”

“I won’t trouble you with that,” Manton shrugged, “It is a hard thing to ask a woman. It will suffice for you to sign the cheque and revisit me on the required day. I will do the rest.”

“Yes Sir,” Prudence said miserably as she viewed the corner in shame-filled horror. He can see my… sit-upon she realised and became dizzy with it.

Halfway across the room she paused and shot him a tearful glance. Then with as much dignity as she could muster she paused to take something from her bag and then took up a pen. She said nothing as she wrote out the cheque but she was blushing to her ears.

“I shan’t sit down for days,” she muttered to no one in particular. Then she doubted if Ruth would ether. In fact if she had her way, Ruth wouldn’t be doing too much sitting for quite some time, even if it meant Mr Overton had to do it.

She didn’t trouble herself too much then with the implications of that thought. If she did but know it, she had all afternoon in the corner to think about such things.

“This is so embarrassing,” she sighed as she put her hands atop of her head just like Ruth.

5 Responses to “A Professional Inquiry”

  1. 1 George

    If parents don’t want to do it themselves, they can ask for! Millions of brats in their 20s need badly Tradiitonal DD…

  2. 2 mick9lan

    Delicious! I loved the setting – and the phrase ” the feline grace of a finishing school girl” !

    Thank You.

  3. 4 vlad

    It’s good to see you back to form after the holiday hiatus. The spanked spanker is a neat idea worth further exploration and you had some nice turns of phrase.

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