The Headboy came into my English class and announced that I was to report to the Headmaster at the end of lessons. During lunchtime there was a list on one of the noticeboards with my name and the names of four other boys who also had to visit Headmaster, Mr Westley. It had been just under a year since I had made my visit to my form master Mr McWilliams who had caned me for talking during assembly and then slippered me for fidgeting while kneeling on a chair in the corner of his study.
I had been slippered a couple of times in class since, the most memorable being ceremoniously bent over and slippered over wet swimming trunks in front of my peers for jumping into the water without permission for PE swimming lessons. I had come across the Headmaster on occasion mostly at assembly and a few times in the school hallways and once in class when we’d stood rigidly ‘at-ease’ before being given permission to sit down by our schoolmaster when he had paid a visit to our class.
We were under school rules when wearing the school uniform and when travelling to and from school and you would be punished for breaches of school rules under those conditions. I usually caught the bus to school and on the morning in question I’d had a minor disagreement with another boy, Alan, which had involved pushing and jumper-grabbing as the bus arrived and I had shoved him again as we stepped onto the bus. The driver was annoyed and took my name which I had forgotten he had done so when my summons came. I tried to think about what I had done to deserve the summons.
I had a bad case of butterflies as the final minutes of my last class of the day passed and we stood behind our desks waiting to be dismissed. It was a sunny afternoon as I made my way to the school offices and arrived at about the same time as the other boys who had been summoned and I knew one of them from my history class. The school secretary took our names and told us to wait outside Mr Welsley’s study with our hands on our heads and noses to the wall.
My wife was a schoolmistress and early in her career she gave the slipper a few times and she would always have the miscreant stand in the corner with his or her nose to the wall before slippering them to build the anticipation.
The secretary entered the study and I overheard her tell him that we had arrived for our individual meeting with him; I was third in line. The school was quiet as it had been when I had reported to my form master for my caning with some of the schoolmaster’s entering and exiting the school offices.
After twenty-minutes or so, during which my arms ached and hands had pins ‘n’ needles, the study door opened and Mr Welsley appeared. He was of average height and had a full head of grey hair and blue eyes and wore circular framed glasses. He ordered the boy standing closest to the door to enter his study, during which I remember standing even straighter, fearing that a slouch would earn me additional punishment similar to when I was slippered for not keeping still while kneeling on a chair after I had been caned.
Like when Gates had been caned before me, I could hear Mr Welsley speaking sternly to the boy before a few minutes of silence, then I heard a sharp Thwack! which seemed the loudest a cane stroke from inside a study I had heard. A few seconds later another Thwack! followed by a cry of pain. I heard the Headmaster say: “Bend over,” a pause then another Thwack! followed by a louder cry of pain, before he was told to bend over again.
Hearing someone else receiving the cane before you always gave me chills but I could also feel something else, a hint of excitement which I have never been able to explain. The boy emerged after a couple of minutes after the last stroke had been administered and stood back in line with tears in his eyes and the tail of his shirt out a little and he put his hands on his head. About five minutes later the next boy entered the study; he was an older boy and six cracks of the cane sounded out. He must have taken his punishment without fuss as I did not hear him ordered to bend over again as the previous boy had, either he had a high pain tolerance or had been caned quite a few times and was used to the pain, something I never managed to achieve despite the previous three canings and multiple slipperings I had earned.
The boy emerged a couple of minutes after the last stroke of the cane and stood back in line, putting his hands on his head. My butterflies were intense as I had an agonising wait tinged with excitement as I waited for my summons. I was called after five minutes and my fate was sealed when the Headmaster closed the door behind me.
The study was larger than my form master’s study and had more antique style furniture. There was a long bookshelf about three feet high on my right, a large oak desk with two chairs in front of me one of which was placed squarely in front of the desk with the seat facing me and one off to the side. There was a cabinet with twin glass doors containing leather bound books and some copies of what seemed to be John Constable landscape artworks hanging on the walls. The Headmaster held a long crook handled cane in his hand and placed it on his desk as he sat down.
I stood hands behind my back and feet about a foot apart as he slid his chair closer to his desk. I couldn’t help but look at the cane on his desk. As soon as he began scolding me I knew it was for the event on the bus to school and that I had disgraced the school with my behaviour and I would be severely punished.
“Your punishment will be six of the best strokes of the cane,” he informed me. “Bend over the chair in front of you and place your hands on the seat.”
My stomach churned as I barely managed to get a: “Y-y-yes Suh-Suh-Suh Sir,” out before bending over the back of the chair and placing my hands on the seat. I had to almost stand on my toes to get over the chair and I was not yet out of the school short trousers. They rose up when I assumed the position as they had done during my caning from my form master.
My Headmaster stood, picked up his cane and walked leisurely to the cabinet. I watched him as he took out another cane which lay flat on one of the lower shelves and, like my previous experiences, flexed the wicked looking cane and swished it down before placing it back and selecting another cane. He flexed that cane three times and swished it down twice. Like waiting for my punishment I had a mixture of fear and excitement as he selected another cane which he could almost bend tip to crook handle. He repeated the procedure with the cane before putting it back and taking out another cane and flexing it, he put that cane back and seemingly took out the cane he had selected before.
He walked behind me and stood on my left and flexed the cane again and swished it down and tapped his right leg with the cane. I tensed up as I felt the cane line up against my bottom and the tip of the cane and he gave me three light taps and lined the cane up and gave me another light tap.
“Lower your shorts and raise your bottom up,” he commanded.
I blushed deeply as I was to receive my punishment over my underpants. I had heard rumours of getting the cane this way but I had not observed it myself. I fumbled with my shorts and bent down taking them down to my ankles. Looking back I think it might have been a funny sight, seeing me bent over the back of a chair with my underpants covering my small bottom. He lined the cane against my bottom, I felt the cane move off and then press lightly against my bottom making me tense my legs and move my hips forward.
“Bottom out further, further. Stay still,” was the command.
I heard the swish of the cane and the sharp Thwack! The most intense biting line of pain formed on my bottom, I bit my bottom lip and squeezed my eyes shut as Mr Westley counted the stroke. He lined his cane up again and gave me two light taps before a pause of two or three seconds. Swish…Thwack! I cried out and leapt up grabbing my bottom as he counted the second, I rubbed furiously and felt tears in my eyes.
“Bend over, hands on the seat, bottom up, knees straight,” he ordered. “If you attempt to rub your bottom I will give you an extra stroke each time, is that understood?” Surprisingly he did not seem to raise his voice, he seemed calm and he was totally in control.
“Y-Yes, Suh-Suh Sir,” I stammered. I wanted desperately to rub my bottom.
He repeated lining up the cane, tapping my bottom twice. The third stroke whipped across my bottom and I yelped moving my hands back as he counted the third. He announced that I had earnt myself an extra stroke of the cane, I was getting the most painful caning I had received during my schoolboy days up until that point. My bottom had lines of biting, intense pain and I had tears in my eyes.
The fourth stroke landed. I managed not to cry out in pain and he counted the stroke and told me to raise my bottom up. I could feel a welt on my bottom and I yelped as the now familiar two taps were given before I heard the swish and thwack of the fifth stroke. I yelped in pain and stamped my feet.
“Five.” He counted. “Bottom up, keep your hands on the seat,” he warned. About four seconds later I felt the familiar two taps and the sixth stroke landed Thwack! Tears of pain rolled down my cheeks. “Six,” he counted.
I stayed bent over and glanced behind me as my headmaster held his cane in both hands. “Face the front.” He said sternly. “You will receive your extra stroke for rubbing your bottom and this will be bare bottom. Take your underpants down.”
I pleaded with him not to give me the extra stroke and I admit I was horrified at getting a stroke of the cane on my bare bottom. “Underpants down,” he repeated more firmly.
I managed a ‘Yes Sir’ and hooked my thumbs into my underpants and tugged them down. I was facing the door, bare bottom facing the window behind my headmaster’s desk. I left my underpants at my knees.
The crack sound was the loudest and sharpest and I cried out in pain, stamping my feet but remaining bent over. My headmaster stood behind me for about a minute and placed his cane back in the cabinet and then sat at his desk.
I stayed bent over waiting for permission to stand up and pull my underpants and shorts up which was given after a minute or two. I rose up painfully and wiped tears from both eyes. He gave me permission to take a tissue, which I did, and wiped my eyes again stifling a sob. I was given another lecture about being on my best behaviour when travelling to and from school each afternoon and he threatened to cane me again and give me a week of detention if I repeated my behaviour. He recorded my punishment in the punishment book before ordering me to stand with my hands on my head and nose to the wall after he had dismissed me. I emerged from the study in a great deal of pain.
The next boy was summoned and he also received six strokes of the cane and an extra stroke. All of us were dismissed about ten minutes after the last caning had been administered. I don’t know if being caned over my underpants and bare bottom hurt more than when I was caned over my shorts as some have suggested. It would have but it was certainly more embarrassing. I did feel that, even with the very painful and embarrassing caning, I had been treated fairly by my headmaster and the marks lasted about a week.