Victoria was beside herself with worry. It was Friday evening and she was running late. Her bus was winding its way through the English countryside with what appeared to be an almost perverse pleasure in its leisurely progress. She fretted every time that the wretched vehicle deviated from the main road to wander down some obscure back lane in search of some insignificant hamlet whose inhabitants might just want to take advantage of its service. The passengers waiting at the bus stops in these tiny villages seemed to have no sense of Victoria’s urgency. She bit her lip at the painfully slow elderly gentleman who had to be assisted aboard the bus and wanted to scream at the old lady who rummaged interminably about in her purse for the exact change to pay the driver. She nearly wept with anxiety when the driver disembarked to assist another lady with her bags and the minutes ticked away relentlessly.
It wasn’t her fault she thought bitterly. The sole blame for the ruination of her schedule could be laid squarely at the feet of Emilie, Lord Castlebridge’s tyrannical personal secretary. In accordance with His Lordship’s wishes, Victoria had spent all of Friday afternoon working at the city office under Emilie’s guidance. It had been a nightmare. Lord Castlebridge had been absent for the day and Victoria had found herself at the mercy of Emilie. She had worked Victoria hard all afternoon, barking orders at her and throwing as much work as she could at her. Victoria seemed to have spent the entire afternoon at a dead run and nothing had seemed to satisfy her tormentor. Finally the office clock had approached five o’clock and Victoria had been able to see the chance to escape at last.
Of course it was only a temporary respite for, in accordance with Lord Castlebridge’s instructions, she had then had to catch the bus to Castlebridge and report to the Hall there to work for the weekend in the housekeeping department of that grand old stately home. She had received a communication from Lord Castlebridge that very day revising her schedule. She was to report to him in his study at the Hall at seven thirty sharp that evening and she was to bring her rewritten university essay with her; the hopefully improved essay whose unsatisfactory predecessor had earned her the cane earlier in the week. Victoria was reasonably confident that she had made a better job of that essay. It was greatly to be hoped for she’d been promised the cane again if it was still not to His Lordship’s satisfaction. That seven thirty deadline however was looking ominously thin.
Had it not been for Emilie then Victoria would have made the appointment with time to spare. The office in the city was just a couple of minutes walk from the bus station and there was a bus leaving for Castlebridge at just before a quarter past five. The bus journey took about an hour and she’d reckoned to be in Castlebridge at around a quarter past six, twenty past at the latest; ample time, it would have seemed, for her to find her way to Castlebridge Hall and present herself before his Lordship. Emilie’s petty tyranny however had scotched that comfortable margin of error.
Victoria had been just about to put her coat on at the stroke of five o’clock when Emilie had pulled her back. Victoria it seemed had failed to tidy up her desk and place all her accoutrements back in their allotted places before leaving. Emilie had seemed to consider this a cardinal sin and she’d treated Victoria to a five minute admonition concerning clerical orderliness and organisation as the hands on the clock had crept past the hour and marched on piteously toward disaster. But Emilie had not been satisfied with merely chastising Victoria verbally. She’d reached into a drawer and taken out a heavy leather strap.
Victoria could still feel the twinges in her bottom from the administration of that strap and her face burned with humiliation at the memory of it. Emilie had ordered her to bend over the desk, raise her skirt and lower her knickers. It wouldn’t have been the slightest use protesting Victoria knew, for Lord Castlebridge had explicitly authorised Emilie to discipline Victoria if necessary and Victoria guessed that Emilie had been waiting for any pretext for doing so. Emilie had laid the strap on with determined authority and Victoria had squealed at the agony in her bottom from its ministrations. Twenty times Emilie had thrashed her bare bottom with that strap and Victoria had been blubbering copiously by the time the final stroke had been applied. By the time she had pulled her knickers back up and tidied her desk, the quarter past five bus was long gone.
Of course there hadn’t been another bus for an hour! Victoria’s comfortable time allotment to make her way to Castlebridge Hall had vanished. It would now be around a quarter past seven before the bus dropped her off on the village green at Castlebridge. The Hall was supposed to be about half a mile away and Victoria had only the vaguest idea as to how to find it. It was going to be touch and go if she was to make her appointed interview with Lord Castlebridge. He was a stickler for punctuality. Already this week he had added five extra strokes of the cane, one each for every minute she had been late, to her punishment for her tardiness at her monthly report.
Victoria squirmed on her seat. The memory of the caning she had taken in his city office early in the week was still painful to her. She had still been able to discern the faint remnants of the angry red stripes on her bottom and the backs of her legs in the mirror this morning. Emilie had even remarked on them in satisfaction before obscuring them with fresh marks from her strap only an hour and a half ago. It seemed dreadfully unfair that she would be obliged to face the cane twice in a single week but Victoria knew His Lordship’s draconian rules all too well. If she was late arriving at the Hall it was only too likely that she would be bending over with her knickers down for another caning. She could only pray that it would be the only offence that he had cause to take her to task for. If her rewritten essay was not up to scratch.... well it didn’t bear thinking about. She’d been awarded twenty strokes for her unsatisfactory first effort and the promise of double that if her second did not completely satisfy His Lordship. Forty strokes! Victoria shuddered at the thought.
When she finally alighted at the bus stop on Castlebridge village green Victoria glanced in trepidation at the time on her mobile phone. It was exactly 17 minutes past seven. She had precisely 13 minutes to get to the Hall and not the faintest notion of the direction to take. The village of Castlebridge seemed deserted bar a few ducks on the pond at the side of the green; not a soul was in sight of whom she might ask directions. Moreover it was getting dark by now and the village was only lit by a few feeble street lamps. However there was one hope. The lights of the Castlebridge Arms tavern were casting a welcoming pool of luminescence into the darkening street on the other side of the green. In growing desperation Victoria hastened in their direction.
In the pub Victoria found at least some sympathy for her predicament. Yes, the landlord informed her, he could indeed give her directions to the Hall. But he shook his head worriedly. “It’s a fair walk in the dark Miss and you’ll not be able to see a thing down them lanes. Tell you what though if you wait five minutes while Bob over there finishes his pint he’ll be able to give you a lift. He goes home in that direction and he can drop you off at the gates.” Victoria thanked the landlord in relief but she soon had reason to regret her acceptance. Bob seemed to take forever to finish the last dregs of his drink although in truth it was only a couple of minutes. Nevertheless by the time he nodded to her and made for the door the time was close to seven twenty five.
It was only a short drive to the gates leading to the Hall’s drive however and it was only a minute or so after half past seven before Victoria was able to thank her saviour and disembark from the car. As her transport faded into the distance Victoria looked up the drive and quailed. The hall was set back from the road by several hundred yards; it seemed a mere glimmering of light far in the distance and separated from the gates by an inky black tree lined drive. Gasping back a sob of panic Victoria edged her way into the dark driveway. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she grew more confident however and, shouldering her bag, she began to run. It was foolhardy in the dark and she stumbled a couple of times before finally bursting out into the lawned area in front of the Hall. This was when her next problem occurred to her.
Leaning against a tree to catch her breath she perused the enormous looming edifice before her in fear. All her efforts had been directed to reaching the Hall but now she was there she had not the faintest idea what to do next. She could hardly go up and rap on the front door! She was, after all, arriving in the capacity of a mere servant girl. Presumably there were back entrances; tradesmen entrances or some such more befitting her station but how the devil was she to find such an entrance in the dark in this great forbidding pile of masonry? Tentatively she approached the building which seemed to grow in vastness with every step she took in its direction.
She edged around the great building seeking egress and the time ticking away inexorably in her mind. Then in front of her a door opened shedding a pool of light into the darkness and a solitary figure stepped out. In the light Victoria could see it was obviously one of the Hall’s retinue of maids for her uniform of black dress with lacy white trimmings and white pinafore was the classic servant girl’s costume of a bygone age; an age that never seemed to have passed as far as this great mansion was concerned. The girl was tapping out a cigarette from a packet. She had evidently just slipped out for a smoke.
“Excuse me miss.” Victoria intoned.
The girl she was addressing jumped visibly before focussing her eyes on Victoria. “bl**dy ‘ell Miss! You scared the life out o’ me!”
“Oh I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Can I ‘elp you at all Miss?”
“I’m just trying to find my way into the Hall.” Victoria explained. “I... I’m supposed to report to Lord Castlebridge. I’m supposed to be working here this weekend.”
The girl nodded in understanding. “Oh you must be the new lass. Greenwood, that’s us butler, said ter keep an eye out for yer. Yer a bit late aren’t yer?”
“I... I got held back at the office.”
The girl shrugged. “Well rather you than me love! I wouldn’t want ter ‘ave ter report to ‘Is Lordship late terday... not in the mood ‘e’s bin in all day! Well we’d better find Greenwood before yer in more trouble!”
Castlebridge Hall’s butler was located quite quickly as Victoria waited nervously in the maid’s common room. He regarded Victoria dispassionately. “Ah Miss Partridge!” he noted austerely. “His Lordship was beginning to be concerned about you.”
“I... I’m sorry. I had to take the later bus.”
“Well you have arrived safely at least Miss Partridge. His Lordship wishes to see you immediately. If you would care to follow me I will e****t you to his study.” Victoria nodded anxiously and Greenwood turned and strode out with his young charge tripping at his heels. Following the butler through the venerable galleries of Castlebridge Hall Victoria felt overwhelmed by the magnificence of her surroundings: the gleaming polished teak panelling, the spotless marble floors, priceless antique furnishings, glistening silverware and the sombre portraits of Lord Castlebridge’s ancestors glowering down in disapproval at the young lady cowering beneath their stern visages. The corridors of that vast seat of the Lords of Castlebridge seemed interminable and Victoria wondered if she’d ever find her way around the Hall unaided. They ascended to the first floor by way of a staircase of such imposing grandeur that Victoria felt entirely intimidated. At long last they came before a massive oaken door which could be nothing other than the entrance to His Lordship’s inner sanctum.
Greenwood rapped smartly on the door and, in response to a muffled growl within, ushered Victoria through the portal. “Miss Partridge My Lord.” He announced.
Lord Castlebridge was sat behind the biggest and most ornate mahogany desk Victoria had ever seen in her life; so big you could have laid out dinner settings for ten around it with ease and so massive as to require heavy machinery just to move it. Lord Castlebridge was perusing a pile of documents in front of him but he glanced up to glare at Victoria. “You’re late!” he barked at her.
Victoria curtsied hastily.“Yes sir... I’m sorry sir but I had to take....”
Lord Castlebridge ignored her and addressed his butler instead. “Has a uniform been sorted out for Victoria, Greenwood?” he asked.
“I informed the laundry and wardrobe departments this afternoon that the young lady would be joining us this evening My Lord. They are in possession of her dress and shoe size so I should imagine that a suitable uniform has been prepared. If you will excuse me My Lord I will go immediately to ascertain if my instructions have been carried out.”
“Yes carry on Greenwood.”
“Thank you My Lord.” Greenwood turned and left the study.
Once he had departed Lord Castlebridge turned to Victoria. “Well Victoria?”
Victoria took a deep breath. “I... I’m sorry that I’, late sir but...”
“Aren’t you forgetting something young lady?” Lord Castlebridge interrupted her.
Victoria stumbled to a halt and swallowed. “Er... I... I’m sorry sir I don’t know what you mean.”
Lord Castlebridge snorted. “Why are you failing to obey my standing instructions concerning your presentation Victoria?”
“Excuse me sir?”
“Your skirt Victoria! Why are you still wearing your skirt?”
Victoria blushed scarlet and bit her lip. “I... I’m sorry sir.... I er... I thought that was only a requirement for my monthly reports.”
Lord Castlebridge shook his head firmly. “No Victoria. My instructions on this matter were quite clear. Whenever you are required to deliver any report to me or written work from university then you are to remove your skirt immediately in my presence before delivering those items. I take it that you HAVE got the rewritten essay I demanded of you this week?”
“Then in that case this interview is in the nature of a formal report and therefore you will comply with the standing instructions for the delivery of it! Now kindly step out of your skirt young lady!” Victoria nodded miserably, her face crimson, and reached for the zipper on her skirt. Quickly she slipped her skirt down her legs and stepped out of it. She folded it and looked around desperately for somewhere to lay it. Lord Castlebridge however was not finished in his disapproval of her conduct in the interview. He pointed at her lower parts. “Are those the regulation knickers required in a formal presentation Victoria?” he demanded sharply.
Victoria gulped and glanced down at the pretty little pink and white knickers she had donned that morning. “I... I’m sorry sir but I didn’t think that this was a formal...”
“Are they or are they not?”
Victoria shook her head abjectly. “N..no sir.”
“I am unaccustomed to having my explicit instructions disobeyed in this fashion Victoria. It is high time I think that you learned a little more discipline. That is one of the reasons why I have decided keep you here at the Hall on weekends in order for you to benefit from a more disciplined regime. You have become increasingly lax of late Victoria and I intend to put a firm stop to it. Now would you further please explain to me why you are so late.”
Victoria took a deep breath and launched at last into her well rehearsed speech. “I’m sorry sir but your secretary Miss Townsend detained me at the office for extra work at five o’clock and I missed the bus as a result. I was obliged to take the next bus sir.”
Lord Castlebridge frowned. “Strange!” he observed bemusedly. “I explicitly told Emilie to make sure that you were away by five o’clock sharp to catch the bus. I shall have to have words with her.” He shook his head. “Well never mind that for the moment. Do you have your rewritten essay?”
“Y...yes sir. It’s in my bag.” Victoria was still holding her skirt feeling foolish.
“Well put your skirt on my desk and get it out then Victoria!” Victoria complied feeling that the interview was going badly but at least His Lordship had seemed to be satisfied with her reasons for being late. Lord Castlebridge took the essay from her and regarded her sternly. “Is this effort an improvement on the last one Victoria?” he asked her.
“I... I think so sir.”
“Well I sincerely hope that it is.... for your sake young lady! Do you recall how many strokes of the cane you were awarded for your last unsatisfactory paper.”
“And how many was that exactly?”
“T... twenty sir.”
“And do you further recall how many strokes you were to receive should this effort prove to be less than the standard expected of you?”
“Exactly Victoria! Double the previous allotment! So it is to be greatly desired that this revised essay is satisfactory young lady or, before this evening is through, you will be receiving the soundest thrashing of your young and privileged life!”
Victoria gulped and hoped fervently that her essay would meet His Lordship’s approval. She thought she had done a good job on it but the frightening prospect of such a severe caning was casting all kinds of niggling doubts into her mind. “Yes sir.” she mumbled quaveringly.
Lord Castlebridge pushed the paper to one side, clasped his hands together and took a long appraisal of her. “I fear I have been concerned about you Victoria. I have been concerned by a number of indications in your recent conduct and work ethic that you are letting things slip; becoming too lazy and distracted; allowing slipshod habits to insinuate themselves into your study and work. I have invested a good deal of both time and money into your development young lady and I’ll not see it go to waste without remedial action. I want you here at the Hall on the weekends therefore not only to teach you the values of hard work and self discipline but also to take you away from the social distractions at university. I am well aware that many young students spend far too much of their time in indolence; drinking and neglecting their studies. I am also aware how many of them squander their undoubted talents in this regard. I won’t see a young lady of your admirable abilities ruin a glittering future before her through a tragic neglect of her duties and non-application to her studies. It is to that end that I have decided to place you under a more strict regime of discipline and application both in the office and here at the Hall. Do you understand Victoria?”
“Capital! Now I’ve been revising your programme somewhat. Originally I thought to release you from the Hall on Sunday evening. However it has been brought to my attention that the last bus on Sunday is at five o’clock which gives you no time to finish your daytime chores, change out of your uniform and make it to the village to catch the bus. However I have been looking at your university timetable and I note that your first lecture on Monday isn’t until the afternoon. I think it best therefore that you stay here on Sunday night and catch the morning bus from the village which will allow you ample time to get back to the city in good time for your afternoon lecture.”
“Yes sir” mumbled Victoria in a sulky voice; any plans of a social life in tatters.
“So you will therefore arrive here on Friday evening after work in the office under Emilie. You will require only a single change of clothes to change back into on Monday because all the rest of the time you will be obliged to wear a maid’s uniform for your duties which we will provide for you. That uniform will include shoes and the obligatory underwear required of all maids in this house. Also you will be issued with the standard night attire for sl**ping in once you have been assigned to a dormitory. Now your duties will be mostly during the day unless you are required for any special service. I shall try to ensure that you have plenty of spare time in the evenings. Now most of the girls here spend their time when not on duty in leisure activities or by going to the village or into town. This will not apply to you however Victoria. You will bring your university work along with you and I shall expect to see you each evening in earnest and concentrated study. Now there is a place where you may study without fear of interruption.” Lord Castlebridge rose to his feet and picked up Victoria’s skirt. “If you follow me I will show you.”
Once more Victoria found herself out among the galleries and hallways of Castlebridge Hall only this time she was following at the heels of Lord Castlebridge himself and, to her humiliated embarrassment, dressed only in her knickers and shoes from the waist down. They passed one of the maids burdened with a basket full of laundry on their progress though the Hall. Victoria lowered her head in shame but the girl flashed her a brief look of sympathy. Such a little procession within the walls of Castlebridge Hall usually meant that the penitent follower was on her way to punishment. At length they came to another massive solid door. It seemed that Castlebridge Hall rather prided itself of the ostentatiousness of its doorways. Lord Castlebridge pushed the door open and led Victoria within.
He waved a hand about the cavernous chamber into which they had stepped. “This,” he told her, “is the library.” It was an unnecessary introduction. The walls of the great room were covered in acres of bookshelves it seemed to Victoria. There must have been tens of thousands of books in there from modern looking reference volumes to venerable old leather bound tomes it was possible that nobody had even opened in the last century or so. It was the biggest private library Victoria had seen and had she known that there were another huge number of books stored in the adjoining archives and storage rooms her mind would have boggled at the sheer volume of the written word so greedily horded within the Hall’s private collection.
“As far as I am aware Victoria” Lord Castlebridge continued, “virtually every book on your university reading list is to be found in here as well as many others of relevance to your studies. You’ll also have access to business reports, portfolios and a large amount of material from the archives as well as full internet access on the computers in here. So there will be no excuse for neglecting your research while you are at the Hall. You’ll be able to study in peace in here and far from the distractions that might have lured you from your studies at the university.”
Victoria nodded dumbly. “Yes sir. So I see sir.”
Lord Castlebridge regarded her for a moment. “The library serves another function at the Hall Victoria. We use this room for formal disciplinary matters as well. So, should you merit it, this where you will be punished as well. If you look around you will see several items of furniture designed for restraining the wrongdoer for the administration of their punishment. Take good note of them Victoria!”
“Yes sir.... I will sir.”
“I am pleased to hear it Victoria. Now to other matters. I shall be sending somebody along presently with your maid’s uniform. As I have already mentioned, that uniform extends to every item of clothing to be worn while on duty and, in your case, for your entire stay at the Hall from Friday evening until Monday morning. The uniform includes underclothing as well and since you will not be requiring any of the clothes you have come in therefore I would be obliged if you disrobed now.”
“Y...you mean get undressed sir?” stammered Victoria in horror.
“Indeed I do Victoria. You’ll have to change completely to put your uniform on in any case and I’d like to take the opportunity to take a good look at you without your clothes on. So, quick as you can please Victoria, get undressed.” Victoria bit her lip but knew better than to protest. Miserably she began to unbutton her blouse. Lord Castlebridge watched her closely as she peeled off her blouse; running a critical eye over her body and not entirely satisfied with what he saw. “Fold your clothes neatly Victoria and place them on that table there with your skirt. When the maid comes with your uniform she can take your clothes away to be laundered.” Burning in shame Victoria shed her bra and, her last vestige of modesty, her knickers, placing them folded on the table. When at last she was naked she tried to cover her modesty with her hands but Lord Castlebridge frowned and ordered her to stand up straight with her hands on her head the better to appraise her.
Lord Castlebridge nodded grimly as if his suspicions were confirmed. “Yes I thought so Victoria. I noticed the other day, while I was caning you in my office, that you seemed to be a getting a little chubby around the waist. You’ve always kept yourself trim until now Victoria so I’m not happy to see you putting on extra fat. It all comes back to what I was saying about your increasing laxness and laziness Victoria; too much loafing about and indolent ways. You’re letting things slip! Well a good regime of hard work should soon sort that out. But I’ll not have you let your figure go to pot through idleness and over indulgence young lady. Tomorrow morning therefore you’ll report to me in my study before breakfast in your underwear and I shall weigh you on my scales. Next Saturday and every Saturday following you’ll be weighed again and I shall expect to see some of those pounds come off. If they don’t or, heaven forbid, they increase, you will be caned. Do you understand young lady?”
“Excellent! At least I see that you are keeping yourself shaved between the legs Victoria. Be warned that it is an offence for all the maids in this house to neglect that requirement. Unsightly pubic hair is punished by being publicly shaved and receiving a minimum of twenty lashes with the martinet in the offending region so make sure that you comply. All senior members of staff are authorised to demand that you drop your knickers for spot examination at any time so don’t be caught out.”
“Good! Now turn around and let me see you from behind.” Blushing crimson Victoria obeyed. Lord Castlebridge frowned as he perused her from the back. “You seem to have some marks on your bottom Victoria; as if you have recently been punished. Would you care to explain?”
Victoria swallowed the bile in her throat and knew that prevarication was impossible. “Please sir Miss Townsend punished me this afternoon.”
“I see! I am disappointed Victoria. How did she punish you?”
“W... with the strap sir.”
“And how many strokes did she give you?”
“Twenty strokes of the strap! What was your offence to merit that Victoria?”
“I... I hadn’t tidied my desk up or completed my finishing tasks sir.”
“Your finishing tasks? Do I take it that this was at the end of office hours?”
“I see Victoria. So in other words Miss Townsend took you to task for failing to complete your allotted duties by the time the office closed. Did she make you complete those tasks before leaving?”
Victoria nodded miserably. “Yes sir.” she mumbled.
“So if I am following all this correctly then the reason that you were not in time to catch the bus was that you had not completed the tasks given to you, had neglected to tidy your affairs up and were delayed as Miss Townsend was obliged to make you comply with those requirements and to punish you for your earlier failure to do so. Would you say that was a fair assessment Victoria?”
Victoria bit her lip abjectly and nodded. “Y... yes sir.” She murmured in a barely audibly voice.
“Well that’s a rather different story than the one you gave me earlier as an excuse for your tardiness Victoria! Turn around and face me girl!” With a little sob Victoria obeyed but her face was pinched with fear. “Were you trying to be deceitful to me Victoria?” Lord Castlebridge demanded severely.
Victoria shook her head vigorously. “N...no sir... really sir.”
His Lordship stared at her for several seconds before continuing. “Miss Townsend was quite within her rights to demand that all your duties were completed before leaving Victoria and equally within her rights to punish you for failing in those duties. If you were late here this evening it was entirely your fault for neglecting those fundamental tasks demanded of you in the office environment. I would say that twenty strokes of the strap were quite lenient in the circumstances. In future I shall authorise Miss Townsend to use the cane if your duties are not completed in time!”
Victoria lowered her eyes miserably. “Yes sir. I’m sorry sir.”
Lord Castlebridge folded his arms and regarded her with dis approval. “This is not good enough Victoria. I’m more certain than ever that it is high time that you were taken more firmly in hand. I should have imposed stricter controls on you some time ago. Well that’s as maybe but from now on you will be subject to a much more rigid discipline young lady and woe betide you should you fall short of the standards required under that discipline.” He paused for a second or two to consider and then nodded in decision. “I mentioned before Victoria that it is here in the library where your formal punishments will be carried out in future. Allow me to show you just what such punishments will entail.”
With that he placed a hand in the small of Victoria’s back and steered her across the room to stand before a terrifying item of furniture. “This,” he told her, “is the caning stool.” Victoria regarded the stout wooded object bolted to the floor in petrified horror. The heavy wooden stool with its restraining straps was quite the most terrifying thing she had seen. “I noticed when caning you the other day Victoria that you had trouble maintaining your stance while being caned severely.” Lord Castlebridge continued conversationally. “I’ve decided, therefore, that, on future occasions, when your conduct merits a severe caning, you will be caned here so that you may be restrained for the duration of your punishment. Naturally, for less severe punishments, you will still be required to assume the position you have become accustomed to but anything warranting a thoroughly good hiding and you will be ordered here to receive it. I would like you to become a little more acquainted with the caning stool Victoria. Would you please step up onto the box in front of it?”
There was a low wooden box placed in front of the stool and Victoria regarded it in fear. Nervously she stepped up onto it but her legs were trembling violently. “Bend forward over the stool as far as you can Victoria.” Lord Castlebridge instructed her. With tears pricking at her eyes Victoria followed his order leaning forward with her tummy flat against the wooden surface of the stool and her feet barely touching the wooden box by the tips of her toes. Lord Castlebridge nodded in satisfaction before stepping forward. He took the thick heavy straps on either side of her torso. “This is the strap to hold you down on the stool Victoria.” He told her as he buckled the strap across her midriff, tightening it until she was pressed hard against the cold wood of the stool. “Then there are straps on the front legs to hold your wrists.” Lord Castlebridge continued, as if instructing her in some technical matter that she should be aware of. “Give me your hands please.” Victoria stared with a sense of unreality at Lord Castlebridge as he buckled her wrists to the front legs; unable to believe that this could be happening to her. Then he stepped behind her and she felt his hands on her bare legs, pulling them slightly apart and thick straps being fastened around her thighs just above the knees. He pushed the box that she had stood on away and she was left strapped down to the stool with her feet clear of the floor, trembling in abject terror.
Lord Castlebridge stood back to observe his handiwork. He nodded in satisfaction. “This is the position in which you will receive any caning in excess of twenty five strokes in future Victoria. It is a position which I’m sure you will be in no hurry to assume!” With that His Lordship walked across the room to a large standing floor mirror mounted on casters. He manoeuvred this large mirror across the floor to place it before Victoria. “Take a good look at yourself Victoria!” he commanded. With her lower lip quivering Victoria stared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked a pathetic sight, small and miserable; her pale face pinched and fearful. “Not a pretty sight to contemplate is it young lady?” Lord Castlebridge asked her sternly. “Not the kind of position you would want to find yourself in; strapped down to the stool and waiting for your nether portions to be thrashed with the cane! Yet be assured young lady that this is the fate awaiting you whenever I find your conduct and performance below the standards I expect of you!”
“P... please sir... I... I’m sorry sir.”
“I should imagine you are Victoria! A beating over the caning stool is not something to be considered lightly. Allow me to introduce the implement which you would be obliged to suffer once in this position!” Lord Castlebridge walked across to a tall cupboard set in the wall and lifted something down. He walked back to stand in front of the wretched young girl over the stool and showed it to her. Victoria squeaked in fright and for a moment thought she might faint. It was the longest cane she had ever seen; five and a half feet long, nearly six and a solid quarter of an inch thick, fashioned with a leather grip on one end. Lord Castlebridge raised the cane and brought it down on the leather upholstery of a nearby chair. The cane made a fearful whoosh as it swept through the air and the solid smack of its impact against the leather was horrifying. Victoria felt her mouth go dry with fear.
Lord Castlebridge nodded at her grimly. “Yes take good notice young lady!” he told her. “You’ll be ruing the day that you feel this across your backside!” Deliberately His Lordship laid the cane down on the chair. I’m going to leave you alone now Victoria. In one hour from now my butler will attend to you. In the meantime I shall read your revised essay. If it is not satisfactory then, in one hour, my butler will pick up that cane and apply forty strokes of it to your bottom in addition to whatever other punishment I feel you deserve.” Victoria whimpered in terror but His Lordship regarded her piteously. “You may spend the intervening period observing yourself in the mirror and contemplating a reform of your conduct such as to never find yourself in this position again. I would use the time wisely to take a long appraisal of yourself young lady and to consider how to improve. In one hour then you will learn your fate!” With that Lord Castlebridge turned and strode from the room.
As soon as he had left Victoria burst into tears. Through her watery eyes she regarded herself in the mirror with her glance dancing back and forth between her reflection and the frightful cane lying across the chair. Every time her gaze fell upon that dreadful object a fresh sob came to her throat and she shuddered in fear. By now she had convinced herself that her essay would never satisfy Lord Castlebridge and she started to think of all sorts of terrible mistakes she imagined having committed in its writing. The cane seemed to hypnotise her and she clenched her buttocks in terror at the thought of it sweeping down on her naked bottom so cruelly held firmly in position for its attention. She squirmed uncomfortably on the stool and wriggled her arms and legs but the bindings were firm she could do little to ease her discomfort. She glanced up at the big clock on the wall! She seemed to have lain there an age but in shock she saw that barely five minutes had passed since Lord Castlebridge had left her with her doom upon her. The waiting would be interminable!
The hands of the clock seemed to move at a glacial pace. Her crying subsided into a soft whimpering. Still she waited. I her imagination she saw Lord Castlebridge reading her essay in rage, perhaps tearing it into fragments before ordering his butler to march to the library under orders to thrash her to within an inch of her life. Time and again she heard the swish of that cane in her mind and the pistol like crack it had made as it struck the chair before her. The thought of such a blow slicing into her flesh was nearly more than she could bear and she closed her eyes to pray for deliverance. The clock seemed to progress forward even more sedately. She began to wonder if it had stopped.
She had perhaps lain there in fear and misery a half hour when the library door opened behind her. Her eyes opened fearfully but it was not the tall and stately butler of Castlebridge Hall stepping into the room but rather a young maid carrying a bundle of clothes. The girl laid the clothes in a neat pile on a table and smirked at the prostrate figure of Victoria over the caning stool. “So you must be the new girl then!” she declared with a grin. “Well, well, well! Not here five minutes and you’re already up for a caning! His Lordship sending Greenwood along to give you a thrashing is he?”
Victoria whimpered. “In... in half an hour he said.”
The girl smiled malevolently. “You’re shivering!” she observed. “Are you cold? Well don’t worry about it dear! I’m sure Greenwood will warm you up when he gets here to deal with you!”
“It’s not funny!” grumbled Victoria sulkily.
The girl grinned evilly and walked forward to pat Victoria on the bottom. “There, there sweetheart! What’s up? Feeling sorry for yourself? Well you’re not feeling half as sorry as you will be when Greenwood takes his cane to you!” The girl chuckled softly and stroked her hand over Victoria’s bottom. “This pretty little thing never been on the end of a Castlebridge Hall caning before then?” Her stroking became almost a caress. “Poor little thing! So smooth and soft as well! What a pity it’s going to be all swollen and red in half an hour’s time!”
Victoria felt a wave of resentment for this girl mocking her plight. “Go away and leave me alone you b**stly girl!” she spat out.
The girl’s grin grew even broader. “Oh leave me alone you b**stly girl!” she mimicked mockingly. “A right little posh madam aren’t we? University girl aren’t you... probably went to some posh public school too. Too good for the likes of us are we?” She leaned forward to speak in Victoria’s ear. “Well let me tell you little missy... I’ve just popped in to deliver your uniform. It’s just a maid’s uniform just the same as everyone else’s so don’t start thinking you’re any better than the rest of us. You won’t be putting on airs and graces when Greenwood lays his cane down over your rump! You’ll be singing a different tune then!”
“Please leave me alone!”
But the girl had raised her head and noticed the long cane lying on the chair. “Oho! So that’s what you’ve got coming to you is it?” she skipped forward and picked the cane up, running it lovingly through her fingers. “My word! Greenwood’s number one cane! You are privileged! This’ll wipe the smile off your face!” She swished the cane through the air and laughed as Victoria flinched at the sound. “Oh yes dearie! Not many get to taste Greenwood’s number one cane! This will be a real treat for you!” With a low chuckle she flexed the cane in her hands and stalked slowly around Victoria. Taking up position behind her she lay the cane across Victoria’s bottom gently. Unable to help herself Victoria whimpered in fear. It only seemed to enhance the girl’s sadistic enjoyment for she tapped the cane on Victoria’s buttocks. “Oh yes! Just about there I think! A few good hard swings and you’ll soon be doing the caning stool shuffle! He’s got a good strong hand has Greenwood. He’s even known to draw bl**d on occasion. You’ll be howling your little head off in no time!”
“Why are you being so mean to me?”
The girl laughed at her. “Oh would you like me to be nice to you instead?” She lay the cane aside and began to stroke Victoria’s bottom. “Is that better?” Wickedly she slid her hand into the crevice between the buttocks and her fingertips came to rest on Victoria’s sex. “What about that?” she purred softly, “Is that being nicer?”
“Stop it!” hissed Victoria. The girl just chuckled however and began to finger her sex. Victoria gritted her teeth and squirmed. She was held immobile however and the girl began to stroke her evilly. “P... please stop!” Victoria moaned.
The girl pulled her hand away and looked at her fingers with a chuckle. “Oh my! Little posh missy’s getting all wet! She must like it!” With that she plunged her hand once more into Victoria’s groin. Victoria gasped as she felt a finger insinuate itself into her vagina, then another and another until the girl had three fingers inserted into her. She began to thrust at Victoria’s sex with her hand. Victoria groaned at the violation of her sex and pleaded with the girl to stop. Her pitiful entreaties availed her little however except to spur the girl on to greater efforts. To her shame Victoria’s sex betrayed her and moistened rapidly. She could hear the wet slapping as the girl thrust away at her and even feel the arousal from her loins. She began to pant softly.
Then the girl withdrew her fingers. A few drops of liquid seeped from Victoria’s sex to leave a tiny puddle on the parquet floor. The girl walked to the front of Victoria and held her hand in front of her face. Victoria blushed crimson. The girl’s hand was soaked from the moisture of her sex. “You’ve got my hand all wet and sticky!” the girl observed in amusement. She began to wipe her hand on Victoria’s face. Then she grasped her hair in her other hand and lifted her head to push her fingers into Victoria’s mouth. “Open your mouth now and suck my hand clean!” she commanded.
No! No! Leave me alone!”
“Do as you’re told little Missy! I’m one of the head housemaids here and a few words in Greenwood’s ear and he’ll add an extra ten strokes to your sentence for insubordination! Now open your mouth!” With a despairing groan Victoria opened her mouth. The girl thrust her hand inside triumphantly. “Now suck it!” Victoria gagged on the hand and a dribble of saliva ran down her chin as she choked. Finally the girl pulled her hand clear leaving Victoria gasping for breath. As Victoria lay there with her chest heaving the girl cruelly added to her humiliation by drying her hand on Victoria’s hair. The girl chuckled once more. “Well now you’ve had your little fun it’s time I had mine!”
Victoria stared at her in alarm. “What are you going to do?”
In answer the girl lifted her skirt and petticoat slid her knickers down and off. “It’s not what I’m going to do sweetie... It’s what you’re going to do! You’re going to lick my pussy!”
Victoria shook her head frantically. “No never! Don’t make me do that!”
The girl laughed and grasped Victoria’s hair in her fist, twisting it cruelly and causing Victoria to squeak in pain. She thrust her sex into Victoria’s face. “Now do as you’re told!” Whimpering in shame and humiliation Victoria poked her tongue out and began to lick. “That’s it!” the girl told her, “Now you’re learning!” The girl’s arousal mounted quickly and soon she was rubbing her sex frantically against Victoria’s face and panting alarmingly. “Oh yes... yes don’t stop!” she gasped “Just like that!” Then she shuddered violently and pushed herself against Victoria so hard she smothered her. Victoria felt a gush of hot liquid over her face, soaking it and her hair as the girl climaxed.
The girl pushed herself away breathing heavily. She paused for a moment to catch her breath before addressing Victoria once more. “Well dear that was a bit ropy but I’m sure you’ll improve with practice and believe me you’re going to get plenty of practice. Me and the girls are going to have plenty of fun with you!” She retrieved her knickers and adjusted her dress. “In the meantime I’ll leave you alone to wait for your caning!” She picked up the cane and replaced it on the chair. “Mustn’t be misplacing this must we? Greenwood will be needing this in about ten minutes!” Then something else occurred to her. She walked over to a big window. “I think we’ll have a window open.” she declared. “It’s not that you need the fresh air sweetheart... it’s just that our maid’s quarters are just on the opposite side of the inner courtyard from here. I’ll be listening at the window. You’ll be squealing like a stuck pig when Greenwood goes to work on you with his cane and I don’t want to miss a single stroke!”
“Y... you’re a b**st!”
The girl grinned at her. “Well tata for now. I’ll see you later. If you’re really nice to me I might even give you some ointment for your poor little bottom!” The girl picked up the clothes Victoria had arrived in left the library looking thoroughly pleased with herself.
Victoria sank into even greater despair as the girl left. She had been in this wretched Hall for little more than an hour and she hated it already. It was turning into the most indisputably miserable day in her life! First Emilie had abused her at the office. Now this awful girl had tormented her and if her essay failed to satisfy Lord Castlebridge she still had the cane to face. She wished fervently that she had never ever heard of this awful house and its cruel inhabitants. She saw the damp patch from the girl’s ejaculation on the ground beneath her face and groaned. What would Greenwood make of it and her soaking face and hair? She could still smell the girl and taste her on her lips. She had never felt so desolate and wretched. At the moment of her darkest despair she heard the library door once more. It was Greenwood.
Victoria quailed at the sight of the statuesque butler walking into the library. His face was sombre and unreadable but to her racing imagination he seemed to be even taller than before and his shoulders broader. As He walked over to her he seemed to tower above her; a massive solid presence looming above her quavering prostrate body strapped over the caning stool. He regarded her thoughtfully for a second or two as she trembled beneath his appraising gaze. He inclined his head slightly and cleared his throat. “I have just conferred with His Lordship Miss Partridge.” he informed her, “He has now had the opportunity to read and assess your revised paper on the dynamics of corporate business structure. He has subjected your paper to a rigorous examination and analysis and....” Victoria quivered in fear as the butler paused for a moment. “And I am pleased to inform you that he finds your paper a creditable effort, markedly improved on your previous submission and therefore you are spared the forty strokes of the cane you would have had administered to you had the paper proved to have been lower than his expectations of your standards.”
Victoria had been holding her breath but now it escaped from her in an audible gasp of relief. She lay over the caning stool breathing heavily in profound relief. She was spared after all! “However.” Greenwood continued gravely. Victoria glanced at him sharply; a sudden new thrill of fear overwhelming her. “His Lordship feels that there are certain other issues for which he considers that you should be taken to task for.” Victoria shuddered; her relief vanishing like tenuous vapours before an icy breeze. “To begin with Miss Partridge he has had occasion to admonish you this evening for your failure to appear before him in the correct attire required of you. He points out that this is the second time this week that he has had to correct you for your disobedience in this regard. He informs me that on the previous occasion you received five strokes of the cane for this offence. Since this apparently was insufficient to correct this failing Miss Partridge he has instructed me to double that sentence and you will receive ten strokes for this repeat occurrence.”
Victoria groaned helplessly, her bottom lip trembling at Greenwood’s proclamation. Sadly he was not finished. “Furthermore,” he proceeded, “His Lordship is of the opinion that you should be punished for your tardy arrival at the Hall this evening. He points out that your failure to catch the earlier bus, which would have allowed you ample time to reach the Hall by the appointed hour, was entirely your own fault due to your failure to complete your allotted duties in the city office in time. He further points out that this is another repeat offence, you having been awarded five strokes of the cane for lack of punctuality earlier in the week. Similarly therefore, the earlier sentence is doubled and you will receive an additional ten strokes for this offence.”
A tiny whimper of despair escaped Victoria’s lips and she bit her lip miserably. But still Greenwood was not finished and the worst was yet to come. “Finally Miss Partridge,” he continued. “His Lordship is entirely dissatisfied with your excuses for your lateness. He considers that you were deceitful and evasive in your explanations and attempted to divert the onus of responsibility from yourself to his personal secretary. His Lordship places great value on the virtues of honesty and personal integrity Miss Partridge and regards this offence most seriously. He is determined therefore that you be taught a salutary lesson for your lack of veracity. To this end he has instructed me to administer twenty strokes for this offence which will bring your allotted sentence to a total of forty strokes in all.”
Victoria squeaked pathetically at this final declaration of her sentence her eyes drifting back fearfully to the long cane awaiting her on the chair. “I’m afraid your caning is to be severe Miss Partridge,” Greenwood informed her sombrely. “His Lordship is adamant that you be brought immediately to task for what he perceives as a lamentable slip in your standards of late and is insistent that your punishment be administered firmly to arrest this regrettable slide. For this reason I have been instructed to ensure that your caning is of sufficient severity to impress upon you his severe disapproval of your recent conduct.” Greenwood paused to clear his throat once more. “I would therefore resign yourself to a disagreeable experience Miss Partridge. I will however point out that had your written paper been lacking in the standards His Lordship demands of you then you would have been obliged to endure a far more unpleasant ordeal. Now if you are quite prepared I shall administer your punishment immediately.”
Greenwood removed his jacket with great dignity. Victoria watched him despairingly. In his shirt sleeves he seemed, if anything, bulkier than ever; muscles straining at the fabric of his shirt and rippling along his arms as he rolled his sleeve up. Victoria felt tiny beside this great bulk of a man; a little doll bound helplessly awaiting the suffering this great b**st of a man was about to inflict on her. She saw her reflection in the mirror; her frightened face framed by the ruins of her hair and felt an odd detached pity for herself: a woefully pathetic little figure quaking under her restraints.
Greenwood picked up the cane and flexed it experimentally. Victoria couldn’t help a tiny whine at the sight. The frightful long implement seemed ideally suited to the butler’s height and breadth of shoulder as if he needed a tool of such length and weight to give full expression to his disciplinary skill. He seemed satisfied with the cane and walked around Victoria to take a stance slightly behind her and to her left; measuring the distance with the cane. Victoria winced as he laid the cane across her buttocks to judge the distance accurately and her buttocks clenched in fear at the cool touch of the rattan. Greenwood noticed her involuntary action. “If I may proffer a little advice Miss Partridge I would suggest that you not tense your bottom. You will find the punishment a little easier to endure if the muscles are relaxed.”
“Yes sir.” Victoria whimpered feebly but she couldn’t help herself. She was trembling uncontrollably and, for one awful moment, she thought she was about to lose control of her bladder and disgrace herself further by wetting herself in fear. Satisfied with his position Greenwood raised the cane. It was unfortunate for Victoria that the big mirror was still in place for she had a perfectly clear view of the cane raised high above the butler’s shoulder and poised to strike. She gritted her teeth; her face set in a grimace with her eyes wide in terrified anticipation. Despairingly she gripped the legs of the caning stool with her hands and emitted a small moan of fear.
Greenwood swept the cane down in a frightful blur of motion; its hissing whoosh terminating in a fearful crack as it impacted the centre of Victoria’s buttocks. Victoria reared up in her bonds; straining against the straps and throwing her head back at the instantaneous and dreadful jolt of agony seared into her bottom. Her mouth flew open but that first awful stroke had driven the breath from her lungs and for a second or so no sound emerged from her gaping mouth before she finally gave vent to a gurgling cry of anguish subsiding into staccato panting yips of pain. The agony of that first stroke was appalling. Lord Castlebridge had a firm hand when caning her but he had nothing like the strength and stature of his butler. A stroke of the cane from His Lordship did not compare in magnitude to the excruciating agony inflicted by one from Greenwood. Victoria felt the frightful pain spreading across her buttocks and penetrating deep into the muscles. She squeezed her eyes shut against the torment; teardrops appearing at the corners.
With her eyes closed she never saw the second stroke. But she heard the sibilant hiss of the cane in the air and felt the biting cut of its contact with her flesh. She convulsed violently in her bonds once more; her eyes flying open with the shock of the cane’s impact. A strangled cry of anguish escaped from her throat; the pain beyond anything she had known before. She collapsed over the stool with her chest heaving and uttering little mewling sounds as the agony of the second stroke sank in. A detached part of her refused to believe that this terrible thing could be happening to her; refused to believe that she could possibly be expected to endure another thirty eight of those dreadful lashes. Even as she thought it Greenwood swept the cane down once more; landing it with clinical precision into the sensitive area where the swell of her buttocks met the soft skin of her thighs. Victoria jolted; straining every muscle in her body, as she reared against her restraining straps and screamed at the top of her voice; the pain unbearable.
She fell limp once more her face contorted in pain and tears gushing from her eyes. “Please no more!” she sobbed pitifully. “I can’t take it!”
Greenwood regarded her dispassionately. “I’m afraid you have no option Miss Partridge. Forty strokes you have been allotted and forty strokes is what you will receive. His Lordship was most insistent upon it.” With that he raised the cane once more. Victoria saw it poised above her reflection in the mirror and mewled pathetically. A second later it whistled down to convulse her squirming body once more and drive another piercing scream from her throat. She struggled in her bonds, wailing in anguish and throwing her head from side to side. She caught sight of her reflection in the mirror. Her face was ugly with the grimace of her suffering and bright pink. Her ruined hair was plastered across her wet cheeks.
Greenwood landed the fifth stroke with a terrible crack across the back of her thighs and she screamed again; a maniacal shriek f***ed from her lungs by the searing impact. Even as her howling scream faded into frantic sobs she caught sight of the open window and bitterly realised that the awful girl who had so abused her must even now be listening and hearing every sound of her suffering. Victoria felt the bitter resentment of that until another scorching crack of the cane drove all thoughts bar the blazing pain in her rear from her mind and wrenched another howling wail from her heaving lungs.
The girl was listening of course. She was perched on the broad windowsill of her dormitory in the servants’ quarters just opposite the library across the inner courtyard of the Hall. She had the window open and she grinned in pleasure at every crack of the cane and accompanying piercing shrieks that resonated across the divide in the still evening air. She was alone in the dormitory, her two colleagues being out for the moment, and her hand was beneath her skirt and inside her knickers as she masturbated; her excitement intensified by every howling wail from the girl suffering in the library opposite.
Then a wicked idea occurred to her. Her mobile phone lay on the windowsill beside her. Hastily she fingered in a number. The call was answered almost immediately. “Hi babe!” she addressed the recipient on the other end. “I have a little treat for you! Have a listen!” With that she held the phone up to the open window. Another loud report of the cane striking flesh elicited another wailing chorus of demented shrieks. The girl held the phone at the window for another two or three strokes during which time Victoria’s screams became even more manic in pitch. Then she put the phone back to her ear. “Did you hear that? Yes? Good! Now guess who that is! No idea?” The girl chuckled softly. “That, dear Emilie, is your new little office assistant; little posh pants Partridge currently getting her arse caned for her!”
Victoria was unaware that the audience to her suffering had just increased. Indeed at the moment she was aware of little else other than the torrent of agony coursing through her nether regions as Greenwood methodically flogged her buttocks and thighs with the long cane. The pain was simply unendurable. It was cool in the library but her naked body was gleaming with perspiration as she struggled with all her waning strength against her bonds. She could barely see her wretched convulsions in the mirror anymore for a mist of pain had descended over her tear blurred eyes. Her hair was wild as she threw her head about torment and her voice was hoarse from screaming. The leather straps were chafing at her limbs as she writhed in pain and kicked her heels at each new searing lash of the cane. She had lost track of time: had simply no idea how many strokes she had suffered nor any notion of how many more she had yet to endure. She wished she could faint; descend into oblivion to escape the awful agony.
Then suddenly it was over. As Victoria lay limply over the stool crying pathetically; her chest heaving as she gasped air into her lungs between her sobs. Her tears were running down her face and gathering in droplets at the tip of her nose. “Your punishment is concluded Miss Partridge.” Greenwood informed her matter of factly, “It is to be hoped that you have learned a gainful insight into the consequences of your misconduct Miss and that it will not be necessary to repeat the lesson in the future.”
He lay the cane aside and retrieved his jacket before picking up the cane once more and walking, with studied dignity, across the library to replace it in the cabinet. This chore completed he returned to the miserable prostrate figure of Victoria and began to free her from her bonds. The heavy straps of the caning stool had left vivid red marks on her wrists, legs and across her back where they had chafed her in her struggles under the cane. As she was released Victoria nearly fell from the stool but caught herself. Her legs didn’t seem to be working properly so she leaned heavily on the stool still crying and shuddering from the intense throbbing from her rear. She wiped a hand across her eyes to clear her vision and turning slightly glimpsed over her shoulder to regard her bottom in the mirror. It was a frightful sight. From the tops of her buttocks to the back of her thighs the flesh was scarlet, swollen and laced with livid raised welts. There was even a little trickle of scarlet liquid running down her buttocks onto the inside of her thighs to show that her skin had broken under the heavy impact of the cane.
Greenwood cleared his throat and addressed her. “It is the custom in the Hall Miss Partridge that, following a caning, the recipient be obliged to spend thirty minutes kneeling on the bench against the wall so that the lesson of their punishment be fully absorbed. So if you would care to step this way I will instruct you in the correct position to assume for this period of reflection.” On unsteady legs Victoria followed him tearfully to the wooden bench set against the wall.
Kneeling upright on the bench with her hands on the back of her head Victoria saw Greenwood from the corner of her eye walk to a bookshelf and take down a large leather bound tome. He walked over to a table and lay the volume down next to a slimmer file already on the table. Then, taking a seat at the table, he opened the massive book and took a pen from his inside pocket. The book was, of course, the Hall’s punishment ledger and, underlining the previous entry before commencing, he began to write.
Date of Entry:
Name and Position of Offender:
Victoria Partridge, housemaid.
1) Incorrect dress and deportment in formal interview.
3) Mendacity and evasiveness.
1) Ten strokes of the cane on the bare bottom.
2) Ten strokes of the cane on the bare bottom.
3) Twenty strokes of the cane on the bare bottom.
Total: 40 strokes of the cane on the bare bottom.
(n.b. offender to be restrained on the caning stool for the duration of the punishment.)
The total sentence administered in full 9.05 p.m 23rd October 2012.
Having completed this task, Greenwood then turned to the smaller file at its side. This file bore the name “Victoria Partridge” on the cover. This was Victoria’s brand new personal conduct file; the file which would need to be filled in by her head of department at the end of each day detailing her work, conduct and deportment for that day. Periodically she would be called up for a review of her performance and the information in her conduct file would be examined critically. If it showed a good record of diligence, obedience and impeccable behaviour then she might expect to be rewarded. If, on the other hand, it contained a record of misconduct and unsatisfactory performance then she would be called upon to present herself in the library for punishment. Victoria’s file was not away to a good start. It was Greenwood’s solemn and regrettable duty to record there that her conduct upon first arrival at the Hall had been sufficiently poor as to warrant the administration of forty strokes of the cane over the caning stool. Greenwood frowned. This was a young lady in serious need of bucking her ideas up if she were to avoid a further visit to the library!
Finally Greenwood looked up at the library clock to note that Victoria had remained in her position of penitence for the allotted thirty minutes. “You may rise now Miss Partridge.” he told her gravely. Victoria eased herself from the bench thankfully. The hard wood had been rough on her knees; another discomfort to add to the aching throbbing in her rear. “There is a small bathroom through the door at the end of the Library Miss Partridge.” Greenwood informed her. “You may wish to repair your appearance before dressing. His Lordship expressed the wish to see you once more following your punishment and before you retire for the evening.” Victoria nodded dumbly and picked up her handbag before padding the length of the library and through the door indicated.
In the tiny bathroom Victoria had the chance to examine herself more closely in the mirror. It was not a prepossessing sight. Her hair was a tangled ruin, framing her face which itself was a mess. Her makeup had run in streaks down her cheeks and her eyes were swollen and red. She turned gingerly to examine her bottom and was appalled at the livid marks now turning purple with bruising. She cupped her hands over her buttocks carefully. The cheeks of her bottom felt twice their normal size with swelling and she could feel the heat of them in her palms. She felt as miserable as she could ever recall in her life. But she dared not tarry. If Lord Castlebridge wanted to see her then she must make some effort to repair the damage to her appearance. She would only irritate him further by presenting herself before him looking a mess. She washed her face quickly and pulled a brush through her tangled hair before attempting to redress the cosmetic disaster of her face with the contents of her handbag. In the end she decided that that was about as good as it was likely to get and replaced her cosmetics in her bag. Taking a deep breath she stepped back into the library.
Greenwood nodded to her as she stood naked before him blushing in shame. “You may get dressed now Miss Partridge.” he told her. “I see that a correct uniform has been provided for you.” Victoria regarded the pile of clothes the awful girl had left for her bitterly. In some strange way the clothes provided for her seemed more to underline her humiliation than being completely naked. First there was the underwear; frivolous French satin knickers and chemise in white and long dark stockings with white garters. The petticoat was multi-layered and ruffed with lacy trimmings and came to just above her knees. The little black maid’s dress had silly padded shoulders and short sleeves and was cut square and low in the bosom to show the frilly frivolity of the lacy chemise. The dress itself was short and flared in the skirt to accommodate the layered petticoat which peeped beyond the hem. Over this dress she was obliged to don a tiny, lacy white apron. There were simple black shoes and, as a final accessory, a tiny little lacy maid’s bonnet cap to be tied into her hair.
Dressed in this uniform Victoria felt a hot flush of embarrassment. There didn’t seem to be the slightest regard for working practicality in her dress. The obligatory costume for the Hall’s housemaids was designed entirely to display the young ladies of the housekeeping department’s youthful charms and to emphasise their servility and humble status. Victoria felt degraded and humiliated. Greenwood nodded and rose to his feet. “Excellent Miss Partridge.” He held out the slim dossier he had been writing in earlier. “This is your personal conduct file Miss Partridge. You will need to give this to your head of department and your daily conduct and deportment will be recorded in it. I have already recorded your caning in the Hall’s disciplinary register and made a further note to that effect in your conduct file. Sadly I have to say that you have not made a good beginning. Since this file will be consulted at your first review it would be well for you to ensure that there are no further disciplinary entries Miss or you will be facing the cane once more or possibly even the birch. So I would bear that in mind Miss.” Victoria nodded miserably and took the file. “Now if you would care to follow me Miss I shall return you to His Lordship.”
Victoria walked stiffly back through the Hall; even over three quarters of an hour since the end of her caning the throbbing from her bottom had scarcely subsided. Back at Lord Castlebridge’s study Greenwood knocked on the door and ushered her in. His Lordship looked up from his desk and regarded Victoria in satisfaction. “Capital!” he remarked. “Very fetching. Has she had a good thrashing Greenwood?”
“Yes My Lord. The young lady has been taught a stern lesson. I followed your instructions to the letter My Lord.”
“Excellent! Turn around Victoria and let me take a look!” Blushing crimson, Victoria turned around hesitantly. “Come along girl!” Lord Castlebridge urged her, “Lift your skirts up and drop your knickers. I want to see your bottom!” Cringing with humiliation, Victoria complied to stand there in deep shame as His Lordship examined her rear. He evidently approved of her swollen caned bottom. “Capital!” he remarked. “Excellent job Greenwood! That should serve to remind her of her duties and responsibilities.”
“Yes My Lord. I think the young lady will be in no great haste to repeat the experience.”
“Good, good! Well pull your knickers up Victoria.” Once she had complied and turned to face His Lordship he addressed her sternly. “Now you’ve had a good hiding young lady so let this be an end to it. I’ll expect to see a marked improvement in your conduct from now on and that goes not only while you work here at the Hall but also in the office and in your university studies. I see you have your conduct file with you. Well I’ve made it a requirement in your case that your file will include all details of your personal conduct from now on and not only here at the Hall. Therefore you’ll be expected to carry that file with you when you leave on Monday and present it whenever you are at the office or return here next weekend. I shall record your university marks and studies in your file and when you are working under Miss Townsend you will give her the file so that she may record your work and conduct at the office. Is that all clear?”
“Y...yes sir.” Victoria quailed, knowing that Emilie would always find some excuse to write a black report into her file.
“Excellent. Now I expect to see a string of meritorious entries into your file Victoria. Do you understand?”
“I hope so young lady or woe betide you! Unless there is a marked improvement then Greenwood here will have the labour of thrashing your backside for you again and I’m sure you don’t want that!”
“Good!” Lord Castlebridge turned to his butler. “Now where were you thinking of berthing Victoria Greenwood?”
“I have given the natter some thought My Lord. There is a space in young Charlotte Carlson’s dormitory. Miss Carlson’s conduct over the past months since her birching has been exemplary, I am gratified to note, and, with the head housekeeper’s agreement, I have placed two other young ladies under her charge who I felt would benefit from her example. Mrs Moorhouse thought to raise Miss Carlson to a more senior housemaid post and as a trial therefore we had the idea to place some more junior girls under her authority. I think it would be a good idea to place Miss Partridge under her too.”
“Excellent idea! Well carry on! You are dismissed Victoria.”
Numbly Victoria followed Greenwood through the Hall once more. He led her away from the more opulent surroundings to the servant’s quarters. At the end of a corridor he indicated a door at the far end. “That will be your dormitory there Miss Partridge. I’m afraid I must leave you now to attend to my other duties. Your colleagues have been appraised of your arrival however and everything you should need will be waiting for you. You will need to present yourself to the senior girl in your dormitory. She’s called Charlotte Carlson.”
“Th... thank you.”
“My pleasure Miss.” With that he turned and walked away with enormous dignity.
Taking a deep breath Victoria approached the door at the end of the corridor. Nervously she pushed it open. Standing in the doorway she saw a simple large dormitory containing four beds. Sat on one bed, close to the window, were two girls in their underwear. They seemed to be playing cards. They looked up at her enquiringly. “Er... I’m looking for Charlotte Carlson.” Victoria told them.
“That would be me!” said a voice to her left. Victoria spun around and saw a girl rise from a chair at a desk and come stalking across to her. Victoria’s face paled in shock. It was the awful girl she had met in the library! The girl grinned at her malevolently. “So!” she purred in pleasure. “We meet again!”
(to be continued)