Lady Caylethorpe’s Caning.
On a warm day towards the end of July, a month shy of her thirtieth birthday, Lady Caylethorpe, the beautiful but conceited wife of the Fourth Earl of Caylethorpe, received the soundest and most comprehensive thrashing of her pampered and privileged life. It was, in the opinion of every member of the domestic staff of the Caylethorpe ancestral manor, one of the most thoroughly deserved chastisements ever meted out in the history of the household and few would have disputed the general sentiment that Her Ladyship’s comeuppance had been long overdue. It was to be a glorious day in the collective memory of the servant girls who had long suffered under Her Ladyship’s tyranny and to be fondly recollected for many a year after.
The corporal chastisement of wayward females had a long history at Caylethorpe Manor and Earl Caylethorpe was a man who believed in a strict adherence to the traditions of his house. Few among the young servant maids had not experienced His Lordship’s belief in the traditional values of corrective punishment and none of them were in any way under any illusions as to the likely outcome of any summons to his study to answer for their recent conduct. His Lordship was a strict disciplinarian and any offence was dealt with swiftly and firmly. This is not to say that he handed down punishment arbitrarily or unjustly. He would weigh each case carefully and fairly and, if a warning or stern rebuke would suffice or he was not entirely convinced of the miscreant’s guilt, then he would spare the punishment. If, on the other hand, after careful consideration, he was persuaded that punishment was called for, then he was merciless in the execution of that punishment. It must be said of him that there was no case ever recalled of any young lady, under his charge, who, whilst lowering her knickers and quaking in anticipation for his cane, had not thoroughly earned what was about to happen to her.
The cane was the instrument of choice at Caylethorpe Manor for the correction of young ladies. It is true that Mr Eldon, the majestic butler of the house, preferred the use of a leather strap to chastise the page boys under his direct control and that Monsieur Lamant was apt to favour a wooden spoon to underline his displeasure with members of his kitchen staff but, in the case of the upstairs house and its small army of serving girls and maids then the use of the cane was universal. Lord Caylethorpe had strong views on the efficacy of the cane as a correctional implement and equally strong views in the manner of its use.
The canes utilised reflected His Lordship’s views. There were several canes in the big study which was His Lordship’s inner sanctum but they were all of similar design. He believed that if a cane was to be delivered firmly then one’s grip was important and so all his canes had a leather grip fashioned onto their holding ends. This had the further convenience of allowing a leather loop to be attached which facilitated the storage of the canes by means of hanging them on hooks in a cabinet to prevent their warping. The canes were not overly thick for His Lordship was of the opinion that a thinner cane tended to bite more as it cut into the flesh. On the other hand he did not favour very thin canes either for he considered them to be too light to land with the desirable impact. To him a cane had to be the perfect compromise of cutting quality and weight. On one point he was rigid however; a cane had to be long. He considered that most people used canes that were far too short to be effective. A long cane not only had more weight but the long arc of its sweep generated enough momentum to ensure the most painful results. Most of his canes therefore were at least five feet long or even more.
His Lordship was of the firm opinion that if a young lady deserved to be caned then it should be a lesson which would firmly impinge itself upon her and not quickly forgotten. He had no time for little flicks of the wrist or for flicking at the target. A cane stroke should start from a position of the cane raised above the shoulder and be brought down hard and firm to bite into the flesh of the culprit and to maximise the agony of the impact. Any serving girl unfortunate to have been on the end of one His Lordship’s canings could have testified feelingly to the unyielding resolution of his principles and the firmness of his hand. A long cane delivered with the strength of His Lordship’s arm behind it was agonising. The cane, moreover, was invariably delivered to the naked flesh with skirts and petticoats raised and knickers lowered. Nor was the caning confined to the curve of the miscreant’s buttocks. Lord Caylethorpe was a firm believer in the salutary effects of caning the upper backs of the thighs as well and required knickers to be lowered sufficiently to allow access to this sensitive area of skin.
Not only did His Lordship have strong views on the correct way to cane any wrongdoer but he also had equally f***eful opinions on the correct manner in which the said wrongdoer conduct herself whilst being punished. There was therefore something of ritual procedure to be followed whenever any young lady had the misfortune to be summoned to his study for punishment. She first had to knock on his study door and, upon being bid to enter, she would obey, closing the door behind her. She was then required to curtsy humbly and state that she was reporting for punishment. There would inevitably be a high backed chair placed in the centre of the room, with ample space around it to afford a clear swing for His Lordship, and upon this chair he would have placed the cane chosen for her correction so that she would be able to see it and fearfully anticipate it whilst being informed of her sentence. His Lordship would spend some time lecturing the miserable young lady on her misdeeds in length during which she was to remain standing silently with her hands clasped behind her. Once the lecture was delivered then His Lordship would ask her if she had anything to say for herself in defence or in mitigation. Generally speaking by the time such a case had come to the point of being summoned to His Lordship’s study then the culprit’s guilt had been pretty well established and there was usually little to say. The girls learned early in their career that transparent excuses or feeble pleas for mercy would not merely be of no avail but might further exacerbate their ordeal by prompting His Lordship to award additional strokes to the proscribed punishment for their pusillanimous attempts to avoid their just desserts. The wisest course of action in most cases therefore was a full confession of one’s guilt, a sincere apology and a humble agreement that one deserved to be punished. Following this His Lordship would then pronounce the sentence. In routine cases this varied anywhere between a minimum of twenty strokes and a maximum of fifty.
Having informed the wretched girl of the number of strokes she was to receive His Lordship would then remove his jacket, roll up his sleeve and take the cane from the chair. After flexing the cane and taking a couple of practice swings to judge the weight His Lordship would then command the girl to present herself. The girl would be then expected to lift her skirts and petticoats above her waist, lower her knickers to her knees and bend over the back of the chair. Her posture was important. She was obliged to keep her legs straight at all times and grip the sides of the chair seat with her hands, keeping her arms straight. She was also further obliged to raise her head and look straight forward and to arc her back downwards in order to thrust out her nether regions and present them for the cane. Once so presented she had to maintain this position at all costs throughout her punishment. His Lordship would tolerate a small amount of wriggling and squirming between strokes if the pain of the caning became too much to bear but he expected instant obedience once the culprit was ordered to remain still and that the bottom be kept still as it was caned. It took a fearful amount of self control to hold still whilst being subjected to the agony of the cane lashing one’s buttocks and thighs but it had to be endured for any attempt to squirm away, flinch or otherwise attempt to avoid the full impact of the stroke would invariably be penalised by the award of extra penalty strokes. Likewise taking one’s hands off the chair, allowing one’s legs to buckle and any other alteration of position would be penalised.
Silence was not required. Indeed it was unwise to take one’s caning in silence. His Lordship tended to judge the effectiveness of the lesson being inflicted by the volume of the young lady’s cries of pain and the effusiveness of her sobs and tears. If the miscreant tried to take her punishment in stoic silence he would conclude that she was not suffering sufficiently to teach her a lesson and would increase the f***e of the strokes until she did cry out. Nevertheless it was a good idea for the hapless girl to confine her vocalisations to squeals of pain and sobs of anguish. Pitiful appeals for mercy irritated Lord Caylethorpe intensely and he was liable to add penalty strokes for whining supplication.
Once the full complement of strokes had been applied the punished young lady was obliged to remain in position until ordered to stand up. Once raised she was not allowed to adjust her dress and it was a very bad idea to rub her swollen bottom unless she desired to bend back over the chair for few more strokes to add to the pain in her rear portions. His Lordship would then ask her if she had anything to say for herself. The only sensible thing to do at this juncture was to curtsy as well as she could with her skirts held up and her knickers slipping down her legs, repeat her earlier apologies and meekly thank His Lordship for taking the trouble to punish her for her misdeeds. Finally, to underline the lesson, she would then be obliged to tuck her skirts up and take up a position to kneel on the chair with her hands behind her head. She could expect to spend up to an hour in this position in complete silence while His Lordship busied himself with his work. It was excruciatingly uncomfortable to kneel upright in this position for a protracted period of time without moving whilst displaying one’s tormented rump and having to resist mightily the overpowering urge to rub it. Finally, once satisfied that the miscreant had been sufficiently corrected and remorseful, Lord Caylethorpe would order her to stand and adjust her dress. She would then have to replace the chair against the wall and His Lordship’s cane back in the cupboard before being finally dismissed after a final thank you and a curtsy. Only once outside in the hall would she finally be able to grasp her aching buttocks with her hands and rub them and another disciplinary cycle in the Manor’s routine of domestic service would have been completed.
Fifty strokes was by no means the maximum number of strokes ever awarded under the disciplinary regime at the manor. That was merely the maximum that would normally be allotted under the circumstances of the ritual described above; plus of course any penalty strokes added for misconduct during punishment. However there were rare occasions when one of the servant girls committed an offence so heinous that a far more severe punishment was merited. Since it was nearly impossible for any girl to hold her position throughout the sort of beating such a crime warranted it was necessary to restrain her. Locked away in a large walk-in cupboard in Lord Caylethorpe’s study was the most feared item of furniture in the manor. It was known simply as “the caning stool” and it was a heavy wooden stool with splayed legs like a small vaulting horse with leather straps and buckles on its legs for one’s wrists and legs, a tilted top which raised the buttocks high for caning and a broad leather band across the centre to strap one’s waist firmly to the top of the stool. Any girl reporting to His Lordship’s study for punishment and finding the dreaded caning stool placed in the centre of the room would nearly swoon with terror for she would know instantly that she was facing at least a hundred strokes of the cane if not more. A beating over the caning stool was a fearful ordeal and made all the more dreadful because it was required to undress completely before being strapped down naked over the stool for one’s caning. Thus the humiliation of nudity was added to the agony of the beating. No serving girl or room maid who had suffered a thrashing over the caning stool was ever likely to desire to reacquaint herself with the experience. Fortunately it was rarely used and then only after the most serious consideration by His Lordship that nothing less would suffice in retribution for the offender’s crimes.
If His Lordship was meticulous in his judgements regarding the chastisement of the domestic staff the same could not be said of his haughty aristocratic wife. His Lordship was frequently away on business and during those absences the disciplinary duties of the household devolved upon the mistress of the house. It was a duty she relished. This vain, conceited woman with her overbearing snobbish hauteur had a truly cruel streak to her. Whereas her husband considered the administration of the cane as merely an unpleasant necessity for the correct maintenance of household discipline his wife genuinely enjoyed inflicting pain upon the long suffering servants under her control. Whenever her husband was away therefore she sought eagerly to find sufficient faults among her serving girls to form the pretext for beating them. The girls always dreaded His Lordship’s departure on business for his absence would invariably usher in another period when they would be subject to the capricious tyranny of his sadistic wife.
It is true that her authority from her husband was limited to routine punishments for which the maximum sentence was fifty strokes. This was a matter of great regret to Her Ladyship. She would have dearly loved to strap one of the girls naked to the caning stool and thrash them till her arm ached but exceeding her authority in this fashion was proscribed by her husband who reserved the right to administer very severe punishments himself. Even with this restriction in place however Lady Caylethorpe still managed to make life a misery for the unfortunate young ladies at her command. If perhaps her arm wasn’t as strong as that of her husband she was nevertheless very capable of inflicting terrible pain on any girl presenting herself before her for the cane. She had often tried to be present when her husband had had need to punish one of the girls and she had watched his technique closely. A caning from her was no light matter.
She had not only copied her husband’s technique she had improved upon it for she found endless innovative ways to increase the suffering and humiliation of punishment. For instance it was very rare for His Lordship to cane a person in public before her colleagues and then only when wishing to serve a general notice to the staff of the consequences of certain behaviours he suspected of being more widespread. Other than that his punishments were administered in the privacy of his study. His wife on the other hand delighted in caning those she arbitrarily accused of offences in front of the other girls and thus adding public humiliation to the pain of the beating. Sometimes she would even make them strip naked in front of their peers before beating them. She even, on occasion, liked to beat the girls in front of her friends who were visiting her. She had a fairly unpleasant circle of acquaintances who shared her delight in the cruelty she showed to her staff and the unfortunate victim would have not only to endure the agony of the cane but the gloating of her cronies as well.
Worst of all, as far as her victims were concerned, was the unpredictable capricious nature of the punishments she handed down. Girls would find themselves caned for the most trivial of offences and indeed she would stalk the corridors of the house continuously in the hope of finding some minor imperfection as a pretext for caning some girl or other. A little untidiness somewhere or a few specks of dust somewhere else could all be grounds for the cane. She was even wont to inspect the girl’s private living quarters seeking justification for beating them. The girls all lived in a series of dormitories in the east wing and if her inspection revealed any untidiness or anything below her exacting standards of cleanliness then she would cane every girl in that dormitory irrespective of whether or not they were responsible for the mess.
As often as not she applied the maximum number of strokes she was permitted whilst punishing them as well. Hence a minor misdemeanour that would have merited simply a reprimand had her husband been present could result in a severe caning. There was rarely any prior warning; no admonition to behave better in future or face the cane. A girl might find herself at any moment bending over to be caned without any previous warning that her behaviour was unacceptable. Furthermore she was unfailingly critical of any girl’s conduct under punishment and almost invariably found ways to augment their punishment with extra penalty strokes. She found ways around the limitations on the number of strokes she could apply in other ways as well. It was her habit for instance to compile a list of any given girl’s misdemeanours and then have her report separately on subsequent days to receive the full fifty strokes for each of the offences on the list. One unhappy girl had had to report for the cane every day for a week as a result of this policy.
It was little wonder that Her Ladyship was deeply despised and resented among her badly abused domestic staff. It was some minor consolation to them to know that even her haughty Ladyship was not immune from her husband’s own notions of discipline. It was well known throughout the house that he found her misbehaviour on occasion of sufficient seriousness to warrant caning her. The story had it, if the accounts of those brave girls who had dared to listen covertly at the door were to be believed, that Her Ladyship did not take well to being on the receiving end of the cane. According to their testimony she howled as loud as any of the servant girls she considered beneath her when her husband had occasion to chastise her for her conduct and was not so proud that she was above pathetic pleading and grovelling when faced with her husband’s cane. The occasions when it did happen were always highlights in the manor’s routine and the sight of Her Ladyship squirming uncomfortably at the dining table at dinner following an encounter with the cane were widely reported and smirked at.
It was a matter of regret that such occasions were not more frequent or that His Lordship seemed blissfully oblivious of the way his wife abused her position whenever he was absent from the manor. Frequently the girls discussed ways in which they could make his Lordship aware of the petty tyranny of his wife while he was away but in the end none of them dared to do so. Lady Caylethorpe was naturally vindictive and would doubtless exact a telling revenge on any who dared to expose her. It was to be avoided all costs to be singled out for extra special attention by Lady Caylethorpe. There were certain girls she took a particular dislike to and she was quite capable of making their lives intolerable. Such girls would find themselves the recipients of her cane with monotonous regularity.
Lord Caylethorpe prided himself on being firm but just. It was his private boast that nobody was punished under his roof that didn’t deserve it and that the award of punishment within his household was meted out fairly and impersonally. He fondly believed his house to be a place where authority was respected and whose servants were well treated so long as they obeyed the regulations of the house. He would have been appalled therefore to learn how the morale of his staff and their respect for the ruling f****y’s authority was so undermined by his wife’s oppressive despotism. It was perhaps his failing that he so long remained in ignorance of the true nature of affairs. It may be argued that he loved his wife in spite of her many and manifest faults and it was this love that blinkered him to the realities of her dictatorial regime. Certainly he trusted her in this respect and, being a busy man with other affairs had less time than perhaps he should have had to address the inner problems of his household. It is also true that the sullen silence of fear imposed by Her Ladyship’s absolute and despotic rule obscured the problem. Whatever the reason he never suspected the truth or noticed anything amiss until the day the blinkers were dashed from his eyes by the events surrounding Lady Caylethorpe’s pearl necklace.
Among her multitude of faults must be numbered Lady Caylethorpe’s habitual absent-mindedness. This in itself is a forgivable failing. Many people after all suffer to some extent from forgetfulness and, so long as it does not become so severe as to be disruptive then people are apt to overlook this minor flaw in their characters. In Lady Caylethorpe’s case however this forgetfulness reached a height of spiteful denial. She was forever laying things down and forgetting that she had done so. What truly highlights this element in her character however was her blank refusal to acknowledge her own failings in this respect. Thus whenever she was unable to find something she would invariably blame somebody else for removing it from its allotted place. More than once she had punished her servant girls for moving her belongings when it had been nobody but herself who was responsible for misplacing them. This aspect of her manifested itself most critically when her pearl necklace went missing.
In fact some weeks earlier she had casually loaned the necklace to one of her friends who had wanted to wear it for the annual Hunt Ball. Having so off-handedly loaned out her possession she quite promptly forgot all about it. She didn’t notice that her necklace was missing until one day, during one of her husband’s absences, she had a sudden notion to don the necklace with a new dress of hers to attend a socialite luncheon to which she was invited. Upon opening her jewellery case in her boudoir she was furious to discover that her necklace was missing. Four of her girls, Sandra, Monica, Vivienne and Carol had been working in her private chambers that morning and, characteristically, she immediately suspected one of them of purloining her necklace. In a fine temper she demanded that they present themselves immediately before her. Once assembled, she demanded to know who was responsible for the theft of her necklace. When, quite naturally, all four girls protested their innocence her fury grew and she convinced herself that they were all lying and in collusion with one another. She would therefore make an example of them. She thereupon marched all four of them down to the main hall of the manor and ordered all the female servants of the house to attend and witness their punishment.
There were some two dozen assorted serving girls gathered for this sorry spectacle. The four accused girls tearfully protested once more their innocence and implored her to reconsider. Lady Caylethorpe was beyond listening to reason however and was convinced of their collective culpability. She ordered all four girls to strip completely naked and then, one by one, she had had them bend over a chair and caned them viciously. Each girl was given fifty strokes but some took it better than others. Vivienne, poor little timid Vivienne, who had not a malicious bone in her body, took it very poorly indeed. The pretty little dark haired girl had a low tolerance for pain and she screamed loudly under the strokes of the cane and proved quite unable to hold still for the duration of her unjust punishment. Her inability to stop squirming roused Lady Caylethorpe’s ire to new levels and she maliciously added penalty strokes until the pitifully weeping girl had taken a total of seventy lashes across her pert little backside leaving it dreadfully lacerated and swollen.
Her Ladyship’s spleen did not end there however for, once the caning was complete, she had four chairs placed on the back veranda in view of her own studio window and then had the weeping naked girls kneel up on the chairs with their hands behind their heads and remain motionless in that position until given leave by her personally to do otherwise. Under her direct observation from her window the girls would not dare to disobey this command for she promised them all a further caning should they so much as wriggle excessively without permission. As mischance would have it, that afternoon was scheduled to be the four girls’ afternoon off when they had hoped to escape the oppression in the household and walk to the village to enjoy a few hours of relaxation in the warm sunshine of the beer garden of the local tavern. Instead Her Ladyship kept the wretched girls kneeling on their chairs, naked and in full view of the entire household, the cheeks of their faces burning as brightly as the cheeks of their scorched buttocks with humiliation, for the rest of the afternoon. Those endless hours of public disgrace and discomfort were frightful ones for the four young ladies and furthermore they outraged the moral sensibilities of the entire household. There was mutiny in the air but one person in particular found his indignation aroused by the humiliating exhibition of the four miserable naked girls displayed in such immodesty with their bare buttocks marked by Her Ladyship’s cane for all the world to see and it would be his intervention which would prove decisive.
Mr Bertram Eldon, Caylethorpe manor’s dignified and reserved butler, was a man who generally kept his counsel to himself and was not inclined to voice his concerns even upon witnessing that which he disapproved of. Nevertheless he firmly considered that Her Ladyship had overstepped the mark in no small manner on this occasion. He had been prepared to overlook Her Ladyship’s excesses previously in deference to his master but he was of the strong opinion that her unjust treatment of the four young girls was disgraceful and unforgivable; a stain in fact on the proud heritage of the house in which her served. Quite apart from her unjust beating of the girls without, it appeared, a single shred of evidence to connect them to the missing item of jewellery, her public exhibition of the four naked girls was a shocking affront to any sort of public decency and decorum. Mr Eldon took pride in his household and he was no longer willing to see it disgraced in this fashion or to tolerate the malignant influence of Her Ladyship’s abuse of her power. He determined therefore to find some way to bring the matter to his master’s attention once Lord Caylethorpe returned from his travels.
He did not have to wait long. Three days later when His Lordship returned home to find the house in a state of mutinous and sullen resentment he had his chance. Even given Lord Caylethorpe’s hitherto oblivion to the cancer eating at the heart of his household it was evident even to him that something was well amiss. Upon inquiry, his wife assured him that nothing untoward had occurred during his absence and that possibly the glum mood in the house was entirely due to his own return since there would now be a return to his firm hand on the tiller whereas she was afraid that she was far too lax with the girls and liable to allow them too much in the way of liberty. Perhaps if the staff were being sullen and uncooperative then he might do well to re-establish his authority by having the lot of them thrashed forthwith. Lord Caylethorpe didn’t pursue the matter although his suspicions that something significant had occurred during his leave of absence remained.
At this juncture Mr Eldon was given the perfect opportunity to expose the events of the past days. This opportunity came in the shape of reliable young page boy from one of the neighbouring estates who came to the manor to hand deliver a small box. Mr Eldon took personal delivery of this item and upon opening it found it to contain Lady Caylethorpe’s notorious pearl necklace and a handwritten note from her friend apologising for the tardy return of the item. Instead of returning the item directly to Her Ladyship Mr Eldon took the item straight to his Lord and master explaining that it had just been delivered.
Lord Caylethorpe was puzzled at first as to why his butler should bring the necklace to him. Surely if a friend of Her Ladyship had returned a borrowed item then the object should be delivered to her hands and not brought to her husband’s attention. It was at this point that Mr Eldon regretfully informed his Lordship that it was his duty to inform him that four girls had been severely punished on suspicion of stealing the afore-mentioned item. The return of the necklace proved in hindsight that in fact the four girls were above reproach and the temporary loss of it attributable to nothing more than Her Ladyship’s forgetfulness. Mr Eldon felt duty bound to state that he believed the four girls had been most unjustly dealt with in contravention of what he believed to be the high moral principles by which this ancient and proud house governed itself.
Lord Caylethorpe was shocked by this revelation but he became even more horrified as Mr Eldon furnished him with the full details of the sordid ordeal to which the four innocent girls had been subjected to. His wife’s conduct in this matter went against the grain of every moral sense of justice His Lordship so righteously adhered to. He wouldn’t have treated one of his own dogs in such a shamefully undeserved fashion! No wonder it seemed that the house was in such an uproar. Such a miscarriage of justice threatened to completely nullify any respect for the disciplinary authority of the house. If a person was seen to be punished so arbitrarily for a crime, of which they were so obviously innocent, then justice in this house would be seen to be morally bankrupt and corrupt. Lord Caylethorpe decided that the matter must be redressed at once if he was not to lose whatever moral authority remained to him under his own roof.
Furiously he demanded his wife’s immediate attendance upon him. She entered his studio nervously, sensing immediately that something was wrong. Her trepidation increased when her husband angrily flung her necklace before her and confronted her with the facts he had learned concerning the recent events. He demanded an explanation of her conduct of the affair. Seriously worried now; Lady Caylethorpe desperately tried to talk her way out of the accusations of wrong doing. It was not a proud moment in her life. She protested her innocence petulantly and attempted to accuse staff members of holding grudges against her and trying to incriminate her. She even lied about the necklace insisting that it was another piece of jewellery entirely for which she had punished the girls and that they were notorious thieves in any case and she had long suspected them of petty pilfering among her belongings. Finally seeing that her transparent excuses were failing her she resorted to pleading that the whole thing was a simple misunderstanding and of course she would apologise to the four girls in question. But Lord Caylethorpe had heard enough of her prevarications and inadequate apologies for one day. He ordered her to her chambers under strict instructions to remain there while he made further enquiries and decided what to do with her. He would summon her once he had decided upon a suitable retribution and until then she was under no circumstances to leave her chambers. Lady Caylethorpe fled in fear to her own rooms.
She remained there fearfully awaiting her fate for the rest of the day while her husband conducted his enquiries. Her fear would have grown had she known the line of inquiry he was pursuing. First of all he interviewed separately all four of the young ladies involved in the incident and grilled them about the events. Not only was he able to verify the exact details of the occurrence but also, through careful questioning, he was able to discern at last the regime of terror his wife had imposed upon his house during his absences. He then called upon one or two of the more senior members of the female servants whose opinions he trusted and they too corroborated the chain of events and furnished even more details of his wife’s wickedness towards the vulnerable young girls at her mercy. Finally he consulted once more with his butler who confirmed that every detail he had heard was true and, though it saddened him to say so, he had long considered this sorry state of affairs to be a blight upon the record of an otherwise proud house. Lord Caylethorpe was deeply shocked and the more he learned the more appalled he became. In truth he was partially angry with himself for not having perceived the state of affairs in the house earlier and before it had come to such a pass. He could not blame his staff for failing to bring this to his notice earlier. The fear of Her Ladyship had apparently been so pervasive that it had silenced all tongues. Most of all he felt a deep cold anger at his wife’s betrayal of the trust he had invested in her and the damage she had done to the moral fibre of his household.
Very well then; she must be taught a salutary lesson. Moreover she must be taught her lesson in such a manner that the entire household would know about it and that justice would be seen to be done and no member of the household left not understanding that nobody, be they ever so high, was above the code of conduct expected within the House of Caylethorpe or could be expected to escape the consequences of transgressing that code. He cogitated for some time over the exact nature of the punishment his wife’s misconduct merited and, having made his decision, he gave the orders pertinent to implementing that punishment. Finally, after all his preparations were complete, he summoned his wife to his study to face the repercussions of her behaviour.
Lady Caylethorpe’s trepidation had increased with every hour she had spent under confinement to her chambers and she cowered in anxiety when, around tea time, there was a knock on the door of her personal chambers. So wracked was she with guilty fear that she could not even muster her customary imperiousness when responding to a knock on her door and could barely manage a nervous squeak bidding the caller to enter. The person was one of her maids who entered the room and curtsied politely before reciting the exact words she had been instructed to deliver to her mistress. “Please ma-am, by your leave, His Lordship has formally requested that you follow me to his study for your punishment.”
Lady Caylethorpe turned pale and grasped the back of a chair and bit back the moan of despair that threatened to escape from her mouth. It was a mark of her fear by now that she did not blast the girl for her impertinence in suggesting that she, Lady Caylethorpe, mistress of this house, should stoop to follow a mere servant to her husband’s study and there to be presented for punishment. But her legendary haughtiness had deserted her along with her voice for she could only nod a simple affirmation. The walk to her husband’s study had never seemed so long as she tripped in rising terror at the heels of the young girl leading her to her doom. Finally at the door of his Lordship’s study the young girl knocked discreetly at the door and, upon receipt of the barked command from within, opened the door to step into the room. She curtsied before the stern figure of his Lordship stood before his desk and formally announced. “Her Ladyship reporting for punishment My Lord.” She then stood aside to usher her mistress into the room before leaving and closing the door behind her.
Stepping into the room Lady Caylethorpe came as close to fainting out of sheer terror as she ever had in her life. The tableau confronting her was quite simply the most frightening scene she had ever witnessed. Her husband was stood in the middle of the room in front of his desk and the cold anger visible in his face would have intimidated a far more resolute character than that which Lady Caylethorpe possessed. Nor was he alone in the room with her for, lined up in a row to the right hand side of the room, were the four girls who Lady Caylethorpe had so recently and unjustly beaten because of her own stupidity. It was bad enough that the four girls were evidently here to witness her disgrace and punishment but it was the other additions to the room that caused such a thrill of fear to course through Her Ladyship’s quailing spirits. An occasional table had been placed to the left for convenience, although its purpose was not immediately apparent at this juncture, but it was another piece of furniture that terrified Lady Caylethorpe and riveted her attention upon it. In the centre of the room stood the dreaded caning stool and, lying across the top of it, was the longest and most wicked looking cane in Lord Caylethorpe’s formidable collection; fully six feet long and glinting evilly in the sunshine pouring through the windows.
Without preamble Lord Caylethorpe launched into a reiteration of the charges against his wife in the matter concerning the imagined theft of her necklace and her unforgivable failure to unearth the truth of the matter and her subsequent mistreatment of four entirely innocent girls. Her Ladyship squirmed visibly, the bl**d drained from her face, as her husband recounted every detail of her wretched misconduct. The four girls tried hard to keep their faces serious and impassive but it was difficult to keep the gloating from their eyes whilst witnessing the transformation of their haughty, imperious nemesis into this trembling wretch with her lower lip quivering and listening to the litany of charges against her. As ready as she was to wield the cane on her hapless victims Lady Caylethorpe was an unmitigated coward when it came to facing the cane herself. Her knees were shaking and tears were pressing at her eyes even before her punishment had begun.
Finally, having exhausted the specific charges against her, His Lordship asked her if she had anything to say for herself. Well following the long list of her sins there was little at all to be said in mitigation and all she could manage to bleat was a miserable apology and a pitiable plea for forgiveness and clemency. But her husband was beyond forgiving his wife her transgressions by this point. “Is this miserable whining all you have to say in your defence?” he demanded loudly. Her Ladyship choked back a sob and nodded abjectly. “Very well then madam! You are to be caned. Please remove all your clothes and jewellery.”
Lady Caylethorpe held her hands out pleadingly and dropped to her knees at his feet. “Please Henry! No! I implore you!”
“Silence madam! You thoroughly deserve what is coming to you and I’ll not hear another second of these pitiful and cowardly entreaties! My mind is made up! You are to be severely caned so please follow the instructions I have given you.”
“At least dismiss the servants Henry!”
“I will not dismiss the servants madam! You had these perfectly innocent girls beaten on groundless accusations of theft resulting from your own stupid carelessness and furthermore humiliated them in public for the same baseless reasons. It is only right and just that they be here to witness the retribution due for your mistreatment of them. Now enough! You have been ordered to disrobe so please do me the courtesy of desisting from this disgraceful display of grovelling, snivelling cowardice and follow my instructions. If I have to repeat my order one more time I will have you flogged in front of the entire household, stable lads and all!”
Seeing further argument to be futile, Her Ladyship rose trembling to her feet to obey. Lady Caylethorpe was unaccustomed to undressing without the assistance of her maids and two of the girls started forward as if to aid her. His Lordship barked a command at them to remain where they were however and added, “I’m sure your mistress is quite capable of undressing herself girls without you holding her hand. A little lesson in humility will certainly not go amiss!” Tearfully, with five pairs of eyes watching her every move, Lady Caylethorpe began to undress. To add to his lesson in humility her husband instructed her firmly to fold every item of her clothes neatly and place them in an orderly pile on the occasional table provided for that purpose. Lady Caylethorpe had never had to fold her own clothes in the course of her entire pampered life before. Even as a c***d her nanny had attended to that chore for her. As a result she made a shambles of her attempts to fold her clothes and she would have caned any girl responsible for the shabby growing pile of her blouse, skirt, petticoat, stockings, chemise and knickers growing on the table. Her jewellery she was obliged to place carefully in a small tin box and her shoes to be stowed away neatly under the table.
At last she was naked and she stood cowering before her husband with tears running down her face from fear and humiliation and trying desperately to hide her modesty with her hands over her breasts and private regions. Lady Caylethorpe, it must be said, was a fine figure of a woman without her clothes on but there was no pride in the sorry image of her now, cringing miserably before her husband and her smirking servants. Lord Caylethorpe was dissatisfied with her demeanour and ordered her sharply to straighten up and place her hands behind her back. Once she had quiveringly obeyed this instruction and assumed the posture demanded, he proceeded to deliver the second of his lectures concerning her misconduct. This was a more general monologue directed at her abject failure to uphold the principles and responsibilities invested in her as his wife in the matter of disciplinary maintenance in the house and her corruption of the values of justice and fairness that he expected any wife of his to exercise in the execution of her duties in his absence. He informed her that he was by now well aware of her poor record in discharging her duties with moral righteousness and of her frequent and unjust treatment of her servants. It was impossible, he told her, to maintain any sort of moral authority within the house when a senior member of the household was wont to hand out arbitrary punishments on a whim and it devalued the entire disciplinary code laid down as a foundation for the orderly running of the house. It was unforgivable of her to abuse the authority invested in her and for this reason, he told her, her caning would be consequently commensurate with the severity of her misconduct. Did she understand he wanted to know. Completely deflated by now, she could only nod miserably between her sobs.
His Lordship stepped across and lifted the long cane from its position on top of the caning stool. “Very well then!” he remarked. “We shall proceed. Please be so good as to present yourself over the stool to be restrained for your punishment.”
Lady Caylethorpe’s knees threatened to buckle beneath her but she took a haltering step forward towards the frightful caning stool. It was as far as she got before her terror threatened to loosen her control over her basic functions. Hastily she clamped both hands between her legs and whimpered miserably. “P...please Henry! I... I need to visit the lavatory!”
Lord Caylethorpe clicked his tongue in irritation, by now thoroughly ashamed of his wife’s wretched performance and lack of courage. For a second he considered ignoring her request. It would serve her right to suffer the further humiliation of wetting herself! However the thought of a pool of urine on the floor was distasteful even if she was ordered herself to clean it up. He would not spare her from shame completely however. Fortunately there was a ready solution to hand. Lord Caylethorpe habitually slept in his study on those occasions when his wife was away on one of her protracted visits among her friends and there was a small bed and a washstand in one corner of the large room. Beneath the washstand was a perfectly good chamber pot for such emergencies as this. Irritably he ordered Carol to fetch the pot for her mistress. The last remaining vestiges of any pride Her Ladyship still possessed were devastated by her having to squat abjectly over the chamber pot to relieve herself under the eyes of her audience. The silence in the room was broken only by the sound of her snivelling and the stream of her urine in the pot. After her ladyship had cleaned herself with a tissue Carol covered the pot and removed it to a discreet distance before taking her place back in the line of witnesses. Lord Caylethorpe rapped the cane sharply on the top of the stool. “Now madam! If you are quite finished making a disgrace of yourself I would be grateful if you would stop wasting our time and obey the orders you have been given. Present yourself for punishment!”
Trembling with fear Her Ladyship stepped up to the stool her legs feeling like jelly beneath her. To mount the caning stool it was necessary to step up on a small wooden block placed between the out splayed legs. Stood on this block the top of the stool was level with the hips. The top of the stool was inclined away from you in this position so when one bent forward over the stool the upper end of the torso was lower than the nether region with the result that the posterior was presented high, stretched tautly and perfectly presented for the cane. Lord Caylethorpe turned to the watching girls as Her Ladyship took up the required position over the stool. “Sandra, Monica, would you oblige me by securing your mistress in place for her punishment?”
The two girls curtsied hastily. “Yes my Lord.” they intoned. Strapping Her Ladyship into place was hardly an onerous task for the two girls but they were careful to keep the satisfaction out of their faces as they fastened the straps binding their quaking mistress firmly to the stool in preparation for her caning. First of all there was the broad strap to be buckled around her waist firmly pressing her belly against the leather covered surface of the stool and thrusting her bottom outwards admirably to receive the cane. The top of the stool was narrow and Her Ladyship’s breasts hung free beyond its surface as the two girls each took one of her wrists and buckled them to the straps on the front legs of the stool. The final preparation was to each take a leg and part them to be fastened by means of two more straps on the splayed back legs of the stool just above her knees. This in some ways was the worst part of all. With her legs parted and stretched out the flesh on the backs of her thighs were admirably presented for the cane along with her tautly stretched buttocks. Moreover any last remaining hope of modesty was gone as the position displayed the lips of her sex revealingly between her trembling cheeks. The position also suspended her over the stool and clear of the ground. She could barely touch the floor with the tips of her toes. She had never felt so exposed and vulnerable in her life.
The two girls finished their adjustments and stood back to curtsy. “Her Ladyship is ready to be punished My Lord.” Sandra informed him. Lord Caylethorpe grunted an acknowledgement and stepped around his terrified wife to examine her bonds for himself. Satisfied that the two girls had done a perfectly acceptable job he laid the cane down on his desk for a moment in order to remove his jacket. His wife glanced up through her tears and quailed as she saw him rolling up his shirt sleeve in a purposeful manner. Picking up the cane, his Lordship flexed it a couple of times in his hands to judge its flexibility and resilience and his wife shuddered at the sight of the terrible implement in his hands. She winced visibly as he swept the cane through the air in a few practice swings to judge its weight, little moans of despair escaping from her lips. Finally satisfied with all his preparations his Lordship stepped into position to address his wife’s rear, with the cane laying across her bottom to measure the distance for his first stroke. Lady Caylethorpe cringed at the cool touch of the long length of the rattan cane across her awaiting buttocks and shuddered anew in anticipation of the first stroke.
Taking a firm stance Lord Caylethorpe lifted the cane away and high above his shoulder and paused. He was a firm believer in drawing out the anticipation of the miscreant over that dreaded first stroke of the cane. He considered that the apprehension so caused served to increase the well deserved suffering of the culprit being punished and he would often allow them to wait for long seconds, clenching their buttocks fearfully, before finally administering the dreaded stroke. Lady Caylethorpe gripped the legs of the stool desperately as the seconds ticked by, whimpering feebly between clenched teeth and waiting for the first agony of the cane to blazon across her quivering rump. Unable to bear the suspense any longer she glanced back over her shoulder fearfully. An anguished sob escaped her as she saw the cane poised so high above her posterior and she felt her sphincter clench involuntarily. At that moment, with a long sweeping curve, Lord Caylethorpe brought the cane down hard across the centre of her buttocks.
The four girls jumped at the loud report of the cane striking their mistress’s naked flesh. Lady Caylethorpe’s firmly restrained body jerked under the impact of the cane, her head jerked up and her mouth flew open to punctuate the crack of the cane on her flesh with a shrill squeal of agony. The pain of that first stroke was even worse than she had ever dared to imagine it. The sudden excruciating flash of fire across her bottom seemed to drive the breath from her lungs and rob her mind of reason. She was still gasping and giving vent to bubbling wailing as her husband raised the cane for the second stroke. He made her wait even longer for this stroke. It was a habit of his when administering a severe punishment to allow a long pause between the first and second strokes. With the offender still squirming under the agony of the initial stroke he liked to allow this pause to give them time to reflect on the significance of the first encounter between their naked flesh and the cane and to realise at last the full severity of the ordeal they were about to undergo. It was the moment he seriously hoped that the malefactor would truly begin to regret the malevolent actions that had brought them to such a sorry moment of retribution.
The point certainly did not elude Lady Caylethorpe. As soon as she had seen the caning stool she had known that she faced at least a hundred lashes of the cane. Now having experienced the full agony of the first stroke she was under no further illusions that her coming ordeal was going to be a light one. If the first stroke had caused such a searing pain then it beggared belief to think what another ninety nine of them would be like. In despair she knew that she would not be able to withstand it. Even as the import of that initial stroke etched itself into her consciousness Lord Caylethorpe swept the cane down to land a second blow across his wife’s deserving backside and, just to underline the point, this stroke was even harder than the first. It was delivered with meticulous precision into the faint crease separating Lady Caylethorpe’s buttocks from the tops of her thighs. This dreadful stroke on such a sensitive area f***ed an even louder shriek of anguish from Her Ladyship’s lungs, tailing off into a long wailing sob. As his Lordship raised the cane once more the two angry red stripes of the first strokes stood out in sharp relief to the pale background of her Ladyship’s tormented rear. The third stroke brought a fresh torrent of shrieks and wails from Her Ladyship for her husband landed this one firmly across the back of her thighs with a terrible crack. Lady Caylethorpe had never experienced such unbearable agony and her beating had barely begun.
Lord Caylethorpe was taking his time. Normally he would up the tempo of the beating later on in the punishment but he favoured starting slowly so that the pain of each stroke had time to sink in properly before the next was applied. Slowly, but surely, the tally of strokes added up and each dreadful sweeping lash further stoked the flaming pain in her Ladyship’s tortured rear. She was struggling futilely against her bonds, throwing her head from side to side and howling continuously under the mounting rain of blows slicing into her rapidly swelling nether portions. Her husband continued to beat her systematically and mercilessly, ignoring her desperate pleas for mercy as he concentrated on the task of delivering a lesson his guilty wife would never forget.
The four girls were watching his Lordship’s methodical flogging of his despicable wife with mounting satisfaction. They feasted their eyes on her squirming body and the increasing number of angry red tramlines marking the swollen flesh of her buttocks and thighs. The crack of the cane and her loud screams of pain were music to their ears. It had not escaped their attention that all the windows in his Lordship’s study were wide open. Ostensibly this was in deference to the warm weather but in practical terms it meant that the sounds of the cane and her Ladyship’s demented screams would be audible around the entire house. There was not a person in the household who wasn’t aware that the forbidding mistress of Caylethorpe manor was up for a salutary thrashing by now. Doubtless the entire staff by now had dropped all their duties to congregate in strategic positions in order to catch every last howling scream emanating from his Lordship’s study and gleefully gloat over the just desserts now being suffered by the despised mistress of the house.
Carol was keeping a careful count of the number of strokes delivered in her head. She, more than any of them, had reason to detest her Ladyship and she was relishing the spectacle of her beating. Furthermore they would all doubtless be grilled endlessly by their colleagues, who had not been privileged to witness her Ladyship’s denouement, in the coming days and she was determined to commit every last detail of the thrashing to memory. It was already shaping up to be a legendary day in the history of the house and one which would be discussed endlessly in years to come.
To Carol’s disappointment his Lordship stopped the beating and lay the cane down on his desk once the count of strokes reached the fifty mark. The girls were surprised at this. Admittedly it had been a severe thrashing so far and her Ladyship had taken it very badly. She lay squirming over the stool, sobbing and weeping copiously, and her buttocks and thighs were admirably streaked with swollen crimson weals. But they had expected more. Fifty strokes after all were normally administered without the formality of strapping the offender to the caning stool. A punishment over the stool usually would mean at least a hundred strokes and it seemed inordinately lenient to terminate the punishment after a mere fifty. Her Ladyship appeared to believe her ordeal was over for she was drawing in deep breaths and trying to regain her composure. The girls were puzzled.
Their puzzlement increased as his Lordship pulled the stopper from a decanter on his desk and poured himself a stiff shot of brandy into a large balloon shaped glass. Carol hoped that his Lordship was merely fortifying himself with a dose of brandy before picking up the cane to recommence his wife’s punishment. It seemed indeed as if her surmise was correct as his Lordship finished off his drink and picked up the cane once more eliciting a despairing groan from his suffering wife. But he surprised them all. Turning to the girls he nodded at Sandra. “Sandra, would you please step over here.”
Nervously and not a little perplexed Sandra curtsied and complied. Lord Caylethorpe held out the cane and nodded at it. “Would you take the cane please Sandra.” Sandra swallowed but took the cane from her master’s hand. “You are to continue with your mistress’s beating.” he told her. “Please be so good as to deliver fifty strokes to her.” He held up his hand. “Mark my words well however. I expect you to administer the punishment as hard as you can. I shall be extremely displeased if you fail to follow my instructions and in any way lessen the severity of the punishment due to your mistress. Do you understand?” Sandra gulped and nodded numbly. This was a most unexpected development and not one which she was at all sure she liked. It was one thing to witness Her Ladyship’s punishment but quite another to be ordered to participate in it. For all her general consideration that Lady Caylethorpe had more than deserved her caning, Sandra was essentially a kind girl and not the sort who would willingly inflict pain on anybody and she had no stomach for this job.
Nevertheless she steeled herself to the task and took up position as ordered and raised the cane. Lady Caylethorpe had raised a fresh paroxysm of wails and laments at the discovery that, to add to her long tally of suffering, she was now to be subjected to the humiliation of being beaten by one of the servants. She squealed as much in protest as in pain as Sandra brought the cane down across her crimson rear for in truth the stroke was not a hard one. Sandra might have been thoroughly resentful of her mistreatment at the hands of her mistress but she could nevertheless not bring herself to cause more pain and suffering to her. Compared to his Lordship’s firm hand therefore her efforts were rather feeble despite his Lordship’s stern admonitions to strike harder. After half a dozen somewhat weak efforts his Lordship’s patience snapped. “Enough!” he barked. “Hand me the cane!” Gratefully Sandra surrendered the implement to her master. Her gratitude was short lived! He waved the cane at her in fine dudgeon. “I told you to lay the strokes on hard!” he berated her. “You seem to feel at liberty to totally disregard my orders! Since you seem unable to comprehend what I mean when I order you to strike hard it seems as if I must demonstrate exactly what I mean. Please oblige me by lifting your skirts, lowering your knickers and bending over your mistress so that I may fully instruct you in the meaning of my orders!”
The bl**d drained from Sandra’s face but she dared not question a direct order. She curtsied hastily and murmured “Yes my Lord.” before obediently raising her skirts, easing her knickers down and positioning herself over the body of her mistress. Prostrated over the naked body of her mistress Sandra could feel the bare flesh of her mistress’s thighs against her own and discern the heat emanating from her swollen buttocks. With her face very close to her Ladyship’s and clinging on to the front legs of the stool she gritted her teeth and waited for the bite of the cane on her own bare flesh. Sandra was considerably braver than her tyrannical mistress but even she gasped in pain as the cane lashed her buttocks and hissed between her teeth as the burning line seeped into her flesh. She endured the first three or four strokes with little more than a convulsive twitch of her body and strangled gasps but his Lordship increased the f***e of the blows and by the fifth stroke she had given vent to loud squeals of pain. Mercifully, after inflicting ten strokes on her, his Lordship ordered her to stand up and replace her clothing. Blinking back her tears Sandra eased her knickers back over her throbbing behind and smoothed out her skirt.
Lord Caylethorpe held out the cane once more. “Now that is what I mean when I tell you to lay the strokes on hard!” he informed her. “You will now please continue the punishment only this time I expect you to follow my instructions to the letter and beat your mistress properly! If I have cause to be dissatisfied with your efforts again you can expect twenty strokes the next time!”
Sandra needed no further urging to apply herself more diligently this time. Unwilling to face a further twenty strokes of that fearsome cane she put all the strength she could muster into beating her mistress with the cane and Lady Caylethorpe’s renewed screams testified to the effectiveness of her new found purpose. Finally she finished the administration of the full fifty strokes to her distraught mistress and stood back breathing heavily and pushing a wayward lock of her hair back into place. Lord Caylethorpe conceded himself satisfied with Sandra’s exertions. “Thank you Sandra.” he told her. “You may now please rejoin the line and hand the cane over to Monica who will continue from here.” This statement elicited a tearful protest from Lady Caylethorpe who now discerned that her husband had every intention of ordering all four of the girls to beat her in their turn. Her analysis was quite correct but her pleas to be spared such a protracted ordeal fell on deaf ears and her husband ordered her to hold her tongue and to take her punishment in a manner more befitting a lady of her status. It was only just recompense he told her for the pain she had so unjustly inflicted on the girls.
His Lordship needed harbour no misgivings concerning Monica’s suitability for applying herself to the task in hand. Monica was a big strong girl who took her duties seriously, even one as bizarre as caning her mistress. Lady Caylethorpe’s screams reached new heights of volume and ear piercing quality as Monica followed her mandate to beat her mistress thoroughly to the letter. As an added variation as well it so happened that Monica was left handed so she stood on the opposite side of her mistress to apply the cane. The left hand sides of her Ladyship’s buttocks and thighs that had hitherto escaped the sting of the cane’s tip experienced by her right side when the cane wrapped about her were now subjected to the same torment. By the time Monica had completed her commendably thorough fifty strokes Lady Caylethorpe was in a terrible state. She lay keening over the stool her chest heaving and her body covered in a sheen of perspiration from her struggles against her restraints. Her buttocks and thighs were a swollen mass of raised contusions and her hair lay in a limp tangled mess over a face red and swollen from crying and streaked with the ruins of her make-up. Much though one might have considered her fate to have been well deserved it was nevertheless possible to pity her Ladyship by this time.
The next in line to cane her Ladyship was Vivienne. Sadly there could scarcely have been anybody more ill fitted to the task of beating her mistress than the little, timid dark haired girl. She looked so frightened that one might have supposed that it was her to be caned when she took the cane from Monica’s hand. Clearly she was close to tears as she stepped forward to beat her mistress. It was hopeless. Her feeble efforts barely raised a cry from Lady Caylethorpe whose nether regions were now such a single mass of inflamed agony that Vivienne’s pathetic efforts barely registered through it. After only a few strokes Lord Caylethorpe had had enough. He demanded the cane back again and the terrified little girl was under no illusions about what he intended to do with it. “Is nobody in this house capable of following my instructions today?” Lord Caylethorpe fumed. “That was an absolutely dreadful effort!” he told the petrified little Vivienne. “Once again it seems I am obliged to demonstrate the meaning of my orders. Drop your knickers young lady and present yourself over your mistress!”
Weeping in fear, Vivienne hitched up her skirts and lowered her underwear. Being such a small girl she had to stand on tiptoe on the wooden block to d**** herself over her mistress’s naked body. Her weight on top of her Ladyship was negligible but Lady Caylethorpe could feel the poor little girl trembling as she waited for the cane. For the first time in her life Lady Caylethorpe could empathise with the distress of a young girl about to be caned! As has been noted before little Vivienne had a low threshold for pain and she screamed loudly when the cane bit home into her pert little buttocks, very nearly deafening Lady Caylethorpe whose ear was only inches away from the howling girl’s mouth. In danger of losing her position and slipping off her mistress while being caned Vivienne wrapped her arms around her mistress in desperation and grasped hold of the first thing she could find to prevent her slipping off which, amusingly, happened to be Lady Caylethorpe’s breasts! Quite u*********s of what she was doing she held on for dear life and her Ladyship grimaced in renewed pain as Vivienne’s sharp fingernails dug into the orbs of her breasts, drawing a trickle of bl**d.
At the conclusion of her ten strokes Vivienne leapt to her feet and grasped at her smarting backside weeping bitterly. It was an action she was to regret. She had completely forgotten the strict protocols to be observed whilst under punishment. She had jumped up without being granted leave to do so and compounded her sin by rubbing her bottom in flagrant contravention of the rules. Lord Caylethorpe was glaring at her in outrage. How dare she ignore his strict policy of conduct while being punished he demanded to know. The terrified girl whipped her hands away from her bottom, curtsied pathetically and whimpered an abject apology. Her apology was not good enough for Lord Caylethorpe. He pointed with the cane to the prostrate figure of his beaten wife. “Resume your position immediately young lady!” he commanded.
Vivienne burst into a renewed flood of tears as she lifted her skirts once more to balance herself over her mistress. This time twenty strokes was her allotted penalty and, while it was by no means to be compared with the ordeal her mistress was suffering, it was nevertheless an agonising experience for the screaming girl as the cane thrashed her small and sensitive bottom leaving angry red stripes in its wake. The other girls felt deeply sorry for poor Vivienne; a girl who had never wished an evil thought against anyone in her life and who would not have harmed a fly if she could possibly avoid it. They were thankful when at last his Lordship gave her leave to stand up and readjust her dress. Her troubles were not over however. No sooner had she eased her knickers back over her swollen bottom than Lord Caylethorpe, in a thoroughly bad temper by now, slapped the cane back into her hand and ordered to continue with the task which she had been commanded to perform. “Make sure you make a better job of it this time!” he warned her. “If I find it necessary to stop you and correct your failure to obey instructions once more then, once we have finished punishing your mistress and dismissed her, you may remain behind and replace her over the stool for a thrashing of your own! Do I make myself clear?”
Miserably Vivienne nodded and stepped up to the mark once more weeping almost as much as the wretched offender she was supposed to be chastising. The other girls held their breaths as Vivienne recommenced the caning for they were sure that her efforts would prove woefully inadequate in his Lordship’s estimation. But the fear of another dreadful caning was sufficient to spur Vivienne to much greater application. She flailed away desperately at her Ladyship’s tortured rear and if her strokes were not as strong as those of her colleagues she at least tried her best and acquitted herself satisfactorily from that point of view to spare herself her master’s further ire. Lady Caylethorpe at least saved Vivienne’s face by wailing continuously throughout the duration of the little girl’s contribution to the collective effort. By this time her nether portions were so inflamed and tender that merely touching them was painful and even Vivienne’s feeble swings were sufficient to stoke the flames burning in those mistreated regions.
Finally Carol stepped up to take the cane. This was doubly unfortunate for Lady Caylethorpe. Sandra had been somewhat restrained by her innate kindness, Monica to a certain extent by her reluctance to exceed the requirements of her duty and Vivienne by her timidity. None of the above applied to Carol. She was the one girl present who could match her mistress for malicious cruelty and vindictiveness. She despised Lady Caylethorpe with a passion and alone among the girls she was truly looking forward to taking the cane to her hated mistress’s aristocratic rump. She had relished every minute of watching her Ladyship’s reduction from haughty despot to a humiliated and degraded heap of flesh to be whipped.
Carol’s hatred for her mistress bordered on the obsessive. The two women had taken an early instinctive dislike for each other and Lady Caylethorpe had demonstrated her distaste for Carol by continuously singling her out to punish her for her real and imagined faults. Carol could probably have lived with her Ladyship’s persecution of her. Certainly she had been waging a covert war of revenge against her mistress for some time now; quietly breaking small but valuable objects of hers or spitting into her tea before serving it to her. In one of her more audacious actions she had once contaminated her Ladyship’s soup with some traces of dog droppings left lying by one of his Lordship’s retrievers and gloried when her Ladyship had come down with a stomach bug which kept her bedbound for a week. Whilst waiting in fearful anticipation for Carol to resume her beating Lady Caylethorpe might well have reflected that Carol was a bad enemy to make. It was another more secret reason why Carol’s hatred was inflamed beyond even its usual level of intensity now though. Oddly enough this sly and sadistic girl had a soft spot to her. She was secretly and deeply in love with the pretty little Vivienne. Mistreatment to herself she could have brushed aside but to see the object of her ardent devotion maltreated filled her with vengeful rage. Twice in the space of a week now she had had to witness her adored Vivienne suffer under the strokes of the cane as a result of her Ladyship’s malignant actions or influence. Now it was time to pay her back in kind. She took the cane from her beloved Vivienne and stepped forward licking her lips in pleasure at the chance to get even.
She took a few seconds to contemplate the forlorn creature her mistress had become, as she limbered up with the cane. Lady Caylethorpe was weeping softly in quiet despair now. Even she must have known in part the debt Carol owed her and as she trembled awaiting the moment for Carol to commence her part of the proceedings she could have had little doubt that her torment was about to ratchet up another notch. Sadistically Carol tried a few practice swings and delighted inwardly to hear her mistress groan at the sound of the loud swishing. She was going to enjoy this!
“Please proceed Carol.” Lord Caylethorpe commanded. Carol started out of her gloating. His Lordship was regarding her carefully with a frown on his face. It was evident he thought she was making rather too much of a meal of the job. Hastily Carol curtsied and wiped the smugness from her face; forcing herself to appear impassive. She drew her arm back to its fullest extent, pausing just long enough to augment the torture of anticipation in her mistress and then, putting all her f***e behind it, she lashed the cane down. Lady Caylethorpe’s swollen buttocks jumped under the vicious impact of the cane and her long piercing screech was like the agonised wailing of the tormented lost souls of the damned in the furnaces of hell. It sounded like beautiful bird song to Carol’s biased ears. As she lifted the cane once more she saw a few specks of bl**d appear on her mistress’s bottom. The sight excited her. Suddenly she wanted to make her Ladyship bleed properly. With that she swept the cane down once more with all her strength, aiming to strike the exact same spot the last stroke had landed on and she was rewarded with another maniacal scream for her effort. With enormous satisfaction she began to work the cane up and down her mistress’s buttocks and thighs with systematic cruelty. Her Ladyship was shrieking like a woman possessed. Her flaming rear had now coalesced into a single burning field of pain with each new stroke merely adding fuel to the flames. She was drenched with sweat as she writhed helplessly under the assault of the cane and she clenched her fists, digging her fingernails deep into her palms. She could taste bl**d in her mouth where she had bitten her lip and her throat was sore and hoarse from screaming. She felt a red mist come across her blurred vision and she descended into some dreadful nether world where nothing else seemed real except the constant agony of the cane upon her flesh. Even her screams seemed to come from far away as if it was somebody else emitting them, Her entire world had shrunk to a couple of square feet of her own tortured flesh.
Carol was taking as long as she dared between strokes, wanting to prolong her mistress’s agony as long as possible but she glanced up to notice her master regarding her with a jaundiced eye once more. In consequence she decided hastily that she had better finish the job quickly. Thus she finished with a flourish, landing the last dozen or so blows in a rapid tattoo. Lady Caylethorpe reared up against her bonds, every muscle in her body tensed and tossing her head from side to side as the cane blurred in its motion landing time and again in quick succession. There was no time to react to each individual stroke and her Ladyship gave vent to one single long, horrifying, ululating scream that would have curdled the bl**d of even her most unsympathetic detractors.
Carol, finished at last, stepped back triumphantly with her face flushed with excitement and breathing heavily. She could not tear her eyes from her tortured mistress. She had collapsed exhausted over the stool emitting odd a****l like keening noises. Sweat was literally dripping from her body and her chest heaved as she gasped air into her aching lungs. Carol had achieved her aim. Trickles of bl**d were now seeping down her mistress’s thighs and dripping from her to form tiny pools on the parquet floor.
Lord Caylethorpe held out his hand. “That will do now Carol I think. Please hand me the cane.” Reluctantly Carol handed over the cane. His Lordship regarded her thoughtfully. He was concerned that the young girl had seemed to enjoy that rather too much. She even looked aroused as if beating her mistress had given her a sexual thrill. It was somewhat disturbing. He determined to keep a close eye on this young lady. It appeared as if she might need taking down a peg or two. She would doubtless benefit from a sound good hiding herself sometime in the near future. Nevertheless there was nothing specific in her conduct of the beating that he could in all honesty take issue with so he merely instructed her to return to her place in the line and tabled his concerns to be looked into at a later date.
His Lordship stepped back into position behind his wife. “I will now conclude the punishment with the last fifty strokes.” he informed her curtly. Lady Caylethorpe no longer had even the strength to protest she simply shuddered and wept in unmitigated misery. His Lordship did not slacken the f***e of his arm in merciful deference to his wife’s wretched condition. The last fifty strokes were as thorough as ever the first fifty had been. Her Ladyship had lost the strength to struggle. She merely lay inertly, her body jerking almost inanimately under the f***e of the blows on her flesh. She could scarcely even raise the strength to scream and her vocalisations consisted of hoarse grunts and mewling cries. In truth she was barely conscious during the latter part of her beating. The pain had reached a threshold beyond which her body could not endure anymore and was forcing her into merciful oblivion. The bl**d was flowing freely down her thighs now and the cane was pink with it as it raised little sprays of the crimson liquid each time it lashed her buttocks. With the exception of Carol the girls did not enjoy this final act of the punishment. It seemed to them that enough was enough. Their mistress had been taught a salutary lesson and this further torment was just unnecessary cruelty. Three hundred strokes was more than anybody should be asked to endure. They wanted it to end now.
Finally it did end however and Lord Caylethorpe laid down the cane at last. His wife lay in a swoon over the stool, twitching spasmodically as if the cane was still striking her. Satisfied that this was one lesson his wife would never forget, his Lordship nodded at the line of girls. “You may un-strap your mistress now girls. Please assist her to her chambers and attend to her wounds.” The girls unfastened her Ladyship’s bonds soberly. She could not stand unaided and Sandra and Carol had to support her over their shoulders. Lord Caylethorpe refrained from delivering a final lecture on his wife’s future behaviour since she was in no fit state to comprehend it. There would be time enough to discuss her future conduct once she had recovered somewhat but still had the ache in her rear and the painful memory fresh in her mind to focus her attention. Right now it was more important that she be allowed to lie down, recuperate and have her rear end bathed and treated with ointment.
Carol picked up the chamber pot to dispense the contents. Little Vivienne picked up her mistress’s clothes uncertainly. “Please my Lord?” she asked timidly. “Should we dress Her Ladyship?”
Lord Caylethorpe shook his head. “No. She should be bathed and have her wounds seen to before she is allowed to dress again. Take her clothes with you. If her modesty and dignity are compromised by having the rest of the household see her naked and beaten well it is no less than she deserves. Perhaps she will hesitate before making a public spectacle of her maids again in future. You are all dismissed.” His Lordship watched the little troop file out with Sandra and Monica virtually carrying their mistress between them. Once alone his Lordship took another glass of brandy and carried it over to his favourite leather bound armchair to take his ease after such a disagreeable day. He swilled the amber liquid around in the glass and savoured the aroma. At least he had done his duty. There would be no further doubt about the inviolability of his regulations now; no doubt in fact who was master in this house.