David Anderson and Daniel Sutcliffe
"Next," said the deputy head. "Anderson and Sutcliffe." The assembled teachers sighed. These two boys were the bane of our lives for any of us who had the misfortune to teach them. Though clever, they were permanently anchored at the bottom of the form order and renowned for their lack of work and their willingness to be involved in any kind of mischief going.
And this was in spite of the strict regime that the school ran. About half of us kept old gymshoes in our desks and applied them to the taut backsides of any boy who we thought merited it. The deputy head, who was running the school during the long illness of the headmaster, used a cane pretty freely. Anderson and Sutcliffe were regular visitors to his office to be beaten. And in addition there was a system of credits and debits: three debits meant a detention; three detentions, another caning. Under this system, the two boys were in detention almost every Friday night, and – the deputy head consulted the punishment book in front of him – he had caned them six times since the start of the year.
"It seems to me," said the deputy head, "that corporal punishment is failing with these two. Maybe we should try something different."
"Such as what?" said Mr Dicker who taught them science.
"Letters to their fathers?" offered Mr Jones.
"Well, that would just mean another beating, wouldn't it?"
"We could put them on report, so that they have to have a sheet of paper signed after every lesson to say that they've been good."
"And if they haven't?"
A shrug of the shoulders. Back and forth the discussion went, but no easy answers were forthcoming. Something would have to be done, but no one seemed to know what.
"I believe I may have an answer." I couldn't stand this whinging any longer. I had only been in the school almost a year and I knew that I had gained a reputation for dealing severely with miscreants. "I overheard the pair of them talking in my changing room last week. It was just after they'd been caned the last time. They were showing each other the marks. But basically, they were just laughing about it. They said that they'd had three whacks for their detentions and they'd hardly felt it. I know boys show off about taking their beatings bravely, but I got them to show me the marks and they weren't badly bruised at all.
"Now. These lads remind me of how I was when I was their age, and the thing that got me back on the straight and narrow was when my PT master took me in hand and gave me the absolute thrashing of my life. I suspect that corporal punishment would work – but only if you hit them a good deal harder than you're doing at the moment."
"Hear, hear," said old Mr Sharwood, the Latin master. "I'd use a birch on them."
"No, no, that's out of the question," said the deputy. "But your idea has a great deal of merit, Franklin. What do you other fellows think?"
"It's worth a try, anyway," said Mr Dicker.
"I suggest we hand them over to young Franklin" said Mr Langton, the French master. "He seems to have the right idea. And if it doesn't work, it's not as though anyone senior has failed again, is it?"
"Would you be willing to give it a try?" asked the deputy.
"If you like," I said, "provided I'm not going to get any trouble from their fathers or anything."
"I don't think you need worry on that score," said the deputy. "Anderson doesn't have a father, and I know for a fact that Sutcliffe would do anything for his father not to find out he's in trouble."
The second form had gym next morning, just before the lunch break. I kept the two boys behind. I put the facts to them. They hung their heads. They couldn't deny any of them. And then came the crunch.
"As from now, you are under my orders," I said. "You will be back here this afternoon by ten past four, changed into gym kit. And I am going to cane you. It will be six strokes, and I suspect a good deal harder than any beating you've had so far. And a lot harder than the whackings with my slipper I know you enjoyed so much. And I would make sure that you're perfectly behaved this afternoon, because if I hear of even the slightest misbehaviour your caning will be on your bare backsides. Is that understood?"
"Off you go."
I didn't get back to the changing room until half past four. During fourth form games half a dozen boys had thought it would be fun to dump one of the littlest boys into a cow pat. I made them pick up every cow pat on the rugger pitch – with their hands – and then gave their backsides a roasting with the gymshoe. I was glad that Sutcliffe and Anderson would have to wait for me and I visited the staff room in order to make their wait a bit longer. To tell you the truth I was quite excited at the prospect of caning these two and was secretly hoping that I'd have a reason for making them drop their shorts.
The two boys were shivering slightly. They were well built young lads with deep chests and strong legs. Sutcliffe had his hands down the front of his shorts but whipped them out as soon as he saw me. Their shorts were obviously the ones they'd been bought nearly two years ago when they came to the grammar school because they were quite tight and looked a bit threadbare.
I went straight to my locker and took out the cane. It wasn't just a length of bamboo like they used in gym lessons for various activities, but a proper punishment cane with a hooked handle. I could see their eyes were fixed on it, so I gave it a couple of swishes in front of their faces, letting them hear how it sang through the air. Both of them flinched a bit.
"Looking forward to it?" I asked.
"No, sir," they said.
"Good. Anything I ought to know about this afternoon?"
"Your homeworks for Mr Acton were very poor, weren't they?"
"I'm not sure whether that merits having your beating with nothing on or not," I said. "Into the gym."
I followed them into the gym and then directed them getting out a couple of the beams and securing them so one was the right height for them to bend over, and the other fixed about a foot higher than they could reach.
"This is how it's going to be from now on, until I think you are both reformed characters. Every afternoon – yes, that's right, every afternoon – you are going to come in here, get undressed and get the beams out like this. And then, if you've done anything to deserve it, I'm going to cane you again. If I have to cane you more than once in any week, you'll get it on your bare backsides. And, believe me, I would like it very much if I had to do that. So, for the rest of the week, you'll be here by four fifteen, stripped off – naked – ready for any punishment that you've earned.
"Now. Anderson, come and bend over." I led him to the beam and made him bend over so his chest was on the top of it and then spread his arms out along the beam. Then I kicked his feet apart till he was well spread and his shorts were nice and tight over his backside. "That's how I want you bent over when it's your turn," I told Sutcliffe. "Now jump up and hang off that other beam till it's your turn." He did it and then I turned my attention to the first boy I was going to cane.
His bottom was muscular and lean. His thighs were trembling a bit. I measured my distance by laying the last foot of the cane across the middle of both buttocks, then stepped back carefully so that I could be sure of exactly how the cane was going to hit him.
"Right," I said. "You will stay in that position, chest on the beam, legs straight, till I tell you to get up. If you don't, your shorts will come down and we'll start the beating again."
And with the same I ran at him, launching myself into the stroke. The cane sang in the air and exploded like a pistol shot across his backside.
"Aagh!" he yelled and his chest reared up off the beam, but he realised what he was doing and was back in the position immediately. I stepped back to my starting position, counting off the thirty seconds I wanted him to wait between the strokes.
I took aim, pointing the tip of the cane at the point on his backside where I wanted the next to land. I launched myself into it and again the cane lashed into him. This time it was a little lower. He yelled again and his hands slid off the beam, scrabbling for a hold on something. This time he took a couple of seconds to be back in the position.
"Be very careful, Anderson," I said. "Move like that again and we'll be starting again from the beginning."
And immediately I whipped the cane in for the third stroke. He yelled and held on to the beam for dear life, but he managed to hold still. His shorts were so tight that I could see the redness of the three weals through the cloth.
"Get up," I said. "Swap places." Painfully he stood up and rubbed at his backside with both hands. Sutcliffe dropped off his beam and came to where he had to bend over. He looked scared but it was clear he wanted to get it over with. Without my having to tell him he took up the position on the beam. I had to threaten Anderson with extra strokes before he would jump up and hang off the beam.
Slowly and very hard I applied the cane to Sutcliffe's taut shorts. His bottom was just as lean and firm with muscle as his friend's. He took the first one in silence, so I really lashed the next down across him. After the third he shot upright and his hands clutched at the pain. Too late, he remembered and bent over again.
But I was pretty confident that this was not going to be the only time these two were in this situation, so I decided to ignore it. "Get up," I told him. "Swap places."
Grim faced, they changed over again. Anderson came reluctantly to the beam. I knew full well from very painful personal experience that the second half was much, much worse than the first. I made him bend right over tight and then felt with my hand for the first three weals. They were swollen and hard under the thin cloth. He kind of whimpered a bit as I touched him, but this wasn't the time for softness.
I stood back and took aim, then whipped the cane in, just like I had for the first three strokes. Anderson howled and Sutcliffe dropped off the beam. I thought Anderson was going to break from the position but he was as good as gold, though you could tell how much he was suffering. Sutcliffe leapt for the beam again – he knew what might happen.
Briskly I went to him, took hold of the elastic of his shorts and yanked them down. He yelped as it scraped over the weals but I didn't stop till they were hanging off his ankles. Across the white flesh of his bottom the three stripes were dark crimson, already turning to blue and black. Now he knew that he was in serious _s_h_i_t_.
Anderson was waiting for the rest of his beating. And now I gave it to him. Nice and slow, and as hard as I could. I had whacked lots of boys in the last year, but this was the worst I'd handed out so far. The little sod hardly stopped wailing in between and his cries of agony were shrill, and if I hadn't been such a hard-faced bastard I'd have felt sorry for him. After the sixth he stayed there bent over, terrified that there might be more.
"Get up," I told him and he straightened up. "Don't rub your backside," I snapped as his hands went to the seat of his shorts. "Now get those shorts off and get back on the beam till I've finished with Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe, come and bend over."
"Can I put my shorts back on, sir?" he pleaded as he dropped to the floor.
"Yes," I said, and he stooped for them. But I was being the complete bastard today. "When I've finished caning you."
He gulped and I thought I saw a trace of a tear come to his eye. But he came to the beam, kicking off his shorts, and bent himself over like he'd done before. He reminded me so much of myself at his age that it would have been the easiest thing in the world to let him put his shorts on, or even let him off the rest of his beating. But I knew that that wouldn't have the desired effect – and it also wouldn't have been fair after Anderson had already had his full six. I also wanted them to know that I was perfectly prepared to thrash them across the bare backside.
The three weals across the white of his bottom were vivid red and blue. I suppose I must have caned him a little bit easier than the first three, but he wouldn't have noticed the difference. Each of the three strokes cracked into him and he howled in agony. After the second his feet did a queer little dance and I had to tell him to hold still and wait till he was settled down before I gave him the last.
Then I made him hang off the beam alongside Anderson while I admired my handiwork across their muscular little backsides. Sutcliffe was kind of groaning and I was pretty sure that there was a tear or two on Anderson' face, but I wasn't going to embarrass him by looking too closely.
"Right," I said. "That is what life is going to be like from now on. You'll be back here tomorrow, four-fifteen at the latest, stripped off with the beams out, ready for the second instalment – if you deserve it. Off you go."
Thankfully, they dropped off the beam and scarpered into the changing room with their hands clamped to their lacerated bums.
Davidson and I had been sent on a cross-country run by Murfield, the head prefect because we'd been badly turned out on parade that morning. He'd been in a foul mood for some reason and we'd been ordered to run the senior cross country. This was over four miles and it was pouring with rain. By the time we got back it was nearly dark and there were only five minutes before tea. It was egg and chips that night and if we were late we might not get any – apart from being punished for missing the grace bell.
We peeled off our filthy kit and dropped it in a soggy heap on the tiled floor. Our legs were plastered with filth and mud, but there was very little time. The first bell had gone already.
"Are you going to shower?" I asked.
"There's no time," said Davidson. "We can do it after prep."
With towels we dried off as best we could and pulled our clothes on and ran for the dining hall. Murfield was on duty at the door and was just about to ring the bell.
"Just a moment, you two. Have you had showers after your run?"
"Yes, Murfield," Davidson lied, like we always did when challenged by a prefect.
"Pull up your trouser leg," Murfield ordered and we had to do it. We were condemned by the obvious filth of our limbs.
"Well, well," he said, enjoying himself. "It seems to me I could either send you to wait at my study and then cane you when I've had my egg and chips, or I could give you a worse punishment after prep and let you have some tea. Which is to be."
"After prep," I said. At that moment I didn't care how bad the punishment was provided I got some egg and chips.
"Very well. Report to my study immediately after your prep."
And I didn't give it another thought. OK so we were going to be caned. I'd been caned before and it wasn't that bad. It hurt a lot for five minutes, then a bit for about an hour, and then it was over. How bad could his punishment be?
We arrived at his study within five minutes of being released from prep. He still moaned about us taking our time, though. He barely looked up from the work he was doing but told us to go and change back into the kit we'd run the cross country in. Back in five minutes or we'd get extra whacking.
We charged off to the washroom. Unfortunately, in our haste, neither of us had watched where we were dropping our kit and it was soaking wet and filthy. We stripped off our clothes and pulled it on and charged back downstairs to Murfield's study. He looked us over like shoddy goods that he was having to consider buying. Without a word he stood up and picked up a huge rubber-soled gymshoe from the bookshelf. He brought it down with a huge SLAP on the table, then pointed it at Davidson and indicated that he should bend over the back of the armchair. We'd both been caned in here before now, so this wasn't any mystery. Davidson draped himself over the chair in the approved fashion, his head right down in the seat so that his backside was sticking up and his shorts were tight over his rear end. Murfield stood well back, took aim perfunctorily and launched himself into an almighty whack.
"Up." Davidson stood up and rubbed at his bottom with both hands. The gymshoe waved at me and I had to take his place over the chair. My shorts were really wet and felt as though they were sticking to my skin. It also felt like they would give me no protection at all. "Are you wearing underpants, Gandy?"
"Yes, Murfield." I hadn't thought there would be anything wrong with that.
"Drop your shorts and get those pants down too. Then bend over again." Naked! I'd never been whacked with nothing on, though I knew that it happened pretty frequently.
"Can't I put my shorts back on?"
"No. Take an extra whack for arguing."
I pushed the horrible shorts down over my bottom and then eased my pants down as well, just far enough to leave my buttocks exposed. But that wasn't good enough.
"All the way down, boy." I lowered them to my ankles and draped myself once more over the chair. The air was cold on my arse and I just knew that this was going to make me yell. I heard his shoes on the floor and then, a split second later, the gymshoe hit me SMACK across both cheeks and my rear end was going up in flames. The second landed right on the same spot and the pain redoubled.
"Up." I straightened up and painfully massaged the stinging flesh. Awkwardly I pulled my clothes back up and watched as Murfield, without a word, went to where Davidson was waiting, pulled the elastic away from his front and peered down into his groin. "Get them down, Davidson, and bend over."
Davidson received a second whack also on his bare bottom, which I noticed was bright red from the first whack.
"Right. Cold shower, get dressed, back here. You've got ten minutes."
We sprinted away, pulling off our running shirts as we went. The cold water was horrible but we guessed that he would check that we had cleaned the mud off and made sure that nothing was left. We dried ourselves and pulled on our clothes. Davidson was just ahead of me as we ran back to Murfield's study, but we arrived together.
This time it was the cane that he reached for when he stood up. He pointed it at me and said, "Touch your toes." I bent over and gripped my ankles in the standard punishment position. He lifted my blazer and pulled my shirt out of the back of my trousers. The cane sang through the air and landed square across both my buttocks which were throbbing still from the gymshoe. "Up." Then it was Davidson's turn. Swish-crack! the cane sang through the air and sliced into his slim little arse. We were both rubbing at the seat of our trousers then.
"Back into games kit," he announced, "and do it right this time."
Off we ran. Washroom. Strip. Back into the filthy running kit. Charge back to Murfield's study. Davidson first over the chair. SMACK! with the gymshoe. Then my turn. Bend over. Hold my breath. SMACK! right on the same smarting areas of my bum. At least this time it was only one, but those wet shorts hardly protected me at all.
"Cold shower. Get dressed again. Last one back gets two."
Up to the washroom. Strip. Into the shower. _f_u_c_k_! that cold water was horrible. By now my towel was getting pretty wet so that when I pulled on my clothes I was still partly wet. I was ready first and set off.
"Hang on," said Davidson. "If we arrive together he can't give either of us extra."
It made sense. We made sure neither of us was last – so he gave both of us two! The cunt! The cane sliced into our thinly protected backsides and staying silent for it was almost impossible.
"Back into kit, please."
So for the third time we undressed and put on the dirty running gear, and for the third time we bent over the back of his chair for a whack with the gymshoe.
"Cold shower. Back here in pyjamas."
Genuinely racing now, we skidded to a halt outside his study, anticipating with some horror the thought of his rattan slicing into the seat of our pyjamas. Davidson touched his toes. SWISH-CRACKK!! "Jees!" He clutched at his bottom as he stood up. The cane waved me into place and I bent over. My pyjamas were worn thin in the backside and my bottom felt as though it had been roasted. I heard the cane sing through the air and again my poor suffering flesh exploded.
Was that the end? Of course not. Change into kit again. Again the gymshoe slapping our bums. Cold shower.
"_f_u_c_k_ that!" I said and defiantly turned the handle to Hot.
Was that bastard clairvoyant? He turned up while we were still in the shower, and there was nothing we could do about the steam. He stood and watched us for a full five minutes while the icy water cascaded on to our heads and bodies. There was no escaping it.
This time when we got back to his study he made us drop our trousers and touch our toes for three really vicious cuts of the cane. We knew about and discussed often the fact that sometimes boys were caned with only shorts or pyjamas as protection, but the reality was ten times worse than I had ever imagined. With only one layer of thin cloth to diffuse the pain it seemed as though the thin rattan was slicing deep into the muscles of my bottom. The sting of that cane went right to the centre of my being and when I stood up I could feel the lines of fire printed right across the most tender part, where I would have to sit on them.
We stood facing him now with our hands clutching at the intolerable burning of our bums. Please, I was begging him inside my head, no more. Even now I would never have given the bastard the satisfaction of actually begging him, but please – please –
"Back into kit."
Away we had to dash again and pull on the disgusting kit. Back to Murfield's study for the sixth slap of the gymshoe, falling now on bruised and wealed flesh. Both of us yelped a bit, so intense was the pain.
"Cold shower. Get dressed. And this time ...." He hesitated for greater effect. "This time I'll have you in full corps uniform."
My heart sank. This was terrible.
"Murfield?" Davidson voiced my thought too. "Could you just whack us instead of giving us any more of this?"
He looked at us over the top of the newspaper he was now reading. "I could. But why should I? You've got two of the cane and one of the slipper to go. Alternatively, if you'd prefer, I'll give you six of the best and forget about it."
The phrase 'of the best' only meant one thing: on our bare backsides. I didn't think I could stand that much more beating.
"Which is it to be?"
"We'll keep going," I said.
'Corps uniforms' were kept in a special rack on the top corridor and we had to run up there and collect them. Horrid khaki battledress with a scratchy shirt, and then there was the boots, belt, beret and spats. All had to be spotless and I hated it more than I have ever hated anything else in my entire life.
After a perfunctory cold shower we dried and pulled on the hateful uniform, then pounded back to Murfield for the cane. For the first and only time I could see some benefit in the _f_u_c_k_ing uniform – the trousers were beautifully thick and Murfield's cane cracked harmlessly across our now well-armoured backsides.
For the last time – oh, how we prayed that it really was the last time – we changed back into running kit and reported for the gymshoe. It seemed as though the slap of the rubber sole was happening to someone else. The pain registered but somewhere a long way from my brain.
We presented ourselves again, just knowing that this was going to be the worst dose of the cane. He was bound to make us drop them.
"Well," he said. "What a pair of chumps you are. Are you going to be tempted to skive a shower in future?"
"No, Murfield," I muttered and could just hear Davidson saying the same alongside me.
"And are your arses stinging satisfactorily?"
"Good. I can't bear the sight of your beastly backsides any longer. So just _f_u_c_k_ off. And don't do it again."