Joe and his elder brother, James, had both been caught smoking something that was not tolerated in any way in the Williams' household and the boys were in the family room anxiously awaiting their father's decision as to their punishment.
Would it be a "grounding" for the last week of the school holidays? Would it be the withdrawal of privileges? Would it be a clean up job around the property?
"Surely," Joe asked his brother, "it wouldn't be a belting. What do you think, James?"
"Your guess is as good as mine," his brother replied. "But I'll tell you this. If we get a belting, I won't be too pleased with you. They were your cigarettes and you were the one that suggested we have a smoke. You told me no one was about to catch us."
"I didn't think anyone was about," Joe replied. "But in any case, there was nothing to prevent you saying 'no' was there? After all, you're older than I am and Dad will no doubt say you should have stopped me."
"Well, whatever the punishment is going to be, neither of us can really say we weren't warned, now can we?" James asked.
"I suppose not," Joe replied. "But I still don't want a thrashing. The last time I got it I couldn't sit down for three days."
"Tough!" his brother replied.
"Anyhow," James added. "If we do get thrashed you'll get out of it lighter. I'll probably get the whip. But, on the other hand, it might not be that bad. Let's wait and see."
The two boys didn't have long to wait. Their father arrived looking non too pleased with either of the boys. He had brought the whip with him and laid it on the desk. Joe assumed that James would be the one to be whipped whilst he would be strapped with his father's belt as was the case on previous occasions.
Joe, who was just 14, had never before experienced the whip although he realised that when he turned 15 the situation may well change. This was the age when James had experienced his first taste of the whip.
On the occasions when Joe needed to be punished a good belting always seemed to serve its purpose and the boy quickly settled down to his usual well behaved self.
However, James, who was 17, had felt the whip on several occasions and clearly anticipated the severity of his forthcoming punishment.
"Smoking! their father exclaimed. "You know that I have told you that smoking is absolutely prohibited in this household. Who brought these cigarettes into our home?"
"I did, Dad," Joe promptly answered his father. He knew not to hesitate when he was asked a direct question.
"You did, Joe! Well that does it! I shall be back in a few moments and whilst I am away the pair of you can strip for a good thrashing. You can also think on how foolish you've both been to disobey my clear instructions on smoking. And you, young man," he said turning to Joe, "I've got news for you. I think it's high time you had a taste of the whip the same as your brother."
With that he stormed out of the room.
Joe couldn't believe what he had just heard. The whip! Whilst he had never before had a whipping, he had never even been present when James had been whipped.
The boy was already in tears as he and his brother stripped for their punishment. Joe removed his singlet, track suit pants and shoes and stood there naked except for his boxer shorts. James, trying hard not to show his anxiety, stripped to his briefs.
When the time came for punishment, both of them would remove their underwear and bend over the desk. Their father was a firm believer that punishments should never be administered lightly and were to be delivered with the maximum possible force that he could wield.
To do otherwise might risk that the punishment would not be fully effective and that the boys would not learn by their mistakes.
Joe asked James just how bad a whipping would be.
"Well, let's put it this way," James replied. "It'll be a new experience for you. A strapping with the belt is nothing at all compared to the whip. With the belt, you get one wide strip of leather across your backside. When Dad flays the whip across your backside, seven thin strips of leather will cut across you. You'll feel it all right. It'll hurt like hell."
"And," he added, "make sure you hold the desk strongly. If you flinch or jump during punishment, you'll get a caning as well. Dad believes you should take your punishment like a man."
"How hard is it to stay still?" Joe asked. "It's going to hurt, I just know. Do you manage to stay still when you've been whipped?"
"Not usually. I've managed before when I've only had six lashes, but I've never lasted any more than that."
"How many do you think we'll get?"
"I don't know. But if I get the opportunity, I'll go first and you can watch how I hold myself down. Also, with any luck he might be tired by the time it's your turn and it may not be as hard."
Their father returned, took the whip in hand and addressed the boys.
"Well, I hope you've both had plenty of time to reflect on your wrongdoing. Who's going to be first? In fact, I think it might be an idea, James, if you went first and showed young Joe how to take a whipping. You've had plenty of experience at this!"
James dropped his briefs and approached the desk.
"How many am I going to get, Dad?" he asked.
"We'll let that be a surprise, young man. But you can be assured that it will be enough to make sure you won't want to go smoking again for a long time. And don't forget to count each stroke, as usual, and make sure it's loud enough so we can both hear it. Right?"
With that, James spread himself across the desk and grasped the other side firmly to hold himself steady. How long could he do so, he wondered?
"Get your feet apart," his father ordered.
"Sorry, Sir," the boy replied as he spread his feet apart so that his buttocks were exposed for the full force of the punishment.
Joe carefully observed the procedure in preparing for punishment. He was already terrified.
His father flexed the whip and then positioned the split ends across his son's bottom, ready to take aim and to commence the beating. He then drew it back high over his shoulders in readiness for the first stroke. The whip flew through the air culminating in a loud thwack as the seven supple thongs of leather were laid to rest across his son's naked bottom. As it flayed across James' buttocks, the lad called, "One, Sir."
Joe was horrified. He had never experienced anything like this before and was frozen with fear.
. . . . "Two, Sir" . . . "Three, Sir" . . . "Four, Sir" . . . "Five, Sir" . . . The sixth stroke was particularly severe and the boy let out a mighty scream as his body writhed in agony. "Six, Sir". . .
"Get up!" his father ordered.
The lad obeyed instantly and as he reached the upright position immediately began to rub his buttocks in an attempt to relieve the excruciating pain.
"Now, explain to your brother the consequences of moving during punishment, James."
"I already have, Dad. I told him that if we moved during punishment we'd get a caning as well. He already knows that."
"How right you are. Joe, get me the cane out of the cupboard, please."
Joe handed his father the cane, as instructed.
His father flexed the cane several times whilst the lad stood in anticipation. The sound of the two warm up strokes as the cane swished in the air sent shivers down his spine. Psychologically, the sound of the cane was almost as strong a punishment as the actual cuts.
"Right, boy, touch your toes."
The boy obeyed. His father positioned the cane and after a few light movements across the boy's buttocks, two mighty strokes thundered through James' entire body as the cane made contact with the young man.
"So you know what to expect, Joe?" he asked, addressing his younger son as he again reached for the whip.
"Resume the punishment position, James."
James moved across to the desk and again spreadeagled himself, determined to hold firmly for fear of another caning.
"Spread your feet . . . further", ordered his father.
As the boy obeyed, his father again positioned the whip across the lad's buttocks.
"Right, continue counting."
As the whip continued to lash across his bare bottom, James called, "Seven, Sir• . . . "Eight, Sir• . . . "Nine, Sir" . . . "Ten, Sir" . . . and again he jumped.
"I'm sorry, Dad," he called "I couldn't help it."
"That's all right. It doesn't concern me . . . but it will concern you, young man. Hand me the cane again, Joe."
Joe handed his father the cane and again James touched his toes. Another two strokes were laid across his bottom. The boy was in tears. James' punishment was completed with two more solid lashes of the whip and the boy was told to stand.
"Have you learnt your lesson yet, Son?" he asked.
"Yes, Sir," the boy replied.
"Put your briefs back on and you may now observe your brother getting his first whipping."
"Joe!" the boys' father commanded. "Shorts off and centre stage, young man!"
It was Joe's turn and he was petrified. There was no doubt about that. As instructed, he removed his boxer shorts in anticipation of his first whipping.
"Dad, couldn't I please still just have the belt?"
"No way, young man. The time has come for you to receive the same punishment as your brother, especially in view of the fact that you were the one that brought the cigarettes into the house."
"But . . . ."
"No 'buts' about it, Joe. Now do you know what's required of you? Have you been observing carefully?"
"Well, tell me what you have to do and don't leave anything out."
Joe was already crying uncontrollably as he recounted the necessary details to his father.
"I must bend over the desk with my feet apart so my buttocks are spread, Sir."
"I must count each stoke aloud and I must not move."
"And if you do?"
"Then I have to get the cane as well."
"Right, take the punishment position."
"How many am I going to get, Dad?"
"Didn't you listen, Joe? I said you were to get the same punishment as your brother. Now how many is that?"
"Twelve strokes, Sir."
"Right. Over the desk."
Joe moved to the desk and positioned himself in readiness. He grasped the other side of the desk, firmly, as James had advised him. The whip was positioned lightly across his naked bottom and suddenly it flayed into him with a mighty force.
The boy screamed and jumped high into the air. Just one stroke and he had been unable to remain still. How on earth was he going to take twelve lashes?
"One, Sir," he said in a faltering voice.
"Now, what's next, Joe?"
His father reached for the cane. Poor Joe was extremely anxious as he had never previously been caned on the bare backside. How bad would it be, he wondered? He held his breath as his father again flexed the cane and swished it through the air.
"Right, boy, touch your toes."
Joe did as instructed. He bent over low. The cane was positioned across his buttocks, and then two savage strokes made contact with his naked bottom. It was every bit as bad as the whip Joe thought to himself.
"Get up, Joe," his father commanded after the second cut of the cane. "Back to the desk!"
Joe again spread himself over the desk and the second stroke of the whip lashed across his buttocks. James was right. Seven thin strips of leather on the bare backside was a great deal more painful than the one strip of leather that he was used to when the belt had been used.
"Two, Sir," he acknowledged. He hadn't moved at all. He was pleased.
"Three, Sir . . . . still he didn't move."
But as the fourth stroke lashed his bottom and he called "Four, Sir" he again jumped.
He did not have to be told what to do. Joe moved to the centre of the room and bent over low as another two cuts of the cane were administered. Would this punishment never end?
"Joe, would you like James to hold you down for the rest of your whipping?" his father asked.
"So long as you both understand that if you move again, Joe, your brother will also be caned. James, do you want to take that risk?"
"I'll sit on him," replied James. "That'll stop him from moving."
Joe again bent over the desk and James sat on his brother's back. It seemed to work.
"Five, Sir . . . Six, Sir . . . Seven, Sir . . . Eight, Sir . . ."
Joe hadn't moved at all and was proud of himself.
"Nine, Sir . . . Ten, Sir."
But at the tenth stroke Joe jumped high into the air and James went sprawling.
"Sorry, Joe," James said to his brother. You moved so much I just couldn't hold you."
"It's not your fault, James. I'm sorry. Now you're going to get it, too. Dad, could I take the cuts for James as well? It's not his fault. He was only trying to help me."
"No, Joe. James knew what would happen if you moved. Right, James?"
James had already removed his briefs and was awaiting his two cuts of the cane.
"Yes, Sir. I knew what to expect."
James buttocks were already raw after his twelve lashes with the whip and four cuts of the cane. Another two cuts would make little visible difference to the boy.
At least this gave Joe some breathing space, even if just for a minute or so while James was caned. He really felt those two cuts as he was already so sore.
Joe then took his turn with the cane as it cut across his backside. Before resuming his position over the desk for the remainder of his whipping he spoke to his brother.
"James, I want to try to manage the last two without your help. I don't want the risk of you being in trouble again."
"Are you sure? I don't mind helping you."
"Yes, I'm sure but thanks anyhow. In fact, thanks very much, indeed."
The final two lashes with the whip were hard, but perhaps not as hard as the earlier ones. His father realised it was his first whipping and he had already taken ten strokes plus another six cuts of the cane. He felt the boy was learning his lesson.
Nevertheless, those last two lashes were still an excruciating experience for any fourteen year old boy, particularly young Joe who had never experienced this before. Indeed, he didn't want to have to experience it again for a long period of time if ever.
"Get dressed, the pair of you and I'll be back to speak with you shortly," their father said as he collected both the whip and the cane before he left the room.
The two lads got dressed as before. James put his briefs, shorts and shoes back on. Joe redressed in his boxer shorts, track suit pants and singlet and, of course, his shoes.
James had calmed down a little but was still visibly upset. Joe still hadn't stopped crying.
"You were sure right, James," Joe said. "A whipping is a really awful punishment. I don't want that again too often."
"I'll say one thing in its favour for the whip compared to the belt," James commented. "When you do get it, it sure teaches you to be obedient for a lot longer. I used to get a belting much more frequently when I was your age, but once Dad whipped me I soon learnt to keep out of trouble."
Their father returned.
"Well, boys," he asked. "Do you think the smoking was worth the consequences?"
"No, Sir," they both replied.
"I'll never smoke again, Dad," Joe added. "I've learnt my lesson."
"Well, let's hope so because you know what to expect if it happens again or if there's any more disobedience, don't you boys?"
"Yes, Sir," they both replied.
And generally they both did learn the importance of obedience. Nevertheless, the occasional whippings were still needed as a reminder from time to time.