The Verbera Prep School for Boys


by Plagosus

THE VERBERA PREP SCHOOL FOR BOYS

PART 1 DAVIDSON'S CANING

The thirteen-year-old boy knocked on the headmaster's door.

"Come in!" he heard through the thick panelled door.

The boy opened the door and walked nervously in.

"Yes?" said the headmaster.

"Mr Robertson told me to give you this, sir," stammered the boy as he started to hand the headmaster a folded note.

"Read me the note, boy," said the headmaster.

The boy unfolded the note and read "Davidson has been making a thorough nuisance of himself over the last few days and has failed to moderate his behaviour despite my threatening to send you to him. I shall be grateful if you will give him a sound thrashing."

"Anything to say for yourself boy?" said the headmaster.

"No sir. Sorry sir." said the boy.

"Right. A sound thrashing it is then," said the headmaster. "Have I thrashed you before?"

"No sir"

The headmaster stood up and moved round to the front of his desk. "Go and fetch the piano stool in the corner and place it in the middle of the room."

The boy obeyed.

"Remove your blazer and place it over the back of that chair," he said, pointing to a straight-backed chair.

The boy obeyed again.

"Right. Come over here," he said " and stand in front of the stool. Now take your trousers down; that's right, right down to your ankles. Now your pants please; that's it, right down to where your trousers are. Lift up your pullover and shirt to show me your bottom. A bit higher, we don't want them getting in the way do we? Now bend right over the stool. A little further please. Thank you."

For a few moments the headmaster contemplated the firm, round, smooth, white bottom. He then went to a cupboard and removed a thin cane about three feet long. He declined to swish it through the air as he considered this a vulgar theatrical gesture. He walked over and stood at the side of the boy. He placed the cane in the centre of the boy's bottom to steady himself and take aim. The buttocks tensed as the cane was lifted, but as the cane did not come down immediately they relaxed and at that precise moment the headmaster brought the cane down firmly with a very satisfying swish-crack which left a thin red line across the buttocks.

The boy gasped.

The next stroke landed a little lower.

The boy uttered a sound that can be spelled "Uhhhh!"

The next two strokes were aimed a little lower still, but one well to the left and the other well to the right to make sure that the sides had their fair share of punishment.

The boy pressed his lips together and made no noise.

The fifth stroke left its mark a little above the first and the sixth just slightly above the imaginary line that separates the buttocks from the thighs.

The boy cried "Eeh" with each stroke.

The headmaster smiled at the symmetrical pattern he had created and just as the boy was thinking that the punishment was at an end he finished off with three rapid stinging strokes very close to each other in the middle of the bottom.

The boy's body arched in pain as the final strokes were delivered.

"Stay down until I tell you to get up," said the headmaster. "Did that hurt boy?"

"Yes sir. Very much indeed sir."

"Repeat after me 'I have been a very naughty boy and so the headmaster made me take my trousers and pants down and caned me very hard on my bare bottom.'"

"I have been a very naughty boy and so the headmaster made me take my trousers and pants down and caned me very hard on my bare bottom." Later the boy felt rather silly at having to say the words, but at that precise moment he found it hard to concentrate on anything other than the burning sensation in his bottom.

"Right. Now stand up, put your hands on your head and turn and face me."

The boy did as he was told, the position of his trousers and pants making it awkward for him as he shuffled round. There were tears in his eyes, but they had not yet started to roll down his face. The tightness of the pullover momentarily kept the shirt above the waist.

"I hope you have learned your lesson and trust that you will not be sent to me again."

"No sir."

"You may now pull up your trousers and pants; I suggest you do so very carefully."

The boy complied with the final instruction and winced as he pulled his underpants over his well-whipped bottom.

"Off you go; don't come back."

The headmaster smiled as the boy closed the door behind him. "He'll be back," he said to himself.

PART 2 DAVIDSON'S TAWSING

As usual the headmaster was correct in his assessment. Davidson was back in the headmaster's study two weeks later with a note that read: "Despite the thrashing you gave him Davidson's behaviour has failed to improve, and has indeed worsened. Please administer an appropriate chastisement."

"It appears that the cane was not the right instrument to bring you into line. I think we shall have to try my tawse. Do you know what a tawse is boy?"

"I think it's some sort of strap sir," replied the boy.

"Correct. It's like a leather belt but a little wider and the end is cut into strips, just like this," he said opening a drawer and taking out the tawse and unrolling it front of the boy. It was indeed as the headmaster had described it and this particular specimen had three thongs cut into the end. It was not as heavy and vicious as some tawses in use, but in the headmaster's hands it could leave a boy with a very sore bottom. It should be noted that while the headmaster was a disciplinarian he felt there were strict limits to the amount of corporal punishment to which his pupils should be subjected. He had perfected the art of corporal punishment so that he could deliver the maximum amount of pain with the minimum amount of physical damage. The boys would experience intense pain in his study, but there would be little to show the next day. He knew that a savage beating would be counter-productive, quite apart from offending his aesthetic values.

The headmaster tucked the tawse under his arm, arose from his chair and went and fetched the piano stool himself and placed it in its customary position. The boy was surprised when the headmaster sat on the stool as he had expected to find himself draped over it. "I like to have boys over my knee when I am tawsing them," he said. "A tawsing takes a little longer than a caning and I find that towards the end boys tend to wriggle about a bit if I haven't got hold of them. Take your blazer off and put it over the chair and then come here and stand in front of me with your hands on your head."

The boy obeyed and stood as instructed. The headmaster placed the tawse on his lap and gently drew the boy a little nearer. He then undid the boy's belt. (He was pleased to note that it was regulation and therefore easy to undo). Next, he unclipped and unzipped the trousers. (Again regulation). With the weight of the belt and the contents of the pockets the trousers started to slide down and they were helped to the boy's ankles by the assured hands of the headmaster. He then picked up the tawse and motioned to the boy to get over his knee. When the boy was in position the headmaster took hold of the boy under the arms with one arm and with his other hand pushed the boy's shirt and pullover half way up the boy's back, revealing a near perfect bottom neatly clad in (regulation) white underpants. Remembering his caning, the boy was not surprised to feel the headmaster take hold of the waistband of his pants and draw them down to nestle in the hollows of his knees. Grasping the tawse firmly the headmaster raised his arm and brought the leather down. He continued stropping the boy's bare bottom steadily, working his way from just above the centre to the very tops of his thighs and then turning the boy towards him and then away from him so as not to miss the sides of the buttocks. The strokes were sharp, but not too hard, so that the effect was cumulative, rather than each individual stroke causing concentrated pain. When the headmaster had finished covering the whole bottom, it was a rather deep shade of pink. His intention however was to leave it properly red and so he started to repeat the whole process, only applying the tawse a little harder. As the thrashing progressed the boy started moving his body, at first slowly, then more a little more desperately and finally almost adopting a bucking motion, accompanied by increasingly urgent pleading for the chastisement to cease. This was the signal for the headmaster to come to what (being a classical scholar) he referred to as "the peroration of the castigat! ion". Ra ising his arm high so that the tawse fell back over his shoulder, he brought it down with a very sharp crack on the crown of the buttocks.

"I have finished applying the tawse," announced the headmaster. The relieved boy was gently eased to his feet by the headmaster. "What do you say, boy?"

The boy, who was quite bright, thought for a moment and said, "I was a naughty boy and so the headmaster took down my trousers and pants and strapped me soundly on my bare bottom."

The headmaster smiled inwardly and gently pulled the boys underpants up, easing them over the well-whipped bottom. "You may go as soon as you've pulled your trousers up and adjusted your clothing."

PART 3 THE NEPHEWS SPANKINGS

It was the third day of the summer holiday and the Mercedes drew up at the front door of the Headmasters lodge. A tall man got out on one side and a small boy on the other. The man (who was the headmasters brother-in-law) went to the boot and took out a suitcase. The front door was opened by the headmaster who welcomed the pair in.

"I am sorry I cant stop too long or I shall miss my flight. Its good of you to look after the boy while I am away, what with his mother running off," said the tall man. As they walked into the lounge he continued, "He has been whingeing all the way down and I promised him a good hiding. With your permission?"

The headmaster nodded. The man grabbed the boy by the arm (a little too roughly the headmaster thought) and led him to an armchair. He sat down and without ceremony pulled the boy over his knee and in almost the same action (such was the mans efficiency he was an engineer) he took down the boys shorts and underpants. He then belaboured the lads bare bottom with his hand, slapping him hard a good dozen times. The boy started to cry after the second or third blow and was bawling by the time the punishment had stopped. He was stood back up on his feet and left to draw up his shorts and pants by himself.

"Well I must dash," said the man. He turned to the boy and said, "Behave while I am away. Your uncle has my full permission to spank you if you do not." Turning to the headmaster he continued, "I know you know your business when it comes to punishing boys, but please spank him as I have; I value consistency. Goodbye. See you in a week."

And with those terse comments he was out of the front door, in his car and off to Gatwick.

The boy had recovered a little and the headmaster took him into the kitchen and gave him some soup.

He chatted to the boy while he was preparing the snack. "I hope you will be a good little chap while you here." The boy nodded and said nothing.

For the first day the boy was quiet and either read or walked round the garden. However, his behaviour rapidly worsened and he started throwing tantrums. Now, the headmaster, for all that he was a disciplinarian, knew that sometimes a boys bad behaviour could be explained by his personal circumstances. Any boyish prank would be severely dealt with, but he would always chat to a boy who had problems, rather than thrashing him. He was aware that his nephew was obviously in shock about his mother going and so held off any attention to his bottom and did his best to talk the boy. After a few unfortunate incidents his patience was beginning to wear a little thin and he promised the boy a spanking if he did not improve. For the first time in his life, the headmaster did not carry out a threat and kept letting the boy off, even though on one occasion the boy swore at him, something that would have cost any one of his pupils the thrashing of his life.

Inevitably the moment came when action was required. The headmaster found the boy in the garden shearing the heads off his prize dahlias. The headmaster never lost his temper with a boy at school; everything was under control in the calm of his study. But this was personal and the red mist descended. He half dragged, half carried the boy into the house and upstairs to his bedroom. The flip-flops the boy was wearing were left on the stairs. He sat on his bed and put the boy over his knee. Using both hands he pulled the boys shorts and pants right off, saying, "You wont be needing those for a while my boy." Grabbing the boy round the waist he started to spank him hard. It was the first time he had used his hand on a boy. As was to be expected, the boy started to try and work himself free as the intensity of the spanking increased, but he was held fast. He wailed and pleaded for the spanking to stop, but the headmaster replied that, far from stopping, he was only just getting going, and continued until the boys bottom was a very bright red indeed.

The tearful boy slowly got up from the headmasters lap when told to do so.

"I did not like having to spank you so hard," said the headmaster (which was partly true), "but you did not give me any choice and I have warned you more than enough times what you would get. When you have dried your eyes I want you to come downstairs to the lounge and well have a little talk.

When the boy came down he rushed up to his uncle, put his arms round him and burst into tears. " I am not a bad boy uncle," he said, "I just miss mummy so much. I am sorry about your flowers. Shall we plant some more tomorrow."

PART 4 THE HEADMASTER'S NOTES ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

Some boys you thrash and you never see them again; it is simply that they want to avoid pain. With most of the others it is not exactly that they enjoy having their bottoms bared and thrashed, but something in them that fears yet wants it. There are of course an odd few that actually seem to enjoy it and cannot wait to thrust their little bottoms up for a beating. While I savour thrashing any boy, I find my enjoyment is diminished if the recipient is relishing the punishment.

I do not think that humiliation should be a significant part of the punishment. I never punish a boy in the presence of other boys, although I make an exception for bullies, whom I always punish in the presence of their victims. Of course some boys will be embarrassed at having to present their bare bottoms, but I think they soon forget that once my right arm gets working. I do not believe in drawing out the experience, by making boys listen to a long lecture, whether before or after their punishment, or by making them stay in my study and stand in the corner, or some such nonsense. The beating is the punishment and that is that.

I only ever punish boys on their bare bottoms. (In a capricious moment I considered changing the school motto to "Nates nudae aut nihil"). There is the practical aspect that you can see what you are doing and judge the effect you are having; a boy should not be thrashed too hard. I suspect that a beating on a bare bottom is more painful, but I am unable to confirm this from personal experience as I went to a Quaker school and was never subjected to any sort of corporal punishment as a boy. I have to be honest of course and admit that the main reason is that I enjoy it. There is no finer sight than "a boys bottom bared for a beating."

In my first position I had charge of the discipline of eight and nine year olds and I whopped them with a leather soled slipper I inherited from my predecessor. "Beat their bare bottoms with this," he said. "Its the only way to keep them under control." Until then I had not thought about punishing boys, only teaching them. I was very nervous when I had my first appointment in my rooms, which was with a particularly recalcitrant curly haired nine year old. I kept my nerve, however, and soon had him over the arm of my comfy chair with his shorts and pants round his ankles. After I had been there a year the school closed for financial reasons.

My next position was at a school where all the corporal punishment was carried out by the headmaster. The reporting teacher escorted the unfortunate boy to a room set aside for punishment and explained his errors to the headmaster. It was the teachers duty to completely remove the boys lower garments, including socks and shoes, and position him correctly over a stool, which was the only item of furniture in the room, apart from a chair to put the boys clothes on. The boy was then caned slowly and methodically by the headmaster. If the boy jumped up it was the teachers duty to hold him down. When the allotted number of strokes had been delivered the headmaster left the room and the teacher helped the boy to dress. If a number of boys were caught in a common enterprise, in order to save time, they were ordered to their dorms to strip off and return wearing nothing but their P. E. shorts. The assisting master then only had to pull off the shorts when the boy was in position and slip them on again when the caning had been administered.

Much as I enjoyed assisting at these beatings I longed once more to exercise my right arm and was fortunate to be awarded the headmastership of my current school, despite my comparative inexperience. I have been here for twenty-nine years and according to the detailed records I have kept I have administered 7831 beatings. When I first came the discipline was rather lax. After a staff meeting we instituted the regime which, with a few minor changes, continues until today. The younger boys are punished by whichever master they annoy and the older boys are sent to me. It is an inflexible rule that the only form of corporal punishment allowed is beating on the bare bottom. (I hasten to add that not every offence is punished by corporal punishment.) Boys must not be hit round the head, have their ears tweaked or hair pulled, or have chalk, blackboard rubbers, exercise books or anything else thrown at them. All masters are issued with a leather strap fifteen inches long and an inch wide, which they use at their discretion, subject to no boy receiving more than six strokes a day, or twelve in a week. All strappings must be conducted in private.

There are many aspects which a dedicated disciplinarian needs to consider.

The first is at what stage to inform the boy that he will be chastised on his bare bottom. At my school the question is somewhat academic as every boy knows that a caning or strapping will involve feeling fresh air round his bottom. In other establishments where a bare bottom beating is not inevitable I think it has to be a matter of personal preference.

The second question is how the buttocks are to be bared. I follow the following general principles: 1. No item of clothing should ever be removed, apart from a blazer. 2. Trousers must always be taken down to the ankles. 3. Trousers and pants should be taken down separately. 4. If the boy is to take his own underpants down they should also be round his ankles, but if I am to do so then they will be drawn down to his knees. 5. The shirt and, if applicable, pullover should be positioned at least halfway up the back. (Since the introduction of central heating in the school vests have not been worn.) 6. If the boy is to be caned over the stool he adjusts his own clothing, but if he is to be strapped over my knee I do.

Apart from 1 and 2, these are not hard and fast rules. For example I will occasionally say to a boy, "Take down your trousers and pants," just to see whether he takes them down separately or together, and sometimes I will get the boy to lower his trousers, baring his bottom myself.

Where the master is to deal with the underpants they should be pulled down in a business like manner, neither too fast nor too slowly. If they are drawn down too slowly there is the risk that the action will be misinterpreted. If they are yanked down there is the risk of giving a nasty jolt to the boys genitals.

I think this may be a convenient point to mention that care should be taken to minimise contact of the buttocks with the hand. When adjusting a boys clothing there will inevitably be some brushing of the fingers against the bottom. Further, if, despite repeated instructions, the boy fails to position himself correctly it is permissible to move the bottom into position by gently guiding with the fingertips. In no circumstances should the palm of the hand be placed on a boys posterior. I have never hand spanked a boy. (I discount the chastisement of my nephew which was not conducted in a professional capacity.)

While on one delicate subject I shall raise another: a boys possible arousal before, during or after punishment. Now, anyone who has been a boy will know that, particularly in puberty, a boys _s_e_x_ual apparatus can be embarrassingly unreliable. An erection is not necessarily _s_e_x_ually motivated. I am not now embarrassed to admit that when I was a boy my membrum virilis would be liable to engorge itself during a test if I was running out of time, when I undressed in a chilly room or simply sat upstairs on a bus. It should not therefore be assumed that a boy exhibiting signs of arousal is finding some aspect of the situation he is in _s_e_x_ually stimulating. However, it would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge that the buttocks are an erogenous zone and that their exposure or beating (or the immediate expectation of either) may in some cases lead, as they say in Thailand, to the white dove cooing. In circumstances where this happens it is important to affect not to notice. Anyone who contemplates ogling a boys genitals, or worse, fondling them, should resist temptation and take his holidays on the Bay of Naples, where such behaviour is, I understand, socially acceptable.

The third consideration is the general positioning of the boy. It may seem a strange thing to say when the whole business is to inflict pain, but I think it is important that a boy should be comfortable while he is being thrashed. After trying various positions over the years I have discounted the following: 1. Over my desk. (Inconvenient if I have papers strewn over it and not always possible to achieve the correct angle of the buttocks.) 2. Over the arm of my chair. (The arm is a little narrow.) 3. Over the seat of a straight-backed chair. (The back of the chair tends to get in the way. 4. Over the back of a straight-backed chair. (Excellent for positioning the buttocks, but if the boy is short his feet may be off the ground, which prejudices stability). 5. Over a lab stool.(Same as 4.) 6. Bending over touching the toes. (Supposedly traditional and no doubt suitable for a decorous over the trousers caning, but the shirt tends to fall back over the buttocks; also lacks stability.) 7. Standing up straight. (Risks causing injury see below.) 8. The boy sort of half standing up and tucked under my arm. (A little awkward, except for the smaller boy.)

Apart from 6, 7 and 8, what all the above have in common is that the boy is leaning over or pressing into wood, which is not conducive to the boys comfort.

There are two positions which I have fixed on: over my knee and over a piano stool I acquired in Harrods.

If a boy is to be caned he always goes over the piano stool; it is awkward to wield a cane with a boy over your knee. The stool is convenient as even the shortest boys feet will be on the ground and if a boy is tall he simply has to stretch his legs out further; whatever the length of the boy stability is achieved. The fact that the boy is leaning right over a wide space allows for fine-tuning of the positioning of the bottom. There are no side handles to the stool and so the cane or leather can descend in an unimpeded arc and both sides of the buttocks are available for chastisement, (I believe in full coverage). Finally, the stool is well padded - you would not expect less from Harrods.

If a boy is have leather applied to his posterior he goes over my knee, unless he is to have a "fortissimo" strapping (see below), when he will go over the stool.

I now turn to the precise positioning of the boys bottom. As I have often had occasion to explain, it is imperative at all costs to avoid injuring a boy. By this I do not of course mean that no pain is to be inflicted and I appreciate that the intentional infliction of pain, however transitory, may be regarded as causing an injury. What I mean is that the beating should not be so severe that medical treatment is advisable or that its worst effects last more than a few hours, although I would expect a boy who had had a good beating to bear the marks for a day or two. It is also necessary, particularly when using the cane, to avoid contact with the lower spine or the hips. I therefore make sure that the boy is well forward and his buttocks so presented that even a mistimed stroke will avoid the danger areas if the cane or strap is applied as directed elsewhere. Some persons insist that the boy opens his legs to widen the target area; I consider this to be most ill advised as, quite apart from the indignity of the boy having to expose his most intimate part, there is the grave risk of causing injury to the genitals.

The final issue concerning positioning is where the castigator should stand. I am no scientist, but I am aware that when a strap or cane is brought down in an arc different parts are moving faster than others, with the tip moving fastest. It is therefore necessary to stand in a position that helps to counteract this so that the effect of each stroke is spread as evenly as possible. Exactly where to stand will depend on the action of the arm and only the experience of the individual castigator can satisfactorily answer this point. For myself, I will often adjust my position during the punishment if I wish to turn my attention to a different part of the buttocks. However, I never move my feet whilst administering a stroke and would certainly never contemplate running at a boy or swinging the upper part of my body round; the whole of the action must be in the arm and wrist.

There is the vexed question of whether the lowering of the clothes or the positioning of the buttocks should take place first. The basic rule is "bare and bend". With belts, buttons and zips, it is not generally convenient for the trousers to come down when the boy is in position and accordingly they will always come down before the boy is bending over. ( A notable exception is when I have to punish one of the younger boys wearing elastic topped trousers or a boy sent by the games master in his P. E. or football shorts, when I will often position the boy over the stool or my lap and ease his trousers shorts down for him.) As mentioned above, if a boy is to be caned he goes over the stool and usually takes down his own trousers and pants; whilst I have on occasion asked a boy to bend over and then take down his pants, the action is a little awkward. When a boy is over my knee I like to vary the procedure, although the pulling down of the underpants when the boy is in position is marginally preferable.

We now come to the important question of the instrument of punishment. I never contemplated using anything really nasty like a birch, a thick ruler or a gym shoe. I tried a wide range of instruments in my early years (slippers, hair brushes, belts etc) and have now settled on three: a short strap, a tawse and a cane.

The short strap is the same as that used by the assistant masters and is as I have described above. It is an ideal instrument for warming a small bottom.

The tawse I acquired many years ago from a pedagogical colleague who had bought it in Scotland; he had tried it, but found that it did not suit his style. It is not as fearsome as some of the Scottish tawses as I have heard them described. It is rather wider than the average belt, and although no thicker than the short strap, is perhaps a little stiffer. It is seventeen and a half inches in length and one end is cut into three strips seven inches long. Although the thongs are designed to be the business end, it can of course be held the wrong way round. With two different ends and the fact that its length can be adjusted according to where it is held, it is, in two senses, a flexible instrument. Many a boy who has felt the uncut end has been surprised by the rather sharper effect produced by the thongs licking the flanks of his upturned bare behind.

What I refer to as a cane is not the traditional schoolmasters implement. About three years after I had taken up my present position the headmasters house was refurbished. The suppliers who fitted the new stair carpet left behind a nice collection of wooden stair rods which I rescued. I have no idea what wood they are made of. They are thinner than the canes which were left by my predecessor, although a fraction less whippy. When using a traditional cane I was always concerned that I might accidentally get a little carried away; my aim always is to sting, and not to wound. As the rods were somewhat lighter than the canes I thought they would be ideal. I cleaned them with some wire wool and sterilised them thoroughly by soaking them for several days in bleach. When they had dried out I tried one and found it to be most satisfactory. The first recipient was a boy who was regularly in my study and was due for one of my severer "maximum" beatings (see below). I accordingly took the opportunity to test the impact by applying the rod somewhat tentatively to start with (the boy must at first have thought that I had forgotten that he was due for a very sound thrashing) and then increasing the speed of my arm until, from the appearance of the stripes on the miscreants bottom, I appeared to be achieving the same result as I did with a cane. As I had estimated, I could bring down the rod harder than the cane without causing more pain. In fact, perhaps for the only time in my career taking the risk of injuring a boy, the final stroke was the hardest I had ever administered up to that point. It did not produce an effect worse than the boy was accustomed to with the traditional cane. Just as a cricketer wears in a new bat, over the ensuing weeks I gradually became used to the rods (they are all virtually identical) and was able to wield them very effectively. They are psychologically very satisfying as they can be brought down hard across a boys bottom without the risk of drawing blood and make a very pleasant s! ound as they swish through the air and crack on the target. I rotate the rods regularly, disinfecting them after they have been in use for a week, or sooner if I have had a particularly busy time. In all the years I have used them I have not had to throw a single one away.

We now need to consider the angle at which the cane or strap should descend on the buttocks. Assuming the boy is correctly positioned as described above, the stroke should be applied parallel to the ground or at an angle of forty-five degrees, or at any angle between. This minimises the risk of bringing the cane or strap in contact with the lower back. The use of perpendicular or "bacon cutter" strokes is to be deplored.

The proper target area is from an imaginary line an inch, or perhaps a little less, above the centre of the buttocks to where they join the thighs. Exceptionally, if a boy is to be thrashed while he still bears the signs of a previous beating, a few strokes may be aimed at the upper thighs. It goes without saying that the strokes should not be concentrated in one area. I mention in passing that I do not like to beat a boy more than once a week. If a boy is sent to me within a week of a beating (itself an unusual, but not unknown, event) I give him the option of having the thrashing postponed.

The question of the number of strokes and the force with which they are to be applied is a not a topic that can readily be summarised. Factors such as the age and size of the boy, the seriousness of the offence and the frequency with which the boy is in my study are all taken into account. Beating is as much an art as a science and a subjective element inevitably enters into the equation. For myself I regret that I have a tendency to be severer with curly haired boys. (Memories of that first slippering I administered?). I have tried to control this, but I often find that the cane or tawse is descending a little faster than the offence warrants.

Whilst I do not have rigid categories of punishment, they may be separated into the following broad divisions: 1. The Junior Strapping (Six with the light strap) 2. Six of the Best (Six with the cane) 3. Six of the Best with one for luck (Seven with the cane) 4. I am very disappointed in you (Nine with the cane) 5. Take That (Same as 4, but with the last three strokes extra hard) 6. The Maximum (Twelve with the cane) 7. The Crescendo (Working over with moderate strokes of the tawse until the bottom is pink) 8. The Crescendo Molto (Same as 7, but going over again with slightly harder strokes until the bottom is red) 9. The Crescendo Molto e Poi Sforzando (Same as 8, but with a good final crack) 10. The Forte (Six hard strokes with the tawse) 11. The Fortissimo ( Twelve hard strokes with the tawse) 12. The Mixed Blessing (Three hard with the tawse, six with the cane and finished off with three more with the tawse)


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