Although she'd once been spanked with Stinger, the Headmaster's dreaded hairbrush, this was the first time Nancy had faced the cane.
Bexhill School did not tolerate laziness. Nancy had been called in during Friday Assessments in the previous week and told that her grades for both Achievement and Effort were woeful, and that she had better improve them.
Well, she hadn't: in fact in Maths, English, and History they were even worse this week. On top of that, the Evening Prep monitor had reported that Nancy had twice been caught reading a girls' magazine instead of getting on with her home-work.
The Headmaster reckoned that a salutary lesson was in order: six of the best with a Junior cane. But that was as far as he got. Nancy pleaded and begged and cried and blubbed and above all refused to bend over the chair he'd positioned in the corner of the room. He'd told her repeatedly that unless she took her punishment in the manner expected of a Bexhill girl, he'd have to call in the Duty Teacher to hold her down. That would double the number of strokes she'd receive.
Nothing doing. Still the silly girl hopped around clutching her bottom and imploring him to spare her.
He had no choice: he'd called in Miss Sylvester, the biology teacher, who was on duty that evening. He'd instructed the rather shocked young woman to hold Nancy down. Miss Sylvester was a sensitive soul, who didn't like to see anyone or anything suffer (unless it was a frog about to be dissected).
Between them, they got the howling Nancy to bend over the chair and pulled her knickers down. The Headmaster readied the cane, but Miss Sylvester, pressing down on the wretched girl's shoulders, simply couldn't look at what was about to happen.
As the Headmaster raised his cane for the first stroke, she turned her head away. She closed her eyes as she heard the swish of the descending rattan, and tightened her grip on poor Nancy.
Photo credit: The Penitents