Of course, it would be wrong to imply that all parents used an implement to chastise those who had attended the secret party given by Emma and her sisters. While many mothers or fathers felt the foolishness of their offspring merited the sting of the cane, paddle, or strap, there were a few who were prepared to risk sore palms by handing out traditional over-the-knee spankings, relying on the smack of skin against skin to drive home the message.
Two such were the Cazenoves. When they heard that their daughters Cynthia and Alexandra had been present at the shindig - which had obviously been a wild occasion and had considerably disturbed the neighbours - they consulted briefly together. They were eye-to-eye that a good hiding was merited. Traditionally, the girls had been spanked on their bare bottoms while stretched across the parental lap. The Cazenove's had always been hand-spankers and had never even resorted to a hairbrush. Their view was that the thrashing was done and dusted when their own palms became sore, which - the girls could ruefully attest - sometimes took rather a long time.
Cynthia was to be spanked by her mother, while her father would deal with Alexandra.
After lunch, the two girls were told to go to their rooms and wait to be summoned. They knew from unhappy experience what that meant.
They did not have long to wait before first their mother called Cynthia to come down to the drawing room, and then - after ten minutes of anguished cries from her sister - her father called up the stairs for Alexandra to report to him.
Images from The Penitents.
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