The Housemistress had warned Janice the previous week: improve your Effort grade, or there'll be dire consequences.
The Weekly Reports at Bexhill contained two summaries: Effort and Results. Provided the girls were trying hard, there was considerable leeway on Results. The reverse was not true: if a girl was not putting her back into things, no matter how good her results, she' be in trouble. It was, after all, costing her parents a pretty penny to send her to Bexhill, so even if she was a high-flyer, she was still expected to exert herself. Scholarships to Ivy League universtities beckoned.
Alas, Janice was not particularly bright. She was - if truth be told - a bit thick. But alas this ineptitude was allied with terminal laziness. She had been awarded 'D's for Effort for the previous two weeks, and Miss Warner had told her that unless she pulled her socks up, she'd be in severe trouble. So when, this Friday, Janice got yet another 'D', Miss Warner gave the trembling girl a ferocious dressing-down.
"Right, I warned you. Bend over that table and lift up your skirt. You're getting six. Now stay still."
She lifted the tawse down from the hook on the wall, placed the heavy leather tongues across the width of Janice's knickers, and whipped the strap down. Janice howled. After the second stroke, she leaped up, clutching her bottom.
"I told you not to move. Bend over. We'll start again." But it proved so difficult to get Janice back into position that Miss Warner considered for a moment calling for the House Captain to come down and help her. Eventually, reluctantly, Janice took her place over the table again. Miss Warner whipped down Janice's knickers and swiped the tawse hard across both her cheeks. Janice yelled blue murder. At the next stroke, she thrust her hand behind her, trying desperately to shield her bottom. Miss Warner grabbed her wrist and pinioned it behind her back.
"So, we'll start yet again, for the third time! Now, hold your position or I'll fetch my cane."
Janice closed her eyes and prepared herself once more for the swish and 'thwack!' of the strap.
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Images from The Penitents