Let's begin with what went before, then lead up to the current situation, and what is going to happen next . . . .
"As you requested, sir, your cane. Not mine, but yours. I, of course, don't deserve this punishment. All I was doing was demonstrating, to the younger pupils, the dangers of smoking. I was doing a service for the school, I thought you would realise that when you happened to walk round the corner."
"Thank you, Miss Johnson, as a result of your explanation, you may replace it on my desk. I agree wholeheartedly with you that all the other girls need to know exactly how harmful smoking can be for their health, both long and short term. I will instead have a short lecture on the harmful effects given tomorrow morning at assembly. Matron has just returned from a refresher course on the dangers of tobacco, drugs and alcohol. "I was planning for her to lecture each year separately during community studies, however as you are so keen to start immediately she can give the lecture on the long term harm of smoking to the whole school tomorrow."
Sandra gasped in surprise at her headmaster's response; surely the old fool hadn't actually believed her, and she was going to avoid an excruatingly painful beating from his cane. She tried not to smile as she returned it to the row of canes hanging inside the tall cupboard. . . . . . ?
If she thought that the smile hadn't been noticed, she was very much mistaken. Lucy Johnson's misdemeanours were of encyclopaedic proportions, she was the bane of the Headmaster's life and almost a celebrity in the eyes of the younger pupils. He had often wondered if she considered this 'contest' a game, with her as undisputed winner.
It was time for an 'Olympic Event' and a plan began to form in the Head's mind, enough to bring a smile to his face.
The lectures began with a change in time and content......
The lecture the following day was going to be a most enjoyable affair. Lucy Johnson had walked in to a trap, to give a lecture on the dangers of smoking to the whole school.
Sitting just behind the lecturn the Head Master watched as Miss Johnson stood with her back to him and began speaking about the dangers of smoking. Listening as she stumbled over her words, she so obviously had not researched herself. His foot tapped slowly .. to the rhythm of the cane swishing through the air, the sound of the cane - swish - whap.
She finally finished her stumbling confused oration. "My office Miss Johnson. Wait outside until I get there." A veiled threat in the last few words...
"Wait for me outside my office with your hands on your head" the head told her. "I will deal with you in good time. Meanwhile i have to teach one of your fellow sinners a HARD lesson. Like you she thought that she could disobey the rule against smoking. Listen careful. What happens to her is what will soon happen to you. And I can assure you that whatever sounds you hear through my door will be greatly amplified when it is your turn to pay penance"
Lucy waited nervously clutching her bottom outside the Head's office wondering what he would do to her. The door opened and the Head summoned another young lady who was waiting in line ahead of her. Through the open door Lucy could see a padded stool high enough for someone to bend over and still be able to grasp the foot rail on the opposite side.
For some time after the door closed behind the other lady there was silence. Then through the door, whose thickness muffled any but the loudest sounds, came the unmistakable sound of a cane swishing through the air, followed by a sharp cry and drawn out moan. These noises were repeated at regular, slow intervals becoming louder and louder. Lucy listened in trepidation knowing that soon she would be the person bending over that stool inside and making those sounds. As she heard each stroke fall, in her imagination she felt it cut across her bottom. In a way it was worse anticipating what was about to happen to her than actually suffering the punishment...
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