Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From the Top Shelf - Return to Heatherton Hall


Ron and I have just finished watching all six seasons of Downton Abbey, and we enjoyed it even more than we had when we first watched it. We had forgotten so much!Three years ago I shared the prologue and first chapter of The Ladies of Heatherton Hall, a novelette by the late Rollin Hand, an I thought it would be fun to reread those, then carry on with the story.

You may read the prologue here, then enjoy chapter one again below.

We fast forward two hundred years, more or less. Josh, a young and very poor American engineering student, has received a letter from a London solicitor. It seems that he is the last descendant of James Carlisle and therefore has inherited Heatherton Hall. In an instant Josh is transformed from a penniless student to the Earl of Carlisle, wealthy landowner and lord of the manor. He abandons his studies and moves to England.

Josh finds his new life at Heatherton Hall daunting, to say the least. Equally daunting are the two ladies in residence: the Dowager Countess Lydia Heatherton, mother of the late Cranston Heatherton (the recently-deceased previous Earl of Carlisle), and her granddaughter, Lady Gwyneth. The latter assists him in learning his new duties at Heatherton Hall, and introduces him to one of their quaint traditions.

Dinner was served each evening promptly at eight. It was a formal affair that Josh was getting somewhat used to. But each day brought new revelations with which he was trying to cope. It was after dinner a night or two later that the next surprise was revealed.

“I hate to inform you, madam,” said Griggs the butler, addressing Mrs. Heatherton, “but two maids are on report.” Both Gwyneth and Lady Heatherton looked nonplussed at this news.

“Oh, dear,” said Lydia Heatherton. “What shall we do?”

“Daddy always handled maids on report,” whispered Gwyneth.

“What do you mean, ‘on report’?” This sounded ominous.

“I’ll tell you later,” she said. “What happened, Griggs?”

“Jane and Millie were roughhousing in the gallery instead of doing their duties. A disagreement of some sort. They broke your late mother’s blue flowered vase, I’m sorry to say. A complete dereliction of duty and conduct most unbecoming,” said the butler solemnly. Then he produced the broken pieces of the blue vase.

“What shall we do?” said Mrs. Heatherton again. “Cranston always handled these things. No one has been on report since he died.”

“What the hell is ‘on report?’” whispered Josh.

Gwyneth put her napkin down. “I suppose I shall have to tend to it, Granny. We cannot expect our American cousin to just jump in—even though as the earl and lord of Heatherton Hall, it is his job.”

“Will someone tell me what is going on?” Josh felt like he was the only one in the room not in on the secret.

“Tell Mrs. Finch to prepare a rod... no, make that two. And tell the girls to report to the library in half an hour.”

“At once, Lady Gwyneth,” said Griggs, who then turned and left. “Come with me,” she said to Josh.

When they were all in the library she shut the door. “Our staff,” she said, “are like family. Generations have been in service here at Heatherton Hall. No one ever gets fired. But as in all families there are behavior lapses and discipline problems. This is apparently the end result of a long standing feud between Jane and Millie. They have been warned about this before. Now it has resulted in damage. Griggs was right to put them on report.”

“So what happens now?”

“What happens now is that they will both receive a flogging.”

Josh let this sink in. “A flogging? Are you kidding?” This was 2013, not 1913.

“I know our ways may seem odd to you, but it is part of the compact that has served all of us for generations. Perhaps you have heard that the birch is in use for certain offenses here on the island, so it is part of our culture. Only…”

“Only what?”

“Daddy did this. Always. Ever since I can remember. As the lord of Heatherton Hall, it was his duty. He was the ultimate authority.”

“And therefore the new earl should do it, newcomer or not,” said Lydia Heatherton.

“Granny!” said Gwyneth. “You can’t expect him to…”

“Why not?” shot back Lady Heatherton. “He’s the earl now. It’s his job, like it or not.”

Josh’s head was swimming. This was happening all too fast. “Now wait a minute. I can’t come in here and just start…what? Flogging maids?”

Then Gwyneth, seeing his obvious discomfort, smiled a wicked smile. “Oh, yes, you can. And you must. Tradition must be preserved,” she intoned.

“But how do you do this?” Josh was still in a state of disbelief.

“Easy,” said Gwyneth. “I was tennis champion in my class and a prefect at my boarding school in Scotland. I think I know what to do,” she said with confidence. “I’ll show you.”

 Then Mrs. Finch, who seemed to be some sort of head downstairs maid, arrived. She carried a pair of sheaves bound at one end with twine. Gwyneth picked up a rod and swished it about. It was made up of a bundle of thin switches about three feet long and very swishy. “The lady bends over the back of a chair. You take the rod and line it up on her derriere, like so.” Gwyneth took one of the rods and stood so that the end was centered on the chair back. “Then you pull back and using arm and elbow whip it down right on the crowns of her bottom. Don’t forget a little flick of the wrist at the end,” she said with a smile. “You’ve played tennis before, haven’t you?”

Josh nodded dumbly.

“Good,” she said. “Just like that. Give it your best forehand.” She handed the rod to Josh who took it and stared at it like an alien thing.

Griggs entered with the girls, both of whom were pale and nervous. They wore black uniforms with white trim, dresses that came to mid-calf. Jane was a tall slender brunette, Millie a petite but voluptuous redhead.

“You know why you are here,” said Griggs to the girls. “You should be ashamed of yourselves. Fighting in the gallery when you should have been about your work. Shameful.”

“What was this about, Jane?” asked Gwyneth.

“It’s about my boyfriend,” Jane began.

“Your boyfriend?” snorted Millie, interrupting. “He’s with me now. I’ll sort you out.”

Gwyneth held her hands up. “All right, all right. I get the gist of it. But you are going to have to sort out your disagreements without resorting to fisticuffs.” She looked pointedly at each. “I’m sorry but Griggs was right to put you on report. And you know what that means.”

“Oh no, Lady Gwyneth, please. We’ll not fight in future,” pleaded Jane.

“Yes, please,” said Millie, suddenly sober and eyeing the rods nervously.

Gwyneth shook her head. “No. This is not the first time. I’m afraid it’s six for each of you.” She inclined her head toward Josh. “Ladies, this is the new master of Heatherton Hall. You will accept your punishment from him.”

Both maids gasped when they beheld the young robust American flexing the birch rod in his hands. This prompted more pleas for forgiveness but Griggs and Gwyneth stood firm.

Finally when all supplications had been exhausted, Gwyneth said, “Over the backs of the chairs, both of you. Skirts well up.”

They were to be whipped on their bare bottoms. Truly amazing. Josh could hardly believe what he was watching. And I have to do this.

Jane and Millie approached the pair of chairs and raised their skirts. Josh felt a tightening in his groin. Both girls were attractive. Underneath the skirts both wore  black silk panties framed by a garter belt and stockings. Two very attractive bottoms came into view, Jane’s compact but perfectly heart shaped derriere, and Millie’s bottom, a pair of plump rounded orbs that jutted out prominently. When both had bent over, placing hands on the chair seats, Gwyneth said, “Mrs. Finch, if you please.”

Josh just about fell through the floor as Mrs. Finch strode over and peeled down two sets of panties to lay bare both quivering bottoms. Griggs leaned in and whispered, “The rod is always applied bare breech, sir. It is tradition.” Josh nodded as if he understood.

 In the meantime Josh fingered the rod in his hand. It was nearly three feet long, and the switches splayed out, fan style, at the business end. He stepped to Millie’s side and tapped her seat, lining it up.

“Six strokes, Millie and Jane. Mr. Fairchild shall alternate between you, one stroke at a time, until we are done. You will hold your position. Are you ready?”

A muffled "yes, Lady Gwyneth" issued from both miscreants.
Josh drew back. The rod paused at the top arc of his swing. It whined as the switches whipped through the air. The rod landed square on the crowns of Millie’s buttocks with a sharp thwick!

Millie hissed in pain. Faint red lines sprang up across her flesh.
Josh moved to stand beside Jane. Another whish…thwick! sang out as the rod swept across Jane’s bottom.

“Ow, sir!” she yelped.

Josh gritted his teeth. He felt that he was being played by a mischievous Gwyneth. He had seen that wicked gleam in her eye when Lady Heatherton had suggested that he wield the rod. But now there was no help for it. He’d play along for now, but there would be a reckoning.

Josh proceeded to apply the rod, moving from one girl to the other, carefully lining up before delivering the stroke with a smooth arm motion and a little flick of the wrist at the end. It certainly made an impression. The whick! of the rod was the dominant sound in the room. Both girls hissed and stamped their feet, trying to shift position to alleviate the sting. Bottoms clenched then jiggled lightly as the rod struck. The faint lines multiplied, merging into a reddish hue. Toward the end Jane and Millie became more vocal expressing their discomfort with a series of “ouches” and pleas for leniency as feet shuffled and bottoms quivered.

“There,” said Gwyneth after Josh had delivered the last stroke to Jane’s bottom. “You may rise.”

Both girls pulled their knickers up and rose, turning around to face Gwyneth. Their faces were red and their eyes were distinctly watery. Millie put a hand up to wipe away a tear. Jane sniffled.

“Now, we’ll have no more fighting, especially on duty. Is that understood?”

“Yes, ma’am,” said both maids.

“You will both apologize to Mr. Fairchild,” said Gwyneth.

“We’re sorry, sir,” said both maids practically in unison.

Josh nodded and gave the girls a sympathetic smile.

 “Mr. Fairchild is now the lord of Heatherton Hall and his arm is quite strong as you have just experienced, so behave yourselves. You are dismissed.”
I think Josh is going to make a fine Earl, don't you?

From Hermione's Heart

7 comments:

Roz said...

Hi Hermione, reading this I vaguely recall Heatherington Hall. I thoroughly enjoyed the titillating read, Rollin was a fantastic author. Thank you for re-posting this.

I think Josh is going to do just fine. I also suspect Lady Gynneth will have some surprises coming her way!

Hugs
Roz

Leigh Smith said...

I think so.

Baxter said...

We enjoyed Downton Abbey very much. the spanko in me was wondering about whether or not spankings were given for certain behaviors, but as far as I could tell, there was not even the hint given.

EsMay said...

LOVED Downton. Watched the first few seasons, then the Duke got interested, so we started at the beginning and went until the end. Such an amazing show. Loved this story too, thank you for sharing. It is very well written. :)
EsMay

opsimath said...

Thank you for bringing us this wonderful story from Rollin, Hermione. He is sadly missed by those of in the spanking community and the variety of stories he gave us never ceased to astound me.

I didn't know about your blog in 2015 so it was lovely to have both parts to read as new. I think he caught the essence of 'Downton' extremely well, but then again, he did everything with panache and flair.

Thank you again for your blog and a Happy Easter to you!

Hermione said...

Roz - It only came to mind recently, so I enjoyed a return visit to HH too!

Leigh - So do I.

Baxter - I often pictured the deleted spanking scenes in my mind. Those naughty footmen!

EsMay - We have the complete box set with four additional discs of background on the times, how the costumes were made, and the history of other great houses.

Opsimath - Rollin was brilliant.

Hugs,
Hermione

ronnie said...

I do love Rollin's stories. Thank you, Hermione.

I enjoyed Downtown. Waiting for the next Poldark series which I think will air in June.

Love,
Ronnie
xx