Monday, January 24, 2011

From the Top Shelf - Obliged to Bend

Today we have another excerpt from Obliged to Bend by B. A. Bradbury. Jamie, whom we met last week, is grown up now, and lives in a large, splendid house. He has become the guardian of three young nieces, and is interviewing a prospective governess. The applicant made the mistake of telling a lie about her previous employment, was found out, and now must take the consequences.

Between the tall oak cupboard and the bookcase in my study, directly opposite the door that leads out into the hall, is a second door. It was to this that I led Mrs Hammond.

The key was in the lock, I turned it, opening the door to reveal a medium-sized room. The governess gave a gasp of astonishment, or possibly dismay, for the room housed a collection of whips, lashes, riding crops, straps, paddles and canes that I doubt can be bettered anywhere in England, if not the whole of Europe. There was barely an inch of wall space that was not occupied by some implement of correction.

They hung on pegs, row upon row of them, and beside each piece was a small plaque giving details of its pedigree. Some were antiques, far too precious to be used. Many had travelled from distant and exotic countries. A select few had been owned by famous people and were of considerable historical and sociological interest. Few people would guess, for instance, that a certain government minister was never without a tawse, even when he journeyed abroad, or that a lady within the royal household carried a special folding cane in her handbag.

Implements from distant and exotic countries? Like Canada? There must have been a Canadian prison strap in his collection. And any guesses which member of the royal household carried a cane? My instinct says Princess Anne.

Many more, perhaps half of the total number, were more commonplace and I had no compunction about using them - as Alice and Rose [the servants] knew to their cost. But, prestigious or prosaic, every last one of them was imbued with a sense of purpose that was tangible.

Mrs Hammond stared at the display in a sort of hunted fascination. The flogger in her must surely have been awed and enthralled by the sight, but she was seeing the collection from the viewpoint of a recipient, which was a very different kettle of fish.

I allowed her to absorb the spectacle for several seconds longer, and then closed the door. "We shall not," I said gently, "be needing any of these today."

She looked at me, treating me to another play of expression across those delightful features. Confusion, uncertainty, and finally hope all too their turn at centre stage. Truly, the woman had a most expressive face. "Shall... shall we not, sir?"

"No indeed, Mrs Hammond.  We shall not."

I locked the door and pocketed the key. She realized then that I had been teasing her all along, or perhaps testing her resolve. Her bottom was to be spared; there was to be no punishment... The relief and gratitude in her eyes was most satisfying...

I stepped to my left and opened the doors to the oak cupboard. "One of these," I said, "will do perfectly well."

Mrs Hammond's look of relief died in infancy as she surveyed my day collection.  Any woman relying on my sense of compassion to deliver her from her ordeal is living in a fool's paradise...

My day collection might be small compared with that in the adjoining room, but all the articles had been carefully selected for their practicality. There were three (one light, one medium and one heavy) of each of the more common types of implement: cane, paddle, ruler and tawse. In addition, there were a couple of multi-thong lashes and a short whip of the style usually referred to as a quirt.

Side by side, the governess and I viewed this modest yet versatile collection. I swept my hand across in a grand gesture. "Please select one, Mrs Hammond," I said.

Now, it was not at all my usual practice to allow the penitent the luxury of choice at this point. This was a special occasion, however, and I was interested to observe her reaction. She stood there for a full minute, her hand hovering first over one item then another. Finally she chose the medium cane. I suspect it was a case of "better the devil you know...", but it was not a wise choice, and spoke to me of a lack of appreciation of the finer points of flogging.

A cane, particularly one of the heavier varieties, can inflict a monumental amount of pain in the right hands. She would have done better to have picked the lightest ruler or paddle. These can certainly sting fiercely when wielded enthusiastically, but cannot replicate the searing, white-hot pain of a hard cane stroke.

But no, a cane it was to be; she held it out to me, handling it somewhat gingerly as though the thing might bite her. I accepted it graciously, took her arm once more and led her to the centre of the room.

"We shall have three sets of twelve," I announced, "with a change of position following each set. Is that agreeable?"

"Yes, sir."

To be continued...
From Hermione's Heart


sixofthebest said...

How beautiful are the words so expressed by this writer of spanking stories. One can see he loved the subject matter. I can't wait to read how this mature governess, was to prevail her upcoming fate.

ronnie said...

Now a room like that I would love to see.

Look forward to the next excerpt Hermione. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

This is really nice. Thx. Eagerly awaiting more.

Hermione said...

6otb - I think you will love the next installments.

Ronnie - So would I.

Lorraine - Welcome! And more you shall have.


Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful excerpt, Hermione. I can't wait to read more! (And I think I would immediately turn into a bucket if I were to see such a room as he described.)

Hermione said...

Pink - Same here. It sounds like a dream come true. Or a nightmare!