Tuesday, January 5, 2016

From the Top Shelf - A Haughty Young Lady

For your entertainment  today I have a selection from the Edwardian novel, Souvenirs from a Boarding School, reprinted from the French and originally published by the Charles Carrington Press in Paris.

The story is of a young woman forced to enter a girls' reformatory in Belgium in the early 20th century, just before the first world war. These reformatories were for young ladies who were headstrong and whose parents decided they needed some strict discipline before emerging as ladies into society. A number of British upper class parents, who had themselves been trained by the birch and cane, sent their children to these foreign institutions simply because the laws on child protection were less scrupulously followed up than they were here in the UK at around that period.
This term we had the pleasure of initiating a new girl into the disciplinary regime of the school. She came on an October afternoon in a superb car, with a chauffeur and a footman.

Through the panes of the study we saw her get out of the car, beautiful as a queen whose gait she possessed, magnificent in her haughty beauty. We already knew, through talk among the serving maids, the name of this young and beautiful girl and we also knew the reasons that brought her to this reformatory.

Kate McAnnay was a lovely girl, 19 years old, whose father was one of the richest landowners in Scotland. A thwarted love affair had brought the proud young beauty into the clutches of Mme. de Quirinodo.

Kate loved a penniless young officer, and as usually happens, an iron paternal will had shattered their tender love. Kate's father was outraged by the flirting in which his daughter had engaged with this young man and, one day, her father arranged for her to cross the Channel. She landed at Zeebrugge, from whence she was driven to our boarding school where they had been given instructions to subdue her will.

The father had given strict orders to the school president that no punishment be spared his beautiful young daughter. "You must break her indomitable nature," he had written to Mme. de Quirinodo, "and therefore I give you complete scope."

And so Kate McAnnay arrived on that lovely October day and we were all struck by her beauty. She was however encouraging of our attention only on condition that we admired her through the eyes of an artist; admired the loveliness of her face and the exquisite proportions of her body, for, as regards the rest, the haughty expression and the pretentious pride which she manifested when we were introduced to her, made us all long for the delicious moment when Mme. de Quirinodo would initiate her to the smarting discipline of the school.

This was not long delayed for it was necessary to overcome forthwith the young girl's resistance, who replied with regal insolence to the orders of the teachers and the deans.

They allowed her eight days to become acclimatised, and to impress on her mind the habits and customs of the school.

During those eight days there were no public punishments and, the students having understood that the president wished to have a considerable effect on the haughty temperament of Miss McAnnay, did not reveal to the new girl the means which Mme. de Quirinodo would employ to chastise the rebellious.

We lived in feverish impatience. Each morning, on getting up, we would ask ourselves, "Is it today that the skirts of the impudent one will be lifted?"

The day which we were waiting for fell on the first day of the second week that the Scottish girl had spent among us.

On her way to class, the teacher, Miss Elisa, made a remark concerning Kate's hair-dress, arranged according to the latest Paris fashion, with a mauve ribbon that ran through the reddish-gold of her magnificent hair.

"Miss," replied Kate, staring impudently at Miss Elisa, "I beg you to leave my hair alone. It pleases me to dress my hair thus and I will certainly not change it just to please you!"

"That is to be seen," replied Miss Elisa with a knowing smile, "for the present I shall simply inform Madam President of your impertinent reply."

She left us by ourselves and went in search of Mme. de Quirinodo.

No-one in the classroom said a word; each of us felt that the big moment had arrived and that exciting things were about to happen.

The teacher was absent for only ten minutes. When she returned she seemed to look more satisfied than ever, and we concluded that the president would not be long in coming.

Nevertheless, the lesson that lasted from 8 to 10 o' clock went by without Mme. de Quirinodo's appearing.

As the first stroke of the chapel clock struck ten o' clock and as we waited for the sign to be dismissed from the classroom, Miss Elisa turned to us and said; "Young ladies, remain in your seats, the president will be here in five minutes to speak to one of you..."

It was then that Mme. de Quirinodo walked in, followed by the house-keeper and by six robust maids, and old Katherine who carried beneath her arm a big oblong parcel enveloped in cloth.

She put the bundle on Miss Elisa's desk, who smiled as she questioned her with a movement of her head.

"I have all that is needed!" replied old Katherine with a knowing smile.

The servants lined up against the blackboard; Miss Elisa gave up her seat to Mme. de Quirinodo; who, more beautiful and authoritative than ever, spoke in a clear and firm voice:

"Young ladies, one of your classmates has been guilty of a serious act of rebellion; she is the new girl, Miss McAnnay. I cannot pass such shortcomings by, especially as her parents have given me absolute freedom to punish her for her shortcomings, which are even more serious than I believed them to be."

"Yes, Miss McAnnay, I shall be obliged to punish you, as is customary here, that is to say physically...I advise you to submit quietly, otherwise you will suffer all the more, as I shall be obliged to be doubly severe."

While the president spoke, we turned our eyes towards the proud Miss Kate to see how she took all this. The young girl, her head held high, stared at the president with the most adorably cheeky air one could dream of.

When Mme.de Quirinodo ended her speech, she simply shrugged her shoulders.

"Yes, Miss McAnnay, I am speaking to you, get up and come here!"

The imperious voice had its effect; without losing her arrogant and half disgusted air Kate left her desk, and stopped in front of the president.

"What do you mean, Madame? I cannot make out this ridiculous ceremony, at the most an attempt to frighten a child. Do you realise I am no longer a child, I am nineteen years old, and shall marry as soon as I leave here, which will not be long."

"You will marry, if you so wish, when you leave here," said the president, "but for the moment you are under my guardianship, and I promise you that you shall be whipped right away...do you understand your position now? Indeed you will be whipped naked, like a baby, big girl though you are!"

Kate's face during this speech is impossible to describe; fury contracted her features, and the milky complexion of her downy skin was stained by a rich blush of indignation.

Suffocated, she could find no words to describe what she wished to say; her teeth gnashed with rage and her small fists were clenched, ready to fall on the face of the first person who would dare to approach.

It was necessary to act in such a way as to quickly bring matters to a finish, with the least possible disturbance.

Mme. de Quirinodo made a sign, and all the servants precipitated themselves on Miss McAnnay, who gave a veritable roar of rage.

"Hussies, jades," she screamed, " let me go! Oh it's vile, you are hurting me!"

This last exclamation was caused by the fact that the servants had nimbly tied her wrists behind her back, and pulled a little bit too hard on the strong silk cord.

And yet although her arms were immobilised, Kate defended herself bravely, kicking her feet, attempting to reach the servants bellies or shins.

They dragged her towards a heavy oak bench under the blackboard, and which was used only on rare circumstances, that is to say, when the victim was too recalcitrant.

Two maids pushed the bench onto the platform, so that the students should easily follow in all its details the scene that was to unfold before their eyes.

They pushed poor Kate onto the bench, and although she twisted about like an adder in the arms of those who were carrying her, she was soon forced to lie on her stomach on the bench, her hands soon tied to it, and her legs immobilised at the ankles by a strong leather strap.

Now it was necessary to undress her. The victim being defenceless, it was an easy thing to lift up her skirts, which old Katherine spread over on her shoulders, pinning them to the corsage.

The way Katherine was standing hid from us the suggestive sight of the undoing of the girl's drawers, but on hearing the frantic exclamation of shame and indignation that the Scottish girl made, we were perfectly certain that old Katherine was proceeding with the untying of the said drawers. When she moved aside to show us the victim, the operation had been completed, and we could satisfy our unhealthy curiosity, contemplating at our ease the naked bottom of the proud young lady.

It was a full, round bottom, plump, notable for the whiteness and the fineness of the skin,which is one of the most agreeable charms of beautiful red-haired women with downy skin.

In spite of the separation of her legs, in my opinion unnecessarily exaggerated, the victim by a supreme contraction of her muscles, managed to press together the two magnificent cheeks of her opulent posterior.

With all women who are flagellated this contraction is instinctive, as much by the wish to diminish the large surface dedicated to blows as by an ultimate sense of pudicity, that strains to hide from view the secret spot from whence she performs the very lowest of animal functions.

While they were tying the poor girl, the housekeeper had opened the parcel and had taken from it a riding-whip and a birch rod soaked in vinegar.

When the victim saw the instruments of torture she railed at the president, calling her a coward, a hussy, all the insults she could think of.

"I assure you," answered Mme, de Quirinodo with unruffled composure, "that we shall soon make you sing a different tune!"

She herself took the riding-whip, and her beautiful arm fell with force onto the big bottom that writhed, then fell back again while a shrill scream indicated that the pain was becoming acute.

The flagellation with the whip must have been terrible. We could see large red stripes show on the sweet skin of the beautiful alabaster buttocks, while they did not cease to writhe in an unruly dance.

The screams turned into unholy shrieks and we were all as white as death, for to see the sight, Mme. de Quirinodo whipping Kate, was as exciting a thing as could well be, to the future young flagellants that we all were.

If the pain had not been so dreadful, it would have been comic to see the funny sight of her bottom, now shining like a big kettle-drum of red copper.

Twenty-five blows of a riding-whip, it is something in itself! But, it was Kate's share only for a beginning!

The punishment must have been infinitely painful, for the poor girl jumped and writhed on the bench even though the president was no longer flogging her.

Besides, Mme. de Quirinodo was short of breath, animation coloured her pale complexion, and such as she was, we were all tempted to throw ourselves at her feet, to kiss the hem of her skirt, so beautiful was she!

She gave the switches to old Katherine, ordering her not to spare Kate's big bottom whose chubby and scarlet mien was veritably insolent.

The shrew armed herself with the switches, and the screams began again, more hoarse, more doleful.

One could hear the whistling of the rods through the air and the dull sound as they hit the flesh; one would think they were beating a carpet.

Aaaahhhh!...Oooohhhhh!...Oh how it hurts me! Please oh it hurts me!...My God! Enough!"

The poor girl was tamed, the tears gushed from her beautiful eyes, her haughty pride disappeared, she became like us all when we were obliged to undergo a whipping. The same pleas for mercy came to her lips, childish, stammering, hardly a difference between a young woman being whipped and a small child.

"Madame...I beseech you..enough...aaaaaahhhh...I shall die....aaaaahhhh...I have never known such pain!"

They untied her.

When she stood up she staggered as though she were drunk, putting her hand to her eyes.

"Now go and ask the president's pardon!" Miss Elisa told her sternly, pushing her.

Oh, mystery and miracle of the whip, this young girl, proud and haughty, who had considered herself a grown woman, was prostrating herself at Mme. de Quirinodo's feet, without even taking the time to pull up her drawers, for their fine material of lace wound itself around her ankles.

Kate kissed the hem of the president's skirt, she kissed the rod that had flogged her, and then her skirts pinned up, her drawers down, her bottom naked, she was made to lie over the bench once more, and was compelled to remain there for an hour, exposed for our close examination until we had all exhausted our curiosity.

From that day on, the proud girl had been tamed.
A little over the top, I think, but nevertheless it must have been entertaining for the class. Kate might possibly be the latest convert to the spanking afficionados at that school.
From Hermione's Heart


Roz said...

Wow, that was some harsh punishment, poor Kate! The pleasure everyone else got out of watching a little disturbing too. Wonderfully written story though. Thanks Hermoine :)


ronnie said...

Wouldn't like to receive a punishment like that. Poor Kate. Thanks for sharing the story Hermione.


Cat said...

Wow Hermione...I have to agree with Roz...that was a very harsh punishment. And the pleasure everyone seemed to get out of watching was more than a bit disturbing. Thanks for sharing...it's always interesting to see the earlier spanking stories and this was better written than many I have seen.

Hugs and blessings...Cat

Blondie said...

It was a terrible beating. It's amazing she had any skin left on her bottom

Hermione said...

I totally agree with all of you. It was extremely harsh. In fact, I edited out the final part of the beating, which I found disturbing. I will only say that there was a third implement used that broke the skin. It's interesting to read this sort of story from a historical perspective, to see what was a turn-on for the folks back then. Probably severe punishment was the norm.


Tom said...

Harsh to the point of cruelty. The kind of spankings we spankos give one another are of a very different nature.

Hermione said...

Tom, you are right. But this is a good example of the sort of writing that was produced and enjoyed in Victorian and Edwardian times.