Wednesday, May 20, 2020

From the Top Shelf - Hide in Plain Sight, part 3

More letters from Mary Beth to her friend Sally. Mary Beth knows she is immune to any punishments, so she pushes her luck.
July 19, 1957
Dear Sally,

It sure gets boring around here. It’s getting hot too. Back home we have an air conditioner at least, but not out here. Raylin comes down in the evenings and we talk. I think he’s sweet on me and I’m beginning to like him too, but I hate the darn rules he sets.

I noticed that there was a creek out back and I asked Debby where it went. She said that downstream there was a place called flat rock where there was a waterfall with a pool below. I asked her if they ever went swimming there and she said sure they did, only they had to have her momma’s permission to go and there had to be a chaperone and all that. And I reminded her that her momma had gone off to town for the day leaving Kate in charge. She lit up then and got Betty and Annie, two of the boarders, and said we could slip away from Kate, no problem. I said I’d get my swim suit on, but Debby said why not skinny dip? And I thought, oooh, how deliciously naughty. Skinny dipping. Debby said it was great, jumping in the water in only your birthday suit on a hot day. That part of the creek was on their property and no one was around, so why not? It sounded good to Betty and Annie. Well, that plan turned out to be our downfall, and I guess it was my fault that everyone got in trouble.

So we snuck off. Kate didn’t see us, so we thought we were home free. Now, I know Raylin had told me to stay around the house at all times, but I’d been there over a month and nobody had come nosing around. I never saw Raylin except when he came by, but I knew he patrolled all around the county looking for anyone suspicious, and I guess so far he saw nothing. I could see his cabin up on the hill and his car was gone so I figured he was off somewhere.

We got to flat rock and got out of our clothes. We were splashing around having a time when I heard a shout. We all looked up and here came Raylin with a rifle in his hand crashing through the woods. Then we heard a commotion on the other side of the creek and two men who had been hiding in a thicket stood up and took off. We all started screaming and ducked down in the water. Raylin crashed across the creek and chased the two men. In the meantime we got out to get our clothes on only to be met by Kate and Jolene who were standing right there by our clothes with their arms folded.

About that time Raylin came back and announced that the men were gone but that he recognized them, and he wanted to have a talk with me. Jolene told him to go back to the house and wait, that we would all be along directly, but that there was a chore to be done. Well, Raylin being a gentleman, he hid his eyes with his Stetson and walked back toward the house. When he was out of sight Jolene told us all to get out of the water. Betty and Debby started to reach for their clothes but Jolene said to stop right there. We stood there naked and dripping wet. She looked at me and said those men were there because of me and I’d put everyone in danger. She told Debby and Betty and Annie that they knew the rule and had disobeyed them. It was then I saw what Kate had been doing. She was cutting switches from a hickory with a pen knife. She cut several long thin switches and offered them to her momma. Jolene swished them and took the stoutest one, handing the other to Kate. Debby started blubbering again that she didn’t want a switching and Betty and Annie put their hands back as if to shield their bottoms.

There was a tree next to the creek with a low branch and Jolene told the three of them to get over there, bend over and grip that branch. She made them stick their bottoms out and so there they were, three naked girls spaced apart, bending over and holding that branch.

Jolene tapped Debby’s bottom and then let fly with three quick strokes that made this “whick” sound, one after the other. Debby half stood up and wailed and shook her bottom like she was trying to shake off the sting. Jolene told her she’d better hold on to that branch. Then Jolene moved over to Betty and gave her three sharp licks. Then she whipped Annie’s butt three times. This is the way it went. She rotated from one girl to the next, three sharp licks, then move down the line. The girls were shrieking and hopping from one foot to the next, begging Jolene to take it easy. The switch put these vivid red lines across their behinds and Jolene looked like she put some muscle behind every stroke. They were crying their eyes out by the time she stopped and I guess she must have dished out a couple of dozen. She turned then and shook that switch at me and said it was partly my fault and that I should be up there with them getting my licking but she’d promised Raylin.

When we got back Raylin took me aside and really let me have it. It was a terrible tongue lashing and I cried. I hated that. He’s so mean and at the same time he gives me the shivers and I’m all girlish and flustered. He said somehow those men had tracked me here, but how, he didn’t know. He said never, never stray away from the house again until this was over.

Another close call.
Bye for now,
Mary Beth

August 7, 1957
Dear Sally,

Big news! There has been a break in the case. Raylin just phoned Jolene and said he was coming by to tell me. Maybe I’m going home soon!

More later,
Mary Beth
Could Mary Beth really be going home? Wait and see.
From Hermione's Heart

1 comment:

Roz said...

This is getting interesting, close call indeed. Am enjoying this story Hermione. Looking forward to finding out what the break in the case is. I don't think Mary Beth should get her hopes up about going home though.