SUPPORT SPANKO
  HomeLog InRegisterSearch the ForumHelp
 
Enjoy our archives from 2004 - 2010 !!

 
Spanking Stories and Spanking Forums > Spanking Stories > Harsh Punishments > The Magistrate Part II  Forum Quick Jump
 
You cannot post new topics in this forum. You cannot reply to topics in this forum. Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> | Show Newest Post First ]

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/13/2007 3:22 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The Magistrate Part II
(Note - the below will make little sense if you don't read
www.spankinginternet.com/spanking/stories/default.aspx?f=12&m=253675 first...
- or it was before the site changed its name - now I think it's at forum.spanko.net/?f=12&m=253675&g=258449 so might want to read that first. That story introduces most of the characters, and this story makes no attempt to explain anyone who appeared in that first part is. If you missed the first story then go ahead and read it now - this one will still be here when you're done).


        The relief brought by deciding not to decide did not last long. Tracy was in an irritable mood. The pain in her arse, mixed with the ache of her strained muscles, did nothing to brighten her mood. Neither did the feeling that she was missing something from her memories of the previous day.


        Her foul mood was not improved when one of the maids, a girl named Elaine, bumped into her whilst carrying a load of bed sheets. Knocked off balance, Tracy fell, landing hard on her backside with a jolt that brought tears to her eyes and a sob to her throat.

        "Miss? Are you alright Miss?"

        Tracy fought to banish the tears and search for something to say. She hadn't fallen that hard, not really, but she had tears in her eyes and no way to explain them.

        Lacking a defense, Tracy went on the offense.

        "You clumsy ox! Look what you did! Why were you rushing about like that?"

        "But miss, I wasn't rushing. Honestly I wasn't." Elaine answered.

        "Calling me a liar are you? Calling me a liar to my face?" Tracy demanded, channeling her pain to rage.

        "No Miss! Of course not Miss! Very sorry Miss!"

        Tracy hated the look of panic on the girl's face, but the quarrel was raising the household. The housekeeper, Mrs. Larsen, must surely be making her way to source of the shrieking. Tracy knew she couldn't allow the woman to suspect the real reason behind Tracy's tears.

        "Sorry? Not yet you're not." Tracy vowed.

        "But Miss, all I did was..."

        "You've do quite enough!" Tracy snapped. "Now be quiet!"

        All too soon Mrs. Larsen was with them. Tracy used those brief moments to marshal her case against the somewhat careless, but otherwise innocent, maid.

        "Miss Tracy! Whatever is the matter?"

        Mrs. Larsen's question was the cue for Tracy to pour out her story. It was less than coherent, even to Tracy, but it hit upon the main points. Elaine's clumsiness, the bump and fall, followed by Elaine's sharp tongue and accusations of lying.


        Mrs. Larsen listened attentively, convinced that there was more happening than what Tracy was saying, but not hearing a clue of what it was.

        "Maybe she's on the verge of hysteria." Mrs. Larsen wondered. "She has never needed a visit from Doctor Raistlin, but she might be heading towards it."

        Which was not a good thing. Tracy's mother had needed frequent visits from the good doctor, often requiring his aid to reach hysterical paroxysm and relieve her of her symptoms. Before her parents had departed on their travels Mrs. Hickman had had a quiet talk with Mrs. Larsen and explained that Doctor Raistlin's massage treatments were not for Tracy. Clearly fast and decisive action was needed.

        "I see. Elaine, be quiet!" Mrs. Larsen snapped, although the maid had said nothing to defend herself. "There's scrubbing and scouring to be done, and lots of it. Don't worry Miss Tracy. By the time I'm done she'll be too tired to make trouble."

        "But missus I..."

        "That's not enough." Tracy snapped. "That's just her working hard at her normal job."

        "Well, there's working on her half morning off." Mrs. Larsen began, but Tracy's expression told her that working the maid harder wasn't going to satisfy her. "Then there's always the threat of reduced wages, say half wages for a week."

        Elaine bit her tongue. Her family needed the pittance she sent home. To be reduced to half wages would strain their meager resources.

        "Half? When she doesn't really earn anything?" Tracy demanded, rage finally banishing the tears from her eyes. "Besides that, she eats our food and lives under our roof, so how does that punish her?"

        Mrs. Larsen paused, and sent Elaine a pitying look. While her parents were traveling, technically Miss Tracy was the head of the household. Of course she could not effect major changes, such as firing the housekeeper or Mr. Waylan (the butler), but if sending poor Elaine off without letters of reference was what it took to satisfy Miss Tracy, then Elaine was in a world of trouble. The girl might appeal to Miss Tracy's uncle; as the closest male relative living the vicinity he could easily have final say on any household issues, but to put a maid that offended his niece at his mercy, no, that wouldn't do. Miss Tracy's Aunt Elizabeth might be a better choice, but Mrs. Larsen knew that neither of Tracy's parents would want to return home and discover that Mrs. Larsen had had to go outside of the household to solve a problem. Especially not one as insignificant as a maid.

        Just as she was resigning to letting Elaine go, Mrs. Larsen saw another way. She found it in Miss Tracy's own words.

        "Punish her? Well of course we could that. We could send her to your uncle's stables to be dealt with, or have Waylan do it."

        Tracy frowned at the thought of involving her uncle, even by proxy. As for bothering Waylan, whilst Tracy knew that technically she might be in charge of the household (by the sole virtual of being the only family member in residence), she did not feel comfortable in offering Waylan anything resembling an order.

        Then Elaine made a noise, a panicked erping sound, and Tracy knew she couldn't let the issue lie. That after the fuss she had made she would have to do something.

        "Oh, there's no need to get Uncle Frank involved, I'm sure we can handle this ourselves." Tracy said, her rage fading.

        Seeing the anger fading from Tracy's eyes, Mrs. Larsen wished they hadn't gone so far down the road in discussing punishments. But they had, which meant whilst that Mr. Waylan might not be involved Elaine was still going to be punished.

        "Of course Miss Tracy. Now by we, do you mean that you wish to involve yourself with the correction?"

        "Um, of course." Tracy blustered, convinced that if she backed down now she would raise suspicions.

        "I see. And what type of punishment did you have in mind?" Mrs. Larsen asked carefully.

        "Well, I, well, that is to say, well, I must admit that it is not often that I am under stairs." Tracy admitted. "What types are there?"

        Elaine forced herself to remain calm as the housekeeper began listing potential dooms.

        "Well there's smacking, slippering, the strap, the cane, the birch, the crop..."

        "We have a cane?" Tracy asked in surprised.

        "Well, actually, no, but we can easily borrow one." Mrs. Larsen answered, relieved that Elaine wasn't facing a harsher instrument. "Shall I make the arrangements? Elaine, go to the kitchen and wait there while Miss Tracy and I talk about your caning."

        Tracy wanted to speak up, to say that she hadn't meant to decide on a caning but only wanted to ask about it, but again she didn't want this to turn into a discussion that would raise suspicions.

        Elaine fled, and Mrs. Larsen tried to distract Tracy from anger with mundane details.

        "So, will you be wanting a heavy cane, or a lighter one?"

        "Um, which can we borrow?"

        "Oh, almost any type." Mrs. Larsen assured her. "Anything from one of the school canes to one of the much heavier ones."

        "But borrowing a cane?"

        "Oh, it happens all the time under stairs." Mrs. Larsen assured her. "As long as it is something durable or replaceable the servants borrow and lend to meet their employer's needs."

        "But how common are canes?" Tracy pressed.

        "Oh, they are a mite sight rarer than they once were." Mrs. Larsen allowed. "Of course the school canes are the most common. Popular with some of the governesses and tutors."

        "They are?"

        "Of course, and don't you worry. We'll have one here within the quarter hour." Mrs. Larsen assured her. "We'll use your father's study for privacy and handle everything between just us."

        "Um, fine." Tracy said, wondering when she had made the decision.


        Mrs. Larsen knew she had lied. The story of Elaine's caning would spread through the house. Mr. Waylan would know almost at once, and if he thought it needed he would include it in his regular reports to Tracy's parents. The fact they had to borrow a cane would spread the tale further, and once gossip opened its ugly mouth half the servants in the town would know about it.

        But Miss Tracy wouldn't know that others knew, which made it less of a lie.


        Entering the kitchen, Mrs. Larsen found a nervous Elaine waiting for her and sighed. Elaine was not alone and all the girls looked as if they had a case of nerves. There would be precious little work done in the house today.

        "Mrs. Larsen, you must believe me! I didn't really..."

        "Oh, you probably didn't." Mrs. Larsen agreed, to the shock of the maid. "But Miss Tracy is upset, and it's her that signs your wages in Mr. Waylan's book, so here we are."

        "We are?" Elaine asked.

        "Of course. Miss Tracy is in a state, which means nothing to us except that she took it out on you."

        "So I'm not to be punished?" Elaine said in wonderment.

        "Who said that? I didn't. You might not fully deserve what is about to happen, but you're no saint neither. There must have been something you got away with in the past. Shirking at your work, muttering at your betters, something that you escaped punishment for. Now run along to the Perren's and ask if you can borrow a school cane. Talk to their housekeeper, and be quick about it."

        "Me?" Elaine gasped. "But why me?"

        "Because there's work that needs doing, so since you'll not doing any work now it would be wrong to send someone else to do it." Mrs. Larsen explained.

        "But what if they won't lend it?"

        "Then we'll think about someone else to ask." Mrs. Larsen said. "But their young master Jeff gets up to so much mischief that they have more than one cane to deal with him. They leave them where he's likely to be, so they will be at hand when they are needed. Now go."

        Elaine's face wobbled.

        "And of course you might be tempted to walk out that door and keep on going, but where would that leave you?" Mrs. Larsen asked, almost kindly. "Adrift in the world. All alone without references. And if Miss Tracy becomes upset that you've gone and complains to her uncle, well, you'd be up before the magistrate and sent away. Go on dear. It's for the best."


        Tracy stood waiting in her room until a timid maid told her that all was ready. Entering her father's study, it didn't occur to Tracy that Waylan's key had been needed to open it. Inside, she found Mrs. Larsen and Elaine waiting.

        Tracy closed the door after herself.

        "Well, let's get on with this." Tracy said nervously.

        "Of course Miss. Tracy. Elaine, bend over the desk."

        "Wait." Tracy said. "How will I know where to hit?"

        "Oh, well, if you want to be the one to do the caning, well, it's generally the spot that sticks out when she's bent over." Mrs. Larsen answered.

        "But I don't want to hurt her so that she cannot work." Tracy said. She was sure that her parents were getting regular reports on the household, and whilst handling a clumsy maid need not be mentioned, a decline in the general efficiency would be. "So I want to avoid her legs and such."

        "I see. Well, that's simple to fix. Elaine, expose your bottom." Mrs. Larsen ordered. Turning to Tracy she continued: "This may be a bit embarrassing for you, but be assured that servants lack many of the sensibilities of gentlefolk. She won't mind doing this."

        The look on Elaine's face put lie to Mrs. Larsen's words, but the maid rushed to obey.


        Once more Tracy found that she could not face away. The skin on Elaine's bottom looked taut as the maid bent, framed as it was by the rest of her uniform. The maid hadn't stripped, but of course she hadn't needed to. Her uniform had been designed with toilet breaks in mind, which allowed her to display what needed to be expose without removing her clothing.

        "Now Miss Tracy, if you will just stand over here like this, good, I'll show you what you need to do." Mrs. Larsen said, guiding the girl into position and giving her the cane. "First you hold it parallel to your target, then tap it to make sure you've found your spot, then bring it back and let her have it."

        Tracy thought the impact sounded more like a splotch than a thwack. Elaine gave a little jump, but Tracy knew it was nothing like what had happened to her.

        "And that's how it's done. Now, what number will you set for the punishment?" Mrs. Larsen asked.

        "Number?"

        "Whilst with a slippering or smacking or something of that nature you can often the judge amount of punishment left to go by the state of the target, with the cane it usually best to go with a fixed number." Mrs. Larsen explained gently.

        "Um, well, six, no! Twelve." Tracy said.

        "Twelve it is." Mrs. Larsen agreed. She decided that Tracy must be familiar with the common school phrase 'six of the best' so the girl had doubled that.


        The next stroke Tracy landed impacted with a bit more force, as did the ones following it. Tracy could see that Elaine was forcing herself to remain in place with all her will, but the maid did jump a bit with the more painful strokes. Improving with practice and confidence, Tracy finally produced a thwack with her sixth stroke.

        After the seventh, Tracy paused.

        "Would you like me to finish the correction?" Mrs. Larsen asked.

        "Um, I suppose that would be for the best." Tracy answered.

        The final five strokes all produced meaty thwacks, and Elaine jumped after each of them. Tracy could see a clear difference between the weak lines she had left and the solid ones that Mrs. Larsen inflicted. In a way she felt cheated that her role in the caning had been such a weak one.

        "And twelve." Mrs. Larsen declared. "Now get yourself cleaned up and start scrubbing the back hallway. I want it clean enough to eat from, clear?"

        Elaine rose with tears on her cheeks. Tracy could see the maid wanted to blubber, but that the maid wasn't allowing herself to do so.

        "Of course Mrs. Larsen. And sorry Miss Tracy, it will never happen again." Elaine said in a horse, half sobbing voice.

        "And return this cane to where you borrowed it. Today!"

        Elaine fled the room with the cane.

        "You sent her to borrow the cane?" Tracy asked in surprise.

        "Well, she wasn't at her normal duties, and unlike the others I knew she wouldn't gossip." Mrs. Larsen explained.

        "But what if she hadn't come back?" Tracy asked.

        "Leave, without notice or reference?" Mrs. Larsen's shock showed in her voice. "Oh, it would near be starvation for her then. That or the workhouse. Or the prison. No, she wouldn't have left her position over a caning, not in a month of Sundays."

        That answer bore thinking about. Tracy left her father's study to consider it.


        Two weeks after her misadventure with the magistrate, Tracy finally allowed that her bottom was mostly healed. Which was both good (because now sitting no longer required an effort not to wince) and bad (because the decision she had put off could now be made). With the decision staring her in the face, Tracy needed to think about it.

        Tracy tried not to think about it, but she couldn't find other things to occupy her mind. She tried to concentrate on domestic matters, doing what she could do aid in the running of the household, but that only reminded her that she had caned a maid.

        Caned her with a borrowed cane.


        "Mrs. Larsen, it disturbs me that we were forced to bother one of our neighbours for a purely domestic matter. It does not feel right. Where did that cane from?" Tracy asked.

        "Oh, I believe it was from the Perren household. They have several, at the request of their governess."

        Tracy thought about the Perren's governess. Such a slight woman. Tracy couldn't picture her using a cane, not with Jeff Perren. It was almost disturbing to think about, so she switched her gears.

        "But it is wrong to borrow. Should we not have one of our own?"

        "Perhaps. It's just that your parents never bother using one. Why don't you investigate where you can find one?" Mrs. Larsen suggested. "Then buy one, or more, and have the bill sent?"

        "You're right. I should." Tracy said.

        Mrs. Larsen watched Tracy leaving, determinacy showing in every step, and relaxed. With Tracy gone on that errand, the household could return to it normal smooth running routine.


        Tracy's determination vanished by the time she left her house. She had said that she would go, so she did, but where? Who would she ask about it? With other household tasks she had consulted her Aunt Elizabeth, but Tracy knew she couldn't mention a cane to her uncle's wife. Not so soon after their discussion of that accident.


        It took days of hesitate, half asked questions, for Tracy to find a store that dealt with the item she was looking for. It might have taken far less time, but Mrs. Larsen had hinted to various merchants they shouldn't speed Tracy's search by answering the questions she was obviously attempting to ask, and those merchants (knowing who usually bought for the household) had cooperated.


        The store was in an area that Tracy rarely frequented. Passing through the door she saw various items of household correction on display, including a wide variety of canes.

        "Hello, are you being served?"

        Tracy turned to find an older woman looking expectantly at her.

        "Not at the moment." Tracy said. "And I'm not quite sure what to buy. I didn't expect such a selection."

        "Well what did they say you should be getting when you were sent here? A birching? A hiding?" The woman asked, taking Tracy's arm.

        An arm that Tracy immediately reclaimed.

        "I believe there has been an misunderstanding on your part." Tracy said haughtily. "I am Miss Tracy Hickman, and whilst my parents are travelling I am in charge of the household. As such, I have decided I might be making changes in how the staff is managed."

        "Oh, my mistake! Please, accept my humblest apologies. It's just that we run a bit of a correction service in the back, so when someone such as yourself walks through the door it's natural to think... Hickman? Any relation to Magistrate Hickman?"

        "I have the honour to be his niece."

        "Of course! I see the resemblance. Well, since we are doing introductions, I am Mrs. Slocombe and I more or less run this shop. Now what changes did you say you were making in your household?"

        "Um, well, since my parents left things have been getting a little slack, so I thought I would buy something. Maybe not to use, but to be seen."

        "Oh my dear child, when you buy something to be seen you must do so with the expectation that it will be used. Otherwise the staff will pick up on the fact that you don't plan to use it, and it will be worthless. And even should they not notice your hesitation, then sooner or later the effectiveness of the purchase will have worn off and you will have to remind them of it. Anything that you buy you will use, well, if not once a week then more than once a month."

        "Oh. Really?"

        "My dear I have years of experience on these matters, and I assure you that it is so. Now, what kind of things where you thinking of getting?"

        "Um, well, I had thought a cane, but there are just so many to choose from." Tracy said.

        "Yes, we have quite the selection, but when buying the tool it is important to remember what jobs you will use it for. If you would come this way."

        Tracy followed the woman to the canes, which were stored in what looked umbrella stands.

        "Now this, this on is rarely used outside the first form." Mrs. Slocombe said, picking a slight one up and giving it a whoosh. "A ruler would do the job better than this, but it's good for introducing a cane to the first forms."

        Mrs. Slocombe then sorted those canes of greater thickness, asking for details of Tracy's household while she did so. Tracy found herself listing off the ages and descriptions of the maids.

        "And you say they are mostly strangers to the cane? Hmmm... I recommend three. A lighter one to introduce them to it, a heavier one for extreme cases, and moderate one for most use." Mrs. Slocombe said, collecting a selection of canes. "Now would you like a better look at these?"

        Without pausing for Tracy's answer, Mrs. Slocombe called: " Shirley? Are you available to help me with a customer?"

        "Why do we need her?" Tracy asked.

        "Why, you don't plan to buy without seeing the effect, do you? Surely you have experience with mannequins?"

        Tracy nodded. The fancier clothing store had mannequins, women and girls who showed what the clothing looked like when it was worn. But what had that to do with canes?


        Thwack!

        Tracy winced as another line appeared on the shop girl's arse, and Mrs. Slocombe extolled the virtues of this thickness over another. She found herself ordering several more canes than she ever expected to be used just to bring the demonstration to an end.

        Mrs. Slocombe escorted her from the backroom where they had tested the canes (leaving the shop girl to collect herself), and discovered that a woman was browsing through the store.

        "Did the demonstration go well?" The woman asked, showing a level of familiarity with Mrs. Slocombe. "I'm surprised she doesn't have tears in her eyes."

        Tracy blushed, not only at the words, but at the fact that the woman had clearly heard what had happened in the backroom.

        "Oh, she's the customer, not the tester. Shirley pulled mannequin duty today and is collecting herself."

        "Oh, I see. Pray excuse my erroneous conclusion."

        "Oh, it is nothing." Tracy replied. She knew it was a lie as she spoke the words, but it was what politeness called for.

        "And here we are, strangers talking. Well we shall be strangers no more. I am Leslie, and you?"

        "Um, Tracy." Tracy answered, wondering if the store's protocol called for first names. Even if it didn't she didn't want her last name being bandied around as a customer of this store.

        "Well, if my ears didn't deceive me you were looking at canes, as am I. Perhaps we could shop together as Mrs. Solcombe writes up your order?" Leslie offered.

        With Mrs. Solcombe retreating to the counter, Tracy felt she had no polite response save shopping with the woman.

        "Now this, something like this is good for a hand." Leslie said, swishing a cane. "If someone is sneaking what isn't hers, or grabbing in an ill-mannered fashion at food, this is great to crack down on the offending hand."

        "I see." Tracy said.

        "This wood is new." Leslie noted. "I wonder if it is any good. Normally there's a shop girl, but if you would be so good as to help?"

        Tracy could barely believe her eyes as the woman handed her a cane and bent to touch her toes.

        "A little help?" Leslie said, prompting Tracy to bring the cane down awkwardly.

        "No good." Leslie said as she rose. "It didn't have enough bend to it. If you had used real force it might have broken."

        "Um, why, I mean, um, is one permitted to know..."

        "Oh, this shop encourages a certain level of informality." Leslie said. "Out with the question, and who cares if it is phrased politely?"

        "Um, are you buying a cane for yourself? I mean not buy but for, um..." Tracy asked, her blush returning.

        "No you silly goose. But a wise person once told me to never use an instrument whose effect I didn't know. So before I use any new instrument I have a little taste of it first. Why, there was one thing that if I hadn't tested myself I would have never known how it produced noise and not much pain." Leslie said with a laugh. "But most of these I've bought before, and I just need to see if the replacement is of the quality of the original, so I won't need to do more than swing them."

        "Replacements?"

        "Of course! Canes bend through use, and sometimes break, so they need replacing. Ah, this is an old favorite, but is this one as springy as the last? Perhaps you could help?"

        "Um, of course." Tracy said.

        "Wonderful! If you would just bend forward."

        "But, um, last time..."

        "Last time showed that you are not yet expert in wielding a cane." Leslie pointed out.

        "But..."

        "You did say that you would help." Leslie reminded her.

        She had agreed, and to agree and not do the agreed upon task was a form of welshing, which just wasn't done. Tracy bent forward, then jump up straight at the crack of the cane.

        "Yes, just as springy as its predecessor." Leslie commented. "Of course, if that had been a real caning, then that strike wouldn't have counted. Too much movement."

        "I see. Well, that is good to remember." Tracy said, fighting the urge to rub at her backside.

        "So, I know why I need more canes, why do you?"

        "Well, I have been left in charge of my household whilst my parents are traveling, and I've decided that things are becoming a little slack."

        "What? Alone in your house? No family in the town? Nowhere to turn to for help?"

        "Oh no, my uncle stands ready to help with any emergency." Tracy assured Leslie. "And as he is a magistrate there is much aid he can render."

        "A magistrate? A local one?" Leslie asked. "One I would have heard of?"

        "Yes, Magistrate Hickman." Tracy answered.

        Leslie's face shifted slightly, and she looked deeper at Tracy.

        "It seems I have heard of him." Leslie said, then she saw Mrs. Slocombe approaching them. "Ah, it also seems that your order is prepared. This is such a fascinating conversation. May I call at you some time to continue it?" Leslie asked.

        Once more Tracy gave the answer politeness demanded

        "Why, of course."

        "Wonderful! Now I must head back and have a little talk with the mannequin."

        Leslie had barely entered the backroom when Tracy jumped at the crack of a cane.

        "Now will you be carrying these with you, or shall I have sent around?" Mrs. Slocombe asked, ignoring the sounds coming from the backroom.

        "Delivered." Tracy answered, her mind elsewhere. Leslie's face had almost seemed familiar, but where had Tracy seen it? While shopping was the most likely answer, but which stores?


        Just outside the shop, still wondering if she had seen Leslie before, Tracy almost collided with a woman headed towards the store.

        "Oh, sorry dear. Why it's Tracy Hickman, isn't it?"

        It took Tracy a moment to place the face; whilst a governess wasn't truly a servant, neither was she family, and Tracy had not meet the Perren's governess many times.

        As Tracy searched for the name, the governess continued.

        "I see Mrs. Larsen decided that she shouldn't have to borrow canes in the future. Well, tell her that it was no bother, and should she wish to save time in the future she should just send you over and I'll handle it all myself. To think that she sent you out here to buy a cane all by yourself."

        "Wait. The thing is, well..." Tracy began, in an attempt to set the record straight.

        "A girl you like, here without an escort? Why, I strongly doubt if anyone would make a move to stop me if I took your arm, escorted you back in that shop, and then gave you a sound thrashing in the backroom."

        Tracy opened her mouth to explain that Mrs. Slocombe knew she was just there to shop for others, but a terrible idea dawned on her. Mrs. Slocombe, who had said nothing as Tracy and Leslie had tested those canes, might not involve herself in a discussion between two customers. That the store's staff might very well just stand back and do nothing as Tracy was thrashed.

        The governess just smiled at the expression on Tracy's face, then pushed passed her into the store. Not only had Tracy failed to find a counter to the woman's argument, she hadn't even remembered her name.

        Shaken by the encounter, Tracy hurried home.


        Once home, Tracy found herself with her mirror again, looking at the faint line that Leslie's cane had left on her backside. Mrs. Larsen, noticing that Tracy was bringing a hand mirror into the bathroom, wondered if a session with Doctor Raistlin's services weren't needed. While Tracy's mother had been quite explicit, more than one girl Tracy's age (and younger) was receiving regular treatments at the good doctor's hands.


        When a selection of canes arrived the next morning, Mrs. Larsen wondered if they weren't a symptom of hysteria. But their presence brought a worse thought to Mrs. Larsen's mind. The daughter of a housekeeper who had spent her life in service, Mrs. Larsen had never seen a woman buy a frock that was not intended to be worn or a man buy a gun that was not intended to be shot. Obviously then, these canes were bought to be used, which wouldn't do at all. Mrs. Larsen knew she ran a good household, and whilst she never hesitated when correction was called for Mrs. Larsen feared the disruptions the canes would bring. Tracy's attempts at pitching in had shown her housekeeper that if Tracy decided to try handling discipline for the maids then things would become chaotic. Correction was one thing, but wild discipline for no real reason could drive a maid to another house, and any disruption of the household would be Mrs. Larsen fault. But perhaps out of sight would be out of mind.

        That afternoon, Tracy asked the housekeeper if any deliveries had come that day.

        "Of course Miss Tracy. There are regular deliveries everyday." Mrs. Larsen answered.

        "No, I meant, um, of household goods."

        "Of course Miss Tracy. We receive household goods on most days." Mrs. Larsen said. "And as normal I handled the organizing of them. Or Cook did."

        Tracy didn't want to show an undue attention to the canes, in case Mrs. Larsen asked why Tracy had bought so many of them and the story of yesterday's disastrous shopping trip came pouring out, so she dropped the subject.


        It was a few days that Tracy was returning home after some errands. They had taken longer than planned, devouring the entire morning, and Tracy was looking forward to a nice lunch. Then she saw a woman with a raised hand, about to knock on the Hickman house's door, and of course the woman heard Tracy's footsteps and turned.

        Tracy saw that it was that Leslie woman she had met in that store.

        "What a fortunate coincidence." Leslie beamed. "I had just finished my morning errands and was about to drop my card off. I realize this seems a bit forward, but in an effort to save time, bypassing me giving your butler my card, him passing it to your housekeeper, you receiving it, then a servant being dispatched with a reply, might one ask when would be a good time to call?"

        Tracy's smile didn't waver, but only because she didn't let it. Those steps that Leslie had wanted to bypass were, in Tracy's mind, good ones. They allowed the butler to screen her callers, keeping the undesirables away. They allowed the housekeeper to have input, not that Mrs. Larsen would say anything, but the twist of her lip or the look in her eyes would speak volumes. They also provided a ready excuse if Tracy didn't wish to meet with Leslie, and seeing Leslie's card would tell Tracy the woman's last name without the familiarity of asking.

        "Well, I was about to dine..." Tracy began, working on a polite excuse for why Leslie should just leave her card.

        "Splendid! Then we shall lunch together. There's a wonderful little restaurant I know that you will love. And of course it will be my treat."

        Tracy saw no polite way of refusing, and found herself led to a little restaurant.


        By the time they reached it the restaurant was slowly emptying after the lunch rush.

        "And what does the chief recommend?" Leslie asked as they were seated at a secluded table, one of the few that wasn't in use and didn't need clearing.

        "The mutton dish is particularly good today." Said the waiter.

        "Mutton does sounds good, doesn't it?" Leslie said to Tracy.

        "It sounds wonderful." Tracy said, motivated by hunger rather than a love of mutton. It had been a light breakfast and this was a late lunch, so searching through the menu would only delay her meal.

        "And wine. Something that goes good with mutton." Leslie declared.

        Tracy held her tongue. She would not normally have ordered wine whilst lunching in public, but she couldn't begrudge Leslie doing so.

        When the waiter returned he carried a bottle and two glasses. Before Tracy could find a polite way to object she had a glass of wine in front of her. The bottle was left on the table.

        "Cheers!" Leslie said, lifting her glass. "To the beginning of a friendship."

        Knowing it would be rude not to, Tracy joined the toast.


        Another bottle came with the meal. Not that it was needed, not quite, but they had each had two glasses and the bottle was becoming empty. Tracy told herself to watch what she was drinking; the wine hitting her empty stomach was making her head swim more than a bit.

        Conversation was limited whilst they ate. At one point, nodding to a mother at another table who was berating a daughter for not eating faster, Leslie said: "Now that's something that could ruin a meal. Honestly, sometimes I think children should be banned from these places."

        Tracy found herself nodding at that statement, but Leslie continued with: "Or they should have a backroom stocked with a strap, slipper, birch, and cane for those who need a lesson in manners."

        It took half a second for Leslie's later words to sink in, so by the time Tracy finished nodding she knew it seemed as if she had agreed to the codicil as well.


        The heavy meal, combined with the wine and the heat of the day, seemed to sap Tracy's energy. When it came time for desert Leslie asked about one of her favorites.

        "Oh, I'm so sorry, but that's off at the moment." The waiter said. "May I suggest..."

        Leslie's face revealed her annoyance, but as the waiter described an alternate that included chocolate shaving over whipped cream, her face soon modified.

        "That sounds divine." Leslie said. Looking to Tracy, she added: "Would you join me in an order?"

        Tracy found herself nodding, then joining in on a scrumptious end to their meal.


        "I don't know about you, but after such a delicious meal, I generally feel the need to walk some of it off or else I'd curl up in bed for a little nap." Leslie said as they left the restaurant. "Would you like to join me?"

        "The park is nice this time of day." Tracy nodded, hoping that a walk would provide an excuse to politely ask for Leslie's name and particulars.

        "A walk it is then." Leslie nodded.


        The park was pleasant enough. Tracy had walked it many times, but Leslie was leading her into places she had rarely wandered. Places away from the main walking paths, but not quite into the bushes. Tracy would have objected to the bushes, but as they kept to the lesser traveled and narrower paths she could find no reason to complain.

        "Now that is a magnificent looking birch." Leslie commented. "Such a majestic tree."

        "I generally prefer oaks." Tracy said. "Or the ash."

        "You are not with that." Leslie said. "The oak, holly, and ash are some of the land's most celebrated trees. Few girls cherish the birch the way they should, but I have many found memories of them."

        Leslie led them closer to get a better view of the tree, and Tracy felt her breath catch in her throat. There, shaded from view by the bitch, was a bench. There was nothing inherently special about the bench, it was just one of many in the park, but what was on it took her breath away.

        There was a man with a girl. The girl was clearly sitting on his lap, with her arms around his neck and her lips locked with his. As for what the man's hands were doing...

         Leslie quickly (and quietly) guided Tracy away.

        "Disgraceful!" Leslie said in a low voice. "And in public too! Being of the lower classes does not excuse all "

        Tracy nodded along. It was clear that the pair were from the lower classes. Even if their manners had not proclaimed their clothing clearly marked them as such.

        "So it's agreed, there's no excuse." Leslie said.

        Moments later Leslie was approaching a uniformed policeman.

        "Constable? I do not know the best way to approach this, so I will be blunt. Down that path, near a majestic birth, there was a bench with a couple on it, a man and a woman, and words fail me when I attempt to describe what I saw happening there. How can such indecent behaviour be allow to exist?"

        The constable tipped his hat and walked down the path to deal with the situation.


        Tracy stood in near shock. She had been offended, and rightly so, but she would have never have thought of involving the police in the matter. She was still standing there when the constable returned, dragging a squawking girl behind him.

        "The lad took off, but this one was too slow. It just shows how their type lacks all pretense of gallantry."

        "And will you be taken her in?" Leslie quizzed him.

        "After a public display like that one, and the language when I caught them together? Of course."

        The girl wailed, then tried to squirm out of the constable's grasped.

        "None of that missy."

        "Um, we will not be called to give evidence, will we?" Tracy asked nervously. She hadn't seen her uncle since that horrid day, and to come before him as a witness would involve her in this sordid affair.

        "Of course not Miss. I saw them at it, so it will be on my complaint. Just try to put the whole thing out your head." The constable said gently.

        "But if we wanted to be sure that justice was done?" Leslie asked.

        "Well, I'll be taking this one in, she'll be written up in the book with all her particulars, and then appear in front of the magistrates, say around three."

        "I wants me rights! I wants me a solicitor!" The girl whined.

        "Listen to her!" The constable chuckled. "You'll not going up for murder, just public indecency and maybe resisting arrest if you're not careful. Besides, it's a barrister you need, not a solicitor."

        Tracy just watched as the girl was dragged away.

        "I believe we should be at that hearing." Leslie stated quite firmly. "Just imagine if there is some problem with his complaint and that piece of baggage isn't held to account. Or did you approve of her behaviour?"

        "Of course not!"

        "Then it's settled."

        Tracy hadn't wanted to see the girl's hearing, but to do otherwise might leave the impression that she had not been offended by the outrageous behaviour. Doing that might leave a stain upon her own honour, and she couldn't allow that.


        They spent a few hours browsing through shops. Tracy quickly learned that Leslie was quick with a sharp word for any shop girl whose service was less than perfect, but she didn't learn Leslie's last name.

        Then they were walking quickly, getting to the hearing well above three, in case the girl's case had been moved up.


        It hadn't.

        Tracy had seen countless hearings, but this was the first time she had seen the offence. She listened spellbound as the clerk read out the charge and the girl's particulars. She was Nancy Berberick, a shop girl who was employed at Blue Moon Books, and whilst this was not the first such complaint against her since she had left school it was the first to warrant the attentions of a magistrate.

        "Do you dispute that you are Nancy Berberick, the girl named in this case and the particulars herein?" Frank Hickman asked.

        "No, I'm Nancy."

        "Let the record show that the accused did not dispute the particulars in this case." Frank instructed the court. "Then by the complaint of the constable, you are sentenced to one month incarceration and fifteen strikes of the cane."

        "Buts I haven't had me say yet!" Nancy protested.

        Frank simply hammered his gavel down, had the girl taken away, and called for the next case.

        "Should we go now?" Leslie whispered.

        "No, he hates it when members of the public enter or leave when a case is before him, and there's never time to get to the door before the next case is presented." Tracy explained.

        There weren't many cases to be heard during this session, and soon it was over. As they were leaving, Gary stopped Tracy and handed her a note.

        "Oh, my uncle noticed me in court today and wants a quick word." Tracy said upon reading it.

        "Then we'll have to meet up again later." Leslie said.


        Frank looked up from his desk as his niece entered his office.

        "You wouldn't happen to be on of the witnesses mentioned in the constable's report?" Frank asked.

        Startled by the abrupt question, Tracy stammered out that she was. She had no idea how he connected her to that particular case, but clearly he had.

        "I thought the description sounded familiar, and it was seeing you in court that confirmed it." Frank said. "Well, you have been in on the case from the offense through the hearing, would you like to be a witness of the sentence?"

        "You mean..."

        "It's just that Mrs. Wiess couldn't make it today, and it's always best to have a member of the fairer gender present when something like that happens. If you choose to attend we shall be the only witnesses, and the procedure clearly states that there must be at least two witnesses."

        Tracy tried to demur, but her uncle wasn't taking no for an answer.

        "Then it's settled. If you will wait with my clerk while I finish up a few things, we should have you home well in time for your tea."


        The route she traveled this time was far different from the one that Gary had taken her down. As they stopped at yet another door that had to be unlocked, then locked when they had passed through it, Tracy saw why Gary had taken the other route. Even if he had been trusted with so many keys it would have taken hours for him to open and lock them all.

        Then they were in the stone room again, entering it from one of the others doors, and Tracy found herself battling her corset for breath. She saw the shop girl was already exposed and fastened in place, with a man just tightening the last strap on the girl's leg. Of course he had to bend forward in that manner, but the way he was standing like that was absolutely obscene.

        Then the man looked up and said: "Another one?"

        Tracy froze. She knew, just knew, that if her uncle said one word (the word "yes") then he would forcibly strip her and strap her down next to the errant shop girl.

        "No Dave, my niece is here to serve as a witness." Frank said.

        Not that he hadn't pictured saying yes, but he knew before he left his chambers that if he did that then his niece would never trust him again.

        "Dave." Tracy thought, a blush spreading. This must the Mr. Anderson who had strapped her, who had seen her trussed up like that girl was.

        "I want a bloody solicitor!" Nancy demanded, a sob going through her voice.

        "None of that." Frank snapped. "The bridle?"

        "Of course your honour. Right away your honour." Dave answered quickly.

        The girl continued to mouth obscenities until the bridle was on her.

        "That's better now. Tracy, if you will just take a seat here, we are ready to begin."

        "Right enough your honour." Dave said. "And how many was that then?"

        "Fifteen, but start her out with the strap for using such offensive language in the presence of my dear sweet niece."

        Tracy watched, spellbound by the sight. She had seen Jenny, but that was different. That was before she herself had been fastened onto one of those benches, and she had only seen the results. Nancy was straining, just as Tracy herself must have strained, but it did her no good. The only movement Tracy saw at all was the girl's quim twitching, and she hoped that hers hadn't moved like that.

        Tracy jumped when Dave slammed the strap down on Nancy's helpless arse.

        "My dear, are you all right?" Frank asked. "You're looking a little pale. Perhaps I should get you something."

        "No, I'm all right." Tracy whispered.

        But her uncle ignored her. Frank left on a quest for something, leaving Tracy sitting there behind all those locked doors.

        Sitting there, watching Dave strap Nancy's bottom whilst Nancy screamed through the leather bit.


        Frank was still gone when Dave finished and put away the strap. Nancy kept trying to scream, which Tracy thought was a bit much; she had been able to hold her tongue after the strap, so why couldn't Nancy?

        Then Dave looked over to Tracy and said: "So, was you next? I's forget what his honour said."

        "No, I wasn't." Tracy assured him.

        "Oh, that's all right then." Dave said.

        He picked up a cane gave a couple of practice swings in the air. Tracy winced at the swishing sound whilst Nancy didn't stop screaming.

        Then her uncle was back with a tray.

        "Here, drink this." Frank said, giving his niece a large glass of brandy. "It should help. Okay Dave, begin."

        Tracy took a sip. Heat flooded her as Dave brought the cane down, giving Nancy a real reason to scream.

        "Your colour is still not well. Perhaps a bit faster?" Frank said, taking hold of his niece's glass whilst it was still at her lips.

        Tracy drank demurely as her uncle tilted the glass for her. More warmth flooded her as she gulped it down.

        All whilst Dave kept up his steady rhythm.

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        And Nancy's distorted screams echoing through the chamber.

        Tracy struggled with her corset, wishing she could breathe more freely, but nothing was ever accomplished merely by wishing for it. Even gifts from Father Christmas had necessitated telling someone about how you wanted them. Witnessing the caning and trying to breath, Tracy couldn't help but wonder why the thought of Father Christmas had ever popped into her head. Her mind seemed to be wandered far afield as Nancy received her just desserts for her awful behaviour.

        

        Then suddenly it was over.

        "See?" Frank said. "Being caned isn't so bad. Especially not when the subject lacks a corset. Why don't you get up and take a closer look?"

        Tracy was short of breath, and the room seemed to be doing strange things. Frank had to help his niece from her seat and half support as he led her to caning bench.

        "It's not that bad at all." Frank said, guiding her hands to Nancy's arse.

        Tracy's corset fought her as she touched the lines and forming welts, things her hands had last touched on her own bottom. Nancy squealed at Tracy's made contact.

        "Dave, whilst the witness examines the subject, why don't you show me the problem on the other bench. You say that there is some leather that needs to be replaced?"

        "Right your honour. This way your honour." Dave said.

        When Frank released his hold on his niece, Tracy slipped forward a bit. Her hand instinctively searched for a purchase. To her horror Tracy realized she was holding hard onto Nancy's arse, a finger almost touching the girl's quim. Nancy's sobs changed their tone, but the men didn't seem to notice. Tracy wanted to release her grip, but had to wait until the world stopped swaying.

        Tracy could barely believe she was touching another person in such an intimate manner, but she was finally able to lift her hands.

        "Yes, that will need work. Stay here whilst I fetch some scraps I saw in the workroom." Frank instructed.

        "Of course your honour." Dave answered quickly.


        Alone with Dave, Tracy wonder if she should return to her seat.

        "Ah, look at this one." Dave said, coming up behind Nancy. He landed a hearty smack on Nancy's abused arse. "She's lucky she's not got a baby in her, what with all the carrying on she done. And look at the way her is trembling. She wants for something, she do."

        Tracy went to her knees, her corset keeping much needed breath from her lungs. She had never heard such rude language before, certainly not from a man.

        "Miss? Are you all right Miss?" Dave said, gathering her up in his arms. "Sorry about the words there Miss. Just dumb old Dave again. Always talking and never thinking."

        Tracy was gasping for air. When her vision finally cleared she found that Dave had positioned her on the floor. That was good, because you couldn't fall from the floor, but it put her head on level with Nancy's arse. She found she couldn't look away.

        Then her uncle was there, leading her out of the room. As they left Tracy heard Nancy starting up again, crying out about something, but that didn't matter to Tracy. Tracy was safe with her uncle, and Nancy was safe with Dave.


        This time Gary did more than walk Tracy's to the building's door; he escorted her home. On her arrival Tracy decided rather than having tea she would have a bit of a lie down. A nap would be better than thinking about the decision she putting off.

        Lying in bed, the day's events tangled in Tracy's mind. There had been that awful couple in the park (and she hoped the police were still looking for that man), Dave's rude language in the stone room, Nancy (but she hadn't know it was Nancy at first) in the park and the court and the stone chamber, Leslie in the restaurant, park, and court, and that awful cane and strap, and Leslie mentioning that they should be able to cane unruly children in restaurants...

        Tracy's eyes flared open and she bolted upright. Leslie's look of annoyance in the restaurant came back to her and suddenly Tracy knew where she had seen Leslie before. Leslie had been the annoyed woman that day when Tracy had been caned! She had been the one to make a bet, risking a prison caning for a mere three sovereigns! And unlike the witnesses she had seen Tracy's face. Worse, unlike Tracy who hadn't looked much at the culprits awaiting their sentences, Leslie had had a chance to stare at her in that waiting room. Leslie had to know who Tracy was, but did she think that Tracy knew who she was?

        Her head swimming once more, Tracy wished she had removed her corset before laying down. Between the wine, brandy, shock, and her faintness of breath she was soon unconscious.


        "Mrs. Larsen, might I have a word with you?" Mr. Waylan asked.

        "Of course Mr. Waylan. What on subject?" Mrs. Larsen answered.

        "It concerns Miss Tracy and her recent activities. Specifically her need for a nap at this time of day." Mr. Waylan said.

        "I thought it might be." Mrs. Larsen said. "So I had a bit of a talk with her as I was helping her to her bedroom. It seems she lunched out with a friend. The friend ordered wine with lunch, and Miss Tracy was too polite to refuse to join in. Later there an event in the park that startled her and Miss Tracy sought counsel from her uncle the magistrate. He gave her a fortifier, and not knowing about the wine with lunch made it a rather large one. Then he had one of his men see her home. A Gary something I believe."

        "Ah, well, if her uncle has taken the situation in hand there is no need to involve her parents." Mr. Waylan said.

        "Which is as I thought." Mrs. Larsen replied in agreement. "But should the matter arise in another form, that is if Miss Tracy becomes involved in drinking to excess, what course of action did her parents recommend?"

        "They did not mention drink, but said that if something of a scandalous nature did arise that we should inform her uncle the magistrate." Mr. Waylan said.

        "That would probably be for the best." Mrs. Larsen agreed.


        Tracy's nap turned into an early night. She awoke the next morning with a ravenous appetite and a splitting headache. She also harboured doubts concerning the wisdom of ever meeting Leslie again.


        After breakfast Tracy sought out Mrs. Larsen.

        "The friend I was with yesterday, well, perhaps friend is too strong a word. I am not sure of the wisdom of being in her company." Tracy confided.

        "I see. Then it is a matter you should think on Miss Tracy." Mrs. Larsen advised. "And whilst you do that, I will be sure the staff knows better than to say that you are in without checking first with you."

        "Thank you. Yes, that would be good." Tracy said.


        It was a solution of sorts, but one that only worked while Tracy stayed home. Home was nice, but familiar, and Tracy soon missed her normal days of activities. She compensated by aiding Mrs. Larsen with the running of the household.

        A few days later, at the edge of her nerves, Mrs. Larsen made a suggestion to Tracy.

        "Now I know it is not my place to say this Miss Tracy, but if you wish to learn more about how to run a household, then perhaps you should try learning more through book learning. That way when your parents return you can show them that you know the proper ways of doing things. Buying such a book might make things much easier."

        "Why, what a wonderful idea! But I do not wish to go walking today. Have cab fetch."

        Tracy took few cabs, but she knew better then to tell a driver to take her to a bookstore. Alas, she knew the names or locations of few such establishments. When the driver asked her where to go, Tracy said the first name that came into her mind.

        "The Blue Moon bookstore please."


        The store wasn't much to look at from the outside, but then again few bookstores were. Tracy wasn't surprised to find it was very near the park where one of its employees had been found doing such horrid things. Telling the driver to wait for her, Tracy entered the store.

        A bell rang when she opened the door. Looking around, it seemed to be what she expected. The ways were lined with books and other shelves made it a near wall to wall experience.

        "Yes? Hello, I am Mr. Grainger, the proprietor. May I be of assistance?"

        Tracy looked him. He was an older man who looked very bookish, which Tracy guess would be an asset if you sold books.

        "Yes, I'm looking for a book." Tracy said.

        "Really? Well, we seem to have several in stock. Perhaps you could narrow the field a bit as it were."

        "Ah, well, I am currently managing the household while my parents are traveling, and my housekeeper recommended that I might be able to use a book that describes the proper way to run a household." Tracy revealed.

        "Ah, household management for young ladies. Let's see, let's see. I'm sure we have something that would suit you. If you would please step this way?"

        Tracy followed the man passed the bookshelves to a reading area, almost having to step over a pair of shop girls scrubbing the floor whilst she did so.

        "Betty, Penny, be quick about that." Mr. Grainger said, a hint of authority entering his voice. "You don't want to be all day at it do you?"

        "Yes Mr. Grainger." "No Mr. Grainger."

        The man paused slightly, then decided the two were answering different questions and continued on his way.

        Tracy sat where she had been directed too. As Mr. Grainger consulted the shelves, she couldn't avoid hearing some of what the two shop girls were muttering.

        "I can't wait for my next half day." Penny muttered. "I'm seeing my man again then."

        "Just you be a mite more careful than poor Nancy was." Betty warned in a low voice. "A month, just for kissing her man in the park."

        "You mean stupid Nancy, not poor Nancy. When the copper came she didn't think to run, but I heard she cursed every name in the book til he was so mad he took her in. That's what did it, the cursing, not the kissing."

        Tracy felt odd. She knew what girl they were speaking of, but they had no idea that she knew, or that she had been involved in their friend's downfall. Seeing the pair of them bent over and scrubbing, Tracy couldn't help picturing how they would look bent over one of her uncle's caning benches.

        Which reminded her of those canes. They must have arrived by now, even if Mrs. Larsen hadn't mentioned them.

        Mr. Grainger returned with an armload of books.

        "I do believe this will make a good start." Mr. Grainger said. "They are general ones, and from there we can go to the specifics."

        Tracy stared at the large pile. It consisted of many thick books for one unused to reading. She quickly found a pair of manuals that both proclaimed themselves to be full of general solutions, and were both thin.

        "These two should handle most things I expect." Tracy said. "And they will certainly do for a start."

        "Very good Miss. Now were there any specific subjects you had an interest in?" Mr. Grainger asked. "Planning a dinner party? Arranging a holiday weekend?"

        "No, these will do fine so..." Tracy stopped in mid breath when the idea hit her. She might never meet the man again, so why not ask about it? "Actually, I've just right this moment thought of something. A few of the maids have been quite lazy since my mother left. Would you happen to have any books that dealt with correcting the behaviour of lazy maids?"

        Mr. Grainger gave Tracy an appraising look.

        "Maids that you would need to correct?" Mr. Grainger asked. "How so?"

        "Well, firstly they are lazy and sometime I believe that..."

        "No, forgive me. I did not make myself plain. How do you plan to correct them?"

        Tracy gave a small shrug, saying: "If I knew how to do it I wouldn't need a book to tell me how to do it, would I? I'm not sure. Teach them to mind me somehow? I know they would never try to act this way if my mother was home, but I can't very well write her and ask what to do, can I? I would look like a fool, then both my parents would question the wisdom of allowing me to stay alone whilst they travel."

        Then she smiled her most harmless smile. The "I don't really know what I'm doing, could you be nice enough to help me?" smile that so often worked. Especially around older men.

        "Well, not from that section then." Mr. Grainger muttered. A bit louder he asked: "Did someone recommend us to you? If so, I would like to know who to thank."

        "Recommend? No, but I know I've heard the name somewhere." Tracy said. "When I needed to go to a bookstore it was the first one that popped into my head, but where did I hear it? One of my friends, but which one? No, not from her. She hasn't picked up a book that wasn't a primer. No, she wouldn't have mentioned it either. No, she..."

        "It isn't important." Mr. Grainger told her, in an effort to stop her from reciting a list of friends who it wasn't. Then he muttered: "Definitely nothing from there."

        Tracy waited patiently as Mr. Grainger took back most of the books he had brought, then began his search again. Paging through the index of one of her selections, Tracy never noticed that Mr. Grainger glanced at her, then slipped into a backroom.

        He returned with an extra book, the interruption of his presence going unnoticed. After adding a few more selections to his pile, he called for Betty to dry her hands and to bring them to Tracy whilst he reshelfed the ones she had rejected.


        Tracy thought that Betty had bit of sass in her step when she delivered the books, but it wasn't enough for Tracy to feel comfortable commenting on.

        Opening the first book Tracy saw that the index was full of useful heading. Listed there were such things as cutting wages, applying restrictions, and the rod of correction, so Tracy was sure that it would meet her needs. But as Mr. Grainger had been nice enough to gather so many books she thought might be rude to just pick the first one she saw, so made a show of looking through the others.

        Going through the other titles, Tracy was surprised to find one was advice for a governess of a willful female pupil. Flipping through the pages she found one where the binding had worn slightly so the book opened naturally there. The chapter heading was 'birch or cane?', and while the left hand page had a debate, the right hand one was a pair of illustrations. Each showed a girl from the rear, bending and apparently nude, and each girl's arse was marked differently. One was labeled 'Caned' whilst the other said 'Birched'. Shaking, Tracy placed that one to one side and continued looking.

        She had thought that it would be the most shocking book in the pile, but Tracy was wrong on that point. Near the bottom was something that looked like a novel, and it was entitled "The Willful Wife". Opening it to a photographic illustration, Tracy saw it was a photo a woman, a grown woman, bent over a bed. A cane was making impact on the woman's naked arse (which clearly showed signs of previous strokes) whilst the woman howled in pain.

        Tracy thrust the book away, sending it (and another of others) to the floor.

        "Is there a problem?" Mr. Grainger asked as he came over.

        "There was... It showed..." Tracy stuttered.

        Once more her corset was a hindrance as she fought for breath. Dimly, she briefly wondered if the suffragist societies were correct when they spoke of the imprisonment of the corset, but knew that without wearing it she would have a much harder time with her figure.

        "Oh, this?" Mr. Grainger asked, picking up the book for governesses which had once more fallen open at that illustration. "Yes, I can see how it could be upsetting when it deals with someone so close to your own age, but you did reference correction and I would hazard a guess that the principles would be the same."

        'N n no." Tracy moaned, pointing to the offending book. "That... it's horrid! Simply horrid!"

        Mr. Grainger bent to pick up the "The Willful Wife".

        "Good heavens! How did this get here? It deals with a completely different side of domestic concerns than servants. The girl must have mixed it in somehow. I'll have a talk with her about it."

        "What?" Tracy squeaked. "It... Obscene!"

        "No, merely educational." Mr. Grainger explained. "A man must keep order in his house, and this book covered some of the ways that men can choose to do it."

        Tracy was still fighting for breath, but was prepared to believe his explanation. For his part, Mr. Grainger had confirmed that one his special customers had not recommended her to his shop.


        Tracy was still rattled when he made up and wrapped her order. She calmed herself on the cab ride home, but once there received another shock. Somehow the governess book had been mixed in with her order, giving her four books instead of the three she had selected. Checking the bill of sale she found that she had paid for all four, so the mistake was Mr. Grainger's. But Tracy didn't want to visit that nasty little man again just to return that book, so decided to keep it.

        After tea she opened her book on the correction of household staff, but was soon disappointed as it dissolved into generalities when it came to the rod of correction. It said to use it sparingly and correctly, and suggested that the housekeeper, butler, or stable master be enlisted to help carry it out, which was just frustrating. If Tracy had wanted the servants to handle things for her, then she would have never bothered to buy a book.

        After supper she returned to her reading, planning to switch to one of the more general ones, but the governess' guide began calling to her.

        Flipping through it she found there were more illustration, but most of them involved girls who were decently clothed. Some were being disciplined on the seats of their dresses, or nightdresses, while others were having their hands whacked. The page she had already seen was by far the most shocking when it came to illustrations.

        Done with the illustrations, Tracy started scanning the chapter heading and found that the words were the most shocking thing in the book; far more shocking than any of the pictures could ever be. In the last chapter it discussed dealing with older girls, and women, that might be given into a governess' care for correction. Her eyes grew wide as she read its brag that in some cases a caning could do a thirty year old woman as much (or more) good as it did a first form school girl.

        Putting the book down in shock, Tracy wondered if such things were common in the lives of the average governess. She couldn't help but remember how the Perren's governess had thought that the cane was being borrowed to be used on, rather than by, Tracy, and her offer to handle such matters in the future.


        The next morning Tracy tried to make a study of the book, but there were just too many terms she didn't understand. She had seen only three caning (if you counted the demonstration on the mannequin and Mrs. Larsen finishing Elaine's caning) and the writer seemed to assume the reader had far more experience. More experience, and a handy arse to practice on. Tracy had neither, and from the little she had read about maintaining a household knew that she couldn't just grab a maid at random to practice on. She needed experience, or a teacher, not a book.


        Tracy considered her options. Mrs. Larsen would be her last resort, as asking her would involve admitting ignorance in front of a servant and that would not do. She could ask one who was trained in wielding a rod, but what if another governess had the same thought as the Perren's and an accident happened. There was Leslie, who clearly knew more than a bit about caning, but the woman had a fey mien about her. There might be Mrs. Slocombe, but since the woman handled a disciplining service money might have to change hands, and how could Tracy justify it on the household accounts?

        Then she thought of professionals again, and a new name arose.


        Tracy hoped she wouldn't run into Leslie whilst she ran this errand, but it was something she had to do. Finding Gary was easy, but explaining what she wanted him to do wasn't. She knew she could have talked to her uncle's clerk, but feared any talk on this subject with him would lead her back to that stone chamber for twelve hard strokes.

        Several days went by before Tracy had a reply to her message. A brief note later she had a luncheon date. It was at the same restaurant where Leslie had taken her, but Tracy hoped that would not be an omen of what was to come.


        Tracy arrived a bit early and told the staff she was expecting to meet a woman there. Being a female waiting alone, they found her a table out of the sight of almost all of the other patrons. Studying the menus she saw that she had more than enough money with her to cover a dozen meals here, which was good as this time she would be treating.

        Her guest arrived preciously on time, and Tracy rose to meet her.

        "Tracy, how interesting to see you." Margaret said as she took a seat. "Until I saw your note I was convinced that Gary had made a mistake."

        "This took so long to arrange that I was positive that Gary had mislaid the message." Tracy said.

        "Oh, it's just that I don't work with your uncle every day, and when I do I don't always see Gary, so it took him a while to see me." Margaret said. "Speaking of work, I will be returning there so we might want to order before we speak."

        "Of course."

        To Tracy's surprise, Margaret took charge and ordered for them both. Eating their wineless meal consumed their attention, then came tea and dessert when they could talk.

        "Now I can't help but wonder why you wanted to see me." Margaret started. "And to go through Gary? I've been given to understand that you could have seen me at almost anytime, and how to deal with you then and there, but I never expected to meet here."

        Tracy blushed at the subtle reference to what her uncle had arranged, then launched into her tale of woe.

        "So I need to know more if I am to keep order in the household." Tracy finished.

        "I see. Is the household failing apart? The maids so lax that nothing gets done?" Margaret asked.

        "No, the housekeeper has it all in hand, but all the books say that I must establish that I am in charge. It wouldn't take much, just a few canings to let them know that until my parents return my word is law." Tracy said.

        "I see. Well, we could start with the twelve your uncle mentioned." Margaret offered.

        "No, I need to know how give, not receive."

        "Well, then something can be worked out." Margaret said. "How is your schedule for tomorrow?"

        "You would come to my house tomorrow?" Tracy asked, wondering both how to explain Margaret's presence and how to decide which maid would be caned.

        "No silly. I would make arrangements for you to come to where I work, and there you could see all that you need to see." Margaret offered. "It's a bit irregular, but it's the least I can to do to make up for that mistake."

        "I see. And how would that work?" Tracy asked.

        "I would meet you here, we would lunch, then we would ride to where I work. When you had seen all you had to see, then you would be driven home. Or here. The carriage is somewhat distinctive. No, it has no livery or other markings, but it might be recognized and give rise to gossip of why it was at your house."

        "That sounds like a splendid idea." Tracy said.


        The next day Tracy tried on several outfits, wondering which would better match the surrounding that she would find herself in. She finally settled on something close to her normal costume, then sat impatiently until she would leave for lunch.

        Once more she was early and seated at an obscure table. Once more Margaret took charge after she arrived. Once more there was little conversation until the food was gone. It was virtually all the same as yesterday, until the meal was done.

        "Ready to leave?" Margaret asked. "Then see to the bill and we'll be off."


        Once out the restaurant Margaret led her to a carriage. Tracy didn't think it was particularly distinctive, then she noticed the lack of windows. Once inside she saw that a hooded lantern built into the frame of the carriage to provide light for the travelers. She couldn't see the controls for it (she concluded that they must be worked by the driver), and feared the setup might be less than safe, much less safer than lights on the outside of a carriage.

        "What is the world coming to when a simple road accident might start a fire inside a vehicle?" Tracy wondered to herself. But Margaret seemed to accept the presence of the lantern and she had obviously ridden in the carriage countless times so Tracy deferred to her guide's wisdom.

        The ride was long one, and there was little conversation. Every time Tracy tried to ask a question about the subject at hand Margaret would answer with: "It will be far quicker for you to see than to try to explain." As Tracy persisted, Margaret sighed.

        "I had planned to show you all that when we arrived, but we aren't there yet. I could try demonstrating here, but there is only one subject at hand." Margaret said.

        "Meaning?"

        "Meaning if you wish to have those questions answered before you arrive, you must begin removing articles of clothing. When enough has been removed, you will bend over the seat opposite from me and I will show you the answers with a cane." Margaret explained.

        "But... Impossible! I shan't do it! And if such a thing were to happen then someone would hear."

        "Few sounds carry from this carriage." Margaret informed her. "You would be far from the first one caned in it, and far from the first one arriving at our destination mid caning. Now unless you wish me to begin a demonstration on you, then perhaps you could change the subject of conversation?"

        Tracy thought for a moment.

        "Where are we going?"

        "I told you. To where I work when I'm not helping your uncle." Margaret said primly.

        "But where do you work?"

        "At an institution for correction." Margaret explained. "We do not wish the details to be well known. Some of the women there have connections with the worst type of criminals, villains that might attempt to free them if they knew the location. So I'm afraid that this subject is off limits as well."

        "Oh."

        There was little said for the remainder of the journey.


        As with any journey there were stops and starts. When the carriage halted and stayed stopped a servant opened the door from them, taking his time doing so.

        Tracy blinked as she emerged from the carriage. The world now looked grey. Oh, not the sky, where the sun still played, but the ground. She saw she was by a side entrance of the building and high grey stone wall surrounded it. The building itself looked like a converted manor house, and it too was made of grey stone. That it was converted from a manor was plain to see from the bars on most of the windows.

        "Here you go." Margaret said as she took Tracy's arm and helped her from the carriage. To Tracy's surprise the woman retained her hold once Tracy had stepped down from the carriage. "Now if this was last Tuesday you would be able to catch a glimpse of the ultimate penalty your uncle ordered for one culprit, but even without that I'm sure you will not be disappointed by what you see here."

        Tracy felt her knees go weak, and she was glad of Margaret's hold on her arm.

        "You mean... A gallows here?" Tracy gasped.

        "Now you're just being silly." Margaret chided. "Your uncle isn't a full member of the bench and he certainly doesn't have red robes. No, I was referring to the harshest sentence that falls within his purview. The maximum time he can send someone here and regularly scheduled lashings whilst she is here, all with the maximum number of lashes he can order."

        "Oh, of course. That was silly of me." Tracy said, her wind recovering.

        "Now come along." Margaret ordered. "I'm not sure what's scheduled, but we almost always have a fair number of punishments this time of day. I suppose it might just be possible to have a morning when no offences occurred, but they could avoid committing offenses then they wouldn't be inmates here."

        Margaret used a key to gain entrance to the side door. Tracy was not surprised when the woman locked it behind them. Then came a trip through the maze of areas that the servants would have roamed if this was still a manor house. Through doors and halls and rooms, twisting and turning and leaving Tracy thoroughly confused.

        They ended by stairs that descend to a basement. Once more Margaret led the way.

        Then was through two more doors that had to be unlocked and then locked. When they arrived at their destination, it took Tracy a moment to notice - but only a moment. One glance told her what this room was used for.

        There was a series of blocks. They were of cruder make than the caning benches she had seen before, but that their purpose was the same would have been obvious even if so many of them hadn't been occupied. A number of women stood in the room, wearing the same uniform that the wardens who had assisted Margaret had worn.

        Margaret was still locking the door, which of course meant her back was to the room, when one of the wardens took a step towards Tracy.

        "Another for the blocks is she?"


        Tracy felt her breath catch.

        She wasn't with her uncle, but a practical stranger. If Margaret answered the wrong way, then Tracy knew the women would simply position her and cane her. Tracy would have no recourse to other options, no options at all until she left this place.

        But no one besides Margaret knew where she was! Even if there weren't so many locked doors behind her, Tracy knew she would never find her way through the maze of passages. Even if those locks and maze wasn't there, there was always the wall. This was a building meant to contain people, operated by women with experience in handling their reluctant guests. If Margaret said the wrong word, then Tracy might find herself an inmate of this institution.

        She could be held here for hours, days, perhaps even weeks. Her servants would contact her uncle about her disappearance, but would he think to look for her here? And should he find her could he bring about her release?

        Or would he even wish to? Days or weeks amongst this miscreants would leave a stain upon her honour that little could remove. If her uncle found her here he might decide to leave her here. Or worse, hold a hearing and make her sentence an official one!

        One word from Margaret and Tracy would be a fallen woman. Imprisoned amongst common guttersnipes. Doomed to be the mercy of these wardens and any other who deemed she needed correction. Caned for the slightest infractions of the rules! Trapped for years and years under the shadow of the cane!


        "Oh, she's just here to watch." Margaret said, turning the key. "Her parents have left her in charge of the household and she needs to know how to cane the maids."

        Tracy breathed again, and realized that her breathing had hardly been interrupted at all. That it had only been the briefest moment since the woman had voiced her question. That somehow an entire eon had slipped between the tick and tock and Tracy had been the only one to notice it.

        "Where did all that extra time come from?" Tracy wondered. "Where did it go?"

        "Ah, that's all right then." The warden nodded.

        "Tracy, since this is a bit irregular, I shan't introduce you around and we will stay on first names." Margaret informed her. "That will keep everything simple, and by using only christian names your family will not be involved."

        Tracy nodded absentmindedly. With her position established she fixed her attention on the room.

        Rows of blocks dominated the chamber. Some of the blocks were occupied, and the women occupying them were completely naked! None looked happy to be here, but most seemed resigned.

        "Before we begin we should probably give you an overview of the process. Harriet, I left Jeanie waiting in my office after she was sent there this morning. Please go and fetch her so that Tracy may see the process from beginning to end."

        The woman who had asked about Tracy's status nodded, then unlocked the door and left.

        "Now you may notice there are difference between here and the room you saw before." Margaret said. "But functionally it's the same. There are a few fewer straps being used because it matters less if their legs move a bit. Since there are no witnesses to offend we leave them the use of their mouths unless their language become extreme."

        "Extreme? Let me up you cunt and I'll show you extreme! I'll put me boot right up you! See if I don't!"

        Tracy was shocked, for in the time the obscenities raged until they were quelled, she had recognized the voice. It was Nancy, the girl she had seen behaving obscenely and then watched caned by her uncle.

        "And when we do silence them, we don't bother with anything as fancy as a scold's bridle, modified or not. As you saw we just slip a cord of rope in their mouths and knot it tight behind their heads. Oh, we have other things to silence them, things that leave them unable to utter the barest squeak, but we don't bother with that normally. Of course at home you won't need to bother with anything like that, because you will be dealing with maids, not inmates. Any maid who uses such vulgar language knows she will be sent packing without references and so will hold her tongue."

        "We have a wide selection of canes. Some are thicker than others, but almost all of them are thicker than anything you might have encountered in the schoolroom. There's a shop in town that specializes in such things, and they shall also be able to supply you with straps, whips, birches, and other instruments of discipline. Far more than you would need for a household the size of yours, but it pays to buy quality. There are few things worse than breaking a cane across a deserving arse and discovering that you don't have a spare close at hand."

        Tracy tried to pay attention to Margaret's words, but it was hard to do. Tracy had never witnessed so much exposed flesh before, at least not woman flesh. She had of course since children in the all together, but even at school modesty had been preached so she had never seen any woman or grown girl in such an exposed state. Of course she had seen arses whilst they were under her uncle's cane and the sight of a woman nursing wasn't a strange one, but seeing them completely nude made them look so much more vulnerable.

        Margaret bit back a smile. She knew that Tracy wasn't paying heed to her words. To ensure that the others knew it as well, she slipped a bit extra into her speech. Mixed in with dry dialog concerning household order she added the words: "And it would be so easy to include you today and make you jump like the others."

        The other wardens hid smiles, but Tracy just nodded along with the flow of words. As for the ones awaiting sentencing, they had other things on their minds and were not listening at all. Hypothetical canings in Tracy's household were nothing to what was about to happen in the here and now.


        Then the door was opening again, and Tracy had something new to stare at. The wretch being led in appeared to be her own age, and while her face was different their shapes appeared close.

        "Ah, just in time. Tracy, I want you to see the process from the beginning. Jeanie here has well earned what is coming. Jeanie, prepare yourself."

        Jeanie blushed, but quickly began to strip. Tracy saw that the inmate's uniform consisted of only a light dress, slip, and the briefest of drawers.

        "And that's why we strip them completely." Margaret said. "They're hardly wearing anything to begin with, and since they draw from a common pool of uniforms the fit isn't always the best so there's really no difference in decency for them to be completely nude. Especially since there are only females in the room."

        Taking Jeanie by the arm Margaret led her to a vacant block.

        "Now with some of these rude pieces of rubbish we have to prevent them from doing foul things, so they have appointments with an enema machine before their punishments. But Jeanie isn't going trouble us, are you Jeanie?"

        "No ma'am. Of course not ma'am."

        "Come closer Tracy and have yourself a better look." Margaret said.

        Tracy came closer and watched closely as Jeanie was secured to the block. Some of the straps were not used; whilst Jeanie's ankles were secure, her legs possessed some range of movement. The girl could, for example, bring her thighs together.

        "Now what was it Jeanie? Oh yes, it was fifteen, wasn't it?"

        Jeanie's nodding wasn't needed. Of all the people in the room only Tracy saw it, and she hardly noticed it.

        "So Tracy, the best grip for a cane is generally like this." Margaret explained.

        Tracy listened raptly as Margaret explained in detail what her book had glossed over. The senior warden was doing a much better teaching job than Mrs. Larsen had, explaining in detail how the caning would be different if it was done this way as opposed to that way.

        Then the time for words was over and the time for thwacks and cracks to ring out was upon them.

        Tracy was torn, splitting her attention between Margaret's words, the cane, and Jeanie's reaction. The cane brought forth no obscenities, just cries, pleading, and begging, but Jeanie's reaction was more than verbal. She twisted herself as much as she could, often rubbing her thighs together.

        Watching and listening, Tracy spotted a flaw in her choice of clothing. She realized she should have used the wardens' uniforms as a guide; they were decent, but lacked corsets. Once more Tracy was finding hard to manage on the airflow allowed by her corset. A wild thought came to her that she might ask to change, but even if there was someone to help her from her corset she didn't like the idea of not being fully dressed in this room.

        Feeling faint, she forced herself to listen as Margaret finished.

        "Now sometimes the cane isn't deemed to be enough. Sometimes a strap or slipper or even just a hand is used to add to the sentence." Margaret explained. "When that happens the hardest choice is before or after. Applying it before the caning means making the area more sensitive so she feels the cane more, but anything afterward is falling on those lines and welts. And you are not looking well. Are you feeling faint?"

        "No... well, perhaps just a bit." Tracy admitted.

        "Then you shouldn't be standing. Harriet, please bring a chair for Tracy."

        Tracy saw that there were some armless chairs in the room (and wondered briefly why she hadn't noticed them amongst the nude women waiting for the cane). Harriet brought one of them near and, to Tracy's surprise, instead of guiding her to a seat began to bend Tracy over it.

        "What are you doing?" Tracy demanded with as much dignity as she could.

        "Bending often helps with fainting." Harriet said. "It is partway between sitting and lying down, and lying down is always best for fainting."

        Tracy wasn't sure of the logic of this, but Harriet's strong arm brooked no refusal. Her new position restricted her view somewhat, but Tracy saw it put her head level with the targets of the canes.

        "Now that the demonstration is over, let us begin the main treatment." Margaret declared.

        Tracy was glad she wasn't standing as Margaret and the other wardens lifted canes and began to use them. Soon the room was filled with the cracks of the canes and the cries of the miscreants, and Tracy feared that her legs were becoming weaker as she watched.

        Tracy found herself staring at Nancy's arse. She would still in that bookstore if Tracy and Leslie hadn't complained about her behaviour, but here she was having her arse caned again whilst Tracy watched. An arse that Tracy had inadvertently touched and grasped. Once more Tracy saw Nancy's quim moving, but with the range of movement of Nancy's legs it was moving far more than when Dave had caned it.

        At some point during the general caning Harriet put down her cane and walked to Jeanie, who lay close by Tracy's head.

        "Poor thing." Harriet said; Tracy didn't know if the tone was sympathetic or sarcastic. "I'll give you a choice. A bit of help now and a sting later, or nothing at all."

        "Please ma'am." Jeanie sobbed, rubbing her thighs together.

        Tracy gasped as Harriet bent and put several fingers into Jeanie's quim. Then Harriet turned to Tracy and said: "Oh, don't mind this. It's just a medical procedure we sometime do. Some of these pieces of rubbish have a condition similar to hysteria that is brought on by caning and this relieves it. It's nothing you need concern yourself with."

        Tracy just lay there open mouthed as Harriet worked her fingers. She wasn't sure if she believed the warder's story or not, then Jeanie started to make little gasping noises. Tracy had heard similar noises through the door when her mother was being treated by Doctor Raistlin, so accepted that there must be a bit of truth to Harriet's story.

        When Jeanie's moans stopped, Harriet left to retrieve something from a shelf. Tracy saw it was a little gelatin capsule, and she gasped when she saw where Harriet placed it. Tracy's gasp was nothing compared to Jeanie's when the thing was shoved up her arsehole, pushed in place by Harriet's finger.

        "And that's the second part of the treatment." Harriet told Tracy. "It's a suppository that stings a bit."

        Seeing Jeanie's reaction Tracy thought it must sting more than just a bit.

        "What kind of suppository?" Tracy asked, seeing Jeanie's tears flowing.

        "A ginger one." Harriet said. "Have you ever seen show horses that hold their tails in the air? Well that's because they are given the same sort of thing and they hold their tails high because it burns when they are low. They are almost a standard treatment here, so we have extras."

        When Tracy didn't respond. Harriet continued: "And since we have extras, it would be no bother if you wanted to try one for yourself. To see how they feel before you introduced them to your staff."

        Tracy didn't have to glance at Jeanie (who was sobbing more now than when her caning had ended) to know the answer: "No, thank you, but I don't see the need. But it was gracious of you to take the trouble to offer."

        "Oh, the offer was no trouble. If that is what is dissuading you, then I assure it would be no trouble at all. Why, your dress wouldn't even have to come off. I could just snake my hand up and pop it in. Of course I would wash it first."

        Jeanie's sobs ringing in her ears, Tracy said: "Oh, again I thank you for the kindly made offer, but I am quite sure I will not require such a treatment."

        "Well, I must still wash my hands anyway." Harriet said, pointing to a wash basin.


        The exchange seemed to have taken no time at all. With the wardens so out numbered by their charges there were still a few unmarked arses waiting for their turn with the cane, but as she watched she saw the wardens shifting targets and beginning to deal with the last of the miscreants.

        Tracy was breathing hard and watching those canes fall when she felt a hand on the hem of her dress.

        "What?" Tracy demanded, looking over her shoulder at Harriet.

        Harriet who had something glistening in her free hand.

        "Oh, you really didn't want it then? You weren't just being polite?" Harriet asked.

        "I wasn't just being polite." Tracy answered carefully, knowing that she did not want the least hint of rudeness in her voice. "I do not want it."

        Harriet shrugged, and said: "Well, once it's prepared it shouldn't go to waste."

        Tracy tensed, but Harriet merely walked passed her to another block and slid it into a different arse.

        The woman immediately began shouting obscenities, using four letters to describe how and what it burnt. Harriet ignored the objections and reached for a piece of rope, eventually gagging the woman with it.

        Knowing how close that had come to being inserted into her, how Harriet had clearly expected to cane her when she saw her, surrounded by women and girls being caned, Tracy was once more fighting for breath.

        She was recovering when the canings had ended and Margaret was walking down the rows whilst consulting a large book.

        "Now Tracy, this is the official record book. It records all punished decreed and a column is checked with they are carried out. You might think of having one for your household; members of the lower classes are often cowed when their names are written in books. And what do we have here?" Margaret asked.

        "Tonya Cook." Harriet said. "She started to curse blue murder so had to be seen to."

        Tracy noticed that there was no mention made of what was burning inside Tonya's arse.

        "Tonya Cook." Margaret repeated. The woman flipped pages and read from a different part of the book. "And it says here that you were due to be released soon. Well, your actions today have earned you an extension."

        Tonya screamed louder into her rope.

        "Oh don't start that." Margaret chided. "I've made the mark. It's in the book now so it's official. Now let's get these pieces of utter rubbish back to work."


        The other wardens begun to unfasten straps and Margaret came to help Tracy to her feet. Then she drew Tracy close to her and whispered in her ear.

        "Your uncle will not know of today's events. If you wish I shall announce that you want to know just a slight bit more about caning and see to you once the others are gone. Ah, no, don't speak yet. I want you to be very sure before you say a word, because once I've announced it there will be no turning back. My word will be as law and your arse will feel the kiss of the cane."

        Tracy drew in a breath.

        "Ah, you want to know how? Well, your uncle's plan of a nude caning sounds right to me and in keeping with the customs of this place."

        "I do not wish to be caned." Tracy whispered back firmly.

        "Well then, that's that. But know this: if you shall want another lesson in how to cane I shall be happy to give it to you, but rather than a lunch the price will be much higher. Come to this place with me again and you will not be able to sit comfortable when you leave." Margaret whispered back. Then in a louder voice, said: "And speaking of leaving, you have a trip in front of you. It would be best if you began it."

        The captives were still being released as Tracy was led out. She gave one look back at the naked women and girls, then continued to follow Margaret out.

        "Could you really order me caned?" Tracy asked after Margaret had closed and locked the door.

        "Of course." Margaret told her. "All that I would have to do is enter you into the book as Tracy, a visitor, and it would be mandated. Even I couldn't change it then. Now the ride will be long, as long as the one to come here, so would you like to pause for some ablutions?"

        "That might be advisable." Tracy agreed.


        Margaret led her up the stairs then in a completely different direction. Or Tracy thought it was in a different direction, at least she didn't see anything she recognized. Then they were amongst the inmates and Margaret was holding her arm again.

        "You don't want to be wandering off on your own here, not with this crowd." Margaret warned, and Tracy felt safer for the hand on her arm.

        They soon came to a room whose use was obvious, just as it was clearly for the inmates.

        "Must I use this room?" Tracy asked.

        "Well the warders' one is for warders only. Anyone else using it get hers name in the book. But if you would rather that..."

        "No, this is fine." Tracy said quickly.

        Tracy decided that this room was similar to being at school. There was the lack of privacy to prevent the girls from doing, why, anything they shouldn't be doing to themselves. Tracy arranged her clothing for what she needed to do, with it hiding what it should be hiding, and sat whilst telling herself that it was really no different than being at school.

        Then her foot hit something, and she realized that it was a bit different. At school her foot had never struck a broad leather strap.

        "Whoops, how did that get left there?" Margaret asked, retrieving the strap. "These aren't supposed to be left where the inmates can get to them. It has to be stored away. I shall return in moments."

        Tracy knew that Margaret had to put the strap away, but wished that the woman had waited until she was done. She finished her business, then spent a few frightful moments waiting for her guide to return.

        As they reached the side door Margaret asked if there was anything that Tracy wanted to ask her.

        "Well, one thing. What does an extension mean?" Tracy asked.

        "Oh, that. Well, things are set up so as not to bother the courts with minor issues that would just take up everyone's time. The courts are for the accused, and every inmate here is convicted. This means we can do various things without bothering the courts. Take those canings today; no magistrate ruled on them. If a woman was plucked from her home and caned like that then there would be an uproar, but we have the authority here to correct those who are within our walls. Well the same applies to a bit to other sentences. If an inmate does something major we don't take the time to load her up, haul her to court, have the charge read, have the magistrate act on the complaint, have a new sentence issued, then transport her back, and then do all the paperwork here. Just think what a bother that would be! No, we just enter into the book that she had earned an extension and that's that. Her sentence can only be extended once this way, but that's usually enough."

        Tracy was taken aback. Due to Harriet's actions (and Tracy's own refusal to see how the ginger felt) an inmate had been sentenced to more time here.

        "Did you want to go home now? Because if not we could visit the stables and see a piece of saddle leather, and your name wouldn't have to go into the book for that."

        "No, home." Tracy answered, her mind still focused on poor Tanya.


        Margaret escorted her to the coachman and gave him his instructions. It wasn't until after Margaret left to reenter the institute that Tracy remembered she hadn't planned on being taken straight home.

        "Excuse me sir, but I would prefer to be dropped off elsewhere." Tracy said politely.

        "There's no excuse for the likes of you."

        Tracy's jaw dropped. No coachman had ever addressed her so rudely.

        "Now get that little arse of yours in the carriage."

        "Sir, how can you believe you can address me so?" Tracy asked, her anger rising.

        "Oh, it's like that is it? Well inmate or not you is on the grounds and I be in my rights to take a piece of leather to your little arse. Your bare arse. And if you needs binding and gagging for the ride home, you won't be the first to travel wearing only a bit of rope and a glowing arse. Now get in the carriage!"

        As he roared Tracy shrank back, then darted into the carriage. She knew that if that coachman had carried through with half those threats that he would be sent to gaol, but that would be after the fact. After he had done such awful things to her, and after she had repeated those things to her uncle. Better that fate be avoided then avenged.

        "Now I ain't coming back empty. I is supposed to drop you off then do the pickup, but the route works better the other way. Any objections?"

        The coachman slammed the door before she could answer. Once it was shut Tracy heard a lock being worked, and knew she was shut firmly in.


        Alone in the carriage, Tracy search for something to occupy her mind. Then she searched openly. She hadn't done so on the way in, not with Margaret there to watch her, but alone and shut in the carriage she searched it.

        Tracy found two canes, some straps, a man's large tennis shoe, ropes, and a collection of other objects that spoke of discipline. On finding these she knew that Margaret's threats on the way out had not been hollow ones. Or had they?

        It took a bit of moving around, but Tracy was able to position herself over one of the seats with her arse exposed and enough room (in her opinion) for Margaret to swing the cane. Then, in case the journey was shorter than she remembered, she quickly repaired her outfit and sat normally once more.

        But the journey dragged on, and Tracy found herself repeating the experiment (not all of it, no, her clothing stayed intact in case the journey was not as long as she remembered) by laying herself over the seats in various places. Tracy soon discovered that, depending on how Margaret planned to swing the cane, there were several positions for Tracy to bend at, but none that would force her to stay bent. At least not until she search again and found (hidden by the cushions) things that could only be called leather restraints had been installed in the carriage. Tracy pictured how they might imprison her wrists, and concluded that (depending on which were used) there were at least five position where she could have been restrained for the cane.

        But even that game ended before the trip. Next Tracy pictured how she would lay if she had her wrists retrained, then picked up one of the canes and swung it at where her arse would be exposed.

        But even that failed to pass to the time.


        Tracy was sitting quietly, with all the instruments stowed away in their original places, when the carriage halted and stayed stopped. Minute upon minute passed, then she heard the lock turning.

        When the door finally opened she saw the coachman and another man (who was dressed as a footman), but only briefly as her attention swung to what they were carrying. It was a woman, wearing only a slip and hood over her head, bound hand and foot and being manhandled into the carriage.

        "Now what we have here is a disappointment to her family." The coachman said while lifting the woman in. "She be a right disgrace, so they're sending her out to us and hoping that a month there will straighten her out. Don't think of talking to her, she be wearing a gag under that hood, or freeing her, or anything else. If she isn't like I leave her when I come to get you out then you be staying for a hot arse, and I means that."

        Tracy didn't doubt his word.

        The idea that a disgraced woman would be sent away wasn't a new one, but the idea that you could be imprisoned in an institute without the benefits of a hearing was very new and frightening. But if it was the woman's own family doing it, then it might be heard in a close session with the complaint being read into the record and the sentence being passed without the accused being there to rebut the charges. And what could the woman really say in her own defense? If her family stood against her and cried that she was a disgrace to the name, what defense could she possibly have?

        But that issue was only academic, and the sobbing woman was real.


        After the door slammed shut, was locked, and the carriage began moving again, Tracy couldn't help but examine the women. Not only were her wrists bound but her elbows were too.

        "Shush." Tracy said. "I won't hurt you."

        She hoped her words were calming, but if she was in that position and someone was lifting up her slip to see if her knees were likewise bound Tracy didn't think anything would calm her. After seeing the rope wrapped around the woman's legs Tracy jerked the hem higher, then back down. The brief glimpse she had gotten showed her that the woman's arse was well marked.

        Then Tracy forced herself to sit opposite from the woman and wait. She didn't know how much longer the ride would be, and did not want to give the coachman cause for any action when they reached her home.

        The remainder of the ride was depressingly short, which indicated that the disgraced woman did not live a far distance from Tracy. When the coachman opened the door and found her sitting primly Tracy thought she detected a spot of disappointment in his eyes. But nothing was said, and soon Tracy was in the safety of her home.


        The next morning Tracy awoke from strange dreams and decided to again put aside the decision. She was able to do that because she could focus her mind on something new.

        Tracy wasn't sure where to find what she was looking. She had never seen it at any chemist nor pharmacist she had visited. She dared not ask Mrs. Larsen about it in case it was something wicked. After some through she went to a store that she had visited only once before.

        "Are you being served?" Mrs. Slocombe asked.

        "No, and I am looking for something rather different this time." Tracy answered. "I am not even sure if you have what I'm looking for."

        "I assure you that we carry a wide selection of items, and if we don't have it here then we know who does." Mrs. Slocombe promised her. "Now, what could this strange item you seek be?"

        "Um, ginger?" Tracy answered, then quickly clarified: "But not for cooking."

        "Ah, then someone has mentioned some of ginger's other properties to you?" Mrs. Slocombe said. "Or perhaps did more than mentioned it? In any case I'm sure we can meet your needs. If you would walk this way?"

        Mrs. Slocombe led her to a back counter.

        "Now let me see. We have the root, which can be quite stinging when it is, shall we say, inserted. We have a paste that can be mixed with water and painted on. And what's this? Ah, I didn't know we have any of that left. Now was there a specific form of ginger you needed?"

        "Um, with gelatin? Also to be, um, inserted?" Tracy asked in a low voice.

        "Oh those. And here I thought you wanted something exotic." Mrs. Slocombe said with a smile. "Now I'm not certain I can find a mannequin to help model this for you."

        "Oh, I'd never ask Shirley to do that." Tracy assured her.

        "Shirley? That's right, she was still here when you visited last. I fear I must tell you that Shirley is no longer with us, having found a private placement."

        "Really? How would working in a shop prepare her for a life in service?" Tracy asked, surprised to hear that someone had made the transition. Most maids entered service when they were quite young, so that one of Shirley's age was able to find employment without letters of reference came as bit of a shock.

        "Oh, you'd be surprised." Mrs. Slocombe chuckled. "And the mannequin currently on duty is busy. Well, perhaps not. I haven't heard anything since you came in so maybe they have finished up. Replacing clothing can be so time consuming, can it not?"

        "Back to the ginger, I'm not sure how often it will be used, so does it keep?"

        "Oh, it keeps relatively well." Mrs. Slocombe assured her. "But perhaps you don't want to buy too much until you are sure of its effects. Perhaps a box of six? Or if it were for immediate use I would recommend a single dosage."

        "Immediate use?"

        "Yes, you could take it into the back, slip it in, and see what you think." Mrs. Slocombe offered. "And if you were given instructions for how long to hold it then I am sure a supervisor could be arranged."

        "Oh, it's not for me." Tracy said, fighting her blush.

        "Tracy? Tracy! I thought it was you."

        Tracy turned to see the Perren's governess walking towards her, carrying a cane.

        "This one worked perfectly. I'll take it."

        "You know the young lady?" Mrs. Slocombe asked.

        "Oh, of course. Her people live out by my way. So Mrs. Larsen is starting you on ginger extract? Ouch! Poor you! Don't forget to remind her that my offer is still open. Even if she has her own canes now, me doing it would save her some time."

        Mrs. Slocombe wrote up the governess' order, only returning to the blushing Tracy when the woman had left.

        "So will that be one or six?" Mrs. Slocombe asked.

        "Six." Tracy said quickly. "And she has everything wrong. Mrs. Larsen is my housekeeper. She works for me."

        "Of course Miss. I'm sure whatever you say is the truth." Mrs. Slocombe said, writing up the order. "Now do you wish to leave with them, or shall we send them and the bill round?"

        "I'll pay for them now." Tracy said quickly.

        "Of course Miss. Now will you be needing the use of a backroom?"

        "What? No, of course not!" Tracy snapped.

        "Please do not use that tone of voice with me young lady. A simply no would have sufficed. Thank you for business, and have a nice day. And please remember the other services we officer if you, or your housekeeper, should ever feel the need."

        Tracy left the store in a huff, vowing never to return.


        Twenty minutes after her return home Tracy was frantically washing in an attempt to remove the lingering traces of the ginger. After taking an unscheduled bath she destroyed the five unused suppositories.


        Tracy's failed experiment drove all thoughts of her decision from her mind for days. Then it was returned by the actions of another.


        Tracy was working on her correspondence when she heard the tinkle of breaking glass. Tracking down its source she was appalled by what she found. There was Elaine standing pale faced and by the maid's feet was...

        "You clumsy cow!" Tracy shrieked. "That perfume came from Paris! Paris France! My father bought it for me! He said it cost more than two pounds! Two pounds! And now you've gone and broken the bottle! You wicked, clumsy, stupid cow."

        When Mrs. Larsen came she found poor Elaine was blubbering and Tracy was on the verge of hysterics. Mrs. Larsen seriously considered pouring water on Tracy, but instead bellowed at Elaine.

        The older woman's loud voice and harsh tone broke Tracy from her fit. Taking as deep a breath as her corset would allow, she turned to her housekeeper and said: "I believe that some canes were delivered here? Well I want one. I want one now."

        "Of course Miss Tracy. If that is how you wish to handle this. I'll make sure that this one is waiting for you in your father's study. YOU! OUT! NOW! To the kitchen!" Mrs. Larsen thundered, and left trailing after the sobbing maid.


        Once they were in the kitchens Elaine recovered a bit.

        "Please Mrs. Larsen, couldn't you try to talk her out of this time?" Elaine asked desperately.

        "Talk her out of it?" Mrs. Larsen snorted. "Right now, right this very moment that girl's your best friend. Two quid! More than two quid, and you had to smash it all by being careless? Girl, if her mother was home now the choice she'd be making would be to send you packing without letters or have you in front of the magistrates for stealing those two quid. Even Miss Tracy, once she calms down a bit, might send you to the magistrates. Or maybe when her father returns he'll do it."

        "But I'm a good girl!" Elaine protested, tears flooding her face. "And I didn't mean it! Honest I didn't!"

        "Do you think that will matter?" Mrs. Larsen snapped. "I know of a house, and I'm not naming names here, where a gentleman caller happened to smile a bit too much at one of the maids. The daughter of the house he was calling on saw this, and the next day she accused the maid of taking a five-pence piece. No one saw the maid take it, no one even saw the five-pence at all or knew where had come from, but the daughter insisted that it was gone and the maid was the only one who could have taken it. No one could publicly doubt that daughter's word so the maid was sent up for theft. And this child is much worse! This isn't some phantom five-pence, this is a real bottle of two quid French perfume. You think Miss Tracy's uncle will doubt her word? Or if it comes to her father making the complaint that Magistrate Hickman will doubt the word of his own brother? Over a little thing like a clumsy maid? No, you start thanking Jesus that Miss Tracy just wants to cane you like you were a naught schoolgirl. Now go and wait by the study door whilst I find the cane she'll be hitting you with. Go!"


        Elaine was sobbing by the study door when she heard something that made her sob even harder.

        "Mrs. Larsen, will a simple caning, do you think, cover it?" Mr. Waylan asked as they approached the study.

        "I truly don't know Mr. Waylan, but it's what Miss Tracy wants and I'm not about to countermand her in front of a maid." Mrs. Larsen answered.

        "But if the offense is so grave..."

        "Mr. Waylan, do you want a tear stained letter going to her father that complains that we countermanded her orders?" Mrs. Larsen asked. "She might still sack the girl after she spends some of her rage thrashing her. Her parents may decide to take stricter measures when they return. The girl might even drop dead from fright and save us all a lot of worry, but in the meantime I'll see that Miss Tracy gives a good caning and that Miss Tracy believes her wishes are respected. Unless, Mr. Waylan, you have another plan?"

        "I'm sorry Mrs. Larsen, but if only it wasn't perfume. If had been fine crystal or silver that had been ruined, that would have been one thing, but I cannot see going to Magistrate Hickman carrying a tale concerning perfume." Mr. Waylan said. "I shall return to lock up when you are done with the study, unless Miss Tracy wishes me to administer the caning, which I shall be only too glad to do."

        "No Mr. Waylan, with the rage she has on her I'm sure that Miss Tracy will want to do it herself. Her was near on hysterics when I found her."

        "Indeed? Then Mrs. Larsen, might I suggest a fortifier? Something to calm her if she still needs it after the caning? I am sure her father would not begrudge her a spot of brandy or whisky at a time such as this, and I will record the usage of it so he shall know why the level has dropped in the bottle."

        After unlocking the study door and ushering them in Mr. Waylan turned to Elaine.

        "If such a thing happens again I would not be surprised if I was called upon to drive out a piece of bad rubbish with a horsewhip, sending her out into the streets naked as the day she was born so as to save the cost of a uniform for the next maid. Good day Mrs. Larsen."

        "Good day Mr. Waylan. Now Elaine, I wants your arse bared and I wants it that way now. If you're not ready when Miss. Tracy arrives then Jesus in Heaven help you for you shan't find any help in this world."


        Tracy was calmer now. She admitted to herself that the bottle had been mostly, or almost completely, empty. But it had still been a present from her father, one that came all the way from Paris in France, and that stupid maid had broken it. For a moment Tracy regretted disposing of the ginger suppositories, but only for a moment. She had taken one in for mere seconds and the sting had driven her half-mad with pain. Perhaps it would be different as the second half of a medical treatment, but there was no way Tracy could see herself helping that cow with any sort of treatment that didn't start and end with the cane.

        Her fuming was interrupted by a knock on her door.

        "Miss Tracy? I have taken the canes to your father's study." Mrs. Larsen said hesitantly.

        "Is she ready and waiting there?" Tracy demanded.

        "I believe she is prepared." Mrs. Larsen said.

        "Is she naked? Because I want her waiting naked! That piece of filth doesn't deserve to wait wearing clothes that this family bought for her. I want her waiting naked, and I want to cane her naked!"

        Mrs. Larsen considered whether she should suggest a calming brandy before Miss Tracy began, but said only: "If that is your wish I will see to it."

        "Wait! What about the other maids? Should we cane her in front of the household as a warning to them?" Tracy asked frantically.

        "Having all the staff in your father's study might bring it into some disorder Miss Tracy." Mrs. Larsen suggested. "Matters of the household of that type tend to be handled by the butler. If you would like Mr. Waylan to..."

        "Oh, forget it then." Tracy said. "I'll do the caning myself."

        "As you wish Miss Tracy. I'll leave now and have her ready when you arrive." Mrs. Larsen said, then backed out of the room.


        Elaine had almost stopped crying when Mrs. Larsen's entrance started her tears again.

        "Get the rest of your things off." Mrs. Larsen snapped.

        "But Mrs. Larsen..."

        "There's no time for back talk! She'll be here soon and she said she didn't want to see you wearing in any of the clothing her family had bought for you. Hurry! Get them off or I'll rip them off. You'd think you were wanting her to take one look at you and send for the constable."


        Tracy thundered into her father's study when her breath caught in her throat. There was Elaine, standing naked as the day she was born, sobbing like a child and blubbering for mercy. All over an almost empty bottle of perfume. Tracy tried to steel her heart and advanced into the room.

        "Right, Elaine, I want you over that desk. And I want you to stay there. If you jump or move too much I shan't count the stroke and you'll have to take it again." Tracy declared. "Now where are the canes?"

        "Here they are Miss Tracy." Mrs. Larsen said as Elaine noisily took her place over the desk.

        Tracy worked her way through them, swishing the air as she tried to think which one was appropriate.

        "Oh yes Miss Tracy, that one is a good choice." Mrs. Larsen, hoping to end the selection process. "But your hand is shaking somewhat."

        "It's the rage." Tracy answered, satisfied that Mrs. Larsen had agreed that the current cane was the one to use. "I have been angry before, but I believe this is the first time that I have felt true rage."

        "Then Miss Tracy, may I suggest something to calm you?" Mrs. Larsen said. "This piece of rubbish isn't worth getting that worked up about, not if it endangers your health."

        "And what do you suggest Mrs. Larsen? A nice cup of tea?"

        "No, I was thinking of a snifter of your father's brandy." Mrs. Larsen said boldly.

        All of Tracy's thinking halted, refocused on this idea. Her father's brandy?

        "But it's his." Tracy pointed out.

        "I am quite sure that he will understand." Mrs. Larsen assured her. "I will even inform Mr. Waylen to make a note of the extreme circumstance so to as explain when your father sees the level has dropped. Perhaps a glass now and one when you're done? For medicinal reasons?"

        "Well, if you think it best." Tracy said, not wanting to be the one to talk about drinking her father's brandy.

        Mrs. Larsen poured something from a decanter into a snifter and Tracy downed it in a single gulp. Then she spent the next few minutes coughing as Mrs. Larsen poured water down her throat.

        When Tracy had recovered she felt a wondrous warm feeling spreading through her and looked at Elaine as the maid trembled over her father's desk. For a brief moment Tracy thought about leaving and returning without her corset, but decided that Mrs. Larsen was bound to notice that.

        "Right. Then we shall begin. Elaine, you are a clumsy cow and you need this. One!"

        Tracy was impressed by the crack she (or rather the cane) produced and decided the lesson from Margaret was well worth it. The next stroke produced a more satisfying thwack and caused Elaine to leap to her feet.

        "Come on now you silly cow." Tracy complained to the wailing maid. "I told you to stay still. Now that one doesn't count. Bend. I said bend. If Waylen has to come here and make you bend; good, that's a good silly little cow."

        Elaine managed to stay in position for two more, then leapt to her feet once more.

        "Perhaps, Miss Tracy, if I were to hold her down?" Mrs. Larsen offered.

        "Fine. Wonderful idea. Just let's please get this over with." Tracy said, her breathing becoming ragged as the warmth of the brandy flowed into the tightness of her corset.

        With Mrs. Larsen's help poor Elaine was able to stay in position as Tracy caned. As her rage combined with the brandy and her exertions strained her corset's ability to allow her to breathe, Tracy's breath began getting more ragged. Her vision began dimming and she began feeling faint.

        "Could I see that place from another's pain?" Tracy wondered as she had to force herself to stand erect. She could barely see where she was standing as Elaine's striped arse filled her vision. She had lost all count of the number of strokes she had given and couldn't remember setting a limit before beginning.

        Tracy staggered back into a chair, almost collapsing.

        "Mrs. Larsen." Tracy wheezed. "I believe you should give the final three."

        "Of course Miss Tracy. As you wish."

        Tracy stared, the swish THWACK of the cane filling her existence.

        "Miss Tracy, if you are through I'll get this bit back to the kitchen." Mrs. Larsen suggested.

        "Of course." Tracy said, waving her hand in an offhanded way. "But carry its clothes with you. I won't have it dressing in my presence."

        "Very good Miss Tracy." Mrs. Larsen said with a bob. "And may I suggest that you tried a restorative? I will have Mr. Waylan make a note of it."

        "Perhaps that would be good." Tracy said. "That's what Uncle Frank thought. Elaine, I am very cross with you for being such a clumsy cow, but I do believe I have gotten the worst of it from my system. I want you to, oh, scrub all the servants quarters with a very small brush. Do that and it will be several days before I see you again, and by then I may have forgiven you. But for now I want you out of my sight! And be thankful I do not call on my Uncle Frank for advice on how to handle you. I doubt he would be so merciful."

        Elaine sobbed some request for forgiveness as Mrs. Larsen bundled her out.

        "Oh stop crying girl." Mrs. Larsen said when they reached the kitchen. "Just be grateful you weren't sacked or sent to gaol. Now go lie down. I shan't get a lick off work out of you after that, but it won't matter. The servant quarters will still need cleaning tomorrow, and you'll stick to that until they be spotless and hope that your kind mistress has forgiven you when she sees you again, for God help you if she talks to her uncle about you."

        Mrs. Larsen hurried back to the study. There she found Tracy with a whisky glass filled to the brim.

        "I didn't want to take twice from the same bottle." Tracy explained. "And these are the glasses he always uses when he pours that one."

        "Of course Miss Tracy. But perhaps you should take your time drinking this one?" Mrs. Larsen advised.

        She needn't have bothered. Tracy swallowed a third of the glass, then Mrs. Larsen had grab the glass as Tracy choked on her drink.

        "Why cough hack hack cough does father ahh cough drink this?" Tracy hacked out.

        "I believe it has something to do with the medicinal value." Mrs. Larsen suggested.

        As it was medicine Tracy insisted on finishing her drink, and she was barely coughing at all when it was done. In fact she was barely doing anything but breathing when she finished it; Mrs. Larsen had to carry her to her room and change her for bed.


        "Well, Mr. Waylan, that might have worked out better than it looked." Mrs. Larsen told the butler. "If it had just been another brandy snifter then she might have drank a bit too much, but that whisky was far too much. Mark my words, she won't want to move tomorrow and that will teach her a valuable lesson about drink."

        "Very good Mrs. Larsen. I will note it in my book. And the maid's punishment?" Mr. Waylan asked.

        "A bit wild with the aim, perhaps, but nothing extreme. I do believe, Mr. Waylan, that your suggestion that she have a brandy, should she need it, before she started made quite a difference, and for the good. No, Elaine has no real reason to complain."


        That night Tracy's dreams were wild. She kept seeing Elaine's naked body as it thrashed under Mrs. Larsen hold, Elaine's quim quivering as the maid kicked under the cane. This combined with Nancy's, Jeanie's, Shirley's, Jenny's, and all the other caned bottomed she had seen. At points Tracy could see, in her mind's eye, her own caning as she suffered on that wicked caning bench in her uncle's cold stone room. She could see her own little quim quivering, and then she was lost in that wonderful cuddle with Margaret and somehow Harriet was there to give her both treatments.

        When she awoke the next morning it was with a sick stomach and splitting headache, and the knowledge that she had to make that decision.

        By mid afternoon Tracy had recovered enough to return to her correspondence. She put aside the letter she had been working on, and started a new one. The inner address puzzled her; would it be better address it to the home (where another was sure to see it) or dare she write to an official address? How would he react to a letter at an official address? Tracy turned the idea over in her mind, then came up with a plan. Organizing her thoughts she began to write.


        "Oh that clever little minx." Frank Hickman chuckled.

        "Which minx would that be?" Elizabeth Hickman queried.

        "That niece of ours, Tracy." Frank told his wife. "This letter is filled to the brim of useless household trivia. It is meant to look as if she wants my approval for practically every little decision she's made since my bother left on his travels."

        "That was my impression." Elizabeth noted. "I stopped reading after the third paragraph."

        "Then you missed what was on page four." Frank chuckled. "Not page five in case someone skips ahead to the last page, but the middle of page four. Here, I'll read it to you."

        "And uncle, I have been giving much thought to that offer you so generously made to me following that accident of which I shall not speak. I have come to wonder if indeed I could not find the time to assist you in your official role and act as witness at a gathering of such. Pray inform me as to if this is possible."

        "So she wants to see bottoms caned?" Elizabeth interjected. "What of her own bottom? I still find it hard to believe that I missed the chance to see that lovely arse of hers get the strips it so richly deserves. Deserves for aesthetic reasons if for nothing else."

        "She doesn't speak of that, not yet, but I am sure it will happen." Frank told his wife. "Oh probably not the first time. That will have to be tame enough to tempt her back. But if there are many volunteers for second outing? Or if her loving aunt is there to either tease her on or lead by example."

        "You beast! To think that I would want this sagging thing displayed next to her taut young arse."

        "I am sure yours would win any such contests." Frank replied.

        "You are? Oh Frank, your tongue is as silver as ever. Come to think of it, I believe I spotted a maid with a button missing from her uniform. I know we lack the comforts you have at work, but could you not deal with her now?" Elizabeth purred.

        "Of course." Frank growled back. "Be it the tawse, cane, crop, or lash. Your will shall be done tonight."

        "And tomorrow?" Elizabeth quizzed.

        "Tomorrow I shall write back to our charming niece, sending her an epistle full of homely wisdom and buried somewhere within an invitation the next gathering of witnesses." Frank confirmed. "Now let's see to that maid who needs to be taught a lesson. I have a piece of saddle leather that would be perfect for her."

        "Oh Frank, you say the sweetest things."


        Tracy eagerly anticipated the arrival of post. She almost cried when the morning post came without a reply from her uncle. To distract herself she turned to her correspondence, vowing to return every letter she owed.

        She was working on the last letter she felt she owed when Mrs. Larsen arrived with the afternoon post.

        "Here you go Miss Tracy." Mrs. Larsen said. "I couldn't help notice that it includes a missive from your uncle. I hope everything is well."

        "Oh, of course it is." Tracy said, snatching up the letter. "I just wrote him concerning some household matters that I was unsure of."

        "Matters such as Elaine?" Mrs. Larsen queried.

        "Oh? No, of course not! That clumsy cow isn't worth mentioning to my uncle. But now that you've mentioned her I want you to tell her that I will be personally inspecting the work she's doing so she had best scrub hard. Very hard." Tracy said as she unfolded her letter.

        Lost in her uncle's letter Tracy gave no thought to Mrs. Larsen's presence and, seeing this, Mrs. Larsen slipped away to carry out Tracy's instruction.

        "Yes, I know your arse hurts, but stay focused on the scrubbing." Mrs. Larsen told the quivering maid. "Miss Tracy has decided to personally inspect your work. If the floor isn't clean enough, why I can't see her not getting that cane out again."

        Elaine burst into tears, but didn't slow at her work.


        Tracy hurriedly read her uncle's six page letter but saw only responses to her trivial comments about her household. Going back over it she forced herself to read slowly and look at every word. Finally she found it; his reply was as clearly hidden as her own request:

        "In regarding your offer to aid me in an official way, I do believe that can be arranged. On Tuesday the next there is scheduled a number of cases which should require a number of those of suitable quality to observe the aftermath of judgement. I seek your reply on the morrow as to whether you shall be able to assist in this matter. However, I must remind you that this is official business and as such must be treated with all seriousness. Failure to reply in a timely fashion, or replying in the affirmative and not attending, shall unfortunately result in your required attendance in that room on the day following the one in question where the number involved may well be above what we have discussed previously."

        Tracy shivered when she saw the proposed penalty. She knew that if she started now the reply would be ready for the earliest post on the morrow (which was Friday) to be delivered in a later post on that day. Part of her wondered if the Saturday mail would be too late to be deemed to fall within a timely fashion, and she knew that Monday would almost certainly be too late.

        But she had done it! The decision was made. She had finally taken the leap! Now to reap the fruits.

        With her mind swirling and her hand already tired from the other letters she had written, Tracy tried to compose a reply to her uncle. After discarding three half started letters she realized that she couldn't hide her reply in mundane matters as she had hidden her request. Even if she didn't lack the patience to fill pages on other subjects she knew she had to be sure that her uncle saw her reply.

        Which meant writing to his house (where Aunt Elizabeth might read it) was out of the question. Tracy hastily scribbled out:

        "Dearest Uncle: I shall be honoured to assist you on Tuesday. Please send a note as to the particulars of where I should go and when I should arrive. Your devoted niece, Tracy."

        Then came the hard part. What address to put on the letter?

        After careful consideration Tracy hit upon a solution. She sealed the letter and went looking for Waylan.

        "Waylan? Could you be sure this letter reaches my uncle at his place of work on tomorrow's post?"

        "Of course Miss Tracy. If the matter is of an urgent nature then I will send a boy to bring it to him at once."

        Tracy blushed at the thought of explaining the matter at hand to Waylan.

        "No, it is nothing terribly urgent. Merely some plans for next week."

        "Of course Miss Tracy. I will be sure that it reaches him tomorrow." Mr. Waylan said with a slight bow.


        Of course he had a brief word with Mrs. Larsen about the matter, and that evening she broke the awful news to Elaine.

        "You poor girl! On the morrow you will have help with your scrubbing, and you must be sure to do a good job. Miss Tracy has written to her uncle the magistrate at his place of business, and what could she be writing about to him there if not to discuss your case? And I thought a second caning was all you had to fear. Pray hard, and if your prayers are answered you will only find yourself being caned again."

        Elaine burst into tears once more and swore that she would both work her hardest and pray that Miss Tracy would be satisfied with caning her a second time.


        On Friday, whilst Elaine worked frantically with all the aid the other maids dared give her, Tracy waited and waited for her uncle's reply.

        She attempted reading, but even the book written by the governess (which now made more sense) did nothing to distract her. She wanted to walk, to burn off energy, but didn't want to miss the arrival of her uncle's reply by as much of a second. She tried to answer her morning correspondence, but somehow the word cane kept appearing as she wrote, causing her to tear up page after page.

        As the day went Tracy became edgier and edgier.

        By noon the other maids were warning Elaine that they had never seen Miss Tracy so worked up, and Elaine scrubbed all the harder.


        When tea was served Tracy briefly wondered about caning another of the maids. Not that any of them had really earned it, but it would serve as a distraction. Only the knowledge that if her uncle's reply arrived during the caning she would not see it at once kept her from working out her frustrations on one of the maids' arses.

        When her tea was almost finished Waylan appeared.

        "Your pardon, Miss Tracy, but there is someone here to see you."

        "It is not that Leslie woman, is it?" Tracy asked, unsure of what she would do if it was.

        "No Miss Tracy. It is a man of a rather low station. He says his name is Gary and I do believe I have seen him at work with your uncle." Mr. Waylan said. "He claims to have a message that is to be delivered to your hands."

        "Oh!" Tracy said, bolting from the table.

        Mr. Waylan followed closely on her heals, but allowed her to receive the note privately.

        "It wasn't truly important." Tracy said after closing the door on Gary. "The man is a bit simple, so when my uncle sent him with a note he thought he had to give it me personally."

        "Indeed Miss Tracy." Mr. Waylan said respectfully.

        Tracy was not her father, nor she have the years of interacting with Waylan that her father possessed. If she had, then she would have heard the words "Bullshit" in his tone, but in ignorance she took his words at their value.


        Elaine hadn't thought she could scrub harder, but after Mr. Waylan had a brief word with her she found that she could.

        "Normally I would leave it up to Mrs. Larsen to tell you this information, but I do believe that you should know this. A rather large and rough man was just here for a private word with Miss Tracy. The man works for her uncle the magistrate and it is known that he is sometimes sent to collect servants whose employers have deemed their actions unworthy enough to turn them over to the courts. Should he return to this house I do believe that you will leave with him, in chains if need be."


        Tracy, unaware of the drama happening below stairs, closed herself off in her room to read her uncle's reply. In very curt words it described where she should be at 3:30 on Tuesday, ending with the line:

        "And if you fail to follow these instruction then you shall be here on the following day, even if you must be collected by force."

        Tracy's heart shivered. She had known that she had made her decision, but seeing those words told her that she was now irrevocably committed.

        Or was she? Tracy shivered, knowing that she had until Tuesday to decide which course she would follow. Not that she had real decision left, but in theory the choice was still there.


        On Saturday Tracy found herself wish it was already Tuesday. Her normal tasks and errands did not come close to occupying her mind. She was almost wishing that one of the maids would give her an excuse to have Mrs. Larsen fetch a cane, but they were all on their best behaviour and showing perfect manners. Almost as if they could read her mind.

        As Tracy played over the maids' behaviour, she thought of Elaine.

        "An inspection of her work would do nicely." Tracy decided. "A surprise one. Just me, to see what kind of job she is doing."

        Tracy went off to search for her errant maid with a smile on her lips.


        But her search did not go well. She had spent most of her life in this house, but Tracy had never had cause to explore the servant quarters before. She started in her sitting room at one of the entrances the maids used and was surprise to discover it led directly to a very narrow staircase.

        Which seemed to lead to a maze of tiny corridors and smaller rooms. She found store rooms, some bedrooms, other staircases, but no sign of Elaine.

        Or clearly marked directions. At times Tracy found herself in either the attic or the basement with no clear idea of how she got there. Tracy knew that she couldn't really be lost inside her own house, but at times it felt that way.

        When Tracy at last emerged into the kitchens she covered with cobwebs and feeling distinctly grimy. She still had no idea where Elaine was working, but she daren't admit her ignorance in front of the servants. All the books she had read had said that if your staff didn't believe you knew what they were about then they slacked off their jobs and nothing would be done.

        "I think a bath is in order." Tracy announced to the cook. "Yes, a bath and a change of clothing is clearly needed."

        "Indeed Miss Tracy."

        Tracy returned to the more familiar parts of the house, secure in the knowledge that a bath would be drawn and fresh clothing laid out.

        During her bath something occurred to Tracy. It wasn't the first time she had had this thought, but it was the first time in some time: did she really need to wear a shift in the tub? The way it clung to her left little to the imagination, and she couldn't help remembering how Margaret had washed her naked body. Tracy knew that she had seen more of another girl's quim than she had of her own. Well, girls. There had been Jenny, then Leslie and the other three, then Elaine, then Shirley, then Nancy (whose quim she had practically felt!), then Jeanie and Tanya and all those others whilst Margaret oversaw their canings. All those quims, and she knew their look better than she did her own.

        The thought grew in her, not ending with her bath. At some point that night she left her bed and, with aid of gaslight and mirrors, looked at herself for the first time in years.

        In a way she was surprised; hers looked no different than the rudest of shop girls' had.


        Elaine knew it was just a matter of time until her work was checked, but she received an unexpected reprieve. Whilst Elaine spent the sabbath hard at work (at mortal peril to her soul) Tracy spent the day praying for forgiveness of her wicked actions of the night before. She was certain that everyone, from God on down to the vicar to Mrs. Larsen, knew what she had done in the privacy of her room.


        Monday found Tracy slightly more relaxed. She accepted that the choices were out of her hands. Tuesday was set and she could no more change it than fly. Her soul was either saved or damned. Nothing would change.

         There was little Tracy could do until Tuesday, other than check on Elaine. As she no longer planned to seize upon the least little mistake as an excuse to cane the maid, Tracy decided to inform Mrs. Larsen that she wished to check Elaine's work and allow the housekeeper to lead her to it.

        Elaine was on the verge of tears as Tracy inspected her work. Elaine knew that Tracy had not seen the state of things before she started to scrub so might not appreciate the improvement. To her surprise, Tracy preformed a brief inspection and pronounced it satisfactory.

         Then Tracy, almost to her own surprise, instructed Mrs. Larsen to give Elaine three strokes of the cane as a reminder, and left the woman to do it. Afterward she wondered why she had done that. Even if her hand had not held the cane, why hadn't she stayed to watch the lines appearing on the maid's arse?


        Tuesday morning delivered butterflies to Tracy's stomach. After breakfasting, Tracy was torn over what to wear. After her adventure with Margaret she did not want to wear a corset even just to watch a caning, but on the other hand Tracy couldn't remember the last time her uncle had seen her without a corset. Tracy knew that if she wore a corset then she might have once more have problems breathing, but if she didn't she might disappoint her uncle. Tracy had never wanted to disappoint her uncle, but she could think of few times worse for doing so than when she was in that stone room where his word was law. If she wore it she might faint, but if she didn't then she might end up gracing a caning bench.

        In the end it was her servants who decided her. They would know if she left the house without her corset and wonder at it. It wasn't that she feared their speculation, but with all the things she was planning to do today she didn't want to add to her risks. For safe measure she even added a modest veil to her costume.

        Tracy thought about lunching out, but without a dining companion she didn't think at any reputable establishment would serve her. She could only hope that the servants didn't notice any odd behaviour during the luncheon meal.

        Arriving at the court, Tracy was immediately escorted to her uncle's office. As her uncle was not there to invite her to sit she waited, standing, until her uncle arrived.

        "Ah, you decided to join us. Good show." Frank said as he entered his office. "I had hoped that we would meet today and not tomorrow. Now I have some paperwork that needs doing to make the upcoming canings official. Gary will escort you to where you may wait comfortably. Not, of course, to that room you passed through on the day of the accident but a much more comfortable one. When you reach there I want you to feel free to relax and make yourself comfortable until I arrive. Now there will other witnesses today, but they will be waiting elsewhere. When you do meet them it would be best if you did not ask for a name that is not offered to you. This may leave you at a bit of a disadvantage, as I have informed one or more of them either of your name or the family relationship between the two of us. Please be assured that none of those I talked to would do anything to benefit from that advantage, rather they will do what they might to ensure that your duty as witness is not an onerous one. Now do you have any questions?"

        Thousands of questions went through her head. Who would the other witnesses be? How were they chosen? Had any been present on that horrid day that she had been caned?

        But from what her uncle had already said she knew he would not answer any questions about her fellow witnesses, so instead Tracy asked: "How many are to caned today, and what are their offenses?"

        "The offense is of no concern for a witness, only the sentence." Frank answered. "As for the number, three were sentenced today to the cane. Guttersnipes the lot of them, all deserving of more than they have been sentenced to, believe you me. Now if there is nothing else I believe Gary is ready to escort you."


        Gary was ready to escort her, and he had an escort himself. Someone unknown to Tracy but obviously more competent than Gary. Of course that didn't say much, but the other man was trusted with more keys than Gary was and used them far faster than Gary used his own three.

        The waiting area looked comfortable enough. There was even a sideboard with brandy and few other odd looking bottles that Tracy decided to ignore. The other man left them there, but rather then leaving Gary merely said: "I's ordered to waits here with ya."

        "Oh, really?"

        Gary nodded.

        "And there be a room there iffing ya needs it." Gary said, pointing out a door that was far too modest to be trusted to stop someone from escaping.

        Not wanting to be alone with Gary, Tracy explored the side room. Its primary purpose was obvious, and Tracy decided that she should use before her uncle arrived. For some reason she didn't think he would react well if she asked him to halt the proceeding long enough for her to have a pee.

        As she did her business, Tracy noticed other features of the room. There were hooks on some of the walls and the ceiling, and there were pieces of leather in strategic places that seemed as if they could be used as restraints. When washing up at the basin she couldn't restrain her curiosity and looked through the cupboards, and was amazed by what she found there. Restraints, a few different style of gags, a few straps that appeared identical to the one that Dave had wielded, an odd slipper and tennis shoe, a curiously shaped paddle, and several enema syringes.

        Tracy wondered if sometimes prisoners were brought into these rooms. That seemed unlikely, so why did they have all these things here?

        "Of course! The maids." Tracy said, false realization dawning.

        The maids that the quality sent here for discipline were not prisoners, so of course they could not go with the others. This explained to Tracy some of Margaret's confusion of finding Tracy with the prisoners, for the warder had obviously expected the maid to come through a different channel. The more Tracy thought, the more it made sense that someone of quality could bring a maid and keep her in this side room out of sight and out of mind until it was time to take the maid to the stone room for her caning. And if the maid was to misbehave, well, the correction might just have to start a little early.


        Tracy was sitting comfortably, ignoring the brandy and other refreshments, when her uncle arrived.

        "Ready? Good." Frank said, not giving his niece a chance to answer. "I'll just be a minute making sure everything is ready for you, then I'll have Gary escort you out."

        The short time until his return dragged longer than all the days that had passed since his note invited her to come here. Once more Tracy found herself wondering where all this extra time was coming from.

        Then her uncle was back and leading her into the stone room. A trio of miscreants were waiting, their arses already bared for the cane, but they were not alone. In addition to Margaret and her two assistants were six people, three men and three women. At a glance Tracy knew them to be the other witnesses, for from their clothing it was clear that they were at very least middle class and possibly above that. A second glance told her even more; Tracy felt a stab at her heart as she saw that she was wearing the lone corset present in the room. The other women (a brunette, a redhead, and one whose blonde hair looked somehow off shade), who looked more mature and more comfortable in their skins than Tracy did, clearly didn't see the need to wear one and their state of dress prompted no comment from her uncle.

        "So this gal is your niece then?" One of the women (the blonde one) asked, her English atrocious and marked with an accent that Tracy couldn't place. "Planning on placing her on one of the benches?"

        The brunette women gasped at this suggestion, and the redhead chided it with the words: "Ellen, you said you would behave."

        Frank merely laughed off the suggestion.

        "Of course not. Tracy, may I present Miss Porath? As your ears may have told you she is a visitor from the colonies..."

        "From the U S of A." Ellen Porath corrected.

        "... and as such her manners may seem a bit colonial, but they are considered polite from whence she hails. Miss Porath? May I present my niece Tracy?"

        "I am charmed to make your acquaintance." Tracy said gracefully.

        "Don't be so sure." Ellen said with a smile.

        Tracy was unsure how to respond, but her uncle kindly filled the resulting silence.

        "Now whilst I did say that there would be no introduction, and I trust this will be the only one, after Miss Porath forced the issue with show of familiarity I felt I simply could not let the matter rest without making the introduction. Now remember, these are convicts we are dealing with. They might look harmless now, but they have boyfriends, brothers, uncles, and others to whom they might complain and as such we shan't name the other witnesses."

        "Speaking of miscreants, let us see what we have here today." Frank said. "We have a pair that provoked moral outrage by their actions and dress, or lack there of, and one who used some very indecent language in front of children. It is almost five of the hour. Let us use the time until the hour to get comfortable, then we shall witness justice being served."

        Tracy found herself joining in the murmurs of consent.

        Then she wished she had urged them to begin at once. She felt lost in this place. She was unable to meet any of the men's eyes (including those of her uncle) as she could not ignore that they were looking at the naked arses of the culprits awaiting their sentences.

        One of the women was close with the men, murmuring with them, but the redhead and Ellen were off by themselves.

        "Tracy my dear, you mustn't be shy." Frank chided. "Go and walk, talk, and observe."

        The forcefulness in his voice prodding her on, Tracy did the only thing she could decently do; she approached the woman she had been introduced to. Her only other choice was Margaret, but they had never been formally introduced and Tracy dared not risk informalities in this place.

        "... but what's that mark on her leg?" Ellen was asking as Tracy approached.

        "At court she claimed that a bee flew up her dress and stung her, which is why she swore." The redhead answered.

        "Well I'd swear if a bee stung me there!" Ellen exclaimed. "Why wasn't her defense enough?"

        "Maybe we should ask another. Why not ask this young lady if there is ever a good reason for bad language." The redhead suggested, drawing Tracy into their conversation.

        "Why not ask her yourself?" Ellen asked.

        "Why, we have not been properly introduced, and unlike yourself I am not merely a visitor to these fair shores but, if I might be so immodest to suggest, one whose name she may encounter."

        "Huh? Just tell me why you can't ask her." Ellen demanded. "Don't talk around it until I'm dizzy."

        The redhead sighed and shared a long suffering look with Tracy.

        "I can't myself because she is a well brought up young lady and might ignore me since we have not been officially introduce." The redhead explained slowly. "And you know who I am. Do you want her to read through the social column someday and say 'Oh, I know her! We were at a caning together' or some such thing."

        "Whatever." Ellen said, this explanation of manners sliding off her like water on a duck's back. "So Tracy, if a bee stung you there then wouldn't you curse up a storm?"

        Tracy stepped forward and tried not to wince at the angry sting on the culprit's upper thigh. It was red and swollen, but she knew there was only one answer she could give.

        "It is never permissible to use such language in polite company." Tracy answered. "One of breeding should not even know how to say that manner of word. If this person did use such language, and I would hazard a guess that there were many witnesses at her hearing to prove that she had..."
        "There were." The redhead put in. "I saw her hearing and several persons reported her foul language."

        "Then if there was no doubt of the offense then there could be no defense offered, especially if she used vulgar language in front of young and impressionable ears." Tracy finished. "In any case, the hearing is long over and we are not here to witness proof of guilt but that just correction has been applied."

        "Just so." The redhead nodded.

        "I think you're both crazy. Why, if I was stung anywhere near there I'd be cursing my mouth off. But like you said, we're here to watch some fannies being caned, not debate the guilt."

        Tracy felt faint. Ellen couldn't mean that, could she? Certainly her uncle wouldn't, no, certainly no judge in all of Christendom would ever order something so barbaric.

        "Ellen, how many time do I have to tell you this?" The redhead said with a sigh. "Where you come from they might use the word fanny for arse, but over here we don't do that. Here little girls have fannies and little boys have willies and both of them have arses."

        "So arses not fannies." Ellen said dismissively. "Who cares what they're called as long as we see them caned?"

        Tracy found herself recovering as she heard this exchange. The very idea that someone would be caned on the quim, well it was just silly.

        Tracy engaged in small talk with Ellen, who proved that her manners were as atrocious as her accent and misuse of words, and examined the other two who were waiting. Once showed clear signs of the strap; since the girls had committed identical crimes Tracy had to wonder at this difference. At one point she noticed that Dave was in the room and wondered if he had been there the entire time and if she had merely overlooked him.

        Then her uncle's voice was raised again.

        "It is almost time to begin. Now whilst we have enough culprits to make a good gathering of it day, there are still several empty benches. This fact means that if any of the women present would like to discover how five strokes of a prison cane feels then we can more than accommodate her. As a point of fact, we have so many empty benches that I could easily summon my assistants and have all the ladies here so secured. Any takers at this time? No? Then Dave will begin with the foul mouthed trollop."

        Tracy took a seat behind the culprit with the bee sting, wondering if any of the other women had felt their hearts skip a beat when her uncle made that offer. Then the swish THWACK of Dave's cane and the squeal it brought drove the question from her mind. Tracy found herself wishing she had bothered to ask the count, but decided that it didn't matter; the caning would last as long as it needed to.

        Looking at the strips appearing on the girl's arse, Tracy found that she couldn't help looking at the culprit's quim. Clenching and unclenching thighs shifted it slightly, drawing her eyes with each movement.

        Tracy gave hard wince as Dave's cane slipped off target, landing square on the bee sting. Under that impact the culprit's unintelligible cries shifted into a single, long, wordless scream.

        "Sorry bout that your honour. Won't miss again your honour." Dave vowed.

        "The occasional miss is allowed, but don't let it happen again." Frank said. "I know I shouldn't do this, since it wasn't on target, but considering the effect I've decided to let that one count. Continue."

        Tracy carefully counted 18 strokes of the cane, then she was shifting her seat to be behind the next one.


        "So you've seen your first caning." Ellen remarked as they shifted chairs. "What do you think about it?"

        "Oh, that can't have been the first one she's seen." The redhead said.

        "Her first judicial one perhaps, but surely not her first." The brunette agreed.

        "What? Do you lot have canings on every street corner?" Ellen asked in disbelief.

        "If she's been to school then she probably saw one her first week there." One of the men said with a half laugh.

        Tracy wasn't looking so she wasn't sure which had spoken, but she had seen one wearing a tie from a very respectable school that was known for having more thrashings than most.

        "In public schools it's almost a standard to have a thrashing in front of the new lot so they'll know what they're facing from the masters. And of course the upperclassmen aren't shy about giving thrashings in front of other students."

        "What, you mean the senior students can cane like this?" Ellen asked in disbelief.

        "Well it's a school cane and it's rare that anything but another student is holding them down, but yes, it's the same thing."

        "So were you caned by the older students?" Ellen said.

        "Well of course I got my fair share of thrashings when I was in lower forms, but when it was my turn to hold the cane I assure that I got my own back."

        "Wow." Ellen gushed, almost ignoring the caning going on. "And at public school? Well if I'd grown up here I'd been sure to go to private school even if I had to board."

        "Ellen." The redhead sighed. "Public school means boarding school."

        "No, public school is the one that the town pays for. Boarding schools are private ones." Ellen insisted.

        Tracy found herself blocking over most this language debate as she watched the cane leave its stripes. She couldn't help wondering at the specifics of the culprit's indecent behaviour.

        "So let me get this straight." Ellen said. "Students get caned at public and council schools, and at the public schools, which are private, the upperclassmen cane as well?"

        A murmur of assent went up from the group.

        "That's it exactly." The redhead said firmly. "Now can we stop talking about schooldays and watch this little trollop get what she has coming to her?"

        "Trollop? You mean she..." Ellen started.

        "I mean she was sentenced due to indecency so I can call her a trollop if I like." The redhead said.


        Then they were shifting seats again as Dave walked to the culprit next in line. Tracy couldn't help notice that this one was shaking with sobs, as if hearing the others punished had upset her. Tracy was having her own problems, cursing herself for lacing her corset normally. She knew she could have left the house with it laced looser than normal, but she hadn't thought of that and now she was having a time catching her breath.

        "Now why is her fanny, sorry, you call it an arse. Why is her arse already red?" Ellen asked.

        "Well, when they are brought to this room sometimes they don't mind us so they get a taste of the strap." Margaret informed her.

        "But she wasn't sentenced to the strap, was she?" Ellen asked.

        "Of course not." Frank said in a patronizing voice. "The finding of guilt and the principle sentence, that of time and strokes with the cane, are determined at a hearing. Minor things requiring correction are handled afterwards and informally without the involvement of a magistrate."

        "So what does that mean?" Ellen asked.

        "It means that if she doesn't behave herself when she gets where she's going she'll get strapped or caned when she deserves it." Margaret explained, repeating what she had told Tracy.

        "But it all looks so official." Ellen said.

        "It is." "Of course it's official." "It's been recorded and everything..."

        "Miss Porath, is it possible that you believe something untoward is occurring here?" Frank asked, his firm voice breaking through the chatter.

        Tracy wondered if the others were upset that the last caning had been delayed. She knew she wasn't, but that was because she needed time to breathe the colour from her cheeks.

        "Well, back when it looked like everything was being recorded in officials record this look official, but now that I'm hearing about unrecorded punishments..."

        "Who said they were unrecorded?" Frank interrupted. "True, a touch of the strap in this room might not be noted, but I assure you that all caning are recorded."

        "When they go to the institution even the strappings will be recorded." Margaret added. "All infractions and resulting corrections are recorded to be read back if they apply for early release."

        "And even in the schools almost every one that the masters hand out are recorded." Said the man with the school tie. "The upperclassmen are supposed to record them too, but why leave a permanent record that might affect university entrance?"

        "Even the council schools record everything for the school inspectors." The redhead added. "If you want we can visit one and look at the records."

        "So everything is aboveboard?" Ellen asked.

        "Of course. Would I allow my niece to serve as a witness if it were not so?" Frank asked.

        "I guess not." Ellen conceded. "It's just that, well, canings seem so serious!"

        "In one way they are, but in many others they aren't." Frank assured her.

        "Maybe it is just that you are the only one here that has never been caned?" The redhead suggested.

        "That might be it." Ellen agreed.

        Tracy and her uncle remained silent, but the other witnesses quickly chimed in that this must be the case.

        "Well, if that is the way you really feel." Frank said as the agreeing voices faded away. "Then there is a handy solution. My offer when we began was made in jest, but it was also a genuine one."

        "Your offer?" Ellen asked.

        "For any of the women here to volunteer to experience five strokes of the cane." Frank reminded her.

        "You mean, here? Now?" Ellen gasped. "Are you serious?"

        "Very serious." Frank replied.

        The redhead learned close to Ellen's ear and whispered something.

        "You have?" Ellen asked in disbelief. "When?"

        "Does it matter when? Come on. You know that if you don't you shall always wonder." The redhead teased.

        "But we could get a cane and..."

        "But it won't be a prison cane and it shan't be given in the official way." The redhead purred.

        "Um, but what about her?" Ellen asked, pointing at Tracy.

        "Well I'm sure that if she wanted to volunteer then her uncle would allow her to, but you said it yourself: Yours is the only uncaned arse in the room. Even her little arse knows more about it than yours does."

        Tracy felt her face going flush as the two women talked about her as if she wasn't there. The last time this had happened was on the awful day then the pair of witnesses had debated if she was a maid or bettor.

        "Well, if I was to volunteer, what would happen?" Ellen asked dubiously.

        "If you were to volunteer, then Senior Women's Warden Wiess would prepare you and fasten you on a bench." Frank answered, wondering how he could hurry things along whilst preserving Tracy's belief that it would be voluntary. At this point only Ellen and Tracy (and the prisoners, who didn't count) were the only ones who still believed that Ellen maintained any choice in the matter.

        "I'd help." "As would I." The two women chimed in.

        "But would I be..." Ellen said, her voice trailing off as she looked at the naked arse of the culprit waiting to be caned.

        "Well of course the target area would be exposed." Frank said, wondering if he could now declare her a volunteer.

        "It shan't be anything we haven't already seen today." Said the man with the school tie. "Unless yours is somehow different from those three."

        "But, um..." Ellen said.

        The redhead drew near again and whispered something in Ellen's ear, then nodded to the other woman. The redhead placed an arm over Ellen's shoulders and took one of Ellen's hands firmly in her free hand. The other woman took Ellen's other hand, and the two of them led her to Margaret. Margaret gave Ellen a reassuring smile and then, with the women still holding Ellen's hands, Margaret began to unbutton Ellen's dress.

        Tracy stared as Ellen's clothing was removed, noting that the American was barely wearing enough to be considered decent when she had been fully dressed. She also noted that Ellen's hands were rarely free, that the other two kept a firm hold on them whenever clothing weren't moving off Ellen's arms. Ellen's blushing was a welcoming sight to Tracy who had wondered if the woman possessed any sense of shame.

        Tracy could only half hear the mutterings coming from the four women. They were keeping their voices low, and of course the culprits were still sobbing and drowning some of it. Most of what she heard was from Ellen, who seemed not to have mastered the concept of the discrete whisper.

        "But bare... isn't a party... no one in New York can ever kn... if you say so... but no bleeding..."

        Margate seemed to be ignoring the conversation, and the other three seemed to be ignoring Margaret as she removed Ellen's clothing. Ignoring her that is, until the woman began undoing the strings on Ellen's drawers. Ellen tensed and almost intervened, but Tracy could see that the other were maintaining a firm grip on Ellen's hands, preventing the woman from interfering with Margaret's work.

        Then, wearing little more than a single shift, she was led back to the main group, towards the bench beside the awaiting culprit.

        "Um, I don't have to be strapped in, do I?" Ellen asked. "I promise I won't move much, unless things get too, um..."

        "It's a prison caning you have volunteered for, and it's a prison caning you shall receive." Frank answered with his solemn magistrate tone.

        Tracy wasn't sure where it came from, but an idea flashed into her mind.

        "Tis a pity that Uncle Frank doesn't have red robes." Tracy thought. "He would sound so grand saying 'And may God have mercy on your soul'."

        Then her mind was completely focused on Ellen as the woman was being position.

        "She came here to be a witness, just like me." Tracy thought as the straps were being done up. "She never intended to be caned, but there she is, waiting for the cane."

        Ellen tried to avoid the scold's bridle, but after the redhead said softly: "If a bee sting doesn't excuse then nothing does" Ellen allowed Margaret to fasten it on.

        "Well, I think the delay has gone on long enough." Frank declared. "So there's no hint of favoritism I'll take the last culprit and Dave will take Ellen. Oh, and that balking at the bench. Tsk tsk. Terrible, and she knows that corrections can be modified in this room. What do you say we make it a round six of the best?"

        There was general agreement from the witnesses, but Tracy could hear Ellen trying to scream no. The redhead woman responded by going around to Ellen's front. The woman kissed Ellen on the forehead then, bending so her face was level with Ellen's, taking Ellen's hands in her own.


        Tracy was torn over what to watch. On one hand there was her loving uncle about to deliver 18 strokes, and on the other was Ellen who had just come to watch. Looking, Tracy found that if she hadn't known which was which she wouldn't be able too tell the culprit's arse from the presumably better bred American one.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        IIIHYYY!

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        EYYAH!


        Tracy jumped slightly as the pair of strokes landed mere a moment apart, close enought together that they were practically simultaneous. Tearing her eyes from the pair of arses facing her (with their quivering quims) Tracy saw that the redhead had kissed Ellen's cheeks. Sparing the redhead the odd glimpse now and then Tracy saw that the woman continued to kiss Ellen's forehead and cheeks throughout the caning.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        EIIAYH!

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        EEYYAYA!


        Tracy saw that both caners were keeping to the same, slow, steady, professional rhythm. Part of her wanted to know how experienced her uncle was at caning. Part of her didn't. He looked as experienced as Dave did, and it was Dave who had caned her. He had caned her just as mercilessly as he now caned Ellen. Once more Tracy was wishing that she hadn't worn her corset.

        "Oh good show Ellen." Called the man with old school tie. "You'll have a wonderful set of lines there. All perfectly spaced."

        With that beginning, the witnesses began to call encouragements to Ellen. At least most of the witnesses did; Tracy found she lacked the breath to encourage Ellen.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Swish!

        THWACK!


        Now fighting for breath, Tracy began to focus on the movement of the canes more than the responses. The verbal responses that was; her eyes were darting back and forth between the arses as they clenched and relaxed. And the pair of quims, and how the clenching and unclenching shifted them ever so slightly. She knew that there might have been a trio of quims under the cane right now, if her uncle had spoken up or if she had been curious enough to volunteer. But that first caning had ended all of her curiosity, hadn't it?

        Tracy knew Ellen's caning was over half over, but that the minx convicted of obscene behaviour still had 14 to go. Knowing this, Tracy wondered if her breath would hold out long enough.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Swish!

        THWACK!


        Then Ellen's caning was over and Uncle Frank had only 12 more strokes to deliver.

        "I say, what say we leave Ellen in place until the other gal is done?"

        Tracy wasn't sure who had spoken, other than it wasn't the man with the school tie. Those who answered the suggestion met it with near universal agreement. At least Tracy thought that squeal Ellen made signaled that the woman wasn't in agreement. Neither Tracy nor the redhead woman responded, the later kissing the tears off of Ellen's face whilst Tracy was still unsure of her breath and dared not waste it with speech. Of course Margaret and Dave said nothing and Uncle Frank was only paying heed to the work at hand, an arse that still needed 12...

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        ... make that 11 more strokes of the cane.

        Tracy glanced towards Dave, who had taken a step back and feigned disinterest in the decision. Or perhaps it was genuine disinterest, perhaps after all his years of caning culprits Dave truly did not care if a volunteer was released when she was due to be.

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Tracy couldn't help noticing how Ellen's arse and thighs tightened at the sound of the cane falling. Even though it hadn't struck her, Ellen had reacted almost as if it had. As if the woman suspected that her caning wasn't over. Which was silly, because it was.

        Or was it? Ellen had volunteered for five and taken six. What would stop her Uncle from ordering more strokes?

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Tracy found herself battling for breath as she pictured her uncle looking up from the work at hand and instructing Dave to match him stroke for stroke. Tracy knew that if that were to happen then Dave would give a little shrug and start caning once more.

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Tracy tore her eyes from the end of the row and tried to focus on the first two caned. When the next crack landed she saw the one who had provoked moral outrage was also clenching and unclenching in sympathy as each stroke landed. Were the two friends? Had they been arrested together? Had the two been morally outrageous together?

        Tracy knew that she could ask her uncle for the details. She also knew that she never would. That she didn't want to know how this pair had ended up here, with their arses on display, being caned as she watched. After seeing them both caned so mercilessly Tracy didn't want to know anything more about them.


        All too soon Frank delivered the final stroke.

        "Maybe not too soon." Tracy thought to herself as she struggled to breathe.

        Ellen, of course, had been left on her bench beside the others. The redhead woman was still whispering to the sobbing woman and kissing her face to comfort her.

        "Tracy? Are you all right?"

        Her uncle's voice seemed to come from a great distance. Tracy tried to nodded, but almost fell from her chair when she tilted her head down.

        "Let's get you back to the waiting room where you can lay on the couch." Frank said.

        Tracy tried to protest, but somehow her uncle had one of her arms while Gary had the other (along with most of weight). Moments later she was back in the room where she had waited.

        "It's the corset." Tracy croaked weakly. "I laced it too tight."

        "Well that was foolish of you." Frank noted as he went to the sideboard. "I seem to recall that you had problems with last time as well."

        "Perhaps I shouldn't have..."

        "Rubbish! You should always dress to your class." Frank said, pouring something into a glass. "Now drink this. It should relax you."

        "But I don't really need..." Tracy wheezed.

        But the glass was at her lips and her uncle was tipping it so Tracy's choices were to drink or choke. With her lungs hungry for air she almost did both, but was able to swallow what her uncle demanded she swallow.

        Frank watched as his niece's breathing became more controlled and slow. Leaving Gary to watch over her, Frank returned to the others. The redhead broke away from her kissing to join the other witnesses.

        "I take it that your niece is no longer a factor?" Asked the man in the school tie.

        "Not at the moment, no. I dosed her with laudanum." Frank said blandly. "So, how is our American visitor taking to the cane?"

        "Not well, but she won't cause any problems." The redhead assured him.

        "The poor thing has accept our advice on how to make a certain man at home a bit jealous." The brunette revealed. "She's written home about meeting a wonderful man and has mentioned that she might make this a permanent vacation."

        Smiling, the six of them discussed Ellen's future.


        "Here you go Miss." Gary said.

        "What?" Tracy asked in confusion. She wondered how she had gotten from that waiting room and into this cab, and how the cab had reached her home, but with Gary helping her from her cab Tracy didn't have time to work through any of her wondering.

        Following his orders, Gary made sure that she was inside the house before he left her side.

        Glancing at a clock Tracy discovered that it was hours later than she had thought it should be. She had missed her tea.

        "Where did the time go?" Tracy wondered. "Did it go to the place where that extra time came from?"


        That strange thought was still in her mind when she awoke the next day.


        The morning post brought her a missive from her Aunt Elizabeth. Not merely a missive, it was a summons to her Aunt and Uncle's for dinner that evening. Tracy briefly considered refusing, but knew that to do so would be impolite, bordering almost on rude.

        Upon her arrival Tracy was informed that a last minute change of plans had occurred, and that she was to dine alone with her uncle.

        Dinner was a stilted affair. When it was over Frank escorted his niece into his study.

        Looking around it, Tracy was struck at how greatly it resembled her father's study. She found herself keeping her eyes from the desk, which was so like the one that Elaine had ridden whilst she was caned.

        "In a way it's good that the plans changed, for it give us a chance to speak alone." Frank told his niece.

        "Speak of what?" Tracy asked, wondering if her uncle kept a cane within his house.

        "Of what happened yesterday." Frank informed her. "And of what will happen on next Tuesday."

        "Will happen?" Tracy asked. She had been expecting some comment on yesterday's behaviour. What comment she didn't know, but something, and her uncle speaking of the future had thrown her mind off its track.

        "Yes, on the coming Tuesday." Frank said drying. "It seems that a few of my colleagues, some of them from nearby towns, have been invited to go shooting for the weekend. Naturally they accepted, and naturally they plan to leave their duties a bit early so that they do not arrive worn from the travelling. Also, naturally, they will not rush home. They may end up staying until Wednesday or later."

        "I see." Tracy said, appearing to sound wise.

        "No, you don't." Frank told her. "What that means is that cases will begin to back up on Friday. We, of course, will not sit on the weekend, so on Monday there will be three days worth of miscreants awaiting their hearings, which will be in addition to those offending on Monday. All those cases waiting, and few magistrates to hear them. On Monday afternoon I plan to tell my colleagues that I will hear certain those cases on Tuesday, and they will be transferred to me."

        "But if they do not return until Wednesday, what of the cases from Tuesday and Wednesday itself?" Tracy asked.

        "Those cases are not relevant to this discussion." Frank answered. "What is relevant is that I will spent most of the day hearing charges against shop girls and similar riffraff. Hearing charges and pronouncing sentences, which I see carried out starting at four."

        "An entire day of that?" Tracy asked, attempting to fix a number in her mind. Not all of them would be found guilty or sentenced to caning so how many would be waiting there when the punishment began?

        "Since I have such advanced noticed of this there shall be more witnesses there than are normal." Frank continued on. "Including a peer of the realm."

        "A peer?" Tracy exclaimed.

        "Indeed. At least one, and possibly more. As such, I do not believe it would be inappropriate to include you amongst the witnesses."

        "But... a peer? Seeing me in that setting?" Tracy asked.

        "My dear niece, I assure you that he shall see you there one way or the other." Frank said coldly. "I would think that you would enjoy the chance to wear a new dress and meet him curtsying. I shall inform your staff that you are to attend an almost informal function where you are almost sure to encounter a peer and they shall take the steps needed to make sure that you buy the necessary dress."

        "Of course! I'll go to Madame ..."

        "Please, I hear enough of dressmakers from your Aunt Elizabeth. Speaking of such, your aunt may be there, but that is not set. If she is there, then please remember that she has seen countless canings and nothing that happens there will alarm her in anyway. Hopefully, should she attend, she will be able to provide a guiding hand to your own actions."

        "Will I know others that will be there?" Tracy asked, picturing herself out of place amongst strangers. "Ellen perhaps?"

        "Miss Porath may be there, or she might not, or she might be there and not wishing it known." Frank answered.

        "Not want to be known?" Tracy asked.

        "If she is there, then please remember she is a colonial. That she might commit a faux pas by misusing the word fanny again or in countless other new ways. In short, she is not one to be friendly when in such polite company."

        "But why would she not want to be known?" Tracy asked.

        "When she was released from the bench and in control of herself once more, she wondered aloud what the full dose would have felt like. Based on the conversation then, it is possible, just vaguely possible, that Miss Porath intends on committing some minor offense. Or perhaps having her friends claim she committed the offense and giving evidence against her. Should that occur, then she may be present and using a false name so that her offense can not be held against her." Frank explained, hoping that Ellen would not be present but preparing his niece against the possibility with this lie.

        "But could you sentence her to just a caning?" Tracy asked.

        "Oh, I doubt that. More likely is a caning and some brief time away. I dare say that she will get more than she bargains for, but that is the cost she'll pay for doing such a foolish thing. Why, if she was to simply have a friend take her to my office and stay silent whilst that friend arranged the caning then that would be enough. I would have Gary deliver her to the waiting room and none of her protests from that point on would be heard. She was told this, but seemed enchanted with the idea of there being a minor offense involved. Well, the law is the law and if she is found to have committed such an offense, then she must pay the full penalty, which she shan't like, but that is what will happen."

        Tracy found herself nodding. If Leslie had been caned over a bet, then how hard could it be to arrange a private caning? And if Ellen knew this and still committed an offense then the woman would need pay the price.

        Then an awful thought struck her.

        "Uncle, what does one wear when one is meeting a peer on such an occasion?" Tracy asked worriedly.

        "If you prefer I will have your Aunt Elizabeth write a note that you can give the dressmaker." Frank told her. "It shan't be too elaborate, not if it is to finished by Tuesday, but it will serve."

        Tracy nodded, relieved.

        "Then it is settled." Frank said. "You will see a dressmaker on the morrow, have it delivered on Monday, and wear it to the event on Tuesday. Please be at my office by three, and this time I invite you in advanced to sit and be comfortable. Should you not be there by quarter to the fourth hour then I do not expect that you shall sit comfortably for some time to come."

        Tracy ignored this her uncle's warning as irrelevant as she was completely focused on what costume one wore to meet a peer.


        The early post arrived the next morning with a note from her aunt, giving her directions to a dressmaker who could be expected to finish a piece for her within the desired timeframe. Tracy rushed out to the shop in high spirits, but when the mannequins began their parade (showing the gowns that were deemed appropriate for the event) Tracy saw to her dismay that they all had waspy shapes. The mannequins tired to appear relaxed, but Tracy could see that some of them seemed quite constrained by their corsets. Tracy tried to hint of the delicate nature of the event that she would attend, but once she had admitted that there would be neither croquet nor riding the dressmaker turned a deaf ear, merely repeating that these were what this season called for when meeting informally with a peer. The dressmaker's tone became quite cool at times, hinting that she daren't disappoint Tracy's Aunt Elizabeth by supplying the girl with anything except an appropriate gown.

        Tracy felt she was being treated as a child, being told that she didn't know enough to pick out her own clothing, which she acknowledged that in a way that was true. She neither knew what was appropriate to wear in front of a peer nor did she wish to bring shame to her uncle's name by wearing anything except for the costume the fashion conscious had decried was the right one for the current style.

        Not that Tracy, a dutiful girl if there ever was one, ever wanted to disappoint her family in any way, but she felt that causing a disappointment at the coming event might prove disastrous. So Tracy allowed the dressmaker to browbeat her into a choice, then allowed the dressmaker (who could almost be considered in the same thought as a doctor when it came to permitting one to examine one's body) to take all the measurements she wanted to. Of course (as with a doctor) everything that needed to be covered was covered, but the dressmaker's hands went wherever they need to go.

        Tracy left with assurances that the dress would be delivered no later than Monday.


        Once back home, Tracy discovered that her entire household seemed to know about her upcoming encounter with a peer, but not the event where it would happen. Most assumed an informal salon was being hosted by her Aunt Elizabeth and Tracy saw no reason to correct that misapprehension. Tracy had to force herself through her duties as she waited for the day to arrive; with the excitement involved in meeting a peer the thought of seeing the naked arses being caned was almost suppressed.

        But only almost, and never in her dreams.


        Monday afternoon found Tracy greeting her new outfit with dismay. It wasn't just a tight waist, it was tighter than her normal corset. Misunderstanding Tracy's concern, Mrs. Larsen assured her that they would be able to squeeze Tracy into it and that it would look simply wonderful on her.


        On Tuesday Tracy could barely wait for luncheon to be cleared away so that she might change into her new costume. As she feared Tracy needed more help than was usual to get the corset fastened, and she found her lungs even more tightly constricted than normal. Part of her, quite a large part of her, thought that wearing this new outfit would be a mistake. An even larger part feared that not wearing what her uncle expected her to could be a much bigger mistake.


        Unable to wait at home, Tracy left early for her meeting.

        "By three is only a deadline." Tracy reasoned to herself. "No one will notice if I arrive slightly early."

        But one person almost did notice. Tracy found herself ducking behind a column as Leslie passed. Leslie was accompanied by another woman, one that was berating Leslie.

        "But you lied to her. You tricked her." The woman was accusing.

        "Lie? When did I lie?" Leslie asked, her voice torn between humour and faux innocence. "I told her that the offense would result in either a three shilling fine or a good caning and a month away. She was the one who decided she wanted to know what standing before a magistrate felt like."

        "But you didn't pay her fine!" The other woman protested.

        "Well I never said I would, did I?" Leslie said slyly. "Nor did I see you reaching for your purse."

        "But I thought you would do it, and then she was being dragged away and it was too late."

        Then the voices were well passed Tracy's column. Making her way once more to her uncle's office Tracy decided that she has been wise in avoiding Leslie's company.


        Tracy was sitting, attempting to wait patently, when her uncle opened the door to his office. She immediately jumped to her feet.

        "Oh sit." Frank said, waving her down. "These papers need my immediate attention and Gary is still busy escorting the prisoners. It may be a quarter of an hour or more before you can be escorted to a waiting room."

        "Are those papers truly important?" Tracy asked as she regained her seat.

        "Are papers important she asks." Frank told the wall beside his desk before turning to his niece. "My dear girl, of course the paperwork is important! Without out the wheels of justice would slowly grind to a halt, and the Empire itself is based in some part on the justice system. We all do our own small parts to keep the wheels of Empire turning, and this paperwork is part of it. Are those papers really important?"

        "Then I shall sit quietly as you do them." Tracy said.

        "See that you do." Frank humphed.

        Tracy wondered what might happen if she made a sound before her uncle was finished his work. In the end it didn't matter; Gary arrived long before her uncle was finished the work.

        Tracy couldn't help but notice the scratches on his face.

        "I say Gary, what happened to you?" Frank asked.

        "I's a bit careless with one of em." Gary said. "Had her chalked up for the strap."

        "As well you should, as well you should." Frank assured him. "Assaulting a man about the Queen's business. Why, I should have her written up for the lash!"

        "Um, iffing I's got a say I's don't want it written." Gary said. "Bad nough that the boys will know, but me name recorded and all."

        "Ah, quite. Yes, I'll see that there is no official mention of what happened in this matter. In either case, would you please escort my niece Tracy to the waiting room."

         "Um. Which room is that?"

        "The better waiting room where you need someone to open the doors for you." Frank prompted.

        "Course." Gary said, giving a little bow.


        Tracy soon found herself waiting in the same room as before. Once more she took advantage of that side room to empty her bladder.

        The wait seemed endless, and when the door finally opened she saw that her Uncle Frank was not alone.

        "Tracy, how nice to see you today." Elizabeth said with a smile. "Stand up and let me look at you in that new outfit. I know it's a bit late to worry about it now, but with a peer here everything should be perfect."

        "Of course Aunt Elizabeth." Tracy said, standing and turning in place for her aunt.

        "It's splendid! Simply splendid my dear. A bit tight here and there, but that is fashion for you." Elizabeth said.

        As Elizabeth spoke, Tracy noticed that the older woman did not appear to be wearing a corset herself. Nor was Elizabeth wearing a new outfit.

        "But she may have met this peer before and of course her wardrobe is deeper than mine." Tracy thought to herself. "And in any regards, she is a married woman and thus immune from some of fashion's crueler demands."

        "Now it may appear to be rude to ask, but as we are all family here; thank you Gary, that will be all. As I was saying, since we are all family I must ask you if you have been, because if not you should know that we shan't stop just because you need a break." Elizabeth said, a nod of her head to the side room leaving no doubt to her meaning.

        "Oh, I've taken care of everything necessary." Tracy said, fighting off a blush.

        "Don't be like that." Elizabeth chided gently. "We can't have you being embarrassed at every little thing. You are about to be informally introduced to a peer and you shouldn't be blushing when that happens."

        "Informally meet him? How do you mean?" Tracy asked, focusing on the important aspect of her aunt's lecture.

        "Well he shan't use his true name or even his real title here today, but we will all know who he is." Elizabeth revealed. "It is a bit late to give you his name now, but ask later and I will tell you who he was."

        "Oh." Tracy said, disappointed that the meeting would be a non-event.


        When the three of them entered the stone room Tracy was surprised by how full it was. It wasn't just the large number of caning benches in use, it was the witnesses. Tracy thought there might be twelve or more, but the way they were mingling made it difficult for her to count.

        "Greetings. As a presiding magistrate I would like to welcome all the witnesses here today." Frank began. "As most of you are aware, I normally begin these things with a brief description of the charges that landed these culprits here, but today their sheer number means that doing so would take far too long. Each of them knows why she is here, so listing the offenses would merely be wasting time on this load of unworthy rubbish. It is near five of the hour. Let us use the time until the hour to get comfortable, then we shall witness justice being served."

        Tracy found herself checking to see if Ellen was there, but with the artful glances she gave the culprits Tracy did not see the woman. She did see that one of the culprits had been severely strapped and knew who had scratched Gary's face. Thinking back to Margaret's words on whether to strap before or after a caning, Tracy decided that each stroke of the cane would feel as if were two or three.


        As the witnesses mingled, Tracy saw that she had underestimated their numbers. She thought that (not counting her relatives) there might be upwards of a score of witnesses present today. There also seemed to be a few servants; not attendants (of which there was more than the usual number) but a footman or three pouring wine for some the witnesses. With that as a clue it didn't take long for Tracy to notice the richly dressed man (who was probably closer to 40 than 30) in the center of a knot of minglers and deduce that he was the peer.

        Finally Frank called them to order.


        "It is almost time to begin. Now whilst we have quite a few culprits there are still several empty benches. This fact means that if any of the women present would like to discover how five strokes of a prison cane feels then we can more than accommodate her. As a point of fact, we have so many empty benches that I could easily summon my assistants and have most of the ladies here so secured. Any takers at this time? No? Then we will begin. My assistant, Dave, and the senior woman's warden will begin, with other assistants joining in as needed. Now since we have so many to deal with today some of them will get their strokes in two or more bunches so that the others won't feel neglected, but the total number will be the number written down in at sentencing."

        Tracy wasn't surprised Dave took a stance behind the culprit with the badly strapped bottom; he clearly knew that she had scratched his friend and wanted to be sure that she got what she had coming to her.


        As the strokes started landing, Tracy once more felt her corset was far too tight. She took a seat behind where her uncle was working and watched the arses twitch under the canes.

        After Frank counted out the last stroke, Tracy was surprise when a woman walked up to him.

        "Pardon me please magistrate, but what you said before, that offer, was it real?"

        "Do you want to know what five with the prison cane feels like?" Frank countered.

        "Well, I want to know how it compares to the school cane, or the pony lash, or the birch, or, well, yes, I want to know how it feels."

        Tracy watched in amazement as the woman was stripped and secured as Ellen had been. Though unlike with Ellen this woman did not hesitate in the least. Tracy watched as uncle delivered five sound strokes, then the woman was released. To Tracy's surprise the woman didn't rush into her clothing but instead donned only her dress, leaving the rest of her garments on the floor, and then returned to talk with other witnesses.

        That woman was the first of several women who volunteered that day, and only one of them (a reluctant younger witness being led by the hand by an older woman) showed any signs of treating it other than a spot of sport.


        The caning went on, and Tracy was sure that Dave returned to the woman with the strapped backside more than once. She was breathing hard, wishing she dared ask for a glass of wine or that her corset was merely of normal tightness. The room was filled with the sounds of caning, of the thwacks of the blows, of the squeals of the struck, of the sobs of those who already been caned, and of laughing comments from the witnesses. Between her lack of breath and these sounds she almost didn't hear her uncle when he addressed her.

        "Tracy, there is someone you have to meet." Frank said, coming up behind her and whispering. "Please stand up and come with me."

        Tracy concealed her difficulties with breathing as she stood. Her aunt joined them as they made their way the peer.

        "Lord Grayhills, might I present my niece Tracy?" Frank said formally.

        The moment Tracy heard the false title something clicked in her mind and she knew the man's real title. It was a clever play on words, enough to conceal his identity only if all present agreed on the fiction.

        "What ho. Charmed my dear, simply charmed." Lord Grayhills said, taking Tracy's hand and giving it a slight kiss.

        "A niece? Or is she a relative of yours?"

        Tracy forced herself not to look at the sneering face that accompanied those equally sneering (and silly) words. Tracy had seen the speaker, who had hung on every word Lord Grayhills had uttered, and wondered if it was the peer's daughter. But that wonderment had been brief; while she might be young enough to be the peer's daughter (Tracy thought that she might even be a year or two difference in their ages, meaning that she was not the youngest here), she obviously lacked the manners of anyone associated with a peer. In any case, in addition to hanging on Lord Grayhills' words she had also been enjoying the wine.

        "My niece is my brother's daughter." Frank clarified. "And as you are aware Lord Grayhills, this is my good wife, Elizabeth."

        Lord Grayhills again delivered a polite kiss on the hand.

        "I say, I say, it seems that we have something in common today." Lord Grayhills said. "My escort to this little affair is also named Elizabeth. So this is your brother's girl, hey what? A charming young thing. Does she paint?"

        "She dabbles, but no more than is proper." Aunt Elizabeth said smoothly before Tracy could answer.

        Not that Tracy would have answered; it was clear that the question was not directed to her. While she had dabbled in Arts Tracy wondered if the morrow would find her racing to buy painting supplies and hiring an instructor.

        "What ho. Jolly good." Lord Grayhills said. "So, Tracy was it? Well Tracy, is this your first time acting as a witness?"

        "Do speak up dear." Aunt Elizabeth urged.

        Tracy tried to ignore the looks the other Elizabeth was giving her and answered: "No, my lord, I have attended as witness in the past."

        "Milord?" Lord Grayhills laughed. "Oh, no need to stand on ceremony, what? No, you may address me as Lord Grayhills, hey?"

        "Thank you Lord Grayhills." Tracy, not daring to look the peer in his eyes.

        "Now you have been to these before, what ho? Jolly good. Now pray tell me, have you ever been tempted to volunteer, what?" Lord Grayhills asked directly.

        Far more directly than Tracy felt comfortable with.

        "Oh, she hasn't volunteered yet." Aunt Elizabeth answered.

        "Which doesn't answer the question, hey?" Lord Grayhills noted. "I asked not if she had done it, but if she had thought about doing it."

        "That's right. That's what you asked." His companion chimed in.

        "So, have you?" Lord Grayhills challenged.

        "Um, well, that is to say, um..." Tracy stammered out.

        "Tracy, why didn't you mention that to me?" Aunt Elizabeth said with a broad smile. "It's busy today, but I'm sure that your uncle can fit you in."

        Tracy knew she saw a glow of conquest in Lord Grayhills' companion's eyes, but not why it was there. She was too busy attempting to find the polite and respectful words to say that she didn't want to volunteer today.

        Then Aunt Elizabeth and Margaret were at her side, helping to undress her in front of a Peer of the Realm! The only thing keeping tears from Tracy's eyes was the knowledge that other witnesses had already volunteered and been similarly disrobed.

        "Why aren't you a brave young thing, what ho?" Lord Grayhills commented. "And I'm sure the room will be brightened once your arse is put on display. What do ya say Elizabeth, do you think hers is better than yours?"

        "Younger, certainly." Aunt Elizabeth said with a smile and talking over Lord Grayhills' companion's answer.

        "Ah, yes, the names. A spot of confusion there. What do ya we call you Lizzie for the day?" Lord Grayhills asked his companion.

        "Well, I..."

        "Splendid! Now Lizzie, do ya think Tracy here has the best arse in the room, hey?" Lord Grayhills asked.

        "Um, clearly not." Lizzie said.

        "Clearly?" Frank quizzed. "Would we not have to see the two side by side for a comparison?"

        Tracy was blushing frantically, attempting to breathe against her corset, as her uncle said that. She knew her face might be pale as a sheet and hoped none thought it was from fear. Not that she wasn't feeling fear, but it wouldn't do to show it.

        "Jolly good, jolly good, splendid idea. What say ya Lizzie? Feel like a spot of volunteering so we can judge the contest fairly, hey?" Lord Grayhills asked.

        "Um, well, if you really want me to." Lizzie said hesitantly.

        "Jolly good! I knew you were a sport. Now you'll have a place where we can see them side by side, hey?"

        "Of course Lord Grayhills." Frank said. "If you would all come this way."

        Tracy soon found herself in front of a pair of empty caning benches. To her surprise, she wasn't fastened into one the moment enough clothing had been removed to expose her. Instead Margaret and one of the other women wardens moved to Lizzie and prepared her. Then, as they already had their hands on her, they positioned Lizzie first.

        "Um, so it's the five, right?" Lizzie asked nervously as she was being secured.

        "Well, that might be an issue." Frank said casually. "One of the things that might have stopped my niece from volunteering was a conversation where I told her that, should she do so, she would get something more like a true prison caning. In short, a number above five."

        Tracy was breathing too hard to dispute that statement.

        "What ho? Well, if we are doing a comparison, then it should be the same for both, hey?"

        "What?" Lizzie screeched. "But that's not fair!"

        Then the modified scold's bridle was being forced into her mouth, rendering her protests unintelligible.

        "Sorry dear Lizzie, but you have already agreed, hey?" Lord Grayhills said.

        "To think that at this late stage that she would believe that she had a role in any decision to be made." Frank snorted in disbelief. "If I had not heard it I would not have believed it."

        "She didn't really say she wouldn't so they aren't really ignoring her decision." Tracy told herself.

        But Tracy didn't really believe that any protest that Lizzie would make would be listened to, any more than she believed that she could call off the caning she was about to receive. She suspected that they would both receive 12 or 18 strokes, but daren't ask.

        She dare not do anything. Strong hands guided her into position and Tracy dare not resist them. Soon she was fighting for breath through that modified version of scold's bridle as she was being strapped into position.

        "I can't see what ya complaining about me girl. It's a fine arse ya got there Liz." Lord Grayhills said, giving Liz's bottom a few firm pats.

        Liz responded the only way she could; with futile attempts to complain around the scold's bridle.

        "Now with your permission. Lord Grayhills, I shall cane my niece as Senior Women's Warden Wiess matches me stroke for stroke with your companion. Of if you should believe that filial feelings might influence my strokes..."

        "Rubbish! Absolute rubbish, what ho! No, if anything your relationship to the girl will cause you to cane her harder, hey? If fairness matters to you, just switch targets partway through. That would be splendid now wouldn't it?"

        "Of course Lord Grayhills." Frank said. "As you wish."

        "But not halfway through, hey? That might spoil the surprise." Lord Grayhills said with a laugh.

        "Of course not Lord Grayhills." Frank said, smiling back.

        Tracy braced herself for the impact of the pain.


        THWACK!

        Tracy flinched as much her restraints permitted, but there was no pain. There was not even a sense of impact.

        "It must have come down on another's arse." Tracy thought to herself. "How strange it is when one can not even tell when one is being caned."


        THWACK!

        Another wince, another false alarm


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        EYYAH! EIIAYH!


        Two canes landed as one, eliciting cries from both Tracy and Liz. Tracy found herself correcting her thought:

        "No, it is strange when one can not tell when one is not being caned." Tracy thought. "One can always tell when one is being caned."

        As the line of pain made itself known on her arse, Tracy waited for the next one to land.

        And waited.

        And waited. She even tried to control her breathing.

        She had almost relaxed when it happened.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        IIIOOOH! EIIAYH!


        "Jolly good." Lord Grayhills chuckled. "Splendid timing there old chap, hey? Nothing warmed the cockles of a heart quite like the sight of a pair of pert young arses sporting lines, what ho. That they weren't sentenced to the cane but asked for it makes it so much better. It is a jolly good day, jolly good all round."

        Tracy wished she could block out his words. Of course she knew the witnesses could see her laying there, her arse positioned and her quim there for all to see, but hearing him say that reminded her of how exposed she was. Worse, unlike the other witnesses who were commenting on the correction being applied, Lord Grayhills was focusing on the appearance of her arse. She knew how much he was seeing, but there was nothing she could do about it. She was completely helpless and at her uncle's mercy, and knew that when it came to applying the cane in this stone room that the man had no mercy to speak of.

        She found herself wishing that the cane would land again and drive those thoughts from her mind.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Then she was wishing that the cane hadn't landed, that she was still alone with her thoughts. That, and that her corset had been left at home. Air whooshed out of her lungs at every stroke of the cane and precious little was coming back between strokes.

        "And how is little Tracy doing?" Elizabeth said, bending over in front of Tracy so she could looked her niece in her eyes.

        Tracy, of course, could not answer her. Lord Grayhills wandered over to stand next to stand beside Elizabeth, facing Liz.

        "And how is Liz? What ho! That look in your eye! Priceless. Now stop pouting. It's hasn't even been the five strokes you agreed to, has it?"


        Lord Grayhills kept up his one sided conversation with Liz. By the time that fifth stroke landed, Tracy could no longer hear the man over the ringing in her ears. Her face was turning colour as she struggled to breathe.

        "So now the extra starts. I say old fellow, your niece seems a bit off." Lord Grayhills commented.

        "Oh, that's because of her corset." Elizabeth informed him. "Between the pain and the panic she's more than a bit faint, but it won't do her any harm."

        "Really?"

        "Of course. If she does faint, then the panic will leave her and she'll breathe better."

        "So she's not facing any ill effects?" Lord Grayhills asked.

        "On the contrary, some say that a lack of air in the blood can be a pleasurable thing." Frank said coldly. "Recall the old stories of angel kisses at the gallows. No, she has been caned before with her corset on and she had none but the usual complaints."

        "Jolly good, jolly good."

        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Frank could not help but notice how much weaker Tracy's response was than Liz's.

        "Oh, and speaking of the usual complaints, Liz here just might have a few extra ones, seeing how that was only the first of the extra ones, hey?" Lord Grayhills commented, wiping some tears from Liz's face as he spoke. Stepping away from her and in to the space between the two, he lowered his voice and continued: "She might need to help maintaining her silence on the way home. Something more effective than those bridles, what ho?"

        "Of course Lord Grayhills. The odd culprit is taken from here in enforced silence, and I would be only too happy to supply you with one of the devices we use. And her clothing; should that be taken to your carriage?"

        "What eh? No, those rags are hardly worth gathering up, hey?" Lord Grayhills said. "Not if there is a private way out, what ho?"

        "Of course you may have her transported through the private corridor, Lord Grayhills. I'll have her conveyed to your carriage when we are done here." Frank said.

        Then he brought the cane down again in perfect timing with Margaret.


        Swish!

        THWACK!

        Tracy struggling for breath against her dimming vision and ringing ears, Tracy found herself moving once more beyond the pain. The pain was again gone but not gone. As the pain had blocked out her reality, it's not passing left her elsewhere.


        "I must be dreaming." Tracy told herself.

        She was bending over a school desk, bare foot and wearing only a raised gym slip. The place she was at looked like a standard schoolroom, but Tracy couldn't make out what was written on the chalkboard. She wasn't alone; a man was there too. He was dressed as a schoolmaster, complete with robes and mortarboard, holding a cane and while she couldn't quite make out his face he had the universe in his deep eyes.

        "Again? So soon?" He asked.

        "Please sir, who are you?" Tracy asked, the other questions (where was she, was this real, had her caning ended, was Lord Grayhills resting a hand on her arse) seeming less important.

        "Me? She asks who is me." He grumbled. "Well you don't start with the easy ones, do you? Let's see, let's see. You haven't been training as a shaman, have you? No, wrong colour for that. Wrong place too; I get so few from Europe these days. I am what is called a spirit guide. Normally these days I'm an eagle flying over the great plains or a lion in deepest jungle, but your mind has a rather fixed idea of what a teacher should be. Hmmm, a name. Perhaps you should just call me Sir. Yes, Sir. It has a ring of respect but lacks the submissiveness of Master."

        "But OOOHHHH!" Tracy said, feeling the sting of the cane. Which seemed quite weird to her as Sir's cane didn't move.

        "That? Oh, the caning doesn't stop just because you're here." Sir told her.

        "But what, where, why, how..." Tracy asked.

        "Since you've already asked who and when doesn't really matter here, I think you've covered all the bases for questions, but as to answers, let's see." Sir responded. "Shamans, druids, and countless others have found that if you block out the world with discomfort you can see what lies beyond it. That's why what's his name hung himself on that tree for nine days and nights, to get to someplace like here. Some stumble across it, but unless you come here two or three times in the same season then you only get glimpses of the place."

        "So OOOOOOAHHAHHA so it's the caning?" Tracy sobbed out.

        "Not just the caning, otherwise there would be a beaten path from that stone room to here, but that did start you on your way." Sir revealed. "There are other paths as well, but we can cover that next time. First, a sliver of knowledge."

        The schoolroom was gone. The desk was gone, and Tracy floated without support. Knowledge flooded her mind. She saw what had been, what was, and some of what would be.

        Tracy saw her first caning. As she tried to writhed whilst secured to the bench she saw how she had truly looked from the rear. She also saw her uncle's face and knew that that whilst her being in that room had been an accident, her lack of rescue was not mere happenstance.

        Tracy saw Liz, and in seeing her saw her own self lying prostrate under the cane. She saw that Liz would leave this place naked and bound, riding in Lord Grayhills' carriage with her mouth silenced by a gag. That Liz would be Lord Grayhills' plaything until he tired of her, and after that the kindest fate that awaited Liz once Lord Grayhills found her boring was to be passed on to one Lord Grayhills' friends. As to the other fates that might be Liz's...

        Tracy saw a private steam ship chugging its way across the Mediterranean Sea. The man who had worn the old school tie was at the helm, and his mind was fixed with worry. Ellen spoke English as her native tongue (abet with a dialect), but would that count her as an English when they reached their destination? Or would he have to make an awful choice and either repudiate that debt or send another into that harem?

        Shifting her view slightly, Tracy saw that Ellen was below decks and wearing only a skirt blouse and turned up skirt (and absolutely nothing else). Whilst the birch switch was now in lying in the corner Ellen's arse was well and truly marked. Tracy knew that the helpless tourist had broken contact with her family and friends before being loaded aboard the small ship, and that now Ellen thought her main hope lay in doing whatever she could to please the redhead woman. The redhead woman was flushed from the exertion of birching Ellen and had no knowledge of the fact that if Ellen wasn't considered English enough then she herself might never see England's pleasant fields again.

        At the thought of England, Tracy was elsewhere. She now knew how working at that store had prepared Shirley for private service. How whilst still on England's shores the former shop girl was at a place where any complaint or protest she might make would go unheard.

        At Blue Moon Books, Tracy knew what books were kept in that private back room. How Mr. Grainger had several private customers whose needs he saw to, and how tame that book she had glimpsed was when compared to some of his stock.


        A harsh smell entered Tracy's nose, but her eyes were barely open before the cane fell again and Tracy was back in that not a place. She floated, the caning as real as it could be, in an unreal space that lay both within her mind and beyond the world.

        The caning continued that way. Tracy made no effort to count the strokes, nor the number of times she was revived to her half faint and then submerged into that place where everything made sense and the world was known to her.


        Then cool water. Tracy knew she was covered in pain sweat, that she could taste that now familiar sweat in her mouth. As a wet cloth passed over her breasts it came to Tracy that she was nude and that perhaps she should speak to someone about that.

        "I said hush." Margaret said, pressing a finger to Tracy's lips. "I don't know what you see in that nasty corset, but it does something for you."

        Tracy's world was swimming. Then Margaret was cuddling with her, and perhaps more than mere cuddling.

        "Am I getting a treatment?" Tracy wondered as her thoughts swirled. "If so, I should tell them that I do not want the ginger. Wait, them?"

        Now that it had occurred to her, Tracy thought that there were more than just two hands on her. She thought that, but wasn't sure. The world was moving too much for her be sure of anything.


        Tracy was back in the schoolroom. This time she was naked as she bent over the desk, and she wasn't the only one. A nude girl was bending to her right and a nude boy was to her left. Tracy didn't think it odd that she couldn't make out their faces, nor did she find it odd that she naked in the room in front of the schoolmaster.

        "This isn't like those old dreams at all." Tracy thought to herself, remembering one where she had been making a presentation, reading during a Latin lecture, only for someone to point out that she was wearing not a stitch of clothing and all of her schoolmates had laughed at her.

        "What? Back again so soon?" Sir asked.

        "Yes." Tracy said, straighten as she spoke. "And whilst it may appear to be, and may in fact be, forward of me, I do have a few more questions for you."

        Sir swished his cane in the air, but sighed whilst doing it. Tracy felt empowered, sensing that she may have defeated him.

        "Well this does make three times doesn't it?" Sir sighed. "Okay, right. Sure. Those unvoiced questions. You no longer need a merciless caning whilst wearing a tight corset to get here, but it helps. As would one of Doctor Raistlin's treatments. Now that you've been here a few times you could even use another's pain to get you back, so losing yourself in a trance whilst caning another could work. Dreams, they can work, as can... In all the eons I've been doing this I've never met a more repressed people who taught their young ladies of quality less about the nature of certain subject that should not be mentioned in polite company. And now you have me doing it! Flowery language when mere mention of parting the petals of a rosebud should suffice. And you are right; it's not just canes. A birch, a strap, even a slipper or hand could work, but a cane's impact might be the fastest way. As could other things, such as rare herbs or even common drunkenness or opium use."

        Tracy nodded. Sir's words on how it didn't have to be her under the cane explained the other two to her. They represented those she could cane to return here.

        "Of course coming here is useful." Sir said, continuing to answer her unvoiced questions. "Even now you should be able to make subtle changes in the fabric of reality. And you really should have thought faster or borrowed less time from here for those endless moments of yours, or allowed me to use less flowery language, because you're back."

        "You're back." Margaret said, kissing Tracy's nose. "Now let's get you dressed and home. And remember, if you ever want to feel it without the corset, your uncle has made all the arrangements."


        Tracy retired to her bedroom far earlier than normal, telling her staff that one of the peer's hangers on had lit a jar of opium and Tracy had inadvertently smelled some before it had been extinguished, and as a result had a headache. The ache Tracy claimed was in the wrong end, but her pain was real.

        Tracy found herself examining her arse, and other places, and wincing at the angry lines and welts her uncle had left on her.


        "Fancy Magistrate Hickman allowing his niece to be at a gathering where opium was burnt." Mrs. Larsen said tartly.

        "I would suspect that her uncle did not know that something of that kind would happen, or neither Tracy nor her aunt would have been there." Mr. Waylan replied. "In either case, not only is it beyond our hands, but it appears that Elaine will not be facing charges, and that can only be good news."

        "Right you are Mr. Waylan. That girl is so grateful and fearful that she works twice as hard as the others. I only have to hint that she might not be forgiven to speed her work." Mrs. Larsen said. "Of course it won't last, it never does. And now that the cane is in the house it shall see use again. I only hope that Miss Tracy won't go overboard and force staff changes on us."

        "There is that hope Mrs. Larsen, and the ability to drop a small hint now and then about informing either her parents or the magistrate." Mr. Waylan pointed out. "Between the two of us we should be able to keep her on the straight and narrow."


        That night Tracy had strange dreams. She was in olden times, dressed with far too little clothing, chanting something. Then she was wandering the world, Seeing and Knowing things that she had never even dreamt of before. The glories of Versailles and the horrid slums of London were among the places open to her, and in both places Tracy saw things that she hadn't know existed.


        Rising the next morning Tracy found that if she sat she had to make an effort not to wince with pain, but on the plus it didn't seem as if any of her welts had oozed blood. This was a relief, for the moon was in the wrong place for Tracy to try to explain any presence of blood in her nightclothes.

        That morning Tracy was obsessed by thoughts of that not place. Was it real, or just a pain fueled dream she had been visited with whilst she was faint? How could she know for sure?


        "I can't start caning the maids, no, not without just cause." Tracy told herself. "Perhaps a conversation with Mrs. Slocombe? She did say that the shop provided a disciplining service. Only would such a service allow a rank amateur such as I to cane? No, of course not. Then... Then perhaps I could use the service in another way? Paying to partake of discipline rather than give it? No, there's that word: pay. I could never hide a recurring expense in the household accounts."

        Tracy couldn't imagine what her parents would say if they returned from their travels to discover that she had paid for something such as that. Perhaps they would even sent her away in disgrace?

        "Then there's the Perren's governess." Tracy thought. "When last we met she made it clear that she would be welcome to the idea of seeing to me in that way. But she would treat me as a child and that could never be enough to reach the place that is not, else half the children in England would know of it. Perhaps I could tell Margaret that I had more questions and perhaps even cane an inmate before paying the forfeit, and thus see which is the fastest way back."

         But Tracy knew that talking to Margaret about it would mean surrendering all pretext of control. That deal was already fixed and could never be altered. Worse, it wasn't something she could do anytime soon, not until her poor arse had shed its bruises.

        "Nothing leave marks like a prison caning." Tracy thought bitterly. Then her mind turned to someone else who knew that awful truth.

        "Leslie! Maybe. I would have to be careful and not take any stupid risks, ones like believing Leslie doesn't want to see me caned as hard as almost every other girl she meets, but it might work. Clearly she knows many people to which the cane is no stranger."

        Now that she had a lead, Tracy had another decision to make. Would she follow it?

Goodgulf

Post Edited (Goodgulf) : 8/16/2009 9:09:50 PM GMT

Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/13/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
A brief currency note:
A pound (sovereign, quid, whatever you called it) in 1895 had the purchasing value of 150 pounds in 2007 - at least that's what I found on the internet. So perfume that cost two sovereigns (the gold coin representing a pound) would cost over 300 pounds today, or over $600 US dollars.

Which I didn't look up until after the first story was written. If I had then Leslie's bet would have been for three shillings.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/17/2007 9:40 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Fixed five typos. If you saved it you might want to save the new version.

One of these days I'll post a story that is perfect, but it hasn't happened yet.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/19/2007 11:15 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I wanted to compliment and thank you for this wonderful story and for your fine work in general.  All of your stories are five star -- thoughtful, richly detailed, suspenseful, and wonderfully written. 

Excellent, excellent work.

I loved ALL of it, and if I wrote down everything I liked my review would be longer than the story itself.  But you've done so much great work over the years, I think you deserve a long review, so I'll concentrate on my favorite scene in Part One:  

Tracy's initial, "accidental" punishment.  I loved the idea of an adult woman, innocent of any real crime but nonetheless curious about spanking, experiencing one firsthand through an ironic twist of fate.

In this amazing universe, Tracy walks the razor's edge, where the tinniest slip can lead to a shameful punishment.  Because of her age and gender, everyone assumes that (wherever she goes!) she is there for punishment, and she constantly finds herself pitted against vast bureaucracies eager to spank her. 

There are also deeper themes of justice and fate.  Tracy's life of privilege is an accident of birth.  When Tracy tempts fate by going to these places, where the odds are so strongly stacked against attractive young women, she is defiantly flipping the coin again -- and risking that she will experience the other side of the cosmic coin.

Once the cosmic coin lands, rules are rules, and nothing can be done.

I also loved the theme of using the cover of law as excuse for an intractable bureaucracy.  Tracy's spanking is treated as a trivial chore, a minor errand, like taking out the trash.  Strip her, gag her, whip her -- all part of the job!

Your buildup was wonderful.  Highlights:

-- The setup with Gary, and the keys, and the doors.  I loved the idea that Tracy, at least in part, was stripped of her lofty status and forced over the bench through the chance bumbling of a moron. 

--Tracy's bad luck!  For example, there were two rooms, and Margaret called Gary in to explain Tracy's identity when Tracy wasn't there to clarify.   If only Margaret had come outside! If only her uncle had been there!

Coincidence piles upon coincidence as the fates conspire against her.

-- Tracy's seemingly minor but fateful decision to wait with the other girls, which ultimately leads to her doom.  This ties into the theme of fate and justice -- Tracy is punished both for her bad luck and for her curiosity, and her eagerness to see the punishment of others. 

The punishment is unwarranted and unjust, but on some deeper level, it is richly deserved.

-- The brilliant exchange where Mistress Weiss cleverly gets Tracy to admit, that, in order to maintain the schedule, the only "reasonable" and "correct" alternative is to strap Tracy down in "her place" over the whipping bench.  I love the way Tracy is cornered into accepting the wonderfully bureaucratic logic that if she can't instantly prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she shouldn't be whipped, then it's more prudent to assume the worse, and strip her, and tie her down, and determine her identity later.  Of course this "logic" requires Tracy's gagging, a procedural tidbit that robs her of any chance of proving who she is.

-- The wonderfully casual tone.  Once Tracy is in the room, and the wheels start spinning, she is there to be processed, same as the rest.  She'll be stripped and whipped with the others, while the bumblers who put her in this mess enjoy their tea.

No fuss, no bother -- just another notch on the belt.  Strip her, strap her down, bridle her.  Her privates are exposed for Gary and the other men to see?  No matter!  Whatever her crime, I'm sure the little trollip has it coming.

Dave took no notice of her antics. He had seen them all (and more) countless times before.

-- Tracy's utter humiliation at her exposure.  Her frustation and mounting sense of dread and helplessesness at being unable to prove her true identity.  The casual chalking of her bottom.  Being forced to endure the small talk of the two women behind her.   The excruciating waiting! 

 Tracy waited. She tried waiting patiently, then impatiently, calmly, then nervously, but the one constant that she couldn't change was she waited.

How awful!  How wonderful!

-- Strapping Tracy down on the bench conceals her identity yet leaves her utterly exposed.  This is truly the most humilating scenario imaginable -- being exposed and spanked in front of people that you know.  To make it even worse, these people are her social inferiors.  Imagine the anguish of facing your uncle and (gasp!) Gary again, knowing that they've seen everything!  

-- The idea that once over the bench, Tracy was, in fact, simply another criminal.  Consider this passage, where the author cleverly hints at a deeper truth:

"...Then I will turn my attention to the arse requiring the pony lash, whilst Dave will start at the other ended."

Grunts and squeals arose from the waiting 'culprits about to be on the receiving end of justice', but they were ignored.

Now that she has been "processed," the coin has landed, and there is no mistake to correct.  Tracy is no longer the magistrate's niece, but merely another criminal who grunts and squeals and wiggles her bare fanny for the amusement of her betters.   

The coin has landed.  Tracy is a "culprit," and her punishment is "justice."  

In several choice passages, Tracy herself seems to realize that with her bare arse raised high for the whip, she is indistinguishable from the rest:

Tracy squealed louder as a heavy leather strap exploded hard across both her bottom cheeks...  She found herself biting down hard on the leather strap in her mouth (briefly wondering how many had bitten on the same piece of leather for the same reason).

Or

Tracy bit back a sob as she fought off tears. She knew, from seeing Jenny, how she must look from the back and she also knew that no one of decent breeding would ever be displayed like that.

No decent woman would be so displayed, but Tracy is now a criminal, no different from the rest.  She must fight back her tears, and bite down on her strap, and taste the spittle of the countless young women who have preceded her.  Tracy can add her own teeth marks, and dig her fingers into the bench, like her sisters before her.

In conclusion, I think the story was wonderful.  I also loved your Halloween story, because I like the adult-back-in-school-uniform theme.  I'd LOVE to see Tracy, or one of your other adult characters, visit a strict school where a combination of curiosity, fate, and bureaucratic bumbling conspire to rob them of their adult clothes and identity.

But here I am, offering requests.  What I mean to offer is my congratulations, and my thanks!

I can only imagine how much work is required to complete a story like this.  Please know that your hard work is enjoyed, and greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU, GOODGULF!!  drink  

 

Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/19/2007 11:09 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonlyi said...
I wanted to compliment and thank you for this wonderful story and for your fine work in general. All of your stories are five star -- thoughtful, richly detailed, suspenseful, and wonderfully written.


Don't hold back - tell me what you really think :)

imreadonlyi said...
I loved ALL of it, and if I wrote down everything I liked my review would be longer than the story itself. But you've done so much great work over the years, I think you deserve a long review, so I'll concentrate on my favorite scene in Part One:


Feel free to write as much as you like. Text is free on the net.
Note - normally I use multiple quotes when I reply, but the system will only handle so many of them so I'll use formatting to separate us.


In this amazing universe, Tracy walks the razor's edge, where the tinniest slip can lead to a shameful punishment. Because of her age and gender, everyone assumes that (wherever she goes!) she is there for punishment, and she constantly finds herself pitted against vast bureaucracies eager to spank her.


It's loosely modeled off of the old Blue Moon books - which can now be had for $1 in ebook form. Search for them on the web.


There are also deeper themes of justice and fate. Tracy's life of privilege is an accident of birth. When Tracy tempts fate by going to these places, where the odds are so strongly stacked against attractive young women, she is defiantly flipping the coin again -- and risking that she will experience the other side of the cosmic coin.


Part of that is ignorance. The Victorian prided themselves in protecting the fairer sex from the facts of life. Table legs were covered with skirts and called limbs. Birds were served with "white meat or dark meat" to avoid saying "breast or thigh". Tracy is entering a new world, one where she doesn't know all the rules.


I also loved the theme of using the cover of law as excuse for an intractable bureaucracy. Tracy's spanking is treated as a trivial chore, a minor errand, like taking out the trash. Strip her, gag her, whip her -- all part of the job!


Again, I borrowed much of the attitude. At one time a man who tied a girl over a whipping block and caned her was not called a sadist, but a conscientious employee of the state.



-- The setup with Gary, and the keys, and the doors. I loved the idea that Tracy, at least in part, was stripped of her lofty status and forced over the bench through the chance bumbling of a moron.


His idiocy made the rest of the mix-up plausible.


Coincidence piles upon coincidence as the fates conspire against her.


Some of that is less coincidence than Margaret knowing that the magistrate probably wouldn't mind seeing his niece caned IF there was a plausible reason to call it a mistake.


The punishment is unwarranted and unjust, but on some deeper level, it is richly deserved.


I love dealing with comeuppance, and people who are so focused on what they want to be true that they don't look before they leap. If Tracy hadn't turned a trivial errand into an excuse to see more caning then none of this would have happened.


-- The brilliant exchange where Mistress Weiss cleverly gets Tracy to admit, that, in order to maintain the schedule, the only "reasonable" and "correct" alternative is to strap Tracy down in "her place" over the whipping bench. I love the way Tracy is cornered into accepting the wonderfully bureaucratic logic that if she can't instantly prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she shouldn't be whipped, then it's more prudent to assume the worse, and strip her, and tie her down, and determine her identity later. Of course this "logic" requires Tracy's gagging, a procedural tidbit that robs her of any chance of proving who she is.


Ah - but Tracy doesn't know that she would be gagged when she agreed, and Margaret leaves the room before it happens. While I didn't include it in the story, I pictured Margaret going to Frank to check if he wanted Tracy caned, and getting the answer that she knew he would give.

And once she was in position the wheels of justice ground as they always did in that semi-corrupt institution.


-- Tracy's utter humiliation at her exposure. Her frustation and mounting sense of dread and helplessesness at being unable to prove her true identity. The casual chalking of her bottom. Being forced to endure the small talk of the two women behind her. The excruciating waiting!


Being made to feel a small clog in the wheel of justice was important here. Tracy had gone from being the Niece of Someone Important to being just another girl waiting to be punished.


-- Strapping Tracy down on the bench conceals her identity yet leaves her utterly exposed. This is truly the most humilating scenario imaginable -- being exposed and spanked in front of people that you know. To make it even worse, these people are her social inferiors. Imagine the anguish of facing your uncle and (gasp!) Gary again, knowing that they've seen everything!


This was important to make it more plausible. As Tracy saw later in her vision, her uncle knew she was there and decided to have her caned.


In several choice passages, Tracy herself seems to realize that with her bare arse raised high for the whip, she is indistinguishable from the rest:


Which was a stunning realization for her. The fact that her station isn't apparent for all to see stings her. This happens again later when she looks closely at herself and discovers that she looks the same as all the girls she had seen caned.


In conclusion, I think the story was wonderful. I also loved your Halloween story, because I like the adult-back-in-school-uniform theme. I'd LOVE to see Tracy, or one of your other adult characters, visit a strict school where a combination of curiosity, fate, and bureaucratic bumbling conspire to rob them of their adult clothes and identity.


Something along that lines is hinted at the end of the story, but it involves white slavery. Then again, there's the delivery that is picked up when Tracy is being returned from the institute - a young woman who has not had any trial whatsoever. And that young woman that Leslie tricked into appearing in front of the magistrate. Imagine her surprise when instead of a lark it her prank nets her a month away and a caning.



I can only imagine how much work is required to complete a story like this. Please know that your hard work is enjoyed, and greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU


Thanks for the response. It can be disheartening to post thirty-eight thousand odd words without a reply.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/20/2007 2:18 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

You're very welcome for the reply.  As I said, I'm grateful for your stories, and greatly appreciative of your work.

-- I had wondered why Margaret hadn't removed Tracy's gag, but your explanation that she had the Magistrates permission makes perfect logical sense.  You were wise not to make the uncle's complicity entirely explicit, because that reduces somewhat the element of chance, which adds to the story's delightful flavor. 

Besides, some things are better left implied.

-- Besides propelling the plot, Tracy's gagging is an essential part of her transformation from a respected aristocrat to a trollip in need of a thrashing.  Once gagged, Tracy's frantic grunts are indistinguishable from the other miscreants strapped down for their whippings.  Far from saving her, her comedic bleeting only serves to complete her metamorphosis and to seal the case against her.

My interpretation of the gagging was somewhat different.  In this universe (as Tracy delightfully explains!) guilt and innocence are totally irrelevant.  Once the girls are sentenced to be punished, whether they committed the crime is less important than maintaining the schedule.  I assumed that once gagged and positioned she effectively became a criminal, no different than the rest.

-- I love the sophistry that ignores innocence in the name of justice.  One can imagine her Uncle spotting Tracy, and "reasoning" that while the mistake in identity is regrettable, it is immaterial to the matter at hand, which is making sure that all of the girls strapped over the bench are soundly thrashed, and that justice is served.

If five girls are sentenced, shouldn't five girls be whipped?  Indeed, wouldn't the greater injustice be to allow one of the five miscreants to escape while the other four girls are soundly thrashed?  Should the judge be allowed to intervene, or should he recuse himself from the case, since it involves his niece?  When his protests, and the testimony of his staff, are rightly and properly dismissed, is there any reason that the punishment should not be applied with absolute, uncompromising rigor?

Should the wheels of justice grind to a halt, and the system itself called into question?  Or should the schedule be maintained, and the strap and cane be well and thoroughly used, and the proper and just discipline administered, for one and all to see?

--One of the delicious aspects of Tracy's character is her duality. She staunchly supports the morality of the system, which creates a wonderful conundrum when it turns against her.  As a proponent of whipping, she is truly caught in her own web.

That is why the exchange with Margaret is so wonderful.  Tracy if forced to admit through "logic" and "good sense" that strapping her to the bench is the only "reasonable" course of action. One can sense Margaret's delight in turning Tracy's words against her.

-- I think the white slavery angle is an interesting one.  As I said, I'm a school uniform junkie, and the Blue Moon books are filled with reformatories where adult women are forced to dress and are treated as naughty school girls as part of their preparation for the harem. 

Perhaps Tracy visits such a school, and agrees to join the students for a day, to better understand the wholesomeness of their moral reformation?

Perhaps Tracy has a heated argument with the headmaster where she discloses that (to her amazement) once strapped down, she looked no different than the other girls.  The headmaster dismisses such "absurdities" out of hand, insisting that "true breeding is not a matter of clothing."

The overbearing headmaster insists that "no girl who doesn't truly belong" could ever masquerade as a delinquent at HIS reformatory.   He facetiously wagers 100 pounds that "if you were showering downstairs with 100 other girls, as naked as the day our creator made you, your breeding would shine through, and I would instantly distinguish you from the trollips and guttersnipes fit only for the lash." 

Angered by the Headmaster's superior attitude, Tracy foolishly sneaks down to the locker room, determined to prove him wrong.

I'm sorry.  My mind wanders.

-- I  enjoyed Tracy being caned in front of people she knows.  It would be delightful if Tracy were punished in front of the maid that she whipped.

Being made to feel a small clog in the wheel of justice was important here. Tracy had gone from being the Niece of Someone Important to being just another girl waiting to be punished.

I agree that is a key element.  I enjoyed the fact that she was straddling the same bench, and biting into the same gag, as the miscreants she looked down on.  I relish the image of her digging her fingernails into the grooves of the countless girls who have preceded her, and realizing that she is no different than the rest.

Perhaps, in order to maintain her sense of morality, she decides her her sentence is just, and "for her own good" and resolves to learn as much as she can from the wholesome correction she is given.

-- I think your stories are wonderful, and you deserve more feedback.  Remember I read and enjoyed your stories for years, without replying.  Please know that for every response like mine, there are hundreds more that feel the same way.

THANK YOU!!!drink

Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/20/2007 7:29 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Um, I can't help but notice your reply seems to include a discussion about the story. At times there seems to be two separate people expression opinions on it. If this is the case then I wouldn't mind hearing the other person's opinion from him (or her).

imreadonly said...

Besides, some things are better left implied.


Exactly. When they implied they are open to interpretation, so each ready can take the story where he/she wants it to.

imreadonly said...

-- Besides propelling the plot, Tracy's gagging is an essential part of her transformation from a respected aristocrat to a trollip in need of a thrashing. Once gagged, Tracy's frantic grunts are indistinguishable from the other miscreants strapped down for their whippings. Far from saving her, her comedic bleeting only serves to complete her metamorphosis and to seal the case against her.

My interpretation of the gagging was somewhat different. In this universe (as Tracy delightfully explains!) guilt and innocence are totally irrelevant. Once the girls are sentenced to be punished, whether they committed the crime is less important than maintaining the schedule. I assumed that once gagged and positioned she effectively became a criminal, no different than the rest.


This is what I meant about conflicting opinions.

Her inability to talk made the 'accident' all the more believable. If she had been screaming 'Please Uncle Frank - don't let this happen to me' then it would have been clear that he knew she was there, making the accident theory unbelievable.

As for the innocent or guilt of the girls, it matters not at all. Those at the punishment sessions aren't there because of a love of justice but because they enjoying seeing or giving canings. For the most part they could drag in women at random off the street and the witnesses would still want to see the canings. Just as long as it was women getting their bare bottoms caned.


Should the wheels of justice grind to a halt, and the system itself called into question? Or should the schedule be maintained, and the strap and cane be well and thoroughly used, and the proper and just discipline administered, for one and all to see?


That is the excuse they use, but they are really there just to cane bottoms. If anyone objects to what is happening (as Tracy began to do when she saw the first evidence of bare bottom caning) the caners hide themselves away behind the Flag and Empire. They profess to be there for justice because (in their hypocritical society) they cannot openly talk about being there for their own pleasure. Today they would probably just be hanging around a B&D club.


--One of the delicious aspects of Tracy's character is her duality. She staunchly supports the morality of the system, which creates a wonderful conundrum when it turns against her. As a proponent of whipping, she is truly caught in her own web.


This also shows her naivete. She imagines the justice system to Pure and Absolute Justice, and slowly discovers that people like her uncle corrupt it for their own amusement. She assumes that people apply correction to servants merely because the lower classes need that form of encouragement to behave in a civilized manner, but finds herself wanting to find excuses to discipline her maids because she wants to cane someone. In short, she is leaving her idealize world and coming face to face with reality.

Reality and sexuality.


That is why the exchange with Margaret is so wonderful. Tracy if forced to admit through "logic" and "good sense" that strapping her to the bench is the only "reasonable" course of action. One can sense Margaret's delight in turning Tracy's words against her.


Again, this shows Tracy's naivete. She believes that the world is run fairly and justly. The idea that Margaret might want to see Tracy caned for no real reason just didn't occur to her.


-- I think the white slavery angle is an interesting one. As I said, I'm a school uniform junkie, and the Blue Moon books are filled with reformatories where adult women are forced to dress and are treated as naughty school girls as part of their preparation for the harem.


The harem, or other fates. Some of those books had houses in isolated location where women were kept as sexual slaves. That was implied in Tracy's vision of Liz's fate as well as the shop girl who entered service.


Angered by the Headmaster's superior attitude, Tracy foolishly sneaks down to the locker room, determined to prove him wrong.


If Tracy were to do something like that the undercurrent of 'maybe I want to be treated this way' would be running through her head. At various times she is basically seeking to be caned or to see a good caning, so she might do so in a school setting. She certainly envisioned being kept against her will at the institution.


-- I enjoyed Tracy being caned in front of people she knows. It would be delightful if Tracy were punished in front of the maid that she whipped.


Being punished in front a social inferior would break the social paradigm, unless it was accidental. As in the maid was a servant who happened to be at a caning session when Tracy finds herself 'volunteered' again. Even that would be stretch as the caners seem to take special care only to include those they know and trust. The wardens, whose jobs are involved with the canings. The magistrate's servants, whose jobs depend on doing what Frank want. The peer's servants, whose jobs depend on keeping him happy.

In short, no 'social inferior' whose lips could flap would be involved in a caning session.



Perhaps, in order to maintain her sense of morality, she decides her her sentence is just, and "for her own good" and resolves to learn as much as she can from the wholesome correction she is given.


That would be about right, if she were to be actually sentenced. So far all of her canings have been accidental or ones she 'volunteered' for. If she was to stand in front of her uncle and be sentenced then things would be different...
Perhaps one of her friends could do something slightly wrong and end up in front of Frank, leading Tracy to tell the girl that she needs to buck and take it like a Good Christian and Loyal Subject of the Empire.


-- I think your stories are wonderful, and you deserve more feedback. Remember I read and enjoyed your stories for years, without replying. Please know that for every response like mine, there are hundreds more that feel the same way.


I thank you again. And I assume that the majority of readers enjoy the stories I write. I know that I owe more 'it was great' replies to stories than I'll ever write. Many people feel uncomfortable delurking on boards, and that stops the vast majority of readers here posting.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/20/2007 11:46 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

There is only one of me.  Sometimes my writing is confusing because I delete and move things around.  I meant to say my interpretation was different than yours, in that you said that Miss Weiss left Tracy gagged because she had an agreement with her uncle, whereas I thought the reason was once Tracy was strapped into position her guilt or innocence became wholly irrelevant.

 

I certainly see the influence of the Blue Moon books, a series which I have also enjoyed a great deal.  Your stories perfectly capture both the settings and tone of the book, which is no small part of their charm.

 

However I also think THE MAGISTRATE improves on the Blue Moon books in a significant way.

 

In the Blue Moon books you seldom see a reformatory whipping for a woman of quality.  Ladies of quality occasionally run into a spot of trouble when they ventured to India or the Middle East, but I never recall seeing the scenario you explored so thoroughly: an adult aristocrat who finds herself given a whipping at an English school or prison due to a (supposed) case of mistaken identity.

 

This new wrinkle, and the fact that the story is told largely from Tracy’s point of view, was one of the key dramatic twists that made THE MAGISTRATE so entertaining. 

 

Elaine Cox and the other reformatory ruffians were lower class girls whipped for their petty crimes or scandalous sexual conduct.  The punishment of Lady Tracy is vastly more dramatic and thematically interesting than the punishment of Tracy, the petty thief:

 

-- It is infinitely more humiliating for a lady of quality to be stripped and whipped.  Lady Tracy is not only less familiar with the experience, but she feels the gross indignity of spreading her legs and chewing on her worn, tatty gag far more acutely than would Tracy the petty criminal.

-- In the opening, Lady Tracy is not being punished for a crime, but merely for being in the wrong place.  This creates a marvelous tension as Tracy repeatedly tempts fate by visiting various institutions where she is challenged to prove that she is not a reprobate in need of correction.  Ever scene crackles with suspense as we wonder if Tracy will once again fall through the cracks in the system.   

-- Unlike the street ruffians, Lady Tracy supports the system, and is thus complicit in her own punishment.   This adds a note of social satire and irony.

-- Lady Tracy faces the added indignity of being thrashed by, and in front of, people beneath her class.  One can’t help but wonder if there is an intriguing element of social vengeance in this.  Margaret Weiss delights in cornering Tracy and stripping her of her dignity.

-- By making her a lady instead of a tramp you add the intriguing element of transformation.  Lady Tracy is forced to admit that once she is gagged, stripped and tied over the block, with her legs spread, she is in fact indistinguishable from the other women.  Once positioned she BECOMES Tracy the trollop and the lash becomes her just and moral punishment.

 

I love how your writing subtly emphasizes the fact that Tracy is no longer special, but merely another petty criminal strapped down for the lash.

 

She found herself biting down hard on the leather strap in her mouth (briefly wondering how many had bitten on the same piece of leather for the same reason).

 

Grunts and squeals arose from the waiting 'culprits about to be on the receiving end of justice', but they were ignored.

"Now as that is five insolent little arses that require addressing we will do them two at time.”

 

I only recall one London based “good girl” spanking in a Blue Moon book.  A group of young ladies graduating from a teaching academy are given a reformatory style whipping on the grounds that they shouldn’t wield a punishment over other that they haven’t experienced themselves.   Since the headmistress refuses to succumb to the hypocrisy of “inventing some pretext for correction” she schedules a punishment night, where the girls can be taught their needed lesson together.

 

The girls are strapped down naked, with their legs spread.  The headmistress “examines’ each of them before their lashing in a way that makes it unclear whether they were to be masturbated or whipped (“They were there for both” the narrator informs us.)

 

The whippings themselves are conducted before a large crowd of witnesses, including “mere servants”, presumably so the girls can fully understand the humiliation of being bared for punishment.  Naturally when first the strap and then the pony whip are applied, the girls beg for forgiveness, and promise to be good.  As the narrator explains their pleas are ignored, since there is no crime to forgive, and no behavior to correct, and they can no more be excused from their whipping than they could be excused from a lesson in math or history.

 

I think the best part of the Tracy stories is the tension as we (or at least, I) await her next “accidental” whipping.

 

Personally, I would hate to see Tracy (or one of her friends) found guilty of a crime, as your wonderful stories make such drastic measures unnecessary.  You have put Tracy on a deliciously taught tight rope, where the tinniest nudge can send her tumbling over the block. 

 

There are countless stories of reformatory whippings, but the charm of the Tracy is in her innocence, and in watching her argue herself out of scrapes with self righteous bureaucrats eager to strap her down and strip off her  knickers in the name of “justice.” 

 

Long live the Queen, Tracy, and GoodGulf!!

Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/21/2007 10:43 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonly said...

There is only one of me. Sometimes my writing is confusing because I delete and move things around. I meant to say my interpretation was different than yours, in that you said that Miss Weiss left Tracy gagged because she had an agreement with her uncle, whereas I thought the reason was once Tracy was strapped into position her guilt or innocence became wholly irrelevant.


Sorry about that. It just look as if you were taking two different positions. And your view of what happened is completely correct - no matter what interpretation I have of a story, the correct interpretation is the one held by whoever is reading it at the moment.


In the Blue Moon books you seldom see a reformatory whipping for a woman of quality. Ladies of quality occasionally run into a spot of trouble when they ventured to India or the Middle East, but I never recall seeing the scenario you explored so thoroughly: an adult aristocrat who finds herself given a whipping at an English school or prison due to a (supposed) case of mistaken identity.


There were a some, but those were mainly those being trained by their own families. Usually there was nothing judicial about them.


This new wrinkle, and the fact that the story is told largely from Tracy’s point of view, was one of the key dramatic twists that made THE MAGISTRATE so entertaining.


Again, several of the Blue Moon books had the story told from the heroine's point of view. One of the reason I did it here was a weakness of mine - I can't seem to write in the third person without a viewpoint.



-- In the opening, Lady Tracy is not being punished for a crime, but merely for being in the wrong place. This creates a marvelous tension as Tracy repeatedly tempts fate by visiting various institutions where she is challenged to prove that she is not a reprobate in need of correction. Ever scene crackles with suspense as we wonder if Tracy will once again fall through the cracks in the system.


In my view, the system mattered less than the desires of the libertines, but I can see how you view it as the system.


-- Unlike the street ruffians, Lady Tracy supports the system, and is thus complicit in her own punishment. This adds a note of social satire and irony.


To me this adds to her feeling of helplessness. When it first happened she knew that if only she could speak she could correct the situation.


-- Lady Tracy faces the added indignity of being thrashed by, and in front of, people beneath her class. One can’t help but wonder if there is an intriguing element of social vengeance in this. Margaret Weiss delights in cornering Tracy and stripping her of her dignity.


Margaret is below Tracy, but not to a huge extent. As Senior Warden the woman carries some authority of her own. Now Harriet (who suggested the ginger) and the other junior wardens, they were much lower than Tracy.


-- By making her a lady instead of a tramp you add the intriguing element of transformation. Lady Tracy is forced to admit that once she is gagged, stripped and tied over the block, with her legs spread, she is in fact indistinguishable from the other women. Once positioned she BECOMES Tracy the trollop and the lash becomes her just and moral punishment.


Alas, when the story ends Tracy is still ignorant of what being a trollop really means. She's has some knowledge from her visions, but that's it.



I only recall one London based “good girl” spanking in a Blue Moon book. A group of young ladies graduating from a teaching academy are given a reformatory style whipping on the grounds that they shouldn’t wield a punishment over other that they haven’t experienced themselves. Since the headmistress refuses to succumb to the hypocrisy of “inventing some pretext for correction” she schedules a punishment night, where the girls can be taught their needed lesson together.


Hmmm, I don't recall that one. Do you remember its title?


I think the best part of the Tracy stories is the tension as we (or at least, I) await her next “accidental” whipping.


To me, twists and turns are what make a story exciting.


Personally, I would hate to see Tracy (or one of her friends) found guilty of a crime, as your wonderful stories make such drastic measures unnecessary. You have put Tracy on a deliciously taught tight rope, where the tinniest nudge can send her tumbling over the block.


I could see one of her friends found guilty, but less so Tracy.

Then again there was that nameless woman who was transported back the institute. She lived only a short distance from Tracy, so Tracy might have known her.

And again, thank you for the feedback. If you want to talk about any other elements of the story (the use of an American, Liz, the stores), feel free to do so and I'll try to answer your questions.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/22/2007 3:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thank you for taking the time to reply; I've enjoyed both your stories and our subsequent discussions very much.
 
Like any true work of art, your stories are open to interpretation, and no single point of view is absolute.  At least, that's like I what I like to tell myself, since it covers my outrageous presumption in offering you my opinions on what your stories mean.  nut
 
Thank you for your indulgence; you're very kind!  angelwings
 
A few comments:
 
-- Alas, I don't recall the name of the book where the girls were disciplined as part of their teacher's training.  But I remember enjoying the fact that they were thrashed in front of "mere servants" and that their promises to be good were dismissed with a smile, since they had nothing to be forgiven for.  Oh, the irony!  lol
 
-- Margaret is below Tracy, but not to a huge extent. As Senior Warden the woman carries some authority of her own. Now Harriet (who suggested the ginger) and the other junior wardens, they were much lower than Tracy.

I viewed Margaret Weiss as a member of the intelligentsia, or, at the very least, one who had earned her position through hard work and merit.   In my mind, that explained her delight in matching wits with Tracy, who was born to a life of priviledge, and her pleasure in cornering her supposed superior through logic and debate.

- As I recall, most of the English Reformatory Blue Moon books are told from the point of view of a young man hired to help run the reformatory.  I think there is a book where a man exchanges letters with his female cousin, but most of the books I read were told largely from the male's point of view. 

One exception was THE RECKONING, which contained several stories told from the female's vantage point.  Three of my favorite stories in that book dealt with power reversals:

-- A vicar's niece confesses her interest in spankings to the Vicar, and he offers to give her a demonstration.  He is shocked when he brusquely orders her to strip, and she finds herself forced to do a "slow, humiliating strip tease to order."

-- A headmaster catches one his female teachers with a spanking magazine, and orders her to put on a school uniform and report for discipline.

-- My personal favorite, where an adult woman decides to torment her teacher boyfriend by dressing up as a school girl and sneaking into his class.  Her plans go horribly awry when the headmistress shows up, and insists that the young lady be spanked in front of the class -- sans panties.

All three of these stories contain the basic story element I loved in THE MAGISTRATE, and in so many of your other stories:  the idea of the "good girl," secretly fascinated by spankings, who through a series of circumstances ends up "losing" her identity.

As stated previously, I wouldn't like to see Tracy sentenced to a reformatory for an actual crime, since that interferes with the idea of the "good girl" wrongly punished.

However, as I said before, I could see a story where Tracy sneaks into a reformatory, to prove a point or to win a bet, or to show Miss Weiss or her Uncle how clever she is.

Or perhaps Tracy, in order to help her Uncle break up a white slavery ring, agrees to briefly play the role of Stacy, a street urchin sentenced to the reformatory for a petty theft.  "Stacy" would face the terror of standing before her Uncle's judicial bench, and would soon find herself back in uniform at the girl's reformatory.  Her Uncle and Miss Weiss would know her true identity, but would (alas!) be forced to treat her harshly to maintain her cover.  Poor Tracy would endure the endless humiliations or reformatory life (and fulfill her own secret fantasies) while doing her solemn moral duty for the Empire.  In the end, we learn that her Uncle was merely shutting down a rival slavery ring that was competing with his own...  

In any event, I think those sorts of reversal scenarios are interestingly more interesting from a thematic point of view than a mere criminal punishment, because of the added layers of irony, class warfare, and duality that I mentioned in my previous posts.

By the way, I sent you a private message about some stories related to the "power reversal" theme.  They were a bit off the beating path for this board, so that's why I did the private message route. 

Onto the real business of today's post:

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE, AND THANK YOU GOODGULF FOR ALL OF YOUR WONDERFUL STORIES!!!drink

 

 

 



Post Edited (imreadonly) : 11/22/2007 10:37:07 PM GMT

Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/22/2007 11:48 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonly said...

Thank you for taking the time to reply; I've enjoyed both your stories and our subsequent discussions very much.

Like any true work of art, your stories are open to interpretation, and no single point of view is absolute. At least, that's like I what I like to tell myself, since it covers my outrageous presumption in offering you my opinions on what your stories mean.


I figure that if someone is nice enough to reply to one of my stories then the least that I can do is reply to them.

And I'm not indulging you - whatever you interpret the story to be about is what it means to you. So when you read it that's what it means. Others might get different meanings, but whatever you see in it is what is important.

imreadonly said...

I viewed Margaret Weiss as a member of the intelligentsia, or, at the very least, one who had earned her position through hard work and merit. In my mind, that explained her delight in matching wits with Tracy, who was born to a life of priviledge, and her pleasure in cornering her supposed superior through logic and debate.


There's probably some of that there. She definitely seems to enjoy putting young women in their places, and probably evens showing Tracy that Tracy's reactions are the same as a common guttersnipe. Of course she knows who Tracy's uncle is so dares not go to far.

imreadonly said...

- As I recall, most of the English Reformatory Blue Moon books are told from the point of view of a young man hired to help run the reformatory. I think there is a book where a man exchanges letters with his female cousin, but most of the books I read were told largely from the male's point of view.

-- My personal favorite, where an adult woman decides to torment her teacher boyfriend by dressing up as a school girl and sneaking into his class. Her plans go horribly awry when the headmistress shows up, and insists that the young lady be spanked in front of the class -- sans panties.


Ah, yes. The memories return. The female cousin was on a trip to North Africa where her father's position kept her safe as she toured the harums.

As for the girl with the teacher, if memory serves she was a cousin (or second cousin) who had had a crush on him (or some other tension like that between them). Since the uniform didn't fit it ripped in a very embarrassing place.

But there were other. Beatrice comes to mind. Looking it up on the Olympia Press (who know own all the Blue Moon books) web site it has:
Beatrice is a young woman returning home after a failed marriage. Restored to the comforts of family, she is assuaged from her grief by introduction to the delicate and sensuous arts of love-making, and, in a manner typical for 1895, to the gentle use of whips and straps.

If memories serves there were others, usually with one word titles, like Amanda

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

lil_spanked_girl
Newbie Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 19
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/24/2007 12:40 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wow.. what an amazing storie.. i have never read the series which you said these stories were based on, but now i might just have to look them up!! Either way, i enjoyed them completly! It took me two days to finish the last one(stayed up till the sun came up for the first half), but was well worth it!
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/24/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The books were published in the 1980s and 1990s - before the internet impacted the erotic book market.

Birch in the Boudoir, The Memoirs of Dolly Morton, Venus School Mistress, Astrid Cane, The Days at Florville, and countless others - all pretending to Victorian porn when most of them were written by a modern author. Most are now available at olympia press (if you can find their website) as ebooks for $1. But be warned - most contain the cane, birch, tanse, and other harsh instruments, and in several the heroines end up in slavery from where there will be no escape. That, and some of the girls are a bit on the young side.

Sorry about the length of Part II - I thought about breaking it into parts, but I couldn't decide on where the breaks should be. If you have any other comments or questions I'd be glad to answer them.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/25/2007 11:51 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Re-reading Part II this weekend.
 
I think my favorite character in part 2 is Ellen.  In some ways, she parallels Tracy, as her general curiosity about Tracy leads her to the bench like a moth to the flame...
 
Favorite parts:
 
a) The vulgar response of the man in the school tie when Ellen objects to her exposure, which slyly underscores that once she is stripped, Ellen will look no different than the rest.
 
"It shan't be anything we haven't already seen today." Said the man with the school tie. "Unless yours is somehow different from those three."
 
b) The idea that once the wheels are set in motion, "justice" must be done, no matter what:
 
"It's a prison caning you have volunteered for, and it's a prison caning you shall receive." Frank answered with his solemn magistrate tone.

c)  The group's casual, jocular response to Ellen's painful humiliation:

"Oh good show Ellen." Called the man with old school tie. "You'll have a wonderful set of lines there. All perfectly spaced."

AND

"I say, what say we leave Ellen in place until the other gal is done?"

Tracy wasn't sure who had spoken, other than it wasn't the man with the school tie. Those who answered the suggestion met it with near universal agreement. At least Tracy thought that squeal Ellen made signaled that the woman wasn't in agreement.

d)  Ellen's (and the readers! laugh) nervous anticipation as she listens to the completion of the other woman's punishment:

Tracy couldn't help noticing how Ellen's arse and thighs tightened at the sound of the cane falling. Even though it hadn't struck her, Ellen had reacted almost as if it had. As if the woman suspected that her caning wasn't over. Which was silly, because it was.

Or was it? Ellen had volunteered for five and taken six. What would stop her Uncle from ordering more strokes?

When we first meet her, I pictured Ellen as a "liberated" suffragette type, an American tourist eager to show her independence from stuffy custom by experiencing the culture of the place that she visits. 

I pictured her wimpy husband asking "if this is such a good idea?" as she puts on her school uniform...

Later on, it becomes clear that there is a lesbian angle, which appealed to me less, but not so much so that I wouldn't like to see her again.  cheesy

What was the relationship between Ellen and the redhead, precisely?

Thanks again for the great read, and have a great week!

 



Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 11/27/2007 9:19 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonly said...

I think my favorite character in part 2 is Ellen. In some ways, she parallels Tracy, as her general curiosity about Tracy leads her to the bench like a moth to the flame...


I used her partly as a foil - the outsider looking in to whom things can be explained (which allows the reader to understand what's happening). As a foreigner she has no idea how the justice system is supposed to work, so doesn't really notice when things are going wrong. That, and reinforce the libertine angle. It's implied that she's been to parties that became orgies in the half-heard "But bare... isn't a party". And of course she's there to show the differences between British and American English, with public school fanny.

imreadonly said...

When we first meet her, I pictured Ellen as a "liberated" suffragette type, an American tourist eager to show her independence from stuffy custom by experiencing the culture of the place that she visits.


I didn't give her much of a back story, other than an American being seduced by a group of libertines.

imreadonly said...

Later on, it becomes clear that there is a lesbian angle, which appealed to me less, but not so much so that I wouldn't like to see her again. cheesy

What was the relationship between Ellen and the redhead, precisely?


Lesbianism was often in the Blue Moon Blues. Often time it was Leslie falling in love with other women, or the girls at an institution exploring themselves and each other.

Clearly, at the institution where Margaret works, there was some lesbian play. The biggest tip off was when Harriet fingered (or 'frigged') Jeanie while Tracy watched. Tracy's blurred, half recalled memories after each caning hinted that Margaret (and maybe others) were doing more than just washing Tracy.

But for Ellen and the redhead, and the Man in the Old School Tie (MitOST for short - if I'd known I'd be discussing him I probably would have given him a name). The redhead and MitOST are libertines and hedonists. They are involved with others who enjoy birching and caning for fun, and don't object to white slavery. The two of them are a committed couple who genuinely care about each other, but as with various upper class and prominent society people at that time they have a bit of a money problem. In short, MitOST has a private steam ship (probably some kind of yacht), a townhouse, country estate, and everything is mortgaged to the hilt. But he sees a way out - delivering an English woman of some character (better than a low class shop girl like Shirley) to a Sheik's harem in order to pay off a large debt. Not wanting to abduct any of the women from his circle of friends he keeps his eyes open for a stranger who might do. He doesn't find an English woman, but stumbles across an American woman (Ellen) who is off travelling in Europe and looking for fun. They encourage her to break communication with her friends and family (while hinting that she might stay in Europe forever) in order to abduct her - something that happens at (or soon after) her caning.

At first she is just demoted from player to plaything - when Frank thought she might be at the caning with the Peer he thought that Ellen would be there as an unwilling toy, not a volunteer or convict. Then Ellen is taken against her will onboard a ship that goes from the coast of England through the straits of Gibraltar on its way to some North African or Middle East destination. Any illusion she had about this all being a game is gone by that point and she is working hard at pleasing her Master (MitOST) and Mistress (the redhead). They amuse themselves by treating her as a sexual plaything, giving her birchings and canings for fun. The redhead knows that Ellen won't be with them on the return journey, but has no idea that if Ellen isn't acceptable that her lover (MitOST) might have to chose between defaulting on a payment (which could be dangerous as they will be beyond the rule of law) or to give away the redhead woman he cares about.

Luckily the person they are delivering Ellen to doesn't know English well enough to place Ellen's accent, and would never accept the other woman payment because he wanted an English woman, not an Irish one (and he thinks that all redheads are Irish).

So that relationship - at first it was friends who played together, then as MitOST saw a chance to grab Ellen it stayed friends in Ellen's point of view, but the redhead viewed Ellen as something to manipulate. By the time they were taking Ellen to her new master the relationship was Mistress and Plaything.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 12/1/2007 7:10 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The aspect of your story that I enjoyed the most was the idea the way that Tracy secretly WANTED to be spanked and her Uncle wanted to see her punished, and how they used structure of the prison bureaucracy to "accidentally" fulfill their respective fantasies.  Very hot!  flame5
 
 
The idea of a woman being abducted is more brutal and much less interesting, and lacks the "role-play" aspect that (to me at least) was the best part of THE MAGISTRATE (and many of your other stories as well.)
 
If you ever pursue the white slavery angle, I'd pursue it as an undercover "investigation" since that would allow Tracy to submit to the various humiliations as her moral duty.  cheesy   Also, her Uncle and Margaret would be "forced" to regard her punishments or her disgrace on the auction block and in the marketplace with cold, callous indifference  (how dreadful for them!  shocked !)  in order to maintain her cover. 
 
It seems that an undercover assignment, even in the context of an entirely different story, would give you a chance to explore one of your reoccurring themes:  the "good girl" who craves punishment, to know what it is like, paired with a smug authority figure who uses adherence to "rules" and "procedure" as an excuse to make the young woman's punishment as shameful and humiliating as possible. 
 
I will take your advice and post a review of THE ASSISTANT or one of your other stories soon -- they're great stories, and deserve feedback!
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 12/2/2007 10:44 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonly said...
The aspect of your story that I enjoyed the most was the idea the way that Tracy secretly WANTED to be spanked and her Uncle wanted to see her punished, and how they used structure of the prison bureaucracy to "accidentally" fulfill their respective fantasies. Very hot!


Frank (and Elizabeth) enjoy seeing any young woman caned, and Tracy being his niece was only icing on the cake.


imreadonly said...

The idea of a woman being abducted is more brutal and much less interesting, and lacks the "role-play" aspect that (to me at least) was the best part of THE MAGISTRATE (and many of your other stories as well.)


There's adducted into white slavery, then there's being seduced into it. Several of the Blue Moon books had young women slowly walking a path that seemed to lead to their enslaving, but walking it with eyes open and knowing that they could try to turn away.

I doubt I will continue this story with Tracy exploring that part of the world. I've had a few thoughts about how this story could be continued, but I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to doing so.

imreadonly said...

I will take your advice and post a review of THE ASSISTANT or one of your other stories soon -- they're great stories, and deserve feedback!


That's nice. I find in many cases feedback adds to the story - exposing others to what one reader read into the story.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 

ruegirl
Certified Spanko




Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 4642
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 12/31/2007 8:34 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I love the way she keeps wanting... moving closer... and is so fascinated by desires she can't even understand.

You're a magician when you write!


"Life is like a box of chocolates...."
 
Stupid simile.  A box of chocolates is finished quickly and you hate sharing the good bits.
 
Life is like a huge bunch of flowers - a beautiful thing full of variety, and you love sharing the pleasure of it with people you care about.

Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 12/31/2007 5:01 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ruegirl said...
I love the way she keeps wanting... moving closer... and is so fascinated by desires she can't even understand.

You're a magician when you write!

I quite agree, especially with the magician part.  smiley Each time Tracy goes to one of these places everyone assumes that she is a miscreant there for a whipping, and the poor dear is forced to rely on the kindess of strangers to save her buns.   Wouldn't it be simply awful if she got caught somewhere with no one to save her?  How simply dreadful! scared I love this theme, and the way Good Gulf handled it, and I'm hoping that he or other writers use it in future stories. 
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 1/1/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ruegirl said...
I love the way she keeps wanting... moving closer... and is so fascinated by desires she can't even understand.

You're a magician when you write!


Thank you.

Her not understanding was an important element for the setting. In the Victorian age it was possible for a female of the right class to grow up without any understanding of the birds and the bees. Not the farm girls (or saw the animals doing it) or the lower classes (who generally slept 10 or more to a room), but those females of the right class were expected to be offended if you talked about table 'legs' (as opposed to table limbs) because 'legs' were something that were to be covered at all times and never talked about. The question of white meat verses dark meat comes from that period - you couldn't ask "Leg or breast?" in front of the fairer sex.

Queen Victoria is said to have given the following "birds and bees" talk to her daughters on their wedding day (or when they left to marry a foreign monarch): "Just lie back and think of England". (I.E. you are about to do your duty - focus on that while he does what a man does.)

So Tracy doesn't know enough about her own body to recognize her own physical desires, let alone what she wants. She wears clothing when she takes a bath, and even believes that a pubic massage is a "medical procedure".


imreadonly said...

Wouldn't it be simply awful if she got caught somewhere with no one to save her?


That is more or less what happened the first time she is caned. No one treats her any differently than any of the culprits and they don't know (or at least they pretend not to know) that she isn't just some shop girl or maid who is getting her just desserts.

When she 'volunteers' at that last gathering she does so suspecting that it won't just be a handful of strokes, but is so conditioned to please her betters (and that includes any peer, as well as her aunt and uncle) that she does so.

Most time she is exposed to caning she has family members around (she doesn't realize where their tastes lie) so feels safe, or is the customer at a shop and thereby in control. The only time she really needs the kindness of strangers is during her brief stay at the nameless institute, and it is only when she is there that she recognizes that she is in any danger. Even then she has the fact that her guide works for her uncle and the fact that her family isn't powerless to fall back on (while knowing that they might not save her, but merely punish her betrayer).

Or so she thinks. It has never occurred to her that her uncle would enjoy sentencing her for a few months away (with frequent canings while she's gone). If not for his brother's reaction and how doing so might affect his own standing in the community ("Yes, he's a magistrate, but have you heard about his niece?") then Tracy could vanish just as quickly and quietly as that woman whose family arranged to have her sent to the institute. If that were to happen then Tracy would leave her uncle's house the same way that woman was sent off - bound, gagged, with a well marked arse - and might return home in the same condition. At least her family's position keeps (or should keep) her from ending up a plaything like Liz or possession to be traded away like Ellen. That, and her budding powers (if they are real and not merely a hallucination).

Goodgulf
(who does have a vague outline about how to continue this story, but isn't sure he'll get around to it)
Back to Top
 

imreadonly
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 140
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 1/1/2008 7:52 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Goodgulf said...

imreadonly said...

Wouldn't it be simply awful if she got caught somewhere with no one to save her?


That is more or less what happened the first time she is caned. No one treats her any differently than any of the culprits and they don't know (or at least they pretend not to know) that she isn't just some shop girl or maid who is getting her just desserts.
 
I KNOW, AND THAT WAS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE STORY!   smiley

When she 'volunteers' at that last gathering she does so suspecting that it won't just be a handful of strokes, but is so conditioned to please her betters (and that includes any peer, as well as her aunt and uncle) that she does so.

Most time she is exposed to caning she has family members around (she doesn't realize where their tastes lie) so feels safe, or is the customer at a shop and thereby in control. The only time she really needs the kindness of strangers is during her brief stay at the nameless institute, and it is only when she is there that she recognizes that she is in any danger. Even then she has the fact that her guide works for her uncle and the fact that her family isn't powerless to fall back on (while knowing that they might not save her, but merely punish her betrayer).
 
IN THE STORE AND IN THE CARRIAGE SHE AT LEAST FEELS IN DANGER, OR IT IS HINTED THAT IT MIGHT BE SO.  THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE SCENES SO YUMMY!  party

Or so she thinks. It has never occurred to her that her uncle would enjoy sentencing her for a few months away (with frequent canings while she's gone). If not for his brother's reaction and how doing so might affect his own standing in the community ("Yes, he's a magistrate, but have you heard about his niece?") then Tracy could vanish just as quickly and quietly as that woman whose family arranged to have her sent to the institute. If that were to happen then Tracy would leave her uncle's house the same way that woman was sent off - bound, gagged, with a well marked arse - and might return home in the same condition. At least her family's position keeps (or should keep) her from ending up a plaything like Liz or possession to be traded away like Ellen. That, and her budding powers (if they are real and not merely a hallucination).
 
THAT IS WHY IF SHE DOES RETURN TO THE REFORMATORY I THINK SHE SHOULD RETURN UNDER ASSUMED NAME, PERHAPS ON AN UNDERCOVER ASSIGNMENT, OR PERHAPS SIMPLY TO AVOID PUBLIC EMBARASSMENT.  ALAS, THEN SHE WOULD FACE THE ADDED INDIGNITY OF BEING TREATED AS MAID OR A PETTY THIEF, AND HAVING HER WORDS DISREGARDED AS ABSURD TRIFLES, BUT I'M QUITE SURE THAT IT WOULD BE FOR THE BEST.  flamingdevil
Goodgulf
(who does have a vague outline about how to continue this story, but isn't sure he'll get around to it)
 
I APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE WRITTEN AND ALTHOUGH I'D LOVE TO SEE MORE I CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU WISH TO MOVE ONTO OTHER THINGS. 
 
IN A FEW HOURS I PLAN TO POST INSANE, WHICH DEALS WITH SOME OF THE THEMES WERE DISCUSSING, ALBEIT IN A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SETTING.  I SINCERELY HOPE YOU LIKE IT!!  ;-)
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 1/1/2008 10:23 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
imreadonly said...
IN THE STORE AND IN THE CARRIAGE SHE AT LEAST FEELS IN DANGER, OR IT IS HINTED THAT IT MIGHT BE SO. THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE SCENES SO YUMMY! party


Yes - at times she feels completely vulnerable. She opens her eyes and sees that she's no longer in the shallow end of the pool but treading water in the ocean. But she never notices her greatest danger, that of her uncle deciding that she should disappear for a time.


There are times, both in the carriage and the store, where she doubts the protection of her position in society. Where she knows that if something were to happen then the heavens would rain down with retribution (or at least her uncle would see that everyone involved went to gail), but knows that it would only happen after the fact. That the driver might abuse her, or that she might be hauled into to the back of the store and caned mercilessly, and no punishment to the guilty would change what happened to her. That, for a brief moment, all of her class superiority means nothing. That the social contract may be breaking down, leaving Tracy at the mercy of those she knows she's better than.

[It's a bit like if you're in a bar and you get the feeling that the guy who maybe has a problem with you has been to jail before and doesn't mind going back. That the person has no fear of the long arm of the law. That you could press charges after the fact, but that you'd still be picking your teeth off the floor.
(Note - if you are in that situation, tell him that he's right, you're wrong, buy him his next round (or couple of rounds), then get the hell out of there and find a new place to drink.)]

Making things worse for Tracy is the double standard of the Victorian world, and the place of women in it. She knows that if the governess were to treat her as an importunate young thing that needs seeing to that there would be little she could do. Uncle Frank might intercede after the fact, or Tracy might be too embarrassed to go to him over being treated like a girl in short dresses, but society as a whole wouldn't object to her being treated as an incompetent child because she is merely female and not up to the responsibilities of a man.

Added to that is the fact that caning excites her, but she is too much the innocent to know how or why it excites her. There’s the whole “I need to discover my true feelings but lack a point of reference to do so” thing happening for her.

Goodgulf
PS - looking forward to reading that story you mentioned.
Back to Top
 

klara
Newbie Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 9
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 1/13/2008 1:17 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi Goodgulf

This is such an excellent story and the ending leads itself into Part III. I am looking forward to it with anticipation.

Klara
Back to Top
 

Goodgulf
Certified Spanko


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2294
 


Honey I'm Home

Buy DVD for as low as $8!!

   Posted 1/13/2008 10:25 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
A part III has been mapped out in my mind in a couple of different ways. I'll have to give it a bit of thought before I decide how to take it.

That, and this is one of my longer posted stories. It's closing in on 50,000 - which means I need a little break from the characters.

Goodgulf
Back to Top
 
You cannot post new topics in this forum. You cannot reply to topics in this forum. Printable Version
 
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:20 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 296,250 posts in 17,387 threads.
In the last 3 days there were 0 new threads and 0 reply posts.
Who's Online
12 Guest(s), 0 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details