Saturday, 1 June 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013 -

Red Bottoms at Red Hills

by Justin Maynard
Published: May 29, 2013
Words: 16,400
Category: general
Orientation: F/F
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Chapter 1 - Gerda

Harriet Maynard was an old lady, and as such she was content to think of herself. After all, seventy five was old, even in these days when adolescence lasted until one turned forty, and nobody was middle aged until sixty. People never admitted to being old, they simply died in the fullness of their years. Not so Harriet. She had enjoyed a long and full life, and though still employed, her chief occupation these days was taking her ease. That was her invariable habit in the hour before dinner, when she would sink into her armchair by the fire of her sitting room and enjoy a sherry or two, while reminiscing over the various episodes of her life; and often dozing off, sometimes to dream of them.

When I say that Harriet was still employed, I do not mean to imply that she was burdened by heavy cares or exacting duties. She was the nurse at the Red Hills Girls' Academy of which school her nephew, Andrew Fisher, was headmaster, as the post is still called at institutions enjoying a certain quality and the self-confidence it supplies. Harriet had served for many years in posts where real nursing was required and the work of every day, so the odd colds, scrapes and the very occasional sprain or broken bone that afflicted the girls taxed neither her competence nor her energy. The duty that most interested Harriet, and which prompted the clearest recollections that transported her back to a colourful period of her life, was in attending the sessions in which her nephew inflicted corporal punishment upon the girls. Corporal punishment for pupils in their final year had been reintroduced to schools when the government belatedly realized, following the London riots of a few years ago, that discipline was necessary to the young. Red Hills was one of the few schools which adopted the measure seriously.

Harriet got no lubricious pleasure from witnessing such punishments, but neither did she feel sorry for the girls, who endured what she thought of as a few mild stripes. That did not stop them from squealing and kicking as the cane lashed their bottoms, for it usually was the cane that was the instrument of correction.

"My word, what would these soft little darlings think of receiving real punishment," was the thought that always occurred to Harriet when she witnessed a caning. Her duty on such occasions was to ensure that no real damage was done, and to offer such soothing care as she deemed necessary. In truth she considered no care necessary but the passage of a very sort interval of time. Such a contrast to her experiences in a previous position, where post-punishment nursing was the work of several days of dressings, ointments and soothing words.

These musings were interrupted by one of the senior girls with a message from the deputy head, Miss Sloan, who requested Nurse Maynard's attendance in the senior dormitory.