I did not like to call round for Sylvia after what had happened. I felt guilty and embarrassed, though with typical self-centredness, on my behalf, not hers. But some days after the incident it was Sylvia who arrived at our back door. I suppose being bored with her own company, she had decided to put her punishment appropriately behind her and sought out my company. She did not mention her spanking and as I maintained a polite silence, a veil was drawn over the embarrassing incident and we resumed our old companiable relationship as if nothing had occurred. In fact, so resilient was Sylvia’s personality that she soon recovered all her old brash bossiness as though I had never seen her having her bare bottom spanked. However, whenever she became too overbearing, I could picture her tearfully sticking out her red bottom for further spanking. Unfortunately, although I returned to visiting the Hews house quite often, I disappointingly neither saw signs nor heard talk of spanking, although I was always wondering what went on behind the closed doors of the Hews house. A few weeks later, it was the end of term, which for me was a day earlier than Sylvia as I went to the Boys’ High School in a neighbouring town, while she attended a private girls’ school that occupied a large country house in a nearby village. It so happened that on this particular day, both my parents were going to be out, and rather than leave me to my own devices they arranged for me to spend the day with Mrs Hews. I still found this lady very daunting despite—or perhaps, because of—the incident with Sylvia. She had certainly continued to be pleasant to me since then. I should explain here that Mr Hews was an engineer and spent a lot of time abroad. So I spent a happy day with Mrs Hews who was very kind and attentive, making sure I was well fed and happily occupied. Sometime after four o’clock, Sylvia returned from school. She bounced in, threw down her satchel and began to run upstairs to change out of her school clothes. “Wait!” commanded Sylvia’s mother. “Report!” Rather reluctantly, I thought, Sylvia returned and handed over a long brown envelope. “Wait while I read it,” instructed her mother.. Sylvia shifted uneasily from one foot to the other as her mother fetched a knife and slit open the envelope. Sylvia was dressed in her school uniform of green blazer with yellow badge, green gingham check dress, white knee-high socks and brown buckled sandals. For school, her thick, honey coloured hair had been more neatly arranged in two, green-ribboned plaits. Mr Hews’ mouth set in a firm line of annoyance as she read. I felt the flutter of excitement in my stomach. Sylvia’s fingers twitched the sides of her skirt. “Mathematics—‘Careless and untidy’; English—‘Offers only the minimum of effort’; History—‘Must try harder’; Geography—‘Could do better’; Art—‘Disruptive influence’, Scripture… But I need hardly go on. This is a disgraceful report.” “It’s not my fault,” Sylvia said petulantly. “The teachers have all got it in for me.” “Are you suggesting your teachers are lying about you?” demanded her mother. Sylvia hesitated. She was caught on the horns of a dilemma. Whichever way she answered was likely to land her in more trouble. “Sort of,” she temporised sullenly. “Well perhaps I should phone Miss Bradshaw and check on her Headmistress’s report—‘Sylvia’s lack of progress this term is due not to her lack of ability, but to her lack of effort in class and her lack of respect for the rules of this school.’ Do you think Miss Bradshaw’s comment is inaccurate?” Once again, poor Sylvia was in a bind and she actually wriggled as she again tried get off the hook. “Well, she doesn’t like me.” “I am not surprised. I am amazed she is willing to keep you in her school.” “I don’t care if she throws me out,” Sylvia said defiantly. “You insolent, little brat!” snapped Mrs Hews and grabbed her daughter’s arm. Sylvia resisted but was caught off balance and with the ease of eleven years of practice, Sylvia’s mother ended up sitting on a kitchen chair with her daughter sprawled face down across her lap. I knew from my previous experience what to expect next and I was not disappointed. Sylvia’s mother pushed back the green gingham school dress to reveal the bottle green knickers Sylvia wore beneath. She was not wearing them for long, at least, not in their proper place, as her mother yanked them down her legs and administered a furious spanking to her child’s bare bottom. Sylvia kicked and struggled and yelled, “Stop it! Ouch! Don’t! Ouch! It’s not fair! Ouch!!” Sylvia’s mother took no notice of any of this, but kept a tight grip with one hand and hit hard with the other. Sylvia’s bottom turned from white to pink to red. But after a disappointingly short—for me—time Mrs Hews said, “Get up,” and with one last resounding slap released her hold. Sylvia quickly stood and her skirt decently dropped over her bottom, which Sylvia rubbed through the cotton dress before bending to pull up her knickers. Sadly, her mother allowed this and merely told her to go and hang up her blazer and to bring back her satchel. “Take out your books, put them on the table and sit down,” ordered Mrs Hews. Sylvia sat sulkily and presumably uncomfortably, her exercise books piled in front of her, representing her term’s work. Her mother sat at the left adjacent side of the table and invited me to sit on the other side. Mrs Hews picked up one of the books, which was labelled ‘English’, and opened it at random. Half a sheet of scribble further blemished with blots and liberally underlined in red ink from the teacher’s pen marked Sylvia’s literary effort at English. ‘Very poor work 2/10’ was written in red at the end. “So was Miss Opie overstating your failures at English?” enquired Sylvia’s mother. Sylvia shrugged. “Stand up and bend over the table.” Sylvia pulled down her mouth and stuck out her lower lip and hesitated long enough for me to wonder whether she was going to defy her mother. Then she flounced to her feet, shoved back her chair and leant forward so that her body rested on the table and her bottom was bent over the edge. Her mother also stood, pushed back Sylvia’s dress and pulled down her knickers. “It’s not fair,” griped Sylvia, indignantly, “you’ve already spanked me for my report.” “Oh no I haven’t,” stated Sylvia’s mother. “That’ll come later. You were the one who said your teachers were being unjust. This is an investigation. I shall spank you for each subject where the teacher’s comments were justified.” “Oooh,” groaned Sylvia, “that’s not fair.” “It’s your own fault, Sylvia, so stop moaning.” Sylvia’s mother spanked her hard eight times. I could see Sylvia’s knuckles turn white as she gripped the far edge of the table. She kept her face between her arms and I heard muffled squeals as her mother slapped her bare buttocks. “Right, sit down again,” directed Sylvia’s mother after a time. Once again, Sylvia’s dress obeyed gravity and fell to cover her bottom without her assistance. She rubbed herself warily and went to pull up her knickers. “You may as well leave those there, Sylvia,” her mother said, “we have a number of your exercise books to look at and I am quite sure your pants will be coming down again.” “Oh, Mummy…” began Sylvia and then thought better of it and sat gently down. The next book was labelled ‘Mathematics’. Sylvia’s work on this subject was represented by a messy page of sums against most of which were red Xs. At the bottom, the mark of 1/10 was recorded. “It’s not my fault. I don’t understand decimals,” Sylvia said resentfully “Stand up and bend over.” Sylvia stood and bent. Her mother flicked the skirt of her dress away and spanked her bare bottom. This time she gave Sylvia nine hard smacks. Sylvia’s bottom turned an even deeper red and jumped and twitched with every one. Sylvia yelled more unrestrainedly and when she stood, she sniffed and wiped a tear from her eye. She returned to her seat very gently. I saw the bottle green knickers now hung around her knees beneath the hem of her skirt. So it went on. I noticed Sylvia seemed to get as many spanks as she was the difference between the mark awarded and ten. So for history she got 4/10 on the exercise selected at random by her mother and was given six spanks, whereas she received ten slaps for a 0/10 for Scripture. Where the mark was over 5, she received no spanks at all, but she managed this only once. By the time Mrs Hews had gone through the pile of exercise books, Sylvia’s bottom was very red and undoubtedly very, very sore. She had been crying loudly for some time. “Right,” said Sylvia’s mother, taking her weeping daughter by the ear, “You can have half-an-hour in the corner before I deal with you properly for your school report.” This brought a redoubled outburst of tears from Sylvia. She was led by the ear to her corner of the kitchen where she faced the wall and her mother tucked up the hem of her skirt into the belt of the same gingham material she wore tied around her waist, so that her bright red bottom was constantly on display. Meanwhile, Mrs Hews and I drank tea and ate cake. As we did so, Sylvia’s crying gradually diminished to sobs, sniffles and silence. After half-an-hour—closely clock-watched by me—Sylvia’s mother said: Very well, Sylvia, your time is up. Go upstairs and take off your dress and knickers and bring down the hairbrush.” “Oh no, Mummy! Not the hairbrush, please. I’m already awfully sore.” “And you’ll be an awful lot sorer if you don’t hurry. At the moment you are going to get ten swats, but I’m quite willing to make it twelve—or even fifteen…” “Oooh!” wailed Sylvia and dashed from the room, the muscles of her plump bottom bouncing and rippling as she ran. I noted that this time Sylvia was more concerned with her punishment than her imposed indecency. A minute or so later, Sylvia came downstairs and back into the kitchen. She was now wearing only her white vest, socks and sandals, and was carrying a hairbrush, which she strategically held over her groin. “Go into the sitting room,” instructed Sylvia’s mother, “ and put the hairbrush on the coffee table, then bend over the arm of the settee and wait until I’m ready.” Sylvia quickly turned and left. Once again, I noticed the rippling motion of the well-developed muscles of her bottom as she moved. Sylvia’s mother seemed to be in no hurry to deal with her daughter as she continued to finish doing a few jobs around the kitchen. After about fifteen minutes she said, I suppose it is about time to see to Sylvia,” and walked towards the door. I was in a tricky fix. As you will have realised by now, I was not the most confident of boys. Despite all that had gone before, I did not think I could take it for granted that I could walk through to the sitting room to view Sylvia being spanked. Always before I had already been present before the spanking started. Mrs Hews might consider it presumptuous for me to put myself forward without permission. So, I hesitated in an agony of indecision and frustration. I just didn’t have the pluck to follow her without some encouraging sign. “Well, Philip, don’t stand there like a ninny,” Mrs Hews said at the door, “come through and see the fun.” I needed no further encouragement and without even pretending indifference, I leapt after her. The first thing I saw when we entered the sitting room was Sylvia’s bare bottom bent over the padded arm of the settee. I glanced towards the coffee table alongside. On it was a wooden hairbrush with a smooth oval back. I edged past this and took up an advantageous seat in the armchair to the right side and slightly behind Sylvia’s settee. From here, I could see not only her all-important bottom, but also her face should she turn towards me. She did turn, but not to look at me but at the coffee table where her mother would reach for the hairbrush. But for the moment, Mrs Hews left that implement where it was and instead looked disapprovingly at her daughter’s bottom. “You should have put a cushion on the arm first, Sylvia. I want your bottom sticking right up. Do it now.” “Oh Mummy!” griped Sylvia, but she stood and picked up a cushion, which she placed on the arm of the settee before leaning back over it. “Hm,” Sylvia’s mother said, clearly still critical of her child’s position. “You need another one yet. Here, “ she said, throwing one over, “put this under your tummy as well.” Sylvia groaned, but put the cushion on top of the other and balanced herself over them. This time her upper body weight tipped her forward and, although she was tall for her age, her feet left the floor.” “That’s better,” commended Sylvia’s mother. I had been concentrating on Sylvia’s bottom during these manoeuvres and I now suddenly realised that Sylvia was glaring angrily at me. I flushed guiltily and turned away, and then decided that was pretty stupid in view of our relative positions, so I made myself look back into her eyes and then deliberately at her bottom. Mrs Hews picked up the hairbrush. “Right, Sylvia, twelve I said, didn’t I?” “No, Mummy,” came Sylvia’s outraged voice, “you said ten.” “Hm, I’ve a good mind to give you the extra for all that messing about with the cushions, but I’ll let you off with ten hard ones.” Mrs Hews moved round alongside her child’s bottom and raised the hairbrush above it. I risked a quick glance back at Sylvia’s face, but she had turned the other way. I looked back just in time to see the back of the brush sweep down and land with a resounding CRACK on Sylvia’s left cheek. As with the slipper, Sylvia’s mother left an interval of around half-a-minute between swats so the ten must have taken about five minutes. It seemed a lot longer for me and must have felt interminable to Sylvia as her upturned bottom was ruthlessly whacked: left, right and centre; up and down, until it was an intermingled, overlaying mass of crimson oval blotches and Sylvia was howling without restraint. After the ten hits, Sylvia’s mother told her she could go upstairs and spend the next hour in her bedroom and the crying girl ran gratefully fled from the room. Mrs Hews tidied away the cushions and about half-an hour later, my parents collected me with grateful thanks to Sylvia’s mother.