The next day, Sylvia and Yvonne called round for me. They could hardly have been nicer and more attentive. Clearly, Sylvia’s mother had sent them out with instructions, for I was under no illusions about what their real feelings towards me might be. But we stayed together and played together without problems. Of course, this state of affairs could hardly last, and before long, all the old tensions in any triangular relationship reoccurred. Although the girls squabbled quite a lot, for there was no real friendship between them, I was generally the odd one out. A few days after the bedroom spanking, we were again playing ‘Monopoly’ at the dining room table while Sylvia’s mother worked in the garden. The girls were back to their old habits of blatant cheating. Every time they passed ‘Go’ Yvonne, who was banker, would hand out about £500 instead of the authorised £200. And any ‘Chance’ cards they drew were always declared to be to their benefit. I was getting heartily sick of both the game and their incessant giggling and I was about to stomp off when I noticed that Sylvia’s mother was working by the French window which I was facing, but to which the girls had their backs. “You’re both cheating,” I declared as loudly and as clearly as I dared without making it obvious I was speaking to anyone outside the room. To my chagrin, there was no reaction from Sylvia’s mother until Yvonne burst into her usual loud, high-pitched giggles when she looked up briefly. “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” retorted Sylvia and stuck her tongue out defiantly. I had rather hoped it was going to be Sylvia’s pants—and bottom—that were going to be burning, but it seemed my ruse had failed. I carried on playing and they carried on cheating. Suddenly, the French window opened and Sylvia’s mother stepped through. Before the girls had a chance to turn around, she had each of them by an ear. “Ow! Wow!” they yelled as she hoisted them out of their seats by that handy appendage until they were forced to stand on tiptoe. “You two naughty girls have been cheating again,” she accused “No! No!” they asserted “Yes you have, I’ve been watching you through the window.” Had she? Or had my loud accusation made her act? “It wasn’t me, it was Sylvia,” Yvonne said, falling back on her usual excuse. “She was the banker,” countered Sylvia, stung by the betrayal. “It was Sylvia’s idea, Aunt Elizabeth. She made me do it.” “Liar!” “Liar yourself!” “Be quiet! You are both equally to blame and you will both be equally punished.” Mrs Hews said. “Oh please, Aunt Elizabeth, it really wasn’t me, ask Philip,” Yvonne said turning the full power of her large appealing eyes on me. “Philip has no more say in this than you do, Yvonne. Now, you can both take off your shorts and then move your chairs to the alcoves either side of the fireplace with the seats facing the wall.” The girls, sniping and snarling at each other, began to remove their shorts while Mrs Hews went back into the garden. I soon saw that Sylvia was wearing white pants printed with forget-me-nots and that Yvonne’s pants were plain pale blue. Still bickering, each girl moved her chair to the arched recess either side of the fireplace. These were empty as the chairs were usually placed there when not in use, though normally with the back towards the wall, whereas now the back of each chair back stuck out a little way into the room. I wondered what was going on. Would they have to sit there facing the wall? Mrs Hews returned carrying several switches. Clearly, she had earlier been trimming the hedge, which was unlucky on the girls. When Sylvia saw the swishy sticks she gulped, but remained silent. Yvonne’s large eyes opened even wider and she said in a trembling treble, “Oh Aunt Elizabeth, you’re not going to hit use those on us, are you? Mummy and Daddy would never hit me with a stick.” “Don’t lie to me, Yvonne. I happen to know that your father keeps a cane that he has used more than once on both your brothers and you. And if you whine and tell tales at home the way you do here, I’m surprised he hasn’t used it more often. In fact, I may suggest to him that he does! ” “Oh no, Aunt Elizabeth! Please don’t do that.” “I’ll think about it. For now you two girls can take your pants down and bend over the backs of those chairs with your hands on the seats.” “Oh don’t make me take my pants down!” bleated Yvonne “I don’t see why we have to be punished in front of him,” Sylvia argued, scowling at me. “Philip has a name, Sylvia, as I have had to tell you before. And I advise you both to stop making silly objections before I become really cross!” Under this implicit threat, the two girls turned away from me and reluctantly began to pull down their pants. “Right down to your knees!” Mrs Hews insisted, as the girls tried to get away with uncovering as little as possible. “And tuck your shirts up out of the way.” With understandable unwillingness, the pair complied with the degree of exposure demanded by Mrs Hews and when she was satisfied, they moved forward to take up their positions behind and over each chair. Although tall for their ages, both had to stand on tiptoe to put herself right over the chair back. So there they were: Yvonne’s small round bottom over the chair on the right and Sylvia’s meatier cheeks over the one on the left. Between them, in front to the fireplace, stood Sylvia’s mother, holding one of the switches. She cut the air with the stick and it made an awful whooshing whistling sound. Both girls jumped involuntarily and their bottoms twitched in a reflex response to the sound. Mrs Hews moved to Yvonne’s side and tapped her shrinking cheeks with the switch. “Please, Aunt Elizabeth, I prom… Ow!” Hardly raising her arm, but with plenty of wrist action, Mrs Hews flicked the switch across Yvonne’s lean cheeks. It clearly stung considerably and a red mark was left across both cheeks. Mrs Hews flicked her wrist again. “Youch!” yelled Yvonne and a second horizontal line lay alongside the first. A third stroke immediately followed. Yvonne cried “Yeeow!” and burst into tears, but Yvonne always cried easily. “Stay there, I’ve nowhere near finished with you yet,” Mrs Hews said ominously and crossed to her own daughter. She tapped Sylvia’s solid rear and then swished the stick quickly down. Sylvia gasped as the red streak was imprinted on her bottom. A second weal was soon laid alongside. On the third stroke, the stick broke. “Hm, I shall have to take that one again, “ commented Sylvia’s mother and she picked up a fresh switch. After cutting the air, she cracked it swiftly down across Sylvia’s bottom. Sylvia yelped, but remained dry-eyed. Mrs Hews crossed back to her blubbing niece. “Please, Aunt Elizabeth, no more, please,” grizzled Yvonne. “Don’t be silly, child, I know the cane hurts a lot more than this.” And having dismissed Yvonne’s plea for mercy, Mrs Hews laid three measured strokes across Yvonne’s slim buttocks while she shrieked wholeheartedly. “Stay there,” Mrs Hews repeated, and crossed back to Sylvia. Three sizzling strokes of the switch cracked across her plump cheeks. She cried out at each one, but certainly made a lot less noise than her cousin. Mrs Hews returned to the howling Yvonne, but at the first rap, the rod snapped. “You’ll have to have that one again,” Mrs Hews said. “Whaaah! No! It’s not fair. I hate you!” bawled Yvonne. “Your opinion of me is of no concern, Yvonne,” her aunt said calmly, as she picked up a replacement stick, “but I am telling you to keep a civil tongue in your head if you don’t want extras.” And with that, she swiftly swished Yvonne three times. On the third stroke, Yvonne straightened and clasped her hands to her striped rear. “Right, Yvonne, turn around.” “Naahh! Nooh! No!” “Do it, Yvonne, or you’ll be getting a really sound thrashing.” Reluctantly, Yvonne turned round. “Hold out your hand.” “No, Aunt Eliz…” “Now!” Yvonne held out a shaking right hand and before she could blink the switch had swhacked across her open palm. “Aeiouch!” “Now the other one.” Her aunt said relentlessly. “Oooh,” moaned Yvonne, but she obediently, though reluctantly, opened her left. Once more the stick flicked across her fingers. “Now, bend back over the chair and next time don’t you dare move until I tell you.” Sylvia’s mother now returned to her daughter. Of course, neither girl could see the other as the main body of the chair and therefore their heads were hidden in the alcove, but Sylvia would have heard all and guessed what was going on. I doubted whether she would get up without permission. And in any case, she was rather tougher than her cousin. Nevertheless, the three sharp strokes she now received must have stung like blazes. Or rather, two and a half, because the stick broke again on the third whack. As before, Mrs Hews selected a new switch, but this broke on the very first time of using! Again Mrs Hews chose a stick, and at last the third—or fourth—or fifth—depending on your method of counting—stroke was delivered. By now, both girls’ bottoms were covered with thin red weals. The first strokes had been laid on so that the lines ran in parallel horizontal lines, but the later ones, either by chance or design, had been at a slight angle so that they criss-crossed the girls’ bottoms. Mrs Hews went back to Yvonne. Keep a firm grip on the seat of the chair, Yvonne,” she advised firmly, but not altogether unkindly, “and you won’t be tempted to get up before I’ve finished. These will be the final three unless you misbehave.” After the warning was delivered the whipping as the switch whizzed through the air three times leaving three more red marks across Yvonne’s slim bottom cheeks. “Stay there until I tell you to get up,” cautioned Mrs Hews, before moving back to Sylvia and letting her have the last of her punishment. “Right, you two,” Mrs Hews said to the two tearful girls as she stood back to survey the results of her work, “you can both straighten up and rub your bottoms, but then get up on your chair and stay there, hands on heads, facing the wall, until I tell you to get down.” Boohooing, the miserable pair did just that, much to my amusement, and there they stayed for the nest half-an-hour while Sylvia’s mother brought us in tea and cake, which we ate at the table while playing cards. After this, Mrs Hews sent the two girls up to their bedroom for another hour. When the girls had gone, I screwed up my courage—never very great—to bring up a point that was puzzling me. “Mrs Hews, may I ask you something?” “Well, you can certainly ask, Philip, but I may not answer,” she laughed. “What is it?” “When you were – er – punishing the girls you told Yvonne that you knew the cane hurt more than that switch and I was – er – wondering – er…” I tailed off, not knowing how to complete my question. “How I knew?” Mrs Hews suggested helpfully. “Er – yes.” “Well, you’re a bright boy, Philip, you work it out.” I flushed at being put on the spot, but she was right: I was a bright boy. I thought a few moments. “Well?” she asked. “Well, you said Yvonne’s dad had a cane, and if he has a cane, his father probably had one, and so he was probably caned when he was young, and you said you are his sister, so …” The logical consequence overwhelmed me. “So I was probably caned as well,” Mrs Hews completed helpfully. “Well, you are right—quite the little Sherlock Holmes,” she said ruffling my hair. “But Richard was caned far more often than I. In our house, Dad dealt with Richard and my mother spanked me, but occasionally the cane was used when I had done something especially bad. “You mean …” and again I hesitated. “I mean I know what a sore bottom feels like just as well as those two upstairs. And I know something else about how they are feeling, because although I was often spanked in front of Richard—and he in front of me—it had been going on since our infancy and that part of it didn’t bother us very much. But one time when I was about Sylvia’s age, Richard had a friend of his round. I suppose I must have been showing off, because my mother got madder and madder, and then all of a sudden she put me across her knee, pulled my knickers down and gave me the most awful spanking. I had never felt so utterly ashamed in my life before. I absolutely hated my mother, I can tell you.” “But you…” “Yes, I know I do. You see what my mother knew and I now realise, is that my pride would be hurt far more than my bottom. I was a stuck up little brat, enormously full of myself. She knew that would bring me down a peg or two, and so it did—for a time anyway! But after that, she rarely missed an opportunity of spanking me in front of someone or another, which I hated, of course.” I had a job taking this in. Sylvia’s mother was a sophisticated adult with a forceful personality. I found it difficult to imagine her as a little girl having her bare bottom smacked. Consequently, I let the matter drop, having nothing more I could easily say. Soon after that, and before Sylvia and Yvonne returned downstairs, I left. As I had to visit the dentist the next day and after that Yvonne returned to her family with Sylvia, who was to pay a reciprocal visit, this was the last I saw of Sylvia for some weeks, and of Yvonne for even longer.