When Priscilla's brain finally registered the headmaster's order to stand up, which at first went in one ear and out the other, she did so in a state of utter bewilderment. The abrupt ending of the cane's assault on her bottom left her feeling that she had been dropped back in the real world, with a crash, and the idea that she should actually do something out of her own will, such as stand up and recover her sense of identity, was almost incomprehensible. Besides, her bottom was now so painful that she was almost afraid to try and stand, in case her legs wouldn't work.

But she tried, and she succeeded. Her knees felt wobbly and her face felt hot and red, although not as either red or as hot as her bottom, which felt like no part of her body had ever felt before.

Fortunately, the need to do something of her own free will was temporarily put off by the headmaster's further command to go and stand beside Anna. She turned around to do this also, still in a daze, too many tears in her eyes to see her friend, and stood there while he gave a little speech about learning their lesson and not having to suffer another caning. She was not really capable of listening and, indeed, hardly even registered the fact that she was still naked below her blouse as she stood facing him.

When he then ordered them to "go over there, make yourselves respectable again, and leave!" she followed Anna's movements without thinking. She was slowly gathering her wits again as the two of them tried to separate their clothes, and began to do so more rapidly as pulling up her panties made her remember that these had been, up to that moment, off. As she slipped them up over her bottom she not only realized how tender were her cheeks, but was also disconcerted anew to feel the deep corrugations in the skin. Tears were still oozing from her eyes and it was hard enough to see her clothes, let alone look at Anna.

Anna knew they were simply expected to leave, and Priscilla followed her gratefully out of the room. They hurried down the corridor and started down the stairs, still speechless. It was not until they heard the clunk of the door being shut behind them that they were suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of escape and spontaneously fell into each other's arms, sobbing.

"Oh! That was so horrible Priscilla! I can't believe how horrible it was, even it was my fourth time! I am so sorry that I ever got you into this! I couldn't believe how hard he was beating you! Are you going to be alright?" Priscilla was still scarcely able to speak, so Anna turned back to the stairs and hurried them out of the building. Instead of heading back to the house, however, she turned them aside, into nearby bathroom that was much used during the day but was deserted at this time of the evening.

Priscilla, surprised but also starting to recover both her wits and her wit, looked surprised. "Why are we going here - I told you I took a pee before the caning!" Anna looked relieved at this effort at a joke and even started to look slightly conspiratorial again, "Can't you guess?! This is where we always go to see what the damage looks like after a caning! You know what mine looks like ... don't you want to know what your own is like?!"

"Oh Anna! You're just as awful as always! I can guess it looks pretty dreadful ... it certainly feels dreadful!" Actually, she was rather anxious to find out, though she didn't really know why. Anna flicked on the bathroom switch and went to the mirror, turning her back on it and easing down her panties with an "Ouch! I can feel how bad it looks!" Hoisting up her skirt, she then turned to look anxiously over her shoulder at the reflection of her bottom. "Oh my god! Look at those bruises! He gave me twenty-four, didn't he? I've seen other girls with their bottoms like this, but I never thought I'd be looking so ... colorful!" She ran her fingers gently over her under curves, "That's so awful, all those grooves ... I thought I was going to faint during the last six strokes ... but come on! Take a look at yours ... I can tell you it's black and blue!"

Priscilla was still somewhat non-plussed, but she did as Anna had done, and gasped as she looked back over her shoulder at her own bottom. Blue and black it was, from high across her cleft down to just above her thighs, with the clearest, blackest welts across the center and a mass of bruises above her thighs. Though she could certainly feel it throbbing painfully, it was still hard to believe this was her own bottom she was looking at. Holding her skirt up with her left hand, she reached back with her right to feel the bruises, and was at once startled again to find how hot and deeply corrugated they were.

There was something profoundly shocking in how the cane had reshaped her once smooth cheeks. "I thought he was going to cut you in half with that first stroke!" exclaimed Anna, not all that helpfully. "Look, you can easily see which one it is, right across the center! And all those marks underneath, that's what he did to me too ... he just lays in to you like a fiend ... except that I think yours were probably even harder than mine ... though I did get more strokes!" Priscilla was just starting to try to understand what had indeed happened to her and finally blurted out, "I ... I ... couldn't believe how much it burned! I mean, it was as though he was doing it with a red-hot poker or something!" "I told you it would be really bad!" replied Anna, "But no one ever really believes it until they're actually caned!"

"Well, I certainly believe you now," offered Priscilla, still running her fingers gingerly along the welts that she could see crossing her bottom, "Considering how it looks, I'm surprised it's not hurting a lot more right now, It actually feels rather numb!" "It is numb," commented Anna, "After a really bad caning your backside gets quite numb for a bit ... the other girls warned me ... it'll start to hurt more soon, though!" "Oh, thanks so much for the information!" retorted Priscilla, but Anna was already pulling up her panties again. "Hey, come-on! We have to be getting back to the house! The girls'll be waiting for us and supper is coming up!"

Priscilla stared at her friend in renewed dismay, "What do you mean, the girls'll be waiting?!" "Oh Priscilla, you know perfectly well what I mean! There's a group of friends waiting to admire our bums!" Priscilla was about to protest but Anna quickly interrupted, "Come on! Be a sport! Anyway, I tell you, and you'd better believe me because I KNOW ... if you let them take a look now they'll be really sympathetic, and happy and helpful. And they'll stick up for you when you need it, which you will. If you don't, then they won't be, and you'll finish up even worse off! Come one, we'll do it together, and I promise you it'll be alright!"

Priscilla sighed in resignation and Anna knew she'd agree. "Good sport! I promise you that you'll see I'm right! Let's go, before we're late and someone reports us, that WOULD be fun!" And so the two of them gingerly pulled up their panties again, adjusted their skirts, turned off the light, left the bathroom, and headed back to their house, two young women hand-in-hand, each with the other hand still clasping her own backside. Anna, though still shocked at having both received and watched such a severe caning, at least more or less knew what lay ahead. Priscilla was still very unsure.

They went up to a side entrance into the house and someone had evidently been watching for them, for the door suddenly opened and a couple of excited girls quickly ushered them in. "Ooh! Here they are! What was it like?! How many did you get," and, even, as an afterthought, "Are you both ok?!"

Anna was familiar with the routine, "We're both very sore, so you'd better treat us nicely!" "Of course! We're your friends, you know that! And we've got the cushions out!" Priscilla admitted to herself that they certainly were friendly. She had no idea what the cushions were ... maybe they were getting ready a soft place for them both to sit down? They were hustled, into the changing room, past another girl guarding the door. There were, of course, no comfortable chairs in the changing room, but Priscilla started to back out when she saw a small group of whispering girls standing by a bench, on which two cushions were placed side by side. Anna noticed her movement and quickly grabbed her by the arm, "Uh uh! Come on now! We're doing this together!"

Almost before she could think, Priscilla found herself kneeling on one of the pillows. They had been placed side by side on one of two parallel benches that were connected by a high bar with rows of hooks for clothes. She looked anxiously at Anna, who was kneeling on the cushion beside her and pressing her to bend forward, "Come on! You bent over when old Fuzzy Face told you to, now let's do it for our friends!" This still felt very peculiar to Priscilla but she joined Anna in kneeling on one bench while leaning forward under the bar and supporting herself with hands on the bench opposite. Anna gave orders to the girls now clustering excitedly around behind them, "And you'd all better be really gentle, especially to Priscilla. She got what must have been the worst caning ever for a first-timer, and I got a real corker too, so careful!"

Priscilla, bending over on the bench (she was glad for the cushion), was staring wide-eyed at Anna, whose face was just to her right and whose hand was resting on hers. She saw and felt the anxious activity, as their skirts were lifted and a chorus of whispers and gasps erupted behind them both.

"Gracious me! Look! Even their panties don't hide it!"
"Well get them down, so we can see everything!"
And, as several fingers carefully pulled at the waistband, "You really had better be careful, that must really be hurting!"

She heard the excitement mount as the girl behind her and Anna eased their panties down their thighs. Panic threatened her for an instant as her position started to feel horribly similar to that in the headmaster's study, with her bottom helplessly offered to the intentions of others, but an erupting chorus of descriptive commentary quickly brought her back to the much more friendly present.

"Oh! My goodness! Look at that!"
"What a pair of caned bottoms! Look at the bruises!"
"And the welts! They're all bumpy! Some of them are huge!"
"Heavens alive! Look at the colors ... look at those purple bumps at the ends of each stroke!"
"But they're so different! Anna's is every color under the sun, and Priscilla's is all purple!"
"That's Priscilla's first caning? I've never seen one so hard! How many strokes ... count them ... careful!"

Priscilla felt fingers gently sliding along and over the ridges that she knew crossed her bottom cheeks and felt strangely reassured, not evening bothering to provide the information as she heard the collective examination.

"That must be the first stroke ... he always starts across the middle ... but look at that welt, I've never seen a worse one!"
"I bet that made her jump up ... and I bet he gave her extra for it, he's so cruel!"

Anna joined it at that point, "He just let fly! Poor Priscilla nearly fell over ... I can tell you, she was really brave, I don't know how she stood it! He gave it to her even harder than I got, and she was touching toes ... I thought that I was about to collapse when he was caning me, and I was over the table!"

"Well, you should have someone paint a portrait of your bottom, Anna! I've hardly ever seen one so colorful - maybe when Caroline got that thirty-sixer last year, and you only got ... how many is it?"
"Twenty-four!" immediately chimed in another girl, "I can tell even without counting, he always gives sixes! He must have been really walloping her!"

"Walloping is putting it mildly!" confirmed Anna, "But Priscilla's was something else!"

Someone was talking to Priscilla. "He had you touching toes, for a caning like that! How did you manage to stay upright?"

The question was close enough to Priscilla's own thoughts to elicit a reply, "Well, he gave me a whole bunch of strokes after the first one that weren't quite so bad, and then he did it so hard that I hardly knew what happened ... my mind just went kind of blank, but I didn't actually fall over ... and then he had me bend over the table for more."

"That's so typical!"

"And," broke in Anna again, "you can bet that he was hoping that we'd both grab our bums again so he could give us even more. But we both fooled him, didn't we Priscilla! We both stuck it out and he didn't get his special treat!"

"Well!" someone said, "he certainly got a pretty good treat anyway ... two of the prettiest bums in the school and that was some caning already! ... "

"Yes," interjected another girl, "Sort of his private sex show!"

"Oh, you are awful ... putting it that way!"

"What do you mean, me awful?! That's what he makes sure he gets, doesn't he? I mean, where else does a man get to make a girl show him her privates like that? And you know he always looks between your legs, really carefully. Anyway, I don't know about you, but I always find it really embarrassing, to put it mildly! I mean, it's worse than the doctor!"

"Well, you know what they say, being embarrassed is part of the punishment!"

"It certainly is that! And Old Fuzzy Face just happens to get his private sex show out of it ... I'm sure he's really embarrassed too, I don't think!"

Anna interrupted, "Well, I agree, having just seen him practically poking his nose between Priscilla's legs, together with Miss Martin ... I think she really gets into it too!"

A lively disagreement on Miss Martin followed, and then one of the girls asked Priscilla, "So what did you think was worse, showing your privates to Fuzzy Face, or how much it hurts?"

For some reason, Priscilla was a little shocked by this question. She was actually finding the chatter rather reassuring, but now preferred just to listen. She wasn't even really sure of which voice belonged to whom. Anna sensed her reluctance to join in and came to her rescue, "Oh, give her a chance! It was her first caning ... she's probably still too shocked to know! I mean, if you have to spread your legs and then get only a regular six, then showing yourself probably feels worse than the cane. But if you get a caning like the one we've just had, then it hurts so much that you kind of forget about the embarrassment."

"I agree! I mean, look at both you backsides ... you'll be sore for days! Even if you do have to show your quim to Fuzzy Face, you can forget about it. But you can't forget about your caning as long as the bruises are still there!"

"Well, I'm not sure that I do. I mean, if you could choose between being caned by Fuzzy Face and ... say ... the gym mistress, I'd certainly choose the gym mistress, even if she caned just as hard."

"And I bet she could! You remember when all those girls got caned in the gym? I was told she was there and looked as though she really enjoyed it! And I don't want a man staring at my quim either!"

Anna joined in again, "And he certainly can see everything he wants to! I didn't really realize how much until I had to watch Priscilla being caned ... he had us stand right behind each other ... and your bottom hole too! Everything is just all sort of spread out! - Oh, I'm sorry Priscilla ... I wasn't trying to make you feel even worse!" Exchanging glances with Priscilla, she had noticed another look of acute discomfort.

Wanting to bring the girls' sympathy back to Priscilla, she added, "Anyway, Fuzzy Face tried something else on her! Before the last six strokes he went and fiddled around with his canes again. I'm not sure what he did, but he seemed to be changing his mind about which one to use. And I'm sure it wasn't just to be nice!"

Priscilla suddenly joined in again at that point, "Well, I think he chose a thinner cane ... I'm not sure why ... but it sounded different!"

There was a moment's silence, as the assembled girls were stared at each other in surprise at Priscilla's remark." Someone exclaimed, "Wow! You're an expert already!

Someone else said, "Here, let me look! He did that to me my last time, when I got thirty. The thinner cane burns worse than anything when he uses it really hard."

Priscilla felt more gentle fingering around the base of her bottom.

"Yes! Look! You can even see the difference! The marks are thinner but the welts are worse ... feel them, they're really raised and even harder ... careful!"

Priscilla had flinched as several more fingers ran slowly across her lower cheeks. "He sometimes does it right at the end, right across where you sit on, because he knows it hurts more!"

The expert examination and commentary by the assembled girls, all of whom had been well caned on more than occasion (this was a condition for joining this particular group), continued for a short while longer. Anna exchanged glances with Priscilla several times, and was relieved to see her beginning to look somewhat more relaxed.

During the chatter, another girl had been let into the room, someone remarking "Lynette! You're always late! One day we won't let you in! You don't really deserve to be here anyway - you've hardly been caned at all!"

The new arrival was one of the older girls; small, quiet, rather mousy looking in fact. She'd only been caned once, and that quite recently, but had been allowed to join the group because one of the other girls had persistently asked for it. Lynette was an odd girl, rarely speaking to any one (and hence regarded by most as quite harmless), but often turning up in unexpected places. Occasionally she earned her place by providing some surprisingly helpful information.

One of the other girls, actually the one who's asked for her to join, knew a little more about her, enough, indeed, to have been in a situation sufficiently embarrassing to request the special favor. But even she knew very little of what was to be known.

If any one in the school had known anything close to the whole truth, it is not impossible that St. Swithin's might have experienced its first murder.

Lynette was as close to being the perfect professional spy that an amateur could be. Always quiet and seemingly invisible, she had also always been intensely curious about her fellow humans. A tendency to observe and collect information about her colleagues had received an enormous impetus when, one day, she had peered through the window of a school shed, and seen one of the girls making out with a groundsman.

At the time, she knew almost nothing about sex, and had been astonished to see the girl, still dressed, apparently eating the thingy (her vocabulary was a peculiar one, for reasons that will be explained) of the young man, which was peculiarly rigid and large, sticking straight up as he lay on his back, with his trousers and pants down. After a few minutes of this extraordinary sight, the girl had hurriedly pulled off her knickers, climbed up astride his crotch, reached down between her thighs to arrange something, and then started going up and down, a charming smile on her face, while strange grimaces began to contort the face of the young man himself. Lynette fled at that point, from confusion as much anything else.

She soon realized, however, that a vast new world was inviting her curiosity. She started to do some intensive research and soon enough knew a great deal about what she had seen that day. Some of her research was in books, for the school library, being quite old, held some rather surprising resources, and there were some unofficial works of reference that circulated among curious girls. Her vocabulary became a peculiar mix of the colloquial words used by the girls, and the academic terms garnered from reading. But she also began looking for other occasions for secret observation of activities in progress. No one could possibly have forecast how many these would prove to be, or how successful Lynette would be at finding them. Within a year, she had observed lively goings on of a wide variety among the staff, among the students, and between the staff and the students. Both her knowledge of this new world and her techniques in spying on it increased to an astonishing extent.

She had become interested in watching punishments as a result of seeing some spanking in the sexual activities she observed. Several girls had discovered how to observe the head prefect's strappings and Lynette soon joined their number. Occasionally they bumped into each other on the tower staircase, but none of the other girls suspected Lynette's wider activities. She had then gone far beyond any of them.

Everyone knew that the headmaster administered canings in his "disciplinary study" on the third floor. All his other activities were on either his first or second floors. These floors seemed to be completely inaccessible to spying, but the third floor was a different matter.

The disciplinary study had been set up where a great many servants' activities had once been located in Victorian and Edwardian times. It had since been largely abandoned. Lynette, with patient and careful investigation, had found a way through the buildings on the third floor, using doors that had been abandoned unlocked. Eventually, to her gratification (but not surprise, because she had come to believe that almost anything was possible), she had penetrated to one of the small rooms that had once opened into the servants' common room where the headmaster had now located his disciplinary study.

The door was locked but the key had been removed and so the keyhole provided a view into the room. It was behind and to the right of the desk. Lynette had discovered that it provided a view of much of the disciplinary activity. She could see the bottoms of girls who were bending over to touch their toes, and hence the cane landing across this target, even if not the headmaster himself as he stood further to the left in delivering the strokes.

When girls were bent over the table, however, she could see the entire proceedings. She had set up a box, on which she could sit in comparative comfort while she observed invisibly. Since the times of canings were always known, she had got to watch many. If the girls were in her own house, where she had inveigled her way into the group calling themselves "the caning connoisseurs" by a bit of very judicious blackmail, she often got back in time to take another, much closer, look at the results,.

Her first sight of a cane landing across a bottom (it was a classic six) had excited her unexpectedly. She had become enthralled, so much so, indeed, that she had finally and deliberately got herself caned (before this being one of the few, like Priscilla, who had managed to stay out of Dr. Stanton's reach). She had managed it with characteristic cleverness, and had received only a classic "six of the best." She had been startled at how painful it was, but even more so by the peculiar way in which the headmaster had managed to embarrass her with his instructions for undressing. It had been rather a shock for someone who preferred to see without being seen. She had, in fact, remained surprised, because she hadn't seen him act quite the same way at any of the canings upon which she had spied.

She made certain that she was there to spy on the caning of Anna and Priscilla, which was clearly destined to become a major school event. It had, indeed, been quite a performance, leaving even Lynette amazed. She had therefore been rather more slow than usual in easing up from her perch after Anna and Priscilla had left and, when she had tried to do so, her skirt had become caught. By then, unfortunately, Miss Martin, who always stood behind the desk, had moved to her right and was less than a foot away. Lynette had stayed put, nervously.

She had seen the headmaster place his cane on the table and walk across to the right. She had heard him close the door. When he returned, she had expected him to put away the table and Miss Martin to move. But the headmaster had returned to the table and picked up the cane again, then turned to look seemingly directly at her. Lynette was petrified for a moment, thinking she had been discovered, but soon realized that he was looking at Miss Martin.

When Miss Martin finally moved, it was toward the table. Something about this was so odd that Lynette stayed, watching. She could hear very little through the door (except, normally, the sounds of the cane and the resulting cries of protest), but she could see the headmaster apparently lecturing Miss Martin. Her sense that this was a significant development had increased when Miss Martin had clasped her backside. This was a gesture that Lynette had seen many girls make when they realized that their caning was imminent.

The headmaster had then moved out of sight, coming toward the desk, and Lynette had heard the slight rattle of canes on the desk top before he reappeared, still holding a cane, but in an even more purposeful manner. Miss Martin, in the next stage of this astonishing drama, had proceeded to remove every stitch her clothing, leaving it in a pile on the floor. She had then turned to the table and bent over it in the position in which Lynette had seen Anna and Priscilla a short while before.

Lynette couldn't help noticing that, enviably proportioned though the figures of both Anna and Priscilla were, Miss Martin's body had a further degree of fullness that her few extra years had given her, especially in her tits and bottom. Many of the girls regarded Miss Martin with envy and hope, as the ideal figure they hoped to achieve in their maturity. But to see her quite suddenly naked in these circumstances was startling in the extreme. Then, further, to see her bottom presented in the position adopted by so many girls whose errant ways had led them to the headmaster's study for punishment, astonished Lynette perhaps more than anything she had ever witnessed before.

Astonished though she was, Lynette still noticed that there was something distinctive about Miss Martin's movements. Instead of the many nervous backwards glances and shifts in position that characterized almost all of the girls as they were obliged to adopt this position to receive a caning, Miss Martin seemed to settle herself firmly, almost comfortably, across the table as she lifted her bottom for the headmaster's attention.

The headmaster then proceeded to cane her, giving her exactly eight strokes, starting close to the top of her bottom and working down towards her thighs. They were hard strokes, though not as hard as the worst than Anna and Priscilla had received, and the results began to show very clearly in brilliantly crimson, very evenly spaced marks. Miss Martin's naked body jumped a little with each stroke, though Lynette could not hear any sounds of protest until the last stroke. Lynette could see that this was harder than the others, from the way the headmaster delivered it, the more lively reaction of Miss Martin's bottom, and the squeal she heard.

As Lynette continued to watch in amazement, the headmaster carefully placed his cane on the table, alongside Miss Martin, placed his left hand on her back and then moved his right hand between her thighs. Lynette could see him massaging her quim. This sight she was not unused to, having seen many variations of it. When he further dropped to his knees behind her and pushed his bearded face into the intimate places where his hand had just been, this did not seem all that peculiar either. Lynette even knew that this activity was called cunnilingus (as she also now knew the first sexual activity she had seen was called fellatio). It was the situation rather than the actions that astonished her.

When he stood up and carefully removed all his own clothes, however, this did not surprise her, since this usually preceded much of the sexual activities she had just observed. She certainly felt it strange, however, to be seeing her headmaster stark naked, with his thingy, enormous, vertical and wobbling. He then disappeared briefly. She heard sounds of a desk drawer and then he reappeared, this time holding a little opened jar. It was evidently some kind of lotion and it was also not surprising to Lynette when he dipped his fingers into this. She was not prepared, however, for the way in which he then placed these fingers against Miss Martin's bottom hole and started carefully massaging it. Lynette was even more surprised when he pushed one of his fingers into that hole, and more surprised still when he managed to insert two fingers, moving them gently in and out and round and round. Miss Martin seemed to be enjoying this peculiar form of attention.

Lynette had actually read about anal intercourse and she realized with, for her, some considerable excitement, that she was probably about to see it performed. This was, indeed, the case. When the headmaster moved to position himself directly behind Miss Martin, grasping his thingy firmly in his right hand, she could clearly see that he was carefully positioning it right against her bottom hole. He seemed to be pushing forward with some care, and she was sure that she saw his thingy begin to disappear into her bottom, before his own body blocked her view. His slow, to and fro, thrusting movements were like those she had seen on many other occasions, but the knowledge of what was going in and out of where, certainly made this sight more interesting.

As she was expecting, his movements soon became much more urgent. He managed to push his right hand down between the cushion and Miss Martin's hips, and Miss Martin's movements suddenly became more frantic, her body bucking beneath his. Lynette knew well enough what was happening from experience as well as observation, because she had been masturbating rather frequently since her observation of sexual activity had increased. Observation had also made unsurprising the desperate convulsions that soon overwhelmed the headmaster himself. She knew what to expect, although the male's contribution to this event often seemed to her peculiarly and unattractively messy. The last sight, however, before she decided to extricate herself while they were still engrossed, was sufficiently striking to imprint itself firmly in her memory. As the headmaster slowly drew himself back, she saw his thingy sliding out of Miss Martin's bottom hole with a drooping thread of white still connecting the two, while another thick, gooey-looking, white blob slowly oozed from this same hole and started to drip towards the quim, between bottom cheeks that were each symmetrically marked by eight, evenly spaced, scarlet stripes.

It was at this point that Lynette finally pulled herself away from the key hole and very slowly and quietly crept out of her secret room, returning to her house as quickly as she discretely could, anxious both to catch the display of well-caned bottoms she knew would be going on in the changing room, anxious also because she realized that her newly gained knowledge was perhaps a little dangerous, even for her.

When she got back to her house, she was of course pleased to find that the inspection was still in progress and she listened in silent approval to what she heard of Anna and Priscilla's account. She had often heard accounts that did not quite match what she had seen, especially with regard to the bravery of the girls who'd just been caned. And it was also the first time that she had actually wanted to pass on her secret, which, of course, she could not do.

Priscilla was glad when the inspection was over but she also felt a distinctive bond with those girls who had been participating. They had, indeed, been very supportive and she received warm encouragement as they left the changing room to go for supper.

The rest of her evening was not enjoyable. At dinner, which followed almost immediately, she and Anna were the objects of intense curiosity but she declined to react and tried to sit as normally as possible, despite the difficulty. It was, in fact, the first time she had had to sit since the caning and she tried to pretend that she wasn't nervous about doing so. In fact, although her bottom felt increasingly sore, it did not seem to mind too much being sat on. The girls who had been party to the inspection were doing their best to protect them from inquisitive chatter. But there was a lot of whispering and Priscilla guessed that news of the severity of their punishment had already leaked out.

Dinner was followed by a brief break, in which Priscilla hid herself in the bathroom, once again gingerly feeling the ridges and grooves across her bottom, and then everyone returned to the dining room for homework. This was not enjoyable either. Hardly any one dared make their curiosity known in the silent room, for this would have earned them their own punishment, but Priscilla found it impossible to concentrate. The numbness was seeping away from her bottom cheeks and a throbbing ache was intensifying. It still didn't actually seem as painful to sit as she had feared, although she had to lean forward on the edge of her chair to take the pressure off her lower cheeks. It was, however, certainly very uncomfortable and she constantly had to resist the urge to feel or even massage her bottom, or otherwise indicate that she was thinking about the caning.

But that was exactly what she was thinking about, almost the whole hour. It all seemed so thoroughly peculiar. It had certainly been extremely embarrassing and painful, and that was what the girls in the changing room had all been chattering about. But for most of them it was as though it was oddly normal. For Priscilla, however, it also seemed extremely peculiar.

Why did they beat girls' bottoms anyway? How had any one ever thought up the idea? It seemed so contrary to what she was supposed to believe about people and society. But was it somehow natural? Why had she just done what the headmaster told her to do, even though it seemed so outrageous? Why had she stayed bending over when every nerve in her body seemed to be screaming and telling her to get up and run? She remembered, now in a confused way, some of her own feelings while she was bending over, waiting for the cane, when it had almost seemed that she was being commanded to receive it by some inner voice. But it was certainly the worst thing that had ever happened to her. She knew that. She would never, ever, want it to happen again. She felt herself going alternately hot and cold as memories of her confusion kept swirling up in her mind.

And what had the headmaster been feeling as he caned her? Had he liked doing it? The girls in the changing room had obviously assumed that he did. But why should he? She was old enough to know very well that men desired her for something, and she accepted without even really understanding the reason that they wanted to see her body. So the headmaster got to do this. But why the caning? She knew that he had gained some sadistic pleasure, she had seen that in his manner as he was caning Anna and felt it when he was caning her. But somehow this seemed different from the question of whether he liked doing it. There was something her mind couldn't pin down. It had something to do with her bottom, and bottoms in general. There was something more to the ancient tale of the Callipygian maidens than she had realized. That was certain. But, again, caning was something quite different yet very closely connected. She couldn't understand it.

When prep time ended, and she was very uncomfortably aware that she hadn't done any work Prep was soon followed by bedtime showers, which she had been dreading in advance. The girls took their showers in a sequence of dormitories and Priscilla delayed as long as she could. But even as she entered the changing room she could tell that a large number of curious girls were hanging around. She undressed as quickly as possible and wrapped a towel hurriedly around her waist. She couldn't help hearing one girl exclaim, "Oh! Look! Priscilla's bottom's all purple!" followed by "ooh's" and "ah's" and other expressions of astonishment, both dismayed and delighted. In the shower room there was no chance to escape. They had to hang their towels on a peg and wait in line for a free shower. Keeping to the edge of the room, knowing that it was full of girls anxiously waiting to get a view of her striped bottom, she was partially saved by a couple of friends who ingeniously held a shower occupied, got her to remove her towel and then quickly hustled her under the shower.

She couldn't bear to face the room of eager faces and so she faced the shower wall, even though this meant turning her bottom towards them. She soaped her body as quickly as she could, allowing herself to massage her corrugated cheeks for a few moments and horribly aware that the eager eyes of many girls were following her own in their own exploration of the evidence of the caning.

The showers did not have to be turned off between one girl and the next, so she made for her towel as quickly as possible but dried herself while still facing the wall because she still couldn't bear to face the looking. But in drying her bottom with movements that were a little too hasty she sharply reminded herself of how sore it now was. She could hear a good many whispered comments, some not so whispered, and some shushing others in her defence, before she rushed from the shower room to get her clothes back on. Anna's dormitory had showers after hers and as she was getting ready to leave, she saw Anna come in and heard the excitement of the girls, many of who were purposefully waiting around. She and Anna exchanged only a fleeting glance. Among the remarks she clearly heard someone say, "Well! Maybe Anna won't be quite so stuck up! She'll probably let us see the marks!"

Going upstairs to her dormitory, her mind was set on getting into bed as quickly as possible. Opening the dormitory door, however, she was for a moment surprised to find that almost all the girls were already there, and even more surprised when many of them (though not all) began to clap.

For a moment, she stood bewildered in the doorway, until one of the girls jumped up to lead her into the dormitory and to her bed, whispering in her ear as she did so, "Just relax on you bed! We have a treat for you!" Priscilla had no idea of what they were up to, but weakly did as she was told.

A group of the girls suddenly jumped up and converged on Deidre, the girl who had been strapped by the head prefect earlier that day and who was now sitting sullenly in her bed. Before she could protest they had dragged her out, turned her over the end of her bed and yanked down her pyjama bottoms. Jeers went up from many of the girls as some light purple bruising was pointed out on her bared bottom and one of the girls quickly appeared with a slipper in hand, announcing, "This feeble effort needs some improvement!" Cheers erupted as the girl with the slipper started whacking vigorously at Deidre's bottom while other girls held her in place.

Priscilla just gaped and listened to the rapid whacking in astonishment, not for the first time that day. Deidre's bottom was bouncing around and already beginning to glow red, when there was a warning yell. The dormitory door suddenly flew open and a house nurse appeared like an angel of doom. A girl stationed as a sentinel had been so excited by the slippering that she had not heard the nurse's approach in time.

A sudden silence gripped the room as she demanded to know what was going on. A frantic reaction of the girls around Deidre had disguised the actual activities and the nurse simply decided that a fight had been in progress. No explanations followed the nurse's demand. Priscilla was amazed that Deidre said nothing, but she appeared to be too cowed to claim innocence. Priscilla realized that the dormitory prefect had not yet arrived.

The nurse finally announced that she would report the girls she believed she had seen fighting, four of them in addition to Deidre, and withdrew after threatening dire punishment. The room was silent for a moment after she had disappeared, since everyone knew that this meant serious trouble for the girls involved. Some other part of their plan, however, was apparently felt to be more important than this latest disaster and, after imprecations to Deidre to keep her mouth shut on pain of terrible consequences, the girls now converged on the startled Priscilla.

It was obvious that their intentions were benign and when they urgently besought her to allow them, as her friends, to examine her bottom, so that, as they repeated, they could give her a treat, Priscilla, by now completely overwhelmed by the day, simply acceded and allowed herself to be eased out of her bed and gently bent forward face down over its edge. She felt her pyjama bottoms being eased down. By now she was prepared to let anything happen.

Cries of astonished greeted her bared bottom, for some of the girls still had not seen it and even those who had were still amazed by its bruised and corrugated appearance.

"It's completely black and blue!" someone exclaimed.
"Look at those ridges! Oh my goodness me! I've never seen such cane marks!" someone else added.

Another round of chatter followed, softer and more hurried than the earlier examination in the changing room. Priscilla felt curious and gentle fingers tracing the marks and feeling the ridges covering her bottom.

She felt fingers running down the sides of her cleft, where she knew from seeing Anna's caning that the cane left a row of particularly prominent ridges. She noticed but said nothing when some of the fingers dipped into the cleft itself and moved slowly down the valley between her cheeks into places where the cane had not reached. She still did not protest when other fingers slid gently between her inner thighs and began massaging her quim. She had become completely passive.

She heard some quick whispering. "The dorm prefect said she'd stay away as long as she could, but she'll probably be here soon!" "I think she looks ready!"

There was light giggling and then Priscilla felt the cool slipperiness of cream-tipped fingers pressing into her slit. She started slightly, but reassuring hands on her bottom and back held her still. The creamy fingers slipped along her slit until they met the little button of her pleasure and began to rub it, gently but firmly. Other hands, also slippery with cream, were massaging her quim and bottom cheeks and running up and down her cleft.

The tensions of the last 24 hours and the fear and pain of the headmaster's study suddenly welled up in her body, almost unbearable for a moment, before swirling into a totality of every physical and emotional sensation in her body and brain and converging in a rush between her thighs. For a split second she remembered the impossibly peculiar feeling of a swelling and rising wave that had accompanied the successive strokes of the cane, before a final tidal wave of release exploded in her quim. She heard herself cry out, as if from a distance, just like the impact of the cane again, and pushed her hips frantically against the bed, trapping someone's hand between her squeezing thighs.

She heard more giggles and someone whispering, "She's coming!" Then another, more urgent whisper, "They're both coming! Quick!"

She felt herself bundled back under the bed clothes, heard a patter of frantic feet and then the opening of the door. She stayed buried under the bedclothes, ignoring the short period of chatter before the lights were turned out and silence followed.

She lay in the now darkened room, her head under the sheets, the fingers of one hand thrust between her tightly pressed thighs, very warm and slippery, the other hand on her bottom, fingers slowly and gently feeling their way repeatedly over the pattern of hard, still aching, welts. How hot they still were! Her thoughts and feelings were returning again and again to her caning. Last night she had lain here in her bed, her mind frantic, searching endlessly in the blanks of her ignorance, wondering again and again what it would feel like, how much it would hurt. Now she knew and the knowing seemed to be imbedded deep inside her, as though it had somehow been there all the time. The impacts of each stroke of the cane kept exploding in her memory, like suddenly huge, red blossoms, into which her mind kept trying to bury itself like some obsessive, buzzing, bumble bee. From one blossom to another, from one stroke to another. That was the first stroke, erupting into her bottom and out of her consciousness with a pain more intense than anything she had ever known. That was another. Was it the fifth? The sixth? Then the sudden double explosion of pain that had left her almost mindless. The pain was so intense that she had lost count. She seemed to be swimming in it and the memory of succeeding strokes now became like the powerful upswellings of one wave after another, carrying her helplessly further and further out into an ocean she had never even seen before. Her mind slowly dissolved into sleep.

That night, five minds kept revisiting the experience of the day's canings and three freshly caned bottoms lay in their beds at St. Swithin's School for Girls. But it had been a first caning for only one of them. Whether it was also its last caning, is another story.


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