James saw the car 'zoom' past him as he made his way towards school. As it was 1935, cars in Norwich were few and far between, so it was a bit of a spectacle - James only saw one or two each morning as he made the daily eight kilometre walk to St Michael's School. He had left at 7:10 in the morning, just as usual to be in time for the 8:30 start. Suddenly, James tripped over a large stone left needlessly on the footpath. He looked down and saw blood streaming from his agonised leg.
A woman who saw James' situation offered to take him to her house to fix the wound up, which James agreed to do. A tear tickled from his 10 year old face as Mrs Brown dressed and bandaged the wound. He thanked her graciously and then left about 20 minutes after he had arrived. Then it suddenly stuck James bang on top of the head. He would be late to school, and the punishment for that was a beating.
He had already been late twice this term, and he was sure to go to the headmaster's for the third time. Then he reassured himself, saying that his teacher, Mrs Atkins, and the headmater, Mr Kegon, would understand his imposition.
Needless to say, James still rushed all the way to the Anglican Church School and found no children playing outside the buildings. James was about 15 minutes late according to the old clock in the corridor, and he gingerly entered the classroom. Mrs Atkins lifted her head from her desk, and said, "James, I will see you outside, thanks."
James began to tell his teacher that he had fallen and needed his wound bandaged, but she would have none of it. "You could have waited until you arrived at school and gone to the infirm, Porter," she stated, "and you should always leave early enough to cover for these accidents, James - unless of coursem you have a written apology from the woman who dressed you."
James shook his head sadly. "Well, this is your third time this term, Porter," so you shall see the headmaster. James moaned. "Now you shan't fuss," said Mrs Atkins, "you will be punished deservedly."
James knocked on the door marked "Headmaster. Mr Thomas F Kegan."
"Enter," came a gruff voice from within it. James handed the tall headmaster the slip from Mrs Atkins, stating it was his third time late to school this term. "Well, Porter, I don't want any excuses," said the muscular athlete and educator, "you have been beaten with a sandshoe twice by Mrs Atkins this term for lateness, and you have obviously paid no attention to them - I suggest a more firm punishment may be in order."
James gulped. The headmaster opened his closet, filled with leather belts and straps. The office smelled of tobacco, but now James' mind was spinning as he was focused entirely at the closet. Mr Kegan chose a brown leather belt measuring 4 feet long and several inches wide. "Now Porter please bend over that chair - you shall receive ten strokes of the belt."
James bent over the wooden furniture but Mr Kegan asked for a tighter stance, which was duly done by James. Mr Kegan then removed James' school shorts and his underwear, leaving a small white bottom facing the tall headmaster. Mr Kegan folded the belt in two and raised his right arm above his shoulders, then brought it down with tremendous force.
James was crying like a baby and trying to get up, but
Mr Kegan held him down. The belt was
whipped down on him three more times:
James' bottom was now totally and utterly scarlet,
with reddish bruises beginning to form.
Only one stroke left for the bawling child, who was in such agony, he could hardly breathe.
Mr Kegan paused, and then prepared himself for giving the mightiest blow of all. He brought his arm back, tightened up James' bottom and the piercing crack was that of a gunshot.
"Very well, Mr Porter," the headmaster said, "you may return to class, but I warn you, that any more lateness this YEAR, will result in another trip back here for another ten strokes." The bawling James left and returned to class, face as red as his bottom.
Back at home, James examined his buttocks. The red
and scarlet bruising was now a deep
purple and he saw places were blood had dripped from
his once white bottom. Whenever he sat
down, the pain came back almost to the full extent of
his beating. James knew that he had
better not let his parents know about this, as they
would probably follow it up with another beating
when his bottom had 'cleared up' slightly.
At home one evening, about three weeks after the school incident, James and his older sister Elizabeth were arguing about which kind of toy was indeed the best. The twelve year old, just pubescent girl was more precise in her statements and left James furious, and led to his slapping her in the face, which to his dismay, was observed by his mother, bringing in the chicken legs.
Elizabeth screamed and Mrs Porter dragged James up by the ear and told him off unstoppably. "How dare you hit your sister, you stupid child," she screamed and continued for about five minutes which left James white-faced and Elizabeth grinning. Somehow all three people in the room knew James' bottom would not remain as white as his face for long. "You should be glad your father is on a work trip to Edinburgh!" she scolded him and slapped him in the face, harder than he had slapped Elizabeth.
The stinging in his face was interrupted temporarily when Mrs Porter lifted James over her knee and pulled down his trousers and underwear. She picked up a hard-soled slipper and brought it down hard upon James' backside with an almighty "Slaaap!"
James cried out with a feeble yelp, but Mrs Porter was determined to give her son a sound spanking. He was looking down towards the seat of the old sofa and he was reminded of his affair in Mr Kegan's office several weeks previous. Mrs Porter continued to "Slaaap!" the slipper down on James' red and bruised backside for several minutes, until he was certain he has been stung at least forty times.
"Now you miss out on dinner boy," said the satisfied late 30's housewife, "you can go to bed hungry."
James cried shamelessly and lay in his bed in his pyjamas that evening with an extremely sore bottom once again, while Jane and Elizabeth Porter enjoyed their dinner.
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