Cordelia Lavington Chapter 1
Copyright 2009 by Governess, all rights reserved
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This story is intended for ADULTS ONLY. It contains explicit depictions of sexual activity involving minors. If you are not of a legal age in your locality to view such material or if such material does not appeal to you, do not read further, and do not save this story.
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Cordelia Lavington raised the cane and brought it swishing down across her son's bottom. He gasped and she could see his buttocks clenching beneath their thin cotton covering. He was being punished in his pyjamas before being sent to an early bed. Mrs Lavington often delayed punishment until just before bedtime. For a child to have the sentence hanging over him for the remainder of the day was an excellent discipline. Surprisingly, she invariably used the euphemism of 'we'll have a little talk about this at bedtime' rather that the more direct "you will be spanked before bed tonight." But her children were never in any doubt about what a 'little talk' implied.
Cordelia Lavington worked in the local reformatory. After her husband had died early in the Great War, she had been desperate to find some means of keeping her family together. Owing to her church connections, she had been fortunate to secure the position of matron at St Oswald's. It came with a small house in the grounds and was in all respects ideal. While some women might have found the strict routine of the institution disturbing, Cordelia Lavington was not among them. She loved the sight of boys being drilled and the knowledge that any infraction of the rules would lead inevitably to punishment.
On her very first day, passing a room on the way to the infirmary, she had heard the unmistakable sounds of chastisement. She had slowed her pace and listened to the slow swishing of what she took to be a cane punctuated by cries of pain. They were from a boy whose voice had not yet broken. Perhaps a boy as young as five or six. After only a week at the reformatory, a sharp sense of well-being had returned to her. That had been five years ago.
She looked down at her son in his pyjama trousers wriggling in discomfort. He was seven. The caning had been for disobedience. She had told him that morning to put on his coat to walk across to the classroom and he had argued with her. Mrs Lavington did not permit her children to argue. She expected instant obedience. If that was not forthcoming, they were punished. It always surprised her how children resisted learning that lesson. How their wills were not easily or readily subdued. How they tried to wear down a mother's resolve to correct them. Some mothers, she surmised, probably gave up the battle, having no stomach for the relentless struggle. Others were too soft for their discipline to be effective. But Mrs Lavington was not one of those. She relished the confrontation.
When she was pregnant with her first child, whom she was convinced would be a boy, she had worried that he might be so good, so naturally biddable, that punishment would never be needed. She had a vision of motherhood that was far from that sweet, fluffy state, full of warmth and cosseting that filled the minds of most mothers to be. She envisaged several children, all naughty and full of wilful misbehaviour. Children who were spirited enough to exert their wills against her will. Children who needed to be frequently corrected. The baby stage held no fascination for her. She wanted a child out of nappies as soon as possible. A child whose bottom could be bared for a sound spanking. Not so severe as to compel obedience through fear, but severe enough to teach right from wrong. And yet not taught with such success that the child would never be naughty or disobedient again. Children, particularly boys, ought to invite regular spanking by their behaviour. And a good mother would eagerly accept that invitation and provide generously what was so eagerly sought.
She looked again at William across the leather pouffe, sobbing quietly, his hands now reaching back and rubbing his bottom cheeks through the thin material. He had received ten strokes A spanking with her hairbrush would have been across his completely bare bottom, but as a grudging concession to the implement's severity, and as this was his first caning, she had allowed him to retain his pyjama trousers. Surprisingly, she had found the sight of his little bottom wriggling under the thin material both tantalising and provocative.
The cane was thirty inches in length. When she had first obtained it some years previously, she had swished it through the air, amazed at how lithe and limber it was. After practising for a while, she had discovered that if she bent her wrist sharply forward as the cane descended, the rattan would speed even more rapidly towards its target. And if that was a boy's firm but soft bottom flesh . . .
She had never been timid of causing a boy pain. For her pain was an essential component of discipline. Boys learnt through the infliction of pain and as a boy grew and became increasingly sturdy, his suffering needed to be matched to his growing capacity to endure it.
"Stand up and lower your pyjamas, William."
Dutifully he did so, releasing the stretchy cord that held them around his slender waist.
"Drop them right down. To your ankles."
As they were lowered, his mother was not disappointed. Although she had relied more on the flick of her wrist than the strength of her arm, the stripes were nonetheless impressive.
"Bend over and place your hands flat on the pouffe."
He did so, saying nothing, but deeply shamed by his exposure. Although he had been spanked from an early age and always on his bare bottom, by the age of five he had found the whole procedure not only disagreeable but deeply shaming. He was a sensitive child, and a year ago, when he was six, he had pleaded with his mother not to take his trousers and pants down, but to no avail.
She stretched out a finger and ran it gently across his bottom. He flinched. She scratched across the surface of his buttocks with her nail.
"Well, the cane has certainly left its calling card on your bottom, young man. I can see thin cotton pyjama trousers offer little protection. Next time they may as well come down."
That the lack of protection might have suggested instead that he be allowed to retain trousers or underpants, did not even occur to her.
"Stand up. I hope you have learned your lesson."
He stood with his pyjama trousers still around his ankles. A small tear-stained boy who had suffered not only the physical pain of the flexible rattan on his flesh, but also the indignity of having to offer his body for correction. That the caning had been administered to his pyjama clad bottom had been for him a welcome departure from the usual routine of punishment, but now it seemed any future application of the cane would be to his bare bottom.
"Well, William? Have your learned your lesson?"
"And what is the lesson you have learned?"
"T . . . to obey when I am told to do something."
"And what did you do instead of obeying?"
He looked perplexed.
"I . . . I . . . "
"You argued with me, William. I told you to wear a coat and your told me you did not need to. That is not just disobedience it is rudeness. That is why you were given the cane. So in future what are you going to do when asked to do something? Or indeed asked not to do something?"
"I . . . am going to obey."
"And will you argue rudely?"
"No, mother. I am sorry."
"Good, William. You are forgiven. Now off to bed with you. And hang the cane back on the hook in the hall, please."
She handed him the thin, flexible crook-handled length of rattan. He took it, holding it awkwardly in his right hand, his left rubbing his bottom.
"I will be up to say prayers with you in ten minutes, William. So no dawdling, please. And I want to see you undressed and ready for bed."
Awkwardly, he pulled up his pyjamas and still quietly crying made his way upstairs.
William's caning had been given in front of his older brother, Samuel, who was eleven, and his sister, Elizabeth who was nine. Both were sitting at a large table, one on each end, struggling with homework. While William and Samuel were taught in the reformatory and shared classes with the boys, Elizabeth was taught, along with several other girls, by the wife of the principal. All the girls had parents who either taught or worked at the reformatory.
Mrs Lavington, was as strict with her daughter as she was with her sons, possibly more strict. She sought to replicate the same regime - with similar standards and similar discipline.
Both Samuel and Elizabeth had kept as quiet as mice during the caning of their brother. Surreptitiously they had watched, but they knew better than to interrupt or to comment afterwards.
Mrs Lavington looked at the clock.
"Well children, the hour and a half for homework is nearly up. Samuel have you completed the comprehension you were set?"
"And have you competed the maths assignment, Elizabeth?"
"Not quite, mother."
"Well you have two minutes to do so. Samuel you may bring me your comprehension to read."
Although the boys' work was for the reformatory school, Mrs Lavington always checked it and insisted on a high standard. She had no wish to be shamed by their inadequacies. Any deficiencies were pointed out, but any reprimand and punishment was for the school to provide. However, another reason for her checking was to be aware of any failure and to ensure that punishment was given. Samuel's master seemed loath to apply the rod with the diligence that she thought appropriate.
"Stop writing, Elizabeth. And sit with your hands in your lap while I read through Samuel's comprehension."
Samuel waited, nervous and apprehensive.
"There are twelve questions here, Samuel, based on the passage you have read. I have to say that only five of your answers are adequate. And of those five three are poorly expressed and far from comprehensive. I will write a note to Mr Crawley."
"Please, mother. No. I've done my best. Truly I have."
"I am not doubting it, Samuel. My point is that your best is not good enough. Unless your errors and failures are pointed out and punished how will you improve. You may have done as well as you could, but better is required. You do understand that, don't you?"
He hung his head.
"And so I should expect. It is not a difficult concept to grasp. And I will be discussing your progress with Mr Crawley tomorrow. I am far from happy that he is providing the punishment and incentive that a boy of your age needs."
She pursed her lips and studied him for a moment. He looked down wilting before her glance.
"And now up to your room. You are to prepare for bed and then undress. You may then read for half-an-hour until I come to say prayers and settle you down."
She shook her head, lips tightened, at she watched her elder son disappeared upstairs.
"And now Elizabeth. Let me see your maths assignment. Did you find it easy?"
"A challenging piece of work? But I am sure not beyond your ability if you attended to Mrs Fairclough's lesson. Hand me your book."
Elizabeth knew that she had not done well and sat there uneasily, her hands tucked under her thighs. She watched her mother with pencil in hand go through the work, frowning now and again and marking the page. All her pencil markings would be erased before the work was handed in to Mrs Fairclough tomorrow.
Her mother looked up.
"Well Elizabeth you have certainly not distinguished yourself. Indeed I am most disappointed. I take it that Mrs Fairclough had explained fully what was required of you?"
"And that she had given you a lesson on how these problems were to be solved?"
"So how do you explain this lamentable piece of work. Out of twenty problems only six are correct. What have you to say?"
"I am sorry mother."
"I don't think being sorry is the answer, Elizabeth. Do you?"
"Than what is the answer?"
Elizabeth said nothing, hanging her head.
"Well, let me suggest an answer. First, I suggest that you pay better attention in class. I am sure that inattention and daydreaming is more than half of the problem. Secondly, something needs to be done to impress on you the importance of listening not just with your ears but with an active and questioning mind. Do you understand?"
Mrs Lavington paused.
"Tomorrow, Mrs Fairclough will deal with your academic shortcoming. But what I am going to do, and do now, is address your moral failure. That is your failure of effort. Your failure to listen with attention. And your failure to bring a disciplined mind to your lessons and to your work. Do you understand, Elizabeth?"
"Then, upstairs please and change into your nightdress. And then bring me the hairbrush from the hall table. While you are undressing, I will say prayers with William."
(To be continued)