‘Keep your wrist loose, Jamie,’ my grandfather said. ‘A supple wrist is the key to good control, remember.’
I nodded, concentrating hard, wanting to please him. My grandfather’s approval was the most important thing in the world to me and I was mindful of his instructions – thumb uppermost, grip firm but not too tight, wrist loose.
‘Eye on the target, Jamie-boy,’ he said. ‘Are you watching the target?’
‘Yes, sir.’ The target in question was a pair of round, creamy-white buttocks belonging to Nell, one of my grandfather’s maids, who was presently touching her toes – with skirts drawn up to her waist and drawers down to her ankles – in the middle of his study.
Lowly maids in Victorian England, whose lives are an endless round of unremitting toil, must surely dream of better things – yet more pitiful by far is the plight of those unfortunate souls who find themselves in the service of a strict disciplinarian. James Montague is a man who delights in watching young women writhe and squirm… seeing creamy-white buttocks turn first pink, then red, then purple… hearing gasps of dismay turn to shrill cries of anguish.
And maids are not alone in feeling the hot kiss of cane and strap, for James’ three wards – innocent Catherine, flirtatious Victoria and lovely, spirited Elizabeth – are obliged to bare their bottoms with distressing regularity. A visit by James’ godson Frederick merely adds to their woes, for the young man wishes to study the noble art of spanking… and who better to teach him than the stern master of Bleekston Hall?