A Private Caning at Cambridge Part 2

by Peter Thomas Brown <Peterthomasbrown1@yahoo.co.uk>

This is the second in a series of stories arising out of an undergraduate's first year at Cambridge university. See A Private Caning at Cambridge for the background.

I woke the next morning with a start. My mind was playing tricks I panicked thinking my next caning was today. Then I relaxed turned over and was about to relax before almost jumping off the bed as the marks created by the previous evening's caning were suddenly ignited.

I stood up. Had I really gone through with it? At 18 years of age I had gone voluntarily to a fellow's room to receive a schoolboy caning? I shook my head and looked around. I was still at Cambridge still at Downing. That had to remain my most pressing concern.

The day after that first caning I could not stop thinking about it. I even considered the philosophical angle. Corporal punishment. I wondered, frankly, why it had been abolished at my school. I had spent a fair proportion of my time at school sitting in detentions writing out lines. Okay bending over a chair and being caned was not great but at least it was quick. Lines never deterred me. But perhaps when causing mischief, the thought of a swishing cane across my backside may have made me think again. I suppose the occasional teacher may have taken it too far but surely they could get round that with 2 teachers present? I decided that so long as it was fair and a boy was caned but not flogged to an inch of his life then it was probably an effective deterrent.

I thought about what the punishment really was. Simpson must have acquired his "routine" from his own experiences which had clearly made an impression on him. Thinking back to the previous night, was it the case that the parts which really made my heart race and wish I had not cheated were those pauses when he gave me his lecture, or ordered me to count down to the beating, that would really "deter" me.

I had dared not ask Simpson but I wonder what his view was. Then I remembered he had hinted at monitoring me. Perhaps after this trio of canings I would have to keep my nose clean if I was not to end up bending over for further beatings.

As to the "corporal" part, I had been surprised how the cane could acquire such momentum to create such a loud "swishing" sound. I stopped in my tracks for a moment I could hear that swish again in my mind and somehow was reminded of the sting which followed which clear took the breath away.

Later that day my mind returned to the matter in hand. At 7pm the next day I was due to appear before Simpson again. I explained to fellow students I would not make the rugby seconds training. I wanted to avoid Simpson and I could not risk someone catching sight of my backside. After much trepidation I had finally looked at it in the mirror when I had got up that morning. There were reddish-purple lines, about 10 of them (I presume the other two had melted into earlier stripes) across the buttocks. I almost had to admire Simpson for getting them so parallel. I could not risk anyone asking any questions.

I spent the afternoon studying at the Sedgwick site but my mind was never far from my next beating.

That Thursday morning I woke up early, clearly disturbed by what was likely to happen to me later that day. I had clearly become a little obsessed by it. Normally my football kit would be left randomly around the room. But not today. I had washed my college second football shorts. They were a deep navy blue. It would a few years into the future before football shorts would lengthen to knees and thicken in material. This was 1985. The shorts barely went down to the bottom of the buttocks. The nylon dominated material was shiny. In my hands these shorts seemed very flimsy. Against the light the fibres were visible. I became more nervous. Two nights ago I had bent over a chair wearing boxer shorts and a pair of school trousers. The 12 strokes of the cane, especially that 12th one, had stung. Now I had only these short shorts between me and the wrath of Simpson's cane. What if I missed counting a stroke. I had done well two nights ago but what if I missed stroke 11....another 10 strokes? I was more nervous now. Yes, this was part of my punishment no doubt. Whoever had made the "trio of canings" the maximum punishment at school knew how to instil fear into errant teenage boys.

I put outside of my mind that Simpson had talked of the last part of the trio as a potentially even harsher caning. "In swimming trunks or occasionally bare" he had said. I am sure he would not cane me bare. But the trunks what protection would they provide?

7pm drew close. At about 6pm I put on just the shorts. I was aware that I was shivering. I had to practice: I would not want Simpson thinking I was shivering out of fright. I walked around my room deliberately slow. But I could not put myself over my chair in mock practice. It was too serious for that.

At five minutes to seven I picked up my bag. It contained only one item. A dark blue pair of nylon football shorts all that was between me and a severe beating.

I walked across the courtyard. Everywhere returning undergraduates loudly chatted and shouted, the liberation from their schooldays obvious. Not so for me.

On time again, with the bells distant in my ears, I knocked at Simpson's door. The door opened. Simpson's frame looked bigger, more muscular: I was clearly getting very nervous. He gestured to his study.

"In there Sykes. Remember just your college football shorts, no underwear."

I walked in and closed the door. The same ritual. I heard the movement of furniture once again. As I undressed I caught another glimpse of my backside. The marks were fainter now but surely they were going to be reignited with pain. Simpson did not miss.

I gingerly pulled up my shorts. I looked in the mirror. Wearing nothing but shorts.

I went out and knocked on the door of Simpson's main room


Simpson stood facing me. Again the dark suit and gown. In his hand, one end gently tapping in the other hand, was his cane. It seemed longer and thicker now: I knew what it was capable of.

Simpson spoke quietly and purposively.

"Sykes. You have agreed to accept a trio of canings. This is the second of your trio of canings. Last time I ordered you to bend over a chair and I gave you 12 strokes of the cane. Good strokes too".

His slight wry smile reminded me of the force in his arms. I suppressed a shiver.

"I explained to you that the second caning, again of 12 strokes, is administered to the boy to be punished with the boy wearing rugby or football shorts. I have decided you will be beaten wearing your college football shorts. This beating will be more painful to you than the last one, of that you can be sure. Boys being caned in their football shorts need more to grab on to during the punishment."

Slowly Simpson turned. I had not noticed that there was no chair in the centre of the room. Instead there was the small gym horse from the college gym. I was very nervous now and found it hard to understand the differences between the two pieces of apparatus. I suspected it would not matter.

I must have been gazing hard at the gym horse.

"Sykes. Look at me when I am speaking to you or you will get extra strokes. That's better. The procedure for this caning is the same. When I give the instructions you will bend over the gym horse. I will administer 12 strokes of the cane. You will count each stroke. If you miss any stroke we return to stroke one. Do you understand Sykes?"

"Yes Sir"

"Stand in front of the gym horse with your hands behind your back".

The disbelief I had felt two nights ago briefly returned as I stood before the gym horse. Simpson seemed to be going hard on the psychological element this time. Swish. Swish. He was practising. The noise seemed almost next to my ears. I needed no reminder of the cane's strength.

"Do you have anything else to say before I beat you Sykes?"

At other times I may have joked at such an invitation, but not now.

"No sir"

"Sykes, step forward to the gym horse".

I unfolded my hands from resting on my backside: now my buttocks were for it. I moved forward and gingerly placed my hands on the top of the gym horse. The protective coating was cold but I barely felt it.

"Sykes. Bend over the gym horse".

That order again. That was the moment I guess when a boy about to be punished relinquishes all control of his situation. The beating is inevitable after that.

Slowly I put my chest onto the top of the gym horse. Somehow my body seemed to fit the situation perfectly. Mimicking the legs of the gym horse my arms went down the front two legs to allow my hands to clasp the feet of the apparatus. In the same movement, my legs shifted apart a little to follow the diagonals of the front two legs. I became very conscious that my relatively loose football shorts were now taut. Simpson must be seeing my backside fitting snugly the space inside those shorts.

I heard Simpson shift his position a little and then the first delicate couple of taps as he readied himself to take the cane. The taps were very polite on the centre of the right buttock as if apologising for being there.

"Count down from ten to one, Sykes".

I closed my eyes. The ritual part was just as difficult. "T-ten" I began. Again some adrenalin must have worked, the numbers were decreasing. As it reached "Four" it became worse, as if my own actions, my finishing of the calling out of the final number, was the sole cause of my impending thrashing. At "two" the cane stopped tapping and lay more studiously on the right buttock.

"One. Zero".

Much more than last time I sensed Simpson reaching back to gather force. At "Zero" the cane was removed from its resting place. I heard movement, shoes, clothes, sinews then the swish. Crack. I had been caned.

I closed my eyes in a pathetic attempt to block out the pain. It was no good. The sting was much swifter in coming now and seemed deeper. My head had jerked upwards with the force. I clenched teeth "One, sir".

Simpson seemed to take his time for the second stroke. Perhaps he wanted to get a better aim. He did. The cane resumed its almost innocent rest on my shorts. Another mightly Swish and Crack on the seat of my shorts followed. Somehow "Two, Sir" was easier. Strokes three and four went deep too but I managed to call out.

For five and six I sensed the cane swishing into lower parts of my backside. The pain seemed to double: I must have been struck just where I had been caned two nights before.

After six there seemed to be another significant pause. Another adjustment. Stroke seven made an even louder crack when it landed on my shorts. I gripped on tighter than ever to the bottom of the legs of the gym horse to steady myself. "Seven sir".

I was much more aware of how little protection the shorts gave me. It was as if I was being caned on the bare backside. When the eighth stroke came it seemed to come from a new angle and create huge heat on my left buttock. The shock led to me to gasp. And forget to call out that it was the eighth and, as it turned out, a fateful stroke.

Before I could do anything I realised Simpson had stopped. He spoke quietly and determined as before.

"You missed the eighth stroke Sykes. We will now resume the caning at stroke one".

Nothing was left in me to argue, only a determination that this should never happen again. I shifted position slightly and said nothing. A ninth stroke of the cane, perhaps a little less intense than the others fell on my backside. My "One" was clear.

And so it continued as determination made me hold on ever tighter concentrating only on counting the strokes and not the pain.

But stroke twelve was not to disappoint. There was a pause again. I could almost picture Simpson's view. He has delivered a sound thrashing. The boy is holding one for all his worth. There are thin marks in the blue nylon shorts where the cane has impacted. Now for the piece de resistance. Simpson gave almost a small run to create a supremely loud "Swish". The crack was severe but by now I was almost numb as the cane bounced off my tight football shorts. "Twelve sir" was voiced with as much power as I could muster.

I dropped my head. It was over.

I sensed Simpson had worked up a little sweat. His breathing was heavier.

"Get up Sykes".

This was hard. Pushing off from the gym horse I slowly stood up. My shorts were sticking to my buttocks showing off the stripes in the fabric.

I turned to face the man who had just caned me. Perhaps I should have shown anger. Instead I could only drop my head in exhaustion to await his homily.

"Sykes. Your second caning is over. You must have a very sore backside. In my view every stroke should remind you of your wrongdoing and I am glad that stroke eight gave me an opportunity to reinforce that".

"Yes sir" I stammered.

"In two days time is your final caning of the trio. You will remember that I explained the boy to be punished would be caned in his swimming trunks or his bare backside depending on the master. My choice is that you will be caned across your swimming trunks. Do you have a pair here Sykes?"

"Yes sir" I replied glumly.

"The same routine then Sykes. You took those strokes well and I believe your canings are teaching you a lesson, yes Sykes?"

"Oh, Yes Sir". How obvious could he get.

Out came the hand . I slowly shook the hand which was responsible for my thrashing and went into his study. I could not bear to glance in the mirror. I tried not to imagine the state of my backside as my boxers went back on. The lines on my blue football shorts seemed so clear to me. I had been thoroughly caned.

The walk was slow back to my room. I lay face down, bare buttocks in the air, cooling off I hoped as it had been for those Beano characters with one of those ice packs resting on them. I wanted to put it out of my mind but it would not go away. I could just picture my swimming trunks. I might as well be thrashed on the bare backside for all the protection those trunks would give me.

A third instalment will follow. Thanks to those who provided your comments on the first part. Your thoughts on this part and any suggestions for the next or future parts are very welcome to petethomasbrown1@yahoo. co. uk.

More stories by Peter Thomas Brown