By the end of the first week of her-father's honeymoon with Betty's mother, Hester Hadley was beginning to think that she had suddenly been whisked off on a diabolical magic carpet into a strange new land where the most incredible things happened to grown up young people of her age. She had met Sally Jamison and discovered that this appealing if perhaps much too mild mannered sandy-haired girl was used to having a regular spanking with a ping pong paddle or even a piece of leather, one end of which was split into finger-like strips; and she had already been told how Verna and Barbara Carruthers got the hairbrush and sometimes the belt from their mother and father.
But Louise Gilmore, acting on her dear friend Eleanor's suggestion just before the happy day of the wedding, decided to further Hester's eye-opening education just a little bit more by telephoning the house which would now be known as the Hadley instead of the Stanfield house and asking the colored maid Jennie to ask "Miss Hester if she will please come to the phone as I wish to speak to her."
Hester frowned when Jennie reported this piece of information, for she couldn't imagine who could be calling her. However, and with her usual sulky expression when something unexpected happened, she picked up the phone and said, "Hello, this is Hester. Who are you?"
Betty, behind her, was rolling her eyes ceiling-ward and then glancing at Jennie and shaking her head to indicate in pantomime that this was certainly not the way for her stepsister, old as she was, to talk to stern Louise Gilmore. Of all the pre-mothers whom Betty knew personally in the neighborhood, her secret accolade of the sternest disciplinarian was assuredly bestowed upon the silver-blonde mother of Janet, Tony, and Constance Gilmore.
"Good afternoon, my dear," Louise Gilmore said in her cultured voice. "I was wondering if you and Betty would care to have tea with Janet and Constance this afternoon. I have to take Tony to the dentist, and I thought it might be a nice opportunity for you to meet some of your new sister's dearest friends. I believe that Janet is of your own age, unless I'm mistaken, Hester. She's eighteen."
"Yes, I'm eighteen too, Mrs. Gilmore. It's nice of you, but I really don't think-" Hester dubiously began.
But Eleanor had warned Louise Gilmore that Hester was likely to be diffident like this and had given her a few pointers on what to say if the occasion presented itself. So Louise Gilmore very smoothly countered with, "I do hope you'll come, Hester. I think your father would like it very much. He'd especially like you to meet Janet, since the two of you have so much in common-except, of course, for the way you have been brought up. But what I mean to say is that you'll find she has some very interesting views on experiences which may be new to you. And I do want her to make you feel welcome in Claremont, my dear."
This of course was a little white lie, because it was really Eleanor who had urged Louise to insinuate to the precocious auburn-haired Hester that it was high time the latter learned that just because she was eighteen, she needn't think that her bottom would remain virginal to disciplinary instruments just on that token. And Janet was assuredly a perfect example of the sternness and justice of Gilmore parental discipline, what with keeping her own ledger book of demerits and having a regular accounting session with her mother every ten days. Under no circumstances, Betty knew, was Janet ever permitted to carry her demerits over longer than ten days. Besides, Betty herself was eager to learn just how many demerits Janet had already accumulated, and furthermore she wanted to get Janet aside and ask for that charming brunette's cooperation in actually volunteering herself to be a martyr.
Betty had, her mother well knew, quite a vivid imagination and initiative, which at times of course had to be curtailed; but the little talk which she had had with Eleanor had decided her to take matters somewhat into her own hands so that her new stepsister could be "straightened out." And now that she had been living with Hester for an entire week with only Jennie around, Betty was convinced that the best thing that could happen to Hester would be to pay a visit to the upstairs room of her mother and learn the step-by-step preparations of the ceremonial which always prefaced a good sound spanking.
"Well, all right, I guess I can make it," Hester grudgingly assented. And once again Betty shook her head and rolled her eyes, while Jennie had all she could do to keep from giggling at her pretty young golden-haired charge's facial expressions. If she'd have been asked for her opinion, Jennie would have also given Hester Hadley a very bad rating. She felt that Hester was arrogant, selfish, and demanding, without so much as even thanking her for the things she did. And so, unbeknownst even to Eleanor, that worthy dominatress had already recruited another ally in the growing project which had as its end in view Hester's being toppled from her pedestal of immunity ... or, to put it somewhat more vulgarly, which had as its end the end of the unspanked condition of Hester's rear end!
Louise Gilmore gave her attractive German maid Hilda precise instructions, for she was entrusting Hilda with serving the tea and cookies which were to be the afternoon's refreshment for the four young girls. "Now mind you, Hilda," she said sternly to the handsome blonde maid who wore her little lace cap and tight-fitting black silk dress and, this afternoon, extremely sheer smoke-colored nylon hose which breathtakingly shaped out the appetizing plump roundures of the maid's calves and thighs, "you are to be on your best behavior, you understand me? Let the girls sit in the living room, get acquainted for a few minutes, and then you will serve the tea and cookies. You will come back from time to time to see if they want more tea or more cookies-serve only a few of the cookies at first, so you'll have to come back, you understand."
"Yes, Ma'am, I'll look after it, Ma'am," Hilda quickly assured her mistress. She always felt uncomfortable in the presence of Louise Gilmore, for the tall, sophisticated silver-blonde was unwaveringly strict with her. Hilda couldn't quite explain her feelings, because although her parents had spanked her when she was a little girl, she had thought that by coming to America she was done with all that. And yet here she was, living in the Gilmore house, submitting to having her rubber girdle pulled down and her bare bottom thrashed with the dog whip or sometimes when her mistress wanted to shame her, with the ruler or the noisy and stinging leather sole. Not only that, but Herr Gilmore often gave her a thrashing, and then she felt almost as if she were a little girl again when her father and mother had disciplined her. They were so good to her, besides that, so she really couldn't blame them when she herself was stupid and made mistakes which deserved punishment.
Of course, it was worst of all when it happened at the dinner table and young Master Tony and the two girls had to watch her being punished just as if she were their own age. Because this afternoon meant that she would be a good deal in the company of these four young girls, Hilda felt more than usually apprehensive, and Louise Gilmore smiled with secret satisfaction at the alacrity her maid showed in answering her and also Hilda's very humble and alert attitude.
"As I was saying, Hilda," she went on, "you'll come back from time to time to see if the girls want anything else. And I want you to listen to their conversation, with particular attention to what Betty's new sister, Hester, has to say. Unless I am very much mistaken, my Janet and Constance are going to be talking about what happens when they're naughty, and of course dear Betty will do the same about her own experiences. Hester, you see, Hilda, hasn't had the advantages that you and my daughters have had when it comes to being corrected for mistakes."
"Ach, ja, I understand you, Mrs. Gilmore," Hilda eagerly exclaimed. "That is Miss Hester who is coming to live here with Mrs. Stanfield-"
"Mrs. Hadley now," Louise Gilmore smilingly corrected. "That's right, Hilda. You see, Hester's father is a widower and he's been left all by himself to bring up his daughter, and I guess he's never believed that an only child can be spoiled. So Hester has never been spanked, Eleanor tells me. That's why I want her to learn that in this neighborhood here, Hilda, we believe in good discipline when it's deserved."
Hilda nodded. "I will listen, Mrs. Gilmore, and then you will want me to tell you what this Miss Hester says when she hears such things, Nicht wahr?"
Louise Gilmore smiled and nodded. "You're a good girl most of the time, Hilda dear," she complimented the mature blonde German domestic, "and I'm going to buy you that nice new coat you've been wanting if you do a good job in reporting back to me as much as you can."
"Oh thank you, Ma'am," Hilda gratefully exclaimed. Her blue eyes welled with sudden emotional tears, and she took Louise Gilmore's hand and brought it to her lips and kissed it, her head bowed in a kind of servile adoration. The silver-blonde dominatress drew herself up with her full authority, and it was again as if mother and child were brought together in this secret moment of intimacy which transcended the nominal relationship between domestic and employer.
"All right, Hilda," she said at last, but her voice was surprisingly tender. "You'd best get back to the kitchen now and see that everything is ready. And you don't need me to remind you that I don't expect to find any of the china broken when I come back home with Master Tony from the dentist. Otherwise-" She patted Hilda's cheek, and then reached around the young woman and gave her a playful slap on her opulent girdle-sheathed bottom. Hilda gasped, then blushed and shook her head, "Oh no, Mrs. Gilmore, I'll be awfully careful with the china, honest I will!"
Hester thought to herself that Janet Gilmore was really very attractive, with a figure that reminded her of Betty's, except that Janet seemed to have an even plumper bottom. It was all so confusing, Arthur Hadley's precocious daughter felt, as she somewhat guiltily blushed to find herself even concerned with a hitherto un mentionable portion of the female anatomy. Because she had certainly never before been conscious of bottoms before, not until Father had met Betty's mother. And then all of a sudden it seemed as if all the young people she was meeting could talk of nothing else except their bottoms and how these were spanked. And yet Janet was as old as she was, possibly even a month or two older.
"Well, Janet," Betty had begun the chipper conversation after the introductions had been passed around, "How's it going these days?"
The pretty brunette shrugged and made a wry face. "Not so good," she confessed. "I don't know why it is, but I seem to get into more trouble during summer vacation than when I'm in school. Oh say, Hester, that reminds me, you and I are going to be starting at Claremont College for Girls by the end of next month, aren't we? Maybe we'll have the same classes. What's your specialty?"
"I guess it would be history and civics, and maybe English Lit," Hester replied.
"Great! I'll be in English Lit too, it's one of my favorite subjects. I just adore Dryden and Pope and Shakespeare and all those others, don't you?" Janet gushed.
Hester was a little taken aback; here was a girl who actually knew something about Dryden and Pope, whom she had considered her own private favorites. And yet this same girl seated in an armchair across from the couch where she and Betty were sitting, with her legs crossed and one pretty leg swinging up and down and the pump twisting and pointing in the most sophisticated way, was freely admitting to having her bare bottom actually whipped-because there wasn't any other word to describe it, not when Mrs. Gilmore used a rubber dog whip. Why, it was barbaric! And how could Janet Gilmore sit there and be so cheerful when she was talking about punishment she had already got and punishment she expected to get? It was baffling. Maybe all these kids were robots without any personality of their own, to make them submit so tamely to a beating! Well, it wasn't going to happen to her, thank goodness! Father had much more sense than to try to use such an antiquated and stupid disciplinary method, and besides she herself had far outgrown any need for such humiliating and shameful correction.
"Yes, I like them a lot," Hester admitted.
"But I like the French authors like Victor Hugo and Balzac, too."
Janet didn't pursue the subject of literature. Instead, addressing herself to golden-haired Betty, she blithely came out with, "Well, Betty, I bet it's a relief to have two weeks' vacation from your mother. Gives your bottom a chance to cool off a little, doesn't it?"
"Well, if you put it that way, I guess you're right," Betty giggled without the least self-consciousness. Hester shot her an astonished glance and then looked back across at Janet. She just couldn't understand such candid, unabashed discussions. Because if it were she who had had a whipping, she wouldn't show her face to anyone and she certainly wouldn't ever discuss it.
Why, they must all be just like slaves, to be able to submit to such a dreadful thing and then to talk about it as if it were something like having a soda or going to a movie.
"Of course," Betty countered, "I still have to be on my best behavior, because don't think that Janie won't tell Mom if I try to get away with any fast ones. How's your demerit book right now?"
Again Janet made a wry face and shrugged. "I think I've got about fifty demerits so far."
"Uh-huh. When's pay-off time? Your mother still works on that ten-day limit, doesn't she?" Betty wanted to know. And then, in almost the same breath, turning to her new stepsister, she explained: "You see, Hes, Mrs. Gilmore doesn't always feel like tanning Janet's behind when Janet does something naughty. So she just tells her to go write the number of spanks down in her book. Then at the end of the week, Janet can pay them back, but if she would rather, she can have up to ten days before the slate has to be wiped clean. But no more than that, right, Janet?"
"That's right," Janet gloomily averred. "Anyhow, I'm in no hurry for that fifty, not after yesterday afternoon."
"Why, what happened then?"
"Well, all three of us got a little unscheduled workout, that's what," the oval-faced voluptuous brunette declared. "Connie too, and she's been about the best of the three of us this summer."
"How did it happen?" Betty wanted to know.
Janet looked at her younger sister, and Constance Gilmore demurely blushed and lowered her eyes and murmured, "Go ahead and tell her, Janet, if you want. I don't mind."
"Well, Bets," the brunette explained, "I guess you might say it was Tony who started horsing around. Mom and Dad had to take the car to the garage to get the transmission straightened out or something, and Hilda was dusting the living room when it started. By the way, she got it too."
"Hilda," Betty turned to Hester, "is their maid, in case you don't remember. She gets spanked too, just like the kids."
"Good gracious!" Hester ejaculated, her jaw dropping, "but she's a grown woman!"
"Sure. How old is she, anyhow, Janet, twenty-six or something?" Betty eagerly resumed the thread of this to her fascinating conversation.
"No, she's twenty-eight," Janet corrected. "Well, anyhow, Tony was just in a fiendish mood, absolutely fiendish. First of all, when he went upstairs to his room, he caught Connie looking out the window down the hall and talking to Janie Dumont who bad stopped by along our alley on her way home from a music lesson. So what does Tony do but take a yardstick from the linen closet and give Connie a couple of cracks across her bottom. And then the brat goes and shoves the window down so that poor Connie can't get loose and he really whacked her, didn't he, Connie?"
"He sure did," the pretty light-brown-haired younger girl giggled. "But that that it didn't hurt half as much as what Daddy gave me later on."
"You mean to say your father whipped you just because your brother hit you with a yardstick?" the astonished Hester Hadley gasped.
"Let's get the facts straight, for Hes' benefit, Janet, huh?" golden-haired Betty piped up.
"Hester here seems to be a doubting Thomas. And she still thinks that parents are awful people because they beat their children."
"Well, I do!" Hester flashed, coloring hotly as she saw all eyes on her. Hilda had come back into the living room with a tray of cookies and she suddenly stopped talking when she saw the buxom blonde German maid. Then she blushed all the more hotly, when she imagined what it would be like for poor Hilda to have to be whipped by her employers-why, it was like back in the Middle Ages, that was what it was!
"Would you like some more cookies, please?" Hilda proffered the tray to Betty and Hester.
"Sure, thanks, Hilda. They're great! I wish you would give Mom the recipe for your molasses cookies," Betty eagerly exclaimed as she reached towards the tray and took three of that variety.
"And you, Miss Hester?" Hilda innocently asked.
"Th-thank you, Hilda." Hester's fingers trembled as she reached for a sugar cookie. Hilda's eyes were on her, and there wasn't the slightest suspicion of guile at all in that round, lovely face, nor in the wide, pleasant blue eyes. But the proximity of Hilda's ripe body made Hester's mind teem with all sorts of vivid and haunting images ... was it really possible that this big woman was actually undressed and her bare behind spanked and wh-whipped? What sort of people were the Gilmores, anyway? And how could their children and even this maid be so calm and unconcerned about it?
Hilda crossed over to Constance and Janet, who liberally helped themselves. Then the German maid took the teapot and filled all the cups, and then walked slowly back towards the curtained archway connecting the living room with the hall. There was a duster lying on top of the mantelpiece, and she took it and began to flick away imaginary dust from the grand piano. Hester took a bite of her cookie, and tried not to look at the buxom maid, wanting to banish those incredible images from her mind. But, as if Hilda had already gone out, Betty urged: "Go ahead, Janet, what happened after Tony used the yardstick on Connie's rear end?"
"Betty please," Hester whispered desperately, glancing back over at Hilda who had her back turned to them.
"What's the matter, Hes?" Betty loudly inquired, and Hester could have cheerfully sunk through the floor. "Go ahead, Janet, as you were saying?"
"Well, Connie finally managed to push the window back up and get away from Tony, and she chased him down the hall. He ran downstairs and then he took a swipe at Janet who was in the living room. She got up and chased him, but he went over to Hilda there, who was dusting, and gave her a whack across her seat too, didn't he, Hilda?"
Hester was in an agitated state of embarrassment now as the attractive, buxom maid turned and smiled and nodded: "Ja, das ist richtig! Master Tony hit me pretty hard, too. So I guess I lost my temper and I chased him and I got him, and then I put him over my knee and I gave him a good smacking."
"And then I put in my two cents' worth," Janet interposed, "and told Hilda to give it to him good. And wouldn't you know it, but Dad and Mom walked in the door right about then!"
"Oh boy!" Betty giggled irrepressibly. "Wouldn't you just know it! So then what happened?"
"Maybe Hilda would like to tell us," Janet smiled as she turned to the buxom German maid. "Mom and Dad didn't let you off just because Tony had whacked you, did they?"
"Gracious no, Miss Janet," Hilda was actually smiling, Hester saw with astonishment. "Mrs. Gilmore said I had absolutely no right to lay a hand on her children, because that was her job. Of course she did ask Master Tony why I was smacking him, and he was man enough to tell the truth. But that didn't help me any, just the same, it didn't, I can tell you."
"You-you mean to say that-that Mrs. Gilmore actually punished you for doing what you did to Tony?" Hester could hardly speak audibly, her heart was pounding so at this astonishing revelation Had she moved into a town where all that anybody thought about was spanking, she wondered?
"But of course, Miss Hester," was the maid's calm rejoinder. "When I have done something wrong, Mrs. Gilmore or Mr. Gilmore always give me a gutes Schlagen. And me they saved for last, didn't they, Miss Janet?"
Janet took up the controversial ball and threw it back at once to confound poor Hester even more: "That's right, Hilda. First of all, Mom had the truth out of all of us about how the whole thing started. Then she thought that Connie ought to have had more sense than to lean out of an open window and talk to somebody out in the alley where she'd have to shout so everybody would hear. It was rude to start with, and most of all it was dangerous for Connie. And then I got a lecture about egging Hilda on against my own brother, so I was down for spanks. Only Mom didn't bother to have me write anything down in my book. She just said to Dad, 'I think we'd better take over right here and now, Fred, and settle up this little account before supper,' and Dad said he was in agreement with her. So then Mom went and got the rubber dog whip and the sole-oh, how I hate that awful thing, because it makes such a loud noise and it's terribly embarrassing because everybody can hear that you're getting spanked and then Daddy had Tony come over his lap in the armchair and let down his shorts, and then Dad pulled down his undershorts and gave him twenty good stingers with the whip. Boy, did Tony yowl and kick, just like a girl!"
"What happened then?" the eager golden-haired adolescent demanded. Hester's face was brick-red by now, and she was trying not to look at any of the participants in this incredible drama.
"It was Connie's turn next," Janet confided. "Dad made Connie kneel down over the low serving table by the couch and I knelt on the other side and held her hands."
"I always feel braver when I have to take a spanking," Connie suddenly and unexpectedly spoke up, "if Janet holds my hands that way, because then I know she's sympathizing with me and right there beside me, and it makes it sort of easier."
"I think Connie's just about the bravest of all of us," Janet loyally avowed. "Mom came over and pulled up Connie's skirt and petticoat and then peeled down her panties, and Dad laid on about twenty-five good cuts with the dog whip. Connie was crying a little, but she never does get out of position and she didn't once ask for mercy. That's more than I can do when I've got my demerit book to wipe out, I can tell you that!"
"Gosh," Betty irreverently declared, "that was quite a work-out for your parents!"
"It was only just starting," Janet sighed with an air of pained reminiscence. "Mom decided I should have the leather sole, and she took charge of it herself while Connie went back to her room. Mom took me by the ear and marched me over to the armchair, then put her left foot on it and bent me over her knee and told me to pull my skirt and slip up as fast as I could and keep them held up over my bottom. Then she took down my panties, put her left arm around me and held me tight, and Dad handed her the leather sole, and she told me to count out twenty. Boy, did it make a noise, like a gun going off every time! And it hurt like the dickens, you can bet on that! It was all I could do to remember the count, or I would have got an awful lot of extras. I bet my bottom was just as red as when Mom uses the dog whip."
"It was at that," Connie spoke up again with a soft little giggle and a sympathetic look at her older sister.
"Ja, when Mrs. Gilmore spanks, she spanks good and hard," Hilda now proffered, the feather duster still in her hand. "And then I got it good from her, Miss Janet, you remember."
"Don't I just!" the lovely brunette giggled, but there wasn't any malice in it. "Mom took you over by the ear too, just like me, but she made you kneel on the chair, didn't she?"
"That is true," Hilda calmly confirmed. "And I had to pull up my skirts and bend over the chair, and she took down my girdle, and then Kerr Gilmore first gave me a good hard Schlagen with his hand ... and I will tell you truthfully that his hand is just as bad as the Peitsche. But that wasn't all, Miss Janet. After he had finished with me, Mrs. Gilmore gave me a good talking-to and then she made me count twelve with the Peitsche. Oh how I cried and wriggled around, I am afraid I acted like a very naughty little child and I was very ashamed. But then it was all over. And everybody was forgiven. Nicht wahr?"
"Sure," Janet obligingly justified. "I'll say one thing, Mom and Dad treat you fair and square. Once punishment time is over, everybody's friends again and you know, Bets, I'm actually ijeginning to think that because we all know that Dad and Mom punish us for our own good, it makes us a stronger family."
"I never heard of such a horrible thing," Hester flashed, tears of indignation welling to her large, widely dilated eyes. "How you can all sit there calmly and talk about those horrible beatings, those shameful punishments, is more than I can understand!"
"That's because you never got a spanking in all your young life, Hes, and you know it," Betty defended her friends with an emphatic nod of her head. "You know that I'm not just playacting when I tell you how much I love my Mom, Hes. Well, I do. And so do Janet and Connie love theirs, and Hilda loves Mrs. Gilmore too, don't you, Hilda?"
"Ja, she has been so good to me, she and Herr Gilmore. There is nothing I would not do for them. They have taken me in and given me a home, and I feel-well, I know it is not right for a servant to speak so, but I feel like one of the family because I am treated the same way," the buxom German blonde maid confessed. "Now, how about some more cookies and tea, Kindern?"
But Hester had absolutely no appetite for refreshments. She wanted to go back home as soon as possible. However, much to her annoyance, her stepsister Betty kept harping on the subject, asking Janet when she was going to settle the fifty blackmarks in her book, and Janet said she would probably do it on Sunday afternoon.
When Hester finally accompanied Betty back to the house in which she would live from now on, her mind was a whirl. And her younger, wiser stepsister smiled knowingly to herself. She was sure that when she told her mother by the end of next week of what had happened this afternoon over at the Gilmore's, Eleanor Hadley would thoroughly approve.