Uncle John and the Case of the Mysterious Tramlines

Hello, it’s John here again. You may recall that a few weeks ago I told you about my niece, Jenny, who has been staying with me while her parents were away on business secondment in America. Jenny could not go with them because she had to complete her A-Level studies and enrol in university. She had stayed with me and my late wife many times over the years and we had grown extremely fond of her; for me she was the daughter we were never able to have.

I think I told you about the rather surprising item that her mother left with me; a fairly well-worn plimsoll, which I was told would almost certainly be needed as, although Jenny is a lovely girl and excellent company, she is not completely perfect and has her moments. Just such a moment came a few days ago when she let the dog escape, and left the door wide open while she went to look for her, no note or anything. The dog then trampled some plants in Mrs Green’s garden three doors down, and all in all things got a bit fraught, with Mrs Green suggesting that Jenny needed to be taught some responsibility.

The upshot was, I ended up using the slipper, though I never intended to. In a way, it was at Jenny’s instigation because she did not want the mood that was hanging over us to just carry on all evening. It did clear the air and did nothing to damage our relationship, which I feared that it might.

Whilst she was preparing for the slippering, without really thinking, she took her knickers down as she probably did with her mother, but there was a bit of embarrassment on both our parts when I insisted that she pulled them back up again. I was her uncle, not her mother.

I did notice though, while she was bare, that she had what looked like wheals on her bottom, which I suspected could only have been caused by a caning. I had noticed that she seemed rather uncomfortable sitting and quiet after school one evening the week before, but knowing it was a strict school I just put it down to a dose of the slipper, which was not uncommon by any means.

The cane, though, suggested something more serious, and I began to worry that she could be getting herself into trouble and that it was something I needed to help her with, especially as, even though she was eighteen, she was in my house and her mother had effectively entrusted her to me. Either that, or I needed to remonstrate with the school about the excessive use of the cane. We needed to have a talk.

A few days later, we were walking Suzie, the dog, together. As ever, Jenny was great company, but I needed to change the tone of the conversation somewhat in order to extract the information I needed, for my own peace of mind, without prying too much. With her A levels coming up in just a few weeks, it seemed appropriate to ask how school was going.

“It’s ok,” Jenny replied. “To be honest, I shall be glad to leave now.”

“Just ok? You used to enjoy it.”

“It was fine until Mrs Hughes retired, but then we got a new headmistress and she’s a lot stricter.”

“I thought it was always fairly strict, had a reputation for it.”

“Yes, it was. You had to obey the rules, get your homework done, and behave like proper young women, as Mrs Hughes would say, or else.”

Whilst I could guess the answer, I needed to know whether Jenny would open up and confide in me. “Or else?”

“Detentions occasionally, or more often the slipper.”

“From the headmistress?”

“Or deputy headmistress, or some of the class teachers.”

“I suppose it was more serious if someone had to go to the headmistress or deputy headmistress?”

“Yes, never less than six of the best and you had to sign the Punishment Book.”

“You seem to know all about it.”

Jenny’s face flushed a little as she realised she was giving all her secrets away. She had always confided in me, and I had always kept her confidences, even from her mother, and she knew that.

“I’ve had my share, I suppose. As you obviously realise, or Mum would have told you, I am no angel.”

“I wouldn’t want you to be. I had my share at school too, touching my toes for the slipper, or over the headmaster’s desk for the cane.”

“Did you get it a lot?”

“The slipper in class? Yes. Mr Hardman, our form master, lived up to his name. In fact, you had a real difficulty staying still, and on your feet when he hit you. I remember one boy lost his balance and fell over.”

“What happened to him?”

“Hardman put him over the desk and gave him six for being an idiot, and gave the whole class three each for laughing, even those who didn’t!”

“Well, at least we always have a desk to lean on, or the vaulting horse in PE.”

“Ah, you soft girls always get it easy,” I joked, never expecting to be having that sort of conversation, but pleased that Jenny was choosing to reveal all.

“Oh yes?” mocked Jenny. “At least you boys get to keep your trousers on. We always get it across our knickers, even in class. I suppose you got the cane on your trousers too?”

“Yes, guilty!”

“Soft! So how many times?”

“Not as many times as you’ve had the slipper from the headmistress, by the sounds of it.”

Jenny chuckled. She guessed I was testing, to discover how naughty she really was. I had always had easy and open conversations with Jenny, but talking about what we were, I was quite sure I would never have wanted to talk about it with anyone, and yet she was able even to tell a relative about it, and, as it happened, I was able to tell her. Maybe, it’s different for girls.

“I admit I went through a bit of a bad patch. Maybe I was just unlucky,” mused Jenny.


“Yes, Uncle John. I wouldn’t want you to think I can’t behave myself!”

“Just a straightforward naughty girl then?”

She giggled, I laughed.

“You had to see the headmistress?” I reminded her where we had got to.

“Yes, skirt off and over her desk, knickers pulled well up.”

“Not much protection then?”

“None at all. Six really hard ones. Didn’t half hurt. And then sign the Punishment Book and a note home for parents, at least until we were 16.”

“What did your Mum think to that?”

“Oh, usually she was ok with it, said she got the slipper at school too. She reckoned I’d been punished enough most times, although she did threaten to follow up and slipper me again if I kept getting it at school.”

“You say usually?”

“Yes, she went mad one time. I’d been caught smoking with some other girls, only my first cigarette, and I coughed all the way through, and attracted a teacher’s attention. The others were furious with me, as we all got marched up to the headmistress’s office. She had us all in together, so we had to watch each other getting the six. I never knew how far she actually pulled our knickers up until I saw her do it to the other girls.”

“And what did your mum do when she got the punishment slip?”

“Like I say, she went mad, put me over her knee for a spanking and then marched me upstairs for a slippering as well. I couldn’t sit down after three spankings in a day. I know she’s got this thing about smoking because of grandad, and I know it’s a stupid thing to do, but I only had the one.”

“She spanked you because she loves you. She doesn’t want you to throw away years of your life through smoking. I would have likely done the same. I was stupid, I smoked for a good many years, and now I’ve got lots of health issues. I should have listened to my headmaster, or learned from him.”

“Did he cane you for it?”

“Yes, I was foolish enough to get caught three times.”

“Stupid, I would say.”

“I’ll ignore that. So, you said, the new headmistress is stricter than the old one?”

“Yes, she’s brought back the cane.”

“On hands?”

“Well bottoms mainly now, when she thinks more than three strokes are needed, which is most of the time.”

“Well, I suppose that’s fair. Boys get it on their bottoms. I don’t approve of caning on the hands, I reckon they could be injured if the cane landed in the wrong place. The bottom is a much safer target. More effective on the bottom because you get a reminder for a few days when you sit down.”

“I know.”

“You know?”

Jenny realised once again that she had maybe said too much, but she always said I was easy to talk to, maybe too easy.

“Yes, I’m sorry, Uncle.”

“Well, you don’t have to apologise to me. You’re the one who took the punishment.”

“Yes, I know.”

“How many times?”

“Twice, and before you ask, the first was for a protest we did, and the second…”

“Go on.”

“I was caught with some other girls with a beer and a packet of cigarettes. I’m really sorry, I only had the one.”

“Was that recently?”

“Yes, last week. It was stupid, so stupid.”

I must admit I was really upset. I couldn’t care less about the beer, but smoking again.

“I hope she caned you good and hard. I would have done for sure.”

“Yes, she did, Uncle. Six really hard ones on my knickers. It hurt so much, I could hardly walk, even stood on the bus when there were seats available. I was still struggling to sit down that night. You might have noticed. And I slept on my front.”

“Yes, I did notice as it happens. I just thought you’d had the slipper. But for smoking, knowing what you do about your grandad and the way he died, I am very pleased she caned you. And you know what, when we get back, young lady, you’re going over my knee, like you would have gone over your mother’s, if she was here.”

“I thought I might be, Uncle. I wish I hadn’t told you now because it’s spoilt it between us. The simple fact is, I can’t lie to you. I don’t know why, but I never have.”

“I know why, Jenny. It’s because you are honest, and that really is one of the most important things. Nothing is spoilt between us or ever will be, but, that changes nothing at the moment, you’re still getting your bottom spanked!”

There was a brief silence between us, perhaps an awkwardness, which was not surprising. I wasn’t really angry with her but upset that she was not heeding the warnings.

“I’m sorry, Uncle John, I know how you feel about it. I admit, I wasn’t going to tell you. I know how stupid smoking is. I never intend to become a smoker, but I am able to have just the occasional one, just to be sociable, and that is all.”

“Trouble is, Jenny, a lot of people start like that, and I am very afraid that one casual cigarette would become two, then five and so on. Especially in our family, the chance of a long life is so important. Your grandad was only 52 when he died.”

“I know, Uncle, like Mum and Dad, you only want the best for me. I am very lucky to have all of you, even though there is sometimes a price to pay.” Jenny grinned and I knew what she was referring to. I found Jenny quite extraordinary in this respect; faced with an imminent spanking, she was still able to maintain her confidence and her good humour. It was almost as if it was just water off a duck’s back; it will happen, she will cope with it, and then it will be over. Quite remarkable.

Suddenly, Suzie the dog took off after some leaves and dived into the stream, without realising how deep it was. Whilst she could swim, she suddenly seemed startled, almost frozen to the spot. Recent rains had swelled the stream, almost to a fast-flowing river, and Suzie seemed to be in trouble. Jenny immediately saw the danger, and selflessly waded in after her, fully clothed. It wasn’t easy for her as the water came to her waist, but she managed to grab the dog, pick her up and struggle slowly out of the water. They both looked relieved to make it back to dry land, but they were muddy and soaked through. Suzie shook herself repeatedly as Jenny put her back on the lead and got herself even more muddy in the process. What a spectacle. Jenny and I both laughed. Suzie wasn’t so sure.

We walked back to the house, having curtailed our walk after the incident. I had been annoyed with Jenny over the smoking but I think I had made my feelings clear, and her selflessness in rescuing the dog had started to melt away my resolve to discipline her. I thought about what her mother might have done, a spanking and the slipper, on top of a formal six of the best at school when she was 15; would that have translated to a similar chastisement for an eighteen-year-old? Was I talking myself out of giving Jenny that spanking?

The last one I gave her was justified, and the fact that she presented me with the slipper meant she thought so too. The smoking of one casual cigarette had resulted in what was clearly a substantial caning, likely six hard strokes across her knickers, and I thought that was probably enough, especially judging by the tramlines still just about visible on her bottom after a week.

We walked back fairly rapidly; Jenny was soaked and her shoes were squelching. Suzie, despite her best efforts at shaking all over us, was clearly in need of a good towelling down.

When we got back, I rushed to secure the inner doors beyond the scullery, so that neither dog nor niece could spread mud throughout the house. I collected sufficient niece and dog towels from the airing cupboard and returned to the scullery, where drying off, de-muddying, and mopping up were well under way. Suzie was looking clean, and Jenny had managed to unpeel herself from her sodden jeans, which were piled with muddy jacket ready to be washed, and subsequently joined by the rest of her clothes when I gave her the towel. Jenny then fed the dog, made us a cup of tea and asked if it was alright to have a bath. How could I refuse?

As she disappeared upstairs, it occurred to me that I hadn’t told her I was thinking of cancelling the spanking. An amusing idea crossed my mind, in that a girl has to look her best, even if it was just her bottom that was going to receive the attention.

I poured myself a beer and waited. I didn’t think it was appropriate to explain that the spanking was cancelled through a closed bathroom door, so I would go up when she was out. She took her time, but finally I heard the bath emptying, then some cleaning, before the door opened and she returned to her room. I thought I would give her a few minutes to dry off and get some clothes on, before going up to explain.

“I’m ready, Uncle,” came a call from the top of the stairs.

I walked up slowly, just composing my explanation, and apology for not telling her earlier. I knocked on her door and she beckoned me in. She was dressed top half, but had nothing more than a pair of knickers on lower down. She was all ready for me, it seemed.

Looking at me, she noticed I had come unarmed. “You forgot the slipper, Uncle. Do you want me to fetch it for you?”

“No, I don’t intend to use it this time. Do you mind if I sit down.”

I sat on the side of the bed and, before I had the chance to speak, she bent to slip her knickers down and off, before folding them and placing them neatly on the side of her dressing table. She came to my side and started to climb over my lap to position herself top half on the bed with her bottom over my lap, ready to be spanked.

“No, Jenny, you’ve forgotten again, haven’t you? I’m not your mother, I’m your uncle, and I can’t possibly spank you bare like she does. It simply would not be right.”

“Sorry, Uncle. Yes, I forgot and embarrassed you again. I really don’t mind if you do it like this, really.”

“Well, I do, Jenny. I don’t want to make a big thing of it, so if you could just put your pants back on, please.”

Once again, that put me off my stride, and mention of her mother made me think that maybe I would be letting my sister Sarah down, and maybe Jenny too, if I didn’t carry out my original promise to put her over my knee.

Jenny got up and grabbed her knickers from the dressing table, put them on, and returned to her position, sparsely covered up, but covered up nevertheless.

I put my left arm around her waist to anchor her, leaving my right hand homeless as it seemed inappropriate to rest it on her bottom while I lectured her.

“Jenny, I don’t really want to do this, especially as you were so selfless and brave in saving Suzie from the water. You didn’t give a thought for yourself. But you told me what your mother did when you got caught smoking before, and I feel just as strongly about smoking as she does. You got caned at school for breaking the rules, not for the actual smoking and its potential effect on your health. I just want you to never smoke again and this is to remind you how we all feel, because we care so much about you.”

At that point, my right hand rested on her bottom before delivering probably thirty or so reasonably hard smacks to alternate buttocks and getting harder. Her knickers were at best skimpy, thus offering her bottom virtually no protection. I could see that it was reddening more with each smack. She took her punishment very well, only starting to wriggle a little towards the end, as, almost without knowing I was doing it, the ferocity with which my hand was attacking her bottom built to a crescendo. I don’t know whether it was a rush of blood to my head or seeing the rush of blood to her bottom, visible around the skimpiness of her pants, but the poor girl ended up with a pretty substantial spanking. I never intended that, but then, until the last minute, I never intended to do it at all.

When I had finished, she just lay over my lap for a minute before getting up slowly. Her eyes were red and tearful, but her demeanour was one of acceptance. I have to say I got what I deserved as well; my hand was stinging like mad. I was really not used to this spanking lark.

I gave her a hug on my way out and she put her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek, before heading towards the wardrobe mirror in order to inspect the damage. I left the room with distinctly mixed feelings about what I had just done. In all the years Jenny had been staying with us, we had never spanked her as a girl, but now, in the space of a week or so, I had spanked this lovely young woman twice. Yet the basic dynamics of our relationship had not changed at all. She did not hold it against me, and if anything, we seemed to be getting closer, a strengthening friendship.

Jenny came down in her pyjamas after about twenty minutes. She asked if she could have a beer, seeing me drinking one, and got me another one out of the fridge. She sat down on the settee besides me, very close. Suzie immediately changed laps.

“Is that hero worship, do you think? She was quite comfortable on me, then you arrived.”

“No, Uncle, it’s the extra warmth from the fire I have, down below!”

We both laughed and watched the end of a stupid sitcom. When it had finished, Jenny spoke.

“I’m sorry to worry you, Uncle. I wasn’t going to tell you because I knew how you would feel, but I couldn’t lie to you when you asked. And what you just did, Mum would have done for certain. Are we going to be alright now?”

“We’ll always be alright, Jenny. It’s just that I don’t want you to end up like me, having real difficulty walking because of smoking for thirty years, or worse, dead like Grandad at a ridiculously young age.”

“I’ll try not to smoke again, promise. It’s just when friends are handing them out.”

“Well, don’t take them!”

“I know, or else?”

“Yes, you know what I promised.”

“Oh yes, but you don’t have a cane, Uncle?”

“Ah, but I know a man who does.”

“Your old headmaster?”

I could sense her attempt at ridicule. I was going to struggle to hold the line on this one.

“Reverend Allchurch, at the end of the road. He uses it on his daughters. I’d borrow his.”

“All well-planned then?”

“Quite right.”

Jenny smiled. She probably thought I had no intention of keeping that promise. It turned out she didn’t think I’d give her the spanking I had just given her either.

“You weren’t going to spank me, were you?”

I objected, fruitlessly, but she seemed to be a mind-reader.

“If you hadn’t, you would have felt you had let Mum down, probably me too, not kept a promise, and you would have got annoyed with yourself, and been moody because you appeared indecisive. Am I right?”

I had to admit it. She could be so perceptive.

“So, what made you change your mind?”

“It was when you undressed again. It reminded me that your mother should have been there to do it, and as she wasn’t, I better had.”

“I thought so,” replied Jenny. “I could see it in your eyes. I’ll have to keep my knickers on next time and see if you duck out of it, shirk your responsibilities!”

Jenny’s grin was huge, infectious, but I just knew she was toying with me.

“Yes, please keep them on, but I will not be shirking my responsibilities. It seems now that I am going to have to keep you under control. No wonder your mother left me the slipper! It is almost as if you want me to spank you?”

“No, of course not, but I would rather have a sore bottom, than have a cloud hanging over us. I’ve had plenty of them. Always better to keep a promise and clear the air, and I just hate falling out with you, Uncle John.”

Wise before her time.

“The thing was, you were so selfless and brave going in after Suzie that I just didn’t think it was fair to spank you.”

“Two different things, Uncle, two different behaviours. One deserved super-hero status, which I have now got,” Jenny grinned broadly as she stroked Suzie. “And the other a smacked bottom, which I have also got. Simple really.”

“I don’t know, you’re an impossible child!”

That earned me a thump on the arm. Even Suzie woke up to reproach me for insulting her super-hero.

I was beginning to regret even more my promise to cane her if I caught her smoking again. There was no way on earth I was going to keep that promise, so maybe just the pretence, in the sincere hope she would stop, and pray that she did. I just couldn’t do it to her.

Time perhaps to change the subject.

“When did you say you took part in that demonstration? That protest, Jenny?”

“March last year, why?”

“I vaguely remember somebody telling me about it. It got onto the local news.”

“Yes, and unfortunately, I got interviewed by a reporter, made a complete idiot of myself.”

“So, you were on the television?”

“Yes, but I’m glad no one saw it.”

“I was away then and recorded a few of my fishing programmes on the new video recorder.”

“That recorder must have cost a fortune.”

“Yes, it did. They’re a lot cheaper now. Always the way.”

“I doubt you’ll find me in a fishing programme,” Jenny joked.

“No, I always extended the timing in case the programmes over-ran, so I might have the end of some of the news programmes.”

“Well, if you do, and I am on, I don’t want to know.”

“Why’s that?”

“Well for one, I don’t want to see myself on TV, and secondly, I would look like a complete idiot in the interview, and thirdly, it turned out to be an extremely painful experience!”

“What, the interview?”

“No, the thrashing Mrs Grotbag gave me!”

Recognising her discomfort on all three counts, I promised to go ahead with my search through the old tapes, which prompted another firm thump on my arm, and a good laugh for the both of us. Suzie joined in this time.

So, when I have some spare time, I shall start working through those old video tapes and see if I can find the news piece with Jenny on it. There might even be mention in the local newspaper as well. Despite her protestations, Jenny will provide a commentary, I’m sure, and given her apparent openness on the subject, maybe even tell us what Mrs ‘Grotbag’ did about it.

The End

© Jenny Tomlinson 2022