Nicole had thought that, because they were on holiday, she needn’t adhere to the normal standards of appearance, behaviour and attitude. It didn’t take that long before her mistake was explained to her in extremely direct terms - yes, in full view of everyone on the beach.
No, Shanice. It’s a definite fail, I’m afraid. Much shorter than two inches above the knee. Well, you know what it means, don’t you? Take it off, please. And go and stand outside my office - yes, facing the wall, hands on head. There should already be a couple of your classmates there. And no talking! I’ll be along to deal with you shortly!
Well, Abigail. It seems we have a little work to do on that attitude of yours, doesn’t it? We’ll have you stripped down to your underwear, please. And the usual instrument of correction is on my study desk. Fetch it, girl - and be quick about it. Let’s see if we can’t persuade you to be a little more contrite and respectful, shall we?
I don’t want to go back into school. I’m gonna be in such trouble. I know I’m gonna get called out in registration and I’ll have to go to the Head’s office. He’ll keep me waiting for ages and when he’s finally ready to see me I’ll be skirted and told off again. And then I’ll get the cane again, won’t I? I’ts not as if I’ve not been warned. No, I’m not going back in. I’m just gonna stay out here, out of the way …
Is the second girl merely watching, having got the first girl into trouble? Or is her turn about to come?
Art by Julie Delcourt
I think she’s the one who’s got her older sister into trouble and has been silently sitting there smirking and watching the punishment being administered; thinking about how much she’s going to tease Big Sis about it afterwards … but suddenly their governess barks at her “Well I don’t know what you’re finding so funny, Julianne! Telling tales is an awful habit! Don’t think you’re not going to be feeling my ruler when I’ve finished with Alicia! Oh yes, my girl!