Matron had calmed down by lunchtime, she realised that the current situation could not go unaddressed. She had to do something about Thomas and his apparent abuse of his position as head boy. Then again she did not want to get the boy into trouble for merely making the best of an odd situation. The only thing she could do was to see Dr. Bonham the headmaster, and see if she could alter the present rules that the girls had found themselves under. So biting the bullet she made her way down to Dr. Bonham's office, hoping that he was in today and not still taking advantage of the Easter break. She was in luck, no sooner had she knocked on the door than she heard the doctor's voice boom.
"Please enter!" Dr. Bonham's face lit up as he saw the school's glamorous matron enter his office. "Hello Matron, please take a seat, always a pleasure to see you."
Matron took to the seat in front of Dr.Bonham's desk, as always she felt uneasy in the office. Not because of Dr. Bonham, but the actual room itself put her ill at ease. It was to say at best oppressive and gloomy, at the worst you describe it as depressing. Often she had wondered why he didn't do something about the dark wood panelling, to remove it and make the place seem more airy and friendly. Then one day the penny dropped with her, he liked the office to be forbidding, the only time people came into it - other than members of staff - was when they if it was a pupil, or their child if it was a parent, was in serious trouble. Prospective new parents Dr.Bonham always made a point of seeing in either the staffroom, or in the secretary's office. This office was the inner sanctum of doom as far as the pupils were concerned, to be sent to see the Doctor meant you were really for it, and so the Doctor let the room itself reinforce that fact.
"So Matron I take it this has something to do with your young ladies?"
Matron hated the way that term, 'her young ladies' was being bandied about by the staff, for Matron from the outset was not keen, and had let it be known, about the girls coming into the school. she had rightly foresaw the problems that they could cause.
As he waited for Matron to reply, Dr. Bonham pulled a Capstan Full Strength from the ever present packet on his desk, he casually tapped the end of the cigarette on his desk to compact the tobacco before lighting it. The irony of the coming conversation was not lost on Matron.
"Well, Doctor," Matron said, the use of first names never crossing either mind, even in the privacy of the office."we have a little bit of an issue, two actually."
The Doctor nodded for her to continue, exhaling a large plume of white smoke.
"A few of the girls smoke, and I was thinking of making their dorm a sort of smoking haven for them, obviously no where else in the school." Matron could see the the silent headmaster could not see any logic in allowing this proposes rule breaking, so she continued."This morning I had the unfortunate need to spank one of the girls for smoking in the dorm. It was rather upsetting for me to have to administer a punishment like that to a woman in her twenties!"
"Mmmh, I can see your point Matron, and the other matter you wished to discuss?" Dr. Bonham said, nodding slowly.
"It is, in my opinion at least, wrong that the school prefects, young boys of only seventeen or eighteen themselves, should be in a position where they can administer corporal punishment to young women in some cases up to five years their senior." Not mentioning what had already taken place with Thomas she continued. "I find it both morally incorrect, and distasteful. So my other proposal is that one of the girls be appointed a prefect, and she alone would be responsible for the punishment of the more minor indiscretions."
"You have someone in mind I take it?"
"Indeed I have, the very girl that I had cause to punish this morning. She seems to understand best the ethic of the school." Matron said flashing the head her winning smile.
"Well, implement away, I agree to both of your proposals." The headmaster said, beaming back at her, then the smile slipped slightly as he said. "Was there anything else you need to discuss with me?"
"No sir, that is all I think. I'll go and tell the girls now." As Matron stood up, she could not fail to notice the look of disappointment on the headmaster's face. Matron saw the girls as they were waiting for the minibus to take them all home for the weekend. The news of the smoking in the dorm was greeted well by all the girls, including the two non-smokers. The news that Powell was going to be made a "de facto" prefect was greeted with a more mixed reaction. Powell herself seemed over the moon, a couple of the girls congratulated her, but two or three seemed to find the idea a little bemusing that Powell would hold sway over them.
The following Monday as the bus picked the girls up to return them to Deerfoot, Powell was already in her seat when they picked up the last pair of girls. Watts and Collins were the last to be collected, as they climbed on board Powell noticed that Collins was caked in make up. Though Powell had expected some sort of test and challenge to her authority, she had not expected it to be coming from this corner. In her mind she had suspected that Watts would be the one to make the initial statement. She could however understand Collins' reasoning. Collins was a tall willowy blond, with a painfully pale natural complexion. Dressed in their uniforms without the benefit of makeup, the nineteen year old Collins looked several years younger, she looked every inch a gangly fourth former. However, as far as Powell was concerned that wasn't the issue, rules were rules, and she meant to enforce them. It was all just a case of choosing the moment of maximum impact, maximum impact in every sense! Powell never made any comment about Collins' makeup, not even during the morning's language assessment. Mr Ward the tutor for the morning had clearly noticed the amount of blusher, lipstick and mascara being worn by Collins, but made no mention of it, to either Collins or Powell. After lunch, the girls were spending the rest of the afternoon with Matron, who was taking them for basic etiquette and conversational skills in a business environment. As they filed into the small classroom, Matron raised her eyebrows to Powell, Powell merely smiled serenely. This smile told Matron that her young protege had everything in hand, so she never broached the subject with Collins deciding to wait and see how the cards would fall.
After dinner the girls in the dorm filled their free time in playing records borrowed from Matron, and chatting amongst themselves. Powell kept out of the chit-chat, sitting alone at the table in the centre of the room doing a crossword. Her mind wasn't really concentrated on the puzzle in front of her, she was only waiting for her optimum moment to arrive.
Eventually Collins decided it was time for her bed, Powell watched from the corner of her eye as Collins stripped off her uniform. She watched as soon enough Collins was totally naked, then waited as she pulled her nightie over her head and sat upon her bed.
Before Collins had the chance to pull back her bedclothes, Powell made her move. Standing up from the table, she dragged her chair noisily across the wooden floor towards the bathroom, causing all the girls to look around at her. Opening the door she placed the chair inside the smaller room, then turned to face her now puzzled audience.
"Collins! In here now." Powell announced loudly.
"Wha... what for?" Collins asked, the situation slowly dawning on her.
"Make up! Either get in here, or I ask Matron to send you home tomorrow." Powell said her voice now dropping into a low slow enunciation."The choice is entirely yours."
Collins looked to the other girls for support, but all of them apart from Watts avoided even giving her eye contact. Watts only gave her a rueful smile and a little shrug of the shoulders, as if to say "what can you do". Slowly Collins rose from her bed, and made the walk of the condemned, by the time she reached the bathroom Powell was already sitting on the chair waiting for her.
"Please close the door behind you." She ordered Collins, who was more than happy to oblige.
"Joan... please... I won't wear it again." Collins pleaded pitifully.
"Are you obsessed with rule breaking today Collins? Surnames only remember." Powell chided the scared young girl in front of her.
"I'm sorry... really sorry."
"I think you know what to do next?" Powell said, patting her lap.
On the verge of tears Collins lowered herself over Powell's lap, and placed her hands on the floor in front of her, her eyes locked on the grain of the floorboards. In the dorm, the girls held their breath in silent anticipation of what was to follow. Powell's first thought this morning was to spank Collins in front of the others, as a warning to them all. Then she thought this would be better. They would hear the spanking and it's effect, their minds filling in the rest imagining what was happening, the mental images so much worse than the reality.
Powell ran her hand over Collins' backside, feeling the thinness of the nylon, "she may as well be naked" she thought to herself, allowing herself a little smile at how her plan had come together. Then her hand came down for the first time. Collins was caught unaware and shouted out more in protest than pain. Powell was surprised at the soft fleshy feel under her palm, she had expected the thin girl's bottom to be much firmer to the touch. She was also surprised at the sting in her own palm, still though she knew that Collins' bottom would be feeling it even more. So Powell then started the chastisement in earnest, allowing Collins no respite between blows, she quickly made to cover her bottom and upper thighs in as many hard slaps as possible in the minimum amount of time. The noise of her descending hand, and Collins' protests echoed around the tiled room. Powell knew that the noises would be clearly heard in the dorm, that was the main part of her plan. She meant to stamp her authority in no uncertain terms, it was just a shame for Collins that she was to be the vehicle for Powell's agenda. Such a minor infringement of the rules being treat with such zealous treatment, but for Powell's plan to work she needed the girls full obedience, and to be seen by the staff as dutiful prefect. The plan was working to the full, in the dorm the girls sat wordlessly, listening to every falling blow. Listening to Collins, first her shouts of indignity at such treatment, followed by a flow of obscenities and insults. All of this only to give way to entreaties of mercy, followed by clearly heard sobbing. Once the tears started flowing Powell slowed down, but did not stop her spanking of Collins.
"So will you be wearing any makeup tomorrow then?" Powell demanded of her weeping charge between the still harsh fall of her hand upon Collins' upturned bottom.
"No... no... miss... I'll be a good girl... please... please... I promise." Collins called out in desperation.
"Next time I have you in here it will be the slipper going across you arse," Powell said giving her bottom a final extra hard slap. "understand?"
"Yes... I... won't be in here again I'll be good... no rule breaks... please.... promise!"
Before helping her back to her feet, Powell was tempted to lift back Collins' nightie, just to check out her handiwork, but resisted the temptation, so she pulled the disorientated sobbing girl up, holding her arm to steady her.
"Right then, I'll hold you to your word mind, now go back in there and get to bed." Powell ordered Collins who meekly nodded.
The girls sitting in the dorm sat there open mouthed, as the red faced and tear streaked Collins came back into the room, followed by Powell carrying the chair.
"Lights out now girls I think?" Powell said, and no one complained.