here for an explanation of this series and here for an index to it.)
Mr. Wetherall's strap was very old. It had been passed down from Latin master to Latin master for at least a hundred years, along with the injunction that it was to be used upon the bare bottoms of the most recalcitrant girls.
Sarah Jane Truitt had confused the ablative with the dative daily for the past month, and Mr. Wetherall was at his wits' end. "Miss Truitt," he said at last one morning, "you will see me in my study after the lesson."
Her tears were of no avail. Only one pupil in her memory had been punished with Mr. Wetherall's strap, and that girl had slept on her stomach for a week, and eaten standing up. "I'm so sorry, sir. I. . . please. . . agricolae from the farmer, agricolā to the farmer. . . I can do it, I promise!"
"You have just repeated your mistake, Miss Truitt. Ab agricolā, from the farmer. dō librum agricolae, I give the book to the farmer." He looked into her terror-filled eyes. "Lay yourself over my desk, now. You won't forget after the beating you're going to get, I'm confident."
Sarah Jane laid herself down. Mr. Wetherall raised her skirt, and then, as she blushed in shame and fear, lowered her knickers to leave her lovely young bottom bare.
"You will count each stroke, Miss Truitt," he said. Even before her beating began, she tried to cover her bottom with her hands. "Get those hands away, girl," Mr. Wetherall said. "If I see them there again, it'll be an extra stroke."
Sarah Jane rested her cheek on the wood of the Latin master's desk, and looked out the window to where the other girls were enjoying their recess. Mr. Wetherall brought the strap down hard upon her bottom, and she cried out and, despite herself, put her hands back to try to ward off her chastisement.
"One extra," said Mr. Wetherall, with grim satisfaction.