"Oh, please, no, sir!" said the terrified housemaid.
"You know," said Mr. Higgins, that disciplinary consequences were an important part of the contract you signed, "do you not?"
"Yes," sobbed Sally.
"And I venture to say you won't try to deny what Mrs. Higgins discovered about your lack of underwear?" said Mr. Loren, invited by Mr. Higgins to witness and to participate in Sally's punishment.
"Yes, but. . ."
"But what, Sally?" asked Mr. Higgins.
"But the laundry wasn't done, and. . ."
"And all your knickers were too soiled to be worn again?" Mr. Loren said, scornfully. "That's rather shameful in and of itself, isn't it? In addition to it being your responsibility to make sure you have sufficient knickers to uphold the clause of your contract that requires you to be properly dressed at all times."
In reality, Sally's knickers had been taken by the butler, after he had had her in the pantry, but that was of course not an excuse she might use.
"At any rate," said Mr. Higgins, "I suppose it spares you the embarrassment of having them removed, doesn't it?"
"And us the inconvenience of removing them," added Mr. Loren.
"Now get over the cot, Sally. Right this instant," Mr Higgins said, assuming his place in the chair against the wall, where he might hold Sally's hands tightly to prevent her interfering with her chastisement, and watch the maid's face as Mr. Loren spanked her. "You are a very bad girl, and now you must learn the price of indecorous behavior."
If only that nasty Mrs. Higgins hadn't raised her skirt in the middle of the drawing-room, suspecting her of doing exactly what she had done with the butler, and saying, "Oh, dear, this is very bad. George, I'm afraid you must come see this."
Mr. Loren pulled up her skirt, as Mr. Higgins tightened his grip on her hands. She would receive no mercy, she knew. No girl taken to the little room came out without a bottom that stayed red for days.