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June 6, 1896
Penelope Sumter

Remington Drake made certain my last days at Primrose College were miserable. I did my best to keep my chin up and accept the inevitable, after all it was my words which brought it all about. Nevertheless I was grateful to head home on the first available train. Remington looked almost sad to see me go despite my assurances we will meet again.

The train seemed to travel in slow motion and I often imagined I could walk faster than the train was traveling whilst staring out the window. Then of course there were the layovers in a few cities. I managed to do a little shopping and stretch my legs at the same time. I decided it would be a good idea to come home with a few gifts. If Remington was any indication, my father is probably seething over my speech before the school board.

It was 11A.M. when the train finally pulled into the station in Charleston. I had been eagerly anticipating arriving at home but with the moment upon me I had a sense of dread hanging over me. I retrieved my travel case and slowly made my way to exit the train.

I was still on the top step when I spotted Wilbur waving at me. I smiled, relieved to not have to face my father quite as soon as I expected. I waved at him and then carefully descended to the platform. My feet barely touched the ground and Wilbur lifted me right back off of it with a bear hug and a twirl.

“Welcome home, sis!” He said.

“It’s good to be home! Is it just you or is father hanging back?”

“Just me. Everyone else was too busy.”

“That suits me fine.” I smiled and took his proffered arm.

With his free hand, Wilbur took my travel case from me. We walked slowly through the crowd to the luggage collection. Wilbur and I quickly identified my cases and had one of the young men carry them for us.

In front of the station, Wilbur stopped in front of automobile. He turned to me with a wicked grin on his face.

“Fancy a ride, my lady?” He said with a bow.

“Stop fooling around, somebody might think you are trying to steel it.”

Wilbur looked hurt for a moment and then he grabbed hold of the door and swung it open.

“Seriously, Penny, this is ours.” He said.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head. Wilbur chuckled at me. I thought for certain he was playing a joke on me, but then he opened a hatch in the rear and told the young man to put my luggage in it. Even Wilbur would not go that far for a joke.

I smiled and hopped into the seat. Wilbur slammed the door closed and then pulled on it to make sure it stayed that way. He ran around to the other side, jumped over the door and slid down in the seat behind the controls.

He pushed a button and the engine roared to life with a gust of black smoke. I coughed as the fumes made there way to my nose. My eyes started to water.

“How do you stand the smell?” I shouted over the engine’s roar.

“It ain’t so bad when you’re moving. Hang on.” He shouted back.

The machine lurched forward and I nearly hit my head before being thrown back into the bench as he accelerated forward. I swear everyone in Charleston was staring at us, but Wilbur had us going so fast I bet all they saw was a blur.

I held on to the seat with one hand and the door with other as we bounced along the road. My knuckles were white with terror and all the while, Wilbur was grinning like a Cheshire cat. Once you get used to it though, it is actually a lot of fun. I think I had a smile plastered on my face too by the time we made it home to Sumter.

Yes, my hometown is named after my family. Specifically after my great-grandfather, Thomas Sumter. Funny thing is most people do not make the connection anymore unless we point it out. I guess ever since the Civil War things have been different and plantation owners like us tend to be blamed for the hard times ever since.

Mom and James were waiting on the porch for us. I got a big hug from each before being allowed inside.

“So what did ya think?” James asked nudging me in the side.

“About what?” I asked.

‘The automobile! What else?”

“Oh that,” I rolled my eyes, “nothing special. Seen one, you’ve seen them all.” I replied.

James did an impression of bass on a line. I enjoyed it for a moment before laughing at him. His face turned purple.

“Why you little brat…” He threatened me with a fist.

“James Thomas, you remember your manners this instant!” Mom scolded him with a finger waving in the air.

James shook his head and joined in the laughter.

After a long soak in the tub, I took a nap for the rest of the afternoon. It was suppertime when I woke and that is about when the trouble began.

Daddy was home by then and sure as I was home, he was still mad.

“I see you made it home.” He said in way of greeting.

“Yes, sir.” I said with my head down.

“We’ve matters to discuss after dinner, young lady.” He said.

He pulled out a chair for mom to sit down and then did the same for me before moving to his place on the other end of the table. Wilbur and James sat simultaneously with Daddy. Dinner was almost good enough to make me forget about my imminent meeting with Daddy. Corn on the cob, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberries, and roasted chicken, all served in quantities to put Carrington Manor to shame. I was stuffed and ready to be rolled by the time dessert was brought out; hot cherry pie.

Too soon dinner was over and Daddy was looking sternly at me. I bit nervously at my lip and avoided his gaze. He stood up and crossed the short distance between us. His hand reached into his slacks pocket and pulled out a knife. He flipped the blade open and laid on the table in front of me.

“James, take your sister out and see to it she cuts a good switch.” He said looking at me the whole time.

He turned and left the room before my trembling hand picked up the knife. Nobody said anything, but James and I went out the back door and he gave my arm a supportive squeeze as we walked toward the trees.

I probably should have took my time and looked for the least fearsome branch but I just wanted to get it over with so I pulled down on the first acceptable branch I saw and cut it off with a quick slice of the knife.

James took it from me and nodded. He took the knife and began stripping away the leaves and their stems as we walked back to the house. When we got to the doorstep he was done. He closed the knife and handed it to me along with the freshly cut switch.

“Chin up, Penny. You’ll survive it.” He said.

I nodded not trusting myself to speak.

Inside Daddy’s study I stood in the middle of the rug in front of his desk. Daddy sat at his desk working on some papers and proceeded to ignore me for a good fifteen minutes. It is his normal manner. He knows all too well that the waiting is the worst part.

Finally he looked up at me and I could see there was more disappointment in his eyes than anger. For that I felt suddenly awful. It is easier to deal with angering him but disappointing him is something I never wish to do. I had not spent a single moment considering how he might react to my words at the school board. I had been caught up in the midst of the moment.

Daddy stood up and held his hand out to me. I handed him his knife first and the switch second. He nodded.

“I’m sorry, Daddy.” I said with tears falling down my cheeks.

“Raise your gown and lower your bloomers.” Was all he said in response.

I did as he instructed. I blushed in embarrassment and shame standing bare before him.

“Step forward and lean over my desk.” He ordered quietly.

The hard wood of the desk gave me the much needed support I required to face the consequences of disappointing my Daddy.

He whipped the switch down across my buttocks. I whimpered into the desk. He whipped it down again and I gasped, blinking through a stream of tears.

“Do you have any idea the humiliation you caused me?” He shouted.

“No, sir.” I whimpered.

He whipped the switch down again and I screamed.

“My own daughter, supporting a radical political movement! How dare you make a public fool of me, not to mention yourself!” He continued with his voice shaking.

“It wasn’t meant like that, honest.” I cried.

He whipped the switch down again.

“Please Daddy! I’m sorry.” I begged.

“The Constitution of this country states ‘All MEN are created equal’ not all men and women. What in the name of God were you thinking?”

“I don’t know.” I sobbed.

His reference was wrong but I thought it was probably not the best time to inform him that he had my speech and Edith’s a bit intertwined. Perhaps it makes no difference to him anyway, he will likely see us as conspirators and therefore equally guilty.

He whipped the switch down again. I cried out in pain.

“I sent you to that school to find a respectable spouse, not to infest your head with newfangled ideas about liberty and equality for women. The fact is you aren’t a woman, you’re still a girl. Cause if you were a woman you’d know that equality is nothing more than a na├»ve fantasy.”

He whipped the switch down again. I grabbed hold of the desk and held on tight to keep from leaping to my feet.

“If you ever embarrass me in public like that again, you will never again be welcome in this house! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” He thundered, punctuating each of his last words with a swipe of the switch.

“Yes, Daddy.” I sobbed.

“Get out of my sight!” He yelled.

I grabbed my bottom as I stood up. I could feel the thin red lines striping my buttocks from top to bottom. They throbbed under my futile attempt to rub out the sting and burn. I gathered my bloomers up around my waist and made my way out of the study, sniffling all the way.


Paul said...

Melanie, you do these spanking scenes so well, it makes me wonder-----!
Warm hugs,

Melanie said...

Hiya Paul!

Thanks for all the comments. It really makes us feel appreciated.

As for the spanking scenes.... Well you could say I have a lot of first hand (or paddle) experience. lol.