Waiting Until The Last Minute

August 21, 1896
Elizabeth Bassett

“All Aboard!”

I heard the cry and I was still to far away to see the train.

“Wait for me!” I shouted.

I ran toward the platform as quickly as three cases and my dress would allow. That is to say I walked at a brisk pace, just shy of falling flat on my face.

“Straggler, eh? You’ve got about a minute to get settled aboard.”

“Thank you. My cases?”

“You can take one with you but the rest will have to wait for the next train. The baggage care is full and locked.”

“I need my things when I arrive!”

“You should have been more prompt then Miss. They’ll be about a day behind you.”

“That is completely unacceptable. I demand to speak to someone in charge.”

“You are speaking to someone in charge and I am telling you if you don’t get on the train right now, you will be a day behind with your luggage as well.”

I hissed in frustration but realized quickly I had no choice. I held fast to my largest case and left the other two with the rude man. Mrs. Carrington would not be happy but what else could I do?
It was not what I would call a good day so far and the incident on the train platform was not even the cause. I had been sleeping, when father entered my room and promptly awakened me. He wanted to have a chat before sending me off to Primrose. Disoriented as I was at being awakened I quickly understood this would be a rather one sided chat.

What confused me was he kept saying today as though I was leaving today. I was quite certain he had told me my ticket was for tomorrow.

“But I don’t leave until tomorrow.” I had said.

“Your train leaves in two hours.” He replied.


He proceeded to whack my bottom with my hairbrush several times punctuating his words.

“Your train leaves in two hours.”

I realized, given my position over my father’s knee it was not a wise moment to mention that he had misled me on my day of departure. In a rare moment of self control I actually managed to keep it to myself.

“I haven’t packed a thing yet. I’m going to be late. Please let me up.” I said.

“You haven’t even packed? What have you been doing this week?”

He swung my hairbrush with new fervor. I began to cry.

“I’ve been debating sending you off with a spanking all week and now I am convinced I made the right choice.” He continued.

“But I haven’t done anything wrong.” I said.

“Nothing wrong? You haven’t even packed for school and your train is leaving in two hours. Then there is the matter of all the things you will likely do when you were out of my sight.”

“Mrs. Carrington punishes me at school whenever I mess up. I’d be packing right now if you weren’t spanking me.”

“I’m sure that Mrs. Carrington has taken a liking to you from what I say last year when I visited. She undoubtedly lets you get away with far too much. And in this house we do not put things off to the last minute.”

“But you put off this spanking to the last minute.” I protested unwisely.

Father decided at that point I needed a does of his belt. No need for illicit details, lets just say a doubled over leather belt is not something I wish to encounter again. Not that my chances are good.

When finally he finished with me, I had less than a half hour to pack if I was to make it to the station on time. Needless to say my packing was rushed and I really hope I have not forgotten anything. I nearly missed the train as it was and had no time for even a bite of breakfast. Mother scolded me all the way out the door for that.

On the train I found my assigned third class car was packed. It was standing room only but while that may bother me at some point, for the moment it is quite the relief.

A kindly old man offered me his seat which I politely declined.

“I prefer to stand for now, but thank you.” I said.

He nodded at me with a twinkle in his eye. I think he understood exactly why.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Ashley, term is getting of to a good start for Elisabeth.
Warm hugs,