The English Lesson

Dear Josie,

I’ve never written a letter to your magazine before and it’s a bit difficult to know how to begin. Perhaps if I tell it as a story, in the third person, I might find it easier to get my thoughts in order. So here goes! If it were a story, I think I would call it-


To say that he was cross would be like saying that the Tower of London was quite well known. In fact, to say that he was furious could be considered a typical piece of British understatement. In just the same way that dry ice is so cold it burns, so his fury had gone past the point of fire and flame and left him almost shivering in a cold, calculating rage that was sufficient to chill the blood. Part of it was Ronnie’s fault, of course. When Julie had packed up and left with that boss of hers for parts unknown, leaving him with the two kids and a six-room house to look after, who should he turn to for help and advice but Ronnie? And it had seemed such a good idea at the time. ‘What you need, old chum.’ Ronnie had said, ‘Is an au pair. Some eager little continental student, anxious to learn the language and practice her English, to come and live with the family. She can take her turn with the household chores, give an eye to the kids once in a while, and you can provide her with a roof and food and a bit of pocket money. Ideal solution!’

And so it had seemed – to begin with, that is. He wasn’t quite sure what he was expecting, but Therese had been quite a pleasant surprise. He had opted for a French student, secure in the knowledge that his French conversation was more than equal to the task of dealing with any language deficiencies that might arise, and she had turned up on his doorstep with a punctuality that was gratifying as it was unexpected. She was small, young – about nineteen he supposed – and deliciously rounded. The word ‘curvaceous’ came unbidden to his mind. Her pale brown hair was tied in bunches over each ear, and her eyes were a clear China-blue, the bright cerulean blue that one finds in the decoration of a willow-pattern plate.

Her complete absence of make-up gave her a healthy, well-scrubbed look that was accentuated by the college blazer and long white knee socks.

‘Mister Bar-clay?’ she asked, shifting the backpack from her shoulder. ‘I am Therese Dupont. Here is the letter I was told to give you.’ The unfamiliar accent lent a lilting charm to the stilted phrasing, and he felt himself warming to her. In no time at all, it seemed, she was settled into the spare room, the general routine and indeed, the life of the family. Her English improved by leaps and bounds, the kids got along with her famously, and she was more than willing to do her share about the house. It was only when the firm sent him off on that damnable sales conference that things had started to go pear-shaped. Perhaps if grand-mamma hadn’t volunteered to have the kids to stay with her for a few days-. He shook himself angrily. No point in getting off the main track, he thought. Let’s face the situation here and now.

And the situation was not particularly pleasant to face. He had been away for three days – three days that he would not willingly face again for a pension and a gold clock. It had been a pig of a conference – old Summerton in particular had been at his most cutting and obstructive – the car had started acting up halfway down the motorway – his own fault, of course, for deciding that he must get away as soon as was humanly possible, and setting off at one in the morning – with the result that he had arrived home shortly after six a.m., totally unprepared for the sight that met his eyes.

As soon as the front door had yielded to his key, he knew that something was wrong. The smell of souring wine battled with the over-ripe odour of stale tobacco smoke, and disarray was everywhere. Serious misgivings began to assail him, even before he had dumped his weekend bag on the littered hall-table and made his uncertain way into the lounge. His worst fears were immediately confirmed. In spades. Glasses – most of them empty and showing signs of recent use, some of them partly full, a few of them overturned, and two, that he could see, broken – were everywhere, perched on just about every level surface. Some of them, indeed, were standing crazily aslant on the sloping window-ledge in imminent danger of joining their damaged brethren. Nine or ten wine bottles were similarly disposed, some standing, some lying, and one, he noticed with rising anger, having disgorged a good portion of its contents on to the carpet. Every receptacle that could be pressed into service – ashtrays, saucers, dishes, and even his hard-won challenge cup from the golfing club! – was filled to overflowing with cigarette-ends and similar detritus. Even (and this was the final straw!) a couple of cigar-butts. His own precious hoarded double-corona Havana’s! He all but choked on his own bile. Heads were going to roll for this!

A sudden gentle snore cut across the grim thoughts of retribution that were crowding into his brain, jostling each other for acceptance. The first snore was followed by a second and a third. Like an Indian on the warpath, and just as intent on mayhem, he tracked the sound to its source – the big leather armchair over by the fireplace. Stealthily he approached it. Not that he needed to have bothered. He could have ridden up with horse, foot and artillery, banners flying and bands playing, and it would have made no difference to the chair’s sleeping occupant. It was of course, Therese. She was half-wearing a light cotton mini-dress that had slipped, or been pulled, down from one shoulder, allowing one small pink nipple to peep coyly over the top of what had originally been the neckline. The skirt had worked its way far enough up the smooth thighs to allow the merest hint of a glimpse of toffee-brown pubic hair. Pale blue silk knickers were festooned forlornly around one ankle. Her hair was fluffed out around her head, she wore lipstick, eye shadow and mascara and she slept the sleep of a clear conscience. It was at this point that the camel’s back broke under the weight of the aforementioned final straw.

Grinding his teeth, he strode back to the doorway and brought the door to with a grinding slam. The effect was electric. With a yelp of terror, Therese sprang, a little unsteadily, to her feet, scanning the room with terrified, if slightly bleary eyes. ‘Qu’est-ce-que c’est que ca?’ she squealed, panic-stricken. ‘Qui est la? Je vais appeler les…’ Her voice tailed away as the situation, in all its immutable horror, became blood-chillingly obvious. ‘Mister Bar-clay!’ she gasped, totally oblivious to her state of undress. ‘I was not expecting you until tomorrow…’ Like an avenging fury, he stalked across to face her. ‘It is tomorrow!’ he gritted, a little erroneously. She backed away a few steps, stumbling over her misplaced knickers as she did so. ‘I – I mean – I thought you would be home late… I was going…’

‘You needn’t go on,’ he interrupted, blackly. ‘You were going to get all this mess tidied up before I got here, and then I need never have known what was going on here last night. Is that it? Incidentally,’ he continued, before she had a chance to reply – always assuming that she had a reply to make – ‘Just who were you entertaining here last night? The hordes of Attila the Hun?’ She shook her head, meekly. ‘No Mister bar-clay,’ she whispered. ‘It was a few friends from college. I didn’t realise…’ the look in his eyes stopped her in her tracks. ‘A few friends,’ he commented coldly. ‘Well, you could have fooled me. I thought at least that you were trying to emulate the feeding of the five thousand!’ It was at about this point that he became aware of a certain sensation about nine inches south of his belt buckle.

He didn’t need to be told what had occasioned it. It had, after all, been very familiar to him at one time – before Julie had started getting bedtime headaches on a regular basis. It’s storm-centre was, he became aware, the little pink nipple that still revealed itself in the neckline of Therese’s party dress. Despite himself, it was becoming more and more obvious to him that his fingers were positively itching to take that peanut-sized morsel of flesh and torment it into erection, so that he could give it the proper attention that it deserved with lips, tongue and teeth. Indeed, his hand, of its own volition, was actually starting to make its way, unbidden, to that delicious target… Balling his fist, angrily, he thrust it into his trouser pocket. ‘That’s enough!’ he snapped cutting short her, by now, tearful apologies. ‘First, you can begin by going up to your room and making yourself decent.’ A gasp of horror, a quick shrug of a shoulder, and the object of his temptation disappeared from sight. ‘Then,’ he continued, ‘you can make a start at clearing up the mess in here – and anywhere else in the house that I haven’t seen yet. I’m going out to get myself some breakfast, as I’m quite sure the kitchen is as much a battlefield as the rest of the house. I shall be back in an hour.’

‘An hour, m’sieur?’ she wailed, looking helplessly around her.

He glowered. ‘An hour!’ he repeated. ‘And if you think you can’t finish it in that time, I suggest that you make a few ‘phone calls and get what help you can from the armies of Genghis Khan!’ with that, he turned on his heel and made a lofty and effective exit – only slightly marred by tripping over a discarded wine-bottle on his way to the door.

The only eating-house open at six-thirty in the morning was, not unnaturally, the local ‘greasy spoon’, a pull-up for truckers that he had, in the past, totally eschewed, but his little contretemps had given him such an appetite that the chalked blackboard offering ‘All Day Breakfast, bacon, Egg, Sausage, B/Beans, Fried Bread, £2.75’ seemed worth a try. To his utter astonishment, the meal was more than just palatable. The fried egg was a little hard, true, but the fried bread more than made up for that; consequently it was in a much better humour that he returned to the field of battle. The sight that met his eyes was not only satisfying; it was a bit of a surprise. The windows were all open, clearing the orgy smell from the entire place. Such glasses as had not been restored to their rightful places were standing, pristine clean, on a tray in the kitchen. The cigarette-ends and cigar-butts were gone (he must have a serious word with her about those cigars, he thought!) and Therese herself, now in her long white socks, short pleated skirt and white shirt-blouse, knelt over the wine stain on the carpet, scrubbing away diligently.

A quick inspection showed that she had indeed made the most of her allotted time. The kitchen was spotless and the beds were all made with hospital precision. (Was there anything significant in that, he wondered!) Satisfied, at least, up to a point, he wondered if there was anything more that he should inspect. A gentle cough behind him brought him abruptly back to the present, and he turned sharply. She was standing behind him, head lowered, hands folded in front of her, the very picture of subservience. ‘Is that to your liking, Mister Bar-clay?’ she whispered. ‘Or is there something else I should have done?’ Despite himself, he was forced to swallow, hard. ‘The tidying up is very good Therese,’ he answered sternly, in a voice that wasn’t quite as steady as he would have liked. ‘But there are matters that we need to settle before we can call the matter entirely closed. Go downstairs and wait for me in the lounge. There are still a few items that require explanation.’ Mutely, she gave a strange little half-bob, half-curtsey and was gone.

For a minute or two he stood looking out on blankness, his head not so much spinning as positively rotating as he considered the possibilities that were about to confront him. The girl was in his charge, true. She was a stranger in a strange land, true. He had a certain responsibility for her and to her. On the other hand, what about her responsibility to him? There was no question that she knew that she had done wrong. Her guilty reactions alone were proof of that. On the other hand… As he descended the stairs his sense of justice waged a battle with what he now realised was a completely previously unrecognised desire. How many times in the past few weeks, he wondered, had he seen those ripe, curvaceous buttocks rolling and rippling under tight jeans or short, dark pleated skirt, and longed, absolutely longed to deliver one – just one! – short sharp ringing slap on to the tight stretched surface…

It was in a slightly euphoric state that he entered the lounge. She was standing in the centre of the carpet, head lowered, hands folded as before. He took one deep breath, and plunged in to his diatribe, sparing nothing as he did so – abuse of hospitality, theft of property, (he was determined to get those damned cigars in somewhere!), betrayal of trust – it all came flooding out, until he heard himself saying ‘…and if I were your father, I’d give you the hiding of your life!’ Now he’d done it! That was the last thing he should have said! How was he going – but she was nodding her head!

‘Yes, Mister Bar-clay,’ she whispered contritely. ‘I have been very silly and very – how you say it? – ill mannered-no? I have had time to think while I have been working, and I have reached certain conclusions. I can see only two things that you can do. You can make me leave and go home – where my father will no doubt give to me what you have just called the hiding of my life, or – or-’ she faltered, ‘I can give to you my most abject apologies, and my promise that such a thing will never occur again – and agree to accept whatever you think fit in the way of – of correction…’ Her voice trailed away, and she lowered her eyes again. He felt the blood in his veins turn suddenly to champagne, fizzing and bubbling in a way that made his head spin all over again. The stirring in his Y-fronts became a positive turmoil, and he had to swallow very hard before he could reply.

‘Very well, Therese,’ he replied, at length. ‘I accept your apology. Now, if you will just…’ before he could complete the sentence, she had moved across to the settee and, in the action of bending forward to lean her hands upon it, flipped up her skirt to reveal two pert, plump naked buttocks. She had been expecting this, he thought wildly, as his bemused brain absorbed the delicious spectacle before him. For a few incredible moments, he surveyed this dream come true – the rich pink hemispheres crowning the pressed-together columns of the sturdy young legs, just revealing the hint of the cleft of the Mons Veneris with plump brown labia peeping through. His palm virtually tingled in anticipation. ‘I’m ready, sir she whispered and his head swam anew. This was it!

Moving to one side of her, he cupped one buttock in his willing and waiting hand for just one fleeting moment – just long enough to feel the involuntary clenching of the muscles – then, taking a deep breath, he raised his hand.


His palm landed squarely across the soft, pink flesh, causing it to ripple and flush most attractively. Before she could utter so much as a gasp of shock, he treated the other cheek to a similar ringing slap. She writhed, once, but made no move either to protest or to avoid the third slap, delivered neatly and precisely just below the first. The soft, fair skin was beginning to bloom now into a ripe rose pink, showing neat handprints at each fresh assault, but it wasn’t until the seventh or eighth sharp crack had sounded that she began to wail gently. Not cries of pain or anguish, he realised, dimly. If his French had been better, he would have been sure, but they sounded to him like – dare he think it? – cries of encouragement! Nothing loath. He plied his palm at will, till the irregular pattern of palm-prints blended into one rich, scarlet whole, and unintelligible cries became at last recognisable words. ‘oui!’ she was howling. Encore! J’ai été merchant! Punissez-moi!’

He didn’t stop until the tingling in his palm became a positive discomfort. Leaning forward, he inspected the glowing. Burning area closely, squeezing and moulding it between his hands – a process, he noted, that brought forth moans of appreciation from the fair penitent. Slowly she stood upright, and, to his utter amazement, she put her arms around his neck and, pulling his mouth to hers began to do extremely wicked things with her tongue. So that, he thought hazily, is why they call it a French kiss! But this was ridiculous! A forty-two year old deserted husband and a nineteen-year old student – it seemed impossible! Almost reluctantly, it seemed to him, she pulled her mouth away. ‘Thank you – Peter,’ she murmured. ‘I deserved that. And I needed it. But, of course, you still have to deal with my – what do you call – my impertinence in allowing my friends to help themselves to your wine. And your cigars!’ those bloody cigars! They had totally slipped his mind… But she was moving away from him, the skirt sliding down over those impudent buttocks, as she moved the settee.

Here,’ she said firmly. ‘When I cleaned up, I found this in your cupboard, with some funny boots and a little round hat.’ (Funny boots? Little round hat? Oh, my God! He had a sudden mental picture of himself in the Charlie Chaplin costume that had won him a magnum of champagne – surely, she couldn’t mean…) ‘Take it,’ she all but whispered. ‘I really think you should. Ten at least.’ And with that she seized one of the long-legged stools that stood in front of the drinks bar, draped herself across it, raised her skirt over her hips and grasped the stool’s legs. And waited.

It proved to be just what he had suspected but could not bring himself to believe. The “Little Fellow’s” cane – two and a half feet of wicked bamboo, curled at one end, whippy and pliable. He felt his mouth go dry as he looked at it and flexed it between his hands. Could she be serious? He looked again at that voluptuous body, at once sensuous and vulnerable. She made no move… Gritting his teeth, he raised it high.


‘Ah! Un…’


‘Ahhh! Deux…’


‘Ahhh! Quatre…’


Yaaa! Non, non, non! Pas encore! Je ne peux pas…’

She slumped forward over the arm of the stool sobbing bitterly. The reddened curves were marked now, with six nearly parallel lines, deep crimson in colour and rapidly purpling. He scooped her into his arms, soothing and caressing. Somehow, he never knew how, her shirt-blouse was open at the front and he was cupping and squeezing the delightful breast whose acquaintance he had already made, while their tongues sought each other in a kiss that made that first one look like a rehearsal. In no time, it seemed, they were tearing at each other’s clothes, coupling and mating on the settee in a way that he had never known, and would not, until now have dreamed possible.

Well, that’s how it happened. Suffice it to say that Therese has moved in on a permanent basis and, as soon as I can finalise my divorce from Julie, we intend to make it legal. Not that there’s any hurry of course – a little “living in sin” does add a dash of spice to the dish. I hope you like the little “action replay” we’ve arranged for you. Sorry about the picture quality. It’s never easy working with a camera timer, but we thoroughly enjoyed setting it up for what has rapidly become our favourite magazine! In closing, I should like to make it clear that Therese did get her final four strokes of the cane – just before we went to bed that night, in fact – and is now seldom happy with less than twelve.


Peter Barclay. Kettering.

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