This third encounter was to be a prime example of just how hard John Woollan could cane especially if one didn't get the message the first time around - which I didn't and as was to be reinforced by way of four promised really high octane strokes of the senior cane where I was generously informed that if in the unlikelihood after this demonstration that there would be a next time - two more in fact - then expect six just like it where my departing mutterings were as I put the chair back against the wall in JW's study and grimaced my way to the door " Not on my backside matey, not in your World, this World, or the next " but, well laid schemes of mice and men and all that. But hey, not always....
So, there I was once again, straight after assembly hopelessly defending my case about how a packet of ten belonging to my housemaster suddenly ended up being a packet of ten belonging to me and which I gently lifted from his desk in his study.
Well Sir, I did intend to return them when I'd finished with - Return them !!!" interrupted a peel of thunder disguised as an irate Kingham Hill school headmaster - " Return them boy !!! How ? !!!!"
Well I hadn't quite got round to that part - Sir - but I did intend to buy him a new packet from the village - Buy !!! Cigarettes !!! From the village !!!! pull that chair out - now !!!" then after calming down "For your audacity and, I must say, integrity, I'm going to give you four instead of the deserved six but, you can be certain that they will be of the best "
Well Sir, I wouldn't expect anything less now would I ? I said but didn't as I reached for the bottom rail of the chair where after what seemed like an eternity my whole backside erupted in a fury of fire and pain that cut right through to the very core and that had me shooting bolt upright with shock then after being instructed to get back over - an even more impressive eruption still quickly followed seconds after the first as, once again, up I shot, bolt upright and clutching desperately at my backside then, just as I locked my body in expectation of a repeat performance with the third... nothing, absolutely nothing - then a detached voice filtered through the pain...
Right. I can see you aren't going to get through another two like that so get up, and get out !!
Eh ? I squeezed out between clenched teeth "So does that mean I get to keep the fags Sir ?" I blurted but didn't and, where John Woollan and his cane were concerned anyway, you quit while you were ahead or, as it was in this case, quit while you were two short !