The Loden Twins
– Part Two –
by Mr. George
This is a direct continuation of The Loden Twins – Part One. Having read this is a prerequisite for reading on.
Chapter eleven – At the dentist
With the Turtleneck dress, the woolen layer of her dress, the woolen coat on top of her dress and the loden cape also layered Miss Angelica counted five additional layers as her punishment. The girl regretted her outburst not only because of the incredible punishment she earned but also because her sister got her arms secured backwards and the lined cape without any reason. “Just to show we are twins, how nice” she thought with sarcasm. For herself the punishment was nearly unbearable – literally token because of the weight of the loden items and because of the heat that had built up under the layers.
It was not such a sunny day as yesterday and it had rained in the morning, but this did not make it any better. It was humid and as the clouds were dissolving it became warmer every hour. The way to the dentist seemed endless, and she had to ‘show her respect’ several times without the benefit of pulling her hood backward. Not that this would have been a relief, as her face was covered with gauze anyway and the loden veil would have still touched her nose. Both girls worried that the small slit between the hood and the veil would not be sufficient for fresh air but they had no choice as they could not lift the veils for a second. Neither of the girls had any idea why they needed to see a dentist on their first morning in Meadvale and they were both curious what the dentist would say about two girls who got presented gagged bound and sweating all the time.
They arrived just in time, as the office opened at eleven o’clock and their appointment was the first for the day. So the waiting room was empty and the girls regretted not having any witnesses as they undressed. They got permission to take off the cape and the coat but they found themselves refitted with their muffs only this time in front after the coats had been removed. Even with their mittens they would have no chance to reach for the straps that held the gag, but with the muff they could not reach their neck.
Katharina was first and Dr. Blackstone welcomed her to Meadvale. He seemed not to notice the gag, the bondage or the thick balaclava the girl was still wearing. During the time he talked with Mrs. Kelly she removed the balaclava and the gag but not the muff. The dentist placed a heavy rubber cloak over Katharina’s upper body, and held a glass of water to the girl’s lips. “Please take this and spit it out here, it contains a disinfection liquid” he said. Katharina did as requested and then, without giving the girl a chance to speak, he asked her to open her mouth and started with a dental cast of her teeth.
When the cast was made he told Mrs. Kelly that the girl could take a seat in the waiting room until the braces where ready. “You have very good and even teeth my dear, it will not take long to do the final fitting” he said to the girl. “My WHAT?” Katharina shouted but in this moment Mrs. Kelly pushed the gag back into Katharina´s mouth. “I do apologize for her behavior. She is new here and a little bit like a foal” Mrs. Kelly said as she fixed the laces of the gag. Then she pulled the thick balaclava over the girls head again, followed by a scarf she obviously carried with her. Katharina was guided back to the waiting room but because of her violation of the rule of silence she was not allowed to sit down. Instead of that she was guided to a corner and had to stand there motionless while facing the wall.
For Angelica the dentist followed the same procedure and although Dr. Blackstone did not mention that the whole procedure happened to prepare her for a muzzle, Angelica used the short moment after the cast was removed to ask the doctor for help. “Please Sir. Did you see what Mrs. Kelly did to me? I was bound, gagged and nearly blinded by a veil and . . .” she said as fast as possible and branched off Mrs. Kelly to avoid the gag touching her face “AND you will be gagged again right now young lady! I have told you that you are under the rule of silence and your outburst is totally inexcusable. OPEN your mouth, NOW” Mrs. Kelly said in a strict tone. Angelica realized that Mr. Blackstone did not take any notice of her question or the fact that she got gagged again. Her two balaclavas had been put on together and soon her face was wrapped by a thick scarf. “Excuse us, doctor, it’s the same story. You cannot deny that the girls are twins. Unfortunately they have the same bad behavior. But I can assure you, they will both get the deserved punishment later” With these words she guided Angelica to the waiting room.
The girl got parked in the opposite corner to her sister and Mrs. Kelly went back to the still open door. “Doctor, would you have a minute, please?” “Of course, Mrs. Kelly, what can I do for you?” Dr. Blackstone replied. “I would ask you to create two sets for each girl, one with the short straw that allows the wearer to taste what they swallow, and another one with the flexible tube, that feeds her without any chance to stop the fluid.” “No problem, and as I said, the girls have such well-proportioned teeth that we do not need to adjust much from the standard model. So I can have all four items ready in an hour. In fact, that brings me to a proposal for you. We’ve got prototypes with a new straw. It has the same form as usual behind the wearer’s teeth, so either short straw or long flexible tube, but between the teeth it is flat, and the connector between the lips is also flat and rectangular. This brings both rows of teeth closer together. The only disadvantage is that you must be careful with everything that is not complete liquid. I could test it with the casts I have made and in case it fits, you could take them for testing. If you do not like them, we can still adjust the standard model.” “I´ll be glad to test these for you, and a closer row of teeth will be no disadvantage” “Very well, this model has another modification as you can adjust the clamp that holds the tongue down, and if required you can attach an inflatable ball behind the teeth to fill the mouth for compete silence.” “Sounds perfect for my girls” Miss Kelly said, thanked Dr. Blackstone and returned to the waiting room.
First she greeted Miss Dodd, who was sitting with a girl in a dark blue velvet dress next to Angelica’s corner. The girl stood and curtseyed while Miss Dodd greeted Mrs. Kelly and exchanged some words with her. Mrs. Kelly then turned to Miss Bell and Miss Glass who had stayed with the twins. “I hope the girl’s behaved well?” Miss Bell answered with a light indignation “Not as well as we hoped Mrs. Kelly. First I had to urge Miss Angelica not to turn her head, as she obviously was curious to see who had come in and sat down near her corner and while I exhorted Angelica, Miss Katharina turned her head to look at her sister. Miss Glass gave her colleague a stern look at that remark and shook her head. She would not have reported this minor misdemeanor to the head governess as she thought the girls had enough troubles. Mrs. Kelly seemed to appreciate the report as she nodded and thanked Miss Bell for it. She then went to the desk and, in little more than a whisper, asked the dentist’s receptionist “Do you still have some blankets in case a girl in disgrace has to wait here, my dear” “Yes, of course, Mrs. Kelly, thick black ones or lighter in green” the woman replied. “The black ones would be perfect, if you have two identical?” The woman nodded and went to a cabinet. She opened the door and Mrs. Kelly portended to Miss Bell and Miss Glass to take each one of the thick and fluffy blankets.
It went dark for both girls at the same time as the two guardians threw the still folded blankets over the twin’s heads. “This is not a punishment for being curious ladies. It is just a ‘helping hand’ to prevent any disturbance. Now you can fully concentrate on standing motionless as there is nothing in the room you need to look at. Together with one or even two balaclavas and a scarf it soon became hot under the nearly closed blankets. Time seemed to stand still and the remaining fifty minutes were like ages for the girls.
It was Katharina who was the first released from the blanket, scarf and balaclava and guided to Dr. Blackstone. Her face was red and her hair dark from sweat when her gag was removed again. “All right, Miss Katharina, you have obviously never been muzzled before so you need to follow my instructions exactly. This will make sure you don’t get hurt and also minimize the discomfort you will feel for the first few weeks. “Please open your mouth as wide as you can!” At first the girl hesitated but then she felt the head governess behind her and obeyed. “That’s a good girl. Now please bite down on both clamps. You will be unable to close your teeth completely and your tongue will be secured in your mouth. Now part your lips but keep biting down on the clamps” The doctor used a little key and made a few turns in the clamps at both corners of her mouth. “That’s it, all finished. You can no longer open your mouth without this key being used to unlock the clamps, and you should not try to as it would do no good to your teeth. It will take some time until you learn to swallow with the silencer that holds your tongue in place but you will adjust as every girl before has done”.
Katharina looked at the doctor with panic in her eyes. Did he really invisibly gag her? She looked into a mirror behind the man and saw her face. She could close her lips and even smile but nobody would be able to see that she was not able to say a word or use her teeth, for example, to attempt to open the laces of her mittens. Mrs. Kelly was satisfied and after the girl had been dressed in her balaclava and scarf again she had to curtsey before leaving the office. Angelica looked at her sister’s eyes as she was guided to Dr. Blackstone, but due to the thick scarf she could not see what had happened.
The doctor held the same little speech after the girls face came out of all the wool but Angelica did not open her mouth, shaking her head instead. “MISS ANGELICA” Mrs. Kelly shouted from behind the girl. Your sister earned a punishment for hesitating. Do you really want to earn the double quantity for openly disobeying? If not, open your mouth this instant” The girl was frightened by the harsh tone and obeyed. Soon her muzzle was adjusted and her head packed in her balaclavas and scarf again. Under the hard look of the head governess Angelica curtseyed and met her sister, who was already dressed in her coat again. Angelica’s muff was opened, she got her coat and then Miss Glass looked at Mrs. Kelly to ask where to attach the muff. “There is no need to change anything, except at the capes the head governess said, and a short time and some curtseys later the girls were dressed in their coats with the hoods firmly fixed, and wore the capes with their arms bound in the muffs at their backs. The only difference was that this time the hood of the cape was also pulled over the girl’s heads. Together with the gauze veils and the loden half-veil the slit for the girls to see the street was less than an inch. It was half past twelve, and the sun had cleared up the sky. The early summer sun made the way back home even longer than the outward trip.
Chapter twelve – The first corsets for the twins
The twins had been totally exhausted when they arrived home. The already strong summer sun and their heavy dress had made it not easy to walk. Their jaws ached and they were desperate for something to drink. Miss Glass wanted to guide each girl to their dressing room to get undressed but Mrs. Kelly held them back. “One minute Miss Glass, the girls should stay in their chamber of reflection instead of getting undressed” The twins stopped in the middle of their small steps they could make and listened with a feeling of horror. Not getting undressed and the ‘chamber of reflection’ meant another unbearable challenge as both girls could imagine that the heaters in this sticky room would not remain cold during their stay.
Miss Bell immediately changed the direction and guided ‘her’ girl to the door on the corridor. Miss Glass hesitated for a moment but then did the same with Miss Angelica. “Are they in disgrace, Mrs. Kelly?” Miss Bell asked after both girls where standing side by side in the middle between the two heaters. “Unquestionably they are, after their behavior at Dr. Blackstone’s” “So the blanket for each or shall I let them share it again?” Miss Bell wanted to know.
“I think, as they shared the same outburst, they can share their blankets as well and they will stand right where they are” Mrs. Kelly replied looking at both girls. The plural form made it clear for all that the girls would have to stand with two thick blankets over her heads. “I have organized some clothespins, Mrs. Kelly. Shall I close the blankets at Miss Angelica’s right and Miss Katharina’s left shoulder?” “That is an excellent idea, Miss Bell, please Miss Glass, help her on your side.” Miss Bell took the two thick blankets that had been left in the room, unfolded them and Miss Glass had to help her lifting them together over the girls. Miss Glass just took two clothespins to pin the four hems of the blankets together but Miss Bell, who took the time to press the layers firmly together offered Miss glass another three pins. “There is no need to use them sparingly as we have enough clothespins to close the blankets firmly.
This remark let Miss Angelica, who was still dressed in her punishment outfit with two balaclavas, the scarf, and the hood of the woolen coat in addition to their standard outfit and the two loden hoods moan in desperation. “What did you say Miss Angelica? Any complaints from your side?” Miss Bell asked in a sarcastic tone as she knew the girl was muzzled and could not answer. “Maybe you should show Miss Angelica the effect of complaints. One second if you please Miss Bell” Mrs. Kelly said and left the room to fetch another heavy blanket from one of the bins in the corridor. “Here we go, Ladies, and then place the heaters at each side as near as possible” Miss Glass had to help again to pull a really heavy blanket on top of the others, and then pulled on her side on the heater. Miss Bell did the same on her side so well that the blankets nearly touched the heater as Miss Glass left a space of ten inches between the blankets and the heaters. “The girls will not move, so there is no need to leave so much room between the heater and the blankets, Miss Glass” Mrs. Kelly corrected Miss Angelica’s governess and after she had turned on the heaters, the women left the small room. “Mrs. Kelly, may I ask you a question?” Miss Glass asked the head governess when Miss Bell was already on the way upstairs. “Of course my dear” “Do you have a special reason for your . . . how shall I say, remarkably hard treatment of the girls? I mean, I have spent some training days at families in Meadvale during my college time. And not one of the governesses had been nearly as strict as you?” “That’s easy to explain and I wonder why you did not find the answer by yourself. Here, the preconditions are totally different to your practice at selected families. Their daughters have learned to behave over their whole childhood and are used to all the rules and commands coming from a governess. In addition, and this might be the biggest difference, we are not allowed to use the most effective and powerful instrument to teach the girls their lesson. Do you know what I mean” “You mean spanking?” said Miss Glass nearly without a noise. “Indeed, the good old lexan paddle. As you should know it does not mark the skin or leave a bruise, but I can assure you it feels as if you are being whipped with a bull whip. But as you have heard corporal punishment is only permitted for extreme disobedience and although I find that most of the failures the girls made so far, would fall under this description but Mr. Blackwood made his point clear on that. So using additional layers of cloth or blankets are the only tools I have for the day. You should also think about the wise experiences that it is much easier to reduce the pressure IF everything works perfect, than to find the appropriate increase after you started on a lower level and the girl failed. Therefore it is mandatory to be as strict as ever possible for the first weeks or even months”
Still not totally convinced Miss Glass nodded “And don´t you think the girl’s need some rest before they go to the corset maker, and for their health something to drink?” Mrs. Kelly seemed to be surprised by this argument but she said “Of course I have considered this, that’s why the girls will only spend thirty minutes in the chamber right now. The rest of the punishment for their behavior will follow this evening and/or on the following days. So please inform Miss Bell about the thirty minutes from now. Then you can remove the cape, coat and balaclavas then give them a meal and enough hot tea to prevent dehydration. I believe their woolen bed covers should warmed by the sun so if they want to rest after lunch they may lay down on their beds for an hour – fully dressed and wrapped in the bed covers as these are oversized blankets for real. The appointment at Mrs. Forster is at four o’clock so we will need to leave the house fifteen minutes beforehand.
The girls could hardly stand upright when they got released from their torture in the chamber of reflection. They followed each command and looked extremely thankful when the tube was attached to their muzzles. Of course, when they realized that the drink was hot tea their thankfulness went down as their body heated up again from the herbal tea, but it was better than nothing. They got also a liquid pulp and felt really full up afterwards. Miss Bell offered to let them rest for a short while the girls accepted without knowing the fact that they would be wrapped from above their heads to their toes under an extremely thick blanket again. As they were still muzzled there was no need to check the microphone during this rest.
Although it was hot and sticky again the girls were so tired that they fell asleep and so they were a little refreshed but confused when the governesses woke them up. They were again dressed in their coat, one face open balaclava under the veils as usual, then the muffs again at their backs and finally the long capes. The hood of the coat was closed as the loden face veil was attached to it, but the hood of the cape was draped at the girls back. It was only a short distance to walk as Madame Levine’s studio was only a view blocks away from the Blackwood’s home. The way from the house to the main street was fully in shadow as there were big trees on both sides, but as soon as Mrs. Bell entered the security key at the door they had to walk in sunshine as the clouds had nearly disappeared so that even this short walk tired the girls out.
“Oh, what a pleasure to see you again, Amanda” Madame Levine welcomed Mrs. Kelly “It is a long time since we met, my dear” “That´s true, too long I believe” Mrs. Kelly replied. “I thought you had retired from education and so I was surprised when this appointment was made. Positively surprised of course as your wards have always be welcomed in my studio” “Girls, show your respect to Madame Levine” Mrs. Kelly ordered, and the twins, still heavily veiled, curtseyed in the direction of the voices they had heard. They had not been informed for the reason of this appointment, but since the morning that ended with these horrible muzzles they did not expect any pleasurable to happen.
Madame Levine looked up and down and walked around the twins. “Très chic, this outfit, extraordinary fabric for our society, but why not. It suites them very well and it seems to fulfill all the requirements of a young girls outdoor outfit. Let’s go to the fitting room. Normally my assistant undresses the clients and measures them up but I must confess I am curious about their complete outfit. And of course, for you, dear Amanda, it’s my pleasure to personally take the time to see that everything fits your wards perfectly.” “You are too kind, my dear” Mrs. Kelly answered before she ordered Miss Bell and Miss Glass to guide the girls to the large fitting room. In the large room with a lot of mirrors around the junior governesses took off the girls capes and Madame Levine said “Ooh, muffs. I have not seen them for a long time. Is this their Swiss heritage? “No, I ordered them from Mrs. Foster. Mrs. Blackwood brought tons of loden fabric from Australia, together with more wool a person can knit in her live. I think when they sold their company and left Australia they wanted to have some raw material just in case. And if you had met Mrs. Blackwood on any occasion you would have seen that most of the time her outfits are also made from loden.
“The muffs have a special purpose. As the girls are not used to the mittens they wear below the muff it might happen that they forget their rules and try to take them off. So to help prevent them from misbehaving the hidden linen straps help them to hold their wrists together.” “I see, and why do the wear it at their back?” Madame Levine asked, again walking around the girls. “I am afraid they might brandish with the muffs, and the second reason is that it forces them to walk in a more upright stance. They are not used to heels and they have a sloppy appearance sometimes, so with their arms at their back they must take care how they walk.” “Very well, I see you have not forgotten anything during your short retirement”
Mrs. Kelly nodded and the junior governesses removed the muffs, and the coats. “Oh, a loden dress, what else, and I see the cape and the coat are nicely lined. I have never seen them with such a thick wool lining, but now as you mentioned ‘Blackwood – Australia’ I understand where it comes from. The company still produces loden and wool clothes of an excellent quality. Obviously Mrs. Blackwood had combined both fabrics into one cloth.” “Indeed she had. These items had been produced for Maria, the daughter of the Blackwood’s and mother of the twins. The parents had a fatal accident and so Mr. Blackwood became their legal guardian and brought them to us”
“I see, so Ladies, it is time to see you in your underwear to take the required measurements” Madame Levine said and the twins got undressed down to their last layer, the Angora turtleneck bodysuit with matching Angora tights. Madame Levine was amazed when she saw, that the girls wore not only the extreme thick turtleneck – which was obvious at the girl’s neck, but also knitted tights of the same quality. She did not say a word and measured the twins without any comment. The fact that the girls were muzzled was normal to her and the twins had to confess the fact that they could not expect any help here.
After the measurements were finished the girls had to stand still in their underwear. Madame Levine had written down the sizes and turned around to her friend. “They are both the same size, not surprising for twins, and they well proportioned. Besides that they have standard measurements and I believe I have the right size in stock. Would you like them to try one on it right now?” “If it does not steal too much of your time, that would be wonderful my dear” Mrs. Kelly replied, glad to hear that they had not got to wait for corsets to be made to order. “But I must warn you, they’ve never wore corsets before so it might be a challenge to lace them” “I have assumed this due to their vast size. But I believe they have potential. I will ask my assistant to get the right sizes. You need day corsets for the ladies, what quantity. “Two for each, as I hope they will need smaller sizes before the end of the year.” “Bon, so four in total, Night corsets same amount?” Mrs. Kelly just nodded “And punishment corsets?” “Certainement” Mrs. Kelly said in her best French. “I think two for each girl as they might need to be aired after a long night session.” “And the underwear? I do not believe the Angora wool will be the right layer below a corset.” “I am afraid you would say so, but cool and smooth silk does not seem appropriate as the first layer for the girls. Not considering the general order from Mr. Blackwood and certainly not considering the behavior of the girls.” “In this case I might have a compromise for you, dear Amanda. The fabrics that fit under a corset have been improved and nowadays we have a much wider selection. For example we could use thermo fleece. It transports sweat, is available as a seamless bodysuit, sleeveless with round neck or even long-sleeved with turtleneck. As I have bought the full range for an attractive price for resellers I also have tights made of the same material in stock. To be honest, I have the turtleneck model and the fleece lined tights on sale as the light material found more interest. But in your case, it looks like the girls are used to let’s say, cozy qualities. They are used to it from home, I assume?”
Angelica and Katharina were forced to listen to the women´s conversation motionless with their heads bowed and facing the wall, but at the last question of Madame Levine Angelica could not stand it anymore. She turned around, took some steps forward and looked at Madame Levine with a frantic look and shook her head. “Nooouuuu e a orzed u” she said her voice muffled, with Katharina and the governesses being the only people that understood that she was trying to say “No, we are forced to” from this. Katharina turned her head to watch Angelica who was brought back to the wall. Madame Levine looked at the girl like watching an interest species. “MISS ANGELICA, quiet, Miss Katharina, turn around” Mrs. Kelly shouted. “Sorry, you see, the girls are totally untrained. “Now I understand why you keep them dressed like that and it is obvious that a tight laced corset is necessary for the girls. Amanda, what do you think about neck corsets? Not for outdoors of course, as they have to bow their heads, but in addition to the punishment corset during the night it could help to keep the girls head in an upright and fixed position. If you take the over bust version of the punishment corset it can be linked to the neck corset. In this case, 70B would be the right size, I assume?”
Mrs. Kelly nodded to the size as she was familiar with the European measurements and replied “Good idea my dear. It is obvious why you are the best in your profession. I believe the thermo fleece underwear will be a very good choice as wool would not work well under the corset and they have a long way to go until they deserve silk. So we need two dozen sets for each girl, tights and bodysuit. As you said that the fleece lined tights and the bodysuit with long sleeves and turtleneck are on sale, I have no other choice than to save Mr. Blackwood’s money and take them. Can we start with them as well for the first lacing?” “Absolutely no problem, my dear, the girls can undress behind this folding screen and I’ll send my assistant for two thermo fleece tights and bodysuit’s in matching size. I will pick up the corsets in the meantime”
Minutes later the girls had been stripped but the relative cool air was not for the long haul as thick black thermo fleece turtleneck bodysuits were unpacked and handed over to the twins. They could not feel the material as they still wore the mittens but they could read the description on the package. Seamless, extra warm, fleece lined, with Lycra, easy to wash, remains stable. These were the features Katharina had time to read before she had to don the tights followed by the bodysuit that kept the tights pressed firmly against her legs.
The twins were guided to the strange bars hanging from the ceiling, looking similar to the ones in their dressing room. Their wrists got fixed in leather loops at each side of the bar and then the girls found themselves being lifted until they lost contact with the ground below their feet. For the first time they found the mittens and the woolen gloves underneath them useful as it reduced the pulling force at their wrists, but this was the only positive thing on their situation. As they faced a wall they could not see what was coming next but they had seen corsets in movies, movies that were set in the nineteenth century. Of course they knew of Madonna and the corset she wore during her concerts. But this was neither an actor nor a singer. What was happening here was reality. The corsets were a perfect fit and the junior governesses began to haul on the laces.
At first the girls found them tight but not too bad at all. What they did not know was the fact that lacing a corset never happens in one round. After they assumed the lacing was finished, Miss Glass and Miss Bell restarted their work from the top down and from the bottom up, and this time they reached a point that caused Katharina to moan quietly. A short time later the girls could not breathe normally and the pressure on their body seemed to be unbearable. Madame Levine inspected the result and said. “This will be okay as a first loose lacing. I would assume everything else will follow at home?” “Indeed, Miss Glass, Miss Bell, help the girls to get dressed again” Mrs. Kelly agreed.
“Mrs. Kelly, what about the Angora underwear the girls had worn, I assume they do not need it as they now wear the thermo fleece set under their corset?” Miss Glass asked the head governess. “And I assume my order was clear, Miss Glass, wasn´t it?! You can be sure I would have given you clear order if ‘dress them again’ meant dropping any of their wool layers after they had been undressed. The thermo fleece set is part of the corseting and does not influence Mr. Blackwood’s order about the girl´s Angora underwear”. The girls sighed quietly and Miss Bell was the first to hand out the Angora underwear to Miss Katharina. She went to Mrs. Kelly and whispered something in her ear. “I like your ability to think about the next step Miss Bell. Ladies, as a first result of your inacceptable behavior here you will wear a second balaclava, a double layered version made of mohair wool with just an eye slit. Miss Bell was wise enough bring two of them with her. This is of course not your punishment for your behavior, just a reminder for the rest of the day”
Chapter thirteen – Madame Levine’s innovating ideas
Miss Glass looked regretful at Miss Angelica before she took the Angora set for her and helped the girl to get dressed. Mrs. Kelly had ordered that the twins be completely dressed before returning home, this time with both wool lined hoods of coat and cape tightly closed. Madame Levine had given the shopping list for the girls to her assistant and the large packages should be delivered later that same day as they where the last customers and the assistant could bring it after closing the shop. “How about a nice cup of tea for you and your team Amanda?” Madame Levine invited after the business part was finished. “A nice offer, but I believe the girls need to feel that they are in disgrace again” Mrs. Kelly said, looking to the twins. “But they could start here my dear. I have just opened my new waiting lounge for my customers. Do you see the half cylinder with the door knobs here in the corner? Each knob opens a one half, a quarter if it would be a full cylinder. So I have room for a customer arriving early and one who has to wait after being laced. The person can stand or lean on a special stool for corseted ladies. The two chambers are fully isolated against noise and temperature but there are loudspeakers installed, as well as spots and infrared webcams. And the cylinder is air conditioned. You can choose from fifteen to thirty-five degrees Celsius and with a ceiling of only six feet and the total inside diameter of only four feet the room is very quickly cooled down or heated up. So my customers can comfortably sit and read a book at eighteen degrees if allowed or stand motionless at thirty degrees in total darkness. Whatever the guardian decides” “Under those conditions I believe we can leave the ladies in your waiting lounge for a while.” Mrs. Kelly decided.
“But, Mrs. Kelly, excuse me” Miss Bell asked standing in front of the girls. “Shouldn´t they get used to a blanket over their head during disgrace?” “That is no problem” Mrs. Levine answered quickly. “I have of course something in store for that as customer service is my success. But it is not a simple blanket as it looks so inelegant. I have black fake fur hoods, following the body measurements down to the knees. The summer version is lined with black fleecy velour, the winter version has an addition quilt with an inch of synthetic fibres. They have a covered zipper running from the head to the hem on the backside, and as the material is semi elastic, its tight fit can press the wearer´s arms nicely at each side. Wearing mittens you have no chance to reach the zipper so it does not only look elegant, it is much safer than a simple blanket thrown over the head. Of course, in your case it will just press the parallel folded forearms under the cape tighter to the girl´s backside” Madame Levine finished remembering that the straps inside of the muffs had just been pulled closed on the loden coat sleeves before hiding them under the capes.
“You always have such wonderful and innovative ideas my dear” Mrs. Kelly was delighted. “If you have two of them, the ladies would appreciate to try the winter version while standing in your waiting lounge. I believe thirty degrees would fit to their behavior better than anything else”. Madame Levine took the black fur items out of a hidden wardrobe and handed them over to the junior governesses. Miss Glass saw the massive belt at the extreme heavy hem and obviously was not sure about a possible lack of air inside. “You must not wonder about the weight, my dear, that’s because of some lead plates that have been inserted to the hem. There is also no need to worry about a lack of air. It has been tested with the result that it is like inside of a mummy sleeping bag top down. It might not be the freshest air inside and they will heat it up with their own breath but it is not dangerous.”
“Would you like some Bible verses for the young ladies or should they think about their sins in silence?” Madame Levine asked as she went to a small touch board on the cylinder. “Hm, that is not an easy decision. There are so many verses that would show them the right way . . . ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right, Ephesians 6:1 . . .’.
‘Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord . . .Colossians 3:20’.
‘If you love me, keep my commandments … John 14:15’.
‘And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death …Exodus 21:15’.
And so on and so on, but as we have not educated them and to be honest I do not know how well-versed they are in the bible, I believe silence will be the best choice for now.”
“So please step in ladies, the show will begin shortly” Madame Levine said knowing that all in the room where aware of the fact that the ‘show’ would mean two ‘actresses’ covered in thick black fur standing in a narrow and overheated room in total darkness and absolute silence and maybe gasping for air. Madame Levine took an iPad and showed it to Mrs. Kelly. “Here you can see everything coming from the two webcams. They have infrared sensors and very good microphones, so every motion and every noise is recorded. There is also a loudspeaker so you can talk to them. Now, I believe, the tea must be ready, so let´s go upstairs and have a piece of cake.”
Mrs. Kelly was very interested in the technology as she had wondered if the microphones that are installed in each room would be enough. Recordings via webcam could prove each breach of behavior and could not only be shown to the girls but also, in compressed version, to Mr. and Mrs. Blackwood. This could give her the argument that a corporal punishment was needed from time to time. She also wondered if those fur hoods down to the knees would look more elegant at home instead of blankets. If the outer side could be made either of thick sheep wool or loden with some small holes as the fabric is nearly airtight, an inner layer as in Madame Levine´s version made of thick synthetic blankets and a layer quilted with an inch of synthetic fibres in between would make a very nice ‘disgrace hood’ for the girls. It would not only bring them ‘out of sight’, it would also make the wearer totally blind, nearly deaf, short of air and most important, unable to use their arms or run away. All this with just one heavy zipper and a belt closed at the knees looked like a perfect solution. So Mrs. Kelly asked her friend: “Would you mind if we borrow the quilted version of your nice ‘disgrace hood’ for a day to copy it” “No problem, but it has been made in my own studio so I could make copies for you as well.” “Too nice my dear, but we might need them in wool and loden, the famous ‘Blackwood’ quality you know” “If you bring the fabric over it is a question of two hours. I have enough of the quilted synthetics left in my stock if this is required too. And if the fabric is coming from you, this means no extra costs on your bill. Not only because you are a friend, but also because of the order that you placed in my studio today. It would be my pleasure to make this for your girls. So I insist, that you send me your layers tomorrow morning, and in the afternoon, of course only if required, the twins can have their own custom-made ‘disgrace hoods’. And in case you need any additional items, especially to restrict freedom, please do not hesitate to ask me.”
Madame Levine had made the last offer bending to Mrs. Kelly´s ear. “If you would like to see my special assortment which I have it’s in a separate room. I could show it but just to you, you understand?” Mrs. Kelly was interested and they both left the table for a while. Madame Levine showed her friend leather punishment corsets going down past the knees, including hoods with or without openings. She had veils in stock that looked pretty normal on the outside but inside they included a mask made of thick rubber or leather. Both the leather hoods and the veils where available with gags and Madame Levine explained” “Not all of my customers are muzzled all the time or want to spend the money for the dental solution. Some may also stay without those restrictions at home, but then it is important to have an alternative available to gag them very quickly either in public or as punishment. And here is my newest creation. It is custom made and I cannot tell you who the lucky person is, but I can tell you it is a ‘present’ from her husband to be worn over her nightgown. It was not a problem to create a corset that laces the whole body but the material was the challenge. It should give the wearer the feeling of being firmly enclosed and allow tight lacing at the one side, but it should be made from soft leather that clings to the wearer´s body on the other side. And the biggest challenge was that I could just use the measures of her corsets that I had delivered for her. Everything else came from measurements taken secretly while she was sleeping. But I am sure the result will be a perfect fit. Of course it will not be the most comfortable way to spend the night. Not only will she be held completely motionless, this could be achieved with other methods as well, but totally enclosed in leather while wearing her standard night gowns will become quite a hot experience – and I do not mean it from a sexual point of view.” and was wondering if she should recommend such a ‘special nightgown’ to her employer. “What is this?” Mrs. Kelly asked, touching some clothes made of latex and even heavy rubber. “I did not know you worked with these materials” “This is for the same customer. His wife is . . . let´s say her figure is not as wanted by her husband. She is not really fat but has some little problem zones and her husband asked me what we could do through the day and night as she could not spend hours in a sauna to lose weight. He found some sauna suites in catalogues but they had no style. He asked if I could create some custom made sauna suites, invisible for the day and a heavy neoprene suit for the night. This will help her to the required figure as not everything can be laced” Mrs. Kelly intended to come back on this if appropriate for her girls. Not that they had been fat but in case a multiple layer punishment was not possible, just one of these suits under a normal dress could remind the wearer about her failures.
In the meantime the senior governesses had ordered Miss Bell to watch the video stream and keep an eye on the girls. Suddenly she saw Miss Angelica moving forward some inches until she leaned at the ninety degree corner of her prison. Miss Bell found the button to turn on the iPad microphone that was linked with the speakers in the cylinder. “MISS ANGELICA, stand still, your corner time does not mean you are allowed to lean against the wall!” But the girl did not react. “MISS ANGELICA, STAND BACK. THIS IS AN ORDER” Miss Bell was angry to be ignored by the girl although she was empowered to give an order. The girl did not obey but slowly slipped along the corner until she reached the carpet and did not move any further.
Miss Glass, who had also watched the monitor stood up and said “Mrs. Kent, Miss Angelica fainted, we must go downstairs” “We should go downstairs, but I do not believe she has fainted, it is a show and she is a very good actress. But she cannot fool me.” Miss Bell said angrily. But all four governesses stood and went down. The girl had not moved and lay with bent knees in the small room. Miss Glass and Mrs. Kent pulled her out of the hot cabin as there was not enough room to help her inside. The fake fur was also too slippery to take it and so they pulled the girl out and Miss Glass opened the belt in the hem and the zipper to remove the ‘disgrace hood’. “If I were you I would not do that without the permission of Mrs. Kelly.” Miss Bell said, still not convinced about the girl´s fettle. “I believe it is necessary, and I hope, Mrs. Hunter, her senior governess agrees with me?” Miss Glass said and removed not only the black fur but also the hoods of the cape and the coat. The girls head was still covered by an face open and one double layered Mohair balaclava with only an eye slit, so Miss Glass pulled on the outer Balaclava until it slipped out of the thick turtleneck and the collar of the coat. Angelica´s face was, although totally sweat covered and overheated, nearly white. This was, even for the senior governesses a clear sign that she was not pretending. “Maybe we should release Miss Katharina as well before she faints too. I mean, it is obviously too much for the girls, the first time being laced and then fully dressed with an additional balaclava in this oven under fur down to her knees” Miss Glass argued. Mrs. Hunter as senior governess for Miss Katharina hesitated for some seconds. But then she agreed and Miss Glass opened the second door and guided the girl out of the heat. She removed the fur ‘disgrace hood and as the girl tottered a little she removed the hoods and the double layered balaclava as well and let her sit down.
A few minutes later Mrs. Kelly, who had seen the empty cabins on the iPad, and had rushed down. “WHAT HAPPENED HERE” she asked in an angry tone. “Can’t the girls obey for just five minutes?” “Mrs. Kelly, we saw that Miss Angelica had fainted in the hot cell and as Miss Katharina also was near to fainting we took them out of the cell and released them from their disgrace hoods. It was obviously too much for them, the first lacing, the punishment with the double layered balaclavas, the disgrace hood and the heat in the cell.” Miss Glass defended the girl’s appearance. Mrs. Kelly looked at the girls and then at Miss Glass. “You think this was not what the girls had DESERVED?” “Well, maybe, I mean, yes they deserved a punishment for their behavior, but …” Miss Glass was interrupted by the head governess “AND didn’t you learn what happens with girls who do not stand their deserved punishment in the requested way?” “They will, if possible restart the actual punishment from the beginning and get an additional punishment afterwards. Either by increasing the time, layers of warm or restrictive clothes, the number of strokes, a combination of them or with an complete new and different type of punishment” Miss Glass said almost inaudibly. “So, what I see here is exactly the opposite of a restart or increase. If we did not have to leave now I would have asked Madame Levine if we could use the cells for another hour or two at maximum heat, and lace there corsets a further inch. But we have no more time and the studio is closing now. So get the girls dressed with their balaclavas and both hoods and then let´s go.” Miss Bell sent a triumphant look to her colleague and soon Miss Katharina was prepared for the short journey home.
Chapter fourteen – Preparing for Dinner
During the walk Mrs. Kelly took Miss Bell aside and asked her about all the details of the girl´s release. By the end of the report it was clear to her that Miss Glass needed a readjustment to understand the required standards. She also planned to dress the girls in their punishment corsets, make them ready for bed and let them stay in the chamber of reflection until bedtime without dinner.
But Mrs. Blackwood upset this plan as she was waiting for the twins at the front door. “You missed teatime but I am sure we can talk during dinner tonight” Mrs. Blackwood said after the girls curtseyed in front of their grandmother. “I am afraid this will not be possible, Madam” Mrs. Kelly said with low voice as she did not want to have any reaction from the girls, even only an eye contact due to the lifted veils. “Both girls have shown incredibly bad behavior during the day and it ended in a refusal to obey an order. Therefore I believe it is absolutely not appropriate to allow them dinner”. Mrs. Kelly paused before adding “with their grandparents. To the contrary it looks as if the girls need strict training and education for the first weeks or even months before they reach a level which makes me confident they could behave during a formal dinner with you. For today they definitely deserve a punishment and not a dinner with you and your husband.” She ended, and hoped she had appeased Mrs. Blackwood with her little speech.
“I am sad to hear that the day did not pass in the expected way, but the girls will show their best behavior IF we give them another chance. And as they need to eat something anyway, it might be more disappointment for me than a punishment for them NOT having dinner together and I believe I have not deserved to be disappointed.” Mrs. Blackwood’s answer was directed to the girls and to Mrs. Kelly as well. Until that point Margret always acted like a lady who follows the guidelines of her husband and the society she lived in, but now she showed another side of her personality. Her answer was more than a hope for the girl’s good behavior or regretting if she would be disappointed by having dinner without them, it was a clear request that the twins SHOULD get another chance, and that she DID NOT WANT TO BE DISAPPOINTED.
Mrs. Kelly was too diplomatic to discuss it further in the hall and although she was not happy with the way it went, she decided to let it go for this evening only of course. Her diagnosis, that the girls needed some weeks or even months of education before they should join a dinner with their grandparents was still valid and she would explain it together with her plan for the next ‘1000 days’ to Mr. Blackwood as soon as possible. “Well, of course, if it is YOUR wish to let the girls join your dinner, I will do my best to prepare them on time, Madam” Mrs. Kelly said and forced her team and the twins to go upstairs.
Mrs. Blackwood was happy and told the good news to her husband. In the meantime Mrs. Kelly asked Mrs. Hunter and Mrs. Kent to undress the girls. “Miss Bell, Miss Glass, one word please” Mrs. Kelly said to her young colleagues. Please, Miss Bell follow me to the study room, and Miss Glass, you wait outside the door. When the door was closed Mrs. Kelly started. “We need to prepare the girls, to prevent any failures during the dinner. I do not expect to be invited for dinner so we will stand by in the hall to step in immediately if required” “But, please forgive me when I am wrong” Miss Bell answered “wouldn’t an elementary mistake prove your expertise? I mean, the girls could try to blame us or complain against anything that has happened so far, but didn´t Mr. Blackwood trust in your way of working. And isn´t anything except the minor topic of the new thermo fleece underwear confirmed by him?”
“Hm, I did not see it from this perspective. But you might be right. To let them fail under the eyes of Mrs. AND Mr. Blackwood could show that I am right and that the girls are not yet ready for joining them for dinner. I will go downstairs and show him my further plan, I call it the ‘1000 day program’ because that’s nearly the number of days until the girls nineteenth birthdays. In the meantime can you please inform Mrs. Kent and Mrs. Hunter that the girls remain in their underwear, the corsets will be laced-in another half an inch and then they receive a punishment dressing for the evening. I have heard from Mr. Blackwood that his daughter had to wear this on several occasions in Australia and it meant at least an additional layer of thick wool and a wool lined loden dress. They will wear a face free balaclava with a little bonnet and a short veil that can be removed during the meal”
“Mrs. Kelly, please do not misunderstand me, I would hope the girls behave well, but IF they change their clothes during the dinner, this would be an obvious sign that are not ready wouldn´t it? So as Mrs. Blackwood asked to give the girls a chance, shouldn’t we dress them just in a loden skirt, wool lined of course and an extra thick woolen cardigan over the turtlenecks? For a dinner at home it would still be appropriate and you could argue that you wanted to make it more comfortable than a dress or a stiff jacked. It would still require the girl’s to be constantly reminded that they are not to open or take of the cardigan. IF we take an ankle length woolen dress and add a second pair of thick wool tights as a punishment layer, it would be fixed by the narrow skirts and its belt. So the cardigan and maybe the bonnet or the balaclava would be all they could remove in case of disobedience. It would not be too much to show more than appropriate, but enough to prove that the girls need a strict regime.” “This is a great idea, please inform your colleagues. Let the girls undress down to the corsets, lace them at the bar and then dress them as agreed. Her Angora underwear, two pair of thick woolen tights, the standard turtleneck, then the balaclava and gloves, the woolen punishment dress, a tight and floor length loden skirt and a woolen knee length cardigan with a matching bonnet and a short veil. Then remove their muzzles and give them hot tea to drink. They will not be thirsty when the go to dinner, it wouldn’t look like we let them starve”. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” confirmed the young governess and left the study room.
“Miss Glass, come in please.” Mrs. Kelly guided Miss Glass into the study and sat down behind the desk again. “I have observed now on several occasions that you have, let´s say ‘concerns’ at following my orders. Maybe you can explain to me your reasons?” “Mrs. Kelly, I know you have much more experience in teaching and I believe you do your best to . . .” “Oh, how nice of you, maybe you want to write a school certificate for me ‘did your best’” the head governess said in a sarcastic tone. “What I want to say is I am afraid the girls won’t be able to take it if they have to endure such harsh treatment from the very beginning and get punished without any time to accommodate with their rules” Miss Glass tried to explain. “I can assure you, I KNOW what I am doing, something I am not convinced of in your case. But I have an offer for you. Are you are willing to join the girls, let’s say for the next three days or so in their dress code. I am sure the girl’s will be happy to loan you some items which are not available in your wardrobe, not the loden dresses, as you wear velvet ones, but the underwear would be a perfect fit.” Miss Glass turned white. “I do not believe this is necessary, I have enough experiences from my own childhood” she said, in memory of her visits with her Aunt.
“But I believe you have no experience with this remarkable wool quality from ‘Blackwood’. A pair of thick woolen tights and a turtleneck dress worn over your long cotton underwear would fit nicely under your velvet dress” “Thanks, Madam, but I have felt the wool’s quality during the many time I have prepared the outfits for Miss Angelica and I can see without wearing it how warm it is.” Miss Glass replied nervously. “Sorry, it was my fault my dear but you misunderstand my words. It is not an ‘offer’ you can deny. It described your uniform for this evening and the following three days.” “But you cannot order me . . .” Miss Glass interrupted her boss. “I CAN AND I JUST DID. Obviously you have not read your contract carefully. As head governess I HAVE the right to define the uniform of my team. And for interrupting me you just earned the right to wear a pair of your own winter tights and one of your own thick turtlenecks under the woolen dress. And if I hear any protest now or you dare to wear anything else than what I’ve just ordered you will either feel how strict I CAN be, or you can leave the house right now. But do not expect that afterwards any other family in our society will give you a job. Did I make myself clear now, my dear?” Mrs. Kelly said in a soft tone that was more frightening than anything else. “No, Mrs. Kelly, it is clear and I do apologize that I did not meet your expectations. I will of course wear whatever you order” “Good girl, but you will not say a word to anybody. For all in this household it will be your free decision to wear some warmer underwear, or maybe it will be better if you hide the turtlenecks under a big cotton shawl. Together with boots, winter boots of course, nobody must even see your new uniform. Do not even think about any deviance as I will be checking your outfit several times a day and if just one piece is missing or not of the required quality you know the consequences. So you will first go to the room of Miss Angelica and borrow a thick pair of tights and a thick woolen turtleneck dress then go to your room, remove your velvet dress, take one of your winter turtlenecks and tights and the woolen items and dress. When you return you will show me the hem of the three turtlenecks under your dress and I will later check your tights. If I do not find three layers under your boots you are in trouble. And tomorrow I will ask Miss Bell to help you to lace your corset. Now you are dismissed and have ten minutes to reappear” “Thank you, Madam” Miss Glass curtseyed as she had learned in her youth and hurried to pick up the required items. Mrs. Kelly smiled and went to see if ‘tea time’ was over before meeting her boss.
While this conversation had been taking place in another room both girls got undressed and were then bound to the bars in their fitting rooms by their respective governess. Mrs. Kent reduced Miss Angelica´s corset by exactly a half inch. At the same time Mrs. Hunter managed to reduce Miss Katharina´s waist by three quarters of an inch and did not loosen the corset. Both girls got dressed when Mrs. Kelly arrived upstairs and she became witness to a tried denial when Miss Angelica was forced to pull an extremely thick turtleneck dress over the top of the three turtlenecks she was already wearing. She had not seen the cowl-neck of the dress, only its thickness and the length of the dress made her shake her head instead of raising her arms as requested. At the fitting of a second pair of thick woolen tights, the fourth layer on her legs she nearly decided to disobey, but as she expected to get a woolen lined loden dress on top of it again, she could not imagine enduring another thick wool dress with the fourth turtleneck beneath.
“Ah, Miss Angelica” Mrs. Kelly said, still not convinced that every denial means an additional punishment? “Not now as we have to prepare you for dinner, but I can assure you that not a single point of misbehavior gets missed. If you do not receive a punishment now or today, it will stay open, and as we have no appointments tomorrow there is enough time to balance your account” “I am sure, Miss Angelica was just raising her arms” Miss Glass said, looking into the girls eyes. She had soft brown eyes and did not try to frighten the girl. It was as merciful look as the junior governess could imagine. How hot it would be under all these layers. And her tone was not commanding but warning as she knew that Mrs. Kelly would not forget any misbehavior. Angelica finally obeyed and after she was fitted with the heavy loden skirt, she moaned because Mrs. Kelly closed the belt as tight as possible. The head governess watched the girl as she got the woolen cardigan and Angelica was sure that the slightest resistance would have been noticed and punished at a later stage. So she stood motionless and allowed Mrs. Kelly to close the buttons hard under her chin.
Mrs. Kelly refreshed herself and knocked on the library door to ask Mr. Blackwood if he had time to speak to her for a few minutes before dinner. He said he had and to Mrs. Kelly´s delight they sat down in his library without Mrs. Blackwood at his side. “Sir, may I show you my long term program regarding the education of the twins?” Mr. Blackwood nodded and so the head governess continued. “I checked the calendar and saw it is nearly a thousand days until the twins celebrate their nineteenth birthday. Therefore I have created a ‘thousand day program’. The first four hundred days will accommodate them to the lifestyle of the Reformist society, the next four hundred will focus on education in all a young lady has to know, special good behavior, her knowledge about the bible, and the last two hundred days are reserved to prepare them for becoming a bride, wife and mother. Of course each phase repeats the previous to intensify the knowledge and to deepen it. If you follow my advice and give me the full authority I can guarantee you by the end of my program, their love to God, a humble spirit, perfect behavior and her unquestioning obedience, or with one word, her place as a young lady in the Reformist Society and be all they expect and want from their future lives.”
Mr. Blackwood looked at the phases and some details, Mrs. Kelly had written down and answered “This looks like a well planned program, Mrs. Kelly. And your reputation is the best guarantee that the girls are in good hands. So go ahead with your program” “Thank you, Sir, I feel really honored and I have just one last request. I had advised Mrs. Blackwood that the girls are not yet ready for a dinner with their grandparents and according to my plan it could be quite a while until they are. But Mrs. Blackwood insisted on giving the girls a chance. IF they pass it, nobody could be happier than me, but if not, it might require an immediate action from our side. So if you don’t mind I would like to wait in front of the door. The girls must not know, and if their behavior is good – and nobody expects ‘perfect’ – but if it is good, they will never know that their governesses were watching them, but in case the situation becomes intolerable you just need to ring this little bell and we will appear within a second. I would know that they did not behave as you expected and take them upstairs without any question. Any details could be discussed later. Would you agree with this, Sir?”
“This is more than fair, for all I believe. If the girls show the required respect and good manners, we will all be happy to give them more freedom or allow them to join us at meals on a regular base. If not, my wife will have to wait until YOU tell us the girls are ready for that. We can maybe have tea on Sunday or a little walk in the garden from time to time, but everything else is up to you. By the way, I have a little radio controlled bell in my office. If I press the button and you have the bell in your pocket, nobody in the dining room will hear the signal. Is that agreeable for you?” “A perfect solution, Sir, so I would come by ‘just in time’ in case it is necessary. Thank you for your cooperation Mr. Blackwood, oh, before I forget it, Sir. I just wanted to inform you that Madame Levine recommended special underwear with the corsets. Silk would not be appropriate in our case as it does not transport sweat and wool and would leave inappropriate marks on the skin under a tight laced corset. So she offered seamless body suits with matching tights as the first layer under the corset, and the rest as agreed with you. I have given an order for an appropriate amount of sets for both girls but of course in case you worry about the solution . . .?” “No, if a specialist recommends it and you feel it’s the best, it is fine with me” Mr. Blackwood answered without knowing that they had been talking about thermo fleece. “Very well, now really the last question, I would like to give our junior governesses an idea about the fitting comfort and the Blackwood wool quality so they share experience with the twins. May I borrow some items from your grandchildren for this reason? Not on bare skin of course but just to give them a try?”
“That’s no problem for me but I can make a maybe better offer to you. I have not used my privilege to order items from the Blackwood collection for me and my family for years but it is still valid. So you could take the catalogue and order whatever you need for the twins and add some items for you and your team as a gift. Let´s call it a bonus that I give to you and you share it with your team however you like. Until it arrives you can borrow whatever you need” “Thank you very much, Sir, this is too generous of you. Thank you also in the name of my team. They will hold the items in honor.” Mrs. Kelly answered, during which time she thought about who would get which quality of woolen items as a special ‘bonus’.
“May I give you some last advice for the dinner tonight, Sir? The girls need to drink as often as possible for their health and so they had a large mug of tea when they arrived at home this afternoon as it is important to prevent them dehydrating. It might be wise to stay on tea, maybe a ‘good night’s sleep’ blend instead of a change to lemonade or water during dinner. Due to the fact the girls are not used to their standard outfit they might get a little overheated. With any cold liquid we would force their body to react on it and produce sweat to cool the skin down. You will know that people in hot countries often drink hot tea or coffee to prevent that reaction. As coffee and any alcohol is of course inappropriate, I believe tea would be the best solution and I could ask for a thermos bottle I could take with me when I bring the girls in. “If you believe it´s the best for the girls then it is settled.” Mr. Blackwood agreed without knowing that Mrs. Kelly did not plan a blend of ‘good night tea’. The opposite was her intention, to keep the girls stay awake in their nightgowns and sleeping bags for as long as possible to give them time to ‘enjoy’ it for some hours. So she would use a ‘Good morning’ blend and add some drops of a homeopathic cardiovascular agent to keep them fit during bedtime.
Miss Katharina had been dressed in the same style as her sister and although she had not resisted against it, she was desperate as she could not imagine going to dinner in this outfit. The girl’s muzzles were removed, not without the order that they were under the rule of silence until they met their grandparents. They were given some tea to drink and without their gloves they would not have been able to hold the hot mugs in their hands. Miss Glass, similarly dressed to the girls but the collar hidden under a light grey cotton shawl, came in and saw that the tea obviously was too hot to drink so she quickly offered to decant it to another mug to cool it down. Miss Bell however thought the tea to be the perfect temperature and ordered the girls to drink it without any delay. “You can’t ask them to drink if they burn their tongues if they obey” Miss Glass said, as SHE could now clearly imagine how difficult it would be to have a hot tea in such an outfit. “I have checked the tea. It is okay, and Mrs. Kelly told me to serve them HOT tea” “But it is too . . .” Miss Glass replied. “Miss Glass, YOU will have a cup of tea as well so you can find out that it is NOT too hot!” Mrs. Kelly appeared just as the junior governesses started to argue and interrupted them. “And you take care that the tea gets drunk ‘as hot as possible’, not more but also not less” she said to Miss Bell while focusing on Miss Glass with a meaningful look. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” Miss Glass said quietly and went for her own mug and Miss Bell nodded with a smile on her face.
Some minutes later the girls had managed to drink their tea but not without the threat that unless they did so they would get another fresh and even hotter cup of tea tea or could have their next drink standing in the sauna that was installed in the basement. It was lime blossom tea that not only tasted awfully bad but also made them sweat a great deal and the sweat did not run in streams over their faces only because of their balaclavas that became sweat soaked. Miss Glass had to drink a big mug of the same tea and as she was not wearing a balaclava but only a small white cotton bonnet her face was soon covered in beads of sweat and her hair darkened as it became wet. Mrs. Kelly ordered another thermos of tea before she spoke to the girls.
“Ladies, before we need to go downstairs you have five minutes to spare. Ample time to repeat your rules. Before you go for dinner I want to warn you that when you are guided downstairs you will show your best, no better said, perfect behavior. You will neither be disobedient nor impolite. You will not complain against anything nor question your treatment. You will behave like polite young ladies who are thankful and happy to have such caring grandparents. Is that clear?” “Yes Mrs. Kelly” both girls said in unison and it was Katharina who made an almost perfect curtsey. The head governess was quite sure that the girls would fail and from this point she hoped to have full control over the twins.
Chapter fifteen – Dinner with the grandparents
Mrs. Kelly guided the twins to the dining room and when Mrs. Blackwood saw them she wondered why the girls were wearing bonnets and veils indoors. “Please, the veils will not be necessary and why do they wear those thick balaclavas for dinner, please take them off too” she demanded. “Madam, Sir, this might be not such a good idea, we had no time to shower and their hair is sweaty from the walk outside as you can imagine. So I found that these nice open face balaclavas would fit with the girl´s outfit. Don´t you agree, Sir” “Well, in this case, Margret, I believe they should just remove the bonnet to take the veils off while indoors” Mr. Blackwood agreed, and his wife had to revise her last order.
“Sir, the girls have promised to show their best behavior, and I honestly hope they will” then she placed the thermos on the table between the twins and asked for permission to leave the dining room while the girls curtseyed and the family sat down. The girls were not happy about the tea and first course, as a hot soup was the last they needed in addition of another cup of hot tea. But they waited until the soup was served and the maid had left the room. Mrs. Blackwood asked if one of the girls wanted to do the prayer and Katharina volunteered for it.
God, bless this food we are about to receive.
Give bread to those who hunger,
and hunger for charity and JUSTICE to us who have bread.
It was a short but nevertheless impressing prayer and the young girl hoped that she could use it for her further discussion. Mr. Blackwood raised his head and with the words “Enjoy your dinner” opened the meal. “Grandmother, may I ask a question?” Katharina asked as submissively as possible. “Of course my dear, as we are alone now and just family, you can speak freely” Mrs. Blackwood said although she knew that this was not the exact intention of her husband. “Thank you Grandmother. First of all I would like to let the soup cool down as we just had very hot tea and I cannot have more hot liquid right now, sorry. And then I would like to ask you some questions about how we are being treated here. The lawyer in Zurich had told us it is for our best to come to you. We would later get the opportunity to go to one of the best colleges in Europe and later to Universities like Cambridge or Oxford. But instead of this we are permanently bound or restricted, are held like prisoners and get overheated permanently, either because of any ‘standard’ or a punishment we do not even deserve!” Katharina had prepared this speech for the whole night although she had not acknowledged about the restrictions that the past day had added. Therefore she had not even mentioned the muzzle or the tight lacing of a corset. “AND in ADDITION we are forced to wear custom made muzzles and corsets that are tightly laced!” Angelica added to show she fully agreed with her sister’s speech.
Mr. Blackwood looked at his wife to show her it was HIS job to answer. “My dear grandchildren” he started “First of all I want to assure you, that ALL that happens here IS for the best. There is no doubt about that . . .” “BUT HOW CAN IT BE FOR OUR BEST TO BE BOILED UNDER LAYERS OF THICK WOOLEN OR LODEN CLOTHES, MUZZLED AND LOCKED IN A HEATED CABINET FOR HOURS?” Angelica lost her temper as sitting in front of a hot soup was more than she could endure in this moment. “Angelica, please lower your voice and do not interrupt me” Mr. Blackwood said, “This is a basic behavior. I allowed Katharina to end her speech although I did not find it appropriate. But if you both want an answer you may not interrupt me anymore, is this clear?” “Okay, Grandfather, sorry for that, but can´t you see how we are dressed? Can I please have a glass of water? This should not be a too inappropriate request, or is it?” Angelica was still on her limit of her endurance.
Katharina was not happy about the way her sister acted as it prevented a focus on the main questions. But she could not do anything against it. “Indeed, in the current situation a glass of water IS an inappropriate request my dear, as I agreed with your head governess that you both remain on tea as the best for you in the moment.” To confirm this Mr. Blackwood stood up and opened the thermos. He filled two cups with the hot tea and offered the girls “please, help yourselves if you need more, there is no limitation” Angelica smelt the lime blossom blend and that was more she could handle in this moment. She stood up quickly, nearly upsetting her chair and started to unbutton her cardigan. “Angie” her sister warned her, but the girl was always of fuller spirit. She pulled off the cardigan and threw it on the table. Then, with some effort, she removed the balaclava and showed it to her grandfather. “I HATE to be soaked with sweat and I HATE to be overheated and I HATE MOST to wear FOUR TURTLENECKS and a thick balaclava on top as I feel it chokes my neck and together with the corset I feel like . . . like I will suffocate any minute.” She pulled desperately on her turtlenecks and tried to get the turtleneck dress out of her skirt. But as the belt of the skirt was closed in the back with a hidden lock and tightened as much as possible by Mrs. Kelly she could not loosen the dress more than a few inches. Due to the narrow cut of the ankle-length skirt and its thick wool lining under the heavy loden fabric she also was unable to lift her skirt to untie her boots and remove the woolen tights. So, as expected by Miss Bell her ‘success in misbehaving’ was limited to the cardigan and the balaclava.
“I’m going crazy in this outfit and YOU offer ME lime blossom tea that I HATE since I had to drink it during a bad cold to let me SWEAT in bed to lower my fever.” She blamed her grandfather running around like a tiger in his cage. “Angie the tea is not the important point” Katharina stood up too and tried to stop her sister as she, as usual, lost her temper and the plan how to argue. “So it is NOT important that I burned my tongue because they FORCED me to drink the still boiling tea? And you stand here, obedient as usual and endure all these layers of wool?” “No, of course I am suffering in these layers wool of as well, but we talk about our future life here in England, about what is best for us and what NOT.” With these words she pulled off her balaclava which disturbed her more that the cardigan, not because her sister had convinced her about the priority but to show her loyalty and demonstrate how sweaty they both were. “Grandmother, WHY are we treated like that, it CAN´T be in ‘our best interest’ and it has nothing to do with the future that was described by the lawyer in Switzerland.” Katharina wanted to mention the lawyer as often as possible as she saw a chance in it to legitimate her point of view. “It’s in our ‘BEST INTEREST?’ I CAN´T listen to this anymore” Angelica screamed. “Not if I live for a thousand years I will ever believe that treating me like our sooo nice governesses do is even ‘GOOD’ for me, don’t even think about ‘the BEST interest”. They hide it behind GOD’s name but I feel like a prisoner, no, even WORSE, because a prisoner is NOT bound and gagged almost permanently or has to wear all this loden stuff, the veiling and all the woolen BULLSHIT?”
Katharina had observed the reaction of her grandfather during the speech of her sister. Not that she disagreed with its content but she saw that the way it was presented and the wording made him angry and she saw him wince when her sister swore about the wool and she was afraid everything would become worse if she could not stop her sister.
“Angie, please. We need to present our arguments and not . . .” “AND not ruin the dinner with absolute impossible behavior” said a cold and strong voice coming from behind the girls which ended Katharina´s speech quicker than she had wanted.
Mr. Blackwood had decided not to stop his granddaughters and start to argue with the twins, as not all of the complaints were wrong. The lawyer in Zurich had spoken about the advantages for the twins if they finished their education in England. They spoke about their future and the possibility to go maybe even to Cambridge or Oxford if their grades are as good as in the Swiss international school they both attended. Mr. Blackwood also knew that it was the greatest wish of Maria for the girls to be taught at the best possible college. Therefore they saved all their money to afford the high charge every semester at an international school instead of having a house or a bigger and maybe safer car. But he did not lie, as he just confirmed the girl’s education would be finished in their new home. He never confirmed anything about Cambridge and he had just decided to tell them back in England that their education would take place at home and they should learn more important things than ‘integral calculus’ or ‘international relationship’.
So instead of stopping the loud conversation between the twins and their questions and complaints he waited and just listened until it reached a level he was not willing to accept. He had never accepted abusive expressions from his daughter in his presence and it always ended with a massive punishment for her. And Angelica had passed this red line together with an absolute inappropriate behavior of both by undressing during dinner. So he had pressed the hidden radio bell in his jacked and a few seconds later Mrs. Kelly opened the door. The twins had been facing their grandparents and so they did not know that the head governess had entered the room until she finished Katharina´s sentence with her well known cold voice.
“Mrs. Kelly, it´s good to have you here.” Mr. Blackwood used the sudden silence caused by the surprise effect as he had expected and seen the governess entering the room. “It looks like, and I am sorry to say that, but it looks like your analyses of the girls and their current stage of behavior was correct. We” and he turned to his wife looking in her eyes “should have trusted your experience instead of letting scenes like THIS happen at dinner. I agree with you that the girl´s behavior is MORE THAN OBVIOUSLY NOT good enough to have an appropriate dinner conversation. They need your training and education before we will repeat this. For now dinner is over for you girls. You will follow your governess and I believe she will have the right punishment for both of you to pay for this outburst. I’ve one last comment before you are dismissed for the day. Whatever the lawyer might have said to you WE are your legal guardians and WE decide what’s the BEST education for you. I have made my decision and it is up to YOU to OBEY. Goodnight Katharina, goodnight Angelica. Mrs. Kelly please take them upstairs”
The girls were shocked. Not only by the sudden presence of their hated governess but by the harsh tone and the last words of their grandfather. He had ignored all their arguments or cries for help, and even worse, it confirmed that ‘their best’ was nothing they could influence with their ideas or feelings. Like puppets they followed the whispered order from Mrs. Kelly to curtsey and wish goodnight to their grandparents. The girls took their cast off clothing before they were guided out of the dining room. Mrs. Blackwood felt very sorry about how this evening had ended as she had hoped to sort something out in a calm conversation. She had wanted to explain some reasons to the girls to make things easier for them or, if possible, react on their feedback if their treatment was too strict. But the way the ‘conversation’ had ended made such support from her side nearly impossible for the moment. So all she could hope was that her grandchildren would not have to suffer too much and that things would turn better with the passage of time. In the hall the girls had to dress properly including their balaclavas and the cardigan Angelica had removed and then they were guided by their senior governesses to the second floor. Both girls held their heads bowed, not because of submission or obedience but because of disappointment. They had realized without any doubt that the way they were dressed was exactly what their grandfather had in mind. How strict or even, at least from the girl’s point of view, cruel their treatment might be, the head governess had the full support from their grandfather, their legal guardian. Now, during the quiet walk upstairs Angelica was aware about the fact that her temper had ruined the chance to explain everything to their grandparents. The small chance to convince at least her grandmother, who seemed not as strict as all the others, had been destroyed by the girl, who lost her countenance. Her grandma, who had given them the chance to have dinner together, had not been given any chance to show her sympathy by Angelica who had started to undress and disobey instead of explaining how they had to suffer and beg for comprehension and help.
Chapter sixteen – Punishment as deserved
“Girls, I am more than disappointed” Mrs. Kelly started after the twins had been escorted to their chamber of reflection. “I did not expect perfect behavior from you, some minor failures would have been although not tolerable but at least understandable but undressing, running around in the dining room and blaming your grandparents that they would NOT want your BEST, that was definitely more than anyone would have expected. But it was your free decision, against your statement that you are forced to do everything since you arrived here it was your OWN and free will to act in the way you did. On the contrary, you got more freedom than deserved as you already should be punished because of your behavior at the dentist and Madame Levine’s, but no, you got a reward and were invited to have dinner with your grandparents. And how did you pay back this reward? You paid it back by blaming me and your governesses in an inappropriate tone, unacceptable language and general misbehavior. But as your Grandfather said, I know how you will have to pay for this outburst. And you can believe me, it will be a ‘long term payment’ and nothing you can come through in one night. Now open your mouths, it is time to reinstall your muzzles” Mrs. Kelly ordered and as both girls were frightened by her harsh tone they obeyed without resistance.
The twins had noticed the enormous heat in the chamber of reflection and both wondered about the heaters that had obviously been turned long before they got dismissed by their grandfather. “Now you will have time to do your evening prayers, in silence and kneeling side by side as yesterday.” As soon as the girls faced their heaters the ankles got locked to prevent any change of position. “Now Miss Glass, Miss Bell, please attach the bottles with the girl’s tea on each side, connect the tube to the muzzle and place the bottles beside the girls” Mrs. Kelly ordered after the tea from the thermos had been poured into two plastic bottles. “Now their blankets please. They will share two as usual and make sure the tube is on top before closing the sides of the blankets with the clothespins again. The junior governesses did as ordered and it became dark and sticky for the girls under the thick blankets. “Now, Miss Glass, lift the two bottles up over the heads of the girls to feed them. You will hold it there until the bottles are empty then put them on the floor and stay beside the girls to watch them. You will report any sound or any unauthorized movement. Do I make myself clear?” “Yes Mrs. Kelly”, answered the young governess, fully aware of the fact that the bottles could be hung on a hook on each side of the wall, and monitoring was not required from inside of the chamber. But she knew that this was part of her own punishment and she had to endure it if she wanted to keep her job.
Mrs. Kelly left the overheated room together with Miss Bell and went downstairs where the two other governesses waited in the common room. “Mrs. Hunter, did you get the ordered devices for the girl’s audio program?” Mrs. Kelly asked as she had asked Mrs. Hunter to take care of it. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly, the equipment arrived and I have already put in the batteries so we can test it whenever you want.” “Very good, and the recording of our rules and the sermons from our pastor and all the bible verses, are they ready for use?” “Not all, as it is a lot, but the girl’s rules are ready for replay even in an endless loop if you want.” “That will do it for this evening. Are both types of headphones ready” “Yes, and both do a very good job blocking off any other sound. Mrs. Kelly had ordered the best available equipment all with radio transmission instead of cables that could be used in a spy movie. Each girl had a separate transmission frequency so she could send them the same or a different recording or just white noise to block out any other sound. There was also a microphone included that allowed the controller to talk to both or just one of the girls. The headsets had small microphones too, so in case a girl was not muzzled the governess could hear or even record everything. For the first night in a corset she wanted to use the in-ear phones and send them their rules for at least two hours to burn them in the girl´s brains.
“Ladies, we need to fix the nightgowns for tonight. But before that let me show you something I brought from my last employment. I thought of it as a souvenir but now it will render a good service. Basically it’s a normal medical diagnostic set used to check the fitness during any kind of sport activities. It delivers pulse rate, blood pressure and the body temperature plus the temperature around the wearer by them wearing it tight on one wrist. The data is sent to a small receiver with a display that beeps in case of going over a predetermined mark. This can be adjusted individually by connecting the receiver to a PC. You can read the last data, any peeks or the average values. It is very flat and sewn in this elastic tape so you only need to turn it on and pull it over the wrist. It must have skin contact so there are enough spare parts to remove the elastic tape every day. The tape has two layers to isolate the two temperature values. The girls must not even know the reason for this tape. I have made the setup and will keep the receivers, marked with ‘A’ and ‘K’ for the moment”.
“So, and now let´s come to the ‘fashion’ part. I believe they will keep their new underwear under a corset from now on, the question is, under which corset? The night version or the punishment version?” Mrs. Kent started the brainstorming. Neither of the senior governesses answered so it was again Miss Bell who replied. “Well, for me it was clear that a corset beginner will find it hard enough to cope with the night corset but as the girls failed so extremely during the dinner I am not sure if this will give them enough . . . ‘help’?” “That’s exactly my opinion. I am afraid we have to show them the punishment version first as they do not follow any advice we have given them so far. All right, next I assume the Shetland wool will not make sense so they can use their Angora set on top of the corset.” She continued “So far so good. I would say the rest can remain the same as yesterday. This means two pair of thick woolen tights, a thick turtleneck and the woolen turtleneck dress. Maybe we will add two balaclavas this time, the first with an eye slit only and the second one completely closed together, with two pairs of woolen gloves and mittens to remind them that removing a balaclava was, and is, strictly forbidden. Then the polar fleece dress as yesterday and maybe an additional pair of thick over the knee socks as warm feet are important. The only difference I would suggest is that they get wrapped in the heating blanket first and then wrapped in the woolen blanket as tight as possible to let them feel better the benefit of the heating blanked. At the end the mummy sleeping bag, top down as yesterday. Any questions or suggestions?” “Just one, Mrs. Kelly” Miss Bell asked. “I wonder if the girls could move on their bed sheet because of the slippery outer fabric of the sleeping bag. I thought about using some straps to fix the bag at the empty hood and use the D-ring on the foot end to fix the girls head. But this would not look very elegant I am afraid.” “You are right, it would be good for the girls to be fixed but it would look like bondage” Mrs. Kelly reconsidered. “There would be a solution, but I do not know if it is appropriate” Miss Bell said more to herself. “What solution? You can speak freely. If it is inappropriate I will not blame you as it is just a suggestion or brainstorming, and I am glad to hear any ideas.” The head governess encouraged her young colleague. “I thought about the nice bed covers we put away for the night. They are black and fluffy pure sheep wool. As we cannot see the girl’s faces anyway I wondered if we could cover the sleeping bag and its fixation under the bed covers even when the girls are inside.” The senior governesses did not say a word as they were sure the girls would suffer enough under all the committed layers and would gasp for fresh air the whole night. Pleased Mrs. Kelly smiled and replied “This is a lovely idea, my dear. I believe covering the girls in such elegant blankets of such high quality will hide any necessary fixtures perfectly and give them the final finish. So if we have no further questions or ideas you know what to do. Miss Bell, may I ask you to prepare both sleeping bags in the agreed way as your colleague is busy.” “Of course, Mrs. Kelly” Miss Bell replied with a smile as she knew what Miss Glass had to endure. She was not sure about her outfit but she had recognized the hems of at least two layers at Miss Glass’s wrists and could imagine that in this case her legs would be covered by the same. And the cotton shawl was too obviously hiding a turtleneck and maybe even more layers. The red face of her colleague before she was ordered to have some lime blossom tea was a clear sign that she was dressed much warmer than necessary or preferred by the young woman.
At about eight-thirty the girls and those guarding them were released from the reflection chamber and the twins had to undress and go to the bathroom. Some minutes later the girls hung facing each other from their lacing bar and her day corset was replaced by the punishment version that was much longer and had attached shoulder straps. After the girls had been laced they could hardly breathe and with each balaclava and layer of wool they felt more miserable. They got the ear phones plugged in and the elastic tapes pulled over a wrist before Miss Kelly added a neck corset to each girl on top of the balaclavas to show them how an unauthorized removal would be prevented in the future. Miss Katharina moaned slightly after the neck corset was laced and, as a ‘reward’, earned a woolen scarf to hide it. Finally they were guided to the bedroom and Angelica got a scarf too, just as a question of synchronization. They had to lie on the electric blankets that had already been turned on. After they had been wrapped in theses blankets they got wrapped as tight as possible in thick wool blankets and then the wool lined sleeping bag was closed over the top.
The girls did not realize about the way they had been fixed as they did not dare to move before the governesses had left the room, but they felt that something new and heavy was on top of the sleeping bag. Both girls heard the recording of their rules and could not do anything else than listen and feel the increasing heat. Later they found out that any kind of movement was made impossible without knowing about the straps at both ends of the sleeping bag. So they had no choice than lying straight and motionless for the whole night. Miss Bell was very satisfied with the arrangement although Miss Glass had been warned she worried too much about the health of the girls. As she did not know about the medical control sets she wondered if she should tell Mrs. Kelly about her worries, but as all other governesses found the treatment obviously acceptable she did not dare to say a word.
Margaret Blackwood dared to do so, and it was one of the most intensive discussions she had undertaken since they moved to England. She wanted to protect the girls and found that it obviously was so important for the girls to tell them about the cruel treatment that they ignored the simplest rules of good behavior. Her husband had a different opinion, as to him, the behavior of the girls just showed that they are not ready for that type of social contact. Neither of the Blackwood’s could convince the other so their meal ended in discontent.
Chapter seventeen – The first lesson
The twins could not believe they had slept for more than a view minutes in total as the herbal stimulant in their tea did a good job and prevented any sleep until midnight. Even then the heat and the tightness of their corset and their boundaries almost sent them insane. When they were released they got introduced to a new rule for each day. A morning workout they had to process while still in their nightgowns and only released from the neck corset but still in mittens and all the layers of fleece and wool and still laced in a punishment corset. They had to make fifty knee bends, do thirty push-ups and the same number of sit-ups as far as this was possible while wearing a corset. The girls could not believe they would make it but every move that was not perfect was not counted and they had to repeat them twice. As they were twins, Mrs. Kelly had ordered that any error made by one girl had the same effect for the other in the hope that each girl would do their best to prevent her sister from being punished.
By the time the exercises had been finished it was time for morning prayers and the twins were so exhausted that they obeyed every command so they would be allowed to go to the bathroom and get showered afterwards. They even followed the order to stay absolutely silent as their muzzles were removed for some minutes too. Before the governesses had released the girls from their sleeping bags, Miss Kelly had also assigned the dress code for the day and given an introduction to her team about the ‘thousand day program’ from a high perspective and the lesson she had planned for the first day .
“It will be quite simple. I had planned to let them wear one face open balaclava but because of their behavior, specially removing a balaclava last evening, they will wear a second one, double layered with the narrow eye slit only. During their lessons they will be in disgrace so we need two thick blankets waiting for them in the study room, which we will close on the sides with clothes pins to keep the girls completely in the dark. With their muzzles and the in-ear speakers they will be blind, muted and deaf and because of the mittens also unable to recognize anything they touch. We will then guide their mittens to each side of their desks and let them press two coins on the board. As the wooden board´s thickness is about one inch the coins cannot be allowed to move up or down or they will drop down, meaning the girls cannot brace their forearms on the desk and have to concentrate on keeping their arms at an exact angle and put a permanent pressure against the board. They will be warned about being punished IF they drop a coin. The last order they will hear before we turn off the speakers will be to stand absolutely still and wait for next commands.
We will of course record any failure and present them the ‘bill’. That is the program until lunch time. So the girls will NOT know that the lesson is to totally concentrate on remaining motionless and NOTHING MORE. After lunch, if they are well behaved, we will remove the muzzles and let them repeat their rules. Mrs. Kent has offered to make a new mp3 file for the girls, splitting the recorded rules into single sentences with a time lag between each to give the girl’s time to repeat it loud and clear, even with a scarf over their balaclava and under a blanket. BUT I honestly do not believe we will go to this second lesson today as I expect we will have to repeat the first lesson, I call it ‘concentration AND patience’ at least this afternoon, and maybe for many more days. The first lessons are always the most difficult for the girls to learn.
Any punishments will be decided ad hoc but not without my approval. It is important at this stage that the girls feel we are serious. Any weakness now will cause a lot of discussions in the future, but being as strict as possible at the beginning always ends with an obedient girl. And we will show them that they depend on each other as they will discover that failure by one of them means a punishment for both. So they should show their best behavior not only for their own comfort but to prevent any punishment to their sister. Therefore we will react immediately at any failure. For example, force them to kneel down for a while so they have to raise their arms much higher to hold the coins in place. Some weights from a trainings set, five pounds each, clamped on their wrists will also do a good job. Or we arrange additional blankets nicely over their head or let them wear their outdoor wool lined floor length cape where we open the slits for the arms to still allow them to hold their coins. In case we have extreme trouble with one of them we can still finish the lesson in the chamber of reflection. Are there any questions?” “Do we give them breaks if we feel them necessary?” Miss Glass asked fighting against the heat of her own outfit. She could not imagine the girls would be able to press small coins they could not even feel through their mittens to hold them firmly for so many hours. “The girls have a break for lunch and at tea time! IF I decide the girls earn additional breaks I will let you know” Mrs. Kelly answered, again not appreciating Miss Glass’ question as it showed her sympathy and also weakness against the girls.
Miss Glass had checked her outfit in the morning and was still embarrassed about it. The junior governesses shared a bedroom and she had tried to hide her warm outfit from her young colleague. But the head governess visited them in their room and ordered her to remove her shawl in front of her and Miss Bell. “Lift the turtleneck from the dress and show me you are still wearing the cotton one beneath, then unbutton one of your velvet cuffs to show me that all layers have long sleeves” Miss Glass looked at her and then to Miss Bell but as her colleague did not leave and the head governess seemed to have no objections to her presence she did as ordered. She had not cheated although she had expected that wearing the outfit on an early summer’s day would become very difficult. As a last humiliation she had to lift the skirt of her velvet dress and prove that she was still wearing a pair of her own tights under the thick woolen tights she had borrowed from the girl´s wardrobe. “Are these the thickest cotton tights you own?” she was asked and when she nodded she was ordered to present her drawer. “This pair looks thicker and warmer, you will wear them tomorrow, and for today you will add those woolen leg warmers. And do not dare to cheat again” “But, Mrs. Kelly, I did not cheat …” “MISS GLASS, I do not argue with you, and to make that clear for you, you will change your cotton shawl to hide your turtlenecks with THIS.” She took a long woolen scarf out of the drawer and handed it to her subordinate. Miss Glass swallowed without saying a word, took the scarf and curtseyed slightly. Miss Bell stood beside her and was amused about the way her colleague was treated. She planned to offer her help in monitoring her to Mrs. Kelly sooner or later.
The twins had been wrapped in thick woolen coats before they were muzzled again and were guided to their dressing rooms. They expected to wear the new thermo fleece underwear and be laced into their corsets again. Their ‘regular underwear’, knitted from soft Angora wool was next and also the thick woolen tights and a turtleneck pullover seemed to be part of their standard outfit. They just both moaned as they saw a second pair of woolen tights produced along with the thick woolen dress with a huge turtleneck and a double layered balaclava. “You hopefully did not expect, that last night was the only punishment you would get for yesterdays behavior?” was the answer from the senior governesses as they both saw the question in their guardian’s eyes. When the second Balaclava was pulled over the already wool covered heads they realized that this one had only a small slit for the eyes and covered mouth and nose. The wool lined loden dress was so heavy that they thought it must be lined with lead and not only wool. They also wondered why they got mittens as they thought these were for wearing outdoors only.
To the relief of the twins they where guided to the study room and not to the overheated chamber of reflection. Mrs. Kelly was waiting there and a thick knee length cardigan, the same they had worn the evening before, had been placed on each board. Miss Glass would you please help Miss Angelica into her cardigan. I believe she knows why she has to wear it today. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly the junior governess replied and took the thick woolen cloth. Angelica was obviously thinking about disobeying the additional layer but she looked into Miss Glass’ eyes and saw her nearly begging for obedience. “Miss Bell, would you please do the same for Miss Katharina.” “Of course, Madam” Miss Bell confirmed and started immediately and Katharina raised her arms to slip into the thick sleeves. Miss Glass was just closing the buttons as Angelica could not do it with her mittens when she asked: “Mrs. Kelly, you do remember that Miss Katharina did not remove her cardigan yesterday evening, don´t you?
“Of course I do, but did she report her sister, who removed the cardigan?” “But how could she? She was muzzled as soon as they left the dining room and what Miss Angelica did, was too obvious” “Obvious or not, do YOU not remember the girls rules? OR do you?” “Yes, I do Mrs. Kelly” she replied, as each governess had memorized the rules. “Then please tell me what does rule number fifteen say?” “If I refrain to report failures in others and these are reported or recognized by someone else, I will earn the same punishment as the not reported discretion and an extra punishment for my own omission.” Miss Glass said in a whisper.
“Very well, Miss Glass. So Miss Bell please pull the hood of the cardigan over Miss Katharina’s head and wrap this scarf tightly over her neck, mouth and nose. I did not want to be so strict and insist on an additional punishment, but as Miss Glass mentioned it, I have no other choice. Miss Katharina may thank you later for taking care of her so nicely.” Mrs. Kelly replied with a sarcastic smile. “Oh, I nearly forgot it. Treating them as twins means that both girls get a scarf. Miss Glass, please pull the hood over Miss Angelica’s head then take the other scarf I have here and wrap it around Miss Angelica’s face as well. She waited until the order was fulfilled before using the microphone to talk to both girls again.
“Girls, you are now being guided to your standing desks and your governesses will help you to touch each side of your board with the top of your mittens. Before you touch the board coins will be placed between the board and your mittens and I expect you to hold the coins against the board until you receive other orders. I know you will be unable to feel them and therefore you have to concentrate on keeping your hands and mittens exactly where they are placed. Move the mittens or reduce the pressure and you will drop the coins. If this happens you will be punished. And I mean BOTH of you, so each of you is responsible for her own and her sister’s . . . let’s say comfort, or maybe a better term would be discomfort. We will now put a blanket over your heads as you are in disgrace for the next two weeks, and will then leave you alone for a short time while preparing your next lesson. You have to wait here, under the rule of silence, without any motion and fully concentrated on holding the coins. I hope I have made myself clear as I will not repeat it. IF you fail and a coin drops down, we recognize any movement or hear any noise, both of you will feel the consequences. Miss Bell, Miss Glass the blankets please!” Soon the twins had a thick black blanket over their heads and the open edges were closed on each side with clothes pins. “Now the coins” The junior governesses took the coins from the desk board and guided the girl´s thick mittens until they touched the side of the wooden board and pressed the coin against it. It was too obvious that the girls would not be able to hold their arms motionless in this position for hours as would be required.
“Now, stand upright, feet together, heads up and straight forward.” was the last command the twins heard before Mrs. Kelly turned off the microphone. The world for the pair became absolutely silent and they had no idea if the governesses were going to leave the room or would be watching them. It was exactly as designed by the head governess. She knew that the girls would move their arms sooner or later and let a coin drop, but as the girls would not hear it falling to the floor they would still press their mittens against the board. OR maybe one of them would drop a coin on purpose and remove the blanket as the clothes pins were no barrier to doing so. The girl would not be able to remove her mittens, and with them on her hands she would not be able to pull on her balaclavas or open the cardigan, at least not fast enough before one of the governesses would reach her. The governess would hear the coins falling on the floor because of the microphone in the room but maybe Mrs. Kelly would wait a little while before ‘disturbing’ the girls intentions, to allow them to increase the troubles they got into.
Chapter eighteen – Escaping in a trap
Katharina tried to calm down after the blanked had been closed. It was not easy for her as she had hated any form of hats, caps, bonnets or hoods since she was a little girl. Both girls had been fighting against them with their mother every winter. Maria was not too strict on those things as she had sworn herself that she would never treat her children like her parents had treated her. She and her husband believed that hardening the body was better than dressing them into too many layers. “Sometimes feeling cold does not mean you GET a cold” her father often said supporting the girls wish to leave the caps at home. “If they feel cold they still have their hoods and next time they will take a cap by choice. If you order them to take one they will pull it off once around the next corner and just loose it somewhere”
“Loose or take them off around the next corner” was something that did not work so easily in this situation Katharina thought while beneath the four layers of wool covered by a thick velour blanket. The two balaclavas had been firmly pushed into the turtlenecks and the hood of the cardigan was pressed onto her head by the scarf. Miss Bell had done her best to wrap the scarf over her face and neck as tight as possible and knotted him with all her power. Also the straps of her mittens had been laced as tight as possible and she did not see any chance to pull them off.
So she knew that the blanket would be all she could remove by herself in case she decided to disobey and all she could gain was to breath ‘only’ through the double layered wool balaclava and three layers of a woolen scarf. AND she was sure that it would not last for long and the punishment would cause her to suffer even more. She hoped that they would have to read something or follow any advisor so the removal of the blanket would become necessary. So she tried to condition her mind to the heat and the lack of fresh air and wait for the lesson to begin.
Angelica was different. She shared her sister’s aversion to any kind of head covering and so she was suffering just as much as Katharina but her main focus was not to condition herself to heat and the lack of fresh air but only how she could escape this torture. Even IF she deserved a punishment for yesterday’s outburst, even then she felt it was more than paid for by last night. They had to endure this enormous heat that had built up in the sleeping bag due to the heating blanket, wrapped in another blanked so tight that she could hardly move her wool covered arms or legs. This was from her point of view much more punishment than deserved and so it was harder to accept the fact that it should continue. She wondered why she had not been muzzled this morning but thought that this might not be mandatory for days they remained at home.
“Home”. This was not the right word for this place. Her ‘home’ was near Zurich in Switzerland, this was her was her personal nightmare. A prison or a boot camp she had seen on television for kids, who got in conflict with the law. But it was definitely not the place she would ever feel ‘at home’ in even if it was the home of their grandparents. So she did not only think about how to get out of this ‘lesson’ but also considered, together with her sister, escaping from this house. Somewhere there must be a police station and if they explain to them what happens here, the police MUST help them.
Although it would be easier to find help during a trip because she could maybe stop a car or find a policemen, she decided that her chances would be better when not being muzzled, nearly blinded by several veils and specially not bound in a muff that fixes her arms on her back. She was wearing these ridiculous mittens but maybe she could open the straps at her wrists as soon as she removed the blanket, the scarf and the terrible warm and scratchy balaclava covering her face. She was aware of the fact that it would not become easy to remove the balaclavas as they had been firmly tucked into the tight turtlenecks, but at least the scarf was not wounded too tight over her face as Miss Glass obviously had sympathy with her and did not want to torture more than necessary or than ordered by Mrs. Kelly
As far as this was possible under the thick blanket and the wool layers that veiled her Angelica took a deep breath and pulled at the edges of the blanket until half of the clothes pegs dropped down. She did not hear them fall and had also not heard the coins she lost at the beginning of her activity. She was clumsy with the thick mittens and the woolen gloves she wore beneath but as the wool scarf was elastic and not too tight she could remove it over her head instead of unwrapping it. The double layered balaclava was trickier to reach. She tried from both sides of her head but could not move the wool upwards. Then she bored with her thumbs in the eyes slit and ripped the woolen mask from her face. First it looked like it would never slip out of her tight turtleneck that was folded twice and still touched her chin but then it worked and she could remove the heavy wool hood from her head. Now her face was free and she used her teeth to open the straps at her wrists.
Seconds later she had removed her mittens and her gloves and pulled off her remaining face open balaclava. She threw every item she could remove away with a relief and satisfaction and rushed to her sister. Katharina became frightened when her sister removed some clothes pegs as she had not heard her and did not expect to be touched. “It´s me, Kathy, shouted the girl and realized that they both were deaf because of the in-ear microphones. She removed hers and helped her surprised sister out of her mittens, scarf and balaclavas. Katharina removed the ear phones and, while looking to the door, asked her sister “Angie, what have you done? You know they will come in sooner or later and for what you have done we will be severely punished” “I will not allow anyone to punish me just for needing oxygen or for preventing a circulatory collapse because of being permanently overheated. And if we do not find anyone who will listen to us we will search for the nearest police station or at least for a car driver who can pick us up.” “And how do you think we can get out of here?” Her sister asked, not really convinced about the plan. “We wait until they come in to check if we patiently stand at our desks, press these idiotic coins against the board and sweat in this sticky air under the blanket. As soon as they come in, we pull them to the other side, and rush through the open door. If we can close it, we win time as there is no door knob and they have to use their key to open it. We run downstairs and out to the garden. We came from the right as we stopped and left the car to the left and went straight to the stairs. I hope we can climb over the main entrance with this terrible outfit as it might be closed.” “But Angie, are you sure this is the right way? I mean shouldn´t we try to talk to our grandparents, or at least to grandma, again before we go to the police?” “You saw how ‘successful’ we were yesterday. They are in cahoots together, we need to find someone else if we want to get out of this nightmare” While talking both girls had removed the thick cardigan but the zipper from their loden dresses seemed to be locked somehow as they would not slide down and the collar was too narrow to remove the dress without opening the zipper.
Mrs. Kelly and her team was listening to each word and some wondered why Mrs. Kelly did not give the command to enter the room when they heard two coins falling down in the silent room. But Mrs. Kelly wanted to see, how far the girls would go. Did they only fail by mistake or intention? IF by intention what would they do next? Remove the blanket only or even more, if possible? IF they could manage to remove more it would mean the balaclavas needed a better solution, maybe a leather collar with a lock or the neck corset? The head governess did not expect to hear a complete plan to escape. She quickly had to decide if the recorded plan was enough to prove the girls bad behavior if required. OR should she allow them to ‘escape’ from the study room and just pick them up downstairs to prove that the girls would even use violence against their governesses. “Mrs. Kent, Mrs. Hunter, you go downstairs and double check that all doors and windows are locked. I want them to reach the front hall and stand in front of a locked main exit. The windows are all cross-barred and the only doors go to windowless storage rooms. I will hide on the first floor and you hide downstairs. Miss Bell and Miss Glass, you play innocent when you open the door to the study room and allow the girls to pull you in, escape and close the door. You have a key so you should not need too much time to follow them. Cry for help. Make it sound real but not too loud. We then all meet at the door to the front hall and go in together. Any questions?”
Miss Glass realized the trouble the girls were already in and wondered why the head governess let them go even further. “Miss Kelly. Why don´t we all go in together now and stop them here and now?” Mrs. Kelly looked daggers at the junior governess and wondered if she could do her job better if muzzled. “I did not know that I have to explain myself to you if I give you an order, but to make it clear for all of you, I want to see if this is only a confused idea of Miss Angelica’s which they will not really dare to perform. I hope so for their sakes. If we stop them now we do not give them the chance to surrender freely when only you and Miss Bell come in. And now, everyone to her starting point”
Miss Glass knew that it was a trap but she could not do anything as Miss Bell was with her all the time. So after waiting some minutes to allow the senior governesses to check all doors and windows, they opened the study room and went in. Angelica and Katharina waited behind the door and after Miss Bell was pulled in, Katharina did the same with Miss Glass and both girls rushed out closing the door behind them. They lost no time hurrying down the wide staircase and passed the first floor by the time the junior governesses had unlocked the door with the key. The girls heard them cry but it seemed far away already. Without any problems they reached the big hall and opened the folding doors to the front hall. Everything seemed to work perfect. They did not see any of the other governesses nor did any locked door stop them. They seemed to be lucky until they reached the big main exit. This massive door was locked and the windows on both sides were cross-barred.
With a frantic look the girls searched for another exit as the folding doors opened and all five governesses entered the front hall. Mrs. Kelly looked very satisfied and presented two thick blankets she had taken from a shelf on the second floor. “You forgot your blankets, or have you forgotten that you are still in DISGRACE?” she said with a sarcastic tone. The girls realized that they had lost again, or even worse, they knew they had been trapped without even a chance to escape. Angelica had planned to fight if necessary to leave the house but with the massive front door locked behind her she knew that any resistance was senseless. The girls allowed the junior governesses to pull the big blankets over their heads and someone seemed to have straps with her, as they felt a strap pinning the blanket and their arms to the center of their bodies. Totally blind they were guided back upstairs but not to the study room but to their dressing rooms.
Miss Bell, Miss Glass, you will pick up the items the young ladies ‘lost’ in the study room and bring them to their dressing rooms. Mrs. Hunter, Mrs. Kent, you wait for them to be present and the door is locked before you start to undress your girl. I want to have TWO of us present for each girl whenever they are not effectively immobilized. Both girls will then be muzzled and undressed down to their corset which will be replaced by the punishment corset and laced as tight as possible. When they are fully dressed again I want you to wait for me before putting them into their loden dresses. Mrs. Kelly called Mrs. Miller to send a maid with two thermos bottles filled with strong lime blossom tea and thought about how to punish the girls.
When she entered Miss Angelica´s dressing room the girl was back in her heavy turtleneck dress, her hands already enclosed in gloves and mittens and her ear phones inserted. “Did you close the straps for the mittens tightly?” Mrs. Kelly asked her young assistant. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” “Present your wrists” she ordered and using all her strength she tightened the straps until the wool layers were pressed hard against the skin and then locked each strap with a small padlock. “THIS is as tight as required, especially for Miss Angelica, or do you want her to ‘lose” her mittens again?” “No, Mrs. Kelly” Miss Glass replied. “I wonder if you and Miss Bell should change their duties as it is obviously Miss Angelica, who needs more attention?” It was easy to see that the girl was not happy about this idea but as she was muzzled she remained silent. “Now, my dear, I wonder how we prevent you from ‘losing’ your balaclavas and cardigan? For your balaclavas I have a proposal. Miss Glass, please unfold the last turtleneck one time” The thick woolen dress had an extra long turtleneck that needed to be folded twice before it still reached the chin. Unfolding it one time had the effect that the remaining two layers of wool covered the whole face. “Now let me show you how we can protect your turtlenecks against lost. The head governess wrapped a neck corset over the girl’s neck and laced it tightly at the back. This caused the turtleneck to slip down slightly but it still covered the girl´s mouth and touched her nose. “Here we go, this is now nice and secure.” she said as she took a metal tube about two inches in length, lifted the turtleneck and searched for the adapter on the muzzle through the stitches of the balaclava. She found it and connected the tube to the muzzle with a click. Then she rearranged the turtleneck until the metal end appeared through the stitches. “And now I’ll show you how we secure your cardigan. Get in, NOW” The girl was surprised about the order as she did not wear her loden dress yet and had expected that the cardigan would be either sewn or secured with a belt. Once she had obeyed and Mrs. Kelly closed all the buttons herself before she pulled the hood over the girls head. “Miss Glass, now her loden dress, please” “But this . . . I mean I do not think this will fit with the thick cardigan beneath” “You should not ‘think’ but do as you are told. I can assure you that wool is elastic and with a little more effort it will fit. Maybe not as comfortably as before but I am afraid that this is the price we have to pay”.
Mrs. Kelly had studied the wool lined loden dresses. They were obviously designed for punishment only as they were cut to allow at least four layers underneath. She also saw that the two layers were different sizes. The outer loden layer looked formfitting but had some hidden pleats to stretch if required as the fabric was not elastic. The lining made of heavy wool was more formfitting for a girl dressed in some thick layers and would stretch if necessary.
Angelica could imagine how warm this cardigan would become under her dress but she had no say in the matter. It took some minutes until the girl was dressed and Miss Glass had to confess that the loden dress did not look so bad although the girl obviously felt the pressure and could bend her arms only with effort. “Next is the scarf, Miss Glass and in case you tie it as loose as last time I will show you on your own scarf, what I mean by ‘tight’” The junior governess could not do anything else apart from wrapping the scarf over the hood and the turtleneck as tight as possible. Mrs. Kelly secured the knotted ends with a cable through the stitches and a padlock for both ends. She found the end of the metal tube as it would be needed to feed the girl later. Locking the zipper of the dress at the loden collar was a challenge for Miss Glass and the girl as the hood of the cardigan meant an additional thick layer to be covered beneath. Also the winter boots were locked on and the girl knew that there was no chance to escape this time.
“Just one more adjustment then you’re finished. This morning I thought it unnecessary but I see now that I was wrong” Mrs. Kelly stood in front of the girl and searched with her fingertips for a zipper at the eye slit of the double layered balaclava. The black zipper was hidden between the two layers of black wool and the slash was nearly invisible. When she found it she closed the eye slit and the balaclava completely sealed the head. The girl could only see through the small spaces between the stitches and the chance to get some fresh air before she got under a blanket was gone.
“Will you please guide our student to her desk board again and help with her coins” she said to the governesses while she turned off the microphone and left Angelica deaf, blind and gagged again. She went to Katharina’s room where the governesses had waited for her. Here she found the mittens perfectly secured and Miss Bell had absolutely no worries when the girl was ordered to get dressed in her loden punishment dress on top of the cardigan. There was also no need to advise about the need for a tight fit of the scarf that hid the neck corset but also pressed the folded turtleneck hard against the mouth. Mrs. Kelly knew that by closing the balaclava she lost the only definite sign to distinguish the twins as Angelica had a tiny scar between her eyes, the result of a skiing accident a couple of years ago. But as she treated both girls the same, there was no need to be sure about the ‘who is who’ for the next few hours.
While Katharina was also guided to the study room Mrs. Kelly went to a storage room where she had left some items from her personal equipment. She took two metal racks that looked like mini stepladders with metal rods instead of steps. When she entered the room both girls had been guided to their boards and were pressing the small coins with their mittens against it. She turned on the speaker and said in her microphone. “Kneel down but don´t dare to lose your coins” The girls hesitated for some seconds and she added “NOW!” when Katharina reacted first. It did not look very graceful and Mrs. Kelly saw that there was some training required but both girls managed to keep their mittens on the coins. They needed to stretch their arms and hold them above shoulder height to reach the board which was much more tiring than the previous standing position. Mrs. Kelly placed one of the metal racks at Angelica’s ankles and moved both insteps to the highest rod. With a self locking belt that needed a key to be unlocked she strapped the girls feet together and to the rod. Then she walked to Katharina and repeated the action. The lower legs were fixed at an approximate sixty degree angle and so the girl´s weight was mostly borne by their kneecaps.
Mrs. Kelly took the thick blanket that lay on the desk and asked Miss Bell to take the second one. “Miss Bell, please cover Miss Angelica. I have decided that you will be responsible for her from now on, as she needs more attention. Miss Glass will help Mrs. Hunter to care for Miss Katharina.” “As you wish Mrs. Kelly” said the proud young governess and then they covered both girls at the same time leaving just their stretched arms free. “I want to remind you that the rule of silence forbids any talking, or moaning, any noise at all and I hope you believe now that disobeying this rule, dropping the coins or removing the blanket means another hard punishment.”
It was clear to the four governesses that nobody could follow the instructions from Mrs. Kelly long enough to satisfy the head governess. The girls kneecaps would hurt too much and their arms would become to feeling unbearably heavy to hold the coins in this position. But none of them made a comment when they silently left the room.
Both girls dropped their coins twice before lunch but Mrs. Kelly just told them that they earned additional punishment without changing the current torture. They were fed with hot tea before lunch. At lunch they were fed with liquid food, very healthy with vitamins and proteins but a lousy taste. At the end of their ‘meal’ they got another bottle of hot tea as Mrs. Kelly was aware of the high fluid loss caused by her treatment.
For the afternoon she even allowed the girls to change to the standing position and she did not mention the outstanding punishment. She was sure that the waiting for additional punishments caused the girls mental pain and she wanted to use this for their training. At four o’clock they did not get only tea but liquid food again and if the girls would have had a choice they would have definitely avoided eating it but as they were given no option it was out of question to avoid being forced to do so. After the meal Mrs. Kelly ordered them to the chamber of reflection and the girls worried about the following orders. The room was well heated but not extremely so and the twins were only ordered to say their prayers, of course kneeling in front of the two heaters and their fake fires.
It was four thirty-five when the two junior governesses were given the order to get the twins to their dressing rooms. They helped them undress and sent them to the bathroom. With their ablutions finished the twins found themselves laced into their punishment corsets again. A short time later both girls were not dressed for any evening lesson. Mrs. Kelly had only one ‘activity’ in mind for the girls and it required their sleeping gowns, the same as the previous day. Without any explanation they were guided to their bedrooms where Mrs. Kelly was waiting for them. “It must have been an exhausting adventure for you to run to the front door without any company and lightly dressed. Therefore I believe you will enjoy the heating blanket at full power to warm up again, and for your failures during your lesson I want to grant you an extra hour in your cozy sleeping bag that is, for disgrace reasons, covered by your bed-cover again, the nice thick black blanket you have seen there. We will wake you up, or shall I better say, release you at nine o’clock tomorrow morning, that gives you . . . let me see . . . sixteen hours to rest. I believe tomorrow, so well rested, you will find it already a bit easier to obey. And this will increase day by day by day. So sleep well and think about it.” Miss Glass, Miss Bell, please put the girls to bed and make sure that both are wrapped in their blankets tight enough that they can’t move a muscle. You can use some Velcro straps for support. Miss Bell, you have the authority, Miss Glass will follow your example”. “I will do my best, Mrs. Kelly” was the answer before she forced Angelica into the widely open sleeping bag with the blankets waiting inside.
Chapter nineteen – A night with troubles
In general, Mrs. Kelly did not expect any problems during the night. She had treated dozens if not hundreds of similar girls in her long and successful career as a governess. Maybe not with that quality of wool items and maybe only a few of them with the combination of heating blankets and fully closed sleeping bags but therefore the technological progress had given her very helpful tools. Monitoring the girls with webcams was so easy and the sensor they were both wearing on their left wrist delivered exact values of the girl’s condition every minute. Due to the fact that the girls were tightly wrapped in heating blankets she had set up the maximum that caused an alarm higher than usual, as even with the built in isolation against outside temperature the sensor could be influenced by the external heating source. She had done this in the past when a girl was placed in the bright summer sunshine for hours, and it had always shown that the sensor measured an incorrect body temperature IF the also measured and displayed outside temperature went too high. So a displayed body temperature up to thirty-nine or forty degrees Celsius under those conditions did not mean the girl had a fever or was dangerously overheated as it definitely was influenced by the heating blanket.
Nevertheless the head governess had arranged a permanent human monitoring to prevent any harm to her guardians. She was strict, maybe hard and from the girls point of view even cruel, but she would never allow any girl under her care to be seriously endangered. It was not required to stare on monitor the PC in their staffroom permanently, but she insisted that someone was awake around the clock. In a family she never had the luxury of four plus one governesses for only two girls, so it was no problem to arrange a shift. Mrs. Hunter and Mrs. Kent were well known for being ‘early birds’ and she never went to bed early which meant she could wake up one of the junior governesses when she went to bed. They just had to share the time until five o´clock in the morning. First she wanted to leave it to the young colleagues how they arrange their duties. Either each had to wake up for a few hours or they would share it per night. But because of her preference for Miss Bell she decided to leave the decision to her.
Mrs. Kelly followed the junior governesses to her room and asked Miss Bell “We need to make an arrangement about the monitoring at night. I can have an eye on the PC till around midnight. Mrs. Hunter and Mrs. Kent have agreed to share the morning, starting at five o´clock so we need to agree about the four or five hours in between” Miss Bell never went to bed early so she answered “I would prefer to do the first shift and hand it over at two thirty Madam” “Fine with me” Mrs. Kelly answered without giving Miss Glass any chance to reply. “In this case, my dear, YOU should go to bed early, as you need to be fresh at two fifteen and get another rest between five and seven only if no other duties are required for the morning. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” Miss Glass said, but thought at the same time “It’s unfair that I have the lousy shift every night but you can at least leave it to ME when I go to bed”. Mrs. Kelly looked in Miss Glass’ eyes and it seemed she could read her mind. “It is seven o´clock now, and this will give you seven hours to rest. But you should not undress completely as there is nobody there to help you to get properly dressed during the night. So you should just change your velvet dress against your nightgown and wait till end of your shift to undress and open your corset.” “That’s not nec . . .” “I KNOW it is NOT necessary to remind you of your status” Mrs. Kelly interrupted the young woman. “But I do not care only for those we are guardians to but also for MY team, therefore you should show me your cardigans” Miss Glass did not see any reason for that but she obeyed and presented first her thinner cotton jackets. “Don’t you own any woolen cardigans?” “Yes, Mrs. Kelly, they are here” Miss Glass had a thick black cardigan made from synthetic fiber “That’s the one I was looking for my dear, you should wear this one over your velvet dress during your night shift to protect you from the cool of the night.” “This is very nice of you Mrs. Kelly, but I am sure I can manage all of it by myself.” Miss Glass wanted to refuse all the ‘good advices’ the head governess had given to her. “I am afraid you misunderstood me again my dear. You should listen more carefully to what I say.
You WILL go to bed NOW, I expect you to be in bed daily by seven fifteen until you get other orders. You WILL only change your dress with your nightgown, remove your shoes and go to bed
You WILL start your monitoring duties at two thirty each morning fully dressed with the additional cardigan
Did I make myself clear now?”
Miss Glass took a deep breath before she lowered her eyes and answered with flat voice “Yes, Mrs. Kelly, it’s crystal clear” As the head governess made no move to leave the room, Miss Kelly wanted to go to the nearby bathroom taking her cotton floor length nightgown with her. “You will change here after coming back from the bathroom” Mrs. Kelly ordered with cold voice. After the young women had left and before leaving the room, she ordered Miss Bell to search for a winter nightgown in Miss Glass’ wardrobe. As expected the governess had taken nearly all her personal belongings with her so her winter outfit was also stored in her new home. The flannel nightgown her colleague found was much thicker and could fit much better to the thick wool layer beneath. When Miss Glass came back Mrs. Kelly was not there and she hoped that she had changed their plans. But the head governess arrived just as she recognized her winter nightgown “Who was in my wardrobe?” “That was Miss Bell but on MY orders. Ah, I see, you have found what I asked for” Mrs. Kelly had also seen the flannel nightgown on the bed and touched the fabric. “It is seven seventeen already and you are still not changed and in bed. Miss Glass started to remove her long scarf which she had worn the whole day over her turtlenecks and her velvet dress. “Miss Bell, you were a witness when I gave Miss Glass her orders. Did I say anything about removing the scarf?” “No Mrs. Kelly, definitely not” “So I wonder if my orders are in Chinese or what’s wrong with them?”
Miss Glass had just finished rewinding the scarf and stopped after she had heard the questions. She started to wrap the scarf around her neck but was stopped again. “No, as you have already removed it, lay the scarf on the bed, remove your dress and get dressed in your nightgown” With this order she left the room for some minutes and returned with several items. Miss Glass was standing next to her bed, with the bed-cover removed and her duvet revealed as she was used to in her youth. Mrs. Kelly handed her a mug of hot tea. “Here, a ‘goodnight cup’ for you, but hurry, as you have already earned this blanket as a ‘reward’ for your delay.” She opened a thick velour blanket and laid it on the bed. Miss Glass recognized the same smell as for the girl’s tea and knew that it was lime blossom and not a ‘goodnight mixture’ but she tried to ignore the taste and drank it as quickly as possible.
“Now, my dear, I will wrap you in the blanket and fix it with your own scarf. This will help you in the future to fulfill orders to the word. After the young women had laid down in the middle of the large blanket and allowed the head governess to wrap her from both sides and from head to toe tightly the scarf was wrapped around the neck and head and pressed the blanket against the face. Then the duvet was placed up to the woman´s invisible nose and tucked in from both sides. At the end came the bed-cover, as in all rooms a heavy wool blanket, back over the whole bed. “Miss Bell will help you to leave your bed and get ready in the morning at two fifteen. Until that time I do not want you to move. Do you understand me?” “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” came the muffled answer from under the bed-cover, the scarf and the velour blanket. “Good girl! Miss Bell, please do not disturb your colleague until her shift begins. And now have a good night” None of the junior governesses knew that the tea was again prepared with the herbal only stimulant that would dope Miss Glass instead of making her sleepy. But Miss Glass already felt the lime blossom blend doing its job as she started to sweat much more than just because the warm layers. Before Mrs. Kelly left the bedroom room she whispered to Miss Bell. You will keep an eye on her when you are in the room. If she moves or tries to get out before her shift you will report it to me in private tomorrow.” “Of course, Mrs. Kelly” was the answer and Miss Bell wondered what she would observe and what she would report in the morning. Would it be the same?
Chapter twenty – Worries about fever
At two o´clock Miss Glass slept deeply once she had spent more than four hours against her inner restlessness she could not explain herself. Normally she had found her sleep without any problems, even when her aunt had punished her overnight. She used to cover her with an extra large additional duvet when she was in disgrace. It covered her in a similar way the bed-cover Mrs. Kelly used, covering the whole bed and making the atmosphere under it hot and sticky as her own breath warmed the remaining air quickly. So she was used to sleeping under uncomfortable conditions in her youth but as she never got any stimulants before bedtime she had had no troubles to cut it out and fall asleep.
This time it took ages to fall asleep and so she was tired and dizzy when her colleague woke her at the pre-arranged time. She had not realized that Miss Bell had removed the bed-cover, loosened the duvet and opened the wrap of the thick acrylic velour blanket before she spoke to Miss Glass. “Seems you could not take your punishment?” were her first words and she expected her colleague would not get the meaning as the sound of the words woke her. “Get completely out now, you need to dress and start your shift”. Miss Glass was still dizzy so she assumed her colleague had just helped her to get released and was not aware that Miss Bell let it look like it had happened during the night without her knowledge. Miss Bell prepared the thick woolen tights and the turtleneck dress, her velvet dress and the cardigan and watched her during she dressed herself. At the end she offered her the scarf she had unwrapped from the blanket before and made sure that he was tightly knotted again. Then Miss Bell went to bed and before she fell asleep she formed her plan how to report to Mrs. Kelly. She would play it with a touch of sympathy for her colleague together with an uncomfortable feeling to rat on her. She would look like fighting between ‘stay loyal to a colleague who unfortunately failed’ and her ‘duty to be honest and conscientious’ to Mrs. Kelly. At the end her honesty would win and she would report that the bed-cover was beside the bed, the duvet was loosened and the wrap of the velour blanket opened when she came from her shift. She would further tell her boss that she had noticed her colleague to be very restless during the evening and that she shifted her body several times from one side to the other instead of staying motionless as was usual during a punishment. Miss Bell had a smile on her face when she finally fell asleep.
Miss Glass had, still tired but fully dressed, reached the staffroom and first drank some water. She needed a coffee but she wanted to take it and let it cool down as a hot drink was nothing she would need in the next hours. The special caress of Miss Kelly to protect her from the chilly night was absolutely unnecessary as she would stay in the house the whole night and she hated the way she was treated more and more without any chance of changing it.
Miss Bell had told her that everything is okay with the girls so Miss Glass just had a short look at the monitor about a quarter to three. She was horrified about the figures she saw there as the actual measured values. The body temperatures had risen to 38.9 and 38.7 degrees Celsius. The ‘outside’ temperature measured at the same wrist was much higher, but this was explainable by the heated blanket that was still running on level four. Obviously Mrs. Kelly had lowered it from the maximum level seven but decided to keep it on the whole night.
Due to the isolation the body temperature should show the correct temperature and that would mean that both girls had a fever! It was not unexpected that both girls had the same symptoms as they stuck together most of the time. Miss Glass went upstairs and looked inside of the girls sleeping room. Both seemed to be awake or were sleeping restlessly. They could not move a lot due to the straps that fixed their sleeping bags but a slight movement of the heavy bed-cover was visible from time to time at both beds.
As the girls had to sleep muzzled Miss Glass could not get any verbal answers but she wondered if she should talk to them anyway. If they had a fever they would have headaches or anything else than just feeling hot and sweaty. Then she would have to remove the bed-cover, open the sleeping bag completely and unwrap at least the girls head. She would also have to switch off the heating blankets as this was too dangerous for a person with high fever. They would need cool towels on their forehead and not a complete closed heating and wool blanket totally covering their heads.
But Miss Glass hesitated. Should she wake up Mrs. Kelly and report the body temperature of the girls and wait for orders? She left the sleeping room silently although the girls could not hear much under all the layers they were buried. Just when she stepped out of the room she grew stiff. Mrs. Blackwood was standing in front of her, wearing her nightgown and a dressing gown plus slippers. Miss Glass was surprised and felt so overdressed in her three turtlenecks and tights she had to wear this night. “Oh. Mrs. Blackwood I hope I did not disturb you?” The old lady was also surprised as she did not expect someone to leave the girl’s bedroom at this time. “No. Not at all Miss Glass. I could not sleep and was just walking around a little bit. You could not disturb me as my bedroom is on the first floor in the west wing of the building so there is no chance to hear any sound coming from the east wing.”
“So can I do anything for you, Madam?” Miss Glass asked, still worried about what she should do about the twins apparent fever. “No nothing . . . although I just came by to have a quick look at my grandchildren. You must know, I did this with my daughter at night, at least when she was punished or in disgrace. And to my sorrow that happened quite often in the last year before she left us. My husband was . . . let’s say he had a strong will and a clear vision of how Maria should live and behave. His daughter had inherited this strong will from him, but to his displeasure she had a totally different opinion regarding her future. So I had to punish her often in the last years. And as my husband absolutely disagreed with corporal punishment she had to suffer in layers of warm wool. Now I am afraid my grandchildren are in a similar situation, aren’t they?” “Yes, Madam, regarding their punishment you can be assured they are. Mrs. Kelly has them suffering in wool and other extreme warm layers for twenty-four hours a day. And during the night they stay in a sleeping bag together with an electric blanket.”
“For the love of God, that’s cruel. Although it was much hotter in Australia and I had to turn off the air conditioning in her room during punishments Maria never slept in her sleeping bag WITH an electric blanket. I found this too dangerous as she could overheat without being recognized.” “We have good monitoring equipment Madam. You don’t need to worry. We know their pulse, their body temperature etc. and one of us are on duty throughout the night and could react immediately” “And can I see them and check if everything is alright? Don´t misunderstand me, I believe you do a perfect job, it is just, I want to be near them and see it for my own sake, you understand?” “Of course, Madam, it is just . . .” Miss Glass was not sure if she should tell her the truth. She was worried about the girl’s having a fever but should she dare to tell it to Mrs. Blackwood instead of Mrs. Kelly? And what if Mrs. Blackwood wanted to see the sleeping faces of her grandchildren? They were covered in sleeping bags but top down, and wrapped into two blankets and a fully closed balaclava!” Miss Glass had to make a decision and as Mrs. Blackwood was the boss of her boss she had to be honest to her.
The old lady offered her the chance to speak freely by saying “Please my child, speak openly to me, you do not have to be afraid that I will blame you”. “I was just in the room as the monitor showed too high body temperature. But then I worried if I should report it to Mrs. Kelly first because it is not so easy to test them directly” “Why not?” “Please come in and have a look, you will see what I mean, Madam” Both women reentered the bedroom and Mrs. Blackwood turned on the light as she could not see enough with the permanent night light. She saw that the heavy black bed-covers had been used to ‘hide’ the girls in their beds and she began to realize how strict or maybe too hard Mrs. Kelly was. “Please remove the bed-covers I will see if the girls have fever. And if so, we will cool them” “But, Mrs. Kelly . . .” “Mrs. Kelly will have to accept what the legal guardian of the girl’s decides to do with them. Otherwise she can look for a new job” Mrs. Blackwood said in an unexpectedly loud voice. Miss Glass removed the heavy blankets and Margaret noticed that the sleeping bags lay top down. “What was the reason for that?” she asked as she opened the zipper. “It should allow the cable for the heating blankets to run at the girl’s feet and the bag would fit closer over the two blankets in this case.” “TWO blankets? And I believe they are dressed in layers of wool underneath?” “Yes Madam. In wool and polar fleece” “AND a completely closed balaclava too. The girls must be roasted and not only punished with warmer outfit than necessary” “I believe this was the idea” Miss Glass agreed.
After Mrs. Blackwood managed to unwrap the blankets, which was not easy due to the Velcro straps that had been used, she removed Angelica’s double layered balaclava and looked into her red face. “The girls are muzzled, Madam, you cannot talk to them” “But you know where the key is, don´t you?” “Yes, in the staff room” “Then get the key and two big glasses of cool water. Not ice cold, but cool.” The young governess left the room after she had removed Katharina’s balaclava. Both girls enjoyed the fresh air and looked thankfully at their grandmother. When Miss Glass was back she removed the muzzles and both women helped the girls to drink a big glass of water. “Mrs. Blackwood touched the foreheads of both girls not caring about the sweat on them. She had done this in the past for her daughter so many times and had missed taking care of her girl so much that she would have done anything to help the girls. “It looks like they have no fever, but they have been extremely overheated” she said in a whisper to the governess. “How do you feel my dears?” “Now much better, Grandmother, thank you very much” answered Katharina and really meant it. “Yes Grandmother, thank you, it was a nightmare but now I feel better” agreed Angelica. “I got a report about the day and although your behavior disappointed me, I do not agree with you being treated like this. I hope you know that a punishment is deserved as running away and hurting a governess is unacceptable.” “But we did not hurt anybody” “But you pulled your governesses into the room with all your strength and they could have been injured during your escape.” “So, as sorry as I am for you, I cannot release you from your nightgown or the blankets. All I can, and WILL do, is to unplug the electric blanket and turn the sleeping bag so your head is on the right side and not inside the thick bag. And I will talk to your head governess and your grandfather tomorrow, or better today in the morning. I cannot promise you too much but I will try to prevent these cruelties in the future. Miss Glass, do you need my help to do what’s necessary?” “No thank you Madam. I believe I can manage it, and the girls will not cause me any troubles” “No, they won’t as this would ruin my trust and I believe they need someone that trusts them”
It was clear for the girls that they had to obey and thanked their grandmother again before they got muzzled and made ready to sleep again. Although it was still hot inside of the wool lined sleeping bag it was easier since they had their face only covered by the blankets and wool and mainly because of the fact that electric blankets had not been not turned on again.
At ten minutes past five in the morning Miss Glass finally could take a shower and rested for another ninety minutes in her lightest cotton nightgown. She was not sure about that but she had not received any orders on how to dress or sleep after her night shift so she hoped the head governess would not ask for details. She could not sleep as she worried about the confrontation with Mrs. Kelly. She would notice for one or other reason the changes during the night and Miss Glass hoped that she would believe her that it was Mrs. Blackwood’s order to relieve the girls a little bit.
Chapter twenty-one – Confrontation in the morning
Mrs. Kelly checked her notebook as usual and saw at first glance that something happened during the night. First the outside temperature sank rapidly, later also the body temperatures went down a little bit. Both increased about twenty minutes later but not back to the previous level. Mrs. Kent had not worried about as she thought Mrs. Kelly had turned off the electric blankets or given orders to do so during the night shift. But as the head governess had not given such orders she checked the girl’s bedrooms and found the blankets turned off. She could not see the sleeping bags turned around as they were hidden under the bed-cover. For the rest of the morning she just turned on the blankets again and went to the bedroom of the junior governesses to ask for an explanation. “Good Morning Ladies” she said loudly as she entered the room without knocking. Both young women were surprised and Miss Bell still dizzy as she had not slept so well last night. Miss Glass was up in a second and had obviously a guilty conscience about her outfit.
“Miss Bell, do you have an explanation for last night?” Mrs. Kelly said with a cold voice. “Mrs. Kelly. I . . . I mean, you did not give me an order what to wear AFTER my shift and you allowed me to shower, so I . . .” “I do not care about your outfit, at least not now. We will discuss that at a later stage. What I want to know is why the girls were obviously allowed to cool down during your shift!” “It was . . . I recognized a body temperature of thirty-nine degrees from both girls, and I found this too high. Dangerous high, so I checked the bedroom and . . .” “So you removed the bed-covers, opened the sleeping bags and uncovered the girls. AND you turned off the electric blankets without my order or permission JUST BECAUSE they had high body temperatures. IS THIS CORRECT?” “Yes, but it was Mrs. . . .” “THERE IS NO ‘but’ I have informed you on the first evening that the sensor might not be correct in case a heating source is near the inner AND outer sensor. That was NO excuse for you to release them completely AND change the settings of the blankets!”
“But you did NOT inform us that this might happen!” Miss Glass dissented. Mrs. Kelly did not remember having mentioned it but nevertheless she asked Miss Bell if she could confirm this point. “Yes, Mrs. Kelly, I do remember you mentioning that the outer sensor might influence the body temperature sensor by up to two degrees” Miss Bell understood the intention of her boss and lied without any doubts. “So you DID not listen to my instructions. You released the girls without a reason. You turned off the electric blankets without orders to do so AND you changed your nightgown without permission” she yelled at Miss Glass. “Did I forget anything?” she asked Miss Bell thinking of her monitoring role during the night. “Well, Mrs. Kelly, it is . . . I am sure, or better said I hope she did not do it intentionally and maybe she was dizzy but . . .” “Just tell me what you have seen. You do not have to protect her. I will make my own picture of the facts.”
With well played displeasure Miss Bell answered: “When I came back after my shift the bed-cover on Miss Glass’ bed was turned back, the duvet was loosened and she had lost the scarf and was partially unwrapped from her blanket. She must have . . .” “That’s not true, I did not do that!” Miss Glass interrupted angrily. “But when I woke you up, did you awake completely covered?” Miss Bell replied, still playing the colleague who did not want any harm for her ‘friend’. “I don´t remember. I had a hard night and had not slept well and when you woke me up I assumed you had already removed those layers” “Is that the usual way you have been woken up in your youth. I can just say it for myself, when I was punished by my governess or my parents I was woken up first, to remember me a last time what was wrong last day BEFORE I was unwrapped or released. And I assumed. Mrs. Kelly would want me to do it in the same way” “Which I certainly DID” the head governess remarked. “But when I came back I found you already released but sleeping deeply again, so you must have done it hours before, at least this is my opinion. Sorry, I did not want to betray you but as I have to be honest and you treat me like a liar, I had no choice.” “It is okay my dear. YOU have nothing to worry about as it’s not your fault that your colleague cannot obey orders.” Mrs. Kelly said to Miss Bell before she turned to Miss Glass.
“Maybe the next thing you’ll tell us is that Miss Bell changed your nightgown from the flannel to the cotton version while you slept?” “No, of course not, but . . .” “NO MORE ‘buts’ or you can start to collect your personal belongings and leave the house! I give you a last chance to endure your punishment now and make no more mistakes. IF you fail again, you made your decision to quit the job. Is that clear” “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” the junior governess replied as she saw no chance to exculpate herself. “Now, go to the bathroom, but hurry, I will wait here.” Soon the woman was back and although Miss Bell could have gone to the bathroom now, she stayed to watch the confrontation. Mrs. Kelly helped Miss Glass to tighten the corset and asked her to present her own woolen tights and winter turtlenecks. Miss Glass had some although in blended acrylic quality and not in pure wool, nevertheless they were warm and tight. “You will wear one pair of your own thick knitted tights on top of the cotton one and a winter turtleneck over your thin turtleneck” The junior governess did as ordered and reached for her velvet dress. “Did I say anything about ‘INSTEAD’ of the borrowed woolen tights and the turtleneck dress? I do not remember”. Totally depressed the woman took the thick woolen items and dressed herself. In the meantime Mrs. Kelly opened the wardrobe and found Miss Glass’ winter dress made of heavy velvet. “You will wear THIS dress and your cardigan from last night on top. And you will wear it for at least two weeks instead of one week.” “Yes, Mrs. Kelly” came the weak answer. “Is that all Mrs. Kelly” “Let me see, you forgot to hide your woolen turtleneck. You will take your scarf again so you can keep in mind that you may NOT remove any item without my personal permission.”
After the governesses had breakfast together, the only time, Miss Glass was allowed to remove her scarf, it was time to release the girls but Mrs. Kelly stopped them. “Although I have recommended that the twins stay at home for at least three weeks, Mr. Blackwood wants them to go to church tomorrow. Therefore it is necessary to prepare them or better test their behavior. I have decided that the girls will go to church TODAY. At least they will think they are. We will leave them in bed for another two hours then, after they have had breakfast we tell them that we celebrate an extra high mass today. They will get dressed and wear the loden disgrace hood Madame Levine had created which means they will be totally blind as this hood has no eyeholes. We will see how it looks when we take a little walk in the garden. It’s a nice sunny day and the girls will like to walk to the ‘church’. They will hear one of the recorded sermons from our reverend, I think the one he talked about obedience will fit the situation perfectly and they will not realize that they went in a circle back home. The girls will receive orders they get by headphones, stand up, kneel down, sit down and at the end we will take another walk around the garden for their ‘return’ home. If we turn them around several times before each walk they will have no idea that they spent the whole time on the Blackwood’s estate. In case they behave well we can go to the mass on Sunday. If not, it depends on the training we can hold for the rest of the day. In worst case I have to inform Mr. Blackwood that the girls are not ready, but this would have very hard consequences for the young ladies.
Miss Glass had listened to the plan with discomfort as it meant her going out in her current outfit or even worse with her coat or even her winter coat on top of it. But there was nothing she could do against it as she had checked her contract in the meantime and found the paragraph that allowed Mrs. Kelly to request an ‘appropriate’ appearance of the staff at any time of the day. Miss Glass went back in her youth where she had several very hard days to endure due to her aunt who seemed to like her power over her. So she did not notice that Mrs. Kelly spoke to her directly after the plan for the morning was announced. “MISS GLASS” she repeated with a cold voice “Hm, yes, sorry Mrs. Kelly, what did you say?” “You should pay more attention to my orders and stop daydreaming! I had given you the order to pick up some spare parts from Mr. Bishop’s electronics shop. We need those special small batteries for the headsets of the twins in case they need to be replaced during a weekend or in the middle of the day. I do not except any excuse, so I do not want to give them the reason that they did not hear me with their headsets.
You have nearly two hours until we start our training for the mass so you should speed up a little. I believe it´s an hour’s walk to the shop but if you walk a little bit faster you should be able to make it in five or ten minutes less to pick up the batteries. Mr. Bishop will hand them out on invoice so you do not need to pay. You just hand him the note with the request and take the items he gives you. To speed things up I will help you to get finished for your walk. Mrs. Kent and Mrs. Hunter can prepare the standard outfit for the twins in the meantime. Miss Bell will come with us.”
Miss Glass was not happy about this order for several reasons. Although it would mean leaving the Blackwood estate and Mrs. Kelly for two hours, it would mean walking as fast as she could through the town in her current outfit. She was also afraid of the fact that Mrs. Kelly wanted to help her to get finished as this could not mean any good for her. As they reached the governesses bedroom Mrs. Kelly opened Miss Glass’ wardrobe and took her winter coat out. “As you are already wearing a scarf you just need a bonnet with veils, mittens and your coat” she said without letting Miss Glass any chance to refuse it. She had not expected to wear mittens as a governess needed her hands to support their guardians. But as she would only be picking up some batteries she could not argue against it. As fast as possible, and helped by Miss Bell, she laced her mittens and Mrs. Kelly helped her into her heavy velvet coat. The head governess opened the cupboard of Miss Glass and searched for something. Soon she was successful and picked up the young woman’s muzzle. “As Mr. Bishop will read my note there is no need for you to speak during your trip so I will help you to follow the rule of silence on the streets.” She showed the muzzle to Miss Glass and the young woman slowly opened her mouth. When she was muzzled Mrs. Kelly wrapped the scarf as tight as possible over neck, mouth and nose. With the bonnet she had two layers of veils for the whole face and then the velvet veil for the lower part of her face. “As it is bright sunshine outside you will see more than enough with two veils and the face veil will hide your woolen scarf in public.” Mrs. Kelly explained her activities. Now I will write you a short note, you can wait in the hall for Miss Bell. She will bring it to you.
Miss Glass curtseyed and left extremely VERZWEIFELT (En.: in despair) the room and went downstairs. The head governess had made every effort to make this trip as uncomfortable as possible for her. She was dressed for a cold winter day, muzzled, veiled and wore mittens, so she could not even look at her watch to see if she was on time or not. She had to move as quickly as possible to make it in the requested time that would heat her up even more. She waited in the big hall for Miss Bell and was sure that her colleague would not hurry to bring the paper down.
Miss Glass was focused on the staircase and did not see Mrs. Blackwood coming from the breakfast room. “Good Morning, my dear” Mrs. Blackwood said and Miss Glass quickly curtseyed. “Please, this is not necessary when we women are alone. Can you tell me how the night ended for the girls? Did they get any sleep?” Miss Glass could not answer as she had been muzzled and just made some noise to indicate she was restricted. “Oh, you have been muzzled?” Miss Glass nodded. “But why? You are a governess and you still wear mittens and a muzzle? I know you cannot answer, my dear. Are you going out?” Miss Glass nodded again. “But so heavily dressed, isn’t this your winter coat?” When Miss Glass nodded again her eyes were wet and Mrs. Blackwood had a VERDACHT(En.: suspicion). “Would you mind if I check your outfit, my dear. I would like to know what you HAVE to wear as I do not expect it was your choice.” Miss Glass did not deny this and moved her leg to show the thick woolen tights under her coat and the velvet dress. Mrs. Blackwood lifted the veil, saw the woolen scarf and was sure that there was more than one turtleneck beneath it. She checked the hem of the coat and found the cardigan and the layers under the velvet dress. “It looks like a hard punishment you’ve received. Did you do anything wrong?” Miss Glass neither nodded nor shook her head instead she just looked in the eyes of the old lady and hoped she would understand. “So YOU mean you did nothing wrong, but Mrs. Kelly did? Has it to do with last night?” Now Miss Glass nodded heavy. “So, she punished you because of the help the twins got by MY order?” Again Mrs. Blackwood received a nod.
“Wait here. I will clear this up with Mrs. Kelly” Mrs. Blackwood said but at this moment Miss Bell came down with the note. “Excuse me Madam, but Miss Glass has an order to pick up some items and she needs to hurry to be back on time” Miss Bell said and offered the note to Miss Glass, who took it between her mittens. “But she is dressed much too warmly and just because of ME” “I believe you should discuss this with Mrs. Kelly Madam, but as much as I know she deserves her outfit and I have my strict order to escort Miss Glass to the door NOW. Will you please excuse us?” Mrs. Blackwood was not sure how to react so she allowed the junior governesses to leave and went upstairs to talk with Mrs. Kelly as soon as possible. Miss Bell opened the front door for her colleague and gave her a last note from Mrs. Kelly. “Mrs. Kelly told me to warn you. In case you are NOT back for our trip to the garden you will stay dressed for it as you are now AND receive an additional punishment for every minute you are late. Did you hear me?” Miss Glass nodded a last time, still desperate but with a little hope that Mrs. Blackwood might help her when she came back.
In the meantime Mrs. Kelly was in her room where she had a private phone line. “Mr. Bishop? This is Mrs. Kelly calling on behalf of Mr. Blackwood” she opened the conversation. “Mrs. Kelly. It’s nice to hear from you. What can I do for you?” Mr. Bishop had known the head governess for many years and she had ordered a lot of equipment during that time including the microphones and headsets used at the Blackwood’s estate now. “I have a special wish and I am sure you can help me. I have sent one of the young ladies of my team to you to pick up four batteries for the in-ear headset and microphones as spare parts” “that’s no problem Madam I have them in stock but you know that these special batteries hold for several month in standby mode and for at least six weeks in use” “I know that but I want to have some just in case, AND I would ask you to NOT have enough on stock” “I do not understand, Mrs. Kelly?” “Miss Glass will be muzzled and wearing mittens as it should be for a young woman alone on the street. I would appreciate if you would make only two of the batteries available in your store. You should then go to your warehouse and search for the required quantity as you are sure you have them in stock. This search should take about ten minutes while Miss Glass is waiting in your store. Coming back you should apologize for the waiting time AND the fact that you could not find any more. You could promise to order them on Monday morning and give me a call when she leaves, telling me you just found your stock but Miss Glass has already left. On Monday Miss Glass will come again and get the rest of them. It is just a little joke and I hope you will do me the favor to play your role as described?”
“All right, Mrs. Kelly. Just so I understand you want me to give her two batteries then pretend to search for the rest for ten minutes but without success.” “Exactly. As we do not need them for the weekend it does not matter and you can invoice all four on Monday and send it to Mr. Blackwood as usual. “No problem Mrs. Kelly, it will be my pleasure to help you with your little joke” Mr. Bishop said and removed all but two batteries from the shelf after ending the call.
Miss Glass was doing her best to walk as quickly as possible but the thick turtleneck dress had a very narrow skirt and the three layers of tights did not make it any easier. She was used to being a little overheated as her velvet dress with the coat was never easy to wear during summer time, but the outfit she had to wear now was really a challenge. She was sweating profusely and could not even remove it from her eyebrows due to the veils. She had never worn a woolen scarf under her veils before and breathing had become difficult due to the wetness of the scarf. She managed to arrive at the electronics shop after fifty-six minutes and was sure that it would take less than five minutes to get the batteries. She entered the store, curtseyed and placed the order on the front desk. Mr. Bishop greeted her and read the order. “Ah, yes, the extra powerful batteries for the headsets. I told Mrs. Kent and Mrs. Kelly that they would hold for weeks, or in standby mode, even months before needing to be replaced. Mrs. Kelly must be very careful to think about spare parts just in case of any accident. So let´s see which ones are used for this set.” He took one of the sample headsets and opened it to read the number on the battery. As it was very small he searched for his eyeglasses to read it. Okay, 2318, that´s . . . oh, only two here. I must have more of them in stock. Would you please excuse me for a minute while I check the stock in the back room?”
Miss Glass had no other choice than to nod although she had hoped her purchase would not be delayed. But all she could do was wait patiently and pray for an early return of Mr. Bishop. She had learned in the past to stand absolutely motionless and as she was muzzled and veiled there was nothing she could do or see in the meantime. She did not dare to go out and look through the window screen again to check the time and hoped that it only felt like hours before Mr. Bishop returned. “I am so sorry to keep you waiting, Miss, especially as I was not successful with my search. They MUST be there but stored under the wrong number or something. I will search for them during the weekend and, if I am not successful, I will order some on Monday morning. Please accept my apology and tell Mrs. Kelly that I am extremely sorry, but at least two of them should do for the weekend as they are just meant as spares and not for an immediate replacement.
Miss Glass took the two batteries and curtseyed before leaving the shop. She had in mind the departure due to the clock on the church just about five minutes away from the estate. Therefore she knew that she knew that seventy-five minutes of her allotted time had passed. Even without being slower on the return trip, which she doubted, the remaining forty-five minutes would not be enough to be there on time. Even if she managed the same time for the return journey back home she would be between ten to fifteen minutes late. As she had no idea what it meant to be punished for every minute of her delay she again hurried as fast as she could. But by the end of her trip she got slower without recognizing it due to the increasing heat of the day, or overheated body and the unbearable outfit.
Mrs. Blackwood had found the head governess and explained the situation to her “It looks as if Miss Glass has been punished for activities she did under my orders. I had asked her to remove the bed-covers and turn the sleeping bags around to leave the girls heads free from the down of the sleeping bags. And I ordered her to turn off the electric blankets as I found it dangerous and overheating the girls to an inappropriate level. So if you are punishing her for that, you must withdraw the punishment as soon as possible.” “Madam, I understand your concerns but did Miss Glass tell you that she was punished for something?” “Not with words, as she was muzzled and veiled, but I could see the multiple layers she was wearing and I cannot believe she was wearing it of her own free will or just for fun.” “Not for fun, but more as a reminder to listen more carefully to my words. I can also assure you that the girls were NEVER in a dangerous situation. I have checked the measurements of the whole night and ats no phase were they overheated. I had told Miss Glass that the sensors would not show the correct values due to the outside heat. So everything under forty degrees Celsius IS no fever but just a result of the temperature around the wearer of the sensor.” “However, I would appreciate to see Miss Glass dressed in two layers less than now during her work here in house. Do you think that is manageable?” Both women knew that it was more than a question about IF it was possible to do, and Mrs. Kelly agreed, already thinking about the fact that Miss Glass was needed OUTSIDE of the house for the next few hours. And Mrs. Blackwood had made NO comment about what was worn outdoors.
End of part two – and the story so far.