I dreamt last night about a girls’ reformatory, based in an old Georgian building. Six of the girls had been caught committing some heinous offence and were gathered together.
Six officers appeared. Three took the first girl, three the second, and the other girls were left locked in the room.
Each offender was taken to a separate punishment room. Three warders proved quite sufficient to subdue and strip her, tying her over the whipping frame – and leaving her to wait until they’d returned to take all of the others and tie them in turn in the other cells.
Each officer was then allocated a girl to punish. He returned to her cell, leaving the door open so that each girl might hear her neighbours’ cries. The sentence of a severe birching was announced. And administered. Hard. Very hard.
Afterwards, the officer untied the girl (no longer struggling) and returned her to the main room. The governor checked each offender, ensuring that she had been punished thoroughly. Each officer then selected a girl – not the one he’d just punished – and led her to her cell to be ‘comforted’