Recently I posted some of Paul Little's work which had been a re-write of an old Claire Willows classic called Happy Tears. I was unable to find the original Happy Tears, but I did find some material by Claire Willows. This is what flagellant porn looked like in the 1930's.
Here's the set-up. Our heroine is to be the servant of Lady Manville
Now I know that your mistress has trained you to be docile and submissive, but it is one thing to submit yourself to the rules of a girls' training school and quite another to submit to my own. You know my name?” “They told me, Madame....”
“Madame! Milady to you, hereafter, do you understand? What is my name, or have you forgotten? Who am I?”
Tears gathered on the girl's lashes. She swallowed a sob and stammered: “Lady Manville, Milady....”
“Yes, Lady Manville. I am a widow. I have two other maids, a page-boy, a groom, and a governess who is authorized by me to look strictly after my personnel. I am rich, yes, indeed! And I could live luxuriously in London, or anywhere on the Continent, Lily, all year round, if I liked, but I prefer Duncaster House. Did you ever hear of Duncaster House?”
“You shall very soon come to know it. Its history is a strange one, but what does it matter? I shall tell you only this: The old place, which is close to the celebrated Houna Inn, was built in the 16th Century by the Hollander, Peter van Weem. It is of octagonal shape and has an entrance door on each side. Peter van Weem had eight children and when they and their families came to visit, to keep them from quarreling, he made each family enter through the door which was designated for them. Thus his children and their families were able to remain under the paternal roof without coming into conflict.” Lady Manville paused for a moment and then resumed: “At my house you shall have much work to do, and you will find me very severe.... Does that frighten you?”
Well, it should. Lady Manville is the prototypical evil dominatrix who revels in the punishment of her charges. Lily, the young girl, is a recent graduate of Miss Wharton's Training School for Young Ladies, a fine educational establishment I'm sure, so it's a perfect fit.
In my house everything is as rigid as can be. You are, all you who serve and wait upon me, nothing but my slaves! I have paid for you and for them, you are merely living objects that I own outright, obedient things, that I discipline and punish according to my fancy. Everything moves to the sound of the whip! No recompense! Why should there be any when I can obtain everything by fear? For the least fault, the whip! In my house, Lily, your bottom will never have a chance to catch cold."
I'll bet Lily can hardly wait. She doesn't have to wait long. Lily goes over her knee right there in the coach. Lady Manville hoists up her skirts right there in the back seat and spanks away while they move on down the road.
They come to an Inn, but Lady Manville is not done by a long shot.
“Milady!...” she implored, in so feeble a voice it was more like a breath. The lady repeated the same gesture, as eloquent as though it had been expressed in a loud voice. A deadly silence reigned in the room. The coachman himself, so indifferent up to the present, looked up, the servant girls shivered, the little boy pressed himself against his mother's skirts, and the latter was red with emotion. Lily's legs would not support her and, suddenly, she fell on her knees.
“Milady, please I beg of you!” she exclaimed in a voice low and ardent, the words wrenched out of her blackest despair, “I implore you, Milady! Not here!... Oh! not here!...”
“Take care!” warned Lady Manville. And as she pronounced these words, for the third time her rigid index finger pointed to her lap. Then, in a frightful anguish which gripped her whole being, Lily abandoned herself. She was like a person hypnotized. A strange force emanated from Lady Manville and invaded her, annihilating all her will, delivering her, so to speak, hand and foot to this woman who was about to inflict on her the most terrible humiliation possible to imagine. She stretched herself out, face down over the knees of her mistress with a sob that made all the witnesses shiver. On Lady Manville's face was a smile of triumph and, slowly, very much at her ease, as if she were at home, she hugged Lily's body close under her left arm, enlaced the girl's feet with her right leg and commenced to turn back her skirt which she carefully disposed in neat folds on the girl's loins, in a fashion to prevent them from falling in her way. At the same time her voice became strangely soft, as though she had arrived at the paroxysm of her severity.
“You see now, you wicked child,” she was speaking gently, “that you must always yield to me! I am going to whip you, Lily, in front of all these witnesses!... Don't you feel yourself dying of humiliation?... Now submit quietly, my girl, demonstrate by your conduct here on my lap that you are co-operating with me in your punishment, otherwise I shall attach you to a ladder when we get home and whip you there again! Be good!” Then she turned toward Katherine and asked: “My dear, don't you have a tawse to lend me? Where is the good Scotch mother who doesn't keep one hanging conveniently in her home?”
Yeah, this is Scotland isn't it? Where in the Sam Hill is the tawse? Just then some travelers come tromping in to join the fun. As Lady Manville explains the situation, the landlord is johnny-on-the-spot.
The inn-keeper tendered her a band of leather, more than a foot long, thick as the sole of a bedroom slipper, the width of three fingers, and one end of which was cut about the length of a hand into five separate slices of equal size. It was the famous Scotch tawse, the renowned instrument thanks to which the mothers of Scotland maintained in religious rectitude generations of sons and daughters. The little heir to the house must have known it well, undoubtedly, for fearing to make unnecessarily too close acquaintance with it, he had disappeared, unannounced, into some unknown corner of the world where neither he nor his buttocks would share in the latest distribution. “Thanks, Katherine,” said Lady Manville, as she took hold of the instrument. “I knew very well you had need of one here. Don't you use it on Charlie?” That was the name of the little boy.
Katherine smiled and looked in the direction of the two servant girls who blushed deeply and lowered their heads. “It is not I who uses it,” she said, “it is my husband. He thinks I would tire myself out too much, with them....” Her finger designated the two maids who suddenly began to fidget and appeared unable to find a place for themselves. Lady Manville and Lord and Lady Clawson burst into laughter.
Yes it's just a jolly good time when they haul out the tawse for the maids or little Charlie. It's just a barrel of laughs with the 'ol tawse.
She swung the leather belt, caressing it as if it were a thing endowed with life. Lord Clawson pointed his finger in the direction of Lily's exposed seat which continued to shiver without respite. “I can see that she has already received a whipping today.”
“A whipping? Certainly, my dear friend! In the carriage! I took her across my knees and I spanked her thoroughly.... Oh, yes, with all my heart! But frankly, and in all sincerity, I prefer this!” She raised the tawse. Everyone remained quiet, awaiting the execution of the punishment, and for some seconds, not a sound could be heard except the whistling of the wind outdoors and the raucous gasping of the girl. Suddenly the lash snapped like the crack of a circus-rider's whip and Lily shrieked. A large purple band designed itself on the fleshy hemispheres, then almost at once, another appeared beside it leaving its similar stigmata. So powerful was the swing of Lady Manville that no comparison was possible between the spanking Lily had received in the carriage and this whipping which her terrible mistress was now inflicting on her. At each blow the skin puffed up, and soon her entire seat appeared to be double its normal size, so much had it swollen and reddened. Lily twisted like a serpent in the grip of her mistress. She cried lamentably, uttering acute shrieks and groans, and agitating her arms in all directions—her arms only, for her legs were tightly enlaced by the powerful right leg of Lady Manville. She received thus about twenty-five terrific lashes, then Lady Manville ceased, almost out of breath herself, so much energy had she put into the correction. For a moment she allowed Lily to squirm, permitting herself and her friends, as well as Katherine, the luxury of watching the supple movements of the patient, overwhelmed by her infinite pain; then as these movements became slower, she pulled down the girl's shirt, lowered her skirt and put her down. Lily sank to her knees and concealed her face in her folded arms. In spite of her efforts to control herself, she continued to twist about. She felt the fires of hell under her skirt.
“Well, Lily?” demanded Lady Manville, “do you think you will still be as clumsy as you have been?”
“No... Milady... no... no!” sobbed Lily whose tears were scalding her cheeks.
“I hope this lesson will not be lost on you, eh! Come! Stop making these grimaces if you do not want me to start over again! Put your arms behind you and lift your head up!” Lily obeyed, terrorized. She scarcely had the strength to hold it up. Hot tears ran down her face and her sobbing shook her whole body.
“Kiss the tawse!” commanded Lady Manville.
Oh, yes, be sure to have them kiss the tawse. Humiliation was obviously a large part of the punishment in these types of novels and Ms. Willows does not disappoint. In fact when they finally arrive home, Myra a well trained house servant is in for it too.
Myra rose quickly, brought it back, knelt again, put her lips to the formidable instrument, kissed it distinctly, and handed it up to her lady. “Please, Milady, what position do you wish me to take for my whipping?”
“Bend over this armchair,” directed her mistress.
“Thank you, Milady,” responded the girl. She bowed very low, backed away, and immediately began to unhook her skirt which she folded carefully and deposited on a nearby chair. Lily noticed that she wore bloomers which fitted her lower body like a pair of fine silk tights, and that they molded and set off in high relief the generous contours of her buttocks and thighs. Myra stooped over and carefully removed these bloomers, which were made of glistening white satin, clinging so tightly that they had to be removed with the utmost precautions. One can well imagine what the consequences might have been had the bloomers been damaged in the process of taking off. Not a tear did the girl shed, on the contrary, a fresh although forced smile reappeared on her lips. She then raised her shirt above her loins and held both sides to her body with her hands. Lily could see the marvelous and elegantly designed slope of her loins and the rest of her lower body down to her knees. Old marks of a whip were still plainly visible, disclosing stripes here and there. Myra extended herself face down over the low armchair, and in the expectation of what was to come, her flesh began to quiver. Lily was stupefied with amazement. She thought of the amount of punishment that must have been inflicted on Myra to have brought her to such an unparalleled state of subjection, to such absolute groveling, one might say, and she experienced an insurmountable horror at the thought that the day might come when as a result of similar physical and moral discipline as that to which Myra must have been subjected, she, in her turn would also be smiling her gratitude at the imposition of these frightful humiliations; and that she would lick gratefully the hand which would whip and curb her to this iron discipline.
“Oh!” she groaned to herself, “I prefer to die!”
Meanwhile Lady Manville advanced with a calculating slowness and took up her position at Myra's left. As though by accident, she grazed the nudities of the young girl with the end of her whalebone, and she noted the great shivering which, at this contact, animated her subject. Then she turned to Lily and called her attention to the denuded girl.
“You see, Lily,” she said at last, “how we obtain perfect submission here? Myra knows she has made an error and it is with joy and gratitude that she values the opportunity I am giving her of expiating it. Isn't that true, Myra?” “Yes, Milady,” the girl promptly answered. Without another word, Lady Manville began to inflict the whipping. It was brief and severe. Impartially applied on each of the exposed cheeks, the lashes soon began to transform lilies into roses, as our forefathers would say in their ornate manner. Myra did not remain insensible to what was taking place. She squirmed and fidgeted, but except for an inch or two, did not move away from the position designated, and even that little ground she hastily recovered each time. When the lashes became more brutal she uttered little groans, but never raised her voice. Lady Manville ceased finally and walked around to where the girl's face lay to take note of the expression appearing on her chastised slave. Her mistress perceived that although hot tears ran down the girl's cheeks, her lips were opened in a brave smile, disclosing again her beautiful ivory teeth. Lady Manville addressed the whipped girl: “I am glad to see, Myra, that the whipping you have just received makes you happy, and that you realize how good it is for you!”
The fustigated young girl, suppressing a sob, responded: “Oh, yes, thank you, Milady!”
“On second thought, perhaps I ought to give you a little more! You will not be whipped again until tonight and I ought to make sure the lesson carries over. That will make it more effective, don't you think?”
“Yes, Milady, thank you. It is very good of you to take so much trouble with me.” The lady resumed whipping the prostrate girl and continued for a long time. In reality it was not terribly severe and the girl took it with an experienced stoicism, but the humiliating conversations, preparations, ceremonies, and the act itself all served to make a particular picture which suited Lady Manville's object. For indeed, it was principally intended to convey to Lily the type of submission that would be demanded of her, too. In good time, she stopped whipping Myra and ordered her to get up and resume her clothes. This Myra did, after which she knelt before her mistress, kissed her hand in what seemed a transport of appreciation, smiled as much as she could under the circumstances, and murmured: “Dear Mistress, I am deeply grateful for the correction you were good enough to bestow on me. I have thoroughly deserved the whipping you have just given me and I pray you will not become indifferent to the need for correcting me whenever I offend, and to whip me soundly each time in the hope that the day will come when I will serve you perfectly, Milady.” These words stumbled slightly in the utterance because the girl could not refrain from twitching as she knelt, but Lady Manville had not dictated a single word of it, and for Lily it was quite clear that Myra was truly well-broken in!
Lady Manville was obviously the literary model for Disney's Cruella DeVille. One thing to notice is an absence of a blow-by-blow description. In this work, it's all in the build up, the instilling of fear, the cruel proclamations, the submissiveness and the humiliation of the victim. I don't know if this was a censorship issue but I tend to doubt it. It was more likely a stylistic choice. But that will give you a flavor of the way Claire Willows did it contrasted with Paul Little's style.