Monday morning I accepted the Calais offer and gave the Ecole Ecarlate's invoice to my manager. He raised both eyebrows when he saw the amount.
"I will be fluent in 3 months, Sir!"
"I sure hope so!"
He must have read the fine prints and found the no refund policy if the pupil gives up the program. He sternly added, "Don't you dare quitting!"
He further warned with a sterner voice. "Your father who was my mentor at the home office before his retirement has asked me to encourage you as severely as required. Don't disappoint us!"
I couldn't help a deep blush for that warning.
On the way back home, I stopped at Victoriana. "Good evening Ma'am, I am to join the Ecole Ecarlate and I need a full kit."
She had a big smile, "I'll be right with you."
As she disappeared into the fitting room, I saw in the tall mirror a glimpse of a well reddened derriere peeking out of white knickers.
A few minutes later, I recognized Josephina from the City Hall. We had a brief exchange, and she agreed to wait for me. The idea was to have tea together.
The seamstress had me kitted, "You will also have blue and red tartan skirts, white and navy knickers, and shorts for sports as you can't always be always cooped up in class."
"Its £417, please. Everything will be ready tomorrow. Same as for Miss Josephina."
After having paid, we went to the nearby coffee shop and ordered high tea. I cheered, "So we are going to be school chums!"
Josephina explained, "I am taking the EU Commission's exam, and I need to be fluent in two foreign languages. I already have Spanish thanks to my mother, so am taking French because its mostly another Latin language. What about you?"
"I am offered a promotion as Deputy Manager of our Calais branch and I have to be fluent in French. I bought a skirt from Victoriana, and it came with a leaflet for the Ecole Ecarlate."
"As you know, my father is into real estate. He helped the Ecole Ecarlate buy the neighboring farm to extend its estate, and thats how I heard of them.
Monday came. With trepidation and a big backpack I tickled the old door with the brass knocker. Monsieur Maurice opened, and after an amiable exchange of greetings he led me into a large living room with a mix of antic and modern furniture. I found six girls in their early twenties like me. We were each handed a brochure about the school's ethos, rules, and regulations, and were soon joined by two more girls. We were all wearing the school uniform with one of the tartan skirts, and were very well behaved. I guessed that was because we had tasted the écarlate welcome spanking.
Monsieur Maurice was joined by a stern lady, "Madame Yvonne is my wife and with the help of a cook and his assistant as well as two maids, she will look after the house. We also have a gardener, Monsieur Gustave, who will double up as your PE coach. Everyone is of French origin and will speak only in French. From now on you speak French or you will be punished!"
Madame Yvonne led us two floors up to discover our domain. "You have the whole floor, four bedrooms with three beds each, and a common room with telly, and mini fridge. On that floor, we understand that you won't be speaking in French, unless addressing us or our staff. Tonight you will sew name tags onto every piece of your kit to help us with the laundry." She handed each of us a supply of tags with our names. She continued with allocating rooms, "We have teamed you according to your test results, Alicia and Josephina, in the blue room."
I exchanged high five with Josephina aka Josy. We dropped our backpacks and followed Madame for more. "The second floor is reserved for Monsieur Maurice and I. It also offers two studios. One for guests, and one for the chef's assistant and his wife, who is one of the maids."
Next we were back on the ground floor, "You have already discovered the lounge and Monsieur Maurice's office." A few of us retrospectively rubbed our derrieres. "Over here we have our dining room, the kitchen, and last but not least the classroom."
Monsieur Maurice led us inside the classroom. We almost stopped in our tracks when we saw a small whip with multiple leather thongs hanging next to the blackboard. Monsieur wrote "Le martinet" on that blackboard. He also explained, "It is the perfect implement for helping the memory of lazy young ladies."
"All of your tests have showed that you are, as most English speakers, confused by the French masculine and feminine. Therefore we will have regular tests like this one. I will dictate 20 words and you will write M or F for each of them. If you score less than 12/20, it will be la fessée. If you score less than 8/20, it will be le martinet cul nu!"
To be continued...
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