Thinking it was the end of the matter, I started to make my way back to the house when Larry appeared with a cane in his hand. He had obviously arrived home from work and Sylvie, still in a rage, must have told him what had gone on. I could see from the look on his face that he wasn’t happy.
As he approached me he snarled, “So you think you’d got off lightly did you?”, grabbed my arm and, whirling me around, proceeded to whip the cane down onto the backs of my legs four or five times. I screamed out and managed to break free, running away to the house. He didn’t pursue me and seemed satisfied with what he’d done.
That night, the lashing on the backs of my legs appeared as raised wheals in horizontal stripes across the back of my thighs and upper calves. Over the next few days they developed into deep, dark bruises and it was obvious to anyone looking at them how they had been caused. Fearing them being seen at school, I was kept at home for about ten days until they had almost faded completely.
I still had it drummed into me that it was my own fault, that I had deserved it, and made fearful of the repercussions if I told anyone. I returned to school and, for the one and only time, Sylvie was forced to write me a note to explain my absence.
According to the note, I had unfortunately been absent from school due to a particularly severe bout of tonsillitis!