The Pledge Mistress Ch. 31bycaligula97236©
Chapter 31 -- A weekend at Burnside's house
The following week was the sixth week of the Four-Beta pledge program and marked the halfway point of the newcomers' induction.
Upon returning from the camping trip, the pledges noted a subtle, but very significant shift in the way the other women in the sorority were treating them. There was a lot more conversation between the newcomers and the members-in-full-standing about routine and mundane topics. The sorority began to get to know the pledges as individuals instead of members of "the group of newcomers". For example, Lisa had several conversations with Elaine, because she would be joining the sophomore class upon swearing in. There were some discussions over who would head the freshman class; a position that Elaine had assumed would be taken by Lisa. However, Lisa pointed out that she was not a freshman and that she expected Bernadette to become freshman class leader. She also made sure that Elaine understood that she had no intention of challenging her for the leadership of the sophomores. Because Lisa would be joining the sophomore group and defer to Elaine, it was very unlikely she would hold any leadership position during her first year at the sorority.
There were other discussions about the upcoming fall semester that included participation from the pledges. Increasingly the other women were curious to know their opinions and hear their input about various matters. It was obvious that, although they still were officially pledges and had to address everyone as "ma'am", the other women already took it for granted that all four newcomers would be sworn in as full members in August.
In spite of the satisfaction of having more than half the training program behind them, the sixth week of pledge period was not very pleasant for Lisa and her companions. The group spent many grueling hours in the sorority library studying for several midterms leading up to the July 4th weekend. Tracy was very stressed about her group's performance, and spared neither her voice nor her leather paddle in pushing the pledges to perform well. The punishments were always the same; an order to bend over the table, ten fast swats, and an order to sit down and get back to work. By the end of the week the pledges were used to the study routine, including Tracy's quick spankings. Lisa was on the receiving end of Tracy's paddle a total of three times that week, but the punishments stopped bothering her. Her bottom stung for a few minutes after she was let up, but as soon as she returned to her seat her mind was back on her studies.
Apart from studying, the sorority's pledges spent their afternoons cleaning camping equipment, as well as moving furniture and ruined carpeting to make way for the repairs in the dining room. The week's seminar schedule was changed to accommodate what was going on in the house. The pledges received instruction about siding and wall repairs, painting, basic electrical skills such as changing the wiring in an outlet, how to check for water damage, floor removal, and the fundamentals of plumbing. Lisa and her companions were exhausted, because, in spite of the physical labor and heavy lifting required of them in the evenings, they were not excused from having to do morning PT.
Although she had been told that she was excused from having to do chores that week, Pledge Kathleen worked right alongside the others. She might have been granted a privilege as a result of her race in the forest, but she knew in her situation a privilege meant very little. Whether or not she had earned the chance to relax, her group still needed to get their work done. She was part of the group, which meant that she needed to help out. Monday afternoon she reported to Tracy along with the others to clean camping gear. In theory she was volunteering. In reality, she was doing what her fellow pledges, as well as her Pledge Mistress, expected of her.
Pledge Mistress Tracy spent the final week of June very worried about her next drill with her Army Reserve unit, which was scheduled to take place the weekend after July 4th. Unless she could somehow get out of attending, going to drill would require her to leave the pledges alone at the sorority house for the entire weekend, which would give Heather plenty of time to make their lives miserable. Tracy knew that her rival was aware of her drill schedule and about the upcoming two days she would not be around to monitor what was going on with the pledges. She noticed that Heather seemed upbeat, undoubtedly waiting for the chance to strike once she was absent. The Pledge Mistress was worried not only about what might happen to Lisa, but also what could happen to Cherine. Undoubtedly Cherine's flirting with VP Jacob was something Heather resented and would use against her.
I don't trust her, Tracy thought to herself. I just don't trust her...
In the end the Pledge Mistress decided that she would have to find a way to skip her next drill. There was no way she could risk leaving the pledges unprotected for 36 hours. Those women depended on her and she just could not do it. So, what were her options? Perhaps she could work at her unit some other weekend, but that still did not solve the problem of the pledges being at Heather's mercy; it just changed the date it would happen. Working at the unit at night was not a viable option either. Tracy had to make up her drill credits, but how?
She concluded that her only option was to move her group to some other place while she was making up her Reserve time. As she pondered that idea, she remembered the day she took the pledges to Dr. Burnside's house so they could rest up for the scavenger hunt. She wondered if she could somehow leave them with Ruth Burnside while she made up her drill hours.
On Friday afternoon Tracy decided to talk to the professor after the freshmen had finished with their final class for the day. She left the three younger women in the professor's outer office, but did not give Lisa permission to get dressed. Instead she asked if she could speak to Burnside alone. Without mentioning anything about putting her pledge uniform on, Burnside told Lisa to join her fellow pledges in the outer office and review some material for class the next day. The door to the inner office closed behind her and was locked; leaving Lisa stranded in the outer room without her clothing. Oh well... The four pledges, three in uniform and the fourth completely naked, sat down on a sofa to study and work on homework assignments.
Tracy laid out the situation to Burnside, describing in detail what was going on between herself and Heather. The professor agreed that Tracy did indeed have a serious concern, but also was worried about being accused of meddling in the internal affairs of the sorority. Having the pledges stay in her house for two days just to keep them away from Heather definitely would be interfering in the internal affairs of the sorority.
The two women seemed to be at an impasse. Tracy was just about to give up when Burnside's phone rang. It was Dr. Jim Halsey. Tracy overheard bits of conversation about some pending funding cuts for the department, some silence, and then the following:
"Of course, Jim. We're still starting at 7:30...no...no...I'm not sure about who's hosting yet. I've got Mark, but...Lisa? Oh, but of course! How dumb of me! I hadn't thought about her! Yes...yes...I'll see if I can get her...in fact, her sorority's Pledge Mistress is with me right now, so I'll just let her know...OK...Let me call you back, Jim...I'll call you right back."
Burnside hung up and looked at Tracy:
"What about this weekend? Can you make up your Reserve time this weekend?"
"The weekend of July 4th? I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem, Dr. Burnside. How come you're asking?"
Burnside sat back in her chair and tapped her fingertips together.
"I...think we've just figured out a solution that's going to solve two separate problems. You need a safe place to put your pledges while you're making up your drill hours. I need hostesses for my summer party. So, how about having your girls help me out?"
"All of them?"
"Why not? I'm expecting about 200 guests, so certainly I can use four hostesses."
"But, that's only one night, and for me it's going to be..."
"Oh, no, not just one night...Trust me, I've got plenty for them to do. You give them to me one day...two days...three days...I'll fill up their time."
Three days...that gave Tracy an idea. Because the 4th fell on a Monday, there would be a three-day weekend to include the holiday. If Tracy could work at her unit all three days, she could make up her Reserve credits not only for July, but also for one day in August. Meanwhile, the pledges would be completely out of Heather's reach, because there was no way the Sergeant-at-Arms would dare confront Dr. Burnside.
Tracy was hugely relieved. However, before going any further, she called to make absolutely sure her Reserve unit could use her over the July 4th weekend. The answer from her captain was yes; he could indeed use her, because the company needed to get several vehicles ready for inspection for the following weekend drill. As long as Tracy didn't mind performing equipment checks, repairs, and washing vehicles, most definitely she could help out over the July 4th weekend in lieu of attending drill the following week.
Tracy relayed the news to Burnside, who in turn called President Alexandra. The professor mentioned nothing about the Pledge Mistress's concerns about Heather. Instead, she flatly stated that she needed Lisa and her companions to stay with her over the next three days. Alexandra hesitated, because she was not thrilled about relinquishing control of the pledges. Finally, she asked if Burnside had informed Tracy about what she wanted.
"Of course I informed your Pledge Mistress, and now I'm informing you. I'm taking the pledges first thing tomorrow morning, and they'll stay with me Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. There's some training I want to give them, and there's also some work I need them to do."
Alexandra still hesitated, trying to figure out how she could deny Burnside's request. The professor got impatient and snapped:
"Look, Alexandra. We have a written agreement concerning this. In my filing cabinet I have a copy of a signed contract that gives me training authority that is comparable to that of your Pledge Mistress. This weekend I intend to exercise that authority and take custody of your pledges. I'll make sure they're rested, well-fed, and have time to work out and study. I'll write up a training plan and provide it to you so it can be entered into the official training record. But I do intend to assert the authority granted to me in our agreement, and I expect your full cooperation."
President Alexandra quickly backed down. The last thing she or the sorority needed was a confrontation with Ruth Burnside. So, with that everything was arranged. Tracy would spend the July 4th weekend at her Reserve Unit washing trucks, while the pledges would spend three days at Burnside's house. Whatever Heather might have had in mind was not going to happen.
The following morning Tracy woke up at 5:00 and put on her Army BDU's. She packed several changes of clothing into her rucksack, checked her boots to make sure they were properly shined, and loaded her gear into the trunk of a car she had borrowed from one of her friends in the unit. As always, she made a very imposing sight dressed in her no-nonsense military outfit.
The Pledge Mistress returned to the basement to wake up the pledges. She ordered them to put on their shoes, load their book bags, and follow her outside to the car. Their pledge uniforms would stay behind in their lockers, because the four young women would not be allowed to wear any clothing during their weekend in Burnside's house.
The pledges loaded their bags into the trunk of the car before standing at attention, waiting to be allowed to get in. Tracy got behind the wheel, while her group occupied the car's other seats. Thus a carload of women, one in BDU's and the others wearing nothing but athletic shoes, left the sorority and made its way across campus.
Within 10 minutes the group had arrived at the professor's house and the pledges were taking their books out of the trunk. They quickly entered the living room and lined up kneeling on the floor. Tracy stood in front of her group, in much the same way a platoon leader would stand while waiting to be addressed by a company commander. Burnside already was dressed and ready to receive the pledges.
"Pledge Mistress Tracy, I understand, that under the conditions of our agreement, that you are releasing custody of your pledges until you return to my house on the morning of July 5th?"
"Yes, Dr. Burnside, I am releasing custody of four pledges who, while under your direction, will enjoy the same rights and have the same obligations under the Four-Beta Pledge Training Manual that they would have under an elected officer of the Four-Beta Sorority."
"Very well, Pledge Mistress. I am familiar with the conditions set out for pledge training in the Pledge Manual, and assure you that the training experience they have under my direction will be comparable to the experience they would have under your direction."
With that the two women shook hands and Tracy left. As the professor took her position in front of the group, Lisa could tell that the freshmen were very nervous.
From the start Burnside emphasized that she would punish any performance she felt was unsatisfactory. To emphasize that point she pulled off a sheet that was covering a sinister-looking piece of furniture, her infamous "punishment horse". The "horse" looked like a tall, leather-covered bench with very sturdy legs, restraining straps, and rings to attach cuffs.
"I expect unquestioning obedience from you, even if what I tell you seems unreasonable. With the help of Pledge Lisa, I am going to give you an example of what unquestioning obedience means for your behavior this weekend."
Burnside walked over to the bench and picked up her favorite punishment implement, her Danubian police switch. Lisa's heart pounded, because she had felt that switch back in February. It was made out of very tightly-woven fine leather; a very cruel implement designed to inflict maximum pain on the human body. Burnside tapped the bench with the switch.
"Pledge Lisa, I want you to position yourself for punishment."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
Lisa drew a deep breath as she stepped up to the bench and draped herself over the padded surface. She continued to hope that Burnside would not actually strike her, even as the professor positioned herself and tapped her bottom with the switch.
"Pledge Lisa will demonstrate what I expect in terms of total obedience and self-control."
With that Burnside struck Lisa across the base of her bottom, expertly laying a thin red line across both sides. Lisa flinched and tightened her grip on the legs of the punishment horse, but struggled to stay quiet. She was horrified about what was happening, not so much because of the pain or the humiliation, but because she dreaded the prospect of going to class on Tuesday wearing a thong that would expose her welts. However, she was determined to compliantly take whatever punishment was coming to her, because she realized that she needed to let Burnside prove her point and establish her authority over the other pledges.
Burnside struck again, as the three freshmen looked on in horror. Lisa's legs began trembling, but she was determined to stay in position and stoically accept what was happening to her. Whether her professor chose to hit her five times or fifty times, Lisa's duty was to lead through example. She took it for granted that she needed suffer so her group-mates understood that the professor had to be treated with absolute deference.
Burnside only struck Lisa a total of five times, pleased that her student aide had accepted an unjustified switching with no complaint or challenge. Although Lisa did not realize it at the time, Burnside rewarded her by not hitting her at full strength and making sure that the resulting welts were not serious enough to still be visible after three days. Lisa was in a lot of pain at the moment and would carry the marks through the weekend, but by Tuesday they would be gone.
Burnside released Lisa and told her to rejoin the other pledges. As Lisa got back on her knees the professor commented:
"What you have just witnessed is an example of unquestioning obedience. I punished Pledge Lisa because I wanted to, not because of anything she did wrong. Pledge Lisa understands that she is committed, as an act of obedience to me, to subject herself to whatever command I give her, however cruel or unjust it may be. As pledges, it is not your place to question the fairness of what I choose to do to you. Everyone understand me?"
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
In spite of Burnside's very rough introduction, the pledges discovered that what she had in mind for them was not very different than a normal day they would have spent with Tracy. The professor laid out a schedule for the next two days that would concentrate on studying, housework, sleep, and exercise. The pledges would split into pairs, work in shifts, and take turns on Burnside's exercise equipment and sleeping in the guest bedroom. Throughout their time in her house the professor would question them about their coursework. She also would monitor the pledges' exercising and insist that, while working out, they put maximum effort into their workouts.
"I will be here to assess your efforts and your progress. I expect top performance out of you. Fail to give that to me, and...well, I think you know what'll happen."
The professor sent Lisa and Cherine to clean up her yard, while she sat with Bernadette and Kathleen to go over their coursework. Once she was sure the two freshmen were well-versed in their homework and were studying together, she excused herself to take her dog for a walk. She was back within an hour, but without the dog. It turned out that she had taken the animal over to Jim Halsey's place and left him in the care of her lover. Because the dog was old and needed tranquility, she wanted to get him to a quiet place in anticipation of the huge party she was planning for Monday.
Upon returning, the professor ordered the pledges to change what they were doing. Lisa and Cherine began studying while Bernadette and Kathleen were sent into the yard. Later in the morning Burnside called the pledges into her bedroom one by one so they could run four miles on her treadmill. The professor monitored the pledges as they exercised, watching to determine each woman's endurance and tolerance. She set the machine at the maximum she felt each pledge could withstand, and menacingly tapped her subject's sweaty bottom with her leather switch if she felt the student was not putting her full effort into the run. Apart from the runs, there were impromptu push-up and sit-up sessions throughout the day that left the young women's arms and stomachs gelatinous from muscle fatigue.
No stay at Burnside's house would be complete without a sexual activity. Saturday night was no exception. While Bernadette and Kathleen were released to go to bed, Burnside told Lisa and Cherine to get cleaned up and report to the living room for a practical exercise.
Lisa had expected Burnside planned to give them instruction in erotic punishment, but what she had in mind was very different. She had set up a massage table, complete with oil and lotion. The shocking detail was not the piece of furniture, but who was about to lie on it. Dr. Jim Halsey was standing next to the table, wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Cherine immediately covered herself, only to be sharply reprimanded by Burnside: