U.S. Marshal Tyler Carrington is assigned by the Governor to protect Judge Seth Gilbertson from the Howard brothers, who have escaped the prison where he sent them. What Tyler doesn’t count on is the judge’s spitfire of a daughter, who has a mind of her own and who decides she can protect her father far better than Tyler can. The two strike sparks off each other, especially when Tyler feels he has a score to settle with the ungrateful redhead. He puts her over his knee and spanks her, not feeling one bit guilty for doing so.
The judge is kidnapped despite their combined efforts to keep him safe, and they must work together to save his life. Tyler vows he is going to spank the redhead again when she sneaks up behind him after he ordered her to remain in town. They trail the Howards, hoping that Seth is still alive and uninjured. When a shot rings out, Fanny is convinced her father is dead, and she bursts through the door of the cabin where they are holding Seth, anxious to get to him, putting herself in danger, too. Tyler is positive that dealing with the little minx will take a spanking a day for the rest of their lives.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains the spanking of an adult woman. If such material offends, please do not purchase.
Fanny Gilbertson giggled quietly as she hurried from her backyard and across the alley into Clara Smith’s backyard. Fanny’s plan was working perfectly. She stationed herself right outside the bedroom window, positive that Clara’s husband would haul her into that room and punish her. Clara was so mean and snobby to everyone, and it was time that she earned what she deserved. Fanny could hear them coming down the short hallway and held her breath as she listened to Clara pleading with her no-nonsense husband.
“No! Edward, listen to me. I don’t know where you heard that, but it isn’t true! I haven’t been gossiping.”
“Of course it is true, Clara Eugenia. Mrs. Paulson repeated it word for word to me, and since you told me the same thing in great detail, I can just imagine you sitting at your ladies guild and gossiping! You know how I feel about gossips, and it will affect my standing in the community if your views are made known. I am going to punish you, Clara. Bend over and place your hands on your vanity bench.”
“No, Edward! I am not a child and I refuse to be punished as though I were, especially when I did not do what you are accusing me of. No!” Clara gasped as he took her by the arm and put her face down on the bed. “You can’t do this!” She kicked her feet as he pulled up her dress and petticoats to reveal her lace trimmed drawers.
Edward was not going to put up with Clara’s unseemly behavior and he let it be known in the most elemental way. He brought his hand down on the seat of her pretty and very expensive drawers with a resounding whap!
“No!” Clara angrily scissored her feet, but it did not deter Edward from his purpose. He continued to spank her until she was lying quietly and sobbing into the quilt covering their bed.
“Now, Clara Eugenia, I expect you to stand up and walk over to your vanity seat, bend over, and put your hands on the bench. You will now be punished for gossiping and risking our livelihood.”
“I didn’t tell anyone but you my thoughts, Edward.”
“Do I need to thrash you again?”
“Please, no!” she begged.
“Then do as I say, or I’ll take your hairbrush to you and then you will be punished for gossiping.”
Fanny snickered as she stood a bit higher so she could peek into the window to watch snooty Clara walk over to her vanity and put her hands on her padded bench.
Clara cried out in outrage as Edward tossed up her skirts, but when he tore her expensive drawers to uncover her butt, she cursed him. “Damn you, Edward! These are brand new and now they are ruined!”
“May I remind you who earns the money to pay for these fancy underthings you think you need? May I also remind you that I will not have an income if you gossip about the ladies in this town and turn them against us?” He picked up his razor strop and then snapped it angrily. “Perhaps this punishment will give you cause to think for the next few days.”
Fanny almost felt sorry for the blonde as Edward proceeded to welt her bottom, her sit spots, and her upper thighs. By the time the punishment stopped, Clara was sobbing and begging for mercy.
“I will not tolerate gossiping, Clara Eugenia. Pull yourself together and fix supper. I need to go back to work tonight. I also expect you to attend the Ladies Aid meeting at church this evening.”
“I can’t possibly go, Edward. I can’t sit down!”
“That is your problem. You will sit when expected to sit for the next few days, and if I catch you avoiding your chair in any way, I will take your hairbrush to you and you will sit for two hours on a fresh spanking. Am I understood?”
“Mother warned me that I was being too lenient with you and I feel she is right. I expect you to spend more time on charitable works and less visiting with your friends. I am not so sure that Gladys Coleman is a good influence on you.”
“Gladys Coleman is a nice woman, Edward!”
“If there is even a hint that you are gossiping with her, I will forbid you to spend time with her. In fact, I am of a mind to speak to Lester and suggest he take her in hand as I have done with you.” He took out his pocket watch and then said, “I would like to eat within the hour, Clara. Please hurry; nothing fancy, now. I am not trying to be pompous.”
“Yes, Edward.” Clara headed for her kitchen.
Fanny headed on home. It was good to see justice done for a change.
“Is that you, Frances?”
“Yes, Daddy. You are home early today!” She hurried into the parlor and crossed the room to give him a kiss on the cheek.
“Do you want to eat early?” she asked. “I have a meeting at the church tonight.”
“What meeting is that, Fanny?” he asked. “I do not want you out by yourself after dark.”
“It is the Ladies Aid, Daddy.”
“And you are the president this year, right?”
“Yes, I am, and it would be poor if I did not show up at the meetings.”
“I agree, but why in the evening?” he asked with a frown.
“Daisy Morton joined the group, and she has small children. She asked to have the meetings in the evening when her husband could watch the children for a bit. I don’t think he was too happy about that, but they are his children too. He should mind them occasionally.”
“Well, I don’t know about that. I do know that none of you ladies should be out alone after dark.”
“It’s a Monday, Daddy. Most of the cowboys don’t come into town until Friday or Saturday. We should all be safe enough. The meeting is at seven, and it should be done by eight. It will still be light outside then,” she argued.
“Very well, this one time. You tell Daisy that she needs to ask her mama to keep the children so the meetings can be held in the afternoon.”
“I can’t do that, Daddy!”
“Yes, you can. I insist you do.”
“That might work in the courtroom, but you don’t have the right to order Daisy’s life to suit yourself, Judge,” she said in a teasing manner. Her father was a very bossy man.
“Well, maybe not; but as your father, I am warning you that I will forbid you to go to any more evening meetings unless you are escorted to and from the meeting.”
“Daddy!” Fanny stomped her foot in irritation. “Do not start that again! I am not going to permit that annoying Mace Donovan to think he has a snowball’s chance in hell with me!”
“Frances Mary Gilbertson! You watch your language, young lady!”
“I’m sorry, Daddy, but that man makes me so angry. He won’t take no for an answer. And it doesn’t help when you keep encouraging him!”
“He is a good man, daughter, and I do not understand why you are so determined to dislike him.”
“Because he is annoying, and his palms are always sweaty. He is also too bossy for words!”
“A man is supposed to be in charge of a relationship.”
“No, Daddy. I want a man who loves me, cherishes me, and will accept me as I am, warts and all.”
“Warts?” He looked at her in alarm.
Fanny giggled at his expression. “Not actual warts, Daddy. I am talking about other things, like what I said a moment ago about snowball’s chance in you-know-where. Or the fact I hate to do needlework. Or a few other things I don’t intend to tell you about.” She grinned at him.
“No, you don’t. Mace would scold me for using bad language; he is just too bossy and I would never have a say about anything. I want a man who isn’t afraid for me to have an opinion.”
“I don’t think a man like that exists, and I want grandchildren. It is time for you to pick a husband and get married, and Mace Donovan is the one man in this town that I approve of. I know he will be able to support you long after I am gone. He is a decent, God-fearing man. I expect you to invite him to supper tomorrow, and start being nice to him, daughter. You should already be married, and I am putting my foot down.”
“Excuse me, Daddy.”
“Where do you think you are going, young lady? I am not finished discussing this.”
“But I am. I do not wish to say anything I will have to apologize later on for saying. I am very angry right now. I’ll tell Agnes to get your supper ready.” Fanny ran from the room before her very smart father could say something else so utterly stupid that she couldn’t believe he said it. After a few words with Agnes, Fanny went to her room and paced back and forth. She needed to go for a ride, but if she did, it would need to be a very short ride. She didn’t want to miss the meeting at church.
Fanny took off her clothing, and hurried into her britches and the rest of her boys’ clothing, then she strapped on her gun belt and tied it down. Her hat was last, and she expertly hid her long, thick red hair underneath. She looked like a young boy; at least she did once she put on a jacket that hid her ample breasts. Fanny locked her bedroom door, then opened the window and expertly climbed out onto the tree. She was on the ground and running before the nosy neighbor had a chance to spot her and tattle to her father.
“Hi Ned, I need to go for a short ride.”
“Your daddy at it again?” the aging black man asked sympathetically.
“He is. I might have to marry Mace, and then make myself a widow just to have some peace!” she joked, knowing that Ned wouldn’t take her words to heart. A man like Ned is what she needed.
“Don’t you go too far, child. It’ll be dark soon.”
“I have to be back and at a meeting at seven. This has to be a short ride.” He nodded, and then held his hands to give her a boost onto her saddle. She could mount by herself, but Ned liked to help her, so she let him, and then thanked him graciously. She hurried out of town, knowing that her secret was safe with her friend. Her father knew that she owned a gentle mare, but he had no idea that she also owned a black stallion. This was the horse she rode when she was doing the things she liked to do, that her father would not approve of her doing.
She decided to head north, mostly because her father would forbid her to do so. The Indians ran up that way, and sometimes they came a little close to town. Her father insisted that she ride south, and then only for a limited distance, because of the bandits who loved to raid north of the border. It felt good to be free of the constraints of town, and she gave the stallion his head and simply enjoyed the fast ride.
After a short while, Fanny reluctantly decided it was time for her to head back to town, and turned her mount to discover that she’d been spotted by a group of Comanche. They issued challenging yells and came after her, as Fanny urged her stallion to run.
When she realized that they were overtaking her, she reined in and took cover in some rocks, grabbing her rifle and taking aim. She knew that she didn’t dare let them capture her. The odds were against her ever seeing her father and her friends again, if they discovered she was a woman, which would happen very quickly if she were taken captive.
Fanny fired and winged one of the men. He cried out in pain and fell from his horse. That served to anger the others, and they taunted her with words she didn’t understand. Two of them had guns, but the weapons were old, and the braves didn’t know how to use them very well. They fired and missed. She fired again and hit another of the men. The other three were furious with her and decided to switch to bows and arrows. Fanny fired once more, but this time she missed and was nearly struck by an arrow that would have hit her shoulder if she hadn’t ducked at the last minute.
Suddenly, there were more shots, and Fanny saw a lone man charging the Indians and firing at the same time. In no time at all, the remaining three men were lying on the ground. The rider kept coming, and Fanny decided that it was best to head for town. She didn’t want to face a stranger out here all by herself; she hadn’t escaped one dangerous situation only to land in another.
She mounted her stallion, and rode out at full speed, heading for the relative safety of town. As she was riding, Fanny was telling herself to calm down. She didn’t dare tell anyone what had happened. Her father would be furious with her, and she did not need the lecture he would deliver. No, she didn’t need that at all; she’d learned a valuable lesson, and it would be some time before she rode north again.
By the time she reached the stable, poor Ned was very worried about her. “I was thinkin’ I was goin’ to have to go to the judge, child.”
“Oh please, Ned. Don’t ever do that!” She pleaded with the man. “I just lost track of time,” she lied.
“Girl, you are a terrible liar. Don’t you be tellin’ me lies, or I’ll cut me a switch, hear?”
“Yes, sir. I’m sorry. Comanche braves spotted me, and I had to outrun them.”
“Lordy. You better git on home or you’ll be late to your meetin’.”
She nodded, hurrying to get home and back into her bedroom before her father broke down her door. Even so, he was knocking as she climbed in the window. “Frances Mary Gilbertson, answer me or I’m coming through this door!”
“I’m sorry, Daddy! I fell asleep. What time is it?” She tried to sound as if she’d just been awakened.
“It is six forty-five; you are going to be late if you don’t hurry.”
“Yes, Daddy! Thank you for waking me.” She was rapidly removing her trail clothes and dressing in a fresh dress to go to the meeting. She grabbed her braid and twisted it into a tight bun at the base of her neck. Then she pinched her cheeks and opened her bedroom door to find her parent standing there looking at her.
“Are you well, Frances?”
“Yes. I just fell asleep. I had a bad dream last night, and was awake for a few hours before I could go back to sleep. I’m fine, and thank you for waking me. I’ll be home by dark.”
“Yes. You had best be. Remember what I said about scheduling those meetings. I do not want one of you young ladies to be pulled into an alley and shamed because you didn’t heed my advice.”
“I will be sure to explain that to the group, Daddy.” She flew down the stairs and was out the door before he could decide to accompany her. She ran the first couple of blocks, and then slowed to a walk since it was considered unseemly for a lady to be running through town.
Fanny was right on time, but there was no Clara. Fanny quickly brought the chattering ladies to order and was about to ask for a prayer of guidance for the group when Clara walked in. It was obvious that she had been crying, but she put on a brave face as she entered.
Fanny gave her a smile and said, “Please come and take my chair, Clara. I need to stand to be heard, and to write on the chalkboard.” Fanny smiled when the blonde grimaced in distaste. “Are you all right, dear? You look as though you’ve been crying. Are you ill?”
“I am fine,” Clara answered. She looked around the room and said, “Where is Gladys?”
“Oh, that’s right! She isn’t here yet. I would wait a few minutes, but the judge gave strict orders that we are to be done and on our way home before eight o’clock. He doesn’t want us out on the street alone after dark as he fears for our safety. Daisy, he said that you need to ask your mama to watch the little ones so you can come to meetings in the afternoon. I’m so sorry. Daddy is bossy, but he truly cares about all of us.”
“My husband said the same thing,” Minnie George spoke up. “I am to leave by seven forty-five, even if the meeting isn’t over.”
“Then let’s decide on our fund raiser and think of ways to make it work. Any suggestions?” By the time the ladies ran out of ideas, there was a list of ten on the board. “I think most of these are good ideas. The kissing booth might raise a lot of money, but who would be willing to work the booth?” No hands went up. “That is the problem. None of us want to kiss strange men.”
“My husband would paddle me proper,” Minnie stated emphatically.
“Yes, my fiancé would be jealous,” Anne Harper whispered, blushing.
“Daddy would think it improper,” Fanny shared, and then crossed it off the list. By the time they crossed off a couple more, and then voted, it was decided to have a pie auction at a church social. “We can discuss details at our meeting next week. We’ll meet at one o’clock on Monday. I hope to see you all then. Now, let’s go home and make the judge a happy man.”
“Where is Clara Smith?” Gladys Coleman demanded angrily as she entered the room.
“Gladys!” Clara jumped up and ran to her friend. “I was wondering where you were.”
“You should know! Lester came home from work all mad at me. He said Edward came to speak to him, and he accused me of gossiping. Edward told Lester he needed to deal firmly with me, and Lester didn’t believe me when I told him we weren’t gossiping. What did you tell Edward?”
“I didn’t, Gladys. Edward came home from work and accused me of gossiping; I don’t know who put that idea in his head, but he thrashed me! He said if it happened again he would speak to Lester. I said no, that it never happened, but he called me a liar and punished me for that too. I am devastated. I never dreamed he would speak to Lester like that; I am so sorry!”
“You didn’t use me as an excuse?”
“No! I wouldn’t do that.”
“I am so sore, Clara!” Gladys’ eyes filled with tears.
“Me too!” The two women hugged, oblivious to the show they were putting on. A couple of the ladies were already whispering to each other, and the news that the two women had been punished by their husbands would spread throughout town by bedtime.
“I think we had better leave, ladies, or we may all be facing irate fathers, husbands, and husbands-to-be!” Fanny’s words served to snap the two women out of their one-on-one conversation and reminded them both that they had an audience. Fanny didn’t feel a bit sorry for Clara; she was getting what she had coming to her for treating everyone else with her superior attitude. But Gladys was nice to everyone, including Clara! Fanny hated that Edward blamed her for Clara’s actions and that he went to Lester to demand that she be punished. She would have to see to it that Edward paid for that bit of nonsense. He was, by far, as mean-spirited as his wife!
When she was walking home, trying to think of a suitable plan to make Edward Smith suffer, Ned stepped out of the growing shadows. “Miss Fanny, I need to warn you. There is a man askin’ after you. He came to the stable and recognized Bailey. I didn’t tell him nothin’, but he’s one determined man. You’d best not go ridin’ for a while; at least not until he leaves town.”
“Thanks for telling me, Ned. You are a good friend.”
“I sure don’t want your daddy to find out what you been up to. He’ll blame me for not tellin’ him.”
“If I get caught out, I will take any and all of the blame. Don’t you worry now,” she tried to reassure the elderly man. “You are the best friend ever, Ned.” Fanny gave him an impulsive hug. “I must get home or Daddy will be very upset with me. Thank you for warning me.”
“Do you want me to see you on home, child?” he asked.
“No. It’s late, and you need to go home and have your supper. I’m just fine.”
“Don’t you go near that man; he be dangerous.”
“I shouldn’t have any reason at all to go near him. I’ll stay home for a day or two and tend to my knitting,” she said, and then giggled at her own joke.
Ned chuckled and shook his head as she hurried down the street. Miss Fanny sure was one spirited little lady, and she had a heart of gold. He said a little prayer for her safety, and then he made his way back to the stable and the room above where he made his home. Ned would have been more than a little worried if he knew that he’d been followed to the church.
Fanny’s mind was still coming up with ideas to give Edward Smith a good set-down when she was suddenly grabbed from behind and lifted off her feet. She immediately went limp, as she’d been taught to do. When the man stumbled to catch her, she elbowed him as hard as she could in the ribs, and then she ran.
He caught her a few seconds later and growled in her ear. “You are earning a reckoning the likes of which you’ve never had, little girl! Now settle down and talk to me, or else that spankin’ is goin’ to happen right now.”
“You’d better let me go unless you want to hang! My father will see you on the gallows so fast you won’t know what happened!”
“I want some answers, not your sassy threats. What were you doing out in Indian country all by yourself?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t you dare try and lie to me, missy. I won’t put up with it.”
“I don’t have to talk to you, and you are going to wish you hadn’t grabbed me!” She tried once more to pull free of the hold he had on her, but he held fast, and then gave her a little shake.
“Maybe we need to have this conversation with your pa.” He started pulling her down the street toward her home.
“Hmm. You are right; I don’t want to make the judge angry since I have to work with the man. I can’t believe he has a spoiled brat for a daughter.”
“I am not a spoiled brat!”
“Sure fooled me. You didn’t even say thanks when I saved your life earlier. I want to know why.”
“I don’t have to explain anything to you!” she said, digging in her heels to halt forward movement.
He stopped and looked heavenward, praying for patience. Then he scooped her up, dumped her over his broad shoulder and walked down the street with her screaming bloody murder and whacking him on the back with her fists. “Let me down, you big bully! Let me down!” She hit him as hard as she could, and to her absolute shock, he smacked her smartly on her bottom! The sting was immediate, and she just knew she had an imprint of his right hand on her right buttock. “How dare you!” she hissed.