Gualter was in the lounge with Mateo and Alfonso, "Ah, Gualter, granddad wants to see you." He looked up. Mateo and Alfonso watched curious to know more. "Yeah, yeah, I don't believe you." Neymar regarded him, "Up to you, but he told me to tell you he's in the study and he wants to talk to you." Gualter began to get a bit agitated, "What you been saying?" Neymar didn't reply, he just went and sat down across on the other side of the room, next to Mateo. Gualter got up and in parting he said, "If you're joking I'll make sure he knows that you told me to see him." The three boys just watched as he left the room. Then Mateo asked, "What's going on?" Neymar turned to face him, "You went to see granddad this morning."
"Yeah, I did."
"About what happened yesterday."
"Well, I think whatever you said made granddad think."
"I don't know, but maybe he has doubts about Gualter."
"That's why he wants to see him," Alfonso chipped in.
Gualter entered the study, his grandfather was still sitting at his desk. "Did nobody ever teach you to knock?," he was rather annoyed.
"Sit down Gualter." His grandfather had been considering what both Mateo and Neymar had said to him. "Do you remember that I told Mateo putting the blame on someone else is worse than lying?"
"Yes. But you've been doing exactly that haven't you? You put the blame on little Mateo when you yourself were responsible. He wasn't running around out of control, was he?" His grandfather didn't wait for a reply. "No, he wasn't. He was scared. Scared of you and running away. Everything he said was the truth, exactly how it happened. You chased him, caught him, whacked him with that cane, and trying to get away he knocked over the vase. That's what happened isn't it?"
Gualter was silent. How could he know? He couldn't work it out.
"Well? It is isn't it?"
"I... I mean, a bit."
"A BIT?" His grandfather shouted back at him, full of rage now. He knew the boys were right. "You put everything onto little Mateo and told a pack of lies. Then you stood back watching him get punished. Which you knew was not fair, because it wasn't really his fault. Well, young man, you've been found out. The truth always outs. Now, think carefully before you reply, because if you tell me any more lies it will be so much worse for you. That I can promise."
Gualter looked at the desk. Then he must have figured that somehow his grandfather knew everything that happened. So when he asked what really took place yesterday, Gualter gave the real, exact same version as Mateo.
"You come with me young man." His grandfather stood up and marched Gualter out of the house and across to the barn. "You stand there and don't move. Hands on your head."
The next thing that happened was their granddad came storming into the lounge. He looked at the boys, "You all come with me," and they followed him into the barn, where they saw Gualter standing with his hands on his head. There grandfather disappeared towards the back of the barn, coming back with a trestle he used for cutting logs. "You two," he turned to Neymar and Alfonso. "Fetch one of those logs and put it on here. He pointed to the trestle. They did as instructed and picked a large log which was smooth without much bark left on it. They hauled it up onto the trestle. No one knew exactly what was going on, except it was fairly obvious Gualter was in trouble and their grandfather was very angry. He disappeared once more into the rear of the barn and on his return no one, except Gualter, could be in any doubt about what was about to happen. Their grandfather had taken the old leather strap from its hook and he carried it in his hands.
"Gualter, come here!" he commanded.
Gualter turned around and walked over to his grandfather who was standing next to the trestle. When he saw the old leather strap in his hands he gulped. His grandfather instructed the boy to turn around and face the trestle with his arms outstretched. Gualter took up the position without hesitating. "Mateo, come over here." The boy quickly moved next to his grandfather. He then explained how the truth had finally come out and how angry that made him. "Mateo, stand behind your cousin there and I want you to slap the back of his legs. He has a lesson to learn and some amends to make. Go on, quickly." Mateo stood behind his cousin and tentatively made a light slap on the back of one of Gualter's legs. His grandfather arrived and slapped Gualter's legs hard, first one, then the other. "Like that," he told Mateo, "and you don't stop till you see they are very pink." Mateo didn't really want to, but he did want his revenge, and his grandfather told him. He started slapping Gualter's legs and the sound filled the large empty barn. Gualter thought that if that was all he'd escaped lightly, but of course it wasn't.
Mateo stood back and his grandfather told him to join his other cousins, both Neymar and Alfonso were looking on open mouthed. "Gualter, take those shorts and underpants off, quickly." His grandfather watched, holding the strap in his hands, as the boy undressed. Gualter could hardly doubt now what kind of punishment he would receive. "Gualter," his grandfather's voice still showed his anger, "bend over the trestle." The boy moved to the large smooth log which was at just about the perfect height and bent over. Given the size of the trestle, Gualter found himself with his stomach resting on the top of the log. He gripped the trestle legs tightly with both hands, he knew it was going to hurt.
The three boys stood side by side looking at their cousin. Their grandfather moved around to where Gualter could see him. He made a point of showing the boy the strap. "This may be old, and as I told you before, it has not seen any use since your daddies were your age, but I can assure you it still has the desired effect, as you, young man, are about to find out. Their grandfather returned to stand behind Gualter. Neymar, Alfonso, and Mateo were on the opposite side. They saw their granddad raise the old leather strap in the air, Gualter knew nothing until it whacked across his buttocks and he cried out in pain. Still he was determined not to break down in tears like his little cousin. He gritted his teeth as the boys watched the strap raised and brought down a second time. Gualter's cry filled the barn, his legs wobbled, he gripped the trestle harder. The boys saw the two overlapping marks across the middle of Gualter's bottom.
The third stroke cut through the air and slapped across the boy's buttocks, landing below just above the top of his legs, the most sensitive place. Gualter screamed and they saw him move, jumping up, and hopping around, rubbing his buttocks with both hands. Tears welled up in his eyes as he fought back the intense pain that was building up, setting his arse on fire. The boys were silent, hardly daring to breath. Mateo imagined if things had turned out differently and if his granddad had used that strap on him. Neymar had felt that long flexible ruler across his backside, but this must be a lot worse, he thought. Alfonso hoped he never found himself bent over in front of granddad.
Their grandfather had paused a moment, letting the strap have it's effect, he knew what the boy was feeling, how he was struggling. But he said to himself, he deserves everything I give him, there's no mistake this time. Gualter struggled to keep control, he willed his grandfather to stop, but his grandfather wasn't finished. "Bend over," he commanded, and pushed Gualter back down over the log. A loud thwack then announced the fourth stroke across the boy's now very red bottom. Gualter screamed out, and tears filled his eyes. His legs shook and the tears started flowing. He stretched his legs further apart, desperately seeking some sort of relief from the pain. He turned his head to try to see his grandfather. "Please granddad," he begged. But his grandfather was determined to teach him a lesson. The strap hit across the boy's buttocks again, once more eliciting a piercing cry from Gualter. Now he was bawling, he couldn't believe the pain, he didn't know what to do except cry and moan. There was no escape, but he tried once more, "GRANDPA , I'M SORRY!" he screamed out. "PLEASE, PLEASE, NO MORE." The boys couldn't imagine how much pain their cousin was experiencing. They could see the strap marks turning a deep shade of red, almost purple.
Their grandfather was of a mind to make it six, but he relented, hearing the boy bawling his eyes out, crying and screaming for no more, he thought the boy had had enough. He certainly would not forget it. He paused looking at the boy bent double over the trestle. Gualter prayed to god that it was over, the pain was just not going away. He couldn't take another whack. His grandfather looked at the boy, he certainly won't be sitting down for a week, he thought. "Neymar, Alfonso, help your cousin back to his bedroom. I think you three might squeeze into one bed tonight and leave Gualter on his own. Be sure to lie him down on his stomach. Mateo followed his cousins out of the barn, picking up Gualter's clothes.
Gualter had difficulty to walk, they supported him one on each side. Walking up the stairs made him whimper and cry. The brothers felt sorry for him, as did Mateo. Despite having been given a sound spanking himself. Seeing the strap marks across his cousins buttocks, he knew that was a hundred times worse. They lay Gualter face down on the bed and left him sobbing into the sheets. "I don't ever want to do anything that risks a strapping like that" Alfonso said. "Or any strapping, getting spanked was bad enough," Mateo added. Going back downstairs the boys were very quiet.