797. Poor Vivaldi, if the orphanage fathers had not been in the choir room he would have found the caterwauling of the girls just as funny as the girls did even if he would have pretended to be angry, but under the circumstances he had to demand their punishment.
798. As usually happens in these situations it was decided to punish the 'ringleaders', that is Netochka, and Simmona. Even though all the girls had joined in, it was those two who were singled out for punishment.
799. The girls were beaten with a leather strap, a punishment administered by a nun, and witnessed by a committee of six of the elder nuns. I know you are expecting to hear terrible details of a severe punishment but that was not the case. The fact was, many of the nuns of the orphanage had been inmates of the same institution when they were young. The old leather strap about to be used on Netochka and Simmona was the same strap that had been used on them when they were children.
800. Over the years an elaborate scheme had been worked out between the elder nuns and the young girls about how to deal with these punishments. The girls to be punished first had to be locked up in a small room where they were to pray for forgiveness for a full hour on their knees.