|Three Ladies Kidnapped|
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|Storycodes: Solo-F; FFM/fff; capture; kidnap; bond; rope; gag; transport; van; prisoner; ransom; rainwear; cons/nc; X||
|Three Ladies Kidnapped Uto Solo-F; FFM/fff; capture; kidnap; bond; rope; gag; transport; van; prisoner; ransom; rainwear; cons/nc; X|
It was late afternoon of a wet day on a short residential street in a remote mountain suburb of a sprawling city.
Irene Drake was getting ready to go out on a short visit. She was a thin, healthy woman in her late thirties, recently widowed after a short but otherwise happy marriage. She had a narrow face, framed with short dark hair and was generally thought to be a pleasant person. By occupation she was a part time librarian in the local council library and had lived alone in a small neat cottage in this quiet street ever since the death of her husband.
This afternoon she was about to visit two acquaintances who lived at the end of the street. She had not bothered to dress up and was simply wearing a thick, warm dark woollen winter dress which she had worn all day. In view of the worsening weather, she had put on her shiny black rubber raincoat which went down to her mid calves. Somewhat old fashioned, she knew but it kept her dry, together with a black rain hat of similar material and her short length rain boots. It was not a social call, she did not plan to stay long, merely to pick up a book borrowed some weeks before.
The pair she was going to see were Marjorie and Tamsin, two girls in their mid late twenties who lived in a rented cottage at the end of the cul de sac where Irene's own home was. These two young ladies were computer researchers who worked in a regional centre on the main highway to the city about two miles away. They were very close friends, university educated and understood to be very good at their work. She had known them both for some years now.
Irene arrived at the front door just as the rain started. She knocked but got no response. This surprised her since she knew they were both at home. She walked down the side concrete path to the back door which she found to be unlocked, which meant they had not gone out. There was no response to a call. Knowing the girls well, she went inside, calling again as she did so.
The kitchen was empty and Irene, somewhat puzzled, turned into the hallway.
And then a bedroom door opened and a woman came out and carefully shut it behind her. She was a complete stranger to Irene. She was about the same height as herself and gave the impression of being very fit and athletic. Her hair was fair, shoulder length and framed a smiling, friendly appearing face. She wore a trench coat, tightly belted and buttoned up to the throat. The librarian caller, who had undone her own raincoat when she came inside, subconsciously wondered why she remained dressed for inclement weather inside the house. Her hands were thrust deeply into the large front pockets.
The woman spoke. "Good afternoon," she said pleasantly, "You've come to see Marjorie and Tamsin I suppose? You're their friend Irene, from down the street, aren't you?"
"Well, yes," said Irene, more puzzled by now. "I do want to talk to them. I know they're here. And also.." She felt she was entitled to ask this, "Who, exactly are you?"
The woman's smile never faltered. "Let's say I'm a recent acquaintance. And, shall we also say, both the girls are a little tied up at the moment." She stood firmly and resolutely in front of the closed bedroom door.
Irene did not understand any of this and was starting to get suspicious. Something wasn't right here. What did she mean by 'tied up'?
"I've come here to see them," she stated."It's important." (Only a borrowed library book really, but Irene felt she ought to get to the bottom of this.) "Just where are they?"
At that moment what sounded like a muffled squeal came from behind the closed door. Both turned to look that way. Then the woman slowly took her hands out of her raincoat pockets. Irene saw she was wearing flesh coloured latex gloves and grew even more suspicious. People might wear gloves on a cold wet day like this, but rubber gloves? Only someone who did not want to leave fingerprints would do that. She began to feel that she had walked into something she shouldn't have.
The woman herself seemed to think it was time to change her approach. She stepped forward and seized the visitor's upper arm in a gloved hand. Irene could feel the strength in her grip. "So you want to see Marjorie and Tamsin?" she said quietly and firmly. "Very well, you shall. They're just in here." With some force she pulled her to the bedroom door and flung it open.
Through the doorway Irene could see Marjorie and Tamsin, both sitting on a bed. Each had been very securely bound hand and foot with strips of neatly torn sheeting. And each had a very large and efficient gag in her mouth. A thin man, wearing a leather coat and a woollen cap, clearly the woman's accomplice, was kneeling at Tamsin's feet. He was just finishing tying her ankles. "As you can see," said the woman, smiling, "The ladies are indeed tied up. And," she continued, "It becomes necessary to do the same for you. It's unfortunate you walked into this. But you did persist in wanting to see them."
The two girls gaped at Irene over the gags which had been pushed into their mouths. These seemed to be made of folded, wadded cloth and were so big the captives could not close their lips. Their arms had been tied behind their backs with several pieces of the sheeting strips around their bodies, both above and below their breasts and their legs secured at the ankles and above the knees. Marjorie was wearing a blue business suit and Tamsin a dark grey belted overcoat. Obviously both had been seized and bound on their return from work over an hour ago.
"And now, my dear Irene, it's your turn. Don't even think of resisting us. We're very experienced at overpowering ladies. Just be calm and it'll be easier for everybody." Still keeping her vice-like grip on Irene's upper arm she steered her into the centre of the room. The two already bound girls watched mutely. The man, having finished securing Tamsin's ankles, stood up and started taking some more strips on of a travel bag already on the bed. He had a slim, spare figure and looked about the same age as his lady accomplice. He smiled briefly at the next object of his attentions.
The pair then tied up the now very concerned Irene. First they bound her wrists behind her back and lashed her arms to her sides, using several strips of sheeting. Next, they made two turns around her waist to hold her crossed forearms against the lower part of her back. The rubberised fabric of her raincoat creaked as they secured her. Finally they made her sit down on the bed between Marjorie and Tamsin and tied her thighs above the knees, pulled off her rain boots and lashed her ankles. She was now as helpless as the two occupants of the house.
They did not gag her as they had the girls and so the bound librarian was still able to speak. "Is this a robbery?" she asked somewhat fearfully. She had nothing of any real value on her, except perhaps her watch, a gift from her late husband which had sentimental value.
The woman laughed. "Not in the strict sense of the word. And don't worry, we don't want any of your personal valuables." This reassured Irene somewhat. "But," she went on, "We're going to have to treat you the same as these two ladies now. You're a classic example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time." Her male companion went into the bathroom, came back with a damp face cloth which he folded neatly into a gag and stuffed it into Irene's reluctant mouth.
After that it seemed there was nothing to do but wait. The man left the room. The bound and gagged trio remained on the bed and wondered what was going to happen next. The woman stayed with them. She paced slowly about, her hands again deep in her trench coat pockets.
Over an hour went by and it began to get dark. An unmarked van arrived at the girls' home and reversed quietly into the driveway beside the cottage. A big woman wearing overalls got out and was let in the back door by the man. Their lady captor saw this from the window. "Well ladies," she informed the captives, "Your transport has arrived. You're about to go on a journey. All going well, you should be back in two, at most three, days. But that does depend on all going well."This last was added ominously.
The three captives were quickly and expeditiously transfered from the bedroom to the van. Their ankles were unbound. Irene's rain boots were replaced. They were moved, one by one, by the man and the lady driver out of the house and through the rear door of the vehicle. There was a seat along each side of the interior. Marjorie and Tamsin were seated along one, Irene opposite them on the other. All three were tied to structural supports on the van sides and their ankles rebound. The trench coated woman sat in in a corner to keep an eye on them. The door was then closed and vehicle quietly driven off. Whatever their destination, the three were on their way.
The journey took about four hours. The van finally stopped outside a doorway in the lower level of what was apparently a large, remote country homestead. The captives saw nothing of this as it was pitch dark. Their legs were untied and they were quickly ushered out of the vehicle and into the building.
Inside they found they were in a concrete floored room about eight metres long and nearly four wide. At one end was a washbasin and mirror, to one side a door behind which was a small toilet and on the other a curtained shower recess. At the other end was a small table and three chairs. High up on the outer wall was a long, horizontal window which they later found to be barred. The room contained three tubular steel beds, dormitory style, made up with mattresses, blankets and pillows. The whole was neat, dry and clean and judging by the solid door, very secure.
Their captors unbound the three women and gathered up the lashings and gags. The rain coated woman spoke to them, "Well ladies, this is to be your home for the next two, possibly three days. You'll find the beds soft enough and the blankets warm. And there'll be nothing to disturb your slumbers, it's very quiet here. As to where it is, let's say it's a distant place where no one would think to look for you." The trio turned to go, the woman pointed to the washbasin. "You'll find combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste in the cabinet underneath. And there are towels on the pillows." She smiled. "So we hope you'll be comfortable. Sleep well." The three turned and went out, locking the door behind them.
Left to themselves, the three kidnapped ladies pondered their likely future.
Irene was the first to speak. "Well, if they're expecting a big ransom for me they've made a mistake. My family's not wealthy."
Tamsin, a small petite girl with wavy brown hair which framed a serious face was next. "Nor mine either. I'm from the country. None of them even live in the City."
Last was Marjorie. She had a firmly fleshed figure with shoulder length blonde hair. Still in her business suit, she managed to look impeccably neat, despite what she had been through. "It's probably me they're after. My people are very comfortable. It's unfortunate you were around when they decided to abduct me." She sounded embarrassed. "I'm sorry."
The other two assured her it wasn't her fault and they all decided that the best thing they could do was to try and get some sleep. Irene took off her raincoat and Tamsin her overcoat and these were hung on pegs above the beds. Each slept in her underwear. As the woman had said the sleeping accommodation was warm, comfortable and there was certainly no noise.
The prisoners spent all the next day locked up. Their meals were brought in on a tray by the big woman who had driven the van. They ate them at the small table at the end of the room and the crockery and cutlery later collected and taken away by the same person. This gaoler was large, well muscled and had a square determined face and close cropped dark hair. They never at any time heard her speak a word.
It was getting dark at the end of the first day when the captives had two visitors. The silent lady who had been bringing them their meals and the smiling woman whom they had met from the beginning. Once again she was wearing her trench coat, fully buttoned and belted and she had a black rain hat, similar to Irene's, on her head. The other was also rain coated. Both were in gumboots and their rainwear glistened. The women themselves could hear it raining softly outside.
"Well ladies," the trench coated one said, smiling cheerfully, her hands deep in its pockets, "You'll be pleased to know that negotiations are going along very well. So well, that it looks as if you'll all be out of here and back where you came from in a little over twenty four hours." It was assumed that this meant dealings with Marjorie's family. "I thought that might cheer you up." It did.
"And," she continued, "My other news is that I want to have a short private talk with you, Irene. Which we'll have to have outside, raining though it is. There being no privacy in here." She reached up, lifted Irene's black raincoat off its peg and tossed it onto the bed alongside where its owner was sitting. "It's raining steadily so I suggest you wear this. And your rain hat and rain boots." She laughed, "It's fortunate you were so suitably dressed when we removed you."
Irene stared blankly at the woman and then at the waterproof it had been intimated she should wear. "Of course you can come as you are," her captor went on, "But I can assure you, you'll be soaked through in the ten minutes or so we'll be out there. The rain here is very persistent and penetrating."
Irene decided she had better dress for the weather outside. She buttoned up her raincoat to the neck, stepped into her rain boots which had been neatly aligned beside the bed and pulled the rain hat over her head. The woman watched her. "Very good," she said when this was done, "And now, turn around please." The wet weather geared captive looked at her suspiciously but turned her back. The trench coated woman crossed her wrists behind her and after pulling a webbing tape from her pocket, bound them firmly. "Just to keep you secure while we're out of the house, dear," she explained.
"And now," she went on, "One final further precaution." The big silent woman pulled a length of chain about eight feet long out of one of her raincoat pockets. One end she looped firmly around Irene's waist and secured it with a solid looking padlock. The other end went around her companion's midriff above the belt of her trench coat and was locked the same way. The two were now joined together with about a yard and a half of stout chain between them. The woman laughed. "Just so we don't get separated in the dark while we're outside. And so you don't get any ideas of running off either. In any case, there's a lot of bush around here and you'd only come to grief, lost in that." She continued, "My colleague will hold the keys to both locks. She'll release us when we get back inside."
"Let's go," she said, grabbing the chain in one hand and pulling Irene through the door with her. The quiet woman closed it after them and remained inside with the two other captives.
Outside, it was raining steadily. It made a soft pattering sound on the proofed fabric of their raincoats. Irene was glad hers was designed for this sort of weather.
The woman steered them firmly away from the house. As she had said it was pitch dark. Irene could feel short grass under her feet and then, what appeared to be packed gravel. The ground was clear of obstacles which was just as well as they could see nothing in the wet darkness.
After walking about thirty yards in the rain the woman stopped. Turning round, Irene could see some lighted windows of the country homestead behind them. The long horizontal barred opening of the room they had just left was easy to identify. "I think this will do," she said. The two faced each other in the dark.
"As I said before," the trench coated woman said, "You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had no alternative but to take you along with the other two. As you may have gathered by now our real interest is in Marjorie." She went on, "Her full name's Marjorie Bertrand. You know? Bertrand Pharmaceuticals. Very wealthy people. They'll do anything to get their daughter back safe and sound. Which, you'll be pleased to hear, is just what they're doing."
Irene wondered why she was being told this. But the woman sounded reasonable, someone you could talk to, given the right circumstances. She decided to answer forthrightly.
"And, I suppose," she replied, "If the Bertrand family hadn't been so co-operative you'd have murdered all three of us."
The woman laughed, "What an imagination. You don't know how difficult that would be in reality, do you? Not to mention the problems it'd cause." She added soberly, "Or how wasteful and unbusinesslike it would be."
"Wasteful? Unbusinesslike?" Irene's perplexity grew. Clearly she was out of her depth here.
"You don't really understand, do you? Our organization is just like any other business. We like to make the best profit we can." The woman seemed to feel she should explain. "Just bringing you three here has cost us a great deal. Now, let's assume that the Bertrands had refused to pay up. We've got to get a return on our outlay. In certain parts of the Middle East, the Far East, even Latin America, there's a great demand for attractive young lady computer specialists, such as your two companions. They'd be bound and gagged, perhaps drugged, put on an long range aircraft and whisked out of the country. And by a circuitous route, but they'd end up overseas. Oh, they wouldn't like it at first but they'd be working with state of the art equipment. They'd also be the personal property of some magnate, but they'd get used to that too. They're all filthy rich, but well educated. They can afford to be with the billions they've got. They just like their own personal household playthings. Mixing business with pleasure you might say. And," she added, "We make many thousands supplying them in the first place. That's how we make our money, or some of it anyway."
Irene was flabbergasted. The woman went on. "Where we're standing now is a very good private airstrip. If the Bertrand clan had refused to co-operate, a well equipped private jet would have arrived one evening, taken them on board and they'd be on their way to a new life in distant places. And you'd have been going with them."
Her captive found her voice again. "And what about me?" Irene protested, "I'm not a computer professional. I'm just a librarian. I don't even have a university degree." She went on, obviously very aggrieved, "Where would I have ended up? Scrubbing floors somewhere? Or in a brothel?"
This was also considered amusing. "Your imagination again, Irene dear. And you have a deplorable tendency to think the worst of things. The reality is that you'd be the easiest and probably the most profitable of the three of you to handle." She explained. "There's a lot of stored paper - documents, charts, books - in these overseas complexes and trained librarians to look after it are very much in demand. And then many of these moguls have extensive private libraries, of which they're very proud. I told you they're well educated. And if they can get a professional who understands their collections and with whom they can indulge themselves when they feel like it, they're prepared to pay handsomely for them."
She went on, "By the time they've got a worthwhile collection, they're of mid years and want a librarian with experience. Someone their own age group. And they prefer Western women as most of the paperwork is in English. And so," she concluded, "Dear Irene, we'd do very well out of yourself, if we ever had to dispose of you."
Irene was speechless. The trench coated woman ended their discourse with a final statement. "But none of this will come to pass as the Bertrand family is paying up as required. However," she made a final warning, "If any one of you ever breathes a word of this, makes any official report, even talks about it, then..." She spoke very sternly, "All three of you will disappear forever. The Bertrands have been told this as well. I hope I make myself clear."
Her listener nodded. "Very well then," the woman was amiable once more. "This had to be explained. You can tell the others. Let's go back to the house."
The two rain coated, chained women walked back through the softly falling rain to the house. Once again the three spent the night comfortably, if somewhat uneasily.
The next day was spent waiting. Irene told the other two just what the woman had said. Tamsin was indignant but mindful of the threat of vanishing forever. Marjorie said little. It seemed the prospect of abduction and being held for ransom had been with her for many years. All three wanted the business over as quickly as possible.
At one stage they pushed the chairs together under the long window, stood on them and looked out. Outside they saw a flat, level grassy strip which appeared to be over a mile long. It looked as if it had been prepared for the coming and going of aircraft. Beyond this was a range of low, heavily timbered hills. The prisoners got the impression of complete isolation.
Darkness fell at the end of the second day. After evening meal all three captors, the man and the two women came into the captives' room. They were informed they were all going home. Irene and Tamsin were made to put on the raincoat and overcoat they had worn on their capture. Marjorie still managed to look neat in her blue business suit, despite two days of captivity. Once again their wrists were tied behind their backs and their arms lashed to their sides. The gags were produced and despite their protests, were forced into the mouths of all three.
The van had been parked outside their place of captivity. The trio were led out and forced to get into it. Once inside they were seated again and their legs and ankles bound. As with their arrival, the trench coated woman rode in the back with the captives. Still smiling, she indulged in a little cheerful banter, telling her fellow travellers of the career opportunities they had missed, not going to the Far East or South America. The ladies were not amused.
Once again they travelled for several hours, only this time they were driven to the home of Marjorie's parents, not to the mountain suburb from which the three had been abducted. Quietly stopping in the driveway of an opulent residence in a very affluent residential area, the trio were removed from the van and hustled inside. Here they found the house under the control of two of their abductors' group. Mr and Mrs Bertrand were there, seated on their comfortable and expensive lounge. They were not saying anything. Both had been heavily sedated.
The three captives were made sit down in armchairs arranged in a semi circle facing the drugged parents. Once again, their ankles and thighs were securely tied. They learned that Marjorie's parents would wake up in about an hour and release them and there would be a joyful reunion. The woman in the raincoat told them this. She stood there, firmly belted and fully buttoned, her hands deep in its pockets. She seemed to live in this coat. She also told them in no uncertain terms what would happen to them if they so much as breathed a word of the events of the last two days. Then she turned and walked out of the house. They heard the van quietly driven off.
About a week later things were, more or less, back to normal. All three of the abducted trio were back in their mountain suburb. They were even back at their jobs. Their kidnapping had taken place over a weekend and no one in the entire neighbourhood, had even noticed they were gone.
Irene was back in her library. None of her colleagues had the slightest idea where she had been just over a week ago. Nor did she enlighten them, though she thought about it frequently.
Early, mid afternoon was a slack time for book borrowing and Irene often had little to do. During such periods there was plenty of time to think. Since her temporary deprivation of liberty she sometimes reflected on what being a librarian under duress overseas would really have been like? She wondered.
More interesting than making lists of overdue books she was sure.
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