By Jay Manning
The following is a letter from my wife to me during a 1959 Navy deployment. When I typed it, I added some typical conversation, corrected spelling errors and changed names to protect the innocent.
You won't believe what happened to me today, and I'm not making this up! Some big mouths got me into a heap of trouble, and one of them was yours! How, you ask? Well, apparently you and John Halston were swapping stories at last month's wardroom picnic about how each of you had tied up girl friends when you were kids or during college. (I found that interesting, to say the least!) Obviously you didn't consider what effect that your humorous stories could have on an impressionable 11-year-old, but apparently Josie Halston took it all in. And today "the chickens came home to roost."
Just in case you don't recall, John's wife, Janet just turned forty, but she looks like she's early thirties. She's about my height (5 ft. 3 in.), maybe 125 pounds, and has short, black hair. They have two wonderful daughters, Jeanette ("Nettie"), who is 16, and Josephine ("Josie"), who is 11. Both of them are really great kids. Nettie is about 5 ft. 2 in. tall, and has brown eyes and shoulder-length, dark brown hair. She seems mature beyond her years, and appears to be equally comfortable with adults as well as with her little sister. There seems to be very little evidence of Nettie berating her younger sister. Nettie's a little shy, and introverted, where Josie is almost an opposite: much more outgoing and uninhibited than one would expect of an eleven-year-old. I would even call her precocious. I'd guess she's about 4 ft. 10 in. and her blonde hair is usually in short pigtails.
Well, yesterday Jan called and invited me to attend church with them and then have lunch at the Officers' club. I was glad to accept, because it gets lonely around here, especially on weekends. They even picked me up, so I didn't have to drive. And I got to ride in their new car – a red and white Chevy with a white interior! Was it ever nice! Maybe we should look at one when you return. (Hmm, Hmm)
Anyway, after several days of rain and cloudy skies, the sun was out and I think we all felt good to be dressed up and have someplace to go. I wore a new sleeveless, white dress with black polka dots and a full skirt, "V" neckline, and wide white collar. My accessories included a fake pearl necklace and matching earrings, a wide-brimmed black hat with a white ribbon, a wide, black patent leather belt and black patent, high-heeled pumps. Sheer, three-quarter-length black gloves completed the effect…
On the way to church Josie talked enough for all of us. She noted that Nettie was wearing a new, teal-colored, full-skirted, taffeta dress with a matching teal headband and her first pair of high heels (black patent pumps with probably 2 1/2 in. heels). Josie wore a dark red velveteen dress, black patent dress shoes with ankle straps, white knee-length stockings and black bows on her pigtails. Jan had on a two-piece soft pink suit with a "V" neck and a straight skirt. Her accessories included a wide-brimmed pink hat, white gloves, and black patent heels with a thin strap across the instep. When we left church, Nettie noticed something on Jan's skirt. I recalled a young boy was sitting on the other side of her with a candy bar, and apparently that got on her skirt. So we returned to Jan's house, to get the spot removed.
I waited in the living room while Nettie went to help her mom. Within minutes, Jan called out that it was going to take longer than they'd thought, and I might as well get comfortable with the Sunday paper. At the same time Nettie came into the living room just long enough to find a book. I began to read the paper when I became aware of a presence. Looking up I saw Josie, who was holding her hands behind her, and obviously wanted to speak.
"Josie?" I asked, "Do you want part of the paper?"
"No, thank you," she began, "I was just wondering; would you want to play a game with me?"
When I asked what kind of a game, she said it was a surprise, so I agreed. I figured with Mom in the house what could happen? Immediately, she brought one hand forward, with a toy pistol, and said, “O.K., Lady, this is a robbery! Don't make a sound, and you won't get hurt!"
Of course I played along. I put the paper aside, raised my hands in mock fear, and said in my best squeaky voice, “I won't make a sound, but don't hurt me! What do you want me to do?"
"Just, be quiet", she said. "Give me all of your money. And put on your hat and gloves."
"All my money is in my purse here," I said as I picked it up and gave it to her. Before she could take it, however, she had to put down the brown sack she had in her other hand. Then she pulled a black scarf from the sack and held it out as I donned my hat and gloves.
"Take this and blindfold yourself!" she ordered, adding, "I don't want 'cha to see what I'm gonna do next!"
Once my blindfold was in place, she told me to stand up. With her to guide me, I was walked through several rooms before we stopped, and I was turned around so that the backs of my legs touched a chair.
"Now sit down!" she ordered.
Reaching behind me for the seat, I slowly sat down on the front half of the seat. Then I primly crossed my ankles and placed my hands together in my lap. I wondered what else was in the sack. A rustling noise indicated that I was about to find out.
"Sit back in the chair, Lady!" Josie ordered from somewhere behind me, and when I did she said, "Now lean forward."
No sooner had I done it than she grabbed my arms, pulled them back, and guided my hands through the large vertical openings in the chair back and crossed my wrists. I felt my hands being tied together wrist to wrist. She did a very commendable job—when she was done my gloved hands were tied firmly behind me. Another rustling noise, and then I felt ropes encircling my ankles, pulling them securely together. Thinking she was finished, I tried to feel how much slack there was in my wrist and ankle bonds. But she wasn't finished yet.
"Now, open your mouth real wide!" she said.
"Josie, I don't want to be gag…aaaarrrggghhh!" I tried to say, as some kind of wadded rag was forced between my lips. Next she removed my blindfold, and retied the scarf over my mouth and around my head to hold my gag in place. Then she stood back to admire her handiwork and, with an impish grin said, "Now, let's see you get loose."
Just for a couple of minutes I struggled against my bonds, then I heard high heels clacking along the wood hall floor, and Jan entered the room. She quickly took in the situation, and screamed, "JOSIE! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE! UNTIE HER THIS INSTANT!" Then she said to me, "Nance, She didn't hurt you did she?"
Sheepishly I shook my head "No" but all I could say was "Unh! uunnhh!" until the gag was removed. Then I laughingly said, "Oh heavens no, Jan! She didn't mean any harm. In fact, I agreed to do it! Actually, it's really kind of a hoot!" Then as the two of them released me, I jokingly added, “Probably every woman should be tied up once in her life!"
Well I'd just given Josie an opening large enough to sail a battleship through. Immediately she asked, quite excitedly, “So, what about THAT, Mom?"
"Josie, you're not making any sense. What about WHAT?" Jan replied.
"What about us tying YOU up?" she squealed. "Mrs. Blanchard just said it was so much fun that EVERYONE should do it once." When she saw that Jan was searching for a response, she added a closer, “If you do, I'll wash and dry the dishes for a whole week, Mom! Please?"
Again, Jan hesitated. She had a look of confusion. Finally she countered with "Well, O.K., if you agree to do dishes for two weeks."
But Josie wasn't finished. She added, "If I agree, then can we do it today? After we get home from the O club?"
"Josie," she replied. "Mrs. Blanchard is our guest today. I don't know what time we'll return, and I want to spend some time with her. Besides, we don't want her to feel she has to leave early."
"But Mrs. Blanchard just said it was FUN!" Josie replied. "Maybe SHE wants to play it again!" Then they both looked at me, Josie with big pleading eyes, and her mother with that “Now what do you say?” look.
Well, I couldn't refuse those pleading eyes, so I nodded at Jan and said (I know - now it's my Big Mouth), "Sure, if your mother agrees, I'll play it again. In fact we never got to the end of the game." Then I looked at Josie and added, “Josie, I'll bet I can escape from your clever devices in – let's say, five minutes!"
With that Josie uttered a squeal of delight and Jan rolled her eyes, made that "I give up" look, and said to me under her breath, "Nancy, I sure hope we don't regret this."
* * * * *
Josie was so excited that she and her sister talked constantly, albeit in very hushed tones all the way to the club. In fact, when we got there, Jan told them that she didn't want to hear another peep about tying people up while we were in the club. Of course, as soon as we got back to the car, the chatter resumed. I was trying to both talk to Jan and listen to them, so I only caught a few words, like, "We're gonna' need more rope!" and "So how are we gonna' tie 'em?" I mentioned to Jan that it sounded like we were in for a big surprise when we got to the house, and she agreed.
As we crossed the covered front porch, Josie asked if she and Nettie could to go in first "to get everything ready". So Jan and I took seats on the porch and for a moment neither of us had anything to say. Finally I looked at her and asked, "Well, Jan. What do you suppose they're planning to do to us?"
She laughed a nervous little laugh and replied, “I have a pretty good idea that we're going to be tied up and gagged. What do you think?"
"Based upon what Josie did to me after church, I'd have to agree," I replied. After a pause, I asked, "I hope you're not upset with me for getting us in to this? Are you a little apprehensive?"
"No, I'm not upset with you. I just don't know what to think. And yes, I am a little apprehensive - we didn't make any conditions at all - what they could or couldn't do to us. What if we can't get loose - how long before they untie us? We gave them the green light to do anything to us that they want to. I'm beginning to think that we weren't very smart about that, and probably we're both gonna pay for it."
"Yeah," I said. "I've got the same feeling, that they're gonna tie us up so we can't get loose very quickly. How did this tying up thing get started anyway?"
"I have no idea," she replied. "I was vaguely aware that Josie and some of her friends have been playing around with ropes lately, but I thought they were jump ropes. Probably I should have paid more attention."
"I'm also intrigued about Nettie's role in this game", I commented. "It was only Josie who tied me up before lunch, but now it looks like Nettie's in on it."
"I'm as mystified as you are on that score," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised that a lot of kids go through this stage, but Nettie never did anything like it."
We'd been waiting there for probably 15 minutes when Josie poked her head out the door and said, “O.K., we're ready! Oh, and put your gloves on! Remember, you're two rich ladies coming home from lunch, and you don't know anything is wrong. You'll probably go right into the living room, O.K.?"
With that, Josie disappeared. As Jan rose out of the chair, she looked at me with a nervous smile and said, “I have it on very good authority that we're going to be tied up in the living room, my dear lady." To which I smiled back, and whispered back, “At least we can put on a good show." As I pressed my gloves down between my fingers, I wondered if Josie had figured that gloves would hinder our ability to untie ourselves, and concluded, "Yeah – that's exactly why she did it."
Well, there was no use trying to be quiet as we entered the living room, because the clacking of our high heels on the porch and hall floors announced to the world that we were coming. So Jan said loudly, “Wasn't that a great lunch, Nancy? That's my favorite restaurant!"
"I can see why," I replied. "Those crab cakes were fantastic! Let's do it again sometime."
When we stepped into the living room, the first thing I noticed was a bunch of clothesline and scarves lying on the floor. Then I saw Nettie, still in her Sunday clothes, hands tied behind her back, feet tied, gagged, and lying on her stomach on the couch. Another rope tied from her wrists to her ankles forced her to bend her knees so that her heels pointed straight up. She was frantically writhing and straining against the ropes. Her eyes were wide and she made all kinds of wild gyrations with her head and noises through her gag as if she was trying to warn us about some danger. Jan rushed over to untie her, when a somewhat excited voice behind us said, “Hands up! Both of you! I've got a gun, and I know how to use it. You'd better do exactly as I say!"
Both of us froze in our tracks, put our hands up, and uttered words like. "Please, don't hurt us!" and "We'll do whatever you say!" before Josie cut us off.
"Be quiet, both of you! I'll do the talkin' if you don't mind!" Then she stuck the gun in my back and said, “You! Down on your knees!" As I kneeled on the rug, she ordered, “Hands behind your back! And grab your heels!" When my fingers had wrapped around both high heels, she scowled, “Now - don't move until I say so!"
Then Josie ordered her mother to sit in the same chair that I was tied in before lunch, forced her gloved hands through the openings in the back, and tied her wrists together. She wound a longer rope several times around her upper body and the chair back and further secured her to the chair by ropes around her thighs and beneath the chair seat. Then she wound several loops of rope around Jan's ankles and tied the loose ends around them and between her ankles. Finally she held a wadded handkerchief in front of her mouth and ordered her to "Open wide!"
"Josie," Jan said softly, "I don't think you need to gag us. We won't make a sound," and looking at me, she added, "Will we, Nancy?"
"Mom, you said you'd play however I want." Josie pleaded.
"So I did, so I did," Jan said and with a sigh, she opened her mouth. Josie thrust the wad between her teeth and covered it with a scarf, which she carefully wound around her head so as not to pinch her earrings, and securely tied the ends in back.
Then she stood aside and said in a sinister voice, “Well, Lady, that oughta' hold ya!"
Immediately Jan made "Aaaagghh" noises and writhed against the ropes and her fingers fluttered behind the chair as she tried to reach the knots, but she was securely bound and gagged. Josie must have seen me watching with awe as I considered Jan's plight, because she taunted me, "Take a good look, Mrs. Blanchard, cuz you're next! But first, get up on your knees, and keep your hands behind your back!"
With that, she grabbed a pile of ropes and knelt down behind me, straddling my legs. I immediately crossed my wrists and balled up my hands, but Josie muttered "No, no – like this" as she forced my hands back open, and placed them together palm to palm. Again I felt the clothesline being wrapped around and between my gloved wrists, followed by tugs when she drew it tight and knotted it. As was done to Jan, the next length of rope pulled my elbows together in the small of my back and then encircled my entire upper body several times both above and below my breasts, which stretched my dress tightly over them.
As Josie pulled the cords tighter and knotted them she also jerked my body so that I started to lose my balance. She steadied me, and I spread my knees apart as she walked around in front and said, "O.K, Mrs. Blanchard, open your mouth - real wide."
I was starting to get panicky about whether I wanted to go through with this, so I shook my head sideways and started to say, "No, please don't gag….Aaaagggh" as she thrust a wadded-up washcloth into my mouth. Just as she had done to Jan, she quickly wrapped a scarf over it, pulled the ends tightly around my head and tied them behind my neck. Then she forced my ankles together, and I felt the rope being wound around and between them and tighten as she knotted it. Unfortunately, as she pulled on the knot, she also raised my bound feet and, with a great “Aaaagggh!" I started to pitch over.
Luckily I was able to turn slightly, so I hit the floor on my left buttock, and then rolled over onto my stomach. As I experienced the distress of my breasts being compressed, she pushed my bound ankles higher and forward and tied the short end of the rope to my wrists so that my heels almost touched my butt. By now Jan was writhing in her chair, frantically shaking her head, and “Aaaagggh-ing!" loudly, presumably at my treatment, but Josie merely ignored us.
When she got up, I was helplessly hogtied and gagged. Taking a seat on the Ottoman, she gleefully taunted me, "O.K., Mrs. Blanchard! Let's see ya get outa that!" Then she repeated her taunt to all of us, shaking her head and saying, "Tsk, tsk, Ladies – we seem to have gotten ourselves into a terrible bind. Let's see how long it takes to get free, if you can even do it!"
Now it was show time! All three of us struggled with our trussed hands and feet, shook our heads, writhed and " Aaaggghhed" as much as our ropes and gags would permit, but no one could loosen the restricting cords. Suddenly the telephone rang, and Josie went into the hall to answer it. It must have been one of her friends, because she talked for probably five minutes, after which she took the Sunday comics into her bedroom.
After struggling a few minutes, slowly Jan rose up, balancing precariously on her bound feet and, dragging the chair with her, slowly inched her way over to the couch and turned around so that when she sat down her bound wrists were inches away from Nettie's hands. Nettie quickly hunched herself over to the chair, and Jan tried to reach the cords around her daughter's wrists. How she did it with her gloved hands tied behind her, I don't know, but after about 10 minutes, Nettie's bonds were loose enough that she could slip one wrist out, then the other. Within two minutes' time she had completely united herself.
We both thought she was going to untie us next, but she merely picked up some loose ropes and left us helpless in the living room. Soon there was a frightful commotion coming from Josie's room. Then we saw a resolute Nettie forcing her tied-up sister to hop into the living room. Still wearing her red dress, Josie's hands were tied behind her back, her ankles were bound, and several loops encircled her arms and chest. The lower half of her face was covered with adhesive tape. With much writhing and "mmmmfffing" she was forced down on the floor on her stomach next to me, and her wrists were tied to her ankles, just like I was tied. Then Nettie got up and said sarcastically, "Now, dear Sister, you can see how it feels to be tied up yourself."
As Nettie headed for the door, Jan frantically struggled against her bonds and tried to get her attention by stamping her bound feet on the floor, franticly shaking her head and "Aaarrrggghhh-ing" through her gag, but Nettie walked out. Now we were again three women tied up and gagged in our Sunday best, and left to suffer our predicaments in silence. I looked over at Josie, and she was writhing and pulling against the ropes, but getting nowhere. When she saw me, I made some "aaaagghh" sounds and motioned with my head for her to roll over by me. As she did, I rolled on my side and extended my bound wrists toward her. Soon I could feel her tugging at the knot securing my wrists. After a few minutes, I could feel the ropes loosen, and in a few minutes more, they were loose enough for me to slip one hand out, and then work the ropes over the other.
It took me another five minutes to completely untie myself and remove my gag, which was very wet and covered with lipstick. Immediately I untied Jan's hands and helped her remove her gag and the rest of her ropes. When we were almost done, I said I'd start to untie Josie, but she interrupted saying, "No, Let's give her a few more minutes to think about her situation, as well as what she put us through."
Fifteen minutes later, Josie was untied, and Jan and I were drinking coffee on the porch. We had been tied up for about an hour. Jan apologized for what I had been through, but I graciously said that both of us had agreed to play, and really couldn't blame the girls. "No," Jan replied, "I suppose not. But it certainly has been an interesting afternoon."
Your Loving Wife