The Van-ductors Hit Town




Tara Buckley was off to an early start, because it was going to be a hot day. She would get the marking out of the area done, write out the instructions for the hired help, then take the rest of the day off. She was a one-woman business, a landscape gardener, and now that she was in her middle years( she preferred to say mature) she liked to let somebody else do the hard manual labour. The clients could afford it, certainly the Tate family at 54 Warren Gardens, who were getting her attention at the moment. They were holidaying in the Caribbean while their garden was being transformed. With them out of the way Tara would be completely undisturbed, the six foot fences meant that she couldn't be seen from the other gardens. She could take a recliner from the summerhouse and spend the day relaxing, nobody would know.


Except that three people did know. Three criminals, who always addressed each other as A,B, and C, knew exactly where Tara Buckley was, because their plan for the day depended on her, or more specifically her van. They needed a van whose owner would not report it as stolen for several hours, but one which had the owners name on the side for all the witnesses to see, so the police would waste time hunting them and not the robbers.


One of them,, A, had watched from a discreet distance as Tara parked her van and opened the double gates to the property. She was alone, she wouldn't give them much trouble. A blonde, but he guessed, not a natural one. She was about forty five or fifty, on the plump side, but he liked that, especially the way her bottom filled out the blue cotton shorts. Her large breasts filled out the white tee shirt very nicely as well. She had nice legs too, some might have said they were rather chubby but he thought she looked very tasty in her short white socks and white trainers. Today was going to be enjoyable in more ways than one. He collected his thoughts. She was alone and they could use her van. The van was the thing. He considered himself the boss of this little outfit and he knew he would need to keep the team focussed on the robbery, not the scenery.


Unaware of her admirer, Tara started work as soon as she had her van parked at the back of the house. She tipped the yellow plastic stakes out of their canvas bag, then opened the new packet of garden twine. 500 metres of 5mm twine, more than enough for the job in hand. You couldn't re-use this stuff because it was almost impossible to unpick knots in it.


It really was going to be warm today, she realised, congratulating herself for having managed an early start. She realised that she could probably have done without the make-up today, but you never knew who you might meet.A divorcee of her age didn't get too many chances any more.As she gathered the first handful of stakes, a car suddenly pulled round the side of the house and stopped next to her van. Her first thought was that her hired men had arrived a day early. A faded red Vauxhall Cavalier that didn't sound very healthy. At the moment she realised that there were three of them, not the two that she had employed, they were getting out of the car and pulling woollen ski-masks down over their faces. They all wore black polo-neck sweaters and dark blue jeans and they soon had her surrounded.


"What do you want? I don't have the keys to the house, you know, I'm only the gardener ".Tara was scared, mostly because she couldn't see their expressions.


She wasn't reassured when one of them said "What a piece of luck, it's gardeners we want, not houses".

Another of them grabbed her roughly by her right hand as she tried to back away. "Listen, we ask the questions, you tell us what we want to know, and you won't get hurt" he said impatiently, twisting her hand behind her back, "Do you get that?"


"Yes, all right. You're hurting me, there's no need for that. But like I said, I haven't got keys to the house, just the summerhouse and the shed".††


"It's your van, right. We just need to borrow it for the morning. A van that won't be reported missing, because it's yours, and you'll be here".


"Yeah, we're abducting your van" said B. "you could say we're the vanductors. You have just been vanducted"


"Quiet, don't say that again, you said that the other day, remember" A spoke in a stern voice, which Tara noticed. Was this not the first time they had stolen a van?


They're going to take the van and leave me here, she thought. Well, I'll play along and when they've gone I'll go and find a neighbour. "Ok" she said slowly, thinking fast. "You borrow the van, do what you've got to do, meanwhile I do some work here till you get back. But please don't damage it".


"She thinks we are idiots" said A. "Do we look like the three stooges?"He twisted her arm a bit higher. "Here's how it's going to be. We borrow the van, like you said, but you won't be doing much I'm afraid. You'll be in the summerhouse, tied up tight. You won't be interfering in our business".


The man named B picked up the bundle of green twine, shaking it loose. "It's a shame not to use this as she's brought it along . Plenty of it "


"You're the expert, you get to work on her" said A, taking Tara by the shoulders and turning her so that she was facing him, with B behind her. Tara felt her hands being pulled behind her back, placed with her wrists crossed,then winced suddenly as the thin cord was wound round them several times horizontally, knotted then wound vertically and knotted again. Then she felt the cord being cut. Maybe that was all they were going to do, just tie her hands and shut her in their summerhouse. She decided to play along.


"That hurts! That's too tight!" she said indignantly, hoping they would think they had tied her securely enough. She glanced around, wondering how far she would get if she ran.


"Better shut her up. She doesn't know when to keep it quiet" said A. He reached behind her to take something that was passed to him. Tara saw a roll of silver duct tape, with about six inches pulled free.


"No, don't do that. I'll keep quiet" she protested , but it was in vain. He pressed the strip of tape across her lips, smoothed it down, then pulling more from the roll, passed it round the back of her neck, lifting her hair out of the way, and wound it round her head twice more, covering her lips completely, She tried to move her lips but it was impossible.


"Learnt your lesson" he muttered. " Now let's get on" he said as B unravelled one of the lengths of twine, doubled it over and passed it around Tara's arms and chest below her breasts. She felt him pulling the rope through the loop behind her back, wrapping it around again and again, both above and below her breasts, before eventually knotting it somewhere behind her shoulders .And now somehow her bound wrists had been pulled up so that they were attached to the ropes round her arms.She tried in vain to pull against the cord, but she just made it dig into her bare arms and it seemed to tighten up around her breasts. The man in front of her laughed." struggle as much as you like, darling, you won't get loose. But I'll love watching you try".


Suddenly there was more going on behind her, more cord was being tied round her wrists. To her surprise she saw two ends of the cord being passed forward over her shoulders, knotted together then fed through under the loops round her body, between her breasts. The two ends dropped to the floor. Tara watched intrigued as the man knelt down. "Wondering what I'm going to do with it? I'm going to give you something to take your mind off your problems while we're away" he said with an unpleasant grin. He passed the ends between her feet to his other hands then stood up, drawing the twine tight between her legs, stepping behind her and pulling it up behind her. As he wound it around her bound wrists he yanked it really tight before finally knotting it. Tara took a sharp breath as she felt the twine pressing against her vagina and forcing itself between the cheeks of her bottom. "That'll keep you occupied while we're gone" To her dismay he reached round her and cupped her breasts in his hands, squeezing gently and bouncing them lightly."Pity I can't stay and have some fun with you, but we have to work for a living".


The other man, A, spoke up "I was about to remind you about that. She's not here to distract us. She's just some bird who's in the way. So let's get her put away and move off".


"A nice well-padded bird though, don't you think?" said Tara's tormentor, keen to have the last word.


"Get her in there and make sure she can't get out before we're back" said A impatiently, stepping forward in the direction of the summerhouse and opening the door. The third man, C went in first while B took her by the upper arm and ushered her inside. She looked round. There was a recliner already opened out, some directors chairs folded up, and two deck chairs leaning against the side.


"On the recliner. Sit down" A said casually. Tara lowered herself carefully, the recliner was only a foot off the ground and sitting down on it in a dignified way was hard with hands tied behind her back. Once she had sat down, B squatted down, crossed her legs at the ankles and began to bind them tightly. She was grateful for the white ankle socks, her wrists had no such protection. Once he had tied the final knot he stood up and with the help of C, lifted her onto the recliner in a face down position. Tara, guessing that she was going to be tied in this position, tried to wriggle upwards to get her head on the pillow section. "Keep still" shouted B, who was in the process of tying her bound feet to the crossbar at the foot of the recliner. He followed this up by passing a length of cord under the recliner and over her body at waist level before knotting it. I ain't going nowhere, she thought despondently.


C had been quiet up to now, but joined in, saying" You heard. Or do you want some more of this" Suddenly Tara felt a hard smack on her bottom, which was soon followed by another. Her thin cotton shorts did nothing to absorb the sting of the smack. She braced herself for a third slap but there wasn't one. Instead she heard the voice of A, who seemed to be in charge.


"She's fixed up, let's go, now. We've got to be there in fifteen minutes"


The pair who had been ill treating her seemed to jump to attention. One of them, she couldn't see which, yanked at the cord near her wrists, which immediately applied pressure between her thighs."Amuse yourself with this, you won't be getting loose before we're back" said the voice of the man who had spanked her briefly. She turned her head and watched as they filed out of the door.

Moments later, she could hear them driving away in her van. Her lovely van that she took such a pride in. She was filled with sudden anger. For a moment she tried in vain to pull against the cords. She thrashed from side to side like a helpless hooked fish, rattling the recliner. It did nothing to loosen the web of twine that held her arms behind her back, but it increased the feeling of arousal from the cord pulling tight between her legs. How on earth could she endure hours of captivity like this, she wondered.





In a small bank not many miles away the team of A,B and C had worked fast. They had grabbed the two staff members as they arrived and swiftly trussed them up with more of the tape they had used to silence Tara. The two bank employees now lay hogtied, face down on the floor, helplessly watching as the three efficiently emptied the cash draws and moved on to the safes.


Cashier Nancy Peters, 33, had arrived in the car park behind the parade of shops quite unaware of the eventful day that awaited her. The day was already hot and she carried her sage green uniform jacket casually draped over her shoulder. In the matching skirt, bow tie and white blouse the attractive brunette still looked every inch the bank employee. As she strolled round into the alcove to the back door of the bank, she couldn't believe what she saw. Colin Wells, the branch manager, stood there white-faced by the open door. Three men in black sweaters, their faces covered by masks, surrounded him. One of them was holding a black pistol close to his head.


"We've got to do just as they say, Nancy. They just want the money, then they will go. They won't hurt us if we do as they say " he said , blurting out the words with unnatural haste.


"So get inside" ordered one of the men. Once they were inside he turned to Colin again ."You're going to unlock everything. And don't think about pressing any buttons because my friends will be here with the pretty lady". He nodded to them "May as well start tying her up now, we haven't got all day" Colin turned to protest but was prodded in the ribs with the gun. "Shut it. It could get a lot worse" growled the man.


"Don't worry, let them have what they want, then they can go" said Nancy. She had been involved in robberies before, and knew that the policy was to co-operate, and not to endanger anyone. It was what the bank told you to do.


"That's right. She understands" said a voice from behind her. Nancy flexed herself as her hands were pulled behind her back ,her wrists crossed and she recognised the sound of tape being pulled from a roll. She had read about it in crime novels, where people being tied up held their wrists in a certain way, so it would be easier to get free. She wondered if it would work for her. It didn't though, the man tying her was much stronger and forced her wrists roughly together before taping them. He quickly moved on to tape her mouth shut, wrapping it round her head. After lowering her to the floor, he crossed her legs over at the ankles before taping them, then pulled her feet up toward her bottom before linking them to her taped hands. "Don't go away " he quipped, giving her a smack on the bottom before jumping up and joining his two colleagues. That was quick, Nancy thought as she lay there. Last time she had been tied up in a raid, it had been with ropes and it had taken much longer.



The row of shops housed a small bank branch, which only employed two people, a dry cleaners, a fish and chip shop that wasn't open this early, and an empty shop. There was a customer car park behind the shops and double yellow lines outside on the road. The only vehicle parked there was Tara Buckley's van, conspicuously ignoring the law. Traffic warden Janice Langley was irritated by this. The van wasn't obstructing anyone, but she had had words with the owner on two previous occasions. This is the last straw, she muttered under her breath. That Buckley woman thinks she can do as she likes. She had to be in the bank. She's going to come out of the bank, bleating about how she's only been a minute, but she is booked, this time, for certain.


Janice was ready for an argument this time. She strode over to the van, to the driverís door. As she expected, there was nobody inside. She turned towards the bank and caught sight of her reflection in the opaque window. She straightened her dark blue yellow-banded cap and surveyed herself. The cap partly hid her hairstyle, which was modelled on Marilyn Monroe, but wearing it was compulsory. An attractive blonde in her thirties, she knew she could do with losing a stone, but she consoled herself with the thought that only yesterday, she had been told that she filled out her uniform very nicely. On a hot day like this her uniform consisted of a crisp white blouse with sleeves rolled-up, a royal blue crossover bow tie that matched her knee-length skirt, flesh-colored tights and black lace-up shoes, and she did indeed fill it out nicely. Something was not right, she knew, but she couldn't place it. Then she realised, the outer door of the bank was shut, and the laminated sign was turned to read "closed ". She turned to look at her wristwatch, it was 9.40. The door should be open. And it did suddenly fly open. Three black clad men rushed out, one of them carrying a dark blue sports bag. Not expecting to meet anybody face-to-face outside, two of them had rolled-up their masks to show their faces, the third one had not, and they were coming towards her fast. "She's seen us" one of them shouted. Grab her, get her in the van"


Janice turned to run, but the men were much more practised at grabbing people than she was at resisting. In what seemed like seconds they had the back doors opened an one of the men jumped in. Behind her, one of them was shoving her "Quick, get in" he yelled. She heard the van starting, as the van doors slammed behind her. In a moment of clarity she had dropped her satchel on the pavement, hoping somebody might find it and realise she had been kidnapped. She was face down on the floor, which was covered by apiece of vinyl, but as she moved to get up, a hand pressed into her back "Stay down and don't move. Got it?" a threatening voice muttered in her ear. Her left hand was gripped and forced behind her back. Her cap fell away from her head. "Just enough tape left" he muttered.


"All right, there's no need to hurt me" she said, rather impatiently. To her dismay, her other hand was pulled behind her, and then her wrists were being taped tightly together. By now Janice had put two and two together. She guessed that she had been caught up in a bank raid. Where was Tara Buckley, she wondered. Was she the brains behind the bank robbery?


"Nothing personal, you just got in the way. You can get off at the next stop" said the man. As she turned her face toward the voice, meaning to ask why and how, a strip of tape was pressed across her lips and smoothed down. "Sorry babe. No more questions". He sat back and leaned against the side of the van as it sped away from the bank. At this point Janice became aware of the other man, who had got in the van in front of her.


He pushed himself closer to her and rested a hand on her bottom, pinching her bottom painfully. Janice tried to move sideways away from him, but he pressed his other hand down on her bottom. "Keep still if you know what's good for you" he said. "I might just smack your bum all the way there. In fact, why don't I do that".


Janice squealed into her tape gag as a heavy hand came down hard on her bottom, then twice more before he stopped and said to the world in general "Why don't I pull her knickers down and spank her properly?"Janice wished the earth would open up and swallow her, but rescue came from an unexpected quarter.


A, who was driving the van, interrupted loudly "Give it a rest, C. Can't leave them alone, can you? I swear you'll get us put on the sex offenders register one day. What we're here for is the money, and we got it. Just leave the poor cow alone, she's probably scared witless".


Janice's tormentor moved slightly away from her. "Right" he said, in a tone that made it sound like he agreed wholeheartedly. His hand was still pressed against her bottom, still squeezing slightly, but not smacking any more. Be thankful for small mercies, she thought. Her mind was racing. Where were they going, what would they do with her? He had said she was getting off at the next stop.

She guessed that they were probably going to leave her somewhere and drive off, but where. All well and good if they untied her and put her out of the van in some back street, but what if they left her bound and gagged out in the country somewhere. Her feet weren't tied, but what if they tied them too, and then left her somewhere? It didn't bear thinking about, being dumped in some field, or left at the roadside. It was going to be so embarrassing, whatever happened. And where on earth was Tara Buckley. It wasn't really likely that she was in on the robbery. No, she was probably tied up and gagged somewhere too. I just hope she's still alive, Janice thought with a shudder. Whatever had happened to Tara was bound to be in store for her as well. Being held face down, she couldn't see where they were going, but she knew the van had gone round quite a few corners. Suddenly it slowed down, it was driving over loose pebbles, and then it stopped.




She heard the driver get out, and he was followed by the other two. As they got out, the one who had been amusing himself, taking a special interest in her, gave her a parting smack on her bottom. "You, don't move. Stay right there" he ordered. Like I have a choice, she thought.A moment later however, he returned and helped her out, quite chivalrously to her surprise. He helped her into a sitting position, then lifted her into a standing position. He took her by the arm and led her around the side of the van, to where his colleague stood untangling the remaining few yards of Tara's green twine. Janice noticed the yellow plastic pegs lying on the grass,and with them the plastic trays, garden ties and gloves which the thieves had thrown out of the van. She guessed that their owner was probablysomewhere nearby.


"OK babe, there's more than enough left of it to take care of you" he said with a grin that she could spot through the mask. He turned her so that her back was toward him, and passed one end of the cord over each shoulder. She watched with some apprehension as he fed the ends between her arms and her body and pulled them back behind her. Janice couldn't see behind her but she guessed she was being bound in almost the same way as Tara had been. Round and round her the twine went over her breasts and under them. While he was doing this he cupped her breasts in his hands and squeezed them gently, keeping his hands there for what seemed like ages, till A noticed and intervened. "Get on with it" he said irritably . Janice couldn't help enjoying the moment and wondering what he would do next. She was starting to feel aroused in spite of herself. She knew it was inappropriate but what could she do.


Since her hands were already taped, he wound more twine round them and drew them up toward the knots in the middle of her back. She moaned quietly as this pulled all the cords tighter round her arms and body, and at this point the two middle buttons on her blouse came open. She was aware of him grinning behind his mask as he saw the lacy edge of her bra. She did realise however that she was in the hands of an expert, albeit one with wandering hands.


As the morning progressed the temperature had risen, and the atmosphere in the summerhouse was getting stuffy. Tara knew she was perspiring, even though she was trying to lie still. Every move she made jerked the rope tight between her legs. She knew how well she was tied and guessed she wasn't going to get loose, but it was so boring just lying here. Every now and then she struggled in the cords just to feel that sensation between her legs, but the cord wasn't quite in the right place to finish the job. And how embarrassing it was going to be when she was found and untied, whenever that was. Who was going to find her? Her thoughts were disturbed by the sound of a vehicle driving over the pebbles. Momentarily she thought it might be a rescuer. Several minutes passed before the door opened, she could hear indistinct voices


She turned to face the doorway, and saw that it was her three captors, as she knew it would be. They weren't alone. After the first two entered, the third one pushed an unwilling prisoner in front of him. Tara recognised her, the rubenesque blonde in the white blouse, dark blue bow tie and skirt, it was that traffic warden who kept picking on her. She wasn't picking on anybody today. Her mouth was covered with a strip of silver tape, and her arms were bound behind her back with several yards of her own garden twine. The woman was trying to keep in front of the man behind her, who was grinning as he tried to pinch her bottom. Her white blouse bore a grimy handprint on each breast and two of the buttons between them had popped open . No wonder she looked so indignant behind her tape gag. Serves her right, Tara thought.


Even so, Tara couldn't imagine how it was that the traffic warden had been captured by the same gang who had abducted her. Her spirits rose as she realised that her van had probably come back in one piece. Perhaps they would untie her now that their job was done.


Janice followed the two men through the doorway as fast as she could, but not fast enough. The man behind her pinched her bottom again. The spanking in the van had been interrupted, but he was still up for it. And tightly trussed Janice couldn't quite move fast enough to keep out of the way of his fingers.


An unexpected sight met her eyes. The mystery of what had happened to Tara Buckley was solved. Far from being the criminal mastermind behind the robbery, she was another of their prisoners. The last time Janice had met her, they had been arguing in the street about Tara's parking. As a result Tara was fined. On that occasion she would have loved to see Janice tied up and taken away, but today she'd have settled for her as a rescuer.


Janice had thought that she was being bound with excessive thoroughness. Her wrists were taped behind her back but the man tied them again with the twine while he was binding her arms. Now as she looked down at Tara, bound face down on the recliner, she realised that worse might be to come. She spotted the tight cord going from the womanís hands, between her legs, with both dismay and fascination. Were they going to tie her up like that?


"What are we going to do with these two curvaceous cuties?" said C, to nobody in particular. Both ladies turned toward him with fearful expressions, but they were relieved to hear A reply firmly.


"You can get all our stuff out of the van back into the car. Don't miss anything. No evidence. Be meticulous, you're good at that". C, who would have liked to help deal with the ladies, accepted the flattery and left the summerhouse.

"Ok, letís get this lady fixed up, then we can get out of here" A continued. Then once C had closed the door, he changed the subject.


"You know, he worries me" he said. "When did you ever hear a real person talk about curvaceous cuties, eh? We pull a job, we make some money. Now and again there's somebody else gets in the way and we have to tie them up. Now you're good at that, you like it ,don't you? When there's some bird there that has to be tied up, you love it, but then you leave her alone, mostly. OK, you like to get a handful now and then. But him, he starts when you've finished , hands everywhere, I swear he'd give them one if we weren't there to stop him. And lately he's taken a liking to spanking them. Remember that lady judge we robbed the other month, she walked in on us while we were doing her house in Hampstead . After you tied her up, we opened her safe, remember. I went back in the room where we left her and he was in there, had her over his knee, skirt up, giving her a right good spanking. Said he was paying her back for the times he's been sent down . Said he couldn't resist it what with her still being dressed in her judgeís clothes. She's got to be fifty if she's a day"


"Lots of women look good at fifty though, don't they" B commented with a glance at Tara.


"I just hope I never come up before her if I'm nicked. Anyway, I digress. See to blondie here and we'll be away"


"Yes, you digressed with these two listening" said B reproachfully. "Help me with her, eh"


Janice was as compliant as she could be as they lowered her into a sitting position on the wooden floor. She watched with some interest as B squatted by her and bound her ankles with several loops of the twine. Once he had knotted it he bound her legs above the knees with several more coils. Her main concern since seeing Tara was that she was going to be subjected to some tight cords between her legs. She was aware of Tara ,face down on the recliner, watching as she was being bound. Now though, the men were in more of a hurry. C had started the Cavalier outside and they were keen to leave.


They were heading for the door when A turned to the two women. "We'll call the law and tell them where to find you, two hours at most. Just be patient".


Janice sat listening as the car drove away, the turned herself so that she was looking Tara in the eye. Tara pulled ineffectively against the cords that bound her and looked at Janice inquiringly. Janice nodded, yes, they would try to free each other. She couldn't help noticing how the web of twine around Tara's arms and wrists had made so many indentations. The womanís hours of struggling hadn't helped, but Janice guessed her own arms would show plenty of rope marks if only she could see them. She contemplated for a moment how best to begin their escape attempt. She could get her taped mouth up to Tara's right hand, which was tied to her left elbow. She just. hoped the woman would understand and pull the tape from her lips.


Several minutes later, Janice was taking deep breaths though her mouth and running her tongue over her lips, which felt swollen andsore after Tara had pulled the tape away. "Thanks for that". she grinned ruefully at Tara. "I didn't expect to ever be thanking you for anything. Consider the hatchet buried though" Tara nodded in reply, the three layers of tape hiding her smile. "I'll see if I can do anything to get your untied" said Janet, leaning over to look more closely.


Tara shook her head. She knew how hard it was to unpick knots in that type of twine, and Janice, using her teeth or fumbling with her bound hands, wouldn't be able to do it. How could she get this across to Janice, gagged as she was? Janice was staring at her, puzzled, thinking she didn't want to be untied.


Tara lifted her head and worked her jaws as much as the layers of tape permitted, looking downwards towards her mouth. She rubbed her face against the pillow of the recliner. The penny dropped. Janice understood. "I get it. Want me to take the tape off your mouth". She leaned closer. "There's a lot of it. Is that three strips? That's a lot, what on earth did you say to make them gag you like that? And what made them tie it between your legs like that? You know what, when you shook your head I thought for a moment that you didn't want to be untied, you know." Her voice tailed off as she realised that it wasn't like that at all.


Tara momentarily had a vision of herself sticking the tape back over Janice's mouth. "Sorry, just my little joke" said Janice as if she realised . "Let me get into a kneeling position, then I can reach the tape"


After twenty minutes of fumbling behind her, Janice had failed to get a grip on the edge of the tape that gagged Tara. "I just can't get hold of it" she wailed. "I'm going to stop. Do you mind if I do?"


"Mmmm mmmm" said a muffled Tara, in an affirmative tone. She was mightily fed up with having Janice's fingers groping around her neck and her ears, and almost poking her in the eye twice, and achieving nothing. It was good to have a break from it.


Janice turned herself round to face Tara, still kneeling. "I'm exhausted" she exclaimed "kneeling for this long". Her face was flushed and she was breathless. "I'm beginning to think we'll have to wait till the police get here. I'm looking at the knots in this green string, and they're so small and tight. We'll never be able to unpick them. Is it yours, for gardening or something?"


Tara grunted a "Ynnhhh" and nodded in agreement.


"I can't kneel for a minute longer" said Janice. "I'm going to get comfortable if we've got to wait. How comfortable can you be when you're tied up? It's all right for you, tied to the only comfortable thing in here". She leaned sideways against the recliner, intending to slip into a sitting position. Unfortunately the recliner moved slightly and she tumbled over onto her side on the floor. She lay there for a moment getting her breath back.


Soon she was able to wriggle into a sitting position. "Look at me" she said. "Buttons undone, paw-prints on my blouse, I'd have liked to get loose and tidy up before anyone finds us. I bet you feel like that too, what with that rope down there. Look, I know you can't talk, but I'll try to keep our spirits up till the police come".


Unable to move very much, Tara decided to lay there and listen. She wasn't going to struggle because that would pull on the cord that was already making her moist, and now she had an audience. Janice had already commented on it once, and Tara had noticed her glancing at it again since then.


"I suppose you're wondering how come I'm here" Janice continued. Tara nodded politely. "Your van was parked on double yellow lines outside the bank in Gordon Road. I thought it was you, and I can tell you I was ready for an argument. I stood by the van and these three villains came tearing out. They had just held the bank up. They grabbed me and pushed me inside the van, and tied me up and gagged me, then they drove here. Where are we anyway? I was face down in the back so I don't know". She paused as if waiting for an answer.


"I've learnt a lesson from this. You can park where you like in future, I won't ever give you a ticket again. I wonder why they made such a meal of tying us up like this. We'll never get loose on our own. I was tied up by a gang of robbers three years ago. Just with my hands behind my back and my feet tied together, nothing this elaborate, but I couldn't get loose. It was the same sort of thing. Car on double yellows, I went in to see whose it was, give them a chance to move it, you know, and there was a robbery going on. Just my luck. I try to do somebody a favour and I get trussed up along with the shop girls. Have you been caught up in anything like that? Tied up and so on?"


Tara was caught off guard by the question. None of your business, she thought. She felt herself blushing as she shook her head.


Janice went on." We'll be on the news, in the papers. I was, last time. They said we were bound and gagged. Nobody says that in conversation, do they? When we tell our friends about this, we'll say we were tied up. When you read the paper it will say we were bound and gagged. Sounds more technical, more official I suppose".


Tara knew that her new friend's heart was in the right place, but she was beginning to wish she hadn't pulled the tape from Janice's mouth. How much longer before the police came to free them. How much more nonsense was she going to listen to before they were rescued?††††††






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