A quick word – the characters of Diabolik, Eva Kant, Inspector Ginko and Aleta are the creation of Angela and Luciana Giussani, and appear in books published by Astorina in Italy. Their appearance here is as homage, and you are invited to try and find the books.
Ginko leaned back and rubbed his eyes. When he had heard that his arch-nemesis had left the country for a few days, he thought it would be a restful period, but the events of the last few days told him he had left a plan brewing in his absence. He picked up the first of the case files and re-read the descriptions, hoping something would provide inspiration.
The first reports were in an office in the town, where Alisha Hanson had called in on a Saturday three weeks ago to catch up on some filing. Nothing unusual in that, but this particular day took a very dark and sinister turn. She had a lunch date that day, and wanted to impress her boyfriend, sp she wore a white jacket and skirt with a purple crop top that tied under her bosom.
The morning had gone well until about eleven, when she heard a slight cough behind her and turned round, there was a strikingly tall woman standing there, with shoulder length auburn hair and a smile on her face. There was also a large gun in her right hand, pointing at Alisha, and in her left hand she held a length of rope and a long white cloth.
“Don’t say a word,” she said as Alisha put her hands towards her face. “I need something from this office, and you need to be kept out of the way.” Alisha looked at the woman, who was dressed in a black leather bustier and skirt, with dark stockings and knee length boots, and stammered “Whhh what do you want?”
“I want you to shut up, turn round and put your hands behind your back,” the woman said, and as Alisha did this she placed the gun on the table in front of her, where they both could see it. The intruder smiled and said “Good Girl” as she took the frightened girl’s wrists and crossed them behind her back. Alisha winced as she felt the rope being tightened around her wrists as the intruder pulled the rope tighter, then wrapped it round them before passing the loose ends between her wrists and tying it off.
“Listen, tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you,” Alisha said, but the woman just said “Don’t worry your head, my dear, I’ll find what I’m looking for. Now, open wide.”
“Whmmmp” Alisha didn’t get to complete her sentence as she pulled the white cloth tightly into her mouth, wrapped the ends over her brown hair and tied them tightly together at the base of her neck. “I said you should be quiet,” the woman said as she picked up the gun again, and taking Alisha by the arm she helped her put of the chair.
“Now, let’s put you somewhere out of the way,” the woman said as she led Alisha out of the office and up the outer staircase. The firm kept a room on the upper floor for receptions, and Alisha was pushed in by the armed woman before being forced to lie on a chaise longue. There, her ankles were also crossed and bound, with the rope digging into her bare ankles, and she was left lying on the recliner. She noticed, before the woman left, that she paused to look a plate of chocolates that were there, picked one out and ate it with a contended smile before she closed the door on her captive. After that, all Alisha heard was the sound of the office being trashed before silence fell. It was later that evening before the police found her, still bound and gagged and with no idea what the female intruder was after.
Ginko studied the description – about five foot ten, shoulder length auburn hair, well built and slim. There had been some reports that La Choccolita had been operating in the area, but this didn’t fit her MO – she always went masked, for one thing. The police had put it down to an opportunist thief, when it was realised that all that had been taken was a set of keys and Alisha’s purse. It was after the next attack that Ginko had started to ask questions.
The daughter of the British Ambassador to Geneva was visiting their area on a shopping trip, and had checked into the exclusive Astoria hotel. The usual security arrangements had been made, and the staff vetted, so when the maid came to change the towels no-one gave her a second look. She knocked on Miss Grainger’s door, and walked in with the trolley.
Emma Grainger was lying on the hotel bed, reading a magazine. “They’re in the bathroom,” she said without looking over, but she got a shock when a hand was placed over her mouth, and a female voice said “No, what I want is in here. Now be quiet.”
Emma looked over her shoulder at the maid, who was kneeling on the bed as she hand gagged the young girl. She was dressed in a blue work dress with white trim and apron, but her grip was strong and firm. From the pocket of the dress, Emma could see coiled lengths of white rope, and she raised her hand as if she wanted to scream.
“Scream and you’re dead,” the woman said. Emma nodded and watched as she took a coil of rope, unravelled it and started to tie it around Emma’s wrists, which she had pulled behind her back. The young girl was wearing a white blouse with the sleeves turned up and a pink and black tartan skirt, so the rope dug into her bare wrists as it was tied firmly around them,
“What do you want?” she asked as the rope was tied off and the intruder rolled her onto her stomach. “You’ll find out,” she replied as more rope was used to bind her ankles together. Emma was then forced to kneel on the bed, as the intruder pulled her blouse down over her breasts and lashed her arms to her side with rope.
“I don’t understand – why are you doing this,” Emma kept asking as she was pushed onto her stomach, and her legs tied together above her knees. “You talk too much,” the auburn-haired intruder said as she took a roll of white tape from her trolley, tore a strip off and slapped it over Emma’s mouth. Two more strips followed suit, and then her ankles were pulled up and tied to her wrists in a strict hog tie. Emma rolled on the bed, and looked over her shoulder as the intruder took the credit cards and money from her purse and placed them in a pocket on her dress.
“Thank you,” she said as he pushed the trolley out of the room. It was a good half hour before her security guards realised something was wrong, but by then the intruder was long gone, and Ginko was called in to help with the investigation.
The description of both of the intruders matched, but the question was why – why these two girls? They had no criminal connections, so it wasn’t as if he…. No, he had to put that thought out of his mind and concentrate on the facts as he could see them. If Diabolik was behind this, then he would add these to the growing list.
As Ginko read the third file, he began to wonder if there was a possible connection between the three women in the raids. Fraulein Blucher had been spending the evening at home when the front door bell rang – and the terror started. As she had given her maid the night off, she had to go and answer the door herself – to be confronted by a woman, about five foot ten with long auburn hair, standing holding a gun that was pointed at her.
“Inside,” she had ordered Fraulein Blucher, and closing the door behind her she pushed the frightened woman back into the main room of her apartment. The intruder was dressed in a red chemo sang with a wide black leather girdle around her waist, while the Fraulein was wearing a black cocktail dress with matching heels. The intruder wasted no time in lashing her victim’s wrists behind her back, and then forced her to lie on the floor.
“Just do as you’re told and you won’t be hurt,” the woman said as she knelt on the rug, pulled Fraulein Blucher’s legs up and began to bind her ankles tightly together. The dark haired victim shouted “What do you want?” as the rope was tightened around her bark skin, but the intruder said nothing.
“I just want something you have,” she said as she stood up, walked behind the woman and made her sit up, before kneeling behind her. Fraulein Blucher could hear a ripping sound, and then her nose was inched before a small sponge ball was forced into her mouth, followed by a strip of black tape over her lips. Another strip was torn off, and Fraulein Blucher sat with her eyes closed as that also was smoothed over her mouth.
The female intruder then removed Fraulein Blucher’s shoes, before wrapping more rope around her ankles and placing the frightened woman in a hog tie. Finally, she pulled her dress down over her shoulders so that her breasts were forced to rub against the rug, while she watched the intruder taking the contents of her purse and walking back out of the apartment. IT was some hours later before her father returned and discovered his daughter lying there, sweating from the effort of trying to get free.
Three robberies, obviously the same woman, but no obvious connection. Ginko rubbed his eyes again, then glancing at his watch he gulped and picked up the telephone.
“Maria? This is Ginko – is Lady Aleta still awake?”
“I’m afraid her ladyship has retired for the evening, Inspector Ginko – can I take a message?”
“No, it’s all right; I’ll call her in the morning. Are you all right, Maria – you sound a little different.”
“A cold, I assure you. Good night, Inspector.”
The receiver was replaced, and the auburn haired woman looked at the young woman sat on the floor, with ropes lashed around her and a white scarf tied into her mouth. Sat next to her was a statuesque, older woman in a long blue silk gown, also bound and gagged. She glared at the intruder as she stood there, looking down on the two of them.
“My apologies for the inconvenience, ladies, but I need to have a word with the niece of her ladyship. Don’t go anywhere now.”
With a grace and silence that belied her obvious strength, the woman walked quietly up the main staircase and slowly opened a bedroom door. Lying on the bed was a woman in her early twenties, dressed in a red nightdress with black lace bodice, peacefully asleep. The lady was dressed in black – a long sleeved jacket and skirt with a black girdle, knee length black leather boots, gloves and dark glasses. She spent a few minutes looking at the girl, and then with cat like grace she climbed on the bed, put her left leg over the sleeper and grabbed her left wrist.
She awoke to see this woman kneeling over her, a length of rope in her right hand, and started to scream. The intruder said quietly “Save your screams – I’ve already dealt with your aunt and her maid. Roll over, and do exactly what I tell you.”
Realising there was no point in fighting; the girl rolled over and allowed this woman to quickly tie her wrists together behind her back. Her ankles were soon bound as well, and the woman helped her to sit up before pulling a thick white scarf into her mouth and gagging her.
Taking hold of her red hair, she gently but firmly pulled it back and said “Where’s your purse?”
“Vr thr,” she said indicating the dressing table, and the woman pushed her back onto her side. Taking the purse in her hand, she quickly emptied the contents into her pocket, and then walked back over to the bound girl on the bed.
“You’re a very pretty girl,” she said as she pulled the straps of her nightdress down over her shoulder, then rolled her onto her stomach and placed her in a strict hog tie as she had the other victims. Blowing a kiss her way, she left the room, descended the staircase and walked past the other two bound and gagged women, before leaving the house and softly closing the door behind her.
The older woman sat there for a moment, then shuffled over to the telephone table and pressed hard on an ornate know on the leg. She sat back, waiting for the alarm to bring Inspector Ginko to her aid once again,
“Get me Eva Kant!” Inspector Ginko shouted at his subordinates as she stormed into the office the following morning. He didn’t care that that man was out of the country – nobody attacked his girlfriend and got away with it.
“Inspector?” A cool female voice said, and he looked up to see a blonde haired woman standing in front of him, dressed in a cream jacket and skirt and looking every inch the professional.
“Inspector, I came because I thought you may wish to see me,” she said as she sat down. “I have read in today’s paper of the unfortunate break in at Lady Aleta’s house, and….”
“Spare me the details, Kant. You know her Ladyship is strictly off limits, and…”
“I want to assure you, Inspector that is not our work. You have, well, a visitor in town, and I am assured that she will not bother you again. My sources tell me that her work here is completed, and she has now left.”
“I see – and who does this visitor work for?”
“A very elegant lady who is based out of this country. That is all you need to know, Inspector.” With that, the blonde woman stood up and walked out of his office. Ginko sat there, bemused and lost in thought, then screamed “Don’t let her out of the building!!”
“Eva Kant – didn’t you see her?”
In a penthouse apartment in London, an elegantly dressed woman was entertaining a distinguished visitor from abroad. A tall gentleman smartly dressed and with his hair neatly cut with a high forehead, he raised his distinctive eyebrows and his glass.
“My thanks to you for your help these last few days, Madame.”
“And my thanks to you, Diabolik, for allowing my operative to work in your home area,” Madame X replied as she raised her glass.
“Yes, I have had reports of this Dominique. Very good, very classy, but she may have inadvertently upset Inspector Ginko with the last part of her task.”
“My apologies – but when we discovered the fourth card had been sent to the niece of his lady friend, she had no choice.”
“Oh, I understand – but poor Eva had to mollify him once more. Where is this lovely lady, anyway?”
“Tying up loose ends as we speak…..”
Dominique tied the final knot off. “There now – I can explain just what has happened these last few days.” The dark haired woman looked over her shoulder, and grunted something that the large blue ball gag that was strapped into her mouth made unintelligible.
“What’s that,” Dominique replied as she re-checked the ropes around the other woman’s wrists, ankles and chest, “How did we find out what you did? Well, putting Madame’s account details on four new credit cards was a smart move – but you were stupid enough not only to make a note of which cards, but then to fail to stop them being issued to four people in that European town. It took me quite some time to track down the four recipients.”
She stood up, folded her arms and looked at the woman on the bed. Her victim’s blue nightdress had ridden up during the struggle while she was bound, revealing her black knickers. Dominique just stood there, in a powder blue skirt and short sleeved jacket with a black sleeveless sweater, watching the young girl writhe around.
“Madame only lets me deal with the biggest trouble makers in her organisation, and you just hit the number one spot in that list.” She took hold of the young girl’s legs and shook her bound ankles. “The good news is that she doesn’t want you dead. The bad news is she’s given me Carte Blanche to do anything else – and I think what you need is a change of career.”
The doorbell rang, and the bound and gagged women looked over her shoulder as Dominique left the room, returning shortly thereafter with tow men dressed in black.
“There you go, boys – take her to George with my compliments,” she said, and the woman started to roll away as the two men approached her. Her struggles were fruitless, as they picked her up and carried her out of the room. Dominique watched as they left the flat, then she placed a call on her mobile phone.
“Madame? Job done – let me know when you need me again.”