In Exchange

There is an old saying that a wise man, with the right application and perseverance, can start with a single penny in his pocket and barter or trade his way to the very top of the tree.  Well, we’re not exactly wise men, but we did start with a single penny.


Penny Duncan was her name – one of the administrators at a firm that Jay and I had been looking at.  We knew they dealt in trading rare coins, and a big shipment was due for delivery at some point.  We also trade in that area, although perhaps in a slightly greyer market, so we  decided to drop in on Penny after a tip-off that she may be able to help us.


It was early on a Thursday morning when we called, and she was doing her morning workout.  Dressed in a black bodysuit, she stood no chance as we came through from the kitchen and interrupted her stretching.  Jay never says much, but has a powerful grip, so Penny was forced to stand still while I quickly bound her wrists behind her back and her arms to her side.  I have to admit, her breasts were more than emphasised through the tight fabric by the time I pushed her into the chair.


“Now, Penny,” I said as Jay grabbed her ankles and started to bind them together, “Why don’t you tell us all about your boss and his plans for the weekend?”


“My boss?” she said as she looked up at me, “But I was fired a week ago!”


Jay looked at me as the rope went around Penny’s legs – it would appear that we had, shall we say, been sold a dummy.


“Look, if you leave me alone, I’ll tell you who took my place – she deserves it for playing up to my former boss the way she did.”


“I’m listening,” I said as Jay passed me some more rope that I wrapped under her arms and around her neck.  Well, her upper body was so well toned, it deserved to be emphasised more.  Penny told me all about his new, pretty blonde secretary, including where she lived.


“She’ll know all the details you’re after,” she finally said.  Jay and I looked at each other – this sounded genuine, but I had a question to ask first.


“Just out of interest, do you know someone called Debbie Greenwood?”


“The bitch in red?  Yeah – she was the one who smiled as I was booted out of the building.  Why?”


“No particular reason,” I said as I pulled a length of white cloth into her mouth and tied it tightly behind her head.  “You’ve been a great help, Penny, so I’m only pulling the cloth in instead of stuffing your mouth as well.  I’ll also leave you this pair of scissors on the coffee table.  It may take a while, but you should be able to free yourself – and it’s a great additional exercise.”


Penny watched us as we left her lying on her couch, her bound ankles up in the air as she stretched out her long legs, and she nodded as we closed the door.  We had an appointment with this young lady, but first we needed to take care of a little unexpected matter – the Lady in Red.


We pay handsomely for information that may be of benefit to us, and this Greenwood woman was the one who told us all about the dealer.  She also told us that Penny would have all the details, but it was sounding more and more like she had used us to get revenge on this young lady.  We are professionals, but we are not patsies – and she needed to learn that.


They called her the Lady in Red because she liked to dress in red, and we were waiting for her when she came home from work that night.


“Good evening, Debbie,” I said as she walked into her front room.  “We went to see Penny today – and she told us something very interesting.”


“Oh,” she said as she stood there in her red dress coat and high boots, looking nervously round, “What did she say?”


“That you fired her a couple of weeks ago, and took great pleasure in it.  So, Debbie, what do you think we do when we get information that is wrong?”


She turned to run out, but ran instead into Jay who grabbed hold of her.  Looking up into the face of her captor, she realised that she literally had nowhere to run.


“When this happens, we get our money back, Debbie, and we don’t care how we get it.”


“What do you want me to do,” she said as she turned round and looked at me.


“Take off your dress, Debbie, and do exactly what Jay tells you.  I’m going to have a look round your flat and see what we can use to retake our payment.”


I stood up and watched as she undid the leather belt around her waist, and removed her dress, standing there in her lacy black underwear and boots.  I nodded to Jay, and as I left the room I could hear Debbie yelp as Jay started to tie her wrists together.


By the time I returned, Debbie was lying on a rug on the floor.  Her wrist and ankles were tightly bound with rope, and she had been placed into a hog tie with her ankles perpendicular to her knees.  Her elbows had been pulled together, and her legs tied below her knees.  Jay was smoothing layer after layer of red tape over her mouth as she looked up at me through her curly brown hair.


“Never, ever cross our paths again, Debbie, or you won’t be so fortunate next time.”


Jay and I laughed as we left her struggling on the floor, leaving the house with her valuables in my pocket.  Now we could lay our plans for a little chat with this new secretary….




Kelly was her name, and when Jay and I knocked on her door the next afternoon she opened it with no idea of who we were.  She was dressed in a blue summer dress with spaghetti straps over the shoulders and sandals.


“Yes – can I help you?”  She said as she looked at the two of us.


“Are you Kelly Cathcart?”  I asked, and when she answered in the affirmative Jay just picked her up and carried her back into the house.  She screamed and tried to hit Jay’s back, but Jay just carried her in and deposited her on the seat, while I sat next to her and pointed my pistol into her face.


“Just be quiet, Kelly – we need to ask you a few questions, and your co-operation would be appreciated.  Do so, and we can come to some arrangement for the next few hours.”


“What do you want?” she asked as Jay pulled her hands behind her back and began to tie them together with soft rope.


“Tell us about your boss, Kelly – that’s all.  All about him – his family, his plans for this weekend – everything.”


“And then you’ll leave?”


“And then we’ll leave you alone.”


Well, Kelly was really talkative.  Her boss had plans for this weekend with his wife, but they weren’t going anywhere until tomorrow morning.  He had a daughter, who was living at a local college, and was studying hard.  He paid well, although she said she felt a bit bad about how her predecessor was let go.


“We talked to her yesterday,” I told her as she watched Jay tie her ankles together, “suffice to say she isn’t angry at you either.  Tell me, Kelly, has you boss received any big deliveries this week?”


Well, she wasn't sure, but she did know another of the admins and the office intern had to work Saturday “on some secret project.”  All very useful information.


“Thank you Kelly, but I’m afraid there’s one thing I forgot to tell you.”


“What’s that?”  She said as she looked at me with fear in her eyes.


“We can’t let you raise the alarm for a little while.  I’m afraid you’ll have to spend the night standing up – but don’t worry, we’ll make sure you’re nice and secure.”


There was an upright beam in the front room, so Jay and I stood Kelly up and used a length of rope to make a bra harness around her chest and arms.  We then hopped her over to the support, and placing her against it we tied her waist and legs to the wood.


“We’ll come back and check on you later,” I said as I took a thick white scarf and tied it over her mouth.  “Just breath through your nose and you’ll be fine.”


“Thnku” she said as we left the house.  We didn’t have much time – our next stop for the plan had to be the daughter.



The college was a hive of activity that night, as it was most Fridays, so nobody noticed two extra bodies slipping into the sorority house on the edge of the campus.  Bobbie, the daughter, lived in one of the upper rooms, so we politely knocked on the door and waited for an answer.


“Yrs?” a sleepy voice said as the door opened.  A young woman with mousey blonde hair looked at us, rubbing her eyes.  She had obviously been asleep, and was wearing a blue sports bra and striped blue knickers.


Jay just pushed her into the room and onto the floor, while I grabbed a scarf the was lying on the floor, balled it up and stuffed it into her mouth as she tried to ask what was going on.  A long peach scarf was next to her, so that was tied over her mouth to keep the gag in while Jay placed her into a simple, but tight hogtie.


“You’re coming with us in a little while, sugah,” I said to her as Jay tied off the final knot, “but first I want a photo to show daddy.”


I took a few Polaroids, and then we sat with her a couple of hours until it was about one in the morning.  Once the coast was clear, we carried her out of the sorority house, into our van and back to Kelly’s place.  Kelly was asleep when we went in, so we left Bobbie on her floor.


“Thank you for the keys to Daddy’s house,” I said as I waved them in her face.  “When she wakes up, try to tell her who you are.”


Jay and I went home – so far we had bartered for information so that we knew how to successfully steal the coins in the morning.  Timing was everything – as was alertness, so we grabbed a couple of hours and then set off early the next morning.



Bobbie’s parents lived in a nice big house on the outskirts of town.  We let ourselves in, and hid in the living room until about 10 am, when the two of them walked in totally unaware of what was going to happen today.


Jay grabbed his wife, who was wearing a black short sleeved dress, elbow length opera gloves, dark stockings and heels, while I pointed the gun at Sir Alan.


“Before you do anything foolish, Sir Alan, you should see these photos of your daughter,” I said as I passed the glossy prints to him.  He stood there, dumbfounded, and then showed them to his wife who looked at me and Jay with wide eyes.


“Is this a robbery or a ransom demand?”  He asked.  “The former,” I said, “but I want your full co-operation, Sir Alan, or she and your wife will regret it for a long, long time.”


She squirmed under Jay’s grip, but the hand over her mouth muffled any protests she was trying to make.


“All right,” he said finally, “it’s not worth it if they get hurt.  What do you want?”


“First,” I replied, “we need to make sure your wife is safe.  Let’s go into your garage, and we’ll see what happens there.”


The four of us went into the large garage, where there was a plank of wood secured to one of the supports.


“Your ladyship, strip down to your underwear,” I said as Jay let her go.


“No,” she replied, “I won’t.”


“If you don’t we will tie you up and then we will cut your clothes away.  Your choice.”


She looked defiantly at me, but undid the zip in her back and revealed a very fetching set of black underwear.


“Stand facing the pillar and do what Jay tells you,” I said, and as she did so jay took her wrists and bound them to the crossbeam with rope, so that they were raised above her head.  Her ankles and legs were soon tied with more rope, as she turned her head and looked at me.


“Sir Alan, you and I are going to have a chat about safe combinations, and in return both your wife and your daughter will be unharmed.  Just before we go however….”


Jay pinched his wife’s nose and stuffed a small handkerchief into her mouth, before taking some white tape and covering her mouth with it.  She watched as we left her in the garage.  Thirty minutes later, Jay and I came back in.


“Your husband is having a little nap,” we said as she screamed at us.  “We’ll let the authorities know when we’re done.”  The two of us left her there twisting round, while we headed off to get to work.



I forgot to tell you – Jay and I always wore dark slacks and jumpers, balaclavas that only showed our eyes and nose, and baseball caps for our work.  The masks could easily slip down and look like scarves while we were in the open, which is what we did until we got to the offices where his company were.  Sure enough, as Kelly had said there was only another administrator and a young intern in when we sneaked in the door and surprised them both.


The secretary screamed as I pointed the gun at her, while the intern just sat down.  The older woman was wearing a light brown blouse and grey skirt.


“You sit down and keep quiet,” I said to the younger girl as Jay got to work on tying up the administrator.  She struggled and started to cry as her wrists were pulled together and tied with rope “Please, please don’t do this, we’ll help you, but please don’t do this to us.”


“You need to stop crying out or we’ll have to stop you talking,” I said as Jay wrapped the rope around her chest and arms.  “All we want is the contents of your boss’s safe, and you’ll be just fine.”


“But I don’t have the combination,” she cried as Jay tied her ankles together and pushed her onto the floor.


“We do,” I said as I looked at her, “So, are you going to keep quiet?”


“HELP!!” she screamed out, so I took a scarf and pulled it into her mouth, tying it so tightly the corners of her mouth were pulled back.


“Thank you for keeping quiet,” I said as I stood up and took the intern by the arm.  “You’ll help us, won’t you?”


She nodded as I took her into the back room, leaving Jay to watch the other woman.


The younger girl was only barely eighteen, wearing a white short sleeved blouse and red tartan skirt.  “What do you want me to do,” she whispered as we closed the door.


“Just open the safe – this is the combination – and put the contents into this bag.”  I handed her a piece of paper and a large bag as I said this.  She knelt on the floor next to the low safe, and started to open the door as I took a length of rope and started to tie her ankles together.


“You don’t have to do that,” she said as the safe door opened and she started to fill the bag.  “Don’t worry,” I replied, “In exchange for your help here I won’t completely immobilise you as we will your boss.”


This seemed to make her feel a little better, so when she closed the safe door again she willingly let me take her hands behind her back and tie them together.  I also wrapped some rope around her elbows, but not too tightly, then ran some rope through all t here bindings.  It would hold firm, but she wouldn’t have much discomfort.


“Where will you go from here?”  She asked as I knelt and looked into her face.


“Don’t know – why?”


“If I give you the keys to my parent’s summer house, will you please not gag me too tightly.  They’re in the purse on the table.”


I found and pocketed the keys, then once she had told me how to get there I tied a length of cloth over her mouth without putting anything in it.  She had helped me and Jay, so she deserved a little courtesy.  We left her and her boss struggling as we got into our car and headed off into the hills.



The idea of a weekend in the hills sounded wonderful to both of us, but there was one teeny tiny problem when we got to the house.  We weren’t the first ones there.


As we walked in the front door, we heard the sounds of laughter out the back.  Looking through the kitchen window, we saw two young women lying at the pool.  One was obviously the older sister of the intern – long curly blonde hair, in a pink swimsuit that left very little to the imagination up front.  Her friend was wearing a blue string bikini.  Jay and I looked at each other, grabbed a couple of napkins and went out to surprise them


“Good afternoon, ladies,” I said as they turned round at the sound of my voice.  “My friend and I will be staying here for the night, so please consider yourselves our prisoners.”


“What do you want with us,” the sister said as she stood up, then sat down again as Jay walked over.


“Well, for now, you will each take a napkin, roll it into a band, tie a knot into the middle and tie that knot into your mouths,” I said as I pointed the gun at them. After they did this, Jay handed the sister a length of rope and forced her to tie her friend’s wrists and ankles together, before Jay did the same to her.


“Now, you sit there and enjoy the sun while we make arrangements inside,” I said laughing as Jay and I went back in and made some room for them and for us.  I also made a phone call to an old friend, who worked down at the boatyard, and arranged for her to meet us the next morning.



It was early the next morning that things began to go wrong.  We had decided to get a couple of hours kip, and had brought our two little hostages inside so they wouldn’t catch cold.  Jay happened to wake up early, and went down to find a pile of ropes on the floor and our car with flat tyres.  Despite our best efforts, they had managed to free each other, and they must have gone to raise the alarm.  Jay and I grabbed the loot, ran out of the house and made our way over to the next house a quarter of a mile away,


The young woman didn’t hear us until Jay grabbed her and I told her to shut up.  We were lucky – no-one else was home but her.  I called Becky, my friend, and told her we would be a little late while Jay took the woman up to the bedroom.


I grabbed some bed sheets and started to tear them into strips as Jay stuffed a pair of panties into the frightened woman’s mouth and then secured them in place with a stocking.  “Stop panicking – we just want a change of clothes and your car keys,” I said as we started to tie her up with the strips of cloth.  Soon, she was lying there, hogtied and trying to scream through the stockings, as Jay watched her and I grabbed a shower and a change of clothes, then Jay did the same as I watched her.  Within an hour, we were on our way to the boatyard.



Becky and I went way back, and she had helped me out in the past.  Jay and I knew we had to get out of the state fast, and by boat seemed the quickest and safest way.  All I wanted Becky to do was lend me the keys to a boat, but she had heard what had happened on the radio – and about the big reward that had been offered for our capture.


Well, she kept us talking and talking as she walked round in her vest top, so much so that Jay wondered what was going on.  Eventually, Jay got so fed up Becky was grabbed and shaken, but I heard the sound of sirens in the distance.


We didn’t have time for niceties – I grabbed a length of rope and quickly bound Becky by the wrists and arms, while Jay stuffed a bandana into her mouth and tied a purple bandana over it.   We both secured her legs and left her kneeling no the bed in her cabin, as we ran down the pier looking for a boat.


A young woman was in a speedboat right at the end, and looked up in horror as the two of us jumped in.


“Start this boat and get us out of here,” I screamed at her as I waved my pistol.  The frightened girl did as I asked, and as we set off onto the lake we looked back at the police cars driving up to the boatyard.




The girl looked at the two of us as we reached open water, dressed as she was in a white dress with lace trim and a tie scarf.


“What are you going to do to me?”  She asked.


“Will you give us any trouble?”  I asked and she shook her head.  “Then we’ll leave you somewhere for the authorities to pick up.  Jay – do the honours please.”


Some time later, Jay and I carried the young girl out of the boat and left her on a rocky outcrop on the other side of the lake.  Jay had used some rope from the boat to lash her arms and wrists to her body, but we left her legs untied.  A scarf was tied into her mouth with her own tie.


“We’ll let them know where you are,” I said as we sped off, and the sight of her and her windswept hair faded in the distance.  I radioed her position in, then we set off for the Canadian side of the lake.


“We did it Jay,” I said, and she leaned over and kissed me passionately.  Life was good, and we had indeed gone from a penny to a fortune.