The Luncheon Club
“Lady Gordon,” the maid said as she opened the door to the drawing room, allowing the brown haired woman in her mid forties to walk in. The Dowager Lady Amersham stood and welcomed her guest, looking at her as she said “you look tired, my dear Angelica – have you been sleeping well?”
“Not really,” Angelica Gordon said as she sat down, the skirt of her tweed two piece suit rising slightly as she did so. “I take it you heard about what happened last Sunday?”
“Only what was reported in the press,” Lady Amersham said. She was wearing a light purple jacket and skirt, with black pumps, her greying blonde hair flowing down and over her shoulders, “but it must have been a great shock to you.”
“It was – and to my daughter as well. We had no idea what was going to happen when we sat down for our after dinner drink...”
“Shall we take our drinks out onto the balcony,” Lady Angelica Gordon said as she poured a small brandy for herself, and a Cointreau for her daughter Ruby. It was a warm summer day, and Angelica was wearing a short dress, made from a cream fabric and with a green and brown ethnic print on it. The dress was designed with a low neckline, as well as wide straps over the shoulders, and came to just above her knee. She also had on a pair of white pumps.
“Thanks,” Ruby said as she accepted the drink, and they walked out of the large glass windows onto the patio. She was in her early twenties, and was wearing a short black slip dress with a white band at the shoulders and hem. A pair of black knee length laced boots, made from black leather, and black fishnet stockings completed her outfit.
“So when does Father get back,” Ruby said as she sat down.
“Not until later tonight - so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait another day until you see him.”
“Ah well – not a problem,” Ruby said as she sipped her drink. Smiling, she then said “I have something to tell both of you.”
“Oh – what?”
“I got the position at the embassy.”
“Oh that’s wonderful – when do you fly out?”
“Washington want me there at the start of the month,” she said as he put her glass down and stood up. “Will you excuse me a moment?”
“OF course – and congratulations,” Angelica said as he daughter went back into the house, and headed up the staircase. She slipped behind a door, and emerged a few minutes later, the sound of water running as she went to the top of the stairs – and then stopped.
She could hear another sound – one that brought her to the door of her parent’s bedroom.
“Is anyone in there,” she said, and then she turned the door handle, stepping in before a gloved hand covered her mouth, and a polite male voice said “Please, do not make any noise.”
Ruby glanced at the mirror, her eyes widening as she slowly nodded...
“Ruby? Is everything all right?”
Angelica slowly walked up the stairs, and called out again “Ruby?” There was no response, as Angelica reached the top of the stairs. Hearing nothing, she checked the bathroom, and then opened the door to each of the bedrooms.
As she went into her own, she was shocked to see Ruby sitting on her bed, wide eyed as her mother stared back. The young woman had ropes tied around her ankles, as well as her legs above her knees, the bands tightened between her legs. Ropes from the band around her legs ran to her wrists, which were at her sides, as Ruby said quietly “Mum – close the door please.”
“Why? Who did this to you?”
“I did,” a male voice said, and as Angelica looked to her side she saw a tall, thin man standing there, dressed in a brown tweed suit and white shirt, pointing a very real gun at her as he looked at her through a mask that – well, it was a fox’s head, with whiskers and ears.
“Good evening Lady Gordon,” he said quietly, “please, close the door, and then sit behind your daughter on the bed.”
“Who are you,” Angelica said as she stared at him.
“The papers call him the Faversham Fox, mum,” Ruby said, “please, do as he says.”
Angelica nodded slowly as she walked round, and sat behind Ruby, her daughter resting her head against her mother’s as she said “What are your intentions towards us?”
“Purely honourable,” the Fox said as he started to bind Angelica’s ankles together, using white rope, “I merely need to ensure neither of you can raise the alarm while I acquire your valuables, and then make my getaway.”
As he wrapped more rope around Angelica’s legs, just above her knees, he looked at her and said “please, move your arms and link them with your daughter’s.”
He was polite, but the tone in his voice was unmistakable, as Angelica hooked her arms around her daughter’s upper arms. The Fox took another length of rope, tied the end around Angelica’s left wrist, and then pulled it as he wrapped it around the leg binding, then took it to her other wrist and tied it in place, the remaining rope going across her lap as he tied it to her left wrist again.
She tried to move her hands, only to stop when Ruby said “Mother, please, I can’t move.” She could watch as the Fox folded a small Lace handkerchief, and said “If you please, your ladyship, open your mouth.”
“I insist,” he said, Angelica nodding as he pushed the cloth in, and then waited until she closed her lips, before gently, but firmly, pressing several strips of silver duct tape over her mouth. She watched as he walked to the other side of the bed, then heard Ruby’s muffled gasps as he gagged her as well.
He then proceeded to finish his search of the room, Angelica closing her eyes and screaming mutely as he found and opened her safe, Ruby turning her head to watch as he filled his bag, then waved as he left the room, the two of them struggling to get free...
“It sounds truly horrendous – how long were you left like that,” Lady Amersham said as Angelica sipped her drink.
“Until my husband got home that night,” she said as the maid came in again.
“The Duchess of Barchester,” she said quietly, both women standing as the tall brunette came in.
“Welcome back, Hortense,” Lady Amersham said, “how was the Paris trip?”
“Very restful, and just what I needed after that horrible man broke into my house,” Hortense said as the maid poured some tea and served it to her, then left the room, “I need time to recuperate.”
“You have been robbed as well,” Angelica said, “who by?”
“The police called him the Faversham Fox.”
Angelica and Lady Amersham looked at each other, before they sat down and Angelica said “what happened to you?”
“Well, I was starting to get ready to meet Albert at the Opera House...”
Hortense sat in front of the dressing table, looking at herself in the mirror. She may be in her early fifties, and her figure may be a little fuller now, but she was still a beauty in everyone’s eyes. Her brunette hair was set if soft waves, and she already had the pearls Albert had given her for her fiftieth birthday around her neck as she sat in a white bra and girdle. Her dark stockings were attached to the girdle, while she had slipped on her red open toed satin mules.
“Now then,” she said as she put on a pair of silver hoop earrings, and started to fix her make up, “some powder, some lipstick, my ball gown...”
“Your hands in the air, where I can see them?”
The male voice took her completely by surprise, but as she looked in the large mirror on the table she saw a man standing behind her, wearing brown corduroy pants, a brown leather jacket over a roll neck sweater, and a checked cap sitting on the full head fox mask he was wearing. That, and the gun he was pointing at her, told her all she needed to know.
“What... What are you doing in my room,” she said as she looked at him.
“Preparing to rob you,” Hortense heard him say as he placed a brown holdall on the bed, his gaze on her. “Very slowly, lean forward, and place your hands behind your back.”
“Because,” he said as he opened the bag, and took out several lengths of brown rope, “I need to tie you up and then steal your valuables. It will be so much more civilised if you co-operate.”
“Well, your manners at least do you credit, even if you are armed,” she said as she leaned forward and put her arms behind her, trying to show her displeasure as he crossed and secured her wrists with the rope, taking it around and between her arms.
“Thank you – now, if you would be so kind as to sit up?”
As she did so, she saw him wrap a long length of rope around her body, and then pull it tight, forcing her upper arms into her sides as he wrapped it above and below her chest several times, and then pulled it even tighter. Making her yelp slightly as the ropes pressed into her skin and forced her chest out.
“My apologies for the slight discomfort,” he said as he tied the ropes off, and put his gloved hands on her shoulders, “but I assure you, the alternative would have been infinitely less desirable for you.”
“And that would have been?”
She saw him behind, his covered head to one side, and slowly nodded. “I understand, you don’t need to say any more.”
“Excellent,” he said as he walked round, and doubled over a further length of rope, using it to bind her ankles tightly together and tightening the bands by taking the ends between her legs, before he repeated the process around her legs above the knees. Hortense could not help but notice how her stockings lightened as the ropes were pulled tightly, and she was eased back into the chair.
“Now,” the Fox said as he looked at her, “with deep regret, I must ask you to open your mouth.”
“I could promise to remain quiet,” she said as she looked in the mirror.
“True – but I cannot take the risk, and my professional code does not allow it. If you would?”
“Oh, very well,” she said, opening her mouth as he passed a knotted white scarf between her lips, and tied it tightly round her head, Hortense closing her lips over it as it press her tongue down. She was then shocked as a wide white cloth was tied over her eyes, blocking her sight as he secured the ends together over her hair.
As she sat there, she could hear him opening drawers and doors, and the jangle of things as he removed them, before he said “thank you” and the room fell into silence. She sat for some time, too scared to move, before she began struggling, the blindfold eventually falling down her head as she looked around the ransacked room...
“The police did not arrive until Albert called from the Opera, concerned at my lack of presence.” She looked at Angelica, before saying “did the same man rob you?”
“He did – and you are right, he was well mannered, if insistent,” she said as the maid appeared again.
“The Honourable Lucinda Pierce – and cook says to tell you lunch will be ready in a half hour, my lady.”
“Thank you,” the buxom platinum blonde said as the door closed. “Good afternoon ladies – what is the topic of conversation?”
“Have you ever heard of the Faversham Fox, Lucinda?”
All three women watched as the new arrival turned pale, and said “How... Oh no, not you as well?”
“These two,” Lady Amersham said as they sat down, “what happened to you?”
“I was attending a function at Tudor Grange, and was preparing to go and join the others...”
“My, you look good,” Lucinda said as she stood, looking at herself in the long mirror the hotel room had set up. She was wearing a black silk dress, with a neck line that allowed a little chest to be seen and cap sleeves, the skirt coming to just above her knees. There was a slit to one side, which allowed (in the proper line of sight) a glimpse of the stocking tops held by her garter belt, while she also wore a pair of three inch heeled black shoes.
The knock on the room door made her turn, as she called out “Yes?”
“Delivery for the honourable Miss Pierce?”
“Must be some flowers or something,” Lucinda said as she walked to the door, putting her hand to her waved hair as she opened it and said “yes, what is...”
“Good evening,” the man said as he made Lucinda walk back in, by means of the pistol in his gloved hand, “please, go and sit quietly on that stool there.”
He pointed to a low footstool, covered in grey checks fabric, and as Lucinda walked back she looked closely at him – the dinner jacket, trousers, white tie and shirt, white gloves, black bag – and the fox mask covering his head.
“I’ve heard of you,” she whispered as she sat down.
“Excellent – then we can proceed without further introduction,” he said as he placed the bag on the bed, opening it and taking our several lengths of gold coloured rope. Selecting one, he walked behind Lucinda and knelt, taking her wrists behind her back and starting to bind them together as she sat diagonally across the stool.
As the ropes pulled her arms together, Lucinda let out a little gasp.
“Is something wrong,” the Fox said as he stood up, and put his hands on her shoulders.
“Apart from being tied up,” she said as he walked round, collecting another length of rope and starting to tie her ankles together.
“Well, yes, apart from that.”
“It’s just – no, it’s silly,” Lucinda said as she felt the rope tighten around her ankles.
“No please, share.”
“It’s just a silly fantasy – to be held hostage...”
“Allow me to partially fulfil it,” he said as he took the rope around her heels, and the tied it round the leg of the stool, fixing her ankles in place before he tied it off.
“My – I’m going nowhere,” Lucinda purred, “can you do more?”
“Well, I do not normally do this, but as you asked...” He went back to the bag, and produced a large yellow ball with leather straps on each side. “I am required to silence you – would you like to try this?”
Lucinda nodded, opening her mouth as wide as she could while he eased the ball between her teeth, and then strapped it around her head, keeping her hair out of the way.
“Hmmsdfrrnt,” she mumbled, as she saw him take more rope out.
“A little something special as well,” he said as he stood behind her, and passed the rope around her body, pulling so that her upper arms were forced into her sides, before taking the rope above and below her chest. Lucinda almost purred as the ropes pressed on her chest – and then gasped as he took the rope over one shoulder, fed it through the band of rope below her chest and pulled it back over the other shoulder.
“My apologies if my hands touched you in an inappropriate place,” he said as he tied the ropes off, Lucinda wriggling as she said “Nteprblmm.”
She watched as he opened her jewellery case, taking everything inside, and also took her watch, pearls and earrings.
Standing over her, he said “how is your fantasy progressing?”
She wriggled and smiled over the ball gag, as he opened her skirt slight looking at the stocking tops.
“A gentleman never takes advantage,” he said as he stood up, “but do enjoy your time in restricted solitude.”
Lucinda nodded as he left her, wriggling round as the ropes moved on her...
“So he took everything – security freed me later.”
“You must have been terrified,” Lady Amersham said as she looked at Lucinda.
“Yes – terrified,” Lucinda repeated as the maid came in. “Lunch is ready, my lady.”
“Very well then – shall we eat,” Lady Amersham said as she led her friends to the dining room.
Two hours later, she stood at the door, waving them off as they got into their cars and drove away.
“Such tales – at least that man has never come here,” she said as she closed the door, and then headed for her study. As she walked in, however, she saw her maid, lashed to a wooden chair with lengths of rope, and a strip of silver tape over her mouth.
“Please, my dear lady,” a male voice said behind her, “not a word, just quietly put your hands behind your back.”
“Yes,” she whispered as she felt the ropes securing her wrists together, and then a gloved hand gripped her arm, taking her back into the lounge and making her kneel with gentle pressure. As her head was pushed gently down onto the cushion, she felt her ankles being secured together with rope, and then her legs below her knees, gloved hands moving the rope as she was secured.
The hands then helped her to stand and turn around, and as she sat she stared at the man standing before her, the full head fox mask covering his head as he stood in tweeds, waistcoat, shirt and cravat.
“Good afternoon, Lady Amersham,” he said, “I am the Faversham Fox. Please, tell me the combination for your safe...”