Jay and His Lordship
“Lord Elwood? That’s some target,” Yvonne Williamson said as she sat with her husband Mark in the front room of their house.
“I know – but the gains are such that they outweigh the risk,” Mark said before he took a sip from his wine glass. “With the kids on their trips, it means we have the time to execute this over the weekend without anyone knowing.”
“Brian and Sarah?”
“They know, and they’ve said it’s about time we did something for ourselves anyway – especially after that last trip to the US.”
“Oh yeah – dealing with the Jardine clan and having to spend the next day unexpectedly there as well? Not the best way to spend a weekend, however profitable it turned out to be.”
Mark nodded as he put a photo in front of Yvonne. “So – Lord Ernest and Lady Constance Elwood, he is the chair of Elwood Consolidated, she runs a number of local charities, very much the Lady of the Manor. They have a large manor house, where the housekeeper come nanny is a lady called Ruth.”
“Housekeeper come Nanny?”
Mark nodded as he continued “She acts as well as nanny to their two grandchildren – Richard and Jane. Their mother Eleanor has lived at the manor house since the divorce two years ago.”
Yvonne looked at the photo of the auburn-haired woman, and nodded as she out it back down.
“Lady Elwood’s PA may come into the picture – we’ll play that one by ear. So, here is what I think will happen – and then I’ll make the calls…”
Ruth was using a duster to remove the cobwebs from the ceiling cornices, the radio playing as she concentrated on the job in hand. A woman in her early thirties, she was wearing a blue ribbed V-necked sweater, a black knee length skirt, and black Mary Jane shoes with dark tights.
She was so focused on her job she didn’t hear the transit van as it drove up the driveway of the manor house and then round the side, out of sight of the driveway and the main road…
“There,” she said as she looked up, “all done.” Glancing at the clock, she ran her hand through her brown hair and said “I’d better get some refreshments ready for their return.” She made her way to the kitchen – and then stopped in her tracks, staring at the group in the large room.
There were six of them – five men and one woman – wearing blue boiler suits, boots, leather gloves – and black balaclavas over their heads, showing only their eyes and mouths. She stared at them, before she screamed “get the HELL out of this house!”
“My dear lady,” one of the men said in a soft Northern accent, “I advise you to remain calm and quiet. It will not do you any good and it will only cause you problems later. So, if you will remain quiet for a moment, I will explain what is going to happen.”
Ruth stared at the group, and swallowed as she said “who are you?”
“A fair question – I am called Jay Edwards, and this is my friend Mrs McPhee. My colleagues and I have business to discuss with Lord Elwood. Now, that means the rest of the residents of this fine house – including yourself – will have to be kept nice and quiet out of the way until that business is concluded.”
“You mean you’re a gang of thieves, and you’re going to tie me up and gag me?”
“Not just you, I assure you,” Jay said as one of the men walked behind Ruth, taking her hands behind her back and securing her wrists together with white rope, “all of you, including the children. So, remain calm, and everyone will be just fine.”
Ruth stared at him before she was sat in the chair, and the man knelt in front of her to bind her ankles together. “Now, why don’t you put your lips together, and you can be quiet now…”
“I told you, I am fine,” Lady Elwood said as she walked into the hallway of the manor house.
“Mum, you know that was a nasty crash,” Eleanor Elwood said as she shook her head. She had short brown hair, and was wearing a grey trouser suit with a white blouse underneath. Two children followed her in – nine-year-old Richard, who was wearing a yellow polo shirt and blue jeans with sneakers, and ten-year-old Jane, who was wearing a green tunic and white pants with sandals.
“And I tell you I am recovered,” Constance said as she looked at the two children. She was wearing a light grey jacket and skirt with a white blouse, the collar of the blouse over the jacket, and black heels. “Come on – we’ll go and watch some television. Frances, can you find the papers I need to read?”
“Of course, your ladyship,” her PA Frances said as she closed the door. The blonde was dressed like Eleanor, both of them watching as Constance took her grandchildren into the front room.
“I wonder where Ruth is?”
“I’ll check the kitchen,” Eleanor said as she headed across the hallway, “you check the office.”
Frances nodded as she headed in the opposite direction, Eleanor heading to the kitchen. As she walked in, she saw Ruth sitting in the chair – and them gasped as a leather gloved hand was placed over her mouth, and a masked man stood in front of her.
“You must be Eleanor,” he said in a Geordie accent. “My name is Jay Edwards – a pleasure to meet you…”
As Frances walked into the office, she saw the papers she was looking for on the table and picked them up, smiling as she did so.
“Wuhl hullo there young lass…”
The soft Scottish female voice took Frances by surprise, but her surprise was added to when she turned round and saw the masked woman standing there, a second masked man standing behind her.
“What the hell.”
“Now, ah need ye tae be quiet fer me,” the woman said, “ahn cum wi me.”
Frances slowly nodded as she walked out of the office with the two masked intruders, only to see two more come from the kitchen with Eleanor.
“What’s going on Eleanor?”
“All will be explained – but first, I need to ensure you both have your wrists secured behind your back. Gentlemen?”
“You’re going to tie us up?”
“Ruth already is,” Eleanor said quietly, trying not to show her fear as she felt the rope holding her wrists together behind her back. “I get the feeling we’re in for a long day and night.”
“This,” Eleanor said as she looked at the men, “is Jay Edwards.”
Frances stared at the masked man, and swallowed as she realized what was happening.
“Ah Frances – do you have those papers?”
“Actually, Lady Elwood, I have them.”
The Northern voice took her by surprise, as Richard and June screamed and pushed themselves back on the seat they were on.
“And you are?”
“Of course – I am Jay Edwards, my friend Mrs McPhee. Perhaps you have heard of us?”
Constance looked at them, before she slowly said “I have – where is Ruth?”
“The nanny? She is secured elsewhere, and we will bring her here in time. Right now…”
“Rich noo…” Mrs McPhee said as she walked over and knelt in front of the children, “ah need taw hae a word wi there twa. Mah name is Mrs McPhee – ahn ah primise ye, ah’m noo gonna hurt ye. Dae ye believe me?”
There was something about her voice that seemed to calm the two children down, as they shook their heads.
“Guid – noo, let me explain whas gonna happen. My friend Jay is gonna dae some business wi yer grandfafer, ahn tha means we’re gonna stay fer a while. Noo, it also means we need tae make sure ye cannae tell him we are here, so I need tae do something tae keep ye seated here, ahn tae keep ye quiet.”
“You mean we’ll be tied up and gagged?” Richard looked at Mrs McPhee and said “I’ve seen that on some television shows. It looks scary.”
“Wehl, is this scary,” Mrs McPhee said as Eleanor watched.
“If you will come with me, Lady Elwood, I will explain what is happening,” jay said as he took the older woman out of the room, while Mrs McPhee gave the two children a length of rope to hold. They felt it, and then said “no, it’s not scary.”
“So if ah use it tae keep yer hands togefer behind yer back, is that gonna be scary?”
Eleanor bit her lower lip as she felt the rope round her own wrists, watching as the children allowed the masked woman to tie their wrists together behind their backs. They seemed to be relaxed as she then used more ropes to tie their ankles together, and then said “Richt – time tae be quiet. Ah’ll use these in yer moofs.”
Their eyes widened as Mrs McPhee rolled up a scarf, and pulled it between Richard’s lips before tying it round his head. When she gagged Susan, Eleanor said to them “are you both all right?”
“Yhshsmhhfr,” Susan said as they sat back on the couch, and Mrs McPhee stood up.
“Why doohn ye sit wi them,” she said to Eleanor, “ahn ah’ll take care o ye tae.”
“So you want my husband to do – business for you?”
“That’s right,” Jay said as he looked at Constance, “so, with regret, you and the others will be kept secure and quiet until he comes home. Then you will have a chance to eat together and talk before one of my associates goes with him, and then I promise you everyone will be left safe and comfortable.”
“And unable to raise the alarm?”
“As you say,” Jay replied with a smile, “unable to raise the alarm. On which note, I ask you to stand and put your hands behind your back.”
“Well, I do not exactly have a choice do I,” Constance said with a smile as she stood and turned round. “But I would appreciate the chance to talk to my daughter and my assistant.”
“Of course,” Jay said as he finished binding her wrists, “shall we?”
As they walked back into the front room, Constance saw her daughter sitting with her children, her arms behind her back and her ankles secured. “Mother,” she said as she looked up, “you know who they are?”
“I do,” Constance said as she looked at Frances, the rolled scarf pulled tightly between her lips, “and I can understand if you are scared – but I have heard of them, I know others who have net them, and I am sure if we all do as they say, we will be fine. Ruth?”
She looked to the door as the housekeeper was frogmarched in by two masked men, tears in her eyes as she said “Hmshshrhheee…”
“It is not your fault my dear,” Constance said as she was sat next to Frances, and Eleanor was gagged as well, “let us make the most of this time together…”
As Ruth rubbed her wrists, Jay said “you will go with Mrs McPhee and start to prepare supper – one of you go with them, and bring back some iced water for the others to sip.”
One of the masked men nodded as he and Mrs McPhee escorted Ruth from the room, Richard and Susan looking at each other before he returned with a try, on which were five glasses with iced water and a straw in each glass. Jay nodded as the man then loosened the gag ion Susan and took the cloth out, her eyes staring at the wet cloth before he held a glass to her lips and allowed her to take a drink.
“Can we watch some television, Mr Edwards,” she said as she looked at Jay.
“Of course – have you had enough water?” Susan nodded as she opened her mouth and allowed herself to be gagged again, then Richard was allowed to have a drink from a second glass.
When his gag was put back again, Jay loosened the gag in Eleanor’s mouth and held a glass to her lips. She took a long drink, before she said “how do you do it?”
“How do we do what?”
“How do you keep my kids calm – keep us calm? I was petrified when I saw Ruth and you, and now…”
“It’s a gift,” Jay said with a smile as she took another drink of water, “but you would prefer them to be calm, true?”
“True – thank you,” Eleanor said as Jay put the glass down, and then turned the television on as Frances was given a drink…
“Do you really have to keep us all like that,” Ruth said as she prepared the food.
“Aye – would ye rafer we let ye all scream ahn make yerselfs sick?”
“No – no I would not,” Ruth said as she put the casserole into the oven, and started to prepare some potatoes.
“Something smells good,” Ernest Elwood said as he came in, and placed his briefcase on the floor. He was wearing a light grey suit with a white shirt and a darker grey tie, as he said “hey – where is everyone?”
“We are in the dining room, Lord Elwood,” Ruth said as she looked out, “will you join us please? Supper is ready.”
“Are you all right Eleanor,” Ernest said as he looked over, “you seem a little troubled.”
“Lady Elwood will explain,” Ruth said as Ernest walked in, looked at everyone sat round the table, and said “Ah – I see we have visitors.”
“Good evening, Your Lordship – my name is Jay Edwards.”
“Of course,” he said as he looked at the gagged group sitting at the table. He removed his tie, and sat in the free chair as he said “is everyone all right?”
“Yhhssghrhdndhd,” Richard mumbled as Mrs McPhee said “Okay – ye may remove the gags,” going round and collecting them in a clear bag as Eleanor said “they were here when we arrived back, Ernest. We are unharmed – well, a bit sore, but unharmed, so please, do as Jay asks you to.”
“I have no intention of doing otherwise,” Ernest said as he looked at the casserole and potatoes Ruth placed in front of him. “Why don’t you start at the beginning, and tell me what happened…”
“Well,” he finally said, “I can see you have all been looked after – but I suspect after dinner, I will need to leave for a while. You have my word they will all be unharmed?”
“You have my word,” Jay said as Mrs McPhee and Ruth collected the plates.
“Good – well, provided everyone agrees to not try and call for help, we can take you all into the main room and you can play a game.”
“Could we go to the toilet please,” Susan said as Richard nodded.
“Mrs McPhee – would you take both of them to the toilet,” Jay said as they were untied from the chairs, “and if one of you would take Lord Elwood to change into something less formal?”
One of the masked men untied Ernest, who stood up and kissed Constance. “I will be back in a few minutes,” he said, his wife nodding as Jay handed Frances her mobile phone.
“Call home, let them know you will be working late here tonight – and please, do not hint at what is really happening.”
Frances nodded as she looked at Eleanor and Constance, before dialling a number and waiting.
“Hi Honey – sorry I am late in calling, Lady Elwood and I had to take a meeting that went on far too long.
“No I have eaten – but I need to stay here a little longer to wrap some things up. Make sure Billy gets to bed, and I’ll see you later.
“Don’t wait up for me – I’m not sure when I will get back.
“Love you too – bye,” she said as she ended the call and gave Jay the phone back.
“I have some pyjamas you can use,” Eleanor said. “We’re going o be very tightly tied and gagged before they leave, true?”
“True,” Jay said as they were untied. “So, let us go into the front room, and you can select a game for them all to play.”
The group were escorted into the front room, Ruth finding a Monopoly set and beginning to set it up.
“Ah felt the kids should get ready noo.”
“A good idea, Mrs McPhee,” Jay said as Richard and Susan came back in. Richard was now wearing a grey and black striped t-shirt, and grey pants with black birds on them, as well a pair of white bed socks, while Susan was wearing a pair of white pyjamas with a Peter Rabbit print and her own bed socks. “Come and sit down…”
“I go to my office, and log in to my computer,” Ernest said as he stood, his V-necked sweater over his shirt, “and then let him do the work.”
“Exactly,” Jay said as he handed a USB stick to the other masked man, “and remember, your family are here. My friend will call me at regular intervals to let me know all is going well.”
The masked man nodded as Ernest said “allow me to say goodbye to them?”
“Of course,” Jay said as they went into the front room. Richard and Susan looked over as Mrs McPhee wrapped the rope round Susan’s arms, forcing them against her sides as she wriggled round.
“We were first out,” Richard said as he twisted, the ropes round his body holding his arms firmly in place. “Are you going now, Grandfather?”
“I am – and I want you all to know just how brave I think you have been,” Ernest said as he looked round the room. “I will see you all in the morning.”
“Good luck,” Constance said as Ernest nodded and then left them, Eleanor sighing as she said “I am out – so what happens now”
“Cum wi us,” Mrs McPhee said as she picked up a bag,, “see how the wee ains are, ahn then ye can get ready as weel.”
“Please come with us, Mummy,” Susan said, as Eleanor stood up and said “I will see you all later.” She watched as her children stood up and then walked out with Mrs McPhee as they climbed the stairs.
“Ye’ll both be in the saim ruum,” Mrs McPhee said, “so who has the biggest bed?”
“We’d better use yours,” Susan said, Richard nodding as they walked into the bedroom. As Eleanor watched, they both sat on the bed as Mrs McPhee took more ropes from the bag, and then knelt down, crossing Susan’s ankles and securing them tightly together before she secured her legs below her knees.
“Thank you,” she said as the masked woman then secured Richard’s ankles and legs, before she stood up.
“Time tae really be quiet,” she said as she took a small red sponge ball from the bag, and compressed it in her gloved hands. “Open yer moof as wide as ye cahn.”
“Okay,” Richard said as she pushed the sponge ball into his mouth, and then covered his lips and jaw with a wide strip od white tape. Eleanor was amazed at how calm he and his sister were as she was gagged as well, then helped to lie on the bed before Mrs McPhee used ropes to secure their ankles to the foot of the bed.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” she said as she kissed their foreheads, and then nodded as Mrs McPhee said “Ah’ll be back tae sit wi ye in a few minutes – ah need tae get yer ma changed furst.” Richard and Susan nodded as Eleanor was walked to her bedroom, removing her jacket and putting in on the back of the chair before she opened a drawer.
“For Frances,” she said as she laid one set of pyjamas on the bed, and then stripped before she put on a pair of pink silk pyjamas. She then put her hands behind her back, feeling the ropes as Mrs McPhee secured her wrists together, then used a longer rope to secure her arms to her sides.
“Well – we’ll all look like that, I guess,” Constance said as Mrs McPhee walked Eleanor into the room.
“Ah put some clothes fer Frances in Ruth’s room,” she said before she left.
“She’s going to sit with the children,” Eleanor said as she sat down.
“Perhaps you, Frances and Ruth would care to come with me now,” Jay said to Constance, “so you can see they are comfortable. Make sure Eleanor stays here.”
The other three women nodded as they walked up the stairs and into Ruth’s bedroom.
“Do you have to watch us change,” the housekeeper said as she looked at Jay.
“No – but we have disconnected the phones,” he said as he left the room.
“How are you, Ruth?”
“Still a little scared – but I will not show it,” ruth said as she started to strip, and then put on a pair of red checked pyjamas.
“It is all right to be scared,” Constance said as Frances also removed her clothes, and pout on a pale blue top and knee length bottoms. “It is a sign of our courage that we deal with it. You may come in now, Mr Edwards.”
Jay smiled as he entered and placed a bag on the bed, before he said “good – please, both of you, put your hands behind your back.”
Constance watched as he secured their wrists behind their back, and then wound a longer rope round her housekeeper’s body under her chest and pulled it tight.
“Are you all right, Ruth?”
“Yes Your Ladyship – I just did not think it would feel like this,” Ruth whispered as the rope formed two bands, framing her chest and holding her arms against her sides.
“I… I see what you mean,” Frances whispered as her arms were secured to her body in the same way, before the two women were sat on the edge of the double bed.
“So long as you are all right,” Constance said as Jay secured the ankles and legs of both women, before easing the compressed sponge balls into their mouths and taping them over. Frances and Ruth were then laid on their sides, facing each other as their ankles were pulled back and secured to the ropes at their chests.
“Thank you both for remaining so calm,” Constance said as they both nodded, and Jay escorted her out of the room.
“Check them every fifteen minutes,” he said to th4 masked man, before he took a mobile phone out.
“This is Jay.
“Excellent – continue,” he said before he looked at Constance. “Your husband is cooperating – and now it is time to secure you.”
“I want to see my grandchildren.”
“Of course,” Jay said as he took her to where Mrs McPhee was coming out of the bedroom.
“The poor wee bairns are exhausted,” she said as Eleanor saw Richard and Susan on their sides, their eyes closed and breathing slowly.
“Will you take Lady Elwood to change and prepare her,” Jay said to Mrs McPhee, “and I will fetch Eleanor.”
“Aye – show the way yer Ladyship,” Mrs McPhee said as Jay walked down the stairs.
“I am taking you to her,” he said as he looked at Eleanor, her cheeks pushed out as the white tape covered her jaw and mouth. The young woman nodded as he helped her to stand up, and then walked her up the stairs as he said “clean up time gentlemen.”
“Eleanor – I think we are going to be together,” Constance said as Jay brought her daughter in. She was now wearing a white night dress with black lace details, her chest framed by the ropes as Mrs McPhee used them to force her arms against her sides. “Everyone else is asleep.”
Eleanor nodded as she sat on her mother’s bed, watching Jay as he crossed and bound her ankles tightly together with rope, and then secured her legs below her knees. Constance was then walked over to the other side of the bed, watching Mrs McPhee as she bound her ankles together, and then secured her legs together above her knees, the skirt of her nightdress gathered under the tight bands.
“While I can speak – thank you for looking after us, Mister Edwards.”
“It was our pleasure,” Jay said as he helped Eleanor to lei on her side, and hogtied her, Mrs McPhee gagging Constance before she was laid to face her daughter and her own ankles pulled back.
“Whll, hrhwwhhr,” Eleanor said, Constance nodding as the light was turned off, the light obscured by the curtaisn as their eyes slowly closed….
Susan slowly opened her eyes to see Richard smiling at her, the tape off his mouth.
“I rubbed the edge on my pillow, then pushed the ball out with my tongue – see if you can do it.”
Susan nodded as she rubbed her cheek on the pillow, the tape coming away before she opened her mouth and pushed the soaking wet sponge ball out.
“Can you get free?”
“Not yet, but…”
They both stopped as they heard someone call out “Can anyone hear me.”
“GRANDFATHER – MY ROOM,” Richard shouted out, as they both heard footsteps and then Ernest came in with two policemen.
“Are you both all right,” he said as the officers released their legs and helped them to stand up.
“We are,” Susan said, “but we do not know where the others are.”
“Your Lordship – your bedroom,” a voice called out, Richard and Susan coming with the ropes still round their arms and wrists as all three walked quickly to the master bedroom.
“Hfhnkghdd,” Constance said as she looked over, “hruhhlrht?”
“We are – free them please,” Ernest said as two more policemen came in…
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