Believe me, when I walked into the club and ordered the drink, the last thing on my mind was getting involved with a silly plot and coming out richer on the other side. All I wanted was to forget for a little while about the debt I had to pay off in two weeks - and then how to get away from the place.
As I stood at the bar, looking round the dance floor, my eyes were drawn to this blonde who was standing nearby. She was about five seven, with long blonde hair held back by a white headband, and was wearing a pair of very stylish grey trousers, a white long sleeved silk blouse and a black silk scarf round her neck, the ends to the left side of her neck.
She looked at me and smiled, then walked over and pushed herself up onto the bar stool next to me. “Buy a girl a drink,” she said as she looked at me, her long eyelashes fluttering in the light of the lamps. So I nodded to the barman, and he brought her a cocktail.
“Cheers,” I said as I looked at her. “What’s your name?”
“Anne,” she said as she looked at me, “and I know who you are. You’re James Queen, the playboy writer.”
I raised my glass in acknowledgement as she said “I love your books - that last one where they walked the kidnapped girl down Carnaby Street and nobody noticed she was gagged and been taken by thugs - pure brilliance.”
“I’m glad you think so,” I said with a smile. “So are you here with friends Anne?”
“No - I’m here with my sister,” she said with a smile, as I heard another woman behind me say “Who’s this, Anne?”
I turned round to greet the newcomer, and then looked from side to side. “Well, this is different,” I said as I looked at the identical twins, the only difference in the new arrival’s look the fact her scarf was tied on the other side. “This is James Queen, the writer,” Anne said. “James, this is my twin sister, Pam.”
“How alliterative,” I said as I took Pam’s hand and kissed her, “Can I get you a drink?”
She nodded and accepted the drink, before saying “Mister Queen, do you by any chance take on commissions?”
“Sometimes, for special occasions,” I said, “Why do you ask?”
“Would it be terribly forward of us to invite you to join us for lunch tomorrow? We have a possible storyline that you may like to help us in developing.”
“For yourself or for me,” I asked as I sipped my drink.
“Both,” Pam said as she took her sister by the arm, “twelve o’clock at the Savoy Grill?”
I nodded as they walked off, arm in arm. Well, it would provide a distraction from my money worries...
“Mister Queen, so good to see you again - your usual table?”
“Thank you, Rhodes,” I said as the head waiter walked me to a private booth at the restaurant. “I am expecting two ladies to join me for lunch.”
“Indeed, Sir - one is already here,” I said as he showed me the booth. Sitting there was one of the twins, dressed in a Mary Quant mini dress made from white fabric with black circles on it. The skirt was short, and as the chair was taken out I could see her white short boots under the table.
“Is it Anne or Pam,” I said as I put my napkin on my lap and opened the bottle of champagne.
“Pam,” she said as she looked at me, “and thank you for asking.”
“Sorry I’m late,” Anne said as she came over and I held out her chair for her to sit down. She was wearing a chocolate brown roll necked jersey dress, with a pair of nee length laced brown leather boots around her lower legs.
“It’s all right - we were about to order,” I said with a smile as the waiter brought the menus. We spent a few moments considering our choice of repast, and then as the waiter left I poured the champagne into three glasses and passed them round.
“So,” I said as I raised my glass, “Why do you wish to talk with me?”
“Please,” I say with a smile, “Call me James.”
“James,” Anne said, “Is it true you like to act out some of the plots of your books?”
I smile at this and nod. I remember the scene they talked about last night - it took me days to persuade my secretary to allow me to put the strip of flesh coloured plaster over her mouth, draw the lips on and then take her up and down Carnaby Street, a big hat on her head and the crocheted poncho covering her tied wrists - and nobody noticed her.
“I have been known to - why do you ask?”
Pam looked at Anne, and then said “James, we need your help to get some money.”
“Oh - and how will I do that?”
“We have a story idea for you - a man kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, and then makes her sister deliver the ransom. When she comes to deliver the money, however, she is taken hostage as well, and the daddy has to pay a double ransom.”
“Sounds like an episode of The Saint,” I said as I sipped my champagne, and then looked at the smiles on both their faces. “Oh - you want me to...”
“Yes,” Anne said with a big smile.
“And who is daddy in this little scenario?”
“Our father, of course - James McShott/”
Now I had to put my glass down. “Sir James McShott? He’s not a man I have heard it is wise to get on the wrong side of.”
“He’s loves us though.” Pam said, “and he would do anything for us. If you kidnap us, you can take the plot and run with it, but you also get to keep 50% of twenty thousand pounds - how does that sound?”
“Interesting,” I said as I sipped my champagne, and the waiter brought my steak, the girls having the fish. “So, what would I have to do?”
“Oh, we’ll leave the details to you - we’ll tell you when, but not how.”
“And how much notice do I get?”
“Enough - so, are you in?”
I nodded before saying “Let’s eat - then we can discuss terms...”
We came to terms, and I made a few arrangements for accommodation and so on, so that a week later I was waiting outside an office block on the South Bank of London, watching as the staff left the building for the day.
Eventually, I saw Anne walking out of the building. She was wearing a white roll neck top, with a pale blue linen jacket and flared skirt. As she walked past me, I could hear the click of her light beige knee length boots on the pavement, as I started the engine and drove after her.
I followed her for a while, until she stepped into a small boutique. I pulled into an alleyway at the side of the shop, and stepped out. I had in my hand a cloth that I had soaked with chloroform, as I waited for her to come past.
I only had a few minutes to wait, as she stepped into the now rapidly glooming street and walked past the alley. Nobody even noticed the arms coming out of the dark alley, one around her waist and the second slapping a white cloth over her nose and mouth.
Her eyes were wide open until she looked up and saw me, then she relaxed - whether because she recognised me, or because she started to fall under the effects of the drug I could not tell, but eventually she slumped in my arms, her eyes closed. I lifted her up and carried her to my car, then laid her on the back seat, crossing her hands behind her back and tying her wrists together with parachute cord, then doing the same to her ankles.
It took me an hour to drive to the cottage I had rented for the occasion, so that as I carried her in she was starting to stir. I took her into a bedroom, and sat her in a chair, making sure her arms went over the back of the chair before I tied them down to the centre spar of the chair back, and secured her ankles to the cross bar at the front.
“Whhh... What happened,” she moaned as I pulled her back against the chair, tying her body there with more rope, and then waited until she came to.
“Ugghh - oh, it’s you,” Anne finally said as she looked at me. “I guess the game has started?”
“It has indeed,” I said as I picked up a peach silk scarf, “Now, I have to pay a call - open wide and stay seated like a good girl.”
“I wasn’t planning on going anywwhmmmg,” Anne said as I pulled the scarf between her lips, and then kissed her on the forehead, leaving and locking the door behind me as I went to visit her sister.
It was getting late when I knocked on the door of the Chelsea flat, looking round as the door opened and Pam looked at me. She was wearing a paisley patterned blouse with a high collar, and a matching scarf tied into her hair, a pair of blue jeans and short black boots.
“Well hello,” she said as she opened the door and allowed me to come in, “How is Anne?”
“Resting,” I said with a smile, “although I will take her some dinner later. Right now, I need you to deliver a message for me. You remember the story?”
“I do - Anne was here when a masked man broke in, tied us both up and gagged us, then left me with the ransom demand while he carried Anne off.”
“Got it in one - then you deliver the ransom demand to your darling father, and we split the money. Now, we need to make sure you are correctly attired...”
“Do you have time for a drink first?”
“Of course,” I said as she poured me a whiskey and refreshed her own glass. We toasted each other and then drank, before she put out her cigarette and said “All right - how am I going to be found?”
There was a basket chair hanging from the ceiling, so I said “In that - so please, turn round and put your hands behind your back.”
“Of course I will, you evil man,” she purred as she turned round and offered me her wrists, which I crossed and tied together with more parachute cord. Making sure they were snugly tied, I then helped her into the chair, and tied her ankles tightly together, before I tucked her legs under her in the seat.
“Any chance of a kiss,” she said as she swung to and fro in her seat.
“Only if you stay still,” I said as I kissed her, and then stuck a strip of flesh coloured plaster over her mouth. “I’ll be in touch,” I said as I left an envelope on her coffee table, and then departed - I had a hamper to collect before I returned to the cottage.
“Oh that looks nice,” was the first thing Anne said as I removed her gag, and then untied her from the seat.
“Well, just because you are my captive does not mean you have to starve,” I said with a smile as I opened the Fortnum and Mason basket, placed the cold chicken on the table and then removed the rest of the contents. “I hope you are hungry?”
“Starving - I didn’t have lunch today,” she said with a smile as I offered her a plate and glass. “how did you leave Pam?”
“Hanging around,” I said with a smile, “by now your father should have got the message I left about her, and be reading the gentlemen’s best ransom demand that I left with her. If all goes according to plan, you will spend on e night here, and then be safely returned to the bosom of your loving father.”
“So, how do you propose we spend the evening,” Anne said as I poured the wine, and placed some food on her plate.
“Oh I don’t know,” I said with a smile. “I’m sure we will think of something...” I leaned over and kissed Anne on the lips, taking her glass and setting it down...
“Good morning,” I said as Anne came back into the room. She was wearing the same clothes as yesterday, but had had a chance to shower and refresh herself.
“Good morning,” she replied as she accepted the cup of coffee. “So, did Daddy pay up?”
“He has,” I said with a smile, “I’m going to go in an hour or so to execute part two of the plan. Regretfully, you will have to stay here...”
“Damn - and it’s such a lovely day outside,” she said with a sigh. “Can I at least lie on the couch?”
“OF course you may,” I said with a smile as I handed her some toast. “Right now, eat your breakfast.” As she started to eat and drink, I found a long length of white rope and started to straighten it out, making sure it had no kinks in it before I located the roll of plaster I had used the previous night.
“Now then,” I eventually said to Anne, “If you are ready, sit on the couch and put your hands together in front of you.” She nodded and came over, sitting down as I passed the rope around her arms and pulled them tightly into her side, using several loops to keep them in place.
“Lie down please,” I said next, “and put your hands together in prayer.” Anne smiled as she lay with her head on the arm of the couch, while I tied her wrists tightly together, taking the rope between her arms, then lowered them and took the rope around her ankles.
“I don’t think I’m going anywhere,” she said as I tied the rope between her legs and then ticked the ends behind her ankles, “so what happens now?”
I tore a strip of plaster off the roll, leaned over and stole a kiss, then smoothed it over her lips. “You wait here,” I said as I collected the car keys, “and then you will find out.”
The park was as quiet a sit gets on a Sunday - for all the popularity of the place, Wimbledon common still ahs secluded corners, and it was one of those I had picked for the drop. The side of the common here backed onto a residential street, but it also had high hedges and a car park nearby.
From my vantage point, I saw Pam walking down. She was wearing a white silk blouse, the long sleeves open on the inside from wrists to armpit, a wide black leather miniskirt and over the knee black boots.
They suited her, and drew a few admiring looks from the footballers as she walked down the path, a black shoulder bag swinging as she walked. As she approached a bin, she took a brown envelope out of the bag and dropped it in, then walked hurriedly toward s me.
I watched her walk towards me for a moment, then put the binoculars away and fetched something else out of my bag. I then walked down the path, intercepting her as she approached the car park. Looking round to see if anyone else was coming, I then grabbed her by the waist and slapped the chloroform soaked cloth over her nose and mouth.
It was as if it was Anne all over again - she tried to pull my hand off, trying to call out to anyone, but there was nobody around - very convenient, but still we have to take out chances. Eventually her eyelids fluttered and she slumped into my arms, allowing me to lift her up and carry her off.
“The air got to her,” I said to a couple of elderly women as I carried her to my car, and laid her out on the read seat. This time, I crossed and tied her wrists tightly together with white rope, and then passed some rope around her waist to fix them in place against her back.
Her ankles were next, the rope squeaking on the black leather as I crossed and tied them tightly together, taking the rope around her ankles and then her feet before I tied it off. Moving up her legs, I then tied them together below her knees, before I smoothed a length of plaster over her lips, then went to collect my earnings...
Anne looked up at me as I entered the cottage, and dropped a brown envelope on the table. “Yes, I got it,” I said as I sat her up and removed the tape gag, “Shall we celebrate?”
“Oh yes,” she said as I retrieved a bottle of something sparkling from the fridge, and popped the cork. “Where’s Pam?”
“Oh, I’ll bring her in in a minute,” I said a SI untied the ropes, and then handed her a glass as she sat up. “To a successful new book.”
“I’ll drink to that,” she said as she stood up and drained the glass, then looked at me for a moment before she started to faint. I caught her, the glass falling to the ground and breaking, before I laid her on her stomach on the couch, and crossed her wrists behind her back.
“Sorry, Anne,” I said as I crossed and tied her wrists, then her ankles, “but I got a better offer.” Sitting her up, I took the longer coil of rope and wrap it round her arms, pulling them into her sides as her jacket fell open at the sides and her top stretched over her chest.
As the bands above and below her chest tightened, I smiled and brushed her hair away from her mouth, before gently opening it and pushing a white silk scarf inside. I then closed her mouth, and covered her lips with a fresh length of plaster, before laying her on her stomach and tying her legs together below her knees.
Finally, I pulled her legs back and used one last length of rope to bind her ankles to her chest, and then leave her alone for a few minutes.
Coming back with my other guest, I lay Pam out on the bed, sitting her up as I bind her upper body in a second rope harness and then hogtying her. Finally, I peel the tape away, stuff a scarf into her mouth and re-gag her, before I check the eyes of both of them.
“I reckon I have fifteen minutes,” I say to myself, “enough to make a phone call...”
Pam’s calls were the first to reach my ears as I came back in, having welcomed my guest. I came in to see her struggling on the bed, her boots squeaking as she tried to break free.
Anne was just looking at me, wondering what was going on. “My apologies, ladies,” I say as I open the door, “but I got a better offer.”
A tall thin man with a head of white hair came in and looked at my two captives. “Hggddd,” Anne said as Pam looked at her, then at me.
“Well,” Sir James McShott said, “I admire your pluck and planning, but you fail on execution girls. I own James’ publisher - of course he would tell me any plot ideas, and it gave me a chance to teach you two a valuable lesson.”
“Well,” I said as I headed for the door, “It has been a pleasure, ladies, and I hope you take the lesson to heart. Sir James?”
He nodded to me as I left - he had paid me well enough to turn the tables on his daughters, and besides, they had been right.
It had inspired a new novel...