by Nosbert


                                                          * * *




We set off at six o’clock the following morning for Scotland. We travelled in tandem, an ageing Volvo Estate followed by a clapped out campervan. We did not rush. We couldn’t if we tried. I think the maximum speed attainable by Bruce’s campervan was about fifty miles per hour. We made several stops on the way, including the Lake District, Gretna Green, and a few other places that don’t spring readily to mind.

Bruce’s initial plans were to make for Loch Lomond and then to the Isle of Skye, but I managed to talk him out of it. I explained that we were only going to stick with him for a few days, then say our final farewells and drift off home. I therefore told him I would prefer to visit the East Coast since I’d not been there, and that he would have plenty of time to visit Loch Lomond and the Isle of Skye afterwards. As you’ll probably appreciate, this was the best persuasive argument I could put forward without actually mentioning the word Dundee.

I was always planning on stopping at hotels anyway, so I suggested to Bruce that I would pay for them to stay with us for those first few nights. Bruce had always planned on sleeping in his campervan and at first he would have none of it. But eventually, and after much argument, all was settled; they agreed to stop at a hotel with us; and basically from then on, I was in charge.

So with me driving and Anthea navigating, and Bruce in tow, we zigzagged our way to Dundee.


                                                          * * *


It was late in the evening when we finally arrived on the outskirts of Dundee, probably sometime around six o’clock. The whole journey taking us something like twelve hours. The city welcomed us with a sign that said: ‘City of Discovery.’ I remember yawning and feeling tired after such a long drive, and my main concern at this time of day was finding a comfortable bed for the night.

I took to the Dundee ring road with Bruce’s campervan following on close behind. I think I’d gone most of the distance around the city when I saw a sign for Carnoustie. Now being a bit of a golf enthusiast, this was someplace I’d always wanted to visit, and it wasn’t many miles outside Dundee. I also reckoned there would be a cluster of fine hotels there. There always is when there’s a ‘British Open’ golf course in the vicinity.

I’d seen the sign late, so I signalled quickly and turned off to the left. I think I must have braked sharply after that, because Bruce nearly hit me from behind. The thing was, I’d seen another sign. It read: ‘RO-RO Ferries’, and had an arrow pointing in the opposite direction. Suddenly all thoughts of Carnoustie were banished from my mind. I’d seen the word RORO written on that calendar in Wimbledon, and if we were going to stop anywhere that night, then I wanted it to be as close to those RO-RO Ferries as possible.

Eventually we did find a hotel that had two free rooms, and in the first week of August that’s a difficult thing to do apparently. It was at a place called Broughty Ferry and was right on the estuary of the River Tay. (For those of you that don’t know your geography; the City of Dundee stretches along the north bank of the River Tay and a little way up the estuary from Broughty Ferry.) The hotel was clean and comfortable and we booked ourselves in for two nights.

In the bar afterwards Bruce took to drinking the local beer. Apparently the brand of lager on sale was called ‘dingo piss’ back in Australia, and no self respecting Aussie would be seen dead drinking it. Thus his switch to the local brew, which, by the way, was called ‘heavy’ and not ‘bitter’.

Whilst Bruce downed pint after pint of something called ‘Eighty Shillings’, I took to sampling the many fine Scottish malt whiskies. I was told by the barman that if I ever wanted to enjoy some really good whiskies then I had to come to Scotland anyway. Apparently only the rubbish gets shipped across the border. So be warned! After sampling what the hotel had on offer I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement.

The barman wasn’t the best person in the world to chat to, his IQ matched his hat size and was serving other customers most of the time; but I did manage to extract a couple of bits of information from him. One, the most important I suppose, was that the name ‘Ro-Ro’ stood for ‘Roll on - Roll off’, and it was all to do with container shipments.

The second bit of information concerned an old sailing ship, and tallied with something Fatima had seen from the corner of her blindfold when being transferred from container to a vehicle of some description. Apparently the name ‘City of Discovery’ referred to an old sailing ship that was permanently moored in a harbour a little way up the river from Broughty Ferry. The Discovery was Scott’s sailing vessel; the famous Antarctic explorer. I tried to find out whether there was any connection between Scott and Dundee but got nowhere, but with a name like Scott I just had to think he was Scottish. But alas that’s as far as I got on the issue. I told you he wasn’t the brightest of barmen!

(However, and for the record: I did find out later that Dundee was the home port of the Antarctic exploration vessel the Royal Research Ship Discovery which took the ill-fated Captain Robert Scott and his crew on their first voyage to Antarctica in 1901: And incidentally Scott was English, he was born at Devonport, in the south of England, so there was no connection there. Now don’t say I don’t educate you as well as spin a good yarn!)

Anyway, something I guess I needn’t tell you is that I went to bed exhausted and a little worse for wear that evening. An assortment of about a dozen different best malt whiskies being the prime cause, though I do remember insisting to Anthea that it was just tiredness after the long journey that was to blame. Well, you’ll say anything when you’re drunk, won’t you?

I needn’t tell you either that this pissed Anthea off something chronic. She can’t sleep without her body being rocked by at least three orgasms first.

I fell asleep as soon after my head hit the pillow. What Anthea did to satisfy herself I’ve no idea.


                                                          * * *


I woke up next morning feeling delicate and resorted to my usual ‘on the road’ breakfast of aspirins and black coffee. Anthea told me I was a wimp, and I couldn’t take my drink, and that I should stick to orange juice. I think at the time I tended to agree with her.

Later that morning the four of us got together and made plans. Anthea wanted to go shopping and so did Bruce and Jenny. Our Australian friends had an excuse. They said they’d deliberately left buying presents until the last minute so that they didn’t have to carry piles of the stuff all around Europe with them. As for Anthea, she never needs an excuse to go shopping. Spending money like water is in her genes: Especially my money!

This suited me. I said I’d drive them all into the City centre, then, whilst they all went shopping, I’d have a stroll around the docks. We would then all meet up again later, have a light meal, then return to the hotel. After that Bruce insisted that we visit the BDSM club listed in what was now officially my little black book. As you can imagine I was outvoted on this one. It was settled three votes to one: The evening therefore was to be devoted to BDSM.

Soon after that we set off for Dundee City centre. I found a sizeable car park and paid for several hours. We found a McDonalds close by and agreed to all meet up there at three o’clock. We then went our separate ways.

I followed the signs and strolled quite leisurely to the dockland area of the city. I found the ‘Discovery’ signs and followed them to the quay side.

The ‘Discovery’ is a fine old ship with black and white timbers and three tall masts. Not that I know anything about sailing ships! Coming from Birmingham you don’t get much chance to see the sea. There was also another old sailing vessel a little way down the quay side. This was called the Pelican and I was informed that it was once a frigate, but now a training ship. The only thing odd about it was that the masts had been removed, so it wasn’t going anywhere. I’m not sure whether this was permanent or that the masts had just been taken away for repair.

Anyway, I think you’ll appreciate I wasn’t there to inspect the ships, I was more interested in watching certain activities on dry land. I saw containers stacked four or five high, cranes overhead that shuffled them about, and an assortment of vehicles driving in and out of a compound. I tried to imagine somebody being moved swiftly from container to back of a vehicle and looking sideways from beneath a blindfold to catch a fleeting glance of the Discovery. It seemed very probable, and I wondered if this was what Fatima had seen? I was beginning to think it a very strong possibility, the trouble was, there were many more ports like this in the UK, all with their own unique sailing vessel, and I had no way of proving it was this one.

There was an old man near the quay side. He had a sandwich box and was throwing bread to the seagulls. I got to chatting. I asked him if he knew anything about Ro-Ro ferries? He told me he’d worked for them for thirty years. I then asked him where all the containers came from? He told me mostly from Europe. He then rattled off a list of ports; Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Ostend, to name but a few. However, amongst his most knowledgeable list, one particular port did immediately spring to my attention. He mentioned Dunkirk.

Now I know this was long shot, but my mind went back to my previous adventure. Hendry was shipping in drugs hidden inside statues on the Dunkirk to Dover crossing. Harry Bell of the Drugs Squad did identify someone at the Dover end who was passing a blind eye to certain shipments of Greek and Roman God statues, and that person was arrested and subsequently ended up in jail. But no one, as far as I was aware, had been picked up at the Dunkirk end. I couldn’t believe such a sophisticated operation would go ahead without a similar set-up at the other end. It was the sort of insurance these guys would put in place.

I wondered if Dunkirk to Dundee was a newly established route. Or, seeing this was nothing to do with drugs, could have always existed as a dumping off point in the illicit Submissive Trade. Again this was just a hunch and I had no way of proving anything. However, at the back of my mind there remained a nagging suspicion that a legacy of Hendry’s old smuggling operation still existed here.

Deep in thought and feeling pleased with my days work, I walked slowly back to our rendezvous point at McDonalds.

I was first back and something like forty-five minutes early. So I got myself a Big Mac and settled down to wait.

I tried to think what to do next? But I was stumped. Unless I took up Fernando’s offer and returned to the case, I was of the opinion I’d gone as far as I could. I held one little piece of a massive jigsaw, and I hadn’t a clue what the rest of the picture looked like. Even worse than that; it might not even have been a piece to the jigsaw I wanted.

I decided to inform Fernando of my Dundee discovery then drop the case completely. Nice as Scotland was, home was better, and tomorrow that was where I would be heading. There was also Sandy to consider. She’d want to be coming back to my place soon, if only to break up the one-to-one relationship that currently existed between myself and Anthea. I knew Sandy, she’d be of the opinion we’d been left alone together for far too long.

I was in a quiet corner with no one within earshot, so I dialled Fernando on my mobile.

Fernando answered almost immediately.

“Hi Fernando,… remember me?” I greeted him.

“Woody!” he remarked. “I thought you’d settled for early retirement!”

“Only semi retirement,” I told him. “I’m in Scotland at the moment…”

I was about to tell Fernando my findings when he interrupted.

“Woody,… we’ve got problems,… big problems,” he told me and sounding serious.

I was suddenly all ears.

“What big problems?” I asked.

“We’ve found a body,” he replied.

“Who?… Where?” I asked.

Fernando answered what was in effect a double barrelled question.

“Who?… a member of the club… and where?… outside in the bushes at the back of the house… the post-mortem puts the time of death at sometime around nine o’clock on Saturday evening… it was obviously part of that struggle I witnessed,” explained Fernando.

Quite obviously none of this I expected and I tried to pull my thoughts together. I decided to keep all my own findings on Dundee to myself for while and listen to what Fernando had to say instead. My first concern was the timing of the death. It was too accurate. I had first hand experience of the so called experts who established times of death and you were lucky to be given anything within a forty-eight hour time span.

“Why do you think that Fernando?” I asked. “Post-mortems aren’t usually that accurate?”

I think Fernando was collecting his thoughts too because it was along time in answering.

“Because the baton used in the stage act has been identified as the murder weapon,… forensics also prove it’s what hit me on the head… and the baton was found in the bushes alongside the body,” he explained.

Now I found this all very interesting and had to admit the evidence did point to a nine o’clock murder. It also threw new light on my timings. Perhaps this fresh evidence would go some way towards resolving that missing fifteen minutes.

My mind returned to the things Fernando had said about the struggle he witnessed outside the back door. I needed Fernando to clarify the situation.

“So, on that night, what you actually saw was a struggle between two men?” I asked, “and not necessarily two men trying to abduct Fatima?… Could one man have been trying to intervene?… maybe prevent the abduction?”

Fernando took time to consider what I’d said before answering.

“It could have been like that Woody,” he answered, “everything was a bit hazy after receiving that bump on the head… but yes, it could have been a struggle between two men… they could have been fighting over Fatima.”

I didn’t know where all this was leading me, but my interest factor in the case had suddenly rocketed.

I decided to press on with my questioning. I was interested in the dead man.

“Tell me about the dead man,” I asked Fernando, “what have you got on him?”

I think Fernando was sorting something out on his desk. I could hear paper rustling and he took time in answering.

“Ah!… here we are!…,” he began, “His name’s James Frederick Lee,… known as Jimmy “The Fiddler” Lee,… aged thirty-six,… he was a member here for the last three months… he’d got a criminal record as long as your arm… mostly petty stuff though… spent time in jail… sent down for burglary… also done time for shop lifting and car theft... he seems to have been a bit of a one man band though… he lived alone in a North London Flat and didn’t seem to have any ties with any organised crime… so we’ve drawn a blank there I’m afraid.”

Just then Anthea entered McDonalds, saw me in the corner and dumped a pile of shopping bags on the table in front of me.

Obviously I couldn’t carry on with this conversation, so I decided to call it a day. I would phone Fernando back later when not harassed.

“Look Fernando, something’s just cropped up… I’ll call you back later,” I told him, then added a quick: “Bye!” before he could come back to me.

I then switched off my mobile completely and looked up to Anthea. She’d obviously heard me mention Fernando’s name so I told it to her straight.

“Just checking on how the investigation is going,” I explained, then rose to buy her something to eat.

However, as you can imagine, as I walked up to the counter to order a cheeseburger and a cup of coffee my mind was in turmoil. All my well thought out theories had been shot to pieces, and my French connection conspiracy blown straight out the water. It now seemed more likely that we had two men fighting over Fatima, and I saw two possible solutions. It was either one man trying to prevent the other from abducting Fatima, or, both men taking advantage of the opportunity and clashing over the spoils? I put a ‘possible’ and a ‘maybe’ against my two scenarios and left it at that.

However, both options did not explain the false name of the owner of the Wimbledon address, or the speed at which the place had been cleared. As you can imagine I was totally confused. Nothing about this case made sense anymore. I decided to spend more time mulling over the facts before phoning Fernando back. In the meantime I had Anthea to worry about. I’d given her my credit card and by the look of the pile of shopping, and the expensive logos on the bags, my credit limit had just been blown.


                                                          * * *


That evening saw the four of us set off from our hotel once more. We caught a taxi this time so exactly what part of Dundee we visited I’ve no idea. We just gave the driver the name of a street and he seemed happy enough to take us there.

The name of the club we were looking for was called ‘The Pilliwinks’. (An innocuous name I thought until I found out later that ‘Pilliwinks’ was a Scottish term for a type of thumbscrew and used in witch trials by the Scottish Privy Council.) Surprisingly we found the place quite easily. It was just a few paces away from where the taxi dropped us.

The club was above a line of shops. There was an Indian takeaway open and doing trade. The entrance to the club was via a small doorway between two shops with stairs going up to the first floor. The name of the club was on a small sign to the side and had a hand pointing towards the door. There was no one at the bottom of the stairs, but I could see someone standing at the top. He was not exactly Hulk sized, but menacing enough, so I let prudence get the better of me and sent Bruce up alone to do all the talking.

Bruce returned looking sour faced. I thought this impossible. Bruce always talked himself into these places.

Bruce shook his head. He looked morose.

“The man say’s we’ve got to be accompanied by a member each Sport,” he told me sadly. “I tried to explain who we were, but he was having none of it. He said rules are rules.”

I patted Bruce on the shoulder and tried to sympathise with him.

“Never mind Bruce, you tried,” I told him and trying to sound sad with it.

Actually I was thinking great! This was my chance to get back to the hotel, relax and try out more of those malt whiskies on that back shelf. But just at that point in time a young man, probably still in his late teens, and dressed in leather gear, walked past and made for the stairs. Anthea grabbed him before he could get through the door and clung on to his arm.

“Hi there gorgeous!… you looking for company tonight?” she asked, then put to him: “How about taking me up the stairs with you?… Perhaps we can have a good time together?”

I don’t think the young man could believe his luck and was wondering if there was a snag. He then looked to us and I don’t think we helped. I think everybody stood there in the street was wondering what this was all about.

I shrugged my shoulders at him.

“Carry on son,” I told him. “She’s made you an offer I certainly wouldn’t refuse… so grab it whilst you can!”

The young man looked to Anthea who was still clinging on to his arm, then looked back at me. After giving the matter some thought he nodded his head.

“All right, I’ll take her up with me,” he confirmed.

The two, locked arm in arm, then turned and set off up the stairs.

As they began to ascend, Anthea looked over her shoulder and smiled at the three of us left standing on the pavement.

“I’ve got my escort, now you lot find your own,” she called.

As Anthea disappeared round the corner at the top of the stairs I looked to Bruce and Jenny. They were as much dumbfounded as I was.

“Well Sport, we’d better do as Sheila says,… and catch ourselves a member each as they come in,” Bruce remarked to me.

I nodded my head.

“I suppose we’ve got no alternative now that Anthea’s wormed her way in,” I replied.

We waited about ten minutes and when no one else turned up we started to get a little desperate. Then to our surprise, relief came from the top of the stairs. It was in the shape of Anthea along with someone dressed in a dark suit complete with collar and tie. He was a middle aged man, probably in his mid-forties, with a sun-tanned complexion and neatly trimmed ginger beard. He looked like management to me.

The man approached me first and held out his hand.

We shook.

I was wondering what this was all about.

“Welcome to Pilliwinks,” he said warmly, “sorry about the mix up, but my man on the door was only doing his job… I’m Jock McFlintoff by the way… I’m the manager of Pilliwinks… please do come upstairs to the club… you’re most welcome to take advantage of all our facilities… the girls and the drinks are all on the house.”

Whilst I stood with mouth agape and wondering how best to respond, the Club’s manager moved over to shake Bruce’s hand.

I looked to Bruce in amazement and shook my head slowly from side to side. I just couldn’t believe any of this was happening. Obviously Anthea had spun the manager a yarn that we were royalty or something. Suddenly I had visions of being thrown out of an upstairs window as soon as the man found out the truth. I looked up the side of the building and measured the distance from window to road. I can tell you it was a huge drop and I didn’t like it.

Still wondering how far I could fall and still be alive, I turned to Anthea who was stood in the doorway. She was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

“What have you gone and told him?” I asked with a deep sigh and still shaking my head from side to side.

If it wasn’t royalty, then I had visions of my credit card being involved in this somewhere, and this time it would really be over the limit.

Anthea continued to smile. She was enjoying this. I could see that she was holding out. But eventually she could contain herself no longer.

She pointed up the stairs to the club.

“This is one of my clubs… I own twenty-five percent of this place,” she told me with a swagger, “it’s part of the same Consortium that owns Hendry’s.”

I think I nearly fell over.


                                                          * * *


Once up the stairs and at the bar I needed a stiff drink, and seeing they were on the house I selected the most expensive malt whisky and ordered a double.

There was a lad aged about twenty-one serving who spoke with a very broad Scottish accent. There was only lager on tap and it was the ‘dingo piss’ Bruce had warned me about the night before. However, I think he must have been desperate because he asked for a pint of ‘dingo piss’ and was served the lager without any questions being raised. As for Jenny, she had a glass of sherry, whilst Anthea already had a martini poured and took to sucking a slice of lemon whilst we got our order.

I looked about the room. It was not as big as Hendry’s by a long way, and had no equipment in it. I assumed the business end was conducted elsewhere in the building. This was probably one of many rooms that stretched above the line of shops.

There were just four men seated in various places about the room. Anthea’s escort was one of them. None were sitting together, and all were either sipping or staring into their drinks. I’d seen this trance-like state before at Hendry’s: The same blank look on their faces and the distances apart told me they were all loners and waiting for girls.

Whilst Bruce chatted to the manager next to the bar, I took advantage of the situation and dragged Anthea over to a quiet table.

“What’s all this about?” I asked once we were seated. “Fill me in… you’ve been keeping this a secret haven’t you?”

Anthea nodded her head.

“I popped into my Accountants when I was in London and tried to get the low down on what Hendry had left me… well the accountant hadn’t got everything at hand… he said he’d post all the details to me… but he wrote me out a list of clubs… I own six… or a quarter of six… that’s… ummm,” she hesitated at this point.

Knowing maths was not her strongest point, and four didn’t go into six and come out with a whole number, I stopped her at this point.

“So how did you know it was this club?” I asked.

Anthea opened up her handbag and handed me a folded up sheet of paper. I opened it out. It was Company headed note paper with the London name and address of her Accountants on the top. Hand written on the sheet were six names. I recognised three of them. There was Hendry’s of course, but the list also included the ‘El Calabozo’ which I knew to be in Barcelona, and ‘The Pilliwinks’ which was here in Dundee. The other three all seemed to have a French ring to them.

“That’s what my accountant gave me and I recognised the name Pilliwinks,” she told me. “When I asked if there were anymore Pilliwinks in Scotland, I was told no, this was the only one… so I asked to see the manager.”

I handed back the list. My only concern now was my own identity. A certain Mr. Woods would probably not go down well here, especially if it got to be known that I was the one that got Hendry put away.

“What about me? Who does he think I am?” I asked.

Anthea pulled that silly leering grin again. I knew immediately that she’d been telling lies about me.

“I told him you’re my Financial Adviser… I said your name was Mr. Smith and that you worked for me as a personal business advisor,” she told me.

She was still leering, so I knew there was more, and it had to be bad.

“And what else did you tell him about me?” I asked with a sigh.

Anthea’s leer turned to a big grin.

“I told him you were a cruel bastard when it came to BDSM and you specially wanted to test out the facilities here,” she explained.

I took a deep breath and counted to ten. Suddenly I had a hard-man image to protect as well as trying to act like a financial advisor. But I must admit I gave credit where credit was due. At least I was in the club and in a position to start asking questions, and all that made possible because of Anthea and her quick thinking.

“Anthea, you’re a bloody genius,” I told her.

Anthea returned the list to her handbag. I could see that she was still aglow with pleasure. She had that smug look about her. I think she wanted more praise, but I left it at that.

As you can imagine my mind was already working on how best to take advantage of the situation. What I really wanted to do was to have a good look around the place, and possibly even a quick peep outside the back. Two things I was after. One was some sort of vehicle capable of carrying twelve girls, and two; some sort of safe room where they could be housed for a few nights without being detected.

I looked around for inspiration. I needed to be devious here. What I wanted was to dump Anthea and make time to speak to the manager alone. My vision came to rest on the young lad that had escorted Anthea up the stairs and I had an idea.

I indicated to Anthea with a nod of my head in the lad’s direction.

“Don’t you owe that young lad over there a favour?” I asked Anthea.

Anthea turned her head and sucked hard on her slice of lemon.

She nodded and smiled.

“I guess I do owe him a favour,” she admitted.

I gestured with open hands.

“Then I suggest you go across to him and offer him his just rewards,” I told her.

Anthea looked to me. Her eyes were sparkling.

“Are you sure you don’t mind Woody?” she asked.

I took hold of a hand and patted her on the back for comfort.

“No… of course not sweetheart… and I think the young lad deserves a special treat for what he did… don’t you?” I suggested.

Anthea nodded her head and rose from her chair.

“Thanks Woody,… I’ll remember this,” she said with a smile, then braced herself for action.

I could see that she was going to enjoy this little encounter. An expert with a rookie. I guess she was about to teach the lad a number of tricks he’d never dreamt were possible. Secretly I wished the young lad all the luck in the world. He would certainly need it once Anthea got stuck into him. I just hoped he would have enough energy to satisfy all her needs and come out of it unscathed.

“And Anthea, please be gentle with him,” I told her as she began to walk away.

Anthea loosened a few top buttons on her blouse. She then stalked her way across the room towards her unsuspecting prey. As soon as her back was turned I breathed a big sigh of relief. Next I had to find something for Bruce and Jenny to do that didn’t involve me.

As luck would have it, I didn’t have to. As I approached the bar Bruce’s conversation with the manager had come to an end. The manager was off trying to organise girls for the remaining club members.

Bruce looked to me. He had his arm around Jenny.

“I hope you don’t mind Sport,… but we’ve booked ourselves a room to play in… the manager says he can fix one up for you if you like… he say’s he’ll be back in a minute once he’s organised something for the members here,” he explained.

I was thinking brilliant, but I didn’t let on. Pretty soon the bar would be deserted and I would be free to have an uninterrupted conversation with the manager.

I got my whisky glass refilled then turned to Bruce. I raised the glass in salute.

“Don’t worry about me Bruce,” I told him. “You go and have your fun… I’ve got this to keep me company.”

Bruce laughed.

“Good on ya Sport,” he told me, then still clinging on to Jenny he turned and headed for the door.

“Enjoy yourselves,” I said, but I don’t think they heard.

I returned to my table and sat down. I saw Anthea depart, then watched as three fresh girls came into the room and, one by one, led the remaining members away. Whilst all this was going on I supped my whisky and waited patiently for the manager to become free. Needless to tell you, I was hatching a plan.

I was into my third double whisky when Jock McFlintoff finally came across to me and sat himself down opposite. Apart from the barman, we were alone in the room.

“Sorry about the delay Mr. Smith, but as you can see I had a few clients to deal with first,” he said and sounding most apologetic.

I could see the man was pandering up to me. As Financial Advisor to one of the Club’s major shareholders I guess I held some sway. So I didn’t disillusion him.

“I’m glad to see you doing your job,” I told him. “The clients pay the bills and their interests must come first.”

I think I struck the right chord. At least he seemed happy with my answer.

“Now what can I do for you Mr. Smith?… can I find you a girl to your liking?… what are your preferences?… I hear you like it hard… we’ve got girls for all tastes… old… young… big tits… you tell me what you want and I think I can arrange something,” he put to me.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I was looking for a girl of North African appearance that was handcuffed and blindfolded and living in a safe room somewhere. But as you can imagine it’s not the sort of request you could put directly to the manager without raising an eyebrow. So I thought of a way round it. I just kept my fingers crossed that it would work.

“Have you got someone that does belly dancing?” I asked, “or better still, the dance of the seven veils?”

It seemed the closest I could get to what I wanted.

Jock McFlintoff thought for a moment then nodded his head thoughtfully.

“Mr Smith, I think I can find the very thing you’re looking for,” he said, “but I’ll have to go and ask a few questions first... as for a room to use… our pillory room is free at the moment… will that do?”

I nodded my head.

“That will do nicely,” I told him.

The manager rose from his chair. He seemed eager to please.

“Then give me a few minutes Mr Smith and hopefully I’ll get something organised for you,” he told me.

I raised my glass of whisky.

“There’s no rush,” I told him, “I’m not driving back and I’m quite happy to sit here and enjoy your best whisky.”

Jock McFlintoff looked concerned. He probably thought me an alcoholic. But it turned out his concerns were more for lack of music rather than drink.

“What about music?” he asked, “if I can get the seven veils organised, won’t you be needing something to dance to?… I not sure we’ve got anything suitable!”

I tried not to chuckle and kept a straight face.

“Don’t worry… I’ll make her whistle whilst she dances,” I told him.


                                                          * * *


Fifteen minutes later I was taken to a room. A girl was already waiting. She was of Arabic appearance and dressed in what must have been just seven veils of fine silk. With one of the veils about her head and face it was difficult to tell her age from just her eyes, but by slight of stature I could see that she was still quite young.

I was introduced.

“This is Shafali… she’ll dance for you… she will also do anything you ask of her afterwards… and Mr. Smith, don’t hold back… this one has quite a high pain threshold and the walls are soundproofed,” explained the manager.

Shafali sank to her knees and bowed her head low. She then remained in that position.

I rubbed my chin thoughtfully.

“She looks quite exquisite,” I replied. “I think we’ll get on well together.”

The manager then pointed around the room. There was a pillory in the centre, and all along one wall hung a vast assortment of whips, flails and paddles.

“And please, take advantage of whatever you find in this room… Shafali will not complain… she has been taught otherwise,” he told me with a knowing smile.

I smiled back.

“Then I’ll do my best not to disappoint her,” I told him.

Jock McFlintoff laughed, gave me a friendly pat on the shoulder, then turned and walked out of the room.

As the door closed I turned to Shafali. She was still crouched low and with head bowed. I congratulated myself. I was now alone with someone that would hopefully provide me with a few answers. I just prayed that my cunning plan had worked and I’d get something worthwhile out of it.

I stood in front of Shafali and gave her an order.

“Stand up and look at me,” I told her.

She did as she was told. She was not very tall. Only about five feet three. I unwound the veil from about her face, raised up her chin and looked into her eyes. They were big and brown. I wondered how someone so young and so pretty, and obviously so many miles from home, would ever get caught up in a game like this. I could only assume that she had been sold into slavery by some poor parents. In certain parts of the world girls were expendable. It seemed such a pity and a waste of such a young life.

To be quite honest I felt sorry for Shafali and did not wish to subject her to any undue suffering, be it mental or physical.

If it was at all in my powers I’d have walked away there and then. But obviously I could not. This was something I had to see through to the bitter end, otherwise, when she got back and started relating her experiences, then I had to appear genuine, even to the extent of being a hard man. It was important not to blow my cover. I was Mr. Smith, Financial Advisor to a major shareholder, and, thanks to Anthea, I also had a reputation of being a cruel bastard.

I stepped back.

“You may dance for me now,” I told her.

Shafali began to gracefully and slowly move about the floor. I didn’t even notice the fact we had no music. The dance was divine. After a minute or two the first veil was unwound from about her waist. It was then held at arms length and tossed about in the air several times before being released. The soft silk scarf then drifted slowly downwards in a backwards and forwards motion until it landed silently on the floor.

The dance continued and one by one the veils were shed. As the last veil floated gracefully to the floor I could see what a beautiful little body this petite girl had. I left it to her to decide when the performance should end. She danced away merrily, with her body stark naked for perhaps another two minutes, then ended by swooning to the floor and lying on her side with arms stretched above her head.

I clapped my hands and gave credit for such a fine performance. I told her to get up and come to me. She did so and I placed a hand under her chin and raised up her head so that I could look into her big brown eyes once more.

“Where do you come from?” I asked.

Suddenly I could see that I had a communication problem.

She shook her head and said something I assume must have been in Arabic.

I rattled off a list of countries. My geography was poor but I think I got over my message.

“Algeria?.. Tunisia?.. Morocco?..” I asked.

The word Morocco struck a chord.

“I… from… Morocco… yes,” she said slowly.

I think I was getting somewhere.

“Have you been here long?” I asked.

She shook her head. Once more I could see that we were having communication problems.

“When… did… you… get… here?” I said slowly and spelling out every word.

I think she understood the word ‘here’, but that was all.

“Here… nice,” she told me.

I could see that I was getting nowhere and gave up. What I needed was an interpreter. It was either that or a crash course in Arabic.

I took stock of what I’d learnt. It wasn’t much, but it did seem that Jock McFlintoff had a steady supply of girls and could satisfy my own outrageous request quite readily and within fifteen minutes of asking. Furthermore the girl he supplied originated from Morocco, which also happened to be Fatima’s starting point. I wondered if I’d found another piece to my jigsaw?

I looked to Shafali. She was stood naked and staring up at me. I felt sorry for her. But I knew what I had to do to keep my cover and had to leave my mark, so to speak.

I moved to the pillory and raised up the top board. It was hinged on one corner and had three cut out holes; two for the arms and one for the head. With the board held high I signalled for Shafali to come to me and place her head and arms into the slots. She did so without hesitation. As she shuffled herself into the three indentations, I lowered the top board and locked it in position.

After checking that she was comfortable and nothing pinched, I slapped her on the backside.

“Good girl,” I told her, then looked to the line of flogging instruments set against the side wall.

I moved up and down the row inspecting each item as I went. There were some vicious implements amongst the vast collection that would do a lot of damage. There were thick leather bullwhips and even flails with sharp metal spikes attached to the thin rows of leather strips. I settled for an ordinary cane. It had a curved handle like a walking stick, and when I tested it, it flexed and sprung quite easily. I gave it a swish through the air and it sounded like it meant business. I just hoped, for Shafali’s sake, that its sound was worse than its bite.

I moved to stand behind Shafali and made her open out her legs. I then judged my distance and tested my swing by giving her a few gentle pats across her backside.

I then let fly. The cane swished through the air and connected sharply across the buttocks. Shafali twitched and rocked her rear from side to side for a second or two, then settled down to wait for more. I noticed a thin red line appear where the cane had struck. I thought this to be good. My purpose was for Shafali to go from this room with at least something to show for it.

With my cane touching the inside of her legs, I got her to adjust her stance so that she stood with her legs a little further apart. I then struck again. I was in no hurry and I waited for a second red line appear before pulling back my cane once more.

I struck again, and again, carefully targeting a fresh strip of Shafali’s flesh until both her cheeks glowed red from top to bottom. I then added another half a dozen blows to the back of the thighs for good measure. I don’t know how many times I struck. I wasn’t counting, but I think something like thirty to forty would be a fair estimate.

I was happy now; my reputation as a hard bastard intact, and I decided to leave it at that.

With Shafali coming to terms with her discomfort, I returned the cane to its rightful position against the wall and moved on down the row. More out of curiosity than malice, I selected that vicious looking flail I’d seen before. It consisted of a short fat leather handle and lots of thin leather strips. Attached at various intervals to those leather strips were jagged twists of metal. They looked evil and could obviously do a lot of damage to the skin. I shuddered at the thought.

I went to return the flail to a slot in a rack, but as I did so I just happened to catch a glimpse of Shafali. She was bent forward with her legs apart; her tenderised backside glowing bright red and protruding invitingly towards me. She was obviously suffering some discomfort and shuffling uneasily in the pillory.

Suddenly I had a thought. It was always my intention that someone else should come into the room and release Shafali. At least that way a second person would bear witness to the beating. So, with the aid of the flail, I decided to make the sight look a little more decorative, that was all.

I walked up to Shafali and fingered for her cavity between her legs. Her hole was moist and welcoming and, despite her discomfort, she opened out her legs some more to accommodate my probing fingers. I still had the flail in one hand. I turned it round and presented the handle to her crack. I then eased it deep inside until most of the handle had disappeared. I then left it at that.

With the handle of the flail sunk deep into her cavity, I considered my task done and I walked to the door.

I took one last look at Shafali locked in the pillory. With reddened cheeks and a ponytail sticking out of her rear, she looked absolutely delightful. I rubbed my hands together and nodded my head in approval. I just hoped whoever found her would appreciate my handiwork, if not my sense of humour.

Feeling satisfied with my evening’s work, I departed the room.


                                                          * * *


Out in what was a corridor running along the rear of the building, I took my bearings. I knew to the left returned to the bar, so I set off in the opposite direction. To one side of the corridor there were windows, but they were all painted out, presumably to shield the sight of rampaging naked bodies from the unsuspecting world outside. On the other side of the corridor there were a series of doors to a succession of rooms. I heard Anthea begging for more in one of the them, and a little further on I heard what was unmistakably an Australian accent. I was pleased that they were all having fun.

I was right about the layout too. It seemed that the club owned every property above street level and this continued on above several shops. I came to a window that was partly open. I pushed it open a little further and looked outside. I found myself looking into a yard that serviced the shops. It was full of bins and piles of boxes. But interestingly I saw a large Ford Transit van parked outside. It was white and had the markings of a freight shipping company on the side. The words read: ‘Europa Container Transport’.

I rubbed my chin thoughtfully. I think I’d just found another piece to my jigsaw. However, like all my other pieces, there always remained a strong possibility it didn’t fit my particular jigsaw. And that was the problem. I had no way of proving anything. I was simply living on hunches alone.

I went to move on down the corridor when I heard Jock McFlintoff calling.

“Finished so soon Mr. Smith?” he called.

I put my head through the gap in the window and breathed in deeply.

“Just catching a breath of fresh air,” I told him. “It’s a bit stuffy in there.”

I was hoping the manager would go away and I could resume my snooping, but just then the door next to me opened and out stepped Bruce and Jenny. It looked like they’d finished their session.

“Good on yer Sport!” Bruce greeted me. “You finished too?… we’re off to the bar to get another drink… you coming with us?… it’s our last night remember?.. so let’s make it a good ‘un!… hey?… what d’ya think Sport?”

I guess at this point I found myself with little alternative, and besides, there were far too many people around for comfort. Reluctantly I set off for the bar with Bruce and Jenny.

As I passed the room I’d been using, I called back down the corridor to the Manager.

“Shafali’s still locked up in here,” I told him, “could you release her for me?”

Jock McFlintoff nodded his head.

“Leave it to me Mr. Smith,” he said and I kept on walking.


                                                          * * *


I’m ashamed to admit this, but I guess I must add a final few words on the rest of the evening.

I drunk a lot more whisky. Bruce and Jenny took to sampling it too. Anthea joined us eventually and we all had more drinks.

We knew this to be our last night together and we went out in style. At one point we even sent the lad behind the bar down to get us each an Indian takeaway.

At the end of the night we caught a taxi back to our hotel. I fell over getting out and Bruce was sick in the gutter. Anthea helped me into bed, and that’s the last thing I remember in what turned out to be a most memorable day in the ‘City of Discovery’.


                                                          * * *


End of Chapter Seven