Jessica and Gwendoline leant over the brook, bathing their faces in the
"Good of you to let us stop when you did, Harry" said Gwendoline loking
around for a second.
"That's OK. I couldn't get any pleasure watching you two, it was truly
boring - you are too evenly matched. You could have gone on for hours
and neither would have won"
"Admit it, Gwen. It wasn't as bad as all that, was it?" said Jessica.
"I mean we're not exactly fragile - either of us. When we go up to
Oxford, I vote we stop all this refusing to compete against each other
- after all we've fought other friends and no one's trying to kill
anyone - why are we so special? Think of the trophies we've missed out
on by being so squeamish - don't let's lose any more."
"Just what I've been thinking"
"It's a real beauty - that eye of yours, Gwen"
"So is yours Jessie - a work of art!. My foot hurts a bit."
" You mistimed a kick - I never felt it at all - well hardly" lied
Jessica rubbing her sore stomach and examining the deep red imprint of
"Come on you two let's eat that lovely food Jason left us"
Said Gwendoline after the meal was over "I thought you'd maybe let us
off after today's little dust up - I mean we did save you from those
two guys. I think you were a bit hard on us insisting we went through
"I thought about it - and I did stop you after a few minutes. If I'd
still been as mad I was the other day, you'd still be slugging it out
now until one or both of you dropped. I might still keep you to it - so
mind how you treat me."
"You surely don't mean we've still got this hanging over us" cried an
"You might have"
"Come on Gwen! We might just as well finish now as later - we've eaten.
Now lets get on with it. She can carry us both on her back tomorrow.
Hope you're feeling strong Harriet!"
"Right come on, Jessica"
Fifty minutes later.
I told you it was boring - all you've done is tire yourselves out for
"It was NOT boring" gasped Jessica taking her head out of the stream to
catch her breath. "If you had any idea of the skills we were
demonstrating. Some of our moves were BRILLIANT. You're just a bloody
Philistine! Gwendoline dear - how do you cure nosebleeds? Look at that
stream running pink with my lifeblood - do something sweetheart."
Gwen splashed cold water on to Jessica's back and it actually worked!
A grateful Jess sat next to her friend, her arm around her and examined
her face affectionately.
"You've two black eyes now Gwen and I've still only got one. Still I've
got a sore nose to even things up."
"Look at that lazy Harriet", said Gwendoline - "Look at her! Fresh as a
daisy while we're bruised and exhausted. Mind you we worked up a lovely
sweat, cold as it!"
"Do you think she needs a dip in the brook, Jessica?"
"Just what I was thinking! Come on Harriet - bath time!"
"You'll never catch me in the state you're both in. You've bloody
crippled each other - look at yourselves!"
They DID catch Harriet in spite of their tired state and dropped her
wriggling naked body into the stream, immediately plunging in after her
and holding her down in the freezing cold water.
"Let me up you two. I promise always to be nice to you and you can lick
my pussy any time you like. Honest you can. Please you two, I'm
freezing. I'm not as tough as you are - I can't take this kind of thing
like you can. I'm sorry I made you fight each other after you'd both
rescued me. I'll try to make it up to you."
"Nice here in the brook, isn't it Jessie"
"I think so, Gwen And very comfortable with nice soft Harriet to sit
on. Let's spend all night here - what do you say?"
"Do you think her skin will go all wrinkled after a while in the water?
Wonder how long it takes? Shall we wait here and find out?
"Please let me up, you two!"
"Who gave you permission to speak, Harriet? Gwen and I are talking.
Don't interrupt again! You get an extra five minutes in the brook for
"Isn't it pretty the way her bush is moving about in the water, Gwen,
like some delicate water weed?"
"Lovely. Shall we just sit quietly for a bit? I feel very full of deep
thoughts and they need time to fructify.
"Shall we push her head under for a bit, Gwendoline? We could look at
all the pretty bubbles coming up"
"I don't know, Jessica. Let's think it over for a while"
The two girls continued to hold the frozen Harriet firmly in position.
Harriet was much too scared of her friends in their present vengeful
mood to utter another word or to put up any more of a struggle. Finally
Gwendoline spoke, relaxing her grip on the poor girl.
"Come on she's had enough. This stopped being funny ages ago, if it
ever was! Let's get her out and warm her up. Come on Harriet."
And they assisted their friend out of the water.
"Lie down here, darling, we'll soon get you lovely and warm - we're
experts - no hard feelings I hope. We're nasty little bitches
sometimes, but you should have let us off and that made us mad with
"No hard feelings, Gwendoline. I know I should never have made you do
what you did to each other. Part of me wanted the excitement of
watching you knock each other about - that was bad - made me no better
than those awful people the other night. I know I'm going to be the
permanent underdog around here from now on, but I do like being around
you two - I truly do, if I'm still welcome!"
"Don't be so silly, Harriet - you and Gwen can half drown ME in the
morning if you like - that's a promise - IF you can catch me! We quite
enjoyed pitting our skills against each other once we got going!
Surprised ourselves! And we didn't really hurt each other- didn't try
to - to let you into our little secret! So no silly talk of underdogs
around here. Let's go to bed and all get warm together!"
Bed was the open meadow where the struggle between Gwen and Jessica had
taken place, with great vigour and without much injury. The two kept
Harriet underneath them all night and this time she did not complain or
struggle to escape.
The girls arranged a meeting with cousin Jason on the next day. They
wanted to know what had happened to Frederika and Tamsin. More than
that; he brought wonderful ham sandwiches and coffee for them on his
visits. They were all beginning to appreciate his delicious breakfasts!
When he arrived he looked startled.
"What happened to you two - you had a few healing bruises last time.
Now you've freshened them up a bit and added some new ones. Did Harriet
do that to you - surely not?"
"In a way she did" replied Gwendoline with a laugh. We were just
brushing up a few of our kick boxing and associated techniques to
entertain her. It was a great way to keep warm."
"Then they threw me in the river and sat on me and wouldn't let me out
for ages! We have such super fun together!"
"Sounds like it" he drily retorted. "Any way here's your breakfast. It
should keep you going for a few hours. Your two friends' relatives came
and picked them up yesterday. They would very much like to see you all
and thank you personally. You may be asked to give evidence. The police
are involved now and they are taking it very seriously. They've
questioned the people at the camp and arrested the so-called Pastor and
the girls' parents"
"Oh, shit. Can't they wait until November 24th! No! I suppose not.
We'll just have to break off and that'll mean the whole Ladies Masonic
Society thing's off - DAMN!"
Harriet spoke up. "I'll go and give a statement to the cops. Maybe I
can rejoin you in a day or two, if you like. That should do the trick
for now. The Crown Court trial won't be for ages and we can all give
our evidence then"
And so the three became two again.
"Hope she does rejoin us, Jessica. She's a sweet girl and I'm really
going to miss her"
"Me too. I wish we hadn't been so beastly to her! We must be nicer when
she comes back"
"If she comes back" said Gwendoline sadly. "When she's got her clothes
back on and had a few nice warm nights with Jason, and got used to
regular hot meals she won't want to come and put up with our funny
little ways again and all the freezing cold. Why did we pick on her so
cruelly last night? God, but I really hate myself for that! Please hug
me, Jessie - I feel so miserable!"
It was two days since Harriet had left so to give evidence to the
police against the abusers of Freddy and Tamsin . Jessica and Gwen had
covered about fifty miles in that time. They were on higher ground now
and the days of trudging over sodden marshy meadows and wading or
swimming over watercourses were over. At least for a while.
They had found suitable places to sleep at night, but still woken half
frozen in the mornings. The thought of just over a month of this - and
worse- was beginning to seem very intimidating. And in terms of
distance they were getting behind schedule.
They both missed Harriet. The more they thought about her the more
bitterly they both regretted that they had treated her so shamefully in
the last few days. They especially repented of their cruelty on that
final evening, when they had thrown her into a brook and held her under
only her head above water, for over twenty minutes until she was half
dead with cold. At one point they had threatened to push even her head
under and the look of sheer terror on Harriet's face still haunted them
with guilt. She might have provoked them into this, but they had
over-reacted - not for the first time.
The first night without her they had slept separately and, without
their shared warmth, consequently they had shivered all night. Feeling
somehow obliged to do something to expiate their guilt they had decided
to experience the same misery they had caused their poor friend.
"Harriet was right - we really are going to need help if we mean to
finish this" said a shivering Gwendoline as they lay in a ditch on the
morning after their second Harriet-less night.
"Oh don't be such a bloody pessi..........."
Just as Jessica was half-way through the word "pessimist" the bushes
over the dicth parted and a large human penis appeared and was directed
by two strong hands in a downwards direction - pointing directly at the
two girls. Someone was clearly about to piss all over them!
Both girls did what any nice well brought up young ladies would in such
circumstances. They screamed loudly!
More of the foliage was disturbed and a face appeared. The penis was
speedily withdrawn and rehoused.
"Gosh - ladies! I'm most frightfully sorry - usually get this ditch to
myself - find myself another spot to do the necessary! Stay where you
are - might be some help. I mean to say - you must be in some sort of
jam! Be right back.
Two minutes later a tall young man dressed in rather oily jeans and
anorak pushed all of himself through the bushes and climbed down into
the ditch. He was holding some covering for the girls to put on.
"No thanks. We don't wear clothes any more. All those cleaning bills
and that awful ironing. I mean - who needs it!" Gwendoline giggled.
"You can't be serious! It's bloody freezing today and you don't look
warm at all. Come and sit in my cab for a while and get some heat into
you - I'll stay outside."
So the girls climbed out of the ditch and found themselves in a layby
where a large lorry (truck) was parked. They climbed up into the warm
cab and began to thaw out.
"Please don't stay out in the cold. Come up and talk to us. We trust
you - worse luck!" cried Jessica.
The young man hoisted himself into the cab and sat beside them.
"Are you sure you aren't in some kind of trouble - you're covered in
bruises - has some swine beaten you both up?"
"No. We did this to each other in a bit of practising - except for a
few very faint bruises which date from when we took part in an illegal
bare knuckle prize fight and emerged triumphant"
"How absolutely splendid! I like to see girls who make something of
themselves - their bodies, I mean. My sister, she's a total wimp - arms
and legs like sticks - picks at her food - mopes about in her room all
day - pathetic! You two are my kind of girl every time! The days of the
little woman sitting at home having coffee mornings and sewing meetings
- gone for ever I should hope!
"I was a boxing and rowing blue at Cambridge, myself. Nothing like
sport for keeping you on your toes. Healthy mind in a healthy body."
"You seem a bit of an odd fellow to be driving a lorry! By the way,
we'd better introduce ourselves - I'm Jessica Maltravers and this is
Gwendoline Foxe my best friend and life's partner."
" Pleased to meet you both. Lady Gwendoline Foxe and the Hon. Jessica
Maltravers. You two are famous!"
"You didn't say how you came to be doing a job like this, with your
education. And how do you know about us?"
"We're new money in my family, unlike you two blue-bloods! Into all
sorts of vulgar enterprises! My grandfather started this firm and now I
own and run it, together with quite a few others, since my dear old Dad
died a couple of years ago. But I prefer driving this thing on my own
once in a while to unwind. Change from sitting in some bloody board
room with a bunch of stuffed shirts; so a lot of the time I let other
people do the hard work and I relax and enjoy myself in my own funny
As for knowing about you two - well you caused quite a stir - rescuing
two young girls from a whipping at the hands of a bunch of freaks.
Quite the heroines - you two and your friend Lady Harriet!"
"You mean it's in the papers!"
"Very much so."
"Harriet went to make a statement, but we want to making finish a
little mision we are on first before we have our say"
And they explained.
"What an amazing idea! Pretty devilish kind of initiation, though! I'd
let you pass it for just having made it this far! I really would! If
you like, I can try to contact this Harold Fitzjames and get him to
relax the conditions."
"NO!NO! NO!" shouted Jessica, with Gwendoline nodding agreement. "WE
WANT TO DO IT, EVEN IF IT KILLS US"
"It really has become that important" agreed Gwendoline. "We just
couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't see this thing through right
to the end. Though it seems to be gettingharder all the time."
"What a great couple! Get out of the cab and into the back, where you
won't be seen. I'm going to drive to a transport cafe and get something
to eat. I'll bring you two a few morsels to warm you up for the day -
Half an hour later, in another layby, they ate a magnificent breakfast
with their new friend.
"I can pass the word to our drivers to keep an eye out for you two.
But, obviously they mainly use the Motorway and that's no help. Can you
memorise my phone number?"
"Gwendoline's got a photographic memory" said Jessica proudly. "We were
given a map and loads of detailed instructions at the start of the
journey and they're all there up in that sweet, beautiful, adorable
head of hers!"
"Which you were kicking and punching so enthusiastically the other day"
laughed Gwen embracing and kissing her friend. "Or would have if I
wasn't too quick for you"
"Glad you were too quick, my sweet!"
"Where can I drop you two off? I'm going North"
After they had all eaten, he let out of the cab late in the afternoon
in a remote part of the High Peak District where the only beings to see
their nudity were sheep who didn't seem that interested
"Good luck girls and keep in touch. I'll be back in London for some
boring old meetings, but I'll always be available to answer a call from
you two" And he drove away, leaving the two adventuresses to face the
cold again after hours of warmth.
"Gosh, Gwen you're covered with gooseflesh and turning blue already,"
shivered Jessica. "Lets start running - the ground's pretty even - and
get the blood flowing."
As they ran Jessie continued, "I've not known it this cold yet; and the
wind! Gosh it's like a knife"
"I know, Jessie. it's really bracing, isn't it? See that old house over
their - looks like a ruin. Lets take a look!"
By the time they reached the house after an hour's running, they had
warmed themselves up and were getting used once again to the open air
after their warm day. The building was indeed derelict and they had a
shelter for the night. The pump in the garden was working and they
could wash and drink. A walnut tree provided them with a meagre supper.
Most of the fruit had fallen from the apple trees and gone putrid.
After a cold but bearable night - such a relief to get out of that wind
- they went into the overgrown garden and took turns to pump water over
each others shivering scarlet bodies. A few minutes of wreslting and
kick boxing practice - no actual blows being landed - dried them off
and induced some degree of warmness.
They set off to experience a fourth day without Harriet, now doubtless
back in her Devon cottage organising some wild party and very relieved
to escape from being a perpetually cold victim of the others cruelty.
They were able to walk all day without having to take cover, although
they did see a car in the far distance at one point - too far way to
see two nude girls - they hoped.
It was a hungry day for them. The food store had been very poorly sited
and some one had long ago comsumed all the stuff they wanted and left
the rest for the beasts of the field, who had eaten the remainder. Lack
of proper food had lowered their spirits and impaired their resistance
to the cold.
"Look, Jess - over there. Are we dreaming or is that a chicken out here
in the middle of nowhere?"
"Can't belong to any one - only be caught by a fox sooner or later.
And two nude and starving girls, their long untidy hair flying in the
wind and their breasts flying up and down as they ran, chased and
caught the vainly protesting fowl and expertly wrang its neck.
The rich young lorry driver had given them a book of matches to replace
the one they had used to rescue the girls from the loonies. They dined
that evening out on the windswept hillside on eatable if rather charred
"That bird was half starved, poor old thing. We did her a favour by
eating her while she still had some meat on her!"
"We've always been kind to animals, Jessie. No one can accuse us of
being all bad. Would have been nice to have Harriet to share it with.
She could have caught it for us while we cheered her on! Best be
pressing on. Maybe there's more ruined houses around here!"
As dusk was falling it seemed their wishes for some shelter from the
wind - colder and stronger than ever - were to be granted. A dark old
building loomed up in the murk only a few hundred away. It was
surrounded by a jigh wall, but looked as empty as the one the previous
night. They moved closer to the house to inspect it. And walked
straight into another disaster, the worst yet.
As the two girls came near the old house they noticed an open doorway
leading through the surrounding wal. They pushed through it and entered
the garden. This garden was nowhere near as overgrown as the one last
night, but there seemed nobody around and they felt safe enough in
creeping up to the house itself.
They had only walked a few yards when a genteel female voice shouted
from an upstairs window.
"What's the matter with you girls - some kind of attack? Come on in out
of the cold - the door's not locked."
The grateful pair pushed open the front door and found themselves in a
hallway. They waited until an elderly and rather shabbily dressed lady
came down the staircase and smiled at them.
"Come into the kitchen. I expect you couold use a hot drink and you can
tell me all about yourselves and whatever misfortune has robbed you of
all you possess - even your clothes."
They were led into a large and very old fashioned kitchen; the sort you
see in period films. The girls were each given a steaming mug of Bovril
and some wholemeal bread and butter. They both felt that yet another
life - saving deliverance from cold and hunger had materialised in the
nick of time!
"We are trying to get to Northumberland without clothes or money and
without being spotted by the Law," explained Gwendoline in answer to
the lady's questions. "We've had a few close shaves, but kept out of
trouble so far - well almost! We aren't able to stay more than one
night anywhere - it's in the terms of our 'dare' you see"
The lady smiled again. "I think you'll find youselves here for more
than just one night, my dears. There's so much to do about the place.
RICHARD, COME INTO THE KITCHEN DEAR!"
"I'd like you two to meet my son. He'll be keeping an eye on you now
that you have come to work here. Here he comes - Look, Richard - We
seem to have solved the servant problem at last."
A large unkempt unshaven man entered the room.
"Aren't they strong looking girls, Richard? Look at those backs and
those arms and shoulders and strong muscular thighs! We'll get them to
work in the garden tomorrow. Tonight they can start sweeping and
cleaning the house. We won't have to clothe them; they don't like
wearing anything - dirty little trollops. Keep your hands off them
Richard - 'touch pitch and be defiled.'"
An alarmed pair started to their feet and prepared to leave in a hurry.
Things seemed to be taking a bit of a turn for the worse. Richard drew
a hand gun from his belt and waved the two back to their seats. The
lady proceeded to tie their arms behind the chairs.
Richard replaced the gun and tok off his leather belt.
"If you keep us against our will, you'll be in big trouble", said
Jessica. "This is unreal"
Richard started to bring the belt down rhythmically slapping the palm
of one hand.
"You call me 'Ma'am' when you address me. And you call Richard 'Sir'
when you talk to him. You NEVER speak until spoken to, if you know
what's good for you"
"FUCK OFF" shouted both girls together, but with a sickening awareness
of their helplessness and the similar way they had intimidated Harriet
the other day. A few chickens seemed to be coming home to roost!
Richard brought the belt crashing down onto the table, causing the
crockery to rattle.
"Next time it comes down on those flawless young backs of yours. It's
time you learned some manners, you foul mouthed little guttersnipes"
"Sorry to swear. What we meant was 'Get Lost'", said a quietly defiant
At this, Gwendoline was released briefly, only to be tied up facing
against the wall, her arms above her head. Richard raised his belt.
"Don't hurt her! Please we'll do as you say only please please don't
"You're going all wimpish and cowardly Jessica - shame on you!" said
Gwendoline. "I'm disappointed."
"Go on" she said to Richard, "beat me as hard as you like, you ugly
fucking freak, but I don't kow tow to scum like you. Not now and not
ever - so get fucked!! And we won't be doing much work if we're more
than half dead"
"Good old Gwen" said Jessica,rather unwillingly shamed into emulating
her friend's courage "Let these shit-faced arseholes do what they like
Neither girl would agree to address these people as they required and
after tiring himself out on them, Richard finally gave up. They were
left, suspended side by side to recover.
"How's your back feel, my darling" asked Gwen
"Painful. How does it look?"
Gwendoline bent her head round and tried to look at her friend's back.
"Not too bad, dear old Jessica. Lots of red marks and a few really
nasty weals - but at least there's no blood. He didn't break the skin.
It's still the loveliest back in the whole wide world! Can't wait to
kiss it all over and over again! How's mine - not so good, I guess?"
"Sorry Gwen, but it's not good at all. Not too much blood, thank God,
but you've a lot of weeping sores. He really laid into you for being
the defiant one. How could you go through all that and not make a
"Don't forget, Jessie! I'm the daughter of an Earl! I might not make a
big thing about it , but I don't crawl to anybody - let alone
degenerate bastards like that! No bloody way!"
"I wish I'd been the one to get the worst of it, rather than you. This
was my daft idea! Now I wish I'd never thought of it. If we get out of
this, the whole silly thing's off and we just get you into a nice warm
bed and plenty of tender loving care - especially from me!"
"Shut up, Jessie. We'll still make it in November - you see."
"Not if we're stuck here we won't"
"I can't put my feet on the ground. I've got to keep standing on
tiptoe. If I don't, my wrists hurt so much when they pull against the
"I know, my love. It's the same with me. These two creeps have done
this kind of thing before. Still - we can keep this up for hours -
"Right - it's a piece of cake"
"Will you marry me?"
"We already are married, you silly goose"
"I'm going to be so good to you - just you watch!"
After a couple of hours the nasty couple came back and released the two
lovers. They sank to the ground and rubbed their wrists in an effort to
get the circulation flowing. It was agony for a while.
When they had recovered they were told to follow their host and
hostess. At the top of the main staircase was a long corridor, covered
in dust. (Ever seen a movie caled "The Omen") They were set to work
sweeping up the detritus of what must have been at least ten years of
wilful neglect. When this had been done they were given polish and rags
and forced to make the whole floor shine. Neither wished to endure
another beating and while still refusing to use any kind of respectful
language to their captors they obediently and industriously did as they
were told in all other respects.
Finally they were thrown into a small room and locked in.
"Let's have a look at that back, lovely Gwen"
"What's the verdict, Jessica my darling?"
"I think you'll live. If you don't, you'll have me to answer for!"
"Isn't it wonderful, my darling lovely girl? We've all the rest of our
lives together from today!"
"Not much of a honeymoon suite - but who cares?"
And so the two lovers slept in each others arms. No matter what might
lie ahead, they had finally admitted their lifelong love for each
other. Nothing could ever defeat them now!
The door of their prison burst open early next morning and Richard came
in and put a plate down on the floor. He motioned the girls to back up
against the wall and they obeyed, still fearful of his gun. The old
lady came into the room, holding a couple of chains which she used to
secure the two to a couple of hooks on the wall so that they were
reduced to kneeling on the floor. All the while a very menacing Richard
kept his gun trained on them.
Richard left and returned a few seconds later with a large copper
saucepan which he partially emptied into the dish.
"Eat up you sluts. That's all you get today and you've a lot of work to
With these few brief and carefully chosen words, he left them.
"Looks horrible, Gwen. And so horribly humiliating. But we'd better try
to eat it. After you with the trough!"
And the two took turns to eat from the dish like a pair of dogs.
Richard came back a few minutes later.
"Nice meal - sluts?"
"Who ever taught you to cook should be fucking shot - you
Richard took of his belt again and raised it in the air, but did not
use it on Gwendoline - yet.
"Good job in the house last night. Work in the garden today. Get
"There's only two of them, Jessie. She's obviously senile and he looks
a half-wit. Surely we should have have sorted them both ages ago!"
"Don't underestimate them, Gwen. They lured us into this place by
leaving that door open - bet they had us under observation for hours as
we tramped across the hills. And he knows how to use a gun, my love.
We've both done a bit of shooting - don't tell me you can't tell a pro
when you see one. He could shoot us dead as soon as blink and we can't
take the risk he wouldn't. And even without the gun I have a gut
feeling he would be no pushover"
"I wonder? I tell you this, my darling , he and his gruesome old mother
are going to regret the day they met us. "
"You've said it"
They emerged into the garden and noticed at once that the east wind was
as strong as ever. It slammed into their naked bodies like a solid wall
"Start cleaning up the lawn - you two naked whores"
The first hour was spent picking up fallen leaves and piling them on to
a heap lower down near the wall. They were not allowed the use a rake
and it was a couple of hours before the mad couple were satisfied.
"They are a lazy pair", said the mother. "Tie that insolent one to a
tree let the other one dig the foundations of the new shed"
"We've marked out the profiles - you slut - all you need to do is dig
the foundations out. Only a couple of feet! Finish it quickly and we
won't beat your friend. Not too much anyway."
The pair retreated inside the house and poor Gwendoline was left tied
to a tree her feet not touching the ground. Jessica toiled away to save
her from further punishment.
After two hours she finished and Gwendoline was freed. The two were
left alone for a few minutes while Jessica comforted her friend and
massaged her wrists and ankles which were chafed by the ropes.
"Darling Gwen - how are those wrists?"
"OK Jessie, my love"
"I missed working beside you so much. It's not too bad when we're
"I hope they don't separate us again. It was SO cold tied up all that
time and not being able to move to keep warm!"
"Never mind - at least we're together again now!"
"Darling Jessie!" But was there a hint of coolness in Gwendoline's
Richard declared the break to be over and they were issued with saws
and told to start cutting dead wood from the many trees in the garden.
They had to climb up into the branches to do this in most cases -
something they had been experienced at in happier times. It was
dangerous work without any kind of safety harness and their hands were
so affected by the bitter cold that they found it hard to get a proper
grip. Harriet fell a couple times as rotten branches gave way under
her. She was unhurt except for a few scratches and the application of
an angry Richard's belt. Both girls were beginning to be scratched and
grazed as their unprotected bodies rubbed against the rough bark. It
was only when darkness was falling that they were brought back into the
house, not before being hosed down with cold water.
When they finally came inside feeling colder and more exhausted than
ever before in their lives they were set to scrubbing the kitchen and
conservatory floors on their hands and knees. After this they were made
to go down to the cellar and bring up solid fuel for the kitchen range.
Another two hours of sweeping and polishing the parquet flooring in the
main reception rooms followed. By this time they were barely awake and
oblivious to the attentions of Richard and his belt. Again Gwen got far
more than her fair share of attention. They were not allowed to rest
until the rooms were so well polished their floors were like miirors.
When they were locked up at almost midnight, they fell asleep and lay
without having the energy to say a word to each other.
On the morning of the second full day of servitude they were allowed to
eat separately although still chained in such a way as to force them to
eat in the same degrading manner.
Immediately they were sent back to continue the arboreal pruning. They
were making up for years of neglect of this garden in a very short
time. By mid day the pair delared themselves satisfied with the state
of the trees and put the girls to collecting up all the fallen timber,
sorting out the twigs from the more substantial branches and sawing the
latter into logs for the winter fires.
Soon a great pile of logs was building up and the girls began to sweat
in spite of the awful wind which continued to whip across the exposed
hillside. Their arms ached from it all. Only nightfall gave them any
respite, when they were allowed finally to quench their terrible thirst
and again hosed down.
Once inside the kitchen the dripping and shivering pair were put to
scrubbing floors again. This job was easier as they had done it so
thoroughly last night. Afterwards it was the upper floors of the house
which they were forced to clean. It took them until almost midnight to
brush all the bedroom carpets to the satisfaction of the odious old
woman and her son. Finally they were locked up again to sleep a few
hours before the beginning of their third day.
"O Darling,Gwendoline! I can't take much more of this. My arms ache and
my knees are sore from all that scrubbing and brushing. My back still
stings from that bastard's belt. We must make a move tomorrow - better
be dead than any more of this! And you're a whole lot worse - your poor
darling back! - he's still picking on you all the time for standing up
to him the other night - we MUST find a way out in the morning."
"I'm OK Jessica! A hide like leather! But it would be nice to have a
change of scenery - I can't wait to be heading North again. We'll keep
our eyes open and take the first chance that comes our way!"
Morning came all too quickly. It seemed that scarcely had their eyes
closed in sleep than the door opened noisily and their meal was put
down before them. This time they were allowed to eat in a civilised
manner. Two large mugs of coffee formed part of this meal.
"You did well yesterday - this is a reward. Show us a bit of respect
and things could get better."
"Fuck off" said Gwendoline and tossed the remainder of the coffee on to
the floor. She had thought of throwing it in his face, but his ever
visible gun made her change her mind.
"Wait outside, you" he said to Jessica. "I've got something to settle
with your impertinent friend. It'll be all the worse for her and you if
you try any thing"
Jessica stood outside as the cracking sound of leather landing once
again on Gwendoline's already sore back rang out ten times. She
clenched her fists in fury and anguish. Fury against this man for
daring to touch her friend and even more against her own failure to
help. Anguish as she thought what they were both going through, but
Gwendoline so much more.
"What have you got to say for yourself now" she heard him say.
"Fuck off, you ugly pig"
"Oh please stop being so bloody brave - this is killing me -never mind
you" she thought as the hiding was resumed.
Finally Gwendoline came out - pushed through the door by Richard, her
flushed face showing only her contempt for her captor and betraying not
a sign of pain. Her back was red and marked with weals. There was a
small cut under one shoulder blade which bled slightly.
"Fuck off you bastard." she repeated and Richard made no further
response but directed them out into the garden. He looked at
Gwendoline's flaming red back and felt a grudging respect for her
bravery. This is the one to work on all right, once we've broken her,
her friend will be easy, was his conclusion.
The first hours were devoted to more sawing up of logs, with Richard
standing over them, looking very alert. No chance seemed to be coming
their way. How much longer was this nightmare going to go on?
"How's the back, Gwen - or is that a silly question?" asked Jess during
a momentary break.
"Fine - Never felt better"
It was so terribly obvious that she was lying that Jessica started to
pray as she had never prayed before, beseeching the Almighty for
something to go right for them for a change.
Richard told them to carry on piling leaves and twigs onto the heap
they had started the day before. Finally he bade them both to back off
about twenty yards. He took out a box of matches and then rested the
gun on the ground, keeping his eyes on the girls in case they made any
kind of move. He lit the bonfire.
A sheet of white flame shot up into the air and in all directions and
the heat caused Richard to jump back to avoid being incinerated. The
gun was temporarily forgotten in his panic.
It took Gwen and Jessica only a few seconds to reach him, Gwendoline
picking up the gun and pointing it at a singed and shaken Richard.
"How do feel about being knee-capped you low-life - or do want a taste
of your own belt? I'm in a good mood - the choice is yours. Go and
fetch that old bitch out, Jessie - she's going to watch her darling son
Jessica obeyed her friend, awed by the new note of authority in her
voice. In a couple of minutes the mother was being forced to look on as
Richard stood quivering with fear before an icily relentless Gwendoline.
"Come on you two, they're not worth wasting time over - let's be on our
And a naked Harriet jumped down from the top of the wall.
Without once taking her eyes off Richard, Gwendoline shouted out, "Good
to see you back again Harry, about time too! Sorry to disoblige but
we've both been beaten and humiliated over the last few days - take a
look at our backs, especially mine. They're both about to pay for it
with interest. Go into the house Harriet - you too, Jessie after you've
both secured Ma'am and sonny boy here - and start trashing it - make it
uninhabitable, except for the larder and kitchen. We'll lay them waste
after we've eaten."
"What's come over her?" asked Harriet as she and Jessie left the old
lady tied up on the lawn and Richard tied facing a tree, both nude in
the bitter wind. Acting on Gwen's instructions the other girls had cast
their clothes on to the fire.
"I don't know, Harriet. I've never seen her like this before. With her
in this mood, I pity those two - that's all I can say - despite what
they've done to us.
"Gwen's been so phenomenally brave these last few days - she put me to
shame on our very first night here. They took it out on her because she
was so defiant - stupidly so, I thought. I got beaten a bit as well,
but they were unmerciful to her and she never gave them the
satisfaction of showing what she was feeling. She just kept on defying
them until they got tired of beating her and stopped. She's been so
wonderful, Harriet - more wonderful and so much stronger than I ever
could have thought possible of her and we've been friends since we were
They spent an hour going over the house smashing anything breakable and
pulling off bed and furniture coverings, throwing them out of the
windows. They left the library intact - a respect for learning was more
powerful than a desire for vengeance. Also there was some priceless
porcelain and other objets d'art and these were spared for the same
kind of reason.
They rejoined Gwendoline to find her applying Richard's belt to his
red, bleeding back, ignoring his cries of pain and showing no signs of
tiring. The sweat was pouring down her lithe young body and her face
was scarlet with exertion. She did not stop her steady remorseless
chastisement until the poor man lost consciousness.
"Get some water, you two - got to bring him round. I've not halway
finished with him yet. GO ON YOU TWO!! HURRY UP!!"
They obeyed and Richard was revived. His beating continued until his
entire back was raw and bleeding. Finally Gwendoline came and stood
over him as he moaned weakly.
"Did you enjoy that, Arsehole, like you enjoyed doing it to me? Maybe
that'll teach you to abuse a couple of girls, who never meant you or
your evil old mother any harm."
"Let's get them inside. They are going to get us a delicious meal and
then we'll be on our way."
"We didn't expect to see you again Harriet - that's for sure. We
thought once you got your clothes on and sarted eating regularly again,
you'd never come back to our unpredictable ways." said Jessica.
"I've been naked since we said 'goodbye'" Harriet replied, "except for
when I went to the police to give a statement and answered all those
questions from the Press"
"I spent a few days with good old Jason - we cried off the sex - I
still love dear old Bill too much, but he seemed to appreciate being
waited on by a naked lady! Then he had a message from some business man
who owns a transport firm, among other things who said he knew where I
might find you two."
Jason dropped me off as soon as we saw you in the distance and I spent
ages trying to catch up with you. I found the remains of a scrawny
chicken and a fire and guessed you had passed that way! Later on I saw
you go through the doorway into this garden (It looks so nice doesn't
it, after all your hard work!).
"By the time I got to the house the door was locked, so I waited until
dark and climbed over the wall and saw you two through the window -
with poor old Gwen in particular taking a terrible pasting - good for
you, Gwen - not kow-towing to them. I can't understand why you didn't
refuse to work for them - just let them do their worst?"
"We thought about that - but reckoned if we went along with htem to
some extent we would get out once in a while and have a chance to make
a break for it " said Jessica. "I'd have been willing to call them Sir
and Ma'am, just to keep our backs unharmed, when they started on
Gwendoline, but she wouldn't hear of it. I'll never forget her courage
if I live to be a hundred"
"I just don't truckle to inferiors - that's all," said a blushing and
embarrassed Gwen. "You two should know - 'specially Harriet"
"That's all old hat in this day and age. This is 2001" said Harriet
"Not for me it isn't. My ancestors came over with the Conqueror and
I've never once been allowed to forget it" said Lady Gwendoline. "I
suppose it was you that tampered with the bonfire, Harriet?"
"Yes, I watched for two days while they made you do all that work and
couldn't see a chance to help. Then I saw that heap of old leaves and
rubbish and thought of pouring paraffin over it. I was afraid he might
notice the smell, so I unmade it and put a can of the stuff I found in
a shed on the ground and put it all together again. It was a risk - I
mean he might have made one of you light it, but it worked and here we
all are again!"
"How did you survive out there in the cold on your own?" asked
Oh, I sheltered in their shed and kept alive on eating apples and stuff
they have stored there. Made sure I made myself scarce before dawn.
Pretty basic fare, but I'm still alive and kicking!"
The three adventuresses finished the meal their erstwhile captors had
prepared and complimented them politely on the excellence of their
cooking. They then proceeded to make the kitchen and larder a messy
squalid wilderness and left. Gwendoline emptied the gun and tossed it
"I'll put the ammo somewhere safe. I suppose you know it's a criminal
offence to be in possession of a hand gun - I'd report you, only I'm
Jessica kissed her Gwendoline's sore back as they entered the open air.
"Don't fuss so, Jessie - I'm perfectly OK! We don't have time to waste
being lovey dovey any more. We must press on. Get a move on you two!"
And the others obeyed, falling back a little, following their leader
into the Derbyshire countryside. As she watched Gwen's determined
figure striding ahead, her handsome bottom shimmering with each step,
Jessica felt a pang of loss. She knew that she had offended her brave,
friend by her momentary willingness to cave in and that she had
irretrievably lost some of Gwen's respect, and maybe her love.
She held Harriet by the hand and tried to fight back her tears.
The three sheltered in the lee of a stone wall and prepared for sleep.
"Sorry you two, I have a little job to do - all those rotten apples -
back in a tick."
Now that they were alone for a few minutes, Jessica put her arm on her
friends shoulder."Sorry to have let you down, Gwendoline! I just didn't
want to see you get hurt because I love you so much - is that so
There was no reply, except maybe for a slight pressure from Gwen's hand
on Jessica's thigh and Harriet returned. They tried to sleep, despite
the howling wind. At least it was dry.
Morning came and Gwendoline went up the hill to spy out the lie of the
land and prepare a plan for the day's walking.
"Stomach better, Harry?"
"Nothing was ever wrong. I can eat pretty well anything and not feel
ill- famous for it!. Just a ruse to leave you two alone for a bit. I
hoped you'd maybe get things sorted. Something's wrong between you two
and it's getting worse. You may both have half killed me a couple of
times and I still resent it, but I hate seeing you drift apart like
this, I really do!"
A tear rolled down Jessica's face.
"I let her down. She's always had a back like a ramrod and she's just
the same inside. I'd always thought I was the same, but when they had
her against the wall ready to beat her, I was scared - not just for her
but for me! She knows that and, bit by bit, it's been growing in her
mind ever since. I'm a coward and she doesn't know the meaning of the
"I hope you two make it up. I love you both and always looked up to the
pair of you at school. I have to say, Gwen has shown herself to be a
pretty special lady these few days. We've got to realise that and back
her up from now on. And it was she who let me out of that stream, when
you would kept me under a lot longer."
"Oh, Harry - darling - I've had nightmares about the look on your face
that time when I suggested pushing your head under. I'm so awfully
sorry. We just seemed to become different people in that week - nastier
Gwendoline came back to them.
"There's a little stream over the other side of the hill - we can wash
up and all that. I want to see a friend later today so let's look out
for a phone booth. I need to look at a map - this part of the world's
not too familiar to me and I'm disoriented after the last few days. And
we mustn't get boxed into some conurbation. Hurry along now, we don't
have all day!"
When they reached the fast flowing mountain stream that Ghad spotted
they washed away the grime and sweat of the previous day and night and
Gwendoline looked at the other two.
"Might I ask a favour of you both?"
"Anything, Gwen" said Jessica, her voice breaking despite herself. "You
Gwendoline went and knelt in the water.
"Would you bathe my back, please, girls?. It's not feeling so good for
And then Jessica splashed water over Gwendoline's still sore back,
which had taken so much over the last few days.
"Thank's dearest - that feels a lot better! I'll take that nice kiss I
was so rude about yesterday! Why didn't Harriet help - not still sore
with us I hope?"
"It doesn't take two to bathe one little old back and I couldn't rob
Jessica of the privilege. And it was good to see - it really was! We
ready then, boss?"
Gwendoline resumed her leading position and they finally found a remote
phone box and contacted a friend of Gwen and Jess, one- Francesca, who
agreed to meet up with them in twenty minutes.
This lady, who had not seen her buddies for over a year was amazed to
see this naked trio, and shocked at the sight of Gwen's back.
"You'd all better come back with me. Daddy's abroad and Mummy is in
London for a couple of days and our neighbours are all blind and very
old. Get in the car, all of you and here's something soft for you to
rest your back on, Gwen dearest. You look awful."
"I don't need anything to rest on and I'm fine. I'm only staying with
you because these two wimps need a rest. I could go on for ever. She
then fell fast asleep and Jessica gently eased a cushion behind her.
Francesca started the car and soon they were in her parent's Derbyshire
retreat, eating eggs and bacon and drinking strong hot coffee.
Despite her protests, Fran insisted on bathing Gwen's back and applying
various creams and antiseptics.
"I don't think there's any infection old thing. You certainly are a
tough one! And don't go banging on about all that Norman blood. I've
heard it all so many times before! Now let's take a look at Jessica"
Francesca treated Jess's much more minor scratches and said "Whoever
did this certainly had it in for poor old Gwen over and above you,
Jessie. She's been hit five times as much."
"I got 160 and she got 25 and some of them were just little slaps.
Every one of of mine was meant to hurt and they all did! I counted them
all and I gave them back double and a few more for luck. And we ARE an
old family with a distinguished military record over the centuries and
I didn't let them down - did I Jessie?"
"No, my love - you most certainly didn't and they'd have been so
awfully proud of you. I certainly was!" and Jessica burst into
uncontrollable tears. "I'm sorry I got so scared, Gwen. Please forgive
"Nothing to forgive - I was scared too, and I was praying for it to
stop, but I just thought of my grandfather who died at Arnhem and his
father who was wounded at Gallipoli and all the rest of them going back
over the years - you've seen their pictures, Jessie - would you want to
upset any of grim looking fellows! So I couldn't have called that piece
of shit 'Sir'. It would have killed me"
Jessica smiled through her tears, but she knew that a girl like
Gwendoline would have acted no differently, whatever her family
background. She was a girl in a million and it was Jess's great joy to
be her friend.
Francesca persuaded them to stay the night and Gwendoline slept on her
own in the best bedroom lying on her stomach with a profusion of
unguents and ointments working to heal her back as she slept.
Harriet and Jessica shared the other spare room and both reflected that
whether they ever reached their goal or not a far more important test
had been passed than some inition into a secret society. The three way
friendship that had come under such strain had passed through the fire
and been strengthened to such an extent that it was now unbreakable.
Whatever might or might not happen to the Ladies Masonic Movement -
this was one bond which would last as long as the three were alive on
this earth together.