Maureen Thackeray-Jones looked in the mirror and immediately noted that a few grey hairs had started to appear at her temples. Running her hands through her long auburn hair she made a mental note to call her hairdresser and arrange an appointment for early the following week. Maureen wasn’t vain but since taking over full responsibility for running the family jewellery business on her father’s passing four years previously found that looking at her best helped her project the correct image. Although a small affair the business serviced many high end clients that valued the privacy that Maureen and her staff provided. Maureen finished putting on her stylish but understated jewellery and checked her watch. Noting that she was running a little late, no excuse for that even on a Friday she hurried across the room to select the pair of heels that would set off her outfit perfectly, a well tailored navy knee length skirt and matching jacket. After selecting her shoes Maureen made her way downstairs hoping to find her daughter ready to head to work. Her daughter Rebecca or Becky to her friends had returned from finishing college. From what Maureen could gather the only thing that her daughter had achieved during those four years was to make the cheerleading squad. Anyway after letting Rebecca do not very much for a couple of months Maureen had forced her to start working at the store with her. After a rough start Maureen was surprised by how Rebecca had fitted in and taken to the work. Not fully paying attention Maureen flung open the door into the kitchen and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight that confronted her.
Ten minutes earlier
Rebecca sat in the living room of her mother’s home watching the morning news without taking any of it in. The lead story had been something about a burglary in a neighbouring town a couple of days ago. Rebecca played with the silk scarf round her neck; it was part of the uniform that her mother made her wear whilst working in the store, blue skirt finishing just above the knee, white blouse, blue scarf matching the shirt, blazer and sensible black shoes. Glancing at her watch and wondering what was keeping her mother there was suddenly a knock at the front door. Rebecca hurried to the door wondering who would be calling so early. She flung it open to find herself confronted by three women dressed identically like her, blue skirt finishing just above the knee, white blouse; blue scarf matching the shirt, blazer and sensible black shoes except these three women also wore headscarves, large dark glasses, leather gloves and carried a large handbag over a shoulder. Without waiting for an invitation or saying anything the three women entered the house. They quickly formed a triangle around Rebecca, one directly behind with the other two slightly off to either side. Rebecca taken aback by the way that the women had just entered the house stood looking at the two women facing her in turn. Then the women pounced without warning. The woman behind Rebecca grabbed both of her arms and brought them forcefully behind her back. Rebecca opened her mouth to protest but any sounds were muffled as a large cloth was forced into her mouth by one of the women in front of her. Now totally thrown off balance by the turn of events Rebecca didn’t even struggle as her wrists were being bound behind her back with what felt like thin rope or cord. The women who had forced the cloth into her mouth produced a silk scarf from her pocket which she then used to secure cloth in her mouth, knotting the scarf behind Rebecca’s head forcing the cloth deeper into her mouth. Rebecca caught a flash as something came over her head from behind. She heard a faint click then felt the pressure tighten just below her breasts as her arms were pinned into her back and what she guessed to be some kind of strap. Rebecca was stunned at what had happened and the ease with which these women had overpowered her. Rebecca was about to start a protest when the woman directly in front of her, who she took to be in charge grabbed Rebecca’s chin with one gloved hand and put the index finger of her other hand to her lips. The universal signal for keep quiet, Rebecca silently nodded her understanding. The lead woman then made a movement of her head and the woman standing behind Rebecca moved to close the door. The lead woman then grabbed Rebecca’s arm and started to guide Rebecca through her own house whilst the third woman fell in just behind. Rebecca wondered what was going on. These women oozed authority; they were certainly not to be messed with.
The sight that confronted Maureen Thackeray-Smith was her daughter sitting on a chair at the dining table wearing a worried expression and a cloth stuffed in her mouth secured in place by a scarf. Maureen couldn’t tell but judging from how her daughter was sitting she was pretty sure that her arms were bound behind her back. On each side of her daughter stood a woman dressed in the uniform of her store employees, plus a headscarf and large dark glasses.
“Mrs Thackeray-Jones please take a seat” said the woman on her daughters left indicating the chair directly opposite Rebecca “I appreciate that this will have come as a bit of a shock but if you give me a couple of minutes I will explain.” Maureen looked around the room then sensed movement behind her and spun around to find a third woman dressed in identical fashion to the others.
“Miss Garrett please gag Maureen” said the woman again. Maureen spun round to face her. “You don’t mind if I call you Maureen do you?” the woman enquired.
“But” Maureen muttered almost under her breath
“Don’t worry about the gag. This isn’t going to be a conversation. Just do as we say and nobody gets hurt” the woman said letting her gaze fall onto Rebecca. Maureen didn’t resist as the woman named as Miss Garrett pushed a cloth into her mouth and used a scarf to secure it in place. Then with a little help from Miss Garrett Maureen found herself sitting across from her daughter, gagged at her kitchen table.
“To finish the introductions you can call me Miss Duncan and this is Miss Munroe” indicating the woman standing on the right of Rebecca the lead woman said as she sat on a chair on the other side of the table “Right Maureen this should hopefully be relatively simple if you behave. Our employer has tasked us with recovering an item and we have traced this item to your jewellery store and now we wish to retrieve that item. Simple.” Maureen might have been startled to begin with but had quickly recovered her composure and was running through various options in her head. This seemed to be about a robbery, if a slightly untraditional one. The store had lots of high end and expensive jewellery but no single item that could be worth this much trouble. Maureen decided to play along until she found an opportunity to get help. “Now that we have Maureen’s attention Miss Munroe please escort Rebecca upstairs to her room and make her comfortable.” A flash of fear must have crossed Maureen’s eyes as a smirked appeared on Miss Duncan’s lips. “Maureen don’t worry Miss Munroe will take good care of Rebecca. After all she is our insurance policy that you co-operate. They will stay here whilst Miss Garrett and I escort you to your store and recover the item.” Maureen’s shoulders slumped slightly as she watched Miss Munroe lead a struggling Rebecca toward the door.
Miss Munroe opened the door with one hand and push Rebecca through and down the corridor with the other. Rebecca mumbled behind her gag and turned to face Miss Munroe who gestured with her arm “Lead the way Becky darling. Your bedroom and be quick about it. Any nonsense and there will be consequences. If you behave and mummy plays ball then everything should be fine.” Rebecca reluctantly turned round and headed up the stairs, closely followed by Miss Munroe. Once she entered her room Miss Munroe placed a hand in her back and forced her face down onto her bed. Rebecca remained still for moment then felt her ankles being tied together; then another binding was secured around her thighs. “There make yourself comfortable. It could be a couple of hours.” After a few moments Rebecca squirmed into a position where she was as comfortable as she could get but also where she could also see Miss Munroe. Rebecca watched as her captor took the seat from her dresser and positioned it so that she could see both Rebecca and the door then sat down. Rebecca continued to watch as Miss Munroe took a mobile phone from her pocket and placed it within easy reach on the dresser. Then Miss Munroe reached into her bag and produced a large white cloth and a tinted bottle which she carefully placed on the dresser beside the phone. What was in the bottle Rebecca thought? Finally Miss Munroe produced a book from her bag, opened it and began to read like this was a normal day with a trip to the library.
Back at the kitchen table Miss Duncan was putting the plan into action. She always thought that momentum was essential with situations like this. “Maureen lets get moving. Please stand and get your keys.” Maureen obeyed and made to remove the gag that was currently in her mouth. “No. The gag stays in place, for everyone’s safety. It removes any temptation to shout for help. Miss Garrett, scarf.” Maureen stood and froze as Miss Garrett came round in front of her and carefully produced a silk headscarf and placed it on her head, tying it in place. Maureen glanced in a handily placed mirror and noted the headscarf, as well as being fashionable also performed the functional thing of disguising the gag slightly. “Now Maureen please let’s find your keys and we can get going.” Maureen led the way through the kitchen door and into a corridor where she paused in front of a long table and picked up her handbag. Before she could react Miss Duncan grabbed her wrist. “Just wait a minute” Miss Duncan said whilst reaching into the handbag and removing the mobile phone that was in it. Maureen silently cursed her luck as Miss Duncan placed the phone in the pocket of her jacket. “I assume that the keys are in your bag” Miss Duncan asked. Maureen nodded to answer in the affirmative. Miss Duncan then rummaged in her own bag and produced what Maureen would have described as handcuffs but with large padded cuffs at each end rather than steel cuffs. “Hands out” Miss Duncan instructed, Maureen complied as Miss Duncan placed a cuff around each of Maureen’s wrists and used the small belts to tighten them. After completing that task Miss Duncan looked around and seeing what she wanted picked up a raincoat resting over a nearby chair and hung it on the chain between the cuffs on Maureen’s wrists, effectively hiding the fact that Maureen wrists were secure. Miss Duncan indicated to Miss Garrett that it was time to head off and Miss Garrett grabbed Maureen’s upper arm, Maureen wincing at the strength of the grip as they followed Miss Duncan toward the door and out into the early morning sunshine. Maureen saw a large dark coloured four door saloon car parked on the drive. The small group of women headed for the car. As they got closer Maureen noted that the windows were heavily tinted. Miss Duncan opened the near side rear door and Miss Garrett helped Maureen down into the rear seat, a bit like the police with a suspect. Maureen sat perfectly still and noticed another woman in the drivers’ seat. Miss Garrett walked round and got in the back beside Maureen whilst Miss Jackson got in the front passenger seat. “Maureen this is Miss Peel”. With that the car was started and they headed off. It was be around thirty minutes to reach the shop, dependant of traffic. Maureen was going to spend all of it trying to find a way out of this predicament.
The car slowed as they drove past the front of the store. Maureen turned her head to look at the store front but none of the other women in the car did. Although Maureen was sure that they took in everything from behind their sunglasses. Miss Peel made a left at the end of the street and Maureen assumed that they were heading for the rear entrance. It was where Maureen and the staff always entered from in the morning. The women had obviously done their homework. Miss Peel pulled the car into an alley between two stores and stopped in a small yard behind Maureen’s store. The engine was killed and the three other women exited the car. Then a couple of seconds later the door next to Maureen was opened and a hand beckoned her out. With a bit of effort and a helping hand Maureen managed to get out of the car. Maureen looked at the rear door into her store and groaned into her gag as she saw two of her staff, Helen and Fiona standing beside the door waiting for her to arrive. “Lead the way and no funny business. Just take is easy Maureen and nobody gets hurt.” Miss Duncan whispered into Maureen’s ear as they walked towards the door.
“Good morning Mrs Thackeray-Jones” Fiona asked as the group arrived at the door. Fiona and Helen glanced at each other with quizzical looks when there was no response. “Are these girls’ new starts?” Fiona tried this time, again without getting a response. Maureen had noticed that Miss Peel and Miss Garrett had worked their way behind the two young women.
“Ladies please do as you are told and nobody gets hurt” Miss Duncan said as her two colleagues pounced on Fiona and Helen, each pulling an arm behind the girls back whilst simultaneously using their leather gloved hands to effectively muffle the scream of both young woman. Fiona and Helen both squirmed until their arms were wrenched back further. The eyes on the two women became wide as they realised there predicament. They struggled again but the strong grip of Miss Garrett and Miss Peel were not for loosening. “Look ladies we have Ms Thackeray-Smith’s daughter so play along and nothing happens to her.” Miss Jackson watched as Fiona and Helen’s eyes switched from her to Maureen who silently nodded her confirmation. “My colleagues are going to remove their hands ladies but no shouting. We need to keep everything quiet so you will be gagged.” Miss Garrett and Miss Peel removed their hands and with practiced skill reached into their pockets and produced a thick cloth which they forced into the mouth of the woman that they had grabbed. Quickly and efficiently the cloth was held in place with a silk scarf tied at the nape of their captives’ neck so that it could not be easily removed. Miss Duncan nudged Maureen in the back and signalled toward the door. Miss Duncan knew that the longer they were in the open the more chance that someone might get suspicious. Slightly awkwardly with her hands cuffed Maureen reached into her bag, removed her keys and unlocked the rear door into the store. Pushing the door open Miss Duncan lead the way inside followed by the three gagged woman with her colleagues bringing up the rear. Miss Duncan heard the gentle beep of an alarm, found the small panel on the wall and beckoned Maureen over indicated for her to enter the code. Maureen paused before entering the code and the beeping stopped. Miss Duncan said a silent thank you. This was probably the moment where things could have gone wrong with the plan. If the alarm had been activated it would have went straight to the police for immediate response. “Keys please” Miss Duncan said to Maureen who placed them in the outstretched hand that was offered. Miss Duncan pulled a sheet of paper out of her bag. Maureen could see that it was a perfect plan of the store showing the shop floor, store rooms and offices on ground floor together with the first floor staff facilities and to her shock the small basement that wasn’t on any official plans. Miss Duncan threw the keys to Miss Garrett “Miss Garrett please mind the shop floor and make it look like we are preparing to open, Miss Peel take our two young friends upstairs and secure them whilst I have a talk with Ms Thackeray-Smith in the office.”
Miss Peel prodded Fiona and Helen who without needing to be told made their way toward the door that led to the first floor. The three women entered the staffroom at the top of the stairs and paused, Helen and Fiona waiting for instructions on how to proceed.
“Hands behind your back ladies” Miss Peel said from behind them. Miss Peel removed a backpack from over her shoulders and delved into it. Both Helen and Fiona had complied with the instruction and in turn felt the soft, strong cord wrap tightly around their wrists. Both women winced as the cord was tied off. Miss Peel surveyed the scene in the staffroom. To avoid the women trying to get each other free she wanted to keep them apart so she decided to put one in a chair that was sitting at the table and the other on a small couch against the far wall. Peel tapped Fiona on the shoulder, Fiona jumped at the shock of the touch. “Go sit on that couch” Peel order, Fiona slowly made her way across and sat down on one of the cushions. Peel led Helen to a wooden high back chair sitting next to the table and forced her down onto the seat, retrieving several lengths of rope from her rucksack Peel set about binding Helen to the chair. First Peel used a long length of rope placed just below Helen’s breasts to secure her tightly to the back of the chair. Then using a shorter length of rope to bind Helen’s ankles together, a third length was used to secure Helen’s thighs to the seat of the chair. Every tightening of the ropes and knot were met by moans from behind Helen’s gag. For good measure Peel took a thickly padded sleep mask from her bag and placed it over Helen’s eyes.
“MMGHYTR HURGGH” Fiona mumbled from behind her gag.
“Don’t worry your next” Peel said over her shoulder as she picked up her rucksack. “Now lie on your stomach”. Peel waited until Fiona was lying face down on the couch before tying Fiona’s ankles together then used another length of cord to tie her ankles and wrists together, hogtying the young woman. Peel the added a sleep mask across Fiona’s eyes. Now that both young women were secured and blindfolded Peel was able to remove her sunglasses and headscarf giving her long brown hair a shake. Making as little noise as possible to stop the two bound, blindfolded women from noticing that she had left Peel picked up her rucksack and made her way quickly down the stairs, heading for the car to continue her part of the plan.
Miss Duncan escorted Maureen to the door of the manager’s office. Without having to be asked Maureen approached the keypad on the door and entered the code to disengage the electronic lock. Miss Duncan pushed Maureen inside and followed her in. Duncan scanned the office and forced Maureen down into the large leather seat behind the large wooden desk. “Maureen I am going to undo the cuffs but please don’t try anything. Remember we have Rebecca.” Maureen raised her hands and Duncan removed the padded cuffs. “Maureen our clients are looking for something that you have in your vault, the special vault in the basement so I need the combination for your safes”. Maureen couldn’t help but react again. How did this woman know so much about the store? Only Maureen, her lawyer and the special clients that used the vault knew about its existence. Duncan handed Maureen a pen and small notebook that she had taken from her bag. “Write down the combinations for both safes and all of the instructions that I require to access the basement vault.” Duncan looked on whilst Maureen scribbled down the requested information, placing the pen carefully when see had finished. “Now please stand and place your hands behind your back.” Maureen compiled and Duncan went about binding her wrists behind her back then using a longer length of rope bound Maureen’s arms to her body. Taking further lengths of rope Duncan secured Maureen’s legs together at the ankles and thighs, once again forcing her down onto the leather chair. Duncan produced a thickly padded sleep mask and placed it over Maureen’s eyes. Once that was complete Duncan was able to remove her sunglasses and headscarf letting her shoulder length black hair fall down. Duncan didn’t waste any time in using the information on the pad to open both safes. Just after opening the second safe the door to the office opened and Miss Peel walked in carrying two large holdalls which she had taken from her rucksack. Peel nodded at her colleague.
“Peel”, replied Duncan whilst picking up two sets of keys, pocketing one and throwing the second to her colleague. Peel then went into one of the holdalls and produced a cloth which she doused with a large amount of chloroform from a bottle she had also taken from the bag. “Maureen I am not going to lie to you. My colleague has a cloth soaked with chloroform that she is going to use to knock you out for bit.”
“TYEHB GTHHH” mumbled Maureen from the other side of the desk.
“Sorry Maureen but we need some time to undertake our work and get clear. Can’t run the risk of you getting free and raising the alarm” Duncan chimed in as Peel approach Maureen, cloth menacingly held in one hand. “Don’t fight it just relax and take deep breaths.”
“Don’t worry it just puts you to sleep for a bit and you have a sore head when you come round by apart from that no problem” Peel said and clamped the cloth over the lower half of Maureen’s face, forcing her to inhale the fumes from the chemical that had been doused on the cloth. Maureen recoiled and Peel placed her other hand at the back of Maureen’s head so that she could not escape the cloth. “Oh I forgot that the smell isn’t that great.” Maureen thrashed her head from side to side but it was no use. Bound tightly and with Peel clamping the cloth over her nose she had no option but to inhale the fumes. Maureen continued to struggle but it was in vain as the drug started to have an effect. Eventually the struggling stopped as Maureen slumped down in the chair. Peel removed a Ziploc bag from her pocket and carefully placed the chloroform soaked cloth in it.
“Peel you know the plan. Take any cash you can find and some of the top range jewellery. Also don’t forget to take the CCTV hard drive. I shouldn’t be any longer than fifteen minutes.”
“Check. I think that we can drop the fake names now. She is sleeping like a baby.”
“Let’s not get over confident until the job is done. No stupid mistakes”. With that Duncan set off toward the basement and left Peel to clear the office and storeroom. Peel started with both safes and removed several stacks of used bank notes and placed them in one of the holdalls. The she spent some time disconnecting the hard drive from the CCTV system and placed that into the holdall along with the cash. Methodically searching the rest of the office Peel found a couple of nice items but nothing that really got her interest so she grabbed the keys and the holdalls and went to check the storeroom.
Duncan stopped at the door that lead to the basement and surveyed the locks. There were two serious looking efforts on the door itself. Looking at the set of keys that she had taken from the safe Duncan selected the two that she believed to be the best bet and tried the first of them in the top lock. It fitted in the lock comfortably and with a quick flick of the wrist turned fully and disengaged the lock. Right first time she thought. Then she tried the second key in the bottom lock. Once again it fitted perfectly and turned first time. Two for two! Duncan pocketed the keys and used both hands to haul the door open. It was very heavy and took a bit of effort.
Garrett was looking busy on the shop floor as if the store was preparing to open when she heard a knock at the door. At first she ignored the noise hoping that whoever it was would decide to walk away and come back later on. Garrett continued to look interested in the display against the back wall but the knocking came again, this time louder and more insistent. Not wanting the person to create a scene in the street Garrett decided that she had better deal with the matter and attempt to get the person to leave. Spinning round she raised a hand at the person at the door to signal that she had noticed them and made a big show or looking around to find the keys. It wasn’t long before the knocking started again. Garrett found the keys, where she had left them and made for the door. Garrett could now get a look at the person that was at the door. It was a woman with long brown hair, large round brown eyes, full lips and subtle features; a subtly attractive woman. She looked to be around thirty and was smartly dressed in tight black trousers, a red blouse and waist length tan jacket. Garrett opened the door, careful to keep the frame between her and the woman to prevent the woman getting a good look at her. “Can I help?”
“Sorry about the banging but I have to pick something up. It’s my aunts birthday and I was getting her watch repaired and cleaned” the woman said as soon as Garrett had opened the door. Without waiting to be asked into the shop the woman barged past Garrett into the middle of the shop floor. “The watch belonged to my Granma so it has emotional meaning to my aunt. You guys are usually open before nine so thought that I would pick it up early before I headed to the campus.”
“Em, Miss……” Garrett enquired
“Hutton, Gayle Hutton”
“Ms Hutton unfortunately we are having a slight problem this morning and the store is going to be closed for a period of time. If you would like to leave your number then I am sure one of my colleagues will contact you later” Garrett was thinking on her feet, trying to get the woman to leave.
“Could you not just check if the watch has been repaired for me” Gayle asked. Garrett knew then that she was going to have to deal with this woman and closed and locked the door. Just then she noted Peel at the door across the shop floor, behind the woman. Peel mimed pouring liquid onto a cloth and holding over her own nose and mouth then pointed at Gayle. Garrett didn’t know what else to do, so subtly nodded agreement.
“Would you like to come across to the counter Gayle and I will check the records”
“Great thanks.” Gayle replied and headed across. I wouldn’t thank me if I were you Garrett thought. Garrett made her way behind the counter and looked around until she found a pile of what looked like ledgers on a low shelf. Lifting them onto the counter she found the woman called Gayle standing directly across the counter. Garrett slowly flipped through the ledger hopeful that she had taken all of Gayle’s attention so that she wouldn’t notice the approaching Peel sneaking across the shop floor towards her.
Just as Peel got within striking distance Garrett grabbed both of Gayle’s wrists, pinning her hands to the counter. Peel then pounced clamping the chloroform soaked cloth over Gayle’s nose and mouth. Gayle panicked as the cloth was placed over her face, her eyes widened in shock but that was of no use, with her hands pinned to the counter by Garrett and Peel with her arm around her waist there was nowhere to go. Continuing to struggle only increased the amount of fumes that she inhaled and eventually Gayle succumbed to the fumes and slipped into a deep sleep and Peel carefully lowered her to the ground.
Gayle wondered what the woman was doing grabbing her wrists for a split second, that reaction change quickly to panic once someone else had pressed the cloth over her nose and mouth. She tried to scream for help but the sound was effectively muffled by the soft thick cloth that the woman had pressed over her face; then thought that there was nobody to hear her anyway. The person behind Gayle, the one with the cloth pulled Gayle tight against her body and Gayle could tell that it was a woman. Gayle wondered what these two women were after and why they had decided to attack her. They had used a cloth to muffle her and prevent her from screaming. It was at that moment that she noticed the smell coming from the cloth, a pungent sweet smelling aroma. Now she was starting to panic! What kind of chemical were they administering to her and what were its effects? Gayle struggled to try and get free but the women were strong and had managed to get the drop on her. The struggle meant that she involuntarily began to take deeper and deeper breathes drawing the fumes from the liquid deep into her lungs. Gayle could fell her legs and arms starting to tingle and her eyelids get heavy, she was seriously starting to fight off the desire to close her eyes. Gayle was an extremely intelligent woman and knew that something was seriously wrong. This must be the effects of the chemical she thought but she couldn’t do anything about it, the cloth remained in place and she continued to inhale the fumes until everything went black.
Duncan looked at the small metal doors in front of her, scanning them from top to bottom looking for the number that she had been given by her boss. Duncan had no idea what was in the box in the vault and didn’t care it was just her job to retrieve the item. When she found the number that she was looking for Duncan bent down and studied the lock. Then turning her attention to the ring of keys in her hand selected the key that she believed would fit the lock, inserted the key and turned it; once again first time lucky. Duncan swung the small door open and then removed the metal tray within. She carried the tray over to a small table in the centre of the room and opened the top of the tray. Duncan was slightly bemused about what she found. She was expecting jewels or cash or bonds but instead there was several cardboard folders filled with sheets of paper. Without looking in the folders she grabbed them and placed them in her bag. Moving back up the stairs she retrieved her mobile from her pocket and selected the group chat for this job and sent a message. ‘Time to get going.’ The phone pinged with two replies; the second of which she did not like at all.
Back at the house Munroe watched the bound and gagged Rebecca struggle against her bonds once again. Munroe admired her fight if not her intelligence. Munroe picked up the cloth and chloroform and made her way over to the bed where Rebecca was lying. “Stop that for a minute will you.” Munroe was a bit surprised when Rebecca complied immediately. “I have to leave now but I am going to take that gag out as long as you promised not to scream.”
“YETHAT HEGV” Rebecca mumbled and nodded her agreement at the same time. Munroe leaned over and untied the scarf at the back of Rebecca’s neck which allowed Rebecca to spit out the cloth that had been forced into her mouth.
“Rebecca I am going to untie you but first I need to give you a drug that will put you to sleep for a bit so that I can get away”
“I don’t want to be drugged” Rebecca replied, her bottom lip starting to quiver.
“You don’t have a choice. It won’t be to bad I am just going to place a cloth over your nose and mouth, it will have a drug on it and the fumes will put you to sleep. It doesn’t hurt”
“Is it chloroform? Like the movies?” Rebecca asked.
“That right” Munroe added as she placed the cloth over the lower part of Rebecca’s face. Munroe watched as the younger woman took deep and steady breaths eventually succumbing to the fumes when her eyelids slammed shut, holding the cloth on for another couple of seconds so that Rebecca got a good dose of the drug. Munroe quickly untied Rebecca and left her lying on the bed before placing everything that she had brought into her bag, including her large sunglasses, headscarf and jacket. Munroe then quickly slipped off the blue skirt that she was wearing and slipped on thick leggings that she had removed from her bag, next came heavy duty kneepads. Finally Munroe picked out a set of keys that belonged to the motorbike that she would use to get back to base.
When Duncan entered the shop floor she found her two colleagues standing over an unconscious woman. “What happened?”
“Sorry boss but we didn’t have an option. She was banging at the door and I didn’t want to create a scene outside in the street. I thought that it was best to deal with the issue inside the store.” Garrett summed up the situation as succinctly as possible.
“I assume that she did see your faces” Duncan asked. Both Garrett and Peel looked at each other, turned to Duncan and nodded. Duncan clenched her teeth and then made a decision. “We need to take her with us and keep her hidden until we move on. Hopefully that will only be a couple of days.” Looking around the shop floor Duncan continued “Garrett put the sign in the window showing store closed then you can help me carry your friend to the car. Peel, introduce the girls upstairs to nap time then grab the holdalls and join us at the car. Be quick about it, Munroe and I have a train to catch later.”
Duncan was behind the wheel as Peel emerged from the rear door of the store with a holdall in each hand. Slowly and steadily Peel made her way toward the car boot and placed both holdalls carefully inside. Peel then jumped into the passenger seat next to Duncan, Garrett and the sleeping hostage was sitting in the back. Duncan placed her mobile in a cradle and selected the phone number that she wanted. As it rang she started the car and moved off. After five rings, it was always five rings it was answered. “Boss its Duncan here. We have an issue that I have to make you aware of………..”